NANCY PELOSI'S "LIBERAL SHOP OF HORRORS"
"If Nancy Pelosi is elected Speaker, the American people not only have to fear a liberal San Francisco agenda, but the real concern might be what bills she refuses to allow the House to consider in the first place. The president can always veto out-of-the-mainstream legislation, but he can't force the Congress to consider a bill.
"One of the greatest powers of the Speaker is the decision of what will be voted on in the first place. As former Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill put it, if [a Speaker] doesn't want a certain bill to come up, it usually doesn't.' Can the American people trust liberal San Francisco values when it comes to our nation's priorities on immigration reform, tax relief, job creation, and homeland security? Or will Nancy Pelosi stand in the way of progress on these important issues?"
--Majority Whip Roy Blunt
For a preview of how Pelosi and her ultra-liberal would-be committee chairmen could change the country by simply refusing to bring certain bills up for a vote, consider the following:
National Security and the War on Terror:
Leaving our Troops Vulnerable in the Field - In an effort to force President Bush to withdraw our troops from Iraq, Pelosi could refuse to move a bill providing the supplemental funding needed to support our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without the necessary support and resources, troops are put at greater risk. Nancy Pelosi has endorsed Rep. John Murtha's proposal to withdraw our troops from Iraq and Rep. Charlie Rangel, the would-be chairman of the Ways and Means Committee has stated that Democrats could achieve that goal by withholding funding. (Pelosi Press Conference 11/30/05 and New York Post 9/27/06)
Terrorist Surveillance Program Shut-Down - Just as some district courts have already tried to do in 2006, higher courts could easily shut down the current Terrorist Surveillance Program because they believe it lacks the necessary congressional authorization. Nancy Pelosi could then ensure the termination of the program that she has already called "unconstitutional" by simply refusing to consider the legislation to create the necessary authorization. (Pelosi Press Release 8/17/06)
The Economy and Gas Prices:
Economy Slows Down and Stock-Market Declines as the Market Prepares for Higher Taxes - Sometime in the spring a Speaker Pelosi would have to bring to the floor her proposed budget for the federal government. Since the Bush tax cuts expire within the budget window, Pelosi will have to make a decision about whether or not to extend the tax cuts or do nothing and let them expire. As an opponent of the Bush tax cuts, Pelosi will likely let them expire. The stock market could well respond to her actions by pricing in an automatic $119 billion tax increase in 2011 and thus lowering the values of stocks and slowing economic growth. (Roll Call Votes 149, 107th Congress and Roll Call Vote 225, 108th Congress)
No Relief in the Event that Another Natural Disaster Causes Record High Gas Prices - After Hurricane Katrina knocked out a large portion of the nation's capacity to refine gasoline, President Bush utilized the authority granted to him by Congress to suspend and waive a number of environmental regulations to increase the available supply of gasoline. Should another natural disaster cripple the nation's gas supply, it is highly unlikely that Pelosi would move to grant the President any additional authorities he might need to respond to the crisis. In fact, Nancy Pelosi criticized such waivers as ineffectual and "failed" policies as part of the special report on energy policy she released with Senator Reid on May 2, 2006.
Values and the Protection of Our Children:
Redefinition of Marriage - Should a federal court strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and thus require states to recognize the same sex marriages granted by Massachusetts, Congress would have to act to protect traditional marriage. Since Pelosi voted against the Defense of Marriage Act it is highly unlikely that she would bring legislation to the floor defending traditional marriage. (Roll Call Vote 316, 104th Congress)
Partial Birth Abortion Legal Once Again - If the Supreme Court, which is hearing a challenge on November 8th to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, strikes down the ban on a technical issue, it is almost certain that Nancy Pelosi, who opposed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban in the first place, will not take up legislation to remedy the problem and ensure that the brutal practice is banned. (Roll Call Vote 530, 108th Congress)
D.C. School Choice Defunded; 1,800 Students Forced to Return to Substandard Schools - In order for the 1,800 students currently receiving benefits through the D.C. School Choice program to continue attending private schools, Nancy Pelosi will have to approve the necessary funds as part of the annual appropriations bill in 2007. Given that Pelosi opposed D.C. School Choice in the first place, it is unlikely that she will allow a bill to come to the floor that provides the money necessary for the program to continue. (Roll Call Vote 478, 108th Congress)
Drug Offenses No Longer a Deportable Offense - The Supreme Court is currently hearing two cases to determine whether or not, under existing law, certain drug offenses can be the basis for the deportation of non-citizens. Should the court decide that such offenses cannot be a basis for deportation, Congress would have to act to amend current law. Given Nancy Pelosi's mixed record on immigration and deportation issues, it is far from clear that she would move such legislation to the floor.
Border Fence Left Unfinished - Congress has provided the funds for the next year's worth of construction of a fence along the southwest border. Next year Congress will have to act to approve the money to continue construction of the fence. Given that Nancy Pelosi led 131 of her Members to vote against the bill authorizing the construction of the fence, it is unlikely that she will move a bill to the floor to provide the funds necessary to complete the fence. (Roll Call Vote 446, 109th Congress)
"I pride myself in being called a liberal."
"I don't consider myself a moderate."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) (Time, 9/4/06)
And she's not the only one.
"This list of the bills most likely to be championed by committee chairmen in a Pelosi-led House of Representatives would be great fodder for the latenight talk show hosts if it weren't true," House Majority Whip Roy Blunt said. "Instead, it's just plain scary. While Republicans fight the War on Terror, grow our robust economy, and crack down on illegal immigration, House Democrats plot to establish a Department of Peace, raise your taxes, and minimize penalties for crack dealers. The difference couldn't be starker."
Department of Peace and Nonviolence Act -- H.R. 3760: Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and 74 Democratic cosponsors propose a new "Department of Peace and Nonviolence" as well as "National Peace Day." Cosponsors include three would-be Democratic Chairmen: John Conyers (Judiciary), George Miller (Education and the Workforce), and Charlie Rangel (Ways and Means).
Gas Stamps -- H.R. 3712: Jim McDermott (D-WA) and eight Democratic cosponsors want a "Gas Stamps" program similar to the Food Stamps program to subsidize the gasoline purchases of qualified individuals.
Less Jail Time for Selling Crack Cocaine - H.R. 2456: Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and 23 Democratic cosponsors want to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for possessing, importing, and distributing crack cocaine. John Conyers, the would-be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill, is a cosponsor.
Voting Rights for Criminals - H.R. 1300: John Conyers (D-MI) and 32 Democratic cosponsors, and H.R. 663: Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and 28 Democratic cosponsors would let convicted felons vote. Rep. John Conyers is the would-be Democratic Chairman of the Judiciary Committee which would consider this legislation.
Expand Medicare to Include Diapers -- H.R. 1052: Barney Frank (D-MA) supports Medicare coverage of adult diapers. Barney Frank is the would-be Chairman of the Financial Services Committee.
Nationalized Health Care - H.R. 4683: John Dingell (D-MI) and 18 Democratic cosponsors want to expand Medicare to cover all Americans. John Dingell is the would-be Democratic Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee who along with cosponsors Charlie Rangel, would-be Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Henry Waxman, would-be Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, would have jurisdiction over the proposal.
Federal Regulation of Restaurant Menus -- H.R. 5563: Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and 25 Democratic cosponsors authorize federal regulation of the contents of restaurant menus.
Taxpayer Funded Abortions & Elimination of all Restrictions on Abortion, Including Parental Notice - H.R. 5151: Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and 66 Democratic cosponsors want to overturn even minimal restrictions on abortion such as parental notice requirements. The bill would also require taxpayer funding of abortions through the various federal health care programs. John Conyers, the would-be Chairman of Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over the bill, is an original cosponsor.
Bill of Welfare Rights -- H.J. Res. 29-35: Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) proposes a Soviet-style "Bill of Welfare Rights," enshrining the rights of full employment, public education, national healthcare, public housing, abortion, progressive taxation, and union membership. On some these measures, Rep. Jackson is joined by up to 35 Democratic cosponsors, including would-be Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.
A note about this list: While by no means an exhaustive list of the liberal, out-of-the-mainstream bills introduced by Democratic Members, these bills deserve particular attention because the principle advocates are the very individuals who would be in a position to schedule committee markups and move the legislation through the Congress should the Democrats take control.
For more details on the would-be chairmen .
Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.)
Elected 1969, 18th term
Rep. Obey voted with the AFL-CIO 100% of the time. Obey voted against the Deficit Reduction Act, against Defense Funding (FY06), against the Legislative Line Item Veto, and against funding the Global War on Terror (FY04).
"Mr. Obey was one of those Democrats who ripped Mr. Clinton for endorsing a balanced budget in 1995. Rather than cut spending, his goal would be to spend less on defense and more on domestic programs and entitlements." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)
Elected 1970, 18th term
Rep. Rangel voted with the ACLU 94% of the time. Rangel consistently voted against free trade agreements, against the Bush tax cuts, against Pension Reform, and against Welfare Reform.
Rep. Rangel "opposed the Bush tax cuts and recently voted against free trade with tiny Oman. His committee's crucial health care subcommittee would be run by California's Pete Stark (1972), who in 1993 criticized Hillary Clinton's health care proposal because the government wasn't dominant enough." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
"No question about it." -Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), when asked whether tax increases across the spectrum would be considered should Democrats take control of Congress. (CongressDaily, 09/26/06)
Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.)
Elected 1964, 21st term
Rep. Conyers voted with the AFL-CIO 100% and the ACLU 100% of the time. Conyers consistently voted against any liability reform, against the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization, against REAL ID, against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification bill, and against Border Protection and Immigration Reform.
"He recently made his plans clear in a 370-page report the report accuses the Administration of violating no fewer than 26 laws and regulations, and is a road map of Mr. Conyers's explicit intention to investigate grounds for impeaching President Bush." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.)
Elected 1955, 25th term
Rep. Dingell voted with the AFL-CIO 100% of the time. Dingell voted against exploring for American-made energy in ANWR and OCS, against reforming the Endangered Species Act, and against the Telecom Reauthorization bill.
"The Michigan Congressman would do his best to provide taxpayer help to GM and Ford. But telecom companies would probably get more regulation in the form of Net neutrality rules, and a windfall profits tax on oil would be a real possibility." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.)
Elected 1974, 16th term
Rep. Miller voted with the ACLU 95% of the time. Miller voted against Higher Education Reauthorization, against Head Start Reauthorization, and against Pension Reform.
Rep. Miller is "the chief sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act,' which would make it much easier for unions to organize by largely banning secret elections The Californian also wants to raise the minimum wage and fulfill the National Education Association wish to spend more federal dollars on local school construction." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Elected 1980, 13th term
Rep. Frank voted with the AFL-CIO 100% and the ACLU 95% of the time. Frank voted against the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act, against Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement, and against Credit Rating Reform.
" the ascension of Barney Frank (1980) would mean a reprieve for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite $16 billion in accounting scandals. His main reform priority has been to carve out a new affordable housing fund from the two companies' profits. And forget about any major review of Sarbanes-Oxley." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)
Elected 1974, 16th term
Rep. Waxman voted with the AFL-CIO 100% and the ACLU 95% of the time. Waxman voted against the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, against the formation of the Bipartisan Katrina Committee, and against 527 Reform.
Rep. Waxman "would compete with Mr. Conyers to see who could issue the most subpoenas to the Bush Administration." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
Intelligence Committee Chairman Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)
Elected 1992, 7th term
Rep. Hastings voted with the AFL-CIO 92% of the time. Hastings voted against declaring that the U.S. will prevail in the Global War on Terror, against the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, against Supporting Terrorist Finance Tracking, against the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization, and against Border Protection and Immigration Reform.
Rep. Hastings "who, should Ms. Pelosi succeed in pushing aside current ranking Member Jane Harman, would take over the House Intelligence Committee. Before he won his Florida seat in 1992, Mr. Hastings had been a federal judge who was impeached and convicted by a Democratic Congress for lying to beat a bribery rap. He would handle America's most vital national secrets." (WSJ, 08/31/06)
*Group ratings are from 2004. Key votes are from the 108th and 109th Congress. Wall Street Journal quotes are extracted from "Back to the Congressional Future" editorial, August 31, 2006.