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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)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Senate Democrats Don't Recall Obama's "To-Do" List

Today in Washington, D.C. -  May 30, 2012
Correction: The Senate remains in recess.  The house is in session.  In addition to various committee hearings the following bills are identified to be considered by the House:
HR 5651 — Food and Drug Administration Reform Act of 2012
HR 3310 — Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011
HR 5512 — Divisional Realignment Act of 2012
HR 4201 — Servicemember Family Protection Act
HR 1299 — Secure Border Act of 2011
HR 4041 — Export Promotion Reform Act
HR 3541 — Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011
HR 3670 — A bill to require the Transportation Security Administration to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
HR 2764 — WMD Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2011
HR 915 — Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act
HR 3140 — Mass Transit Intelligence Prioritization Act
HR 5740 — National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act

On Thursday and the Balance of the week:
HR 5743 — Fiscal 2013 Intelligence Authorization
HR 5854 — Fiscal 2013 Military Construction-VA Appropriations
HR 5325 — Fiscal 2013 Energy-Water Appropriations

Yesterday, President Obama awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom to the following:
John Glenn - former U.S. Senator and First U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth
Bob Dylan - Singer - songwriter
Madeline Albright - former Secretary of State
Toni Morrison - Novelist - Pulitzer Prize - Nobel Prize-winning writer
Dolores Huerta - co-founder United Farm Workers
John Paul Stevens - Retired Supreme Court Justice - third longest serving justice
William Foege - M.D. - former Director,  Centers for Disease Control - led the effort to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s
John Doar - former DOJ Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division - 1960s
Shimon Peres - former Israeli President  - efforts to find Middle East peace.
Pat Summitt - Tennessee women's basketball coach - won the NCAA college basketball games in history.
Gordon Hirabayashi, who defied the U.S. internment of Japanese-American citizens (posthumously)
Jan Karski of Poland - eyewitness accounts of the Nazi Holocaust against Jews (posthumously)
Juliette Gordon Low - founder of the Girl Scouts in 2012 (posthumously)

Of special interest in the above list is  Dolores Huerta, age 82, co-founder United Farm Workers honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of AmericaHeritage Investigates identified that the DSA describes itself as “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.”  Huerta has claimed, “Republicans hate Latinos,” and has spoken fondly of Hugo Chavez’s despotic regime in Venezuela. Some of her more radical comments were captured on an audio clip.

Earlier this month, President Obama made a big show about rolling out a “to-do” list he had for Congress. In a speech in Albany, NY, he said, “[T]oday I’m announcing a handy little ‘To-Do’ list that we’ve put together for Congress. You can see it for yourselves at It’s about the size of a Post-It note, so every member of Congress should have time to read it and they can glance at it every so often.  And hopefully we’ll just be checking off the list . . . .”

Roll Call reports that Senate Democrats didn’t seem to get their to-do list from the president. In fact, “several Senators confessed to Roll Call that they don’t know what is on the to-do list anyway, despite several speeches in which Obama has urged his followers to tweet, call, write and email lawmakers urging them to take it up.”

“‘Didn’t we do some things he wanted us to do?’ asked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) . . . . ‘Do you have a copy of the to-do list?’ Landrieu asked. . . . ‘I don’t have a copy of it; I’m sure my staff does,’ said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), when asked when the Senate might get to it. . . . ‘What time frame did he put on that to-do list?’ When told the president said the to-do list could be done ‘now,’ Casey joked, ‘Now is a very expansive term. It’s not even the summer yet.’ . . . ‘Didn’t we just try to move on student loans. Wasn’t that on his list?’ asked Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). No, that’s a separate priority.”

Not only do Democrats not seem to know what’s on the president’s list, they’re apparently in no rush to find out. “[S]o far, neither chamber has scheduled a vote on any of the five items the president has urged them to tackle ‘right now,’” Roll Call writes. “‘You’d have to ask Harry Reid’ why the list hasn’t moved, Levin said.”

Republicans interviewed for the article made important points as to why President Obama’s agenda is going nowhere, yet again. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told Roll Call, “The fact of life is none of us work for the president.” He noted, “The president’s pretty much irrelevant, because he’s basically given up on governing and is campaigning.” And Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) pointed out, “I think if the president wanted to get some stuff done, he could call up [on] the phone and tell the Majority Leader to move ahead on any number of bills.”

However, Democrats complained that the president simply hasn’t been doing that. Politico reported last week that in the eyes of senior Democrats, Obama “doesn’t call. He doesn’t write. He doesn’t drop by for a visit.” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) “can’t recall the last time he talked to the president” and Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) lamented, “…the president is not as engaged — at least with me.”

As Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said, “We’ve got a President who is more interested in running around to college campuses spreading some poll-tested message of the day than he is in actually accomplishing anything!”

Tags: Washington, D.C., President Obama, White House, Congressional To Do List, Democrats, 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 12:47 PM - Post Link


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