Hold Everything: House Republicans Oppose 2-Month Payroll Tax Deal

By: Sunday December 18, 2011 11:30 am

You could see this one coming. John Boehner empowered Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid to come up with a compromise on the payroll tax cut and other expiring measures which could break a filibuster in the Senate. They couldn’t get the full-year measure done, so they agreed to a two-month extension with a pay-for and an acceleration of the Keystone XL decision. So now Boehner had to go back to his caucus, with a deal he didn’t personally negotiate, to sell it to them. That sell didn’t go over well, with many House conservatives, including the other members of the leadership team, criticizing the deal.


Senate Passes Two-Month Extension for Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Benefits, Doc Fix

By: Saturday December 17, 2011 11:00 am

The likely outcome on Keystone XL fits a narrative for the GOP. So they want to see the President cancel the pipeline to make it a campaign issue. The counter-argument for the Democrats is that the demand by House Republicans to give an answer within 60 days on a pipeline whose route remained in flux killed the permit. So this becomes your run-of-the-mill he-said/she-said, and the pipeline doesn’t get built. My understanding is that it would not impact the possibility of the pipeline being approved after the elections, when more time is given to the environmental impact. So that’s a fight environmentalists will still have to wage.

House GOP Dim Bulbs’ Bright Idea? Raise Your Utility Bill

By: Friday December 16, 2011 4:15 pm

With so many atrocious things happening in Congress — and necessary things not happening — it may seem odd to focus on a relatively minor provision in the omnibus spending bill that defunds a small program at the Department of Energy.

But the dim bulbs in the House and their Tea Party followers deserve attention for insisting on a measure that will raise your monthly utility bills, enrich coal and gas companies and increase global pollution. You have to be exceptionally stupid to accomplish all that.

Spending Deal Set, Two-Month Payroll Tax and UI Extension Floated

By: Friday December 16, 2011 6:50 am

Lawmakers agreed last night to a $1 trillion omnibus spending package, which will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, until September 30, 2012. The agreement eliminates some but not all of the policy riders that Republicans coveted in the deal.

Reid Heads Off Republicans, Ties Payroll Tax/UI Bill to Omnibus Spending Package

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 2:10 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is attempting a high-stakes gamble, tying the payroll tax/unemployment insurance legislation that the House will vote on today with the omnibus spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. Without compromise on the former, according to Reid, the latter cannot pass, increasing the risk of a government shutdown.

House-Senate Reach Agreement on Omnibus Spending, Defense Authorization Bills

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 9:00 am

Two major year-end pieces of legislation were readied yesterday, and in this case, House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on the measures, expecting to pass them by the end of the week. First, appropriators agreed to a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill covering the rest of the fiscal year (to September 30 of next year) on domestic spending. They also agreed on the defense spending bill, which still allows indefinite detention of suspects.

GOP Gets Chance to Cut Spending in February After Omnibus Collapses

By: Friday December 17, 2010 8:30 am

This was the trade made in the Senate last night; the Dems will get legislative repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a couple judges, and probably the new START Treaty, and the Republicans will get the chance to massively cut spending early in the 112th Congress.

Votes In Hand for DADT Repeal as Murkowski, Scott Brown Pledge Support of Standalone

By: Thursday December 16, 2010 4:15 pm

The votes for cloture exist. It’s just a matter of finding the time on the Senate calendar, where DADT repeal competes with the START treaty and a host of other bills. The wrangling over the omnibus or some other government funding measure will loom large as well.

The Intricacies of the Omnibus Spending Bill

By: Thursday December 16, 2010 1:15 pm

The omnibus spending bill is rife with interesting backstories and competing agendas. It’s clear to me that Jim DeMint’s pressure to read the full omnibus, which stands at over 1,900 pages, has three parts: 1) to cement his standing with the Tea Party against “pork” and really spending in general; 2) to run out the clock not on the spending bill but the rest of the Senate’s agenda, especially START, the DREAM Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell; 3) to create another Waterloo for President Obama, and put him in the difficult situation of having to sign a bill with a bunch of earmarks in it.

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