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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, June 07, 2012

Obama's Bad Week Continues - AG Holder On House Hot Seat Again

Why is AG Eric Holder Stonewalling Congress?
Today in Washington, D.C. - June 7, 2012:
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3240, the farm bill.The Senate voted 90-8 to cut off debate on the motion to proceed to the farm bill.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 62-36 to confirm Jeffrey J. Helmick to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio.

Today, the House Judiciary Committee continued oversight hearings on botched Fast and Furious gun running scandal conducted under the approval of the Department of Justice. Under the now-defunct Fast and Furious initiative, agents from the DOJ's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives authorized the sale of firearms to known and suspected purchasers for Mexican drug cartels. However, they lost track of many of the weapons. It is believed that ome of thee guns contributed to the death of numerous Mexican citizens and the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Attorney General Holder appeared this morning before the house oversight committee.  The committee chairman and others were not satisfied with the DOJ's lack or response and failure to provide information requested by the committee's request. Speaker John Boehner expressed his frustration with the DOJ not responding fully to inquires. He said, "We are going to hold the Department of Justice accountable for Fast and Furious." However, Boehner's statement and that of the media seem to be in conflict with the intent for the House to hold AG Holder in contempt of Congress for failure to provided appropriate documents to the committee. It is evident that AG Holder is playing a delay game hoping to put this issue off until after the 2012 Election.

Today the House is also considering H.R. 436 — "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on medical devices."

Yesterday, the House passed:
H.R. 5325 as amended (255-165) — "Making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes."
S 363 (voice vote) Conveyance of property of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the City of Pascagoula, Mississippi.
S 292 (voice vote) Salmon Lake Land Selection Resolution Act - To resolve the claims of the Bering Straits Native Corporation and the State of Alaska to land adjacent to Salmon Lake in the State of Alaska and to provide for the conveyance to the Bering Straits Native Corporation of certain other public land in partial satisfaction of the land entitlement of the Corporation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

The House also considered but did not vote on H.R. 5855 — "Making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes." The finalized debate proposed instructions for conferees with the Senate for H.R. 4348 - Federal Highway bill voting down one set of instructions and passing another set of instructions.

The AP writes today, “Just one week old, June already is proving a cruel month for President Barack Obama and the Democrats — and it could get a lot worse. The political blows from Tuesday’s bitter loss in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall and from last week’s abysmal unemployment numbers could multiply before the month is out.

“The Supreme Court will pass judgment shortly on the president’s signature legislative achievement — the 2010 law overhauling the nation’s health care system . . . . If Chief Justice John Roberts and the court strike down all or part of the health care law, it could demoralize Democrats who invested more than a year — and quite a few political careers — to secure its passage.”

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza agrees, writing, “It’s been a very rough last six days for President Obama. In that time, he has had to weather a disastrously bad May jobs report, Bill Clinton veering off message on the economy, a wider-than-expected loss in the Wisconsin recall election and a $16 million fundraising gap with Republicans in May. One of those developments is a blip on the radar. Two is a bump in the road. Three is a cause for concern. Four sets off mild panic.”

A new CBS News / New York Times poll shows more bad news for the president on health care, finding once again that “[m]ore than two-thirds of Americans hope the Supreme Court will overturn some or all of the 2010 health care law . . . .” The NYT reports, “Forty-one percent of those surveyed said the court should strike down the entire law, and another 27 percent said the justices should overturn only the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. . . . More than 70 percent of independent voters said they wanted to see some or all of the law struck down, with a majority saying they hoped to see the whole law overturned.”

More tough news for the Obama administration comes from another prominent Democrat saying that all current tax rates should be extended, which is in opposition to the president’s position to allow taxes to go up on January 1. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) told Politico “that it ‘might make some sense’ to extend all the taxes in the short term.” “‘[O]n a short-term basis, … I think something like that is going to have to be done,’ he said of a temporary tax cut extension.” This follows President Clinton saying, “I don’t have any problem with extending all of it now” on CNBC. And yesterday, when asked about the tax cuts on MSNBC, former Obama economic advisor Larry Summers said “[W]e’ve got to make sure that we don’t take gasoline out of the tank at the end of this year. That’s gotta be the top priority.”

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell responded, “This tax hike the President wants would hit hundreds of thousands of small businesses. To put that in perspective, this tax hike would hit job creators that employ up to 25 percent of the workforce. We can’t allow that to happen. The economy is far too fragile right now. . . . I would like to remind everyone it was the President who said you don’t raise taxes in a down economy. Well, the economy is slower now than it was when he last extended current law, so why on earth does the President want to raise taxes making it harder for the economy to grow, job creators to hire, and families to make ends meet? It doesn’t make any sense. Let’s extend all of the current tax relief right now — before the election.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., Eric Holder, U.S., Senate, House, House Judicial Committee, Obama, jobs, unemployment, economy  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 1:11 PM - Post Link


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