Congress Passes FY 2011 Budget Accord

The House and Senate passed the compromise legislation to finance the Federal government for the balance FY 2011, with 59 House Republicans breaking ranks to vote against the deal. The overall vote in the House was 260-167. Eighty-one Democrats gave House Speaker John Boehner the votes needed for the bill's passage. 

In the Senate, the vote was 81-19, with dissenting votes mostly coming from more conservative Republicans. In the Senate, 48 Democrats, 32 Republicans and independent Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut voted in favor.

Vermont's Bernie Sanders voted no proving the dictum that politics does indeed make for odd bedfellows. Three Senate Democrats voted no: Ron Wyden of Oregon, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Carl Levin of Michigan. The deal struck by the White House, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cut $2 billion in funding for non-profit healthcare cooperatives which was intended to function as a weaker version of the public option. These were much championed by Senator Sanders. Also cut were Senator Wyden's provision that would have allowed low-income earners to opt out of employer-sponsored health insurance to purchase insurance on the new exchanges. Both measures were part of the healthcare cost containment focus in the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Rand Paul, Kentucky's libertarian Senator, despite threats to block the bill earlier in the week passed on filibustering the bill and instead allowed a quick vote following House passage a few hours earlier. Other Republicans voting no included Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill by tomorrow, but the debate in the nation's capital has already moved on to bigger spending battles, with a critical vote to raise the Federal debt limit, the FY12 budget and long-term deficit reduction all in play.

Twenty-eight out of the 87 freshman Republicans in the House voted no. A number of Tea Party backed freshmen said they were disappointed by the deal struck last week by House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the White House. Among the Republicans who voted no were Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan, Rep. Allen West of Florida, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Rep. Ben Quayle of Arizona, Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana and Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota. Huizenga, West and Quayle are freshmen. Paul and Bachmann are believed to hold Presidential aspirations while Mike Pence of Indiana is seen as possible Vice Presidential material.

The vote divided the Democratic leadership in the House with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi voting no but the Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland voted to support the measure.

More on this from the National Journal.

Living Two Lives For A Better Future

I often think I am living two distinct but separate lives.

Last Tuesday night, I celebrated our primary win with my phenomenal staff and tremendous volunteers, all committed to the success of our district.

Barely a day later, I was flying an AirBus 300 to Appleton, WS, for FedEx. Still working, I am now in the middle of a week of night flights.

Two very different lives, but connected by a powerful common thread… a commitment to a better future for my family, my friends, and for all the people in our district, our state and our country.

Even though it is exhausting at times, campaigning and working as a full-time airline captain give me a concrete idea of what all working families face.

It’s hard to balance job and family in good times. With the current economic crisis, the challenge is even harder -- how to keep paying the bills with reduced incomes, and in some cases no incomes at all.

That must change. We must bring good jobs to our district, improve our public education, and support our returning veterans.

As we continue on the path of this campaign, the challenges will continue to mount. But the importance of winning this race should not be understated. To bring jobs, good public education, and veteran support, we must have a loud and clear voice for working families in Congress.

Please join me in making sure that happens.

 

 

When We Work Together, We Can Accomplish Anything

 

When We Work Together, We Can Accomplish Anything from Jane Dyer on Vimeo.

Color guard photo:  Clemson University

 

College Graduation From A Mom’s Perspective…

As my husband John, my son Tony and I sat in the audience at the College of Charleston today, I started reliving some of my son Bill’s school days -- the announcement of the 5th Grade Science Award, the years of his academic achievement, and his amazing artistic accomplishments.

Of course, those were interspersed with a few episodes of not turning homework in, not answering all the questions on an exam, and an occasional exclamation of how irrelevant the material is to real life.

So, when our son walked across the stage to receive his Bachelors of Science Degree in Anthropology with a minor in French, I felt the pride any parent would feel. What an accomplishment!

Education in South Carolina sees thousands of success stories every year at college graduations. Our job is to make sure that all of our children have the confidence and encouragement to reach their full potential.

We must make sure that kids believe in themselves and their abilities from day one. Teachers, especially in the midst of South Carolina’s gutting of school funding, desperately need the resources to teach our children. And finally, parents must believe that their involvement is vital to their children’s success.

Every child in South Carolina can be a winner when it comes to education. It just depends on how committed the adults are to making success happen.

Let’s make sure that every parent has a moment to be proud of their child as they graduate from high school, technical schools, college, graduate school and more. It all depends on us.

South Carolina Democratic Party Convention - Saturday, May 24, 2010

 

 

 

South Carolina Democratic Party Convention-Saturday, April 24, 2010 from Jane Dyer on Vimeo.

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