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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)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tim Scott Appointed As Sen. & Sandy Bill Full of Pork

Tim Scott (SC)
Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 17, 2012:
South Carolina Gov. Niki Haley has just announced that she will replace retiring U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint with conservative S.C. Representative Tim Scott who will assume office on January 3, 2013. Rep. Scott is not only an outspoken TEA Party conservative and will be the first Black U.S. Senator from South Carolina. He will also be the only black U.S. Senator and the first Black Republican Senator since the 1979 when Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA) served (1967-1979) in the U.S Senate. Sen. Scott appointment means he will have to run again for the Senate in a special election; date unknown but it hopefully will not be until 2014.

After her announcement, Gov. Nikki Hailey sent a message to conservatives stating, "I was proud to announce that I have appointed Congressman Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate to succeed retiring Senator Jim DeMint. This choice is not only historic but it should make every conservative extremely happy. I’ve known Tim for years and I know he’s going to tirelessly fight for the principles and values we both hold so dear. Principles like repealing Obamacare, defending the unborn, and slashing bloated government spending."

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement today, "I want to congratulate Congressman Scott on his appointment to the United States Senate. As a solid conservative who fights hard for the values and principles he believes in, Tim will help us find real, lasting solutions to the economic challenges facing our nation in the 113th Congress. This is truly an historic moment for the Palmetto State from a Governor who’s broken more than a few barriers in her own career.”

The House will reconvene at noon and the Senate will convene at 2PM today. The House will consider of H.R. 4606 — "To authorize the issuance of right-of-way permits for natural gas pipelines in Glacier National Park, and for other purposes."

The Senate will begin consideration of H.R. 1, the vehicle for a supplemental appropriations bill for relief from Hurricane Sandy. At 5 PM, the Senate will take up two more district judge nominees. With only a half hour of debate, the Senate will vote on confirmation of Fernando M. Olguin to be U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California.

Reference Fridays update on H.R. 1: Pork Anyone? Hurricane Sandy Bill Stuffed With Extra Spending Today, The Washington Times reports today, “The Senate’s emergency spending bill to cover costs from Hurricane Sandy includes millions of dollars that will never touch the affected Northeast — including money for salmon fisheries in Alaska, cash for an expansion of train service into New York, and funds to preserve and repair historic properties. Lawmakers begin debating the bill Monday on the Senate floor, where the first thing they will confront is the size and scope of the $60.4 billion package, which aims to repair damage and to build protection against storms.”

“President Obama submitted his wish list to Congress, but senators added their own priorities. For example, Mr. Obama asked for $32 million to repair part of the Amtrak rail system not covered by insurance, but the Senate multiplied that request more than tenfold, to $336 million, with the extra money going to cover Amtrak’s operating losses and to increase train capacity into New York City.”

The New York Post
is clearly not amused, writing, “President Obama’s $60.4 billion request for Hurricane Sandy relief has morphed into a huge Christmas stocking of goodies for federal agencies and even the state of Alaska, The Post has learned. The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC. An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms. . . . Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill ‘Sandy Scam.’

Detailing some of the seemingly unrelated spending items, The Washington Times points out, “The Sandy recovery bill also includes more than $500 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which amounts to a full tenth of what the agency spends per year, nationwide. Part of that is $150 million for ‘fishery disasters,’ which means money could flow to Mississippi’s blue crab and oyster industries, and to Alaska, where one senator said Chinook salmon have suffered. ‘These much-needed funds will help make communities whole and hopefully help fund research on factors affecting Chinook returns,’ Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska Democrat, said in a statement touting the funding.”

And, The Times notes, “Part of the question for lawmakers is how much of the $60 billion is needed immediately. The Congressional Budget Office said that the Senate bill will pay out only about 36 percent of the money over the next two years, meaning much of it is backloaded. Some lawmakers were wondering whether the bill could be split up and only the immediate needs be funded now.”

Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense told The Washington Times, “I think part of the reason they’re trying to move this fast is they don’t want too many people paying attention. . . . There are clear needs that need to be met, there’s no doubt about that. Unfortunately, when you overreach you increase skepticism about the entire package.”

Indeed, as the NYP adds, even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is questioning the package being put forward in the Senate: “Mayor Bloomberg, however, called for careful scrutiny of the federal spending. ‘You would think they’d want to ask questions before they give away the public’s money,’ the mayor said on his radio program.”

Tags: Senate, House, Sandy Bill, extra spending, South Carolina, Senate appintment, Nikki Hailey, Tim Scott 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 12:04 PM - Post Link


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