This stuff just keeps coming this election season. During an interview at Stanford University about his tenure in the House, former Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was asked about the 2016 election, specifically Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Needless to say, the Orange Man didn’t hold back: “Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said of Cruz, …
Tag: John Boehner
Apr 28 2016
How To Make A Satanist Angry
Sep 25 2015
John Boehner Resigns (Up Date with Press Conference)
Up date: A jovial John Boehner addressed the press, waking into the press room singing “Zippity Do Da.”
Since the Tea Party revolution that helped the Republicans take over the leadership of the House of Representatives in 2010, that body has slipped into chaos with the hard line right wing refusing to compromise with the more moderate members of their own party. That chaos had now reached its head. Unable to get any compromise from the Tea Party caucus, Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced his resignation from his leadership position and his seat at the end of October.
By Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times
Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, announced on Friday that he would resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, as Congress moved to avert a government shutdown.
Mr. Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.
“The first job of any speaker is to protect this institution that we all love,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement released later. “It was my plan to only serve as speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the speakership and my seat in Congress on Oct. 30.”
Mr. Boehner, 65, from Ohio, had struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members. [..]
It will be up to a majority of the members of the House now to choose a new leader, and the leading candidate is Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, who is viewed more favorably by the House’s more conservative members. The preferred candidate among many Republicans, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has said he does not want the job.
While he appears to have the support at the moment, there are those who are opposed to Rep. McCarthy so that is not exactly a done deal. Remember the part of the definition of the chaos theory is
Small differences in initial conditions … yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general.
As Minority Leader Nancy Peolsi (D-CA) said when she heard the news, this is “a stark indication of the disarray of House Republicans.”
Oct 17 2013
Go Ahead, Celebrate – You’re Celebrating Failure
Not you at the Stars Hollow Gazette. You know who.
Well it seems this continuing debacle every 3 months has ceased, for now. However, I really can’t get over this pathetic celebration over the really low bar involved with regard to avoiding what I call a political default on the public debt. This is the same embarrassing type of celebration that ensued in 2011. We need to get real. Despite the government being opened up again, there’s nothing to celebrate. We’ve already lost. After all, the debt ceiling was a precious gift Obama bestowed onto John Boehner in the 2010 tax deal as he put his full faith in Speaker John Boehner hands, as he took the full faith and credit of the United States hostage.
Of course, it was a deal struck between both of them to put who they called the “extremists” of both their parties in check, for a grand bargain like in 1983 when Tip O’Neil and Ronald Reagan cut social security. President Obama and Speaker Boehner weren’t fooling everyone, though. Just those involved in their hyper deluded, hyper partisan, claptrap. To some of us, this was entirely predictable and preventable. Now people are suffering because some people, blinded by their hyper-loyal partisan illusions, couldn’t or didn’t want to see what was there. Maybe their lack of sight reveals they don’t really care? It doesn’t matter though. This will continue to be what we go through when some of this crap continues again in 4 months in February, regardless.
This austerity government will reopen at sequester levels of funding; a sequester I predicted would be born out by the stupid Super Committee from the super austerity Budget Control Act of 2011, which I saw was inevitable since the 2010 tax deal led to the first, now ongoing, debt ceiling debacle; a miniature crisis to crisis government with no plans to invest in its citizens’ future. Anything else is possible though, from government shutdowns over the false prospect of defunding Obamacare, to any austerian Senator or Congressman using the threat of default for whatever demands they want.
We, the so called professional left as the White House derisively called us, warned about this. Anyone who denied this can either apologize now or forever restrain from speaking about matters regarding politics, civics, political deals, and the debt ceiling. We told all of you back in 2011 around this same time when that debacle was coming to its end – until this one and the next one 4 months down the line – that this was no victory.
Oct 11 2013
Grand Bargain Circus – Red Clowns Wrangle
Greetings Circus fans! Welcome back to the Circus that, like rust, never sleeps. For the past couple of days the red clowns have separated into rival gang factions to fight out their final strategery. Watching clowns enter into public backbiting and recriminations is always amusing for the audience and the pie has been flying.
It seems that according to the folks at the Beltway Bigtop Office of Promotions that the Hot Potato of Blame has fallen into Boner T. Redclown’s Ring 1 and cannot be returned to Harry T. Blueclown’s Ring 3 due to a preponderance of audience belief.
The Beltway Bigtop Office of Promotions now says that this shutdown was planned, long in advance by a consortium of red clown groups and heavily funded by red clowns from the Koch Klowns organization:
The current budget brinkmanship is just the latest development in a well-financed, broad-based assault on the health law, Mr. Obama’s signature legislative initiative. Groups like Tea Party Patriots, Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are all immersed in the fight, as is Club for Growth, a business-backed nonprofit organization. Some, like Generation Opportunity and Young Americans for Liberty, both aimed at young adults, are upstarts. Heritage Action is new, too, founded in 2010 to advance the policy prescriptions of its sister group, the Heritage Foundation.
The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, have been deeply involved with financing the overall effort. A group linked to the Kochs, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, disbursed more than $200 million last year to nonprofit organizations involved in the fight.
Great amusement for the audience has resulted! While the Koch Klowns have been climbing the rigging and shouting that Kochs are not to blame, the rank and file red clowns have been quite agitated at each other due to the fact that their gambit to force the Ringmaster and the blue clowns to capitulate has failed to be an early success. The blue clowns and much of the audience have had many a moment of amusement as the red clowns have piled into a clown bus and have been chasing Cruz T. Redclown around the arena:
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) on Monday echoed Peter King’s statement that the person to blame for the current government shutdown is Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
“If I had to cast blame anywhere, I would say it was Sen. Cruz and those who insisted upon this tactic that we all knew was not going to succeed,” Dent told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“What he did essentially, Sen. Cruz, basically, he took a lot of folks into the ditch. Now that we’re in the ditch, you can’t get out of the ditch, the senator has no plan to get out of the ditch, those of us who do have a plan to get out of the ditch and will vote to get out of the ditch will then be criticized by those who put us in the ditch in the first place.”
As one group of the red clowns played “chase the scapegoat,” other set to work on what the red clown leaders strategery:
Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the Rules Committee, tells us Speaker John Boehner doesn’t yet have his debt-ceiling proposal finalized. For now, no legislation is headed toward his committee, and it’s all about messaging. … “I’d say if you ran the clock on it, 48 hours,” Sessions adds, when asked how long it’ll take Boehner to unveil the leadership’s plan.
But even as Boner T. Redclown was busy juggling and formulating his strategery, out of a dark corner of Ring 1 came the nearly-famous Ryan T. Redclown who was once Mittens T. Redclown’s second in a clown duel with the Ringmaster. It appears that Ryan T. Redclown has been working on a little strategery of his own as he loaded the cannon with an op-ed from the Clown Street Journal which he fired off at the Ringmaster and the blue clowns in Ring 3.
In an editorial voice sweeter than the Circus’ cotton candy, Ryan T. Redclown turned away from the stage and projected his message at the audience in calm and reasonable tones. Why, his message was just like that of the Ringmaster:
If Mr. Obama decides to talk, he’ll find that we actually agree on some things. For example, most of us agree that gradual, structural reforms are better than sudden, arbitrary cuts. For my Democratic colleagues, the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act are a major concern. And the truth is, there’s a better way to cut spending. We could provide relief from the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act in exchange for structural reforms to entitlement programs.
Who knows what this means? But it’s interesting, especially when you compare it to what the president said today:
I’ve put forward proposals in my budget to reform entitlement programs for the long haul and reform our tax code in a way that would close loopholes for the wealthiest and lower rates for corporations and help us invest in new jobs and reduce our deficits. And some of these were originally Republican proposals, because I don’t believe any party has a monopoly on good ideas. So I’ve shown myself willing to go more than halfway in these conversations, and if reasonable Republicans want to talk about these things again, I’m ready to head up to the Hill and try. I’ll even spring for dinner again.
Why, it sounds like Ryan T. Redclown is eager for yet another round of Grand Bargain Fever with the Ringmaster! Oh, wait, what’s that, oh my, I think there’s going to be music in the air… Yes indeed! The Grand Calliope is being drawn in by horses to play soothing music…
Yes, the Ringmaster is cautiously optimistic that a
Grand Bargain short term deal can be made and a faction of the red clowns looks like they might go for it…
The Obama administration on Monday indicated it could support a temporary increase to the nation’s borrowing limit to give Republicans and Democrats, locked in a bitter fight over funding government operations, more time to negotiate a longer-term solution. …
Other Republicans said the time had come for conservatives to relent in trying to link government funding with measures to dismantle the health law. Senate Democrats have rejected multiple bills approved by House Republicans to fund federal agencies while also delaying or scaling back the health law.
“The question now is whether the people who fell for the Cruz folly will recognize that it was built on a false premise,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), referring to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other conservatives who pushed Republicans to call for defunding the health law as a condition of financing government operations. “The whole thing was a joke from the beginning.”
Oh, looky there! The red clowns are admitting that the whole attack on the Ringmaster’s “One Big Accomplishment” was nothing but a clownish prank to start with! The question that is being promoted is, on whose terms will the audience be robbed, the red clowns’ or the Ringmasters? In point of fact, since the red clowns and the blue clowns and the Ringmaster are all in the pay of the Beltway Bigtop funders, it has always been the funder’s terms that will ultimately decide the terms of the robbery of the audience.
Speaking of those Beltway Bigtop funders, many of the red clowns are at pains to assuage their fears about the possiblilty of a default, saying that a default wouldn’t be that bad:
“It really is irresponsible of the president to try to scare the markets,” said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. “If you don’t raise your debt ceiling, all you’re saying is, ‘We’re going to be balancing our budget.’ So if you put it in those terms, all these scary terms of, ‘Oh my goodness, the world’s going to end’ – if we balance the budget, the world’s going to end? Why don’t we spend what comes in?”
Many of the Beltway Bigtop funders, whose entire existence revolves around the stability of markets are suddenly less than thrilled with the red clowns’ strategery:
Veteran Republican fundraisers are increasingly alarmed by the defiant stance of hard-line conservatives amid the federal government shutdown, prompting fears that many key donors may be restrained in their giving going into the 2014 midterms.
The growing unhappiness among longtime GOP check-writers and party elders underscores the deepening divisions over the ascendant tea party wing, which fueled this past week’s shutdown and is demanding Democratic concessions in exchange for reopening the government and raising the nation’s debt limit.
While the funders are nervous, it appears that the markets themselves are not. Perhaps it is a result of the intoxication that comes of having looted the economy, gotten away with it and still being left to run rampant, but the markets are not making movements commensurate with the dangers inherent in a default:
The paralysis in Washington continued to weigh on markets. Analysts have expressed particular concern that the fight over the budget will stymie efforts to raise the budget ceiling, resulting in a US default with damaging economic consequences.
However, the market still considers a US default unlikely, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
“If the markets were really fearful of a default…. we wouldn’t be down a half a percent or three-quarters of a percent,” Cardillo said. “We would be down a heck of a lot more.”
Perhaps the Titans of Wall Street are feeling secure because they have been so amply provided for by the Circus and their appointed retinue of government lackeys. Perhaps they feel that they can rely upon the safety net that bailed them in before:
What the Fed did with Bear Stearns was highly controversial. They utilized the [exigent circumstances clause] without technically breaking any laws. Are we saying that we will bailout a stupid investment bank, but we won’t bailout the US Treasury using the same clause? That would be madness.
Or perhaps they’re not worried because, well, they pay for the clown show as a distraction and they know that their hired clowns will fall into the roles that are assigned them.
The blue clowns will, rather than making their own demands and fighting for what 99% of the audience wants, claim to be battered spouses in a relationship with an awful abuser:
Remember how Republicans “won” the 2000 election? Remember how they tricked the country into going to war in Iraq? They used non-democratic means to get what they couldn’t get legitimately, and it worked, so they did it more. They got used to getting their way using bullying, so they did it more. Now it’s flat-out hostage-taking. And they’re doing it more.
Again and again, Republicans take a hostage and demand something they could not get through elections or the legitimate constitutional legislative process. … They continue these tactics because it is getting them what they – and the billionaires and giant corporations who fund them – want. They do it because it works. And then they do it again, because it worked.
But who do the blue clowns’ actions serve? When time after time, they “compromise” with the red clowns, who are, after all, only doing what their funders demand, are they not giving the funders what they want, just more slowly than they want it?
Perhaps the market’s failure to react in horror to the horrors that are being presented is merely a reflection of the fact that they own the Beltway Bigtop and the clowns work for them.
Who should the audience root for, red clowns?
When Paul Ryan talks about “reforming” entitlements, he’s talking about eliminating them, because he does not now believe — nor has he ever believed — that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are legitimate functions of the national government. He will get rid of them piecemeal if he has to do so, but he is as dedicated to their elimination as he ever was when he was mooching off my money. When Paul Ryan talks about “reforming” the tax code, he doesn’t mean making sure the people to whom all the money has been shoved upwards over the past four decades start paying their fair share again. He means “broadening the base” — You pay more. Jamie Dimon doesn’t. — and he means “lowering the rates” — on the people who buy him his $4000 bottles of wine — and he means “simplifying the code” — eliminating loopholes for the 20 minutes it takes before tax lawyers open up a hundred new ones.
Or blue clowns?
“This is a confidential document, last offer the president – the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain. And it’s long and it’s tedious and it’s got budget jargon in it. But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, “We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses.” So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far.”
Oct 03 2013
Grand Bargain Circus – Red Clowns Ready?
There’s a big deal brewing in the Beltway Bigtop that’s been years in the making. The Grand Bargain is now officially on the red clown leadership’s radar. But can they get their ducks in a row? Will the rank and file blue clowns have an attack of conscience? And what about the audience – will they meekly accept the shears as the Ringmaster and clowns together begin to fleece them? Or will they bombard the clowns with rotten tomatoes, imprecations, incantations and entreaties frightening them away from yet another of the Ringmaster’s big plans as they did with the Ringmaster’s recent plan to engage in yet another stupid and expensive war of choice?
Here’s a wrap up of the past couple of days under the Beltway Bigtop.
The lights have been doused under the Beltway Bigtop as the red clowns and blue clowns could not come to agreement over how best to rob the audience. The blue clowns adamantly protected the Ringleader’s plan to demand tribute of the audience for his donor cronies in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries in return for health care insurance products of dubious utility. The red clowns would not give up their demands to kill the Ringleader’s program as well as demands for a smorgasbord of environmental destruction, means-testing for medicare, limitation of court awards for medical malpractice, repeal of taxes on some of their cronies and a contraceptive-free dessert bar.
As the sun came up on the Beltway Bigtop Tuesday morning there were lines of circus employees leaving the parking lot as the tall order of the day began – the search for a scapegoat.
While both the red clowns and the blue clowns stayed up until the wee hours juggling the hot potato of blame back and forth between the red clown-controlled Ring 1 and the blue clown-controlled Ring 3, the Ringmaster called the red clowns “irresponsible” and upbraided them for their, “ideological crusade.”
Meanwhile one of the red clowns’ leaders, Boner T. Redclown, did impressions of the Ringmaster over in Ring 1 as he passed juggling potatoes back and forth with Harry T. Blueclown over in Ring 3. Harry T. Blueclown, for his part, returned the relentless hail of hot potatoes with all of the speed and bravado he could muster.
Audience reaction was mixed to the impressions and the rapid-fire juggling spectacle, however, the Beltway Bigtop Office of Promotions was quick to assign responsibility for Boner T. Redclown’s performance to a subset of the most effusive and animated of the red clowns. Some in the Beltway Bigtop’s Office of Promotions claim that a conspiracy is afoot amongst some of the red clowns to force Boner T. Redclown into his behavior, while others claim that Boner T. Redclown and his leadership group
Many in the Beltway Bigtop Office of Promotions are eager to sell the narrative that the clowns have cracked up and become completely dysfunctional, creating new norms for governance.
Many of the contributing media outlets in the Beltway Bigtop’s Office of Promotion apparently can’t seem to remember previous government shutdowns as they swoon from the vapors from their, “discovery” of the, “new governing norms.”
In the past the blue clowns have been quite willing to press their advantage as a majority to protect their constituency just as the red clowns are doing now:
While one set of red clowns stalks the Ringmaster holding out hoops for him to jump through, another group of red clowns is sneaking out towards the fringes of the tent brandishing torches and threatening to burn the Bigtop down.
The Ringmaster remains impassive and, out of one side of his mouth refuses to negotiate, while out of the other makes promises to negotiate, but, on his terms:
Given that the blue clowns control both the Main Ring and Ring 3, one would assume that the party of the Four Freedoms and the Great Society, friend of the working man and the underprivileged, would have pressed their advantage to make some serious gains for their constituency.
Instead, the blue clowns, in concert with the Ringmaster have been working to apply increasing levels of austerity to their constituency while their policies reward the Beltway Bigtop funderswho want austerity.
And the blue clowns aim to please their masters:
When the Ringmaster speaks of, “negotiat[ing] a longer-term budget and address a range of other issues,” he’s not talking about a bold plan to meet his constituency’s demands. The Ringmaster is talking about another round of his “Grand Bargain” negotiations.
The Ringmaster’s base constituency is certainly not demanding cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or other similar cuts to social programs.
The only people demanding entitlement cuts are, hmmmm… the Beltway Bigtop funders:
And this just in… the red clown leadership is taking the bait!
But can the red clown leadership bring along the rank and file?
The Ringmaster is clearly ready to do the business and the bidding of the Beltway Bigtop funders.
In order to signal this to one and all, the Ringmaster has taken to the center ring, lit a fire and is sending up smoke signals to announce that he has appointed his former “opponent,” Mitt T. Redclown’s policy director, currently a fellow at the Hoover Institution Clown College, to the Social Security Advisory Board.
Given the red clowns’ expressed desire to “roll back the new deal,” will they come to the table to take down the programs that red clown funders and the blue clown funders both want gone?
It looks like the red clowns will have to deal with the remnants of a rather unweildy stage prop that they made for previous shows in order to get down to business:
Ironically it is the red clowns’ “Frankenstein Monster” (courtesy of the Koch Clowns, Rupert T. Redclown and Rush T. Redclown among others) that has so far saved the audience from the implementation of cuts to “socialist” entitlement programs which are opposed by the vast majority of the audience.
As the clock ticks down to the Debt Limit Doomsday, can the red clowns tame their Fractious Frankenstein monster?
The Ringmaster and most of the blue clowns are happy to enact much of the red clowns’ agenda (because it is also the blue clowns’ agenda) so long as the red clowns can conveniently be the final recipient of the hot potato of blame. The blue clowns are just too cowardly to enact the corporate agenda of the Beltway Bigtop funders all at once; they mean to implement it in tiny pieces, much like the effect of the Ringmaster’s chained cpi, in hopes that the slow implementation will suppress audience outrage.
Stay tuned! And stay tuned after the main event, because the blue clowns and the red clowns are already making plans for a joint project to benefit the Union of Pickpockets and Banker Bozos just as soon as the center ring goes dark between acts.
Sep 27 2013
Grand Bargain Circus – Red Clowns Gone Wild!
Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
Step right up! Come one, come all to the continuing Grand Bargain Circus!
Just as when last we checked, the red clowns are still refusing to get in the car and leave the ring until the Ringmaster makes an enticing offer. Some of the red clowns have been imbibing in the fermented popcorn and their demands are becoming increasingly delusional. Today the red clowns are going wild, making all of the outrageous demands that they can think of to force the Ringmaster to beat more concessions out of the audience.
All the rage for the past couple of days has been the red clowns saying that they won’t get in the car if the Ringmaster reduces the number of those in the audience without health insurance to about 30 million and
That simple demand which the Ringmaster refuses to countenance has festered into a raging torrent of demands, among them that the audience fork over more taxes to offset the tax liability of the rich and also acquiesce to more environmental destruction.
The drama here under the big top is growing as the demands rise…
Feb 27 2013
The Sequester: Bipartisan Craponomics at Its Worst
Yes, because no one listened to those that warned(including myself) this would happen in 2010 with the Bush tax cut sellout leading to the debt ceiling debacle in 2011 to now, it looks like the sequester created by this White House and Congress is going to happen. Back then, there was leverage with the Bush tax cuts expiring for using the High Value Platinum Coin, invoking the 14th amendment, or legislating the debt ceiling away entirely. None of this was considered even as a temporary measure to avoid this epic failure fixing to hit our shores.
It’s insulting to the public that none of this was even tried, because this sequester will be painful and more painful in the future. The political damage as we create more miniature crisis will be even costlier than what is projected as more bills have to be passed every few months which always get worse the more they are revisited, all needlessly created all in the name what I call deficit terrorism. Through each bipartisan crisis more austerity is brought out in these miniature Shock Doctrine scenarios especially on the debt ceiling. This austerity will eventually terrorize the public because a failure to govern or understand our economy.
Sure, it will take awhile to be phased in and each federal agency will implement its cuts differently, on its own timeline, but by April 4th, 2013 some real pain is likely to be felt by the public.
Jan 02 2013
It’s Not 11th Dimensional Chess. The President Wants Working People to Clean Up His Mess
Once we realize there is no fiscal cliff and the whole premise is a myth, you think about why it was created. It was created so we can mop up after the 1% which owns all three branches of government including the President. Obama didn’t add a raise in the debt ceiling to the Obama Bush tax cut deal he made in 2010 which created this political mess we are in right now.
Yet the poor and middle class are supposed to “stop whining and complaining” and just mop it up as if it’s one of the menial 60% of low wage jobs created that were part of this “recovery” where 93% of the income it went to the top 1%? I don’t think that’s fair. He needs to ask his Wall St buddies in his Treasury Department to share sacrifice. We have sacrificed enough in the name of the fantasy evil deficits from the land of Mordor causing fantasy default. Think about this when Nancy Pelosi was lying to you about this sellout ultimately helping the middle class last night.
From blatant robbery to money laundering, here are the biggest scandals of 2012 banking history.
#9. Middle-Class Wealth declines by 35 percent
On July 18, 2012, the U.S. Bureau of the Census made it official: The middle-class is getting poorer. The median family — that family exactly at the mid-point of the wealth ladder — saw its net worth collapse. (Net worth is all assets minus all liabilities.) In 2005, the median family’s wealth was valued at $102,844 (in inflation adjusted dollars.) By 2010, the latest Census figures showed a drop of 35 percent to $66,740.
And we’re supposed to celebrate this?
Dec 19 2012
Chained CPI is a Cut. You Either Care About People or You Don’t.
And when one make excuses for chained CPI without doing any research because they’ll blindly follow whatever a politician proposes regardless of the consequences, that is a choice of action taken. Action that actually shows how one does not care about people. It can be witnessed. It can be read and it can be judged, so I will be doing so now.
Pointing this out harshly will not hurt seniors like the action of cutting their SS income while their cost of living of has risen roughly 0.27 percentage points faster per year than the CPI-W which is what is used now for their COLA. When one is defending this action orally or in writing because of their perceived party loyalty, though it’s not really party loyalty because this isn’t what FDR envisioned whom defined the modern Democratic party, that shows disdain for the most vulnerable in our society and that is a fact.
Dec 20 2011
Congressional Game of Chicken: The House Of Unrepresentatives
by David Dayen
The House of Representatives officially rejected the bipartisan agreement that passed the Senate with 89 votes for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, extended unemployment benefits and a doctor’s fix to prevent a 27% reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates. They did so under a complicated scheme whereby members did not vote on the Senate deal itself, but on whether to move to a conference committee on the package, with the rejection of the Senate deal implicit in the exchange. The final roll call was 229-193, with seven Republicans switching sides and voting with Democrats to reject the conference committee. All Democrats present voted against the bill. [..]
The seven Republican no votes: Charlie Bass (NH), Jeff Flake (AZ), Chris Gibson (NY), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Tim Johnson (IL), Walter Jones (NC), Frank Wolf (VA).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t play:
“My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians. “Senator McConnell and I negotiated a compromise at Speaker Boehner’s request. I will not re-open negotiations until the House follows through and passes this agreement that was negotiated by Republican leaders, and supported by 90 percent of the Senate. “This is a question of whether the House of Representatives will be able to fulfill the basic legislative function of passing an overwhelmingly bipartisan agreement, in order to protect the economic security of millions of middle-class Americans. Democratic and Republican leaders negotiated a compromise and Speaker Boehner should not walk away from it, putting middle-class families at risk of a thousand-dollar tax hike just because a few angry Tea Partiers raised their voices to the Speaker. “I have always sought a year-long extension. I have been trying to forge one for weeks, and I am happy to continue negotiating one once we have made sure middle-class families will not wake up to a tax increase on January 1st. So before we re-open negotiations on a year-long extension, the House of Representatives must protect middle-class families by passing the overwhelmingly bipartisan compromise that Republicans negotiated, and was approved by ninety percent of the Senate.”
A couple of point where I disagree with Barney Frank is that we are doing better than Europe and that the economy is doing better. Maybe for the 1% it is but the middle class is shriveling. The important part of this bill was an extension of the UI which is about expire.