Saturday, May 22, 2010

Arcuri Isn't Helping Effort To Lower Taxes, Cut Spending

Sometimes, a piece of legislation makes so much sense, it's mind-boggling that any member of Congress would withhold support for it. But then, Congressman Mike Arcuri has a special knack for withholding support for worthy causes. This week, he's at it again.

Imagine there was a bill that would:

- reduce the federal budget deficit by 16 billion dollars per year
- totally eliminate federal income tax on the first $35,000 of income for all Americans (the first $70,000 for married couples)
- reduce wasteful government spending

Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, brace yourself: Such a piece of legislation, H.R. 5353, actually exists in the U.S. Congress. It was introduced recently by U.S. Representative Alan Grayson, who's a Democrat. The bill has the support of both Democrats and Republicans, however.

Michael Arcuri is not among those who who support H.R. 5353. Why the heck not? If we can't count on Congressman Arcuri to support even a bill like this one, what on earth can we count on him for?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Arcuri Won't Oppose Offshore Drilling

In 2006, Democratic voters here in the 24th congressional district of New York nominated Mike Arcuri to be their party's candidate to the House of Representatives. Of course, they didn't have a choice - national party leaders had interfered in the primary election process, pushing other candidates out of the way for the sake of Arcuri, who was supposed to be "electable".

Now, four years later, we have a long record that shows what "electable" really meant. It meant that Congressman Michael Arcuri isn't really much of a Democrat. Over and over again, when the chips were down on really important issues, such as climate change, constitutional rights, and health care reform, Representative Arcuri has voted with the Republican Party, against the wishes of Democratic voters in our district.

Now, as we watch the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico get worse and worse and worse, Congressman Arcuri is springing into inaction again. There's a great bill that's been introduced by real Democrats in the House of Representatives - Democrats who aren't afraid to protect America's coasts from environmental disaster. It's H.R. 5248, the No New Drilling Act. The authors of this legislation rationally look at the huge economic and environmental disaster caused by offshore drilling, and say, "Hey, let's not do that again. Let's put a moratorium on offshore drilling."

Mike Arcuri? He won't sign on to the bill. Once again, Arcuri won't support a good Democratic solution to a national crisis. Why should Democratic voters support Arcuri in another election?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mike Arcuri Impotent At Passing Legislation

Open Congress, a legislative social networking site, presents a disturbing statistic about our U.S. Representative Mike Arcuri. Arcuri, it seems, is legislatively impotent.

Michael Arcuri can't seem to make allies in the House of Representatives very effectively. Perhaps his membership in the right wing Blue Dog Coalition is part of the problem, alienating Arcuri from his Democratic colleagues.

Whatever the cause, even though Congressman Arcuri's own political party is in the majority, Arcuri hasn't been able to get a single bill in the current session of Congress passed into actual law.

Sure, Arcuri has offered a few procedural motions and toothless resolutions, and those have gotten votes. These are nothing but pieces of paper, however - not laws that actually help people in our district or in the USA as a whole.

For example, Representative Arcuri introduced H.Res. 692, a resolution supporting the goals of Tay Sachs Month. That sounds great, until you look at what the resolution actually does: Nothing. It doesn't provide funding, or any other form of tangible government support, to deal with Tay Sachs disease. It's just a congressional press release. That's all.

Arcuri has spent his time offering a great number of procedural bills that do nothing more than "providing for the consideration of" legislation written by other, more competent, members of Congress. It's like Arcuri is serving as bat boy to U.S. Representatives who really know how to get things done.

My favorite "accomplishment" of Congressman Arcuri in this term of Congress is his H. Con. Res. 133. It's a motion providing for an adjournment of Congress. That pretty much sums up Mike Arcuri's congressional career.

In 2010, it's time that Arcuri adjourns his stand as New York's 24th district representative for good.