House and Senate Agree to a Short-Term Spending Bill to Keep The Gov’t Open

Winner Nancy Pelosi… more on that in a minute.

The House and Senate leadership have come to an agreement to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a partial shutdown of the government on December 21st. This CR will cover
seven appropriations bills for the following departments; Homeland Security, Commerce, State, Treasury, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture as well as the General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget, NASA and others remain unpassed and funded by a short-term continuing resolution.

Once approved by the House and Senate it will be up to President Trump to sign the CR. This should go off without hitch, but this is Trump we are talking about here. It was only a week ago that Trump was willing to take ownership of a potential shutdown in order to receive funding for The Wall. After some grumbling from Republicans in congress, Trump back-tracked on the idea of shutdown, but you just never know with this dude.

Trump has to be upset with the passing of this CR, once again he will not get the funding for his Wall, the signature piece of his campaign/administration. And now on top of that, Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader) is basically giving Nancy Pelosi all the power to negotiate a long-term spending bill.

Trump has until the 21st to sign the CR, and it would seem as though he is backed into a corner. But this egomaniac has already proven he is not the typical politician. You never know what type of audible he may call, i doubt he won’t sign the CR but you never know.

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!



Senate Republicans block extension of Middle Class tax cuts

In not so shocking news Senate Republicans successfully blocked the permanent extension of the Middle/Working Class tax cuts.  This will be 1 of 4 test votes Democrats in the Senate will attempt to see what version of the bill will garner the most votes.

The following versions of the legislation will also be tested:

  1. Senator Schumer (D-NY) has proposed a middle/working  class tax cuts where the cap would be raised to $1 million dollars.  Meaning if you make less than or equal to $1 million you will receive a permanent tax cut.
  2. Senator McConnell (R-KY) make tax cuts for upper wealthy and middle/working class permanent
  3. Permanently pass middle/working class tax cuts and temporarily pass tax cuts for upper wealthy fo the next 2-3 years.

Word is the Senate will vote on Senator Schumer’ proposal next and that is als expected to be voted down by Republicans.  The only plan that will more than likely to receive the most support from Republicans will Senator McConnell’s proposal of permanent extension of tax cuts for both Rich and Middle Cass (#2).  That proposal will also fail as it will not have the necessary support from Democrats as they do not support tax cuts for the Uber Rich.

The only proposal that will more than likely have enough support from both sides of the aisle will be the 3rd proposal listed above:

Permanently pass middle/working class tax cuts and temporarily pass tax cuts for upper wealthy for the next 2-3 years. 

This plan will also be reluctantly be supported by President Obama; he campaigned back in 2008 on letting the Bush Era Tax Cuts expire for he Upper 2% wealthy.  Letting those tax cuts expire will bring revenue of $700 billion over the next 10 years.  That money could be used to pay down our spiraling out of control National Debt ($13 trillion dollars)

The next couple of days will be interesting in the senate as there will be heavy negotiations to include an extension of unemployment benefits that will soon expire for 2 million Americans at the end of the year. 

Republicans are hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to stop President Obama even if that means hurting the nation.  tax cuts fo the Middle/Working class would have more of a positive impact on our economy than any tax cut for the Upper 2%  wealthy.  Extending the tax cut for the rich will set this country back as we will have to borrow $700 Billion dollars from the Chinese so tat the RICH CAN GET RICHER!!

So while Republicans campaigned on lowering the National Debt, in this case lowering the debt is not important when it comes to making sure the Uber Rich can make more money while the rest of the nation suffers.

Republicans will hold unemployment benefits and tax cuts for the Middle Class hostage so the rich can save more money t put into their savings.  It’s very simple folks the Middle Class (you and me) drives this economy…

NOT DIDDY!!!  

Update:  According to White House correspondent Mark Knoller The Senate has also voted against the Senator Schumer’s proposal:

  • Senator Schumer (D-NY) has proposed a middle/working  class tax cuts where the cap would be raised to $1 million dollars.  Meaning if you make less than or equal to $1 million you will receive a permanent tax cut.
  • As always….

    If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!

    Middle Class Tax Cuts Pass in the House, but…

    During the Lame Duck session of Congress Nancy Pelosi was able to pass Middle/Working Class tax cuts through the House of Representatives.  Officially 168 Republicans voted against permanently extending the tax cuts for the middle/working class; basically voting for a tax increase for the middle class!

    This permanent Middle/Working class tax cut will be voted down in the Senate; the problem is that Democrats do not have the 60 votes necessary to protect this tax cut from a filibuster.  Harry Reid will bring this version of the tax cut and other versions up for tests votes to se which version of the legislation will garner the most votes. 

    Here are some versions that will be brought up for test votes

    1. The House passed permanent middle/working class tax cuts for those who make less than or equal to $250,000
    2. Senator Schumer (D-NY) has proposed a middle/working  class tax cuts where the cap would be raised to $1 million dollars.  Meaning if you make less than or equal to $1 million you will receive a permanent tax cut.
    3. Senator McConnell (R-KY) make tax cuts for upper wealthy and middle/working class permanent
    4. Permanently pass middle/working class tax cuts and temporarily pass tax cuts for upper wealthy fo the next 2-3 years.

    Senator Reid could bring this up for vote starting Friday; more than likely #4 will be the version that will receive the most votes.  In my opinion Sen. Schumer’s proposal is the most fair offer as it will not only give th middle/working class the tax cuts they so desperately need but it will also cover more people making up to $1 million dollars.  While at the same time still being fiscally responsible.

    Unfortunately, Republicans will continue their obstruction ways… and they will continue this until they have enough votes to pass what they want.  Republicans will support permanently pass middle/working class tax cuts and temporarily pass tax cuts for upper wealthy fo the next 2-3 years.  In 2 years Republicans will then have another election to gain the necessary votes to permanently extend those temporary tax cuts.

    With out of control debt there is only 1 solution to ensure another $700 Billion is not added to our already $13 trillion-dollar debt.  I think the president should take a stand and show everyone who’s the boss; let all the tax cuts expire, it would be a risky move on his part but it would be a position where he could stand and show he has the proverbial balls to make tough decisions that would start bringing down our debt.

    I highly doubt he will do that…

    Meanwhile here is video of Nancy Pelosi on the floor of the House talking about Middle Class Tax cuts:

     

     As always….

    If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!

    Talking Points Tuesdays – Once again, Unemployment Benefits…

    Today Republican leadership (Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. John Boehner, Rep. Eric Cantor) met with President Obama to begin discussions on an agreement/compromise concerning the extension of Bush Era Tax Cuts.  More specifically extending tax cuts for the upper wealthy 2%

    I’m not writing this to once again exhaust the tax discussion; I want to shed light on the disdain Republicans seems to have for the working class.

    While wealthy Republican congressmen fight to protect their fortunes as well as the fortunes of their millionaire/billionaire buddies; 2 Million Americans will potentially lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the year as congress was unable to workout an extension.  Those Americans struggling to find work will once again be slapped in the face by the government they voted.  At the same time they will be labeled as lazy folks looking for a hand out.

    REALLY??

    I don’t understand how anyone could call the majority of Americans on unemployment lazy.  If you ever been on unemployment you would know going from a $60K (annually) job to receiving $405 (before taxes) a week is NO lap of luxury. 

    Weekly unemployment benefits by state (2/2009)
    State  Maximum State  Maximum
    Alabama $255 Montana $407
    Alaska $370 Nebraska $308
    Arizona $240 Nevada $362
    Arkansas $409 New Hampshire $427
    California $450 New Jersey $584
    Colorado $475 New Mexico $455
    Connecticut $519 New York $405
    Delaware $330 North Carolina $494
    District of Columbia $359 North Dakota $385
    Florida $275 Ohio $372
    Georgia $330 Oklahoma $392
    Hawaii $545 Oregon $482
    Idaho $362 Pennsylvania $539
    Illinois $385 Rhode Island $528
    Indiana $390 South Carolina $326
    Iowa $443 South Dakota $285
    Kansas $423 Tennessee $275
    Kentucky $415 Texas $378
    Louisiana $284 Utah $444
    Maine $496 Vermont $409
    Maryland $380 Virginia $378
    Massachusetts $628 Washington $541*
    Michigan $365 West Virginia $424
    Minnesota $566 Wisconsin $363
    Mississippi $230 Wyoming $387
    Missouri $320    

    Who can feed a family and pay bills on $628??

    The economy is SLOWLY recovering but there is not enough job creation to support the amount of unemployed Americans on the market. 

    It is time for us to do the right thing and help those who NEED the help and not worry about tax cuts for RICH MOFOS!!

    As always….

    If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!

    Takeover Thursdays – Republicans, “JUST SAY NO….”

    Rep John Boehner (R) and Sen Mitch McConnell (R)

    When President Obama took office on Janurary 20th 2009 the Republican Leadership (John Boehner and Mitch McConnell) decided they were not going to do anything to help this president or a Democrat controlled Congress move this country forward. Any legislation that was sponsored or strongly backed by Democrats the Republicans would immediately be on the side of opposition. It did’t matter what the legislation was, for it to pass Democrats would have to pass with a “Super Majority”

    Republicans would force the “Super Majority” with the threat of a filibuster

    Since Democrats took control of both the House and Senate in 2007 Republicans have used the filibuster approximately 152 times (112 times from 2007-2008)!! The use of filibuster exploded in 2007 once the Democrats took over; in the previous year under a Republican controlled congress the filibuster was only used 54 times by Democrats.

    So what does this all mean for the everyday person?

    That means the people suffer while Republicans focus on their political futures; if you think I am being too harsh take for example the debate of extending unemployment benefits. While millions of Americans unemployment benefits ran out Republicans stood by and debated if it was a good idea to extend the benefits. Poll after poll favored extending but the majority of Republicans stuck to their guns; it was clear that the GOP did not care about anyone else but themselves.

    What I can’t understand is how a rational thinking person could possibily support this Republican way of thinking; according to a Gallup Poll released on August 30th 51% of registered voters preferred a Republican run Congress!!

    As I have been saying since before the summer for this congress to produce good/great legislation it will take both parties working together. The more divided we are the less effective we will be; unfortuantely the Republicans are set to continue their obstructionist ways until they can regain some control of congress. When the mid-term elections occur in Novemeber we will more than likely see Republicans win control of the House; if that is the case the “Right” will then have to change from obstructionist to legislators. There is an interesting power that comes along with controlling the House of Representatives; Subpoena Power!

    Having subpoena power allows the party in power to investigate suspious activity within governement; best believe Republicans would take advantage of that power to investigate the Obama Administration. What they will have to becareful of is not going too far with investigations. We could see a sceanrio where the House will be so involved in investigations that no real legislation will be enacted; and in these econiomic times the last thing we need is a lack of focus on creating jobs.

    I have to admit I am not very hopefully that we will see much out of the Republican party; John Boehner and Mitch McConnell still have not produced a plan to set this country back on the right path. All I am seeing and hearing is a lot of stupid discussion about Ground Zero Mosques and how the President is a supporter of Islam.

    Both parties need to wake up and get it together, they need to focus on the word for today…

    THE WORD FOR TODAY IS JOB, J-O-B-S!!!

    As always….
    If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!

    Talking Points Tuesdays – Democrats need to get the RIGHT message out…

    It’s time for the Democrats outside of the President to step to the forefront and start conveying the message needed to hold off a Republican takeover. Democrats are caught in a catch-22 right now as there best speaking voice happens to be an unpopular speaking voice; President Obama. Currently Democrats are trying to figure out the best way to use the President on the campaign trail; while the President received a raucous welcome at the University of Texas there was no sign of Democrat Bill White who is running for Governor of Texas. If Democrats want to hold onto control of the House (not likely) and Senate the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, and Barney Frank have to start putting their stamp on the message. Republicans like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are always in front of the cameras; I know this because their foolish comments are always great material for political satire for shows like The Daily Show, Countdown (Keith Olbermann) and The Rachel Maddow Show.

    If the Democrats want to generate excitement they have start making their presence felt daily; I feel like the only consistent message I get from Democrats is from the White House, Robert Gibbs specifically. The message should be real simple for Democrats to voters; REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN!!!!!

    Well I shouldn’t say they have no plan; they have actually come together and agreed to say NO to anything Democrats want to do.  Even if that means making the less fortunate suffer; for example Republicans decided they could not support extending unemployment rates BUT they could support extending Bush Tax Cuts that only affect the top 2% in America.  And how do Republicans plan on paying for those Bush Tax cuts??? Well at first they said they shouldn’t have to be paid for as the tax cuts will generate growth.  That explanation was quickly dismissed by many economist including Conservative economist, so Republicans decided to ok lets float the idea of raising the retirement age…

    WTF, so Republicans want hard-working middle/working class Americans to break their backs until they are 70 so that they could retire and earn social security.  The current early retirement age is now 62 for those wondering. 

    Does this make any sense to anyone???

    Does it make sense for working/middle class Americans to work longer so that the likes of Bill gates can get a tax cut??

    This is what Democrats need to talk about, President Obama wants to continue giving 95% of Americans a tax break while Republicans would rather turn their back on the working/middle class!!

    Other Talking Points Democrats need to focus on….

    • Republicans talk about supporting small business but they are blocking legislation that would help small business.  The Small Business Jobs Act would create a $30 billion fund for community banks to lend to small businesses. It would also increase limits on existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and give small businesses additional federal tax breaks.
    • Republicans tried to block the passage of $26.1 Billion State-Aid Package that would save the jobs of 161,000 teachers and 158,000 public works employees (cops, fire fighters etc..).  Republicans referred to teachers, cops and fire fighters as special interest groups.  The bill also helps states going broke to fund Medicaid.
    • Republicans wanted to protect BP; the company that caused the oil spill in the Gulf.  While Democrats wanted to raise the cap for damages from $75 million to an amount that would actually cover the cost.  $75 million is not nearly enough, but Republicans wanted to protect the Big Oil Companies.
    •  Republicans who run on the platform of repealing the 14th Amendment are insane, HA!!!!  Constitutional Amendments are very very difficult to pass; a perfect example of this is the Equal Rights Amendment aka ERA.  It was first proposed in 1923 to affirm that women and men have equal rights under the law; it is now 2010 and this is still not an amendment.  Any Republican pushing the idea of changing the constitution is a nutbag.

    In my opinion if Democrats talk about these basic Talking Points no sane individual could possible support the current Republican agenda.  In all honesty it’s not like Democrats have it all figured out but at least I can see some kind of a plan.  Now if we can get Republicans (except Paul Ryan) away from just saying no and actually presenting some ideas then maybe we can start making real progress.

    As always….
    If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!

       

    Takeover Thursdays – Come On Sen. McConnell!!

    Here we go again with Republicans, different day same story. This time instead of Health Care Reform Republicans now seem to focus their party of “No” ways to Financial Reform. In late 2008 when our financial system was falling apart and barely hanging by a thread; the United States enacted a bailout plan to save our economy. This plan was not received well by many Americans as the government went in and saved “Fat Kat” corporate suits that took advantage of a poorly regulated industry and manipulated their ways to record earnings (Goldman Sachs). So with the public outraged about bailouts and the government taking ownership (large shares) of companies like GM, CitiGroup etc… You would think legislation to help prevent something like this from happening again would be widely supported by both Republicans and Democrats.

    Well, not the case when it comes to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He decided he was going to be against a Democrat backed Financial Reform legislation and attempt to label it an endless practice of bailing out “Big Banks”. Instead of encourage bi-partisanship McConnell decided he would continue the GOP’s “Obstructionist” ways. What McConnell miscalculated is that the public is not as divided on Financial Reform as they were on Health Care Reform. Not sure what McConnell was thinking, one thing has remained true; the public wants no part of bailing out Wall Street.

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    So exactly what is Senator McConnell trying to derail? Here are 6 key points of the Financial Reform legislation (via Washington Post):

    1. A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, housed inside the Federal Reserve, would write and enforce rules protecting borrowers from abuse by lenders.

    WHAT IT MEANS: The location of the agency is a nod to Republicans and conservative Democrats who oppose the creation of a free-standing consumer agency, but everything else about this proposal is designed to please liberals, giving the consumer agency sweeping powers and imposing few checks on that authority.

    2. A Financial Stability Oversight Council, chaired by the Treasury secretary, would coordinate federal efforts to identify and manage risks to the financial system and the broader economy.

    What it means: Dodd wanted to give the council broad responsibility for policing systemic risks. After massive administration pressure, he agreed instead to give much of that power to the Fed. The oversight council will instead function essentially as the Fed’s board of directors on regulatory issues, signing off on its decisions.

    3. A new process would allow for the liquidation of large, failing financial firms.

    WHAT IT ME ANS: Companies could be liquidated by joint agreement of the Treasury Department, the Fed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which already administers bank failures and would play a similar role in the new process. Costs would be paid from a $50 billion pool of money gathered from large financial companies.

    4. Credit-rating agencies would be regulated and liable for errors.

    WHAT IT MEANS: Breaking with the administration and the House version of financial reform, Dodd’s bill would hold Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and other rating agencies potentially liable for their judgments about the safety of bonds and other investments. The industry also would be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    5. Banks would face new limits on trading and investment activities.

    WHAT IT MEANS: The bill would restrict banks from running their own investment portfolios or hedge funds, an administration proposal known as the “Volcker Rule” that Dodd initially had rejected. The bill also would regulate the massive trade in derivatives, increasing the proportion of such trades that are publicly reported.

    6. Some renovations would be made to the structure of federal banking regulation.

    WHAT IT MEANS: Dodd abandoned his earlier proposal to create a single banking regulator after critics argued that the upside was not worth the effort. The bill still would eliminate the Office of Thrift Supervision. The Fed’s authority over smaller banks would be split between the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

    To most rational people all 6 points listed above can be agreed on as being necessary, BUT McConnell for whatever reason decided that point #3 was a clear-cut bailout for banks that the tax payer would be stuck with. Here is point #3 again:

    A new process would allow for the liquidation of large, failing financial firms.

    WHAT IT MEANS: Companies could be liquidated by joint agreement of the Treasury Department, the Fed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which already administers bank failures and would play a similar role in the new process. Costs would be paid from a $50 billion pool of money gathered from large financial companies.

    So McConnell decided to paint the $50 billion dollar pool that banks would pay into as a bailout the banks would be able to use to stay afloat, WRONG!!!! The truth is that $50 billion dollars that the BANKS PAY INTO will be used to fund the SAFE unwinding of any banks in need. For example, if this legislation was in place in 2008 when Bank of America was in danger of going under; they would have been forced to use this fund to safely unwind their business.

    What do I mean by safely? Bank of America (BOA) is a large enough bank with holdings/investments in several areas; just allowing the bank to fail would have negatively impacted businesses that rely on them and the overall economy. The $50 billion dollar fund would be used to help untangle Bank Of America’s investments and keep intact any business involved with BOA. Also in using this fund the Executive Management Team and The Board of Directors (the people responsible for the BOA’s failures) would be removed. This is in NO WAY A BAILOUT!!!!!!

    To be fair to Senator McConnell deep down I don’t believe he really thinks this is a bailout. He is caught up in partisan politics, and it is a shame; fortunately for us (the people) not every Republican is following McConnell on this one. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) stood up to the ridiculous notion of calling Financial Reform a bailout. He stood on the floor of the Senate and clearly stated this is “Not A Bailout…”. As I have stated in previous blogs we have to move past this partisan mindset; that goes for Republicans and Democrats! Don’t fight legislation because you are trying to prevent the other side from doing anything productive. No good can come from that type of mentality, hopefully more Congressmen/women will take Senator Corker’s lead and do what is right.
    Also keep in mind that we the people have responsibility in this as well, it is up to us to search for the truth. That means do the research before forming an opinion; just don’t take the one-sided stories of FOX News, CNN, or MSNBC. Listen to all view points and form your own opinions, the truth is out there!

    As always….
    If there is something to be said, “Its On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!