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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Big Announcement Tomorrow

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Sometimes you don't know just how low House Republicans will go because it gets no play in the mainstream media. One of those examples is being played out under-the-radar with the Republican Party's decision on who will be the next Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

The three candidates are Representatives Ralph Regula (R-OH), Jerry Lewis (R-OH), and Hal Rogers (R-KY). The decision is enormous because he who holds the chair, holds the power to determine where money is earmarked in those committee appropriations bills and obnoxious $388 billion dollar ones of the omnibus variety. All three made their pitches to party faithful this week, but the race for Appropriations Chairman in the 109th Congress might have been decided in the 108th.

You see, Republican leadership wants a Chairman who will use the power of the purse strings to strong-arm opponents into voting for legislation they would otherwise oppose.

Ralph Regula gave Republican leadership everything it wanted to see from a potential chair; he implemented the threat and made it a political reality in his own subcommittee (Labor/HHS/Education). The depravity of this tactic knew no limits in 2003/2004, nor do I expect it will from 2005 to 2007.

Some remember the battle over the new overtime regulations that would take away time-and-a-half from up to 6 million workers. Well, the last battle for that was fought in the House Appropriations Committee. Democrats attempted to remove funding to implement the plan. Ralph Regula decided to take away earmarked money from Congressfolk that voted against the passage of that Appropriations Bill.

This included Congresswoman Shelly Berkley, whose district lost money for a neo-natal care unit in Nevada. Her response:

“What kind of people would take their anger out on babies struggling to survive,” asked Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada).

Good question. Just another reason that the entire country should stand against this sort of practice, regardless of whether or not Regula is selected for the post.

More outrage from Democrats on the practice:

David Obey (D-Wisconsin), member of the subcommittee said, “Members are being told if you stand up for what you see as the public interest, then the penalty is that your constituents will be screwed.”
Democratic Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the tactics, “criminal.” Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said of the strong-arm effort, “It’s an inappropriate use of power.”

So, tomorrow is a big day -- and most don't even know it. The message to Democrats is loud and clear. Oppose us and be afraid, be very afraid.

Posted at 08:58 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, General | Technorati


I stand by my words from April 2004, when we first met....

"If a political newcomer makes a 32-year veteran of the House have to campaign in his own district, he's finished in the race for Appropriations Chair."

Together, Tim, we made the guy spend 300,000 dollars in the 16th District. he actually had to stop raising money for others because he needed to focus on his own voters. It'll cost him, and I'll take credit for it when Jerry Lewis is named to the chair.

If Lewis gets the Chair, my next prediction is simple. Ralph Regula will not run again in 2006.

Posted by: Jeff Seemann at January 5, 2005 01:17 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment