The major legislative item on the agenda in the Senate this week will be The Small Business Reauthorization Act (S. 493). Republicans plan to use this bill as a platform to promote critical pieces of legislation through the process of non-germane amendments to the bill. Here are some vital amendments that will be debated and voted on throughout the week:
- Senator Mitch McConnell is offering an amendment (S. AMDT 183) to prohibit the EPA from promulgating any regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. There is perhaps no force that is more destructive to our prosperity, consumer freedom of choice, and job creation than onerous cap and trade schemes. There are many red state Democrats who are up for reelection in 2012 and will be hard pressed to go on record as supporting policies that are an imprecation to the interests of their states. Make sure to call Senators Claire McCaskill, Joe Manchin, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, and Jon Tester in particular.
- Senator David Vitter is offering an amendment (S.AMDT. 178) forcing the federal government to sell off unused and underused property. This is a serious issue. The federal government owns over half of the land in some western states and has been using it to stifle energy development. Selling unused federal lands would also serve as a prudent means of generating revenue without raising taxes.
- Senator Rand Paul is using the SBA bill as a platform to offer his signature budget bill (S.AMDT 199) which would slash $200 billion in spending for fiscal 2011. Paul's plan slashes funding by 50% to the Departments of Energy, Education, and HUD. This amendment represents real limited government and budget austerity and will separate the men among the boys in the ranks of the Republican Conference.
- Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is forcing a vote (S. AMDT 197) to delay the implementation of ObamaCare until a final resolution is reached in pending lawsuits. Unlike other bills that are designed to merely ameliorate ObamaCare, this amendment would completely halt it during the ensuing legal battles.
- Senator Tom Coburn has filed an amendment (S.AMDT.184) to force federal agencies to compile comprehensive lists of all of their programs
Make sure that all of your Republican senators are on record supporting these amendments, especially Rand Paul's budget proposal. Also, let's see which faux moderate Democrats will commit to supporting anyone of these commonsense initiatives. Needless to say, I didn't waste time calling my senators; Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin!