Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Daily Strike-7/22/10-Energy Failed

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Not surprisingly, the last major bill in Obama's first term agenda looks to be dead. Let's get to the day in politics.

THE SENATE: The Shirley Sherrod story seemed to die down a bit today, so our focused turned back to the world of policy. Unfortunately, the news is not good. Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with climate bill author John Kerry, announced today that they do not have the votes to take up a comprehensive energy bill that places a price on carbon. This is something most of us have known for awhile. There is just not much popular support to address climate change right now. People are too focused on the bad economy to care about something that we can't feel immediately. That doesn't mean the problem is going away though, and the more we put off addressing it, the worse it's gonna get. I should also note the the fact that John McCain put a cap-and-trade bill as a major item on his Presidential campaign platform. Now, zero Republicans would support even a minor climate change bill. It's amazing what the raw calculations of politics will do to people.

Majority Leader Reid will instead bring up a small bill that addresses the oil spill, invests money in alternative energy, and "will ween us off of foreign oil." I have my doubts about even this tiny bill passing before the August recess. Of course, Senators would NEVER suspend their 5 week recess to work on this issue.

The Senate took two non-controversial votes today, one to recognize the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and another to endorse sanctions against the Burmese government. The first bill passed unanimously, while only Senator Enzi (R-WY) voted against the second. The Senate might take a few votes related to the small business lending bill this evening as well.

THE HOUSE: The House gave final approval to the unemployment insurance extension package by a vote of 272-152. 31 Republicans voted for the bill, while inexplicably 10 Democrats voted against it.

Speaking of these Democrats, allow me to rant for a second. Some of these so-called fiscally conservative Democrats are now calling for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to be extended. So much for their care about the ballooning deficit. It's all a giant sham. One Democrat, Rep. Connolly (VA), talked today about how the economy was too fragile to stop these tax cuts. That's in disagreement with this statement about unemployment benefits:

“We’re no longer in a recession; we’re in a recovery,” the Virginia Democrat said. “So now we do need to have a higher standard when we call for new spending. And that higher standard has to include, ‘What’s the offset?’”
Who said that? One Gerry Connolly, two weeks ago! Concern for the deficit apparently goes out the window if the benefits go to people who don't need them at all. The blatant hypocrisy just sickens me, and even worse, the media will still refer to these conservative Democrats as "deficit hawks."

Anyways, back to unemployment insurance. The President received the bill and signed it into law this evening. The 2.5 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits will get retroactive payments in the next couple of weeks.

The House also passed a bill today that reforms the national flood insurance program to cover multiperil situations.

That's it for tonight, we'll be back Monday!

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