Archive for ‘Senate’

February 14, 2013

Dems’ Sequester Replacement Meets with Predictable Response

Republican Health Care SolutionsSenate Democrats will soon release a bill to counter massive cuts from the looming sequestration. In short the bill will institute a minimum tax rate for millionaires and eliminate some tax subsidies, specifically those subsidizing crop insurance for large farms, a program the CBO says will cost upwards of $90 billion over the next decade.

Predictably, the Senate’s much criticized minority leader Mitch McConnell, has come out against the proposed bill saying,

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November 5, 2012

Daily Scoop: Congressional Tax Report suppressed by GOP

From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording.

The decision, made in late September against the advice of the agency’s economic team leadership, drew almost no notice at the time. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, cited the study a week and a half after it was withdrawn in a speech on tax policy at the National Press Club.

But it could actually draw new attention to the report, which questions the premise that lowering the top marginal tax rate stimulates economic growth and job creation.

September 17, 2012

Boehner’s Misconception of Governance & other Political Missteps

A few events over the intervening week held sway enough to make me ponder aloud, “Does John Boehner truly understand American governance?”; “Are the embassy attacks about US policy?” and “Does President Obama flagrantly advocate abortion?

      Election years are crazy enough with the monkey poo fights that erupt across the political ad-osphere but the complete abandon of facts this time around has sent this season into a tailspin of opportunistic malfeasance as its players seek to rouse emotion at the expense of rationality.

September 10, 2012

The Daily Scoop: GOP wish for Power vs Economic Recovery

Today we have two articles which delve into a disturbing possibility which has developed over the past 3 1/2 years. Has the Republican Party purposefully sabotaged the economic recovery from the Great Recession for no other reason but to regain power? It’s a tough question to answer definitively and is hard to believe all members of the party would subscribe to prioritizing the attainment of the presidency over the needs of average Americans amidst such an economic crisis. However, it’s just as difficult to dismiss such an accusation given the actions witnessed since the Obama presidency began. From the national GOP leaders inauguration evening adoption of a strategy to oppose everything put forth by the Administration to their subsequent, consistent opposition to middle class tax cuts, small business support legislation and anything stimulative in nature to record senatorial filibusters, the trend which has developed speaks volumes. It speaks to a coordinated effort to essentially disrupt economic recovery to ensure a Republican victory in 2012.

July 25, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Outside money ban in Mass. Senate race is working, at what price?

It appears this ban on outside money, which has and does influence many local races, in the Massachusetts’ Senate campaign is causing regrets within the state Republican Party solely because they are unable to attack Warren on the Native American heritage claims. Their regrets lie in their inability to dominate the conversation with largely unimportant attacks rather than substantive debate of the pertinent issues. This speaks volumes about the state of political campaigns these days and why so many voters are so very frustrated with the overall process. 

July 1, 2012

Daily Scoop: McConnell states health care access for uninsured “Not the Issue” [video]

The health care reform debate continues even after the Supreme Court ruled on its constitutionality. Republicans have stood firm on their vow to “Repeal & Replace” yet their problems begin when asked about the replace portion of that promise. Both Mitt Romney and Republican leadership have touted “common sense“, step-by-step reforms. They promise to implement interstate commerce of insurance, keep insurers from denying coverage, allow young people on their parents’ insurance, implement industry cost-saving measures. The interesting part of these common sense reforms is that they are already in the Affordable Care Act.

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.

March 5, 2012

Olympia’s Departure & the Demise of the GOP Moderate

This past week witnessed the announcement of moderate Republican Senator Olympia Snowe that she will not seek a fourth term, citing the “atmosphere of polarization” in Congress. A fellow senator and bipartisan legislation co-sponsor, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, stated her decision shows she has lost hope.  This is evident in her Washington Post op-edwhere she lectured her hardline colleagues on how the Senate of today is acting against the Founding Fathers’ vision of the Senate as an institution of wisdom. Her proclamation follows similar decisions by conservative Democratic, Senator Ben Nelson, centrist Democrat senators Jim Webb,  Kent Conrad and Jeff Bingaman and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman.

March 5, 2012

Gas Price News: Prices Spiked By Speculators, Congressmen Claim

Excessive speculation in the oil futures market may be costing you 15 percent or more at the gas pump and playing a “significant” role in rising gasoline prices,  according to a joint letter from 68 members of Congress that ABC News has obtained.

The joint letter, which cites a recently updated report by the St. Louis Federal Reserve titled “Speculation in the Oil Market,” urges immediate action by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to install caps on the biggest traders on Wall Street, preventing them from controlling unusually large positions in the oil futures trading market.

The Reserve’s report called “Speculation in the oil market,” which was just updated in February  2012, concluded there are two main factors for large price swings at the gas pump.

Read the full joint letter HERE

It says “global demand shocks,” such as those caused by turmoil in the Middle East, “account for the largest share of oil price fluctuations.”

The report also concludes “speculation played a significant role in the oil price increase between 2004 and 2008 and its subsequent collapse. Our results support the view that the financialization process of commodity markets explains part of the recent increase in oil prices.”
Read more…

January 10, 2012

Why does GOP want to KO the CFPB?

  President Obama riled Republicans this past Wednesday with his “recess” appointments of four long-blocked agency nominations. The most hair raising for the GOP was the President’s appointment of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency congressional Republicans have opposed since its inception. The President’s actions drew further anger due to questions as to whether the Senate was technically in recess. Were these appointments a response to consistent blockage of the confirmation process? What is behind the ardent GOP opposition to the CFPB and other agency appointees?

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