The Friday Faxline Issue 486
IRS issues fraud warning
The IRS issued another fraud alert this week, seeking to educate the public about scams designed to steal people's identity. The tax-collection agency said that a number of fraudulent operations have issued fake e-mails claiming to be from the IRS and directing people to provide private financial and personal information that is later used to steal their identity and assets. If you receive a suspicious e-mail claiming to be from the IRS and asking for your personal information, you can relay the message to an IRS mailbox set up to combat this fraud. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. With your help, the IRS is hoping to crack down on this fraud and bring these identity thieves to justice.
109th Congress draws to a close
The House this week wraps up legislative business for the 109th Congress. The occasion provides an opportunity for reflection before moving on to the pressing business at hand for the next Congress. The last two years saw a wide variety of legislative action on Capitol Hill. Two highly-qualified Supreme Court Justices were added to the bench, an unprecedented amount of federal aid was sent to the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast, the first meaningful attempt to find savings in entitlement spending was enacted since 1997, and an effort to enforce decency standards on the public airwaves all took place in the 109th Congress, among many other initiatives. For House Republicans, this will also be remembered as the last hurrah for the Republican Revolution that swept our party into power in 1994. Many of our party's stalwarts, including Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick won't be returning next year, and they will be greatly missed. I wish them all the best in life outside of Congress and I look forward to doing the new work ahead of us when the 110th Congress convenes in January.
Bolton withdraws from nomination
On Monday, John Bolton announced that he will withdraw from his nomination to continue serving in his role as UN Ambassador. Bolton faced an uphill nomination fight in the Senate where incoming Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-DE) declared his confirmation was "going nowhere." President Bush said he took no pleasure in accepting Bolton's resignation and criticized the small handful of Senators who obstructed his confirmation process. Speculation about his replacement has focused on current Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, but has also included mention of several current and former members of Congress.
Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act fails in House
On Wednesday, the House considered H.R. 6099, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. Recognizing the significant body of medical research showing that babies in utero are able to feel pain, this bill requires abortion providers to give information on fetal pain to mothers seeking an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It also requires abortion providers to give mothers the option of anesthesia for the baby, a common practice used for in utero surgeries. Regardless of where someone stands on abortion, most agree that women should be fully informed about the implications before making a decision about having an abortion. In fact, a 2004 Zogby poll shows 77 percent public support for providing information on fetal pain to women seeking an abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading abortion-rights advocate, said in a statement on the bill that, "Pro-choice Americans have always believed that women deserve access to all the information relevant to their reproductive health decisions. For some women, that includes information related to fetal anesthesia options." The bill received majority support in the House (250-162), but failed to pass under rules requiring two-thirds support for expedited passage.
Quote of the Week
"I'm not interested. I'm going home."
-Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH), responding to speculation that he may be chosen to serve as UN Ambassador.