Battle Lines Are Drawn-- And Now We Know Which "Democrats" Boehner And Cantor Can Count On For Their Crackpot Agenda
Wednesday evening the House passed H.R. 890, one of the silliest bills voted on by one of the silliest Congresses ever. Introduced by one of Boehner's clownish puppets, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI)-- and with 23 all Republican co-sponsors-- the bill is meant to preserve the work requirements in Clinton's welfare reform legislation.
Although even 3 very right-wing Republicans-- Justin Amash (R-MI), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) and Tom Massie (R-KY)-- couldn't bring themselves to vote for this foolish premise, 18 of the worst Democrats in the House lined up behind Boehner and Cantor for their 246-181 win. Joining the usual suspects from past sessions-- Blue Dog and scum and their running dog allies like Barrow (GA), Peterson (MN), Lipinski (IL), Owens (NY), and Matheson (UT)-- were a slew of the bad freshmen who are disappointed their base supporters back home by voting against progressives in Washington on a regular basis. These are the 18 bad Democrats who backed the crazy Wednesday-- along with their ProgressivePunch crucial vote scores so far for the year.
• Ron Barber (New Dem-AZ)- 40.00If you're wondering why so many freshmen New Dems voted with the Republicans on something so idiotic-- even while Joe Crowley, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the New Dem chairman (Ron Kind) and 4 vice-chairs (Allyson Schwartz, Jim Himes, Rick Larsen and Gerry Connolly) did not-- it's because Steve Israel and Steny Hoyer were advising Democrats in tough reelection battles to forget the base and try to win Republican voters. I can understand naive idiots like Scott Peters, Patrick Murphy, Sean Maloney and Ami Bera falling for their losing strategy-- but what about Ann Kirkpatrick and Dan Maffei? Both lost their seats in 2010 precisely because of this kind of behavior. In both cases, massive numbers of disaffected Democrats just did not show up on election day to support tepid Democrats who voted with the GOP. Now each has a second chance-- and both are blowing it again. Steven Benen explained-- too late for these bozos-- what this vote was all about:
• John Barrow (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA)- 70.00
• Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)- 60.00
• Joe Garcia (New Dem-FL)- 70.00
• Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)- 22.22
• Dan Lipinski (IL)- 50.00
• Dan Maffei (New Dem-NY)- 50.00
• Sean Maloney (New Dem-NY)- 50.00
• Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)- 20.00
• Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC)- 44.44
• Jerry McNerney (CA)- 77.78
• Mike Michaud (Blue Dog-ME)- 70.00
• Patrick Murphy (New Dem/R-FL)- 60.00
• Bill Owens (New Dem-NY)- 40.00
• Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)- 40.00
• Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)- 60.00
• Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog/New Dem-OR)- 70.00
• Kyrsten Sinema (New Dem-AZ)- 50.00
With all the real-world challenges policymakers can and should be addressing, it's always disappointing when they invest their energies on threats that don't actually exist.In fact 2 of the governors requesting the waivers are the very conservative Republican governors of Utah and Nevada. (All the Utah and Nevada Republicans voted down what their governors wanted and voted for the imaginary threat instead.) "Let's not forget how we got to this point," Benen concludes. "A bipartisan group of governors asked the Obama administration for some flexibility on the existing welfare law, transitioning beneficiaries from welfare to work. The White House agreed to give the states some leeway, so long as the work requirement wasn't weakened. It inspired Mitt Romney and GOP leaders to make up a shameless lie, accusing President Obama of weakening welfare work requirements. And now Republicans want to re-litigate that fight, for no particular reason, rather than doing real work on real issues." If any of those Democrats on the list are yours, maybe you should say something to them. Needless to say, none were supported by Blue America in November, mostly because we saw precise indications of this kind of behavior when we talked with them. This year Blue America is looking for candidates who will stand up for working families; period.
Some Republican lawmakers support denying funds to ACORN, which permanently closed its doors years ago. Others want to stop the scourge of imposing "Sharia law" on Americans, a threat that exists only in right-wing imaginations. Some even want to stop the "NAFTA Super Highway" that remains purely mythical.
And to follow up on an item from yesterday, Congress is taking a firm stand in support of welfare work requirements that no one is trying to undermine.
The House voted Wednesday to block the Obama administration's attempt to waive a requirement that people must work or prepare for a job in order to receive federal welfare benefits. [...]
Democrats defended the Obama administration's policy by noting that HHS has said it would only let states waive the welfare-work rule if they can come up with a plan to boost the number of people moving from welfare to work by 20 percent.
"The President is not dropping welfare-work requirements, he's allowing the states to experiment, and you'd think our Republican friends would be entirely in favor of letting governors experiment in getting people back to work fairly quickly," Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said.
Our three prospective freshmen, Carl Sciortino (D-MA), Nick Ruiz (D-FL) and Andy Hounshell (D-OH) have all publicly announced that if they were in Congress they would have signed the Grayson-Takano No Cuts letter that states unambiguously "we will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits-- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need." Last night Hounshell told me that this phony welfare bill Boehner pushed is a joke and a distraction from real work that Congress needs to do in order to put Americans back to work again. "Congress," he said, "should be working with President Obama to stimulate the kind of growth that will spur job creation, not waste time on imaginary problems to wind up their base."
Nick Ruiz, a Florida college professor who plans to challenge John Mica in the Orlando area next year, takes the argument in a slightly different direction:
"While Republican foolishness remains unparalleled and constant, Democrats are increasingly lining up for badges of honor in the idiot parade alongside them. Obama is a Modern Democrat, which is to say, he's not progressive. And neither is the welfare work reform he has proposed. The new welfare reform, isn't a 'waiver' in any sense of the word. It just allows the largely Republican-controlled state legislatures to find new and exciting ways to further defund and deny assistance to an exploding population of poverty-stricken families, while the inept parade it under the auspices of innovation and 'trying new things' to help the unemployed poor find work. The President knows that-- and so do his Republican friends. The fight and vote on this legislation is utter farce, and both sides revel like pigs in the mud quite joyously. Meanwhile, the rest of America feels utter embarassment for the obvious ineptitude of a government like this one, that fails over and over again, on issues that affect the American family.If you'd like see Andy's and Nick's voices in Congress, please consider helping them here.