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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, May 25, 2011

Dems Answer Fiscal Crisis By Offering No Budget

Update 7:45 PM: Rundown of the votes on various budget plans in the Senate tonight:
  • President Obama’s budget (S. Con. Res. 18): No senator voted for it. It lost 0-97.
  • House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget (H. Con. Res. 34): 40-57, 40 more votes than Obama’s budget. GOP Senate Leader McConnell voted for Paul Ryan’s budget.
  • Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) budget (S. Con. Res. 21): 42-55, 42 more votes than Obama’s budget. Leader McConnell voted for Pat Toomey’s budget.
  • Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) budget (S. Con. Res. 20): 7-90, 7 more votes than Obama’s budget. Leader McConnell voted for Rand Paul’s budget.
McConnell's votes were identified because after the votes he issued the following statement: “The President identified the problem more than a year ago when he said that ‘almost all of the long-term deficit and debt we face relates to the costs of Medicare and Medicaid.’ But Democrats in the Senate showed today that don't even want to talk about it. They rejected every single proposal to deal with it. They've chosen to ignore this crisis just like they ignored the last crisis. They're so focused on an election that's nearly two years away that they can't see the crisis in front of us.”

Today in Washington, D.C. - May 25, 2011:
As reported yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress. He later chatted on various radio and V shows and in all situations showed the intellect, reasoning, grace and demeanor that Americans admire in a leader of a country. [PBS video of his speech] Also yesterday U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in England and unfortunately provided the opposite attributes that we have come to expect in a leader. Rather than belabor his situation or to even make excuses for his recurring gaffs, errors in protocol, no comment or excuses will be made.

Yesterday, at the Heritage Blogger's Briefing in Washington, D.C., Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) gave us straightforward answers on the debt limit, Israel and 2012. You can read more about his comments on Halt the Assault. Myron Ebell of Competitive Enterprise Institute also explained why it's a bad idea to create a new taxpayer-funded subsidy for natural gas vehicles. It was disappointing to learn that Rep. Ron Paul who is an announced candidate for President is supporting these taxpayer-funded subsidies and his buddy billionaire T-Boone Pickens who promotes the continuance of these subsidies. All we need to do in America is for the Federal Government (all of its agencies) to "get out of the way" and to let private business access and develop all of our energy alternatives without subsidizing any option. Heritage Action is one of several conservative groups to voice opposition.

House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Chairman Rep. Phil Roe for holding a hearing on the NLRB's attempt to block Boeing from opening a new plant in South Carolina on May 26. It is critical that agencies like the NRLB be held accountable for the overreach of their authority and interfering with private business opening new plants even if they are non-union. The NLRB has become a government agency advancing the causes of unions verses serving as mediators on valid labor management disputes. It is not the right of labor, except when they individually hold voting stock in a business, to determine when and where a private company expands or locates their businesses, plants, or operations. Abuses of this nature by the NLRB are killing jobs and punishing companies for actions legally the right of the owners of that business. For background info, refer to this prior article: NLRB to Boeing: Shut Up!

The Senate resumed consideration of the House message to accompany S.990, the vehicle for the Patriot Act Extension. The bill will extend 3 expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for 4 years: court orders for roving wiretaps, court orders for certain business records, and investigations of non-citizen “lone wolf” terrorists.

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) switched the process for passing an extension of expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. He moved to table the motion to proceed to S. 1038, which was agreed to by a vote of 74-13. He then called up the House message to accompany S. 990 and filed cloture on the motion to concur with the House message with a further Senate amendment #347 (the Patriot Act language). That cloture vote is scheduled for Thursday morning. Because the Patriot Act provisions expire at midnight Thursday, Reid’s move avoids an extended filibuster.

Today or tomorrow, the Senate may hold a series of votes on competing budget plans. Reid has said he plans to have the Senate vote on the House-passed budget of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said the chamber will also have an opportunity to vote on the budget President Obama submitted in February. Leader McConnell has also said that votes on budget proposals from Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are possible.

Previewing the competing budget votes coming up in the Senate, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor today, “Sometime today or tomorrow, Senate Democrats will have an opportunity to show what kind of future they believe in. They can vote for one of the Republican plans to get our nation’s finances under control, each of which involves the kind of tough choices we’ll need to make to bring down our deficits and debt. Or, they can vote on the President’s plan, which continues the unsustainable status quo.”

He pointed out, “It’s interesting: When the President first announced his budget, most people panned it as tepid and irresponsible. The Washington Post summed it up pretty well by saying the President punted. Yet Senate Democrats embraced it.” Indeed, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a key member of Democrat leadership, said “This is a responsible proposal… I believe this approach should have bipartisan support.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called it “a responsible framework” and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said, “I personally think that the President’s budget is a step in the right direction.” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said, “President Obama has given us a credible blueprint . . .” and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) claimed, “The President’s budget . . . strengthens our economy . . . .”

Despite this, Leader McConnell pointed out, “[I]f we’re to believe the news reports, every single Democrat in the Senate now plans to vote against the President’s budget. They don’t even want to use it as a starting point. Why?” He explained, “We got the answer earlier this week from Senator Schumer, when he indicated that Democrats now believe avoiding this debate altogether helps them in the next election. In other words, they think it’s better not to keep track of our nation’s finances at all than to support any plan that does. So much so that they’re about to reject a budget that even they embraced a few months ago. They’ll vote against every budget that comes to the floor — including the President’s.”

The Washington Times elaborates in an editorial today, “For the second year in a row, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid has failed to produce a Senate budget. . . . As many as four different budgets could be considered this week: [House Budget Committee Chairman Paul] Ryan’s; conservative plans from Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, and Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican; and President Obama’s 2012 budget. The Democratic majority is expected to vote down all of them, including the White House proposal. Sen. Charles E. Schumer revealed to reporters that the true agenda for the Democrats is  getting a vote on Mr. Ryan’s budget which can be used in political commercials. ‘To put other budgets out there is not the point,’ the New York Democrat explained. The point is to ‘say the Republicans tried to end Medicare but a Democratic majority stopped it in the Senate.’”

As Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) told reporters yesterday, “I think the really ironic thing this week of all these budget votes is we’re not going to be voting on a Senate budget. We’re going to be voting on a House budget, the president’s budget, and some other budgets, but the Senate has yet to put together a budget. It’s now been 755 days -- 755 days since the Democrats in the Senate have produced a budget. . . . We borrow over 40 cents out of every dollar that we spend in this country. Last week, the Medicare trustees reported a $46 billion cash deficit in Medicare, a $32 billion cash deficit in Social Security, according to the Social Security trustees report. And so you have this major budget crisis and no attempt, at least on the part of the majority, to address it, other than to try and score political points and gain some sort of an electoral advantage going into 2012.”

Leader McConnell summed up the contrasting approaches: “Democrats are ready to call it a work period without supporting any of the proposals that have been made. Without producing anything of their own. Nothing: that’s their answer to this crisis. Their focus is on an election that’s still almost two years away. . . . Congressman Ryan has shown courage by proposing a budget that would tackle these problems. Democrats are showing none by ignoring our problems altogether. This is the contrast Americans will see in the Senate this week. . . . This is a complete and total abdication of their responsibilities. And there is no excuse for it.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, Heritage foundation, budget, speeches, politics 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 1:07 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Montana said...

You know what this current crowd of GOP liars want is to turn the United Sates into China, where only a few giant corporations run things, they own the factories, that apartments, the grocery stores, the gas stations, the newspaper and magazine publications, the radio stations, the television stations and you pay them and they get all the benefits, and if you do not like it go jump off cliff. Well some Chinese workers seeing that as individuals that they cannot progress have done just that by committing suicide. The current crowd of GOP liars want to abolish Medicare from the elderly, they want to abolish a woman’s right to choose and have control over her own body, they want to abolish collective bargaining rights, and on top of it all they want to blame the middle class and public sector workers for a recession that they created, while their beloved “Fat cats” continue to pay themselves exorbitant salaries, bonuses, fringe benefits. Yes this is the GOP “Radical Right-Wing Social Engineering” that they dream about. New York was the beginning but the next will be Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and later the other states of our nation. I wonder how many in the GOP senate will now vote for the Ryan Plan, I know a few who will be running, GOOD!

Anonymous C Alexander White said...

Can someone please tell me why American should be allied with Israel? Didn't they attack one of our intel ships in 1967?

Blogger Bill Smith said...

Did we not keep Israel on the ground during the Kuwait war where they suffered from SCUD missiles killing their citizens because IRAq was mad at the US for coming to the defense of Kuwait? Yes. Mistakes happen. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. The only Muslims living free in the MidIi ignored the Biblical reason but there are many there as well.


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