The 112th Congress begins on January 5, 2011

January 5, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

Welcome! To the 112thCongress with the Republican House and Democratic Senate.

The power shift in the new Congress is prepared to make some significant changes to the House rules, previous legislation and the Senate procedure.

Initiatives to implement proposals on Congressional transparency and accountability through on-line presentation of legislation as outlined in the blog post ‘Defining the Humanitarian Responsibility’ – 04/16/2010 on this website is deeply appreciated.

Yet another strategy as stated earlier on omnibus spending delineating earmarks from the Congressional budget would enable legislators to clarify the expenditure.

The recommendation for bill funding to be raised from cutting costs and not through revenues might lead to essential program termination with an adverse economic effect.

If the Republican House pursues permanent spending slashes while increasing liabilities in prolonged wars and tax cuts for the billionaires – the formula used during their earlier majority rule that led to the status quo, it would be the same experiment seeking different results.

Fiscal responsibility is a constant requirement. Nonetheless avoiding brazen measures would confirm pragmatism over ideology.

Further, the majority seizing budget control with the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee having unilateral authority in domestic spending until budget resolution passage defies checks and balances per the constitution pledged to be upheld in the ‘send-a-message’ category on January 6, 2011.

While it is necessary to trim the legislation volume for better understanding within the allowed time frame, it is equally important to include relevant issues concerning the people and national interest.

In similar context permitting additional amendments and open debate on the bill for proper scrutiny is sensible provided it is not political but carried out to ensure prudence.

Some issues have been presented on the floor over the decade like START treaty eventually ratified in December 2010 and the unsuccessful DREAM ACT rejected on ‘short notice’ basis even though the records reveal otherwise.

On the contentious health care repeal and tax cuts legislation making exception to the impending Republican rule by denying amendments or evading costs in new bills introduction affecting national deficit – a Republican campaign priority reflects double standards and political dominance rather than balance of power.

Amendments to the health care legislation instead of repeal might be the appropriate action in order to protect any crucial components benefitting the sick, the poor and the tax payers now and in the long run.

It’s imperative for the ruling and the opposition members in Congress to transcend partisanship through mutual exchange of ideas and policies in achieving legislative victories guaranteed to move the nation forward.

Reiterating the earlier expectation that the events in 112th Congress would comprise less conflicts and more cooperation for national good.

Best Wishes! To the newly elected and incumbent members in Congress for a successful and harmonious beginning prevailing until the end.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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