Thursday, February 10, 2011

House Republicans Experience Some Bumps

Things are getting a little bumpy for Republicans who now control the House of Representatives (source:  After a couple of early successes, most notably the passage of the bill to end Obama Care, it has slowed down a bit. More recently Republicans have not been able to pass two bills, and a third struggle is looming on the horizon.

1. On Tuesday, several House Republicans broke ranks and shot down an extension to the PATRIOT Act. The break-away Republicans were basically telling the leadership that you didn’t give us enough time to study the bill and we don’t like you break the rules to get this to the floor. The bill is expected to pass later once it is brought back “under rule”.

2. On Wednesday, the House voted down an attempt to cut the UN funding by $180M. This was not seen as a really big deal as, according to the CBO, the bill “would have no effect on the federal budget”. UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, basically said that “the success America has had in using sanctions against Iran should give pause to Republican who want to weaken US ties to the institution.”  She goes on to say:

A lot of the [GOP] members that are leading on this issue have had longstanding positions critical of the United Nations,” Rice told POLITICL in an interview Wednesday.  I think it’s important for them to recall the importance of this institution for our national security interests.”

I have a real serious problem with her statements. First of all, by most accounts that I have seen, the sanctions have failed to deter the Iranians from pushing forward with their plans to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. Secondly, the UN is no friend to the US. The UN is filled with despots’ intent on bringing down the US. The UN has repeatedly gone against US recommendations on all kinds of matters since the end of Desert Storm in 1991.  Yes, there are sanctions against Iran, but those sanctions are toothless, as proven by the continued development of their continued track towards nuclear capability.

Next up is the debt ceiling, which most likely require a vote in the next few weeks. House Speaker Boehner has said he plans on pairing the vote on the debt ceiling “with legislation calling for deep spending cuts.”

Couple these issues with the resignation of Rep Chris Lee (R-NY) over a photo pasted on Craigslist the first month of House control by the Republicans has not gone as smoothly as many had hoped.

Obviously, it’s been a tough first month. We’re like teenager whose voice is just starting to change – we’ve got some growing up to do,” admitted a top House Republican lawmaker, speaking on the condition anonymity. (source:

For their sake, and ours, let’s hope the House Republicans can get their act together real soon. There is tough sledding ahead.

Side Note: In the article link in the above paragraph three Congress-critters were identified as resigning after a scandal broke.  Of those three, two were Republicans and one was a Democrat.  The two Republicans were readily indentified by the typical party designation (R), while I had to go to another source to refresh my mind that Eric Massa was a Democrat from NY. In the article, Massa was identified as “another ex-lawmaker from upstate New York…” I wonder why politico neglected to mention Massa party affiliation.

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