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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)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - March 11, 2009 - Congress Unleashes Porkubus on the Taxpayers

Update 7:00 p.m.: Below are the phone numbers for the eight republicans that voted Yes on Porkubus and could have stood together and defeated the omnibus bill. As them why they did not stand strong for fiscal responsibility and limited government spending. Ask them why they did not support continuing the operation of the government at last years rate of spending via a continuing resolution which would have stopped the increased cost of spending in a time when we are facing severe economic hardship across the land and also would have stopped $7.7 billion in pork projects. Just consider, they even voted to give $473,000 for National Council of La Raza which has supported violence and radical Mexican nationalism within our borders. This bill could have been soundly defeated if these eight Republicans had stood strong. Even three Democrats voted no!
Thad Cochran 202/224-5054
Roger Wicker 202/224-6253
Chris Bond 202/224-5721
Richard Shelby 202/224-5744
Arlen Specter 202/224-4254
Lisa Murkowski 202/224-6665
Lamar Alexander 202/224-4944
Olympia Snowe 202/224-5344
If calling is too much effort, Grassfire.org Alliance has provided a link where you may opt to fax all eight people using their services for a small fee.

Update on David Ogden's nomination: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion to cut off debate on David Ogden’s nomination to be deputy attorney general, a move that could produce a vote by the end of the week. Reid's petition to cut off debate needs the support of 60 senators, but even a single senator can hold the floor and delay Ogden's vote by another 30 hours if the cloture vote succeeds. The Family Research Council and other pro-life groups are calling for senators to vote no.
---------------------
The Senate will consider the nomination of David Ogden to be deputy attorney general. On Thursday, the Senate will vote on the nomination. As you may recall, Ogden, whose Senate vote was delayed after thousands of calls and emails, represented purveyors of hard-core pornography in court, including those who did not want to take the trouble to verify that their "actors" weren't underage. David Ogden opposes restrictions on abortion and pornography, and has represented Playboy in court. Ogden filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of child pornographer Stephen Knox, who possessed sexually explicit videos of children. Ogden argued that, because the children's genitalia were partially covered by clothing, such exploitation is protected by the First Amendment.

Yesterday, the Senate passed 62-35 H.R. 1105, the $410 billion fiscal year 2009 omnibus (Porkubus) appropriations bill. The bill now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature who is expected to sign the pork ridden bill; after all he wants his budget to sail through Congress. Remember, the bill was actually not needed. After all of the months of delay, a concurrent resolution could have been passed for the government to operate at it's present level of approved spending until September. The following eight Republican Senators supported this unneeded bill: Alexander (R-TN), Cochran (R-MS), Murkowski (R-AK), Shelby (R-AL), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (R-PA), Wicker (R-MS) and most disappointingly Bond (R-MO). Three Democrats stood against the bill: Bayh (D-IN), Feingold (D-WI), and surprisingly an avowed Obama supporter McCaskill (D-MO).

Prior to passage, the Senate killed or rejected six Republican amendments. Among them were amendments from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to prohibit the FCC from using funds in the bill to reinstate the fairness doctrine, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to reauthorize the E-Verify program for 6 years, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to remove a provision designed to kill the D.C. school voucher program, and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to do away with automatic congressional pay increases.

After a week of rejecting Republican amendments to address the numerous problems with the bloated $410 billion omnibus spending bill, Democrats passed the bill last night. In an op-ed for National Review Online today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the myriad problems with the bill, and the Republican attempts to fix it that Democrats voted down.

“The original version of the bill showed no recognition whatsoever of the current economic climate. With the stock market plunging, unemployment at a 25-year high, and millions struggling just to pay their mortgages, the bill sent over from the House included an across-the-board 8 percent increase in spending over last year — twice the rate of inflation. Republican proposals to improve the bill would have saved billions of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, every one of them was turned aside. . . . In the midst of an economic crisis, government has an obligation to show some restraint. But looking at the final omnibus bill, Americans are likely to conclude that congressional leaders think government operates in a different realm of reality than the rest of the country. It seems some still believe members of Congress aren’t obliged to make any of the tough decisions that most other people do.”
Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid demonstrated this pretty clearly in an interview with his home state paper, the Reno Gazette-Journal. Asked about the spending in the omnibus measure, “Reid . . . said critics who blast the spending as wasteful pork ‘should get a life.’”

To quote Sen. McConnell: “The dizzying amount of spending and borrowing that has been going on in Washington in recent weeks is simply unsustainable. The president’s budget calls for spending $3.6 trillion. The housing plan that went into effect last week could cost a quarter of a trillion dollars. The financial bailout will cost another $1 trillion to $2 trillion. Meanwhile, the nation has more than $10 trillion in debt.”

Troubled by the massive amounts of actual and proposed spending, Republicans in Congress held press conferences yesterday to begin examining the problems with President Obama’s budget. As The New York Times notes, Republicans have a very basic message: the budget has three fatal flaws:1) it spends too much,2) it taxes too much; and 3) it borrows too much.

The AP reports today that Democrats also have significant criticisms of the Obama budget. According to the AP, “Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said numerous colleagues have cited objections and told him, ‘If this is in, don't count on my vote.’ It has happened so often, Conrad told White House budget director Peter Orszag at a hearing Tuesday, that everyone can ‘absolutely be sure we can't pass this budget.’” That’s a pretty blunt comment from the Democrat chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

In just 50 days, Congress has voted to spend about $1.2 trillion between the Stimulus and the Omnibus. To put that in perspective, that’s about $24 billion a day, or about $1 billion an hour—most of it borrowed. There’s simply no question: government spending has spun out of control.

Tags: Barack Obama, David Ogden, federal budget, omnibus bill, porkubus, US Congress, 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 11:18 AM - Post Link

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