According to the Congressional Calendar (http://majorityleader.gov/Calendar), Congress will be in session a grand total of 114 days this year. That's it folks, 114 days! Perhaps we should change their compensation so it is tied to per diem, because at this part-time rate, they certainly should not qualify for their salary and benefits! And while doing so little, they have already begun to propose additional challenges to the ACA and to gut existing Environmental protections in the form of Superfund legislation. Republicans, clearly vested in the interests of manufacturers, have for many years attempted to neuter the EPA's authority, with some even calling for the Agency to be eliminated all together. We know Texas Governor Rick Perry's position (even though West Texas blew to hell while in violation of Federal regulations).
This past week the GOP led House voted to severely restrict the ability of the EPA to enforce toxic waste regulations. Instead, the GOP Bill (HR2279) proposes the enforcement not only be shifted away from the EPA to the individual states, but also to allow those companies that pollute to carry less insurance needed to clean up their spills. When the Democrats sought to amend the Bill to prevent the easing of regulations for areas within five miles of a toxic dump, the Republicans shot it down 225-188. Why hasn't this been aired in the Media? Because scandal is what drives our public attention instead of real news. "BridgeGate" or, "Fat and Furious" is an important development on the national political stage; but instead, Fox News is only interested in pursuing a hyped up tell all book that actually tells very little from Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. You can bet the average Fox viewer knows nothing about Congress and what they are really up to these days!
So please pay attention to what is happening in what we know is the GOP "Shell Game" of 2014. Looking busy making Obama the focus of the 2014 Midterm Elections is their objective, while quietly going about the business of stripping federal regulations that protect us all (relating to the environment, same sex marriage, tax reform, abortion and choice). Incredibly, the GOP is pursuing the easing of environmental protections while over 300,000 folks near Charleston, West Virginia head into their third and fourth days away from their homes due to a toxic chemical spill into the Elk River. According to the Associated Press, 32 people have been hospitalized. We may never accurately know how many fish and animals have been killed or what the long-term effects from the spill will be. With crude oil spilling from railroads, leaking pipes over 50 years of age and toxic chemicals leaching into our water supplies, one has to wonder whether the environment belongs to the people of America or to the ones that pay the most in lobbying and Super-PAC election funds. Isn't it time for Americans to start paying attention to everything Congress is up to and not only to what the Media tells us?
As President Theodore Roosevelt once said; "Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us." America is our land! Equal protection is our Constitutional Right. It's high time in 2014 to pay attention to the games being played in Washington and to actively engage in the political game we call Mid-Term Elections! Have a great week!