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Today in Washington – June 10, 2010

Conservatives argue that government usually makes a situation worse when it tries to help.  A great example of this is the decision by President Obama to impose a drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the spill.  From the LA Times, “Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also reassured congressional representatives from the beleaguered gulf states that a six-month moratorium on drilling that many here have called economically ruinous could be lifted sooner if new studies and protections are put into place.”  Not only is the Gulf dealing with the oil spill ecological disaster, now they have to deal with a man made economic disaster because of the ban on economic activities in the Gulf.  Furthermore, it appears that efforts to “contain the well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico may have boosted the amount of oil gushing out,” creating more damage to the Gulf Coast states.

The Senate will commence debate on proceeding to Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) joint resolution to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power to regulate emissions in the name of global warming.  The House is expected to vote on bill dealing with mortgage insurance rates and an oil spill trust fund.  Two Senate Committees will have markups and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will conduct another hearing on the START Treaty.Conservatives should be watching these issues today.

  • Tax, Baby Tax – Rahm Emanuel’s famous proclamation about the effective use of a crisis is being implemented by Democrat Senators this week.  “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  What I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”  Congress is ready to “Tax, Baby Tax” the American people into the poor house.  McClatchy reports that “Senate Democratic leaders want to impose a 41 cent per barrel tax on oil companies to help clean up future spills — more than five times what the companies pay now — but Republicans say the effort is deceptive because there’s no guarantee that the money would be used for that purpose.”  This proposal to raise the tax on a barrel of oil from 8 cents to 41 cents is part of the Tax Extenders bill on the Senate Floor today.  An increase in gas prices, because of new federal taxation, is not what the doctor ordered for an economy in trouble and this Tax Extenders bill could hurt job creation in the energy sector of the economy.  Add this tax increase to the ban on all drilling in the Gulf and the government may create an economic hurricane that will further devastate the people relying on energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.  It seems that the Obama Administration will use any excuse to raise taxes on the American people. 
  • Murkowski Resolution- The Senate will debate today Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval to grant the EPA massive new powers to regulate emissions in the name of Global Warming.  The New York Times describes the Murkowski resolution as a vote that “would essentially veto EPA’s ‘endangerment’ finding, a scientific determination that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare.”  New York Times also reported that one prominent Democrat will support the resolution.  “Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) will vote for a resolution to hamstring U.S. EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.”  The Obama Administration has pledged to veto if this passes the House and Senate, yet the House is not expectd to take this measure up.  This will be the first substantive debate on Global Warming in the Senate this year. 

Congress and the American people want transparency in the federal government’s activities in the Gulf and they feel right now that this information is witholding critical information.  Also, Conservatives need to watch Congress today to see how they handle the tax and EPA issues.

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