u Even before President Barack Obama took the oath of office on January 20 political analysts, media gurus (press, radio, TV talking heads) and a horde of amateur prognosticators came out of the woodwork to peer deeply into their crystal balls for any insight as to how Congress would react to Obama’s campaign promises and legislative goals.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
A wide-ranging coalition of aviation interests that includes both general aviation and the nation’s airlines has proposed a $4 billion stimulus package that could–among other things–accelerate the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) by creating 100-percent government-funded grants to retrofit both commercial and GA aircraft with NextGen equipment such as on-board avionics, electronic flight bags, cockpit displays, surface movin
• Normal Congressional activities came to a screeching halt in late September and early October as the legislature turned its attention to deciding what to do about the nation’s financial crisis. A lot of midnight oil was burned by a host of instant money experts. First the House rejected a $700 billion bill, then the Senate worked out a compromise, passed that bill and sent it on to the House, where it was accepted and passed.
As the Senate and the House of Representatives neared adjournment for August, both parties in the Senate were patting themselves on the back for their presumed successes.
Congress took most of the month of January off, and when it returned to the business of the nation, the Enron bankruptcy captured its attention. A multitude of congressional committees undertook to explore the whys and wherefores of the collapse. The Democrats sought ties between Enron, President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
As the first session of the 107th Congress wound down, the wonderful days of bipartisan behavior that followed September 11 gave way to partisan bickering over what the country needed by way of legislation. Democrat leadership in the Senate lacked the inclination to press forward on bills related to economic stimulus, defense spending and energy and turned the Senate’s attention to a railroad pension bill and a farm bill.
Early last month President Bush departed for a month-long hiatus in Texas and just about the same time Congress opted to take its August recess. So, the dog days of August descended on a more or less deserted legislative Washington.
Lawmakers escaped the dog days of August in Washington by taking a vacation and returned the first week of September to face a multitude of concerns, though few involve aviation.
The Bush Administration has proposed spending $759 billion next year for government agencies and programs other than Social Security, but more than half has been earmarked (not to be confused with pork-barrel earmarking) for the military, homeland security and foreign aid.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush proposed cutting income tax and ending the double taxation of corporate dividends, both actions that would reduce government income.