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News Blog 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 "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. 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 or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
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)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Today in Washington D. C. - May 15, 2008

In the Senate: Yesterday, Senate Democrats did little to help their image when they voted down an amendment offered by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to modernize veterans’ educational benefits without harming retention rates. Democrats have their own bill they are touting, which Pentagon fears will hurt retention.

Today, the Senate will resume consideration of the farm bill conference report (H.R. 2419).
Later in the day, the Senate is expected to appoint conferees on the fiscal 2009 budget resolution (S Con Res 70, H Con Res 312). A number of votes on motions to instruct conferees from both sides dealing with issues from taxes to energy are expected. Up to 10 hours of debate are available on the budget motions. At 2 PM, the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to begin its markup of the supplemental war funding bill.

Senate MJL Harry Reid said he may take up a resolution being offered by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) on media ownership which would overturn a December decision by the Federal Communications Commission that eases limits on cross-ownership of media outlets in major U.S. news markets. Once the resolution is brought to the floor, it cannot be amended and action cannot be interrupted for other business.

In the next two days the Senate could also vote on cloture on a bill (H.R. 980) that would allow first responders to unionize in any municipality with a population over 5,000, a federal mandate that is troublesome to many state and local governments.

The House: Yesterday, the House passed the farm bill loaded with pork farm subsidies and agreed to name conferees on the budget resolution.

One bit of positive news is that after weeks upon weeks of negotiations, the House will finally vote on funding for our troops today in the war supplemental appropriations bill. Unfortunately, Democrats have insisted on loading the bill up with domestic spending and adding their veterans’ benefits bill, daring Republicans to vote against it. Upset that none of the spending was to be paid for, Blue Dogs forced House Democrats to include a tax increase in the bill, which would fall on the shoulders of small businesses. Unfortunately, the voting will also go through Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s convoluted three-amendment scheme to allow anti-war Democrats to vote for language withdrawing troops from Iraq, other Democrats to vote for billions in domestic spending, and other Democrats to vote to fund the troops.

From Senate & News Sources: With respect to the House war supplement al bill, the AP reports that the Senate Democrats seem to be unenthused with the tax increase and are planning on leaving it out of the Senate version of the supplemental bill. The Senate is expected to take up the bill next week, but in part because the bill has gone through such a contentious and convoluted process, which Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) lament in The Washington Times today, it is unlikely to be ready to be signed by Memorial Day. Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, recently said, “We need [the supplemental appropriations bill] very badly before the Memorial Day recess.” As continually noted, funding difficulties for the Pentagon are just another consequence of the Democrats’ continued mismanagement of Congress.

As evidenced by the new Gallup Congressional approval poll, Americans are not happy with Democrats’ mismanagement and their failure to address critical issues like gas prices and terrorist surveillance. The Democrat-controlled Congress approval rating is at 18% tied for the lowest approval rating the poll has ever recorded. And only 16% of Democrats approve of the way Congress is handling its job.

Tags: veterans’ educational benefits, Gallup poll, congressional approval rating, 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 11:00 AM - Post Link


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