Congressional Republicans are threatening to shut down the federal government next Tuesday unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded. The truth is that they’re just warming up and some of their other ideas are even further “off the deep end,” Sen. Bernie Sanders told radio host Bill Press on Tuesday. Then in a Senate floor speech, Sanders detailed a Republican to-do list that ranges from abolishing Social Security, privatizing VA health care, getting rid of the EPA, junking the minimum wage and more. Those and other proposals, the senator said, are detailed in the Texas Republican Party platform.
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- Affordable Healthcare Act
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- New York Daily News
- Open Thread
- Rafael Cruz
- Republican Doomsday Cult
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- Social Security
- Speaker of the House John Boehner
- Ted Cruz
- Texas Republican Party Platform
- VA healthcare
- clean bill
- continuing resolution
- economic impact
- environmental protection agency
- farm subsidies
- food stamps
- national default
- negotiating ploy
- senator bernie sanders
- strip funding
- tea party
- tea party Republicans
- theme song
- up or down vote
Taking to the Senate floor Tuesday, the freshman Tea Partier vowed to keep talking about the need to defund Obamacare until he is “no longer able to stand.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately shot down Cruz’s statement, which rang of an impending fillibuster, as counterproductive. “All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded, and none of us want that,” the minority leader said. Cruz’s crusade, which has thus far proved fruitless, aims to block the Senate from changing a bill that would strip funding for Obamacare.
"I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand," he said. "All across this country Americans are suffering because of Obamacare. Obamacare isn't working."
"Republicans have "a rare opportunity to defund this law with a simple majority," McConnell added. "We should have that vote."
McConnell argued he was giving Democrats "a second chance."
"Do they stand with the people of their states who do not want this (health care) law to be implemented, or do they double down on this failed experiment?" he asked. "That's the question."
For his part, Reid announced Tuesday morning that the Senate's first key procedural vote in the shutdown showdown will take place early afternoon on Wednesday -- five days before the partial shutdown would otherwise start to take effect.
"Just as the economy begins to gain steam, some Republicans in Congress seem determined to derail four years of progress," Reid said on the Senate floor.
Cruz said he will be joined in his efforts by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who was seated in the Senate chamber when Cruz began speaking at 2:41 p.m.
Cruz and Lee have vowed to use whatever Senate procedural tactics are available to slow debate on the legislation. Their filibuster is the culmination of a strategy they began developing in the summer, when Lee started looking for allies in a move to defund the health-care law by using annual spending bills for federal agencies as potential leverage.
"A great many Texans, a great many Americans feel they do not have a voice, and so I hope to play some very small role in providing the voice," he said.
I don't know who these imaginary people who are "suffering" because of Obamacare are, or why Cruz is hearing these voices in his head (perhaps the tinfoil is too tight) but I demand drug and alcohol testing for everyone in Congress, and now!
Also, too, a psychiatric evaluation, ASAP. They've got the best healthcare in the world -- government-controlled, I might add -- so they might as well get some help, and step down from their elected positions.
Americans are united across party lines in thinking that threatening a government shutdown as a negotiating ploy is unacceptable. In a new CBS News/New York Times poll, 80 percent of people said no, it's not okay to do that.
Americans are putting the majority of blame for shutdown threats right where it belongs, on Republicans. Just 23 percent of those polled said Republicans in Congress are trying to work with President Obama to avert a shutdown, while 51 percent said Obama is trying to work with Republicans. In fact, less than half of Republicans polled think their party's representatives in Congress are trying to work with the president on this.
The widespread disapproval of threatening a government shutdown as a budget negotiating ploy is likely related in part to the fact that 74 percent believe a shutdown would hurt them, with 49 percent being "very" concerned, according to another new poll. It's good to know that means at least some people who aren't worried about the impact of a shutdown on themselves personally still believe that taking the entire country hostage isn't an acceptable negotiating tactic.
Moments after the Senate vote tabling the House GOP's plan to delay Obamacare for a year, House Republicans leaked word of their latest extortion demand, again demanding the delay of the individual mandate for a year, and said they would vote on it this evening.
QUESTION: Is a clean CR off the table? Is that not going to happen?
BOEHNER: That's not going to happen.
(Note the smirking House GOP members standing behind Speaker Boehner.)
Simply put, there will be a shutdown at midnight, because Harry Reid has already said the Senate would not entertain extortion demands from the GOP because if you give into a bully once, you're simply asking to get bullied again. Reid said that as soon the GOP sends another another list of demands, the Senate would immediately vote to reject them.
If a shutdown is to be averted, however, at some point someone needs to blink. And when a reporter asked Boehner if he meant that the House won't vote on a clean CR tonight, or if they won't vote on a clean CR ever, he refused to answer:
QUESTION: That's not going to happen when? That's not going to happen tonight before midnight, or it's not going to happen ever?
BOEHNER: The House will act this evening and we'll send it over to the United States Senate. Thanks.
It seems fairly clear which side thinks they have the stronger hand to play, and it isn't the GOP.
The federal government will shut down unless the House passes a clean continuing resolution before midnight tonight. Email your House member now.
Republican Doomsday Cult by Mark Fiore:
Sure, it seems extreme, but extreme times call for extreme cartoons. When you have the Republican Speaker of the House threatening a national default, food stamps being slashed while farm subsidies are increased and an attempt to defund a program that has been in existence for four years, things have gone to crazy-land.
Of course, Senator Ted Cruz has gotten all of the attention because he is the most, well, annoying, and he is disliked by Democrats and Republicans in true bipartisan fashion. Rest assured, though, there are plenty of other loopy annoying guys in Congress. Senator Cruz wasn't the only one who voted to take $40 billion from food stamps while shoveling money over to farm subsidies.
And don't worry, I spend plenty of time going after Democrats like that mean ol' commie pinko Obama, it's just that when a political party gets taken over by extremists who are ready to hit the doomsday switch, I've got to cartoon a little louder. Let me know what you think, and be sure to comment, share and nail the cartoon to your nearest telephone pole.
Your morning open thread begins below...
Oh my. The New York Daily News marked the first government shutdown in 17 years on Tuesday with a cover that parodies a hit political drama and mocks House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
Under the headline "House of Turds," the latest cover shows Boehner seated at the Lincoln Memorial with blood dripping from his hands -- a send-up of the popular Netflix series "House of Cards."
A span on the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay shows signs of buckling.
When your bridges are about to fall down around you, just bill the feds:
Gov. Scott Walker signed a declaration of emergency Friday for the sagging Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge, which has been closed since Wednesday, a first step to make the bridge eligible for federal money for repairs.
Too bad Walker's Tea Party friends in Congress have shut down the federal government. Right now, there isn't even anyone to determine if his bridge is eligible for federal funds.
"Walker said it was important to "get the ball rolling" on emergency relief so that the bridge repair costs don't detract from other transportation projects throughout the state."
Good luck with that, Scottie.
If the government shutdown were a sitcom, this would be it's theme song.
By Jonathan (Song-a-Day) Mann.
Your morning open thread begins below.
Meet Rafael Cruz, father of Terrorist Ted Cruz. Like his son, Rafael doesn't like Obamacare much, either. It seems to be because of secret Muslim death panels...or Republican tomatoes. I'm having difficulty translating this special brand of crazy:
RAFAEL CRUZ: So Barack Obama said: If the winds shift, I will side with the Muslims.
IN CROWD: He is Muslim!
CRUZ: [Exclamation] McCain couldn’t say that, because it's not politically correct. It is time to stop being politically correct! [Pols emphasis]
CRUZ: Our lives? Well, look at what’s happening with our lives. From the cradle, 55 million babies have been murdered by abortion since 1973. At the other end, Obamacare, with denying care to the elderly, with care being rationed, with care being postponed for 12 to 18 months, with care being controlled by a group of bureaucrats, that on the basis of cost/benefit, will decide whether you get a medical procedure or not, they’re destroying our end of life. As a matter of fact, one of the things in Obamacare is that the elderly, every five years you must have end-of-life counseling. Translation: suicide counseling! [Pols emphasis]
CRUZ: I know I am in a Republican Party meeting. If you want to throw tomatoes at me, throw tomatoes at me. But unfortunately, you cannot say that the Republican Party is without blame. We have too many RiNOs in the Republican Party!
Zombies in search of brains to eat would pass on by the Cruz family.
But for the Republicans, you have to be at least this insane for party entry.
A new MoveOn.org Civic Action's TV ad is calling on House Speaker John Boehner to end Tea Party Republicans' government shutdown. If Boehner were to allow an up-or-down vote on a clean bill to fund the government, it would almost certainly pass. #DemandAVote