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Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands the speaker's gavel to incoming House Speaker John Boehner after Boehner was elected Speaker on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. Republicans are t
After a day of getting hammered for skipping town in the face of looming tax hikes, House Republicans are coming back to town Sunday at 6:30 PM. But:
Speaker John Boehner’s message to House Republicans is no different privately, than what he’s saying publicly.

“We are waiting on the Senate,” the Ohio Republicans told lawmakers on a call restricted to the 241 lawmakers in the House Republican Conference.

The Senate's already passed an extension of tax cuts, so if that's all that John Boehner is waiting for, his wait is over. And if he would rather see legislation that also extends unemployment benefits, includes a "doc fix" for Medicare, and raises the debt limit, he should say so, because that's something that could get done. But if he's only bringing his gang back in town to win a spin war, the sight of them sitting on their hands when they could act on the Senate's legislation won't do them any favors.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So why doesn't Harry just pass a bill (10+ / 0-)

    with all of our wish lists on it? Would the rethugs in the Senate block it?

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:33:10 PM PST

    •  Yes (10+ / 0-)

      This answer supplied the Bureau For Obvious Answers.

      What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:35:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reid passed something back in July (3+ / 0-)

      It didn't have the estate tax, but Reid got Republicans to avoid a filibuster by letting them vote on their own fantasy package. Don't think there's any way to do anything like that again without filibuster reform.

      •  One of the reasons why (3+ / 0-)

        McTurtle allowed that bill to come to a vote was that it had a "blue slip" problem.  Under the Constitution, revenue bills must originate in the House.  As the Times article notes " that can be finessed, but only with the cooperation of House leaders."
        McConnell knew all along that Boehner, et al, would not finess the blue slip issue.

        •  Exactly. Right now, the Senate bill is contrary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, OjaiValleyCali

          to the Constitution.  Sen. Reid's reference to "blue slip" is not some procedural technicality, it's a reference to the fact that the Constitution requires all revenue bills to originate in the House.  The House CAN do things to waive this, but unless they do, the Senate bill is technically not constitutional.  

          •  in just the same way that any House (0+ / 0-)

            Bill would be technically not constitutional- until the Senate passes it.  The way to make the Senate bill "constitutional" is for the house to vote on, and pass it.  It's that simple.

            •  conniptionfit - you missed the point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              All House bills sent the Senate are constitutional. They can't become law until the Senate also passes the bill and the President signs it, but at no point is it unconstitutional. By the letter of the Constitution all revenue bills must originate in the House, and that's the distinction.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:16:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  No, that's not true. (0+ / 0-)

              This particular Senate bill -- the one that was passed in the Senate that Reid keeps referring to --  is a revenue bill that originated in the Senate.  

              Article I, Section 7 provides as follows:

              All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
              As this diary indicates, one way around that is for the Senate to take the House-originated bill and amend that.  That would mean that the revenue bill originated in the House.  But the Senate hasn't done that.

              The "Blue Slip" issue gives the House a constitutional basis for refusing to bring the Senate bill to the floor of the House:

              The Origination Clause of the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 7, Clause 1) provides that the House of Representatives has exclusive authority to introduce bills raising revenue: "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." Under House precedent, this includes bills "raising revenue and appropriating the same" and the House considers itself to be the only proper venue to originate any bills appropriating revenue. The Senate can simply circumvent this requirement by substituting the text of any bill previously passed by the House with the text of a revenue bill.

              When, in the opinion of the House of Representatives, a Senate-introduced bill that raises revenue or appropriates money is passed by the Senate and sent to the House for its consideration, the House places a blue slip on the legislation that notes the House's constitutional prerogative and immediately returns it to the Senate without taking further action. This blue-slipping procedure, done by an order of the House, is routinely completed to enforce its interpretation that the House is the sole body to introduce revenue or appropriations legislation. The failure of the House to consider the legislation means it cannot become a law. This tactic is historically to be of great use to the House and, as a practical matter, the Senate does not introduce tax or revenue measures to avoid a blue slip.[1][2]

              That Senate Bill got a Blue Slip way back when it was originally passed.  So, contrary to what Reid says, it's not just sitting there waiting for the House to pass it.  
    •  Boehner will pass the Senate bill (0+ / 0-)

      that Reid already passed in the Senate.  The one that extends all the current rates for anyone under $250k.

      He's just being a drama queen.

  •  Maybe the Farm Bill? (10+ / 0-)

    Those GOP farmers will be pretty pissed off if they don't get their government welfare from the US Department of Agriculture and have to actually compete in the "free market".  

    •  Good thing you aren't a politician then... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because this is how it goes.

      There's a certain amount of alternating face-saving and blustering in public based on the theory that one could be in his opponent's position sometime in the future and would like to get some sort of reciprocation.

      Like I said yesterday, it's truly a game of attrition. No one gives until they have no other moves. Having said that, it is imperative to have a lot of patience and intestinal fortitude to get to the desired end result.

    •  Time to turn off the news through Monday night (4+ / 0-)

      In effect, until next year, I think I am taking a short sabbatical from all things news related. I need a vacation. Flush out all the clutter, and retain only the essentials.

      I'll allow these immature, freeloading toddlers in the House to play this game of red hands and run around playing tag until their time is up or they just get bored of trying to irritate me. Because that's their only reason being.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

      by rovertheoctopus on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:51:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  market is up (0+ / 0-)

    if you believe that the market is all-knowing...looks good for a deal shortly.

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:34:41 PM PST

  •  Part of me is frustrated by Republican stalling (7+ / 0-)

    the rest of me is saying, "We've got more Democrats in Congress in 2 weeks. Maybe it's better to wait" Because I'm convinced that anything Republicans do do (Heh, he said Republican Do-Do!) will be a disaster.

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:37:42 PM PST

    •  Yeah, but we won't have that many more Dems, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, PinHole

      ... in 2013. Not enough to do the trick.

      True, Boehner could release some wavering Republicans to cross the line, but he might as well trumpet it for it would instantly be known and they - and he - would be pariahs.

      Just like the silly Cliff problem. It's a do-do of their own making.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:54:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, we won't have Speaker Pelosi (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, PinHole, defluxion10, trumpeter

        but The Toxic Orange Weeper will have a harder time wrangling his herd. Maybe we can get them to crack and get something thru. It's a relative thing. I hope it's enough.

        What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:56:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, may our hope spring eternal. (0+ / 0-)

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:01:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We're more likely to get our radiator springing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            a leak but I'll still hold out for the hope thing.

            What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

            by ontheleftcoast on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:01:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Boners's Self interest is more likely. (0+ / 0-)

              Once he realizes that his power lies in acting like the speaker of a bipartisan House, watch out!  He's currently learning the lesson that in order to have the power that comes with the job, you have to have EITHER a firm grip on your majority caucus, such that they will reliably vote for whatever you put up for a vote, OR you have to be willing to negotiate for enough votes from the Democratic side to go with the republican votes you can get.  Either way, he's not negotiating for votes.  And he has effectively neutered HIMSELF, both in the House, and in negotiations with Obama.  Obama is not going to negotiate with Boner, because Boner can't DELIVER on the promises he makes at the negotiating table.  Witness last weeks debacle.
              Boner's fundamental problem is the Republican attitude of "you're either with us, or against us" that precludes working with the other side.

      •  However, in 2013 Bonehad won't have to (0+ / 0-)

        worry about not being elected Speaker like he does now.  If he makes a deal now then he will lose that position to Cantor or Ryan.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:25:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Happy New Year.... (6+ / 0-)
    Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller
    House members advised that the chamber may be in session through Wed., January 2. The new 113th Congress convenes noon Thurs., Jan 3.
    Expand   Reply  Retweet  Favorite
    If the rates change on the 1st----WTF they going to do in one day, that they can't do now????
  •  Boener is WAITING? (12+ / 0-)

    If you were playing tennis with this guy, the ball would be past his head, laying against the fence behind him, and Boener would be yelling.. "When you gonna Serve already!!"

    Note to Boener: The Senate DID pass the bill already John. Obama promised to sign it when the House passes it.

    Even better, the crowd sees where the ball is, and is starting to boo and hiss at such strange cowardice.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:41:30 PM PST

  •  The Zombies Return - The Fix is In (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dservgun, defluxion10

    you can bet that O has been playing solitary poker in Hawaii and finally convinced Boehner, Cantor, et al that Social Security needs to be "fixed" and maybe tax cuts can be extended for a couple more years...

    “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    by miguelmas1 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:42:07 PM PST

  •  I don't care nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I'm not surprised. This is much too psuedo-drama- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    tic to be anything but all part of the plan.

    Just please, Dems, don't play with them.

  •  No, no. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's a bailout for the airlines.  Or something.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:43:50 PM PST

  •  Can't vote for taxes increases (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I still think it is just a posturing game. The Norquist's pledge can be side step if the tax cuts are allowed to expire. They didn't VOTE for a tax increase. They wait till January 2nd and they can vote for a tax cut for the middle class. They did not break their pledge.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:45:51 PM PST

  •  We can all breathe easier (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bewareofme, se portland, PinHole

    with Boehner and the Baggers back in town.  Ooh good band name.  Anyway, pass the popcorn.

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:46:30 PM PST

  •  I prefer that they don't do anything. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trumpeter, aliasalias

    This is one bluff that is in serious need of calling.  May be in more dire need of a Monica than any orange person in history.

  •  Buy a fancy leather binder, put the Senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conniptionfit, Anokris

    version of the tax cuts in it and hand it to Harry Reid.

    Call every living soul with a camera to follow Harry Reid across the Capitol Building to Boehner's office holding that new fancy binder.

    Have Reid deliver fancy binder to Boehner's office and declare that that is the bill to save the nation from going off the cliff.

  •  Oh, c'mon have some milk (@$8/Gal) & cookies... (5+ / 0-)

    (Farm bill, among others languising)

  •  Really Boehner is stupid (0+ / 0-)

    He's coming back to DC, but not to do anything? Oh yeah that will go over well.

    Worst speaker ever!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:53:10 PM PST

  •  DC area police (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    better have more than the usual crews out looking for drunks on the 31st.  Sunday at 6:30 PM ????  

    Look who they got on Christmas Eve. It's a Crap-o shot.  More Republicans, elected or not, will be drinking.  

    Somebody thinks that they will be forcing the Democrats and the President into a corner.  How childish.  Maybe they are waiting until Arney has time to reload his private army of one.  

    They care more about their egos and control than the country.  They are no doubt pleased with themselves for getting the President back from Hawaii.  I wish he had waited until this announcement and arrived back at noon on the 30th.  

  •  sit back and do nothing Boehner and let (6+ / 0-)

    someone else figure it out. He is not a dictator like Reid said, he is a total coward unwilling to do anything to try and solve the country's problems.


    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:56:40 PM PST

  •  This is new? Congress with no planning? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:57:41 PM PST

  •  Boehner gets a rise everytime he's back in DC. n't (0+ / 0-)

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:59:24 PM PST

  •  This is because (0+ / 0-)

    if Obama will not  be seen on the beach when we fall off the cliff, the Rethugs must not be seen not working. They will be seen whining down to the last minute about the president not being serious.  Oh, barf! Just barf!

    We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?

    by Bendra on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:06:12 PM PST

  •  Christmas is over (5+ / 0-)

    Yet all through the House
    Not a creature was stirring
    Not even a mouse

    Republicans nestled all snug with their tea
    Thinking Obama will soon bend his knee.

    Their strategy  set
    They do nothing at all
    and  blame  Dems for their failure
    and Obama will fall

    Yet there is nowhere to hide
    this blame can't be ducked
    when the economy tanks
    Republicans are &%#&

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:07:20 PM PST

  •  God, I Hate That Picture (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, DRo, cybersaur

    Its so depressing watching Nancy had the gavel over to that Shmuck!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:08:41 PM PST

  •  House GOP doesn't care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, conniptionfit

    They just got back in, all but 8 of them.

    And the press is busily 'reporting' them waiting on the Senate, which passed the tax bill five months ago.

  •  An on top of the Republicans not passing the (0+ / 0-)

    Senate Bill from summer that stop going over the curb there is this Senate Bill that House Republicans not passing is really goin' to piss off people a good chunk of whom vote Republican

  •  No deal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, emal, cybersaur

    is better than a bad deal.  We'll see what happens.  It's all game playing, which is not leadership.  Get off the playground, already.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:21:29 PM PST

  •  When Starbucks says "Get it together" (0+ / 0-)

    They have to listen.

    Now only if they will listen to the President...

    And the American people...

    And to common decency...

    oh nevermind

  •  Since the House Republicans aren't doing anything (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    perhaps they could send one of them around to help shovel out my car and carry in a load or two of wood. Chris Gibson is my do-nothing Republican rep... he lives just a few miles down the road. Perhaps they can send him up to earn some of his keep.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:29:22 PM PST

  •  Do Nothing Congress (3+ / 0-)

    "The 112th Congress is setting records for being the most ineffective, least productive, Congress since World War II!

    The last time this situation existed was the Republican 80th Congress of 1947-48, but even they accomplished more than this present, pitiful Congress!

    Only 91 bills have passed in 2012, added to 60 for 2011, so a low total of 151 is truly an embarrassment!

    Comparing this to the 111th Congress of 2009-2010, we find that Congress passed 125 laws in 2009, and 258 in 2010, for a grand total of 383.

    So two and a half times as many bills were passed in 2009-2010, as compared to 2011-2012.

    Usually, 6-10 percent of bills introduced pass into law, but this Congress it is a mere 2 percent!

    This is partly due to the impact of the Tea Party Movement, which has caused the complete loss of reputation of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives.

    No wonder the public opinion rating of Congress is ten percent in the last polling!"


    Over 300 filibusters in Obama's first term. Just one Senator can stop a bill from coming to the Senate floor, and it takes 60 Senate votes to override that one Senator. Compound that reality with an influx of Tea Party crazies and government gridlock is the result.

  •  Everyone's Had A Year And A Half To Game This Out (0+ / 0-)

    Are any of them saying this is precisely like I thought it would go?  The deal in 2011 was bizzarre. We all agree what we don't want to happen. So let's construct that as an option to force us to negotiate. Following politics from time to I have defend politicians from people who hate politics with a passion. Can't defend them on this one.

  •  Am I the only one thinking they're on to something (0+ / 0-)

    There is NO WAY in my mind they're going to let themselves look like fools again. If there is one thing republicans are capable of, it's to let go of their principles and act like a unified mob when they want to win political points. A second failure will not be accepted. And if the leadership ( or more especially some big money backers who are the REAL bosses of the party)  wants something, they have the means to obtain it.

    I REALLY hope President Obama and the democratic leadership in Congress are prepared for everything, even for a last minute coup, example a plan C that would PASS the House on Sunday night or Monday.

    •  You probably are. (0+ / 0-)

      The house cannot act alone.  They need to do something the Senate will agree to, and in order to do that, they need to be debating and discussing things.  They are not - they're sitting there, waiting for the President to kowtow, and he's not gonna.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:41:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That assumes the big money backers... (0+ / 0-)

      ...have reached consensus as to the "something they want." I'm unsure such a consensus exists. Some of them are "gaming" and welcoming the uncertainty. Some have longer term horizons and want actual medium term certainty, even if it isn't "ideal."

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Forget the last minute deals. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trumpeter, dharmafarmer, aliasalias

    Let's go back to Clinton era taxes. That didn't kill us and I'd much rather pay a little more than have them start fiddling with Medicare and Social Security.

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