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Five Top Liberal Issues for 2010

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Essentials and predictions about five top liberal political issues in 2010.

1. Obama's 2010 Immigration Reform Agenda

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The 2010 Congressional battle over reform of U.S. immigration policies will make the heated 2009 war-of-words over health care look positively peaceful.

The Obama administration set its 2010 immigration reform agenda on November 14, 2009 when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delivered a speech in which she described the President's "Three-legged Stool" approach to immigration reform, which includes:

  • effective enforcement,
  • improved legal/approval processes for workers and employers, and
  • a "firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here."

2. Health Care Reform Legislation - Finalize and Sign Into Law

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Look for finalization of health care reform legislation to be excruciatingly difficult!

On November 7, 2009 by a vote of 220 to 215, the House passed health reform which included a watered-down public plan option, and the Stupak amendment, which restricts womens' access to all abortions if coverage is purchased through a government exchange.

On December 24, 2009 by a party-line vote of 60 to 39, the Senate passed health reform which excluded any public or Medicare-like option, but contained less restrictive language on funding of abortions.

A Congressional conference committee must reconcile the two bills into one package that can survive another vote by both the House and Senate, which will than be signed into law by President Obama.

3. President Obama's Expansion of the Afghanistan War

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On December 1, 2009, President Obama announced his Afghanistan War plan, which entails sending 30,000 more U.S. soldiers there.

Not included in his speech were answers to such questions as:

  • How is the U.S. supposed to tamp down terrorism in 18 months, a goal the U.S. has failed to accomplish in eight years? What will be different, new, and finally effective?
  • How does the President propose to pay for his Afghan War initiative, which he vaguely estimated "is likely to cost us roughly $30 billion for the military this year... "?
  • What is the exit plan for U.S. occupation of Afghanistan?
Progressives in both house of Congress must insist that these questions be fully answered before they approve funding for another presidential war fiasco.

4. U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq War

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Liberals must hold the White House and Congress accountable to the U.S.-Iraqi agreement to withdraw "most" U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of August 2010, and all troops by the end of December 2011.

The U.S. continues to spend $7.3 billion monthly on the Iraq War in support of more than 100,000 U.S. troops who remain stationed in Iraq.

And in 2010, the U.S. continues to send soldiers and National Guardsman to Iraq for tours of duty lasting one year or longer.

The Obama administration insists that plans are largely on-track to withdraw from Iraq ... but deadlines have slipped before. Many times.

5. Passage of Climate Change Legislation

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Per President Obama at the U.N. Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, "... America bears our share of responsibility in addressing climate change, and we intend to meet that responsibility... that is why we have taken bold action at home – by making historic investments in renewable energy; by putting our people to work increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings; and by pursuing comprehensive legislation to transform to a clean energy economy."

But some centrist Democrats have asked President Obama "to give up... on any effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill" before the 2010 elections. And Republicans want to entirely kill climate change legislation.

Liberals can't allow that to happen: climate change is too urgent to ignore.

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