Arizona Congress Watch

Recent Posts

    • Hang on, Gabby!
    • Shadegg roundup
    • Grijalva roundup
    • Kirkpatrick, other freshmen Dems walking tightrope
    • Earmarks, getcha earmarks

Hang on, Gabby!

January 8th, 2011

Please feel better soon. I miss you already.

Stacy

Shadegg roundup

March 15th, 2009
  • Helps unveil conservative no-cost stimulus bill: says “We are outsourcing energy production in this nation to a scale 10 times as great as any of the outsourcing of American jobs. [CNS News]
  • On Democrats spending bill: Once you seek your earmarks, youre obligated to vote for the whole package. I think those kind of reforms are critical and I hope they make them. [NBC News]
  • Told Sean Hannity: The reality is we are giving jobs to oil fieldworkers and natural gas fieldworkers in Russia and Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, when we should be putting those people to work here in the United States. [RGE Monitor]
  • Reportedly said that the Employee Free Choice Act is endorsed and supported by the Communist Party USA [OpEd News]
  • On the omission of market-based reformers from a White House healthcare summit: I suspect that that cant be an accidentI suspect that they dont want those views expressed. [American Spectator]
  • Joins colleagues in supporting Patriot Act extension. [The Hill]
  • On the state of the party: Within a decade the Republicans, with the help of the president, became everything they had run against, only worse, and were soundly booted out of office in 2006. [AzStarNet]

Grijalva roundup

March 15th, 2009
  • Says Joe Arpaios hearing is saying to the country and the people of Arizona that no one is above the law. [Arizona Daily Star]
  • We carry the burden of being stuck with this man but it is not an Arizona problem, this is a national disgrace…It can’t be tolerated. [Talk Radio News]
  • Co-introduces the FLAME Act, designed to help federal agencies address the escalating cost of suppressing wildfires. [Common Dreams]
  • Co-writes editorial in Yuma Sun: We need to repower America by shifting to 100 percent homegrown clean electricity [Yuma Sun]
  • Wants new policies against human smuggling. [Tucson Citizen]
  • Says the new administration is showing a major change in attitude toward the states parks and monuments. We will have our differences, but those differences can be compromised and reconciled. It’s far different from having to be fighting an administration every step of the way. [Public News Service]
  • On climate change hearings: I feel strongly that while our public lands are threatened by climate change, they are also critical in finding solutions to combat climate change. [Federal Times]
  • Co-sponsored a bill to recognize six Native American tribes in Virginia who were classified only as colored by law. [American Chronicle]
  • Is helping Yuma get nearly $2 million for mass transit projects. [Yuma Sun]

Kirkpatrick, other freshmen Dems walking tightrope

March 12th, 2009

The Hill:

Nearly a quarter of the House Democratic freshman class has not signed on to co-sponsor the controversial card-check bill, despite being showered with campaign contributions by organized labor.

Many of these Democrats represent battleground districts, and their reluctance to support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) reflects worries it would affect their reelection in 2010. Business groups staunchly opposed to the bill campaigned against supporters in 2008.

But by not supporting the bill, which would make it easier for workers to forum unions, the freshmen risk alienating labor groups that could help them remain in Congress.

“Their decision not to co-sponsor raises an issue that will have to be addressed to their constituents,” said Bill Samuel, legislative director for the AFL-CIO. “It’s really between them and their local union members, many of whom walked precincts for them.”

The seven freshmen who did not sign their names to the bill represent some of the most competitive districts in the country.

Reps. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) and Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) all won with less than 52 percent of the vote. Reps. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) and Tom Perriello (D-Va.) each required a recount to claim their seats. Only Reps. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) won by comfortable margins.

Earmarks, getcha earmarks

March 12th, 2009

AzCentral has a list of earmarks requested by our delegation for the current omnibus spending bill, $216 million total. If you appreciate this list, please click to the original post and then click on their sponsors ad to show your support.

The bill was started last year, so Rick Renzis requests are included.

The Arizona projects, and the requesting party, include:

• ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, $254,000 (Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.).

• Pima County Community College Entrepreneurial Education and Development, $147,386 (Giffords).

• Tucson Modern Streetcar/Light Rail Transit System, $2 million (Giffords, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.).

• Phoenix to Tucson Commuter Rail Study, $3.5 million (Giffords, Grijalva, Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz.).

• Arizona Forest Highway 39 and General Hitchcock Highway (Catalina Highway), Pima County, $1.6 million (Giffords).

• Tohono Oodham Nation infrastructure-roads improvement, Sells, $950,000 (Grijalva).

• Tohono Oodham Nation for facilities and equipment, Sells, $95,000 (Grijalva).

• Pascua Yaqui, $96,000 (Grijalva).

• Pima County (Tres Rios Del North), $249,000 (Giffords, White House).

• Esperanza en Escalante for building improvements, construction and expansion, Tucson, $166,250 (Giffords).

• University of Arizona for instruction and support to disabled veterans, Tucson, $238,000 (Grijalva).

• University of Arizona for the Integrative Medicine in Residency Program, Tucson, $476,000 (Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa).*

• Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona Domestic Violence Center, Tucson, $285,000 (Giffords).

• JobPath for a nurse training program, Tucson, $190,000 (Giffords, Grijalva).

• Tucson police finger imaging upgrade system, $200,000 (Giffords, Grijalva).

• Pima County Sheriffs Office wireless integrated network, $200,000 (Giffords, Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz.).

• Tucson meth education program, $500,000 (Giffords, Grijalva).

• Tucson Drainage Area, $400,000 (Giffords, Grijalva, Pastor).

• Interstate 10 West Corridor Alternative Analysis, $475,000 (Pastor).

• Tubac COBRA Communications Initiative, $250,000 (Grijalva).

• Colorado River Basin, Central Arizona Project, $25.3 million (Grijalva).

• Southern Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act Project, $2.7 million (White House).

• Glendale Historic Entryway, $200,000 (Pastor).

• Upper San Pedro River Monitoring and Reporting, $295,000 (Giffords).

• Buckskin Sanitary District Wastewater Facilities Improvements, $500,000 (Grijalva).

• Surprise Water Treatment Improvements, $500,000 (Pastor, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.).

• Pascua Yaqui Tribe Master Drainage Plan, $700,000 (Pastor).

• International Arid Lands Consortium, $401,000 (Grijalva, Pastor).

• Chicanos Por La Causa for a business incubator, $245,643 (Pastor).

• Cochise County Community College Entrepreneurial Education and Development, $49,129 (Giffords).

• Navajo Nation Department of Information Technology for Connect Navajo, $122,821 (Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M).*

• Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for a high-speed taxiway connector, $950,000 (Pastor).

• Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for Taxiway R reconstruction, $1.9 million (Pastor).

• Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for Taxiway B expansion, $950,000 (Mitchell).

• Central Mesa Corridor Alternatives Analysis, $237,500 (Mitchell).

• Tempe South Corridor Alternatives Analysis, $237,500 (Mitchell).

• South Mountain Circulator Bus, $950,000 (Pastor).

• Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail, $91.8 million (Pastor, Mitchell, White House).

• Mountain Links BRT, Flagstaff, $5.6 million (White House).

• Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, $4.2 million (Kyl).

• Sage Brush Road Project, Navajo Mountain Chapter, $139,650 (former Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz.).

• Interstate 10 Improvements Project, Interstate 8 to Picacho Peak, $95,000 (Renzi).

• Obed Bridge Replacement, Navajo County, $190,000 (Renzi).

• Pinetop-Lakeside Bridge Widening Project, $190,000 (Renzi).

• Chicanos Por La Causa for equipment furnishings and improvements for a community campus, Phoenix, $380,000 (Pastor).

• Willcox construction of a senior-care center, $95,000 (Giffords).

• The Salvation Army for community center expansion, Phoenix, $380,000 (Pastor).

• Mammoth expansion of a community center, $142,500 (Renzi).

• Jobs for Arizonas Graduates for dropout prevention and after-school programs, Scottsdale (Grijalva).

• Maricopa County Community College District for the bilingual nursing program at Gateway South Mountain Community College, Tempe, $285,000 (Pastor).

• Mesa Community College for the online registered nurse certification program, $119,000 (Mitchell).

• Northern Arizona University for student support services and community outreach programs, Yuma, $128,000 (Grijalva).

• Chiricahua Community Health Centers Inc. for facilities and equipment, Douglas, $343,000 (Giffords).

• Northern Cochise Community Hospital Inc. for facilities and equipment, Willcox, $95,000 (Giffords).

• Phoenix Childrens Hospital for facilities and equipment, Phoenix, $143,000 (Pastor).

• St. Josephs Hospital for facilities and equipment, Phoenix, $119,000 (Pastor).

• Translational Genomics Research Institute for facilities and equipment, Phoenix, $285,000 (Pastor).

• Valley Interfaith Project for skills training and career upgrades, Phoenix, $476,000 (Mitchell).

• Mesas East Valley Rapid Crime Analysis, $275,000 (Mitchell).

• Phoenix Police Officer Communications Network, $500,000 (Pastor).

• Tempe public safety communications interoperability, $275,000 (Mitchell).

• Pinal County Sheriffs Office meth enforcement program, $150,000 (Renzi).

• San Carlos Apache Tribal Police meth enforcement project, $350,000 (Renzi).

• Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Arizona meth project, $1 million (Mitchell, Pastor).

• Operation QT after-school program, Paradise Valley, $550,000 (Pastor).

• Agua Fria River Trilby Wash, $191,000 (Kyl).

• Little Colorado River Watershed, $229,000 (Renzi, Kyl).

• Rio Salado Oeste, Salt River, $1.4 million (Mitchell, Pastor).

• Va ShlyAy Akimel Salt River restoration, $629,000 (Mitchell, Pastor, White House).

• Nogales Wash, $2.5 million (Grijalva, Pastor, Kyl).

• Rio de Fug, Flagstaff, $1.5 million (Pastor, Renzi, Kyl).

• Tres Rios, $9.6 million (Mitchell, Pastor, Kyl).

• Alamo Lake, $1.4 million (Army Corps of Engineers).

• Army Corps of Engineers inspection of completed works, $93,000

• Painted Rock Dam, $1.1 million (Army Corps of Engineers).

• Scheduling reservoir operations, $36,000 (Army Corps of Engineers).

• Whitlow Ranch Dam, $159,000 (Army Corps of Engineers).

• Ak-Chin Water Rights Settlement Act Project, $9.7 million (White House).

• Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act, $484,000 (Kyl).

• Colorado River front work and levee system, $2.2 million (Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif.; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; White House).*

• Northern Arizona investigations program, $293,000 (White House).

• Phoenix Metropolitan Water Reuse Project, $250,000 (Pastor, White House).

• Salt River Project, $558,000 (White House).

• San Carlos Apache Tribe Water Settlement Act, $298,000 (White House).

• South/Central Arizona Investigations Program (Bureau of Reclamation), $658,000 (White House).

• Casa Grande Water Recycling Project, $54,000 (Giffords, Pastor).

• Yuma-area Bureau of Reclamation projects, $21.3 million (White House).

• Yuma East Wetlands, $1.5 million (Grijalva, Pastor, Kyl).

• Water-to-water heat pump chillers, Phoenix Childrens, $1.9 million (Pastor).

• Ace program at Maricopa County community colleges, $951,500 (Pastor).

* No Arizona lawmakers joined in making the request.

Harry Mitchell roundup

March 12th, 2009
  • Editorial: If we are going to talk the talk of fiscal discipline, surely we can walk the walk of self-restraint. The American people are not getting a raise this year. Why should Congress? [AzCentral Opinions]
  • Holding Congress on Your Corner one-on-one listening session at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at Mesa Community College.
  • Mitchell said he cannot support provisions in Obamas budget that would raise the capital gains tax for couples earning more than $250,000 and halt the repeal of the estate tax in 2010. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Introduced resolution to keep tax breaks on charitable donations intact today.
  • Named South West Transit Association’s 2009 Legislator of the Year.
  • Quasi-responsible for the Blue Dogs admitting more members. [The Hill]

Ed Pastor: What are you calling pork?

March 12th, 2009

AzCentral:

Rep. Ed Pastor has an ear for earmarks and no qualms about directing federal cash to local projects that critics might characterize as pork.

The veteran Arizona Democrats accommodating attitude toward spending puts him at odds with Republican Capitol Hill colleagues such as Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake.

But observers say it also helps make Pastor, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, the most influential member of the states House delegation, particularly in a changing political climate marked by President Barack Obamas progressive policies and government activism.

Whatever my constituents ask for, I try to meet their needs. When youre an appropriator, obviously, you are able to do things, so I try to help as much as I can, Pastor said in an interview with The Arizona Republic. The situation is there is need all over the state.

And:

An earmarks worth is in the eye of the beholder, said Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., a member of the influential House Appropriations Committee whose name is attached to assorted omnibus earmarks worth more than $128.5 million.

Ninety-eight percent of the budget and projects are determined by the president; 2 percent are determined by the entire Congress, both the Senate and the House. For all practical purposes, most of the earmarks are going to cities, towns, states or hospitals and educational institutions.

Pastor pointed to the upgraded control tower at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as a vital local project that started as an earmark. The recently opened Metro light rail began with an earmark to study its feasibility, he said.

Jeff Flake roundup

March 12th, 2009
  • Integrity: With Ron Paul, voted against $1 million bill to celebrate Ronald Reagans birthday. [CNN]
  • Voted against Pi Day. [New Scientist]
  • Has filed three resolutions calling for a House ethics committee investigation centering on the relationship between Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., and PMA Group, a lobbying organization raided last year by federal authorities. [MarketWatch]
  • To one Republican, Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, though, the commentary sounded like the wit who said, Give me sobriety, but not yet. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Said the best way [for President Obama] to get Congress attention is to make a genuine threat to veto bills with these pet projects. Obama didnt even come close to that. [AzCentral]
  • Wonders if the proposed closure of the Tonto Natural Bridge Park is a political ploy to get more money. [Rim Country Gazette]
  • “I give President Obama credit for acknowledging that earmarks to private companies can too easily lead to corruption,” said Rep. Jeff Flake (R) of Arizona. “However, the reforms he announced will do little to stem he practice, especially given Congress’ reluctance to reform itself.” [Christian Science Monitor]
  • Dallas Morning News: Flake should continue his crusade to expose Congress charade, which encourages waste and tolerates political corruption.
  • Flake on how the GOP can get its groove back:

Trent Franks roundup

March 12th, 2009
  • Franks co-introduces bill to extend Patriot Act provisions (roving wiretaps, library patron info) for 10 years. [The Hill]
  • Calls Arpaio investigation just another witch hunt by the liberals on the House Judiciary Committee. [AzCentral]
  • On Obamas recent lifting of embyonic stem cell restrictions: The decision is grounded purely in partisan politics, since all the remarkable advances in stem cell research have used methods that did not require the destruction of human embryos [YourWestValley.com]
  • On the link between Mexican drug cartels and Middle East terrorism: When you have…gangs and they have loose ties with al Qaeda and then you have Iran not too far away from building a nuclear capability, nuclear terrorism may not be far off. [The Hill]
  • On Homes Act: The mortgage cram-down proposal punishes the 90% of American homeowners who made the choice to live within their means, and would offer a get-out-of-jail-free card even to those who used fraudulent information to obtain their mortgages in the first place. [house.gov]

Franks vs. Grijalva on El Salvador

March 12th, 2009

Robert Naiman:

Last week, more than 30 Members of Congress joined Rep. Raul Grijalva in asking President Obama to affirm U.S. neutrality in El Salvadors Presidential election on Sunday March 15, to stop the recycling in El Salvador of US threats when Salvadorans voted in 2004. But there has been no high-level response from the Obama Administration, Rep. Grijalva told Democracy Now! yesterday.

But right-wing Republicans in Congress have not been quiet. Upside Down News reports:

On Tuesday El Salvadors largest circulating daily, the Diario de Hoy, published news of a letter signed by over 40 Republicans in Congress, denouncing the FMLN and warning of their links to Venezuela and Cuba. The letter expresses grave concern that a victory by the FMLN could make links between El Salvador and the regimes of Venezuela, Iran and Cuba, and other states that promote terrorism, and also with other non-democratic regimes and terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile, CISPES reports:

Yesterday, two Republicans gave speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives threatening that Salvadorans living in the U.S. will lose their immigration status and be outlawed from sending money home to their families if voters in El Salvador exercise their right to elect the opposition FMLN partys candidate on Sunday.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said, Should the pro-terrorist FMLN party replace the current government in El Salvador, the United States, in the interests of national security, would be required to reevaluate our policy toward El Salvador, including cash remittance and immigration policies to compensate for the fact there will no longer be a reliable counterpart in the Salvadoran government.

Omnibus spending bill is made of FAIL

March 6th, 2009

The New York Times has a great picture of John McCain looking Very Concerned.

Senate Republicans blocked a $410 billion omnibus spending measure on Thursday night, forcing Congressional Democrats to prepare a stopgap budget resolution to keep the federal government from shutting down.

The ability of the diminished minority to delay the bill signaled growing unease in Congress, among Democrats and Republicans, over the levels of government spending in recent months and the staggering increase in the federal deficit.

The delay of the bill was an embarrassment for Democrats and a striking, if temporary, victory for critics of so-called earmark spending initiatives, who had criticized the bill as bloated with wasteful expenditures.

Among those critics were Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and two Democrats who opposed the measure, Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.


[From an earlier edition]
Representative Harry E. Mitchell, Democrat of Arizona, said he voted against the measure primarily because in included a sizable increase in financing for Congress itself. “We need to restrain,” Mr. Mitchell said in an interview. “You can’t just continually go on a binge like this.”

Today in the House Mortgage bailout

March 5th, 2009

H R 1106, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, seeks to prevent mortgage foreclosures and enhance mortgage credit availability. Passed the House 234 191.

Yea: Kirkpatrick, Pastor, Mitchell, Grijalva, Giffords
Nay: Franks, Shadegg, Flake


H Res 153, Commending the University of Southern California Trojan football team for its victory in the 2009 Rose Bowl. Yes, how sad they would be without validation from Congress. Passed 362 15 4. Grijalva blew off voting to do something else.


Supporting the goals and ideals of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. Passed 416 0.


Designating March 2, 2009, as Read Across America Day. Passed 417 0.


And for our grand finale, it looks like there was another privileged question on the House Floor today, which went like this:

QUESTION OF THE PRIVILEGES OF THE HOUSE Mr. Flake rose to a question of the privileges of the House and offered a resolution. The Chair directed the Clerk to report the resolution. The Clerk completed the reading of H.Res. 212 and the Chair announced that the resolution met the required threshold under the rule.

It was voted on and tabled again. Mavericky!

Hayworth still totally pissed off

March 5th, 2009

MSNBC:

J.D. Hayworth is irate. Hes mad as hell. Im watching the former Republican congressman rail against President Barack Obamas stimulus package in his radio studio here in Phoenix.

Hayworth is a conservative’s conservative — a loud-voiced, big-boned, saguaro cactus of a guy — and hes denouncing what he sees as an unseemly, dangerous stampede of local politicians desperate for federal cash. He was also defeated in 2006 by Democrat Harry Mitchell.

“It’s all about the money!” he booms. “They may as well be the politburo! This is a huge federal power grab and these people do not care. They’re so excited about their little ‘stimulus strike force.’”

Franks urges Clinton to address human rights in China

March 5th, 2009

Christian News Wire:

Prior to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechis visit to the U.S. on March 9, 16 members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urging her to make certain her conversations with the Chinese government are consistent with the true state of deteriorating human rights conditions in China. The letter, which had bipartisan support, was issued in response to Secretary Clintons controversial remarks before and during her visit to China indicating a retreat on the priority of human rights issues in U.S.-China relations.

ChinaAid commends the 16 signatories of the letter: Joseph R. Pitts (PA, 16th), Tim Ryan (OH, 17th), Trent Franks (AZ, 2nd), Bob Inglis (SC, 4th), Frank Wolf (VA, 10th), Mike Rogers (AL, 3rd), Mike Pence (IN, 6th), Dan Burton (IN, 5th), Michele Bachmann (MN, 6th), Scott Garrett (NJ, 5th), Michael Michaud (ME, 2nd), Chris Smith (NJ, 4th), Randy Neugebauer (TX, 19th), Thaddeus McCotter (MI, 11th), Donald Manzullo (IL, 16th) and John Boozman (AR, 3rd).

What?

March 4th, 2009

Jon Kyl tries to give DC to Maryland, fails 30 67.

Oh, McCain was a Yea, too.

Recently in the House More truly important Congressional activities

March 4th, 2009

H Res 45, establishing March as National Criminal Justice Month. Passed 415 0.


H Res 195, Recognizing and honoring the employees of the Department of Homeland Security on its sixth anniversary for their continuous efforts to keep the nation safe. Passed 418 0.


H Res 201, Recognizing Beverly Eckerts service to the Nation and particularly to the survivors and families of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Passed 419 0.


H Res 77, Congratulating the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for more than 100 years of service and leadership to the United States. Passed 414 0.


H R 548, Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act. To assist citizens, public and private institutions, and governments at all levels in planning, interpreting, and protecting sites where historic battles were fought on American soil during the armed conflicts that shaped the growth and development of the United States.

Passed 402 13. Franks/Shadegg/Flake were among the 13 voting against it.



H R 146, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act. A bill to establish a battlefield acquisition grant program for the acquisition and protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Passed 394 13. Franks/Shadegg/Flake were among the 13 voting against it.

McCain being all mavrick again

March 4th, 2009

The Hill:

Four months after he lost his bid for the White House, no one in the Senate really knows what to make of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

This week McCain tried to strip most of the earmarks from a pending $410 billion omnibus spending bill.

The effort failed. While the former GOP presidential candidate managed to rally 30 of his Republican colleagues behind his amendment, once it was struck down, 27 of them were happy to abandon the stand and accept their millions of dollars in earmarks, now secure in the bill.

The moment seemed to answer a question raised immediately after the Arizona senator lost the presidential election. McCain apparently has not returned from the campaign trail to assume the role of party leader.

Yet his earmark crusade, which included a rousing speech this week on the Senate floor, once again thrust the maverick back into the limelight. And it managed to capture the attention of the man who sent him back to the upper chamber.

President Obama invited McCain to the White House on Wednesday, despite his having given the Monday floor speech that ripped Obama and senior White House officials for what he called their disingenuous stance on earmarks.

McCain told The Hill that Obama pledged, during their meeting, to work with him on earmarks, which Senate observers interpreted as an effort by the president to mend an important relationship.

Trent Franks roundup: Bunnyranchgate!

March 4th, 2009
  • Las Vegas POd at Franks assertion that stimulus money will pay for a mag-lev train from Las Vegas to the Bunny Ranch in Carson City. Franks has either lost his moral compass, spent too much time in the Arizona sun or is a baldfaced liar. (Video has been ganked) [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Franks is not pleased with Obamas lifting of restrictions on medical professionals opting out of conscience-based conflicts. Though long forgotten, the original Hippocratic Oath likewise contained an unequivocal prohibition against abortion. [house.gov]
  • Not happy with a potential Glendale-based Indian casino, either. [I]t is very possible that such a casino will hurt more tribal members than it actually helps. [house.gov]
  • Responds to reports of Obama letter to Russian president regarding Iran. [house.gov]
  • Sees North Korean missles as a threat. [house.gov]
  • Introduces bill to prohibit the funding of moving Gitmo detainees to Arizona. [house.gov]
  • Delivers speech on midnight rule-making. [house.gov]

Shadegg wants to ease restrictions on visas for nurses

March 4th, 2009

NDTV:

A resolution has been introduced in the US House of Representative, which calls for creation of a special non-immigrant visa category for registered nurses.

The legislation, if passed, would facilitate much easier and faster availability of nursing visas to registered and practicing nurses from countries like India, China and Philippines. The US is currently facing a massive shortage of nurses.

Called the Nursing Relief Act of 2009 the legislation proposes to make provisions for the new category of visas for registered nurses with an annual limit of 50,000.

The resolution introduced by Congressman John Shadegg has been referred to House Committee on Judiciary. It is co-sponsored by Congressmen Jeff Flake and Ed Pastor.

Introduced at a time when the American economy is facing deep recession and nearly 3.6 million jobs have been lost in the last 14 month, Congressional observers are skeptical that such a bill can survive the legislative process.

Harry Mitchell roundup

March 4th, 2009
  • On report that thousands of VA files are missing: It is unacceptable to have them lost, to have their dates changed, to have them shredded. This is not acceptable. Outrageous story: [CBS News]
  • “It is impossible not to be shocked by the numbers from Detroit,” said Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., who chairs the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s oversight and investigations panel. “Shredding documents or burying them in the bottom drawer is a breach of trust. Whether that breach of trust comes as a consequence of inadequate training or negligent or deliberate behavior, Congress must not and will not tolerate it.” [Air Force Times]
  • Voted against the stimulus because it contained too much unnecessary spending, namely on the legislative branch. Spending more on Congress more on ourselves will not help get the economy back on track. [Star-Telegram]
  • Made Sal DiCicco into a politician by forcing him to attend brutally tedious City Council meetings in high school. [AzCentral]
  • Going to Alabama this weekend for the 9th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage.