Thursday, April 2, 2009

HR 1207: 9 More Cosponsors, Jefferson's Quran

More cosponsors! How exciting.

Rep Paulsen, Erik [R, MN-3] - 3/30/2009
Rep Gingrey, Phil [R, GA-11] - 3/30/2009
Rep Terry, Lee [R, NE-2] - 3/30/2009
Rep Carter, John R. [R, TX-31] - 3/31/2009
Rep Capito, Shelley Moore [ R, WV-2] - 4/1/2009
Rep Wittman, Robert J. [R, VA-1] - 4/1/2009
Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D, NY-28] - 4/1/2009
Rep Ellison, Keith [Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, MN-5] - 4/1/2009
Rep Waxman, Henry A. [D, CA-30] - 4/1/2009

This brings the total to 55. The biggest obstacle at this point will be getting enough support from Democrats that Barney Frank (head of the committee to which the bill was referred) and Nancy Pelosi allow it to come to the House floor for consideration. Rep. Paul has said on several occasions that should the bill come to a vote, it would almost surely pass. The challenge is getting it past the gatekeepers.

Meanwhile, Vermont's Bernie Sanders has introduced an identical bill in the Senate. Sanders is an independent who caucuses with Democrats. The Senate version of the bill was introduced on March 16th and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

A word about Keith Ellison: this guy is pretty awesome. He's the first Muslim to be elected to Congress. I don't tend to go for identity politics, but whatever. He's pretty awesome regardless of his religion. He co-sponsored Kucinich's bill to impeach Dick Cheney, for example. The really cool thing, though? For his "swearing-in reenactment photo op" (actual swearing in is done en masse, without any books around) he used a copy of the Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson. Apparently Jefferson picked up a copy while he was studying for the bar.

A word about former member of the House Virgil Goode: all I have to say about this bigot is "Goode riddance." Goode issued a statement on the matter which read in part "If American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran." Because only Christians are allowed to be "REAL 'MERICANS." Clearly. There are a lot of good reasons to consider closing our borders. Hateful jingoism shouldn't be considered among them. The stinger? Ellison is a natural born citizen.

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