Posts Tagged ‘senate’

Memo to the US senate PASS SOMETHING

Posted: April 2, 2011 by datechguy in economy, politics
Tags: ,

Every day on the news the word concerning the budget has been, “The house is divided”, “Will the house compromise?” “Can speaker Boehner make a deal with democrats?”.

All of this is missing the point.

The house has ALREADY passed a budget deal, it was HR 1. It debated and voted and passed it overwhelmingly.

Normal process at his point would be the senate with its Democratic Majority and its Democratic leader Harry Reid to pass an alternative bill and then you go to a conference committee to work things out.

Yet the Senate has yet to manage even 50 votes (let alone 60) on any kind of bill and Harry Reid has shown no inclination to even try to move. This is no surprise, after all he was in charge of the senate with a huge democratic majority that didn’t pass a budget last year in the first place.

Have you seen a single news story this week asking when the senate was going to pass something? I haven’t (granted I spent yesterday in Bed sick) but I don’t see why it is up to the house which has already done its job to act again when the senate has been unable to do a thing and Republican senators do their country no favors by demanding compromise by the house before they have done their job.

Get something passed first, then we can negotiate based on the two versions available.

The Hill notices that the SEIU is saying one thing

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is lobbying hard against the amendment offered by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to repeal the healthcare reform law.

SEIU has sent e-mails to Senate offices urging lawmakers to vote against the proposal to unwind President Obama’s signature domestic initiative.

Their lobbying has proved effective:

every last Democrat voted no (Lieberman and Mark Warner missed the roll), which is a credit either to Reid and Durbin in keeping the caucus together or to the nutroots in intimidating vulnerable Dems with the prospect of primary challenges in 2012. For cripes sake, even Ben Nelson voted against it.

Meanwhile as they preserve the law for us for themselves it’s another story

SEIU’s outspoken defense of the law has prompted charges of hypocrisy from Republicans, given that some of the union’s chapters have sought waivers exempting them from a key provision of the law requiring the phaseout of health plans with low caps on annual benefits.

Michelle Malkin has been all over this

And the Service Employees International Union, which poured $60 million into Democrat/Obama coffers in 2008 and millions more into the Astroturf campaign for the federal health care takeover, added four new affiliates to the waiver list:

– SEIU Local 2000 Health and Welfare Fund, representing 161 enrollees
– SEIU 32BJ North Health Benefit Fund, representing 7,020 enrollees
– SEIU Local 300, Civil Service Forum Employees Welfare Fund, representing 2,000 enrollees
– SEIU Health & Welfare Fund representing 1,620

That’s in addition to three other previous SEIU waiver winners: Local 25 SEIU in Chicago with 31,000 enrollees; Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund with 4,544 enrollees; and SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund with 520 enrollees — which brings the total number of Obamacare-promoting SEIU Obamacare refugees to an estimated 45,000 workers represented by seven SEIU locals.

And a fuller list listing all the other unions, is available here with the following note:

It is worth noting that there are 166 union benefits funds now exempted from this requirement, which account for about 40 percent of the exempted workers. This means that although there are only 14.6 million unionized employees in the United States, and 860,000 of them are already exempted from this provision of Obamacare.

Unions are huge democratic contributes, anyone who think this is a coincidence is fooling themselves

Reid BTW was very smart to get this vote over with ASAP, but I’m REALLY surprised that he didn’t give any of his folks cover. Either he figured it was early enough or that because of the first vote it wouldn’t have made a difference.

The Media will want to move away from this ASAP but the GOP will keep this vote in front of the faces for quite a while and if the opinion of the people I talk to door to door has any weight, it will be crushing come 2012.

Update: Hot air notices

The Obama administration seems very eager to impose regulation on everyone except their bestest buddies. If these policies are so bad that Obama’s friends and political allies need waivers to get around them, then perhaps they shouldn’t be in place at all. And perhaps the Obama administration should learn something about the rule of law, rather than the rule of whim — or as the rest of us call it, The Chicago Way.

Yup.

Penny wise Pound Foolish

Posted: January 27, 2011 by datechguy in politics
Tags: ,

A lot of people on the left are upset that the filibuster rules in the senate:

They could have recently used the “Constitutional Option” at the start of this new Congress to rewrite the Senate rules to either eliminate the filibuster outright or at least make staging a filibuster more difficult. Yet, due to a combination of a greedy refusal to give up any individual power, and a pitiful cowardice about a potential future in which the voters reject them, Senate Democrats collectively chose to throw away this opportunity. By doing nothing, they effectively voted to give Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell total veto power over everything.

Byron York explains that’s its just not future minorities that are the issue

Why did Democrats give in? Two reasons. One, they know they might soon need the filibuster themselves — not in a few years, but in a few months. Republicans now have 47 votes in the Senate. If they can peel away four Democrats on any given piece of legislation — say, the repeal of a portion of Obamacare — they could be stopped only by a Democratic filibuster. The Democrats who are now denouncing the filibuster when it’s used by Republicans might soon be employing it themselves to fend off GOP challenges to Obamacare and other Obama initiatives.

I’ve already pointed out that Harry Reid needs to give democrats the ability to vote against Obamacare, is there is no filibuster then he can only give that ability to three of them. (With Biden breaking a tie)

If the Filibuster exists then he can give this to as many as 12. But lets not also forget that the Senate was designed to slow things down as this story states:

“Why,” said Washington, “did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer before drinking it?”

“To cool it,” said Jefferson; “my throat is not made of brass.”

“Even so,” said Washington, “we pour our legislation into the Senatorial saucer to cool it.”

I think the filibuster is a good thing, I think it should stay right where it is no matter who is in charge of the senate.

Back in September I attended the 9/12 rallies in Washington I talked to a lot of tea party members gathered at the capital and asks many questions, this was the most significant one:

“Who here trusts the GOP?” Not a single hand went up, but people over and over promised me that if the GOP spent like the democrats they would be back to throw them out too. No wonder the GOP is scared of the tea party.

Yesterday’s vote on the Omnibus Spending Bill confirmed this. Remember that only Kirk was a tea party win bigtime. It is the most amazing thing to see. Republicans are so afraid of the tea party that even before the Tea Party people are in congress the Republicans are changing.

I really didn’t think I”d see this. I am very pleased.

What are people saying?

Here is Reuters:

Democrats abruptly abandoned a fight over spending on Thursday and said they would instead extend government funding on a temporary basis, a move that gives Republicans a greater chance to enact the deep cuts they have promised.

It’s really sets things up for a change.

Politico is sad:

The decision Thursday night sweeps away months of bipartisan work by the Senate Appropriations Committee which had crafted the $1.1 trillion bill to meet spending targets embraced by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R—Ky.) himself prior to the elections.

Yup nothing more bi-partisan than taking the public’s money and spending it on pork.

Doug Ross comments on Politico:

See if you can detect the spin from The Politico, the last redoubt of former WaPo reporters who don’t even try to disguise their party allegiance.

Bazinga!

National review’s Rich Lowry sees it for what it is

Tonight may indeed may be a “seminal moment,” as McCain said. This was to be the appropriators’ last hurrah. In the end, they couldn’t see it through, and it’s not going to get any better for them next year.

He cites McCain who deserves a lot of credit here

Gateway points out that there were plenty of republicans who started the day on board:

Reid says nine Republican senators approached him today to tell him that while they would like to see the bill passed, they could not vote for it.

This is very believable.

Interestingly enough the Frum Forum just quotes Politico but has no comments. I guess tea party victories aren’t worth commenting about over there.

Gay Patriot points out that this is happening because congress didn’t do its job:

You mean, Congress hasn’t even acted to fund the government for the current fiscal year? Wonder if we’re seeing any outrage on the editorial pages of the nation’s major dailies. Guess the Reid-Pelosi Democrats were so busy not letting a crisis go to waste than they created another kind of crisis.

Democrats you did this to yourselves.

Nice Deb isn’t dancing yet:

I hope some deal wasn’t struck with Republicans. I’m sorry I have a suspicious mind, but I do…

Well history would suggest this type of thing.

Cubachi asks a basic question:

Should a bill that will take two days to print and an estimated 50 hours to read on the Senate floor be passed? Of course not

That never stopped them before

Michelle Malkin points out the republican alternative to fund government is more than 2000 pages shorter

This is the Senate Republicans’ one-page joint resolution to keep the government-funded through February 2011 (via GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell):

In fact it is one page and Michelle has it on her site. She also had a play by play of the night in the senate and in the house.

Jane Jameson at Right Wing News isn’t letting her guard down:

Let’s take a deep breath, give each other a tip of the hat, and maybe even enjoy a cocktail but this discredited and dingy Congress grinds on in lame duck session….. so there is no rest.

Put your computer on, pull up the two links to the House and Senate and keep checking to see what they are doing. CALL CALL the numbers below. The Democrats are hoping we will all be too busy with the holidays to care what is happening. DO WHAT YOU CAN.

good advice.

Bottom line we have to be on this every day. This is only the first step but the first step of a journey is always the hardest.