When Senators Wear Seersucker Suits

If you're wondering why the Senate looked like a  convention of ice cream vendors Thursday, the reason is that it was the one day of the year when senators are encouraged to wear seersucker suits.

Some 20 senators showed up wearing the warm weather garb, including Majority Leader Bill Frist, who not only was wearing seersucker but white shoes as well. Three other senators did the same, including Republicans Gordon Smith of Oregon and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who was decked out in a bow tie as well.


Re:Troop Withdrawal--It’s time for Iraqis to stand up for Iraq

Want to win the war on terror? Want to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat? Want to stop the Taliban from retaking Afghanistan? Want to stop Al Qaeda’s new beachhead in Somalia? I sure as hell do. I’m tired of a national security game of half measures where the same people who took their boots off Osama bin Laden’s neck at Tora Bora when he was cornered, now think we have to stay bogged down in Iraq forever and leave these growing threats unaddressed.

Our enemies are thrilled we’re bogged down in Iraq. But we have a choice. It’s time to redeploy for victory in the war on terror. It’s time for Iraqis to stand up for Iraq. We know the verdict of our generals: the war cannot be won militarily; the only way forward is a political settlement. We need to listen to Gen. George Casey, the U.S. military commander in Iraq, who argued that our large military presence "extends the amount of time that it will take for Iraqi security forces to become self-reliant." To make Iraq self-reliant, we need hard and fast deadlines, not an open-ended commitment of U.S. forces. Our troops have done their job in Iraq. It’s time for Iraqis to stand up for Iraq.

Now Is Not The Time To Take Our Boot Off The Enemy's Neck

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell’s announcement regarding recent raids on terrorist insurgents is another sign of our military’s success in finding and killing terrorists. Congress is now debating a very clear choice: to continue that success, or leave Iraq in the heat of the battle—before victory is achieved. It’s never been clearer: When your boot is on your enemy’s neck, it’s not the time to quit.

Re: House Iraq Debate--Iraq, Not War On Terror, Is Issue

We were promised a debate on Iraq, and this is not that debate. This resolution is an entirely political document. It confuses support for the troops and the Global War on Terror with the War in Iraq. It amounts to nothing more than Republican propaganda that was drafted by political spinmeisters. The War on Terror and the War in Iraq are separate conflicts. To combine these issues is a disservice to the people who bravely serve their country every day and diverts attention away from what we should really be debating: Iraq.

House Debate Rule Undermines The Cause Of Our Troops

Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, your vote on this rule isn't about how you voted on the war. It is about respecting the troops. It is about respecting democracy. How can we ask the young men and women of our armed forces to die so that Iraqis can have democracy and debate when we are systematically undermining those same principals here in the United States Congress? It is unconscionable.

FEMA Fraud

We have been working with federal investigators on the subcommittee to investigate fraud, waste, and abuse in disaster relief assistance. We knew we’d find fraud, but not of this magnitude. We uncovered more than one billion dollars of fraud. What was most shocking was where the money went. We uncovered thousands of prisoners who applied for FEMA assistance while in prison and obtained benefits. We found individuals who used social security numbers and the names of deceased persons to obtain benefits. We found listed “residencies

FEMA Needs to be Reformed

The fraud in FEMA is extensive and obscene, and those involved in fraud need to return the money and go to jail.  Clearly, the policy of FEMA needs to be changed.  It should not be giving out money to people who do not deserve it.

"One Size Fits All" Is Archaic And Makes Energy Dependent

The United States is the only developed nation in the world that arbitrarily restricts access to its off-shore energy resources. As prices continue to rise with global energy demand, this one-size-fits-all policy gets closer and closer to complete elimination. Congress must establish a commonsense, flexible framework that balances the competing interests of different states and enhances the country's ability to increase energy production at the same time.

A Step Towards Diversifying The Financial Workplace

The Financial Services Diversity Resolution addresses diversity in one of America's most thriving industries, and draws attention to the low presence of minorities in the financial services industry, and minorities and women in upper level managerial positions. The resolution encourages financial services institutions, both public and private, to adopt certain diversity initiatives including appointment of board members, career mentoring, partnerships and diversity in recruitment and training. I would hope Members from both sides of the aisle, especially those on the Financial Services Committee, would support greater opportunities for all Americans in the industry we oversee.