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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)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Address Spending and Debt | Obama A Month Late | Senate Dems Over 1400 Days Overdue

Today in Washington, D.C. - March 5, 2013
At 11:45, the Senate begin consideration of S. Res. 64, the Committee Authorizing Resolution, which provides funding for Senate committees to operate through Sept. 30th. At 12:15, the Senate will vote on an amendment to the resolution from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Also, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is scheduled to vote on the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA Director.

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture again on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Her nomination failed to achieve 60 votes for cloture the last time Democrats forced a vote due to her controversial record on 2nd Amendment rights. A cloture vote on Halligan is scheduled for Wednesday morning.  Also yesterday, the Senate voted 91-0 to confirm Katherine Polk Failla to be District Judge for the Southern District of New York and by voice vote to confirm Pamela Ki Mai Chen to be District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Today, The House will consider:
HR 338 — Stop Tobacco Smuggling in the Territories Act of 2013.
HR 668 — A bill to require that annual presidential budget submissions provide an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit.

Today,  along with Republican leaders today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) discussed the need to cut government spending to address America's fiscal crisis, and urged the president to approve the Keystone pipeline to create new jobs and bolster America's energy security. In summary, the Speaker made it clear that there is No Reason for Keystone Pipeline to Be Blocked for Another Day. He added, "The president, and the president alone, stands between these tens of thousands of American jobs and more North American oil for our refineries - and it’s time for him to say yes. You know, after four years of needless delays, it’s time for the president to stand up for middle-class jobs, and we’ll get that by getting the Keystone pipeline under construction."

Yesterday, the House passed (370-28) Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013. Tomorrow, the House will begin addressing a Continuing Resolution. The Republican led House has passed budgets. However, the Democrat led Senate has failed to do so which forces the need again for a continuing resolution.

Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Every year, House Republicans have passed budgets that seriously address the transcendent challenge of our time: putting runaway Washington spending and debt on a sustainable path so we can create jobs and grow the economy. Meanwhile, Democrats have followed the President’s lead, focusing on the next campaign to the exclusion of all else. But it’s not just Senate Democrats who’ve been missing in action. The President has been late submitting his own budget outline nearly every single year. He’s already missed this year’s deadline by more than a month. Just last week, we learned the President will submit his budget after the House and the Senate have passed their own budgets and have gone home for Passover and Easter. That goes far beyond the pale of just missing deadlines.”

Indeed, The Washington Post writes, “President Obama plans to wait until the House acts to offer his budget plan, which is more than four weeks late. Administration officials have not provided a release date or explained the unusual delay . . . .”

Last week, Politico noted, “By law, presidents are required to release their budgets on the first Monday in February, but it was clear before then that Obama's budget would be late. There were expectations from Capitol Hill that the budget would arrive by the end of [February], but with Thursday ending the month, it's clear that won't happen. Obama has delivered his budget on time just once, in 2010.”

Leader McConnell added, “It’s time for the President to get his budget plan over to us. Not next week or next month, but now. And this time, it should be serious – it should root out waste and inefficiency instead of kicking the can further down the road. The budget blueprint he sent us last year was so roundly ridiculed for its fiscal gimmickry and its massive tax hikes that, when it came to a vote in the Senate, his own party joined Republicans in voting it down 99 to 0. In the House, it was rejected unanimously. Even the President’s most liberal allies couldn’t defend it.”

Meanwhile, according to a Politico report today, Senate Democrats still can’t seem to get on the same page in attempting to produce a budget for the first time since 2009. “The talking point is on the tip of virtually every Republican’s tongue in the Capitol: Democrats have failed to pass a budget resolution in the Senate for more than 1,400 days. Sen. Patty Murray is trying to end that, but it hasn’t been easy. Heading into a decisive week of private meetings with fellow Democrats, the new Budget Committee chairwoman is trying to thread the needle between red-state senators who want deeper spending cuts and liberals worried about cutting too much into entitlement programs like Medicare. . . . Murray’s plan is still being developed, but it could be split 50-50 between spending cuts and new taxes, with some Democratic senators on the panel pushing for tax increases upward of $1 trillion, according to people familiar with the matter.”

As Leader McConnell said, “[T]he broader point is this: President Obama and his Senate Democrat allies will have plenty of time to campaign next year. The American people are exhausted after all these years of campaigning, and they expect Democrat leaders now to finally work with the divided Congress they elected to get things done. As I’ve said before, the President has to figure out how to govern with the situation he’s got, not the one he wishes he had. That’s what being President is all about.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., Spending, Debt, Obama A Month Late, Senate Democrats, Over 1400 Days Overdue 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 1:33 PM - Post Link


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