We The People: Back to work?

Congress has returned to work after a long break and the people need action from their leaders. The national highway trust which provides funds for road repair and construction needs to be replenished. There is a need to reform immigration laws and procedures. We need effective national gun regulations to eliminate loopholes between state gun laws. There is a need to address support for the unemployed. Will the people continue to get lackluster performance from Congress, or will the leadership address real issues before rehashing election campaign issues?

Unfortunately, it is likely that John Boehner will continue his improper campaign to sue the president, which is a ruse to distract the Tea Party conservatives who have become the tail that wags the Republican party.

The idea that Congress could sue Mr. Obama for having the temerity to take action as president when Congress cannot is laughable. This non-issue will be kept alive until the next election cycle by the speaker. Mr. Boehner will unleash his attack dog, Trey Gowdy, [R-S. Carolina], chair of the committee empowered to continue the politically-motivated hunt for a Democrat to blame for the attack by Libyan rebels on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi in 2012.

The matter has been investigated by six committees but that is not enough for GOP members who know this will move focus away from the economy, taxes, immigration, gun regulation and campaign finance reform. The committee investigation threatens to diminish the tragedy that occurred to distract voters, especially conservative ones, from other issues.

Senator Rand Paul [R-Kentucky], a real contender to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2016, stated that he is opposed to an extension of unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. He stated any benefit should be “paid” for in the budget.

The idea that a program cannot be extended without corresponding revenue in the budget has never given Congress pause before. If Mr. Paul believes that the long-term unemployed are unworthy of support and that they should be forced to collect welfare, he should say that. The language that the extension must be “paid” for is a ploy to give the future presidential candidate something to talk about besides his disdain for the unemployed.

There are tens of thousands of children fleeing their homelands in Central America to come to the U.S., some for economic reasons but most due to the threat of violence from criminal gangs that murder, extort and brutalize young victims especially in Honduras and El Salvador.

Last year, 1,013 Hondurans under the age of 23 were murdered in the nation of eight million. President Obama has asked for funding to take care of the undocumented people entering Arizona and Texas. These people should be treated as refugees seeking protection from violence. While they should not be rewarded with legal status, they should not be turned back at the border without direction or assistance.

The INS could process the legitimate asylum claims of the entrants while they are held before repatriation, entrance or placement with another country. The suggestion that the children should be turned back at the border by the National Guard by Gov. Rick Perry [R-Texas] is a divisive waste of energy and time.

If Rand Paul called for a limitation or downward modification of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, that idea would have had some merit. If Rick Perry wanted to ensure that people who have violated immigration laws don’t get a free pass to enter the country, that would have been helpful. Congress should incorporate a clear and fair refugee law along with a reasonable procedure to apply for citizenship for the upstanding undocumented Americans as part of immigration law reform.

What is particularly unhelpful is the divisive clap trap from phony leaders like Sarah Palin who offered advice to John Boehner on his campaign to sue the president. She said he was bringing a “lawsuit to a gunfight.” She called for the impeachment of the president.

Perhaps the impeachment would be for … failing to drop the current undocumented entrants detained into the desert without water, allowing the Benghazi attack to happen or having the leadership to act when Congress refused. Ms. Palin was able to insinuate an approval of gun violence into her political advice.

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