The Stupak amendment is back and may yet derail or delay passage of healthcare reform legislation that the House of Representatives is expected to vote on tomorrow. Last year, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) managed to get language into the House-passed healthcare bill that forbids federal funding of abortion under the healthcare measure and stipulates that nothing in the legislation or the rules to be promulgated by the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare will require any health insurance policy to include abortion coverage. The Senate bill, now before the House, lacks the clear ban that Stupak is demanding in order to support the bill. Other anti-abortion Democrats are expected to oppose the bill without the Stupak amendment.
In his 48-page paper presented on March 19 to the Brookings Institution, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan now blames the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resurgence of the Chinese economy as causes of the Great Recession that was ushered in on his watch. And his arguments have just enough plausibility to be considered, if only briefly. But looking more closely is another matter.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were positively giddy on Thursday morning when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released preliminary estimates of the financial impact of the House reconciliation package on national healthcare. The package is said to mirror the proposal President Obama outlined in February as a compromise between the bills passed in the House and Senate last year.
In the aftermath of the killing of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony tried to assume the tyrannical power seized by his mentor. Cicero, the famed Roman friend of liberty, opposed Antony’s various attempts to aggregate all power into his own hands. Time and time again, Cicero rose in the Senate and the in the Forum to denounce Antony and catalog his crimes against the republic.
Two prominent U.S. Senators are promoting national ID cards as a means of mending the nation's "badly broken" immigration system. Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have said they will co-sponsor legislation to require all workers in the U.S., citizens as well as aliens, to have a biometric Social Security cards, with a unique personal identifier such as a fingerprint or eye scan, in order to work.
"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America ... there is established within the Executive Office of the President the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform." Thus begins the Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama on February 18, creating what is being called the Debt Commission.
The Establishment neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party has a problem in Kentucky: Their anointed U.S. Senate candidate, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, is losing. According to a March 7 SurveyUSA poll, Dr. Rand Paul would defeat Grayson 42-27 percent if the May 18 primary were held now. “Paul, an eye surgeon, political activist, and son of Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, is ahead among all demographic groups and in all parts of the state,” SurveyUSA reported.
The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders has taken the position that illegal immigrants (who are overwhelmingly Hispanic) should not fill out the census forms arriving in the mail. The rationale for this position, said Reverend Miguel Rivera, the chairman of the coalition, is to create pressure for a process which would allow illegal immigrants to become citizens.
The pro-amnesty activists at La Raza and Reform Immigration for America are cautiously optimistic that President Obama is on the verge of obliterating current immigration restrictions and caving to the pressure of his left-wing Latino supporters. The leadership of these two radical organizations must be slavering over the chance to catch President Obama at the height of his platform-promoting zeal. Surely they are figuring that if the President can pull off the passage of healthcare “reform,” then there must be nothing he can’t do … including enactment of some equally odious immigration package.
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.