Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

U.S. House of Representatives approves Barack Obama's giveaway to the rich

Shamefully following in the footsteps of the Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved Barack Obama's deal with Republicans to continue the Bush-error giveaway to the rich by a vote of two hundred and seventy seven to one hundred and forty eight.

The Democratic and Republican caucuses each provided about an equal number of votes for the deal (in fact, the difference was only one vote). One hundred and twelve Democrats voted no; they were joined by thirty-six Republicans.

The Pacific Northwest's congressional delegation was split, although along philosophical lines instead of partisan ones.

Voting for Obama's immoral, deficit-raising giveaway to the rich were Democrats Norm Dick and Rick Larsen (Washington), Walt Minnick (Idaho), plus Republicans Dave Reichert, Doc Hastings, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (all Washington), Greg Walden (Oregon), and Don Young (Alaska's at-large representative).

Voting against were Jay Inslee, Jim McDermott, Brian Baird, Adam Smith (all Washington), Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, and David Wu (all Oregon), as well as Republicans Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Denny Rehberg (Montana's at-large representative).

Ordinarily, in the aftermath of an important vote like this, I'd include an excerpt from the White House's emailed statement to us. But in this case, I'm not going to bother, since I'm pretty sure readers of The Advocate have already heard plenty of empty rhetoric from President Obama on this subject (and others).

We extend our thanks to the eight Democrats and two Republicans from our region who voted against this ill-conceived, fiscally irresponsible legislation. Contrary to what Barack Obama and Republican leaders claim, come January, no American family that is struggling to put food on the table and pay the bills is going to be thinking, well, at least Congress extended the Bush tax cuts.

Continuing the failed right wing economic policies of the past is not a prescription for economic recovery. The Bush tax cuts did not prevent the onset of the Great Recession, and making them permanent will not set the stage for our escape from the Great Recession. What the economy really needs is more stimulus.

Aid to the jobless (including the ninety-niners) could and should have been approved by Congress without anything else attached.

But, since elected Democrats don't understand how to wield power, Republicans dictated how the matter would be decided. Maddeningly, they're still in nominally charge of the country, even though they don't control the presidency or either house of Congress (until January).

We do want to recognize Oregon's Democratic congressional delegation for voting in unison against Obama's giveaway to the rich.

Not only were each of its four Democratic representatives opposed, but its two senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, were as well. That's the kind of principled, unified opposition we wish Washington's Democratic delegation, and the Democratic delegations in other states, had offered.


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