Suing the President

 Posted by at 21:44  Politics, Republicans
Jul 302014

As you may have heard, the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted today to proceed with a lawsuit against the President of the United States. They are suing him for delaying implementation of a segment of the Affordable Care Act which they opposed. In short, the President did what the Republicans wanted him to do and they are now suing him for doing it. Wow.

President Obama spoke in Kansas City today. He went there to talk about the economy. He could not help himself, though. He had to talk about the Republicans and their frivolous lawsuit.

But think about this — they have announced that they’re going to sue me for taking executive actions to help people. So they’re mad because I’m doing my job. And, by the way, I’ve told them — I said, I’d be happy to do it with you. So the only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you don’t do anything. But if you want, let’s work together.

I mean, everybody recognizes this is a political stunt, but it’s worse than that, because every vote they’re taking like that means a vote they’re not taking to actually help you. When they have taken 50 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that was time that could have been spent working constructively to help you on some things. And, by the way, you know who is paying for this suit they’re going to file? You.

Here is video of his entire speech:

Full transcript follows the break.

Continue reading »

One hundred ten percent

 Posted by at 09:40  Humor, Politics
May 282013

Today’s Doonesbury hits close to home…

Click to enlarge.

(It should be noted that it is the Senate, not the House of Representatives, that has the power to confirm or reject presidential appointees.)

House approves

 Posted by at 20:39  Politics
Aug 012011

By a vote of 269 to 161, the House of Representatives approved the debt reduction deal worked out yesterday. 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats supported the deal; 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted against it.

The Senate will vote at noon tomorrow and is expected to also approve. The legislation will then go to President Obama for his signature.

I still think we could have done better.

Jul 292011

John Boehner managed to get his Tea Party debt reduction plan through the House of Representatives this evening… by one vote. Now all he has to do is deliver it to the Senate where it can be put out of its misery.

House passes GOP debt bill over objections of Obama, Democrats

The House narrowly passed GOP debt-limit legislation Friday after Republican leaders revised it to gain the support of recalcitrant tea party conservatives, but Senate Democrats declared it dead on arrival in their chamber and moved to replace it with a bipartisan plan that would raise the federal debt ceiling ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline, averting a potentially catastrophic U.S. default.

The vote was 218 to 210 in favor of a bill offered by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). After revising the plan and intensively rallying Republicans to support it, Boehner was barely able to muster the 217 votes need for passage, but Democrats were united in opposing it. Twenty-two Republicans joined 188 Democrats in voting “no.”

President Obama warned earlier in the day that the House GOP plan had “no chance of becoming law,” and he instead urged Senate Democrats and Republicans to reach a “bipartisan compromise.” He said time is running out to lift the federal debt ceiling and reiterated his objections to a measure that includes only a short-term increase of the debt limit.

Senate Democrats said they remained solidly opposed to the Boehner plan. In debate leading up to the vote, minority House Democrats called the measure a waste of time.

A complete waste of time. Ridiculous.

UPDATE: (as expected)…

Senate kills Boehner debt-limit bill

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted to table Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-limit bill Friday evening, effectively killing it less than two hours after the House passed it.

Democrats and several Republicans defeated the GOP measure by a 59-41 vote, just minutes after it arrived from the House. Democrats opposed the measure because it would require another debt-limit debate early next year.

The move continues a standoff over the debt limit but could set the table for negotiations this weekend on compromise legislation. An Aug. 2 deadline to prevent a default on U.S. obligations looms.

Action in the Senate stalled after the tabling vote when Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky could not agree on how to proceed on Reid’s proposal. Reid later said McConnell wanted a filibuster and refused to negotiate with him. The Senate adjourned until 1 p.m. EDT Saturday.


Don’t got the votes

 Posted by at 21:26  Politics, Republicans
Jul 282011

John Boehner’s House of Representatives was supposed to vote on his plan to reduce spending and raise the debt ceiling this evening, but it seems he doesn’t have the votes. Mr. Boehner is Speaker of the House and leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives and yet it seems he cannot wrangle enough votes to pass his ill-begotten plan. It ain’t for lack of trying…

House GOP leaders delay vote on debt plan

John Boehner
John Boehner

House Republican leaders delayed a white-knuckle vote Thursday evening on legislation designed to ease the nation’s debt crisis, and they began hauling wavering lawmakers into private offices in an apparent scramble to lock down the last votes needed for passage.

Aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the chamber would vote “this evening” on a bill to increase the federal debt limit in two stages, in exchange for major spending cuts. The aides did not provide a new timetable for the vote, which had been expected around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Instead, the House suddenly took up a series of non-controversial measures, leaving befuddled lawmakers debating whether to rename a post office in Hawaii before finally going into recess for an indefinite time.

At 10 p.m. Republican leaders were still advising members to stay close by the Capitol in preparation for a vote. But the regular delivery of towers of pizza boxes to congressional offices hinted that such a vote was not close at hand.

In the wake of the postponement, several Republicans from South Carolina were brought into Speaker John A. Boehner’s suite on the second floor of the Capitol. But leaders made no headway with them. Two lawmakers — Reps. Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney — left the office and went into a nearby chapel, telling reporters they were praying over the matter and for their leadership.

Rep. Tim Scott (S.C.), a liaison to leadership for the freshmen class, said he was still opposed to the legislation. He added that leaders have told him they are on the brink of securing the 217 votes needed, but still just short.

“I hear three votes, four votes, it’s very close. They’re only a handful away,” he said.

Scott then joined Duncan and Mulvaney in the chapel. About 45 minutes later, they emerged and headed downstairs to the first-floor offices of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), where Boehner,Cantor and McCarthy were waiting.

Remember that these people work for us. We pay them. They are wasting all this time on our dime. They know full well that the plan they are fighting so desperately to pass in the House will be dead on arrival in the Senate. They know this and yet they continue to waste their our time. They could be using this time looking for a sensible and realistic solution to the debt ceiling question rather than spending all this time protecting their own bloodied egos.

I think we need some new employees.

UPDATE (via TPM): House Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) just announced there will be no vote tonight on the Boehner debt bill.

We’re getting our money’s worth out of these guys, aren’t we? (At least what our money is likely to be worth at this time next week.)

Jul 272011

Things are turning surreal in Washington this week. It seems that the Republicans are splitting apart while the Democrats are coming together. I don’t know quite what to make of it. Here’s the NYT on Boehner’s woes:

With G.O.P. Unity at Risk, Boehner Tries Tougher Style

John Boehner
John Boehner

WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner is a laid-back leader who likes to say that his role is to let the House work its will. But with the nation’s economic standing and his own political future at risk, Mr. Boehner jettisoned his usual laissez-faire approach on Wednesday.

“I didn’t put my neck on the line and go toe to toe with Obama to not have an army behind me,” Mr. Boehner declared at a private party meeting, according to some House members. He demanded the fealty of conservatives who were threatening to sink his budget proposal and deny him the chance to confront the Senate with a take-it-or-leave offer on a debt ceiling increase.

(That’s President Obama to you, sir.)

Meanwhile, every member of the Democratic caucus in the Senate — including Independents Lieberman and Sanders — signed a letter to Mr. Boehner today assuring him that his plan would be dead on arrival in the Senate and urging him to seek a more sensible and realistic solution:

Speaker John Boehner U.S. Capitol, H-232 Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner,

With five days until our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis, we need to work together to ensure that our nation does not default on our obligations for the first time in our history. We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill. We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and give you the reasons why.

A short-term extension like the one in your bill would put America at risk, along with every family and business in it. Your approach would force us once again to face the threat of default in five or six short months. Every day, another expert warns us that your short-term approach could be nearly as disastrous as a default and would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating. If our credit is downgraded, it would cost us billions of dollars more in interest payments on our existing debt and drive up our deficit. Even more worrisome, a downgrade would spike interest rates, making everything from mortgages, car loans and credit cards more expensive for families and businesses nationwide.

In addition to risking a downgrade and catastrophic default, we are concerned that in five or six months, the House will once again hold the economy captive and refuse to avoid another default unless we accept unbalanced, deep cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security, without asking anything of the wealthiest Americans.

We now have only five days left to act. The entire world is watching Congress. We need to do the right thing to solve this problem. We must work together to avoid a default the responsible way – not in a way that will do America more harm than good.


Only five days left before default. Five. Days.

The Republicans own this one. Lock, stock and barrel.

Light bulb moment

 Posted by at 12:41  Politics, Republicans
Jul 132011


Bill to repeal light-bulb standards falls short in House

It looks like lights out for old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.

The Republican-controlled House voted 233-193 on Tuesday for the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act [authored by Joe Barton (R-TX)], which would have repealed higher energy-efficiency standards for bulbs. But the measure needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

House Republicans can still try to adopt the measure under different procedures requiring only a simple majority, but it’s unlikely it would get through the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The original legislation, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007, requires all new bulbs to use at least 27 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs. It will go into effect next year and gradually phase out traditional 100-, 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs by 2014.

A second set of standards in 2020 will require most light bulbs to become 60 to 70 percent more efficient.

With the full faith and credit of the United States of America currently on the line, I sure am glad that the Republicans in the House of Representative were able to find the time to argue about light bulbs.

Jan 192011

As they promised they would, the Republicans in the House of Representatives staged their bit of political theater and voted today to repeal the health care reform that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last year. The vote was 245 to 189, with three Democrats – Reps. Mike Ross (Ark.), Dan Boren (Okla.) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.) – joining Republicans in backing the measure. Here are some of the provisions already in effect which they voted to repeal:

* Excluding children under age 19 with pre-existing conditions
* Lifting lifetime and annual limits on benefits paid. No longer can a price be put on someone’s life.
* Allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ policies.
* Closing the Medicare Part D donut hole for seniors.

Thankfully, this cruel and devastating bit of legislation has gone as far as it is going to go. Majority Leader Harry Reid has stated that it will not even see the light of day in the Senate. If by some miracle it happened to make it through the Senate, it would still require the signature of President Obama. That is not likely to happen. But at least the Republicans can tell their extreme right wing base that they did what they said they would do — they voted to repeal health care for Americans.