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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)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - Aug 10, 2010 - House Reconvened to Vote on Bill With No Name - Bailing Out Teachers Unions

Update 3:10 pm: House passed the "No Name" State Aid Bill - a $26 billion bailout - 247 to 161. The bill goes to President Obama for signature to be signed into law. The House then immediately adjourned "again" for their August recess.
The House reconvened and passed H.R. 6080, a bill to provide funding for extra border security, by voice vote under suspension of the rules. At 11 AM, the House moved to consideration of the rule for debate on the motion to concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1586, the $26 billion state bailout bill. Following an hour of debate on the rule, the House is scheduled to vote on the rule and then begin an hour of debate on the motion to concur. Problem still exist with the bill having no name or Act number. However, the leadership is not concerned with stealing from Peter (you, your children and grandchildren) to bailout teachers union pensions.

Also expected today is debate and a vote on a resolution from Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), head of the Republican Study Committee, which would pledge that the house would not return for a lame duck session following the November election this year. In additon today, Rep. Charlie Rangle (D-NY) went to the floor of the House and carried out a most bizarre monologue about his pending trial before the Ethics committee after the House returns form their regularly scheduled recess.

The Senate has adjourned for its August recess and will reconvene on Monday, September 13th. When the Senate returns, it will consider a circuit court nominee and is then expected to return to Democrats’ small business bill, H.R. 5297. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a cloture vote for Tuesday, Sept. 14th on an amendment to the bill from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) which would repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirements from the health care law.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called members of the House of Representatives back to Washington from their districts today to pass what the Democrat leadership considers a priority—a $26 billion bailout for teachers unions and spendthrift state governments. This is, of course, on top of recent spending on bailouts, the massive, unpopular health care bill, unemployment benefits, the $862 billion stimulus bill, and a host of other things, contributing to a record $1.4 trillion deficit and a national debt exceeding $13 trillion.

As Politico explained last week, “Even though party leaders expect that approval  will be a slam-dunk, some early responses from rank-and-file Democrats have raised red flags about the optics of returning to a special session to vote on more spending — even if it’s framed as saving teachers’ jobs. The risk for Democrats as they seek to bolster their flagging election prospects is that some of their vulnerable members will feel like they have to walk the plank, yet again, on a politically unpopular economic-stimulus agenda, while reminding voters of their failure to handle routine budget work this year.”

Democrats have been touting the bill as a “jobs bill,” but in an editorial last week, The Washington Post correctly tagged it as, at its core, a bailout for teachers unions. “The crusade for an education jobs bill, led by the Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress, has always struck us as more of an election-year favor for teachers unions than an optimal use of public resources. Billed as an effort to stimulate the economy, it's not clearly more effective than alternative uses of the cash. Yes, school budgets are tight across the country, but the teacher layoff ‘crisis’ is exaggerated. In fact, as happens each year, many teachers who got pink slips in the spring have been notified that they'll be hired after all. Many layoffs could have been -- and indeed have been -- avoided by modest union concessions.”

Democrats are also bragging that the bill is paid for, but haven’t spent much time explaining how it’s paid for. Of course, Democrats can’t seem to pay for a bill without raising taxes, so the bill features tax hikes on certain corporations. But in addition, as a New York Times editorial pointed out Saturday, the bill also takes money from food stamp programs: “With some shabby sleight of hand, Congress has begun tapping into the food stamp program for the hungriest Americans to help pay for lawmakers’ higher election-year priorities. The Senate approved two important measures this week — the $26 billion state-aid bill and the $4.5 billion school nutrition program — in part by shaving food stamp funds as a target of least resistance.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell boiled down just what this latest bailout bill is all about in a speech last week. “[T]he purpose of this bill is clear. It’s a last-minute effort by Democrats in Washington to funnel more money to the public employee unions before an election and to set the stage for the massive tax hike that the administration plans to spring on America’s small business owners on January 1 of next year. Once again, Democrats are showering money on their favored constituencies and asking the American people to pay for it with higher taxes, more government, and fewer private sector jobs.”

Tags: US Senate, US House, Washington, unnamed bill, unnumbered bill, bailout, unions, government employees, SEIU, medicare, 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 2:14 PM - Post Link


Blogger Matt said...

Well, it looks like the Teacher's union got what they paid for.


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