The Friday Faxline Issue 502
Democrats move to ban use of term global war on terror'
A recently released memo to House Armed Services Committee staff appears to show that Democrats on the committee want a new lexicon to describe the ongoing fight against terrorism. The memo, sent by the committee's Democratic staff director, instructs staffers to no longer use the phrase "global war on terror" and to avoid using "the long war." While this may seem like a minor detail, the message that it sends is troubling. No one wants to be at war with terrorist elements around the globe, but , unfortunately, that's the current reality we face. If we are to win this war, we must confront this reality head on and not allow the language we use to downplay its significance.
House Republicans to President: we will sustain your veto on Iraq bill
Members of the House Republican leadership delivered a letter to the President on Monday assuring him that if he is forced to veto a pork-laden Iraq spending bill in the coming weeks, the House will sustain the veto. The letter was signed by more than 150 House members - more than enough to prevent the House from overriding a presidential veto. Everyone believes in providing our troops with the resources needed to win, but this bill also includes more than $20 billion in unrelated pork-barrel spending, as well as timetables for withdrawal that undermine the judgment of our military commanders on the ground. Addressing the need to pass a clean troop-funding bill, Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) said, "It's my hope that given another shot to do right by our troops, Democrats will seize on the opportunity to deliver a clean and urgent package of resources to our brave military personnel in harm's way."
Proposed tax hike to hit working families hard
According to the House Budget Committee, the tax hike proposed by Democrats in their budget resolution will cost 4.7 million Pennsylvania taxpayers an average of $3,029 more in taxes each year. I wanted a better understanding of how this would impact my constituents, so I asked them to tell me what they would have to sacrifice if their tax bill went up. I received some sobering responses. Several said that it would hurt their ability to pay for their kids' college costs. Others explained that it would mean less opportunity to save for the future. One single-parent told me that it would likely mean "less food on our table." This proposed $400 billion tax increase - the largest in American history - will have a real impact on real people. It's not in the best interest of the taxpayer or the economy, and Republicans will continue to work against its implementation.
Huge earmark derailed in House for now
Two North Carolina House Members acted last week to save taxpayers from having to foot the bill for an enormously expensive earmark for the Washington, D.C. area. The earmark would provide $1.5 billion for the Washington metro system - seven times the cost of the infamous "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) threatened to request a vote on the earmark in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a hearing last week. Rather than proceed with the vote, the committee chose to adjourn until after recess. The earmark could still be passed when Congress reconvenes, but the delay at the committee level draws attention to the largesse involved. As McHenry said in a statement, "I know this is Washington, but $1.5 billion is still a lot of money."
Quote of the Week
"If people are waiting around for me to be a candidate, they shouldn't waste their time."
- Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, responding to speculation that he could return to his home state of Massachusetts and challenge John Kerry for his Senate seat.