Thursday, January 24, 2013

No Labels 12 Point Plan to Make Congress Work!

This video from No Labels shows what is needed to Make Congress work but will the members of Congress listen.  The group is made up of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who have all had it with the gridlock in both Houses of Congress that never seems to get fixed even after an election.  Part of the problem -- the same leaders in the previous Congress are re-elected and if the Senate or House flips the same old leadership takes over and then current leadership goes to minority status.  You could say it is the good old boy system at work where the parties looks out for each other over the American people.

You will be reading today about the compromise filibuster bill of Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell and then ask yourself if this is the best they could do.  Not enough votes to change much -- mostly semantics.  Both parties are at fault for the gridlock as ideology trumps what is best for the American people.  Lack of backbones by the male dominated Congress doesn't help.

No Labels is picking up steam.  If you haven't checked out the site, please do and sign up to get their emails.  This video says it all:

Background on "No Labels" 12 Point Plan to make Congress Work:
No Labels is a group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who want our country to work again. Our dozen proposals to Make Congress Work! mostly don't require new laws or new spending, and they don't favor any party or particular cause. These are simple, straightforward proposals to break gridlock, promote constructive discussion and reduce polarization in Congress. They can mostly be adopted all at once when the next Congress convenes in January 2013.
Make Congress Work!
The No Labels Action Plan to Change the Rules and Fix What's Broken:
  1. No Budget, No Pay
    If Congress can't pass a budget and all annual spending bills on time, members of Congress should not get paid.
  2. Up or Down Vote on Presidential Appointments
    All presidential nominations should be confirmed or rejected within 90 days of the nomination.
  3. Fix the Filibuster
    Require real (not virtual) filibusters and end filibusters on motions to proceed.
  4. Empower the Sensible Majority
    Allow a bipartisan majority of members to override a leader or committee chair’s refusal to bring a bill to the floor.
  5. Make Members Come to Work
    Make Congress work on coordinated schedules with three five-day work weeks a month in DC and one week in their home district.
  6. Question Time for the President
    Provide a monthly forum for members of Congress to ask the president questions to force leaders to debate one another and defend their ideas.
  7. Fiscal Report to Congress: Hear it. Read it. Sign it.
    A nonpartisan leader should deliver an annual, televised fiscal update in-person to a joint session of Congress to ensure everyone is working off the same facts.
  8. No Pledge but the Oath of Office
    Members should make no pledge but the pledge of allegiance and their formal oath of office.
  9. Monthly Bipartisan Gatherings
    The House and Senate should institute monthly, off-the-record and bipartisan gatherings to get members talking across party lines.
  10. Bipartisan Seating
    At all joint meetings or sessions of Congress, each member should be seated next to at least one member of the other party.
  11. Bipartisan Leadership Committee
    Congressional party leaders should form a bipartisan congressional leadership committee to discuss legislative agendas and substantive solutions.
  12. No Negative Campaigns Against Incumbents
    Incumbents from one party should not conduct negative campaigns against sitting members of the opposing party.
These are simple fixes but will the neanderthals in the Congress figure out that they are in Congress to work for the American people not to feather their own next.  My guess is that todays members of Congress didn't learn much from the last election the way they have been acting.  Only a few are standing up like Senators Feinstein, Murkowski, Collins, and Boxer, all women in the Senate.  Maybe that is the way to break the good old boy system -- elect more women to Congress.  The day I discovered that in a normal three-day Congressional work week that members are to fundraise for four hours a day on the taxpayers nickle, it sent me through the roof. Recently, I saw a bumperstrip that said "Vote Them All Out of Congress!"  Maybe the guy was on to something.  The gridlock needs to end today.

After yesterday's debacle by the Senate Republicans on questioning Secretary of State Clinton on Benghazi, you would think they would be ashamed and embarrassed this morning.  Republicans are the ones who stalled the increased security measures that the State Department asked for in the budget and then they blame on Sec Clinton.

The Congress needs fixed and if it takes millions of Americans joining a group called No Labels then that is what we need to push to get people to sign up and stop the nonsense in the Senate and House.  Time for real change and No Labels has some good ideas.  The worst offenders today are Republicans which I hate to admit but in all fairness to long time GOP, many Republicans today are former Democrats from the South who seem to be still fighting the Civil War with some of their rhetoric.  The racism and anti-women rhetoric that oozes out of today's GOP is despicable.  Rhetoric cannot change what these neanderthals actually believe which comes out from time to time.  Tea Party is the worst thing that ever happened to the Republican Party as it allowed the Koch Brothers to take over who then welcomed the John Birchers of their Father back in the Party.

For now a lot of center-right people who are fed up with the Republican Party have not taken the final step to switch parties because frankly the Democrats have their own set of problems.  That is why many of us are joining No Labels to push both parties in Congress to do what is right for all Americans just not the very wealthy.

Please join No Labels today at and start making a difference.  Time to get Congress moving again.

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