Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Daily Strike-7/14/10-Democrats in Disarray

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. The title of today's blog entry has been the title to a million articles over the last year, and almost none of them actually showed Democrats in disarray. But today, we see a party truly running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.

DEMOCRATIC FAMILY FEUD: It all started with a candid, and true, comment from White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs this Sunday. He stated the obvious, that there are enough seats in play for the Republicans to retake the House. House Democrats have made a huge fuss about this comment, thinking that Gibbs gave the Republicans fundraising ammunition. The White House responded by defending themselves, saying that they've done fundraisers for House candidates etc. House doesn't really matter. Both entities are at fault for what's going on right now.

Gibbs is right that Republicans have a good shot at retaking the House. The reason is that the economy is in the dumps, and Democratic leaders are just throwing in the towel as the election season approaches. White House Advisor David Axelrod said this weekend that there is "not an appetite" for more jobs bills. Really? Maybe there would be if you DID something about it!! You're the President of the United States. I understand Obama can't control Congress, but he's not making any effort whatsoever on the jobs front right now. Forget what's happened over the last year and a half. The President could have used the recent poor jobs numbers for a renewed massive push for jobs legislation. He could have explained every single day that there are 5 unemployed people per every available job, and that if those people don't have any money, they can't spend at local businesses, which causes the broader economy to suffer. He could threaten to keep Congress in session (as is his power as President) until Congress does something about jobs. But, no. He just wants to stand back and passively say that Congress can't do anything about 10% employment.

House Democrats should similiarly not blame Obama's spokesman. While they have been the far more productive of the two chambers of Congress, many members are running scared, and are consequently hurting their own party. Today, 59 House Democrats sent a, frankly, offensive letter to leadership saying that they won't vote for any non-emergency spending if it doesn't include offsets. They are saying that we can't kick the can down the road anymore when it comes to the national debt. This is not only horrible policy, since we absolutely must spend money now to rescue the economy. It's horrible politics too, and I'll bet you that many of these 59 members will lose their seats because the economy continues to go south come November. There is not a majority in the House to do even basic things to rescue the economy. That is abhorrent to me.

Both sides here need to stop bickering, find their focus, get a sense of renewed purpose, and get to work. It may be too late to do anything meaningful to jumpstart the economy before the election, but it's not too late to try, and it certainly won't help to sit around playing the blame game.

I'll say this though, at least they're not as bad as the United States Senate!

THE SENATE: Speaking of the Senate, the upper chamber will vote tomorrow at 11am on the Financial Reform conference report. The bill will get exactly 60 votes, because Senator Grassley (R-IA), a supporter of the earlier Senate bill, announced his opposition today. The vote should pave the way for President Obama to sign the legislation into law next week.

The Senate spent the day considering a bill to provide loans to small businesses. Senators will presumably begin voting on amendments to that bill tomorrow night.

THE HOUSE: The House passed one piece of substantive legislation today. By a vote of 290-131, the House agreed to a bill that will allow for federal employees to telecommute up to 20 hours per pay period. The bill was a response to this past winter's snowstorms, which caused the federal government to basically shut down for the week. 245 Democrats and 45 Republicans supported the bill, while 2 Democrats and 129 Republicans voted no.

That's it for now, we'll see you tomorrow.

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