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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, June 16, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 16, 2010 - Another Crisis, "Another Ideological Tour Of The Far-Left To-Do List"

Let me say first that America is angry. I have been overloaded with email since President Obama's Oval Office speech last night. Mr. President, yes, the people were listening and your performance was less than satisfactory. You again failed to provide the leadership needed, and you ratcheted up your effort to destroy the economy of one of the most free nations in the world.

The Senate will resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 4213, the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”. This morning, Democrats failed, by a vote of 45-52, to get 60 votes to waive a budget point of order against the Baucus substitute amendment, which adds at least $54 billion more to the $13 trillion debt.

Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment rejected an amendment from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) which would have prevented funds added to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund from being raided to fund other spending projects by a vote of 48-49. Also rejected, by a vote of 35-61, was an amendment from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that would have raised taxes on oil and gas companies.  The Senate agreed to an amendment from Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to create an Office of the Homeowner Advocate in the Treasury Department to assist in resolving problems when modifying mortgages. Also yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved three district court judges.

Responding to President Obama’s speech about the Gulf oil spill this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The immediate issue here is a broken pipe that’s been spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil a day into the ocean for more than eight weeks. And the fact that the White House wants to use this crisis as an excuse to push more of its legislative agenda on the American people with the same kind of arguments it used to push health care is really nothing short of startling.”

It all goes back to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s slogan, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Sen. McConnell noted, “It’s a recurring theme out of this White House.” The president declares something must be done and the solution is always a massive government expansion. The American Spectator’s Philip Klein noticed the same thing, but points out that the White House’s solutions also tend to cost staggering amounts of money: “Last night, in pitching his idea for a new energy bill, President Obama said that we couldn't afford not to do something. If history is any guide, when Obama says we can't afford not to pass his preferred legislation, American taxpayers should brace themselves.

Indeed, President Obama declared inaction not an option on health care and the result was a $2.6 trillion health care law that cuts Medicare, raises taxes, and raises premiums for Americans, but doesn’t control government health care spending.

Then there’s the stimulus. Sen. McConnell said, “In the middle of a jobs crisis, Americans were told they needed to spend nearly a trillion dollars on long-standing Democrat priorities that Democrats called a Stimulus bill.” Klein adds, “The result? An $862 billion stimulus package, and double digit unemployment anyway.”

Sen. McConnell also cited the administration’s response to the financial crisis, saying, “Our financial crisis was caused in large part by recklessness at government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their solution to that crisis was to pass a massive government intrusion into Main Street without even addressing Fannie or Freddie.”

So of course, the Obama administration is using the crisis of the oil spill to push its job-killing national energy tax plan, usually referred to as carbon cap-and-trade. As The Wall Street Journal observes, “[T]his being a crisis, [Obama] naturally took the opportunity to put his moribund climate legislation back in play.”

But it seems Democrats in Congress aren’t quite as eager for this solution as they were on the stimulus, financial regulation, or health care. According to Bloomberg News, “The BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is unlikely to create enough momentum to pass a comprehensive climate bill sought by President Barack Obama, say leading Senate Democrats.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) actually said, “The climate bill isn’t going to stop the oil leak. . . . The first thing you have to do is stop the oil leak.”

And even key sponsors of the cap-and-tax scheme acknowledge the votes aren’t there. “Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who introduced similar legislation in his chamber last month, said yesterday that it doesn’t have the votes yet needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. ‘We don’t have the 60 votes yet, I know that,’ Kerry told reporters.” And Politico noted, “But even with the outreach [from the White House], many Democrats remained skeptical that the spill would spur a popular movement to pass energy reform.”

A number of Democrats are outright unenthusiastic about the bill. According to Bloomberg, “‘There’s not a great call for it in the Democratic caucus,’ said West Virginia Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, who has argued against taking up the bill.” Politico writes, “Asked whether the Gulf disaster had turned any nays to yeas, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a vocal Democratic ‘no’ vote, said, ‘Nope. None that I’m aware of.’”

Of course, the votes weren’t there for the health care bill at first either, so a lack of enthusiasm for a bill among ran-and-file Democrats doesn’t necessarily mean the Obama administration won’t pursue it.

As Sen. McConnell said, “[I]n the midst of the worst environmental catastrophe in American history, [the president is] talking about a new national energy tax to achieve their ideological goal of passing global warming legislation. Americans are pleading with the administration to fix the immediate problem in the Gulf, and the White House want to give us a new national energy tax instead. Every time we face a crisis, it seems, this administration takes us on another ideological tour of the far-left to-do list, when all the American people want from it are some straightforward practical solutions.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, oil leak, Gulf of Mexico, cap-and-trade 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 1:06 PM - Post Link

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