Last updated: February 20. 2013 2:52AM - 209 Views

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A 12-step plan for our willing elected leaders

Dear Representative Barletta, Senator Casey and Senator Toomey:

As your constituent and as a citizen fed up with Congress' failure to make progress on any of America's problems, I am calling on you to support full enactment of the No Labels Make Congress Work! action plan.

This 12-point plan, outlined below, provides a blueprint for fixing Congress by immediately reducing hyper-partisanship and gridlock. However, it can't happen without your leadership and willingness to put political labels aside for the good of our country.

1. No Budget, no pay

2. Up or down vote on presidential appointments: All presidential nominations for executive and judicial positions must be confirmed or rejected within 90 days after the Senate receives the completed nomination.

3. Filibuster reform: If senators want to halt action on a bill, they must take to the floor and hold it through sustained debate (i.e. the talking filibuster).

4. Empower the sensible majority: Reform House and Senate procedures to fast-track legislation with majority support.

5. Make members come to work: Each four-week congressional period will include three weeks in Washington followed by a week available for working at home with constituents. Each week in Washington will consist of a five day work week. The House and Senate will coordinate schedules so they are in Washington during the same weeks.

6. Question time for the Presiden
t: Institute a regular question period that brings Congress and the president together.

7. Fiscal report to Congress: Hear it. Read it. Sign it.

8. No pledge but the oath of office: With 80 percent of Congress having signed pledges to never raise taxes or never cut Social Security, there is no room for compromise on two of the biggest factors in America's budget deficits.

9. Monthly Bipartisan Gatherings

The House and Senate should institute monthly bipartisan gatherings. Gatherings would be off the record and not televised

10. Bipartisan seating: At all joint meetings or sessions of Congress, each member should be seated next to at least one member of the other party. On committees and subcommittees, seating also would be arranged in an alternating bipartisan way by agreement between the chair and ranking member.

11. Bipartisan leadership committee: Includes the President pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the house and the Senate and House majority and minority leaders. Includes four open slots for any two members of the Senate and House determined by lottery on a rotating basis. The committee meets weekly and, subject to mutual agreement, monthly with the President.

12. No negative campaigns against incumbents: Incumbents of one party should not conduct negative campaigns against incumbent members of the opposing party.

You can read more about each of these reform proposals at: nolabels.org/work

Thanks for support of Jackie and Angel Tree

The Meadows Manor and the family of Jackie Mazur want to thank everyone that helped make our sponsorship of the Angel Tree in the Grotto's Annual Parade of Trees a success.

All proceeds from the competition will go to the Four Diamonds Fund at Hershey Medical Center.

This fund helps families of sick children that are struggling through a traumatic time of childhood cancer.

Jackie Mazur was an angel when alive and continues to be an angel after passing.

She received a nursing degree and planned on working with the children at Hershey Medical Center. She was the epitome of what Four Diamonds stands for -- Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength.

Our hearts have been touched by her and we will continue to honor her by helping the children of Hershey.

Corbett supported in his suit of NCAA

I am writing to you in regards to the state of Pennsylvania suing the NCAA over the penalties given to Penn State University due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

In my opinion, the state of Pennsylvania and Gov. Tom Corbett have every right to sue the NCAA over the sanctions put on this school, nor Corbett should sue the NCAA.

The NCAA has no reason to punish the innocent players who did not play for Penn State during the period of time in which the scandal occurred. These young athletes did not do anything wrong and were not associated with the scandal.

Opportunities have been shattered for the current players of Penn State University and the current coaches of Penn State University, and they have done nothing to deserve such treatment.

Instead of focusing on the current players and coaches, the NCAA needs to focus on the guilty parties.

This includes Jerry Sandusky and every person who knew about the abuse.

The NCAA has punished innocent players and innocent coaches who have given their hearts and souls to the Penn State football program.

Why would the NCAA hand out this ridiculous punishment to innocent people? Nobody knows but the NCAA.

Jeff Wainwright Wilkes-Barre Barbara J. Williams administrator The Meadows Manor Dallas Kyle Rozitski Mountain Top

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