Friday, January 30, 2009

Where The Rubber Meets The Road (1/30/09)

As reported in last Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress were recorded on major roll-call votes last week (and I also posted over here - a little late due to technical difficulties).


Tighter bailout rules. Voting 260-166, the House passed a bill (HR 384) setting stricter rules for the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). The Senate will not take up the bill, relying instead on Obama administration pledges to tighten up the program.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: John Adler (D., N.J.), Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), and Joe Sestak (D., Pa.).

Voting no: Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Typical partisan, party-line BS, and here’s more (and I have to tell you that I’m not entirely sure of the reason for the disconnect here between the House and the Senate; if Harry Reid and company are looking for both efficiency and expediency on this, they may end up with neither).


Secretary of State Clinton. Voting 94-2, the Senate confirmed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D., N.Y.) as the 67th U.S. secretary of state.

A yes vote was to confirm Clinton.

Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).
(And by the way, allow me to welcome Ted Kaufman of Delaware to the festivities, taking over for Joe Biden while Biden’s son Beau serves in Iraq and then, in all probability, prepares to run for his dad’s seat when he returns, God willing.)

Oh, and the two numbskulls who voted against HRC’s confirmation were Diaper Dave Vitter and Jim DeMint, as noted here (the latter has truly been “covering himself in glory” lately).

Pay-bias suits. Voting 61-36, the Senate passed a bill (S 181) giving plaintiffs greater standing to file suits alleging pay discrimination. The bill would permit claims to be filed within 180 days of the latest infraction. This would nullify a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which requires pay-bias suits to be filed within 180 days of the first infraction. This vote sent the bill back to the House.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez and Specter.
And thus closes yet another horrendous chapter in the annals of Hangin’ Judge J.R.’s Supreme Court (and the bill is now law, as noted here).

GOP pay-bias plan. Voting 40-55, the Senate defeated a bid by Republicans to narrow the statute of limitations in S 181 (above) for filing pay-bias claims. The GOP sought to require claims to be filed within 180 days of the time the plaintiff first knew or should have known of the alleged discrimination.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Voting yes: Specter.

Voting no: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg and Menendez.
Some “plan”; all that would have done was to validate the original bogus ruling by the Roberts court that generated the response leading to the Ledbetter law.

As always, screw you, Arlen (if you really opposed Ledbetter, then do so honestly and vote No to S181 for the record as long as you support the watered-down "alternative").

Right-to-work laws. Voting 66-31, senators tabled (killed) a proposal to add a federal right-to-work law to S 181 (above). Twenty-two states now have right-to-work laws, which make it illegal to require union membership or the paying of union dues as a condition of employment.

A yes vote opposed the amendment.

Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez and Specter.
Not much to think about here, people; so-called “right to work” laws are nothing but attacks on unions, couched in typical Republican-ese.

This week, the House took up an $850 billion economic-stimulus package, while the Senate debated expansion of children's health insurance and voted on Obama administration appointees.

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