Heads Up! Congress at Work!


The headlines right now are rife – RIFE, I say – with juicy political tidbits. Mitch Daniels is not running for President because his wife and daughters don’t want to be subject to the nasty glare of klieg lights (smart of the but what does it say about our society when arguably the most qualified potential candidate in his party won’t run because the media is too nasty?). Mike Huckabee is not running for President but he got Ted Nugent to play guitar with him on tv. Tim Pawlenty is running for President and most of America isn’t sure who he is or if they should vote for him. Rick Santorum is running for President and said that John McCain doesn’t understand torture. John McCain refrained from saying what I would have said to Rick Santorum if I was John “I Was A Viet Nam POW” McCain, which would have been something along the lines of “Kiss my ass, Rick.”

Apart from the Presidential field, there’s Maria who is reportedly calling lawyers to help her and Arnold divide up their stuff once and for all. There’s a new book about Sarah Palin by one of her aides that reproduces thousands of emails she reportedly wrote (and that I am totally going to read). The Supreme Court ruled that prison overcrowding in California is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment and they have two years to fix the problem and some people are freaking because they think it means 33,000 criminals will be unleashed in our backyards. And there appears to be a debate brewing on what spending cut conditions we’ll need to attach to disaster relief funding for Missouri.

Oh. And the House Appropriations Committee is holding mark-ups on the spending bills for FY12.

Oh yeah. Yeah, you didn’t hear about that one did you? Probably because no one ever knocked up the housekeeper during a subcommittee mark-up on transportation appropriations so the media deems it boring. It doesn’t bleed, so it doesn’t lead, ya know what I’m saying?

Except that the appropriations process is arguably the most important thing that happens in Congress every year. The House has been given their top line budget numbers and now they’re starting to figure out how to allocate the money to all the different federal agencies and programs. It’s highly detailed work, tedious and eye-crossingly complicated. And you should really know that i’ts happening and what the results could be.  This is tax money they’re spending and they’re spending it on programs you may or may not use, like, know about, or care about.

I’ve got my short list of programs I care about and the appropriations for those programs are of some interest to me. I’m not going to go into them here because you all have already heard me foam at the mouth about the kind of domestic infrastructure things I think are important. Instead, I’m giving you the link that’s the gateway to seeing what the Appropriations Committee is doing: http://appropriations.house.gov/ Click on over and take a look. Find out if your Member of Congress is one of the exalted few who serves on this all powerful committee. If they do, or even if they don’t, drop them a line to let them know you’re paying attention and that you care about how this process turns out.

You have the right to know what your elected officials are doing. And if the media won’t tell you, you’ll just have to go find out on your own. And if what you find out aggrieves you, well, lucky for your that you also have the right to petition them for redress of grievance. Ain’t America grand? Even when it’s not juicy.

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2 comments for “Heads Up! Congress at Work!

  1. Amy
    May 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you for being my go to person for a heads up in DC. You rock.
    It is so true that if it ‘don’t bleed, it won’t lead’.

  2. May 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I wonder if they can spare a trillion or two to help fund my plans to take over the world?

    Brb, have to write my congressman.

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