Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Winning Some. Losing Some.

The Republicans in the Senate are like the weather.   You never know which way they'll blow. Or decide.

Today marked one victory for the Obama administration, and on the other hand yet another setback from what president Obama calls the "partisan minority."

The heavily debated jobs bill was finally approved today after months of delay. 

Welcoming the news, President Obama said, "The small business jobs bill passed today will help provide loans and cut taxes for millions of small business owners without adding a dime to our nation’s deficit.  After months of partisan obstruction and needless delay, I’m grateful that Democrats and a few Republicans came together to support this common-sense plan to put Americans back to work.  I look forward to signing the bill on Monday."

It is expected that the bill will allow small business owners to benefit from tax breaks and additional lending to allow companies have the capital to grow and hire more people. 

Jobs, people. Jobs.

On the flip side of today's news the president learned that the Republicans blocked the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act.

The successful Republican filibuster casted at 57-41 'NO' vote not to pass the Act in in July of last year.

The bill would violate free speech by regulating campaign contributions, meaning that it would require organizations involved in political campaigning to disclose the identity of the large donors, and reveal the identities of political ads funded.

Transparency, people.

It would also bar foreign corporations, government contractors, and TARP recipients from making political expenditures.

But as the story goes, the GOP wasn't allowing that to happen and again voted 'NO' on the measure by a vote of 59-39, almost mirroring the previous vote in 2009.

Upon hearing the news, President Obama remarked, "“I am deeply disappointed by the unanimous Republican blockade in the Senate of the DISCLOSE Act, a critical piece of legislation that would control the flood of special interest money into our elections."

Calling the decision a victory for special interest groups, Obama stated, "Today’s decision by a partisan minority to block this legislation is a victory U.S. corporations – including foreign-controlled ones – who are now allowed to spend unlimited money to fill our airwaves, mailboxes and phone lines right up until Election Day. And it comes at the expense of the American people, who no longer have the right to know who is financing these ads in an attempt to influence an election for their preferred candidate. Wall Street, the insurance lobby, oil companies and other special interests are now one step closer to taking Congress back and returning to the days when lobbyists wrote the laws."

Earlier this week U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank refused to interfere with a  Minnesota law that would reveal political donations from Target Corp. and other companies.
The president said, "but despite today’s setback, I will continue fighting to ensure that our democracy stays where it belongs - in the hands of the American people.” 

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