Democrats & Liberals Archives

Open Letter to Harry Reid

From one point of view, you folks in the Senate have been doing a smashing job. You managed to get an Iraq bill through that sent a message that this isn’t an indefinite commitment. The Senate investigation of the prosecutor firings has shown how the “Mayberry Machiavellis” in the White House don’t see any distinction between policy and politics. I’ve got to ask though: Could you pass some meaningful legislation while you are holding that gavel?

For its own part, the House has passed the legislation the Democrats promised to pass in the first 100 hours, which included bills to: increase the minimum wage increase, reduce student loan rates, fund embryonic stem cell research, allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, implement recommendations of the 9/11 commission, and develop alternative energy sources (and eliminate tax breaks for oil companies).

As for as I can tell, none of these bills have become law:

The Embryonic Stem Cell Act recently passed the Senate, but will almost certainly be vetoed by Bush. It’s time to start twisting arms to get the votes needed for an override.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act passed both houses of Congress in one version or another, but it has languished in some sort of conference committee purgatory for the past three months. Can’t you call up Nancy Pelosi and get something going here?

The College Student Relief Act appears to be stuck in committee. Time to shake the tree.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act has finally been scheduled for debate in the Senate.

The Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act appears to be stuck in committee.

The Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN Energy) Act has not made any apparent progress in the Senate. As far as I can tell, the Senate has not done anything on the energy front.

As a body that conducts oversight and keeps the President in check, the Senate has been doing a great job. As a body that passes legislation, well, virtually nothing has happened. It is no wonder the polls continue to show disapproval for the job Congress is doing. We expect Congress to pass laws to make our lives better and more secure, not just investigate and contain the power of the executive branch.

Posted by Woody Mena at April 30, 2007 9:43 AM
Comments
Comment #218798

And they aint gonna do anything about any of these bills until 08. Then they’ll make a token run at them trying to fool the voters into thinking they’re actually doing something. And they are doing something.
They’re lining their campaign war chest with PAC money as fast as they can.
To do this they’re catering to the Special Interest that giving them the money for their campaigns.
In the mean time the REAL problems facing this Country are being ignored as usual.
They aint even trying to:
Secure our borders,
Cutout deficit spending,
Pay down the national debt,
Improve education,
Pass any REAL campaign finance reform,
Pass any REAL ethics reform.
Instead they’re:
Wasting taxpayer money with stupid investigations,
Taking even stupider trips where they act like they’re the Ambassadors of the US and Israel,
Running smear campaigns against the Republicans trying to insure that they get the White house and keep Congress’
Playing power games with the White House at the expense of our boys and girls in Iraq.
What happen to all that so called bipartisanship they were talking about right after the elections last year? I don’t see them even trying to work in a bipartisan way.
In other words it’s business as usual. Just like I said it would be right after the elections.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 30, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #218805

Ron

Playing power games with the White House at the expense of our boys and girls in Iraq.
What happen to all that so called bipartisanship they were talking about right after the elections last year? I don’t see them even trying to work in a bipartisan way.
In other words it’s business as usual. Just like I said it would be right after the elections.

It all depends on how you look at it Ron. As I see it the white house is the one that has been playing power games. They are the ones who refuse to to follow the will of the great majority of americans with respect to Iraq.

Bipartisanship works both ways Ron. There has not been any for at least the six years previous. As I see it the dems are showing bipartisanship. They have offered an Iraq funding bill which funds the effort with stipulations. This is what bipartisanship is. It means neither party gets exactly what they want. It is the white house that refuses to budge in any way shape or form. Business as usual as you say.

Posted by: ILdem at April 30, 2007 1:54 PM
Comment #218808

Ron,

As you acknowledge yourself, some things have been different. Bush no longer has a blank check in Iraq. You don’t like it, but it’s a change.

The Dems still have 18 months left. I think they are smart enough to realize that they can’t go back to the voters with nothing to show for electing them.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 30, 2007 2:05 PM
Comment #218837

ILdem,

The will of the American People?

I hope we never see the day when the USA actually cows to the will of the american people. As a Republic, it is not the way things are to done. I personally cannot stand any politician who sticks his/her wet finger into the wind to gain his own opinion or to further his/her political life. I do not care what the current poll numbers say. I care what our politicians truly believe when there’s not a television camera rolling. Unfortunately, with the current batch we have, we’ll never really know.

Political posturing to nurture votes is whoring oneself at best. That’s why we see so many politicians doing the flip-flop.

“Stand for Something Sometimes” is their mantra.

Posted by: cliff at April 30, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #218882

Cliff

The Usa is a nation comprised of the American people. If our government is not in the business of representing those people then just who are they working for. Most of us know who our current administration is working for. And it sure isn’t the voters of this country. One need look no further than the top money wielding interests of this world to know who they represent. Oh sure they throw their baseless self agrandizing rhetoric at us by the boatload with hopes that we are too stupid to see thru the bulls—t. But the joke is on them because they are not smart enough to realize that such tactics are slowly burying any hopes for a strong republican future. The american people are not stupid. Maybe a bit apathetic but they know a rat when they see and smell one.

Our legislators are far from perfect and I will not be the first or last to say that I think all should be held accountable for misdeeds no matter the party. But for anyone to imply that this legislature is somehow worse than any other and especially the last is really going out on a limb and like comparing ferrari’s to hundai’s. I am as dissapointed at this point as Woody and I do expect results in the future. If not I will not be able to vote again for those who failed to produce. Unfortunately aside from writing and voicing our opinions, the power of the vote is really all we have to defend against corruption in government.

Posted by: ILdem at April 30, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #218886

ILdem

The Dems cater to a similar “god”. Don’t be blind to what they stand for. They represent the public sentiment of the day. What kind of leadership is that? Ruling by a wet finger will get you nowhere.

True leadership is provided by integrity that is not poll driven…

They are driven by the polls, watch what they talk about all the time. It’s no way to lead a nation.

BTW - the Republicans are not angels in this category. There are few politicians that truly stand on their own two feet and make their own decisions and stand by them.

Give me a statesmen anyday…

Posted by: cliff at April 30, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #218897

ILdem
I’m well aware that the White House is playing power games at the cost of our youngins lives. And I’m well aware that bipartisanship works both ways. And I’m also well aware that Bush talked a good talk about bipartisanship after the election.
And I’m also very aware that NEITHER SIDE is even trying to work in a bipartisan manner.
What I want to know though is. Why aint the Democrats even trying? If this was on the Red side I’d be asking them the same thing about the Republicans.
Like I said, it’s business as usual.

Woody
I’m happen to be very happy Bush doesn’t have a blank check anymore. But why are the Democrats insisting on playing power games with the lives of our youngins? Why couldn’t they give Bush his clean appropriations bill, then pass a bill setting a time limit for withdrawal? Our troops would have the money they need for supplies. And when Bush vetoes the time limit bill the Democrats would still be able to hold it over Bush’s head.
As it is they’re showing that they aint any better than Bush is. Of course that doesn’t come as any surprise to anyone without the partisan blinders on.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 30, 2007 11:55 PM
Comment #218909
Why couldn’t they give Bush his clean appropriations bill, then pass a bill setting a time limit for withdrawal

The bill doesn’t set time limits or stipulate a total withdrawal, Ron. Why doesn’t Bush just sign it?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2007 1:58 AM
Comment #218920
Why couldn’t they give Bush his clean appropriations bill, then pass a bill setting a time limit for withdrawal?

The second bill would apparently be unconstitutional. The White House insists that the only way Congress can end a war is by using the so-called “power of the purse”. Congress can’t simply tell the President to stop fighting. That is the consensus, at least. (Incidentally, my reading of the Constitution is different, but my opinion doesn’t count for much…)

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 1, 2007 9:15 AM
Comment #218936

Ron. Why doesn’t Bush just sign it?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2007 01:58 AM

Because he’s as stupid as the Democrats that thought up attaching a stupid deadline to the bill.
The bill calls for withdrawal to start in Oct. And be completed by Apr 08. If that aint time limits tell me what is.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 1, 2007 12:04 PM
Comment #218938

Woody
If the only way Congress can stop a war is with the “power of the purse” and a bill setting time limits is unconstitutional, then attaching a deadline to end the war to an appropriations bill is unconstitutional too.
It seems to me then that the Democrats have as little regard for our Constitution as they claim the Republicans do. But then I’ve known that for 30 years.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 1, 2007 12:13 PM
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