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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today in Washington D. C. - May 20, 2008

On The Floor: At noon, the Senate will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of Stephen Agee to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and other nominations. At 2:30 PM, the Senate is scheduled to vote on Agee’s nomination. Last Thursday, the Senate passed the farm bill conference report full of pork. The House failed to include troop funding in the supplemental appropriations bill, but did agree to extra domestic spending and timetables for troop withdrawals.

Potentially tomorrow, the Senate is expected to vote on the AgJOBS Amnesty provision for up to 3 million illegal aliens. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 17-12 to last Thursday to attach an amnesty to the Iraq supplemental spending bill. The amendment that passed provides a 5-year visa for up to 1.35 million illegal agricultural workers—but the cap of 1.35 million does not include spouses and children, who would bring the total amnesty to a total of about 3 million.

In addition, they pssed out of committe by a vote of 23-6 the Mikulski H-2B amendment which would, for the next three years, exempt from the annual cap of 66,000 any H-2B workers who were admitted during the previous three years. (The impact on the numbers could be exponential--they could rise from 66,000 in FY 2008 to over 400,000 by FY2011.)

On the same day, the House voted down its version of the Iraq Supplemental. Since all appropriations bill must originate in the House, the Senate cannot move their bill to the floor until the House passes a version and sends it to the Senate. A new Iraq Supplemental has not yet been put on the House floor schedule, but they may move one today.

From Senate & News Sources: Senate GOP Leader McConnell pointed out this morning that the Democrats have not handled the supplemental war funding bill well, and their mismanagement is putting funding for our troops in jeopardy. In the convoluted process House Speaker Nancy Pelosi devised to prevent Democrats from having to make any uncomfortable votes, House Republicans were supposed to approve war funding but would then be ignored as Democrats added domestic spending and premature troop withdrawal language to the bill. However, Republicans decided not to go along with this scheme and a majority of Democrats voted down war funding while adding the other measures that President Bush is sure to reject.

Roll Call reports today that Democrats in the Senate have not made things any easier, loading up the bill with $9 billion in extra spending in a markup last week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to prevent Senate Republicans from making any positive changes to the legislation.

This whole process seems designed to draw a veto from the White House and hand Democrats convenient talking points for November instead of approving the money our troops need to carry out their mission. Many times, that the president asked for a clean war funding bill and the fastest way to fund our troops in the field would be to simply pass a clean bill. It’s unfortunate that Congressional Democrats are again putting political considerations in front of the needs of our armed forces.

The effects of Democrat mismanagement are also being felt on nominations this week. Though Reid pledged to confirm three circuit court nominees by Memorial Day, this is unlikely to happen. Reid and Senate Judiciary Comm. Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) insisted on pushing nominees Democrats favored who were not yet ready over nominees who have been ready for hundreds of days. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pointed out on the floor this morning that Peter Keisler has been waiting 691 days for a vote, Robert Conrad has been waiting 308 days for a vote, and Steve Matthews has been waiting 257 days.

And judicial nominations aren’t the only ones suffering from Democrats’ mismanagement. Hans von Spakovsky, whose nomination to the FEC was blocked for months by Democrats, withdrew his name from consideration on Friday and penned an op-ed for today’s Wall Street Journal to protest his treatment by liberal groups and Senate Democrats.

Tags: nomination, Stephen Agee, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, judicial nominees, FEC, nominee, Hans von Spakovsky, 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 10:00 AM - Post Link

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