That’s right—the House Republicans will get even more conservative, something you may not have thought possible. In some districts, Republicans have found success by running against that lily-livered liberal John Boehner. But it may turn out that, despite presiding over an even crazier caucus, Boehner could find that the pressure on him is dramatically lessened if Republicans take the Senate.
When, back in July, Speaker John Boehner secured House authorization to file suit against President Obama for “changing the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law,” cynical Democrats derided the planned litigation as a “political stunt,” a talking point for the fall campaign playbook. But a report by the apolitical Congressional Research Service (CRS), completed on September 4, but never released by the member who sponsored it, nor mentioned in the press, indicates that the Democrats were not cynical enough.
Now, three months after the party-line House vote to green-light the lawsuit, no complaint has yet been filed. If this stretched out delay means that Boehner has actually redirected his sue-Obama gambit toward oblivion, the reason may be this unnoticed six week old CRS report. While bearing an opaquely generic title - “A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion,” the report actually targets a single instance of alleged agency delay and exercise of enforcement discretion - the Obama Administration’s adjustments of effective dates for the Affordable Care Act’s so-called employer mandate to offer employees ACA-complaint health insurance or pay a tax. This delay happens to be the basis - the sole basis - for the legal action against the President that Boehner outlined in July. Although shrouded in twelve pages of fine print and protectively bureaucratic phraseology, the report’s bottom line is clear: not merely are the legal underpinnings of the Republicans’ planned lawsuit weak; the report turns up no legal basis - no “there” there - at all.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Some demographers call it the browning of America. Fueled by immigration and higher birth rates among Hispanics and blacks, the U.S. population is becoming less white.
These changes, however, have largely bypassed congressional districts represented by Republicans, adding to divisions between the GOP and Democrats on issues like immigration.
National GOP leaders have been urging Republicans in Congress to reach out to Hispanic voters on immigration, well aware that Hispanics are the nation’s fastest-growing group.
Those calls have fallen flat among many House Republicans, who have been unwilling to advance legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
Democrats responded by saying that the problem is lack of rain.
“It would be more productive for this body to join in a rain dance on the floor today than to pass this bill,” said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena). Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) warned that the measure would set off a new water war, saying it “steals what little water there is available” from some and allocates it to others.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have branded the bill political gamesmanship, and Gov. Jerry Brown has said it “falsely suggests the promise of water relief when that is simply not possible given the scarcity of water supplies.”
Feinstein and Boxer are drafting their own drought-relief measure.
If the U.S. government shuts down again in mid-January, it won’t be because House Republicans are demanding the repeal of the president’s health care law, in a repeat of the standoff that occurred earlier this fall.
“There are no plans to tie a repeal vote to a government funding bill,” a senior House GOP aide told The Huffington Post.
House Republican leaders made similar remarks during the run-up to the Oct. 1 deadline to fund the government, only to reverse course under pressure from conservatives in the party, so it’s worth taking this statement with a grain of salt. But there have been signals that Republicans have come to believe it’s better to let the Affordable Care Act encounter its own struggles than to be seen as demanding its destruction.
The talking points that House Republicans prepared for the Thanksgiving break included a conspicuously bolded line: “Republicans are still committed to full repeal.” But that section was overshadowed by various suggestions of ways lawmakers could attack Obamacare and highlight its shortcomings instead.
So House Republicans have unveiled their debt limit offer, and despite earlier reports that they were serious about avoiding default, their proposal suggests the exact opposite.
At a press conference following a meeting of all House Republicans, the House GOP leadership team proposed raising the debt limit for six weeks in exchange for President Obama negotiating with them over their list of demands for ending the government shutdown.
If Boehner wants to avoid default, there’s an easy way to do it: Raise the debt limit. But as long as he continues to demand a ransom, he’s not trying to avoid default: He’s threatening it.
9:19 AM PT: This really is important:
IMPT: the GOP plan also forbids extraordinary measures on the debt ceiling.
Remember the last time around, GOP suspended debt limit until mid-May, but extraordinary measures allowed us to avoid default for about 5 months. By legally baring Treasury from avoiding default, GOP is actually proposing to weaponize the debt limit such that it is even more dangerous than it is now. It’s reckless and would make things worse than they are now. Even without any other strings attached, accepting a debt limit increase that bars extraordinary measures should be a nonstarter.
You’ll forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe that we will be saved from the Reign Of The Morons by unicorns, the Easter Bunny, or reasonable Republicans in either house of Congress who would gladly vote with the Democrats, if only evil castrato Speaker John Boehner would allow them to do it. You will also forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe in mermaids, the Pooka McPhillimey, or fed-up plutocrats who can find a sucker to primary Tea Party congresscritters from what passes for The Left in the Republican party these days.
But within Grand Rapids’ powerful business establishment, patience is running low with Amash’s ideological agenda and tactics. Some business leaders are recruiting a Republican primary challenger who they hope will serve the old-fashioned way - by working the inside game and playing nice to gain influence and solve problems for the district. They are tired of tea party governance, as exemplified by the budget fight that led to the shutdown and threatens a first-ever U.S. credit default.
Bull. Also, shit.
WASHINGTON — House Republicans plan to demand major perks for coal companies and Wall Street banks, alongside healthcare and social service cuts and a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling until the end of 2014, according to a source close to the House GOP leadership.
President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have repeatedly stated that they will not negotiate over raising the debt limit, saying they will not make a political football of the U.S. government’s creditworthiness.
The Republican plan, which would also constitute a significant overhaul of the environmental and financial regulatory system, would cut pensions for Federal employees and raise taxes on immigrant families with parents who do not have a Social Security number. The document claims $7 billion in savings from restricting the child tax credit to immigrants who do have a number, and up to $84 billion from “reform” to the Federal Employee Retirement System.
The plan would increase Medicare means testing, and would eliminate social service block grants and a fund for preventative healthcare in the Affordable Care Act that conservatives have characterized as a “slush fund.” Block grants are a capped entitlement program given to states to help fund services like daycare, transportation and home-delivered meals. The Prevention and Public Health Fund has included funds for training primary care doctors and supporting healthy corner stores.
Coal and oil companies would benefit from provisions to expand offshore drilling and drilling on federal lands. The proposal blocks the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and coal ash, and would give Congress the power to veto any “major” regulation issued by a federal agency (because an affirmative vote would be required, Congress could void new rules simply through inaction).