I participated in a Tele-Townhall provided by Minnesota 6th CD Representative, Michelle Bachmann. Yes, THAT Michelle Bachmann. Can you turn on any Fox program and not see Michelle on it?
Representative Bachmann took questions from call participants during the townhall. One of the questioners asked what the mood in D.C. was regarding the tea parties. Representative Bachmann noted that there were over 2,000 tea parties across the U.S. She said that folk in Washington had clearly noticed but she wasn’t sure whether the events were going to change the spending behavior of Congress. As proof of her concern, she offered the following two bills.
This bill provides $25 million over 5 years to foreign countries:
To assist in the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons and organizations with expertise in crane conservation, financial resources for the conservation programs of countries the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes and the ecosystems of cranes.
The other bill is:
This bill spends $25 million over 5 years in foreign countries:
To assist in the conservation of rare felids and rare canids by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of nations within the range of rare felid and rare canid populations and projects of persons with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations.
No, you didn’t misread this. The House has voted to spend $10 million each year to take care of other country’s cranes, cats and dogs. How nice!
Earlier this week, President Obama made a big to do out of calling for his cabinet to find $100 million of budget cuts. When challenged about the laughable size of the cuts, the ever funny White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said:
“He knows and the American people know that continuing to run up deficits … and to continue to have those expand year after year after year is unsustainable. Despite much derision, that’s why the president is seeking cuts both large and small. That’s why the president has undertaken greater transparency as it relates to spending and the stimulus and I think the president overall wants to give the American people assurance that the government can use the money from them wisely.” (emphasis mine)
Wisely! To be fair, these bills have not been passed by the Senate nor signed by the President. I’ll be following them to see what does happen to them. Regardless, if paying for other country’s dogs and cats is using the American people’s money wisely, at least according to the House supported by over 50 Republicans, than it’s apparent that the message of the tea parties has not yet crossed inside of the Washington beltway!