Morning Action: Senators Want to Send the Pork Home
PORK. Senators want to make sure their constituents aren’t deprived of any pork spending that was cut during sequestration.
As the clock runs down, the stopgap spending bill before the Senate is looking more and more like a life raft for senators trying to protect home-state interests from the automatic spending cuts ordered under sequestration.
Alarmed by the rush, the leadership stalled action on the continuing resolution, or CR, Thursday, while it assessed the political situation. And there is a fear that if too many accommodations are made by the Senate, it risks a blowup with the House and exactly the sort of shutdown fight both parties want to avoid on March 27 when funding runs out.
GREEN STIMULUS. Green energy stimulus grants are a really bad example of the phrase “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” President Obama’s list is of green energy failures is in the double digits. Now he would like to dictate how revenues from energy sources that are economically viable on their own – oil and natural gas – should be wasted to subsidize research on energy sources that are not economically viable in the free market. It’s testament, yet again, to how little faith the President has in the free market – and a free people — to make decisions:
President Obama will revive his green energy sales pitch Friday with a proposal to divert offshore oil-and-gas revenues to fund research into alternative fuel and vehicle technologies.
But the proposal, which requires congressional action and would be funded over a 10-year period, faces a tough slog on Capitol Hill.
Republicans would likely demand the administration expand offshore oil-and-gas drilling as a condition for their support. Doing so is a key component of the House Republican budget released Tuesday, which included increased federal revenues from more fossil fuel production.
AMNESTY. The House may introduce legislation on immigration after the Easter recess:
The meetings with Mr. Boehner and Ms. Pelosi offer a chance for the working group to offer a progress update and “take the temperature,” in the words of one aide, as well as run through any potential traps.
Mr. Boehner has repeatedly said that he is planning to wait for the Senate to move on an immigration overhaul before the House — where the issue is expected to be a tougher sell — takes up the topic.
GUN GRAB. We highlighted this intense debate yesterday, and it’s making headlines today as well. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) “clashed hotly” with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over the gun control legislation that she introduced in the Senate.
The ban passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 10-8 on a party-line vote and is not expected to survive the full Senate. Democratic defections are expected from states fond of guns, and the Republican-dominated House is unlikely to visit the topic.
Sen. Feinstein furiously suggested that Sen. Cruz was condescending. Perhaps that’s how she feels when she’s having a discussion with a calm, cool, collected intellectual who knows his stuff and is presenting lucid arguments to make his case.