I admit I’m biased. I never voted for a Republican for anything in my entire life. My dad was a union blue-collar Democrat. He started taking me to Democratic party meetings when I was 7. I was indoctrinated along with my siblings and we pass it on, in turn, to our kids.
I’m glad my dad isn’t here to see what’s happening today. He saw enough in recent years that he didn’t approve. His comments were blunt and direct. “These Republicans are getting away with a lotta bullshit,” is how he put it.
A major political party that proclaims the government is a problem and advocates drowning it in a bathtub should be judged harshly. The federal government represents the collective power of the people. The privileged who want to dismantle it call for freedom. Theirs. Not yours.
When you can't believe what people say, watch what they do.
Two weeks before Obama’s Second Inauguration, Boehner gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal. What he said in January about negotiating with the President isn’t what he says now.
Second, Mr. Boehner says he won't engage in any more closed-door budget negotiations with the White House, which are "futile." He adds: "Sure, I will meet with the president if he wants to," but House Republicans will from now on proceed with establishing a budget for the year following what is known as "regular order," and they will insist that Harry Reid and Senate Democrats pass a budget—something they haven't done in nearly four years—before proceeding.
Here Boehner called for the budget reconciliation process known as “regular order” but he didn't do what he said. Even after passing the “No Budget No Pay Act” on January 23, and it became law with the President’s signature, the Republicans refused to appoint conferees to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate budget resolutions.
After the Senate passed its budget, Nancy Pelosi called for the “regular order” Boehner said he wanted. In the Congressional Record of April 26, 2013, there's an example of the numerous times she spoke about it in the House.
Nancy Pelosi: This is really a very unusual morning. We are here because of the refusal of the Republicans to come to the table for a conference.
In the Senate, on May 6
What is a conference? A conference is a public open meeting where differences between the House budget bill and the Senate budget bill can be reconciled. It is done with transparency and in full public view. Each side proud of our priorities, we have the American people be the judge of what is their statement of values. Afraid of that public scrutiny, the Republicans have refused to appoint conferees for a conference. We call upon the Speaker to appoint conferees so that we can have that public airing, that transparent view, of something very important. The Republican leadership has said in the House and the Senate they want the regular order.
What is the regular order? The regular order is the House passes a bill; the Senate passes a bill; you go to conference. Now, afraid that their views may be rejected by the American people, they don’t want to go to conference. That’s why we are here this morning . . .
, when Reid submitted a motion to move the budget reconciliation process to conference under regular order, it was stopped by an objection.
The Senator from Texas, Mr. CRUZ.
Mr. President, reserving the right to object, one of my concerns is that this conference report could be used to pass a reconciliation bill that would increase the debt ceiling without sufficient input from the minority party and without addressing the fundamental structural spending problems we have in the Federal Government . . . I ask consent that the leader modify his request so that it not be in order for the Senate to consider a conference report that includes tax increases .
Every member of Congress knows the federal budget fiscal year ends on September 30. For them, it’s a deadline. Without any money appropriated for Fiscal Year 2014 which began on October 1, the government can’t operate normally, to say the least. In most professions, there would be consequences if important deliverables aren’t ready when they’re due. But some members of Congress know they have an advantage. No one is watching them.
It’s not like they had an impossible task. If Boehner was talking about it in January, they had all year till October 1 to get it done. And in the Budget Control Act of 2011, the sequestration provisions imposed spending caps for Fiscal Year 2014 and the subsequent years. That was their starting point and without going to conference, they never said whether they would consider replacing the sequestration with an alternative.
It’s obvious that the Republicans planned months ago to start Fiscal Year 2014 without any funding plans. By missing their deadline, they created an urgent situation they thought they could use to extract new concessions from the President and the Democrats. Boehner should now be dragged by the scruff of his neck to the House floor and made to explain to the American people why he failed to make any contingency plans to avoid the current situation and why he insists on dragging the President into a function that belongs in Congress. If he wants to negotiate, he’ll find his opponents there waiting as they’ve done all year. Just as he proposed penalties on the Senate in January unless it passed a budget resolution, there must be similar penalties in the House now.
The news media should have been on this story as soon as the Republicans refused the regular order budget reconciliation in April and May. They did the Republicans a huge favor by not breathing a word of it. And they continue to provide cover for Republican extortion by narrating the story without ever really telling the truth. There’s a reason why the GOP is taking us on this ride. The privileged elite is outraged over the 3.8% capital gains income tax hike on amounts over $250,000 which will be used to cover some of the Affordable Care Act’s cost. They’re not happy about the 0.9% payroll income tax hike on amounts over $250,000 either. That revenue is destined for Medicare costs. To someone who makes $20 million a year, like Romney, for example, with most of it categorized as gains, the tax hikes could amount to $1 million a year. Perhaps they can observe a moment of silence in the House for the hardships of the rich.
This is the House that would take the food out of the mouths of babies growing up in poverty. Understand that the Affordable Care Act is redistribution to them. It’s class warfare. It’s Socialism.
In America, the political process doesn’t accommodate a real discussion about redistribution or counter-redistribution which has been concentrating income and wealth into fewer and fewer hands every year for decades. Redistribution is a dirty word. It managed to sneak into a discussion hosted by Joy Reid on MSNBC a couple of days ago (video below.) It's hard to tell if it has any meaning anymore other than the menace described by Republicans. Can it be rehabilitated? How can progressives advance public policy that reverses the disastrous overconcentration of income and wealth that was allowed to entrench itself in the US?
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for anyone to make Republicans in the House explain their actions and non-actions. We have no guardians of democracy and civil liberties but ourselves.
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Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 7:36 AM PT: Rescued. This is a surprise. Thank you, Daily Kos.