Tim Johnson

The Courage Of Pro NRA Senators Who Voted For The Universal Background Checks Bill

Attention has been paid to those Pro NRA Senators who refused to support the Universal Background Checks bill, and who now have suffered drops in public opinion polls in their states, including Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Nevada Senator Dean Heller, and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Not as much attention has been paid to the Senators of both parties who did not let their basically Pro NRA viewpoints stand in the way of common sense and reality.

These include:

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania
Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico
Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana
Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Senator Jon Tester of Montana
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
Senator Mark Warner of Virginia

And shame on Democratic Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Nick Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Max Baucus of Montana for voting against the Universal Background Checks, and a salute to Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Mark Kirk of Illinois, who joined Pat Toomey in support of the legislation!

US Senate Seniority And Age Declining: Good For America!

The US Senate has become a legislative body made up primarily of old people with long terms of service and seniority, but now the future looks bright, as we are seeing a wave of retirements by 2014.

The following Democratic Senators are retiring in 2014, who have had long years of service, and leadership of Senate committees:

Max Baucus of Montana, 30 years
Carl Levin of Michigan, 30 years
Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, 30 years
Tom Harkin of Iowa, 24 years
Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, 24 years
Tim Johnson of South Dakota, 18 years

Lautenberg will be 90 when he leaves office: Levin will be 80; Rockefeller will be 77; Harkin will be 75; Baucus will be 73; and Johnson, who had a stroke a few years ago, will be 68!

Overall, 27 Senators range in age from 69 to 89; 34 Senators range in age from 59-68; 27 Senators range in age from 50-58; and only 12 Senators are in their 40s!

This age factor has made the US Senate an “old folks home”, as most Americans are starting to retire from full time work by the time they reach their early 60s!

There needs to be an age limit of some sort, as the nation needs Senators who are modern in their outlook, and flexible enough to be able to have an open mind on issues affecting the nation.

It will not happen, since it would have to be a constitutional amendment, but a limit of four terms (24 years) should be be adopted, and an age of retirement no later than 75, a full ten years more than nearly all Americans in the work world!

Gabrielle Giffords’ Congressional Seat: Should It Be Taken Away After Three Months? NO! :(

A controversy has developed about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Congressional seat, as there is an Arizona law that states that if a member of the legislature cannot serve for three calendar months, then the seat should be declared vacant, and an election held to replace that member.

It is only felt to affect state legislative seats, and not the US Congress, which has always been the judge of its own membership.

Even the suggestion that her seat be taken away from her after three months due to the long period of recovery from being shot in the head in Tucson is an outrage!

There have been many examples of members of Congress who had long recuperations from injuries or health crises and did not see their seat taken away.

A few examples are as follows:

Senator Lyndon B. Johnson took six months off after a severe heart attack in 1955.

Senator Ted Kennedy was in the hospital for months after a small plane accident in 1964.

Senator Joe Biden was out of commission for months while recuperating from brain surgery in 1987.

Senator Tim Johnson had a long recovery after suffering a massive stroke which paralyzed him for a period of time in the early part of the past decade.

Of course, Congresswoman Giffords would have to decide whether she could seek reelection in 2012, but in the meantime, the only thing that is lost is her vote, as her staff is well equipped to handle all constituent needs without her presence.

It would be unjust to strip her of her position in the present Congress after such a horrific attack.

If she chooses to leave, that is her own choice, and if she chooses not to run for reelection, that is also her choice, but she should not be pushed out.

And certainly outrageous would be to hold an election, which would likely lead to a Republican replacing her. If anything, a Democrat could be appointed to replace her without an election, so that the party victory is upheld.