The House of Representatives is upping the ante with regard to President Barack Obama’s ongoing, illegal war in Libya. On Monday that body passed an amendment that prohibits the use of certain funds for the Libyan excursion. The amendment, introduced by California Democrat Brad Sherman, states simply: “None of the funds made available by this act may be used in contravention of the War Powers Act.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Wednesday that they are abandoning the so-called Fairness Doctrine, an FCC policy introduced in 1949 which requires the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced. Congress backed the policy in 1954, and by the 1970s the FCC called the doctrine the "single most important requirement of operation in the public interest — the sine qua non for grant of a renewal of license."
On Thursday, June 9, the U.S. Senate conducted confirmation hearings on current CIA Director and former U.S. Congressman Leon E. Panetta (D-Calif.), who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Bush-era appointee Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. Obama's nomination of Panetta was originally announced on April 28, when the President announced that he would be making changes to his National Security team.
Last week, the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives approved a proposal to cut farm subsidies as a part of a larger deficit reduction program. If the bill were enacted, it would reduce the billions of dollars that are doled out to farmers by the federal government.
The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives managed to pull President Barack Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire with regard to Libya, at least for the time being. On Wednesday the leadership postponed a vote on a resolution put forth by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio, left) that would have demanded that the President withdraw all U.S. forces from the conflict in Libya within 15 days. They did so for fear the resolution would pass — something Kucinich also believed was likely.
Rep. Rick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, told the Washington Business Journal last week that “instead of rewarding those small businesses that choose to compete and win contracts, the government essentially pre-accuses them of cheating on their taxes and withholds 3 percent of all payments. This is flat-out wrong and this burdensome requirement should be repealed.”
Who says bipartisanship is dead? When it comes to unconstitutional wars, the leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties sing from the same hymnal. Thus, while President Barack Obama, a Democrat, prosecutes his illegal war in Libya, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is pulling out all the stops to ensure that Congress doesn’t get in his way.
As expected, the bill to raise the federal debt ceiling that House Republicans brought to a quick vote today failed overwhelmingly. The bill, which would have unconditionally increased the debt limit by $2.4 trillion — the precise amount requested by the Obama administration — garnered only 97 Yea votes, all from Democrats. A combined 318 Democrats and Republicans voted Nay, and seven Democrats voted Present.
Remember the halcyon days of the late 1970s, when inflation, interest, and unemployment rates all soared into double digits? Back then the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 70 percent, which may just have had something to do with the economic malaise of the period.
The U.S. Navy is under fire once again, for its decision to name a vessel after radical left-wing activist César Chávez. Officials said last Wednesday that they were naming one of their newest ships after the Mexican American farm labor organizer. (Chávez served in the Navy from 1944-1946 after which he became a leader in the American Labor Movement and a civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.)
Tuesday’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee gave Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) a chance to vent, and witness Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s Special Advisor for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), a chance to defend, and for the entire hearing to accomplish nothing. The BCFP was the brainchild of Warren, and the centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which was signed into law last July. Its Orwellian title hides the fact that the new agency will do little to reform Wall Street and nothing at all to protect the consumer.