In Jan. 29 IssueBy Kathy Foley, Columnist
Jobs, jobs, jobs-the new Republican House Leadership made it very clear what their top priority would be in the new 112th Congress-J-O-B-S-Jobs. They made it clear after the election on November 18th when the new leaders-to-be held a press conference.
Speaker Designate (at the time) John Boehner began by saying, "Republicans have made a pledge to America to listen to the American people and a pledge to focus on their priorities, and that's exactly what we are going to do. We are going to focus on creating jobs, cutting spending and reforming the way Congress does its business. We are going to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable Federal Government here in Washington, D.C."
He was followed by Republican Leader, Eric Cantor, "We are going to be a results driven Congress. Job one is for us to cut Federal spending and to remove the uncertainty that has been hampering job creation over the last several years in this country."
Followed by Republican Whip, Kevin McCarthy, "…And you will find that our whole focus will be about job creation, reducing spending, and, more importantly, changing the reform of Congress itself."
Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling said, "The American people spoke loudly on election day. They said, we want more jobs. We want less spending. We want a Federal Government that is less intrusive and more accountable. And more importantly, they said, we want to save the American dream, an American dream where our children can still have greater opportunities and a brighter future than we have had."
Freshman Representative-Elect Kristi Noem did not mention the word "jobs" in her comments, but she did say, "…So we ran campaigns and asked the American people not to just listen to what we said, but watch what we do when you elect us. We plan to deliver results."
All that sounded good to me. So I'm watching and I'm listening. So far, of course, we know that their first act was to repeal the Health Care Reform bill passed in 2010. Unfortunately, the only thing that this act had to do with creating jobs was by inserting the words "job killing" in its title. All the experts, including and especially the non-partisan experts, agree that the Health Care Reform Act passed last year will cut the deficit and repealing it would increase the deficit. And even the Republicans agree that the best way to create jobs is by cutting the deficit. Therefore, if a grade was to be given in terms of them living up to their promise that their first priority would be jobs-it would have to be an "F" on this first action.
Well, maybe they will make J.O.B.S. their second priority…no, hold on…the next pressing item on their agenda is a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ), "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" introduced on January 20th. One might wonder what this bill has to do with jobs…me, too. One might also wonder why we need another bill that prohibits federal funding of abortions when we already have one-The Hyde Amendment, which has been in place in one form or another since 1976 and was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1980. Presently, it prohibits federal funding of abortions excepting only when the life of the mother is at stake or in the cases of rape and incest. This new bill to prohibit by law what is already prohibited by law would go quite a bit further though by eliminating the ability to claim the cost of your own private medical insurance premiums on your tax returns if that policy contains a provision covering abortions.
This would effectively eliminate private insurance companies from covering abortions because no one would want to buy them if they were going to be penalized in that way.
In addition, we learned this week that our new Senator, Rand Paul, is going to take his first major action in the Senate by co-sponsoring the Life at Conception Act, which would overturn Roe v. Wade by declaring a fetus at the moment of conception a person. Paul apparently wants the federal government to monitor every single pregnancy in the United States to make sure it results in a live birth. I have more than just a few issues with this. I guess it would create jobs, though. I mean, just think how many investigators, prosecutors and staff it would take to do all this monitoring and enforcing. But then, how would we cut federal spending by adding all these new jobs to the government payroll? My real question for Rand Paul, though, is how do you square this with your claim that you are in favor of a less invasive and intrusive government? The way I see it, you can't get any more invasive than this.
I've always had an issue with the "pro-life" label that those who want to dictate what women can and can't do with their bodies like to call themselves. It pre-supposes that those of us who believe that the issue is really about privacy and personal choice are "anti-life." We are not.
We do not advocate abortion. We simply believe that such a decision is and should be between a woman and her God; and her husband if she is married or her parents if she is a minor. The government should stay out of it along with self-righteous religious zealots who think they have some sort of moral obligation to tell the rest of the world how to live. (We've all heard of the "pro-life" fanatics who murder to get their point across-how does THAT work????)
But, I digress. The issue is jobs-J-O-B-S, jobs-or, is it really?