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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)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Corporate Welfare Alive And Well in Congress

Today in Washington, D.C. - May 19, 2012:
Yesterday the House passed the corporate welfare bill (330 - 93) - H.R. 2072, the bill reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. Noting the delegation from Arkansas: Rick Crawford (R), Steve Womack (R), Mike Ross (D) all supported the bill. Tim Griffin (R) voted no; the correct vote in my opinion. All no votes were by Republicans. The 183 democrats voting all voted for the bill. As for the Republicans, 147 voted yeas and 97 voted no. It is a sad day when the Republicans are in control and cannot or will not put down a raggedly old (created by Executive Order in 1934) worn out abused program that wastes and risks the people's money.

When Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Henry Waxman complain about failed bi-partisanship,  the Republicans can now, not so proudly, point to the passage this Export-Import Bank bill. Republicans leadership had their chance and failed.  Senate democrat leadership will now move quickly to get this bill passed and on to the President for signature. Corporate Welfare money had its influence in the House and bi-partisan  corporate welfare (and contributions) are alive and well for incumbent members of congress except for those who voting no.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) voted NO and shared,  “In 2008, Barack Obama called the Export-Import Bank ‘little more than a fund for corporate welfare.’ Now that he’s in charge, President Obama wants to increase it by 40%. We needed to end corporate welfare, not expand it. Only in Washington is a 40% increase characterized as a phase-out.”

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson responded, "The House had an opportunity to show that corporate welfare in any form is unacceptable, and yet again blew it by not only reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank, but by adding $40 billion to its lending capacity. Every member who voted yes now must explain to their constituents why they support a bank that gave millions to bankrupt Solyndra. Why they support a bank that gives foreign companies an edge over U.S. companies in the global economy. And why they support a bank that has wasted billions manipulating markets rather than allowing market forces to determine demand."

Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already moved to proceed to H.R. 2072, to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Votes are possible later today if Democrats agree to allow votes on amendments. Also, in the Senate, there may be a possible is a vote to reconsider the failed cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S.2343, Democrats’ bill to stop an increase in student loan rates caused by legislation they passed in 2007.

The House yesterday also passed (411 - 2) H.R. 4133 — "To express the sense of Congress regarding the United States-Israel strategic relationship, to direct the President to submit to Congress reports on United States actions to enhance this relationship and to assist in the defense of Israel, and for other purposes." The Nay votes were by Rep John Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Republican presidential candidate.

Canadians sent a warning shot over the bow of America's ship of state.  Politico reports today, “Canadian oil executives this week are personally warning U.S. lawmakers that the delay in the Keystone XL pipeline has repercussions on U.S.-Canada trade relations. The CEOs of at least six Canadian oil companies or subsidiaries — in town on a regular annual visit ostensibly to talk about broader issues affecting Canadian oil production — will almost certainly end up predominately lobbying members of Congress and a diverse list of think tanks on Keystone.

"Their message will include pointing to expedited consideration in Canada of two proposed pipelines sending crude oil from Alberta oil sands to the West Coast for Asian export. ‘The snowball’s already rolling,’ Dave Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, told POLITICO. ‘Canadian producers have always recognized that there’s some vulnerability in only having one market, that being the United States,’ Collyer said. ‘I think what the Keystone decision did was increase the awareness of that vulnerability and provide some impetus clearly … on the importance of diversifying that market.’ . . . ‘But in the face of a rather overwhelming set of facts, with this decision to be deferred that frankly raises some questions about the integrity of the process and whether we can have confidence in the regulatory review process’ for other projects'. . .”

In other words, thanks to the unnecessary delays and political dodging on allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to move forward, our allies in Canada are saying that if the Obama administration continues this kind of treatment, they’ll look for other partners to do business with, particularly in Asia.

There’s simply no longer any excuse for President Obama to keep blocking the pipeline. Transcanada, the company that will build the pipeline, has worked with the state of Nebraska to approve a new route to avoid any environmentally sensitive areas and has now submitted a new application to the State Department. Labor leaders and Democrats in Congress have expressed support for building Keystone XL, since it would create tens of thousands of jobs and allow the U.S. to import more oil from Canada instead of the Middle East.

And yet President Obama is still blocking the pipeline from moving forward.  Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell notes, “At a moment when tensions are rising in the Middle East, millions of Americans are struggling to find work and millions more are struggling with the rising cost of gas, the Obama administration’s opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline shows how deeply out of touch they are with the concerns of middle-class Americans. When it comes to delays over Keystone, anyone looking for a culprit should look no further than the Oval Office.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, corporate welfare, H.R. 2072, Export-Import bank, Cananda, warning, XL Pipeline 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 11:47 AM - Post Link

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