Home > posts > While You Were Distracted…
November 2nd, 2009 11:51 am
While You Were Distracted…

For those worrying about the lack of legislative action in our nation’s capitol, Jonathan Weisman at the Wall Street Journal writes a nice summary of the “other” legislation racing through Congress and landing on President Obama’s desk.

Last week, Mr. Obama signed defense-policy legislation that included an unrelated measure widening federal hate-crimes laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identification — 12 years after it was first introduced. The same legislation also tightened the rules of admissible evidence for military commissions, an issue that consumed Congress in debate in 2007 but received almost no attention this go-round.

Other new measures signed into law since the administration took office, all of which kicked up controversy in past congresses, make it easier for women to sue for equal pay, set aside land in the West from development, give the government the power to regulate tobacco and raise tobacco taxes to expand health insurance for children. Congress and the White House, in the new defense-policy bill, also killed weapons programs that have survived earlier attempts at termination, among them, the F-22 fighter jet, the VH-71 presidential helicopter and the Army’s Future Combat System.

Rob Nabors, the White House’s deputy budget director, called the series of new laws “a very, very quiet but important victory.”

But it’s not like the Republican opposition is asleep at the wheel. According to Rep. Tom Price (R. Ga.), “The administration is pushing so many things so rapidly it’s difficult to concentrate on all of them.” Hopefully, the bills they are concentrating on – health care, energy, education – can be stopped or modified before they too become unqualified Democratic victories.

Comments are closed.