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Blogger/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, November 17, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov 17 2010 - Did Democrats get the message on Election Day?

The Senate reconvened today They voted on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3772, a bill Democrats have misleadingly named the “Paycheck Fairness Act.” Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) explained today, “The primary beneficiary of this legislation will be trial lawyers.” The bill failed to get cloture by a vote of 58-41. Also, the Senate then voted 74-25 to invoke on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 510, the food safety and FDA bill.

In the House, the Democrats and Republicans voted for their future leaders.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected (150-43) by Democrats to serve as Minority Leader in the next Congress.  Some democrats felt after her party suffered historic losses in the midterm elections, she should set down from being their leader.  Based on Pelosi's past actions, the Republicans found themselves cheering on her election.  On the Republican side of the isle,  John Boehner (R-OH) was elected to lead their party as the House Speaker-Designate.  The following are excerpts from his comments to his Republican colleagues after being elected:
"This is the dawn of a new majority, one I believe will be humbler, wiser, and more focused than its predecessors on the priorities of the people. It will have these traits not because of me, but because of you, and the people you serve. It will have these traits because it was forged in the fires of a new movement that repudiated Washington, and gave us more than 80 new colleagues to stand with us for freedom and smaller government.”

“The job of the next Speaker is to work to restore the institution, restore it to being the People’s House. It’s not about us; it’s about them. And what they want is a smaller, less costly, more accountable government. More jobs, less spending. It’s that simple.”

"For the good of our nation, and the hopes and dreams of future generations, we have to get this right. We’re going to move ahead with humility. . .cheerful in our demeanor, and steady in our principles. . .always mindful that the power we hold is entrusted to us by our fellow countrymen and the nation we serve. I’m honored and humbled by your confidence in me to lead the House as we begin this journey. From the bottom of my heart – thank you. Let’s get to work.”
Eric Cantor (R-VA) was chosen as the new Republican majority leader and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) picked to succeed Cantor as the Republican whip. The new House Republican Conference Chair will be Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

On the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I’m extremely proud of the clarity my Republican colleagues have expressed about what our priorities must be, and that we have listened to the American people. Last night, Republicans expressed the need to cut spending, reduce the debt, shrink the size and scope of the federal government, and help spur private sector employment. In short, change the way Washington is doing business to get our economy going again. There is no question that is a sentiment shared by the American people. I would be remiss if I didn’t also express some dismay with the priorities that are being put forward from the other side of the aisle. This is a lame-duck session, and our colleagues have an opportunity to respond to the American people before we convene for the 112th Congress, but there is no reason why we can’t get to work on their behalf today.”

But considering what Democrats are focusing on in their first week back after an election where Americans sent a clear message on their priorities with the economy and spending, it appears Democrats are still not getting it.

The very first vote scheduled by Senate Democrats today was on a bill which Sen. Mike Enzi, the ranking Republican on the HELP Committee, pointed out primarily benefits trial lawyers. He added, “The litigation bonanza this bill would create would extend even to the smallest of small businesses, only further hampering our economic recovery.”

Following that, the Senate voted on cloture of a bill to give more regulatory powers to the Food and Drug Administration. Even The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank can only shake his head at this. He writes today, “As the Senate on Wednesday holds its first legislative session since the election, Democrats have a chance to show what lessons they've learned. Will they address the urgent need for job promotion? Work out agreement on extending the Bush tax cuts? Actually, no. Instead, Senate Democrats are planning, as their first order of business, a debate on . . . food safety. . . . [I]t would be a novel interpretation of the election results to conclude that Americans' top priority at this pivotal moment is a reorganization of the Food and Drug Administration.”

Curits Coleman, head of the Arkansas Based Curtis Coleman Institute for Congressional Policy responded that S. 510 is a horrific bill and needs to be stopped. Coleman is also the cofounder and former President/CEO of Safe Foods Corporation (“Safe Foods”). The mission of Safe Foods is to make the world’s food supplies safer. Coleman details his reasons and research in an article. A few of his comments:
"The Government claims you have no right to consume your choice of foods, no right to bodily and physical health, and no freedom of contract. . . .

My experience with the FDA is that the agency is staffed with too many employees who are primarily obstructionists. At the conclusion of one meeting I attended I overheard one FDA staffer brag that 'nothing has ever been approved on my watch.' How much are we paying that guy? I have been frequently appalled at how little FDA employees know about food or food processing. But then, many of them are non-real-world bureaucrats who have never worked in the real-world private sector. . . .

The FDA doesn’t need to be “modernized” with additional regulatory power to more effectively strangle and cripple American farmers, food growers and food processors. It needs to be downsized, and the breadth of its authority and focus needs to be severely constricted. . . .

Neither the right to choose the food one consumes, the right to bodily and physical health, nor the right to limit the freedom of contract are listed in the powers delegated to the federal government in Article One, Section Eight of the contract. Those rights and freedoms are, therefore, unequivocally reserved to the people."
Democrats have noted they have other priorities, too. President Obama called the new START treaty (an agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons) a “top priority,” according to the AP. “‘I reiterated my commitment to getting the START treaty done during the lame-duck session,’ Obama said . . . .” ABC News noted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “has promised a Senate vote this year on a small piece of immigration legislation known as the DREAM Act, which would give hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants a conditional path to legal residency.” Politico reported, “Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) will meet with President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon to talk about the chances of getting comprehensive immigration reform or the DREAM Act passed in the lame duck session, a House Democratic source said.” And Roll Call reported last week, “In a joint statement issued Tuesday by Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the lawmakers call on Senate leaders to ‘act immediately to debate and pass a defense authorization bill and repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ during the lame duck session.’”

Even on something the public seems quite clear on, earmarks, Democrats still appear to have other priorities. Roll Call wrote yesterday, “Most Senate Democrats continued on Tuesday to oppose a moratorium on earmarks, despite growing public demands for an end to the practice and a nascent reform movement within their own ranks.” And the AP noted, “Thus far, however, some Senate Democrats seem to be in denial.” In fact, Reid told Roll Call, “I don’t accept [a ban] as reform. I think it’s a tremendous step backward. . . .” And Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said, “I think the ban is not something I would favor.”

Democrats simply don’t seem to be in touch with what Americans signaled their priorities were on Election Day. Sen. McConnell said today, “Let me share with you what I believe our priorities need to be during the lame duck session: preventing massive tax increase on families and small businesses, and stopping the Washington spending spree.” But none of the Democrats’ stated priorities—easing rules on employment discrimination lawsuits, expanding the powers of the FDA, a nuclear arms reduction treaty, the DREAM Act, repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell”—even address these issues. And on the one issue that Democrats have weighed in on that concerns Americans, spending and earmarks, Democrats have decided to stand alone defending them. Did Democrats get the message on Election Day?

Tags: US House, US Senate, Washington, D.C. FDA, S. 510, Food Safety, government control, Curts Coleman, Harry Reid, START treaty, DREAM Act, amnesty, 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 3:07 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Chris Dale said...

Bill they didn't get anything! The lame ducks are going to try and push the rest of their agenda down our throats and the only good thing is that they put Pelosi (the bag lady), back in charge of their minority. Though I would have loved to see her gone the shrew will continue to destroy the Dems with her leadership. So there is the silver lining for the day I guess!

Anonymous Toni Trepanier said...

Right over their heads..

Anonymous Kerri Sullins said...

No...they just don't care and are pushing their agenda through - no matter what...

Anonymous Joanne Filiatreau said...

I pray they use bribes during the Lame Duck so we can Impeach Jan 2, 2011


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