Today’s Congressional odds and ends

Jerry McNerneyMcNerney touts GOP endorsements: One day after the National Republican Congressional Committee named 11th Congressional District GOP nominee David Harmer one of its “Young Guns,” incumbent
Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, announced he has the endorsements of three prominent local Republicans: Danville Mayor Mike Doyle, Tracy Councilman Steve Abercrombie and former Manteca Mayor and Councilman Jack Snyder. “Jerry McNerney has done more for our veterans than anyone else that I’ve worked with,” Doyle said in McNerney’s news release. “From fighting to keep the Livermore VA in veterans’ hands to supporting the renovations of the Danville Veterans Hall, Jerry McNerney has shown that he’s willing to work across the aisle and will get the job done for our community.”

Lee praises SBA pick: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, congratulates Elizabeth Echols, 50, of Oakland, on her appointment as Region IX Administrator for the Small Business Administration, charged with overseeing the SBA’s programs and services in California, Nevada, Arizona Hawaii and Guam. Echols is CEO of OpNet Community Ventures, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to promoting opportunities in the technology industry for low-income young adults, and held several political appointments in the Clinton White House and Commerce Department. “I don’t believe the SBA could have made a better selection,” Lee said. “Elizabeth recognizes the role the SBA has played in helping pull our nation out of the recession. Elizabeth understands that small business is the engine that drives our nation’s economy, and that providing small businesses with support and resources is key to creating good-paying, sustainable jobs and, ultimately, to our economic recovery.”

Miller preps for child nutrition markup: House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez, chaired a hearing yesterday on bipartisan child nutrition reauthorization legislation introduced earlier this month to improve children’s health, increase access to healthy meals, and create more year-round meal opportunities for children; Miller announced plans to markup HR 5504, the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act, when Congress returns after the July 4th recess. “We need to get our country back on a pathway of healthy eating and healthy living – this starts by not only ensuring our children are eating healthy meals in schools, but also teaching them healthy habits that will last them a lifetime,” he said in a news release today. “This bill is a great opportunity to improve our school meal programs, to meet children’s nutritional needs at every venture and to change the future of this country.”

Lawmakers vote to limit Afghanistan funding: Lee and Miller joined Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont; Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove; Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough; Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose; and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, in voting Thursday for Lee’s amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations bill that would have denied additional funds for the war in Afghanistan except for money that would be needed to ensure the safety of troops in the field as they are preparing to redeploy. The amendment failed on a 100-321 vote. McNerney and Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, voted against the amendment, while Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, didn’t vote.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    “Today’s Congressional odds and ends”

    Anna Eshoo, Barbara Lee, George Miller, Jackie Speier, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, Lynn Woolsey, Mike Honda, Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, Zoe Lofgren,

    Now what could be more accurate than that?

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Elwood, probably a statement that these Members of Congress are all Democrats, and these seats weren’t formerly all Democratic, would improve the accuracy.

    Then some speculation such as why this true, and why persons such as why The Honorable Mike Doyle, though a registered Republican, would endorse a Democrat, would further improve accuracy.

  • John W

    Pleased to see my man, Jerry, didn’t join the other Dems (an apparently Michael Steele had he been in Congress) in voting to limit funds for Afghan. The strategy and prospects for success there are very much open to debate. But Afghan, Pak and, to an extent most people don’t realize, India are all intertwined in circumstances that pose a major threat to the U.S. Can’t just pack up and go home without a viable Plan B. And, no, we can’t just do a drone war and send in a few special forces to do Rambo. Obama pledged throughout his campaign to ramp up the effort in Af-Pak in order to pick up the ball we dropped in order to divert resources to the war in Iraq. Many Dems act as if he had promised to pull out. The Afghan counterinsurgency is not even at full troop strength yet. May not work, but we need to give it a chance. People say this is the 9th year of the war in Afgan. Only partly true, since we were in a holding pattern and losing ground with insufficient troops for 6 of those years.

  • Elwood

    How about that Obama?

    In office for only about a year and a half and he’s already got a war and a depression named after him!

    How’s that hopey changey thing working out for YOU?

  • Josh Richman

    Funny… where I come from, we usually name things after the people who started them.

  • Elwood

    It is widely agreed that when the Obaminator agreed to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan that it became Obama’s war.

    And with every passing day it becomes more and more apparent that we are in Obama’s depression. He and his minions keep spending money like drunken sailors (with apologies to drunken sailors everywhere) and the economy just gets worse and worse. What’s that about when you’re in a hole stop digging?

    The Obaminator seems to have the reverse Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to crap.

    Remember, remember, the 8th of November!

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Where do newspapermen “come from”? One of my favorites in the past was “a strange visitor from another planet.”

  • Elwood


    Make that the 2nd of November.

    Don’t forget to vote!

  • Elwood
  • Elwood
  • Publius

    I will sleep better at night knowing that George “Papa Bear” Miller is watching over my caloric intake. I can remember the bad old days when health issues were left to the likes of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons. I am glad to see St. George leading the charge and getting the federal government inspired to slay the evil dragon that plagues America. Lord knows the expertise and efficiency shown while capping the BP oil well will translate nicely into getting America healthy.

    I predict a new Health czar, a new government department with the power to come into your house and throw away your mayonaise, and a government subsidy for healthy eating and weight loss.

    What could go wrong? Ignoring our troops over seas and getting into your kitchen. Memo to California; Throw personal responsibility to the wind and keep voting Democrat…..

  • Sandeep P.

    Why no reporting about Congress plan to increase taxes on Jan 1?

    According to CNN, the Bush tax cuts will expire Dec 31.
    The Argus told us these “tax cuts for the rich” would go away. According to CNN, “The cost of doing so for everyone would top $3 trillion over 10 years. Making them permanent for families making less than $250,000 — which tracks with Obama’s promise — would cost less but not much less: an estimated $2.2 trillion.”

    So apparently, 75% of the Bush tax cuts were for middle and lower income people. And now this regime is going to hike taxes for everyone by letting them “expire”. I can’t believe that people making $20k a year are now going to have their federal taxes go up 50%. Their rates go from 10% to 15%. $30k a year will see it go up from 15% to 20%. And so on up the line. If your family makes $100k a year, that’s a tax hike of $6000 or $500 a month. Coming on Jan 1.

    Ug. And all we see is reporting about George Miller trying to insert his federal control of my kids lunch contents.

  • John W

    Re: #12 on “tax increases.” Given the state of the economy, Jan 1 is obviously not the best time to have the Bush tax cuts expire. But tax rates under Bush are not the “new normal.” They account for a big chunk of the national debt that piled up in the Bush years. The reason they were set to expire after 10 years is that the Republicans couldn’t get them passed otherwise, because CBO projections at the time showed an even more massive sea of red ink after 2010 due to a combination of the tax cuts and the end to the large Social Security/Medicare payroll tax surplusses that had been piling up in the trust funds and masking the real deficits. Most of the deficits under Obama are not due to “spending.” They’re due to lower tax revenue due to the recession and the ending of the SS/Medicare tax surplusses. Even if it were a good idea to selectively let the cuts expire, leaving the cuts in place for lower and middle income or delaying the expiration, there’s no politically viable way to do that. Letting all the cuts expire at once as scheduled is automatic, requiring no action by Congress. Picking and choosing or delaying would be passing a new tax law, and you would never get agreement among Republicans and Democrats.

  • Sandeep P.

    John W, you would get universal agreement by Republicans to pass a renewal of the 2001/2003 tax cuts. Only Democrats would oppose it.

    In 2007, Fed spending was $2.8T and Fed revenue was $2.7T. In 2010, Fed revenue is $2.1T and Fed spending is $3.7T. See any disconnect? The GDP has stayed flat the past 3 years, but Federal spending has gone up $1T.

    During the past decade,the national debt was 40% of the GDP. This year over 60%. The CBO projections with the changes done by this Congress show it rising to 180% by 2035.

    Even if you taxed everyone in this country 100%, you won’t be able to get enough money to satisfy the uncontrollable spending of this federal government.

  • John W

    Sandeep P.

    I agree. Republicans would, indeed, support renewal of the 2001/2003 tax cuts, although many would first argue for even greater cuts. Why do you suppose CBO shows debt growing as a share of GDP over both the short and long term? It’s not due to the $800 billion stimulus, which is the only material spending increase under Obama and is temporary. Nor is it due to health care. Accurately or not, the very CBO forecasts you have cited show health care reform contributing to a reduction in the deficit. The long-term problem reflected in the CBO numbers is the structural deficit. The 2001/2003 Bush tax cuts are no more sustainable than are the SS and Medicare scheduled entitlements. Both are major factors in the structural deficit. As for the 2007 numbers you cited, those were before the recession that didn’t start until late 2007, leading to the total meltdown in fall 2008. The 2007 apparent near-balanced budget was bogus, because of the massive surplusses in SS and Medicare payroll taxes being used to mask the real general fund deficit. Now, those two programs are cash negative, with general fund revenue being used to redeem the trust fund IOU’s. That would have occurred in any case, as CBO warned back in 2001 when the tax cuts were being considered. However, the recession has accelerated the draw down of the IOU’s.

  • What!!! These RINOs have lost it! At the same time Jerry “the Pelosi of Pleasanton” McNerney is smiling and shaking your hand at the VFW BBQ….he’s going back to DC and spending your children and grandchildren into a debt load that is designed to crush America so the Socialist can rebuild their Marxist “utopia” from the ashes.

    Wake up Patriots! McNerney and his ilk are attacking our constitution (that he swore to defend) and these veterans bled and died defending. He must be defeated! Join a TEA Party group ASAP and take your country back! Get involved in the David Harmer campaign to defeat McNerney. Take action!!