Sep 29 2010
As the Senate rushes to adjourn, Senator Tom Coburn will seek this afternoon to pass a number of bills that have been blocked by the Majority that would address many of the real concerns of the nation. These include a balanced budget requirement, an extension of tax cuts and requirements for federal employees—including members of Congress—to pay their taxes. Senator Coburn will ask the Senate to pass these bills by unanimous consent (UC) this afternoon around 4:45 p.m. If no Senator objects at that time, the bills will be approved by the Senate.
Click here for more information about the competing priorities of the Senate.
Click here to read Senator Coburn's letter to Senator McConnell, reserving the right to object to proceeding to unanimous consent on the bills offered by Majority Leader Reid.
Althought these bills are well-intentioned, they are clearly not immediate priorities and spend money that we do not have. On the Senate floor this morning Dr. Coburn responded to Majority Leader Reid’s proposed legislation including a bill to protect shark fins, marine mammals rescue assistance legislation, and the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act, by stating his position. “The problems that are facing this country are so big and so massive that our attention ought to be focused on those large problems, not on five separate bills that have been proffered for special interest groups.”
Below is a list of some of the bills Senator Coburn may seek to pass by UC:
1) Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (S. J. Res. 38): A joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
2) Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010 (S. 3773): A bill to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax relief provisions and to provide permanent AMT relief and estate tax relief, and for other purposes.
3) Tax cheats bill for members of Congress: A bill to require Members of Congress to disclose delinquent tax liability, require an ethics inquiry, and garnish the wages of a Member with Federal tax liability.
4) Tax cheats bill for federal employees (S. 3790): A bill to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide that persons having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for Federal employment
5) The Earmark Transparency Act (S. 3335): a bill that meets President Obama’s call for Congress to create a single, searchable database of all congressional earmark requests. Click here for additional background on S.3335.
6) Stop Secret Spending (S.RES.622): bill would prohibit legislation from passing through the “hotline” process until members have been given 72 hours to review the bill and its costs. Billions of dollars of secret spending are authorized every year using the “hotline” process. If a Senator is going to faithfully execute his or her duties, enough time must be available to review the legislation as well as a score of the bill’s costs.
7) Excluding Abortion Coverage from Health Reform Act (S. 3723): Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prohibit federal funds from being to be used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services.
8) The Firearms Fairness and Affordability Act (S. 632): Amends the Internal Revenue Code to require excise taxes on recreational equipment to be due and payable on the date for filing the return for such taxes.
9) Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act (S. 669): Prohibits, in any case arising out of the administration of laws and benefits by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), considering any person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness from being considered adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of the right to receive or transport firearms without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.