Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Congressional briefing: Dipping into the Congressional Record

October 3, 2007

Time for another dip into the Congressional Record, to see what our representatives have said on the floor of the House and the Senate since the beginning of September:

Rep. Dennis Moore (D) was busiest talking about Kansans -- offering remarks praising Eudora's 150th birthday, a Kansas City synagogue, and the Prairie Rose Chapter of the Kansas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, while expressing sympathy for flooding victims in eastern Kansas. Reps. Nancy Boyda, Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt also expressed sympathy to flood victims.

In "extension of remarks" -- meaning he didn't say it in the House, but later inserted his comments into the Record -- Moore on Sept. 7 expressed concern about the "Protect America Act," which essentially authorized the Bush Administration's "warrantless wiretapping" program. He said: "I urge the House Judiciary Committee to promptly consider and report improved legislation that will provide the necessary surveillance authority our intelligence services need to protect our nation, while protecting our citizens' most basic expectation of privacy and fundamental civil liberties that are guaranteed by our constitution."

Over in the Senate, Sen. Sam Brownback's name appears a number of times in the record -- four times on Sept. 27, noting that he's "necessarily absent" from voting while on the presidential campaign trail.

A couple of days earlier, though, he was around to make remarks criticizing the Iranian president, who was visiting Columbia University. " President Ahmadi-Nejad took advantage of the freedoms we enjoy to spread lies in the United States," Brownback said, according to the transcript. "I believe his appearance was disgraceful. I think the things he is saying are outright lies--what he is saying versus what he has done. He looked his audience in the eye and he lied. He knew he was telling lies, and the audience knew it."

Brownback also spoke in favor of the "soft partition" of Iraq into three separate states loosely governed by a central government in Baghdad.

He said:

'This makes all the sense in the world. Instead of trying to fight against this situation and trying to force Sunni and Shia together into one government that has a strong centralized government, we are only going to get a weak Shia government because the Kurds and the Sunnis are not going to agree with a strong Shia government, and we devolve the power and authority mostly out to the states and let them run it. We would have the Sunnis running their region and the Shia running their region in Baghdad. That is a way we can work with the natural setup of the situation."

His colleague, Sen. Pat Roberts meanwhile, fought for the children's health insurance bill despite a threatened veto from President Bush. Roberts said: "I am very disappointed that before the administration even received the final language their minds were apparently made up, and a line was drawn in the sand opposing this compromise. Again, this was even before the final language was in their hands. And, to my knowledge, there has been little, if any, willingness to come to the negotiating table to find the solution. I think this is unfortunate, and I think this is irresponsible."

For a deeper look at the Record, take a peek at Thomas.gov

Congressional briefing appears semi-regularly, Monday through Friday. If you've seen a news story or other blog entry about the Kansas Congressional delegation that we've missed, do let us know.

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