It took 16 years, but the bill to form a commission on the creation of a National Women’s History Museum went to President Obama’s desk this week after being passed by Congress.
“When you go down the mall, everything is there,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens), who introduced the bill in 1998, said. “They have museums for postage stamps, for law and order, and yet there is not a single museum dedicated to the accomplishments of women.”
One of the most controversial issues to come before the GOP 114th Congress will be the Keystone XL Pipeline. Let me explain why Canada’s dirty-sand crude oil has to come all the way to Texas.
Canada seeks to become a global player in the petroleum market. The proven reserves in Alberta’s oil sands are second only to Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. A Canadian company wanted to build a $5.8 billion pipeline to transport oil 731 miles from Alberta to Kitimat, in the rainforest of British Columbia. Giant tankers would thread between a jigsaw of islands to and from Kitimat. At the port, they would load up on petrol from Alberta. A West Coast oil port would open the oil sands to Asian refiners.
Environmental groups have opposed the pipeline, especially Canada’s First Nations. “This is one of the biggest environmental threats we’ve ever seen,” said Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild, a wilderness protection group. Sixty-one Canadian First Nations announced they would not allow the oil pipeline to cross their traditional territory. Their legal authority was based on aboriginal rights.
As a result, Canada’s petro boys looked to their old oil cousins in America. Who came to the rescue? Why, GOP leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. They will fight “tooth ’n’ nail” with Barack Obama for the pipeline. Like Canada’s First Nations, U.S. environmental groups are opposed to the pipeline crossing the Great Sioux reservation. They cite the Sioux Treaty of 1868, which guarantees the Lakota-Arapaho Nation ownership of their lands.
So the uproar, which started in Canada, has crossed the border to become our uproar.
Many Queens lawmakers back President Obama’s executive order on undocumented immigrants, which says that many who have lived in the United States for at least five years without a criminal record can apply to legally work in the country and be protected from deportation. Up to five million may qualify.
Officials here largely said the move will not alleviate all the problems that exist in the nation’s “broken immigration system,” but is a “welcome step” that will move the country in the right direction.
The Rev. Joseph Holcomb gives the opening prayer in Congress. Behind him is Rep. John Boehner, House speaker.
Last week President Barack Obama announced that he would use executive action to address the country’s immigration system after House Speaker John Boehner stated that the House would not vote on it this year. President Obama recently described the increasing influx of unaccompanied children entering the United States illegally as an “urgent humanitarian issue” and announced the establishment of an interagency group to manage this issue. Although the initiative will provide some relief to the thousands of migrant children currently living in the United States, it ultimately only serves as a Band-Aid solution to a deeply rooted problem that must be solved on both sides of the border. Latin America and the United States must strengthen bilateral cooperation to decrease the number of minors attempting the dangerous journey across the border.
In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, the number of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the country continues to worsen every year. In the last nine months alone, 47,000 minors have been detained after entering the U.S. illegally without the company of a parent or relative. This is almost twice as many as last year. Projections put the number of unaccompanied minors at over 100,000 in 2015.
After 18 months of Benghazi-Benghazi-Benghazi and 13 hearings by eight GOP House committees, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) decided to appoint a select committee to investigate — Benghazi! Why pay lawyers more tax dollars for another merry-go-round of political theatrics? Boehner said a new email smoking gun will reveal new light. I think not!
Just a side note. Under Bush-43 many embassies were attacked, with numerous killings. Why did the GOP Congress avoid hearings?
Folks, when you look past the smoke and mirrors, the Republican House plans reveal two political strategies.
1) Destroy Hillary Clinton’s chances to become America’s 45th president.
2) Revenge! Republicans want to link Obama to a new political scandal — Benghazigate!
This would allow, for the third time, a GOP House impeachment of a president. (Andrew Johnson and William Clinton). By removing Barack Obama from office, they would get even for what the Democrats did to Richard Nixon over his 1972 election: Watergate scandal!
Kudos to Congressional Democrats for their decision to not “partake” in Speaker John Boehner’s clever political ruse!
Folks, remember GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s famous question, “Where are the jobs, Mr. President?” Hey John, look at the Labor Department’s April data.
1) 288,000 new jobs — highest in 5 1/2 years.
2) 6.3 percent unemployment, a drop from 6.7 percent in March. Lowest since January 2008. Over 9 million new jobs created on Obama’s watch.
The annual budget debt was cut from $1.2 trillion to $500 billion in 2013 and 2014. The Dow went up from 6,700 points when Obama took office in 2009 to 16,600 points on May 2.
Fox and Friends, along with Republicans in Congress, said back in 2012 that Obama will never lower the 10.2 percent job-lost rate to 7 percent. Remember, he has 2 1/2 more years to get it down to my 5.5 percent prediction!
Following a media report that a Colorado Walmart was selling expired baby formula, Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) highlighted a bill she wrote that would make the practice illegal.
The store was caught selling Similac Soy Formula that was a month old by a mother who bought some and then a TV station. Expiration dates are required, but there is no federal law against selling outdated formula. The Infant Formula Protection Act, which Meng introduced last June, would make it illegal to sell after the “use by” date has passed, and would impose fines of up to $200,000 on stores that break the law.
Queens politicians and immigration activists rallied last Friday to support a move by House Democrats to force a vote on immigration reform that would affect the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
“Our message to [House Speaker] John Boehner is, stop delaying,” Congressman Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) said outside Flushing Town Hall.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation last Thursday that would relieve the flood rate hikes mandated by a 2012 law aimed at stabilizing the finances of the National Flood Insurance Program.
By a vote of 67-32, the Senate approved the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which if made into law would delay the increases in the flood insurance rates mandate under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, until the Federal Emergency Management Agency does an affordability study to determine how the rate hikes would affect homeowners in food zones. It also would require FEMA to certify that its flood maps are accurate and ensure local levees and other flood control structures are taken into account in the mapping process.
Re “Lousy Republicans,” Letters, Jan. 23:
Why would Anthony Pilla think historians would rank the 113th Congress the least productive in history? In five years America’s prestige in the world became extinct, unemployment is chronic, we’re $17 trillion in debt, the middle class is being wiped out and Obamacare will ensure that the United States will be transformed — as promised —from a constitutional democracy into a socialist dictatorship. House Republicans never stopped him from doing anything. No president ever accomplished more.
The House of Representatives was considered by the Founding Fathers to be the People’s House and has the power of the purse in order to control free-wheeling spenders like those in office now. Food stamps were cut $4 billion by Republicans because the Government Accounting Office said cutting waste and fraud would more than cover it. There was no need to raise the debt ceiling, but the House did anyway, by $1.1 trillion.
The loss of $25 billion in the last government shutdown included the salaries of employees who were laid off but got paid for doing nothing anyway.
It only seems like 45 times that Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor voted to repeal Obamacare but is their stupidity really worse, as Pilla believes, than Schumer’s saying Americans were going to get Obamacare whether they like it or not? Or Obama saying “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan,” knowing each time he said it, he lied?
Why would Republicans voting for amnesty for illegal aliens to keep wages low for big business be worse than Democrats who want open borders and amnesty because a huge population of poor, illiterate people dependent on government handouts will vote socialist forever?
Why would Mr. Pilla call the investigations of Benghazi, Fast and Furious and the IRS harassment of people they don’t like “witch hunts”? Real people died real deaths in Benghazi and Mexico.
Americans have traded the freedom and opportunities here for the same false promises that turned into the Gulag in Russia, gas chambers in Hitler’s National Socialism and one child per family in China. What Americans think they’re getting free will cost them more than they ever imagined. Obamacare is only the beginning. It’s the Tea Party’s fault.
If it wanted to, the House Republican majority could immediately end the government shutdown it has caused. While Americans wait, over 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed; millions more are working without pay; vital services, programs, facilities, parks and monuments have been suspended or closed; intelligence and law enforcement agencies are understaffed; communities where federal facilities are located and the tens of thousands of small businesses with federal contracts and the hundreds of thousands of workers they collectively employ are being hurt. Some of these businesses may not recover.
Constituents ask: How much longer is the shutdown going to affect me? Why did things come to this and who’s responsible for this mess? What needs to be done to reopen the government?
All over Queens, thousands of people are living in the shadows. They may be unable to enter the school their children attend, even in the event of an emergency. They may be working for pay far below the minimum wage or simply going unpaid for weeks on end. They may be afraid to call the police if they become the victims of crime.
They might be called second-class citizens, but they’re not citizens at all, though many would like to be. They’re the illegal immigrants who have found their way into the country over the years and now want to stay here.
On May 16, Republicans in the House of Representatives came together, cast a vote, and tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, just as they’ve done nearly 40 times before. At what point does obstruction become treason?
The healthcare law was passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. It’s been the law of the land for more than three years. It’s not going anywhere. We know that, and so do the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. But instead of creating jobs and growing the economy, some of them want to make yet another gesture of protest — even if it’s meaningless.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean that 6.6 million young adults would lose the option of staying on their parent’s health insurance. It would mean that 34.1 million seniors would pay more for preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies, and 18 million middle-class families lose the opportunity to save money on their monthly premiums starting in 2014.
But this isn’t about numbers; this is about our families’s lives. And as usual the GOP couldn’t care less. Who would benefit from its repeal? The insurance companies that gave the GOP millions to fight its implementation. When asked for a reason as to why the GOP continues to vote on Obamacare John Boehner said, “We have over 70 new congressmen who haven’t had a chance to vote on it yet.”
Amazing. How about we also let them vote on all the other good votes they missed? Repealing Prohibition, declaring war on Japan or calling on America to put a man on the moon by the end of ... 43 years ago!
Recent reporting about Hurricane Sandy centers on the $60.4 billion aid package Congress enacted at the end of January, fully 90 days after the super storm devastated coastal areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This unprecedented delay was caused by unprecedented and unfathomable opposition from Republicans in the House of Representatives, many of whom represent districts that benefited from billions in federal aid when natural disasters struck.
Some of the coverage implies that now all is well. Beleaguered New Yorkers — particularly my constituents on the Rockaway Peninsula, one of the areas Sandy hit hardest — should not allow themselves to believe our collective ordeal has come to an end or that no future federal aid will be needed.
Ever since the stunning GOP defeat last November, the media has been full of inflammatory, stupid, right-wing Republican rhetoric.
The recent Senate hearing was full of GOP attacks on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The worst one came from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who said she “would have been fired” if he were president.
My real concern is with what House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said: “Obama is out to annihilate the Republican Party.” A ridiculous charge! While President Obama and friends were enjoying their first inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 2009, a gang of 15 key GOP leaders held a secret dinner just a few blocks away. The purpose was to map out a strategy to annihilate the Obama presidency. For four years they have tried to implement this plan. But thanks to our free press and sharp voter groups, they failed.
Folks, if the GOP expects to win the White House in 2016, it will need to do an about face and return the party to moderate leaders. Proof of my views comes from Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who said the GOP must “stop being the stupid party” and might need to change everyt
hing because it is turning swing voters away. Even Joe Scarborough, the host of “Morning Joe,” agreed with Gov. Jindal.
The U.S. Senate passed the final installment of aid to Hurricane Sandy survivors on Monday and President Obama signed the bill into law Tuesday night.
The $50.5 billion in funds passed by a 62-36 margin with all Democrats — including both New York senators — and nine Republicans present voting yes.
Congresswoman Grace Meng being sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner as her husband Wayne Kye holds the Bible and sons Brandon and Tyler look on.
Congress passed at least part of the $60 billion requested for aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy on Friday morning.
The House of Representatives passed part of the supplemental bill, which included $9.7 billion in flood insurance claim reimbursements for hurricane victims, by a vote of 354-67, with every Democrat and 161 Republicans voting in favor. Every member of Congress from Queens voted yes.
Congress passed at least part of the $60 billion requested for aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy on Friday morning.
The country did go off the fiscal cliff this week, but it was more like a bungee jump than a fall.
Less than 24 hours after billions of dollars in tax hikes and spending cuts went into effect, the House of Representatives agreed to a deal struck by the White House and Senate leaders and passed by the upper body of Congress on New Year’s Eve, before the year-end deadline that had been termed the “fiscal cliff.”
Hurricane Sandy victims waiting for money from the federal government will have to wait a little longer.
A $60 billion relief package for Sandy victims was scheduled to come to a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday after the fiscal cliff bill, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled the bill in a surprise move that led to shock and outrage from local members of Congress.
The closing days of the 112th Congress, known as the lame duck, will see a historic debate called Fiscal Cliffhanger. Budget cuts vs. higher tax rates are at the heart of this battle royale between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
However, behind the scenes, a nonelected GOP politician will play an important role. His name is Grover Norquist. For decades, he was the antitax advocate and “field marshal” for the Republican Party. He manipulated most GOP congressionals into signing his “no new tax” pledge. If anyone violated the pledge, Grover had enough clout to see that member of Congress defeated in his or her primary bid for re-election.
Mr. Norquist is best known for saying, “My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) responded to his remark by commenting, “I hope he slips in there with it!”
Since the Republican Party was unable to elect Mitt Romney president, there are signs that, for the good of our country, some GOP members of Congress will reject their pledge to Norquist. Are Grover’s days numbered? Only time will tell.
In “Can we talk?” (Editorial, Nov. 8), the Chronicle editor expresses concern about the “lost art of compromise,” but the very meaning of the past election seems to have eluded him.
Our country is divided between those who would have constitutional democracy and those who would have socialism, or control over everything in a person’s life by the federal government. That was the choice, and if both sides are sincere in what they believe, there can be no compromise.
House Speaker John Boehner is not a right winger or a Tea Partier. Boehner is a middle-of-the-road panderer. President Obama never compromised on anything. To pass amnesty for one and a half million illegal aliens between the ages of 18 and 30, to put an end to NASA and to give trillions of American taxpayer dollars to “green energy” companies owned by friends and friends of friends, which went bankrupt, he simply bypassed the Congress and ruled by diktat.
The American people approved of most of what Obama did in his first four years in office so they re-elected him. It isn’t necessary for Republicans to “negotiate” with him because the president has already proven that whatever he wants done, he can do without them. Boehner, to whom you attach so much importance, never even asked where all the stimulus money went! He and the Republicans are ciphers, but even if they weren’t, Obama has shown that the opposition is no longer relevant. He will continue to do what he wants without them.
The author of “Can we talk?” need not concern himself with what we get from Boehner. What the United States and Americans need to be concerned with is what we’ll be getting from Obama. He’s the president, with a mandate now to complete his “transformation” of America.