The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The 112th Congress, The GOP And US History

The 112th congress worked diligently on a quest to destroy the nation via destruction of the Obama first-term. Alas. they did not reach the Land of OZ.

How about a quickly look at the House of OZ?  If you remember the night of President Elect Obama's Inauguration a group of 17 members of Congress, lobbyist and GOP henchmen (Gingrich for one) met over dinner to plot obstruction to the Obama Administration.  It has been reported the group left the meeting in a state of absolute glee. And, their strategies contributed to following sets of information and data. First let's look at the GOP meeting from a PBS Frontline segment.

The Frontline segment is yet another archive item of the GOP circa 2000 and beyond (and many of its participants).

The Plot
Watch Facing a Permanent Minority? on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.
112th Congress the legislative worse in US History!
240 bills passed by the 112th Congress
A Congressional Session (Yahoo Answers) What is the political definition of congressional session?
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

The Congressional session is made up of two years.
100 % of the members of the House of Representatives are up for election every two years. 
We elect during an even # year (November of 2010) and they take office in January of 2011 and they serve until Jan of 2013. 
That is a Congressional Session. 

Now the Senators are elected for a six year term. 
The President serves a four year term. So their term will overlap the Congressional Session. 
We count by the Congressional Session not by a Presidential or Senatorial Session. We are in the 112 Congressional Session.
Every even # year in November will will at least elect 1/3 of the Senators, 100 % of the Members of the House of Representative and every other election we will elect the President.
What is the responsibility of Congress?
Congress is charged with drafting, debating and sending bills to the president to be signed into law. 
Original US Constitution Article 1 Section 8 verbiage
 The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
Major Congressional positions and compensation for incumbents.
Senate Dot Gov
Members, Officers, and Officials of the House: Selected SalarieaBase Pay
Speaker of the House$223,500 per annum
Majority and Minority Leaders $193,400 per annum
All other Representatives (including Delegates and Resident Commissioner From Puerto Rico)$174,000 per annum
Chief Administrative Officer $172,500 per annum
Clerk of the House $172,500 per annum$172,500 per annum
Sergeant at Arms$172,500 per annum
Chaplain$172,500 per annum
Legislative Counsel$172,500 per annum
Law Revision Counsel $172,500
per annum
Parliamentarian$172,500 per annum
Inspector General $172,500 per annum
Director, Interparliamentary Affairs$172,500 per annum
General Counsel to the House$172,500 per annum
Source: For salaries of Members of Congress, U.S. President (Obama), “Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay,”Executive Order 13594, signed December 19, 2011, Federal Register, vol. 76, p. 80196; for salaries of officers and officials of the House, Order of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, implementing a pay increase for House employees, effective January 9, 2009, issued January 9, 2009 (contained in 2 U.S.C. 60a-2a). Estimates may also be obtained by examining the quarterly Statement of Disbursements of the House.

Members, Officers, and Officials of the Senate: Selected Salaries
Base Pay
President pro tempore($230,700 per annum if the position of Vice President is vacant)$223,500
per annum
Majority and Minority Leaders$193,400
per annum

All other Senators 
per annum

Secretary of the Senate
per annum
Clerk of the House $172,500 per annum$172,500
per annum
Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeepper$172,500
per annum
per annum
Legislative Counsel$172,500
per annum

Legal Counsel 
per annum
per annum


per annum
Source: For salaries of Members of Congress and Level IV of the Executive Schedule, U.S. President (Obama), “Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay,” Executive Order 13594, signed December 19, 2011, Federal Register, vol. 76, p. 80196; for salaries of officers and officials of the Senate, the Order of the President pro tempore, implementing a pay increase for Senate employees, effective January 1, 2010, issued January 5, 2010 (contained in 2 U.S.C. 60a-1). Estimates may also be obtained by examining the semi-annual Report of the Secretary of the Senate.
The Ed Show, MSNBC
Congressional pay and benefits (The Examiner)
ICompared to the national budget, the total of $4.74 Billion is a drop in the bucket, but even so when someone sees these salaries they begin to wonder why members of Congress are paid so much for doing so little to help the people who pay their salaries.
These figures don’t count the retirement plans or salaries paid to former members of Congress. If a member of Congress serves for at least five years, be it in the Senate or the House of Representatives, they receive full pay and health benefits for life. The figures for this type of pay are not easily accessible, as they are muddled in with private insurance and other pay wages.
The estimates for these benefits were between $500 million and $1.2 billion. That’s a wide range, but there are people receiving pay that are not former legislatures. The wives of prominent Senators Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy receive a reduced rate of pay under the “survivor benefit” plan. They can still access the health benefits, but receive between 50 and 75 percent of their late husbands salaries.
This provides a rough estimate of $6 billion per year spent on Congressional pay and benefits.
Now, for a comparison that is as telling as the lowest Congressional approval rating in US History. 

The GOP, Right-wing money-grabbers, opportunist tea party leadership  and millions of disgruntled Americans contributed the the mess delineated above. Factually, it is even worse, as handing the GOP a "shellacking" in 2010, the electorate gave the GOP opportunity to 'gerrymand' themselves into maintaining the House in 2012. The Democrats in Congress received more votes than their GOP opponents, but crafty redistricting ensured the party on the Right retention of the House of Representatives.
The Examiner quotes data form 2010. We can rest assured congressional pay and benefits and all associated expenses were moderately higher in 2012. Thus, 240 bills passed in the House of Representatives is clear evidence of a concerted effort to stifle all efforts to recover our economy. Such actions contributed to millions of Americans losing jobs, suffering without healthcare, a national disgrace in a lowered credit rating, and in some cases literally living under the threat of a cut-off in unemployment payments.

In plain-speak, the GOP and conservative America has been on the 'right' (double entendre intended) side of all that is wrong in the nation since the election of 2000.  We will ignore the Reagan years, for now.

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