Legislative Lowdown: Obama out of the closet and into the unemployment line

Brian Darling Liberty Government Affairs
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So President Barack Obama has come out of the closet as a supporter of gay marriage. Finally, he is being honest about his support for destroying the sanctity of marriage.

Ryan Anderson made an excellent point at NRO when he wrote, “In all fifty states across the nation two people of the same sex can live together, have their religious community bless their union, and have their workplace offer them various joint benefits — if the religious communities and workplaces in question so desire.” What the left wants is to have states recognize same-sex relationships as marriages and force others, religious institutions and the state, to redefine a bedrock institution.

Obama opposed gay marriage during the last campaign, now he supports it. Will Republican, Independent and Democratic voters of the 31 states that have voted to reaffirm that marriage is between one woman and one man punish President Obama this fall?

Export-Import slush fund

The House passed legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank by a 330-93 vote. The legislation allows a government-sanctioned entity to put the taxpayers on the hook for $40 billion more in loans to foreign entities to buy products from government-approved American companies. This bank is a vehicle for corporate welfare and offensive to free-market capitalism.

Cheers to the patriots who opposed the idea, including Reps. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX), Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Allen West (R-FL), for standing up to crony capitalism. McClintock argued on the House floor that “this program dragoons American taxpayers into subsidizing loans to foreign companies, making it cheaper for them to buy products from politically favored American companies, which in turn use these products to compete against less-favored government companies.”

The Senate’s rubber stamp to authorize the Obama bank is a done deal. Tea party-minded voters should remember this cave-in this fall.

The myth of the Republican judicial filibuster

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) this week made the case that the idea that Republicans are engaging in “unprecedented filibustering” of Obama’s judicial nominees is a myth. Lee spoke at a Senate Judiciary Hearing and stated the fact that “judicial vacancies are down 20 percent from last year and are at the lowest level in nearly three years. The vast majority of current vacancies remain for one reason — President Obama simply has not nominated individuals for those judgeships.” He pointed out that the president has made only 29 nominations for 76 outstanding vacancies in the judicial branch.

Add to the mix that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has abused his powers by using a parliamentary procedure to block Republicans from offering amendments to bills — and it seems that the obstructionist in the Senate is Reid.

Law of the Sea Treaty

With Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) losing his primary, conservatives wonder if this will free up the defeated senator to push for the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) as early as later this month. The lobbying interests for LOST have hired former Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) to push Republican support for a treaty he formerly believed was an infringement on American sovereignty.

Sen. Lott said it well in 2007 when he argued that the treaty “will cede our national sovereignty — both militarily and economically.” The treaty will allow an international organization hostile to U.S. interests to govern the seas, tax American citizens and impair navigational rights.

The Obama administration is excited to have the help of Lott to pass what he formerly called the “U.N. on steroids.” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was quoted in CQ saying, “Seeing Trent Lott in the room, I feel a hell of a lot better about the chances for ratification.” It was a bad idea in 2007 — and a bad idea today.

Spending bills move in Congress

The appropriations bills are moving, and President Obama has already issued a veto threat on the $50 billion Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations measure over gun control. One issue mentioned in the Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) dated May 7, 2012 stated that “preventing the [Obama administration] from requiring licensed firearms dealers in four border States to report information on the sale of multiple rifles or shotguns to the same person would hamper efforts to address the problem of illegal gun trafficking along the Southwest Border and in Mexico.”

We now know that the Obama administration was selling guns to Mexican drug cartels as part of the Fast and Furious scandal. But no scandal will deter President Obama from trying to restrict Second Amendment rights for all Americans.

Brian Darling is Senior Fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).