Senate

Obama Makes 15 Recess Appointments, Revealing Bipartisan Hypocrisy

Shortly after the Congress went out of session for the Easter Break, President Obama named fifteen people to positions that had not made it through the confirmation process yet:

WASHINGTON — President Obama, making a muscular show of his executive authority just one day after Congress left for spring recess, said Saturday that he would bypass the Senate and install 15 appointees, including a union lawyer whose nomination to the National Labor Relations Board was blocked last month with the help of two Democrats.

Coming on the heels of Mr. Obama’s big victory on health care legislation, Saturday’s move suggests a newly emboldened president who is unafraid to provoke a confrontation with the minority party.

Just two days ago, all 41 Senate Republicans sent Mr. Obama a letter urging him not to appoint the union lawyer, Craig Becker, during the recess. Mr. Obama’s action, in defiance of the Republicans, was hailed by union leaders, but it also seemed certain to intensify the partisan rancor that has enveloped Washington.

“The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disprove of my nominees,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”

Schoolhouse Rock Parody: How a Bill REALLY Becomes a Law

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No “deem and pass” for Democrats

News is breaking that Democrats plan to have separate votes for the Senate version of ObamaCare and the reconciliation package:

House leaders have decided to take a separate vote on the Senate health-care bill, rejecting an earlier, much-criticized strategy that would have permitted them to “deem” the unpopular measure passed without an explicit vote.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Saturday that the House would take three votes Sunday: first, on a resolution that will set the terms of debate; second, on a package of amendments to the Senate bill that have been demanded by House members; and third, on the Senate bill itself.

This tells me that they probably have the votes to move forward, though I guess anything is still possible and there are enough members who are publicly undecided to swing it. I just think that’s unlikely at this point.

Enjoy ObamaCare, America.

Signs Of An ObamaCare Backlash In November

From the latest Rasmussen Reports poll:

Fifty percent (50%) of U.S. voters say they are less likely to vote for their representative in Congress this November if he or she votes for the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken Wednesday night finds that 34% are more likely to vote for their Congress member’s reelection if he or she supports the president’s health care plan. Eight percent (8%) say the health care vote will have no impact on how they vote this November, and another seven percent (7%) are not sure.

Thirty-three percent (33%) of all voters favor the creation of a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. Fifty-four percent (54%) oppose such a system. These findings are unchanged from the end of last year. Support for a single-payer system plays a huge role in whether someone will support a Representative who votes for the health care plan.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of those who favor a single-payer system are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who votes for the health care plan. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of those who oppose a single-payer system are less likely to vote for a health care plan supporter.

With every Republican in Congress opposed to the health care plan, it’s not surprising to find that 79% of GOP voters are less likely to vote for someone who supports it. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who votes for the plan.

Ex-Senate Parliamentarian on Rules of the Senate

The whole idea to remove the Filibuster from the Senate is to make it more like the House of Representatives because the Senate, supposedly, isn’t working.

It’s not that the Senate doesn’t work, it does work, but it works in a very different way than the House of Representatives.

[…]

The Senate is not ruled by it’s majority leader.  It’s ruled by a consensus which has to be built by both the majority leader and the minority leader.

This is not a shot taken at Harry Reid or any Democrat based on their position on an issue, it’s an opinion of how ineffectively the current leadership is building a consensus.

I do not think the problem is the rules, I think the problem in the Senate is the Senators.

Democrats planning hearings on doing away with filibuster

It appears that Senate Democrats are planning to move forward on eliminating or reducing the number of votes required for a filibuster:

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is planning a series of hearings on changes to the chamber’s filibuster rules in response to Democratic concerns over GOP obstruction.

Schumer will announce the hearings during a meeting between Democratic leaders and the Conference’s 22 freshman and sophomore Members on Wednesday, according to a Senate Democratic aide.
[…]
Schumer decided to hold the hearings after witnessing increasing frustration from his colleagues over GOP filibusters of their agenda this Congress. “Tom Udall and [Sen.] Carl Levin [D-Mich.] have discussed with Schumer a desire to hold hearings on the various filibuster reform proposals that have been introduced by Democratic Members,” an aide acknowledged.

Despite the hearings, Democrats would have a tough time enacting changes to the chamber’s rules as they would require a supermajority vote.

They don’t like the rules that have been traditionally used in the chamber, so they want to change them. The point that many Democrats are missing is that making law is supposed to be a hard, difficult process.The Founding Fathers placed checks and balances, one of which was allowing states to appoint Senators. Unfortunately, that was removed with the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment.

Health care debate begins on Tuesday in the Senate

ObamaCare has been placed on the Senate calendar for Tuesday:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Tuesday laid the groundwork for the Senate’s healthcare reform debate to start next Tuesday.

Reid filed a motion to introduce the bill on Monday, Nov. 16. Anticipating a Republican objection, the bill would be pushed onto the Senate calendar.

“A motion to proceed to the bill would be in order the next legislative day,” said Reid spokesman Jim Manley.
[…]
Reid’s action late Tuesday sets up a critical vote next week on a motion to proceed to the bill. Such a motion would require 60 votes to succeed — an important, early test of the Democratic caucus’s unity on procedural votes. Several senators who caucus as Democrats have expressed skepticism about the bill, while others have expressed a willingness to support procedural votes. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) have both warned Democrats that they will target any senators who support procedural votes on the bill.

As of this point, Reid doesn’t have the 60 votes for cloture, which is needed before a final vote. The most recent defector is Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who said, “”Well, first of all, it has more than a robust public option, it’s got a totally government-run plan, the costs are extraordinary associated with it, it increases taxes in a way that will not pass in the Senate and I could go on and on and on.”

Congressman Ron Paul on Bailing Out the Auto Industry

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Ron Paul puts the whole matter into perspective, explaining that the whole debate over bailing out the auto industry is really a distraction from the much bigger issue of the huge amounts of debt being run up (with a likely budget deficit of over $1 trillion), and the eventually destruction of the dollar. Dr. Paul offers his predictions of how things are likely to play out. It would do well to pay attention to what he is saying, as he made very accurate predictions one year ago that are playing out right now.

Markets Vote No Confidence In Bailouts

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down over 1,300 points since “The” Bailout passed the House on Friday. This bill was suppose to save the markets at the expense of the people, but what if the markets and the taxpayers both dont like it? Too bad we are not in a parliamentary system where a vote of no-confidence like this means the current regime will likely be gone in the near future.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Since

Feinstein to 85,000 Callers: “You’re Confused”

During this evening’s Senate vote, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) took the podium to explain her position on the proposed bailout package. In her statement, she explains that she received 91,000 calls and emails, with 85,000 of them opposed to the measure. Even armed with the knowledge that 93% of her constituents passionate enough to contact her office pleaded for her to vote “nay”, she votes in favor of the bill, claiming that “there is a great deal of confusion out there” and these people “don’t understand” the situation.

See the video below:


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