Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RNC: 50 Days: No Golden Anniversary

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Republican National Committee:

In 50 Days, Democrats Have Passed And Proposed Roughly $5 Trillion In Government Spending:

President Obama Proposed Spending Between $3.5 And $4 Trillion In His FY2010 Budget. "Obama's budget overview will call for between $3.5 trillion and $4 trillion in spending in fiscal year 2010 and creates space for up to $750 billion in additional bank bailout funds this year - money that hasn't been requested and the administration hopes will not be necessary to stabilize the still-reeling financial system." (Major Garrett, "Obama's Budget Projects $1.75 Trillion Deficit," FoxNews.com, www.foxnews.com, 2/26/09)

Last Month, President Obama Signed The $787 Billion Economic Stimulus Package. "The $787 billion stimulus bill that President Barack Obama signed Tuesday was a warm-up act, an emergency provision aimed at stimulating a moribund economy." (David Lightman and Margaret Talev, "How Much Government Spending Is Ahead? Stay Tuned," The Miami Herald, 2/20/09)

Democrats In The House Passed A $410 Billion Omnibus Spending Bill. "The U.S. House voted to boost spending on domestic programs by 8 percent, ease restrictions on travel to Cuba and kill a school voucher program in Washington, D.C., as part of a $410 billion spending bill." (Brian Faler, "House Approves $410 Billion 'Omnibus' Spending Bill," Bloomberg, 2/25/09)

President Obama Announced A $275 Billion Plan To Stave Off Foreclosures. "After a week dominated by programs that involve spending -- in addition to the stimulus package, the plan to stave off foreclosures could cost taxpayers as much as $275 billion -- Mr. Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to chart the immediate road ahead." (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Obama Pledges To Seek Deficit Cuts," The New York Times, 2/21/09)


President Obama's Handling Of The British Prime Minister's Trip To The U.S. Was "Appalling":

During British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's American Trip, He Presented President Obama With A Priceless Pen Holder; Obama Reciprocated With 25 DVDs. "After Brown presented Obama with a pen holder crafted from the timbers of the 19th century British warship HMS President (whose sister ship, HMS Resolute, provided the wood for the Oval Office's desk), Obama offered up ... 25 DVDs of American movie classics." (David Saltonstall, "London Aghast At President Obama Over Gifts Given To Prime Minister Brown," [New York] Daily News, 3/7/09)

President Obama's Handling Of Brown's Visit: "Appalling." "His handling of the visit of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to Washington was appalling." (Iain Martin, "President Barack Obama Dislikes Britain, But He's Keen To Meet The Queen," The [UK] Daily Telegraph's "Iain Martin" Blog, www.telegraph.co.uk, 3/6/09)

Originally, Brown Was Not Granted A Press Conference, Then One Was Thrown Together At The Last Minute. "First Brown wasn't granted a press conference with flags, then one was hastily arranged in the Oval office after the Brits had to beg. Obama looked like he would rather have been anywhere else than welcoming the British leader to his office and topped it all with his choice of present (*) for the PM." (Iain Martin, "President Barack Obama Dislikes Britain, But He's Keen To Meet The Queen," The [UK] Daily Telegraph's "Iain Martin" Blog, www.telegraph.co.uk, 3/6/09)


President Obama Has Had Difficulties Appointing People To Fill Top Positions In His Administration:

Seven Weeks After Inauguration, President Obama Still Has To Fill Hundreds Of Senior Level Positions In The Executive Branch. "Nearly seven weeks after taking office, President Barack Obama has a Cabinet, but hundreds of other senior-level jobs across the executive branch lack permanent occupants." (Dave Helling, "Across Nation's Capital, Vacant Offices Abound," The Kansas City Star, 3/8/09)

"But Mr. Obama Lost Four Nominees To Tax And Other Issues And The Pace Of Appointments Slowed." (Peter Baker, "Obama Team Has Billions To Spend, But Few Ready To Do It," The New York Times, 2/17/09)

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Failed To Pay Taxes While Working For The International Monetary Fund. "Timothy Geithner didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and he employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work papers." (Jonathan Weisman, "Geithner's Tax History Muddles Confirmation," The Wall Street Journal, 1/14/09)

Health And Human Services Secretary Nominee Tom Daschle Withdrew His Nomination After Reports That He Had Failed To Pay Taxes. "Former Sen. Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a statement Tuesday from the White House. ... Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, apologized Monday for failing to pay his taxes in full. He said earlier he was 'deeply embarrassed' for a series of errors that included failing to report $15,000 in charitable donations, unreported car service and more than $80,000 in unreported income from consulting." (Ed Henry and Kristi Keck, "Daschle Withdraws As HHS Nominee," CNN, 2/3/09)

Nancy Killefer Withdrew Her Nomination For Tax Problems Dating Back To 1995. "They knew about Nancy Killefer's tax problem from 1995, yet they nominated her for a post in the office of management and budget anyway. This morning she withdrew." (Sam Donaldson, Op-Ed, "Sam On What Nominees' Withdrawal Says About Obama," ABC News, 2/3/09)

Commerce Secretary Nominee Bill Richardson Withdrew His Nomination After Reports That State Contracts In New Mexico Were Under Investigation. "First, they knew about Gov. Bill Richardson's potential problem in the New Mexico investigation into state contracts, but they nominated him to be commerce secretary anyway. Weeks later, of course, Richardson withdrew." (Sam Donaldson, Op-Ed, "Sam On What Nominees' Withdrawal Says About Obama," ABC News, 2/3/09)

During The Campaign, Obama Said Lobbyists Wouldn't Run His White House Or Work For Agencies They Used To Lobby:

During His Campaign, President Obama Promised To "Stop The Revolving Door That Lets Onetime Lobbyists Go To Work For The Federal Government." "[O]n the campaign trail, Obama vowed to stop the revolving door that lets onetime lobbyists go to work for the Federal Government and oversee contracts that could harm -- or help -- their former employer." (Mark Thompson, "Obama's Lobbyist Ban Meets A Loophole: William Lynn," Time, 1/27/09)

President Obama Signed An Executive Order Banning Lobbyists From Working For Agencies They Used To Lobby. "And one of the first things the new President did in office was seemingly make good on that promise, signing an Executive Order barring former lobbyists from joining his Administration to work at agencies they recently lobbied." (Mark Thompson, "Obama's Lobbyist Ban Meets A Loophole: William Lynn," Time, 1/27/09)

But President Obama Has Appointed Numerous Former Lobbyists:

President Obama Has Appointed At Least 21 Former Federal Registered Lobbyists, Including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "A USA TODAY review of Obama hires shows that 21 have registered as federal lobbyists, although most have not done so within the past two years. They include White House aide Cecilia Munoz, who lobbied last year for the National Council of La Raza, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who lobbied in 2007 for a national teachers union." (Fredreka Schouten, "Geithner Names Ex-Lobbyist As Treasury Chief Of Staff," USA-region> Today, 1/27/09)


President Obama Promised To Slash Earmarks And Stop Wasteful Spending:

President Obama Pledged To "Slash Earmarks." "Slash Earmarks: ... In the past two years, the Democratic Congress has cut earmarks nearly in half, to $17.2 billion in 2008. Obama and Biden are committed to returning earmarks to less than $7.8 billion a year." (Obama For America, Blueprint For Change, www.barackobama.com, p. 20, Accessed 2/19/09)

During The Campaign, President Obama Pledged To "Go Line By Line" And "Eliminate Programs That Don't Work." Obama: "I want to go line by line through every item in the federal budget and eliminate programs that don't work, and make sure that those that do work work better and cheaper." (Sen. Barack Obama, NBC Presidential Debate, Nashville, TN, 10/7/08)

-- Obama: "Earmarks account for 0.5 percent of the total federal budget.
There's no doubt that the system needs reform and there are a lot of
screwy things that we end up spending money on, and they need to be
eliminated. But it's not going to solve the problem." (Sen. Barack
Obama, CNN Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, New York,

But President Obama Signed An Economic Stimulus Package Full Of Wasteful Spending And Democrats Are Pushing A $410 Omnibus With More Than $7 Billion In Earmarks:

Despite Promises, The Stimulus Is Not Free Of Money For Special Interests. "The compromise stimulus bill adopted by House and Senate negotiators this week is not free of spending that benefits specific communities, industries or groups, despite vows by President Obama that the legislation would be kept clear of pet projects, according to lawmakers, legislative aides and anti-tax groups." (Dan Eggen and Ellen Nakashima, "Despite Pledges, Package Has Some Pork," The Washington Post, 2/13/09)

The Senate Is Working On The $410 Billion Omnibus Spending Bill That Contains 8,750 Earmarks Worth $7.7 Billion. "The Senate is getting ready to pass a giant spending bill stuffed with congressional pet projects that critics decry as unnecessary pork. ... They point to stiff resistance from Democratic leaders and Obama's reluctance to veto the pending $410 billion legislation as signs that business will continue as usual. The 8,570 earmarks in the bill represent $7.7 billion, according to the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense." (Dan Nowicki, "Earmark-Laden Bill A Line In The Sand For Pork-Barrel Politics," The Arizona Republic, 3/6/09)


President Obama Said Political Opponents Should Work Together Instead Of Demonize Each Other:

Obama Derided Partisan Politics And Said Political Opponents Should Come Together To Solve Problems. "A politics that says it's ok to demonize your political opponents when we should be coming together to solve problems." (Sen. Barack Obama, Response To The State Of The Union, 1/28/08)

"Obama Has Said He Plans To Work With Republicans To Cut Through Partisan Gridlock That Often Blocks Legislative Progress."(Sabrina Eaton, "Ohioan An Early Obama Critic," [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, 1/29/09)

But In President Obama's Washington, Democrats Have Hardly Come Together With Republicans:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): We Won The Election, We Wrote The Bill. "Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) parried GOP assaults on Democrats' $825 billion stimulus package Thursday and refused to slow the bill down to give more time for Republican input. 'Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes we won the election, but that doesn't mean we don't want sustainability or Republican support,' Pelosi said." (Steven T. Dennis, "Pelosi Defends Democrats' Vetting Of Stimulus Plan," Roll Call, 1/22/09)

Democrats Rolled Over House Republicans And "Yielded No More Than Necessary" In The Senate To Pass The Stimulus Package. "In the case of the stimulus bill, Democrats used their solid majority to roll over House Republicans and yielded no more than necessary to garner three critical GOP votes in the Senate." (Janet Hook, "Bipartisanship Faces Stiff Test," Chicago Tribune, 2/16/09)

For President Obama, "Urgency Trumps Bipartisanship." "But with the economy in crisis and the stimulus his top priority, [President Obama] also made clear that urgency trumps bipartisanship." (Todd J. Gillman, "Selling The Stimulus Bill President Discovering That Bipartisanship Has Its Limits," The Dallas Morning News, 2/10/09)


President Obama Pledged Transparency And Openness Before Signing Legislation:

During The Campaign, President Obama Promised To Give The American Public 5 Days To Review Legislation Before Signing Any Bill. "Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days." (Obama For America Website, www.barackobama.com, Accessed 2/19/09)

But The Obama Administration Has Failed To Allow The Public 5 Days To Review Legislation It Has Signed:

According To The Nonpartisan PolitiFact, President Obama Did Not Provide 5 Days Before Signing His First Bill, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. "But the first bill Obama signed into law as president -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- got no such vetting. In fact, the Congressional Record shows that the law was passed in the Senate on Jan. 22, 2009, passed in the House on Jan. 27, and signed by the president on Jan. 29. So only two days passed between the bill's final passage and the signing." (Angie Drobnic Holan, "Obama Signs First Law Without Web Comment," St. Petersburg Times' "PolitiFact," www.politifact.com, 1/29/09)

President Obama's Second Bill Signing Occurred Hours After Passed By Congress. "For his second bill, Obama signed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health coverage for low-income children. He signed it on Feb. 4, 2009, just hours after it was finalized in Congress." (Angie Drobnic Holan, "Still No 'Sunlight Before Signing,'" St. Petersburg Times' "PolitiFact," www.politifact.com, 2/4/09)

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