Why Were These Things Included In The Deal?

I am sure that there is more of this to come, but there are two provisions in the agreement to raise the debt ceiling that indicate to me that it is time to clean house in Washington.

WFPL News reports that the bill ending the government shutdown includes $3 billion for the massive Olmsted Dam Lock in Paducah, Kentucky.  The bill increases the funding from $775 million to nearly $2.9 billion.

The article reports:

Asked about the additional funding in the proposal, McConnell spokesman Robert Steurer directed all questions to lawmakers who worked on the bill directly.

“Senators (Diane) Feinstein and (Lamar) Alexander, the chair and ranking member of the energy and water subcommittee, worked on the issue and can help you,” he says.

Since 2009, McConnell has been an outspoken supporter of the project, and has been working on getting its funding for some time.

This may not be an earmark, but it sure looks like one. Why was this included in this bill rather than a stand-alone bill?

The other part of this bill that disturbs me is the change in how future debt ceilings will be handled.

Breitbart.com reports:

The plan includes a proposal offered by McConnell in the 2011 debt ceiling crisis that allows Congress to disapprove of the debt ceiling increase, which means lawmakers will formally vote on whether to reject a debt ceiling increase until Feb. 7. Obama can veto that legislation if it passes. If Congress fails as expected to gather a two-thirds majority to override the veto, the debt ceiling would be raised.

If we ever want to see the end of runaway spending, we need to oppose that idea and everyone who supports it. Shutting the government down was not pleasant, but Congress (particularly the House of Representatives) is supposed to be in charge of spending. This change makes Congress almost irrelevant and allows the President to continue to drive America into bankruptcy.

This was not a good deal for America.

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If You Want To Know Where The Power Is…

If you want to know where the power is in Washington, watch the statements of the people who may be facing tough re-election campaigns. One of these people right now is Senator Mitch McConnell, who is faced with a celebrity opponent at a time when his own popularity is fading. Generally speaking, Mitch McConnell represents the establishment Republican party, but the establishment is being strongly challenged these days. Yesterday was a really bad day for the establishment–Rand Paul held a filibuster and discussed an issue that concerns many Americans.

Today’s Washington Examiner is reporting that Senator McConnell praised Senator Paul‘s actions and referred to the dinner with the President attended by some Republicans as a publicity stunt. Do you believe that Senator McConnell would have said anything at all were he not involved in a very difficult election next year? The fact that he is right is purely coincidental.

The article reports on Senator McConnell’s comments on the dinner with the President:

He said Obama probably reached out to Republicans to help stem his plummet in the polls.

“I think his effort so far to try to scare everybody and and try to convince the public that the sky is falling because we’re going to cut federal spending 2.4 percent out of $3.6 trillion out of the next six months has been a failure. So he may feel that just trying to rub our noses in it all the time is not going to work for him,” he said, citing the president’s seven-point drop in the Gallup approval rating in just one week.

Senator McConnell is courting the Tea Party in order to win reelection. If there is a conservative primary challenge to him, the Republicans stand a chance of losing the seat. If there is not a primary challenge and he wins, we still have the same stale leadership. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s time that those of us in the Republican Party who want change thought about that definition.

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