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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, June 10, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - June 10, 2009 - Car Czar Award

Yesterday, by a vote of 36-60, the Senate rejected an alternative substitute amendment to the tobacco regulation bill from Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kay Hagan (D-NC). Senate is scheduled to vote on cloture on H.R. 1256.

Car Czar Award: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, held a special blogger conference this morning to discuss his “Auto Stock for Every Taxpayer Act” and his “Car Czar” award. Sen. Alexander believes that rather than the government owning stock in GM and Chrysler, taxpayers should own that stock, since they put up the money to rescue those companies. Sen. Alexander said, “This is the fastest way to get the stock out of the hands of Washington and back into the hands of the American people in the marketplace where it belongs. . . You Paid for It! You Should Own It!” On Monday, Sen. Alexander presented his first car czar award to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for interfering in the operation of General Motors.

Supreme Court Nominee: Yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT), without consulting Republicans, announced that the committee will begin hearings on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on July 13. Politico notes, “The aggressive scheduling move — carried out without informing Republicans on the Judiciary Committee — threatens to harm the decent rapport the panel has had since Sotomayor’s nomination last month.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell admonished Leahy for his move on the floor this morning, saying, “Senator Leahy’s decision to rush Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing is puzzling. It risks resulting in a less-informed hearing, and it breaks with years of tradition in which bipartisan agreements were reached and honored over the scheduling of hearings for Supreme Court nominees. And it damages the cordiality and good will the Senate relies on to do its business. These kinds of partisan maneuvers have always come with consequences.”

Why are Democrats in such a hurry? Senators had 55 days to review then-Judge John Roberts’ cases prior to his confirmation hearing in 2005 and 70 days to review all of then-Judge Samuel Alito’s cases. Yet Leahy is giving senators only 48 days to review Judge Sotomayor’s 3,625 cases, which would mean having to consider 76 cases per day, compared with 6 cases per day for the Roberts hearings.

Democrats’ haste to get to the hearings is already resulting in problems. Byron York reports in The Washington Examiner today, “Senate Republicans involved in the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination say there are significant gaps in the 172-page questionnaire Sotomayor sent recently to the Senate Judiciary Committee -- omissions the GOP says will require more time to examine than is possible under the Democrats' hurry-up schedule for Sotomayor's confirmation.” According to York, there are memos that are missing, a lack of detail in describing her speeches, and a number of missing legal briefs and transcripts. As Sen. McConnell said, “[I]n the rush to complete the questionnaire in order to garner a talking point, you are prone to these sorts of mistakes. This of course counsels the Senate to have a thorough, deliberative process, not a rush to judgment in order to meet an arbitrary deadline.”

Senate Democrats seemed to agree back in 2005. Leahy said, “We need to consider this nomination as thoroughly and carefully as the American people deserve. It’s going to take time.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “I think the key to all this is to make sure that there's ample time for the committee to do its work, the different entities that do the background check on Judge Roberts have the time to do their work … I don't really understand what the rush is.” And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “It is more important to do it right than to do it quickly, and now we have a bipartisan agreement to do that.”

Sen. McConnell noted this morning that Democrats “wanted time to review the record” of Republican nominees, but “when it comes to a Democrat nominee . . . They want the shortest confirmation timeline in recent memory for someone with the longest judicial record in recent memory.” Democrats would do well to reconsider their partisan rush and return to how they wanted to do things the last time the Senate considered Supreme Court nominations. They appear to believe that they must get everything their way as fast as they can because they see no tomorrows if they don't. With their continued abuse of power, the people of America may well give them their wish of no tomorrows and the Republicans / Conservatives may not be so kind the next time they are in the majority.

Tags: Car Czar, Lemar Alexander, nominee, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, tobacco, 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 11:25 AM - Post Link


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