Tue, 12 Jul 2005 20:04:45 +0000
Rather than just do the petition, I decided it was time to take action.
It is time to hold the President accountable. He promised the American people that he'd fire whoever leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent. Now that we know the leaker was, at least in part, Karl Rove; it is time for the President to keep his word.
I have started a campaign to send along our own pink slips to Karl Rove because the President refuses to do it himself. If the White House ends up knee deep in pink paper, perhaps the President will finally give Mr. Rove the legitimate pink slip he so greatly deserves.
Continued Reading in the Extended Entry. Imagine the attention we'd get if members of Congress and other concerned Americans delivered 100,000 pink slips to the White House. That would be a power image with an even more powerful message.
Karl Rove should be fired and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. There can be no gray area here. Regardless of how he phrased it, regardless of how much detail he provided; he revealed the identity of an undercover CIA agent. What Mr. Rove did is reprehensible. Putting the life of an undercover CIA agent in jeopardy cannot be tolerated. He clearly deserves his pink slip, and we're going to give it to him.
I hope you will join me by clicking the link below and sending along your own personalized pink slip to Karl Rove at the White House. President Bush must keep his word and fire Mr. Rove.
P.S. It is our goal to have 100,000 personalized pink slips for Mr. Rove in the next few days. Be sure to tell everyone you know about our effort. Together we can really shake things up at the White House.
Wed, 29 Jun 2005 00:46:46 +0000President Bush spoke tonight and his silence was deafening. If anyone was surprised... if anyone was shocked to see their Commander-In-Chief so divorced from reality, they really haven't been paying much attention. But day by day more Americans are seeing the light. Each day they see the news... More casualties. More wounded. Billions of dollars lost or wasted. Congress cutting off veterans benefits. New memos discovered detailing White House plans to invade Iraq using manipulated or manufactured evidence. The list goes on and on. http://www.IraqPhaseOut.com Its no surprise that more than 50% of Americans now believe they were lied to in the run to war. Its also no surprise that more than 50% of Americans no longer support the war in Iraq and want our troops home. The time has come for Congress to pass H.J.Res. 55 which calls on the President to develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq. So while we work hard to sign up more co-sponsors in the House for H.J.Res. 55 (become a citizen co-sponsor), we must also work hard to seek accountability for what has already happened in Iraq. During World War II, Harry Truman established what became known as the Truman Commission. The Commission consisted of a group of dedicated public servants who were committed to examining all financial and military transactions related to the war effort. Their work served to expose and eliminate any waste, mismanagement, or corruption which could have detracted from the effectiveness of Allied troops or the pockets of taxpayers. http://www.IraqAudit.com Today, we are deeply involved in another war. It is a different kind of war, one which has been divisive and has strained our nation and our Congress. Our reconstruction efforts in Iraq are saddled with blights – not by any fault of our troops, but by the refusal of our government to reign in and properly manage those in charge. Numerous private contractors were given huge contracts following the war to carry out a variety of tasks in Iraq – to rebuild its water and electrical grids for example – and billions of dollars have been earmarked to be spent on restarting Iraq’s economy and civil society. And yet, our Congress has never acted to ensure that the companies hired have been trustworthy, or that the billions and billions of dollars in reconstruction funds thus far spent have been used in responsible ways. No equivalent of the historic Truman commission has ever been created by our leaders. What has been the result? Sadly, it has been all too predictable. In 2004, the American public became aware that Halliburton – the company with perhaps more ties to the White House than any other and a recipient of billions of dollars worth of reconstruction contracts – had been overcharging the Army for gasoline, inflating its profits at the expense of our troops. Then, earlier this year, the Special Inspector General for the Iraqi Reconstruction released a study stating that nothing less than $9 billion dollars in reconstruction money – nearly 5 percent of the total amount of money spent on the War – could not be accounted for. And just last month, new reports revealed that approximately $100 million theoretically spent on small yet vital building projects between 2003 and 2004 has simply disappeared, most likely into a black hole of unchecked fraud and incompetence. Every dollar which is lost in Iraq is a dollar which could have been used to stabilize the country and protect out troops. It is a dollar which could have been used to help our soldiers to complete their mission so that they can come home sooner. Indeed, every dollar wasted is a dollar spent fighting against, rather than for, our men and women in uniform. Long recognizing that massive gaps in accountability exist regarding the reconstruction effort, I and my Democratic colleagues have on numerous occasions called for the creation of a modern-day Truman Commission, a body tasked with monitoring post-war U.S. government activities in Iraq and making s[...]
Tue, 28 Jun 2005 04:49:43 +0000
I realize it is late but I wanted to get this out to the blogs and grassroots as soon as possible. As some of you may know I serve as the Ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee... well tonight Republicans on the committee (Chairman Dreier & Reps. Hastings of Washington, Capito, Cole, Bishop and Gingrey) voted against taking care of a serious budget shortfall that the Bush Administration recently announced has opened up in our country's veterans' health care system.
For those you that don't know, last week, the Bush Administration acknowledged that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs another one billion dollars this year to cover the health care needs of our country's veterans, including approximately 86,000 new Iraq and Afghanistan vets.
All major veterans' groups, including the American Legion, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Disabled American Veterans, condemned this billion-dollar shortfall and predicted it could seriously harm the quality and availability of veterans' health care.
In response to this announcement, Texas Congressman Chet Edwards, the top Democratic Member on the House Subcommittee on Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs, offered an amendment to immediately address this shortfall, so no veteran would lose access to her or his needed health care. Invoking a special wartime budget wartime authority, Edwards proposed adding the money to H.R. 3057, the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that we will be passing later this week.
Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues (Chairman Dreier & Reps. Hastings of Washington, Capito, Cole, Bishop, Gingrey) on the Rules Committee opposed giving Congressman Edwards the procedural waiver his amendment needed so that it could be debated and quickly passed. The Republicans I just mentioned voted along party lines to block the Edwards Amendment and effectively killed his attempt to immediately address the terrible budget shortfall the VA is facing.
I'm sure you'll agree with me that standing up for our veterans is not a Democratic or a Republican issue. It's about keeping the solemn promise we make to the men and women who go to war to defend our freedoms. We promise them we'll take care of them if they come home injured in their minds or bodies. It is unconscionable to me that we would go back on this promise while our country is at war.
Don't let this horrible event be swept under the rug. Grab your mouse & keyboard and get to work... spread the word and see if we can start another brushfire from the blogs.
P.S. Don't forget to join my call (4,500 and counting) for an Audit in Iraq at: www.IraqAudit.com
Sun, 19 Jun 2005 09:12:15 +0000
During World War II, Harry Truman established what became known as the Truman Commission which consisted of a group of dedicated public servants who were committed to examining all financial and military transactions related to the war effort. Their work served to expose and eliminate any waste, mismanagement, or corruption which put our troops in harms way.
To date $9 billion, and counting, has been lost or wasted in Iraq. I’m demanding that Congress create a Truman Commission to audit all financial & military transactions related to the war so we can finally get to the bottom of this horrible situation.
Please join my call for accountability in Iraq by signing the petition at:
Mon, 09 May 2005 19:56:04 +0000
I just wanted to make sure everyone here knows that tomorrow Rep. Conyers and I will participating in an online chat for the DCCC. Be sure to stop by and ask any questions you may have... you can also just hang out and watch the chat if you can't think of anything to say. Be sure to tell your friends, this is my first online chat and I'm very excited about it. I've included more information in the extended entry.
This was sent out via email by the DCCC:
I am thrilled to invite you to participate in an online conversation with two of our great Democratic leaders in the House: Representative John Conyers of Michigan and Representative Louise Slaughter of New York. My greatest motivation in coming on as Executive Director here at the DCCC was that I would get to work on behalf of a Democratic caucus that fights tirelessly in defense of the American people and our cherished values. No Democratic Members personify this better than the two who have volunteered to chat with you.
Join Congressman Conyers and Congresswoman Slaughter this Tuesday, May 10th at 3:00pm ET for the chat on our satellite site:
You may already know these two champions of the middle class and the less fortunate, but allow me to introduce them anyway.
Rep. John Conyers has been one of the House's most tenacious advocates on election reform, civil rights, civil liberties, and US policy towards detainees at home and abroad. In short, every time George Bush and Tom DeLay have tried to chip away at the principles that make America great, they have run smack into John Conyers - ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Louise Slaughter has been just as fierce in defense of our democracy. As ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, she has exposed the Republicans' egregious abuse of power with a definitive report, "Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy." She also took a leading role in forcing the Republicans to reverse themselves on the gutting of the Ethics Committee, a crucial victory for good government. Her work exposing the faux-reporter, "Jeff Gannon," in the White House press corps was part of a long career working on media fairness, and she is a founding Member of the new "Future of the American Media" Caucus.
They'll be here at the DCCC, answering whatever important questions you submit. If you're not feeling inquisitive, log on anyway and see what they have to say - I'm sure they won't disappoint. It's an honor for us to host them, and I hope you'll join us on Tuesday.
Executive Director, DCCC
Thu, 14 Apr 2005 22:53:50 +0000
This is a release put out by my staff this afternoon... enjoy.
DeLay Misrepresents the Facts...Again
Democrats Voted Against 1997 Ethics Bill because of DeLay Supported Amendments which Weakened Ethics Rules
Washington, DC - On the Floor today, DeLay accused Cardin and Hoyer of voting against the 1997 Ethics package. In fact, most Democrats (147) did vote against final passage. However, that was not because they opposed the Task Force Product, as DeLay incorrectly suggested, but rather because of an amendment that was adopted on the House Floor that was at odds with the Task Force bill, an amendment designed to weaken the ethics rules by prohibiting outside groups from filing ethics complaints against Members of Congress. It should come as no surprise that Mr. DeLay supported that amendment. This is an explanation of what actually happened in 1997:
The Members of the Bipartisan Task Force on Ethics passed, on a nearly unanimous basis, a package of ethics reforms that were then referred to the Rules Committee for eventual Floor consideration. An agreement was reached by the Task Force that no amendments would be allowed to this package unless both the Task Force Chairman Livingston and Co-Chair Cardin agreed on allowing the amendments (This agreement is noted in the Congressional Record, September 18, 1997 H7538).
However, the Rules Committee made in order several amendments that were not agreed to by Mr. Cardin. One of those amendments, which was adopted on the Floor, prohibited outside groups from filing ethics complaints. The original Task Force recommendation, after considerable deliberation and debate, provided for the filing of outside complaints. That is why all but one Democratic member of the Task Force ultimately voted against final passage. In the motion to recommit (see below), Mr. Cardin sought to return the final ethics package back to the one originally reported by the Task Force (with the mutually agreed to manager's amendment). The vote on the motion to recommit was the real vote on the Ethics Task Force recommendations (all Democrats on the Task Force and all but 20 Democrats voted for the motion to recommit- Roll Call Vote # 412).
Congressional Record of September 18, 1997-page H7571:
Mr. CARDIN. Mr. Speaker, the motion to recommit will return the rule to the original resolution approved by the bipartisan task force. It would include the manager's amendment, but none of the other amendments. It will give this House a chance to vote on the rules package that was approved in a bipartisan manner.
Mr. Speaker, this will be the last opportunity that this House will have to reform the ethics process in a bipartisan manner. We have had a good debate on the floor. I think the issues have been well debated. I would hope that in the end the Members of this House would understand that it is not in our interests to amend the rules when the amendments are being passed by such a lopsided, partisan majority. That does not further the process. Ethics changes should be worked out in a bipartisan manner.
There is a lot of good in this resolution. The original report is what should be approved by this House. I would urge my colleagues to support the motion to recommit so that we can pass a bipartisan change in our rules package.
Sat, 26 Mar 2005 00:56:53 +0000Sorry for posting twice in one day but this very important issue was just brought to my attention and I felt the need to respond and inform everyone here about this startling turn of events. - LMS Pentagon Announces "No Action" On Sexual Assault Problem at Air Force AcademyPentagon to Congress: Issue Too Complex/Tradeoffs NecessaryRep. Slaughter Outraged Over AnnouncementWashington, DC - The following are excerpts from a response letter released yesterday by Acting Secretary of the Air Force Mr. Peter Teets: "The Acting Secretary of the Air Force has reviewed the Department of Defense Inspector General's (DoD/IG's) report and the Fowler report on sexual assault problems at the AF Academy. After considering all the facts and weighing all the interests at stake, the Acting Secretary found that no administrative action is warranted against those officers identified in those reports as bearing some responsibility for Academy's sexual assault problems. The Acting Secretary gave significant weight to their uniformly excellent and lengthy service and to the fact they were not intentionally or willfully derelict in their duties. He also found that any mistakes or misjudgments some of them may have made are mitigated by the complexity of the issues faced, the necessity of policy tradeoffs and compromises, and the difficulty of measuring program effectiveness." Congresswoman Slaughter reacted to the announcement by making the following statement: "It is reprehensible that the rights of sexual assault victims are so easily sidelined by the Pentagon as `too complex' to address. This is the kind of `head in the sand' approach we would have expected from the military in the 1950's; in 2005 it is an abomination. Where is the accountability?" "What the Pentagon clearly doesn't want to discuss, and what all Americans should know, is that women are being sexually assaulted on an ongoing basis in the military and at our nation's military academies by their colleagues. Action must be taken. Until the Pentagon insists on accountability, there can be no real change and as a result, our women in uniform will continue to suffer. Is this the best we can do for young Americans who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom?" According to a November 2003 article in The Denver Post: "Leniency toward sexual-assault crimes is routine. Over the past 10 years, twice as many accused Army sex offenders were given administrative punishment as were court-martialed. In the civilian world, four of five people arrested for rape are prosecuted. Nearly 5,000 accused sex offenders in the military, including rapists, have avoided prosecution, and the possibility of prison time, since 1992, according to Army records." Background: Congresswoman Slaughter has been an outspoken advocate for changes in the military's draconian, almost nonexistent policies toward sexual assault within its ranks and at the academies. In March 2003, Rep. Slaughter sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force James Roche calling for a meeting to discuss the topic of sexual assault in the Air Force Academy and how to solve this problem. In the same month, she asked the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee encouraging the committee to conduct a full investigation of sexual assault of women at the U.S. Air Force Academy. In recent years, Rep. Slaughter and the Women's Caucus have made significant progress in drawing national attention to the problem of sexual assault of women in the armed services, which was a primary focus of the caucus during the 108th Congress. In March 2004, the Congresswoman led a hearing on this issue and presented a report containing the transcript of the hearing to U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Following the hearing, on May 2004, the U.S. House unanimously passed an amendment championed by Rep. Slaughter that would[...]
Fri, 25 Mar 2005 21:20:02 +0000I wanted to make sure everyone here at Democrats.com was aware of this important piece of legislation I am co-sponsoring. If passed and signed into law the "Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act" could very well protect each and every one of us in the years to come. Please take a moment to read my recent press release on the issue and this recent story from UPI. This issue, while not politically hot right now, should be closely followed by all privacy rights advocates and I hope you will follow the issue closely as a blog community. -LMS UPI News 03/24/05:Genetic Testing Spurs Orwellian Fears PRESS RELEASERep. Slaughter Introduces Genetic Information Non Discrimination Act Washington, DC - Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, today, with a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress introduced legislation which seeks to prohibit improper use of genetic information for workforce and insurance decisions. The Genetic Information Non Discrimination Act will protect genetic information to encourage both the public and scientific communities to take full advantage of the important opportunities genetics offer in revolutionizing quality health care in our nation. The bill, identical to S. 306 which passed the Senate by a vote of 98-0 in February, was introduced by Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Bob Ney (R-OH), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and includes a strong group of 30 bipartisan cosponsors. "For nearly a decade, I have championed this legislation because the American people have a right to expect that when they make the decision to undergo genetic testing, their private genetic information will be protected from abuse," Rep. Slaughter said. "Two Presidents, Two Senates, and legions of Americans have endorsed this bill. Its time for the House to act," she added. Rep. Slaughter, a microbiologist with a Master's Degree in Public Health, has led the fight in the House to pass legislation to ban genetic discrimination since 1995. In the last Congress, Rep. Slaughter's bill, H.R. 1910, the Genetics Information Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act, had 242 bipartisan co-sponsors and was supported by over 300 organizations. Last year, the House Republican leadership refused to bring the measure up for a vote, despite passage by the Senate and a strong statement of support by President Bush. "In Congress after Congress, the Republican leadership has stood in the way of this very important anti-discrimination law," said Rep. Slaughter. "We cannot allow the Republican leadership to hold this legislation hostage any longer. Americans need to know that they can make the pro-active decision to undergo genetic testing without fear of losing their job or their health insurance," she continued. One of the most significant scientific accomplishments in history has been sequencing the human genetic code - a breakthrough that is already transforming the battle against a broad range of medical conditions. As a result, scientists have identified genetic markers for a variety of chronic health conditions and this increases the potential for early treatment and prevention. Genetic testing can improve lives by providing information on how to avoid future health problems, and cope more effectively with conditions and associated costs. The development and utilization of genetic information will also result in a maturation of the personalized medicine market, with American companies in the molecular testing market predicted to generate $4.2 billion in revenues by 2006. Unfortunately, the ability to predict disease through genetic testing and family history opens the door for discrimination, particularly in the employment and health insurance industries. Such a threat has deterred the public and science from taking full advantage of the important opportunities which genetic inf[...]