House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced yesterday she’s interrupting her scheduled six-week summer vacation to hold a special, pro forma session of the House to vote on an additional $26 billion bailout for states.
The measure cleared a Senate cloture vote Wednesday — teeing up the massive state bailout for Senate passage by week’s end.
The return of the House likely Monday night also sets up a vote on the privileged resolution offered by Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) prior to adjourning for recess. Price’s resolution will force a vote on a Democrat commitment not to hold a lame duck session of Congress after Election Day in November.
“If the Democrat leadership is willing to bring lawmakers back to Washington in order to pass billions more in ‘stimulus’ spending with tax hikes on job creators, the least they can do is tell the American people that they will not bring lawmakers back for a lame duck session to pass additional tax increases, deficit spending, and special interest giveaways,” Price said. “This No Lame Duck resolution will allow our Democrat colleagues to make it clear whether or not they plan to govern in accordance with the will of the American people or in spite of it.”
Several members of the Democrat leadership have voiced support for use of the outgoing Congress — many of whom could lose their seats come November and have nothing left to lose — to attempt to pass the rest of their unpopular liberal agenda: amnesty, a cap and trade national energy tax, the Big Labor payoff known as “Card Check” and much, much more.
The threat window of a lame duck session would fall after the November elections but before the new Congress is sworn in come January.
“For the past 18 months, Congressional Democrats have further eroded what little trust the American people had in Washington. Their big government agenda has shown the majority to be out-of-touch with the needs and concerns of hardworking Americans, and their policies have created a cloud of uncertainty that has kept job creators on the sidelines,” Price stated. “I urge my Democrat colleagues to join Republicans in taking this positive step to restore some trust and confidence. Then we must begin to eliminate the uncertainty that hangs over American small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
The text of the scathing Price Resolution is found here.
The Hill newspaper is reporting Big Lobbyist pressure on Pelosi to bring the House back in for the special, pro forma session to pass the massive bailout for state union workers:
A K Street source said $10 billion in aid to teachers, which is part of the package, drove the issue, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was pushing Pelosi to call the House back to Washington.
The bailout also contains $16 billion in additional payouts to states for Medicaid.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell gave a rundown of the new slate of “stimulus” bailouts in remarks from the Senate floor.
“Americans are fed up. They’ve had enough. The trillion dollar Stimulus bill was supposed to be timely, targeted and temporary. Yet here we are, a year and a half later, and they’re already coming back for more. The $100 billion they got for state education budgets the first time wasn’t enough, even though more than a third of the original $100 billion hasn’t even been spent yet and none of the extra money they’re asking for will necessarily be used to save teachers’ jobs. The purpose of this bill is clear: it’s to create a permanent need for future state bailouts, at a time when we can least afford it.
“Same goes for health care spending: the original Stimulus included about $90 billion in additional federal Medicaid spending. That too was supposed to be temporary. Yet here we are, a year and a half later, and they want more.
“So, as I said, the purpose of this bill is clear. It’s a last-minute effort by Democrats in Washington to funnel more money to the public employee unions before an election and to set the stage for the massive tax hike that the administration plans to spring on America’s small business owners on January 1 of next year. Once again, Democrats are showering money on their favored constituencies and asking the American people to pay for it with higher taxes, more government, and fewer private sector jobs.
“It’s time our friends on the other side actually do something to address the jobs crisis in this country. As it is, virtually every bill they pass adds more burdens on the very people we need to get us out of the recession and create jobs. If a bill doesn’t kill jobs or make it harder to create them, they’re not interested. It’s time for a different approach. The approach of the past year and a half just isn’t working.”
Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) had the best retort on the Speaker bringing everyone back for her government union bailout vote:
“Clearly, Speaker Pelosi just can’t help herself. The House hasn’t even been out a week and she’s already going through spending withdrawals,” Bachmann quipped.