Aside from the fact that President Obama was issued the Nobel Peace Prize today, ( if only one had to be noble in order to get a Nobel prize) there are two other pieces of news that broke worth noting. One I have been watching for a week now and waiting for some confirmation. Alas, it has come. The other has been on the back burner and is now getting moved forward. Both have to do with legislation and while the issues in the legislation have nothing to do with one another, the course of action they are following disturbingly does.
The Heritage Foundation confirmed in a story that the Senior Aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that it is "likely" that Senator Reid will use H.R. 1586 as a "shell" for passing healthcare legislation. H.R. 1586 is a bill passed by the House to impose a 90% tax on bonuses paid to employees of certain financial institutions that have been bailed out. To read about the plan in detail, go to www.heritage.org. In a nutshell, it would be carried out through the following scenario.
Step 1: The Senate Finance Committee will finish work on the marking up of Senator Baucus' "plan" for healthcare reform.
Step 2: Senator Reid will merge the final product of the Senate Finance Committee with the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee proposal. Reid will be able to draft the bill and insert language not approved by either committee. This will largely be a private process with no input by the American people either directly or through representation.
Step 3: Senator Reid will move to proceed to H.R. 1586--the bill that imposes a tax on bonuses received by certain TARP recipients.
Step 4: The scenario will be implemented after the
In the end, the House will take up Obamacare without amending the legislation and it will be sent straight to the President. The bill will not pass through a House-Senate conference committee and another round of votes in both the House and the Senate. And we, dear countrymen, will be under a nationalized healthcare system.
The second legislative news is from FOXNews.com. The House voted on Thursday to make it a federal crime to assault people because of sexual orientation. This expands protection under an already existing hate crimes bill. The Senate is expected to pass this bill and once that is done, federal prosecutors will be able to intervene in cases of violence against gays.
The kicker to this bill is that it is attached to a $680 billion defense policy bill. Yes, you read that correctly--hate crimes legislation attached to defense policy legislation. House Republican Leader John Boehner said it right when he stated: "This is radical social policy that is being put on the defense authorization bill, on the backs of our soldiers, because they probably can't pass it on its own." Let's not even touch on the subject that through the passage of this bill, the federal government can step in after the Justice Department certifies that a state is unwilling or unable to follow through on a purported hate crime. Doesn't the term "step in" imply that the federal government might be overstepping it's bounds a wee bit?
So, what do we have in common here. Two very different types of legislation both being implemented by utilizing what I can only call dirty politics. Does this make you mad? Does this make you feel cheated? Is this what our founding fathers had in mind when they established the procedures and rules to be followed in the making of our laws? It isn't a game of "Find the Loopholes". It is our national law they are creating. And they act like shysters swindling the latest deal. We deserve better than this.
Some have said in the past week that the Tea Party movement is dying down. People are becoming board, tired of the rhetoric, unable to keep up the pressure. We cannot let that happen. We must keep up the fight. See, we have the power to change--positively change--how our country is being run. It is time for "Find the Loopholes" to end and "Governing For the People" to begin.
Keep up the fight. Together we can prevail.
Danette Starr Lowery