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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]
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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)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - March 9, 2009 - Porkubus Roams the US Senate - #pork #statebooks

The Senate will reconvene at 2 pm today and resume consideration of Porkubus - the 2,900 paged H.R. 1105, 2009 omnibus appropriations bill. The $410 billion bill combines the 9 unpassed appropriations bills from last year and funds the federal government through September and adds more than $7.7 billion in pork projects.

Action Alert: Folks do you think, they have read the 2,900 pages of the Porkubus bill. They have had more time to review this bill than the previous passed stimulus, Porkulus, bill. I bet senators and congressmen have checked to see if their pet project is in the bill. This Omnibus bill is laden with 8,500 pork-filled earmarks totaling more than $7.7 billion including (thus the name Porkubus):
--$2.1 million for a Center for Grape Research in NY (Hey, is that for green, red or purple grapes?)
--$1.7 million for pig odor and manure management. (In the Midwest, this was the smell of jobs and money; biology lesson: pigs and manure stink! Economic lesson: use your own money not mine.)
-- $2 million for "the promotion of astronomy" in Hawaii (Hawaiians were looking at the stars before the Haole arrived. What's the problem?)
-- $951,500 for Sustainable Las Vegas (Give me a break!)
-- $200,000 for a "tattoo-removal violence-outreach program" in Los Angeles.
-- $1.9 million for a water taxi service in Connecticut (called the taxi to nowhere).
-- $473,000 for National Council of La Raza (La Raza has supported radical Mexican nationalism within our borders).
-- On on it goes (and soon may be released on the American taxpayers).
Just as bad, the bill does not require competitive bids -- which will lead to corruption and insider deals for our tax dollars! Well-connected friends of members of Congress and the lobbyists will get the contracts without even having to compete for them!

A continuing resolution passed Friday expires on Wednesday. At 5:30 pm, a series of votes on amendments is expected to begin. There is still time to call your Senators and to tell them to Senate now and say "Purge The Pork"

On Thursday, Democrats were unable to get 60 votes to cut off debate and amendments to the omnibus bill, so work on the bill continues today. Thirteen amendments remain to be considered. Among these are amendments from Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to remove a provision designed to kill the D.C. school voucher program, from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to do away with automatic congressional pay increases, from Sen. John McCain to require earmarks appear in the text of bills, and one from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) concerning the fairness doctrine.

Freedom Alert: tomorrow, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is expected to hold a hearing on the card check bill in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. This is the bill to take away the secret voting rights of employees to decide if they wish to have a union.

It appears that the more pundits, publications, and members of Congress examine the spending plans coming from Democrat leaders in Congress and the administration, the more they’re uncomfortable with them.

The Washington Post takes a look at Democrats’ $410 billion omnibus bill in an editorial today and sees “discouraging tendencies.” The Post writes, “[N]oteworthy is the significant jump in domestic spending that is built into the annual baseline. . . . [T]his jump raises both short- and long-term concerns. In the short term, can government agencies effectively spend this much more on top of the huge stimulus package just passed? Congressional appropriators say that they scoured the spending to make certain such problems would not arise; still, the overall increase in domestic spending is a staggering 80 percent, according to the Republican staff of the House Budget Committee. . . . In the longer term, this year’s levels, as a practical matter, set the floor for future spending. . . . [I]ncreases of this size cannot continue; it’s worrisome that the president’s proposed budget for 2010 appears to envision another increase in excess of 6 percent in this category.”

The $787 billion stimulus package and the omnibus are only the tip of the spending iceberg. The Economist explained last week, “The plan Barack Obama delivered on February 26th envisages an ambitious and costly expansion of the government’s role in the lives of Americans. Its centrepiece is a big expansion of state-provided health care—for which he has budgeted $634 billion over the next decade while admitting that yet more will be needed. . . . Add increased spending on education, energy and other initiatives, and federal expenditures, excluding defence, would rise to a new high of 18% of GDP in the coming decade.”

Writing today in The Washington Post, Robert J. Samuelson discusses his exasperation with President Obama’s budget: “[Obama] repeatedly says he is doing things that he isn’t, trusting his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference. He has made ‘responsibility’ a personal theme; the budget’s cover line is ‘A New Era of Responsibility.’ He says the budget begins ‘making the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline.’ It doesn’t.”

Fortunately, all of this has not been lost on a number of rank-and-file Democrats in Congress. Politico examines the internal fault lines among Democrats exposed by the omnibus negotiations last week. And the Los Angeles Times writes today, “President Obama is facing misgivings about his policy agenda from inside his own party, with prominent Democrats objecting to parts of his taxation and spending plans and questioning the White House push to do so much so fast.”

Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are asking Americans and their representatives in Congress to approve of unprecedented increases in spending, in borrowing, and in taxes. Hopefully more Democrats will show more skepticism of these plans in the next few weeks. The important question, of course, is whether enough Democrats will be skeptical enough to make a difference.

Tags: Card Check, Congressional Pork, federal spending, 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 12:17 PM - Post Link

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