Archive for April 18th, 2011

April 18, 2011

First Three Months Report

It is three months into the 112th Session of Congress, and though there is some evidence of progress toward changing the direction of the Federal Government away from a disastrous course, it is not certain. A number of freshman and Tea Party Caucus Representatives and Senators have taken principled stands with their votes, as have some Blue Dog Democrats who are from conservative districts and states.

The slight amount of influence the new crop has had on the leadership of both parties is indicative of how much work is necessary to overcome entrenched interests and business-as-usual attitudes in the established ruling class.

Republican House Members with the three highest Tea Party scores are Connie Mack (FL-14), Tom Graves (GA-9), and Raul Labrador (ID-1). Those Republicans with the three lowest scores are: Joseph Heck (NV-3), Steven LaTourette (OH-14), and Walter Jones (NC-3). Democrat House members with the top three scores are: Dan Boren (OK-2), Jim Matheson (UT-2), and Mike Ross (AR-4). The three lowest Democrat scores belong to John Conyers (MI-14), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20), and Elijah Cummings (MD-7).

It must be noted that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been named Chair of the Democratic National Committee by President Obama, and her extremely low voting score is indicative of the general mood of the Democratic Party. Her leadership of the DNC is certain to take the party to a radical political position, far to the left of many in the party, and may presage some defections among the more moderate Democrats who are attuned to the mood in the country in a more conservative direction.

Republican Senate members with the four highest Tea Party scores are: Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Mike Crapo (ID), and James Risch (ID). Republicans with the four lowest scores are: Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mark Kirk (IL), Susan Collins (ME), and Lamar Alexander (TX). Democrat Senate members with the four highest scores are: Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Joe Manchin (WV), and Ben Nelson (NE). There are seven Democrats who have a score of zero: Daniel Akaka (HI), Dick Durbin (IL), Daniel Inouye (HI), Patrick Leahy (VT), Barbara Mikulski (MD), Harry Reid (NV), and Chuck Schumer (NY).

April 18, 2011

House Votes to Consider Ryan Budget Plan

On Friday, April 15th, 2011, the House voted 235-193 to consider and debate Rep. Paul Ryan’s long-term budget proposal, establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2012 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2013 through 2021.

House Concurrent Resolution 34 is a pro forma measure, meaning that it has no force of law, even if the Senate were to ratify it, which is highly unlikely. It is merely a starting point of debate over the direction of the Federal Budget in the years to come, and for this reason, I will not consider the votes made by House members on this bill in their scores.

April 18, 2011

Senate Rejects House Concurrent Resolution to Defund Planned Parenthood

On Thursday, April 14th, 2011, the Senate voted 58-42 to reject House Concurrent Resolution 36, which was appended to H.R. 1473 to defund Planned Parenthood for the remainder of FY2011.

Republican Senators Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), Mark Kirk (IL), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Olympia Snowe (ME) joined all Democrats in opposition to the measure.

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