Tag Archive: Mitch McConnell

Planned Parenthood and abortion as excuses to close down the government

 <Update 3:00pm: in our delegation all Republican representatives voted YES and all Democrats voted NO on the two bills: defunding of Planned Parenthood and requiring medical care for any fetus who survives an abortion procedure. The bills passed.>

The U. S. Congress in its dilatory and dysfunctional fashion is once again running up against a deadline to fund the spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month. In the House of Representatives the delaying tactic is over Planned Parenthood. In the Senate there are similar efforts, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said in effect, “Sorry, we only have a majority, we can’t defund Planned Parenthood.”

The 40 or so members of the House Freedom Caucus have pledged to oppose any spending measure that contains funding for Planned Parenthood. A founder and the only NJ member of the caucus is Rep. Scott Garrett (R-CD 5).

Today House members will vote on two bills. One would freeze Planned Parenthood funding for a year and the other would  require medical care for any fetus who survives an abortion procedure. In the resolutions leading toward passage of these bills, all New Jersey Democrats have voted in opposition and all Republicans in favor. The votes today will likely be similar.  

WATCH: Jim Keady on The Ed Show – on the Fast Track trade vote

Jim Keady was on The Ed Show again last night, talking about Fast Track and the disastrous vote in the U.S. Senate yesterday. I’m watching this in a noisy coffeehouse without earbuds, so I can’t listen as closely yet as I’d like. But I wanted to post it for you soon as I could.

You know Keady as the guy Christie made a fool of himself with, yelling at Keady to sit down and shut up about Sandy recovery and do something to help, when in fact he volunteered a month doing that – not the first or last time Christie made a harsh and incorrect assumption about a constituent. But not all voters know that Keady has years studying the work lives of foreign workers and is head of the U.S.-based labor rights group Educating for Justice, which focuses on southeast Asia. President Obama spoke at Nike HQ to promote TPP, which is interesting because Keady seems to know more than the president does about what Nike workers lives are really like where those pricey shoes are made. He wrote about his recent trip to Vietnam in a project in conjunction with Sen. Bernie Sanders office here at Blue Jersey yesterday. In this MSNBC clip, we see Sanders’ speech on the Senate floor, following Mitch McConnell’s rah-rah TPP cheering. And joining the segment with Ed Schultz and Keady are a very angry Sen. Sherrod Brown and Larry Cohen, former president of CWA.

President Obama huddles in the Oval, 450 NJ National Guard deploy to the Middle East

A few minutes ago, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell walked into the Oval Office to discuss with the President what to do, if anything, if Iraq falls apart. As Iraq falls apart.

At the same time – right now – 450 members of the New Jersey National Guard are leaving Fort Dix in Burlington County, NJ, on their way to a mobilization center in Fort Bliss, Texas. From there, they ship out to the Middle East. To Qatar, near the action. Their families and friends were there to see them off today. Many of those families have been through this routine, and the uncertainty and concern that goes with it. Not that they can’t handle it. We call on military families to be strong, and they do their best to be strong. But what’s required on our end is coherent foreign policy and intelligent decision-making. If we let President Obama’s fix-it strategy chase George Bush’s adventurism and war-profiteering, will we be doing right by these 450 men and women from New Jersey, or the ones we asked so much of for so long already?

If the situation was bad before, it’s a shitshow now.  

Mitch McConnell Risks Lautenberg’s Health For Partisan Gridlock

promoted by Rosi

Late last week there was a US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee committee meeting scheduled to vote on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

But Republicans decided they wanted to throw a wrench in the works, and refused to show up.  See, the committee can’t vote if there are no minority party members present — unless the majority party has 100 percent attendance.

And committee member Senator Frank Lautenberg was home sick in New Jersey and told not to travel by his physician.  At 89 and recovering from a bad bout of the flu, Lautenberg was experiencing weakness in his legs.

So the Republicans in the US Senate — occasionally considered the “sane” Republicans in DC — were willing to use Lautenberg’s health as a tool to block a perfectly qualified nominee to head the EPA.  Because … Benghazi?

And now that they’ve forced Lautenberg to travel for hours against doctor’s orders, they dropped the boycott.  They risked a man’s life to accomplish … nothing.  

Lautenberg & Menendez fire off a letter to GOP leadership on FAA shutdown

Update: I found this table of where and what the stopped projects are. All of NJ’s are at the same emerging South Jersey airport; search the table for Atlantic City.

Nearly 650 South Jersey workers were furloughed over the weekend at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center near Atlantic City, as the FAA halted work on air travel infrastructure projects across the country. Construction workers. Planners. Engineers. All were sent home after Congress failed to pass legislation re-authorizing federal ticket taxes – these are used to fund building projects for facilities like new runways and new control towers and modernizing air traffic control systems. Nearly 4,000 FAA employees across the country are furloughed without pay. Plus 87,000 construction jobs stopped, across the US. To maintain a safety baseline, the shutdown can only be partial. Unaffected are air traffic controllers and safety inspectors, who will remain on the job. So will FAA employees who inspect planes and test pilots.

Today, senators Lautenberg and Menendez fired off a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to steer his GOP conference to resolution that gets FAA back up. Our senators peg Republicans in both the House and Senate for the failure. GOP lawmakers tacked on a list of provisions to a long-term spending bill for the FAA approved by the GOP-led House this spring. On that list is a GOP-driven proposal, sought by the airline industry, that would make it more difficult for airline workers to unionize.

And they’re not budging, even as the FAA warns that grinding these projects to a halt could significantly increase their ultimate cost to taxpayers. Even though FAA’s also unable to collect the full measure of taxes on airline tickets bought, depriving the government of revenue (with most airlines pocketing that as a bonus instead of passing that savings on to you).



Senators’ letter, after the jump.