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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 26, 2008

On The Floor: Senate reconvened at 10 PM today resumed consideration of the American Indian health care bill (S. 1200). A series of roll call votes on four amendments to the bill is expected this morning, followed by a vote on final passage. Among the amendments to be voted on is one by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) banning funds in the bill from being used to pay for abortions. After 2:30 PM, votes on motions to proceed to the Reid-Feingold Iraq withdrawal proposal (S. 2633) and another bill (S. 2634) requiring a report on fighting al Qaeda that would make recommendations based on limiting troop deployments.

Among the reruns in the Senate is the vote on another proposal by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) that would cut off funds for troops in Iraq 120 days after its enactment. This is a baffling proposal given all the progress that has been made in Iraq over the last year. As Sen. McConnell said on the floor this morning, “the outcome of the final vote on the Feingold bill is obvious: the U.S. Senate is on record not once but four times that it will not cut off funds while our troops are in the field. All the more so will we oppose it when the fight in Iraq, by all accounts, is showing clear-cut tactical progress, and now, at last, some important political progress is also being made.” Today is another demonstration of where the priorities of Democrats in Congress lie. Clearly, they need to be reevaluated.

In the House: It still appears to have no plans to bring up the Senate FISA bill. Instead, it will be voting on a bill to raise energy taxes on oil and gas companies, the first in a series of what Roll Call dubbed legislative “reruns” being offered by Congressional Democrats.

From Senate & News Sources: In National Review Online, Andrew McCarthy reminds us that it was 15 years ago today that terrorist first struck at the World Trade Center. It was a stroke of luck that the jihadists failed to kill as many as they’d planned to. McCarthy solemnly notes, though, “In hindsight, we now know [that] silver lining caused us to miss the ferocity and determination of our enemies.” Democrats have claimed that the White House and others pointing out our now degraded intelligence capabilities are engaged in “fear-mongering.” McCarthy addresses that argument in another article today and explains why “[w]e need aggressive, uninhibited surveillance authority.”

There is now little doubt as to our enemies’ intentions, making the need to know what they are doing and plotting all the more important. With that in mind, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell writes in Investor’s Business Daily today about the consequences of the ongoing failure of House Democrats to pass the bipartisan Senate FISA modernization bill: “House Democrats ignored a majority in Congress [which supported the Senate FISA bill] as well as the views of Adm. McConnell, whom Democrats and Republicans tapped three years ago to ‘connect the dots.’ Faced with an urgent warning by the director of national intelligence, House Democrats closed up shop and went home. That decision, according to top intelligence officials, left the U.S. more vulnerable to attack.”

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Kit Bond (R-MO), House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX) agrees: “We are less safe today and will remain so until Congress clears up the legal uncertainty for companies that assist in collecting intelligence for the government -- and until it gives explicit permission to our intelligence agencies to intercept, without a warrant, foreign communications that pass through the U.S.”

Tags: American Indian Health, FISA, Iraq War, terrorism, troop surge, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:02 AM - Post Link

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