Sunday, January 12, 2014

Why Steny Hoyer Should Never Be Speaker Of The House


Hoyer: Two portions for K Street, drippings for working families

Members if Congress tell me if Hoyer ever gets the gavel every single bill will go through K Street for revision and nothing worthwhile will veer get done. Hoyer is the worst kind of centrist and has always fought for his wing of the Democratic Party-- the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. This week he was doing just what you would expect some old, out of touch white guy to do-- campaigning against progressive efforts to end marijuana prohibition. Even while his own state's dynamic, progressive gubernatorial hopeful, Heather Mizeur, is taking a lead on the issue, Hoyer is leading in the other direction-- backwards.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday he does not support efforts to legalize marijuana in Maryland, saying it is a “threshold drug” and leads to the use of more harmful substances.

“I’m not a proponent of legalization of marijuana,” Hoyer said during an interview on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers.

…Bills to legalize marijuana are expected to be introduced in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly.

National polls have shown increasing public support for legalization. Colorado began selling marijuana legally on Jan. 1.
I contacted on congressmember yesterday and asked what he thought. After I persuaded him I would never give him away he said, "Hoyer's an asshole and I pray to God he retires before Nancy does… Leave it to him to oppose these kinds of cultural issues and try to us like a party of fucking troglodytes." Worse yet, just as progressives were rallying against their incredibly unpopular Obama-Boehner schemes to balance the budget on the backs of the working poor, Hoyer is working with the Republicans to embrace their reactionary agenda.
Democratic senators are pleading with President Obama to abandon his proposal to trim Social Security benefits before it becomes a liability for them in the midterm elections.

The president proposed a new formula for calculating benefits in his budget last year, in hopes that the olive branch to Republicans would persuade them to back tax increases in a broader fiscal deal.

But Democratic lawmakers say Obama should shelve the idea now that they are facing a difficult midterm election where they need to turn out the liberal base to preserve their Senate majority.

“I’m not sure why we should be making concessions when the Republicans show absolutely no willingness to do the same,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

Democrats acknowledge it may be awkward for Obama to rescind his proposal, but say it would unwise of him to repeat the offer in the budget that is due out next month.

“I think it’s difficult for the president to pull it back after he already floated it but I would love to see it shelved until Republicans show they’re actually going to do something on their side of the ledger,” Murphy said.

Obama proposed nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts in his budget, including a switch to using the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), which liberal policy experts estimate could cost seniors thousands of dollars in benefits over their lifetimes.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank, projected that most future beneficiaries would see a 2 percent reduction in benefits during the course of retirement.

Supporters of chained CPI argue it is a more accurate measure of inflation, and say the reduction in federal spending would ease the deficit over time.

Obama said he made the proposal to get Republicans to the negotiating table, but the move rankled Democrats on both sides of the Capitol.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), a liberal independent who caucuses with Democrats, said lawmakers have told White House chief of staff Denis McDonough to drop chained CPI from this year’s budget proposal.

“We have talked to his chief of staff and made that very clear,” said Sanders, who is co-founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus.
Watch Sanders discussing this with Ed Schultz on MSNBC Friday:

So where's Hoyer as all this is unfolding? Playing footsie with his K Street and Wall Street pals and his cronies across the aisle. He's ready, he said, to accept another $9 billion in food stamps cuts. Magnanimous, huh? He bragged this week that he's rounding up enough votes to pass Republican plans to further starve poor people to death. You can watch him on that same C-Span program today braying that "If that is the figure, and if other matters that are still at issue can be resolved, I think the bill will probably pass, and it will pass with Democratic-- some Democratic-- support. Not, certainly, universal Democratic support. … But I think it will pass."
Bipartisan negotiators from both chambers are said to be nearing a deal on a farm bill that would include roughly $9 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

The deal would break a yearslong impasse over a five-year renewal of the farm bill that had centered largely around the parties' widely different approaches to SNAP funding. While House Republicans have pushed for a $39 billion cut to the program over a decade, Senate Democrats had proposed $4 billion.

Hoyer said he doesn't support the $9 billion cut, per se, but is "inclined to support it" to enact the larger package.

"I don't like the fact that we went further on the [SNAP] cuts," he said. "But that's over 10 years, so it's not as bad as it could have been, and much better, frankly, than we could have expected."

Hoyer's backing of the $9 billion figure is significant, as House GOP leaders are expected to lose the support of a number of conservative Republicans who feel that anything much less than the $39 billion cut is a nonstarter. The GOP opposition means that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will almost certainly need Democrats to get the bill over the finish line.

It won't be easy winning Democrat support. While the $9 billion cut is much closer to the Democrats' figure, it still represents a significant reduction in SNAP funding and is sure to be opposed by liberal Democrats already criticizing the Senate's $4 billion proposal.

Hoyer predicted that "the majority of Democrats may feel that they cannot support it because of the SNAP cuts."

The savings come by making it tougher to receive enhanced food stamp payments through the federal home-heating assistance program. Under current law, some beneficiaries can receive additional SNAP benefits, if they receive as little as $1 per year through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

Hoyer said the deal that farm bill negotiators are considering would raise that threshold to $20-- a provision contained in the House GOP proposal.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) has been a vocal critic of the SNAP cuts. Still, the California liberal this week remained open to supporting a $9 billion SNAP reduction as part of a broad farm bill agreement, something she said “we very much want."

“I look forward to seeing it and how they arrive at that figure and what their timetable is on it,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday in the Capitol.

“I’ve been very concerned about the food stamp and nutrition cuts that are in the bill," she added. "[But] we very much want a farm bill and hope that the final formulation will be acceptable.
In between promulgating bad policy for his New Dem and Blue Dog allies to get behind, he's out campaigning for the most conservative fake Democrats Steve Israel has managed to dig up-- like anti-Choice/anti-gay fanatic Jennifer Garrison in Ohio and Chained CPI zealot Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky in Pennsylvania. Hoyer and his cronies-- Steve Israel and Joe Crowley, each of whim he was able to install into caucus leadership positions-- taking over the House Democratic party will spell doom for the Democratic Party as remotely plausible alternative to Republican conservatism.

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