We can NOT afford to fall asleep at the wheel folks. All you PEOPLE OF COLOR who voted the Republicans back into power, I sincerely hope you’re getting your Wake-up CALL!
Along strict party lines, House lawmakers on Wednesday shot down legislation allowing delegates to retain certain voting powers.
The surprise vote — the first of the new Congress — surrounded a provision of the Republicans’ proposed rules package that would prevent the six House delegates from presiding over, or voting as part of, the Committee of the Whole — a mechanism used to expedite legislation by effectively turning the entire chamber into a committee.
Under the rules of the last Congress, the six delegates — representing the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands — were allowed to cast votes and preside over the Committee of the Whole. The Republican rules proposal would strip that power.
Delegates may not vote when the House is in regular order.
The House rejected a resolution introduced by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) to delay a vote on the larger rules package until the delegate provision could be examined by a special committee. Norton says the delegate powers were upheld in a 1994 federal appeals court decision.
“With this motion, we formally begin the protest that will be necessary to salvage what D.C. has won in the past,” Norton said in a statement. “We will need the help of the top elected District officials and District residents, because we are sure this is only the first attack on our rights.”
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) responded to Norton’s resolution with a motion to table, or kill, the proposal.
The vote was a bad omen for bipartisan cooperation in the 112th Congress: Every Republican voted in favor of Cantor’s motion, while every Democrat voted against it. The final tally was 225-188.
Hat tip Crooks & Liars
In the first House vote of the 112th Congress, the new Republican majority voted to take away the small pittance vote given to Washington DC, Guam, the North Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. There’s some populist policy for you right there. Is it any surprise that the people in these territories are, by a large margin, people of color?
Louise Slaughter has some things to say about the new rules. She was pretty blunt about it, too.
“Actually, my head is somewhat spinning because not 20 minutes ago the new Speaker of the House of Representatives stood where you are and said he’s going to be listening to people but the first order of business before the House came from the delegates who this rule disenfranchises, not only the delegate of the District of Columbia but of all the territories, they didn’t get to say a word, so my head is spinning at that point. And we hope they can get unanimous consent so they can get some message into the record.
The talk about deficit reduction is simply thrown out the window so they can free themselves and hand out more tax credits for their friends and corporations. Under these proposed rules, notes The Washington Post, tax cuts of the wealthiest are helpful but those at the other end of the income spectrum, forget about it.
What is crystal clear to me is that they have double downed. Dick Cheney responded to the 2002 mid-term elections by advocating more than $2 trillion in tax cuts. Quote, deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term elections. This is our due. End quote, said the Vice President. The other side now wants to adopt the posture of budget cutters. They want to make sweetheart deals without having to pay for them.
And just this week, Republican new members ushered in the new Congress with a $2,500 fundraiser at the W Hotel in downtown Washington. And lobbyists and political action committee members and other exclusive guests were treated to a night of drinks and singing by country singer Leann Rimes. Those who donated up to $50,000 were treated to a VIP suite at the W, along with the rest of the night’s entertainment.
Last month, the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services committee offered his own assessment of Republican oversight. He told Birmingham News in Alabama, in Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated. My view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks, end quote.
And according to Politico, the incoming House Government Oversight and Government Reform Committee, big oil, big pharma and big health. Instead of all this business as usual and we are headed right back into where we were before 2006.
What I’d like to see is an honest attempt to create a set of rules that provide for openness, transparency and good government. This set of rules is not that document. And I hope the other side, although I believe have good intentions, will join us in supporting this effort and I reserve the balance of my time.”
Well, tell the truth , why don’t you Ms. Louise.