It’s been more than a year since lawmakers have proposed and approved an operational budget. Instead under Democratic leadership the budget process has been continued six times and still Congress in no closer to passing a spending plan.
However, freshman lawmakers decidedly made a decision to stop the nonsense and threw a wrench in the House vote by saying no to the continuing resolution extension this week.
Yesterday’s House vote played out this way; 54 freshman GOP lawmakers said the $6 billion in cuts were too small to make a difference and 104 Democrats said the $6 billion was more than the country could afford.
The U.S. currently owes more than $14 trillion and counting. The national deficit for February alone was $222.5 billion, or $7.9 billion per day, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Egypt this week giving interim government officials a $2 billion check. Where is the money coming from? China? Taxpayers? Or a national credit card.
Looking at the current budget numbers, the proposed $6 billion in cuts demanded by the Republicans would only keep the federal government for 30 hours. However, if the GOP’s wish of $61 billion in cuts were granted the government could only operate for one week. Spending is a very big problem.
Nevertheless the House voted 271-158 in favor of a three-week stopgap spending measure that would allow the government to run through April 8.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) both urged completion of the longer-term bill, but both will leave D.C. for the scheduled week vacation.
“We get our guidance from our constituents and that’s why we need a week break to discuss the spending cuts Americans think Congress should be making,” Cantor said. “We hope and intend for this (continuing resolution) to be the last one.”
Holding his ground and GOP leaders accountable was freshmen Congressman Allen West (R-FL) who indicated that a government shutdown could actually be good for the budget debate.
“I will NOT be voting for another short term CR,” West tweeted. “There is a confrontation coming on this budget and the sooner we get to it the better.”
And that’s the adult conversation many Americans have been demanding.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Budget negotiations limp along for another 3 weeks – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/budget-negotiations-limp-along-for-another-3-weeks#ixzz1GsYKiVby
The GOP rebuke of Obamacare is titled ‘‘Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act’’ and it is exactly two-pages. The repeal legislation is the first order of business for the incoming 112th Congress.
Looking to make good on a campaign promise House GOP members will call a vote on Obamacare one week after they take office, January 12.
While the vote will be symbolic, Republicans want to let voters know things will be different. The two-page repeal bill was posted online late-last night and will get a vote exactly one week later keeping another campaign promise of posting legislation online first for taxpayers to read before their lawmakers mark their ballot.
The GOP expects to pick up some Democratic votes in the House; however their chances diminish exponentially in the Senate. Also Obamacare is the president’s hallmark legislative success and key staffers say the president has his veto pen readily available if the bill ever reaches his desk.
It’s important to point out the current health care mandate faces many challenges from taxpayers, lawmakers and the court system. In December a Virginia judge dealt Obamacare a huge blow and indicated it was unconstitutional. Another case brought by 20 states is awaiting a Florida judge’s decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare.
Democrats contend the vote next week will take up precious time that could be spent working on the economy and creating jobs. However Republicans say the discussion is worth having so lawmakers can be on the record for the 2012 election cycle.
Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for incoming House Republican leader Eric Cantor says, “It will pass the House.”
The 112th Congress is controlled by Republicans, 242-193, and their historic midterm victory, they feel, gives them a mandate to reverse Obamacare.
“Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs,” Dayspring explains.
Leading the charge for waste, fraud and abuse is GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California. “The sooner the administration figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, not the other party, the better off we’ll be,” he said.
But the president, who returns to the nation’s bitterly cold White House after a warm vacation in Hawaii, expects a brief fight before Congress settles in and begins the work of the people.
“They are going to play to their base for a certain period of time. But I’m pretty confident that they’re going to recognize that our job is to govern,” Obama said on Air Force One today. “My expectation, my hope, is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 — in 2012.”
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Now that it’s about 100 days until the midterm elections, the silly season kicked into high gear over the weekend. The usual finger pointing, slamming policies, and claiming the GOP doesn’t like the little guy tactics were employed by Democrats.
The current bull’s-eye target is unemployment benefits. Some unemployed America’s are entering the final 99 weeks they are able to collect insurance money from Uncle Sam, with a continued wobbly economy the President is seeking an extension of those payments.
Kicking it up a notch, Obama took a direct partisan shot at Republicans for failing to pass an extension in unemployment benefits. This politics as usual tactic fell flat as the House and the Senate enjoys large majorities and do not need Republicans to pass along an extension of benefits.
“Over the past few weeks, a majority of Senators have tried – not once, not twice, but three times – to extend emergency relief on a temporary basis. And each time, a partisan minority in the Senate has used parliamentary maneuvers to block a vote, denying millions of people who are out of work much-needed relief. Republican leaders in the Senate are advancing a misguided notion that emergency relief somehow discourages people from looking for a job,” the President implored.
Nevertheless this hasn’t stopped the main-stream media from placing the blame squarely on the GOP.
The President also highlighted in a recent speech that many Republicans have previously supported unemployment extensions under Republican administrations but refuse to offer relief to middle class families today.
Contrary to the President’s spin, Republicans support an extension of unemployment benefits, they just question whether the estimated $34 billion cost will be paid for with an stimulus money – as the GOP have proposed – or whether the $34 billion will be added to the nation’s $13 trillion debt – as the Democrats have offered.
Minority Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced legislation on four different occasions in the last month that would extend unemployment benefits and pay for them with unused stimulus funds. But on every occasion, that effort was blocked by Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
“The biggest reason the cloture vote we just had failed is because Democrats simply refused to pass a bill that does not add to the debt,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
In November, President Obama made this statement about unemployment benefits; “If it’s fully paid for, and so it is fiscally responsible. Now, it’s important to note that the bill I sign will not add to our deficit.”
California Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, is locked in a bitter race from GOP newcomer Carly Fiorina and votes for deficit spending are just the ammunition the GOP candidate is using against Boxer. Even liberal California sees the writing on the wall – the country is broke.
“While Barbara Boxer toes the party line and rubberstamps Harry Reid’s reckless tax-and-spend agenda in Washington, she has failed to make the tough economic decisions that Californians who are struggling to make ends meet deserve. Instead of living within their means like California families and small businesses are forced to do each year, Boxer and her party leaders in Washington believe that taxpayers should pick up the tab for the government’s maxed out credit card,” said Amber Marchand, NRSC Press Secretary.
“This November, there’s no doubt that voters will hold Senator Boxer accountable for her out-of-control spending agenda when they elect Carly Fiorina to the U.S. Senate,” Marchand finished.
Even Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said unemployment benefits must be offset in a Senate floor speech. “This adds up to a 20-week extension of unemployed benefits for those in the toughest job markets…this should not increase the deficit or national debt.”
However, President Obama believes the country must continue to do everything to spur growth and hiring. “I hope the Senate acts this week on a package of tax cuts and expanded lending for small businesses, where most of America’s jobs are created,” he said from the White House Rose Garden.
“But even as we work to jumpstart job-growth in the private sector, get businesses hiring, and dig ourselves out of this economic hole, we also have another responsibility – to offer emergency relief to Americans who’ve been laid off in this recession; to help them make ends meet – and support their families – while they’re looking for another job,” Obama explained.