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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Payroll Tax Cut And Keystone Pipeline Pipeline Get Two Months Consideration

Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 17, 2011: [Senate is in Session]
This morning the Senate voted 89-10 for the agreement extending the payroll tax cut for 2 months, paid for with spending cuts and GSE (Fannie & Freddie) fees, and requiring the president to decide on the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days.

The Senate then voted 72-27 to pass H.R. 3972, a bill funding FEMA for disaster recovery. But majority Senate Democrats voted down H. Con. Res. 94, a package of spending cuts offsetting the disaster funding.

Finally, the Senate has began begun discussions and voting on the conference report for H.R. 2055, the vehicle for the omnibus appropriations bill that funds the government through the end of the current fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2012).

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted 296-121 to pass the conference report for H.R. 2055.

Last night, Democrats gave in to demands from Republicans,championed by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, that any payroll tax cut extension must include a provision expediting a decision from President Obama on the Keystone XL pipeline.

As Politico recounts, “[D]uring a marathon day of closed-door negotiations on Friday, Senate Republicans won a major concession: The compromise package includes a provision prodding Obama to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which has pitted two traditional Democratic backers - organized labor and environmental groups - against one another. Obama had tried to push a decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 elections, but Republicans, sensing an opening, demanded the president act sooner.”

Recall that at the beginning of the month, Senate Democrats were demanding tax increases on job creators accompanying a payroll tax cut and President Obama actually threatened to veto a bill including the Keystone XL language as recently as last week. Yet the bill the Senate passed this morning both includes the pipeline provision and contains not one dime in tax increases.

Writing at Townhall.com, Guy Benson calls the inclusion of the Keystone XL provisions “A TKO decision for Republicans.” From the Left, the liberal news site TPM acknowledges, “In a political hit for Democrats, Republicans insisted on and secured a provision that requires the Obama administration to either greenlight the Keystone XL oil pipeline or for President Obama to publicly nix it by declaring it not in the national interest.”

The Washington Post reported last night, “Senate Democrats emerging from a closed-door meeting Friday night were of two minds about the payroll tax cut plan negotiated by party leaders – at once acknowledging that the deal handed Republicans a victory on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline but at the same time arguing that the short-term package would put Democrats on offense come the new year.”

At Ace of Spades, Gabriel Malor noted, “Press Secretary Jay Carney was reluctant to repeat Obama's veto threat over Keystone XL, so the President is in the hot seat now. Democrats and unions . . . were freaking out over being put in a position to oppose the thousands of jobs represented by Keystone XL.”

Speaking on the floor this morning, Leader McConnell urged the president to reject the demands from environmental groups looking to block the Keystone XL pipeline, saying, “Keystone was an obvious choice: everybody in Washington says they want more American jobs now. Well, here’s the single largest shovel-ready project in America — ready to go. . . . And since I still haven’t heard a good reason from the White House as to why they would block it, I’m hopeful the President will do the right thing—and get this crucial project underway. The only thing standing between thousands of American workers, and the good jobs this project will provide, is President Obama.”

Tags: U.S. senate, Keystone Pipeline, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Light Bulb Ban Gets Eleven Month Delay

The House has blocking the ban on standard incandescent light bulbs that was scheduled to begin going into effect on January 1. The light bulb provision is included in the omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2012.

DOE's light bulb rules were authorized under a 2007 energy law signed by President George W. Bush and were to become effective January 1, 2012. The rider in the omnibus bill delays DOE from implementing the rules until Oct 1, 2012. However, Democrats say they will seek a change. For some reason they hate the incandescent bulbs but love mercury bulbs which can poison people if broken.

Bill Wilson of Americans For Limited Government said, "It is absurd for the government to force Americans to purchase expensive and environmentally dangerous curly cue CGC light bulbs due to an ill conceived attempt to save energy. Congressional Republicans have stood up for American consumers being able to make the choice of what lighting products they wish to use, and that is a small but important step away from the nanny state envisioned by the social engineers on the left."

Wilson continued, "The Astroturf enviro movement on this issue is typified by the group Republicans for Environmental Protection, which research has proven is nothing more than another George Soros front group. Congressional Republicans need to reject this last ditch effort to dictate consumer choices and hold firm on the delay of the light bulb ban. Hopefully, the ban will be fully repealed in the months ahead."

Tags: ban, light bulb, incandescent bulb, mercury bulb To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The 10 Worst Mistakes of Winning Candidates

Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: Considering the recent Republican debates performances and news about various actions by members of campaign teams has led me to share the following words by a leader of conservatism in the United States. Morton Blackwell addressed the worst mistakes by winning candidates but in reality the list is also relevant to the "incumbent" candidates and their campaigns. Hat tip to  the NFRA, the flag ship of the state Republican Assemblies, for calling attention to Morton Blackwell's list of the "The 10 Worst Mistakes of Winning Candidates."

Morton Blackwell
Some candidates win but disappoint their supporters and even themselves. They achieve little or nothing of what they hoped to do. Here are incumbents' worst mistakes:

1. Hiring staff who don't personally share their policy agendas. Personnel is policy. Staff who lack enthusiasm for their bosses' priorities prevent elected officials from doing what they intended to do in office.

2. Not keeping campaign promises. These days voters have little tolerance for incumbents who break their word.

3. Not paying attention to the interests of the coalition which elected them. Incumbents lose their allies when they don't vote right, sponsor key legislation or sign allies' fundraising letters and aren't there when their friends need them.

4. Seeking approval of their enemies, particularly their media enemies. Many incumbents start craving to have everyone love them and no one hate them. But trying to make friends of their enemies makes enemies of their friends.

5. Failure to handle constituent relations effectively. All politics is personal. Service can be as important to voters as policy. They appreciate prompt, personal service when they contact those elected to serve them.

6. Succumbing to temptations newly present when one achieves some power. Election to office tests anyone's strength of character, family ties and personal morality.

7. Getting greedy for money or higher office.

8. Becoming arrogant. Many people, constituents who request help and especially the officials' staff, treat incumbents with deference bordering on obsequiousness. A consequent loss of humility can destroy a politician's base.

9. Accommodating opposition incumbents who now are "distinguished colleagues." Excessive collegiality is a trap for incumbents who really want to accomplish things.

10. Not helping to nominate and elect allies in their home states and elsewhere. A well-run team takes care of its own. Serious politicians work hard to elect others who share their public policy principles.
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Morton Blackwell is president of The Leadership Institute, a non-partisan educational foundation he founded. The institute prepares conservatives for success in politics, government and the news media.  Blackwell served as Special Assistant to the President Regan on his  White House Staff from 1981-1984. He serves on the RNC’s Standing Committee on Rules and has attended every meeting of the Republican National Conventions’ Rules Committees since 1972.

Tags: Morton Blackwell, 10 Worst Mistakes, Candidates, incumbents To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Republicans Demand Keystone Jobs For Americans In The USA

Update 2:31 PM: The House passed (296-121) a $1 Trillion bill that would keep the federal government running through September, 2011, The bill has been sent to the Senate hours ahead of a midnight shutdown deadline.   As for the vote: 147 Republicans and 149 Democrats voted “yes,” while 86 Republicans and 35 Democrats voted" no." As part of a compromise, the bill prohibits administration "czars" to oversee health care reform, climate change, the auto industry and urban affairs.  To sweeten the deal for democrats, the bill includes $6 million for the Energy Department to administer the $25 billion auto loan retooling program.

On a positive note, this bill will remove the constant debate over continuing resolutions during the next nine months as Congress focus on oversight of the Obama administration, preparing to fund FY 2013 which begins October 1st ,  and prepares for the 2012 elections.   However, on the other major issues of the week,  House Speaker John A. Boehner said Friday that the House  will not sign off on an extension of the payroll tax cut sought by President Obama without including a provision to force a quick decision on construction of an Keystone XL Pipeline.  As detailed previously even democrats want and know the Keystone Pipeline will both aid in our national security and create needed jobs.  One wonders where President Obama expected all the former military service personnel he has and will be releasing from military duty to go for work.  Large numbers of military will be soon out of uniform and looking for jobs in a period of high unemployment which has been aggravated by the policies of the Obama administration and his activist agencies.

Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 16, 2011:
This afternoon, the House will take up the bipartisan agreement on appropriations bills to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2012). The vehicle for that will be the conference report on the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, H.R. 2055. If the House passes the bill, the Senate is expected to take it up tomorrow.

Discussions continue over extending the payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of this year. House Republicans have already passed a bill that does that without adding to the deficit or raising taxes. The House bill also requires the State Department make a decision on approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which could create tens of thousands of jobs. Republicans are insisting that this provision be included in any final deal.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 86-13 to approve the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization bill, H.R. 1540. Prior to that vote, the Senate voted 95-3 to confirm Morgan Christen to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

As negotiations over a final package to extend tax breaks continue, Republicans are insisting that it include their bill to force the State Department to make a decision on approving the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada through the American heartland to Texas, despite a veto threat from President Obama. Keystone XL would create tens of thousands of jobs and allow the US to get more energy from our northern ally and instead of importing it from the Middle East, yet the president has put off deciding on approval of the project until after next year’s election. But it’s not just Republicans calling for President Obama to set politics aside and approve the pipeline. More and more Democrats are coming out in favor of it.

Josh Brogran has reported that former National Security Advisor Jim Jones has bucked Obama on Keystone XL pipeline and called today for quick action on the Keystone XL pipeline construction, directly opposing the White House he worked for only a few months ago. He said,"In a tightly contested global economy, where securing energy resources is a national must, we should be able to act with speed and agility. And any threat to this project, by delay or otherwise, would constitute a significant setback. The failure to [move forward with the project] will prolong the risk to our economy and our energy security" and "send the wrong message to job creators."

Politico writes today, “House Republican leaders vowed Friday to attach a controversial Keystone pipeline provision to a package extending the payroll tax break, a move that came as Senate negotiators revived talks over a long-term year-end deal. Speaker John Boehner told a closed meeting of the House Republican Conference that he’s hunkering down on the pipeline provision in legislation to extend the tax holiday, jobless benefits and the Medicare reimbursement rate. In a closed meeting in the Capitol, the Ohio Republican said if the Senate sends the lower chamber a two-month extension of jobless benefits, the payroll tax holiday and the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians, ‘we’ll amend it and send something back.’ ‘And what we send back will include Keystone,’ Boehner said to applause, according to two sources in the room.”

On Wednesday night, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Larry Kudlow on CNBC, “There has to be something in there, Larry, . . . that creates jobs, the Keystone pipeline, ready to go, we’ve already had 3 years of environmental studies, the president’s trying to put it off until after the election because it makes his active environmentalists angry. The Keystone pipeline’s supported by the Teamsters, supported by the AFL-CIO, supported by everybody in the country who wants to create jobs—doesn’t cost the government a penny. [It] needs to be a part of the package.”

As even liberal news site TPM notes, “Republicans are still pushing hard for a rider that would force the Obama administration to make a swift decision on the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Democrats, both on the Hill and at the White House, are softening their opposition to this demand.”

Yesterday,  the Great Falls [Montana] Tribune reported that Montana's  Democrat governor, Brian Schweitzer, “announced that the state has approved a permit for Calgary-based TransCanada to construct a large oil pipeline [Keystone XL] across six Eastern Montana counties. “The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project, which would cross five states and ship oil from the oil sands in northern Alberta to U.S. refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast, still requires approval from the U.S. State Department before construction can begin. . . . In Montana, where the line would cross 281 miles of farmland, TransCanada has fulfilled its obligations under the Major Facility Siting Act, Schweitzer said . . . . The state Department of Environmental Quality plans to issue the state certificate to the company in several weeks. The pipeline will involve more than $1 billion in construction in Montana. The project would create approximately 1,200 high-paying construction jobs and could raise as much as $60 million in property taxes annually for schools, counties and the state .  . ."

Meanwhile, more  Democrats are also calling for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) told an Alaska TV station yesterday, “I support the project. I think the president’s view on this, of waiting, I think doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is a project that could provide lots of jobs to this country… I think the president’s wrong on delaying this, and I think there are a lot of good jobs relating to this, and again [it’s oil] from a friendly country, Canada.” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said earlier this week, “I personally think the pipeline is absolutely in the national interest.”  Sen. John Tester (D-MT) said, “I am proud to again offer my support for the Keystone XL pipeline and the jobs it will create. We need a quicker decision, based on the merits of this project. . . . I do not believe we should have to wait until January of 2013 for a decision that can create American jobs right now. In Montana, we need the jobs.” And according to The Hill, “Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La) said Keystone has the backing of several Democrats. ‘It’s always had more Democratic support than people thought'” Landrieu also told a Fox News reporter that she’d support including the Keystone pipeline in the payroll tax cut bill.

As The Wall Street Journal editors write today, “This is the most shovel-ready project in America, as the TransCanada company has already made plans to buy the steel pipe to carry crude oil from Canada and the Upper Great Plains to the Gulf of Mexico. The pipeline would create thousands of new jobs, both immediately and downstream, which is why the Teamsters and other unions support it. But Mr. Obama's green financiers see the pipeline as a conveyer of evil carbon, and so the President recently postponed any decision past the election into 2013. Now, that's economic leadership. To give Mr. Obama a spinal implant, the House passed a provision that would give TransCanada a permit to start building in 60 days if the President does nothing. He can still kill the pipeline if he objects. But at least Hamlet of Pennsylvania Avenue would have to make up his mind.”

Tags: Washington, D.C. Us house, US Senate, government budgets, funding, spending, Keystone Pipeline, jobs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Person of the Year

Leftist Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" - Unknown Leftist Idiots.
Cartoon by William Warren:

Tags: leftist, Time Magazine, Person of the Year, Occupy, Occupy Space, William Warren, Political Cartoons To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

More Dems Supporting Keystone XL Pipeline - Why Is Obama Threatening A Veto?

"Obamanomics" By A.F. Branco
Update 4:00 PM:  The Senate passed (86-13) the Defense Authorization H.R. 1540 Bill.  The bill now goes to the President.
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Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 15, 2011:
Yesterday, all 47 Senate Republicans voted for S.J. Res. 10, their strong balanced budget amendment, but Democrats voted along party lines to kill the amendment, with all 53 voting against it. Prior to that vote, a Democrat alternative balanced budget amendment was defeated by a vote of 21-79.

Last night the House passed (283-136) H.R. 1540, the $662 Billion 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which has moved to the Senate for a vote. The bill passed with  bipartisan support with 190 Republicans voting yes and 43 voting no and the Democrats voting 93 votes for and 93 against the bill. The bill requires that foreign terrorists / fighters who plot or carry out attacks on US targets are to be held( potentially indefinitely) in military, not civilian, custody, subject to a presidential waiver. However, the bill exempts US citizens, but leaves it to the US Supreme Court or future presidents to decide whether US nationals who sign on with al Qaeda or affiliated groups may be held indefinitely without trial. The bill includes freezing $700 million in aid to Pakistan pending assurances by Pakistan has taken steps to stop the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against US-led forces in Afghanistan. The bill forbids the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to US soil and sharply restricts moving such prisoners to third countries.  Also included  was a requirement to crack down on counterfeit electronics  from China being acquired by the Military supply chain thus risking the reliability of high-priced US weapons programs.

Yesterday, the White House also advised the media that President Obama will not veto the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

The Senate today  began consideration of the nomination of Morgan Christen to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Around 4 PM, the Senate is expected to vote on the Christen nomination, followed by a vote on the conference report for the $662 billion Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization bill, H.R. 1540. Specific funding of weapon systems is detailed in the bill.

Discussions are ongoing concerning government funding for the next year. The current continuing resolution (CR) expires at midnight on Friday night. There had been bipartisan agreement on the remaining FY 2012 appropriations bills that would fund operations through the end of the current (2012) fiscal year, but Democrats have pulled back at the behest of the White House, risking a shutdown they once called ‘extreme’ and ‘too risky to even entertain.’

Also under discussion is a House-passed bill that extends President Obama’s top priority, the payroll tax cut, which doesn’t include tax increases and instead requires the State Department make a decision on approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which could create tens of thousands of jobs. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is inexplicably calling the bill (H.R. 3630) “dead on arrival,” and Senate Democrats spent most of Wednesday trying to force a quick Senate vote to kill it. Republicans objected to those attempts, forcing Democrats back to the drawing board.

Though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has called the bipartisan House-passed bill requiring the State Department to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline “dead on arrival,” more and more Democrats are expressing their support for the pipeline, which could create tens of thousands of jobs

In the House bill, which is similar to a bill introduced by a large group of Senate Republicans, the State Department would have 60 days to approve the pipeline (in the wake of 3 years of environmental studies) unless the president explicitly says the pipeline is not in the national interest. Interestingly, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said on the floor yesterday, “I personally think the pipeline is absolutely in the national interest. It'll help us reduce our dependence on foreign energy, at least foreign sources that are hostile to our interests. . . . I, for one, on this side would hope that this could be part of a final package, and I hope that this is something we could work through in the coming hours.”

Other Democrats have also recently expressed support for Keystone XL. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), part of House Democrat leadership, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell yesterday, “I’m very much for the pipeline. There is no question about that.” And Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) seemed open to moving more quickly on the pipeline in an MSNBC appearance yesterday. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said earlier in the week, “I'm mean, all the trade unions, everyone’s for it, it creates thousands of jobs!”

Previously, Democrat Senators including Montana’s Max Baucus and Jon Tester, Alaska’s Mark Begich, and Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu have all expressed support for the Keystone XL pipeline. In July, 47 House Democrats voted for a bill that would have required the president to move forward on the pipeline and in October, 22 House Democrats wrote to President Obama, “Mr. President, America needs the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is in our national interest to have a Presidential Permit issued for Keystone XL as soon as possible.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow last night, “There has to be something in there, Larry, . . . that creates jobs, the Keystone pipeline, ready to go, we’ve already had 3 years of environmental studies, the president’s trying to put it off until after the election because it makes his active environmentalists angry. The Keystone pipeline’s supported by the Teamsters, supported by the AFL-CIO, supported by everybody in the country who wants to create jobs—doesn’t cost the government a penny. [It] needs to be a part of the package. And the president has been acting like he’d veto it, which of course, for [someone] who says he’s interested in creating jobs, really quite inexplicable.”

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LABOR: ‘We Can’t Wait’

American Labor Unions Say ‘We Can’t Wait’ For The Keystone XL Pipeline And The ‘20,000 Direct Jobs’ That ‘Will Be Created Immediately’

LABOR: ‘We Can’t Wait’ For The Keystone XL Pipeline
AFL-CIO: “…it is America's workers who are clamoring for the expedited approval of this important project. As President Obama has rightfully declared when it comes to the creation of jobs, ‘WE CAN'T WAIT.’” (Mark H. Ayers, President, Building And Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO,“For The 99% Of Americans, Keystone = JOBS,” Huffington Post, 11/3/11)

·   AFL-CIO:“Enactment of S.1932 will mean a significant portion of the projected 20,000 direct jobs and the 118,000 spin-off jobs will be created immediately.” (AFL-CIO Building And Construction Trades Department President Mark Ayers, Letter To Sen. Lugar, 12/6/11)

BRENT BOOKER, LABORERS’ INTERNATIONAL: “We’ve been supportive of this project for several years now… Our members, and construction workers, middle-class Americans are in desperate need of jobs, and we think that this project could create that for all those.” (Brent Booker, CNBC, 12/14/11)

·    BOOKER: “We need the jobs now. We need them as soon as we can get them.” Ibid

·    LABORERS’ INTERNATIONAL: “…not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women.” (“Unions Furious At Obama For Killing Pipeline Jobs,” Fox News, 11/10/11)

DAVID BARNETT, UNITED ASSOCIATION OF PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS: “We do need this pipeline. We’ve worked very hard in the last three years to get this permit for this pipeline.” (David Barnett, CNBC, 12/14/11)

·    BARNETT: “We are experiencing 20-25% unemployment in the pipeline sector right nowand our welders and pipe fitters are waiting on this project. … Quite frankly, the American people are tired of Washington D.C. politics going on, and their jobs are waiting in line for these decisions. Let’s get the politics out of it. Let’s give TransCanada a go ahead.” (David Barnett, CNBC, 12/14/11)

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS: “‘The Keystone Pipeline project will offer working men and women a real chance to earn a good wage and support their families in this difficult economic climate,’ said… James P. Hoffa.”(TransCanada, “U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association And Unions Pledge Their Support For Keystone XL Project,” 9/14/10)

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS: “At a time when jobs are the top global priority, the Keystone project will put thousands back to work and have ripple benefits throughout the North American economy. Our members look forward to being part of this historic project and pledge to deliver the highest quality work to make it a success.’” (International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers, “TransCanada Pipeline PLA Could Mean Construction Boon,” 10/20/11)

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS: “‘An ambitious project of this scope, spanning over five states and employing thousands of American construction workers, will unequivocally help remedy the struggles of our country's working families,’ said International Union of Operating Engineers General President Vincent J. Giblin.” (TransCanada, “U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association And Unions Pledge Their Support For Keystone XL Project,” 9/14/10)

SENATE DEMS: We ‘Cannot Afford Further Delays,’ ‘We Need The Jobs’
SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): “I personally think the pipeline is absolutely in the national interest. It’ll help us reduce our dependence on foreign energy, at least foreign sources that are hostile to our interests … I, for one, on this side would hope that this could be part of a final package, and I hope that this is something we could work through in the coming hours.” (Sen. Conrad, Floor Remarks, 12/14/11)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): “I am proud to again offer my support for the Keystone XL pipeline and the jobs it will create. We need a quicker decision, based on the merits of this project.” (Sen. Tester, Floor Remarks, 12/13/11)

·    TESTER: “I do not believe we should have to wait until January of 2013 for a decision that can create American jobs right now. In Montana, we need the jobs.” Ibid

·    TESTER: “We should be acting responsibly to create jobs with this pipeline… Instead, we’re watching political maneuvering designed to score points rather than create jobs. And we all know that when this is how Washington acts, the people who lose are hard working Americans and Montanans who just want to go back to work.  They want to build and maintain the infrastructure that powers and protects America.” Ibid

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): ‘Make It Go More Quickly’ Q: “My guess is if you send them back a bill that… gave them Keystone… everybody goes home for Christmas.” SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): “Well, let's hope we can negotiate something like that… if states’ rights are being protected and if this is going to be something maybe that we can try to jump start the approval process, make it go more quickly.” (MSNBC, 12/14/11)

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “We need to put Montanans back to work and cannot afford further delays to the Keystone XL pipeline…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,” KTVQ News, 11/30/11)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): “The Keystone pipeline will create Montana jobs and it should not have to wait 14 months for an up-or-down decision…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,” KTVQ News, 11/30/11)

SENS. MARK BEGICH (D-AK), MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA) & MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “…we write today in support of the Keystone XL Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline, a project that the Department of State has been considering under a Presidential Permit application since 2008. Now more than ever, it is critical that this country move forward with this project.” (“Media Advisory - Fourteen U.S. Senators Urge Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline,” TransCanada, 3/16/11)

Tags: Keystone XL pipeline, jobs, We Can't Wait, labor unions, Democrat senators To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Silent And Often Deadly Night For Christians

4:05 PM Update From Gary Bauer: The U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is scheduled to close for good tomorrow. Created in 1998, the USCIRF provides recommendations to the State Department and acts as a watch dog on international religious freedom. “…[I]f you eliminate USCIRF, you send a terrible signal internationally that we are less concerned about religious freedom,” Chris Seiple told Christianity Today last week. The elimination of the USCIRF, says Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, makes it, “reasonably clear to the persecutors… that advancing religious freedom is not a priority for the United States.”

We know that the persecution of Christians abroad is not a priority for the White House and many in Congress. But we need to make it a priority for ourselves. Again, please watch and share this video and please pray for the persecuted church.

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Christmas is such a wonderful time of year, particularly here in America where we are free to celebrate the birth of Jesus without fear of outright persecution. Sadly, as most of you know, millions of Christians around the world cannot openly worship without fear of persecution and even death.

Christians  are undergoing a level of persecution not seen since the early days of the Church. The persecution is actually increasing as radical Islamists rise to power in the Middle East and Africa.  And yet, scandalously little is being done by those most able to make a difference. We need to speak up.

Meanwhile many here in Washington, D.C., are silent or worse about the violence. In fact, on this very day the Obama administration is meeting with representatives of dozens of countries to discuss hateful speech and religious persecution, not against Christians but against Muslims!

We have unveiled a new video that highlights the plight of Christians across the globe. (Warning: the video contains some graphic images and is not suitable for children.) Please do me a favor: Watch this video and share it with your family members, friends and colleagues. And ask them to share it with their friends. (While on my YouTube page, you may subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch other short videos that we’ve produced.)



If you are on Facebook, you can watch the video on my page, and share it with others. Knowledge is the first step to making a difference. I am asking each of you to do everything you can to promote this video. We cannot remain silent in the face of such evil.
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Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families where his articles are also shared.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Christians, Silent Night, Christian persecution, Christmas, persecution, violence, murder, death, Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, India, China, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Iran, Turkey, Africa, war, violence, torture, Islam, Islamofascism, Muslims, war on Christians,
Jesus
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Class War O-bomb

A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: A.F. Branco. political cartoon, Barack Obama, obamanomics, destroying America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Facts: H.R. 1540 - The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

First Congressional District Arkansas - Representative Rick Crawford: My office has heard many concerns about H.R. 1540, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Since the bill is garnering so much attention I wanted to address some of the misinformation that is spreading with the following facts:
  • H.R. 1540 authorizes funds for the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2012
  • Concerns have surfaced that the NDAA authorizes government officials to hold American citizens suspected of aiding Al Qaeda in military custody indefinitely. This is simply not true, H.R. 1540 specifically states that United States Citizens cannot be detained. In fact, Page 657, Sect. 1022 (b)(1) of the bill says:
    “APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS. — (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS. — The requirement to detain a person
    in military custody under this section
    does not extend to citizens of
    the United States
    .”
    H.R. 1540 can be accessed Here
  • H.R. 1540 does not give the President that authority to override the exemption of U.S. citizens from detention.
  • H.R. 1540 strengthens existing laws that allow the federal government to indefinitely hold in military custody foreign nationals associated with Al Qaeda who have participated in planning or carrying out an attack against the United States.
Once again, under no circumstances does this legislation permit the indefinite detention of American citizens.

I hope this information will help clear up any concerns you might have about H.R. 1540, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Rep. Rick Crawford serves the 1st District of Arkansas. | Congressional Website

Tags: First Congressional District, Arkansas, Representative Rick Crawford, H.R. 1540, 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, NDAA,U.S Citizens To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Reid leads Senate Democrats Toward Shutting Down The Government

"It is the Republicans fault;
because, they are supporting jobs.
Did you see my Unicorn?"
Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 14, 2011:
Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 3630 (234-193) which included $202.4 billion to cover extending the two-percent payroll tax cut for one year, preventing a tax increase on every working American. The bill would reform the unemployment insurance program by lifting the ban on drug testing, decreasing the number of weeks of eligibility from 99 to 59 and require certain recipients enroll in a GED program if they have not finished high school. It also would provide a two-year fix to the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality health And, the bill also required speeding up the approval of a Canadian pipeline by creating the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline that would stretch to Texas. This pipeline doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and unlike the stimulus bill, which relied on vague promises of jobs “saved or created,” the pipeline would create 20,000 direct job and 100,000 indirect jobs.

The Senate resumed consideration of S.J. Res. 10, the balanced budget amendment cosponsored by all 47 Senate Republicans, and S.J. Res. 24, the weak Democrat alternative.

Then they voted. The Democrat alternative balanced budget amendment was defeated by a vote of 21-79.  Them all 47 Senate Republicans voted for S.J. Res. 10, their strong balanced budget amendment, but Democrats voted along party lines to kill the amendment, with all 53 voting against it.

Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to move a vote to kill the House-passed bill (H.R. 3630), which would extend the payroll tax cut and require the State Department to decide on the Keystone XL pipeline, ahead of an already-agreed upon bill to fund the government (H.R. 2055). Leader McConnell objected to this request, because government funding runs out on Friday night, while the payroll tax cut expires on Dec. 31.

It’s possible the Senate could take up the conference report on the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization bill today or later this week.

Senate Democrats, working with President Obama, are currently threatening a government shutdown. They’ve decided to hold hostage an agreement on appropriations bills, which includes funding for our troops, over political considerations.

As Roll Call reports today, “With only three days left before a government shutdown, Democrats took a gamble Tuesday, strategically linking a package to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits to an all-but-agreed-upon bill that wraps up fiscal 2012 appropriations. . . . [I]n the process, they’ve made themselves vulnerable to the attack they’ve been using all year against Republicans: that they’re holding the government hostage until they get what they want. . . . A frustrated Rep. Mike Simpson [R-ID] — who as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment has slogged his way through dozens of riders to reach a bipartisan deal — said Democrats are playing shutdown politics. . . . ‘After six months of trying to blame Republicans for trying to shut down the government, they’re the ones that won’t sign the conference report that would keep the government open.’”

Recall that Democrats spent most of the year saying things like “one thing we can’t do is take extreme steps like shutting down the government,” as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said in February. At the same time, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned, “Because make no mistake about it - if you start playing with shutting the government down, the same credit markets that abhorred default get very nervous. And we don’t know the consequences of what would happen. It’s too risky to even entertain.” Schumer later said, “It would be a tragic mistake to force a government shutdown . . . .” In April, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) said, “The American people did not elect us to shut down the government.” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said, “It’s insanity that we would hurt our economy by shutting down the federal government . . . .” and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) claimed that “any shutdown would injure or at least slow down the recovery that we’re in the midst of right now.”

Earlier this year, Democrats seemed to believe that shutting down the government was an “extreme step” that was “too risky to entertain.” Yet this week Democrats are threatening just that: shutting down the government, holding funding hostage to another priority of theirs.

Speaking on the Senate floor earlier, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained the situation, “Our most immediate concern is that despite federal funding expiring on Friday night, my friend the Majority Leader is blocking action on the funding bill. That is our most immediate concern and we should address it first because the deadline is literally just days away. . . . Since there is agreement on the funding bill, but no agreement and no plan at all from our friends across the aisle to pass a payroll tax cut extension in the Senate . . . we ought to finish our most immediate concern first.” He added that Democrats “have no plan, and some might suggest no desire, to pass a payroll tax cut extension—the President’s top priority . . . . They’ve made no attempt at all to produce a bill that can pass the Senate. It is their responsibility in the majority to do.  Instead we’ve wasted week after week with one senseless show vote after another.  Votes that one member of the Democrat Senate leadership recently admitted were designed solely to ‘score points on millionaires.’”

As Roll Call points out, “Even some Democrats were frustrated at the tactic. ‘Our [government funding] bill is done, and it should go to the president immediately,’ said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), ranking member on Simpson’s subcommittee. ‘We’re not holding it up. ... I can’t speak for Harry Reid. I can’t speak for him. As far as I’m concerned, it should be done.’”

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Washington Democrat Leadership Blocking Real Jobs

By William Warren
Yesterday, H.R. 3630 passed the House with a vote of 234 (53%) to 193 (45%) with 6% not voting. However, 10 Democrats stood with Republicans while 14 Republicans voted no for varied reasons. The content of the bill addressed numerous items but the principle contention has been over the Republicans supporting access to jobs.

The bill included $202.4 billion to cover extending the two-percent payroll tax cut for one year, preventing a tax increase on every working American. The bill would reform the unemployment insurance program by lifting the ban on drug testing, decreasing the number of weeks of eligibility from 99 to 59 and require certain recipients enroll in a GED program if they have not finished high school. It also would provide a two-year fix to the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality health

And, the bill also required speeding up the approval of a Canadian pipeline by creating the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline that would stretch to Texas. This pipeline doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and unlike the stimulus bill, which relied on vague promises of jobs “saved or created,” the pipeline would create 20,000 direct job and 100,000 indirect jobs.

In return for all the benefits in H.R. 3630, the the majority of the House also supported access to free market jobs to be created by the Keystone XL pipeline. These jobs have been stalled and blocked by the Obama administration. Even the union supports the need for these jobs which  will be paid for by private industry and not the American taxpayers.  The Keystone XL pipeline  will create real "shovel ready" jobs verses the phoney "shovel ready" government subsidized jobs promoted by the present administration.

One Democrats who voted with Republicans was Mike Ross of Arkansas. Ross voted with his 3 Republican constituents to support the bill, because they understood that the liberals in the Obama administration are blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline which will cost the Arkansas’ economy over $338 million and will put more than 5,400 Arkansans out of work. As another example. all three of Iowa's Democrats voted with their 2 Republican constituents for the bill. Iowa understands that the Keystone XL pipeline will create real jobs for Iowans.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) responded today, "Yesterday, House Democrats stood with Nancy Pelosi and voted to reject the creation of up to 130,000 new jobs, checking off their list to:
• Support a tax increase on middle-class families
• Allow illegal immigrants to get child tax credits
• Allow welfare fund withdrawals from strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores
• Increase their six figure salary

"That's right. House Democrats voted to increase taxes on millions of Americans while giving themselves a pay raise. Even more shocking, Democrats not only voted to raise your taxes but also complained behind closed doors that taxpayers are not paying them enough money."

We learned on June 16, 2011 that House Minority Leader "Nancy Pelosi's net worth had skyrocketed 62% last year to a jaw-dropping $35.2 million." While others were suffering, "Pelosi's drastic growth from an initial $21.7 million in 2009" was attributed "to recent stock gains and smart investments." Are the words "Smart Investment" code for legalized Congressional insider trading? Her husband's wealth was not included in the above figure. However, in other disclosures, "Her husband reported raking in $1 million to $5 million last year from a sale of Apple stocks." In addition to Mrs. Pelosi's stated net worth, there is the couples' "commercial property in San Francisco and a home in St. Helena, CA., each valued between $5 million and $25 million. She also has a stake in some valuable residential real estate in Sacramento."

While it is true that others in Congress have made significant gains in their net worth, it is Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (a piddly net worth of $3.4 million) who have joined with President Obama to block real American jobs. The messages from this "unicorn trio" are out of step in  free-market America and out of touch with the real needs of the working class in America  who need access to "real" shovel ready jobs which are not controlled by the government. 
-------------
Snark: As an aside, if the the Occupy Wall Street protestors were true to their stated interests, why are they not set up in tents on the doorsteps of Pelosi's properties in California?

Tags: H.R. 3630, jobs, Keystone XL pipeline, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, democrats, filed leadership, blocking jobs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Update to: "We Can't Wait " - A Countdown Widget

The ARRA News Service posted a prior article: We Can't Wait - Pipeline Delay Threatens Jobs. Now,Speaker Boehner has unveiled an updated (and more accurate) version of the White House “countdown clock” urging Senate Democrats to take immediate action on the House-passed Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act. Click “embed” to put the widget on your website or emails. Please share with friends and definitely contact your Senator.

Tags: American Jobs, We Can't Wait, Keystone XL, Keystone Pipeline, Pipeline Delay Threatens Jobs, widget To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Unicorn Millionaires?

Reid: "I see unicorns."
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Every day in Washington some elected official will say something that is so absurd you wonder how they ever got into a position of power. Yesterday it was again Senator Harry Reid’s turn to shock and amaze.

As you know, Reid is a leading advocate of raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires, even though most of his proposals also raise taxes on couples making more than $250,000. Conservatives respond that when government raises taxes on people at that level it hits the small businesses and entrepreneurs who create jobs. Logically we all know this is true. How many of us have ever been given a job by a poor man? Your employer now and in the future will likely be one of the successful individuals that liberals continually berate.

But on Monday Senator Harry Reid broke new ground. He said millionaire job creators are a myth. On the floor of the U.S. Senate Reid stated, “Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They are impossible to find and don’t exist.”

Just think, folks – this guy is a key player in making economic policy in Washington, DC. In fairness I do understand his confusion. Reid is a millionaire, and I suspect he has never created a job!
-------------
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Unicorn, Millionaires To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Political Battle Wounds

A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Barack Obama, bad economy, GOP Nominee, Republican primaries, politics, political battle wounds, A.F. Branco, political cartoon, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

We Can't Wait - Pipeline Delay Threatens Jobs

The House of Representatives this evening passed H.R. 3630, which protects Americans from a looming tax increase.

This bill lets Americans keep more of their hard earned money and creates jobs through the Keystone pipeline while blocking job-destroying EPA regulations.

Americans are asking "where are the jobs?" The Senate must act!


Pipeline Delay Threatens Jobs

Local Business Leaders Say Jobs ‘Are Being Threatened By Delays In The Keystone XL Pipeline Project’

‘Layoffs,’ ‘Staffing Reduction,’ ‘Local Job Market Is Affected’
WELSPUN TUBULAR CO: “Layoffs and a brief company shutdown is what employees face at Welspun Tubular Company, which makes steel pipes for the oil industry... The pipes would be part of the Keystone oil pipeline, which is a project running oil from Canada to Texas. But plans are delayed on the federal level. Now leaders say the local job market is affected.” (“Welspun Announces Company Cutbacks,” Fox16 [AR], 12/12/11)

·    DAVE DELIE, PRESIDENT: “We had to make a staffing reduction with some of the temporary employees. Due to the KXL pipeline not being shipped out.” (“Welspun Announces Company Cutbacks,” Fox16 [AR], 12/12/11)

BERG STEEL PIPE CO: “It is a place where high-tech meets industrial hardware. But jobs at this plant near Port Panama City are being threatened by delays in the Keystone XL pipeline project…” (“Southerland Warns Of Pipeline Delay Impact,” News Herald [Panama City, FL], 11/21/11)

·    HANS SACK, PRESIDENT: “If it eventually does not come through, there could be significant job losses.” (“Southerland Warns Of Pipeline Delay Impact,” News Herald [Panama City, FL], 11/21/11)

·    “The high-tech jobs at the plant are the backbone of the Florida Panhandle economy, said [Rep. Steve] Southerland, who noted the plant, which can accommodate three shifts, was now down to one.” (“Southerland Warns Of Pipeline Delay Impact,” News Herald [Panama City, FL], 11/21/11)

It’s ‘Not Just A Pipeline,’ But ‘A Lifeline For Thousands’
“At a time when almost one in 10 Americans is unemployed, TransCanada Corp. (TRP) expects to create 20,000 jobs to build the pipeline…” (“Harper Sees Keystone Pipeline Prevailing Over Nebraska With Jobs,” Bloomberg, 10/24/11)

·    AFL-CIO: “For America's skilled craft construction professionals, any discussion of the Keystone XL project begins and ends with one word: JOBS… Throughout America's Heartland, the Keystone Pipeline represents the prospect for 20,000 immediate jobs, and as many as 500,000 indirect jobs via a strong economic multiplier effect… without one single dollar of government assistance.” (Mark H. Ayers, President, Building And Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO,  “For The 99% Of Americans, Keystone = JOBS,” Huffington Post, 11/3/11)

·    LABORERS’ INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA: “…a potentially fatal delay to a project that is not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women. The Administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs – job-killers win, American workers lose.” (“Unions Furious At Obama For Killing Pipeline Jobs,” Fox News, 11/10/11)

Tags: American Jobs, We Can't Wait, Keystone XL, Keystone Pipeline, Pipeline Delay Threatens Jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Griffin: President’s Pipeline Delay Is Killing Jobs in Arkansas

Update 6:14 PM: The House passed H.R. 3630 (234-193) which included $202.4 billion to cover extending the two-percent payroll tax cut for one year, preventing a tax increase on every working American. The bill would reform the unemployment insurance program by lifting the ban on drug testing, decreasing the number of weeks of eligibility from 99 to 59 and require certain recipients enroll in a GED program if they have not finished high school. It also would provide a two-year fix to the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality health And, the bill also required speeding up the approval of a Canadian pipeline by creating the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline that would stretch to Texas. This pipeline doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and unlike the stimulus bill, which relied on vague promises of jobs “saved or created,” the pipeline would create 20,000 direct job and 100,000 indirect jobs.

Sen. Harry Reid has said that he and Senate Democrats will kill the bill in the Senate. And. President Obama has promised if Reid doesn't succeed then he would veto this bill.

Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) responded after the passage of the bill about the impact on Arkansas if it becomes law, "The President’s delayed decision on the Keystone Pipeline has already cost Arkansas jobs at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, and further delays could risk the opportunity for the U.S. economy to create 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs through this project. Further, it is estimated that the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules, as written, could cost Arkansas’s economy over $338 million and put more than 5,400 Arkansans out of work."
---------------
House to vote later today to force the President to decide on Keystone XL’s future

Rep. Tim Griffin
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after learning that employees at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, AR were laid off because of delays in the Keystone XL Pipeline project:

“Welspun is laying off workers in Arkansas because the President refuses to decide on the future of the Keystone XL Pipeline until after the next election.  I don’t agree with Big Labor bosses on much, but even they understand that the President’s political posturing on this issue is costing us jobs at a time when far too many Americans are still out of work.  Arkansas workers cannot wait another year for the President to make a decision.  That is why the House will vote today on a bill that will require him to make a decision on the pipeline within 60 days of enactment.  The President should put all of our governmental resources into approving this pipeline. Arkansas workers are counting on it.”

Last month, Rep. Griffin led a group of House Members in urging the President to stop putting politics over paychecks when it comes to approving the Keystone XL Pipeline permits.  Learn more about that event, as well as Griffin’s prior efforts on this issue, here.

Tags: Washington, D.C. Keystone pipeline, US House, HR 3630, Tim Griffin To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

President Obama And Harry Reid Again Plot And Put Politics Ahead of American Jobs

Plotting Against Jobs For Americans
Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 13, 2011:
The Senate  will begin consideration of S.J. Res. 10, the balanced budget amendment cosponsored by all 47 Senate Republicans, and S.J. Res. 24, the Democrat alternative that calls for tax hikes. Tomorrow, the Senate is expected to vote on both amendments.

Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte as ambassador to El Salvador by a vote of 49-37.Prior to that vote, the Senate voted 70-16 to invoke cloture on the nomination of Norman Eisen to be ambassador to the Czech Republic. Eisen was then confirmed by a voice vote.

Yesterday, the House passed by voice vote under a suspension of House rules the The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act, H.R. 2845 and delayed numerous votes on bills for tomorrow or later.

The New York Times reports today, “In league with President Obama, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, served notice to Congressional Republicans late Monday that he will prevent final votes on a must-pass bill to finance government operations until Congress approves a measure to Democrats’ liking that extends a payroll tax cut and unemployment assistance.

"With the Republican-controlled House expected to pass an alternative payroll-tax measure on Tuesday that Democrats oppose, Democratic leaders fear that Republican lawmakers will leave town for the year as soon as Congress approves a fiscal year 2012 spending package that is nearing bipartisan agreement. That would leave Democrats with the choice of accepting Republicans’ version of the payroll tax-cut bill or else taking the blame when the current tax cut for 160 million American workers lapses after Dec. 31. To check any such Republican power play by the House, Mr. Obama phoned Mr. Reid on Sunday, aides said. By late Monday, Democrats had hatched their move to exploit their control of the other two legislative power centers, the Senate and the White House. Mr. Reid called Speaker John A. Boehner and said he would not hold a vote this week on the government-spending package — assuming the parties complete negotiations on it — until there was a resolution of the payroll tax and unemployment compensation issues. . . . [Republicans’] bill also would require Mr. Obama to decide whether to authorize the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, a project that splits unions eager for jobs from environmentalists fearful of pollution. Mr. Obama shelved the application until after the election and has suggested he would veto a bill that includes the unrelated pipeline provision.”

Amazed at this turn of events, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor this morning, “Today, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that extends the temporary payroll tax cut as well as unemployment insurance, and which won’t add a dime to the federal deficit. In other words, the House bill would do both of the things the President and Senate Democrats have described as their top legislative priorities before the close of the year. So it was surprising to say the least to read this morning that President Obama and Majority Leader Reid are now plotting to block this very legislation — even to the point of forcing a government shutdown — over the inclusion of a job-creating measure that the President thinks will complicate his reelection chances next year. That’s what’s happening in Washington this week — and the American people need to know about it.”

Leader McConnell continued, “Yesterday, the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee — Democrats and Republicans alike — agreed to a spending bill that would fund that government through the end of the fiscal year. And today, Republicans in the House will pass a bill that contains the President’s top priorities: an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. But here’s the problem: the House bill also includes a provision to accelerate construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that’s been described as the biggest shovel-ready project in America. And evidently the President doesn’t want this project approved before November of next year — because a small faction of very liberal voters he’s counting on to help him get reelected doesn’t like it.”

When it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline, Democrats are clearly putting politics first. Not only are Senate Democrats now threatening a government shutdown, the Obama administration’s delay of a decision on the pipeline is already costing jobs in Arkansas. According to Fox 16 in Little Rock, “Layoffs and a brief company shutdown is what employees face at Welspun Tubular Company, which makes steel pipes for the oil industry. Company leaders say miles of pipe are on the property and that has caused five dozen employees to lose their jobs. The pipes would be part of the Keystone oil pipeline, which is a project running oil from Canada to Texas. But plans are delayed on the federal level. Now leaders say the local job market is affected. ‘We had to make a staffing reduction with some of the temporary employees. Due to the KXL pipeline not being shipped out. We have 500 miles of pipe just sitting in the yard, expected to be shipped out, that some of the employees were working on,’ said President Dave Delie.”

This is a project supported by Republicans, Democrats, and labor unions, which doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime, and could create tens of thousands of jobs right away. It’s striking that the president and Senate Democrats seem so opposed to this bill that would foster job creation and energy independence that they’re willing to risk job losses and a government shutdown over the politics of it.

As Leader McConnell said today, “Unfortunately, the President just doesn’t seem to be happy these days unless he’s got an issue to divide us over. If the Republicans are proposing it, he’s against it, regardless of how many job losses it prevents or how many private-sector jobs it would help create. And he’s not even trying to hide it. The Majority Leader signaled yesterday that he and the President are so determined to turn even the most bipartisan job-creating legislation into a political issue that he’ll ask his members to hold off on signing the government-funding legislation they’ve already agreed to — just to hand the President what they view as a political victory this week. This isn’t just irresponsible, it’s reckless.”

Tags: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, politics, Keystone Pipeline, Washington, D.C., Us House, U.S. Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, December 12, 2011

VIDEO: Occupy the North Pole


[Video Source]

Tags: Occupy the North Pole, video, parody, humor To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Keystone XL Pipeline: Everyone Is For It -- Except Obama & the EPA

Democrats Support The Keystone XL Pipeline, Dismiss President Obama’s Rejection Threats As ‘A Negotiating Technique’

HOUSE DEM: ‘I Commend The Speaker For Including The Construction Of The Keystone XL’

“Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas… counted more than 20 Democrats who would likely support adding the Keystone language to the payroll tax package. And he said he disagreed with Obama's threat. ‘Look, I think that'd be a mistake on the president's part,’ Ross said. ‘That's the kind of economic activity we need. It's a win-win. It reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates jobs here at home.’” (“Dems' Keystone-Payroll Tax Dilemma,” Politico, 12/8/11)

REP. DAN BOREN (D-OK): “At a time when many are without work, it is time that we come together in a bi-partisan way to pass this legislation which will create tens of thousands of new jobs. I commend the Speaker for including the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that is supported by business and labor. I also believe that this bill should attract votes from both political parties, because it takes initiatives supported by President Obama including the payroll tax cut extension…” (Rep. Boren, Press Release, 12/12/11)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I am for the Keystone pipeline … The Keystone pipeline, we’re addicted to oil. I'd rather use oil from my friends in Canada, than I would from the Middle East, that sounds good.” Q: “The President says he’s going to veto that though.” MANCHIN: “Well, we’ll see. I’m mean, all the trade unions, everyone’s for it, it creates thousands of jobs!” (Fox News, 12/12/11)

Obama ‘Ally… Suggesting The President Could Back Down’

REP. GENE GREEN (D-TX): “For the president, that’s a negotiating technique. And if you issue that veto threat, you better live through it. Because the next one then nobody will believe you if you don’t… But that doesn’t give me any pause.” (“Dems' Keystone-Payroll Tax Dilemma,” Politico, 12/8/11)

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): “The president never said ‘I will veto (the pipeline deal),’ so I don’t know the strategy in the White House right now…” (“Dem Rep. Says Obama Might Walk-Back Pipeline Veto Threat,” The Hill, 12/9/11)

·    “‘I think everybody understands that you get the best deal you can,’ said Representative Emanuel Cleaver, an ally of Obama, apparently suggesting the president could back down.” (“Obama, Republicans In Annual Festive Showdown,” AFP, 12/11/11)

Q: “I’m interested to know why you won’t just issue a veto threat on that.” JAY CARNEY: “The President said -- I think the President’s language was pretty clear about what he would accept and what he would reject.  And this just goes right back to adding extraneous, ideological elements –” Q: “Can we just take that as a veto threat, then?” CARNEY:  “Well, I personally don’t issue veto threats, I don’t have a statement of administration policy…” (White House Press Briefing, 12/9/11)

DEMS: ‘Mr. President, America Needs The Keystone XL Pipeline’

47 House Democrats voted for H.R.1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act, which states in part: “the President shall issue a final order granting or denying the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.” (H.R.1938, Roll Call Vote #650, Bill Passed 279-147: R 232-3; D 47-144, 7/26/11)

“America truly cannot afford to say ‘no’ to this privately funded, $20 billion, jobs-creating infrastructure project, which would bolster our economic, energy and national security. To that end, we respectfully urge you to ensure that the Presidential Permit is issued for Keystone XL.” (22 House Democrats, Letter To President Obama, 10/19/11)

·    “…Mr. President, America needs the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is in our national interest to have a Presidential Permit issued for Keystone XL as soon as possible.” Ibid

·    “The Department of State's Final Environmental Impact Statement reaffirmed the findings of the two previous environmental impact statements, namely, that the Keystone XL Pipeline will have no significant impact on the environment.” Ibid

·    “…not only would the Keystone XL Pipeline bolster America's economy, but it also would help strengthen our country's energy and national security…” Ibid

·    “With job growth an ongoing struggle for our country, the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline represents a true shovel-ready project that would directly create 20,000 high quality domestic manufacturing and construction jobs for Americans who are desperately seeking employment. The project would also create an additional 118,000 spin-off jobs.” Ibid

Signed By:
Rep. Jason Altmire, (D-PA), Rep. Joe Baca, (D-CA), Rep. John Barrow, (D-GA), Rep. Dan Boren, (D-OK), Rep. Leonard Boswell, (D-IA), Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA), Rep. Jim Costa, (D-CA), Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA), Rep. Henry Cuellar, (D-TX), Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, (D-TX), Rep. Al Green, (D-TX), Rep. Gene Green, (D-TX), Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, (D-TX), Rep. Tim Holden, (D-PA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-TX), Rep. Daniel Lipinski, (D-IL), Rep. Tim Matheson, (D-UT), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, (D-NY), Rep. Bill Owens, (D-NY), Rep. Collin Peterson, (D-MN), Rep. Mike Ross, (D-AR), Rep. Peter Visclosky, (D-IN)

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): "We need to put Montanans back to work and cannot afford further delays to the Keystone XL pipeline…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,” KTVQ News, 11/30/11)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): "The Keystone pipeline will create Montana jobs and it should not have to wait 14 months for an up-or-down decision…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,” KTVQ News, 11/30/11)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “It’s truly a godsend for America to have that supply from a neighbor that is friendly… I can assure you (the Canadian oil) is going to be used somewhere in the world, if it’s not used in the U.S.” (“Democratic Senator Blasts Obama Energy Policy, Says It’s ‘Bouncing Around Like A Ping Pong Bill’,” The Houston Chronicle, 6/8/11)

SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE): “The pipeline will be built, bringing jobs to Nebraska.” (“TransCanada To Alter Keystone Route,” The Hill, 11/14/11)

SENS. MARK BEGICH (D-AK), MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA) & MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “…we write today in support of the Keystone XL Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline, a project that the Department of State has been considering under a Presidential Permit application since 2008. Now more than ever, it is critical that this country move forward with this project.” (“Media Advisory - Fourteen U.S. Senators Urge Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline,” TransCanada, 3/16/11)

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  • 10/20/13 - 10/27/13
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  • 12/29/13 - 1/5/14
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  • 10/26/14 - 11/2/14