2010-08-13 / Letters

A Pox On Both Their Houses!

Dear Editor,

By now those of you who follow the insane world of American politics have all seen Anthony Weiner’s, our Congressional representative, theatrical tantrum on the floor of the House of Representatives last week when the house rejected a bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center. Congressman Weiner, whose house floor antics would have been better suited for an infant with a bib and a rattle, blasted the Republicans for the failure of the bill to pass.

Shortly thereafter, Congressman Weiner conducted a media wide campaign to explain his “tantrum” with op-ed articles appearing in the New York Times and even in this week’s edition of our local newspaper, The Wave.

Although his tone was now calmer, Congressman Weiner continued his assertion that the failure to pass this bill, which has been played with like a football in the Democrat controlled House for the past three years, was the sole fault of house Republicans.

This is where our Congressman was not being completely truthful with his constituents. Although there was politics afoot on both sides of the aisle, in fact, it was the Democrats who shot themselves in the foot.

Had the bill been brought before the floor of the House for a simple up or down vote on the house calendar, there would have been sufficient Democrat (and Republican) votes to ensure passage of the bill. However, this process would have also allowed the Republicans to introduce amendments to the bill (a normal house process) which would then have to be voted on by the entire house.

The Democrats were aware that the Republicans intended to introduce several amendments to the bill, one requiring a caveat that none of the $7.4 billion in “first responder” be spent on illegal immigrants and that the money allocated in the bill be funded under the “pay as you go” rule which precludes unfunded entitlements which simply add billions more to our already unsustainable deficit.

The Republicans (playing politics) knew that if these amendments were introduced, the Democrat majority in the house would have sufficient votes to kill them but they (the Republicans) wanted to force the Democrats to publicly vote up or down on them.

If the amendments were allowed to be introduced, the Democrat majority in the house would have had sufficient votes to override them but the Democrats simply did not want to be put in a position to vote on them. Those house Democrats who are up for election this November did not want to be placed in a position of publicly voting for or against an illegal immigrant proscription or for or against yet another unfunded entitlement which would simply add to our federal deficit.

In order to avoid being put in a position where they would have to publicly vote for or against these amendments, the Democrats (playing politics) suspended the house calendar and placed the bill on the floor in a process which does not allow for the introduction of amendments but also requires a three quarters vote of the house, rather than simple majority, to ensure passage of the bill.

As I previously said, both sides played “politics” with this bill, but the really despicable affront to our first responders was offered by the Democrats who essentially “killed” the bill by suspending the house calendar and forcing the ¾ vote which they knew was not attainable simply to provide themselves cover from publicly voting on “hot button” issues this close to an election.

And then along comes our Democrat Congressman, Anthony Weiner, who proceeds, quite disingenuously, to throw a tantrum on the house floor, knowing full well it would be widely covered in the media, placing the blame for the bill’s failure solely at the feet of his Republican colleagues and ignoring the deliberate action of the Democrats suspension of the house calendar forcing the 3/4 vote and precluding all amendments!

Knowing that his antics would cause a stir in the media, Weiner then conducts a media campaign to “explain” his anger on the floor of the house by again placing all the blame for this debacle at the feet of his Republican colleagues without ever “explaining” the house Democrats deliberate decision to force a 3/4 vote with no amendments.

A pox on both the Democrats and Republicans “ for their political machinations in this issue but I am sure there is a special place in hell for those Democrats who essentially doomed this bill and its financial aid to our brave first responders who now suffer from a myriad of illnesses as a result of their selfless work at Ground Zero ten years ago, simply to avoid having to take a public stand on illegal immigration and deficit spending this close to the mid term elections in November.

Is it any wonder that Congress’s approval rating is hovering around 10 percent.

PETER MAHON

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