U.S. Congress

Tribute to Congressman Brad Miller

The average IQ in the House is about to drop a little:

In Congress, Miller played a significant role in legislation related to economic recovery (he had graduate studies in economics as well as a law degree) and predatory mortgages. In any issue in which he became involved, Miller studied carefully and by the time he entered the debate, he knew what he was talking about.

You got that right. The first time I saw Brad on C-SPAN he was grilling some dude from AIG (I think it was), and the poor guy drained a whole carafe of ice water trying to replace the sweat. The thing is, he didn't bark and growl like some of his pompous colleagues; when you know your stuff, you don't have to. Here's just a glimpse of what we're losing:

Motsinger's Clean Campaign

From Elisabeth Motsinger:

This evening, we will know who the voters of the 5th District of North Carolina have selected as your congresswoman for the next two years. You, my supporters, have been so generous with your time, your money, and your encouragement over the last year. You have inspired me--and even more importantly--the campaign's core staff and volunteers--to keep going when the going got rough, when we faced attack mailers from the incumbent, and a smear campaign from a disgruntled blogger.

Rouzer accuses Obama administration of being "girly men"

Another chickenhawk puffs up his chest:

North Carolina State Sen. David Rouzer (R), the GOP nominee in the state’s 7th congressional district, levied the charge during a speech at a Tea Party Express rally in Wilmington on Sunday. If Romney is elected, Rouzer said, those perpetrating recent violence in the Middle East are going to “cut it out a little bit [...] because now we have real men in the White House.” An audience member shouted “No girly men!” prompting Rouzer’s approval: “That’s right, no girly men.”

Says the man who hasn't served a day in uniform, and probably would have joined his GOP colleagues in blocking the veterans jobs bill. I'm surprised he didn't drop Reagan's name in there, to remind people of the freeing of hostages in Iran. Who then proceeded to blunder all across the Third World creating little wars that he could lose.

Motsinger calls on Foxx to explain Welfare-to-Work reform

(Winston-Salem) Elisabeth Motsinger has called on her Congressional opponent to explain why she co-sponsored a bill that would gut welfare work requirements, while simultaneously criticizing President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services for welfare reforms that she mistakenly claims would do the same thing.

Virginia Foxx co-sponsored HR 118, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act, which would allow states to combine moneys from state-federal employment and training funds into a single fund. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan analysis arm of Congress, the bill would nullify federal eligibility requirements for those programs, including the work requirement.

“I am confused why Mrs. Foxx puts forth a bill that directly contradicts her criticisms of the president,” Motsinger said. “Citizens back here in the district have the right to an explanation.” Motsinger is running to unseat Foxx in North Carolina’s 5th District.

David vs. Goliath: U.S. Rep. Foxx has 135 Times More Cash on Hand than Opponent Elisabeth Motsinger

From the High Country Press

David vs. Goliath:’ U.S. Rep. Foxx has 135 Times More Cash on Hand than Opponent Elisabeth Motsinger

By Jesse Wood

Elizabeth Motsinger

Aug. 28, 2012. Vying for a seat in the U.S. House in November, Elisabeth Motsinger faces incumbent U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) at a serious disadvantage.

Foxx has 135 times more cash on hand than her opponent. The financial disparity is so striking that Motsinger has dubbed the race “David vs. Goliath.”

According to the latest quarterly campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Motsinger had $11,000 “cash on hand.” As of June 30, Foxx had $1.5 million in her coffers.

“Well, it is a huge gap if you believe elections should be bought and paid for. I don’t,” Motsinger said. “The big question is as American people, do we really want our votes paid for?”

Keeping an eye on Social Security and Medicare

AARP establishes a new resource for probable benefit changes:

When elected officials talk about the future of Social Security and Medicare, it's usually a lot of "Washington-speak." AARP is working to change that by making sure everyone in North Carolina understands what's being discussed in Congress and has opportunities to express personal points of view. We've enlisted a broad range of experts from all political views to share their ideas so you can understand the pros and cons of leading proposals on the table in Washington.

Here's a link to the AARP page talking about this, but I think there's supposed to be a whole different website. I'll keep looking when I get a chance.

Veterans and their families facing health care cuts

Because apparently they haven't sacrificed enough yet:

Republicans and Democrats alike are signaling a willingness — unheard of at the height of two post-Sept. 11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to make military retirees pay more for coverage. It's a reflection of Washington's newfound embrace of fiscal austerity and the Pentagon's push to cut health care costs that have skyrocketed from $19 billion in 2001 to $53 billion.

We had no problem sending suitcases filled with cash to Iraq, signing billion-dollar contracts for mercenaries who earn 3-4 times as much as those troops, having families scrape up the money for body armor for their loved ones, and sending those troops back into the war zone for a 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) tour. But now honoring our promises to them costs too much to sustain? Bullshit.

Congressional response to Citizens United near

Any day now, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are expected to file legislation in Congress that responds to the Citizens United decision. The bill will (1) require greater disclosure of political spending by corporations (including non-profit trade groups) and unions, (2) tighten the definition of coordination between independent spenders and candidates/parties, and (3) bar political spending by foreign corporations and corporations with large government contracts or TARP bailout funds.

February Fundraiser in Raleigh for MARSHALL ADAME NC-03 (Early notice) )

February Fundraiser for MARSHALL ADAME NC-03 in Raleigh (An Early Notice)

Cap and Trade: Will It Work?

As the arguments against the reality of global warming become less vociferous under the barrage of scientific data, and the certainty of carbon emissions being the main culprit is grudgingly accepted by even the most outspoken deniers, policy makers are (finally) gearing up to begin taking steps.

Seemingly across the board, experts and legislators alike are warming to the idea of adapting the same type of approach to reducing carbon emissions that became the core of the Kyoto Protocols, that being a system of Cap and Trade.

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