Posts Tagged “McConnell”
These are my links for July 13th from 16:06 to 16:22:
- Coburn may return to Senate’s ‘Gang of 6′ – Sen. Tom Coburn said Wednesday that he may rejoin the so-called Gang of Six, the bipartisan band of senators seeking to reach agreement on a big deficit-cutting deal that would blend spending cuts with a tax code overhaul.
The Oklahoma Republican dropped out of the group two months ago saying Democrats weren't willing to cut enough spending from programs like Medicare. He says he may rejoin the group depending on how it responds to ideas he's sent over. The closely watched group has been working for months in hopes of a bipartisan deficit-cutting deal that might gain momentum despite the partisanship consuming Capitol Hill.
Asked about rumors he's thinking of rejoining the group, Coburn said: "They're not rumors." But he said he doesn't know whether he will in fact return and that it would depend on how the group reacts to some ideas he's sent over.
"We'll see" about rejoining the group, Coburn said. "I floated a couple of things. Let's see how they're responded to."
- How are those debt talks going? – Badly – There are, I think, three likely outcomes. One is that Obama blinks on taxes, as he did in last year’s lame duck session. I rate the chances of that happening as slim. The second is that we hit “default” and everyone scrambles for a few days to, yes, get the Social Security checks out. Everyone is shaken and there is that “grand compromise.” I put the likelihood of that at close to zero. And finally, there is some other variation (McConnell’s or another backup plan) that avoids a default and does not force Republicans to vote for tax hikes. That seems the most likely for now.
The real solution is for the voters to participate in a great referendum. More government and tax hikes or less government and no tax hikes? That’s what the 2012 election will be about.
The GOP House should pass a 3 or 6 month all cuts budget deal raising the debt ceiling and force the Senate to filibuster or Obama to veto it.
- Amazon Tax Referendum Filed – With the state budget not yet two weeks old, the first of what could be multiple challenges to its underpinning policies has been issued: a petition for the voters to overturn the new law requiring sales tax collection from online purchases.
A formal request for a referendum on ABx 28 was filed with the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday afternoon by lobbyist Charles Halnan.
Halnan lobbies for, among other companies, Amazon.
The state constitution requires backers of a referendum to gather, within 90 days, voter signatures equaling five percent of the total vote in the most recent gubernatorial election. That looks to be about 504,000 signatures once the petition is cleared by the AG.
Of course, one question raised during last year's debate over Proposition 25 was whether a budget-related bill like this one is eligible for a referendum. Before Prop 25, budget-related bills were generally seen as not eligible, given that they were approved by a supermajority and given that they took effect immediately. For those who would construe that to be synonymous with an "urgency" statute, the constitution would seem to say it's not eligible. But others will no doubt say that these aren't synonymous. A clarification by the courts may be needed on this one.
- New GOP honcho Carly Fiorina is "focused on 2012,” but on future run for office? "Never say never" – Among the topics she addressed in conversation with the Chronicle:
*On Republicans' shot at taking back control of the Senate:"It's a very achievable goal. It's one we have to work hard towards. The Democrats have more seats to defend than we do..and many of the seats in 2012 cycle are in states Barack Obama lost." While Republicans "have challenges,'' Democrats have more challenges, she said.
*On the GOP anti-tax agenda, in California and nationally: "I think Republicans are on very solid ground to say that tax increases are bad for job creation. Everyone agreed with that just six months ago. President Obama was against raising taxes; the Democrats were…Bill Clinton has said the corporate tax rate was too high.'' The bottom line: "You can't raise taxes in the middle of an economic recession….there are only two things you can do during a budget crisis — cut spending, and grow the economy."
*On raising the debt ceiling: "It's important that the U.S. government not default on its obligation. It's equally important that we put in place a set of longterm solutions that restore accountability and fiscal responsibility in Washington and that create the environment where businesses can grow."
*On the "stark" differences between the messages of the two parties: "The Republican agenda is fundamentally different from the Democratic agenda…first, Republicans want to decentralize power, Democrats want to centralize it and they want to centralize it in Washington. Republicans generally will put their faith in the individual; Democrats will put it in an institution. Republicans will favor job creators and Democrats will favor government agencies."
*On her own future in politics: "I'm focused on 2012 and helping other people win….(but) never say never….I've said from the moment that (my) campaign finished, I enjoyed every minute of it. I don't have a bad taste in my mouth. I had a wonderful experience, and I'm proud of the campaign we ran."
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These are my links for July 13th from 08:26 to 08:32:
- Can President Obama keep paying Social Security benefits even if the debt ceiling is reached? – The president obviously does not want to show all of his cards in this high-stakes game of poker. Raising the specter of not issuing Social Security checks is designed to raise pressure on Republicans, but could also cause angst among the elderly.
At this point the answer is unclear but we become suspicious when politicians begin to use “may,” rather than speak in definitive sentences. If Treasury has the ability to keep paying Social Security benefits, even if the debt limit is reached, the Obama administration should make that clear. The Treasury Department’s new statement begins to add some clarity. We will keep watching how the president speaks about this issue.
Answer is perhaps….
Read it all
- The McConnell Plan’s Pitfalls – Shortly after Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his “contingency” plan for a debt limit increase, the Associated Press bulletin read: “GOP Leader McConnell proposes giving Obama new power for automatic debt limit increase.”
It’s surely not the headline McConnell wanted, but unlike much of the media coverage of the debt fight, it’s accurate. And that’s a problem.
It is not, however, the main problem with the McConnell plan. Far worse, in my view, is that the plan isolates House Republicans, it undercuts their (tentative) plan to offer an aggressive debt limit proposal of their own, it turns their principled intransigence from a possible strength to a certain liability, and it virtually ensures that, in the event of default, Republicans – not the White House – will be blamed.
McConnell’s plan gives the president the ability to raise the debt ceiling through 2012, in three separate increments, by requiring Obama to propose spending cuts greater than each request. Its main virtue is that these hikes would have to pass largely with Democratic support – something that McConnell and others believe will redound to Republicans’ benefit heading into the 2012 election cycle. And, the theory goes, if President Obama offers phony spending cuts, as he almost certain to do, his posturing as the “adult in the room” on entitlements and spending will be exposed as unserious.
But there’s the catch, too: the spending cuts do not have to be real or even implemented in order for the president to get his debt ceiling increases. McConnell acknowledged this at the press conference to announce the plan Tuesday afternoon. ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked: “Does it guarantee you’ll get your spending cuts or not?” McConnell responded: “No, it doesn’t.”
Read it all
A different perspective than the Wall Street Journal
- Debt-Limit Harakiri or Why McConnell’s Plan is Not So Bad – The tea party/talk-radio expectations for what Republicans can accomplish over the debt-limit showdown have always been unrealistic. As former Senator Phil Gramm once told us, never take a hostage you're not prepared to shoot. Republicans aren't prepared to stop a debt-limit increase because the political costs are unbearable. Republicans might have played this game better, but the truth is that Mr. Obama has more cards to play.
The entitlement state can't be reformed by one house of Congress in one year against a determined President and Senate held by the other party. It requires more than one election. The Obama Democrats have staged a spending blowout to 24% of GDP and rising, and now they want to find a way to finance it to make it permanent. Those are the real stakes of 2012.
Even if Mr. Obama gets his debt-limit increase without any spending cuts, he will pay a price for the privilege. He'll have reinforced his well-earned reputation as a spender with no modern peer. He'll own the record deficits and fast-rising debt. And he'll own the U.S. credit-rating downgrade to AA if Standard & Poor's so decides.
We'd far prefer a bipartisan deal to cut spending and reform entitlements without a tax increase. But if Mr. Obama won't go along, there's no reason Republicans should help him dodge the political consequences by committing debt-limit harakiri.
Read it all…..
An interesting perspective…..
These are my links for July 12th from 18:33 to 19:18:
- Norquist: Time to Force Obama’s Hand – Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, says he supports the goal of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “contingency plan” to force President Obama to assume nearly all of the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling.
“Obama is playing politics,” Norquist tells National Review Online in an interview. “Republicans need to force him to do what the established press is not doing. He says he’s got a serious proposal. Could we see it written down please?”
McConnell’s plan would require the president to submit, in detail, a list of spending cuts of equal or greater value than the amount of debt increase he is requesting (about $2.5 trillion). “Obama wants to claim to the American people that he’s seriously willing to reduce spending and he’s not seriously taxing everybody and his brother,” Noquist says. “He’s lying. It’s time to end this fiction that he’s negotiating in good faith. They’ve got to force him to put in writing what the hell he thinks he’s doing.”
He blames the “established press” for allowing the president to get away with putting out a horrendous budget earlier this year, and allowing Senate Democrats to get away with having gone more than 800 days without even passing a budget. Members of the media and their Democratic cohorts, he says, have convinced themselves that Republicans will eventually cave and agree to raise taxes, as they did in 1982 and 1990. But they are perilously mistaken. “Most the people around in ’82 and ’90 are dead now!” he exclaims. “That’s a long time ago. Democrats think because MSNBC says we’ve got them on the ropes, that Republicans will fold and raise taxes. They’re nuts.”
The impetus to raise the debt ceiling has been with President Obama all along, Norquist argues, so where is the harm is simply forcing the issue? “He needs to do something to change the game,” says Norquist. “If nothing changes, Republicans win the Senate and keep the House in 2012.”
Read it all….
- Mitch McConnell Just Proposed the “Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011″ – Consider the Associated Press’s headline right now: “GOP Leader McConnell proposes giving Obama new power for automatic debt limit increase”
Mitch McConnell is right now talking about making a historic capitulation. So fearful of being blamed for a default, McConnell is proposing a compromise that lets Barack Obama raise the debt ceiling without making any spending cuts at all.
Consider sending McConnell a weasel as testament to his treachery. His address is 601 W. Broadway, Room 630, Louisville, KY 40202 and the phone number is (502) 582-6304.
McConnell’s idea is to make the debt ceiling automatic unless Congress, by a 2/3 vote blocks the increase. Oh yes, he put a salve on it by dressing it up in tough talk that, to quote the Wall Street Journal, “[a] ‘eal solution’ to U.S. fiscal problems isn’t possible as long as President Barack Obama remains in office.” So since no “real solution” is possible, McConnell proposes to go Pontius Pilate and wash his hands of spending, blaming Obama while doing nothing himself.
Here is how the plan would work.
Read it all…..
- President 2012: Mitt Romney Rejects Gay Marriage Pledge – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign said Tuesday that he will not sign a conservative Iowa Christian group's far-reaching pledge opposing gay marriage, making him the first Republican presidential candidate to reject it.
Two of Romney's rivals for the Republican nomination, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, have signed the The Family Leader's 14-point pledge, which calls on the candidates to denounce same-sex marriage rights, pornography, same-sex military accommodations and forms of Islamic law.
As he should.
I hate these ridiculous pledges.
These are my links for July 12th from 14:31 to 14:33:
- Republicans Introduce Plan, Go On Offensive – Senate Republicans mounted a bold offensive today against President Obama’s effort to force them to accept a tax hike as part of a bipartisan agreement to raise the debt limit.
The Republican plan would, in effect, end the talks at the White House on a deal. Obama has deftly exploited the talks to portray Republicans as willing to risk a government default on its debts rather than accede to a tax increase of $1 trillion or more.
To counter Obama, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell unveiled legislation requiring the president to submit a series of three requests – now, in the fall, and next summer – to increase the debt ceiling.
Each request would have to include spending cuts in excess of the amount of the increase in the limit on borrowing. If Congress rejected the cuts as insufficient by passing a “resolution of disapproval,” the president could send a new package of cuts or veto the resolution. Should his veto be sustained – at least 34 senators would be needed – the debt limit would rise with no cuts attached.
The idea behind the complicated plan is twofold. One, it would avert a tax increase. Two, it would, as a Senate aide said, “put all the onus [of raising the debt limit] on the president.” Assuming a bipartisan agreement is impossible – and the Republicans assume it is – “this is the only plan that would prevent a default.”
A poor plan.
Force the issue with Obama now and get real reforms or live under a de facto balanced budget in a few weeks.
- Heritage Group: McConnell Plan Trades ‘Systemic Reforms’ for ‘Political Gains’ – "If Republicans in Congress believe they cannot strike a real deal with President Obama, they should begin making serious plans to live under the confines of a de facto balanced budget come August 2."
For the life of me I don't understand why this isn't the preferred option. Balanced budget now. Pass legislation in the House zeroing out the Departments of Education, Commerce, and a few others. Government-wide hiring and pay freeze. Pay cuts. Budget cuts. Eliminate all affirmative action and global warming spending from all executive branch agencies. Pay the interest and active-duty military and cops and slash everything else.
McConnell's plan is a non-starter for me.
If there is no deal with Obama, that is reallyhis problem, now isn't it?