Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Daily Strike-6/10/10-Good Disaproval

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Today may be the first day I'm legitimately excited that something failed in the 111th Congress. That's worth celebrating, I guess.

THE SENATE: By a vote of 47-53, the Senate failed to pass a GOP-sponsored resolution that would seek to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, as it is now required to do under law. Ostensibly, the GOP (and their dirty Democratic allies) said that Congress should be in charge of regulating greenhouse gases, not EPA "bureaucrats." The problem is that no GOP Senator so far has signed on to any such piece of legislation. What they really want is for greenhouse gases NOT to be regulated at all. Essentially, this resolution is doing the bidding of the oil and coal industries.

Every single Republican voted for the resolution, which is discouraging, because we would need at least one of their votes to get a comprehensive energy bill that sets a price on carbon. Perhaps more encouraging were the "Dirty Half-Dozen" Democrats who voted yes, mostly to protect dirty industries in their home states. Here is the list of Democrats, so you can call and harass them: Bayh (IN), Landrieu (LA), Lincoln (AR), Nelson (NE), Pryor (AR), and Rockefeller (WV).

While I'm glad this resolution was defeated, the close vote shows that there simply isn't the will in Congress, even despite the oil spill. I don't know what kind of disaster will force our political leaders to address this dire problem, but I hope they do so before it is too late.

If Congress doesn't act by the end of this year, the Obama administration should take the political hit and regulate greenhouse gases through the EPA.

The Senate will move back to the tax extenders/unemployment bill next Tuesday. After all the extremely hard work they've done creating jobs, they deserve a four day weekend (I hope you know what I'm being sarcastic).

THE HOUSE: The House today passed a bill that reforms the Federal Housing Administration. The bill is designed, according to the Majority Whip's office: (a) to minimize the default risk to the MMIF and to homeowners; and (b) to meet the housing needs of the borrowers that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single family program is designed to serve. The bill passed by an overwhelming margin of 406-4. No votes came from Republicans Broun (GA), Flake (AZ) and Paul (TX), as well as (somewhat questionably) Democrat Mike Honda (CA).

The House has adjourned for the week, and will take up a small business loan program and a separate small business tax credit bill when it returns next Tuesday.

THE WHITE HOUSE: For some reason, there has been a lot of conservative clamor recently about how President Obama hasn't met with BP CEO Tony Heyward to discuss the oil spill cleanup. Apparently, Obama has taken these complaints to heart. He will meet with Heyward at the White House next week, though I'm not quite sure exactly what the meeting will accomplish.

The President did meet today with families of those who died when the oil rig exploded in April. He offered his condolences and promised to do all he could to prevent such a disaster in the future.

That's it for today. We'll see you on Monday morning!

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