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  • Democrats Rescind Recovery Act Funding to Finance More Ineffective Spending

    Conservatives began talking about rescinding the stimulus after President Obama signed it into law. Liberals are starting to listen.

    House Democrats approved an amendment to the Afghanistan and Iraq war supplemental yesterday, 239 to 182, that cuts more than $1.6 billion originally allocated for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (complete list below). Among the notable rescissions: $487 million from the government’s nutrition program for low-income women and children, known as WIC.

    A statement from Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) says the rescissions come from programs that “no longer require the funding, have sufficient funds on hand, or do not need the funding this year or next.”

    The cuts appear to be a tacit admission by tax-and-spend liberals of the stimulus’ failure. Two weeks ago a Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll revealed that 60 percent of Americans said the Recovery Act has not helped the job situation. Today’s jobs report didn’t improve the outlook. The U.S. economy has lost 2.3 million jobs since Obama signed the stimulus.

    Still, the Democrats’ rescissions come as a bit of a surprise given the Obama administration’s recent push to shore up support for the stimulus with its so-called “Summer of Recovery.”

    They also come with a catch. The cuts were included in the bill, along with $3 billion in defense rescissions, as offsets to pay for new government spending on a $10 billion bailout for teachers among other liberal priorities. Obey would’ve been better off using the rescissions to pay down the deficit rather than financing more ineffective “stimulus” spending.

    There’s at least one rescission that raises a red flag: $7 million in cuts to the Coast Guard, the agency overseeing the Gulf oil spill cleanup. Just two weeks ago at a House hearing, Democrats lamented a lack of Coast Guard funding as they suggested new responsibilities for the agency. Obama already proposed crippling cuts to the Coast Guard in his budget this year.

    The money was originally earmarked for the Coast Guard in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But even if it wasn’t needed for post-Katrina construction, perhaps that $7 million could have been transferred for another use by the Coast Guard.


    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Democrats Rescind Recovery Act Funding to Finance More Ineffective Spending

    1. Tommy Reid, Chattano says:

      The Police and Fire Collective Bargaining Bill is a good thing for public safety officers and the people they are sworn to protect. Solidarity Forever!

    2. Jim Summers Atlanta, says:

      As we have been ramping up our efforts to push the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (S. 3194) through the Senate within the next couple of weeks, we have seen and heard misleading and often blatantly wrong facts about the bill being produced by our opponents. Most of these ads, articles and letters claim that the bill would create a “one-size-fit-all” federal labor relations law that takes away states rights, that it would be detrimental to national security, it will bankrupt state and local governments already struggling with budget crises, and finally, the most preposterous fabrication, that under this bill “union-bosses” would be running the local police and fire departments.

      IBPO is working to dispel these rumors and ensure that members of Congress know the truth. We know that public safety is best protected through effective partnerships between the first responders on the front lines and the agencies that employ them. We also know that the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act simply establishes a basic framework for states to use to grant first responders the right to sit down and talk with their employers regarding wages, hours and safe working conditions.

      The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act will guarantee the right of public safety officers to form and join a union, if they choose to, and bargain collectively over hours, wages and working conditions. State right-to-work laws are explicitly protected under this legislation. As we know, public safety collective bargaining and right-to-work CAN coexist. For example, fire fighters and police officers currently enjoy collective bargaining rights in right-to-work states such as Florida, Oklahoma and Idaho.

      The legislation outlaws strikes and does not call for mandatory arbitration. Chiefs, sheriffs and state and local governments will not be forced to accept contract provisions they cannot afford. Additionally, states are given maximum flexibility to craft their own public safety collective bargaining laws, allowing them to tailor their law to meet the needs of their state and local public safety officers and the agencies they serve. The bill even goes as far as to assure that states do not have to bargain over pensions. In fact, many states that currently allow public safety collective bargaining do not allow bargaining over pensions.

      The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act exempts all states with a state collective bargaining law for public safety equal to or greater than the bill’s basic minimum standards. The bill presumes that existing state laws are in compliance with the federal standards established by this Act unless the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) affirmatively finds they are not. The FLRA can only evaluate state laws based on the minimum standards of the bill and nothing else – the FLRA cannot create new requirements and then impose them on states. To further protect state laws, the bill states that the FLRA, when deciding whether a law complies with the Act, must give maximum weight to an agreement between management and labor that a state law complies with the Act.

      IBPO hopes that lawmakers hear and recognize the truth about this important legislation and are not swayed by the deceptive tales of opponents of the bill. State and local public safety officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect our nation and its communities. The least we can do is grant them the basic American right to sit down with their employer and discuss how best to do their jobs.

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