Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to oil drilling safety

On Friday, the House approved a bill to lift the ban on deep water drilling, while putting in place new regulations to prevent another disaster like the current oil spill in the Gulf. The bill passed 209-193, with Pete Sessions among those voting no. From Voice of America:
Republican Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas argued against the legislation, saying it will stifle job growth and hurt the economy. "The Obama moratorium on deep water oil drilling has already cost tens of thousands of jobs," said Sessions. "And this bill will eliminate even more American energy jobs, making it harder and more expensive to produce both energy on and offshore. Additionally, this legislation will only further enhance our economic troubles in the Gulf region and throughout the nation."

Jim McGovern, the Democratic Party congressman from Massachusetts disagreed. "My friend talks about jobs. How many jobs have been lost because of this oil spill? How many fishermen are out of business, how many hotels and restaurants have lost business because of this terrible crisis? So this is a good bill, and it is a smart bill. And if you want to apologize to big oil go right ahead, but the American people are not on your side on this one," said McGovern.
Roll call information is available at the Library of Congress: Roll Number 513 and you can read the bill and follow its progress as it goes to the Senate at Gov Track.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dems to NRCC: Return your tainted cash

In today's Dallas Morning News, we learned that our new performing arts center is named for someone being investigated by the SEC:

SEC accuses Sam, Charles Wyly of secrecy, insider trading
The suit is the first formal accusation of wrongdoing against the Wylys after more than six years of subpoenas, grand jury investigations, congressional hearings and copious speculation about when the legal shoes might drop.

"The cloak of secrecy has been lifted from the complex web of foreign structures used by the Wylys to evade the securities laws," the SEC said in a statement, calling the Wylys' accounting an "elaborate sham system of trusts and subsidiary companies."

The suit names Wyly attorney Michael C. French of Dallas and stockbroker Louis J. Schaufele III of Dallas as cogs in an intricate global financial network that sold $750 million worth of stock.
And we got lots of email from our readers today alerting us that Pete Sessions and the NRCC were recipients of the tainted funds. From The Atlantic:
These Guys Owned the GOP, writes Marcus Baram at The Huffington Post: "Charles and Samuel Wyly, along with their wives, have donated $2.5 million to more than 200 Republican candidates and committees over the past 20 years, including over $1.3 million to the Republican National Committee, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. The top recipients of their largesse have been Texas Republicans. George W. Bush received at least $100,000 raised by the Wyly clan during the 2000 presidential election. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson has received $30,400 from the family; Rep. Pete Sessions, $29,000. Other Republican senators who've received their donations include John Cornyn of Texas, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, John Thune of South Dakota and Kit Bond of Missouri. Sam Wyly also funded the Swift Boat campaign that torpedoed Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign."
And, from Wall St. Journal:
Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a national fund-raising arm for the party, said the National Republican Congressional Committee should return $160,000 it received from the Wyly brothers over the past two decades.

The Wylys, now in their 70s, made their name through computer, retail and hedge-fund ventures over four decades. They have been active in Republican political circles and, together with their wives, have donated nearly $2.5 million to more than 200 federal-level Republican candidates and committees during the past 20 years, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Now that the Wyly Brothers are in trouble, will Pete Sessions send them a love letter?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to extension of unemployment benefits

Our newly fiscally conservative congressman voted against the extension of unemployment benefits (we haven't forgotten your vote to fund the original bailout when Bush wanted it, Pete, or your votes to fund such things as the Iraq War without plans to pay for them).

On Thursday, the House passed this bill to extend unemployment benefits through November 30, making the extension retroactive to June 2 when the last extension expired. It was then sent to the president, who signed it the same day.
The bill passed 271-152; roll call information at this link:
Roll Call Vote No. 463 Tally

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pete Sessions joins Tea Party Caucus

Good news! Pete Sessions has joined the Tea Party Caucus
Both Texans in the House Republican leadership have jumped aboard the new Tea Party Caucus: Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions and Round Rock Rep. John Carter both announced today that they are joining the group, founded by tea party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Sessions chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. Carter is GOP Conference secretary. Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana also signed up, so far, so that's half of the elected House GOP leadership.
Since they're anti-incumbent, we hope Pete Sessions will be campaigning soon to throw himself out of office.

National Review: Sessions, Cornyn "halting to the point of being embarrassing"

From National Review Online:
Congressional Republicans who don’t think the party needs an agenda should consider the performance of Rep. Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn on Meet the Press over the weekend. Asked about their affirmative program, the leaders of the GOP campaign committees in the House and the Senate sounded a very uncertain trumpet — indeed, one that was halting to the point of being embarrassing.

Sessions talked of balancing the budget, although without daring to mention anything close to a specific, and of reading bills before they pass. Out of desperation, Cornyn was forced to say he’d like to see the work of Obama’s fiscal commission before addressing spending. If GOP consultants who are advising the party to avoid embracing a substantive agenda prior to the November elections get their way, this will be the pitiful Republican dance for the next three-and-a-half months...

...Republicans should have confidence in their ideas. If they can’t offer an alternative to Obama...they should be in a different business.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NRCC struggles to explain what Sessions said yesterday

We Sessions Watchers should be used to interpreting Pete's rambling non-sequiturs by now, but we have to admit being stumped by one part of his Meet The Press appearance, where he seemed to be advocating a return to the fiscal policies of George W. Bush. Democratic Party pundits say he wants to return to the Bush policies, but the NRCC is vehemently denying that Sessions wants to go back to the Bush agenda:
Democrats are simply misrepresenting the facts. As the transcript reflects, Pete Sessions was clearly referencing the exhaustive report that was presented to the president by the Business Round Table, in which they stated that the 'cumulative effect' of President Obama's proposals have significantly hindered economic growth in this country.
Here's the quote in question that has both sides trying to figure out what he said:
We need to make sure that we allow employers, which was in that 52-page report that was presented to the president of the United States by CEOs in this country, we need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminish it.
We, at Sessions Watch, would like to welcome the rest of the nation to our world. One of the many reasons we want him out of Congress is his inability to articulate a direct thought without resorting to stump speech platitudes. Grammatical incorrectness aside, what does he mean, specifically, by "empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminish [sic] it"?

And we still want to know what's the deal with that blimp. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tom Pauken: Pete Sessions is "not up to the job"

According to Tom Pauken, Pete Sessions should be removed as NRCC chair. From Dallas Morning News:
Although Republicans are poised to make serious gains in November, Pauken says Sessions – chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party's House campaign arm – should be replaced after the midterm elections.

"He's not up to the job," Pauken said, arguing that no matter how well the GOP does this fall, Sessions should be replaced by "a smart conservative who knows what needs to be done."
With all due respect to Mr. Pauken, we disagree that Sessions should be replaced after the midterm election. We think he should be replaced on Election Day. :)

Pete Sessions takes his rambling non-answers to Meet the Press

This morning, Pete Sessions was on Meet the Press, alongside his counterpart in the DCCC, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, and fundraising chairs for the Senate, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and our own John Cornyn.

David Gregory learned what we've come to expect from Pete Sessions, that he has a "pretty gauzy agenda" when asked for specifics about what he'd do differently from what Democrats are doing. Sessions spoke in his usual roundabout manner, giving campaign platitudes instead of specifics; he said Republicans would "read the bill" when they get back to power (even though they passed such bills as the Patriot Act without reading it) and that "we'd live within our means," even though they ran up plenty of debt when they were in charge.

Republicans all over the country must be scratching their heads this morning, wondering how he ever got put in charge of building the party.