Friday, March 08, 2013

Shortest Bill Ever-- Seeks To End The Obama-Boehner Sequester


It may not be sophisticated but it sure does get right to the point. H.R. 900 was introduced last week by Alan Grayson (D-FL) and John Conyers (D-MI). Here's the whole bill:
Section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is repealed.
Grayson and Conyers introduced it on February 28 and since then, 14 other progressives signed on as co-sponsors:

Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)
Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Jim Moran (D-VA), the first New Dem to sign on
Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
Mark Takano (D-CA)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Cantor had it assigned to Paul Ryan's Budget Committee, so the chances of it ever seeing the light of day while the Republicans are in charge of the House are... scant. Meanwhile the DCCC is having a field day attacking Republicans who voted, once again, to keep the Sequester in place on Wednesday. (The DCCC neglects to mention that two Blue Dogs they just put on their Frontline list, John Barrow and Jim Matheson, voted with the Republicans.) Here's the letter they sent out to media outlets in Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley, home of mega-Sequester flip-flopper Buck McKeon:
Congressman Buck McKeon just voted in favor of the sequester-- a series of devastating and arbitrary budget cuts that will eliminate 750,000 jobs, force furloughs and throw a wet blanket on the economy. Instead of the sequester, House Democrats have tried to end taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil companies and tax breaks for millionaires, but Congressman McKeon said no.

“The sequester is here and Congressman Buck McKeon is one of the few people in the country who thinks it should stay,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Americans are already seeing job losses, military cutbacks and longer airport lines, but Congressman McKeon would rather protect tax breaks for the well-connected than stop the damage to our middle class. The people of California want a balanced solution-- but Congressman McKeon and his Tea Party extremists said no. There’s now no doubt or debate: Congressman McKeon voted in favor of the sequester and was unwilling to stop the worst effects of these disastrous cuts on the people of California because tax breaks for Big Oil companies and millionaires are more important to him.”

Before today, Democrats have offered multiple times balanced alternatives that would replace the arbitrary sequester approach with a thoughtful and balanced budget plan that cuts spending and eliminates tax breaks for the well-connected in a way that is not harmful to the economy. Each time, House Republicans refused to vote on these plans.

The DCCC may have something worse to deal with than just ignoring that Frontliners like Barrow and Matheson support the GOP Austerity agenda. There's also Obama. What did he give away at his dinner with Miss McConnell and the senatorial nihilists? Retiring Republican Mike Johanns (R-NE) said, after the dinner that he's more optimistic of reaching a broad deficit-reduction deal this Congress. and that Obama was "very sincere." [Less sincere are GOP grifters who were at the restaurant, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), who took a little time out of their #StandWithRand filibuster. It's ironic that Chambliss and Ayotte are two of the biggest recipients of legalistic bribes from the drone manufacturers of anyone in the Senate, a fact neither disclosed when they were filibustering Wednesday evening before dinner.] North Dakota backbencher John Hoeven said dinner conversation included what Republicans call "entitlements" cuts, by which they mean Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the very cuts progressive Democrats will not back Obama compromising away. Progressives want more focus on growth and less focus on the kind of deficit reduction policies that have wrecked Europe and the U.K.
“We really did talk about a big deal that includes entitlement reform in a way that protects and preserves Social Security and Medicare but addresses the debt and the deficit,” he said. “What we really talked about is, ‘How do you get there?’"

The president and lawmakers are encouraged that Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress are moving together on legislation to avert a government shutdown at the end of March. The government-funding bill could be used to manage sequestration to soften its impact on government services.

They see upcoming Senate and House debates on budget resolutions and the expiration of the national debt ceiling in May as other opportunities for leaders to come together to discuss a broad deficit-reduction deal.

“That’s what we talked about today is how do we come together in a bipartisan way on this to truly address the debt and the deficit in this next four-month timeframe,” Hoeven said.

...Corker said the focus was more on reaching a grand bargain than simply turning off sequestration. "It wasn't on that. It was on dealing with the big issue of solving our fiscal problem and it was a constructive meeting," Corker said. "It was a very positive meeting, it really was."

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At 4:19 PM, Anonymous JimC said...

President Obama has been such a disappointment in his human rights stances and his overall dealings with the GOP in regards to gutting the New Deal.

Once again Campaigning Obama has turned into GOP Lite President Obama and his populist views have disappeared. At some point he needs to be honest with the Democratic base and just admit he's a closet Republican because we're more than tired of the act.


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