Vito's Clout in DC
Most political analysists are predicting Democrats retaking the majority in the House of Representatives. Should that happen, Democrats will become the chairs of every committee in the House and essentially control what bills get to the floor and have control over what projects get funding. In short, Republicans are in for some hard times. Considering this I ponder what residents of the thirteenth have to look forward to should they choose to return Fossella to DC. What are the advantages of sending a representative to take part in the minority party?
This probably would be a little more drastic for someone like Rep. Hastert who will lose his Speaker of the House position and all the power that comes with it (3rd in succession for the Presidency). Looking at Fossella, who does not chair any committees, I fail to see what clout he currently has, and struggle to figure out what in fact he could offer to the 13th in an even less powerful, or completely powerless position. You just have to look back to the Homeland Security debacle when they cut New York City's terrorism funding. Just to demonstrate how seemingly useless he is at his job, and how he manages to have so little clout in his own party, one that has a majority and controls essentially what goes to committees and what gets passed out of committees, we take a look at resolutions in the past two years he couldn't even get passed:
• Honoring Benjamin Franklin on the 300th anniversary of his birth.
• Honoring New York State Senator John Marchi.
• Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States Postal Service should issue a commemorative postage stamp honoring famous Staten Island-born 19th Century Hudson River Painter Jasper Francis Cropsey, and the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee should recommend to the Postmaster General that such a stamp be issued.
• Honoring the spiritual leadership of Archbishop Iakovos to Greek Orthodox Christians in the Western Hemisphere.
• Expressing thanks to the people of the city of Rome for welcoming several million people into Rome and Vatican City during the funeral observances of Pope John Paul II in April 2005.
• Honoring the Fordham University School of Law upon the occasion of its 100th Anniversary.
• Recognizing the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the paid Fire Department of New York on Staten Island, and for other purposes.
Seriously, how does one fail to get a resolution passed thanking Rome for their hospitality during the funeral of Pope John Paul II? If he can't get that passed, if he can't get a majority to co-sponsor something like that, how could he possibly think he can achieve any big kid projects?