Sen. Judd Gregg tucks tail and runs home, Republicans continue to cry foul
It continues to be funny, and will continue to be funny, how Republicans have decided to go back to their “fiscally conservative” roots now that they are in the minority. They act as if the 2000-2006 spending spree of the GOP controlled Congress (and White House) never happened.
Senator Judd Greg -who reportedly campaingned for the post of Commerce Secretary- withdrew his name from consideration on Thursday. Greg told the Associated Press “For 30 years, I’ve been my own person and guess I hadn’t really focused on the job of working for somebody else and carrying their views out.” Republicans are spinning it as if Gregg just wasn’t willing to be part of the Democratic “spending free for all.”
President Obama has vowed to change the way Washington works by forging and era of bipartisanship. He’s finding out that it takes two to tango, and the Republicans aren’t willing to dance.
So I applaud the President for his effort, but his counterparts are more worried about becoming relevant once again than doing anything for the American people. That is unless you count proposing more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans as doing something for the people.
It looks like Republican governors will have to make a choice between spouting off ideological rhetoric and accepting federal funds that many of their states so badly need. According to Glenn Thrush of the Politico, a requirement that governors spend their stimulus allocations within 45 days was inserted into the House version of the stimulus bill.
Thrush reports that if GOP governors reject the money, authority for spending the cash would revert to State legislatures. This started with a fallout between South Carolina House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and his states governor Mark Sanford. I bet the Govenator doesn’t send back any of his money.
Finally as it relates to the stimulus, there’s a lot of talk about $8 million in the bill that is now allocated for high-speed rail projects. Some detractors are saying that the figures for high-speed jumped as a result of so-called “pork” project- a rail link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Opponents say President Obama is relenting to Nevada Senator Harry Reid about a comment the President made regarding bank executives taking business junkets to Sin City.
We can fight over the circumstances, but how can anyone outside of the airline lobby debate the need for a high-speed rail line between L.A. and Vegas? Whether it’s Vegas/L.A. or Dallas/Houston, American needs high speed rail. American needs better infrastructure period. But the Republicans in their six years in total control did little for Americans crumbling bridges, deteriorating roads, or the virtually non-existent rail service. Unless you count the “Bridge to Nowhere.”