Archive for ‘House of Representatives’

April 29, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Is this the rise of the Norquistian GOP?

Amidst the hard shifts within the Grand Old Party building from the 1994 “Contract With America” midterm victories and culminating with the 2010 Tea Party inspired gains  are we bearing witness to the rise of the Norquistian Republicans? Fueled by a massive economic crisis the smoldering flames ignited, spreading with full force through cable commentary networks and across the conservative blogosphere, this new crop of highly conservative Republicans roared into the federal legislature on a mission to wrangle control out of a demonized “big government’s” hands. It seems the old GOP guard is being led by the tail, pulling them into long forgotten realms of extremism. The article here lays open the author’s interpretation of the madness into which the Republican Party has apparently fallen.

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April 2, 2012

No Mandate? New Strategy…The Public Option

This past week witnessed the long anticipated, commencement and culmination of the Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Health Care Act’s constitutionality. Each of the three days brought endless speculative predictions as to how the justices will vote and how their decisions will impact the law, the health care system, the President and his reelection.

February 29, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Stimulus Is Maligned, but Options Were Few

It was the winter of 2009 and the United States economy was shrinking. In the last three months of 2008 the economy had contracted at an annual rate of 8.9 percent, the sharpest decline in more than half a century. It shrank at a 6.9 percent rate the next quarter. By February 2009 the country had lost more than five million jobs.

We know what President Obama did. In February, he pushed Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an $831 billion fiscal stimulus package aimed at creating demand for goods and services to reignite growth and stop the downward spiral.

Since then, Republicans have condemned the legislation as an unmitigated disaster. “These policies have made our economic woes worse,” the House speaker, John Boehner, wrote earlier this month on the third anniversary of the bill’s enactment.

The attack hardly fits an economy that appears finally to be gathering steam. By the end of last year the economy had recovered to its peak size in 2007, before the recession. Employment is growing at a steady, though modest, clip. The jobless rate is 8.3 percent, down from 10 percent at its peak in October 2009.

Perhaps more intriguingly, the Boehner attack suggests a question: Were there other plausible choices? And would they have fixed the economy sooner?”
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February 22, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Harder for GOP to claim healthcare reform is a job-killer

Whatever happened to the dread horror of job-killing uncertainty? Just last year, the talking point was all the rage, unanimously chorused by GOP pundits, politicians and economists looking to hammer President Obama for a stalled-out economy.

The argument was simple: Employers were refusing to hire because they feared the “regulatory uncertainty” flowing in the wake of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank bank reform law. Terrified that the future implementation of these reforms would crimp their profits, employers laid low. A policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation provided the smoking gun: He argued that job growth slowed dramatically almost immediately after the passage of the Affordable Care Act in April 2010 — “this suggests,” he wrote, “that businesses are not exaggerating when they tell pollsters that the new health care law is holding back hiring.”

Less than a year later, however, references to the intersection between regulatory uncertainty, healthcare reform and the labor market have plummeted. There’s a very obvious reason for that: The private sector has added over a million jobs over the last six months while the unemployment rate has fallen steadily.

And yet nothing fundamental has changed on the regulatory front…
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February 8, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Teen Pregnancy, Contraception & Religious Perceptions

Once again the Daily Scoop is offering multiple interrelated articles. Today, we are looking at 3 articles that examine the current controversies circling around the Health and Human Services rules for contraception provisions inclusion in employer insurance policies, including religious-based universities and hospitals but exempting churches.

The first article details the findings of newly released study which illustrates the effect of increased contraception use among teens and the decrease in abortion and pregnancy rates for the same groups. The second compares perceptions of the contraception “battle” in the media, in Congress and the general public. And the third reports on the current actions the House of Representatives is preparing to take on the contraception rules.

February 3, 2012

The Daily Scoop: 5 Myths about Planned Parenthood

By Clare Coleman

I was a Planned Parenthood affiliate chief executive, supervising a network of clinics in New York state, during the early days of this terrible recession. We ran deficits, cut hours, closed centers and laid off staff members. In a recession, things get very difficult — more and more people are in need, while government funds lag and donations dwindle. But still we did not turn patients away, even if they could not pay. At the same time, we had to fight political battles to preserve women’s rights to basic care and information about their sexual health.

Amid the debate, let’s address some of the misperceptions about this nearly 100-year-old health-care organization.
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February 1, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Medicare Seen as Battleground Issue in Congressional Races

WASHINGTON — A Republican plan to remake Medicare, set forth in a budget blueprint devised by Representative Paul D. Ryan, has largely faded from public view. But it is about to come back in a big way as Democrats try to win control of the House by battering Republicans over Medicare in Congressional races around the country.

House Republicans voted overwhelmingly last year for the “Ryan budget,” which would give Medicare beneficiaries a fixed amount of money to buy coverage from competing private health plans.

Democrats are using the Medicare issue to attack Republicans, just as Republicans used it to beat Democrats two years ago.
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January 15, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Will the Supreme Court Strike Down Part of the Voting Rights Act?

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a Texas redistricting case that could have major implications for minority voters — as well as determine which party is likely to control Congress after the 2012 elections.

Here’s our guide to why the case matters, why it could pose a challenge to part of the Voting Rights Act, and what impact the Court’s ruling could have on voters across the country.
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December 20, 2011

Clean Air Act & the Anti-Regulation Movement – Part 1

Photo by care2.com

Amidst the congressional back and forth to extend payroll tax cuts, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives presented its alternative last week to the failed Senate bills. The primary source of contention is how to pay for the extensions. The GOP led the charge demanding a path to pay for what are, essentially, middle class tax cuts yet have made no such demand to offset the  cost of tax breaks for the highest earners. Democrats’ plans placed a surcharge on incomes over a million dollars (now removed through a compromised Senate bill) while the House paid for theirs through entitlement cuts, federal employee wage freezes and cutting 10% of the federal workforce. The caveat to the Republicans’ bill is the inclusion of two unrelated provisions. The first pushes Keystone Pipeline construction forward while the second limits the EPA’s recent industrial broiler standards and bans the agency from implementing them in the future.

December 14, 2011

The Daily Scoop: 12 Ways to Make Congress Work

The No Labels action plan to change the rules and fix what’s broken.

No Labels is a group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who want our government to work again. Our 12-point plan to Make Congress Work can be implemented in just 24 hours to start reducing gridlock and hyper-partisanship.

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