This Week's Accomplishments

In the House today:

  • By 280 to 152, the Democratic-controlled House voted to require sponsors of the pet spending items to be publicly identified, a move that sponsors say will do away with some of the most egregious waste of the taxpayers’ money.
  • [A separate] vote to reinstate the “pay as you go” rule [passed] 280 to 154. It requires that increases in spending on entitlement programs be offset by savings elsewhere, so as not to raise the budget deficit.

And yesterday:

  • The new House rules bar members from taking gifts, meals or trips paid for by lobbyists, or the organizations that employ them. The rules also ban lawmakers from using corporate jets and reimbursing the owners.

It's time for the Senate to agree to abide by similar restrictions. And quickly, to avoid distraction from the overarching issue of the new year: resisting an escalation of the war in Iraq. It's encouraging to see the Democratic party credited with "fierce opposition" to the president's senseless and stubborn desire to do more of the same.

“We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader, wrote to Mr. Bush. “Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain,” the Democrats’ letter said.

Also reiterating his deep opposition to any troop increases was Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin. “The administration refuses to acknowledge the devastating impact that keeping our brave troops in Iraq is having on our national security, and now the president is considering sending even more troops,” Mr. Feingold said in a statement. “We should be bringing our troops out of Iraq, not the other way around,” he said. “The American people’s message at the ballot box was loud and clear, and it is past time that the administration listened.”

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    Ethics Tally (none / 0) (#1)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 11:59:54 PM EST
    TChris, you left out the vote tally on the ethics reform package: 430-to-Dan Burton.

    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#2)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 02:12:03 AM EST
    I doubt the pay-go rule applies to Bush's patented "every year in Iraq is a complete surprise out of left field" system of funding the Iraq war solely through "emergency" funding requests. Wouldn't it be nice to tell him that if he wants to keep searching for the pony then we're going to have to raise Paris Hilton's taxes again?

    Say *What* Is Causing Deficit? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Peter G on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 12:43:55 PM EST
    Thanks, Scar, for beating me to this question.  It's not spending on "entitlement programs" that is sending the deficit through the roof (or is down the mineshaft?).  To think of the good that could have been done both here and around the world with the money wasted (and worse) on destroying Iraq is enough to make one despair.  

    He is digging the hole (none / 0) (#3)
    by plumberboy on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 07:30:46 AM EST
    President Bush is just the digging the hole deeper.He is going to toally ruin what shred of the repulican party is left.It is a shame that our troops have to pay the price.I think our standing in the world two years from now will be much better seeing how Obama will be president.

    please correct me if I am wrong (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 09:30:32 AM EST
    but is it not true that the Democrats do not have 280 seats in the new Congress, but rather only about 250 (249, I think)?

    Do these 280-152 and 280-154 vote totals therefore not mean that the Democrats have already succeeded in peeling away about 30 or so Republicans?  In contravention of and stark contrast to Rover's strategy to woo conservative and "Blue Dog" Democrats over to the Republican side?  I mean, that might be Rover's strategy, but the exact opposite is happening....

    And, FWIW, just who the hell is it that was so arrogant to miss votes on the first day of work?  There are 435 Reps (more, if one adds the 3 non-voting delegates from DC, PR and VI), yet at least one, and as many as four (430-Burton), of these Congresscritters were already missing work.  I mean, if they called in sick or something, that's one thing.  But really, folks, suck it up and show up.

    YOur'e right (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 09:41:33 AM EST
    Dems 233 Rethugs 202 meaning they "...succeeded in peeling away [closer to 50] Republicans...

    Interesting WaPo vote database (none / 0) (#6)
    by aw on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 09:43:54 AM EST
    By party | By state | By region | By boomer status | By gender | By astrological sign

    Votes Database

    This is getting serious (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 09:45:07 AM EST
    astrological sign???

    As a Taurus, I say that's a bunch of bull... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Bill Arnett on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 11:39:13 AM EST
    ...but if that is how they wish to categorize members of the new congress, that's up to them.

    What sickened me unto death yesterday on the floor of congress was the seemingly unending line of rethugs coming to the floor talking about, "The dems promised this, they promised that, and here it is the second day they have had power and they have done NOTHING that they promised."

    Have you ever smelled rank fear on someone? That kind of unreasoning fear that draws a bead of sweat across the forehead, makes a person tremble and quake, and immediately increases the stench of those exhibiting that fear?

    That smell was emanating from one rethuglican speaker after another, even as they stood there with their bare faces hanging out telling lies, the logic of which defies credulity, and a palpable sense of, "Oh, sh*t, this is real; we lost and now THEY are in charge." I would not have wanted to be in that chamber yesterday smelling that rank stench of fear.


    Heh! (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 11:48:12 AM EST
    Have you ever smelled rank fear on someone? That kind of unreasoning fear that draws a bead of sweat across the forehead, makes a person tremble and quake, and immediately increases the stench of those exhibiting that fear?




    Scribe (none / 0) (#8)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 10:59:46 AM EST
    The WaPo article notes 16 non votes for the resolution listed. Again, sometimes individuals will miss a vote even tho they are at work. Sometimes they have other meetings and know that their vote will not affect the outcome. The repukes used to get on Kerry in '04 for missing votes, but never pointed out that the tally would be so lopsided that it wasn't necessary. Nevertheless, voting attendance should be monitored.

    Slightly OT, but this is interesting. Note it is the Drudge RETORT.

    I had my tongue stuck firmly (none / 0) (#12)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 03:26:28 PM EST
    in cheek when I wrote the last paragraph, barking about vote attendance....
    But, you're right - attendance and voting counts and should be watched.

    repubs peeled off (none / 0) (#13)
    by diogenes on Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 10:19:21 PM EST
    1.  Since dems control congress restricting pet projects hurts them more.
    2.  Repubs only push entitlement spending to give them political cover; this bill lets them avoid raising entitlements because of cost without being painted as starving children or old ladies.
    Any good repub would support both bills.

    The difference between right and wrong (none / 0) (#14)
    by Sailor on Sun Jan 07, 2007 at 04:44:21 PM EST
    Since dems control congress restricting pet projects hurts them more.
    Yet the dems want to do it because they know it is the right thing.