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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)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov 19, 2010 - Dem Priorities Continue To Be Wildly Out Of Touch

We are liberals - what do you expect?
The Senate had no roll call votes today. Last night, the Senate voted agreed to the motion to proceed to S. 510, the food safety and FDA reorganization bill, by a vote of 57-27.

Congress is scheduled to be in recess next week for Thanksgiving and return on Monday, November 29th. On Nov 29th at 6:30 PM, the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Harkin substitute amendment to S. 510. If cloture is invoked, the Senate will then consider 4 motions to suspend the rules to allow amendments.

The motions will be offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), for an amendment to eliminate the onerous 1099 reporting requirements on small businesses in the Democrats’ health care bill, by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), for an amendment to scale back the 1099 requirements, and by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), for his own substitute amendment to the bill and for an amendment to ban earmarks. Each motion to suspend requires 67 votes to be approved. Senators will vote on all four motions and then on final passage of S. 510.

Yesterday, the House ethics after previously finding Charlie Rangel panel guilty of 11 out of 13 counts of corruption. recommended that House censure Rangel.  this is basically a slap in the hand.  Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, said, "Such a timid punishment is what one might expect in a 3rd grade classroom. How about a dunce cap, too? . . . Is it any wonder why [this Democrat led ] Congress ranks at the bottom of institutions in a Gallup survey? Just 11 percent stated they had a great deal of confidence in Congress."

After a week of demonstrating their priorities still aren’t aligned with those of the American people, even in the wake of an historic election, Democrats in Congress still don’t seem to have learned anything. Most Americans are concerned with the economy, and one of the best things that could be done from Washington to help would be to ensure that Americans are not hit with across-the-board tax increases in January. Extending current tax policy will prevent Americans from facing a tax hike when they can least afford it and will finally provide some certainty for job creators. Yet Democrats still refuse to make this a priority.

National Journal’s Major Garrett reports today, “Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the new No. 3 leader of House Democrats in the 112th Congress, said it’s not ‘essential’ for Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts because if all income taxes go up as scheduled on January 1, ‘you’ve got a big deficit reduction taking place, which is also a good thing.’” Is Clyburn indicating it’s not a problem for Americans to wake up to massive tax increases on New Year’s Day? As The Washington Post notes, “Unless Congress acts, virtually every taxpayer will be hit with higher taxes in January that could leave monthly paychecks hundreds of dollars lighter.”

Even though they huddled for hours yesterday, The Washington Post reports, “President Obama and congressional Democrats failed to agree on a strategy Thursday for extending an array of expiring tax breaks, with the party badly divided over whether to temporarily extend the cuts for all taxpayers or stick with their pledge to protect only the middle class.”

Some Democrats are acknowledging they can’t agree on what to do. “‘There's not a consensus,’ said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), emerging from an afternoon meeting at which Senate Democrats wrestled with the tax issue for nearly three hours, discussing numerous options without reaching agreement. ‘I think there's a reality here, which is that while it might be best to continue the middle-class tax cuts and raise taxes on higher-income people, the votes are not there to do that,’ Lieberman said, adding that he would support continuing all the cuts for two years to avoid an across-the-board tax hike.”

But Democrats were able to agree on something, according to The Post: “During a meeting at the White House, Democrats resolved to stage a vote on the plan that they have backed for months, which formed a key plank in Obama's presidential campaign platform: Extend the tax breaks for families earning less than $250,000 a year while letting tax rates rise for wealthier taxpayer.”

In other words, Democrat leaders have decided to “stage a vote” for which other Democrats acknowledge “the votes are not there to do that.” As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “Votes structured for symbolic reasons in December won’t prevent a tax hike in January. It’s not enough to talk about the problem of the looming tax hike on families and hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country—we have to fix it. And fixing this problem should be our priority in the limited time remaining this year—not forcing votes on the liberal wish list.”

At the same time the House Democrats have made it official – they will settle for nothing less than a massive, job-killing tax hike on the small businesses Americans are counting on to create jobs.  As POLITICO reports, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told President Obama that Democrats remain “firmly committed” to raising taxes on American families and small businesses on January 1st, telegraphing to the nation’s employers that they better plan for more tax hikes, not hiring more employees.  Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) confirms that Democrats even plan to hold a vote on imposing a job-killing tax hike on small businesses. 

Democrats have continued to hold votes on and push liberal priorities that simply are not the chief concerns of Americans. The Senate has now spent two days on a bill to reorganize and expand the powers of the FDA, after a show vote on a bill designed to help trial lawyers. And according to The Washington Post, “Thirteen Democratic senators signaled strong support Thursday for ending the military's ‘don't ask, don't tell’ policy and said they are willing to work well into December to ensure passage of a defense bill that would end the ban on gays openly serving in uniform.” Meanwhile, President Obama is still pushing for ratification of a nuclear weapons reduction treaty. The New York Times writes, “Just two weeks after an election that left him struggling to find his way forward, President Obama has decided to confront Senate Republicans in a make-or-break battle over arms control that could be an early test of his mettle heading into the final two years of his term.”

Both Pelosi and Reid plan to schedule a vote on another liberal social program called the Dream Act -- Amnesty (S. 729 and H.R. 1751), as early as Monday, November 29. However, the senate is unlikely to act quickly due to other scheduled votes. The DREAM Act is a sweeping mass amnesty for most illegal aliens younger than 35. The Amnesty would make millions of illegal aliens legal and would put them on the path to citizenship. It would make them eligible for welfare and Medicare. It would allow them to bring in family members from other countries. The far Left has been pushing for years to get full amnesty for all 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. But now they know their time is short as this may be their last chance to pass it before they lose their majority. The recent push on the Dream Act is being promoted by several pro-Amnesty Members of Congress led by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) who are making the rounds of the news services and also met with Obama, asking the president's help in seeking a vote before Congress adjourns.

It’s astonishing how out of touch Democrats remain. Their leaders are saying preventing tax hikes on all Americans in the middle of a recession not “essential,” preferring instead to stage show votes that rank-and-file members acknowledge won’t succeed. At the same time, other Democrats are talking up things like repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” while the President is demanding ratification of his nuclear weapons treaty before Congress adjourns.

These priorities are baffling. As Sen. McConnell observed yesterday, “The deadline to prevent a tax hike on every American taxpayer is January 1, and the clock is ticking. While some in Congress have a strange desire to raise taxes on hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country, Republicans and a growing chorus of [rank-and-file] Democrats believe that no one should have the government take even more out of their paycheck next year.”

Tags: US Senate, US House, Washington, D.C., liberals, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, James Clyburn, tax cuts, liberal priorities, FDA, DREAM Act, amnesty, Charlie Rangel, 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 4:14 PM - Post Link

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