Monday, September 03, 2007

Nussle Nomination Up for Vote on Tuesday and Why to Vote Against Him

The nomination of Jim Nussle as the OMB Director will be up for a vote in the Senate on Tuesday. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has written a lengthy piece at the Huffington Post about why he is voting against Jim Nussle.

Here is what Sanders concludes...

In my view, it all comes down to the phrase "which side are we on." Are we on the side of those people who make huge campaign contributions to Congress and the White House, or are we on the side of tens of millions of working families, struggling hard to keep their heads above water? That is the choice we face.

And, that is why I am voting against Jim Nussle. Not because he is not smart, he is. Not because I don't like him, personally, I do. I am voting against Jim Nussle because I believe we should not give a break to the heirs of the Wal-Mart fortune. Rather, we should be fighting to substantially increase financial aid for low- and middle-class families so that every American, regardless of income, can receive a college education.

We should not give another tax break to the former CEO of ExxonMobil and his family. Instead, we should be working to support working families all over this country who are desperately seeking quality and affordable childcare.

I don't think that the heirs to the Mars Candy Bar fortune should get a tax break. In my view, it is far more important that we keep our promises to the veterans of this country who now find themselves on waiting lists to get the health care they need.

If, as a nation, we are serious about addressing the long neglected needs of the middle-class and working people and creating a fairer and more egalitarian society, we have to invest in education, health care, housing, and our infrastructure. We have to deal with the crisis of global warming and sustainable energy, as well as many other areas. We also have to reduce our national debt. Given that reality, Congress must develop the courage to stand up to the big money interests, to the wealthiest families. We must roll back the tax breaks given to the wealthiest 1 percent, and we must demand that fortunate people rejoin American society and understand that like everybody else in this country, they are part of America and not a special breed. If we are to keep faith with our children, our seniors, our veterans, and with those people who have no health insurance, we can do no less.

It seems very clear to me that we, as a nation, need to change our national priorities, and that the U.S. government should start paying attention to the struggling working families of our country rather than the powerful special interests who have so much power in Washington. We need a budget director who will remind the president that he is supposed to represent the interests of all Americans, and not just wealthy Republican campaign contributors.

That is why I am voting against Jim Nussle.

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