05-05-2011 by L. S. Carbonell
Citing their “new rules” about not issuing any of the traditional congratulatory resolutions that they say clogged up the House floor, the House Republican leadership has decided not to follow the Senate in honoring the accomplishment of the Senate in passing a resolution to honor the “men and women of the United States Armed Forces and the United States intelligence community for the tremendous commitment, perseverance, professionalism and sacrifice they displayed in bringing Osama bin Lade to justice.” The Senate resoution, which passed on a 97-0 vote, also praised President George W. Bush, commended President Obama and renewed America’s commitment “to disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda.”
The new House rules prohibit any measure that “expresses appreciation, commends, congratulates, celebrates, recognizes the accomplishments of, or celebrates the anniversary of, an entity, event, group, individual, institution, team or government program; or acknowledges or recognizes a period of time for such purposes.” Is it just me or are the words “military action” missing from that rule?
The House’s new rules have been a bit controversial. They include a highly touted rule that all bills must show their Constitutional authority, even though all bills always did have to do that. These rules were supposed to make the House leaner and meaner, and included a rule that they would shut down business at noon on Fridays, just like the British Parliament, so all the members could return to their districts and touch base with their constituents each and every weekend. Many of them didn’t even manage to touch base during a two-week Easter recess once they realized how much anger there was out there over the budget they didn’t really pass. .
While they have deemed congratulatory resolutions a “waste of time” they have no problem debating and passing multiple anti-abortion bills that don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hades of getting off the President’s desk, or holding up the budget until the last hour before the government shuts down, or trying to use one of those abortion bills to hold the debt ceiling increase hostage. They still may do that as the bill goes to the Senate. And while they waste time with all their social bills and non-binding budget resolutions, they have yet to come up with any proposal for jobs – the one issue they all ran on -that doesn’t amount to “trickle-down economics redux.”
The intelligence community spent years running down tiny bits of information until they located bin Laden – not in a cave on the Pakistani-Afghan border but in a house in the Pakistani suburbs. Our Navy Seal Team 6 dropped into that compound with no knowledge of how many people were in the compound or how many weapons they had. They walked through that building not knowing if it was thoroughly booby-trapped or if the people they were encountering were wearing bomb vests. All they knew was that they were going in blind to a space occupied by people who had no compunction about ordering the deaths of thousands. Even if none of these people can ever stand on a dias in the White House and publicly receive medals for what they did, they deserve to be honored.
On Monday evening, the House approved measures naming a Texas courthouse for the two Presidents Bush and a post office for a U.S. soldier slain in Iraq. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s spokesperson, Laena Fallon, said the GOP rules scaled back but did not forbid the naming of post offices and federal buildings because establishing them is a constitutional duty. Under its new protocol, the House acts on those designations only one day a month. She also said the House would be expediting “consideration” of an intelligence authorization bill next week.