Archive for August 23, 2011
On Monday, August 22, 2011, Iowa’s 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack appeared on Iowa Public Radio’s program The Exchange with Ben Kieffer. During the half hour program, Dave reacted to the recent developments in Libya. Following is a delayed live blog of the program.
Kieffer: Was the fall of Tripoli and the likely fall of Muammar Gaddafi a foregone conclusion?
Loebsack: I’m not sure it was at least not this quickly. People were surprised at the developments over the weekend. The general sentiment in Congress is Gaddafi is someone who is not a friend of the United States and almost everyone will be happy that he is gone. I voted against troops on the ground. Moving forward we have to work with NATO, Arab and African states and the United Nations. To the extent to which we are involved, we must be very careful about how.
Kieffer: What does this mean to the United States?
Loebsack: Anytime you can get rid of a dictator like Gaddafi it is a good thing. We’ve gotta make sure the transition is as peaceful and stable as possible. There’s going to be a period that’s kind of shaky. We have to make sure we support the small “d” democrats there during the transition.
Kieffer: How has the United States been active in Libya?
Loebsack: Principally through the United States State Department. The trouble has been in identifying who are our friends. I have been asking, “what does a post Gaddafi Libya look like?” We have not had an answer up to this point.
Kieffer: What does this mean for President Obama and the Democrats?
Loebsack: I don’t think there is an answer at this time. NATO has taken the lead and other Arab and African Countries as well as the UN will be involved in this. We must provide as much support as possible within our means.
Kieffer: President Clinton ignored the War Powers resolution in Libya, as has President Obama. Are you worried that Congress was left out of the picture?
Loebsack: I had my own concerns about how this went down. That’s why I voted for no boots on the ground. Many are being critical of the President for political reasons. We need to find the middle ground on what the president can and can’t do.
Kieffer: When will Congress work for substantial cuts in the pentagon budget?
Loebsack: Maybe as early as the end of this year depending on whether the super committee comes to any conclusion. I agree we have gotta draw down. We are spending too much money in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should fulfill the pledge to get troops out of Iraq this year. I’m all for reoriented our spending. We need a strong defense and budget cutting will require a number of complicated decisions.
Kieffer: When you look at the super committee, are you hopeful?
Loebsack: Well, I hate to predict, it’s very difficult. I agree with the folks who send e-mails and phone calls my office about the dysfunction in Washington. I hope the committee will not reflect the dysfunction of Congress. I was for a committee like this last year, but it did not have hanging over it the prospect of cuts. I am not sure this is the best way to go about it and I had concerns about the deal that was struck regarding the debt limit and deficit.
Kieffer: What would make it a thumbs down for you?
Loebsack: I don’t like to draw bright lines because we are going to have to compromise. I don’t want to say I need this or else, we are going to have to compromise.
Kieffer: Republican presidential candidates would reject raising taxes to resolve the deficit problem. What are your thoughts?
Loebsack: A balanced approach would include enhanced revenues. For example, close loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas. We could extend research and development tax credits. Congress should find places where we agree and put those items on the table.
~ Dave Loebsack is serving in the United States House of Representatives from Iowa’s Second District. He serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and on the House Armed Services Committee. He is also seeking re-election to a fourth term. To learn more about Congressman Dave Loebsack, click here.
Progressive blog readers: Staying home in 2012 is NOT AN OPTION. If we had shown up in force in 2010 we would not be in the current situation. It is time to put personal disappointments aside and get to work re-electing President Obama. And let’s show the President that we have his back by delivering a Democratic congress. If you believe there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, President Obama and GWB, then the right-wing extremists and corporate media have already won.
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Dearest PL/EmoProgs everywhere…..
President Obama is just like the GOP??
uhm yeah… because…. Republicans are all for:
- Lifting the ban on stem cell research
- Ending DADT
- the Affordable Care Act (which will lead to the end of for-profit health care and usher in Single Payer when the Non-Profits come online in 2014 IF WE DON’T F*** IT UP AND ALLOW MORE GOP INTO OFFICE.)
- START Treaty
- NOT Privatizing Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid
- Ending the Bush tax cuts
- Creating infrastructure jobs – IN AMERICA
- Cutting defense spending with the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act
- Trying to close GITMO (even though only 6 dems voted to close it)
- Credit Card Bill of Rights
- $4.6 Billion to the VA
- More funding for Violence Against Women Act
- Beginning the lift on the Cuba embargo
- Getting banks out of the college loan business
- 10% more funding for National Parks (til the GOP killed it and insisted on Program [aka JOB] cuts)
- Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
- Creating the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Financial Reform Law
- Closing the Medicare D gap
- More funding for Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
- Extending Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees
- Appointing more openly gay officials than any POTUS
- American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (which we now need on steroids)
- Creating more private sector jobs in 2010 (IN THE USA) than during entire Bush years
- First Latina on the SCOTUS
- Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FDA regulation of Tobacco – you mean it wasn’t before??? WTF???)
- Increasing average fuel economy standards
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
- Getting families to DOVER
- Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act
- Killed Bin Laden (instead of making deals with him)
- Taking down Gaddafi (instead of making deals with him)
There’s more, but there are only so many hours in a day, and I’ve got other things to DO.
And all in the face of RECORD OBSTRUCTION & FILIBUSTERING because ****WE FAILED**** TO SEND A PROGRESSIVE ARMY to DC to STAND BY THE POTUS, and HAVE HIS BACK.
Of course, everything above AND MORE will be overturned the second that President Perry or Bachmann gets into office, INCLUDING AT LEAST THREE MORE SCOTUS APPOINTMENTS – but by all means, stay home and whine 24/7 about how Obama isn’t President Superfly, because GETTING MAD worked for GHANDI, MLK, and NELSON MANDELA. NONE of whom were President of the United States, weren’t faced with a dishonest media, a certifiably insane opposition who complain when their children are taught science instead of creationism, and e-voting fraud on an epic scale.
Now if we could only be like Canada and outlaw newscasters lying.