As House Democrats head home to their districts, they won’t be alone. Leadership has supplied them with four pocket cards to help them stay on message:
The first is our main argument, Moving America Forward, Not Back; and the second is Protecting Social Security at 75 Years. You should have already received a pocket card on Make it in America, our manufacturing strategy; as well as our message on national security.
The contents of message number one have much to do with the huge positive polling bump that Democrats get when the Republican agenda is linked back to the policies of George W. Bush. Message two seems to be about drumming up fears around alarming statements made about “transitioning out” Social Security and other government agencies by Tea Party candidates like would-be Senator Sharron Angle in Nevada, who has softened her rhetoric since winning her primary. Three and four — the economy and national security — are more about laying out what the Democrats have done or hope to do on both fronts.
To that effect, Democratic leadership also included a schedule detailing week-by-week how they plan to tout their efforts on behalf of the middle class:
August 2—Fighting For The Middle Class: “Make it in America” Week
We are wrapping up a Congressional work period with a series of bills to promote a Make it in America manufacturing revival. Members can also highlight Recovery Act jobs in your districts. Republicans in Congress have sided incessantly with big corporations shipping jobs overseas and Wall Street bankers who helped cause the meltdown.
August 9 – Fighting for the Middle Class: Protecting Social Security Week
The 75th anniversary of Social Security is August 14. Members can highlight how, once again, this bedrock promise is under assault from Congressional Republicans seeking to privatize and cut Social Security that Americans have earned. Democrats will protect and strengthen Social Security.
August 16 – Fighting for the Middle Class: Consumer Protection Week
As students head back to college and families head out for back-to-school shopping, it’s a good time to highlight the strong consumer protections enacted by this Congress. Republicans sided with the Big Banks over students when we made college more affordable. Republicans fought a first-ever consumer protection agency and split over a Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights. And as we continue the drumbeat on the Patient’s Bill of Rights giving Americans and their doctors control over their health care, Republicans would repeal long overdue protections for Americans if they get sick or have a pre-existing condition.
August 23—Fighting for the Middle Class: Small Business Week
Our economic recovery must be powered by small businesses. This Congress has enacted 8 separate tax cuts for small businesses, made health insurance more affordable, and fought to get credit flowing—time and again, over Republican opposition. This week, Senate Republicans moved to block billions of dollars of private-sector lending for small businesses.
August 30—Troops & Veterans Week
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’
All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some
EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill
New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S
EPA: BP Has 24 Hours to Find a Less Toxic Chemical Dispersant
Thought the massive quantities of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico were the only major threat to the country’s southeast coastal waters right now? Think
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
EPA defends new nutrient criteria for Florida waterways
In congressional testimony on Friday, the federal Environmental Protection Agency was again criticized for its proposed numeric nutrient criteria, a set of standards to regulate pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus in Florida waterways. But EPA representatives defended the agency’s decision to implement the standards, arguing that they are needed for the health and safety of citizens and businesses struggling to survive in harsh economic times. # The decision to force the state to implement a stringent set of nutrient criteria came as the result of legislation — but both the EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection had for years been attempting to draft something similar