Republicans Tank Science COMPETES Bill with Bogus Anti-Porn Clause

The COMPETES Act renewal, which would provide additional funding for scientific research and education, and is targeted towards technological development and commercialization was dealt a blow yesterday as Republicans pulled more obstructionist crap. Before the Republican Party was completely taken over by the enraged Uruk-hai wing of their party, they would have not opposed this. But movement conservativism means party before country (italics mine):

House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., Thursday blasted what he described as a "cynical" motion to recommit offered by Republicans and passed on a 292-126 vote to legislation that would reauthorize a law aimed at doubling basic research funding at key science agencies with the hope of boosting U.S. competitiveness.

Gordon said the motion offered during House debate on the measure would "gut" the bill, known as the America COMPETES Act, by reducing authorized funding levels to 2010 levels and reauthorizing the measure for three years instead of five while cutting some provisions such as the Energy Department's ARPA-E program aimed at funding high-risk, high-reward energy research....

The committee approved the bill last month on a bipartisan vote, Gordon noted and it is widely backed by business, technology and other groups. Baird said that the measure would provide the "seed corn" for tomorrow's innovations and jobs and that Republicans didn't just "eat the seed corn, they smashed it up."

And what was that cynical maneuver the Republicans used to tank the bill? They added a poison pill--a porn pill to be precise (italics mine):

...the Republican motion to recommit the bill -- a parliamentary tactic that gives the minority one final chance to amend legislation -- contained language prohibiting federal funds from going "to salaries to those officially disciplined for violations regarding the viewing, downloading, or exchanging of pornography, including child pornography, on a federal computer or while performing official government duties."

That provision scared dozens of Democrats into voting with Republicans to approve the motion to recommit. After it became clear the GOP motion was going to pass, dozens of additional Democrats changed their votes from "no" to "yes." In the end, 121 Democrats voted with Republicans -- only four fewer than the number of Democrats who voted with their party.

But because of additional changes contained in the motion, Democrats decided to pull the bill from consideration immediately following the passage of the motion to recommit.

We don't have a two party system. We have a moderate to conservative party, the Democrats, and a gang of political sociopaths and lunatics who place blind allegiance to dogma over the welfare of their fellow citizens, known as Republicans.

As long as the Republican Party exists in its current form, the Overton Window will be dragged so far towards lunacy, the ability to get anything useful done will be impossible.


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As long as the Republican Democratic Party exists in its current form, ... the ability to get anything useful done will be impossible.

Glad I could fix that for ya, no thanks needed.

Y'know, if this amendment passed and was applied to military personnel, the US would be forced to withdraw from Iraq & Afghanistan well before the first snowflake of the season falls on the Hindu Kush.

At least the 'Pubs' poison porn pill doesn't seem to have discriminated between the viewers of homosex & heterosex erotica. Anybody want to bet on how long until the teabaggers make an issue out of that?

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

I openly discriminate against and mock conservatives these days.

It's how I cope with those assholes.

By Katharine (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

"passed on a 292-126 vote" - sounds like both parties made this go away, not just the Repugs. I thought we had the majority? Are most Dems voting along buzzword lines now instead of merit?

By Gray Gaffer (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Mike you're making it sound like this was a complete political gimmick. It wasn't- it was intended to fix a real problem. NSF IT audits found that multiple employees were watching porn from Federal copmuters, including one senior official that watched porn on over 300 different days. NSF's response was not to fire these people but to give them minor suspensions such as ten days without pay.

The amendment ensured that in the future, NSF fires such people. What's wrong with that?…

Plus, there were a decent number of SEC officials who spent tons of time watching porn on their government computers all day long were not significantly disciplined. Many of them seemed to get almost no punishment at all.

I've also had to sit through more porn is not an appropriate use of your government issued computer or the government network lectures than I care to think about. Apparently, they seem to catch people doing that routinely.

By katydid13 (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

Baird said that the measure would provide the "seed corn" for tomorrow's innovations and jobs and that Republicans didn't just "eat the seed corn, they smashed it up."