Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

Minority Leader Boehner: "Cole Staying"

May 20, 2008

After several days of speculation, Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, is giving a public vote of support to National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chair Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole.

Cole, the 4th District representative, had come under fire after yet another special election loss, the latest one last week in Mississippi.

Most observers think Cole is being set up for blame by Boehner, who has criticized Cole in the past. “I don’t know what Tom Cole is supposed to do about visionless dolts like John Boehner,” one Washington insider tells OKPNS.

From The Hill:

“Boehner’s leadership has been lacking,” a GOP lobbyist and strategist said.

Boehner last year reportedly called for staffing changes at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), but none happened after NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) refused to make them.

After the party’s devastating loss last week in a Mississippi special election, Boehner did not directly answer the question about whether Cole would stay on at the NRCC. With some of his GOP colleagues calling for quick and decisive action, Boehner lauded a 20-page strategic memo crafted by Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), a former NRCC chairman.

It wasn’t until five days after the Mississippi loss that Boehner provided clarity on whether Cole would be ousted.

“He’s staying,” Boehner said on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. “And we know the kind of changes that need to be made in order to help our members and help our candidates go out there and do their best in a very difficult environment.”

Boehner said he met with Cole late last week to discuss those changes, but the minority leader’s office declined to detail them on Monday. Read more…

House GOP Points Fingers After Loss; Cole Out As NRCC Chair?

May 15, 2008

The man tasked with retaking the House of Representatives for Republicans, Oklahoma 4th District Congressman Tom Cole, is on the hot seat after yet another special election loss, but this time after a loss Tuesday night in a Mississippi district President Bush once won by over 25%.

It’s no secret that Cole, the National Republican Campaign Committee chair, is disliked by Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, and Boehner sees Cole as the perfect fall guy in the event House Republicans lose significant ground in the November congressional elections. According to reports, the long knives are coming out.

From Politico.com:

The House Republican Conference was rife with rumors of quick fixes. According to one rumor, retiring Rep. Tom Davis (Va.) would replace Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Another had Boehner recruiting a top White House political aide to revamp the NRCC. Neither seemed likely to happen. Both underscored the desperation Republicans felt to do something, anything, to avoid the November disaster that the special election losses seem to portend.

Cole and his top staff at the NRCC were at the center of this quickly churning rumor mill, but the griping also touched Boehner, who spoke privately with his campaign chief Wednesday.

The two leaders, who sparred last fall over operations at the committee, offered contradictory messages about what changes were afoot.

Cole said speculation about his resignation or the firing of NRCC staff amounted to nothing more than a “Washington parlor game.” Boehner, hinting that a shake-up was coming, said Wednesday morning that he expected House Republican leaders would discuss the party’s problems, and what “changes” might need to be made to address them, in a meeting later in the day. Read more…

The Coconut Road Affair – How To Investigate A Crooked Earmark

April 17, 2008

“Somewhere along the way, something changed. Nobody knows for sure who did what.”- Sen. Tom Coburn

From ABC News:

Someone – before Congress mandated that earmarks enacted into law be made public, so we’re not sure who – someone changed language in the conference report to the 2006 transportation bill that redirected $10 million that had been designated to widen parts of I-75 to instead create the off-ramp.

Problem is the residents of Lee County in Naples, Florida didn’t want the off-ramp. The local government didn’t want the off-ramp and the local Congressman, Republican Connie Mack, says he didn’t request the off-ramp.

It was requested by a local business man – conveniently a political patron of Rep. Don Young, the powerful Alaska Republican that tried so hard to bring you the “Bridge to Nowhere” boondoggle that same year, and the lawmaker who wrote the bill.

Young has not directly admitted requesting the earmark, and despite Mack maintaining he didn’t request it either, offering he even worked to have the earmark reversed, there exists a letter from 2006 indicating Mack supported an off-ramp in that location.

Lawmakers put 6,300 earmarks worth $24 billion into what was ultimately signed by President George W. Bush. But only Coconut Road is still causing problems on Capitol Hill.

Republican anti-earmark crusader Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, wants to appoint a bipartisan, bicameral panel with subpoena power to investigate the matter and he’s holding up action on the Senate floor demanding a vote on the proposal.

Senators have spent all week considering a “technical corrections” to the 2005 transportation bill. “Technical corrections” are supposed to dot i’s and cross t’s overlooked when the bill was originally passed, but Coburn says there should be a full accounting of the taxpayer money that was overlooked too.

Read more..

Video: Istook’s Five Standards for Solving the Mortgage Madness

April 17, 2008

Quote of the Day: "You Couldn’t Beat Mary Fallin With a Baseball Bat"

March 7, 2008

Probably not the best metaphor Congressman Cole could have used to describe how difficult it will be to defeat Congresswoman Fallin:

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole, chair of the NRCC, shows no concern about the Democrats’ fundraising lead. “Most of our freshmen, frankly, are not in vulnerable seats,” he says. “They won in an awful year. You couldn’t beat Mary Fallin [an Oklahoma Republican] with a baseball bat.” Read more…

We can’t afford Congress any more

January 18, 2008

By Ernest Istook

We can’t afford Congress. It’s driving America’s cost-of-living through the roof.

Any tax cut or “economic stimulus” we might get this spring is peanuts compared to how Washington keeps jacking up the price of everything that’s important.

By itself, last month’s energy bill will make food, cars, gasoline and even light bulbs more expensive. Washington is also the culprit behind high medical bills and health insurance, washing machines that have doubled in price, and our wonderful, more-expensive “lo-flo” toilets that don’t flush right.

All this is on top of what red tape already costs us. A 2004 government report admitted that federal regulations cost our economy at least $1.1 trillion each year. That’s $3,666 per person, so multiply that by the number of people in your household. And remember that’s before the 2007 energy bill. And in addition to taxes.

The new energy laws are a leftist’s dream and a supply-sider’s nightmare. As 2008 starts, we’re paying $3 (often more) for a gallon of gasoline. That’s up about a fourth (64 cents) from a year ago. The Heritage Foundation calculates the new energy bill will boost gas prices over $5 a gallon by 2016. Yet rather than let us produce more oil domestically, Congress keeps areas off-limits from drilling that could raise supply and lower prices. Read more…

Fallin Votes to Regulate Internet; OKPNS Potential Domestic Terrorist?

January 17, 2008

899B. FINDINGS.

(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

From Irons in the Fire:

Just bloody wonderful. Especially since I found out my Rep. Mary Fallin voted for it. I had to find that out at GovTrack(which I now have bookmarked). I also found this:

Oct 23, 2007: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. The totals were 404 Ayes, 6 Nays, 22 Present/Not Voting.

When the congresscritters ‘suspend rules’ to cut debate like this, it’s usually not a good thing for us. And yes, I’m telling her what I think of it. Read more…

Related:

Rep. Fallin “never ever wants to fight the war on terror in America.”

It’s Time to Evaluate Rep. Fallin’s Record

December 24, 2007

By Mickey Hepner

(The Edmond Sun)

EDMOND — The U.S. Congress wrapped up its 2007 business this week when members headed home for the holidays. Since this is the end of the year, and the end of Congress’ business for the year, this is a natural time for us to evaluate the work of our member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin.

Fallin is now midway through her first term in office after having won election in 2006 with just more than 60 percent of the vote. Previously, she had served three terms as Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor and two terms as a state representative. However, being a member of Congress has required Fallin to consider different issues than those she confronted in her previous roles. Now, after her first year representing us in Washington, we voters should begin to consider whether she is representing us well.

So, this week, we discuss Fallin’s record on four of the most important issues facing this country — the Iraq War, immigration reform, the number of uninsured children and the national debt. Read more…

Rep. Fallin Speaks on Hate Crimes Bill

Rep. Fallin Supporting Troop Surge

WSJ Piece on the "Senate’s Dr. No"

December 21, 2007


Oklahoma Conservative Specializes in the ‘Hold’; Stopping 90 Bills in 2007

By Sarah Lueck

On Tuesday afternoon, when most senators were preparing to leave Washington for the holiday recess, Tom Coburn was declaring his intention to stick around.

“The floor’s going to be open,” said the 59-year-old Oklahoma Republican. “I’m going to have to be here…to try to stop stuff.”

Stopping stuff is Sen. Coburn’s specialty. In a Congress that has had trouble passing even the simplest legislation, Sen. Coburn, who proudly wears the nickname “Dr. No,” is a one-man gridlock machine. This year, the senator, who indeed is a medical doctor, single-handedly blocked or slowed more than 90 bills, driving lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to distraction.

He blocked a ban on genetic discrimination by health insurers. He thwarted a bill to set up a program to track patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Also nixed: an effort to promote safe Internet use by children and a resolution to honor the late environmentalist Rachel Carson on the 100th anniversary of her birth. Read more…

Follies of the FHA; Coburn Criticizes Bailout

December 21, 2007

By John Berlau

“How could they have been so stupid?” That’s the million-dollar question being asked as mortgage defaults have increased on loans that carried much more risk then lenders, borrowers, and investors anticipated.

But this question may be overtaken by one with a multibillion -dollar price tag years from now. That may be, “How could our elected representatives have been so stupid?” Despite the valiant efforts of fiscal hawks such as Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), and several House members in the conservative Republican Study Committee, both bodies of Congress have passed bills to put taxpayers on the hook for more risky loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

The Senate’s chief fiscal hawk, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, was so concerned about the effects of both bills on taxpayers and the mortgage market that he put one of his famous “holds” on the Senate legislation to slow down its passage. “This bill only creates more opportunities for borrowers to receive government-backed loans, increasing the liability on American citizens, but not preventing the possibility of delinquency or default,” Coburn said in a statement. Read more…