Gary Ackerman

Congressional Members Leaving Who Will Be Missed, And Those Who Will NOT Be Missed!

As the lame duck session of the 112th Congress finishes its last weeks, one can reflect on some of the members who will not be returning, some because of defeat, and others because of retirement or resignation.

Some of these members made major contributions and will be missed, including:

Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine
Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut
Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin
Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts
Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio
Congressman Gary Ackerman of New York
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley of Nevada

Among those leaving who will NOT be missed are:

Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona
Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas
Congressman Allen West of Florida
Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois
Congressman Ben Quayle of Arizona

Altogether, 47 members were defeated; 35 members are retiring; and 11 members have resigned, including just today, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr, who has serious mental illness complications.

A grand total of 93 members will have left by the end of the year, which means about one out of six members in 2013 will be brand new in Congress.

The Bernie Sanders Filibuster Against The Obama-GOP Tax Deal: An Honest Expression Of Frustration, But Not Ultimately A Winning Strategy! :(

As the author writes, Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is conducting a filibuster against the tax deal negotiated by the Obama Administration with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Minority Leader, and others.

In an unprecedented move, Congressional Democrats are staging a revolt against what their own party’s President has done, and the anger and venom felt by many progressives and liberals seems to have no limit.

They feel that the President has surrendered to the GOP, and that the tax deal is unacceptable, but the Republicans are “holding hostage’ all action on other issues, and already have prevented a final vote on the DREAM Act, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the START Treaty, and the September 11 First Responders Medical legislation.

As the author has stated before, there are many problems with the proposed tax legislation, but continues to feel that the shortness of time prevents a major rebellion against the proposal, as if it is not done, unemployment compensation extension will be prevented, along with failure on the above list of priorities.

So while the author is sympathetic to what Senator Sanders is doing, and what Chuck Schumer, Anthony Wiener, Gary Ackerman, Jerrold Nadler, Mary Landrieu, and numerous others in both houses of Congress are expressing, it seems an unwise action, and it is certainly unusual to see progressives and liberals utilizing the filibuster tactic!

Hopefully, some tinkering with the legislation can be arranged, but major change will have to wait for the election results of 2012. Meanwhile, President Obama is meeting today with former President Bill Clinton to gain advice as to how to deal with this messy situation, similar to what Clinton faced after the disastrous midterm losses of 1994.