e-News July 16, 2010

The Week Just Past: A Step Backward for Job Creation
Deficit hits $1 trillion in June for second straight year
Another Week Without a Crucial Troop Funding Bill
NYC Trial for Admitted Terrorist Still “On the Table”
Noted with Interest: Immigration Enforcement Plummets

The Week Just Past: A Step Backward for Job Creation

“The President got the 60 votes he needed this week to pass his financial regulatory overhaul bill in the Senate.

“At the same time, it is interesting to note the remarks of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve about the ‘credit crunch’ that is hampering any economic rebound. 

“With larger banks and businesses hunkering down due to the Obama Administration’s regulatory overreach, smaller community banks are even more hesitant to lend to even the most credit-worthy small businesses.  As Chairman Ben Bernanke pointed out Monday, it is those businesses – often financed by community banks – that are ‘central’ to our nation’s economic recovery.

“He said, ‘The formation and growth of small businesses depends critically on access to credit. Unfortunately, those businesses report that credit conditions remain very difficult.’

“As if to emphasize the point, a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest small business advocacy group, found that the proportion of firms reporting tighter credit conditions over the past three months remained ‘extremely elevated.’

“That’s completely consistent with what I am hearing from the small businessmen and women with whom I visit in New Jersey.  In listening to them they tell me they have been denied loans, had their credit lines cut, and lost access to venture capital and other securities markets.  Although the Small Business Administration (SBA) capital access programs are supposed to provide a backstop for small businesses in these situations, the complicated and cumbersome nature of the programs have limited their usefulness to small businessmen and women. 

“In order to help small businesses gain access to the credit and capital they need to run their business successfully, Congress must adopt policies that support functional capital markets without imposing undue restrictions on providers of debt and equity capital. 

“Unfortunately, the so-called financial regulatory reform bill the President will sign represents a big step backward for small businessmen and women – the greatest job creators in our economy.”  

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Recommended Reading:  Wednesday editorial in the Wall Street Journal: “The Uncertainty Principle. Dodd-Frank will require at least 243 new federal rule-makings.”

Recommended Reading II: Kimberly A. Strassel in today’s Wall Street Journal: “About that Financial Reform ‘Victory’.”

Deficit hits $1 trillion in June for second straight year

The Department of Treasury announced on Wednesday that the annual federal deficit for FY 2010 rose above $1 trillion during the month of June. 

This is just the second fiscal year in history that the deficit reached this sobering height — last year was the first. 

President Obama and Congressional Democrats have embarked on an unprecedented spending spree that will lower economic growth, reduce investment, increase the cost of borrowing and kill American jobs.  As CBO’s recently-released Long-Term Budget Outlook confirms, the Congressional Majority is taking the nation down an unsustainable path that will lead to a lower standard of living for generations to come.

Read the entire CBO report here.

Another Week Without a Crucial Troop Funding Bill

Our nation’s military leaders continued planning this week to curtail certain operations, all because Congress has not passed a much-delayed and crucial “supplemental” appropriation bill to fund operations in Afghanistan and our withdrawal from Iraq.

Last month, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned that the military will have to cut funding for certain base operations and training activities unless they receive the funding by July 4th.  This week the Pentagon said it may be forced to take more extreme measures -- like not paying salaries -- if the Congress fails to pass a $37 billion defense spending bill before lawmakers begin an August recess.

The Majority Leadership in the House and Senate continue to bicker over the size of new social spending to be included in the troop funding legislation.

“The men and women of our military have dedicated themselves to the service of our country, the safety and freedom of all Americans, and the effort to maintain our nation as the strongest in the world,” said Rodney, a senior member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “They deserve the highest quality of care and service that we can provide and that is why the long-awaited supplemental bill is urgently needed.  It is a shame that Congressional Leaders continue to play political games with this critical troop funding legislation.”

Recommended Reading IV: Monday’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal, “Who Pays for ObamaCare? What Donald Berwick and Joe the Plumber both understand.”

NYC Trial for Admitted Terrorist Still “On the Table”

Attorney General Eric Holder continues to say that a New York City civilian court trial for admitted 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is still a possibility.  Since January, Holder has said that all options are on the table about where to try Mohammed and four other terrorist suspects.

Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003, has proclaimed his involvement in the Sept. 11 plot and has said he wants to plead guilty and be executed, achieving what he views as martyrdom.

Holder said the Obama administration is “working through issues” about a site for the proceedings, taking into account the need for Congress to approve funding and trying to address concerns expressed by local officials.  Opposition in Congress is bipartisan. 
“I cannot envision a scenario under which I would vote to fund civilian court trials in New York City for these violent international extremists,” said Rodney, a member of the House Special Intelligence Oversight Panel.  “The President’s decision to try the September 11, 2001 plotters in New York is not based on any legal precedent or grounded in national security considerations.  The decision is absolutely disruptive and dangerous!” 

Recommended Reading V:  Our top commander in Iraq, Morris County’s own General Ray Odierno, says Iranian threats to the 77,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are rising.

Recommended Reading VI: James Woolsey and Rebeccah Heinrichs writing in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal: “Iran and the Missile Defense Imperative.”

Noted with Interest: Immigration Enforcement Plummets

Even as the Obama Administration works overtime to overturn Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law, it appears the same Administration is not too interested in enforcing the federal laws already on the books.  Members of the House Judiciary Committee report that administrative arrests in worksite enforcement cases are down a whopping 87%! Criminal arrests of illegal employees are down 83%.  Criminal arrests of employers are down 73%.  Criminal indictments in immigration cases are down 86%!  Convictions are down 83% since 2008!

Recommended Reading VII: an excellent article by Allan Sloan in Tuesday’s Washington Post, “Magical thinking is not an energy strategy.”