NBC and the AP are both reporting the House Appropriations Committee Chairman, David Obey (D-WI) will retire this year.
house appropriations committee
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.
Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse -- with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.
And where are we now? 103 dead in Mexico, and 20 cases popping up almost instantly in the U.S. The entire world is on edge worrying about a global pandemic, and if that comes to fruition, then it will become a massive hit on the already teetering economy.
But stories like this should come as no shock. We saw the exact same thing when Katrina hit. The Republicans believe that the public should be prepared, but the government doesn’t have to do anything. Just like when they said “it was the people’s fault for staying in Louisiana”, and wouldn’t cast any blame on a government that couldn’t be bothered to leave their vacation.
He is going after the spend happy Republicans.
When House Republicans convene behind closed doors today at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., they have a chance to make two bold moves to restore their reputation for fiscal responsibility. First, they could declare a one-year moratorium on Republican congressional earmarks. Second, they could name earmark reformer Rep. Jeff Flake to a vacancy on the House Appropriations Committee. In fact, they almost surely will do neither.
Instead, during the retreat Republicans are likely to adopt some limitation on earmarks that will have no public impact and will exert no pressure on the earmark-happy Democratic majority. Consideration of Flake's candidacy for Appropriations was postponed until after this week's earmark debate at the Greenbrier. But, content with a half-measure on earmarks, the House Republicans are unlikely to place Flake, an insistent reformer, in the midst of the pork-dispensing appropriators.
The Republicans try to paint corruption as a bi-partisan problem, but the majority of the problems we hear about come from the right side of the aisle:
Federal investigators probing Rep. Jerry Lewis (news, bio, voting record)' ties to lobbyists are looking into a land deal that put nearly 41 pristine acres in the congressman's neighborhood off-limits to developers, The Associated Press has learned.
The land was given to the city of Redlands by Jack and Laura Dangermond, who have donated generously to Lewis. The Dangermonds founded and run a company — Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. of Redlands — that has gotten tens of millions of dollars' worth of contracts through the powerful House Appropriations Committee that Lewis, a Republican, now chairs.
One government contract came months after the land donation.
The land, some of which sits directly across from Lewis' home, is part of a scenic canyon in one of Redlands' wealthiest neighborhoods. Keeping the land free of development helps ensure property values remain high.
A spokeswoman for Lewis' attorneys said the congressman was unaware the Dangermonds owned the land and did not know the terms under which it was given to the city.
The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, which is leading the Lewis investigation, and a spokeswoman for the FBI had no comment on the land deal.
I will admit there are Democrats who are also corrupt, but the majority of the corruption does come from the Republican side. As matter of fact, there is far more corrupt Republicans than there are Democrats.
At long last, but to the dismay of the investors in P&O moves are bieng made to block the ports deal, this is all very well.....BUT, have they decided what to do with the ports yet?..answer..NO, so this will mean the ports will be in 'business limbo' for a while, could turn out to be messy. I don't recall any comments form the Unions about this either, this suprises me.
Source: NY Times
WASHINGTON, March 8 - The House Appropriations Committee defied President Bush this evening, voting overwhelmingly to scuttle a deal giving a Dubai company control of some major seaport operations without awaiting the outcome of a 45-day review of potential security risks.
Representative Jerry Lewis, the California Republican who is chairman of the panel, made good on his threat to keep the port terminal takeover from going forward. He added an amendment blocking the transaction to an essential emergency spending measure that provides money for the war in Iraq and for Hurricane Katrina recovery. "It is my intention to lay the foundation to block the deal," he said Tuesday.
The vote was 62 to 2, a signal of the deep opposition to the port terminal takeover on both sides of the aisle. The full House of Representatives is expected to vote next week, and based upon today's tally Mr. Lewis's measure seems likely to pass in the full chamber. Its prospects in the Senate are less clear, however.
"This is a national security issue, this is a national security bill," Mr. Lewis said today.
The committee's ranking Democrat, Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin, said he regretted that President Bush had not done a better job of explaining the proposed transaction and had not been given enough time. But Mr. Obey said, "When I heard of the transaction, I thought it sounded nuts."
By a vote of 62-2, the House Appropriations Committee approved the amendment to stop the state-owned United Arab Emirates company Dubai Ports World from managing terminals at the American ports.
One of the most powerful committees in Congress is the House Appropriations
Committee. The chairmen of the committee must hold the highest ethical standards
because the influence of bribery and greed is so great. This is what lead to the
conviction and downfall of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the former committee
So who will be a good ethical person to replace the disgraced Congressman
from California? How about Tom Delay. You might think I am joking but this is no
joke. As Delay highlighted in his speech Saturday when he announced he would not
seek to retain his position as Majority Leader:
I will continue to serve my constituents and seek re-election to a 12th
term representing Texas' 22nd district while I work to clear my name of the
baseless charges leveled against me. I will also be reclaiming my seat on
the Appropriations Committee when the second session of the 109th Congress
convenes later this month.
Read full letter
So the man who is already indicted for fraud, facing a highly probably
indictment in the Jack Abramoff scandal, involved in another investigation
involving bank fraud and also being looked at for possible connections in the
Duke Cunningham scandal is now going to be put in charge of this committee. Why
not release the thieves out of jail and make them all police officers? Perhaps
O.J. Simpson should hold marriage counseling classes or Michael Jackson open up
a day care.
The corruption with these Republicans will not stop even when it is being
exposed. The only way to put an end to it is by force and that force comes in
the form of votes. Vote everyone of them out of office in disgrace.