Catering to the extremes
Editor’s note: On Friday, U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC) released the following statement after the House voted 240-186 to pass a two-year federal budget agreement that included no protections for DACA recipients.
The bipartisan budget agreement reached by Senate leaders this week is a long-awaited step to address a number of outstanding funding priorities. It fulfills the fundamental obligation of Congress to keep the government open and paves the way for the delayed passage of our 12 appropriations bills. For too long, Congress has lurched from crisis to crisis, passing short-term spending agreements which contain arbitrary and irresponsible spending caps that restrain our economic investments and threaten our national security.
In addition to making dollar for dollar increases in the defense and non-defense budgets above sequestration levels, this agreement contains much-needed relief for millions of families still recovering from natural disasters – including $125 million for ongoing Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts in North Carolina. It also reaffirms our commitment to fight the opioid crisis, secures billions to improve our nation’s infrastructure, and makes critical investments in our nation’s veterans, healthcare, and education programs.
Unfortunately, Republican leadership in the House has done nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers facing uncertainty thanks to President Trump. His decision to rescind the DACA program, and then blow up the bipartisan proposal to fix the problem that he created, forced Dreamers squarely in the middle of the shutdown battle. What’s worse, the president has yet to learn his lesson, just this week calling for another government shutdown to advance his mass-deportation agenda.
My colleagues in the Senate have received assurances by Majority Leader McConnell of an imminent vote that includes DACA, but Speaker Ryan has continued to cater to the extreme wings of his caucus, lacking the political courage to put legislation on the floor. His promise to only put a bill on the floor that President Trump publicly supports is particularly disgraceful. No Speaker should yield our legislative prerogative to the President, particularly this president on this issue. Without assurances in the House similar to those given in the Senate, I cannot vote to support this budget package and let Republican leadership once again kowtow to a president who believes his power cannot be checked.
U.S. Rep David Price
Since the last of the Confederate soldiers died in 1951, their sons must be at least 130 years old, so perhaps I should be more sympathetic with their efforts to hoist monstrous Confederate flags in all 100 counties in our state (“Group plans to fly 100 Confederate battle flags across NC,” Feb . 5).
But since a loathsome symbol of the dumbest war ever fought (soldiers in cloth uniforms and hats standing across a field from each other blowing their heads off) will be seen as backwater racism to those of us living in the 21st century, I just cannot do it. An examination of the history of the Civil War reveals that the slave owners hoped to draw the British into the conflict with flattery by designing a crude version of the Union Jack, which is the Confederate flag we see today. But the English, aware of the arc of history, had effectively ended slavery some 30 years earlier by purchasing their freedom for about $25 million, vastly cheaper than a war and without the loss of over a million lives.
Symbols of stupidity should not be welcome in any county anywhere and senility is no excuse for the Sons of the Confederacy.
Did you know that in 2017, North Carolina had 77 domestic violence homicides?
Domestic violence is qualified as a pattern of abuse in which one partner tries to gain power and control over the other. Domestic violence can happen to anyone and can be physical, emotional, economic, social, or psychological.
Both local and national governments currently have many policies that maintain the battle against domestic violence, but it is clearly not enough. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “48.4 percent of women and 48.8 percent of men have experienced at least one psychologically aggressive behavior by an intimate partner” They also report that “nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.” As a country and state, we can combat these alarming numbers by pressuring our representatives to increase funding for the organizations and shelters that care for victims and provide an effective balance of punishment and rehabilitation for abusers, in order to break the cycle of abuse. Take action: contact representatives, write letters, and reach out to your community.
More important things
The recent government shutdown brought the issue of immigration back into the spotlight. President Trump has had a great first year in office but continues to focus far too much on an issue that was important in his campaign, which is the building of the border wall.
The construction of a border wall will worsen our country’s relations with Mexico and cost the taxpayers of America billions of dollars. We should instead be more focused on improving on our relations with other countries, improving national well-being, and working out a budget to prevent another government shutdown.
A large part of President Trump’s 2016 campaign platform was illegal immigration and the wall. He clearly showcases his opinions about Mexico, including by continuously speaking about Mexico and illegal aliens.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
There are much more important things happening in our country at the moment than to be concerned about using billions of dollars to enforce his border wall. Our country can do tremendous things when we are focused on the right issues, such as national security, job creation, and lowering taxes, but if we continue focusing on illegal immigration, we will not succeed as a nation.
Sterilize your pets
The Orange County Animal Services Department is working to combat pet overpopulation by hosting another “Spay Neuter Day.” This event coincides with the national Spay Day USA event each February.
The event will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The purpose is to raise awareness and help to eliminate the need for euthanasia as a means of population control.
For the event, Animal Services has partnered with Spay Neuter Assistance Program or North Carolina (SNAP-NC) to offer no-cost spay and neuter surgeries to pets of households that receive services from the Orange County Department of Social Services or who qualify by their combined income. Thanks to a recent grant from the Margo T. Petrie Foundation, Animal Services has been able to expand this spay/neuter program to include almost 13,000 more households in Orange County.
In addition, the Board of County Commissioners has once again signed a resolution declaring Feb. 27, as Spay Neuter Day in Orange County. See the annual Spay Neuter report and resolution here:bit.ly/2C8uuXH
Animal Services hopes events such as this, along with other longer-term programs developed by this department, will increase the number of pets that are spayed and neutered in Orange County, and in turn help to eliminate the ongoing problem of pet overpopulation we face as a community.
Qualifying Orange County residents must sign up by Tuesday, Feb. 13.
To register or determine if you qualify, please call Sarah Fallin at 919-932-4966.
Bob Marotto, director
Sarah Fallin, program coordinator
Orange County Animal Services
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