Harry Reid Says No ‘Grand Bargain’ Coming, Van Hollen Remains Open

By: Friday October 25, 2013 7:35 am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, speaking on Nevada Public Radio, let it be known that there is not going to be a “Grand Bargain”. While the Senate bill that ended the shutdown seemed to open the door for a deal that would cut Social Security and Medicare, Reid was adamant that was not going to be the case.

 

Congressional Democrats Pushing Back Against Obama’s Austerity Budget

By: Tuesday April 30, 2013 6:40 am

As the latest reports indicate that the U.S. economy is slowing down and the intellectual foundation for austerity economics has been discredited, Congressional Democrats are pushing back against President Obama’s austerity budget. Democrats in the Senate and even more in the House no longer see the logic in austerity cuts to social programs such as Social Security and Medicare given that the evidence contradicts the intellectual rationale for them.

Democrats Begin Talking About Extending Payroll Tax Cut

By: Monday October 22, 2012 10:15 am

After giving up the payroll tax cut for dead, a few Democrats have tentatively returned to reanimate the policy, arguing that the economy could benefit from another year of fiscal accommodation. But the approach is so hedged and conflicted, that I don’t see it as a game changer.

FDA’s spying campaign wider than previously believed

By: Saturday July 14, 2012 6:00 pm

The FDA reportedly has developed an “enemies list” to push back against negative coverage of its oft-criticized review of drugs and medical devices. The list includes not only scientists employed within the FDA, but also congressmen, journalists, and outside medical researchers. These efforts have resulted in the collection of some 80,000 pages of documents that include private emails to Congress, draft whistleblower retaliation complaints, and communications with journalists and attorneys.

House Democrats Ready New Version of DISCLOSE Act

By: Thursday January 26, 2012 6:50 am

After Citizens United, which was decided two days after Democrats lost their 60-seat majority in the Senate, there was a push to respond to the Supreme Court ruling with some legislation adding transparency and disclosure to the process. If the Massachusetts race went another way it would have passed; Democrats consistently got 59 votes in the Senate for the DISCLOSE Act. But Republicans wouldn’t budget because they reasoned that the new campaign finance system – actually not a system at all but a recipe for massive spending by corporations and the wealthy – would advantage them. In 2010 they were right.

House Democrats Hit GOP For Stalling on Conference Committee

By: Friday January 6, 2012 10:05 am

Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats pulled off a neat little trick yesterday. The two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance really only allows for one month of negotiation in the conference committee, since Congress stands in recess until the end of January. But there’s no reason that the conference committee cannot begin its work beforehand. So Pelosi stood in Washington yesterday, with House Democratic conferees, and demanded to know why Republicans wouldn’t come back to Washington to finish the deal.

House GOP Walks Out on Attempt to Call Up Senate Payroll Tax Deal

By: Wednesday December 21, 2011 12:15 pm

During a pro forma session designed to block recess appointments (streams crossing), Steny Hoyer asks for unanimous consent to bring up the Senate two-month stopgap on the payroll tax, unemployment insurance and the doc fix. Instead of just objecting to UC, the presiding officer, in this case Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), just ignores Hoyer and gavels down the session, walking away. This allows Hoyer to grandstand on CSPAN.

Republicans Release Payroll Tax Cut Package

By: Thursday December 1, 2011 6:47 am

So let’s break this down. To pay for a tax cut that will hopefully increase consumer demand and help increase hiring, Republicans would – 1) fire hundreds of thousands of people, 2) freeze their pay (the opposite effect of a payroll tax cut, which operates as a wage increase), 3) put no-strings, volunteer peer pressure on millionaires to pay additional taxes (I’m sure there will be a high takeup for that), 4) means test a number of programs to ghetto-ize them as welfare, including unemployment benefits, which is particularly cruel, because once federal benefits kick in and you’ve been out of work 6 months, it doesn’t matter what you earned before, you’re in trouble.

Obama Proposes Replacing AMT with Millionaire’s Minimum Tax

By: Sunday September 18, 2011 4:00 pm

This millionaire’s minimum tax also seems like a clever way to eliminate the “carried interest” loophole, where income from money managers is taxed at the capital gains rate of 15% rather than the top marginal income rate of 35%.

Pelosi’s Picks for Super Committee Embrace Tea-GOP Economics and Budget Gibberish

By: Tuesday September 6, 2011 5:07 pm

If you’re hoping that the Nancy Pelosi’s picks for the Congressional Super Committee have either the wisdom or courage to stand against the job-killing spending cuts Obama and Congress imposed on the nation, you’ll be disappointed.

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