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House and Senate Matters Remaining

November 11, 2010

The elections are over but here are several questions concerning issues like rules and leadership of the next Congress that have yet to be resolved.

In the House, there is a fight going on between Steny Hoyer (MD) and James Clyburn (SC) for the number two post in the Democratic caucus. In the majority, Hoyer served as Majority Leader (the number two) and Clyburn was the Majority Whip (the number three). However, you lose one leadership position when you lose the majority. Nancy Pelosi, despite calls from some moderate Democrats (remaining), looks likely to remain the Democratic leader serving as Minority Leader, leaving Hoyer and Clyburn to fight it out in the game of musical chairs.

According to reports, Bennie Thompson has joined much of the Black Caucus in supporting Clyburn (who is also a CBC member). Hotline on calls shows 51 public commits for Hoyer, 13 for Clyburn.

And here is the list of Democrats who have said they will oppose Pelosi as their House Leader. There are 17 Democrats so far. Thompson isn’t on there and we have no reason to believe he would not be supporting her.

On the Republican side it looked like there may be the first Tea Party vs. establishment showdown for the GOP Conference Chair post. However, Michele Bachmann (MN) ended her bid to challenge Jeb Hensarling (TX) yesterday and endorsed the Texas Republican. By virtue of having the support from incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) and others in the GOP leadership, Hensarling was given the title of “establishment” by some (mainly detractors I suppose). That would be news to most people; Hensarling is one of the most conservative members of the House, he just doesn’t make as many appearances on TV or at rallies as Bachmann does.

But still, the threat was there and the media would have enjoyed the angle of the story. As for Alan Nunnelee and Steven Palazzo, they are able to avoid a potential fight that may have angered some before they were even sworn in.

But a GOP fight that is certainly there and will be drawn out is a proposed earmark moratorium in the Senate. This is simply a conference decision; Republicans only. Led by Jim DeMint (SC), he wants the GOP to swear off earmarks. In a conference of 47 Republicans, it will take 24 members supporting this for passage. As opposed to binding legislation, this is technically not enforceable. Therefore, the GOP could vote to do away with earmarks yet members could still ask for them setting up a potentially ugly situation. Further, as I said, this is Republicans only so Democrats could (and will) still receive earmarks.

Thad Cochran is opposed to DeMint’s proposal. I have not seen an official position from Roger Wicker, but you would have to imagine he is also against this.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. TheSilenceIsConsent permalink
    November 11, 2010 3:11 pm

    Just another reason to replace both of them.

  2. jimmy glover permalink
    November 12, 2010 11:45 am

    Both spokes persons said that neither had a position at this time.

    Wicker: No position

    Cochran: Policy against commenting on pending resolutions.

    Evidently, the senate doesn’t get the news, or they are removed enough from the election, they don’t care. Regardless, like the president, they are tone deaf and they are not listening.

    Restate has listed Wicker as a target for the tea party. I can see why. Add Chochran to the list.

    • MSDawg permalink
      November 12, 2010 1:33 pm

      Do you have any clue how the earmark process works? It does not reduce spending. It simply moves discretion of how money is spent. So instead of Cochran sending money to the rural volunteer fire departments, hospitals, airports, and universities in Mississippi, an Obama Bureaucrat will decide where that money is spent. So that money those entities in Mississippi getting that money, community organizers in Chicago, San Fran and New York will get it.

      Demint’s Earmark Ban is pure politics. It will not reduce spending, just move the decision making. I agree with Demint’s ideas about spending and doing things differently, but I disagree with him strongly about his idealogical purity. He has been quoted as saying he would rather 30 of him than a majority with moderates. You know what that would accomplish? Cap and Trade would be law. Card check would be law. And so on and so on.

  3. jimmy glover permalink
    November 13, 2010 9:02 am

    Yes, I know how earmarks work, and no the money won’t be always be spent primarily on the items you listed. (See CAW database on pork). These are attached to a bill to circumvent budgetary procedure.

    Taking my money to send to another state for studies on manure smell is an earmark, pork, and should be banned.

    I don’t know what the line about purity means, other than a talking point, but idealology is a given. As a 2 party system, we need differences to see. And the 2 parties are those who support spending, and those who don’t.

  4. jimmy permalink
    November 15, 2010 9:59 am

    Update on our 2 senators positions

    Taxpayers Against Earmarks has a vote tally: Cochran and Wicker are both against the earmark ban. Thus their staffers outright lied to a constituent about their positions. And at this moment, the conservative sites are pointing directly at them as 2 of the most desperate to stop this ban. Call them.

    (A note about the talking point that this just gives the whitehouse discretion over spending is false. Only if a bill has direct language giving the administration the right to spend as they see fit, do they get to spend the money. An earmark is expressly designed to circumvent this process. It is a means to buy a vote on a much larger bill. For the worst example of this, see the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase. And turtle tunnels. And doorbells for project housing. ETC.)

  5. Travis permalink
    November 16, 2010 12:29 pm

    And levees.

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