The Bush administration has been famous for its by-passing of the U.S. Constitution. Once again, agreements have been made with foreign governments with little or no review from the U.S. Senate. This time, it concerns social security.
"... the U.S. government released this week the actual U.S.-Mexico Social Security Totalization Agreement, an understanding signed between the Bush administration and the Mexican government in 2004 that would funnel billions of Social Security funds to Mexican citizens. "
"TREA Senior Citizens League, a Washington-based nonpartisan seniors group, announced this week that after Freedom of Information Act lawsuits it filed against the government, it had received the secret agreement document. "
... at least, on this issue, the Senate will get eventual review - this time! ...
"The U.S. commissioner of Social Security signed the agreement with the director general of the Mexican Social Security Institute on June 29, 2004. TREA has fought to make it public for over three and a half years, according to a press release from the organization.
In the meantime, the agreement has been slowly making its way through mandated reviews by the State Department and the White House. Once the White House submits it to Congress, lawmakers will have 60 legislative days to review it.
Either chamber may vote to pass a Resolution of Disapproval of the agreement — or it will take effect automatically at the end of the 60-day period. Furthermore, the Mexican Senate must affirmatively approve the totalization agreement. "
... and people wonder why I get so venomous towards Washington and the administration ...
This Washington Times editorial names the Senatorial culprits:
"After signing the agreement, Mr. Bush must then submit it to Congress, which has 60 days to vote it down. It would automatically become law if Congress does not reject it. Opposing this deal should be an easy decision. But last year the Republican-led Senate narrowly rejected an amendment by Sen. John Ensign that would have prevented this travesty."
"During the Senate debate on immigration reform in May, Mr. Ensign proposed that no illegal alien whose status would be adjusted by the Senate bill be permitted to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful activity. "There was a felony they were committing, and now they can't be prosecuted" under the terms of the Senate immigration bill, Mr. Ensign argued at the time. "That sounds like amnesty to me." On top of amnesty for the felony, the bill would also grant them Social Security benefits, as would the deal negotiated by the Bush administration with Mexico."
"In addition to Messrs. McCain, Hagel and Brownback, other still-serving Republicans who opposed the Ensign amendment, which lost by a 50-49 vote, included Sens. Lindsey Graham, Richard Lugar, Mel Martinez, Arlen Specter, Ted Stevens and George Voinovich. "
"Beyond the Senate's reckless decision, which the president, we now know, has supported for years, Social Security passed two other worrisome milestones last year. First, the "assets" in the Orwellian-named Social Security trust funds surpassed the $2 trillion level in 2006. Of course, every dime of those trillions will have to be redeemed from general tax revenues when baby boomers, and, if the president gets his way, former illegal aliens begin depleting the trust funds in about 10 years. Second, when Social Security trustees release their annual report this spring, they almost certainly will report that the present value of Social Security's unfunded liabilities now exceeds $5 trillion. It is simply incomprehensible that the president and so many other Republicans want to add to Social Security's $7 trillion fiscal milestone. "
... meanwhile, Guardsmen overrun at the Border