Friday, July 9, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us

H.R. 4899 is the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010, It originally passed the House March 24th on roll call 186, Lynn Jenkins voted no, and was sent to the Senate. It passed the Senate with an Amendment on May 27th in record vote number 176, with the margin being 67 to 82, Senators Brownback and Roberts voting against the measure.

There ended up being 5 separate Amendments to H.R. 4899, the question on the Amendment being divided into 5 votes. The first part of the Amendment was agreed to in a "deem passed" inclusion into the Rule permitting the House to consider the bill. That rule was H. Res. 1500 which passed the House with a margin of 215 to 210 on roll call vote 428. Lynn Jenkins voted no.

Following is a Summary of the Amendments from the Rules Committee. See,

The amendment pays for settlement of the Cobell v. Salazar and Pigford v. Vilsack class action lawsuits. Second, the amendment will allow local Workforce Investment Boards to expand summer jobs programs that were funded in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and support over 350,000 jobs for youth ages 14 to 24 through summer employment programs. The amendment would make two changes to title IV, the “Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010,” of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. First, it would distribute the Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) and National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement (National Corridor) program funding so that each State receives a share equal to the greater of either (1) the amount of PNRS and National Corridor program funding that the State received under the HIRE Act or (2) the amount of PNRS and National Corridor funding that the State receives under this Act. The provision authorizes such sums as may be necessary from the Highway Trust Fund to provide these amounts. Second, the amendment would distribute “additional” highway formula funds (which the bill makes available in lieu of additional congressionally-designated projects) among all of the highway formula programs rather than among just six formula programs. Third, the amendment incorporates the President’s 2011 Budget proposal to require a minimum 10-year term for Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts. It also would require that the value of the remainder interest must be greater than zero and that the annuity not decrease during the first 10 years of the GRAT term. Finally, in 2008, Congress enacted a $1.01 per gallon tax credit for the production of biofuel from cellulosic feedstocks in order to encourage the development of new production capacity for biofuels that are not derived from food source materials. This provision would limit eligibility for the tax credit to fuels that are not highly corrosive.

Cobell v. Salazar is a class action lawsuit brought against the United States by Native American representatives alleging massive mismanagement of funds held in trust by the government for American Indians. 

Pigford v. Vilsack is a case which the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the parties to settle.  Essentially the case is now about attorneys fees. The original issue in Pigford dealt with racial discrimination against Black farmers by the USDA's farm loan program. Pigford was a class action lawsuit, which proceeded to arbitration, in short Pigford  had some successful claims and some unsuccessful claims.  The Court ruled that separate claims need to be treated, for attorneys fees purposes, as separate trials and that the legal and factual claims need be sufficiently interrelated for fees to be awarded on the unsuccessful claims.

A Grantor-Retained Annuity Trust [GRAT] is a financial mechanism commonly employed to make large gifts to family members without the receipient having to pay gift taxes.   In a GRAT the person making the gift gets to hold onto the property for a term of years.  This allows the grantor to retain a qualified interest that is equal to the property transferred, resulting in a gift valuation of zero to the remainder-interest parties, the receipients. The hope is that there will be an upswing in the market, allowing the receipients to take home excess returns (above the annuity returns to the grantor) without the imposition of a gift tax. This provisions mandates a term of at least 10 years.

Cellulosic biofuel is ethanol made from wood, grasses, or the nonedible parts of plants. This is an important new Green Source of fuel.

Lynn Jenkins voted against summer jobs and against Kansas getting money for highways!

The amendment adds $10 billion for an Education Jobs Fund, $4.95 billion for Pell Grants, $701 million for border security, $180 million for innovative technology energy loans, $163 million for schools on military installations, $142 million in additional Gulf Coast oil spill funding, $50 million in emergency food assistance, and $16.5 million to build a new soldier processing center at Fort Hood. In order to hold the total amount to the President’s requested level over a ten-year period, the amendment includes $11.7 billion in rescissions from programs that no longer require the funding, have sufficient funds on hand, or do not need the funding this year or next, and $4.7 billion in savings from changes to mandatory programs. In total, the amendment saves the Federal Government $493 million over ten years compared to the President’s request. The amendment also provides $538 million for program integrity investments that are proven to produce 1½ times that in savings.

Lynn Jenkins voted against Education, against cleaning up the Gulf Oil Spill, against Emergency Food Assistance, against a new Soldier Processing Center, against NOT SPENDING $11.7 BILLION, against SAVING $4.7 BILLION, against SAVING $493 MILLION over the next decade, and against $807 MILLION in future savings through program integrity.

Spill Baby Spill - Don't Count on Lynn Jenkins to help clean up the mess

Amendment 2 passed with a margin of 239 to 182 on roll call vote 430. Lynn Jenkins voted no.

The amendment would strike military funding for Afghanistan from the bill.

Amendment 3 failed to pass by a margin of 25 to 276 on roll call 431. Lynn Jenkins voted with the majority.

The amendment would begin to end the war in Afghanistan by preventing an escalation of troops in Afghanistan and by limiting funding to the safe withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Amendment 4 failed to pass by a margin of 100 to 321. Lynn Jenkins voted with the majority.

The amendment would require the president to present Congress with 1) a new National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan by January 31, 2011 and 2) a plan by April 4, 2011 on the safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, including a timeframe for the completion of the redeployment. The amendment also requires Congress to vote by July 2011 if it wants to allow the obligation and expenditure of funds for Afghanistan in a manner that is not consistent with the president's announced policy of December 2009 to begin to drawdown troops by July 2011. The amendment also requires quarterly reports to Congress on the status of the plan submitted to Congress and strengthens and expands oversight of private contractors in Afghanistan to deal more effectively with corruption, waste, fraud and abuse. Last, the amendment clarifies that no part of the amendment shall limit the president's ability to attack al Qaeda, gather and share intelligence with allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or modify U.S. military strategy on-the-ground over the period of redeployment.

Amendment 5 failed by a vote of 162 to 260 on roll call 433. Lynn Jenkins voted with the majority.
Amendments 3, 4, and 5 indicate that the Congress wants to put an end to the Middle East Wars Without End in general, and America's longest ever war, the one in Afghanistan in particular. These three Amendments are an opening volley in the Presidential campaign of 2012. It is interesting to note that the two Members of Congress who consistently vote for less spending, Republicans Ron Paul of Texas and Jeff Flake of Arizona split on these votes. Paul was with the minority and Flake with the majority on Amendments 3, 4, and 5. 

It is also interesting to note that Lynn Jenkins voted against spending the money for our troops in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, then voted to keep the money in.  Well ain't she good at having her cake and eating it too!

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