Posts Tagged US House Of Representatives
The Speaker of the House and the Budget Committee Chairman have thrown down the gauntlet to the right wing Tea Party Movement members of its Republican caucus, and to the pressure groups and talk radio and Fox News Channel critics.
And the good news that 169 members of the GOP caucus backed John Boehner and Paul Ryan, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a bit of a surprise since Cantor tends to hobnob with the radicals a good deal of the time, is welcome!
While this means the budget bill will stabilize the economy, and allow some progress next year on some items on the agenda, it is almost certain that IF the Tea Party challenge succeeds in 2014 House and Senate races, challenging incumbents, then Boehner will no longer be Speaker of the House, and Ryan may be ousted as Budget Committee chairman.
One would think that Boehner and Ryan are moderates. which is extremely far from the truth, but they are at least responsible legislators, who realize that with divided government, some negotiation and compromise is essential, in order to get anything done.
The hope is that the tumult in the GOP will enhance chances of the Democrats winning back control of the House, and with a Senate where the filibuster is rarely used due to the new 51 vote majority requirement, hopefully the next Congress in 2015 will make us forget what a disaster the 113th Congress has been, the worst in modern American history!
The Paul Ryan-Patty Murray bipartisan budget deal, while far from perfect, is the first cooperation on formulation of the budget in the past 15 years.
Liberal Democrats are furious that unemployment compensation has not been extended, and that food stamps seem to be about to have a major budget cut, totally unacceptable on moral grounds.
But the deal also prevents a government shutdown and constant budget crises every few months, a reality which infuriates the Tea Party radicals.
So there is a live rebellion in both parties, but the greater one is between House leaders, including Speaker John Boehner and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, against large elements of their own party, and strong opposition from Tea Party Senators, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio,along with Tom Coburn, and reportedly, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, who is facing a Tea Party primary for his seat in Kentucky next year.
No one can be happy that those most needy are going to be ignored by the Scrooges of the Republican Party, but to see Boehner and Ryan being attacked by fellow Republicans, and the Presidential race playing into it, is an amazing event to watch.
Paul Ryan, IF he wishes to be President, will be attacked by Paul, Cruz, Rubio and others for his willingness to make a bipartisan deal, far from ideal, but just the fact of BIPARTISANSHIP drives the right wing and its advocacy groups and its talk show hosts bonkers!
It is now clear that the Republican Party is imploding rapidly!
Witness the condemnation by right wing groups of the budget deal arranged by Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington, which helps to avoid another government shutdown, and attempts to provide a stable economic environment for the next two years. As Ryan said it, it is essential for some compromise, while not giving up one’s core principles. The deal is far from great, and will require payment of some retirement contributions by people in the military, and higher airline fees for passengers, but it is a step forward to avoid more economic chaos.
But various right wing groups have opposed the deal, and it is likely that Speaker John Boehner will have to count on Democratic votes to get the package approved later this week, before Congress takes a holiday break, possessing the worst record for performance of modern Congressional history! Boehner has already expressed his annoyance at conservative groups, and so the the infighting continues, as Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Tom Coburn have already denounced the agreement.
One outcome of this agreement is likely the death knell of a Paul Ryan campaign for President, because after all, he was willing to “compromise”!
But this is not the only infighting going on, as Newt Gingrich and Ted Cruz had the “gall” to issue statements complimentary of Nelson Mandela, infuring the far Right, as if Gingrich and Cruz are not part of that group. It is the crazy loonies attacking the mere crazies.
For progressives, it is a fun time, and all that one needs is some soda and popcorn, and sit and enjoy the lunatic fringe acting more looney by the moment!
Finally, after almost five years as President, Barack Obama can savor victory, knowing he will be able to get his nominees for all federal executive branch positions and federal judiciary, except for the Supreme Court, confirmed by the Democratic Senate. Majority rule will govern, as it should, and as it does, in the House of Representatives!
And because the Republicans shot themselves in the foot, not allowing the approval of three nominees for the DC Circuit Courts, they will now see the federal courts tip dramatically toward Democratic and more liberal judges!
At the moment, there are exactly 390 federal judges appointed by Republican Presidents, and an equal number of 390 federal judges appointed by Democratic Presidents.
If Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, had allowed the confirmation of those three judges that were just voted down by the use of the filibuster, requiring 60 votes to move a nomination, then the balance would have remained on the federal courts between Democratic and Republican appointments.
But now, that is not so, and the Democrats and Barack Obama will gain a potential total of 93 appointments for vacancies on the courts, making for a one sided Democratic control of the judiciary, which will last for years, as the judiciary are on the court for life, not limited terms.
So as the Republicans lick their wounds, and realize their abuse of the filibuster in the past five years, and their arrogance, have led to this moment, the Democrats have a lot to celebrate about, as nothing is more important than affecting the future of constitutional law, and the Republicans have given the Democrats a huge victory, which will reverberate for decades, and give those who believe in progressive reform and change, a sense of hope that there IS a future in America, for others than rich, white people!
Disllusionment With Washington Opens Up Possibility Of State Governors Again Having Advantage For Presidential Race!
Much of the time in American history, there has been disillusionment with the Washington DC establishment, and a desire to have an “outsider” being our President.
Only three Presidents of the past century were elected directly from the Senate—Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama—while a total of six Governors or former Governors were elected to the Presidency—Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. Additionally, former Governors who were Vice President first, and succeeded during the term—Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge–were also elected to a full term.
So the present anger at Washington and everything it represents opens up new opportunities for sitting or former Governors in both parties, such as follows:
Democrats—Andrew Cuomo of New York, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts
Republicans-Chris Christie of New Jersey, Jeb Bush of Florida, Jon Huntsman of Utah, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, Susana Martinez of New Mexico
Having said this, one still has to wonder if the Democratic Governors can overcome Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Mark Warner or Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker.
And one has to wonder if the Republican Governors can overcome Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and others.
150th Anniversary Of Greatest Speech In American History: The Gettysburg Address Of Abraham Lincoln!
150 years ago on November 19, President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech to commemorate the loss of life at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, which occurred on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863.
Although only a two minute speech, it is regarded as possibly the greatest speech ever made by an American President, although not regarded as such at the time.
Lincoln was one of the greatest orators of our history, memorable for his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865 and for other speeches and declarations, both in the White House years and in his earlier career as a Congressman from Illinois, and a Senate candidacy against Senator Stephen Douglas.
The Battle of Gettysburg, and the tremendous loss of life, remains a center of fascination to historians and tourists alike, and the short statement of Lincoln honoring the dead remains a classic of Presidential oratory that will reverberate through all of time!
Republicans In Congress Demonstrate Unbelievable Arrogance, And Ignore Public Opinion, Even Of Republican Voters!
The House Republicans are the most reactionary group seen in Congress in modern times, as evidence now shows that they are opposing not only general public opinion, but also that of voters of their own party, along with Independents and Democrats!
Issues where this is true include the following where some Republicans supported the proposed legislation in the Senate:
ENDA–the bill to stop discrimination in employment against gays and transgendered people, passed 64-32 in the Senate.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which passed the Senate 68-32.
At the same time, Republicans in both houses of Congress are fighting against the following, which are also supported by Republicans in polls, along with Democrats and Independents.
The Minimum Wage increase legislation to $9 an hour.
Background Checks on Gun Purchases
Who would think that a political party could ignore the views of its own voters and expect to stay in office? It makes one wonder how the GOP can believe it will keep power in the House and gain control of the Senate, as they seem to believe they can accomplish, when they have such a high level of arrogance as they are demonstrating!
The right wing Tea Party attacks on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, making clear that his victory means nothing for the Presidential campaign of 2016, is great news for Democrats, as it indicates that the Republican Party is insuring its own defeat by attacking moderate conservatives such as Chris Christie, along with Jeb Bush and Jon Huntsman.
We have seen Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and James Inhofe taking negative stands on Christie’s victory, and if any of the first five are the GOP nominee in 2016, it will make for an easy landslide victory for Hillary Clinton, or any other Democratic nominee for the White House!
And the bitter attacks of right wing Talk Show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others only adds to the destruction of the GOP brand!
If the GOP cannot appeal to African Americans, Hispanics, women, gays and lesbians, young voters, and labor, it has absolutely no possibility of regaining the White House or control of the Senate anytime soon, and the House of Representatives is also put into play.
The rhetoric will fly fast and furious as the GOP self destructs before our eyes, and it will be a display that makes the 2012 Republican brand look more rational by comparison, although it most certainly was not that at all!
Reality Of Life For Millions Harmed By Great Recession Of 2008: The End Of Unemployment Compensation And Cutting Of Food Stamps!
It has been more than five years since the collapse of the American economy, and the onset of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Millions of Americans have been unable to obtain new employment, many of them being past the “desired” age of under 50, and many others, who are much younger, who are unable to obtain substantial employment and a living wage.
The agreement to expand unemployment compensation and food stamps for these millions came only after bitter fights with the Republican Party, who would not have done so without pressure, and the reality that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in 2009-2010.
But the control of the House of Representatives by the GOP since January 2011 has led to a Scrooge like mentality on unemployment compensation and food stamps. And there has been no desire to raise the minimum wage to promote the concept of a living wage. The Republican Party refuses to help create jobs, promote educational investments, and to create infrastructure jobs, although the country is desperate for improvement and repair of public works all over the nation, which would also create employment for many desperate Americans.
We are arriving at the reality that 2014 will see increased poverty and suffering, as the GOP will fight to prevent extension of aid to millions who have no lifeline. And they will do this while professing to believe in “Christian values”, a mockery of the teachings of the faith.
So the economic emergency of five years ago is about to become far worse, with no “safety net” for millions of victims who have nowhere to turn to, as concern about them is ignored, and instead, we see the government unable to do anything to advance the lives of millions of victims of the Great Recession, brought about by Republican policies under George W. Bush!