First House Vote Disenfranchises Territories And District Of Columbia

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In the first House vote of the 112th Congress, the new Republican majority voted to take away the small pittance vote given to Washington DC, Guam, the North Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. There's some populist policy for you right there. Is it any surprise that the people in these territories are, by a large margin, people of color?

Louise Slaughter has some things to say about the new rules. She was pretty blunt about it, too.

Actually, my head is somewhat spinning because not 20 minutes ago the new Speaker of the House of Representatives stood where you are and said he's going to be listening to people but the first order of business before the House came from the delegates who this rule disenfranchises, not only the delegate of the District of Columbia but of all the territories, they didn't get to say a word, so my head is spinning at that point. And we hope they can get unanimous consent so they can get some message into the record.

The talk about deficit reduction is simply thrown out the window so they can free themselves and hand out more tax credits for their friends and corporations. Under these proposed rules, notes The Washington Post, tax cuts of the wealthiest are helpful but those at the other end of the income spectrum, forget about it.

What is crystal clear to me is that they have double downed. Dick Cheney responded to the 2002 mid-term elections by advocating more than $2 trillion in tax cuts. Quote, deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections. This is our due. End quote, said the Vice President. The other side now wants to adopt the posture of budget cutters. They want to make sweetheart deals without having to pay for them.

And just this week, Republican new members ushered in the new Congress with a $2,500 fundraiser at the W Hotel in downtown Washington. And lobbyists and political action committee members and other exclusive guests were treated to a night of drinks and singing by country singer Leann Rimes. Those who donated up to $50,000 were treated to a VIP suite at the W, along with the rest of the night's entertainment.

Last month, the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services committee offered his own assessment of Republican oversight. He told Birmingham News in Alabama, in Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated. My view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks, end quote.

And according to Politico, the incoming House Government Oversight and Government Reform Committee, big oil, big pharma and big health. Instead of all this business as usual and we are headed right back into where we were before 2006.

What I’d like to see is an honest attempt to create a set of rules that provide for openness, transparency and good government. This set of rules is not that document. And I hope the other side, although I believe have good intentions, will join us in supporting this effort and I reserve the balance of my time.”

As I write this, I am listening to David Dreier spew nonsense all over the House floor about the wisdom of the new "cutgo" rules and how 'bipartisan they are'. Oh pulease. Give us a little credit, even if way too many of the people in this country are influenced by FOX News. It's disgusting to think that the House of Representatives is wholly owned by lobbyists, bankers and insurance companies, and even with that, they couldn't allow these representatives from the territories to even have a small voice in legislation or the budget.


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