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Today in Washington – May 5, 2010

Yesterday was yet another day in the Senate of gridlock on the ObamaBailout bill and today will probably be more of the same.  A Senate committee will be holding hearings today on ways to chip away at the 2nd Amendment.  Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) made a splash yesterday when he circulated legislation to expand the conditions for the government to strip U.S. Citizens of Citizenship.  The House is working on suspensions for most of the afternoon.

Conservatives should watch the following issues today:

  • ObamaBailout bill – Today will be yet another day of partisan wrangling on an agreement on how to proceed on amendments to S.3217, the so called Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.  Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) complained on the Senate floor yesterday about the lack of progress and said ”the party of ‘no’ says ‘no’ to everything we try.”  The American people want no more bailouts, so the “Party of No” mantra may help members who are blocking progress on this legislation.  Reid said that he wants to get the bill done by next week, yet he has not completed work on one amendment.    
  • Fed Transparency – Senator Bernie Sanders (S-VT) told Congressional Quarterly (subscription required) said that “he expects his amendment requiring Government Accountability Office audits of the Fed to come up for a vote in the next few days.”  Erick Erickson worries that some Republicans are “throwing their own side under the bus on financial deform” in the name of protecting secrecy at ”the Federal Reserve.”
  • End the Bailouts – CQ further reports on a Boxer Amendment that ”would ban taxpayer bailouts, but the vote didn’t take place. The delay was surprising, considering that the amendment’s goal — preventing any more taxpayer money from being used to prop up or break up insolvent financial institutions — is supported by both parties.”  Red State has been told that some in the Senate worry that this Amendment is not strong enough to prevent legislative language establishing a permanent bailout authority still evident in the text of the bill.
  • Gun Control – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing at 10am today titled “Terrorists and Guns: The Nature of the Threat and Proposed Reforms.”  The hearing will be an airing of two gun grabbing bills proposed by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).  S. 1317is a Lautenberg bill that grants Atty. General Eric Holder the power to “deny the transfer of a firearm” if he “determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism” and ”has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism.”  The reasonable belief standard removes due process rights for Americans to own a gun and gives the Attorney General too much discretion on who is defined as a prohibited person.  Lautenberg’s other bill is S. 2820is a bill that would set up a de facto national gun registry for each gun purchase for 6 months.  Taken together, the two Lautenberg bills would allow Attorney General Eric Holder the power to consider anyone on the terrorist watch list, approximately 400K people, a prohibited person under federal gun control law without any due process and set up a national gun registry with records “destroyed” after 6 months. 
  • Lieberman Citizenship Stripping Legislation – Controversy swirled in Washington and within the conservative movement as a draft of Senator Lieberman’s legislation to strip terrorists of citizenship circulated.  The Lieberman draft would expand the definition of citizens eligible for having their citizenship stripped.  The legislation titled the “Terrorist Expatriation Act” would “add joining al Quaeda or the Taliban or engaging in or supporting hostilities against the United States or its allies to the list of acts for which United States nationals would lose their nationality.”  The New York Times aired both sides of the issue of whether American citizen terror suspects should have Miranda Rights, and other constitutional rights, during interrogation.  The NYT reported that “Senator John McCainof Arizona called it a mistake to read Mr. Shahzad his Miranda rights so soon. ‘When we detain terrorism suspects, our top priority should be finding out what intelligence they have that could prevent future attacks and save American lives,’ he said on Sean Hannity’s radio show.’”  Glenn Beck is on the other side of the issue, “the conservative Fox News commentator, said Mr. Shahzad was entitled to his rights. ‘He’s a citizen of the United States, so I say we uphold the laws and the Constitution on citizens,’ Mr. Beck said. ‘He has all the rights under the Constitution. We don’t shred the Constitution when it’s popular.’”  Expect this debate to continue in the next few weeks within the conservative movement.

The House schedule courtesy of The Daily Leader, Office of the Democrat Leader Steny Hoyer:

“One Minutes” (15 per side)

Suspensions (14 Bills)

  1. H.R. 5160 - Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010 (Rep. Rangel – Ways and Means)
  2. H.Res. 1320 – Expressing support for the vigilance and prompt response of the citizens and law enforcement agencies in New York and Connecticut to the attempted terrorist attack in Times Square on May 1, 2010, their exceptional professionalism and investigative work following the attempted attack, and their consistent commitment to preparedness for and collective response to terrorism (Reps. McMahon/Himes/Hall (NY) – Homeland Security)
  3. H.Res. 1272 – Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the May 4, 1970, Kent State University shootings (Rep. Ryan (OH) – Education and Labor)
  4. H.Res. 1157 – Congratulating the National Urban League on its 100th year of service to the United States (Rep. Hastings (FL) – Education and Labor)
  5. H.Res. 1312 - Recognizing the roles and contributions of America’s teachers to building and enhancing our Nation’s civic, cultural, and economic well-being (Rep. Graves – Education and Labor)
  6. H.Res. 1149 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National Charter School Week, to be held May 2 through May 8, 2010 (Rep. Bishop (UT) – Education and Labor)
  7. H.R. 2421- Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (Rep. Capito – Financial Services)
  8. H.Res. 1295- Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother’s Day (Rep. Fortenberry – Oversight and Government Reform)
  9. H.Res. 1247 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that public servants should be commended for their dedication and continued service to the Nation during Public Service Recognition Week, May 3 through 9, 2010, and throughout the year (Rep. Lynch – Oversight and Government Reform)
  10. H.R. 1722- Telework Improvements Act (Rep. Sarbanes – Oversight and Government Reform)
  11. H.Res. 1301 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National Train Day (Rep. Brown (FL) – Transportation and Infrastructure)
  12. H.Con.Res. 247- Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby (Rep. Hoyer – Transportation and Infrastructure)
  13. H.Con.Res. 263 – Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the District of Columbia Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run (Rep. Norton – Transportation and Infrastructure)
  14. H.Res. 1278- In support and recognition of National Safe Digging Month, April, 2010 (Rep. Shuster – Transportation and Infrastructure)

* Conference Reports may be brought up at any time.

* Motions to go to Conference should they become available.

* Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

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