House Republican leadership today responded to their session with President Obama in a press conference.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) condemned the Internal Revenue Service targeting scandal on Wednesday, demanding that the administration hold someone responsible.
"The IRS admitted to targeting conservatives, even if the White House continues to be stuck on the word 'if,'" he told reporters at a weekly briefing. "My question isn't about who is going to resign. My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?"
Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he had ordered the FBI to open a criminal probe in a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups for extra tax scrutiny.
Speaker Boehner made no mention of jobs during the Republican press conference today, nor did any of the other GOP House "leaders."
Check out the New DNC Video. Republicans in Congress got what they wanted – the GOP sequester cuts. John Boehner may have gotten 98 percent of what he wanted with these cuts, but communities across the country are bracing for their harmful impact. As President Obama made clear, these cuts are not smart, they are not fair, and they don't need to happen if congressional Republicans step up and do what's right — accept a balanced approach to growing our economy and reducing our deficit.
An angry and desperate-sounding Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday told members of the Senate to “get off their ass” and pass a bill to replace the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts that will kick in on March 1, also known as the sequester.
“We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something,” Boehner told reporters in a press conference, repeating a message he had just delivered in a closed-door meeting of the House Republican conference.
The House in 2012 did approve measures twice to replace the cuts known as sequestration, but because a new Congress began in January, those bills are now inoperative. For some reason, Boehner is insisting that it's up to the Senate to come up with a new bill.
Senate Democrats have unveiled a package that would replace the sequester with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. The Senate could act on a bill later this week, though it is unlikely to pass because Republicans oppose the tax hikes.
As Roll Callreported, “The White House proposal still on the table from December would add roughly $600 billion in new revenue and $900 billion in spending cuts, or nearly a 60-40 ratio. The numbers are meaningless however, as long as the GOP continues to stick to its demand for an "all-cuts" alternative.
"Things were so bad for Speaker John Boehner Thursday night, support for his Plan B tax bill so diminished, the limits of his power with his own party laid bare, that he stood in front of the House Republican Conference and recited the Serenity Prayer.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Boehner nearly cried."
Today is 12-21-12 and TGIF! Your morning open thread begins below.
A new ad from AFSCME, SEIU and the NEA, this one It's a Wonderful Life-themed, pins House Speaker John Boehner as the bad guy in fiscal curb negotiations. The ad, backed by a six-figure buy, will run in the districts of Republican Reps. Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Mike Coffman of Colorado, John Fleming of Louisiana, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, and Scott Rigell of Virginia, as well as on national cable.
"What will happen if House Speaker John Boehner gets his way on the budget?
Welcome to Boehnerville, where the rich won't pay their fair share; our children's educations will be cut; Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will be put at risk; and the economic recovery would falter.
Call your member of Congress and tell them to stand up for middle-class families. Because in America, everyone deserves a wonderful life."
The ad launched yesterday and will run through the weekend.
And while your making those calls, don't forget to tell President Obama to take Social Security cuts off the table, in current and in future negotiations.
President Barack Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday urged House Republicans to extend the middle class income tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses without delay, and made clear that a balanced approach to deficit reduction means that they -- and we all know this means John Boehner -- must agree to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates.
The Democratic-controlled Senate has approved the measure, but Obama said House Republicans have "put forward an unbalanced plan that actually lowers rates for the wealthiest Americans." Obama supports a plan to raise taxes on families earning more than $250,000.
"Now, Congress can avoid all this by passing a law that prevents a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. That means 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up by a single dime. Even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. And families everywhere would enjoy some peace of mind."
"The Senate has already done their part. Now we’re just waiting for Republicans in the House to do the same thing. But so far, they’ve put forward an unbalanced plan that actually lowers rates for the wealthiest Americans. If we want to protect the middle class, then the math just doesn’t work."
While Mr. Speaker mulls this all over, he might want to keep in mind that a new poll released Friday revealed that 48 percent of Americans trust Obama to come up with solutions to current economic problems, compared to just 32 percent who trust congressional Republicans to do the same. So come January, if that majority of Americans see their taxes raised, they certainly won't forget it the next time they head to the polls.
"We can and should do more than just extend middle class tax cuts. I stand ready to work with Republicans on a plan that spurs economic growth, creates jobs and reduces our deficit – a plan that gives both sides some of what they want. I’m willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other Americans who depend on it. And I’m willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion dollars in cuts I signed into law last year."
Mr. President, I really wish you would stop giving away benefits for the people who need them the most. The Republican congress would just as soon hit you over the head with the silver tray that you're trying to hand over those entitlement cuts on.
"But if we’re serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy – and if we’re serious about protecting middle-class families – then we’re also going to have to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates. That’s one principle I won’t compromise on."
Here's the problem, the GOP does not care about anyone but America's wealthy few, -- we all know this -- isn't it time everyone let John Boehner know what they think of his obstruction? If you haven't contacted him yet, light up his phones on Monday morning.
The long partisan battle last summer over whether to raise the debt ceiling increased the Treasury’s borrowing costs by about $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011, and the bill is expected to climb, according to the Government Accountability Office.
In a report released on Monday, the investigative arm of Congress found that the battle between Republicans and Democrats over the conditions to increase the debt limit to its current level of $16.4 trillion led to uncertainty in the debt markets and higher borrowing costs. It said that a full accounting would be available later. “Further,” a summary of the report read, “according to Treasury officials, the increased focus on debt limit-related operations as such delays occurred required more time and Treasury resources, and diverted Treasury’s staff away from other important cash and debt management responsibilities.”
Has Congress learned its lesson about the risks of political brinksmanship? Apparently not. For starters, House Speaker John Boehner in May issued the same ultimatum on the debt ceiling that he issued in 2011. He said any debt ceiling increase must be accompanied by an even larger amount of spending cuts.
"The cost of last summer's recklessness by Republicans only continues to grow, yet they seem eager to do it all over again," said Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives' tax-writing committee.
Why can't we just send Mr. Boehner a nice big bill? Or, couldn't we take away his evil, government-run healthcare plan? He should have to pay for wasting money that belongs to the taxpayers.
AFSCME, a union representing over a million public service workers, on Tuesday uploaded a video to YouTube that criticizes Republicans for their opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
The video, based on the opening and theme song of the 1970′s sitcom "The Brady Bunch," claims that “working people don’t matter” to prominent Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
The Republicans in the video have vowed that they will do whatever they can to repeal President Obama’s healthcare reform law.
Less than two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) in a landmark ruling, but Speaker John Boehner and corporate-backed politicians in Congress still can’t let it go. This week, the U.S. House is set to vote again — for the 31st time in 18 months — to repeal the health reform law.
They’d rather keep wasting taxpayer time and money refighting old political battles, attacking Obamacare even as polls show support for the law has increased significantly since the Supreme Court ruling. Even some Republicans doubt the wisdom of a political stunt that will only serve to highlight how out of touch Boehner, Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP bunch are.
Congress passed health reform, the President signed it, and the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. It’s time to move on and fully implement the law so we can ensure all Americans get the health care they need.
And remember, your congress-critters have excellent government-run heathcare, and they don't seem to mind that one bit!
More from House Speaker John Boehner's appearance on Face the Nation earlier Sunday: CBS Chief White House correspondent Nora O'Donnell asked the GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner, "What about pre-existing conditions? What about the millions of Americans that have pre-existing conditions and are discriminated against?"
"We believe that the way it is done within Obamacare is pushing the cost of health insurance for all Americans much too high," Boehner explains. "We believe that the state high-risk pools are a much more effective way to make sure that those with pre-existing have access to affordable health insurance."
"Access" to affordable health insurance," O'Donnell repeats, "You're not saying that you would be for a law that would prevent discrimination against those individuals?"
"No," states Boehner flatly, "We just believe there's a better way to make sure that they have affordable access to quality health insurance."
"So, when you repeal this (Affordable Care Act), what are you going to replace it with?" O'Donnell queries.
And with a twinkle in his eyes, Boehner responds "I just started pointing it out."