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A Congressional Kind of Christmas?

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By Adam Weatherall

12/18/2013

 

(Christmas Bells)

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play

And mild and sweet the words repeat,

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

I thought how as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had roll’d along th’ unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

And in despair I bow’d my head:

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

“For hate is strong, and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men.

 

‘Til ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,

Of peace on earth, good will to men!”

 

And now “A Congressional kind of Christmas?”

 

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    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow first wrote these words in the iconic poem “Christmas Bells” in 1863. You may have heard it as a Christmas carol called “I heard the bells on Christmas day”. It is my great hope that the sentiment felt in the preceding verse might find its way into the hearts of our law makers this holiday season so that we can all breathe a little easier this Christmas. Most of our congressional representatives seem poised to give the American people a healthy dose of logic this holiday season as an early X-mas present. You see a federal budget compromise has already passed the House and cleared a key procedural hurdle on Tuesday in the Senate increasing the likelihood it will win final Congressional approval this week. President Barack Obama has signaled his support for the plan that would guide government spending into 2015 to defuse the chances of another shutdown such as the one that took place in October. There are signs that a few political “grinches” might be present among our elected officials; people willing to snatch away this seldom seen gift of logic to the congressional process.

goverment shutdown pics1

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    The vote on Tuesday overcame a Republican filibuster attempt that required 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to proceed on the budget measure. The count was 67-33, with a dozen Republicans joining the 55 Democrats and Independents in support of the plan. The budget agreement, which was months in the making, eases spending caps for the next two fiscal years while softening the impact of across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, on defense and other programs such as extending unemployment benefits for a large percentage of jobless Americans this holiday season. Overall, it calls for more than $20 billion in deficit reduction. Current federal spending expires in mid-January, raising the possibility of another shutdown at that time if there’s not a new agreement in place to keep federal coffers filled. The strong vote in the House on the budget plan on Thursday brought a collective sigh of relief among supporters, who initially thought it would sail through the Senate, where bipartisanship has been more the norm than in the sharply divided House. Of the main factors that might lead to the unwrapping of “we the people’s” early Christmas gift, the same senators responsible for the last government default are once again the driving forces for possible further congressional stalemate.

House Governement Shutdown.

    Three leading tea party senators with 2016 presidential aspirations, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and of course Ted Cruz of Texas, have come out against the current bill. These men and especially Ted Cruz were the architects of the last government default and are being bolstered by a few other Republican congressmen but by in large, their efforts look to be defeated. These senators appear to be positioning themselves for future presidential bids rather than focusing on positioning Americans to have a better holiday season. Their effort to thwart a finalized budget agreement have earned a public rebuke from the likes of current speaker of the House John Boehner, which leads me to congratulate a member from the Republican party for finally it seems embracing the tenets of logic. During the last government shutdown we posted a link to a petition on Change.org, calling for congressmen and women to divert their paychecks rather than those of furloughed federal employees. We did this in an effort to force action during the shutdown process. Our sentiment was echoed by many similar petitions and resounding nationwide sentiment. We will again post to that original petition in the hopes to keep our Congressional Representatives honest this holiday season. Hopefully the bill passes, the outstanding issues are addressed, the markets continue their uptick, and this “do nothing congress” can do something for a change this X-mas. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or Kwanza, Chanukah, or even Festivus I hope logic will prevail. Happy Holidays everybody.

Go to the Furlough Petition Here>

Adam Weatherall
Adam Weatherall
Adam Weatherall is the political correspondent for PowerFist.Us a company whose mission is to spread truth and justice to all within it's reach, but more specifically to cover news stories that are often times pushed aside by larger media organizations.