Friday, January 9, 2009

They're Ba-aaaack!

Both the 111th Congress in Washington, D.C. and the Connecticut State General Assembly seated their new and returning legislators this past week.

Returning US Congressmen took this oath:
"I, (insert name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

(The oath of office required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, and as provided by section 2 of the act of May 13, 1884 (23 Stat. 22), to be administered to Members, Resident Commissioner, and Delegates of the House of Representatives, the text of which is carried in 5 U.S.C. 3331: see here)

So far, they haven't done such a super job of adhering to that oath. But I digress.

Amid a financial recessionary downturn, we are bound to see more unemployment and deficits. Figures released this morning showed a 7.2% unemployment rate. How these legislative bodies will deal with that and the further predicted deterioration of the economy remains to be seen.

The CT Governor's speech, the State of the State, was pretty dire. Governor Rell stressed that deep cuts would have to be made in order to balance the CT State budget. She spoke pretty candidly about the fact that "We will not soon see an end to bankruptcies and foreclosures, to pink slips or red ink.....The sacrifices will not be easy or painless. The recommended two-year budget I present to you next month will reflect that. The cuts that must be made will be deep and they will affect every agency, every program and every service provided by state government." At least there is some understanding that as a State we must examine and cut back on our spending. What that translates into and what that actually materializes into, is something yet to be seen.

In both bodies, the Democrats are in control. I hope that both bodies remember that in these times of crisis that there are no Democrats, there are no Republicans, but rather that we are all Americans and must solve these problems together. Let's hope they use some common sense and prudence in their decisions.

If you are interested at all in what our elected officials are doing, you can Track Bills and contact your legislators via these websites:

Track Government bills at GovTrack
Contact Congress here

Track CT bills at CT Bill Tracker
Contact your CT legislator here

If you live in another State you can certainly check your General Assembly's website for similar links.