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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, August 01, 2013

Democrat Seek To Spend Over Bipartisan Budget Agreement | Republicans Stand By Their Commitment To The American People

Today in Washington, D.C.:
The Senate convened at 9:30 AM today. The Senate then took up the nomination of Raymond Chen to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit. Following an hour of debate, the Senate voted 97-0 to confirm the Chen nomination.

Senators then began voting on cloture (to cut off debate and amendments) on S. 1243, the Fiscal Year 2014 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill.

Following the vote, the Senate will recess until 2 PM for caucus meetings. When senators return, the Senate will take up the nomination of Samantha Power to be Ambassador to the United Nations. After up to two hours of debate, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the Power nomination.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 60-40 to invoke cloture (cut off debate) on the nomination of Todd Jones to be Director of the ATF Bureau. Senators then voted 53-42 to confirm his nomination.

Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens reacted to the Senate invoking cloture and voting for the nomination of Byron Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: "The Senate should not confirm any nominee that has an open investigation by the Office of Special Counsel complaint for whistleblower retaliation. If the allegations are true, Jones fits right in with the Obama Administration.  This is the same administration that slow walks Freedom of Information Act requests, targets news reporters with sweeping search warrants and baseless charges of espionage, and throws the books at whistleblowers exposing the government for what it is. But that does not mean the U.S. Senate needs to be a party to it. Jones should have been made the poster child for the most opaque administration since Richard Nixon. Jones should have been delayed in committee until the whistleblower retaliation investigation was concluded. Senate Democrats think they can get anyone confirmed now ever since Senate Republicans took the filibuster off the table against executive nominees. Already we can see what a mistake that was. Republicans had the votes to defeat Jones and then Sen. Lisa Murkowski switched her vote at the last minute to honor the 'no filibuster' rule. Advice and consent is dead. Jones is only the beginning of the rubber stamp Senate."

The House convened at 10 AM. They plan to take up:
H.R. 1582 — "To protect consumers by prohibiting the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating as final certain energy-related rules that are estimated to cost more than $1 billion and will cause significant adverse effects to the economy."
H.R. 367 - "To amend chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that major rules of the executive branch shall have no force or effect unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted into law; providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2009) to prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from enforcing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010; providing for proceedings during the period from August 3, 2013, through September 6, 2013; and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2879) to provide limitations on bonuses for Federal employees during sequestration, to provide for investigative leave requirements for members of the Senior Executive Service, to establish certain procedures for conducting in-person or telephonic interactions by Executive branch employees with individuals, and for other purposes."
H.R. 2879 — "To provide limitations on bonuses for Federal employees during sequestration, to provide for investigative leave requirements for members of the Senior Executive Service, to establish certain procedures for conducting in-person or telephonic interactions by Executive branch employees with individuals, and for other purposes."
And Other Bills the Votes are pending on.

Yesterday the House passed:
H.R. 313 (Voice Vote) — "To amend title 5, United States Code, to institute spending limits and transparency requirements for Federal conference and travel expenditures, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1660(Voice Vote) — "To require the establishment of Federal customer service standards and to improve the service provided by Federal agencies."
H.R. 2769 (Voice Vote) — "To impose a moratorium on conferences held by the Internal Revenue Service."
H.R. 2768 (Voice Vote) — "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that a duty of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is to ensure that Internal Revenue Service employees are familiar with and act in accord with certain taxpayer rights."
H.R. 2565 (Voice Vote) — "To provide for the termination of employment of employees of the Internal Revenue Service who take certain official actions for political purposes."
H.R. 1911 (392-31) — Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013.
H.R. 850 (400-20) — "To impose additional human rights and economic and financial sanctions with respect to Iran, and for other purposes."
H. Con. Res 41 (Voice Vote) - Encouraging peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, as amended.

The AP writes today, “A measure awarding generous funding to road and bridge projects, community development grants and housing help for the poor is running into stiff Republican opposition in the Senate. The bill appeared likely to fall prey Thursday to a filibuster by Republicans unhappy that the legislation breaks through budget limits required by automatic spending cuts known as budget sequestration. ‘Voting for appropriations legislation that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties moves our country in exactly, exactly the wrong direction,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.”

Of course, last year, Democrats howled when Republicans suggested spending less than the 2011 spending limits. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) urged Republicans to “come back to the deal that we made last August” and the White House complained that “would break the agreement on discretionary spending made in last summer's budget agreement” in a veto threat.

But now, Democrats are insisting on exceeding those spending levels. And The Hill notes that President Obama is encouraging Democrats to dig in. “Seeking party unity, Obama met with congressional Democrats in both chambers to prepare them for the budget battle that will greet them in the fall. His message was unequivocal: no negotiating with Republicans on a debt-ceiling increase and no reductions in the sequester cuts to defense unless domestic programs are spared as well. ‘He’s not going to accept sequestration restoration for the military any greater than in domestic. He’s not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling,’ Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, told reporters after Senate Democrats met with Obama in a room off the Senate floor. . . . Democrats said there is broad support within their caucuses for the president’s tough negotiating approach. ‘We’re not giving in on the debt-limit issue,’ Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) said. Obama’s entrenched position sets up a bruising budget fight when Congress returns to work in September. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has worked hard this week to whip his colleagues to vote against the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill because its spending levels do not reflect the automatic cuts known as sequestration.”

As Senate GOP Leader McConnell said yesterday, “The Budget Control Act that was agreed upon two summers ago represents a commitment from Washington to America – a bipartisan promise to enact $2.1 trillion in spending control. Last year, the slightest hint of fiddling with spending caps led to a furious response from senior Washington Democrats. It even led to a veto threat from the White House. But now, Washington Democrats are tired of bipartisanship. The commitments they made have become an inconvenience to their special-interest agenda. So now, they’re threatening to shut down the government if they’re not allowed to break their word. That’s what this appropriations debate we’re having is all about. It’s about an attempt to blow up an important bipartisan achievement by busting the spending caps both parties already agreed to. Well, Republicans don’t believe we should be breaking our commitments to the American people. . . . Voting for appropriations legislation that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties moves our country in the exact wrong direction.”

Tags: confirmations. Democrat, Senators, Spend more federal money, above agreements, House Republicans, Government get out of the way, jobs, businesses 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 1:06 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Kevin Pritchett said...

The Dems do everything they possible can get by with to go against the Republicans...on EVERY ISSUE!


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