» Good news for Democrats: GOP leadership has indicated that they’ll pass a 10-month extension of the payroll tax without any offsets in spending. Democrats had wanted to balance the tax cut, in part, with higher taxes on the rich; Republicans wanted to do so, in part, with cuts to unemployment benefits. Ultimately, they couldn’t agree, and so it will be passed with no offsets at all. Why is this good news for Democrats? Well, the GOP took a hard-line against the payroll tax cut—which largely benefits the middle-class—last December, making the once-benign policy a partisan issue. Democrats, by and large, were okay passing it sans offsets—the suggestion to pay for it via tax cuts on the rich was more a general effort to increase taxes on the rich—and so the fact that the extension is going to pass is a political and legislative win for Democrats. But the extension expires in ten months—right around the presidential election—so this fight is only over in the short-term.
» Don’t forget, this is taxpayer money, allocated by House Republicans to their legal counsel to defend DOMA in court. It was originally capped at $500,000, but that limit has since been tripled.
The problem: Democrats don’t want a balanced-budget amendment, and the Democrat-controlled Senate has tabled both Republican House bills – the legislative equivalent of telling House Republicans they are an out-of-control romper room and the adults in the Senate aren’t impressed.Tell us what you really think, Christian Science Monitor.
He said if we pass Aug. 2, it would be like ‘Star Wars.’ I don’t think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that.Rep. Scott DesJarlais • Relating Speaker John Boehner’s remarks on a potential failure to raise the debt limit, made during a closed-door meeting today. Boehner was joined in this message by Rep. Paul Ryan, always the House GOP’s top dog on economic affairs. Basically, it seems like the leadership laid out exactly how bad the economy would get if the debt limit isn’t raised, and surprisingly enough, it sounds like it paid off to some measure. Said Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack: “It illustrates to us that doing nothing is unacceptable. I think the conference understands this is a defining moment for us. It’s time to put the next election aside.” If this is indicative of any genuine attitude House GOP membership, this could be huge news. source (via • follow)
We’re having a little fun here. This isn’t actually that big of a deal; it was an honest mistake on the part of Sessions (and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who also missed the swearing in), it will likely be rectified by tomorrow, and Sessions and Fitzpatrick have already been officially sworn in. Still, it’s amusing and slightly ironic that, after making a big show of reading the Constitution aloud on the House floor, two Republicans inadvertently violated it whilst on the House floor. source