Another week has passed and still no budget out of the Senate. With the House out of session this week ,the Senate has still managed to put some legislation on the table.
Never mind, nothing happened this week, so we’ll just cap what happened last week.
Activity in the Senate
In Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Democrat Senate, despite being in session… well, nothing happened. No budget, no trivial bills… pretty much nothing. What kind of organization is Sen. Reid running? How much do we pay them?
Activity in the House
On October 26th two bills were introduced:
- H.R.6580 sponsored by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) seeks to give those veterans with VA benefits access to the same vision and dental benefits that our other federal employees enjoy
- H.R.6579 sponsored by Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) seeks to prevent any person or business from claiming a tax deduction for any payments given to them due to the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident
On October 23rd three more bills were introduced into the House:
- H.R.3973 sponsored by Rep. Donald Young (R-AK) seeks to “facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands, and for other purposes”
- H.R.6578 – Here’s a major concern for most Americans – I mean, this has to be just under the fiscal cliff in importance: To exempt decorative hearth products from energy efficiency regulation under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Sponsored by Rep. C. Rodgers (R-WA)
- H.R.6494 – seeks to award the Congressional Gold Medal (not the Medal of Honor) to Stewart Lee Udall.
That’s what Congress has achieved over the last two weeks. Impressed?
The US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5326, a bill providing funds for the Justice Department and other agencies in 2013 in a 247-163 vote on Thursday.
Several amendments attached to the bill provide a major spanking for Attorney General Eric Holder. In addition to reducing his budget by one million dollars, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) offered an amendment which passed 381 – 41 (142 democrats in favor) to prevent the Justice Department from using taxpayer funds to lie to congress.
The bill also includes language which prevents the Justice Department from using funds to defend Obamacare, bring suit against states for their immigration laws and from taking action against states that pass voter ID laws.
The bill actually cuts three percent from 2012 spending levels.
President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.
photo credit: R. Mitchell, CDN
The media has a “laser-like” focus on the GOP presidential nomination race, analysts are starting to talk about the Senate races, but the House has been all but ignored – and that could lead to another Nancy Pelosi speakership.
According to a new Harris Interactive Poll, a House election held today would have voters selecting a generic Republican 38% of the time and a generic Democrat just as often.
The data break-outs are where the interesting numbers lay. While almost 90% of GOP would vote for their party’s candidate, just 80% of Democrats would. That disparity alone should yield a right-leaning House.. shouldn’t it?
For the right, the key is independents. They would vote for a Democrat 28% of the time compared to 26% of the vote going to the GOP. 15% of independents would vote 3rd party and 30% of them haven’t even figured out how they would vote.
Congressional approval ratings are also at an historical low which could lead to an anti-incumbent campaign to turn the whole House over. Considering that Democrats have a 13% approval and Republican members only enjoy a 10% rating, a blood bath may ensue for the GOP.
The poor rating for Republicans may by in part by dissatisfaction from the TEA parties. The freshman conservative group that was elected in 2010 was sent to D.C. to cut spending, lower taxes and reduce the size of government. Little of that having been achieved and the back-room tactics being used by the GOP leadership to co-opt the movement may be more reason for the backlash.
While every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for grabs every two years, only one-third of all Senate seats are offered up to the meat-grinder of popular elections every other year. CDN has compiled a list of every seat that will be eligible for challenge in the 2012 election.
Senators that are retiring
- Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
- Kay Bailey Hitchison (R-TX)
- Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
- Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
- Ben Nelson (D-NE)
- Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
- Kent Conrad (D-ND)
- Jim Webb (D-VA)
- Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Senators Up for Re-Election
- Richard Lugar (R-IN)
- Olympia Snowe (R-MN)
- Scott Brown (R-Mass)
- Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi)
- Dean Heller (R-NV)
- Bob Corker (R-TN)
- Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
- John Barrasso (R-WY)
- Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
- Tom Carper (D-DE)
- Bill Nelson (D-FL)
- Ben Cardin (D-MD)
- Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
- Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn)
- Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri)
- Jon Tester (D-MT)
- Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
- Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
- Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
- Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
- Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
- Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
- Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
- Joe Manchin (D-WV)