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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 "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 site - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
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, September 23, 2008

Today in Washington D. C. - Sept 23, 2008

Congressional #Pork Alert! The Senate will consider H.R. 6049, the vehicle for the tax extenders compromise. Three amendments previously reported will be considered. After amendments have been considered and voted on, the Senate will vote on final passage of the bill. Votes are expected to begin in the afternoon, because of weekly policy lunches.

Sen. Reid indicated that prior to the Senate considering the tax extenders bill he would have an exchange on the floor with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) concerning an omnibus bill (S. 3297). This bill is loaded as usual with pork. Reid has been pushing of measures Coburn has held up over spending concerns.

Also, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are testifying at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee this morning. As negotiations continue behind the scenes on Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s economic stabilization plan, Democrat leaders are also crafting important end-of-session legislation, including a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government.

Of course, no one yet knows what will be in the CR, since Democrats are once again crafting it behind closed doors in secret with little or no input from Republicans. Democrats have not missed an opportunity in the last couple of years to attempt to load up must-pass legislation with all sorts of extraneous spending items (pork) and bad ideas, and of course the CR appears to be no exception. Beyond simply funding the government, Democrats are looking to pile on all sorts of spending proposals to the CR. Chief among these is a $25 billion loan for auto manufacturers. Like clockwork, Democrats can always be counted on to call for more funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which could be around $5.1 billion. In addition, reports are that the CR also could become a vehicle for infrastructure projects, Medicaid funding for states and an extension of unemployment insurance.

A key issue is whether Democrats will seek to extend the current ban on additional offshore oil drilling, which expires at the end of the month.

After bragging loudly about ushering in the most open and honest Congress in history, Democrats have repeatedly put together major bills like this and then attempted to push them through restricting GOP opportunities to amend them. The current CR wouldn’t be necessary had Democrats managed to complete the most fundamental job Congress is expected to do - pass appropriations bills. Indeed, only one of the usual 12 bills has been considered on the House floor, and none have been considered in the Senate. The Defense appropriations bill has not even been considered by the full Appropriations committee in either chamber. After failing to pass most appropriations bills last year before the end of the fiscal year, Democrats essentially abandoned the process this year.

Once again, Congress finds itself scrambling at the end of its session to ensure the government is funded because of Democrats’ amazing mismanagement. And once again, Democrats are taking the opportunity to try to use must-pass bills to sneak through questionable spending proposals and other measures. Americans should keep an eye on everything the Democrat-controlled Congress is working on before it adjourns for the year.

Tags: Congressional Pork, Continuing Resolution, CR, Democrats, Gas prices oil drilling, offshore drilling, tax extenders, 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 10:45 AM - Post Link

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