ARRA News Service
News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
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)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Government Shutdown Avoided - Spending Continues in Looneyville

Joint Statement from Speaker Boehner & Senate Majority Leader Reid on Bipartisan Agreement To Cut Spending, Keep Government Open
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tonight released the following statement:

“We have agreed to an historic amount of cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year, as well as a short-term bridge that will give us time to avoid a shutdown while we get that agreement through both houses and to the President. We will cut $78.5 billion below the President’s 2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy riders. In the meantime, we will pass a short-term resolution to keep the government running through Thursday. That short-term bridge will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.”

Editor's Note: While the GOP secured cuts $78.5 billion in reductions / spending, they lost any further leverage this year for more cuts via the CR process. The also gave up their positions in the revised CR to defund Obamacare implementation this year and to defund Planned Parenthood Abortion clinics. However, Harry Reid had to agree that the Dems would allow up or down votes in the US Senate on two separate House bills regarding defunding Planned Parenthood and defunding the implementation of Obamacare (the Federal Healthcare Law) for the remainder of the year. Note, Obamacare has been determined to be unconstitutional.

There may also be other bills the Senate must vote on addressing the policy riders that were removed from the Continuing Resolution. We will learn more tomorrow or in the next few days other details of their agreement. The House may now complete without interference their FY 2012 Budget proposal and the Senate Democrat leaders allow it to be debated before the Fiscal Year runs out at the end of September 2011. In summary, even though we have gained cuts, the government get to continue to waste money and collect our taxes, both the military and others will receive their pay or government retirements and benefits, the National museums, zoos and Parks remain open and the Washington, D.C Cherry Blossom Parade marches tomorrow. Spending Continues in Looneyville!

Tags: Federal Government, shut down, avoided, Harry Reid, John Boehner, governmetn spending, Looneyville, Washington, D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Threatens Military Pay

A.F. Branco:

Tags: AF Branco, Political Cartoon, Barack Obama, veto, government shutdown, military pay, Republican continuing resolution To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Why Have Democrats Refused To Pass A Bill To Keep Gov't Open And Fund The Troops?

Today in Washington, D.C. - April 8, 2011:
Negotiations to fund the government continue. The current continuing resolution expires at midnight tonight.

The Question: Why Have Democrats Refused To Pass A Bill To Keep Government Open And Fund The Troops?
The Answer: They will not agree to stop funding abortion clinics with our tax dollars. How far has our great Nation fallen that a President and the Senate Leader Harry Reid are more interested in funding abortions than funding the troops for the rest of the year.  The democrats call it compromise - most American's call it supporting death with public funding - your money.

I realize that it is desirable to people to ignore the above comment. Many of our Government leaders are not concerned about the deficit or the debt placed on Americans or the unsustainable course of government spending. The core of the problem is a "rottenness" in the spirit of our country's leadership which demeans the value of life by taking the "people money" and not paying down debt but choosing to promote more spending thus creating more debt and enslavement to the holders of that debt. And then they focus spending goes towards abortions, expanding wars, controlling peoples private relationship with their doctors, their employers, their bankers, their families, their neighbors, their churches, their communities, their schools -- and even what products we are allowed to use, eat, etc, etc. etc. On it goes to the very taking of property rights which includes the very dollars we receive in exchange for our own labor for when we worked. The government takes my money - your money - other people's money - and then barrows even more -- to pay for programs, services and organizations for which the majority of us -- the American people -- would never in good conscious choose to sacrifice our lives, our families' livelihood, our personal welfare, our time or our property (includes our money).  There is indeed a very sick rottenness in Washington, D.C.

As negotiations over government funding continue, there remains a simple way to prevent a government shutdown when the current funding bill expires at midnight tonight: the Senate can pass, and President Obama can sign, the one-week continuing resolution passed by the House yesterday. That bill would cut another $12 billion in spending and fund our troops through the end of September.

Speaking on the floor today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained the situation: “Democrats are saying the holdup is over social issues. This plays nicely into the political strategy they’ve decided on to distract people from their own fiscal recklessness. Republicans say the holdup is over the need to reduce Washington spending — that Democrats, including the President, would rather see the government shut down than to allow a reduction in the size and scope of Washington that is perfectly reasonable by any objective standard.”

“But whichever side you come down on,” Leader McConnell said, “two things are not in dispute in this debate. First, that the whole reason we’re in this mess is that Democrats abdicated their responsibility to keep the government funded through this year. And second, that Democrats have rejected the only plan out there that keeps the government open — the bipartisan Troop Funding Bill — for no apparent reason.”

Indeed, there still has been no word from the White House as to why President Obama said he’d veto that bill, other than that he strangely considers it a “distraction.” How exactly is keeping the government from shutting down and ensuring our troops are paid a “distraction?”

Further, Leader McConnell pointed out, “There is virtually nothing in the troop funding bill Republicans in the House passed yesterday that won’t be included in a final package.” If Democrats truly want to ensure that the government doesn’t shut down tonight, they could pass the House’s troop funding bill in the Senate. And President Obama could sign it. And yet, so far they’ve refused to.

As Leader McConnell said, “Let’s be very clear about this: if the government shuts down, it’s either because Democrats are pretending that a previously non-controversial provision is suddenly out of bounds. Or they refuse to take another baby step in the direction of balancing the government checkbook, something we know the American people want. Neither reason is worth a shutdown — especially when neither side actually wants one.”

The Speaker Office responded today to the White House  threat to veto responsible legislation passed by the House Republicans to fund our troops for the remainder of the year, cut spending, and prevent a government shutdown. They ask Why? Good question. In its Statement of Administration Policy, the White House doesn’t cite a single policy to justify the veto. Read it for yourself.

The fact is, this partisan veto threat of non-controversial legislation by the Administration only has one practical purpose: to shut down the government. Remember these key facts:
  • The troop funding bill passed by the House reflects a bipartisan, bicameral agreement reached last December – when Democrats still controlled both houses of Congress – for funding the Department of Defense. There’s nothing in the bill that won’t largely be encompassed in a final package because, again, neither the Administration nor Senate Democrats have raised a single policy objection. The only plausible reason for Senate Democrats to refuse to pass it, or for the president to refuse to sign it, is if they intend to shut down the government.
  • The Democrats who run Washington have been rooting for a government shutdown. The former chairman of the DNC and “a de facto head of his party's left wing” told National Journal that Democrats should be “quietly rooting” for a government shutdown. And they’ve listened. Aides to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called a shutdown “more likely than not.” According to the Washington Post, the White House referred to the troop funding bill as a “distraction” – but funding our troops and preventing a government shutdown is not a distraction… unless their goal is to shut down the government.
  • House Republicans have made every effort possible to fund the government while making the spending cuts needed to create new jobs. It’s been 48 days since the House passed H.R. 1. In that time, Senate Democrats have failed to pass a single bill that funds the government for the rest of the year or offer a credible plan for cutting spending. They simply haven’t done their job. And this failure goes all the way back to last year when they didn’t even propose a budget. The House-passed troop funding bill is the only bill out right now that would prevent a shut down.
In response to the veto threat, Speaker Boehner reiterated that “Republicans’ goal is to cut spending to help create a better environment for job creation – not to shut down the government.” He called on “Democrats who believe it is important to fund our troops and make real spending cuts” to “prevail upon Senator Reid and our Commander-in-Chief to keep the government from shutting down.”

The American people want Washington to stop the spending binge that is hurting our economy and threatening job growth without shutting down the government – and that’s exactly what Republicans are working to do.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, Us House, continuing resolution, shutdown, government, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Your Guide to a Government “Shutdown”

Government Shutdown
We Can All Dream - Right?
By Adam Bitely and Rebekah Rast – What happens if the government shuts down? Well, nothing really, and the consequences of a shutdown are really rather mundane.

The worst part of it all, Congress would still be working, oh, and all government museums and tourist sites will close.

For a more in-depth look at what day-to-day life would be like during a government shutdown, here are a few common questions answered:

Federal Workers
What will happen to federal workers in the event of a government shutdown?
First, not all federal employees will be affected by a shutdown. Non-essential employees will not report to work, but essential employees will. In the past, even though the non-essential workers were at home and not working during the government shutdown, they still received all of their pay retroactively. According to the Houston Chronicle, “[f]ewer than half of the 2.1 million federal workers subject to a shutdown would be forced off the job if the Obama administration followed the path taken by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.”

Defense/Military Workers
Will funding cease for military engagements in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya?
The answer is no. Fox News states, “Certain activities in the Defense Department are required by law to continue even if funding temporarily ceases so national security interests are not at immediate risk.”

Will federal defense employees still get paid?
Since Department of Defense employees’ paychecks are electronically scheduled, they should see no gap in their pay if the government shutdown is short-lived.

Will Social Security checks still be sent?
Yes. Anyone receiving Social Security checks can rest easy—the checks will still be mailed.

Will Medicare benefits be interrupted?
No. Medicare benefits will continue to be funded—at least for the short-term. In all likelihood, Congress will allow Medicare to be funded throughout the entirety of the “shutdown.”

United States Postal Service
Will I still get my mail?
Your local post office will be open for business and your mail will be delivered without interruption.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Does this mean I don’t need to file my taxes?
If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you still need to, by April 15. However, even though the IRS will still be processing tax returns, its taxpayer hotline will go unanswered. If you owe money to the government, the IRS will gratefully accept it during the government shutdown, but if you are entitled to a refund, you’re going to have to wait.

Congress/Capitol Hill Staffers
Congress will still be working, right? After all, the government shut down because of them.
Despite poll ratings and upset constituencies, Congress will continue to meet in Washington, D.C. Hopefully a government shutdown will make people frustrated enough at their elected politicians that cutting the budget and digging America out of debt becomes the No. 1 priority.

As far as Congressional staffers are concerned, a House memo obtained by Fox News states, “[E]ach House employing authority shall designate as essential personnel only those employees whose primary job responsibilities are directly related to constitutional responsibilities, related to the protection of human life, or related to the protection of property. All other House personnel shall be placed in a furlough status by the appropriate employing authority until appropriations are made available.”

Will parks and museums like the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., be open?
Government-operated parks and museums will close once the government shuts down. This means that most of the tourist attractions operated by the parks department in D.C. will be closed and parks like Yellowstone National Park would also be closed. However, operations such as protecting the Constitution and Declaration of Independence will continue as usual at the National Archives—but the archives will be closed to the public. Politicians love to use park and museum closures to curry favor with the public to re-open the government as quickly as possible.

Perhaps Congress could take a lesson from Ron Swanson, the Parks Department Director in NBC’s Parks and Recreation and “privatize” the parks.

Government Websites
Will government websites continue to be updated?
This will most likely not happen. Since most folks that update government websites aren’t deemed “essential” government personnel, the updaters of websites will be relaxing comfortably at home. The absence of government webmasters shouldn’t be noticed—especially at where the website has long been considered “suspect” due to its “dubious” data.

Will I still be able to listen to my government-funded local radio station or watch Sesame Street reruns on TV?
Whether National Public Radio (NPR) or Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations stay functional during the shutdown is not known at this time. However, if they do manage to function for a time without federal government funding, then maybe it’s time to cut their taxpayer-funded purse strings. If they aren’t able to broadcast during the shutdown due to lack of funding and the America people survive without them, well then, maybe it’s time to cut their taxpayer-funded purse strings once and for all.

Obama 2012
Will the Obama 2012 re-elect campaign continue to operate?
Since Obama’s re-elect campaign is not part of the federal government, or government at all, it will be unhindered by the “shutdown.” In fact, a “shutdown” will give Obama time to both play golf and hit the campaign trail. He will have all the time in the world to attend fundraisers and rallies in his honor.
Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government (ALG). You can follow them on Twitter at @AdamBitely and @RebekahRast.

Tags: Defense, Essential Government Employees, Federal Employees, Government Shutdown, Guide to a Government Shutdown, IRS, Medicare, Military, Ron Swanson, Smithsonian Museums, Social Security, Taxes, U.S. Postal Service, What happens when the government shuts down?, Adam Bitely, Rebekah Rast, NetRight Daily To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Shut Down!

by A.F. Branco:
Editor's Comment: MSM and other liberal media are playing to the Democrats initiated paranoia. Truly amazing that Democrats are willing to shut down the Government over pet projects verses supporting the funding of the military for the remainder of the fiscal year. Then we have a Commander-in-Chief who has committed the military to three different major military actions but lacks focus except when it comes to saving federal funding for abortion clinics in Washington, D.C. and other wasteful spending. Definitely a "community organizer" in action; not a responsible "Commander-in Chief"!

Tags: A.F. Branco, political cartoon, government, Shut Down, MSM, news media, democrats, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Message to Senate Democrats: Let Obama Be Responsible For His Own Decision

Updated 4:47 PM: The House approved a one-week stopgap spending bill that would head off the shutdown this weekend but that Democratic opponents in the Senate and White House said contains unacceptable cuts and policy provisions. The bill also responsibly funds the US Military through the rest of the Fiscal Year. The temporary funding bill passed by a vote of 247 to 181.

Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) and House Republicans in the past weeks have called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to live up to his title and lead. In February, the House passed a long-term continuing resolution that funds the government through September, which never passed the Senate due to Leader Reid’s inaction.

Today, Rick Crawford voted for a one-week continuing resolution that would cut spending by $12 billion and fund the troops through the end of the fiscal year. An Army Veteran Crawford said, “It is Congress’s responsibility to fund the government and the troops. This bill will successfully cut spending, protect the troops, and fund the government while we wait on Senator Harry Reid to come to the table and pass a long-term continuing resolution. This fight is not about placing blame, but taking responsibility. All of us, House and Senate, were elected to represent and protect Americans. This bill is critical and I look forward to the Senate passing it to ensure the government keeps running and the troops are protected.”

Before the vote, the White House warned that President Obama would veto the measure if it reached his desk. When did a Past President veto a funding bill for being responsible and reducing unnecessary government spending. Somehow Obama and his staff have missed the message that the United States is Broke.
Today in Washington, D.C. - April 7, 2011:
The Senate might continue work later today on S. 493, the bill reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

Yesterday, the Senate voted on 4 amendments to S. 493 concerning the EPA’s regulatory overreach to apply the Clean Air Act to greenhouse gases.

All three Democrat amendments, which didn’t even block the EPA regulations, were rejected by overwhelming majorities. The Baucus amendment, which simply exempted some farms, was rejected by a vote of 7-93. The Stabenow amendment, which provided other agricultural exemptions, was also rejected by a vote of 7-93. And the Rockefeller amendment, which simply delayed the EPA regulations by 2 years, was rejected by a vote of 12-88.

Unfortuantely, the McConnell-Inhofe amendment which would have prevented this backdoor national energy tax (never authorized by Congress) also fell 10 votes short of the 60 needed for passage.

Following those votes, the Senate voted 100-0 to adopt an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to cut unemployment benefit payments for millionaires. What we found something for the Dems to agree with the GOP over: The Million Dollar line in the sand:  What, no unemployment for the richest football players?  Just, a minute is this a "policy rider" that teh Democrates approve of - more later on policy riders?

Also adopted, by a vote of 64-36, was a Coburn amendment to require the OMB to eliminate or consolidate duplicative government programs identified in a March GAO report.  Imagine, we even had to tell OMB to do their job.  Hope their embarrassed and hope a few jobs are cut by this action.  Drop in the budget but at least it is a drop.

An alternative amendment from Sen. Dan Inouye (D-HI), which would have ordered a report about defunding duplicative programs, failed to reach the required 60 votes by a vote of 57-43.  We really don't need more wasted paperwork - we need cuts in duplicative programs.

Politico reports today, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday morning that he was ‘not nearly as optimistic’ about striking a budget deal as he was last night when he left an Oval Office meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner. . . . ‘I am not nearly as optimistic as I was 11 hours ago,’ Reid said, adding of a government shutdown that ‘it looks like it’s headed in that direction.’ Negotiators have until midnight Friday to strike a deal to fund the government and avert a shutdown.”

also notes, “The House is slated to vote on a one-week stopgap measure paired with a full fiscal year funding of the Department of Defense that Democrats already have said is a non-starter. That measure also includes a provision defunding abortion services in the District of Columbia.”  Gee the staffers must be lobbying their bosses to keep free abortions in the District.   Either that or bunch of racists like that more black baby's are being aborted than other race.  What does that say about both Washington, D.C. and Planned Parenthood?

Jonathan Allen in an article today titled "In past, Dems embraced policy riders," hits the proverbial nail on the head. Allen points out:

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama hate policy riders.Unless, of course, they’re Democratic policy riders. . . .

They have no place in spending bills, the top Democrats have said during the latest budget debate. 'We’re happy to debate these, but on a legislative vehicle, not a spending vehicle,' Reid said Thursday. . . . in 2009, . . . President Barack Obama and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi loaded such riders onto a government-funding bill similar to the one now being negotiated. . . .

Among the legislative items Democrats attached to that spending measure were:
* A long-desired abortion-rights provision making birth-control pills and devices cheaper for Planned Parenthood and other family-planning clinics who provide them to students on college campuses and poor women. Originally, an effort had been made to include that rider on an emergency supplemental spending bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was removed amid political pressure.
* The repeal of a school-voucher program in the District of Columbia that is close to the heart of the current speaker, John Boehner.
* A relaxation of restrictions on travel to Cuba.
* Reid’s pet project: Delaying the development of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste storage site through spending cuts and legislative language; and
* A provision designed to facilitate the implementation of taxpayer-funded health benefits for the same-sex partners of federal employees.

“Policy restrictions are a routine part of spending bills. Senate Democratic Leaders – and President Obama – have supported hundreds, if not thousands of them, including on CRs,” . . .
One wonders if the current administration is implementing the practice of the BIG LIE in their attempts to obscure facts. Allen's article revealed the hypocrisy practiced by the Democrats like Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama who is threatening to veto of the latest House Continuing Resolution - thus shutting down the government. We are seeing the Obama  tantrum approach verses the Truman "buck stops here approach."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to Reid's comment explaining that House Republicans are offering a very reasonable stopgap measure that funds the government for another week to allow for a deal to be finalized, cuts spending, and funds out troops for the next 6 months. McConnell said, “Throughout this debate, Republicans have consistently said that we prefer a bipartisan agreement that keeps the government running and provides critical funding and certainty for our troops. That is what we have been working toward all along, and that is exactly what the bill that House Republicans are expected to pass today will do. Importantly, this bill will also include a modest reduction in Washington spending — a reduction well within the range that even Democrat leaders have described as reasonable. In fact, the bill that House Republicans will send over to the Senate today is nothing more than a smaller version of the larger bill that Democrats say that they want.”

McConnell elaborated, “The Obama administration and the Secretary of Defense have said that they need an annual defense bill; the House bill we’ll get today does that. Senate Democrats have said they want the government to keep running; the House bill we’ll get today does that. Democrat leaders have identified a number of cuts that they believe are ‘reasonable’; the spending cuts in the House bill that we’ll get today go no farther. Democrat leaders have said they wanted no controversial policy riders; the policy provisions in this bill are provisions that members of the Democrat leadership have already voted for, and that the President himself has previously signed into law.”

And yet, the word out of the White House is that President Obama has threatened to veto this bill, according to CBS’ Mark Knoller. He also reports that the White House calls the very reasonable House bill “a distraction.”  What happened to the "other" Obama that said a government shutdown would be inexcusable. It appears that both Barack Obama and thus the White House staff are finding lots of petty reasons to make the inexcusable very excusable for them.  Another example of failed leadership by President Obama.

Leader McConnell provided a summary of the situation that Democrats now face: “[H]ere’s the bottom line. This bill does everything Democrats have previously said they want. It cuts Washington spending by an amount that Democrat leaders believe is reasonable. The policy prescriptions it contains have been previously agreed to by Democrat leaders and signed by the President. And, most importantly, this is the only proposal out there that keeps the government open.”

“In other words, If a shutdown does occur, Democrat have no one to blame but themselves — because they have done nothing whatsoever to prevent it. Since they have produced no alternative to the bill that the House is sending over today, this is the only proposal currently on the table that will keep the government open.”

“So there are two options at this point: Democrats can either take up and pass this reasonable bill that falls well within the bounds of what their own leadership has defined as acceptable. Or shut down the government. That’s it. That’s the choice.”

Message to Senate Democrats: You have a free pass - vote for the Continuing Resolution and see what your fearless leader is actually willing to do. The government is allegedly headed for a shutdown if you vote "no" or if Obama vetoes the bill. Let our "buck stops here" President be responsible for his own decision! Vote for the Troops, keep 800,000 "nonessential" federal government workers working, keep the Washington, D.C. museums open, and support the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, continuing resolution, CR, Barack Obama, government shutdown To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Rick Crawford: Perhaps It Is Time For Senator Harry Reid To Step Aside

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR-01)
Update: Added all the signers of the second letter.
On March 30th, freshman Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) sent a letter to Senate Leader Harry Reid which was cosigned by 28 other freshman congressman. However, neither the signers of the letter nor the public received an appropriate response from Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) who continues to threatened government shutdown.

Today, April 6th, Representative Rick Crawford, now joined even more US Representatives have in another letter addressed Senator Reid's "reckless, partisan strategy of shutting down the government."

Crawford writes in the second letter to Senator Harry Reid, "With all due respect, if you do not plan to fulfill your responsibilities as Senate Majority Leader, perhaps it is time to step aside." The letter goes on the state, "Mr. Reid, it is time to stop denying the dire straits of our nation's fiscal health. "It is time to pass a bill."

The Press Release about the Letter Follows:
WASHINGTON – Ninety House Republicans signed a letter calling on Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to step down if he does not fulfill his responsibility as Majority Leader. The House of Representatives sent Senator Reid H.R. 1 46 days ago, yet he refuses to fund the government through Fiscal Year 2011.

The letter asks Senator Reid to reconsider his, “reckless, partisan strategy of shutting down the government,” and says “the American people deserve responsive leadership from those who are elected to higher office.”

The letter cites Senator Reid’s numerous failures and his unwillingness to accept responsibility for the current budget crisis. “Unfortunately, you have failed on numerous counts,” says the letter. “Under your stewardship, the Senate failed to pass a budget resolution last year, something that hasn’t happened since the current budget process was established in 1974. Mr. Reid, you also failed to pass one single appropriations bill to fund even a single federal agency, but yet you somehow muster the nerve to say Republicans are the problem.” Congressman Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) authored the letter, which will be delivered today.

“The Senate Majority Leader is not living up to his title,” said Crawford. “He needs to lead so we can move our country forward.  If he chooses not to lead then he needs to let someone else step into that role. We must act responsibly, fund our government, ensure our troops in the field are paid and the American people are protected. These are the priorities of the House, and they must be the priorities of the Senate.”

The text of the "second" letter less the 90 signatures follows:
Mr. Reid,

Many of us wrote last week pleading with you to bring a long-term continuing resolution before the full Senate that would fund government operations for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. We hand delivered the letter the 39th day after the House passed HR-1, its version of the FY 2011 yearlong continuing resolution that adhered to the calls of the American people pleading for reasonable, responsible spending cuts.

Unfortunately, another seven days have passed and your refusal to pass a bill means our Nation has moved one step closer to a government shutdown. Mr. Reid, your lack of action and absence of leadership is irresponsible. It has now been 46 days since the House of Representatives passed a bill that reduces the massive $1.4 trillion deficit for FY 2011 by a modest $61 billion.

Where is your bill, Mr. Reid?

We urge you to reconsider your reckless, partisan strategy of shutting down the government. If you will pass a bill, the House and Senate can meet in conference to reconcile any differences and then forward the final bill to President Obama.

The American people deserve responsive leadership from those who are elected to higher office. Unfortunately, you have failed on numerous counts. Under your stewardship, the Senate failed to pass a budget resolution last year, something that hasn’t happened since the current budget process was established in 1974. Mr. Reid, you also failed to pass one single appropriations bill to fund even a single federal agency, but yet you somehow muster the nerve to say Republicans are the problem. The ball is in your court to pass a long-term spending resolution for the remainder of FY 2011 that can be reconciled with the H.R. 1. With all due respect, if you do not plan to fulfill your responsibilities as Senate Majority Leader, perhaps it is time to step aside.

Mr. Reid, it is time to stop denying the dire straits of our nation’s fiscal health. It is time to pass a bill.

Bound together and determined,
Signed by:
Adams, Sandy (FL-24)
Austria, Steve (OH-07)
Bachmann, Michele (MN-06)
Benishek, Dan (MI-01)
Bonner, Jo (AL-01)
Boustany, Charles (LA-07)
Broun, Paul C. (GA-10)
Buchanan, Vern (FL-13)
Buerkle, Ann Marie (NY-25)
Canseco, Fransisco (TX-23)
Carter, John (TX-31)
Chaffetz, Jason (UT-03)
Cole, Tom (OK-04)
Cravaack, Chip (MN-08)
Crawford, Rick (AR-01)
Crenshaw, Ander (FL-04)
Culberson, John (TX-07)
Denham, Jeff (CA-19)
DesJarlais, Scott (TN-04)
Duncan, Jeff (SC-03)
Ellmers, Renee (NC-02)
Fitzpatrick, Mike (PA-08)
Flake, Jeff (AZ-06)
Fleming, John (LA-04)
Flores, Bill (TX-17)
Franks, Trent (AZ-02)
Gingrey, Phil (GA-11)
Gosar, Paul (AZ-01)
Gowdy, Trey (SC-04)
Graves, Tom (GA-09)
Griffin, Tim (AR-02)
Guinta, Frank (NH-01)
Guthrie, Brett (KY-02)
Harper, Gregg (MS-03)
Harris, Andy (MD-01)
Herger, Wally (CA-02)
Herrera Beutler, Jaime (WA-03)
Huizenga, Bill (MI-02)
Hultgren, Randy (IL-14)
Jenkins, Lynn (KS-02)
Johnson, Bill (OH-06)
King, Peter (NY-03)
Kinzinger, Adam (IL-11)
Kline, John (MN-02)
Lamborn, Doug (CO-05)
Lankford, James (OK-05)
LoBiondo, Frank (NJ-02)
Lucas, Frank (OK-03)
Lummis, Cynthia (WY)
Manzullo, Donald A. (IL-16)
McClintock, Tom (CA-04)
McKinley, David (WV-01)
Miller, Gary (CA-42)
Miller, Jeff (FL-01)
Murphy, Tim (PA-18)
Nugent, Richard (FL-05)
Olson, Pete (TX-22)
Pence, Mike (IN-06)
Platts, Todd R. (PA-19)
Pompeo, Mike (KS-04)
Price, Tom (GA-06)
Quayle, Ben (AZ-03)
Reed, Tom (NY-29)
Ribble, Reid (WI-08)
Roby, Martha (AL-02)
Rokita, Todd (IN-04)
Schilling, Robert (IL-17)
Scott, Austin (GA-08)
Scott, Tim (SC-01)
Sensenbrenner, Jim (WI-05)
Shimkus, John (IL-19)
Shuster, Bill (PA-09)
Simpson, Mike (ID-02)
Smith, Chris (NJ-04)
Stivers, Steve (OH-15)
Stutzman, Marlin (IN-03)
Sullivan, John (OK-01)
Terry, Lee (NE-03)
Walden, Greg (OR-02)
Walsh, Joe (IL-08)
West, Allen (FL-22)
Westmoreland, Lynn A. (GA-03)
Wilson, Joe (SC-02)
Young, Todd (IN-09)
The Original Letter:
Mr. Reid,

We the undersigned call on you and the Senate to pass a long-term Continuing Resolution; a resolution that hears the calls of the American people and makes reasonable, responsible spending cuts.

Mr. Reid, your record on spending in the Senate is one of failure.  You have failed to pass a budget, failed to restrain spending, and failed to put our country on sound fiscal footing.

We do not accept your failure as our own.

The American people did not send us here to fail. Make no mistake: any government shutdown is the result of your lack of leadership. America has a $14 trillion debt and you offered a mere $6 billion in cuts. The House heard the calls of the American people and offered $61 billion in cuts, but the Senate has not sent us a Continuing Resolution in return.

We have received nothing from the Senate except denials of the dire straits of our nation’s fiscal health.

The House of Representatives is accomplishing what we were elected to do.  We've cut spending.  We’ve terminated wasteful programs. We've funded the government.

Mr. Reid, we are letting you know that we will rally on the Senate steps every day until you pass a long-term Continuing Resolution.  We call on all Americans to join our fight in restoring our country’s fiscal health.

The House of Representatives is doing our job, Mr. Reid. The Senate needs to start doing theirs.

Mr. Reid, it's time to pass a bill.

Bound together and determined,
Signed by:
Rep. Rick Berg (ND-AL)
Rep. Diane Black (TN-06)
Rep. Francisco Canseco (TX-23)
Rep. Chip Cravaack (MN-08)
Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01)
Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-19)
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN-08)
Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17)
Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-02)
Rep. Michael Grimm (NY-13)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03)
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Rep. Jeffrey Landry (LA-03)
Rep. Billy Long (MO-07)
Rep. David McKinley (WV-01)
Rep. Richard Nugent  (FL-05)
Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04)
Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16)
Rep. Tom Reed (NY-29)
Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02)
Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04)
Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-05)
Rep. Tim Scott (SC-01)
Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN-03)
Rep. Steve Womack (AR-03)

Tags: US Congress, letters, Rick Crawford, Arkansas, Senator, Harry Reid, time to resign, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Will Dems Block Costly EPA Regs Today And Opt To Shut Down The Government?

By Bob Gorrell
Today in Washington, D.C. - April 6, 2011:
The Senate Democrats continue to refuse the House Republican's Continuing Resolution which would forestall a need for a government shutdown. At this moment, government agencies are sorting out which employees are essential and which ones are non- essential employees (people). It is amazing the number of "non-essential" people that the government employs. Maybe we should start cutting some of these "non-essential" positions from the government payroll. We definitely could cut funding for non-essential White House staff members. Take a look at the White House payroll and positions. How about all those non-confirmed czars? Unfortunately, the President is considered essential and will get paid while those military fighting in harms-way may have their pay delayed. The Senate Democrats are willing to shut down the government because they can't do without their pet projects like spending your money to support Planned Parenthood "abortion clinics."

As reported yesterday, "the Senate passed 87-12 House Bill H.R. 4 without the Menendez amendment which was rejected 41-58 which would have simply studied the way to pay for repealing the 1099 provision.. H.R. 4 repeals the onerous 1099 reporting requirement imposed on small businesses by the Democrats and hidden in the massive health care law." The bill would have forced businesses (even self-employed individuals) to file tax forms for every vendor selling them more than $600 in goods each year, starting in 2012. All 12 Senators who voted against the repeal were Democrats. Today, we note that Roll Call adds, "Senate Republican leaders seized on Tuesday’s overwhelming vote as an indication that there would be bipartisan support for other efforts to chip away at the law. ‘A bunch of Democrats voted for this repeal, so there will be other efforts,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.’” Other Sources are reporting that Republicans are hopeful that this repeal effort is just the first of many actions to dismantle the entire health care law, aka Obamacare.

The Senate also voted 90-10 to table a motion offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have expressed the sense of the Senate on the president’s authority to authorize a military attack.

Today, he Senate resumed consideration of S. 493, the bill reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. At 4 PM, the Senate will begin a series of 7 roll call votes on amendments. All will need 60 votes to be adopted. The first 3 amendments, from Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), will be Democrat alternatives to actually blocking the EPA from costly regulations of greenhouse gases.

After those, the Senate will vote on the McConnell-Inhofe amendment, which would prohibit the EPA from implementing greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act, an action that would be very costly to job creators. Following that vote, there will be votes on amendments from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to cut unemployment benefit payments for millionaires and to eliminate duplicative government programs. There will also be a vote on an alternative amendment concerning government programs offered by Sen. Dan Inouye (D-HI).

Today, senators will have another opportunity to protect job creators from burdensome regulations and ordinary Americans from higher energy prices by voting for an amendment offered by Leader McConnell and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). The McConnell-Inhofe amendment would stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act, something that law was never intended for, which could result in a back-door national energy tax.

As Leader McConnell said this morning, “Later today, the Senate will vote on an amendment that one leading newspaper described last week as one of the best proposals for growth and job creation to make it onto the Senate docket in years. More specifically, this amendment, which is based on legislation proposed by Senator Inhofe, would prevent unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing a new national energy tax on American job creators. Everyone knows that this attempt to handcuff American businesses with new costs and regulations is the last thing these job-creators need right now. . . . So once again, I want to thank Senator Inhofe for his strong leadership on this issue. He’s led the way in protecting American jobs from this burdensome proposal with determination and common sense. He deserves the credit.”

Will Democrat senators who voted to repeal the burdensome 1099 requirements from their health care law and protect job creators do the same by voting to block EPA regulations being pushed by the Obama administration? Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Friday, “I believe there’ll be 13 to 15 Democrats that will vote for it.” Hopefully, Sen. Manchin will be proven correct, since passing the McConnell-Inhofe amendment would be another positive development for American businesses that create jobs.

Tags: Washington, D.C, US Senate, Us House, 1099, government shutdown, EPA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Obama's Eligibility Question

In a prior article, Louisiana writer, Jeff Blanco said "I’m not a birther. I question Barack Obama’s birthplace, but not because of overwhelming evidence, but rather the lack of it. Just as I’m not a birther, I am not a certificator. I would not put money down on a bet one way or the other. Put me in the group of doubters."

Dr. Alan Keyes
Based on the above, it is interesting that a stalwart defender of the Constitution former Ambassador Alan Keyes in a recent video again discusses the importance of a birth certificate in establishing eligibility to be President of the United States and noting the actions and potential actions by someone who may flaunt the requirements of the US Constitution. The host of the video touches on the fact that Barack Obama has a Social Security Number reserved for Connecticut applicants. While Ambassador Keys was highly respected before Barack Obama arrival on the political stage, since then he has been discounted by many as he, a black American, warned about the consequences of electing a person in violation of the US Constitution.

Recently, Donald "You are fired" Trump, has expressed similar concerns when asked his opinion since he is considering running for president. Now, a recent article by Politico identifies that Herman Cain was asked about Trump's raising questions about President Barack Obama's citizenship. Presidential candidate Herman Cain responded, "it's just not an issue that I have studied enough to have a view one way or the other. I respect people that believe he should prove his citizenship." Cain also said, "He should prove he was born in the United States of America."

With black American patriots like Herman Cain and Alan Keyes addressing this issue even at arms length, we can clearly state that this is not a "racist issue"; but, it is a Constitutional issue. Unlike Bill O'Reilly, we cannot label everyone as a birther who wants to see Obama's valid birth certificate. O'Reilly's arrogance got in the way of the facts when he said that The Factor (he) had investigated and seen the documents.  It is now known that there were no documents; there were newspaper announcements but not the birth certificate.

Today, President Barack Obama announced that he will run for a second term. However, he has used the power of the Presidency to seal by Executive Order all his birth and educational records which in fact deny lawful voters from determining the truth about the candidate. We are over half way through Obama's first term of office and a dark shadow of intrigue and deception hangs over his presidency. Based on his performance to date, it seem only right that the public finally see the documents that have even eluded responsible reporters for so long.

Tags: Barack Obama, eligibility, reelection announcement, birth certificate, birther, Alan Keyes, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Bill O'Reilly, US Constitution, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) Says "Shut It Down"

TPM Video: Rep. Mike Pence responds that "if the liberals in the Senate are unwilling to embrace even this modest step towards fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C., then I say SHUT IT DOWN."

Tags: Mike Pence, R-IN, liberals, unwillingness to cut, Shut It Down To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Capitol Rumblings: Budgets, Repeal of 1099, GITMO and Potential Shutdown

Today in Washington, D.C. - April 5, 2011:
As reported last night House Speaker Boehner was also preparing the House for a potential government shutdown.
Speaker Boehner informed House Republicans that tomorrow, at the Speaker’s direction, House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren will issue guidance to all members on how the House would operate in the event Senate Democrats shut down the government. Because of the Senate's failure to do its job and pass legislation to cut spending and fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, Speaker Boehner made clear we have no choice but to prepare the House, and the American people, for a shutdown. The discussion with Democrats will continue, but the House has an obligation to be ready if the White House and Senate Democrats choose to shut down the government. . . . [The Full Story]
This morning's major news was that the House Republicans have developed a proposed budget for FY 2012. The Democrats have previously failed to pass legally mandated budgets which means we do not have a FY 2011 budget and therefore are operating under continuing resolutions (CR). Previously, the ARRA News Service posted a comparison revealing a sharp contrast between the budget proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and that offered by President Obama.  Note, Democrat Senate Leaders Harry Reid has punted his budget responsibility to the White House.

Ryan's released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 represents a bold step in the direction of fiscal responsibility. However not all fiscal conservatives are yet satisfied. While details and analysis are still coming in, one question will be does this budget makes significant reductions include meaningful reforms to two of our most unsustainable entitlements: Medicare and Medicaid. Some are concerned that the plan does not address inefficient spending through the tax code. Gretchen Hamel, Executive Director of Public Notice, expressed her concern in an email: “Polls, pundits, and economists of all political stripes are noting the tremendous leadership and courage that went into crafting this budget. Assuming that the House passes this plan, all the pressure goes to the Senate. The Senate needs to show it can produce just as serious a proposal as its House counter parts. That means real reductions in all spending and real reforms to our largest entitlement programs. Anything less can only be seen as failure.”

Today, the Senate voted 87-12 to approved House Bill H.R. 4 without the Menendez amendment. The bill repeals the onerous 1099 reporting requirement imposed on small businesses by the Democrats and hidden in the massive health care law. The bill now gos to the President for his signature. He has previously stated that he would approve the repeal. Yesterday, the Senate voted 86-0 to confirm the nomination of Jimmie Reyna to be a U.S. circuit judge.

The Senate is scheduled this afternoon to resume consideration of S. 493, the bill reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The New York Times reports, “The Obama administration, ending more than a year of indecision with a major policy reversal, will prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other people accused of plotting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks before a military commission and not a civilian court, as it once planned. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced on Monday that he has cleared military prosecutors at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to file war-crimes charges against the five detainees in the Sept. 11 case. Mr. Holder had decided in November 2009 to move the case to a federal civilian courtroom in New York City, but the White House abandoned that plan amid a political backlash. The shift was foreshadowed by stiffening Congressional resistance to bringing Guantánamo detainees into the United States, and by other recent steps clearing the way for new tribunal trials.”

Back in October 2009, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was urging adoption of an amendment to stop the Obama administration from proceeding with its ill-considered idea of civilian trials for terrorists and returning them to the military commissions at Guantanamo. Finally, it appears the administration has acquiesced to the reality of the war on terror in reversing itself on military commissions. Press reports emphasized what a significant shift this decision was: The New York Times writes, “[I]t marked a significant moment of capitulation in the Obama administration’s largely frustrated effort to dismantle counterterrorism architecture left behind by former President George W. Bush.” The Washington Post points out, “The decision scuttled one of the administration’s signature goal . . . . It may also mark the effective end of the administration’s effort, now more than two years old, to close the detention center in Cuba.” The Los Angeles Times writes, “The Obama administration admitted defeat in its efforts to prosecute the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks before a civilian jury in New York City . . . .” According to Reuters, “[Holder’s] announcement was an embarrassing reversal of the administration's decision in November 2009 to try September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators in a court near the site of the World Trade Center . . . .” And AFP calls the decision “a major about-face.”

The Wall Street Journal editorializes, “The Obama Administration did a full spinning reversal with a triple twist yesterday on its plans to prosecute terrorists, announcing that it will now try September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay after all. . . . KSM and his fellow murderers will now be tried by military commissions of the kind that President George W. Bush proposed in the earliest days of the conflict formerly known as the war on terror. . . . Mr. Holder made clear he's not about to apologize, much less thank his predecessors for their foresight, but we suppose his vindication of Guantanamo is enough.”

And even The Washington Post editors, while still apparently preferring Holder’s initial approach, acknowledge, “The reversal is a personal blow for Mr. Holder, who has been the Obama administration’s most committed advocate for prosecuting terrorism suspects in federal courts. But it is the correct call.”

It was obvious long before Holder’s decision to attempt to try the 9/11 conspirators in civilian courts that such trials would have serious drawbacks, given that prior ones inadvertently aided terrorists and exposed sensitive classified information. And last fall’s case against Ahmend Gailani, charged with murdering 224 people in the 1998 embassy bombings, demonstrated more of the potential troubles with civilian trials for terrorists. Ghailani was convicted on only one charge out of 285, and acquitted of all murder charges.

As Leader McConnell said yesterday, “[T]his change today is truly a welcome development. The administration is announcing that KSM and the others who plotted these crimes will be tried in the proper jurisdiction—these military commissions—at the proper place for these commission trials—Guantanamo Bay. This is the right outcome . .  Military Commissions at Guantanamo, far from the U.S. mainland, were always the right idea for a variety of compelling reasons which I and others have enumerated repeatedly over the past two years. For the sake of the safety and security of the American people, I’m glad the President reconsidered his position on how and where to try these detainees. Going forward, this model should be the rule rather than the exception.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Budgets, Repeal of 1099, GITMO, potential shutdown To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

A Sharp Contrast: Ryan's Budget Verses The President's Budget

Paul Ryan - - Barack Obama
While President Obama’s Budget ‘All But Ignored The Most Important Long-Term Fiscal Challenge,’ Chairman Ryan’s Plan ‘Includes Broad Changes To The Tax System And $6.2 Trillion In Federal Spending Cuts’
The House Republican Budget: The ‘Most Complete Attempt So Far By Republicans To Make Good On Their Promises … To Cut Government Spending And Deficits’
“Government Spending Would Plummet By Nearly $6 Trillion Over The Coming Decade Under A Republican Plan Due To Be Unveiled On Tuesday, In A Sharp Contrast To President Barack Obama's Fiscal Plan.” (“Republican Budget Plan Envisions Sharp Cuts,” Reuters, 4/5/11)

“The Budget Has Been Prepared By Rep. Paul Ryan, A Wisconsin Republican And The New Chairman Of The House Budget Committee, And It Represents The Most Complete Attempt So Far By Republicans To Make Good On Their Promises During The 2010 Midterm Elections To Cut Government Spending And Deficits.” (“GOP Aim: Cut $4 Trillion,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11)

“The Proposal Also Includes Broad Changes To The Tax System And $6.2 Trillion In Federal Spending Cuts From President Obama’s Budget Over The Next 10 Years.” (“GOP 2012: Overhauls On Entitlements And Taxes, $6.2 Trillion In Cuts Over Decade,” The Washington Post, 4/5/11)

“Republicans Say They Are Taking The Initiative On Medicaid And Medicare Because President Obama Has Done Nothing To Put The Programs On A Solid Fiscal Footing.” (“G.O.P. Blueprint Would Remake Health Policy,” The New York Times, 4/5/11)

“In His 2012 Budget, Mr. Obama Did Not Propose Significant Savings In Medicaid Or Medicare, Even Though He And Many Fiscal Experts Say The Programs Are Unsustainable In Their Current Form.” (“G.O.P. Blueprint Would Remake Health Policy,” The New York Times, 4/5/11)

NBC:“It’s Courage Because Ryan Is Seriously Addressing Entitlement Reform, Which Is Something That President Obama’s Budget Didn’t Touch At All.” (MSNBC’s “First Read,” 4/4/11)

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, The New York Times: “Now There's A Leadership Position. He's Come Out With A Plan Which Is More Than The Democrats Can Say… Give The Man [Rep. Ryan] Credit For Putting Out A Plan When Nobody Else Would, Frankly.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/5/11)

DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times: “The Country Lacked That Leadership Until Today. Today, Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, is scheduled to release the most comprehensive and most courageous budget reform proposal any of us have seen in our lifetimes. Ryan is expected to leap into the vacuum left by the president’s passivity.” (David Brooks, Op-Ed, “Moment Of Truth,” The New York Times, 4/5/11)
The President’s Budget: ‘A Remarkably Tame Response To Washington’s Fiscal Problems’ ‘It All But Ignored …The Growing Cost Of Entitlements Such As Medicare And Medicaid’
LOS ANGELES TIMES: “A Remarkably Tame Response To Washington’s Fiscal Problems… It All But Ignored The Most Important Long-Term Financial Challenge, Which Is The Growing Cost Of Entitlements Such As Medicare And Medicaid.” “President Obama's budget for fiscal year 2012 landed with a thud Monday, laying out short- and long-term tax and spending plans that disappointed lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The proposal was a remarkably tame response to Washington's fiscal problems, not the bold statement about belt-tightening that the White House had suggested was coming. Yet the biggest shortcoming is that it all but ignored the most important long-term financial challenge, which is the growing cost of entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid.” (Editorial, “Obama's Overly Tame Budget,” Los Angeles Times, 2/15/11)

THE WASHINGTON POST: “The President Punted. Having been given the chance, the cover and the push by the fiscal commission he created to take bold steps to raise revenue and curb entitlement spending, President Obama, in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal, chose instead to duck. To duck, and to mask some of the ducking with the sort of budgetary gimmicks he once derided.” (Editorial, “President Obama's Budget Kicks The Hard Choices Further Down The Road,” The Washington Post, 2/15/11)

USA TODAY: “He Whiffed.” “President Obama likes to talk about those ‘Sputnik moments’ when the nation rises to difficult challenges like the one posed by the Soviet space program in the 1950s. On Monday, he had a chance to turn his federal budget proposal into his own such moment. He whiffed. … It's becoming hard not to conclude that Obama doesn't much care about the debt threat or has decided to wait until after the 2012 elections. Either would be a shame, and economically risky.” (Editorial, “Our View: Obama's Budget Ducks Tough Choices,” USA Today, 2/15/11)

Tags: Washington, D.C. US House, Paul Ryan, Barack Obama, Federal Budgets To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Breaking News: House Speaker Prepares for Government Shutdown By The Democrats

Breaking News:  A source in the Speaker Boehner's office identified that ---
Tonight, Speaker Boehner informed House Republicans that tomorrow, at the Speaker’s direction, House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren will issue guidance to all members on how the House would operate in the event Senate Democrats shut down the government. Because of the Senate's failure to do its job and pass legislation to cut spending and fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, Speaker Boehner made clear we have no choice but to prepare the House, and the American people, for a shutdown. The discussion with Democrats will continue, but the House has an obligation to be ready if the White House and Senate Democrats choose to shut down the government.

Speaker Boehner also said House Republicans will post online tonight the text of a bill that will make significant spending cuts and fund the Department of Defense though September while keeping the government running. Other provisions may be included as well. We hope the White House and Senate Democrats will get serious about making real spending cuts on a long-term bill, but this measure provides us with an option if House Republicans choose to use it.
It is good to note that Speaker Boehner is both taking action to prepare the US House for a government shutdown and also proceeding to again offer a Continuing Resolution with spending cuts that would keep the DOD and the government running through September.

The American public should be mindful that we would not be in the position of facing a Federal government shutdown if the previously Democratic controlled House and Senate had passed a budget for FY 2011. Even though required by law, they refused to pass a budget which would have been open to review and debate and subject questionable areas to public review. Also, recall that Pelosi and Reid had the votes to pass said budget when they ran both houses of Congress.

However, the Democrats sought to avoid giving ammunition to their future campaign opponents and to voters in the November 2010. With rising groups of concerned citizens and with polling indicating that the Democrats could well loose the House of Representative, they hoped to avoid loosing control of the US Senate. The democrats clearly planned to blame any future shutdown on the Republicans who they knew would focus on federal spending. However, Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been continually confronted with the responsible actions by the House Republicans who have passed short term continuing resolutions which contained identified reasonable spending cuts that could be supported by many Senate Democrats as well as all the Republicans.

It has been the Speaker and House republicans who have led in offering responsible continuing resolutions to continue operations during the current year. Note, that unlike the previous Pelosi led House, the new republican led House of Representatives is already working on preparing a budget for CY 2012.

Tags: breaking news, US House, preparing for shutdown, continuing resolution, funding, spending, Speaker Boehner To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas House Commentary: April 4, 2011 - 88th General Assembly Shortest Session In Two Decades

By Rep. Justin Harris: The final week of the 88th General Assembly took House members on a fast and furious flight through a thunderstorm of debate on the federal healthcare law, state-owned vehicles, and congressional redistricting.

The Legislature is not your ordinary rodeo. Midweek, House members wrangled over a $72.6 million state Insurance Department appropriation bill which included $1 million in funding for the federal healthcare overhaul. Concerned about tying the federal healthcare law to a bill that funds an essential state agency, House Republicans made several attempts to remove the $1 million from the budget bill.

Meanwhile, legislation to establish federally mandated insurance exchanges necessary to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was en route to the House floor. As a result, a deadlock on passing the Insurance Department appropriation surfaced, with a majority refusing to strip the budget bill of $1 million in federal healthcare funding. Fortunately, Republican House members lassoed a compromise on Thursday, agreeing to pull down the bill to implement the insurance exchanges and send the legislation to interim study. Consequently, the Insurance Department appropriation garnered the 75 votes needed to pass the House. I was not one of them. Arkansans, in our district and around the state, are overwhelmingly against Federally Mandated Health Care.

I do, however, believe the compromise helps ensure a slow and deliberate process for examining a federal law that will drastically alter our healthcare system.

A congressional redistricting gerrymander slithered its way out of the Arkansas House, despite overwhelming opposition from concerned citizens, Democrats and Republicans alike. The “Fayetteville Finger,” does not respect our state’s regional communities of interest and will devastate the continuity of Northwest and Southern Arkansas. I opposed this partisan power grab by the State Democratic Party and hope our colleagues in the Senate will take a principled stand for the people of Arkansas. I spoke against this publicly in the House, and I wanted to voice your concerns. West Fork, Greenland, and Winslow have been moved back into the 3rd. By the time you read this, it maybe old news. I will keep you updated.

A $4.6 billion balanced budget for the 2012 fiscal year cleared the full House this week. This budget bill, known as the Revenue Stabilization Act, was cut back due to concerns from the Republicans. We were able to stop spending, but allow a 2% increase for adequacy in education. I am proud to be part of this Historic Session. I worked vigorously to cut your taxes, increase transparency, hold the line on spending and move our state forward economically. As of Thursday, 2 of my bills have been signed into law, and the numerous bills I co-sponsored. It is very hard for a freshman to even get one bill signed into law.

The 88th General Assembly held the shortest session in two decades, and because congressional redistricting is not complete, the House and Senate will have reconvened this past Monday to complete the process.

I will continue my work to serve as your voice in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Justin Harris is Arkansas State Representative (R-District 87). Although he directly represents Crawford and Southern Washington Counties, he also represents all Arkansans with his public stands for limited, transparent and responsible government. He is both a fiscal and social conservative and is the owner of Growing God's Kingdom preschool in West Fork, Arkansas.

Tags: Justin Harris, Arkansas, legislature, State Representative, Arkansas House, Congressional Redistricting, gerrymandering, pig trail, Fayetteville Finger, Insurance Department appropriation, Obamacare, Beebecare, budget, Revenue Stabilization Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Will Dem's Vote To Stop Backdoor Healthcare 1099 Tax And EPA's Energy Tax

Now Backdoor Taxes
Today in Washington, D.C. - April 4, 2011: 
Congress reconvenes. President Barack Obama announced his 2012 re-election bid -- supposedly in a YouTube video. Word is that the video will not display Obama's usual aide-de-camp: The Teleprompter. It also appears his former aide-de-camps, David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs will help with his campaign. Gibbs may also be working for FaceBook managing the company's communications. Conservatives lookout, Facebook under Gibb's will be supporting Obama again.

The White House has also announced that President Obama will follow a bipartisan recommendation of Congress to try the 9/11 plotters in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rather than in civilian courts in U.S. cities. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) responded today to the announcement, "I’d like to take a moment to note a welcome development in the war on terror. For the last two years, the Obama Administration has actively sought to bring the 9/11 plotters into our communities for civilian trials, a horrible idea that rightly drew overwhelming bipartisan opposition from the American people and their elected representatives here in Congress. Today, the administration is announcing that it has changed course, and that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the others who plotted these horrible attacks will be tried in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, rather than in a civilian trial in New York or some other U.S. city. For the sake of the safety and security of the American people, I’m glad the President reconsidered his position on how and where to try these detainees. Going forward, this model should be the rule rather than the exception."

At 4:30, the Senate will take up the nomination of Jimmie Reyna to be a U.S. circuit judge and will then "rubber stamp" (vote on) the nomination.

On Tuesday morning, the Senate is scheduled to hold two votes on H.R. 4, the House-passed bill repealing the onerous 1099 reporting requirement imposed on small businesses by the Democrats’ health care law. One vote will be on passage of the bill, and the other will be on an alternative amendment from Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) which would simply study the way to pay for it. Sick - why should we pay for something that should not have existed in the first place and is now revealed to be a hidden tax on small business. Forget the democrat ploy of more time to study the issue -- kill the hidden thuggery on the small business 1099 provision buried in the Democrats HealthCare bill.

On Friday, The Hill reported, “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is betting that as many as 15 Senate Democrats will back a GOP-led bill that strips EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. His estimate of Democratic support is far above what is widely believed and would put the measure — which might receive a Senate vote next week — on the brink of the 60 votes needed or over the top. Manchin, in a West Virginia radio interview this morning, said he’s urging fellow Democrats to back Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) amendment to small-business legislation.”

Appearing on the Hoppy Kercheval show, Manchin was asked why he appears to be the only Democrat who’s backing the McConnell-Inhofe amendment, which would block the EPA from regulating carbon as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. If the EPA proceeds with the regulations, they would amount to a back-door national energy tax. Manchin said, “Well, I’m working on [Democrats] I can tell you that . . . . I think they’re going to vote for it, I really do. . . . I just believe that the EPA has totally overstepped its boundaries. It was never an agency put in a position to the create public policy that’s going to affect us and change our way of life, I truly believe. So I feel strong enough to sign on. Other people might not, but I believe there’ll be 13 to 15 Democrats that will vote for it.”

If Manchin is correct, that number of Democrat votes could pass the McConnell-Inhofe amendment. Certainly, around that number of Democrat senators have either expressed their displeasure with the EPA’s regulations or warned about the inappropriateness of the EPA moving forward without congressional approval.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained last week many of the reasons senators should support the amendment he and Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) have offered: “Our amendment would assure small businesses across the country that they won’t be hit with yet another costly new job-stifling burden by Democrats in Washington. It will give voters the assurance that a regulation of this kind, which would have a dramatic impact on so many, could not be approved without their elected representatives standing up and voting for it. And, at a time of rising energy prices, it would prevent Democrats in Washington from adding even more pressure to energy prices than they already have out of fealty to special interests that would rather we buy our energy from overseas than find and use the bountiful resources that we already have here at home.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, democrats, taxes, 1099, Cap and Tax, EPA, healthcare, GITMO trials, President Obama, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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