House Republicans vote to sue President Obama

John Boehner urged the US House of Representatives to ”defend the Constitution”

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to sue President Barack Obama for allegedly exceeding his constitutional powers.

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Obama’s race-baiting on Trayvon ‘political tactic’

Part of Democrat plan ‘to destroy the Republican Party’

SOURCE

The White House is “race-bating” the Trayvon Martin case as part of a Democratic Party plan,” according to the author of a new book that analyzes how Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney despite being mired in economic crisis and scandal.

Jerome R. Corsi, author of “What Went Wrong: The Inside Story of the GOP Debacle of 2012 … and How It Can Be Avoided Next Time,” said that the Democratic operatives who ran Obama’s 2012 presidential case are “whipping up the Democratic base into a frenzy over race.”

“Why? It’s simple: Making Trayvon Martin a martyr wipes off the front page news embarrassing to Obama, like the impending Fort Hood murder trial,” Corsi said.

Corsi stressed that the radial leftist operatives that ran Obama’s campaign plan not just to win elections but to destroy the Republican Party and eliminate all political opposition from conservatives.

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Internet sales tax advances after Obama endorsement

Internet tax increase

Brendan Sasso and Bernie Becker
The Hill
April 23, 2013

Photo by Guillaume Barki, via Wikimedia Commons

Legislation that would empower states to tax online purchases cleared a key hurdle in the Senate on Monday after winning an enthusiastic endorsement from President Obama.

Senators advanced the bill in 74-20 procedural vote on Monday evening, just one vote short of the backing it received in a test vote last month. Twenty-six Republicans joined Democrats in moving forward with the bill.

The Senate will now begin debate on amendments. The chamber is expected to hold the decisive vote on the bill — known as the Marketplace Fairness Act — later this week.

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Senate approves Democratic budget after marathon ‘vote-a-rama’

Published March 23, 2013

FoxNews.com

WASHINGTON –  An exhausted Senate approved its first budget in four years early Saturday, calling for almost $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade while sheltering safety net programs targeted by House Republicans.

While their victory was by a razor-thin 50-49, the vote let Democrats tout their priorities. Yet it doesn’t resolve the deep differences the two parties have over deficits and the size of government.

The nonbinding but politically symbolic measure caters to party stalwarts on the liberal edge of the spectrum just as the House GOP measure is crafted to appeal to more recent tea party arrivals.

Late Friday afternoon, the Senate then began a marathon session of votes on dozens of amendments to the 2014 budget proposal. Many of the proposals were offered in hopes of inflicting political damage on Democratic senators up for re-election in GOP-leaning states like Alaska and Louisiana.

The two main budget proposals produced by Senate Democrats and House Republicans are miles apart. The Senate plan does not attempt to balance the budget at all, though it does claim to reduce the deficit by imposing nearly $1 trillion in tax increases on top of more than $600 billion in higher taxes on top earners enacted in January. It also includes $875 billion in spending cuts, generated by modest cuts to federal health care programs, domestic agencies and the Pentagon and reduced government borrowing costs.

The House plan — by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., his party’s vice presidential candidate last year — claims $4 trillion more in savings over the period than Senate Democrats by imposing major cuts in Medicaid, food stamps and other safety net programs for the needy. It would also transform the Medicare health care program for seniors into a voucher-like system for future recipients.

“We have presented very different visions for how our country should work and who it should work for,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. “But I am hopeful that we can bridge this divide.”

Congressional budgets are planning documents that leave actual changes in revenues and spending for later legislation, and this was the first the Democratic-run Senate has approved in four years. That is testament to the political and mathematical contortions needed to write fiscal plans in an era of record-breaking deficits that until this year exceeded an eye-popping $1 trillion annually, and to the parties’ profoundly conflicting views.

“I believe we’re in denial about the financial condition of our country,” Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, top Republican on the Budget panel, said of Democratic efforts to boost spending on some programs. “Trust me, we’ve got to have some spending reductions.”

Though the shortfalls have shown signs of easing slightly and temporarily, there is no easy path to the two parties finding compromise — which the first months of 2013 have amply illustrated.

Already this year, Congress has raised taxes on the rich after narrowly averting tax boosts on virtually everyone else, tolerated $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, temporarily sidestepped a federal default and prevented a potential government shutdown.

By sometime this summer, the government’s borrowing limit will have to be extended again — or a default will be at risk — and it is unclear what Republicans may demand for providing needed votes. It is also uncertain how the two parties will resolve the differences between their two budgets, something many believe simply won’t happen.

Both sides have expressed a desire to reduce federal deficits. But President Barack Obama is demanding a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to do so, while GOP leaders say they won’t consider higher revenues but want serious reductions in Medicare and other benefit programs that have rocketed deficits skyward.

Obama plans to release his own 2014 budget next month, an unveiling that will be studied for whether it signals a willingness to engage Republicans in negotiations or play political hardball.

In a long day that began Friday morning, senators plodded through scores of amendments — all of them non-binding but some delivering potent political messages.

They voted in favor of giving states more powers to collect sales taxes on online purchases their citizens make from out-of-state Internet companies, and to endorse the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that is to pump oil from Canada to Texas refineries.

They also approved amendments voicing support for eliminating the $2,500 annual cap on flexible spending account contributions imposed by Obama’s health care overhaul, and for charging regular postal rates for mailings by political parties, which currently qualify for the lower prices paid by non-profits.

In a rebuke to one of the Senate’s most conservative members, they overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to cut even deeper than the House GOP budget and eliminate deficits in just five years.

The Democratic budget envisions $975 billion in unspecified new taxes over the coming 10 years. There would be an equal amount of spending reductions coming chiefly from health programs, defense and reduced interest payments as deficits get smaller than previously anticipated.

This year’s projected deficit of nearly $900 billion would fall to around $700 billion next year and bottom out near $400 billion in 2016 before trending upward again.

Shoehorned into the package is $100 billion for public works projects and other programs aimed at creating jobs.

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Are Massive Federal Cuts ‘Inevitable’?

Democrats, Republicans appear no closer to averting massive federal cuts next month

Congressional Democrats and Republicans appeared far apart Sunday on a deal to avert $85 billion in federal spending reductions next month, with a top House Republican saying the cuts appear “inevitable.”

The automatic cuts, known as sequester, kick in March 1 because the parties have failed to agree on a less-drastic plan to cut the federal budget and deficit.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told “Fox News Sunday” that Democrats remain steadfast about tax increases being part of the deal but remain open to spending cuts.

“What we do need is more revenue and new cuts,” the California congresswoman said.

Pelosi said Democrats were “not talking about raising taxes,” but want to close tax loopholes, including those for U.S. oil companies.

She also argued Democrats have made $1.6 trillion in cuts over the past two years and suggested the bigger solution to the country’s economic problems is job growth.

Her argument is similar to the one President Obama — who also has suggested stopping sequester with a mix of tax cuts and spending cut — is expected to restate Tuesday during his State of the Union address.

“We need a big, balanced, bold proposal,” said Pelosi, arguing more jobs result in more revenue. The interview was taped last week.

However, Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole said fellow House Republicans will “absolutely not” accept tax increases as part of a deal, which would trigger the cuts to federal defense and discretionary spending.

Cole told ABC News’ “This Week” that the president refused to agree to spending cuts during the recent, so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations so Democrats are not getting revenue increases now.

“I think (sequester) is inevitable, quite frankly,” he said.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain also said Sunday that Republicans don’t want tax increases, considering they just agreed to end more than $1 trillion in income tax breaks, but suggested he might be open to closing some tax loopholes.

He also urged both parties to work together to avoid sequester, which will result in big cuts to the defense budget and roughly $1.2 trillion in total cuts over the next decade.

“I’ll take responsibility as a Republican, but we’ve got to avoid it,” said McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The world is a very dangerous place.”

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