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Democratic Congress Ignores Crucial Issues

Wednesday, 14 Nov 2007 11:16 AM

By E. Ralph Hostetter

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Nov. 7 marked the first anniversary of the much heralded "A New Direction for America" congressional election of 2006.

The newly elected Democrat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives announced a historic change in U.S. House leadership. The new House would break tradition and elect for the first time a woman as speaker.

The Democrat majority elected Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the new speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Speaker of the House Pelosi promised a clean sweep of old political policies, replacing them with "the toughest ethics reform in history," creating a vision of a new America.

"Let us join together in the first 100 hours to make this Congress the most honest and open in history," she urged.

An agenda was set for the first 100 hours and the first 100 days, identified as "Six for '06." Six bills, previously prepared, dealt with (1) breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation; (2) initiating a pay-as-you-go policy to reduce the federal budget deficits; (3) enacting all recommendations of 9/11 Commission; (4) raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour; (5) granting federal funding for stem cell research; and (6) ending large tax subsidies for large oil companies to foster energy independence.

All six measures passed the House of Representatives in 100 hours. None were signed into law within 100 days.

Final score: "Six in '06" ended as "0 in '06."

A minimum wage bill became law in late May 2007 and the stem cell law was passed in August of 2007 and immediately vetoed by President George W. Bush.

Congressional job approval ratings reflect the public's reaction to the non-performance of Congress and the failure to provide substantive legislation in the vital areas of immigration and energy independence, among many other vital issues.

An ABC/Washington Post poll on April 15, 2007, gave Congress a job approval rating of 44 percent. By Nov. 1, approval rating by ABC/Washington Post dropped to 28 percent, and an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll gave Congress a rating of 19 percent approval, the lowest of the year.

Pew Research Center reports that "nearly seven in 10 Americans (69 percent) cannot name anything important the new Congress has done so far."

The 110th Congress excelled in the "little or nothing" category.

In the first eight months of 2007, congressional Democrats held 913 oversight hearings — 300 more than GOP leaders had presided over during the same period in 2005, according to a Time-CNN report on Sept. 6, 2007.

In the same period of time, the 110th Congress had named or renamed hundreds of buildings across the nation.

The two most critical issues facing the United States today are energy independence and illegal immigration.

The United States now imports 75 percent of its crude oil, much of it from our enemies or potential enemies. A serious interruption of oil imports could cripple or perhaps destroy our vibrant economy, to say nothing of America's ability to defend itself in a hostile world. The effect would be sudden.

With illegal immigration, the deterioration of America's culture will be at a slower pace, but equally as certain. In any event, it must be stopped.

Neither of these critical issues is being pursued in the 110th Congress.

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., calls the 110th Congress "an embarrassment of historic proportions."

President George W. Bush, in a statement broadcast on Fox News Oct. 30, charged that Congress had failed to send a single annual appropriations bill to his desk. Adding, this is "the worst record for a Congress in 20 years. Congress is not getting its work done."

The main issues facing the 110th Congress in the first 11 months of 2007 were selected by the Democrats as the "Six in '06." Two were approved; stem cell research and raising the federal minimum wage. Stem cell research was vetoed and minimum wage was approved. Only one in six prevailed.

The two most critical issues facing the American public, illegal immigration and energy independence were ignored.

It’s as though the 110th Congress has turned its back on the American public. The 110th Congress is refusing to govern.

Such an action is completely foreign to American culture and heritage. Could there be an outside influence creeping into American politics?

President Bush may have touched on a very sensitive nerve when he said recently, “Some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists . . . and less time responding to the demands of Moveon.org.”

The public has been made aware of the influence of Moveon.org with respect to the Democrat Party. Influential and powerful groups, including billionaires such as George Soros and far-left activists such as Jane Fonda, have secretly stirred up disunion and disloyalty among Democrats, creating what has become known as the Shadow Party, robbing the rank and file of much of their influence in the Democrat party.

The extension of this Shadow Party influence, believed to be Moveon.org, may now control the policies of the leadership of the 110th Congress.

If there be a question as to the motives of Moveon.org, refer to the Moveon.org attack on the loyalty of Gen. David Petraeus carried in an ad in the Sept. 10 issue of The New York Times.

Does this political influence now dictate U.S. congressional policy?

* * *

E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and agricultural publisher, also is a national and local award-winning columnist. He welcomes comments by e-mail sent to eralphhostetter@yahoo.com.

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