Tea Party Patriots Ordinary citizens reclaiming America's founding principles.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”—Henry Ford

And so, over the past months, Americans have come together, first to oppose the stimulus; as of late we have been “keeping together” in our concerns over health care reform; now we must continue to “work together in success” to keep our elected officials in check ! The Senate/Congress will reconvene in a little over a week and we can’t help but wonder, will they be passing legislation “We the People” want or will they be representing their campaign contributor’s interests instead? Woodrow Wilson said, “The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.”

With all the publicity for health care reform, we must not forget that the government is working on other legislation that “We the People” need to keep track of as well. Politicians (in our opinion) are sneaky! They try and distract us with one piece of legislation (I.E., health care reform) all the while hoping we aren’t paying attention to the other bills they want to pass!

"Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things." -- Russell Baker

The following is a sampling of the legislation being considered: (information/summaries are from http://www.opencongress.org/bill/hot)

H.R.1475 - Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2009 “This legislation would allow for deductions in prison terms (other than life terms) to be granted to prisoners whose record demonstrates that they have observed all prison regulations, have not been punished, or have participated in industrial employment, meritorious service, or outstanding duties in institutional operations.”

H.R.3245 - Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 “This bill seeks to eliminate increased and mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses involving substances containing cocaine base. The intent is to promote fairness in subsequent sentences by not making crack cocaine more punishable than powder, for example. This is one of many pieces of legislation proposed this congressional session attempting to amend the sentences of crimes related to crack cocaine. These other bills are H.R. 18, H.R.1459, H.R.2178.”

H.R.3404 - Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009 “To amend the Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act and the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 to provide for the temporary extension of certain unemployment benefits and the temporary availability of further additional emergency unemployment compensation, and for other purposes.”

H.R.2054 - No Child Left Inside Act of 2009 “This bill seeks to enhance the environmental literacy of American students, from kindergarten to 12th grade, to foster understanding, analysis, and solutions to the major environmental challenges facing the student’s state and the Nation as a whole. Appropriations would be provided to train teachers for such instruction, provide innovative technology, and to develop studies assessing the worth of these programs in elementary and secondary school curriculums. While mainly addressing environmentalism, this legislation also seeks to touch on healthy living programs encouraging outdoor recreation and sound nutrition.”

H.R.1751 - American Dream Act “This bill amends the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 by giving states the authority to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien’s eligibility for higher education benefits, which have been previously tied state-residency. It additionally allows for the adjustment from status of alien to conditional permanent resident and outlines the criteria for such an adjustment by the Secretary of Homeland Security.”

H.R.1586 - To impose an additional tax on bonuses received from certain TARP recipients “A direct response to the A.I.G. bonus scandal, this bill would levy a 90 percent tax on any bonuses from bailed-out firms (TARP recipients) paid out in 2009 to individuals with incomes over $250,000. The Senate will be taking up a similar bill (S. 651) soon that proposes a bailout bonus tax of 70 percent.”

H.R.2749 - Food Safety Enhancement Act “This bill proposes greater FDA regulatory powers over the national food supply and food providers, namely granting it the authority to regulate how crops are raised and harvested, to quarantine a geographic area, to make warrantless searches of business records, and to establish a national food tracing system. Concurrently, the bill would impose annual registration fees of $500 on all facilities holding, processing, or manufacturing food and require that such facilities also engaged in the transport or packing of food maintain pedigrees of the origin and previous distribution history of the food. The bill is an enhancement to H.R.759, and to a lesser extent, H.R. 857, previously proposed food safety bills in the 111th Congress. It is also co-sponsored by the same Representatives as the latter two bills, although new to the line of support is Rep. Henry Waxman, chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee.”

H.R.2454 - American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009 “This is the Waxman-Markley comprehensive energy bill, known for short as "ACES," that includes a cap-and-trade global warming reduction plan designed to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020. Other provisions include new renewable requirements for utilities, studies and incentives regarding new carbon capture and sequestration technologies, energy efficiency incentives for homes and buildings, and grants for green jobs, among other things.”

H.Res.554 “This resolution would require that the full text of House legislation and accompanying committee reports be continuously posted on the Internet. Moreover it seeks to establish a policy prohibiting the House from voting on legislation until 72 hours after its text is made available to Congress members and the general public. The bill’s stated purpose is to enhance public participation and improve the quality of proposed legislation by ensuring the opportunity for its review by actors ranging from State officials to members of the public.”

S.J.Res.7 “This resolution, along with H.J.Res.21in the House, proposes to alter the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, such that state-wide elections, rather than gubernatorial appointments, would be required for filling vacancies in the Senate. Introduced by Sen. John McCain [R, AZ], Sen. Richard Durban [D, IL], the resolutions comes after the controversy surrounding the appointment of Sen. Roland Burris [D, IL] by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, as well as the high number of Senators appointed early in the year (four, which actually pales in comparison to the over a dozen appointed Senators in the 79th Congress).”

S.1285 “This is a stand-alone version of the Lieberman-Graham amendment from Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental to block the public disclosed of any detainee torture photos, even if the Freedom of Information Act compelled their disclosure. The amendment was stripped from the supplemental by the House-Senate conference committee, but this stand-alone version passed the Senate without amendment by unanimous consent on June 17. The text of this bill is exactly the same as the version that was included in the supplemental”

S.752 “This bill would establish a public funding system for Senate elections and subsequently outlines eligibility and contribution requirements as well as prohibitions such those on joint fundraising committees. The same provisions are put forth in H.R.1826 with regard to House elections.”

H.R.17 - Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2009 “ In correlation with the restrictions outlined by the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, this bill protects and provides context for the possession and use of fire arms, namely in defense of the self or family (or, when relevant, the home) against a reasonably perceived threat of unlawful bodily injury or violent felony. It also holds relevance in light of the H.R.45, the Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009, which seeks to amend the afore mentioned Act of 1993.”

H.R.197 - National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009 “This bill would create a national standard allowing a person to carry a concealed weapon in a state in which they are not a resident, given that they have a valid permit and are in accordance with that state’s and this bill’s restrictions.”

S.179 - Health Information Technology Act of 2009 “This bill encourages the use of clinical health care informatics systems and services by offering monetary incentives to health care providers in order to offset the related costs of such technology. It would also seek to develop national standards regarding data and communication health information technology, working towards the goals of efficient data exchange and improved health care quality while protecting patient privacy and security.”

H.Res.615 “This Resolution urges Members of Congress, who vote in favor of a public option in health insurance, to forgo their participation in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under that public option.”

H.R.1106 - Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 “This bill, a major part of President Obama's foreclosure prevention plan, would allow bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages on primary residences, provide legal protection to mortgage servicers who work out loan modifications, make several changes to the Hope for Homeowners program, reform the FDIC insurance fund, and more. A detailed summary can be found at the House Financial Services Committee's website.”

S.1261 - PASS ID Act “This bill seeks to set out minimum requirements for State driver’s licenses and ID cards regarding what data is included and what documentation must be presented when receiving such ID cards. In turn, it would shift a degree of authority from the State to the Federal level by prohibiting a Federal agency from accepting, for any official purposes, a State ID card unless that State it is materially compliant with this bill’s minimum requirements.”

H.R.264 - Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2009 “This legislation seeks to provide increased protection and eligibility for family-sponsored immigrants. Eligibility is extended by doubling the number of available visas from 480,000 to 960,000, by offering legalization to aliens who have been in the US for five years or are children, and by providing undocumented Haitians in the US with access to lawful permanent resident status. Additionally, the bill includes immigrant protections relating to the context of sex-related crimes as well as calling for the enhancement of Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security.”

H.R.801 - Fair Copyright in Research Works Act “This bill seeks to amend copyright code and create a new category of copyrighted works to the effect of reversing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy. This would prohibit the government from requiring scholarly journals to make federally funded studies accessible to the public. Proponents of the bill are largely limited to the American Association of Publishers and the bill’s sponsors, namely Rep. John Conyers, who introduced it for the second time after its exact replica, H.R. 6845, died in the 110th Congress.”

S.560 - Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 “This bill (aka "card check") would change the rules governing the formation of unions, the way first contracts between unions and employers are negotiated, and how employees' rights are enforced.Under the bill, workers would be able to decide whether to hold a secret ballot vote on union formation after a majority of employees have signed union authorization cards, or to have the union certified based on the cards alone. Under the current rules, employers have the power to make that decision. The bill also designates a time line for first contracts to be drawn up between unions and employees and stipulates that if no deal is reached within 120 days, an arbitration panel will render a decision that will be binding for two years. Finally, it would increase the fines employers must pay if found guilty of violating their employees' right to unionize.”

H.R.226 - Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 “ Although the Fairness Doctrine, requiring broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues, was abolished in 1987, this bill would inhibit the Federal Communications Commission from reintroducing it in the future.”

H.R.25 - Fair Tax Act of 2009 “Resurfacing for the 6th consecutive congressional session, this bill strives to repeal the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax, and to replace them with a national sales tax at a rate of 23%. It sets forth provisions for the states’ collection of sales tax revenues and the Treasury’s handling of the remittances of such revenues while setting up two new tax bureaus in the Department of Treasury in the place of the IRS.”

These are just a few examples of what Congress will be discussing this fall session and as you can see, they like to dabble in a little bit of every aspect of our lives. Please choose what’s important to you, learn as much as you can about what is being proposed; contact your elected representatives (White House/Senators/Congress) and voice your concerns, repeatedly if necessary. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives” --James Madison

Thank you for taking the time to read our post. We close with quotes from Barry Goldwater (first) and Henry Ford that are very predictive for the times we live in:

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have,” and, “A weakness of all human beings is trying to do too many things at once. That scatters effort and destroys direction. It makes for haste, and haste makes waste.”


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks For Commenting