Monday, May 26, 2008

Pete Sessions: "Everybody Hates George Bush."

Somebody accused me once of "hating" George W. Bush. I corrected the person, explaining that I don't "hate" anybody. Sure, I believe Bush to be the worst president we've ever had, but that statement is based on facts, not emotion. I'm perfectly capable of pointing out the President's flaws, substantiated by things like The Downing Street Memo, his abuse of signing statements, and I sure do agree with Bruce Fein that Bush should be impeached.

But "hate?" Hmmmm...I'm trying to think of something or someone I hate. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Yet there's our Congressman, explaining to a group of students that his political party is in trouble, in part, because "everybody hates George Bush."

Republicans like Pete Sessions who "hate" George Bush must be the opposite from me--although they're blinded by "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury," they just can't bring themselves to vote against his wishes or use their constitutional authority to kick him out of office. Interesting.

Okay, let's see...things I hate. I've got one! Fire ants. Hate 'em.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pete Sessions voted against Farm Bill

The House voted to override Bush's veto of the farm bill, by a 2/3 majority of 306-110. From Congress.Org:
H.R. 6124, to provide for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2012, by a 2/3 yea-and-nay vote of 306 yeas to 110 nays, Roll No. 353.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pete Sessions says no to renewable energy, farm, nutrition & bioenergy

From Congress.Org:
The House passed H.R. 6049, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, and to provide individual income tax relief, by a recorded vote of 263 ayes to 160 noes, Roll No. 344.
Pete Sessions voted no.

The House also voted to override Bush's veto of the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act, with a 2/3 vote of 316-108, and Pete Sessions, once again, voting no. From
Subsequently, the House voted to override the President's veto of H.R. 2419, to provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, by a yea-and-nay vote of 316 yeas to 108 nays, Roll No. 346 (two-thirds of those present voting to override).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

House votes to allow suit against OPEC

The House today passed an overwhelmingly bipartisan bill creating a Justice Department task force to investigate oil prices, and to subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.

The bill passed 324-84, with 26--including Pete Sessions--not voting. The text of the bill is available at The Library of Congress, with roll call information at this link: Roll Call 332.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pete Sessions benefits from Exxon record profits

In February, Exxon posted record profits, which is good news to Pete Sessions and family, who own quite a bit of stock in the company:
In the House, Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, owns Exxon stock but is less of a player on energy issues than Ms. Hutchison. Mr. Sessions owns between $15,001 and $50,000 of Exxon stock; his two dependents own shares worth between $100,001 and $250,000, said Emily Davis, Mr. Sessions' spokesman.

"He's strongly advocated for domestic production, regardless of the company," Ms. Davis said.
"Hey, wait a minute," says SessionsWatch, "Hasn't Pete Sessions cast votes against renewable energy, and isn't it a conflict of interest for him to be raking in big bucks from big oil, while voting against renewable energy?"

Apparently not. According to rules of the House and Senate, it's only "conflict of interest" if they vote to give a contract to a specific oil company, and it's not a conflict if they always vote "pro-oil" over other sources of energy.

And, according to the article, there's no law about conflict of interest at all, when it concerns House or Senate votes.
While Congress prescribed a strict conflict-of-interest law for the judiciary, which prompted Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to remove himself from a punitive-damages case involving Exxon Mobil, it didn't apply the same test to lawmakers...

...Ms. Hutchison, R-Texas, also owns between $50,000 and $100,000 of stock in Chevron, which, like Exxon, opposes proposed legislation to impose a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies.

In December, Ms. Hutchison put a "hold" on a bill – a tactic that allows one senator to stop legislation – that would have repealed tax breaks for Exxon, Chevron and three other major oil companies. The measure would have raised $9.4 billion for the U.S. Treasury over 10 years...
Worthwhile read. Kudos to Dave Michaels for bringing this to our attention.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pete Sessions votes against recognizing AmeriCorps

Pete Sessions likes to talk about his work with the Boy Scouts, and is proud--as he should be--about attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. So you'd think he'd support AmeriCorps, right? Service to the community, and all that?

Well, today, the House voted overwhelmingly to recognize the week of May 11-18 as AmeriCorps Week, honoring "AmeriCorps members for their powerful impact, thank all of AmeriCorps' community partners in our Nation who make the program possible and bring more Americans into service." There were only 69 Republicans who voted against this Resolution. Yep, Pete Sessions voted "no." For the text of H. Res. 1173, recognizing AmeriCorps, go to the Library of Congress website; the list of 69 nay-sayers is available at this link: Roll Call 319.

Pete Sessions co-authors pro-wiretapping article for Human Events

How many right-wingers does it take to write an article justifying warrantless wiretapping? Apparently, it takes 4. Pete Sessions, Jack Kingston (R-GA) Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Chris Cannon (R-UT) co-authored this piece for Human Events Online calling warrants "a waste of valuable time."

For those who are not familiar with Human Events Online, that's the group who compiled a list of the "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries," which included such "dangerous" books as The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan and The Kinsey Report, by Alfred Kinsey. (Right-wing extremists like Pete Sessions are scared to death of anything that goes on "down there.") Included on the honorable mention list is Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, and Unsafe at Any Speed, by Ralph Nader.

So when you're wading through this group's argument defending warrantless wiretapping, consider the source.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pete Sessions votes "no" to neighborhood stabilization, foreclosure prevention

From Congress.Org:
The House passed H.R. 5818, to authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make loans to States to acquire foreclosed housing and to make grants to States for related costs, by a recorded vote of 239 ayes to 188 noes, Roll No. 299. Consideration of the measure began on Wednesday, May 7th.
Pete Sessions voted "no." For a complete tally of the votes, see Roll Call 299 at the Library of Congress.

Pete Sessions also voted against the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008. From
On a division of the question, the House agreed to the Senate amendment with amendment No. 1 printed in H. Rept. 110-622 by a yea-and-nay vote of 266 yeas to 154 nays, Roll No. 301.
For a complete tally of the votes, see Roll Call 301, from the Library of Congress.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pete Sessions casts vote against Mother's Day

At first, Pete Sessions was among the unanimous supporters of H.Res. 1113, "Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother’s Day." But then, Republican Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas) rose in protest, moving to "reconsider the vote." Dana Milbank of Washington Post explains that
...Republicans, unhappy with the Democratic majority, have been using such procedural tactics as this all week to bring the House to a standstill, but the assault on mothers may have gone too far.
Kathy Castor (D-Florida) moved to table Tiahrt's request for a revote. Her motion passed 273-178, leaving the original Mother's Day vote intact. Pete Sessions was among the 178 Republicans who voted for the procedural tactic, essentially putting party loyalty over their own mothers.

To be fair, Pete Sessions voted for Mother's Day before he voted against it. The final vote count for House Vote #275 is available at GovTrack.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sessions to Sheila Jackson Lee: Economy is fine

For Pete Sessions, the economy's pretty good. Unlike the rest of us, he's got taxpayer funded health care and a million-dollar residence in a fashionable Dallas neighborhood. The last thing he needs is uppity colleagues from the other side of the aisle spilling the beans to the voters that we're in a recession--or worse. Check out this spat between Pete Sessions and Sheila Jackson Lee, as reported by Wall Street Journal:
In Congress, Tempers Flare Over the Economy

Damian Paletta reports on Congress.

Before lawmakers even began debating legislation over the government’s involvement in the housing turmoil, tempers flared and led to a shouting match on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The fracas started after Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas), said lawmakers needed to move aggressively to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. “We’re not in a recession,” she said on the House floor. “We’re moving toward a 1929 Depression.”

Rep. Pete Sessions (R., Texas) took umbrage at her characterization of the economy: “My Gosh! Let’s at least tell the American public the truth… Let’s not make things worse than they already are. Let’s not lie to the American public.”

Lee, who was sitting down at that point, rushed back to the podium.

“Are you calling me a liar?” she yelled. Shouting erupted in the room.

“It is not a true statement,” Sessions yelled back.

The shouting was eventually gaveled down, but the faceoff foreshadows what is expected to be a spirited debate late into the night.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pete Sessions votes against prevention of combustible dust

Who could say "no" to preventing workers from exposure to combustible dust? Pete Sessions, of course. From Congress.Org:
The House passed H.R. 5522, to require the Secretary of Labor to issue interim and final occupational safety and health standards regarding worker exposure to combustible dust, by a recorded vote of 247 ayes to 165 noes, Roll No. 233.