Thursday, June 17, 2010

Examples of how the 111th Congress Works.

Creepily Anti-Democratic
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Posted by: Carol Platt Liebau at 12:57 PM

Before time ran out on me yesterday, I intended to post on this absolutely remarkable piece of political news from Mike Allen's Playbook:

EXCLUSIVE: Phil Schiliro, the White House congressional liaison, has told the Senate to aim to take up an energy bill the week of July 12, after the July 4 break (and after the scheduled final passage of Wall Street reform). Kagan confirmation will follow, ahead of the summer break, scheduled to begin Aug. 9. The plan is to conference the new Senate bill with the already-passed House bill IN A LAME-DUCK SESSION AFTER THE ELECTION, so House members don’t have to take another tough vote ahead of midterms.

Got it? In other words, the Obama administration intends to get its unpopular cap 'n tax bill passed by some of the same legislative flim-flammery that worked with health care.

The fact that they're planning to delay the vote until after the election indicates that the administration understands the American people oppose what they're doing. They just don't care. They do know better, after all -- just like they did with health care.

Perhaps incumbent House Democrats might try running on an innovative platform: If you reelect me, I might listen to your concerns about the energy bill and vote against it . . . but if you throw me out, I'll punish you by voting for a bill that I know you don't want.

It's one thing to oppose the wishes of the opposition party. There's something about this plan -- designed to skirt the expressed wishes of the majority of Americans -- that is almost creepily anti-democratic.
Skip the Gimmicks, Fund Our Troops
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Posted by: Staff at 3:26 PM
Guest blog post by Rep. Mac Thornberry

Too often, the real needs of our military have been used to carry more wasteful or unnecessary spending for other programs. Once again, this appears to be the case in the House.

Right now, our troops need supplemental funding to continue their work in Afghanistan and Iraq for the rest of the fiscal year. Secretary Gates said this week that funding for the Navy and Marine Corps will begin to run out in July, and by early to mid-August, the military may not be able to pay members of the active-duty military.

This situation is serious and dealing with it should be straightforward. Yet, instead of bringing a clear-cut supplemental spending bill to the floor, Speaker Pelosi and the majority in the House want to piggyback on that bill funding for all sorts of things, including more stimulus spending and billions more in bailouts for the states.

Republicans are concerned and are calling for a clean war funding measure to be debated without further delay. Yesterday, the top Republicans on the House Armed Services, Appropriations, and Education and Labor committees urged President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to publicly reject efforts to stall a vote on troop funding. As a senior Member of the Armed Services Committee, I shared my thoughts in a video posting at America Speaking Out and urge Americans all across the country to do the same.

We are faced with a serious situation in Afghanistan which requires our best efforts and our concentrated focus. The men and women in our armed services should be the first and foremost priority of this spending bill. Instead, wasteful Washington spending is being strapped on the backs of our troops. We should not do it. Our troops and our nation expect better of us.

And it is not the first time the current Democratic leadership in the House has tacked unrelated and unpopular measures on a must-pass defense bill. At the end of last year, they attached a controversial “hate crimes” provision on the Defense Authorization Bill. However one feels about hate crimes, it is wrong to force a domestic political issue into a national security bill. And I worry that doing it makes it less likely than ever that national security will stay above domestic politics.

I believe that national security is the first job of the federal government and that our military men and women in the field deserve our full, unconditional support. That’s why Congress should pass a clean funding bill without gimmicks and without a lot of extra spending, and we should do so as soon as possible.

What do you think? House Republicans want to hear from you. Go to and share your thoughts and ideas with us.

Congressman Thornberry represents Texas' 3rd congressional district and serves on the House Committee on Armed Services.

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