Tag: Bipartisan

Psycho Leftist Harry Reid Silent On Decision To Block Bipartisan IG-Empowering Bill

Reid Silent On Baffling Decision To Block Bipartisan IG-Empowering Bill – Daily Caller

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Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid refuses to say why for months he has blocked a bipartisan bill designed to ensure inspectors general access all of the official documents they need to fight waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government.

Three months ago, the Nevada senator blocked an attempt to pass Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s IG Empowerment Act with unanimous consent, which would make it crystal clear that the 1978 Inspector General Act gives presidentially appointed IGs authority to access all agency records for investigations and audits.

Reid still refuses to change his position or explain his objections. A spokesman for Reid did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for an explanation of Reid’s opposition to the bill. The measure is co-sponsored by Democratic senators Tammy Baldwin and Claire McCaskill.

“I cannot imagine anything controversial about wanting inspectors general to have access to the people and documents they need to do their jobs for the American people,” Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, another co-sponsor of the bill and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, told TheDCNF.

“Americans deserve a transparent and accountable government, and, this being Sunshine Week, it is particularly concerning that Minority Leader Reid refuses to disclose why these bipartisan, commonsense reforms are being blocked,” Johnson said.

The FBI began denying or delaying records sought in 2010 by the Department of Justice IG after the watchdog published several reports that were highly critical of the bureau. The FBI’s refusals contradicted the 1978 law granting IGs access to “all” agency records, but other agencies quickly followed the bureau’s lead.

The Peace Corps, for example, denied its IG access to data on sexual assaults against Peace Corps members serving abroad, and Environmental Protection Agency officials claimed attorney-client privilege to block the IG from obtaining sensitive records.

Forty-seven inspectors general wrote to members of Congress in August 2014, asking them to protect their independence and access.

Adding to the tension, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) concluded in July 2015 the FBI can withhold wiretapping, surveillance and credit records from its IG.

Grassley introduced the IG Empowerment Act to serve as a final clarification that Congress sides with watchdog access and accountable government over agencies.

“Congress established inspectors general to be watchdogs on federal agencies, to ensure the government is serving the American people in a fair, upstanding and efficient manner,” Grassley told TheDCNF. “Congress gave these watchdogs authority to review all agency records to effectively do their job. Leave it, though, to the bureaucracy to twist the meaning of the simple three-letter word: all. Denying access to all records – access that Congress created – prevents IGs from fully protecting the American people from fraud, waste and misconduct in government.”

Reid shot down this seemingly uncontroversial bill on behalf of himself and other members, but refused to say why. Senate rules in a unanimous consent procedure require opposing members to identify themselves and state their reasons.

“Other senators are concerned about it, and I lead the objection on my behalf,” Reid said on the Senate floor in December. But he did not identify those senators or describe their concerns.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, hasn’t brought the measure back to the floor in the months since Reid’s blocking manuever. A McConnell spokesman said no vote is scheduled before the current session draws to a close.

Until Congress acts, agencies will continue to thwart transparency and accountability, Elizabeth Hempowicz, public policy director for the Project on Government Oversight, told TheDCNF.

“This bill is still extremely important, I would say even more important now than it was when it was first introduced,” Hempowicz said. “Every day that goes by without action from Congress to undo the OLC opinion from last July stating that DOJ IG does not have unfettered access to all of the agency’s documents bolsters that opinion and undermines IGs across the government. Until Congress passes the bill, that memo can be and has been used to block oversight.”

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Fed-Up Veteran Writes Letter Telling Rep. Ryan What He Thinks Of ‘Bipartisan’ Budget Deal

Fed-Up Veteran Tells Paul Ryan What He Thinks Of ‘Bipartisan’ Budget Deal In Viral Open Letter – The Blaze

Chuck Wooten, a military veteran, was already ticked off about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) pushing through the “bipartisan” budget deal, which includes cuts to veterans’ retirement benefits. So when he got a fundraising email from Ryan’s office asking for money, he decided to really let the Wisconsin congressman know how he feels.

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The scathing open letter, posted on Facebook last week, is going viral – and you only have to read the first few sentences to know why. It should be noted that because Wooten’s Facebook page is set to private, we weren’t able to review the original post on his wall and had to rely on re-posts.

“Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed,” Wooten writes in the open letter to Ryan. “You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your ‘bipartisan’ budget just impacted. You and every Republican (both in the House and Senate) that voted to pass this travesty betrayed and broke trust with me and everyone like me.”

He continued: “You may not know us by name, but we’re the people, Congressman, who answered our Nation’s call, some of us at a very early age to willingly serve YOU and others LIKE YOU so you could safely attend college and pursue your personal ambitions without fear of harm.”

Wooten went on to remind Ryan of the bravery his “brothers-in-arms” display every single day as they boldly answer the call of duty, “without fail, without complaint.”

“And for that service, we were given absolute assurance our so-called retirement benefits would be protected by law. The very law you shattered in your zeal to impress your Democratic cohorts in your back room deal–with the enemy. Yes, I said it. The liberal Democrats are an enemy to the American people and our Nation,” the veteran writes. “Your lack of judgement and eagerness to compromise on the backs of us who protected you is sickening.”

Wooten concludes by assuring Ryan and his Republican “colleagues” who supported the budget deal that they will “NEVER” receive another cent of financial support from him.

“Remove me from your contact lists,” he added.

In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze on Thursday, Wooten explained that he was stunned by the “grand irony” of Ryan’s team asking for money after putting together the “backroom deal” that cuts military benefits.

“You’re picking my pocket and then you’re asking me for a handout,” he said.

Still, Wooten told TheBlaze he never anticipated all the attention his open letter has generated so far.

He also made it clear that he does not speak for the U.S. Air Force or the U.S. military, but shares the same views of many other veterans who feel betrayed by politicians in Washington.

Read the entire viral letter below and share the post:

FB Friends,

I’m still mulling this Paul Ryan budget deal that stole money from every military retiree (past, present and future). This morning, upon opening my email, I noticed I had a letter from Congressman Paul Ryan… and it was begging me for an “emergency end of the year donation.” It only proves what we already know. The folks in Washington are indeed clueless. Instead of hitting the delete button, I decided to call Congressman Ryan out on his audacity and lack of self-awareness. I sent the following to him. I’m also posting it on the FB USAF Chiefs page as an open letter to the Congressman. If you’re a retiree, I will tell you we may have lost the battle, but not the war. If you’re inclined and find it worthy, let’s flood social media with this letter and see if we can get some traction. Thanks.

To Congressman Paul Ryan
Today at 8:19 AM
Congressman Ryan,

Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed. You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your “bipartisan” budget just impacted. You and every Republican (both in the House and Senate that voted to pass this travesty betrayed and broke trust with me and everyone like me. You may not know us by name, but we’re the people, Congressman, who answered our Nation’s call, some of us at a very early age to willingly serve YOU and others LIKE YOU so you could safely attend college and pursue your personal ambitions without fear of harm.

You might also want to note that for at least 20 years, my brothers-in-arms answered that call of duty EVERY SINGLE DAY, without fail, without complaint, without enough money to sustain our loved ones we had to leave behind while we DID OUR JOB in every corner of the Earth. And for that service, we were given absolute assurance our so-called retirement benefits would be protected by law. The very law you shattered in your zeal to impress your Democratic cohorts in your back room deal with the enemy. Yes, I said it. The liberal Democrats are an enemy to the American people and our Nation. Your lack of judgement and eagerness to compromise on the backs of us who protected you is sickening. Congressman, you and every Republican that voted for injuring military retirees have engaged in a complicit, sordid affair with the Democrats who’s objective has always been to dismantle the military. By climbing into their bed on this issue, you have confirmed you are absolutely no better than they and have proven it with your vote.

Congressman Ryan, the audacity which you display is noteworthy, but to unceremoniously snatch earned money from a small group that has added so much more value than the paltry $6B you looked to “save” (which is all smoke and mirrors and you know it), is reprehensible and insulting.

We have, despite the hardships, meager salaries and harsh conditions, have performed with honor and excellence… in silence, which is something most members of Congress have no idea about doing. Our job approval was, is and always be better than yours. We knew our mission and we got it done, then handed it off to a new generation in better shape than we found it.

Your ability to look us in the eye, take money from us (apparently there was ZERO, other source of waste within the federal government that you could have recovered this money from…right, got it), while simultaneously holding your hand out to beg (with passion) for our cash is stunning. Your actions have proven you do not have the tremendous intellect you’ve sold the American people on. I say, with all seriousness, Congressman, what you lack in intellect and spinal rigidity, you make up for in cajones.

I hope you and your cowardly, Republican “colleagues” hear a message from me loud and clear. You will NEVER receive another cent of financial support from me. Further, if you happen to be at a Capitol Hill dinner or at a K Street cocktail party with RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Rep. Ron Barber, Sen. Jeff Flake or Sen. John McCain, I would be honored if you communicate with them that I am launching an effort to ensure NONE of you traitorous “representatives of the people” ever receive another vote from a military retiree. Remove me from your contact lists.

Chuck Wooten,
Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)

President Barack Obama signed the budget deal on Thursday while vacationing in Hawaii, according to the Associated Press.

“The deal reduces across-the-board cuts already scheduled to take effect, restoring about $63 billion over two years. It includes a projected $85 billion in other savings,” the AP reports.

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