On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a non-binding “sense of the Senate” proposal that would have called on Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new set of regulations to establish its jurisdiction over the Internet in favor of “net neutrality” rules, despite the rejection of similar measures by Congress and the courts. According to members of the House of Representatives, however, those regulations may be short-lived, though action on them in the House has been delayed been Democratic leaders.
The Reign of the Czars, at least in the executive branch of the U.S. government, may be near an end. Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) offered an amendment that would block funding for the various "czars" — policy advisers appointed by the President who did not have to face formal confirmation by the U.S. Senate, and who cannot be impeached by the House of Representatives. The amendment (to the continuing resolution which keeps the federal government operating) passed the House February 17 by a vote of 249 to 171.
In what is likely to be one of the most controversial votes in what promises to be a contentious legislative year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood and to eliminate a Title X program that provides aid for family planning and reproductive health services to low-income families.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives never really had their hearts in all their pre-election talk about shrinking government. Having vowed to cut $100 billion from the Obama administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2011, they were prepared instead to trim a paltry $35 billion, arguing that on a prorated basis it works out to about $74 billion for the year, still 26 percent less than their modest stated goal.