Last week, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.) linked the Tea Party to the tragic Jan. 8, 2011, shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D.-Ariz.). This is just one example, unfortunately, in a long line of slanders from the far left.
???I hesitate to place blame,??? said Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee. ???But I have noticed the tone take a very precipitous turn toward edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.???
Wasserman Schultz is not alone. Vice President Joe Biden has compared the Tea Party to terrorists, and David Axelrod, President Obama???s political henchman, has compared Newt Gingrich to a monkey. The Washington Post quoted an Obama campaign e-mail to supporters in October of last year claiming the Republican plan for job creation is to ???suffocate the economy for the sake of what they think will be a political victory. ??? The President has referred to Republicans as ???hostage takers.???
These statements are outrageous and are not part of a civil political discourse between the parties. Expect the left to use liberal hate speech as a means to distract the American people from the President???s failed big-government policies.
Debt Limit Increase Votes
This week, the House and Senate are expected to vote on an increase in the debt ceiling. Sen. Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.) sent a letter to the President, arguing that ???America is becoming a deadbeat nation??? because of the growing debt burden. The House and Senate votes will be an opportunity for members to go on the record whether they want President Obama to borrow another $1.2 trillion to pay past bills.
Under the law that empowered the President to raise the debt ceiling, any member of the House or Senate can introduce a resolution of disapproval after the President requests an increase in borrowing authority to pay debts. If each chamber passes the resolution, the President is afforded the opportunity to veto the measure.
It is expected that the Congress will not have the votes to block an increase in the debt ceiling. Yet this will be a great opportunity to focus public attention on the fact that the federal government needs to shrink spending and the debt is already too big.
SOPA goes too far
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is an attempt to stop foreign web sites from stealing and transmitting copyrighted movies and music as a way to make money or even for sport. Although this pending legislation serves an important purpose, the protection of intellectual property, it goes too far. The current draft of the legislation tries to force search engines, advertisers, payment providers and Internet servers to block content in a way that may allow the infringement on the 1st Amendment rights of all Americans.
No Child Left Behind broken
Both sides of the aisle agree that No Child Left Behind is broken. But there is fundamental disagreement about what Washington can and should do to reform education. It???s a disagreement that has resulted in the introduction of competing proposals to re-write the Bush-era law.
President Obama and his congressional allies want to see NCLB reauthorized. They believe that by reforming the existing law???adding a few programs here, dumping additional federal dollars and requirements there???they can improve academic outcomes. It???s another Washington-centric approach to reforming education, an approach that has failed for the past four and a half decades.
Conservatives, in contrast, would like to significantly reduce the federal role in education. Representatives John Kline (R.-Minn.) and Duncan Hunter (R.-Calif.) have introduced initiatives that will provide accountability and give states more control over dollars and decision-making. In addition, the A-PLUS proposal has been introduced by conservatives in both the House and Senate, and would allow states to completely opt out of the law.
Expect hearings and debate on the future of NCLB, but don???t bank on any comprehensive rewrite of NCLB to make it to the President???s desk this year.
Conservative jeers to President Obama
The President???s unconstitutional appointment of Richard Cordray as head of the misnamed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), along with three members of the National Labor Relations Board, will be the subject of much debate and consternation this week in Congress. It will be interesting to see if the Senate blocks the President???s nominees and if the House conducts vigorous oversight hearings as a means to fight back against this power grab.