Fed meddling may do more harm in foreclosure mess

Editorial Most of what Congress does is ill-advised. But when Congress is in a hurry to appear especially active and responsive to a perceived crisis, it is likely to go beyond ill-advised to downright boneheaded. It is becoming increasingly obvious that several aspects of the bill passed in response to the decline in housing prices […]

Stevens has left Republican party in tough position

It is ironic how often great malefactors get tripped up on matters that seem picayune by comparison. Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens has for decades had a reputation as one of the most shameless, unapologetic and relentless pork barrelers in Congress. Sen. Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the Senate — since 1968 — acts […]

Military pay increase will exceed private sector’s

By Tom Philpott Active duty and reserve component members can bank on a 3.9 percent pay raise next January as Congress continues to close a perceived military “pay gap” that a Pentagon pay study says no longer exists. The House Armed Services Committee on May 14 joined Senate colleagues in approving, for a 10th consecutive […]

Savings numbers don’t match health care reality

By Tom Philpott Bush administration officials again have saddled Congress with an under-funded military health-care budget by projecting $1.2 billion in savings they know will not be realized, say critics on Capitol Hill. Part of the false savings, for a third straight year, is tied to the unlikely scenario that Congress will enact administration plans […]

Improper use of national security letters should be curbed by Congress

Freedom New Mexico FBI Director Robert S. Mueller has confirmed in a Senate hearing that a forthcoming report from the Justice Department’s inspector general will find that abuses by FBI agents in the use of a tool called national security letters (NSLs) occurred in 2006. This comes even after abuses had been documented from 2003-05, […]

Congress overstepping bounds with bill

By Kevin Wilson Congress is about to tell you it’s OK to break the law, as long as somebody in the government is paying you to do it. The Senate on Tuesday voted in favor of giving telecommunications companies immunity for their roles in a National Security Administration eavesdropping program previously ruled unconstitutional by the […]

Bush seeking higher TRICARE fees

By Tom Philpott President’s Bush final defense budget, for fiscal 2009, asks a reluctant Congress for a third time to raise TRICARE co-payments on drugs dispensed at retail pharmacies and to increase TRICARE enrollment fees and deductibles for working-age military retirees and their families. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the […]

Early retirement provision drawing ire

By Tom Philpott The $696 billion defense authorization bill for 2008, which Congress expects to return to the White House by next week for a promised signature, has a host of critical pay and benefit initiatives for service members at war. The House passed a revised HR 1585 last week, removing a provision that would […]

Troops need protection during ‘bonus limbo’

By Tom Philpott Pentagon officials and congressional staffs are working together to try to ensure that thousands of bonus-qualified recruits, and thousands of careerists ready to re-enlist, aren’t harmed financially by the current suspension of bonuses and incentive pays. Bonuses and many special pays stopped Jan. 1 because President Bush vetoed the fiscal 2008 defense […]

Campos plans run for Congress

Freedom New Mexico State Rep. Joe Campos of Santa Rosa said Tuesday he will run for Congress from New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. Campos, who represents Curry, Roosevelt and De Baca counties, hopes to fill the seat being vacated by Steve Pearce, who is running for the U.S. Senate. He plans a formal announcement of […]

Internet tax would only slow progress

Freedom New Mexico Congress has an opportunity to permanently ban Internet taxes, but it had better act fast. The temporary moratorium instituted in 1998 and extended twice since then expires Nov. 1. We hope Congress has the courage to take advantage of its opportunity, but if lawmakers are tardy, prepare to see a feeding frenzy […]

Energy bill in need of major overhaul

We oppose most of what’s in the energy bills awaiting Congress’ return from recess because they favor mandates over markets, pie in the sky over practicality and are largely disconnected from reality. It turns out they’re disconnected in a literal sense, too. In a case of putting the renewable energy bandwagon before the horse, Congress […]

August 28, 1982

• Joe Skeen, republican candidate for Congress, visited area senior citizens during a pot luck luncheon at the senior Citizens Center. Skeen was seeking a bid for re-election against Democratic candidate Caleb Chandler. • A Farmall Cub tractor with PTO and hydraulic lift was advertised in the classified section for $750. • The Floyd Homemakers […]

Bingaman: Water project justified investment

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., is serving his fifth term in Congress and is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Following Tuesday’s Senate field hearing at Clovis-Carver Public Library, he answered a few questions for Freedom Newspapers. Q: You came to Clovis for the field hearing regarding the […]

Politicians using smoke screen against public

Editorial If lawmakers are worried about border security, they sure aren’t putting their money where their mouths are. Congress recently allocated $747 million to some 50 U.S. cities in its latest round of anti-terrorism funding, and just like previous allocations the money isn’t addressing what many say is their primary concern — keeping terrorists out […]

Republicans use Democrats’ strategy to block bills

Editorial The first 100 days of Nancy Pelosi’s reign of error as speaker of the House have come and gone. Several times over, actually. And what does Congress have to show for it? Little to nada, legislatively speaking, and even lower public approval ratings than the besieged President Bush. Not that we’re complaining. Most of […]

War should be ended with as little harm to Iraq as possible

Editorial As expected, President Bush vetoed a $124 billion supplemental spending bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that included a timetable that could have required the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq no later than October. “Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure,” the president said. Whether Congress can […]

Congress anxious to put pork back on its menu

Editorial Congressional Democrats did an admirable job of purging pork barrel projects — also called earmarks — from spending bills that were left unfinished when Republicans were ousted from power last fall. They had to do something, given all their campaign rhetoric about those fiscally feckless Republicans. But whether they can for long hold the […]

Abortion likely to become central campaign issue

Editorial On an emotional level it is difficult to be unhappy with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The procedure banned in that law, which involves extracting from the womb most of an intact fetus, 20 weeks or older, then piercing or crushing the skull to make sure the […]

Location least of Halliburton controversies

By Freedom Newspapers Hating Halliburton is almost as popular in the United States as hating Wal-Mart. So we were surprised to see so little applause, and so much consternation in left-wing circles, when the oil services company once headed by the vice president announced it would be moving its corporate headquarters from Houston to the […]