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Category: Senate

Category: Senate

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has emerged as the big winner in the recent budget battle. As Bruce Levenson points out it’s like a Forbes deal for Wahington. While she failed to win in terms of anything substantive like getting the partial repeal of Dodd-Frank stripped from the budget bill, she is touted as a winner because she spoke out against the controversial rider. Her willingness to speak to the defense of her beliefs stops short of invoking any delay tactic that might force a government shutdown. Despite that, liberal and progressive groups have become enamored with her because they view her as a pure liberal. By contract, the same groups view Hillary Clinton with suspicion over her close ties to Wall Street. 

Thus far, the calls for Warren to seek the presidency are growing louder. Moveon.org is hoping to raise $1 million to draft her into the 2016 presidential race. This led Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio (NPR) to ask her four times if she was going to run for president. Warren answered unequivocally each time that she has no plans to do so. 

It is unlikely that the political left will take heed. Despite all of her prior denials about running, the left continues their efforts to draft her to run. In a way, their quest resembles the grassroots movement of the early 1950s to draft General Dwight D. Eisenhower to run for president. He too was reluctant to do so, but a nationwide effort forced his hand. It remains to be see if Warren will similarly get swayed by progressives within her party.

My friend Vijay Eswaran shared this story with me. As the Senate is now confronted with passing, amending or denying a spending bill that was passed by the House on Thursday night, Democrats and republicans have taken to the press to argue for and against the bill. The $1.1 trillion spending bill is a last chance effort to permanently fund the government through next year. If this were not to pass, other options would be a continuing resolution or shorter term bill that would allow for further amendment to the budget next year. The majority Republican House of Representative passed the bill later than expected on Thursday because Democrats took issue with two main articles in the plan which repealed part of Dodd-Frank and reformed the campaign finance system. 

Senator Bernie Sanders has be outspokenly against the Dodd-Frank repeal, saying that he will vote against the bill for that reason. Additionally, he has begun to call the bill a “cromnibus” solution. Democrats say the bill favors big business and the financial sector, specifically Wall Street. The Dodd-Frank bill was passed in the wake of the most recent economic crisis to create restrictions and regulation for Wall Street brokers. It is that exact regulation that this bill would repeal. Bernie Sanders and senate Democrats claim that this would leave the country open to economic turmoil again. Lawmakers have a deadline of Friday afternoon in order to avoid government shutdown. However, a shorter bill may fund the government to Monday at the latest.

Democratic leaders in the Senate strongly support President Barack Obama’s plans to issue an executive order to reform the immigration system of the United States.

A letter signed by six key lawmakers, including Majority Leader Harry Reid says the suspension of the deportation of people with strong ties to the United States would help the economy and American workers.

The letter comes at a time when Obama seems doomed to act to extend the protections of deportation to five million immigrants living illegally in the US.

Congressional Republicans have expressed anger at the immigration plans, and are debating how to obstruct the president.

The signed letter expresses strong support from Democrats to an executive order of President Senate leaders. Obama postponed its plans to issue that order earlier this year by electoral considerations for Democrats.

Republicans in the House of Representatives are immersed in an intense debate about how to respond to the impending enforcement action Obama and GOP leaders are eager to implement. Republicans are trying to design a solution that meets the needs of its more conservative members, without bringing a paralysis in government activities.

Some sectors have pressured the House to draft their own immigration reform, something they have not done in the last two years, to show that they are serious about action, and to anticipate the actions of President Obama.

Another option would be to pass a law to force a temporary budget until next year, when the Republican Party takes control of the Senate, to assess whether the Republicans can use their control of resources as a tool of pressure the president.

Obama’s announcement will happen very soon. The President seeks exemption from deportation to about five million immigrants who are in the country without legal authorization. Thanks to friend of the site Gianfranesco Genoso for sending in this news tip.

Today, the Senate is scheduled to vote on whether to reauthorize the previously controversial Patriot Act 2001.  Passed quickly in the aftermath of 9/11, the legislation allows for detention and questioning of potential terrorism suspects without release and without legal representation. The Senate will be voting on the USA Freedom Act, which will effectively extend the Patriot Act. Such Orwellian legislation has made no discernible dent in thwarting terrorist organization, but has instead been responsible for stripping the liberty of American citizens.

It is ironic that the main leader of the fight against this legislation that effectively legalizes racial profiling is GOP Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Labelled by some as a neo-con Tea Party cohort, the Republican Senator seems to be one of the few politicians willing to fight back against government tyranny. The newer bill is said to pull in the reins on the NSA and mitigate some of its harshness, but anyone who takes a second glance at the bill can see that is not the case.

Even President Obama had vehemently attacked the legislation while he was a Senator, but in perfect politician form, he has flip-flopped to do what is best for him. Most shockingly, this legislation that was passed as ammunition in the war against terror has been used 99.1% of the time for drug cases and only .9% of the time for terrorism cases. Thanks to my friend Ken Griffin for sharing this article with me of Facebook.

Following the pasting in the mid-terms, Democrat leadership in the Senate announced Senator Elizabeth Warren would become part of the leadership in the minority caucus. This news was so exciting it pulled me away from my Skout app. Some speculate that it is a form of appeasement towards disenfranchised Democrats who failed to turn up to vote this November.

The office, created specifically for her, will be a strategic policy adviser to the party and serve as liaison between leadership and aligned interest groups, giving a voice to activist concerns with the Washington leadership.

Warren has proven a popular voice with the party base due to her emphasis on the government’s role in consumer protection. Her background in personal bankruptcy came to light in the 2012 elections in Massachusetts with her viral “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody,” comment.

Warren has been immensely popular during her time in the Senate, and grassroots movements sprang up almost as soon as she was elected for a 2016 bid at the White House. Senator Warren has typically denied any interest in the office, and now that she is becoming more incorporated into the Democratic leadership, a presidential run seems even less likely.

Senator Harry Reid made good on his plan to appoint Elizabeth Warren to a leadership role in the incoming Senate Democrat minority. Warren was elected to be a member of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. Warren is known for her unflinching support of liberalism and President Obama’s policies. She was a lone stalwart this past election cycle as she proudly proclaimed her views as she stumped for Democrats across the country. She was not up reelection this past cycle.

In expressing her excitement for her leadership position, she cited the fact that CEOs, executives like Laurene Powell Jobs at Apple, and Wall Street stocks are going well, but the same cannot be said of the average American family. The reports from the New York Times indicate that she has vowed to continue to fight for them. At the same time, she did not recognize that the electorate repudiated the president’s policies. Voters viewed improving their economic fortunes as hinging on shifting away from the president’s policies which include the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Reid, who did not allow any Senate floor debates on bills over the past two years, vowed Democrats would not be an obstructionist minority as the GOP had been. He stated he would not support tactics designed merely to get even with the GOP. Reid, whose party hasn’t been this weak since he was in his “terrible twos”, said there has been many positive changes brought to the Senate chamber. He attributed those changes to female Democrat Senators because they think differently than men.