Beware: Congress back in session soon


First Posted: 8/26/2009

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr visited Robeson County recently and with good
reason. The Democratic National Committee has allotted $10 million to
any candidate who runs against him. Congressman Mike McIntyre
declined.
Democrats in Robeson support Burr for the same reasons Republicans
generally support McIntyre. Burr defends conservative values, has
strong ties to the county and being chief Republican Whip, Burr is the
second most powerful Republican senator.
This is similar to the pass Republicans give McIntyre due to his seniority.
Congress is currently in recess; they call it a district work period.
Lawmakers will reconvene Sept. 8 after a tough summer session.
Instead of lasting four months, funding for the Cash-for-Clunkers
program lasted four days. It wasnt a bad idea, considering the top 10
trade-ins were all American vehicles but six of the top 10 vehicles
purchased were Japanese brands. Its unclear whose economy was helped
with that ratio.
Then cap and trade legislation passed the House 219-212. Eight
Republicans actually voted for this bill. Economists agree the bill is
worthless unless China and India follow suit; they wont.
They realize cap and trade is economic suicide for any nation. So it
does nothing to help the environment and only serves to destroy our
economy even further. A vote to reconsider can be offered by anyone on
the winning side of the vote according to parliamentary rules.
Therefore, my suggestion would have been for one of those eight
Republicans who were asleep during the vote, offer a motion to
reconsider. Nevertheless, it now goes to the Senate. Our congressman
voted with most Republicans against the bill, along with 44 other sane
Democrats.
Its been exactly six months this week since the stimulus package
went into effect. With only about 10 percent having been spent,
unemployment has risen, foreclosures are up, the budget deficit has
increased and consumer spending is flat. The only promising indicator
of success is a slowly rising stock market, which may be an early sign
of recovery.
Regardless of whether the stimulus is working four out of five
indicators say its not I say, let the administration take credit
for any recovery, pull the stimulus before the remainder 90 percent is
spent and pay China back before billions in interest accrue. Now
thats legislation McIntyre could get sponsors for, because economists
say you shouldnt spend it if the economy is recovering on its own or
you create inflation.
But the summer session ends with health care reform. After government
takeover of GM and the banking industry, Congress is now trying to
seize the medical industry. Leaders in Washington fail to understand
that although the left wing controls the mechanisms of their party,
regular Democrats are not even close to as radical left as its
leaders. The near riots this bill has caused have been blamed on
Republican community organizers. Republicans wish they could
dial-a-mob.
Even if the president backs away from the public option, it still
doesnt alter the results of massive rationing that will result from
free health care with no increase in medical workers. Not to mention
cutting Medicare reimbursements only encourages providers to short
change the elderly out of economic necessity while elements such as
covering illegal aliens and adding to the staggering federal deficit
just adds to the problem.
Whether they decide to call it public option or co-ops, it still
amounts to government control, higher taxes and business disincentives
while still leaving millions uninsured. Sen. Burr said last week that
as long as the parliamentarian doesnt change Senate precedent, they
have the votes to stop the bill.
Is there a better plan? Sure, Burr has a bipartisan plan that
accomplishes the concerns and Ive spoken with trusted Democrat
friends who have excellent ideas as well. All these should be
considered. So what happens when Congress reconvenes?
Well, Mark Twain said, No mans life, liberty, or property is safe
while Congress is in session.
Phillip Stephens is chairman of the Robeson County Republican Party.

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