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.)
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.
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)…
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.
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 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.)
John Boehner abruptly called off debt ceiling negotiations with President Obama this afternoon. A visibly upset President Obama briefed the White House press corps…
So they will come down here at 11:00 tomorrow. I expect them to have an answer in terms of how they intend to get this thing done over the course of the next week. The American people expect action. I continue to believe that a package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go. And the American people , I think, are fed up with political posturing. And an inability for politicians to take responsibility actions as opposed to dodge their responsibilities.
Full transcript after the break.
The 112th Congress is in session. John Boehner is now Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Republicans now control that institution. If you want a clue as to what the next two years are going to be like, just watch this video…
Big banks, insurance companies and Wall Street lobbyists across the country are rejoicing.
Good luck, America.
Compare and contrast the news conference that John Boehner (presumptive incoming Speaker of the House), Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader) and Haley Barbour (governor of Mississippi) held this morning to the one conducted by President Obama this afternoon (previous post). President Obama continues to cling to the belief that he will be able to work with the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The Republicans left little doubt that they believe they now have a mandate from the American people and promise no compromise. They expect the President and the Senate to do things their way as they are now the new leaders…
It’s going to be a long two years, folks. Fasten your seat belts.
Our Republicans are getting stranger by the day. They really are…
Last week, House Republican Leader John Boehner objected to House passage of a bill that would expand hate crime laws and make it a federal crime to assault people on the basis of their sexual orientation.
“All violent crimes should be prosecuted vigorously, no matter what the circumstance,” he said. “The Democrats’ ‘thought crimes’ legislation, however, places a higher value on some lives than others. Republicans believe that all lives are created equal, and should be defended with equal vigilance.”
Based on that statement, CBSNews.com contacted Boehner’s office to find out if the minority leader opposes all hate crimes legislation. The law as it now stands offers protections based on race, color, religion and national origin.
In an email, Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner “supports existing federal protections (based on race, religion, gender, etc) based on immutable characteristics.”
It should be noted that the current law does not include gender, though the expanded legislation would cover gender as well as sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.
“He does not support adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes,” Smith continued.
Boehner’s position, then, appears to be grounded in the notion that immutable characteristics should be protected under hate crimes laws. And while religion is an immutable characteristic, his office suggests, sexual orientation is not.
For the sake of any Republicans who may be reading this, immutable means unchangeable.
Did you catch that? According the Republican Leader in the United States House of Representatives, you can change your sexual orientation but you cannot change your religion. You can switch from straight to gay and back again whenever you please, but once a Catholic always a Catholic (or Methodist, or Lutheran, or Presbyterian, or Mormon, or Jew, or Buddhist, or Muslim, or whatever).
That is the way our Republicans think.
Now I ask you, how strange is that?
There is no testosterone left in the United States House of Representatives…
Republicans failed in an effort Tuesday to have the House censure Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who said in a congressional speech last week that U.S. troops are being sent to Iraq “to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”
Without debate, the House voted 196-173 to kill the proposal to censure Stark for “his despicable conduct.” The vote was mostly along party lines, with all 168 Republicans on hand supporting the measure offered by Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. Five Democrats joined them.
Stark, 75, stirred cries of protest Thursday during a debate over President Bush’s veto of a $35 billion increase to a children’s health insurance program. “You don’t have money to fund the war or children,” Stark said on the House floor. “But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”
Stark initially refused to apologize despite condemnations from GOP lawmakers and others. Moments after Tuesday’s vote, however, he addressed the House to apologize to his colleagues, “to the president and his family,” and to U.S. troops offended by his remarks.
“I hope that with this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be” in the continuing debates over Iraq and health care, he said. Boehner was among those who applauded.
Running away with one’s tail between one’s legs. What a sad way to end a career.
Minority Leader John Boehner (the “man” to whom Rep. Stark kowtowed):