House Democrats Plan for Ending the Government Shutdown

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer warned President Trump about shutting down the government over funding for his wall. Democrats in the House and Senate knew that Trump didn’t have the votes for funding the wall, and they knew they had the leverage with Dems taking over the House in 2019.

With Trump’s Government Shutdown heading into its 2nd week, House Democrats are putting together a spending bill to re-open the gov’t without funding for the wall.

As reported by the Washington Post House Dems will look to pass a stopgap spending bill that will fund the Department of Homeland at existing spending levels through February 8th. This will not include funding for the wall

The bill will also include funding for the following depts through September 30th:


Department of Commerce
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Interior
Department of Justice
Department of State
Department of Transportation
Environment Protection Agency (EPA)
Federal Drug Administration (FDA)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Programs related to science, financial services, and other agencies
The National Flood Insurance Program
The Violence Against Women Act
The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Immigration extensions (EB-5, E-Verify, Conrad 30 program for international medical school graduates, Special Immigrant Religious Workers program, and H2B returning worker authority for DHS)
The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Act
Two expiring provisions of the Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Act
Medicaid Money-Follows-the-Person and Spousal Impoverishment, through March 31

Action Institute

Pres Trump severely overplayed his hand with this government shutdown, lack of public support (outside of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter) and he let his ego guide him instead of common sense.

Right now Trump has the protection of the holidays to hide behind as people have been more focused on Christmas and celebrating the New Year. Once the holiday hangover has passed all the focus will be on this shutdown; and I don’t see Trump being able to handle the scrutiny. This is a lonely hill for Trump to die on, it’s time to end the shutdown!

As always….

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

Trump Will Not Sign Current Spending Bill to Avoid Shutdown


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.

Its On Broadway

President Trump has decided that he needs to save face and get something for his Wall in a spending bill that will keep the government open. As he told Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, he is willing to own shutting down the govt.

After threatening shutdown, and then backing down from that threat, Trump is now back to threatening again. He met with House Republicans around noon today and made it clear that he wants $5 billion in funding for The Wall. House Republicans will oblige Trump, but the likelihood of a spending bill passing, including $5B for a wall is low.

Even if Republicans attempt to just add money for Border Security, and not the wall; Democrats have already said they will not vote for that.

I believe Dems will take a compromise of funding more Border Security (not money to build the wall), which would be significantly less than the $5B Trump wants. This way both Democrats and Trump can claim some kind of victory.

Some have floated the idea that congress could just send the spending bill aka CR as is, without funding for the Wall to the president. If Trump vetoes the bill, congress could override the president’s veto with a 2/3rd vote in each chamber to pass the spending bill.

Yes, congress could override the veto. The House passed the CR with 361 votes and the Senate passed it unanimously, but that would be asking Republicans in this congress to really stand-up to Trump. I just can’t see that happening as these Republicans still fear Trump and his core supporters.

Trump seems to love chaos, he has handled this poorly and this cannot be part of the strategy for the “Art of the Deal”

As always….

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



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!!



Takeover Thursdays – Republicans resume control of the House…

Nancy Pelosi hands over Majority Speaker of the House to John Boehner

So here we go folks, “The Boys Are Back in Town”

Republicans are once again in control of the House Of Representatives and this time things will be different!

Seriously, Boehner and the Republicans promise this will not be a repeat of 1994 when they took control of the House during the Clinton presidency.  They will not make the same mistakes that was made back then as they understand that the House is for the people and not a toy for career congressmen.  Yesterday (1/5/2011) Speaker Boehner officially became the Majority Speaker of the House and during his address to the House laid down a framework (Rules Package) for a “New Congress”.

“No longer can we fall short… No longer can we kick the can down the road… The people voted to end business as usual and today we begin to carry out their instructions.”

“The American people have humbled us; they have refreshed our memories to just how temporary the privilege of serving is.  They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them…”

Boehner focused on the following key points:

  • An emphasis on ‘REAL’ transparency
  • Greater accountability
  • A renewed focus on the constitution
  • Legislators and public will have 3 days to review bills before they come up for vote
  • Implement Cut-as-you-go; in order to introduce any spending you must first make cuts in other areas to pay for the spending
  • A fair an open process
  • You will always have the right for a debate to make your case and offer alternatives on legislations

Hmmmm, I have to admit at first glance the above framework for running the House SEEMS to be impressive… BUT it took Republicans less than a day for them to already break one of their “RULES”.  During Boehner’s speech he made sure to point out that a Nancy Pelosi run House did not allow for real debate and that would not be the case under his watch.  Well I guess Eric Cantor must have missed the memo; Cantor has already stated he will put forward a repeal bill (repeal health-care law aka Obamacare) but he will not allow amendments from the Democrats.

Um, that doesn’t sound like a…

fair an open process or a debate allowing everyone the chance to offer alternatives on legislation!!

This is the “New Congress”?

I am more than willing to give the Republicans a chance to do their thing but come on guys, at least let the dust settle before you start breaking your own rules.  It’s still early but the GOP is not showing me anything; they rather work on repealing Obamacare as they call it instead of focusing on the deficit and creating jobs.  Speaking of deficits, I thought Republicans and the Tea Party were serious about controlling spending and running a fiscally responsible government?

If that is the case, why would they not include tax cuts as part of their Cut-As-You-Go program?  Republicans made sure that tax cuts were exempt from Cut-As-You-Go; this will allow the House to present tax cut legislation that could be unpaid for and add to our already $14 Trillion dollar National Deficit.

I don’t know John Boehner this looks a whole lot like “Business As Usual”

but I guess “We can disagree without being disagreeable….

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!!!

WTF/WTH Wednesdays – Charles Rangel’s last Harlem Shake????

The Ethics Subcommittee found Harlem Representative Charles Rangel guilty of 11 of 12 counts of ethics violations.  This is seemingly the beginning of the end for Charlie; as his next appearance will be in front of the Ethics Committee where he will receive his punishment.  Many believe Rangel will not be expelled from Congress but he will not be able to regain the Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee (which he would have lost anyway with Republicans winning the majority in the House) and his reputation/legacy will forever be tainted by this controversy.

Rangel is the last remaining member of the Harlem’s Gang of Four still in politics.  The group consisted of Rangel, Basil Paterson (David Paterson’s Dad), Percy Sutton, and David Dinkins.  With Rangel’s follies it is a true lost for Harlem; Rangel carries 30 years of political experience in Washington and New York that cannot be recaptured easily by young and upcoming Harlem politicians.  Old Charlie finally let the game catch up to him; after 30 years of Congress Rangel was late to adjust to the new world.

When Nancy Pelosi took over as Speaker of the House, she promised to clean up Congress.  Those rules didn’t only apply to Republicans…

Rangel was facing 13 charges of financial and fund-raising wrongdoing, but the committee combined two counts.

Among other things, Rangel was accused of using his official letterhead to solicit money for a center in his name at City College, filing erroneous financial-disclosure statements, and misusing rent-controlled apartments in Manhattan.

Rangel was acquitted on the charge of violating the House of Representatives rule on accepting gifts. The panel was deadlocked on that count, 4 to 4. – NYC Daily News

The shame of it all is the power of the House Ways and Means Committee; potential reforms to programs like Social Security, Welfare, and Medicare would pass through this committee.  Losing some one of Rangel’s clout is a blow to Liberals that could potentially the “30 Something” crowd and others to follow.

At the end of the day Rangel was his worst own enemy; the irony in all of this is that in 1970 and upstart Charlie Rangel beat the embattled incumbent Adam Clayton Powell Jr; Powell was a highly controversial congressman who faced a number of accusations of unethical use of his office and chairmanship.

Who knows what the future holds for Charlie; even with all the accusations he was able to win a landslide victory this past mid-term elections.  He could remain a congressman when it is all said and done; I just don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing…

 

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!!!