There are from time to time political events that attract attention and controversy, only to fade into well-deserved obscurity. Who today can recall the storm and stress over the '90s-era debates over the presidential line item veto or the proposed Conference of the States, for example? The very latest in a very long line of forgettable Capitol Hill follies, the Dodd Finance Reform Bill, was unveiled this past weekend, a bill that deserves similarly to wind up in the dustbin of failed Grand Ideas.
On March 4 Senators John McCain (R-Ariz) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a bill entitled “The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010.” If you thought some of the legislation introduced and passed by Congress under Bush II was scary, then in the immortal words of Bachman and Turner you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
An alternative budget proposal submitted by Congressman Paul Ryan (Wis.), the House Budget Committee's Republican ranking member, would increase the federal budget deficit even more than President Obama's bloated budget — nearly $1 trillion more — according to a February 24 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
House Democrats have caved in to Republican pressure, removing an anti-torture provision from the Fiscal 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2701). “The controversial provision,” the Washington Post reported February 26, “would have subjected intelligence officers to up 15 years in prison for interrogations that violate existing anti-torture laws, including the use of extreme temperatures, acts causing sexual humiliation or depriving a prisoner of food, sleep or medical care.”