This week Congress returns from their week long spring recess prepared to convene committee meetings to ask questions about the President’s policies in Libya. The House Speaker, Cong. Boehner (R-OH) said in a letter (click here to see: http://www.speaker.gov/UploadedFiles/POTUSLetter_032311.pdf)
to the President dated March 23, 2011 stating that he hopes the President will provide a clear and robust assessment of the mission and how it will be achieved. Similar questions are popping up on the Senate side with Foreign relations ranking member, Senator Lugar (R-IN) calling on the Senate Foreign relations committee to hold hearings. Meanwhile on the Senate side of the Capitol, another letter went to the President only this one deals with issues here at home in the United States. Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Johanns (R-NE) sent a letter (click here to see:
Friday, March 18 asking the President to engage in true deficit reduction talks that include entitlement changes and tax reform. The letter goes on to say: “By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues. This would send a powerful message to American’s that Washington can work together to tackle this critical issue.”
While both of these issues are critical to our nation’s health and well being, this writer believes most of the media will be focused on the Libyan situation, specifically who will testify in the various committee hearings and how they will play out. However, the Bennet/Johanns deficit reduction letter actually has more promise to move the President towards real deficit reduction. The reason is simple. The letter contains the signatures of sixty-four U.S. Senators, thirty-two of which are democrats and thirty-two of which are republicans. This fact is huge in the world of Senate procedure and the rules that govern the U.S. Senate.
This week the Senate will be debating the Small Business innovation bill. This bill has been debated on the floor for over a week but procedurally it is open for any Senator to offer an amendment. If an amendment similar to the sentiment expressed in the letter were to be offered and debated, any Senator wanting to block a vote on this amendment would presumably fail in this effort. You see, rule 22 of the Senate rules allows for the debate to be brought to a close if at least 60 Senators agree. Therefore, this letter, with sixty-four signatures, has much promise to actually help get our deficit under control, if used properly.
Finally, while the TV cameras may be focused on the Libyan hearings, and the Senate may be debating the Small business innovation bill, the behind the scenes story will be the negotiations taking place between the President, the Speaker of the House and the Senate leaders dealing with the federal government spending for the remainder of this fiscal year, which expires Sept. 30, 2011. They need to resolve this impasse before Friday, April 8 to avoid a government shutdown of our federal government agencies.
Stay tuned to see if the weight of the Bennet/Johanns letter is thrown around during these upcoming negotiations on the federal government spending or will the media overshadow the deficit letter with Libyan hearings.
Elizabeth B. Letchworth is a retired, elected United States Senate Secretary for the Majority and Minority. Currently she is a senior legislative adviser for Covington & Burling, LLC and is the founder of GradeGov.com
Agreed. The pre-planned damage he and his co-conspirators have done is devastating. What they've been able to above and beyond the planned destruction is incredible.
Time is a luxury we don't have.
The Libyan hearings will overshadow everything else. What is going on in Wisconsin? Last I heard the unions and their co-conspirators were doing the same thing to the governor they did to Sarah Palin. Mounting frivolous lawsuits and recalls to try and break he and the other patriots down. We need to follow that situation closely and respond when necessary.
It's obvious that Hussein is not going to get empeached so I'm not going to spend anymore time watching us argue about the Libyan charade which was organized to help Europe secure their source of oil and the communists found to be a crisis that could not be wasted.
Watch what is happening elsewhere when they try to distract you with this kind of crap. The riots in London and the protests in NY last week were weak. I'd be embarrassed if I was a radical anti-American union thug or one of the kids they manipulate to participate. Wait until they start burning things and breaking windows here. It's coming. If the men in our cities let them get away with it, they deserve the outcome. If someone attacks a fellow American or their property for the mere reason of creating chaos, that is an enemy attack. Just be smarter than them.
Gail, you are 200% correct about Obama. This said, what is so "not understanding" for people to not see, believe the danger and directions this Country is taking. Could it be that the majority of people don't care or believe someone else with save this Country??
With TPN there should NOT BE one American that doesn't understand or gets it YET!!