Extremists Left Rooting For U.S. To Go Off The Fiscal Cliff
Today the House reconvened at 10 AM. and is currently in recess as of this article. Yesterday afternoon, House Republicans selected their leadership team for the 113th Congress. One significant improvement was the addition of a female voice, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, to the top leadership.
- Speaker of the House: Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) | @SpeakerBoehner
- Majority Leader: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) | @GOPLeader
- Majority Whip: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) | @GOPWhip
- Conference Chairman: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) | @CathyMcMorris
- NRCC Chairman: Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) | @RepGregWalden
- Policy Committee Chairman: Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) | @RepLankford
- Conference Vice-Chair: Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) |@RepLynnJenkins
- Conference Secretary: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) | @virginiafoxx
- Sophomore Representative: Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) | @RepTimScott
- Freshman Representative: Rep.-elect Ann Wagner (R-MO)
- Rules Committee Chairman: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) | @PeteSessions
No additional bills beyond those identified yesterday were passed.
The Senate reconvened at 9 AM today and resumed consideration of S. 3525, a bill concerning hunting and sportsmen. This morning, the Senate voted 84-12 to invoke cloture (cut off debate) on S. 3525. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has blocked all amendments to the bill.
The Senate may turn to the Defense authorization bill (S. 3254) next.
Last night, Reid forced a new cloture vote on the cybersecurity bill, S. 3414, which failed to move forward over the summer after Reid blocked amendments to the bill. He refused again to allow an open amendment process, and so failed to get the 60 votes needed to move the bill by a vote of 51-47. It has been noted that with Reid's unwillingness to allow amendments, and the Senatates continued failure to pass a cybersecurity bill, then President Obama may issue executive order to address government cybersecurity.
The Senate also passed The Senate passed H.R. 6118 and H.R. 6131, without amendment.
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discussed one of the key obstacles to obtaining an agreement to avoid the approaching fiscal cliff. “I believe the two parties can avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. And in the process, I even believe we can agree on a framework for a bipartisan plan to address the even bigger problem of our nation’s fiscal solvency. But there are clear obstacles to success. . . . The first obstacle is a very vocal and very determined group of extremists on the Left who are rooting for us to go off the fiscal cliff. These are the folks the President invited to the White House earlier this week, and who seem to have gotten a number of Democrats in the Senate to embrace this reckless idea themselves.”
Recall that over the summer, Sen. Patty Murray<, the number 4 Democrat in the Senate, suggested that Democrats are “prepared to go over the so-called fiscal cliff,” according to Bloomberg News. Speaking to the Brookings Institute, Murray said, “So if we can't get a good deal… then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013… our country is going to have to face the consequences…”
Then in October, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the number 3 Democrat in the Senate, rejected bipartisan outlines for tax reform, demanding that tax rates go up. Politico noted, “If embraced by other Democrats, Schumer’s approach would represent a hardening of the party’s position on taxes and could complicate the prospects for a bipartisan deal before year’s end . . . . A Democratic aide argued that Schumer's speech managed to move the party to the left . . . .”
And based on his answers at his press conference yesterday, The Wall Street Journal editors speculate, “All of which makes us wonder why [President] Obama is so insistent on raising tax rates now, even if he can get nearly the same amount of revenue from reducing deductions. Here's one guess: He really doesn't care if there's a budget deal this year that avoids the tax cliff. By taking an absolutist line, he's basically gambling that Republicans will be more reasonable than he is and will blink. But if they don't blink and we go over the cliff, from his point of view so what? Mr. Obama then has an excuse to blame Republicans if there's another recession. Meanwhile, he pockets the higher tax rates that take effect on January 1 anyway, and he can then negotiate a budget deal next year without having to make any tax concessions.”
Discussing those on the Left who seem content to allow the nation to plunge over the fiscal cliff so they can get higher taxes, Leader McConnell said, “Make no mistake: the goal of these folks isn’t to do what’s best for the middle-class. It isn’t to create jobs. It isn’t even to balance the books, since the taxes they’d hike wouldn’t even come close to covering current spending. What they want is to sock it to those they define as rich, regardless of the impact on jobs or the broader economy. That’s what motivates this crowd. They’re not serious about tackling the nation’s fiscal problems. And if we’re serious about helping middle-class Americans and helping this economy grow, their radical approach should be ignored.”
Instead, he explained, “The only way — the only way — we’re going to solve this present crisis, and get past the political stalemate, is for the President to lead. . . . The President is the only person in America, the only one out of 315 million, who can sign a bill into law. He’s the only one who can lead the members of his own party to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do, but first he needs to decide it’s time to put away the talking points and do something good for the county.”
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