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Ollie

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Ollie last won the day on September 9

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  1. Two separate amendments, Mr. Speaker.
  2. Mr. Speaker, I move for the following amendments; I yield.
  3. Mr. Speaker, I move for the following amendments; I yield.
  4. The Luis Fortuño Administration President Luis Fortuno/Vice Donald Rumsfeld (R) Speaker of the House Christine Todd-Whitman (R) Senate Majority Leader Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) Secretary of State Jim Talent (R) Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (R) Secretary of Treasury Glenn Hubbard (R) Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) Senate Majority Leader Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) Senate Majority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) Senate Minority Leader Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota) Senate Minority Whip Chuck Schumer (D-New York) 111th Senate Makeup: 63 Republicans (+5), 37 Democrats (-5) 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives Christine Todd Whitman (R-New Jersey) House Majority Leader Michael Pence, (R-Indiana) House Majority Whip Julius Caesar Watts, Jr. (R-Oklahoma) House Minority Leader Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) House Minority Whip Xavier Becerra (D-California) 111th House Makeup: 259 Republicans (+21), 179 Democrats (-21) Domestic Front AND Foreign Front As the nation was reeling from the sudden economic collapse, fueled by the banks collapsing and several industries (including automobile manufacturing) facing bankruptcy, Luis Guillermo Fortuño was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America in a rebuilt Capitol building. In his inaugural speech, Fortuño promised that those who perished on 10/20 would face justice and promised to bring forward proposals to repair the American economy and make America great once again. In his first action as President, as advised by many within his administration, Fortuño announced that the United States had made an ultimatum to the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan and warned action would be taken if the terrorists responsible for the attacks were not extradited to the United States. The same week, Congress passed a blanket authorization allowing the President to take military action against all terrorist actors responsible for the 10/20 attacks. Vice President Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary Cheney, along with former Vice President George W. Bush, all advocated for the United States to immediately begin operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan to wipe out the Taliban. The United States would ask NATO allies to join them in eliminating al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and fight terrorism in the region. The United States would immediately begin bombing operations in Afghanistan, targeting the Taliban and known al-Qaeda bases. Most if not all major al-Qaeda leaders retreated to neighboring Pakistan. A month later, the new President announced that the United States would be sending troops to Afghanistan in order to eliminate al-Qaeda and those who are harboring terrorists. Following intelligence that Pakistan was helping members of the Taliban retreat to their territory, the United States suspended aid to the region despite Vice President Rumsfeld and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney advising the President to continue working with Pakistan. President Fortuño insisted they must face consequences for being "accomplices to those responsible for what happened on 10/20." There were rumors around this time that Secretary Cheney and Vice President Rumsfeld believed Iran and its sponsored terrorist organizations needed to be brought to heel. During this time, President Fortuño was also working closely with Treasury Secretary Glenn Hubbard and Economic Advisor John Sununu on a response to the economic crisis. After the bank bailouts that were passed before President Fortuño took office began taking effect, the President announced Greg Mankiw would be leading the bailout effort. A week later, the President announced the 'Economic Resurgence and Recovery Act' -- sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kay Bailey Hutchinson -- which made certain tax cuts permanent, cut corporate business taxes, and reversed several of the provisions of Kerry's banking reforms. A new regulation agency was setup under the Government Accountability Office which would strike U.S. regulations for every new regulation that was made by Congress. The moves were panned by Democrats as irresponsible, noting those responsible were given hall passes to recking the economy even further. The most popular provisions of the legislation was the major infrastructure investment through the states, a cut in payroll taxes, as well as relief for first-time homeowners and a repeal of the so-called "Death Tax" and the Alternative Minimum Tax. The bill would go on to easily pass Congress. Around this time, the President's approval rating was at 74%. In March, the President and Congress passed the 'Energy Investment and Exploration Act of 2009' which authorized the government to lease new oil explorations in various places, including ANWR and various new pipelines. The legislation also included new investments into 'clean coal' and some alternative energy sources. The legislation easily passed. In the same week, Congress passed the 'DEFENSE Act' which authorized wide surveillance from the government in order to thwart terrorist threats. In addition, the Department of Defense budget was revised to include hundreds of billions of dollars for the war effort in Afghanistan and new Defense projects. This would mark the beginning of a new large deficit in the budget which was largely dismissed as part of the war effort and response effort to 10/20. Months later, Congress would pass the 'Partial-Birth Abortion Ban.' This new law would go on to be challenged in the Supreme Court in the case 'Codwell v. Mississippi.' In a 7-2 decision, with Justices Ginsburg, Cabranes, Calabresi, Tatel, Wood, Garland and Satomayor writing for the majority, the Supreme Court ruled the banning of partial-birth abortions unconstitutional. Dissenting were Justices Batchelder and Callahan. This would mark the first major setback for President Fortuño and his ambitious agenda. In late 2009, the economy had still yet to recover. The unemployment rate was at 8.8% and still on the rise and the Fortuño administration was running out of options for action. The President was displeased with economic advisers calls to "wait-out" the rough period of the recovery. General Motors filed for bankruptcy in late 2009 and Chrysler followed suit shortly after. Democrats were heavily in favor of a bailout plan while Republicans, especially fiscal conservatives, remained very resistant -- especially with the rising deficit from war efforts and the recent passage of major spending on stimulus and the bank bailouts. President Fortuño met with Democrats but ultimately decided against endorsing an auto bailout, telling reporters the government could not be picking winners and losers throughout the recession. Democrats were defeated and outraged at the abandonment of the auto industry. In March of 2010, the unemployment rate hit 9.5%. This was the highest of the recession. The war in Afghanistan was raging on and there were announcements of several deaths on the American side in the fight of the Taliban. The same month, Congress passed the "Promotion of Iranian Freedom Act", allocating $50 million to pro-Democratic groups in Iran against the Iranian government as well as new sanctions against Iran. The issue of nuclear weapons in Iran was a growing one and Vice President Rumsfeld was insistent that President Fortuño give the Iranian's an ultimatum because Democrats were already critical of the move, calling it "the first step to war with Iran." In the summer of 2010, several more landmark Supreme Court case came through. This time it was in Lowell v. Patterson, a case which saw a 6-3 majority opinion affirming the right of same-sex marriages across America. States such as Alabama and Mississippi were incredibly resistant to the Supreme Court ruling and many county clerks resigned their positions in protest of the 'liberal Supreme Court' ruining America's values. In Teller v. FEC, in another 6-3 decision with Chief Justice Ginsburg ruling in the majority, the court upheld that legal entities did not have a right to speech protections under the First Amendment and therefore did not have unfettered access to participating in U.S. elections. Finally, in a 5-4 decision in the case of Samson v. Georgia, Chief Justice Ginsburg wrote in a majority opinion that the death penalty was unconstitutional under the 8th amendment. The case came forward after a juvenile was sentenced to the death penalty in Georgia. Conservatives relentlessly attacked the Supreme Court as 'activist' and Republican political pundits on cable news publicly decried the court as an illegitimate body carrying on the agendas of the likes of John Kerry and Mario Cuomo. 2010 MIDTERM ELECTIONS Senate Majority Leader Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) Senate Majority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) Senate Minority Leader Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota) Senate Minority Whip Chuck Schumer (D-New York) 112th Senate Makeup: 58 Republicans (-5), 42 Democrats (+4) 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives Christine Todd Whitman (R-New Jersey) House Majority Leader Michael Pence, (R-Indiana) House Majority Whip Julius Caesar Watts, Jr. (R-Oklahoma) House Minority Leader Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) House Minority Whip Xavier Becerra (D-California) 112th House Makeup: 237 Republicans (-22), 198 Democrats (+23) Democrats were able to campaign against the slow recovery of the President as well as the failure of GM and Chrysler. Democrats ran advertisements in key districts targeting the President and his policies as "tested and failed." The campaign was a success as throughout the midterm elections, the President's approvals went down significantly. At the beginning of October, the President went from an approval rating in the mid fifties to an approval rating of 47%. Polls around this time also showed Democrats with a lead of about seven nationally with some predicting they would be able to make significant gains in the House of Representatives and take away the filibuster proof majority in the Senate from Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Paul Wellstone was a big figure in the Democratic campaign, hammering home the President's failures on the economy. This was frustrating to President Fortuño because he had initially been hesitant about denying General Motors and Chrysler a bailout package. At the end of the day, Republicans kept their majorities. Despite the economy remaining stagnant, the future was starting to look not as bleak; employment numbers were improving and job losses had finally stopped. The President's mortgage reforms were coming into effect and the reduction in payroll taxes was seen as a significant boon to Republicans. In December of 2010, Associate Justice Richard Riley -- the last remaining Justice on the court appointed by President Hart other than the Chief Justice -- announced he would be retiring at the end of the year. Republicans saw this as a chance to finally begin to balance the court. Judge Janice Rogers Brown was chosen as the replacement to Richard Riley. Democrats feverishly opposed her nomination to the court, lamenting her record of judicial activism. Republicans balked at this notion, however, pointing to the judicial activism they believe the Supreme Court had been enacting the entirety of President Fortuño's term. President Fortuño had also brought up the issue of Puerto Rican statehood many times but the idea was not popular in the Republican Party who were already unhappy about the President's lax immigration stances. Republicans privately feared promoting Puerto Rican statehood would put them at a future disadvantage in the United States Senate. Vice President Donald Rumsfeld eventually talked the President out of pursuing this goal, urging him to consider the political capital it would take to achieve it. At the beginning of 2011, President Fortuño would send another 20,000 troops to Afghanistan as part of a surge to the country to fight al-Qaeda insurgents and the Taliban as well as to begin training the army in the country. The move was favored by most American's with 10/20 still fresh in their minds. In April of 2011, the New York Times published a story which laid out a timeline where Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and Vice President Donald Rumsfeld conspired to withhold intelligence information from the President regarding Pakistan's involvement in helping certain leaders of the Taliban in 2009. The White House went into damage control mode, assuring the press that the President and the Vice President were fully cooperating on all matters including that of national security. Privately, however, the President became highly distrustful of Cheney and Rumsfeld. Cheney would go on to resign only four months following the New York Times article and he would be replaced by former National Security Advisor Kelly Ayotte. This would see the beginning of a shift, with former Kassebaum officials being hired periodically throughout 2011 to replace Cheney hires in the Defense Department. During this same time, the President passed legislation consolidating the Commerce Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Energy Department into a single Department known simply as the 'Department of Commerce, Energy, and Environmental Protection.' This was coupled with cutbacks to the departments. By the middle of 2011, the economy was still very stagnant. The unemployment rate was 7.8% and while it had gone down significantly from the highest numbers of the recession, many American's were still unemployed and many were still deeply in debt. The war in Afghanistan continued and the President promised to continue the war until the Taliban and al-Qaeda were eliminated as a threat to the United States. It remained popular with American's in polling. In the fall of 2011, tensions with Iran grew to new heights after intelligence found they were increasing their uranium enrichment levels. The hawks of the Republican Party demanded the President draw an ultimatum to Iran. At the end of the day, Congress passed further sanctions and Secretary of State Jim Talent secured European Union support for sanctions on Iran for their nuclear program. At the beginning of 2012, despite several filibusters from Democrats and protests from climate activists, Republicans effectively gutted the 'Gore Act' enacted under John Kerry with the 'Energy Deregulation and Protection Act.' The move would be dismissed by most American's who, at this point, were displeased about the lack of economic results. Republicans would go on to pass the 'Immigration Reform Act of 2011.' The legislation did not include requested exemptions for supposed 'dreamers' -- immigrants brought to the United States as children -- protecting them from deportations. President Fortuño received a lot of criticism for this, even from the center-right. The war in Afghanistan was growing increasingly unpopular the more resources the United States poured into it and there was a growing coverage of the palace intrigue inside the White House going into 2012 after the Rumsfeld-Cheney scandal. 2012 Presidential Election President Luis Fortuño entered the first Republican primaries with an approval rating of 45% and a disapproval rating of 47%. Democrats relentlessly attacked the President for his lack of action on the economy as well as his failure to keep several of his campaign promises like making Puerto Rico a state and bringing an end to the economic crisis as quickly as he promised he would in the campaign in 2008. In addition, his former 'ace card' so-to-speak -- Donald Rumsfeld -- was now more of a liability on his ticket, seeming like a figure which used him as a puppet instead of backing him up as a trusted veteran advisor. This caused major speculation in the media the President would be looking for a new running mate in the 2012 election. The speculation was put to an end when the President and Vice President Rumsfeld held a joint press conference affirming Rumsfeld would be on the ticket and affirming the two worked together "better than we ever have." Ohio Senator John Kasich would announce his campaign to primary the incumbent President from the right, promising fiscal responsibility and promising an end to the war in Afghanistan through major force which the President was unwilling to commit to; many believed he had a bitter taste in his mouth from the Bush influence in the administration. Governor of South Carolina Lindsey Graham also announced his intention to run in the primary, railing against the President's foreign policy and calling on immediate action to bring an end to Iran's nuclear program. Graham campaign feverishly in South Carolina and built up a major lead in the state. President Fortuño campaigned in Iowa and New Hampshire along with Senator Kasich. The President would go on to win the Iowa primary while Kasich would barely take the New Hampshire primary from him -- a shocking development that lead many to question the President's viability in a general election. Governor Lindsey Graham easily won South Carolina. In a primary debate before Super Tuesday, the President made a gaffe when Lindsey Graham forcefully questioned if he was aware of the current number of American's who have perished in the war with Afghanistan. President Fortuño was unable to give a specific number and the moment was covered extensively after the debate. Romney chose to stay out of the race, many speculated he wasn't interested in trying to primary the incumbent President. The President would go on to win the larger states, forcing Graham out of the race. Graham pledged to use his delegates to change the Republican Party platform in regards to Iran and 'bad foreign actors.' The Democratic primaries were filled with viable candidates. Vice President Bill Nelson was seen as a possible front-runner along with former Secretary of State Joe Biden. However, early on, Vice President Nelson refused to run. The former Secretary of State also refused to run, citing his age and wanting to spend time with his family. New York Senator Andrew Cuomo announced he would be running for President, following in the foot steps of his father. Soon after, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced his campaign for the Presidency to much fanfare. Within the same week, both Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and California Governor Gavin Newsom announced their intentions to run. The final entry into the race was Texas Congressman Julian Castro. The "deck was stacked" according to most media outlets, noting the large heavyweights within the Democratic Party eager to take on President Fortuño in light of the flailing economy. Former Secretary of State Joe Biden would win Iowa and New Hampshire but Texas Congressman Julian Castro shocked many when he came in second place in New Hampshire. Deval Patrick won South Carolina and would go on to defeat Joe Biden in various larger swing-states on Super Tuesday. Granholm would take Michigan and Julian Castro was able to take various smaller states as well. Deval Patrick would go on to dominate in most of the south but would lose to Julian Castro in Texas. Jennifer Granholm dropped out of the race after Super Tuesday, endorsing Governor Deval Patrick. Governor Newsom also dropped out of the race, endorsing Biden. Ultimately, Joe Biden conceded the race after it was clear Governor Patrick would win California even with Governor Newsom campaigning with Biden in the final weeks of the campaign. The tickets were set; Governor Deval Patrick chose Jennifer Granholm as his Vice Presidential nominee. In the early onset of the campaign, Patrick would use a positive message to try and engage American's. The polling showed Patrick up by six points in the beginning of August. President Fortuño refused to rehire many of the previous operatives who worked on his campaign in 2008, much to the objection of Vice President Rumsfeld. The strategy of the Fortuño reelection campaign shifted before the convention, opting to air ads attacking Deval Patrick as far-left and incapable of fixing the economy. The campaign also focused on the many accomplishments of President Fortuño, including lower-taxes, the beginning of an economic recovery, and his management of the war effort in Afghanistan. During the first debate, Deval Patrick pounced on the President with a barrage of facts and statistics on the economy which he seemed unprepared for. Patrick was said to be more passionate than Fortuño. In an 'October surprise', Deval Patrick was revealed to have been involved in a scheme with casinos in Massachusetts, skirting state rules in order to fast-track new casinos being built in the state. Governor Patrick initially denied the allegations, but the damage was done. The Fortuño took advantage, with explicit permission from the President, and ran smear ads calling Patrick corrupt and pointing out his shady background. This would overshadow Patrick's key talking point of his economic success in Massachusetts as Governor in the face of the recession -- two weeks later, in the middle of October, national polls showed the race was essentially tied and within the margin of error. The key swing states were Florida, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and Ohio. The midwest was one of the toughest places for the President, especially with the auto bankruptcy haunting him, and Deval Patrick took advantage of that. Florida and Colorado were states which received the most attention in the election. Ultimately, on Election Day, it would be Florida that would secure President Luis Fortuño a second term. Governor Deval Patrick, however, would win the popular vote by nearly two percentage points. Democrats would fare much better in Congressional races, essentially wiping out any Republicans in left-leaning districts who were forced into tough votes in the latter end of Fortuño's first term. President Luis Fortuño, R/NPP-Puerto Rico/Vice President Don Rumsfeld, R-Illinois, 274 electoral votes, 46.3% of the popular vote Governor Deval Patrick, D-Massachusetts/Governor Jennifer Granholm, D-Michigan, 264 electoral votes, 48.5% of the popular vote 2012 Congressional elections Senate Majority Leader Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) Senate Majority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) Senate Minority Leader Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota) Senate Minority Whip Chuck Schumer (D-New York) 113th Senate Makeup: 52 Republicans (-6), 47 Democrats (+5), 1 Independent(s) (+1) 53rd Speaker of the House of Representatives Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) House Majority Leader Xaiver Becerra, (D-California) House Majority Whip Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) House Minority Leader Christine Todd-Whitman (D-New Jersey) House Minority Whip Michael Pence (D-California) 113th House Makeup: 213 Republicans (-24), 222 Democrats (+24)
  5. From my recollection, I believe it's likely we did -- be it in a group setting or privately. I can't recall specifics of every conversation I've had between arbitrary timeframes, however, unfortunate as it might be.
  6. No, Congressman, I can say unequivocally that I would be fully capable to carry out the functions as Chairman of the Armed Forces, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committee. I have been representing my constituents in Los Angeles and California for nearly twenty years -- be it on the city council, as Mayor of Compton, or now as Representative of the 9th district of California here in Congress. I was elected and I have been reelected three times. Prior to that, I spent nearly twenty years practicing law. I worked with the NAACP, the ACLU, among other civil rights groups in order to fight for the rights of black men and women across this country. I have dedicated my life to public service and I have dedicated my time and my energy to making this country a better place for my contemporaries -- to try and make sure they have a chance at the same opportunities that I had. My father always told me, when I was a child, that there is nothing stopping me from achieving my goals other than myself. I took that to heart and for the rest of my life, up until this very second, I can say that I believed that. Now let me be very clear. I would never accept a position if I thought I was being offered it for anything other than my ability and my knowledge. If I believed House Majority Leader King was appointing me to this committee because of our relationship, because we are brothers, there would be no question -- I wouldn't have accepted. The committee which I previously Chaired, and many of its members, have worked tirelessly to tarnish my reputation and throw out the twenty years of public service I've committed to. They've ignored my qualifications, they have made up my motivations for themselves, and they've relentlessly questioned my integrity and the integrity of my family. I've worked my entire life to build a reputation as a man who works for his family, as a man who dedicates his life to public service, and as a man who believes he can make a difference. That's what I've done. The character assassination of myself over the course of the past month, since this Congress began, has been grotesque in nature. There have been outright accusations of corruption based on no evidence, based on no actual wrong-doing, based on nothing more than a preconceived notion of nepotism. I've achieved everything in my life through hard work and determination -- not nepotism. I graduated from Morehouse and later Stanford because I studied, I worked, and I made it a priority in life -- not because of nepotism. I spent twenty years in public service and have won more than five elections because of the reputation I built, the policies I represented, and the people who turned out to vote for me -- not because of nepotism. And yes, I became Chairman of the Armed Forces, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committee because of my history in public service, because of my tenure in Congress -- NOT because of nepotism. It was asked earlier why House Majority Leader King got 'defensive' when asked about nepotism. Well, Congressman, I can tell you why. I am defensive today because I am quite frankly revolted at the tone of this hearing, at the tone of the questions coming from members of this committee. I am revolted at the erroneous, baseless, unfounded accusations that have been thrown around in the media. I am absolutely appalled that my reputation, twenty long years of public service and twenty long years of working for my constituents has been tainted because of this. It's an outrage. The bigots that exist in this country are having a hardy laugh today because of this hearing and the tone it has taken on. I was more than happy to personally open this investigation into this matter and provide the responsibility of that investigation to the minority party, so as to ensure there was no question about the integrity of the investigation. What has since proceeded has been a disgraceful and overtly partisan attempt to try and further tarnish my reputation as well as the reputation of House Majority Leader King. I am not sure, quite frankly, what the aim of this investigation even is anymore -- other than what I've described.
  7. I never had a conversation with House Majority Leader King about my desire to be Chairman of any committee outside of my initial, formal request to be named to a committee -- listing my preferences as well as my willingness to Chair a committee as has already been talked about in this committee.
  8. Representative King waives his opening statement.
  9. Ollie

    Local Media Quotes

    Name: Reggie King Party: Democrat Interviewing Agency: LA Times "The compromise on the AIDS bill being considered in the House is nothing to be praised. Congressman Seymor and Kaine should be ashamed of themselves for misleading the American people to believe this compromise was anything more than a two-man job. It was an amendment proposed by two individuals who both share the same backward beliefs -- that we shouldn't be serious about combatting major diseases and promoting prevention. We have a responsibility to do what is right and to make sure we're doing all we can on issues that affect all American's, regardless of their race, their creed, nationality, or personal choices. I will be fighting tooth and nail to return the original language of this bill through an amendment on the House Floor."
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