Steven J. DuBord
The Senate on December 13 passed a mammoth omnibus spending bill variously described as costing $447 billion or $1.1 trillion, depending on whether "mandatory" spending for programs such as Medicare and Social Security were included in the tabulation. The Senate vote completed congressional action, sending the legislation to the President for his signature. Dozens of federal agencies received average budget increases of 10 percent.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) stated on December 11 that the federal government must borrow at least $1.8 trillion more in 2010 if the United States is to avoid defaulting on its debts. This would be over and above the current $12.1 trillion national debt limit.
Librarians are virtually united in opposing the renewal of the Patriot Act provisions that are set to expire this December 31, 2009. Thirty-two state chapters of the American Library Association (ALA) have passed resolutions calling for Congress to allow Section 215 of the act to expire.
Three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire this New Year’s Eve. They granted the federal government wide-ranging powers of surveillance and seizure with few limitations.
Led by the Democratic majority, the U.S. Senate on November 19 confirmed President Barack Obama’s long-stalled first judicial nominee. By a vote of 59-39, the Senate approved Obama’s choice of U.S. District Judge David Hamliton for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Chicago.
A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 286 illegal immigrants with criminal records during a three-day operation in California. It was the largest crackdown of this kind ever carried out by federal authorities.
A Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled on December 8 that an illegal immigrant who was injured on the job at Cargill Meat Solutions in Schuyler, Nebraska, is entitled to worker compensation.
President Barack Obama on June 19 attended the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and used the occasion to reaffirm his commitment to changing the nation’s immigration laws. The appearance also served as a lead-in to next week’s scheduled gathering of legislators at the White House to discuss immigration changes. Having decided against speaking at the National Day of Prayer ceremony in May, the president’s selective attendance may indicate the bloc of voters he is most interested in courting.
The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG) published online in September 2009 a pro-abortion article entitled: “An ethically justified practical approach to offering, recommending, performing, and referring for induced abortion and feticide.”