Listen to the man John, Take Action Now, Go Get Em’
The Senate has stepped up to the plate and put some sidedishes on the proposal to hopefully entice more House Republicans to vote in favor of the bailout… Details will be released today however the article hints at the main goals for the new proposal…
Senate leaders scheduled a Wednesday vote on a $700 billion financial bailout package after accepting tax breaks and a higher limit for insured bank deposits in a bid to win House approval and send legislation to President Bush by the end of the week.
Top lawmakers said the Senate proposal, worked out after a day of behind the scenes maneuvering, would include tax breaks for businesses and alternative energy and higher government insurance for bank deposits.
“It has been determined, in our judgment, this is the best thing to move forward,” said Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the majority leader, in announcing the surprise move.
The senators issued no details of their proposal and said none would be available until Wednesday. The lawmakers were gambling that the tax package would appeal to lawmakers who helped sink the measure in the House on Monday, without driving off Democrats who have opposed extending the tax incentives without offsetting spending cuts elsewhere.
House Democratic leaders reacted cautiously to the new approach, with Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader and a chief advocate of paying for the tax breaks, saying, “I am talking with my House colleagues about the Senate action and how to best proceed.”
But House Republican leaders, who said they had been advised about the Senate plan, said the new elements would appeal to their rank-and-file, which voted strongly against the legislation Monday. A spokesman for Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, said that “Mr. Boehner was consulted and gave the green light.”
Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Senate banking committee, said the Senate decided to move quickly, citing signs of regret from some House members after the markets plunged in response to their initial vote.
“I think their will is coming back having heard from their constituents,” Mr. Dodd said.
Lawmakers said the stock market response to the rejection was a sobering experience that could enhance prospects for a revised plan. Some anxiety lifted on Tuesday, as the Dow Jones industrial average rose 485 points, regaining more than half of the 778 points it lost on Monday.
Still, deep concern remained about credit markets, as the rate that banks charge one another shot higher — to a record high by one widely used measure — making borrowing more difficult.
President Bush joined the two major presidential candidates, Senators John McCain andBarack Obama, in calling for quick action to stabilize the markets and avoid what Mr. Bush characterized as the threat of “painful and lasting” damage to the economy.
Both presidential candidates and the Bush administration also endorsed the increase in bank deposit insurance.
On the morning after the sell-off on Wall Street, Congressional offices reported a shift in angry calls from constituents, with some now demanding that lawmakers take some corrective action — a distinct change from the outpouring of public opposition that contributed to the defeat of the plan.
“I started hearing from a lot of people who lost money on their investments thanks to the big drop on Wall Street yesterday,” said Representative Steven C. LaTourette, Republican of Ohio, who voted against the plan.
As they explored ways to tinker with the proposal in consultation with the Bush administration, all sides agreed any revisions would not change the underlying concept of granting the Treasury Department access to up to $700 billion to purchase — and eventually resell — troubled securities that were clogging the financial system.
It was a delicate balancing act for the architects of the proposal who had to be careful that in adding elements to entice new support they did not lose the support they already had.
“Obviously you don’t want to do something to lose votes,” said Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, who was among Senate Democrats who huddled Tuesday to discuss possible alterations in the proposal.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was noncommital about the new Senate plan Tuesday night, but other Democrats said it might be difficult to reject given the crisis and the array of tax breaks. “The Senate will vote tomorrow night, and the Congress will work its will,” Ms. Pelosi said. .
House officials spent much of Tuesday considering their own changes, including an extension of unemployment pay and a $1,000 tax credit for less affluent homeowners.
But those plans are not likely to advance given the Senate decision. While the Senate left the door open slightly to other additions to the bill, such revisions would need the agreement of the full Senate, and the House proposals were likely to be blocked by Senate Republicans.
“Opening this up all over again to other things may doom it,” Mr. Dodd cautioned.
The Senate proposal would cost more than $100 billion and extend and expand many individual and business tax breaks, including tax credits for the production and use of renewable energy sources, like solar energy and wind power.
The bill would also extend the business tax credit for research and development, expand the child tax credit, protect millions of families from the alternative minimum tax and provide tax relief to victims of recent floods, tornadoes and severe storms.
Members of the House and the Senate said the bill would create tens of thousands of jobs and reduce the nations’ dependence on foreign oil. But the two chambers have been at odds over whether and how to offset the cost of extending the many tax breaks covered by the legislation. The major obstacle has been Representative Hoyer of Maryland and other centrist Democrats.
Senate and House leaders had been debating whether the Senate, where support for the proposal runs deep, should vote first to provide some momentum for a second vote across the Capital Rotunda. Some senators were leery of going on the record if the legislation could not prevail in the House, but others backed the idea of the Senate taking the lead.
“I would support the Senate going first, which we would be willing to do as early as tomorrow if that would make this process successful,” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, said in a conference call on Tuesday.
With no new vote in the House even possible before lawmakers reconvene Thursday at noon, strategists for both parties spent Tuesday poring over tally sheets from Monday afternoon’s 228-to-205 outcome, trying to identify lawmakers who could be persuaded to switch their votes.
But winning over some determined opponents was not going to be easy.
“It was one of the best votes of my career,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, leader of a group of liberal Democratic opponents of the Treasury plan who on Tuesday proposed a series of regulatory and legislative alternatives to the bailout.
But those Democratic opponents did say that they would be willing to back an increase to $250,000 from $100,000 in the amount of a bank deposit that would be insured by the federal government — an idea that on Tuesday gained fast currency as a consensus change in the initial plan.
Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain embraced the deposit insurance proposal early Tuesday, setting off a bit of a political tiff over who deserved credit for initiating it. House Republicans claimed to have offered the insurance increase in weekend negotiations over the plan only to have it rejected.
Democrats said they had no recollection of that provision being brought up in the chaotic talks, but top Democratic Congressional aides said the leadership was willing to add it to the bill and knew of no opposition. The chief uncertainty was whether it would significantly enhance the outlook for the legislation.
“Everybody is on board,” said one top House aide who spoke on condition of not being identified when talking about internal deliberations. “The question is, how many votes does it bring?”
With the House in recess for the observance of Jewish religious holidays, lawmakers consulted via conference call on their ideas for improving the legislation.
“Some will feel very virtuous about having voted against Wall Street and then turn around and find their constituents, generally, paid a huge price for that vote,” said Senator Robert Bennett, Republican of Utah, in exhorting his colleagues to “rise to the occasion” and pass the bill.
“I have faith that the members of the House and the members of the Senate will ultimately recognize their responsibility and do the right thing.”
Trying to calm the markets, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid, the majority leader, released a letter to Mr. Bush, saying, “Working together, we are confident we will pass a responsible bill in the very near future.”
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, was even more emphatic. “This financial crisis is going to be dealt with by Congress, and it’s going to be dealt with by Congress this week,” Mr. McConnell told reporters.
John McCain has a plan for the bailout, where is Barack Obama’s? This is leadership. This is the real change you can believe in. Congress please think this out carefully, but quickly and prevent our country from going into a depression, your inaction will destroy our economy fully.
Let’s not bloat this with extras, lets get the bailout in the works and plan other legislation independently and carefully.
FREELAND, Mich. — Republican presidential nominee John McCain said today that “inaction is simply not an option” as Congress considers a bailout plan for Wall Street, but more accountability and transparency is needed than is currently in the plan being negotiated.
McCain laid out five principles he said should be included in the $700-billion proposal, but refused to say whether failure to to enact any of them would cause him to oppose the legislation.
“We must pass legislation to address this crisis,” McCain said after touring a Dow-Corning plant here. “If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees.”
As he has said before, McCain said five principles must be included: greater accountability and independent oversight; a path for taxpayers to recoup the money; transparency in decisions on which companies to help; a cap on the executive pay of those companies that take part and no earmarks in the plan for any specific businesses.
McCain made the statement and then took questions from four members of the traveling press corps, the first time he has made himself thus available in more than a month.
Told that some Democrats were waiting to see how McCain would vote before committing themselves to such a costly bailout — McCain acknowledged it was $10,000 per American household — McCain said that should not be relevant. “Let me say that I hope Democrats would recognize that this issue should not in any way be related to my vote,” McCain said. “Their vote should be determined on how to resolve this crisis.”
McCain said that a second economic stimulus package should not be attached to the legislation.
A copy of his prepared remarks follows:
America today faces an historic national crisis. The global economy is directly threatened by the potential collapse of our financial system. Two years ago, I warned the American people about the lack of oversight, transparency, backroom dealings and financial recklessness at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Those warnings went unheeded, and more than anything directly contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis which has created the perfect economic storm. Further inaction is simply not an option. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. But let us be perfectly clear: a great burden is upon the American people. Seven hundred billion dollars is a staggering and unprecedented figure, and it is important that I speak plainly to the American people about the dimensions of this proposal. In essence, what this plan requires is a ten thousand dollar contribution per household. Seven hundred billion dollars, for example, could rebuild the crumbling infrastructure in every town, county, and state in this country. Because what is being asked of the American people is unprecedented, great care must be taken to ensure their protection. With the taxpayer in mind, I am seeking 5 basic improvements to this legislation: First, there must be greater accountability included in the bill. I have suggested a bipartisan board to provide oversight for the rescue. We will not solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight. Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person, and there must be protections and oversight in place. Second, as a part of that oversight, there must be a path for taxpayers to recover the money that is put into this fund. One trillion dollars is an unprecedented sum. We are talking about ten thousand dollars per household, and that money cannot simply go into a black hole of bad debt with no means of recovering any of the funds. Third, there must be complete transparency in the review of this legislation and in the implementation of any legislation. This cannot be cobbled together behind closed doors. The American people have the right to know which businesses will be helped, what that selection will be based on and how much that help will cost. All the details should all be made available online and elsewhere for open public scrutiny. Fourth, no Wall Street executives should profit from taxpayer dollars. It is wrong to ask teachers and farmers and small business owners to fill the gas tanks of the helicopters of Wall Street tycoons. The senior leaders of any firm that is bailed out should not be making more than the highest paid government official. Fifth and finally, it is completely unacceptable for any kind of earmarks to be included in this bill. It would be outrageous for legislators and lobbyists to pack this rescue plan with taxpayer money for favored companies. This simply cannot happen. Let me restate that inaction is not an option. The American people are watching. History will be our judge, and it will judge us harshly if we do not put our country first in this crisis.
Uber liberal Nancy Pelosi touts that America is getting an Oil “Change”, I am guessing this is all for Obama’s campaign of change, but leaves out the fact that the oil will be missing…
The House has approved a lifting of the ban on off shore drilling, provided it is 50 miles outside of the US coastline and excluding George Bank commercial fishing area. The general public will be duped by the the vote as most people do not realize that the majority of known oil is within 50 miles of the coastline. This is a political posturing for both Congressional seats as well as for Obama. I would venture to say that the latter is the more important to the liberals…
What America needs is a comprehensive plan that includes Offshore drilling in viable areas, development of coal, natural gas and nuclear technologies, future technologies of solar, wind and hydroelectric. We do not need to make oil companies pay more, they will only pass that cost onto the consumer. The only good thing in the bill is aid to the elderly to help pay heating costs with winter lingering around the corner.
WASHINGTON – The US House approved an energy bill last night that would allow offshore drilling as close as 50 miles from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, but a last-minute provision added at the insistence of Massachusetts members would prohibit oil and gas drilling around Georges Bank, saving New England’s premier commercial fishing grounds from potential harm.
The legislation also promotes investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, paid for by eliminating tax exemptions for oil companies and increasing their royalty payments, and it authorizes more funding for heating assistance for low-income people.
The House voted 236 to 189 for the package.
The Democratic majority’s support for expanded ocean drilling reflects mounting political pressure from an electorate deeply concerned about the distressed economy and high gasoline prices. Democratic leaders had previously criticized Republican proposals to end a longtime ban on offshore drilling, saying new wells would take years to produce oil and gas and thus have no immediate impact on prices. But with the ban set to expire at the end of this month and the November elections approaching, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shifted her stance, proposing legislation that would allow drilling as close as 100 miles from shore, and with a state’s permission, as close as 50 miles from shore.
“My colleagues have told me to tell you that it’s time for an oil change in America, and this bill represents that,” Pelosi said in a news conference yes terday.
But House minority leader John Boehner called the bill “a hoax on the American people,” saying it “won’t do a damn thing about energy” because the vast majority of known offshore oil is within 50 miles of shore and would therefore still be off-limits and because it would not promote the development of nuclear plants or coal-to-liquids technologies.
He also complained that the Democratic plan was hurriedly assembled “in the dark of night” and made public late the night before its arrival on the floor and that the Republicans were not allowed to offer an alternative.
US Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts called the bill comprehensive and praised House leaders for recognizing the importance and the vulnerability of Georges Bank.
“When you are 100 miles off the California coast, it’s 2 miles deep. When you’re 100 miles off New England, it’s 200 feet deep, so it makes it a lot more attractive for the oil industry to go to Georges Bank,” said Markey, who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
When the speaker’s office announced the broad outlines of the legislation last week, US Representative William D. Delahunt, who represents the Cape and islands, was immediately concerned about Georges Bank and informed leadership that he could not support the bill without clear protections for the fishing grounds. He said in an interview he also raised the issue informally with his Capitol Hill housemate, California’s George Miller, a member of leadership and the former chairman of the Natural Resources committee. Delahunt credited Markey with taking the lead on the issue with House leaders.
Markey said that when he explained his concerns about Georges Bank to Pelosi, she left no question that she understood and supported special protections, but negotiations over language lasted until late Monday night. The final bill also excludes marine monuments and national marine sanctuaries from drilling.
This summer, as gas prices climbed to nearly $5 a gallon in parts of the country and constituents seethed, Republicans put Democrats on the defensive by repeatedly calling for a vote on drilling. “Drill, baby, drill” became a mantra at the recent Republican National Convention.
Yesterday’s vote confirmed that the Democratic majority could no longer muster the votes to keep the ban on offshore drilling that has been in place since 1982.
Pelosi sought to turn the tables on Republicans by offering what she described as the “all-of-the-above” approach the GOP wanted. In addition to the drilling provisions, the bill includes tax incentives for solar and wind energy, plug-in hybrid cars, and energy-efficient buildings. It also would require utilities to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 and release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down gas prices.
Whether the drilling question will be settled before the end of the year remains in question. A bipartisan group of 20 senators has been working on a separate energy plan that would give a handful of southern states the option to expand offshore drilling.
Reaching a deal on a complex issue during a contentious election season with so little time left in the session, however, may be difficult. The Bush administration yesterday threatened to veto the House legislation, the Associated Press reported.
If Congress does not act and the offshore ban expires, oil companies could technically start drilling within 3 miles of any shore, which is where state jurisdiction ends and federal waters begin.
But energy specialists said this week that Congress is sure to return to the issue next year if nothing happens this year and that oil companies are unlikely to pursue new exploration until Congress acts.
Many environmental groups sharply opposed yesterday’s legislation.
“It opens up coastal drilling, which won’t help Americans with prices at the pump, but it will threaten our coasts with oil spills,” said Anna Aurelio, director of the Washington, D.C., office of Environment America.
Massachusetts environmentalists also criticized the additional drilling provisions, but they hailed the decision to exclude Georges Bank and other sensitive areas.
“Unlike many other states in the country where the 100-mile general provision that were put in the bill might have been highly protective, in New England, Georges Bank goes out well over 100 miles,” said Peter Shelley, vice president of the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation.
“I think it’s a very solid piece of legislation,” said Delahunt. “Were there trade-offs? Of course. . . .”
Lisa Wangsness can be reached at email@example.com.
Well Congress “May” finally listen to the people and go after those that are creating the high oil prices… There are many factors involved in the current cost of oil in the US, but one of the most significant is the speculators on Wall Street. As I said before, there is an agenda here and because of this agenda, I do not think Congress will act on behalf of the people, or not act fully…
Speculators have created this new Oil Bubble and it needs to be popped…
I love these two quotes:
“I always worry when politicians think they know better than the market what the price of oil should be.”
“You’re raising the cost of doing business for the people who need the futures market,”
I always love when people making money for nothing think they know better what the market price of oil should be. This is completely against capitism’s supply and demand theory.
The second asshat doesn’t realize he is raising the cost of living for every American.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Fed up with soaring oil prices and a chorus of people blaming Wall Street speculators, Congress is considering a host of rules aimed at limiting the inflow of investor money into oil contracts.
But oil traders urge caution. While more disclosure is a good thing, they say making it harder for speculators to invest in oil futures could have the opposite effect intended, and send prices higher.
In light of oil’s phenomenal climb from under $50 a barrel to nearly $140 in less than 18 months – and the public belief that Wall Street traders were behind the rise – Congress is awash in bills that attempt to limit the role of speculators. Several have bipartisan support and could soon become law.
“In two days, the price of oil rose $16,” said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., at a joint hearing of two Senate panels on oil speculation Tuesday. “Did I miss something, was there some war in the Middle East?”
“No, something is going on besides supply and demand, and it could be excessive speculation,” he added.
Proposals have included requiring foreign exchanges to provide more information about crude oil trades, limiting the number of contracts speculators are allowed to hold, increasing the amount of money speculators need to put up to buy an oil contract, and removing speculators from the market entirely and limiting trade to just producers and consumers.
Government regulators said they are monitoring the markets for evidence of manipulation – someone withholding production in an attempt to bid up prices – and are gathering more information on the role speculators play.
“If the CFTC sounds busy, it is,” said Walter Lukken, acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. “This small agency is working hard to protect the public from manipulation and abuse.”
Lukken said the CFTC has just reached an agreement with the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) in London for that exchange to comply with U.S. disclosure rules – basically letting regulators know who is buying oil contracts.
Oil traders say requiring more information from foreign exchanges is a good idea, as markets function better the more transparent they are.
But they urge lawmakers not to hamper speculative trading. They say big oil users such as refiners or airlines – unable to find a counter party to offset their bets – could send prices higher by hoarding product or through panic buying.
“They have to be very, very careful with what they’re doing here,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Alaron Trading in Chicago. “I always worry when politicians think they know better than the market what the price of oil should be.”
Another trader agreed, especially when it comes to doing something such as raising margin requirements, the amount of money traders are required to put up to buy contracts.
“You’re raising the cost of doing business for the people who need the futures market,” Stephen Schork, publisher of the industry newsletter The Schork Report, told CNNMoney.com. “In the long run, it’s bullish.”
CFTC’s Lukken also said raising the margin requirement may have a negative effect.
“Margin (requirement) is a very blunt tool, and it could potentially drive markets overseas” where there is even less regulation, said Lukken.
A spokesman for Sen. Durbin said proposals to raise the margin requirements have been removed from legislation after lawmakers listened to concerns from the industry.
The airline industry, a big user of oil, urged Congress to take action.
“Crude oil prices today are unnecessarily high and distorted due, in large part, to market manipulation and excessive speculation,” Jim May, president of the Air Transport Association, said at the hearing. “The impact of these unprecedented jet fuel prices on the airlines is devastating and airlines may see 2008 losses nearing $10 billion, on par with the worst financial year in aviation history.”
May called on Congress to enact more oversight of foreign exchanges, and to “curtail extremely risky investments by pension funds that jeopardize savings for employees across the country.”
There is a false email circulating, and Obama supports like to post the “facts” from this email as comments on various news sites.
FactCheck has compiled the actual facts and Obama’s record is far from what the email purports. Why is this important, because it shows his track record of accomplishments is not very impressive and shows that he cannot push his agenda through if he becomes President of the United States.
A widely forwarded e-mail claims that Obama’s bills are more substantive and numerous than Clinton’s. Don’t believe it.SummaryA misleading e-mail has been making the rounds, alleging that Clinton has fewer legislative accomplishments than Obama, and that they are less substantive. We’ve had questions about it from a number of readers, and blogs have jumped into the fray. So what’s the real story on the Senate careers of the Democratic presidential candidates?
- It sets up a face-off between apples and, well, broccoli, comparing only the Clinton-sponsored bills that became law with all bills sponsored or cosponsored by Obama, whether they were signed into law or not.
- It includes legislation Obama sponsored in the Illinois state Senate, a very different legislative body.
- It tells us that Obama has sponsored more legislation than Clinton, when in fact he has sponsored less.
- It implies that Obama has passed more bills into law than Clinton, when the opposite is true.
Contrary to the e-mail’s assertions, Clinton’s and Obama’s contributions are not qualitatively different, and quantitatively, Clinton has the edge.Analysis
Several alert FactCheck.org readers have passed on the following e-mail, which purports to compare the legislative effectiveness of Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.). We reprint it verbatim:You judge for yourself!
What impresses us is how misleading the e-mail is. Its anonymous author doesn’t apply the same standards to Clinton’s record and Obama’s, thus leading to false conclusions about their legislative records. For Clinton, the e-mail claims to examine bills that the senator has sponsored and that were passed into law during her Senate career. For Obama, however, it counts both sponsored and cosponsored bills, whether they were passed or not. And – something the e-mail doesn’t state clearly – it counts bills Obama sponsored in the Illinois state Senate, before he was a United States senator.
Just counting bills sponsored by a particular senator is a poor way to gauge legislative clout or effectiveness, in our judgment. For example, one of the accomplishments that Clinton often boasts about – expanding health coverage for National Guard and Reserve troops –came about as a result of an amendment, not a bill. And Obama claims credit for having helped “lead the Senate to pass” an ethics and lobbying bill that he never sponsored or even cosponsored, on grounds that it “drew key provisions” from a bill that he and two other senators cosponsored in 2007. The e-mail falsely claims that Obama sponsored the ethics legislation that became law, which he did not.Nevertheless, we dug into the records and produced a true tally of the bills for which Sens. Obama and Clinton were in fact the sole, original sponsors. We take no position on which senator deserves credit for the most or best legislation overall. What we can demonstrate is that the numbers in this e-mail are all wrong.
Here’s how FactCheck.org tallies the real breakdown of bills and resolutions sponsored by the candidates in the U.S. Senate.
We counted only bills for which Obama or Clinton was the sole, original sponsor. The e-mail inflates Obama’s numbers by counting his cosponsored bills, but Sarah Binder, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and an expert on legislative politics, tells FactCheck.org that often “cosponsorship does not require a commitment of time, energy or resources – let alone the political or policy ingenuity that might generate a bill idea in the first place.” Tallying sponsored bills, says Binder, is “a better metric of a senator’s agenda, efforts and interests.”
Clinton has been in the Senate a little more than seven years; Obama, a little more than three. Using the numbers above, we calculate that Clinton has been the sole sponsor of a few more bills and resolutions per year – 51, to Obama’s 43. And she has steered twice as many through the Senate and almost four times as many into law per year, on average, as Obama has.
Clinton’s Real Numbers
Clinton’s campaign claims that 22 of the senator’s solely sponsored bills have become public law, and the e-mail claims 20. We counted 19, three fewer than the campaign because it included several Clinton-sponsored provisions that were part of other major bills. (The measures were substantive, having to do with such issues as improving treatment for wounded service members, but they didn’t fit the rules of this tally.) Nine of her successful bills had to do with naming post offices or courthouses, but others involved building safety, unemployment assistance and support for family caregivers.
The list of her accomplishments in the e-mail, though, is not, as the author claims, a rundown of Clinton-sponsored bills that became law; it is in fact a mishmash of some that became law and others that were only passed by the Senate, without being a complete roster of her bills in either category. She actually sponsored, by herself, 32 bills and resolutions that passed the Senate, including all of those mentioned specifically in the e-mail plus 12 others. The omitted bills include a resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of soldiers of Israel held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah, and a resolution condemning the murder of an American journalist. And she has been sole sponsor of a total of 358 bills in her seven-year Senate career.
Here’s our list of bills solely sponsored by Clinton that became law (descriptions of each are verbatim from THOMAS.gov, the Library of Congress’ database of legislative information):
- S. 694, A bill to direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to reduce the incidence of child injury and death occurring inside or outside of light motor vehicles, and for other purposes.
- S. 272, A bill to designate certain National Forest System land in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
- S. 1283, A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a program to assist family caregivers in accessing affordable and high-quality respite care, and for other purposes.
- S. 2376, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 80 Killian Road in Massapequa, New York, as the “Gerard A. Fiorenza Post Office Building.”
- S. 2722, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 170 East Main Street in Patchogue, New York, as the “Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy Post Office Building.”
- S. 3613, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2951 New York Highway 43 in Averill Park, New York, as the “Major George Quamo Post Office Building.”
- S. 3716, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 100 Pitcher Street in Utica, New York, as the “Captain George A. Wood Post Office Building.”
- S. 3910, A bill to direct the Joint Committee on the Library to accept the donation of a bust depicting Sojourner Truth and to display the bust in a suitable location in the Capitol.
- S. 1241, A bill to establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in the State of New York, and for other purposes.
- S. 1266, A bill to award a congressional gold medal to Dr. Dorothy Height, in recognition of her many contributions to the Nation.
- S. 1425, A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to reauthorize the New York City Watershed Protection Program.
- S. 2838, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 10 West Prospect Street in Nanuet, New York, as the “Anthony I. Lombardi Memorial Post Office Building.”
- S. 2839, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 555 West 180th Street in New York, New York, as the “Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda Post Office.”
- S. 584, A bill to designate the United States courthouse located at 40 Centre Street in New York, New York, as the “Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse.”
- S. 1422, A bill to provide for the expedited payment of certain benefits for a public safety officer who was killed or suffered a catastrophic injury as a direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
- S. 1622, A bill to extend the period of availability of unemployment assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in the case of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
- S. 1892, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 375 Carlls Path in Deer Park, New York, as the “Raymond M. Downey Post Office Building.”
- S. 2496, A bill to provide for the establishment of investigative teams to assess building performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures in the wake of any building failure that has resulted in substantial loss of life or that posed significant potential of substantial loss of life, and for other purposes.
- S. 2918, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 380 Main Street in Farmingdale, New York, as the “Peter J. Ganci, Jr. Post Office Building.”
A Legislative Powerhouse?
The e-mail claims that Obama “authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427” during “his first year in the U.S. Senate.” According to THOMAS.gov, this number is an accurate count of bills and amendments that Obama sponsored during the 109th Congress, which actually covered his first two years in the Senate, not one. (Amendments are changes to bills that were spearheaded by other lawmakers.) Discounting amendments and cosponsorships, Obama sponsored 66 bills during those two years. Clinton sponsored 90 in the same period. In his three years in the Senate, Obama has been the sole original sponsor of 129 bills.The e-mail says Obama sponsored “over 820 bills” in the first “eight years of his elected service,” never mentioning that for most of that time, Obama was in the Illinois Senate. Since the rules and operations of that body are quite different from those of the U.S. Senate, we hardly think it’s fair to include the proposed legislation to which his name was attached in Springfield in any tally that’s being compared with Clinton’s record.
An accurate comparison with the Clinton bills listed in the e-mail would have included only the bills Obama has sponsored that have been signed into law. This comparison favors Clinton heavily, since 19 of her bills in seven years have become law, while Obama has had just two in his three years:
- S. 2125, A bill to promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- S. 3757, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 950 Missouri Avenue in East St. Louis, Illinois, as the “Katherine Dunham Post Office Building.”
The Meaning of Fluff
The question of whether a bill is “substantive” is often subjective. But the Clinton bills that the e-mail seems to characterize as frivolous have to do with such goals as recognizing and establishing national observances, honoring individuals’ memories, marking important events and congratulating sports teams. Five of the seven Obama-sponsored bills passed by the Senate have similar goals. So do more than 40 percent of all the bills that have been passed by the Senate since the beginning of 2008.
Surely we don’t elect senators just to name post offices. But given the contention that meatier bills can prompt, it’s much easier to push a seemingly frivolous bill through Congress. Every one of the Clinton and Obama bills that passed the Senate did so by unanimous consent. Bills that generate more opposition, meanwhile, can be struck down or left to languish. According to GovTrack.us, a legislative research site, 308 of 356 bills Clinton has sponsored haven’t made it out of committee. In the current (110th) Congress, that includes several bills on foreign policy, nuclear safety, poverty, housing and education, not to mention 19 bills regarding public health and coverage, 13 benefiting the armed forces, and 12 addressing children’s care and safety. Likewise, 120 of Obama’s 129 sponsored bills haven’t made it past the committee level – including, in the 110th Congress, nine bills on energy and environmental policy, nine on public health and eight benefiting the military and veterans, as well as multiple bills on education, foreign policy, product safety and voter access. These bills, being more substantive than, for instance, Clinton’s regarding the men’s lacrosse team or Obama’s on National Summer Learning Day, are also more likely to die in committee.
Blog ShowdownSeveral blogs have picked up and repeated the idea that Obama has sponsored more, or more important, legislation than Clinton has. One writer on the political blog Daily Kos looked at the senator’s record in detail but did not evaluate Clinton’s legislation. Another went through legislation from each candidate, analyzing the impressiveness of each bill from her perspective. On the other side, noted blogger Ezra Klein wrote, in his blog for the liberal magazine The American Prospect, that the second Kos article was “not anything even approaching a fair comparison of [the candidates’] legislative records” and that Clinton had in fact proposed important bills.One final thought: Recently we published a special report warning readers about the high level of inaccuracy in chain e-mails. This one is no exception. In fact, with its anonymous author and grammatical errors, not to mention a redundancy or two, it’s a classic of the genre. If you find one of these e-mails in your in-box, our suggested course of action remains the same: Just hit delete.
Since the value of a piece of legislation is so often a matter of opinion, that’s a blogspat we won’t get into. We can say for sure, though, that Clinton has been the sole original sponsor of more bills than Obama at a slightly higher annual rate; that she’s been more successful than Obama at passing bills through the Senate and into law; and that, while she has sponsored a number of seemingly frivolous bills that were signed into law, these are comparable to many of Obama’s bills and common in the Senate generally.
Quite impressive!! It?s unfortunate that this information is not
being communicated effectively.
Let’s take a closer look at who’s really qualified and or who’s really working for the good of all of us in the Senate. Obama or Clinton.
Records of these two candidates should be scrutinized in order to make an informed decision.
Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term – 6yrs. – and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law – 20 – twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.
These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress http://www.thomas.loc.gov, but to save you trouble, I’ll post them here for you.
1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O’Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty.
Only five of Clinton’s bills are, more substantive.
16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11
18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.
There you have it, the fact’s straight from the Senate Record.
Now, I would post those of Obama’s, but the list is too substantive, so I’ll mainly categorize.
During the first – 8 – eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced
233 regarding healthcare reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.
His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-
sponsored another 427. These inculded **the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 – became law, **The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, – became law, **The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate, **The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, – became law, **The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In committee, and many more.
In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.
An impressive record, for someone who supposedly has no record according to some who would prefer that this comparison not be made public.
He’s not just a talker.
He’s a doer.
Pass it on….It’s impressive!– by Jess Henig
We find that the e-mail is false in almost every particular:
I had an interesting coversation last night with a liberal friend. Ultimately, he is not happy with the direction the country has taken. I asked him what it is specifically he is unhappy about. Here is a short list of things he came up with. (Not in order of importance)
Well I will give you one guess on who he blames for all these problems… That’s right George Bush and the Republican Party.
I remember when the country elected a Democrat controlled Congress in 2006, since then all of these things have gotten worse. I wonder if this is the change Obama is talking about. Or is this how Democrats are progressive as Hillary likes to tout herself to be.
Americans need to look at what has changed over the past couple of years and determine what the real cause of the problem is.
As I like to tell people, Liberals need people to be down and out, if they are not down and out, then they have nothing to campaign on. They need to keep people poor and repressed for their own survival.