The Meaningless House Agenda
The new leadership in the House of Representatives has been busy with symbolic measures instead of tackling realistic legislation. They voted to repeal health-care reform... which the Senate won't consider. Last week they voted to eliminate the voluntary Presidential Election fund... which the Senate won't consider. The House leadership prefers voting on these measures to addressing the jobs crisis. At a time when roughly 10% of the eligible job force is out of work, they would rather appease the tea party than address their responsibility to the American people.
Filibuster Reform... Sort of
The U.S. Senate adopted some modest but nonetheless significant changes in its rules last week that should make it less of a graveyard of good ideas and more of a functioning legislature. The two parties’ leaders agreed to end “secret holds”-- which allow senators to block legislation indefinitely and anonymously reasons-- reduce the number of executive department appointees requiring Senate confirmation, and ensure more frequent, fuller debate on the Senate floor. Disappointed reformers inside and outside the body vowed to continue the fight for more substantial changes, such as curtailing filibuster abuse.
With the news that the Egyptian army will not use force (or the American made arms) and the "March of Millions" scheduled for tomorrow, the current protests in Egypt have created a highly volatile situation with potential for both good and bad. But there is no denying that the display of democratic desire is promising and consistent with the values we espouse all over the world. Here's hoping for a peaceful transition that respects human rights and provides hope and stability for Egypt and it's neighbors.
- The new civil union law will be signed in Illinois today! Yet, this does not mean our work is over. The civil unions law is a big step forward for the state of Illinois, but it's still a long way away from full equality.
- Upcoming legislative battles include the defense spending bill, raising the debt ceiling, preserving Medicare and Social Security. We'll keep you up to date!
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