Fox News Now Denying Deforestation In a rant described by one scientist as “either incredibly ignorant” or “intentionally misleading,” Fox News host Greg Gutfeld denied deforestation and distorted climate science. Read More
Apr 26, 2012 by whitehouse
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President hosted the Wounded Warrior Project‘s Soldier Ride, visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, and traveled to North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa to launch a sustained effort to get Congress to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling on July 1st. That’s April 20th to April 26th or “Don’t Double My Rate!”
By ThinkProgress War Room on Apr 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm
Mitt Romney’s Misguided, Mistaken, and Misbegotten Foreign Policy
Today, Vice President Biden gave a speech at New York University laying out a broad attack on Mitt Romney — a candidate whose only foreign policy experience comes from shipping jobs overseas — and his approach to foreign policy. Biden said that Romney was relying on the American people developing a ”collective amnesia” about the policies of the past — namely those of the Bush administration and the Cold War — that Romney is advocating a return to. Romney’s desire for amnesia is probably particularly true when it comes to a disastrous press call that his campaign held today in order to attempt to attack the president on foreign policy.
Here’s the rundown.
Back to the Cold War
In his speech today, the vice president called Romney “one of a small group of Cold War holdovers” — a reference to Romney’s recent and much-maligned statement that Russia remains “without question our number one geopolitical foe.” This misguided and mistaken view of foreign policy was much in evidence on today’s Romney press call.
We are seeing the Soviets pushing into the Arctic with no response from us. In fact the only response from us is to announce the early retirement of the last remaining ice breaker.
Another Romney adviser, former Ambassador Pierre Prosper, launched a multiply false attack on the president involving Czechoslovakia, a country which ceased to exist in 1992:
The United States abandoned its missile defense sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia, yet Russia does nothing but obstruct us, or efforts in Iran and Syria.
Mitt Romney himself recently made a reference to the “Soviets” when trying to attack the president for reaching a far-reaching arms reduction treaty that helped pave the way for greater Russian cooperation on Iran, among other things.
Back to Bush
Many of Romney’s top foreign policy advisers are the same Bush administration hands and neoconservatives that helped push us into the Iraq War. Leading the attack on Romney’s behalf today was Dan Senor, best known for his role as senior adviser to and spokesman for Paul Bremer, the U.S. viceroy that headed the Coalition Provisional Authority, which is widely blamed for botching the early days of the occupation.
In October of 2003, Senor infamously declared that “the good news is that the overwhelming majority of Iraqi people have embraced the liberation and are grateful for all we are doing to reconstruct their country.” He also boasted that Iraq “was a model for the region” of a nation at peace with its citizens and claimed that “ninety-five percent of the country is at peace and returning to normal daily life.”
Steve Benen from MSNBC makes the key point:
When Team Romney needs a credible GOP voice to attack the Obama administration’s foreign policy and advise the inexperienced former governor on international affairs, it turns to this guy.
Remember, the Republican National Committee believes the party’s agenda in 2013 will simply be a warmed over version of Bush’s policies. Romney surrounding himself with officials from the Bush/Cheney administration helps drive the point home.
As ThinkProgress Security’s Eli Clifton wrote today, the vice president also laid into Romney for his “loose talk” about war with Iran:
Biden’s harshest reprimand of Romney was saved for the former Massachusetts governor’s critique of President Obama’s Iran policy. Romney has swung between essentially endorsing the Obama administration’s policy of diplomacy plus pressure — via sanctions — to calling for outright military action against Iran. Biden said:
Here’s what he says. He says we need “crippling sanctions,” apparently unaware that through President Obama’s leadership we produced just that, crippling sanctions. He emphasizes the need for “a credible military option” and “a regular presence of aircraft carrier groups” in the region, apparently ignorant of the fact that’s exactly what our policy is and what we’re doing.
Biden singled out Romney’s criticisms of the White House’s Iran-policy as “counterproductive” and promoting “loose talk of war” that could ultimately hurt the international sanctions regime engineered by the administration:
I think it’s fair to say the only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran. If that’s what governor Romney means by a “very different policy” then he should tell the American people. He should say so. Otherwise the governor’s tough talk about military action is just that, talk. And I would add, counterproductive talk. Folks, loose talk about a war has incredible negative consequences in our efforts to end Iran’s nuclear quest. And let me tell you why, because it unsettles world oil markets. It drives up oil prices. When oil prices go up, Iran’s coffers fill up, undermining the effect of the sanctions that are already in place. This type of Romney Talk is just not smart.
Mitt Romney also shares something else with George W. Bush — a lackadaisical attitude about capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. In March 2002, just months after the 9/11 attacks, Bush said, “I truly am not that concerned about him. I am deeply concerned about Iraq.” “I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you,” Bush added. In 2007, Romney said that catching bin Laden would be “insignificant” and it’s “not worth moving heaven and earth.”
No wonder that Romney surrogate and vice-presidential contender Marco Rubio neglected to mention either al-Qaeda or Iraq during his “major address” on foreign policy yesterday.
IN TWO SENTENCES: As Vice President Biden said today, “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. If Governor Romney had been president, could he have used the same slogan in reverse?”
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
The Senate passed a reauthorization of the expanded Violence Against Women Act today by an overwhelming 68-31 margin. House Republicans still contend that they want a watered down version without “contentious” elements that will help protect all women from violence.
Forget Super PAC’s, outside spending by non-profits, businesses, is way more secretive.
Behind the right’s phony war on the nonexistent religion of secularism.
Mitt Romney’s false claims about all those small grassrootsy donations.
Rush Limbaugh on Hillary Clinton: ‘All she is is a Secretary’ who needs to wear Spanx.
Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate supports closing tax loophole for wealthy investors like Mitt Romney.
While Americans are paying a higher gas bill, Exxon has been making $104 million a day in 2012.
The National Endowment for the Arts is opening up more grants for media projects.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is not a fan of Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) watered down DREAM Act proposal.
Other recent Progress Reports
Will Republicans Really Oppose the Violence Against Women Act? As soon as the Senate finishes a massive postal reform bill, it is expected to take up a bill to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act. Shockingly, as we discussed last week, some Republicans are actually opposed to this vital legislation. House Republicans already refused [...]
Apr 24, 2012: Will Republicans Stick It To Students? (Again.)
Will the GOP Force Students & Their Families to Take on Even More Debt? As it stands now, the interest rate on loans for many students will DOUBLE come July 1. This change would impact more than 7.4 MILLION students, forcing them to pile on even more debt at time when student debt is already [...]
Apr 23, 2012: An ‘Update’ To The Bush Years?
New GOP Economic Plan is Same as Previous Disastrous GOP Economic Plan In nearly every policy area, Republicans from Mitt Romney on down the line have been proposing that we go back to the disastrous policies of the Bush administration — only on steroids. For example, Mitt Romney not only wants to keep the Bush [...]
Apr 20, 2012: The Politicization Of Domestic Violence
For the first time since its original passage in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is facing a fight. If you aren’t familiar with the bill, it is an effective and beneficial effort to prevent domestic violence and aid victims of domestic or sexual abuse. Originally written and introduced by then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), [...]
This week, when asked by a young woman to take a position on the Reproductive Parity Act, Republican Rob McKenna said: “My position is that I’m a lawyer for the state.” He then told her curtly to “go get a job.”
That’s unacceptable. A serious candidate for governor should have the courage to say whether or not he believes women deserve equal health care access, and arrogantly dismissing a hard-working Washingtonian for asking a fair and relevant question makes his lack of conviction even worse.
It just goes to show that when Republican Rob McKenna can’t have it both ways, we get a sense of who he really is — and the real Rob McKenna isn’t pretty. We need to hold him accountable.
You’ll never have to ask where Jay Inslee stands on women’s health care or reproductive rights. Jay has always stood up for women’s health and won’t allow politics or ideology to take precedence over common sense and science.
That’s why he unequivocally supports the Reproductive Parity Act and efforts to ensure that the partisan battles over women’s health care in “the other Washington” don’t endanger equal access here.
That’s also why both Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington have endorsed Jay, calling him a “steadfast champion for a woman’s right to choose.” It’s also one of the reasons I work for him.
Washington deserves a governor who will stand up for women’s health care. Jay Inslee will, but Republican Rob McKenna can’t be trusted.
Join us today, and show that you’re standing with the candidate who will stand with you.
If McKenna refuses to take a stand one way or the other on women’s health care, then maybe he’s the one who should “go get a job” – not the young woman he insulted, who, by the way, DOES have a job leading youth empowerment programs.
We can fight back against McKenna’s political ploys and half-truths, and we can make sure there’s no way he’s elected as our next governor — but only by standing together.
Thank you for standing with Jay, and for showing your support for women’s health care and reproductive rights.
Joby Shimomura Campaign Manager Jay Inslee for Washington
- 4/23/2012 – Gov. Gregoire signs supplemental capital budget
- 4/18/2012 – Gov. Gregoire orders flags flown at half-staff Friday, April 20th
- 4/17/2012 – Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Charlie Earl’s retirement
- 4/16/2012 – Gov. Gregoire appoints Superior Court Judge for Clark County
- 4/11/2012 – Gov. Gregoire appoints Rob St. John as director of Consolidated Technology Services
The Senate will convene at 2:00pm on Monday, May 7, 2012.
Following the prayer and pledge, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.2343, the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act.
At 4:30pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the following items:
with 60 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time (at approximately 5:30pm), the Senate will conduct up to 3 roll call votes on the Nguyen, Baker and Lee nominations. It is possible the Baker and Lee nominations will be confirmed by voice vote.
As a reminder to all Senators, on Thursday, April 26th, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to S.2343, the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act. By consent, the roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.2343 will be at 12:00pm on Tuesday, May 8th.
If the Senate does not receive a message from the House that it has adopted S.Con.Res.43, the Senate will convene on the following dates at the following times for pro forma sessions only, with no business conducted:
- Monday, April 30, at 10:30am
- Thursday, May 3, at 8:30am
CURRENT HOUSE FLOOR PROCEEDINGS
LEGISLATIVE DAY OF APRIL 27, 2012
112TH CONGRESS – SECOND SESSION
CyberSecurityVote HR2096 495 – 10 funds taken out of #ACA and will take from Women and their families health care
Student Loan Vote HR4628 215 – 195 – 13Dems voting with Rs 30 GOPs stood up with Dems
-SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.1:06:14 P.M. -Commission on International Religious Freedom – Pursuant to Section 201(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 USC 6431 Note)as amended, and the order of the House of January 5,2011, the Speaker appointed Mr. Samuel Gejdenson, Branford, Connecticut, for a term ending May 14, 2014.12:54:51 P.M. -ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.12:54:24 P.M. -S. Con. Res. 43Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.12:54:14 P.M. -S. Con. Res. 43On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to without objection.12:54:10 P.M. -S. Con. Res. 43Considered as privileged matter. S. Con. Res. 43 — “Providing for a conditional adjournment or recess of the Senate and an adjournment of the House of Representatives.”12:48:03 P.M. -H.R. 4849Mr. Hastings (WA) asked unanimous consent that in the engrossment of H.R. 4849, the Clerk be authorized to make the change placed at the desk as follows: In Section 2(b)(1), strike “C 90-4621″ and insert instead “C 09-4621″.12:48:02 P.M. -H.R. 3834Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.12:47:59 P.M. -H.R. 3834On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.12:47:18 P.M. -H.R. 3834Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 3834 — “To amend the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 to authorize activities for support of networking and information technology research, and for other purposes.”12:46:55 P.M. -H.R. 4628Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.12:46:54 P.M. -H.R. 4628On passage Passed by recorded vote: 215 – 195 (Roll no. 195).12:33:46 P.M. -H.R. 4628On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by recorded vote: 178 – 231 (Roll no. 194).12:16:43 P.M. -H.R. 4628The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.12:06:53 P.M. -H.R. 4628DEBATE - The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Capps motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to protect health insurance benefits for women and children by prohibiting the underlying bill from reducing coverage or raising costs for healthcare benefits offered by insurance companies, including benefits such as contraception, mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, childhood immunizations, and health screenings for newborns.12:06:30 P.M. -H.R. 4628Mrs. Capps moved to recommit with instructions to Education and the Workforce and Energy and Commerce.12:05:17 P.M. -H.R. 4628Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 4628 — “To extend student loan interest rates for undergraduate Federal Direct Stafford Loans.”12:05:14 P.M. -H.R. 2096Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.12:05:14 P.M. -H.R. 2096On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 395 – 10 (Roll no. 193).11:42:03 A.M. -H.R. 2096Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 2096 — “To advance cybersecurity research, development, and technical standards, and for other purposes.”11:41:35 A.M. -H.R. 4628POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule XIX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the bill H.R. 4628 were postponed.11:41:10 A.M. -H.R. 4628The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.10:23:30 A.M. -H.R. 4628DEBATE – The House continued with of debate on H.R. 4628.10:23:29 A.M. -The House received a message from the Senate. The Senate agreed to S. Con. Res. 43 and passed H.R. 2079, H.R. 1423, H.R. 298, H.R. 2213, H.R. 2244, H.R. 2660, H.R. 2767, H.R. 3004, H.R. 3247, H.R. 3246, and H.R. 3248.10:17:46 A.M. -H.R. 4628DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H.R. 4628.10:16:48 A.M. -H.R. 4628Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 3523 and H.R. 4628 with 1 hour of general debate. Motion to recommit with or without instructions allowed. Measure will be considered read. Specified amendments are in order. The rule waives all points of order against consideration of the bill. The rule makes in order as original text for purpose of amendment the amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 112-20 and provides that it shall be considered as read. The rule waives all points of order against the amendment in the nature of a substitute. The rule makes in order only those amendments printed in the Rules Committee report. The rule further provides that it shall be in order at any time through the legislative day of April 27, 2012, for the Speaker to entertain motions that the House suspend the rules. The rule provides further for10:16:43 A.M. -H.R. 4628Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 631. H.R. 4628 — “To extend student loan interest rates for undergraduate Federal Direct Stafford Loans.”10:15:31 A.M. -H.R. 4849Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.10:15:26 A.M. -H.R. 4849On passage Passed without objection.10:15:08 A.M. -H.R. 4849On agreeing to the Hastings (WA) amendment; Agreed to without objection.10:15:05 A.M. -H.R. 4849Amendment offered by Mr. Hastings (WA).10:14:49 A.M. -H.R. 4849Considered by unanimous consent. H.R. 4849 — “To direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue commercial use authorizations to commercial stock operators for operations in designated wilderness within the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and for other purposes.”10:10:48 A.M. -H.R. 4849RESERVATION OF OBJECTION – Mr. George Miller (CA) reserved the right to object and was recognized to proceed under his reservation. Subsequently the reservation was withdrawn.10:10:08 A.M. -H.R. 4849Mr. Hastings (WA) asked unanimous consent to discharge from committee and consider.10:09:33 A.M. -H.R. 3834At the conclusion of debate, the chair put the question on the motion to suspend the rules. Mr. Hall objected to the vote on the grounds that a quorum was not present. Further proceedings on the motion were postponed. The point of no quorum was withdrawn.9:51:00 A.M. -H.R. 3834DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 3834.9:50:40 A.M. -H.R. 3834Considered under suspension of the rules.9:50:21 A.M. -H.R. 3834Mr. Hall moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 3834 — “To amend the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 to authorize activities for support of networking and information technology research, and for other purposes.”9:49:44 A.M. -H.R. 2096At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.9:17:13 A.M. -H.R. 2096DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 2096.9:17:11 A.M. -H.R. 2096Considered under suspension of the rules.9:17:00 A.M. -H.R. 2096Mr. McCaul moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 2096 — “To advance cybersecurity research, development, and technical standards, and for other purposes.”9:16:00 A.M. -The Speaker announced that votes on suspensions, if ordered, will be postponed until a time to be announced.9:02:15 A.M. -ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches, which by direction of the Chair would be limited to 5 per side of the aisle.9:01:56 A.M. -PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Barletta to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.9:01:53 A.M. -The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.9:00:30 A.M. -Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Robert Ballecer, S.J., Jesuit Conference, Washington, DC.9:00:18 A.M. -The House convened, starting a new legislative day.