This Week in Washington – July 19, 2010
Last week, WH Press Flack Robert Gibbs declared the House is lost and this week it was up to Vice President Joe Biden to bring a happy message to Democrats. Biden declared his opinion yesterday on This Week. “I don’t think the losses are going to be bad at all. I think we are going to shock the heck out of everybody.” AP reports:
Vice President Joe Biden is assuring House Democrats that he thinks they’ll keep control after the fall elections. Only a week ago, President Barack Obama’s press secretary infuriated members of his own party by suggesting that voters could put Republicans in power.
The Obama Administration needs a lesson or two in message discipline. As I wrote for Human Events today, thanks again President Obama for putting together an Administration that seems to be pulling conservatives together in opposition to destructive ideas.
The House this week will work on 29 bills on the suspension calendar, a bill to extend unemployment insurance and another bill modifying flood insurance. The Senate will swear in Carte Goodwin (D-WV) to complete the term of the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), TARP, Jr., an extension of unemployment insurance and possibly the War Supplemental. The Committees in the House and Senate will continue work on appropriations bills. The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the nomination of anti-Second Amendment nominee Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Our own Erick Erickson called for a filibuster today in Human Events.
Issues for Conservatives to watch this week are the following:
- The Senate – The Senate will be back up to 100 Senators this week when Carte Goodwin is sworn in today. The new Senator will vote for an extension of unemployment benefits, yet he has pledged his opposition to “Cap and Trade,” a bill that has already passed the House. The AP reports that “Goodwin also came out against a proposals that aim to curb man made carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade system. West Virginia is the nation’s second-largest producer of coal, which releases such greenhouse gases when burned.” The Senate will return today for another week of debate on TARP, Jr., also known as H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act. The Senate will swear in Goodwin on Tuesday then immediately proceed to H.R. 4213, a bill to extend unemployment benefits. The updated Senate schedule for this week can be found on the Senate Majority Leader’s web site.
- The House – The House will work in suspension bills and will have to pass the unemployment insurance bill again, because the Senate has amended the bill. There is a push to get the House out soon, so that members can get back to districts for the purposes of campaigning for re-election. If the House recesses soon, they will be out for over a month in an attempt to save jobs this Fall. This may be difficult with a President at a low approval rating of 47.6% (according to Real Clear Politics) and with Republicans up 3.3% (RCP) in a generic congressional ballot. For the complete list of items for the week, please refer to the House Majority Leader’s web site.
- Repeal Obama’s Policies – It might be time for conservatives to call for repeal of the Stimulus, ObamaCare and the Financial Services Reform bill as part of an ideas campaign against the harm being done to America today. This Fall election will be a referendum on President Obama and, right now, it appears that the American people are inclined to vote against candidates who support the President’s unpopular ideas. Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent Op Ed last week where she made the case that “If President Obama is proof of anything, it’s that governance isn’t so much about the ‘whether’ as the ‘what.’ There’s no longer any question whether this White House can close a sale. Its problem is the country doesn’t like what it’s selling.” Strassel is right. The Stimulus has been a disaster for the economy and belies President Obama’s promise to the American people that would create 2.5 million more jobs. Conn Carroll of The Foundry wrote last week that “President Obama’s stimulus has failed to meet its own standard for success by 7.4 million jobs.” This is legislative failure number 1. Failure number two was ObamaCare. There is a push in the House to repeal ObamaCare spearheaded by Congressman Steve King (R-IA). Heritage Action for America is pushing a discharge petition to repeal ObamaCare right now. This petition will force a vote in the House for a full repeal of the President’s destructive health care plan in this Congress. The President is signing the Financial Services Reform bill later this week and it will be interesting to see who in the House and Senate calls for immediate repeal of this destructive idea. Conservatives desire bold leadership and the next few weeks will be instructive to see if the elites in Washington, D.C. get it or if the Tea Party candidates for office will have to bring change from the outside.