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Monday, December 13, 2010

Legislative Updates

A big thanks to Amy & Jeff with the Medina Tea Party Patriots for the below updates on key legislation in the House & Senate --

Updates on key legislation

The past two days have been a voting whirlwind as the Democrats in the House and Senate try to push through their liberal agenda before the new Congress takes session. Some of the following results provide hope that the pressure we are putting on key senators is working. 

Senate: Public Safety
Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2010 (S. 3991)

For those who need a refresher, this  “forced unionization” bill unconstitutionally subjects state and local public-safety workers to compulsory union “representation” and eliminates local government control over the labor relations of their own workers.

Fortunately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was unable to reach cloture in the Senate on Wednesday, blocking the bill from moving forward. The vote was 55 (YEAs) and 43 (NAYs); 60 votes were needed for cloture. For the complete roll call, visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=2&vote=00266.  

Senate: DREAM Act

After delaying the DREAM Act vote until Thursday morning, Senator Harry Reid made a motion to table the consideration of the DREAM Act. The motion to table the bill passed with a 59 to 40 margin.

It is obvious that Senator Reid does not have the votes yet. However, we fully expect him to bring it to the floor again. With that said, we must continue to remind our senators (especially Senator George Voinovich) that we cannot afford this spending nightmare.

For more information on the motion-to-table vote, visit: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101209/ap_on_go_co/us_immigration_students.

Senate: Defense Authorization Bill, which included repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 

According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) failed to garner the necessary 60 votes for a procedural motion to start considering the 2011 defense authorization bill, which contains a provision to repeal the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. The final vote was 57-40.” To read the entire article, visit: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/132745-senate-fails-on-repeal-of-dont-ask-dont-tell.

House: DREAM Act

As you know, the DREAM Act passed in the House last night with a 216 to 198 margin, with 208 Democrats and 8 Republicans voting for the bill, and 160 Republicans and 38 Democrats voting against it.

The eight Republicans who went against the tide of common sense were:
Joseph Cao (LA)
Mike Castle (DE)
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
Charles Djou (HI)
Vernon Ehlers (MI)
Bob Inglis (SC)
Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)

For the complete roll call, visit: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll625.xml.

House: H.R.3082
which included the “food safety” bill (S. 510)

Instead of making the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act a separate vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi tucked it into H.R. 3082, a continuing resolution (CR), which provides temporary funding for the government while budget bills are worked out. 

With a 212 to 206 vote, the House passed H.R. 3082. Since the “food safety” bill language was put in the CR, it goes back to the Senate, which is expected to be voted on by the middle of next week. According to one advocacy group, Alliance for Natural Health USA, “the rumor is that instead of dealing with the CR directly, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) will introduce the Senate’s own omnibus bill (even larger than the CR) that will also contain the food safety language along and who knows what else.”

To remind you of the dangers of this bill, revisit Sen. Coburn’s list of detailed concerns: http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2010/9/detailed-concerns-with-s-510-the-fda-food-safety-modernization-act-of-2010.
We must continue to voice our concerns about this bill, which allows the government once again to overstep its powers. 

The Deal

The extension of the current tax rates, or “The Deal”, as it is becoming known around the country between President Obama and Congressional Leadership, is problematic. It is a deal that needs to be opposed.

Call the following people today:
Sen. George Voinovich
DC Office Phone: (202) 224-3353 / no fax provided
Cleveland Office: (216) 522-7095/ Cleveland Fax: (216) 522-7097

Speaker-Elect John Boehner
DC Office Phone: 202-225-6205 / DC Office Fax: 202-225-0704

Senator Mitch McConnell
DC Office Phone: 202-224-2541 / DC Office Fax: fax: 202-224-2249

Keeping the Pledge

A couple of months ago, the Republicans signed "The Pledge" which were several legislative and principled commitments they made to Americans. This “Deal” violates several commitments from The Pledge. 

Here are the reasons why this tax bill must be opposed as outlined by Hugh Hewitt in TownHall.com, http://townhall.com/columnists/HughHewitt/2010/12/09/kill_the_deal/page/full/:

"The deal" was forged in secret, without consultation with the scores of new representatives and senators who campaigned on a much different agenda much less with their supporters and contributors who worked for two years and gave vast sums of money so that a new start could be made, one built on transparency and principle.

"The deal" like Obamacare, isn't reduced to writing even now, when Senator Reid says a vote could be held on Saturday. Like Obamacare, we are being told we will have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.

"The deal" revives the death tax, an immoral "vampire tax" that sucks the blood from the dead, ruins family businesses and double taxes savings that were accumulated over a lifetime. It took ten years of gradual step downs to eliminate the tax, and now "the deal" revives it at 35% with a $5 million dollar exemption, a rate that looks and feels permanent and which will immediately impact tens of thousands of families in 2011 and when inflation works its way into the system, thousands more over time. The GOP has spent years making the case against the death tax on moral and economic grounds, and in the course of a weekend of secret meetings, it gave that issue away.

"The deal" spends billions and billions of dollars that the country does not have in order to prevent a tax hike that the country voted against. In essence the GOP bribed the president to follow the will of the people. There is at least $75 billion in new spending in the plan, agreed to by the GOP less than 5 weeks after the country fairly screamed "Stop Spending Our Children's Money!"

On September 23, all of the House GOP leadership agreed to the "Pledge to America." A photo op was arranged at the Tart Lumber store in Sterling, Virginia, and the senior leaders of the would-be majority, with their shirt sleeves rolled up, took the pledge and asked America for the majority back. There are at least five provisions of the Pledge that are breached by "the deal." In September the House GOP promised

"Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes" (p. 16)
"Act immediately to Reduce Spending" (p. 21)
"Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels" (p. 21)
"Read the Bill" (p. 33)
"Advance Legislative Issues One at a Time" (p. 33)

"The deal's" assault on "The Pledge" will make the latter a joke, and instantly impacts the credibility of all future efforts to propose agendas to the electorate.

The idea that this massive tax and spend bill has not yet even been written but may be voted on by the Senate this weekend is appalling, and has rightfully drawn the anger of the TeaPartyPatriots.org and other Tea Party activists, an anger that will not diminish.”

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