LaRouche PAC Gives Congress
Agenda To Save the Nation
by Harley Schlanger and Nancy Spannaus
Aug. 6—What is usually a routine vote at the end of a Congressional session, for the five-week Summer recess, provided an indication that the deepening global crisis has made "business-as-usual" an unacceptable option for the majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives: 78 Republicans joined 187 Democrats to vote last week against adjourning until Sept. 4. While the media either lied, saying the Congress is on recess, ignored the vote, or offered a myriad of reasons for it, the underlying issue is clear: A majority of House members realize that the nation is in an existential crisis, and that an angry population is blaming them for refusing to take necessary actions.
Contributing to that recognition was the intense deployment, for the last two weeks, of a strike force of young activists from LaRouche PAC (LPAC), which carried out an unprecedented blitz of the institutions of government in the nation's capital. The LaRouche PAC deployment was focused on two major tasks. First, the organizers demanded that Congress act to take on the global economic/financial collapse by passing H.R. 1489 (the Return to Prudent Banking Act, introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D-Ohio], which now has 78 co-sponsors) to restore Glass-Steagall banking regulations, which would end the bailouts, while removing any governmental obligation for the hundreds of trillions of dollars of worthless speculative debt held by the banks.
Glass-Steagall would be combined with the return to a system of national credit, restoring the National Bank of the United States, which would take as its first task the funding of the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA XXI), to create more than 6 million jobs in the largest infrastructure program in our nation's history, and rebuilding the nation's industrial capacity—especially in the machine-tool sector—to construct it.
The LaRouche PAC mobilization intersected the growing international movement for Glass-Steagall-style banking separation, which was boosted over the last two weeks by the about-face of former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill, who prominently proclaimed the necessity of restoring Glass-Steagall—which he had played a leading role in repealing in 1999 (!)—along with editorials in leading press, including the Financial Times, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times, as well as in the German weekly Der Spiegel, admitting that Glass-Steagall is urgently needed. Weill's "Damascus Road conversion," in particular, had a huge impact, as it was cited in several Congressional hearings by supporters of H.R. 1489, and was the subject of animated discussion in the halls of Congress, and in the many meetings that Congressmen and staffers held with the LPAC activists.
Turning up the heat for revival of Glass-Steagall are the unfolding revelations around the Libor rate-fixing scandal, and the drug-money-laundering charges against HSBC. These stories have added to the pressure on Congress to take action against the criminal activity of top bankers and financial institutions, which is at the heart of the present global financial breakdown crisis. This includes taking action against the Obama Administration, which has not only covered up for these crimes (as in Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's role with Libor), but has actively supported the continuation of the coverup.
The Threat of War
The second issue raised by the LaRouche PAC activists was the intensification of the danger of a thermonuclear World War III, stemming from the Obama Administration's escalation of the drive for regime-change against Syria's Assad government, and its insistence of keeping "on the table" a strike against Iran. Many Members of Congress expressed concern that, if the Congress were out of session, the "guns of August" scenario would unfold, with nothing to hold back an increasingly desperate Obama, in an escalation of hostilities, from crossing the threshold, to launching thermonuclear strikes against Russia and China.
The organizers put two immediate solutions on the table. First, the lawful Constitutional grounds available for the removal of President Obama from office. A Watergate climate is growing in the capital, but, as the organizers argued, the nation can't afford to wait for the President to be held accountable after the election: He has to be removed from power, and candidacy for the Presidency, now.
The second available option is in House Concurrent Resolution 107, introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), which declares that any President who takes the nation to war (outside of self-defense) without consulting with Congress, as prescribed in the Constitution, is immediately subject to impeachment proceedings. Jones' bill, introduced this Spring, has nine co-sponsors, including one Democrat.
Despite the impact of the LaRouche PAC organizing, plus the crash of the euro, the collapse of food production due to drought conditions, and the intensification of fighting in Syria (with the admission of the Obama Administration that it had signed an "intelligence finding" granting wide support for the "rebel" forces there), the Congress failed to take action as the deadline approached.
However, the House vote against adjournment—which, according to the Constitution, prevents the Senate from formally going into recess as well—leaves the door open to their returning to Washington for emergency sessions. Lyndon LaRouche confirmed that the LaRouche PAC mobilization will escalate, both in Washington and in the home districts. Whether the Congress returns to Washington this August may determine if the U.S. will survive this confluence of crises.
How the Mobilization Worked
If there were any Member of Congress who didn't know of the immediate need for Glass-Steagall, or the danger of keeping President Obama in office, before July 24, he or she knows it now. More than 30 LPAC organizers, whose efforts were backed up by calls into Congress from constituents, saturated Capitol Hill with leaflets, and held dozens of meetings with Congressional and Senatorial aides, or the officeholders themselves.
Glass-Steagall is now a ubiquitous topic of discussion, as attested by reports on private caucus meetings, and as overheard in numerous offices. While there has only been a slight increase in the number of co-sponsors on the bill to restore Glass-Steagall in recent weeks, the Congress has been primed to act. The Franklin Roosevelt-era bill's necessity—and the immediate followup measures of creating a new national banking system based on the Hamiltonian credit principle, and implementation of NAWAPA XXI—have been put on the table as the emergency measures that must be taken, as the inevitable trans-Atlantic financial-breakdown crisis accelerates over the month of August.
Congress in a Bind
Over the second week of the blitz on Washington, the LPAC banner which dominated street interventions was "Summer School for Congress: No Recess; Oust Obama, Pass Glass-Steagall." The sentiment intersected a mood in Congress, undoubtedly fed by the rage of their constituents, who have rated their Congressional representatives with less than 15% popularity. Numerous Congressional offices told LPAC organizers that they were ashamed of the fact that the Congress had done nothing on the important issues facing the nation. Others merely expressed their fear, that if they left the capital, President Obama might do something crazy.
As of July 31, a number of constituencies began to agitate publicly for cancelling the traditional August recess. For example, a bipartisan coalition of Virginia politicians demanded action to stave off hundreds of thousands of layoffs in the defense industry—an action which will hit the Commonwealth hard if the automatic sequestration budget deal, reached between Obama and the Republican leadership in August 2011, goes through. In another case, a member of the Democratic Congressional leadership insisted that Congress deal with the problems of the devastating national drought (one half of all counties are in areas declared emergencies due to drought), before leaving. Representatives from the farm state of Iowa also began to speak up.
On Aug. 2, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack went public on the need for Congress to stay in session; speaking on a New York City NPR station, he referred to the sign he said he had recently seen in Washington, which read "Summer School for Congress, No Recess." "I agree with that," he said; saying that it was irresponsible for Congress to leave town without passing a farm bill (the current one runs out at the end of September), and without dealing with the killer drought.
Only Republicans voted to adjourn the Congress, although 78 of them joined 187 Democrats to defeat the motion.
Responding to Leadership
The concept behind the two-week deployment into Washington, as laid out by LaRouche, was very precise. Not only was it necessary to push through Glass-Steagall, and move toward getting Obama out of office—actions long overdue—but a direct dialogue between LaRouche PAC, which has the programs and ideas to save the nation, and those political leaders with a sense of responsibility for the nation, had to be set into motion.
There is no doubt that the latter occurred. Offices that had previously refused to meet with LaRouche PAC representatives were convinced to do so by calls from LaRouche PAC supporters in their districts. Representatives and Senators were intersected at hearings, breakfasts, and other events—as well as through formal meetings—and brought into discussing LaRouche's three-point program, and the war danger.
An atmosphere of the utmost seriousness about the crisis permeated many of the meetings, and a substantial number of top aides committed themselves to further discussions during the "recess" period. By the end of the two weeks, that discussion had been further deepened by the issuance of a new LaRouche PAC pamphlet, "The Full Recovery Program for the United States," which will begin wide circulation in the immediate days ahead.