Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Look At What Happened In Boehner's Dysfunctional House Yesterday


By now you already know the whole sorry Boehner bill story, which was like a Frankenstein monster that finally passed late Friday, without a single Democratic vote (not even a stray Blue Dog-- not even Dan Boren or Jason Altmire, who, respectively, have voted 83% and 79% with the GOP on crucial issues this year!) and still managing to lose 22 deranged Republican teabaggers. The 22 deranged Republican teabaggers who absolutely insist on a default and financial armageddon, for those keeping track, were:
Justin Amash (Grand Rapids)
Paul Broun (John Birch Society)
Jason Chaffetz (Provo, UT)
Chip Cravaack (Duluth, MN)
Scott DesJarlais (central Tennessee)
Jeff Duncan (Anderson, SC)
Trey Gowdy (Greenville, SC)
Tom Graves (rural north Georgia next to SC)
Tim Huelskamp (rural Kansas)
Jim Jordan (a rapidly changing OH-4, just east of Boehnerville)
Steve King (Council Bluffs, IA)
Tom Latham (Ames, IA)
Connie Mack (Ft. Myers, FL)
Mick Mulvaney (Sumter, SC)
Ron Paul (his own world)
Tim Scott (Charleston, SC)
Steve Southerland (Tallahassee, FL)
Joe Walsh (Deadbeat Dads)
Joe Wilson (Columbia, SC)

How ironic that these madmen passed a bill to, in effect, prevent the federal government from paying bills run up mostly by Republican presidents and with overwhelming support from Republican congressmembers going back to the early 1950s! Obama's press secretary sent out an official statement from the White House:
The bill passed today in the House with exclusively Republican votes would have us face another debt ceiling crisis in just a few months by demanding the Constitution be amended or America defaults. This bill has been declared dead on arrival in the Senate. Now that yet another political exercise is behind us, with time dwindling, leaders need to start working together immediately to reach a compromise that avoids default and lays the basis for balanced deficit reduction.

Senator Reid’s proposal is a basis for that compromise. It not only achieves more deficit reduction than the bill passed in the House today and puts a process in place to achieve even more savings, it also removes the uncertainty surrounding the risk of default. The President urges Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House-- a plan the President can sign by Tuesday.

I enjoyed what Keith Ellison (D-MN), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, had to say after the bill limped to passage:
At a time when our country is on the brink of a catastrophic default, it is reckless and irresponsible to bring a bill to the floor that not only has no chance of becoming law, but would also devastate the working and middle class. This bill would cost an untold number of Americans their jobs, stunt our already fragile recovery, and destroy vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. That is why I did not hesitate to vote against this legislation.

The stakes are too high now for us to continue this way. If there were ever a time for Republicans to put aside ideological attacks for the good of the country, now is that time. Never in the history of the United States of America has our nation’s credit been held hostage. If Republicans fail to join us in avoiding default, they will distinguish themselves as a party that has deliberately harmed the American economy because of obstinacy, stubbornness and recklessness.

But for me the highlight of the day came a few minutes before the vote on Boehner's bill, when Kathy Hochul (D-NY) offered a Motion to Recommit for the Democrats which would have directed the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction in the Boehner bill to eliminate subsidies for the five largest oil and gas companies, and corporate jet owners, before gutting education initiatives that create jobs, spur growth and invest in the country's future. Only one Republican, the intrepid and independent Walter Jones (R-NC), had the decency and the nerve to vote for it. It failed in this demented House 183-244. And half a dozen Democrats voted against it, a Texas oil industry water-carrier (Gene Green) and 5 of the most disreputable and reactionary Blue Dogs:
John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)
Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)

If you want to help Blue America eradicate the scourge of Blue Dogs... we have a page for that. As for the scourge of Republicans... we're working on that too. Although with leaders like Boehner, they may take care of themselves, the way Mike Pence seems to have this week, utterly destroying the teabag-cred he worked so hard to build up for so long.

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