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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, January 22, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - Jan 22, 2009

Yesterday the Senate voted 94-2 to confirm Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. I guess all all the Republicans now "love" former Sen. Clinton except for two [thank you Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and David Vitter (R-LA)] .

Today, Congress gets back to "work" [Spending our money and that of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren's money]. Democrats in both chambers are pushing things that are giving Republicans a great deal of concern. In the House, the Appropriations Committee considered Democrats’ $825 billion stimulus package, despite a report from the Congressional Budget Office that “less than half of the $355 billion that House Democrats want to spend on highways, bridges and other job-creating investments is likely to be used before the end of fiscal 2010,” per the The Wall Street Journal.

The Senate today resumes consideration of the Ledbetter bill (S. 181). After an hour of debate, senators are scheduled to vote on a substitute amendment to the bill by Sen. Hutchison (R-TX) at 11:30. Amendments from Sens. Specter (R-PA) and Enzi (R-WY) could also be voted on today. CongressDaily describes the amendments in a story today: “Judiciary ranking member Arlen Specter offered two proposals. One would allow businesses to better defend themselves against discrimination claims, while the other clarifies that the Ledbetter legislation applies only to pay discrimination. “Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ranking member Michael Enzi has offered two amendments that would reinforce the Supreme Court's decision. And Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, offered a substitute bill that would require women to prove ‘a reasonable suspicion of discrimination’ before they would be allowed to proceed with claims that date beyond six months.”

At a press conference yesterday Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell noted troubling issues with the proposed stimulus bill: “[T]he CBO has issued a report on the appropriations portion of the House Democratic stimulus package, which indicates that less than 40 percent of the stimulus will be used in the first 18 months. I would remind everyone that I think Speaker Pelosi had it right when she said a stimulus package ought to be timely, temporary and targeted. . . . There is a substantial portion of the package that the House Democrats have approved that actually increase spending permanently. And we all know that permanent increases, when we’re looking at a $1.2 trillion deficit this year before we even pass the stimulus, is something we need to think very seriously about the appropriateness of doing.”

The Wall Street Journal notes that in committee yesterday “[s]ome Republicans argued that the plan doesn’t contain enough safeguards on how the money is spent,” a concern all the more pressing in light of another Wall Street Journal story today. The Journal reports today that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, went out of his way to assure that TARP funds went to a small Boston bank that “was under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives’ use.” According to the WSJ, “Mr. Frank, by his own account, wrote into the TARP bill a provision specifically aimed at helping this particular home-state bank. And later, he acknowledges, he spoke to regulators urging that [the bank] be considered for a cash injection.”

Meanwhile, Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met yesterday with Al Franken, the Democrat candidate in the still-unresolved Minnesota Senate race and raised the possibility of seating Franken before the election contest in Minnesota has been resolved. Senate Republicans would not react favorably to such a move. At the press conference, Sen. McConnell emphasized that “It remains the view of every single member of my conference that the Minnesota Senate race will indeed be decided in Minnesota and not in Washington.”
Tags: economic stimulus, confirmation,Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, 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 10:55 AM - Post Link


Anonymous Bob Cohee said...

Most of the people up there are NUT cases !!!!!!!

Our country is being nationalized right before our eyes. Socialism is just around the corner or may already be here because we don't have enough elected representatives to counter it.



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