Rep. Larry Kissell Attaches Expanded "Made in America" Amendment to Stimulus Bill - Video

Rep. Larry Kissell was one of 11 members of Congress who had their amendments to the stimulus bill introduced on the House floor and offered for debate and a vote. In 2007 Kissell's predecessor had introduced a similar bill. He was not able to get it out of committee. In ten years holding the seat, former Rep. Robin Hayes was able to get five bills passed with most introduced to rename post offices in the congressman's district.

Kissell's amendment, if it remains part of the package after the bill makes it through the Senate, will expand the Berry Amendment to require that uniforms purchased by the Department of Homeland Security also be made with fabric and findings manufactured in the United States. The amendment is intended to keep people working and put some textile workers back to work.

For your viewing pleasure....and don't miss the look that Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-GA gives Larry after he challenges Rep. Kissell. We must note that Rep. Westmoreland is a member of the Prayer Caucus, a group that has Robin Hayes on the board of advisors.

Searing: Some practical suggestions on health care funding

Over the next few weeks, there will be more smoke and obfuscation by the Honorables in Raleigh on the issue of health care than you'll be able to stomach. "Cut health care for poor people," is already becoming the Republican mantra as the fright-wing of the NC GOP tries to use the downturn to drive permanent retrenchment in services for people in need.

Though I don't expect calmer voices to prevail, I do want people to be aware of what those calmer voices are saying. One in particular, Adam Searing, often gets to the technical details that matter most. His post today at NC Policy Watch is a good one.

Karma

Poor Erik Prince. The mean old Iraqis are refusing to give Blackwater a license to operate a mercenary army in their country.

“They presented their request, and we rejected it,” said Ala’a Al-Taia, an official with Iraq’s Interior Ministry. “There is no longer the necessity to renew their contract because our security forces can handle their mission. There are many marks against this company, specifically that they have a bad history and have been involved in the killing of so many civilians.”

Too bad our own government doesn't have the same clarity of judgment.

Kay Hagan Speaks in Support of SCHIP & NC Workers

Kay Hagan spoke on the floor of the Senate in support of the Children's Health Insurance Program and workers in North Carolina's tobacco industry.

Less than a month into my service here in the U.S. Senate, I’m faced with a situation in which the health of millions of my state’s children are at odds with a key industry in North Carolina. But Mr. President, ultimately, I have to vote on behalf of the 10 million low-income and disadvantaged children this bill helps. In this economy, when families are being forced to choose between paying their bills and putting food on their table, I cannot make it harder for them to keep their children healthy, safe and cared-for. I cast this vote in the affirmative as a mother, as a former budget chairman for the state of North Carolina, who knows how difficult it is for the state to close the gap in funding for this critical program when the federal government drops the ball, and as a U.S.

Now is the time for Bold Action

Right now our state is in a crunch. We will hit the end of this fiscal year with no budget deficit, mostly because of some severe steps that Governors Easley and Perdue took and will take. I don’t fault them, they are required to not run a deficit. However, next year will require a significant legislative fix if we are going to avoid a government shutdown to ensure the constitutionally mandated balance budget.

How to save an easy $140 million in the state budget

This started off as a comment over in James' post about Doug Berger's ideas on the budget. I started to comment that Republican Pete Brunstetter had one crazy idea and one not so crazy idea.

What two things would you cut in the state budget? "I'm not a big fan of the More at Four program," Brunstetter said. "I don't think it has had the impact that justifies the cost."

He added that there needs to be some consideration of merging More at Four with Smart Start, another pre-school program.

Getting rid of early childhood education programs is so stupid I can't even comment, but the idea of merging two pre-school programs into one overhead makes sense.

But, this is where my bullshitometer went off.

State Legislative Session Begins

The 2009-2010 session of the North Carolina General Assembly has begun. Galleries are packed. An overflow crowd is gathered outside the chambers or watching a live feed in an adjacent auditorium. The picture shows the House chamber. Click on the image for a couple more photos.


Update: Leave it to the professionals to capture the true bitter sweet flavor of the opening session:

Matt Saldana at Triangulator blog at The Independent Weekly:
Day 1: Stam invokes Defense of Marriage, and other notes from the Ledge

Laura Leslie at Isaac Hunter's Tavern blog at WUNC:
Wed. late: They're BAA-aaack...

Basnight signals education on the chopping block

Make sure you read this story from the Elizabeth City paper.

“Education will be critical to our discussions,” Basnight said. “If you dip into that area too much, you start affecting what makes this state so popular to live in.” Until the session is under way, both Owens and Basnight said it is unclear what other areas of state spending will be subject to cutbacks.

One area not likely to see spending cutbacks is the state Department of Corrections, Basnight said. (Emphasis added.)

So there you have it. We'll keep on buildin' us some more prisons and locking up kids for smoking pot, even as we cut public education. It's a right wing wet dream come true.

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