By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Sexual assaults in the military are a growing epidemic across the services, and thousands of victims are still unwilling to come forward despite a slew of new oversight and assistance programs, according to Pentagon documents.
After several years of complaining that Congress didn't have a budget, Republicans are now the ones holding up the 2014 budget process.
The House on Thursday passed an ambitious plan to bring the budget into balance within the next 10 years. It's a shame the spending blueprint, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, isn't likely to go far. President Obama is more interested in releasing his March Madness tournament picks than in pushing Democrats to deal with a mere budget.
Saturday's razor-thin, predawn approval of a spending plan in the Senate is being called a victory by Democrats — but Republicans emerged from the all-nighter with momentum on two key issues: deficit reduction and the Keystone XL pipeline.
It's politically fashionable now to say you've helped reduce the nation's debt. And at nearly $1 trillion annually, there's a lot of debt to be reduced.
The Senate kicked off what promises to be a lengthy "vote-a-rama" session tied to their budget plan Friday afternoon by swiftly approving funds for forest firefighters out West and then defeating, largely along party lines, an amendment that would have let secular employers refuse to insure contraception.
For Republicans, the budget debate is all about "balance." For Democrats, it's about being "balanced." That letter "d" amounts to a $4 trillion difference between the two sides.
If history is any judge, the U.S. government will be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the next century as service members and their families grapple with the sacrifices of combat.
The Republicans and Democrats unveiled their budgets in Congress this week. And though they say numbers don't lie, some of their rhetoric stretches the truth.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he asked Democrats to bring forth "a thoughtful budget" that tabled tax hikes and worked toward balancing spending with cutting. What he got, however, was a far cry from that.
Forget passing a Senate budget. Senate Democrats and Republicans can't even agree on basic numbers such as what it means to reduce the deficit by $1 trillion — a disagreement that underscored the difficulty of agreeing on a 10-year budget.
Four years after they last passed a budget through the Senate, Democrats announced a new blueprint for federal spending Wednesday that proposes significant tax increases, new stimulus spending and some budget cuts — making slight headway in controlling federal debt.
Sen. Patty Murray's budget, due to be debated by fellow Democrats in a closed-door meeting with President Obama on Tuesday, will raise taxes by almost $1 trillion, unnamed sources say.
President Obama opened the door to making significant changes to entitlement programs during a meeting Tuesday with Senate Democrats, though some among the lawmakers quickly warned that they would not go along with benefit cuts or a higher retirement age.
An Army report released Friday finds the service still has trouble diagnosing and treating soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder, despite more than doubling its number of military and civilian behavioral health workers over the past five years.
"When our best and our brightest put on a uniform and join the United States Armed Forces, they do so with the understanding that they will sacrifice much in the name of defending our country and its people. However, it's unconscionable to think that entertaining unwanted sexual contact from within the ranks is now part of that equation," said Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat. "Not only are we subjecting our men and women to this disgusting epidemic, but we're also failing to provide the victims with any meaningful support system once they have fallen victim to these attacks."
"[Friday's] ruling highlights the importance of Food and Drug Administration regulations being based on science, not politics," said Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat.