Tag Archives: House of Representatives

STAY TUNED:OBSTRUCTIONISM IS STILL ON THE TABLE,By Louise Annarino,November 9,2012

9 Nov

STAY TUNED: OBSTRUCTIONISM IS STILL ON THE TABLE,By Louise Annarino, November 9,2012

 

 

Team,
This victory is a testament to you. Take pride in your hard work over the past 18 months: the countless calls you made, the doors you knocked, the people you inspired to support our president.
I know it wasn’t always easy. But through your perseverance, you proved that a strong, grassroots organization could overcome powerful interests on the other side.
You built this organization from the ground up. You helped this country stay the course. Enjoy this victory for now and rest up. There will be more work to come. Stay tuned.- Jeremiah Bird, Obama For America

 

”Stay tuned” We have heard this before from OFA, the grassroots organization which continued to work in support of President Obama after they did so in the 2008 election. It was OFA who announced to those of us who had already started organizing marches and rallies, collecting signatures on petitions, and garnering support for single payer health care that we must cease, and instead, push for The Affordable Health Care Act-Obamacare. We joined the effort to see near-universal health care passed,hoping it would be a beginning,understanding that if the votes are not there in Congress, compromise is necessary. But it does not sit well with those of us who understand that the most affordable health care system is one which eliminates profit for investors, and delivers dollars to direct service. Built into Obamacare is the 85% required delivery of direct care; with refunds to patients whose insurance carriers spend less than 85% of money collected on direct care. Still, this allows a 15% overhead for administrative costs,which exceeds that of medicare. The amount of difference could fund more direct service rather than to investors for profits off our illnesses. But, it is a start.

 

Yesterday, Speaker of the House, Rep.John Boehner (R-OH) responded to Diane Sawyer during an ABC interview when asked about his desire to repeal Obamacare:

“It’s pretty clear that the president was re-elected ,” Boehner added. “Obamacare is the law of the land.” But, he then added that there were parts of the law congress would try to change. Shortly following the interview his spokesman said,that repealing the law ‘would be on the table.’ Clearly, the re-election has not changed Boehner’s attitude, nor his operational style.

Stay tuned: Obstruction by Boehner and the GOP is still on the table.

Obstruction takes many forms: It blocks bills in committee,not allowing them to be voted out of committee for floor vote. It refuses to put a bill or discussion of a bill on the calendar. It refuses to discuss bills with both parties in attendance, Republicans locking out Democratic members who retreat to a separate room for discussion. It holds votes in the middle of the night when the public and news media are not paying attention to the machinations of voting irregularities; such as, stopping the vote at the last minute when it appears your side is losing and holding the vote open for hours while arms are twisted and votes are changed. It requires a supermajority to override a filibuster,which is an impossibility with the number of current party members. It walks out of bipartisan meetings with the President and holds a news conference belying the president’s efforts to find a compromise. It is the party of walk-backs,confusing reporters and the public as to what GOP’s true position is, or if it has ANY position other than OPPOSITION.

If you thought the ugliness and lies were over, you are wrong. GOP has learned nothing from the 2012 election. They campaigned with no respect, dignity nor integrity. This is how they intend to govern. Do not expect Republicans to govern with respect, dignity,and integrity.

Already,I am disgusted by newspersons concern over the fate of the Republican Party, the endless hours of commentary suggesting how it can change and grow. Where is the discussion about what this country needs to do NOW and what this country has a right to expect from the GOP to see that what we need happens? I say to the GOP what I say to those who discriminate against women and people of color, “Heal yourself! I have enough on my hands doing what I can for the betterment of my fellow citizens. I must heal my own pain at your insensitivity to the needs of my fellow citizens;I have no time to heal yours.”

Our focus should not be on the improved chances of Republicans to win future elections but their failure to support the efforts being made by Democrats in Congress and by President Obama to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, protect our environment, educate our children, reform immigration, reduce poverty, assure health care for all, reduce the deficit fairly,increase taxes on the top tier of income and capital gains, end useless and harmful wars, solidify and extend diplomatic gains etc.

The morning after the election I awoke with a smile on my face, a feeling of increased security, with no fear that my civil rights were in jeopardy, knowing our president is one who sees a future full of promise and has a plan for leading us in the right direction. It was a place of calm I had not been in since January 20, 2009. I needed that peace of mind to last longer. It ended too soon. It ended when I realized the direction media is leading us: away from serious discussion of issues of governance and on to the 2016 election. Shame on the Third Estate for failing us…again. Stay tuned.

 

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YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE: REPUBLICANS ON THE MOVE,By Louise Annarino, September 21, 2012

22 Sep

YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE:REPUBLICANS ON THE MOVE, By Louise Annarino,September 21, 2012

Can Democratic candidates win control of the the House of Representatives? Will they retain control of the Senate? Republicans controlled redistricting in most key states, including here in Ohio, following the 2010 census. As a result, it has been commonly accepted that RepublicanHouse candidates have their races sewn up. If this is so, why are they running so fast to jump off Romney’s coat tails?

And do they think voters have forgotten it is House and Senate Republicans who have blocked the efforts of Democrats and President Obama to achieve economic recovery, job retention and creation, break-up of banks too big to fail, oversight of Wall Street, broader energy program, slow-down of climate change, more expansive coverage and lower costs for health care, extension of social security and medicare solvency, women’s rights, LGBT rights, veterans’ care and benefits? Their obstructionism justified simply because they preferred a 1 term presidency over the good of the country and ALL of its citizens?

Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann who are well-known for their independence and non-partisanship put it this way: “In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted.  Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.  The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics.  It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

They may run as far from Mitt Romney, and their House colleague and putative leader Paul Ryan; but, they can’t hide form the facts:

  • Due to GOP insistence on holding budget bill hostage to defunding Planned Parenthood and health reform it brought the US Government to the brink of shutdown in 2011.
  • Due to GOP insistence on defeating President Obama’s stimulus,it refused to raise the debt limit until a few hours before default. S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history explaining, “We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process.”
  • Due to GOP standoff as a budget extension expired 4,000 FAA employees were furloughed in a partial shut-down lasting 13 days,cost the government $200 million in weekly ticket tax revenue that airlines no longer had the authority to collect,and stopped work on dozens of airport projects around the country,
  • Due to GOP demanding Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Program,which would cut 10,000 jobs it delayed emergency disaster relief.
  • Due to GOP refusal to accept Obama’s routine  proposal to extend the payroll tax cut for middle class families,leaving town as the payroll taxes were about to go up,refusing  to pass the Senate bill until Rep. John Boehner acceded to public criticism and maneuvered the votes needed to pass the bill at the last possible moment.
  • Due to GOP need defeat Obama in 2012 it continues to block the president’s American Jobs Act costing firefighters,police officers and teachers more than 1 million jobs.
  • Due to GOP need to ruin President Obama’s support by small business owners, it continues to block tax cuts for small businesses included in Pbama’s American Jobs Act.
  • Due to GOP desire to show Obama as incompetent, it continues to block essential infrastructure projects included in Obama’s American Jobs Act.
  • Due to GOP effort to pass ideological/morality-laden bills, it has delayed for months any action on the Senate’s version of the Transportation Bill, holding up Obama’s efforts to rebuild roads,bridges,rail lines,seaports,rail and truck depots essential to rebuilding the economy and increasing deportation of American-mad goods which improve our trade balance.
  • Due to GOP plan to remove student support for Obama it delayed reduction in student loan rates, and repeatedly blocked Obama efforts to remove private sector profit from student loan program. The changes Obama was able to accomplish should have been agreed to long ago.
  • Due to GOP plan to deny Obama the support of women voters and impose ideological strictures on women it delayed and blocked extension of contraceptive health care benefits for women, repeatedly refused to renew the Violence Against Women Act, opposed the Lily Ledbetter law, and denied Sandra Fluke’s first attempt to testify before a Congressional committee.
  • Due to GOP need to protect its wealthy donors in order to finance Obama’s defeat, it continues to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage unless tax cuts for the top 1% are maintained, and even increased.
  • Due to GOP disdain for science it has blocked Obama’s efforts to address the effects of climate change, insists on major cuts for pure scientific research,and plans to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency.

GOP House and Senate candidates can run from Romney-Ryan ticket, but they cannot run from its recent history, nor from the Republican Party Platform, which would continue to hold economic recovery hostage to impose GOP ideology and protect its wealthy donors. How important are these donors? By most accounts Romney spends more time with them than he does on the campaign trail. As ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports: “At one recent Texas fundraiser, a donor told Romney, ‘I am happy to write a check, but why are you here? Shouldn’t you be in Ohio?'”

We have a choice in this election: Vote for Democrats who will support President Obama’s plans for economic recovery, job creation, energy independence, environmental and health protection,end of war in Afghanistan, avoidance of future unjustified wars, meeting the needs of veterans, aiding our military families, following a just foreign policy, and exerting every effort on behalf of all of us; or, vote for Republicans who will continue to block everything which would move us all forward unless we allow them to strip away our civil rights, reward the 1% with more tax breaks, increase middle-class taxes, demean and dismiss the working poor, ignore the indigent, forget our military and veterans, cripple our cities, and use foreign policy to make money for corporate war-mongers. Republicans should keep on running,and not let the door hit them on the back on their way out.