Tag Archives: Cong. John Boehner

When Will Republicans Start Acting Like Grownups?

Somebody ought to tell the Republicans in Congress they no longer are in the majority.

It’s as if everything they do (or don’t do) should capture the rapt attention of the American people. John Boehner, the House minority leader, says his GOP colleagues will come up with a healthcare reform proposal soon.

How soon? Soon.

What’ll be in it? Don’t ask.

One thing’s for sure. Boehner says the 46 million people who don’t currently have health insurance shouldn’t hold their breath waiting to be covered under this new GOP plan.

And then, the Party of No goes even further. While the country’s focus has been on healthcare, the GOP has been trying to undermine any climate change legislation that might turn up in the House or Senate. Some of them think the whole concept of global warming is a hoax. So they do what comes naturally. They threaten. Ranking Republicans on six Senate committees crafting a climate change bill want additional studies done before they vote on any bill.

If they don’t get their way, according to Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, they’ll boycott any proceedings. Inhofe is one of those who doesn’t believe in global warming. That should tell you in a nutshell what Senate Republicans’ real agenda is. They want to study climate change to death.

Never mind the Environmental Protection Agency did an exhaustive study of the problem. That isn’t good enough for the Party of No. I guess President Obama must have gotten rid of some of those EPA folks from the Bush years. You know, the ones who allegedly altered reports that called global warming an important issue. To her credit, the chair of the environment committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer, vows to press on with or without her infantile colleagues from across the aisle.

Barbara Boxer
Barbara Boxer

This should be an abject lesson to those Democrats in Congress who find common cause so often with the GOP. These people aren’t interested in any form of bipartisanship. They’ve shown it time and time again. Those who step out of line are branded traitors, or worse. If only the party in power could see its way clear to vote as a disciplined block, we might start to see the change we’ve been looking for.

Until then, do we really have to put up with Republican Senators like Pat Roberts, who asked for a 72 hour delay in considering the healthcare reform bill so lobbyists could have their say? Or James Inhofe, who hides behind the mask of wanting to study climate change when all he wants to do is kill any effort to cut greenhouse gases?

What in the world did we do to deserve this?

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Will GOP Jihad Dethrone Charles Rangel?

Don’t bet on it. The Republicans have a two pronged approach to dealing with the Manhattan Congressman’s admitted bookkeeping lapses. On the one hand, they would revel in the chaos that would follow if they were successful in forcing him out as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. At the same time, they’d like nothing better than to use Congressman Rangel as a symbol or litmus test in next year’s congressional elections.

Neither will work. They’ve already tried to pass a resolution calling on Rangel to step down.

It failed miserably. Now, one of the congressmen leading the GOP jihad, John Carter of Texas, has had to admit to failing to disclose nearly $300,000 in profits from oil stock sales in 2006-2007.

Congressman John Carter, Texas
Congressman John Carter, Texas

While some might look at this as the height of hypocrisy, Carter and his friends in the House say they’ll press on trying to push Charles Rangel out as chair of Ways and Means.

As is typical when the pot calls the kettle black, Republicans try to differentiate between Carter’s failure to disclose and Rangel’s.

It doesn’t hold water, and they know it. But they press on, because in  the end they have little else to run on next year but the twin fears of Charlie Rangel and Barack Obama. Now be honest. Other than the nonsensical effort to insert health insurance co-ops in place of a public option, what new ideas have you heard from Congressional Republicans?

The answer is few if any. In fact, Charles Rangel has introduced and helped pass more legislation important to the American people than all his detractors combined.

Charles-Rangel

He has admitted to sloppy record keeping. It was Charles Rangel who asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate him, and it was Charles Rangel’s forensic accountants that found the tax and disclosure discrepancies in the first place.

So let John Boehner and John Carter do their worst. Charles Rangel has a distinguished history of service to his country (as a US marine) and his congressional district (take a walk through Harlem if you don’t believe me).

demchairs

The Ways and Means Committee is one of the most powerful in Congress. That’s why they’re trying to take Charlie Rangel down.

Expressions of support, now a whisper, will turn into a deafening roar. Republicans will have to come up with more than just nit-picking to explain their own ethical problems. And in the end, no matter what you think of the dean of New York’s congressional delegation, he’ll prevail.

That’s what I think. How about you?

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