Senate Dems shield Obama, keep White House closed to tours

March 21, 2013
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In a party line 54 – 45 vote yesterday, Senate Democrats defeated an amendment put forth by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to re-instate the Obama cancelled White House tours.  The measure would have re-prioritized $6 million dollars in federal spending to the White House and other National Park sites and read simply:

On page 542, strike lines 3 through 21 and insert the following:

   REOPENING THE WHITE HOUSE FOR PUBLIC TOURS AND PRESERVING OUR NATIONAL TREASURES

    Sec. 1404. Notwithstanding section 1101–

    (1) the amount appropriated for the National Recreation and Preservation account shall be reduced by $8,100,000, which shall be taken from the National Heritage Partnership Program; and

    (2) the amount appropriated under section 1401(e) for “National Park Service, Operation of the National Park System” shall be increased by $6,000,000, which shall be used for expenses related to visitor services and maintenance of national parks, monuments, sites, national memorials, and battlefields, including the White House, Grand Canyon National Park, the Washington Monument, Yellowstone National Park, and the Flight 93 National Memorial.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) dutifully repeated the White House talking points to justify his no vote when he told The Hill:  “This amendment doesn’t provide a real fix in respect to national park funding, .Those tours are governed by the Secret Service budget, not national parks.”

Yet the official National Park Service “President’s Park” website declares in bold print on its front page:

The President of the United States lives in a National Park

Jack Reed and his fellow Democrats may be in full lockstep with the White House “don’t blame us, blame the Secret Service” mantra, but if they want to avoid looking even more partisan, more petty, more pathetic than they already do they might want to visit the NPS website;  Especially the President’s Park, “Volunteer” page.  The page that states:

Whether it be greeting visitors and answering questions, helping with White House tour operations, working special events, or assisting with education programs, volunteers make a difference……………Last year, more than 1,735 volunteers contributed nearly 29,000 hours of service to standard operations, special events, and education programs.

It’s one thing for Obama to throw the Secret Service under the bus.  (From his very first run for elected office to the mess we endure today, there are more bodies strewn along Obama’s road to power than Bill Clinton’s bimbo parade.)

But for 54 United States Senators to encourage Obama’s petulance by voting to keep the “People’s House” closed to the very people who pay for that house is beyond hypocrisy.

I wonder how they would feel if when April 15th rolled around the millions of Americans who pay their salaries decided instead to just send them a note using Jack Reed’s own logic.

A note along the lines of:

Dear Senators:

I am writing in regards to your recent vote against S.AMDT.93 put forth by your colleague Sen. Tom Coburn.

Your action prompted me to conduct a review of this nation’s current fiscal situation and I have come to realize that any tax payment I would make this year would do nothing to provide a “real fix” in respect to our national finances. (Considering that the national treasury is now “governed” more by partisan politics and one Harry Reid than any input from me, the taxpayer, any pittance I send in is only perpetuating the problem is it not?)

With the above in mind I have no choice but to inform you that from this day forward, your budget, and ergo your salaries, will now be governed by my budget not yours.

Please understand I do not take this action lightly.

But, after years of shrinkage due to your mismanagement of our national checkbook, my own checkbook no longer has funds sufficient to provide you and yours the continued lifestyle you have become accustomed to.

I am therefore “sequestering” my payment until such time you begin behaving in a manner more respectful of the American people and to our Constitution you are sworn to uphold.

While I very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular spring money grabbing season I am confident you will see that the decision is out of my hands. For updates regarding this situation, please contact the Labor Department’s division of unemployment (be sure to ask for the U-6 number) or the President’s Office of Management and Budget.

But don’t cancel your reservation to Komi’s just yet.  There is a way out.

In the spirit of “bi-partisanship” I offer to end my “sequestration” upon the implementation of either 1.  Senators are henceforth paid the annual salary of the US median household income in the year previous ($45,018 for 2012)  – or – 2.  A balanced budget amendment is allowed out of Congress and submitted to the states for ratification.

Share the pain or embrace common sense, the choice is yours.

Sincerely,

The Forgotten (but not stupid) American Taxpayer

 PUBLISHER’s NOTE:

According to the official Senate website the hypocrisy wasn’t completely on the Democrat side of the aisle.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for some reason joined with Harry Reid and his Democrats in voting to keep the White House closed to visitors.  On the flip side, hats off  to Sen. Angus King (I-VT) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) who stood with the people against the political for once and voted in favor of Mr. Coburn’s amendment.  (Lautenberg, D-NJ is listed as a “Not Voting”.)

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