Ten weeks too long

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The 2017 General Assembly Session has officially began. We will be immersed in the legislative process. Each day, session begins at noon, with committee action occurring in the morning and afternoon and sub-committee action activities fitted in from early morning to night, as needed.

However, prior to writing about the mountains of new legislative proposals, I would like to reflect on concerns of what is happening in Washington.

In the 10 weeks since the presidential election, I have been alarmed about many of the actions that the current president has left the president-elect and, more important, our nation and military. Actions that he knew to be too controversial to act on prior to the twelfth hour of his second term. Listed below are several.

After ignoring Putin and Russian aggressive actions for years, President Barack Obama went to Europe and advised President-elect Donald Trump that he should stand up to Putin. Something he did not do while the Russians have interfered with the Ukraine. He ignored Putin working with cross purposes with the U.S. in Syria. As well, he knew that the Russians had hacked into American computers months before the election, but only after Clinton lost did he consider that hacking important enough to speak out in opposition.

In almost eight years, Obama never publicly criticized the Israeli government. After he no longer had to worry about maintaining Jewish relations in the American voters, he manipulated a vote in the United Nations to undermine the security of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East. This raises the risk of Iranian attacks and a war in which we could easily be drawn.

At Guantanamo, some prisoners even his administration deemed a risk to be allowed to be released during his entire two terms, President Obama has now decided to release them. Some of those previously released have returned to the battlefield at a risk to our troops. It is believed this last group being released will try to kill American soldiers.

Obama has chosen to shut down vast areas of Alaska from drilling for oil. Likewise, he has halted the mostly completed oil pipeline from North Dakota. He took these actions knowing that, once again, the U.S. will be dependent on crude oil from the Middle East. This action will make us more dependent on nations that will use our dollars to finance the continued war.

On the grounds that he needed to protect two sites as national treasures, he has nationalized 1.6 million acres, mostly in Utah and some in Nevada; an area that went strongly for Trump. This was done despite strong opposition from most who live in that area. This will negatively affect their opportunity to provide for their families.

Topping over four thousand new regulations on business in his eight years in office, the president capped that with 145 more regulations in the two weeks after the election. Those 145 regulations alone are projected to cost American businesses $21 billion. These regulations are called “midnight regulations” because they come at the very last moment. This stunt was so bad at the end of the Carter Administration that Congress blocked costly regulations in the last two months of an administration.

Thankfully, this era is ending in a couple of weeks — not a moment too soon.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the Virginia Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.