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Bud Landry

The Liberty Committee Says
By Bub Landry
Jul 30, 2005 - 9:01:00 AM

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From--The liberty Committee
thelibertycommittee@topica.email-publisher.com
To------landry@midmaine.com
Friday, July 29, 2005 3.03
Subject-CAFTA vote story

When the official 15-minute period ended,CAFTA had gone down in defeat,180 "nays" to "175 "yeas." But the house leadership was so politically driven to get what they wanted they broke the House rules; they simply violated the time limit in order to keep twisting arms and making deals until they finally had bought or coerced enough votes to pass CAFTA nearly an hour later.

"Twist some Republican arms until they break into a thousand pieces." That statement by Congressman Jim Kolbe [R-Arizona] describes the republican leaderships rabid determination to get the U.S.House to pass the Central Free Trade Agreement [CAFTA] -- no matter what.

The vote that began late Wednesday night finally ended just after midnight on Thursday morning, July 29. But Mr. Kolbe's statement does not begin to tell the whole truth. Here is some of what he left out.

Because President Bush and the House leadership knew the vote would be razor close, the day of the vote began with the president making a rare appearance on Capital Hill to speak before a closed-door, members-only meeting of House Republicans that morning. He even brought Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice with him.

And the arm twisting began.

"The last minute of negotiations for Republican votes resembled the wheeling and dealing on a used car lot. Republicans who were opposed or undecided were courted during hurried meetings in Capital hallways, on the House floor and at the White House. GOP leaders told their rank and file that if they wanted ANYthing, now was the time to ask, lawmakers said, and members took advantage of the opportunity by requesting such things as fundraising appearances by Cheney and restoration of money the White House has tried to cut from agriculture programs. Lawmakers also said many of the favors bestowed in exchange for votes will be tucked away in the huge energy and highway bills that Congress is scheduled to pass this week before leaving for the August recess." -- The Washington Post, July 28, 2005

Yet despite all the bribes and threats [one congressman estimates at least $47 billion in pork, and probably much more], the republican establishment would later that night fail to get the U.S. House to pass CAFTA when the legitimate 15-minute voting period would expire. CAFTA would be stopped fair and square.

But even though the House Republican leaders preach the importance of good morals, and run for office on "family values," their game plan already included buying votes and breaking the rules to get what they wanted. Before the CAFTA debate even began Wednessday evening, House Majority Leader Tom Delay stated, "it will be a tough vote, but we will pass CAFTA tonight." A bold prediction by Mr. Tom Delay, considering that the vote was to close to call, and he knew it. But when you have the power to break the rules and no qualms about doing so, you can afford to make such predictions. Two hours of debate on CAFTA ended in the U.S.House at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday night. Representative Ray LaHood [R-Illinois]' speaker pro-tempore, then ordered a 15-minute vote --at the end of which CAFTA had been defeated! But with the vote kept open for more than one hour after it began, the "final" vote tally was 217 in favor to 215 against, with 2 not voting. Or was it? We were led to believe that the 2 members that did not vote Jo Ann Davis [R- Virginia] and Charles Taylor [ R- North Carolina] who was already on record as going to vote "no" and would have defeated CAFTA had been persuaded to remain silent. Mr Taylor's was a key vote from a textile state the everyone was watching.

Republican leaders "spent much of [the] time wrestling with about ten rebellious but 'undecided' Republicans, Pleading and pressuring one after another to vote for the agreement."-- New York Times, July 29, 2005. The herd mentality dictates that if you can break key resistance, the rest will follow.

But on Thursday, the day after the vote, I received a telephone call from a talk radio host in Congressman Taylor's district. He told me he had asked Mr. Taylor that morning why he did not vote against CAFTA as he had pledged. The radio host told me "Mr. Taylor said he had voted 'NO' ... but somebody changed it and Mr. Taylor was furious. "I voted NO,' Mr. Taylor announced in a terse statement on Thursday, saying the House Clerk's written log showed his vote ..." New York Times, July 29, 2005.

So, the republican leadership claimed their razor thin victory. On Thursday, presidential press secretary Scott McClellan bragged, "and on the Central American Free Trade Agreement last night's vote was a real victory for the American people..." Well. Scott... that's what Bill Clinton told us about NAFTA in 1993.

Vote tally: http://capwiz.com/liberty/issues/votes/?votenum=443&chamber=H&congress=1091

Thousands of you worked hard to protect U.S. sovereingty from the globalists agenda. It is hard work. Sometimes it seems to be thankless -- but we are stronger for every effort we make. Next time, a hair's breath loss like this could be a narrow victory. Don't give in and don't give up.

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee
www.thelibertycommittee.org

This is the kind of corruption we have come to expect from our federal government in Washington. If we elect crooks and corrupt people we will be ruled by corrupt people. If we elect people chosen by the elite we will be ruled by the elite. We do get the kind of government we elect and deservedly so. How much longer will the American people allow the corrupt federal government to steal from the people to give to the elite?

-- Bud


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