DeMint To Lead Heritage Foundation | Obama Demands Unlimited Authority To Raise Debt Ceiling
|Senator Jim DeMint|
The House is in recess until Monday.
The Senate reconvened began consideration of two district judge nominees: Mark E. Walker to be District Judge for the Northern District of Florida and Terrence G. Berg to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.
At noon, the Senate voted 92-4 to pass H.R. 6156, a bill establishing Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia. The bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last month and now goes to President Obama for his signature. Earlier this year, Russia formally entered the World Trade Organization (WTO). In order to be accepted into the organization, Russia agreed to lower its import tariffs, strengthen intellectual property protections, and resolve problems through a rules-based dispute resolution system. The Russia Trade Bill makes normal trade relations permanent between the U.S. and Russia, allowing U.S. companies to take advantage of the new trade rules that the WTO’s other 155 members enjoy. The bill—which also includes important human rights provisions that would deny visas and freeze the financial assets of Russian officials thought to be involved in human rights violations.
Sen, John Boozman (R-AR) said passage of the bill will help his home state, “Arkansas’s economy stands to really benefit from tearing down these artificial trade barriers. Last year, Arkansas exported $56 million worth of goods to Russia. The more we can increase trade abroad, the more opportunities we have to add jobs here at home. Normalizing trade relations with Russia will create additional economic opportunities for Arkansas manufacturers, farmers and ranchers. Trade with Russia has created positive benefits for Arkansas’s machinery, aerospace and poultry sectors which combined makeup 86 percent of our state’s exports to Russia. Arkansas companies have showed they can successfully compete in the Russian market. We have a chance to make further inroads in a growing market of 140 million consumers through passage of this bill. A growing market equals more jobs in Arkansas.”
The Senate then voted 94-0 to confirm the Walker nomination. Yesterday, the Senate voted 72-23 to confirm Michael P. Shea to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Connecticut.
Conservative Leadership Transition in Washington, D.C.
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), a conservative warrior in the U.S. Senate, announced that he will step down in January, 2013 before the new session of Congress begins. In April, DeMint will become the new President of the Heritage Foundation, Headquartered in Washington, D.C. DeMint spent most of his life as an entrepreneur, building and running his own marketing firm. In 1998 he won a seat in the House of Representatives and in 2004 was elected to the Senate.
Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, president of Heritage Foundation, praised the selection of Jim DeMint to lead the Heritage Foundation. Three years ago, Feulner advised the Heritage's Board of Trustees that hewould step down as president in April of 2013. He said,"I urged them to set up a formal succession process and begin a national search. During their nationwide search, the Board looked for a successor who would keep Heritage on its course of growth and innovation, and preserve our widely acknowledged status as an institutional center of the conservative movement. And the Board has found a splendid successor. I'm delighted to announce that the Board has elected Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina to take over next April as President of The Heritage Foundation."
Fuelner detailed the transition and his future role at Heritage, "Between now and April, I'll spend time with Jim showing him the ins and outs of my duties as president. In April, my wife Linda and I will take an extended vacation -- in part to allow Jim the freedom to take the reins. After that, I will remain involved with The Heritage Foundation and the conservative movement. I will continue as a Heritage Trustee and advisor to the team and as an enthusiastic supporter of Jim's leadership. I hope you will join me and the entire conservative movement as I welcome Jim DeMint and a new era of our fight for freedom."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell thanked Senator DeMint for his uncompromising service to South Carolina and the United States Senate and said, "Jim helped provide a powerful voice for conservative ideals in a town where those principles are too often hidden beneath business as usual. There is no question in my mind that he raised the profile of important issues like spending and debt and helped galvanize the American people against a big government agenda. I am confident that he will continue to advocate for conservative principles in the next chapter of his service to the American people.”
President Obama Demands Absolute Authority To Raise Debt Ceiling
The AP notes today that President Obama is calling for an elimination of the debt ceiling, in part because of the leverage it gives Republicans to push for spending cuts and deficit reduction.
Speaking to corporate executives [yesterday], Obama set down a hard line: ‘If Congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation — which, by the way, we had never done in our history until we did it last year — I will not play that game. Because we've got to break that habit before it starts.’”
The AP points out, “Obama is demanding tax rate hikes on the rich, using the prospect of a worse alternative and the momentum of his re-election as leverage. But the debt ceiling gives Republicans a powerful weapon to extract further deficit reduction too, contributing to the current stalemate.”
But, the story says, “[Senate Republican Leader Mitch] McConnell called Obama's proposal ‘a power grab that has no support here.’ ‘It gives the president of the United States unilateral power to raise the limit on the federal credit card, the so-called debt ceiling, whenever he wants, for as much as he wants,’ McConnell said.”
Speaking on the floor this morning about why handing the president unchecked power to increase the nation’s borrowing is such a bad idea, Leader McConnell said, “What the President’s really interested in, as we all learned yesterday, is getting as much taxpayer money as he can — first by raising taxes on small businesses that he thinks make too much money, and then on everybody else— not so he can lower the debt or the deficit, but so he can spend to his heart’s content. . . . This isn’t about getting a handle on deficits or debt for him. It’s about spending even more than he already is. Why else would he demand the power to raise the debt limit on his own?
“And by the way, why on earth would we even consider giving a President who’s brought us four years of trillion dollar deficits unchecked authority to borrow – he’s the last person who should have limitless borrowing power. Look: the only way we ever cut spending around here is by using the debate over the debt limit to do it. Now the President wants to remove that spur to cut altogether. It gets in the way of his spending plans. I assure you: it’s not going to happen.”
Tags: Senator Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation, President Obama, demands absolute control, debt ceiling, Mitch McConnell repsonds To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!