70+ votes for immigration reform in the Senate? That sounds rather crazy, but John McCain thinks “it’s doable.” There’s a feeling amongst some of the senators working on the legislation that if the bill gains majority support from both parties in the Senate, the House won’t have any choice but to put it to a vote. We are skeptical that either of those things will happen, let alone both. source
Instead of directing his cabinet secretaries to trim waste in their departments, he’s going to go after first responders. And teachers. And almost any other sympathetic constituency you can think of. And he’ll arbitrarily close parks and monuments too – all to force Americans to accept higher taxes. He’ll claim his hands are tied.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Throwing tough words at President Obama regarding the sequestration deadline, which passed at midnight without a deal in sight. House Speaker John Boehner, while calling the cuts “not smart,” instead pointed out that his own party was on the hook to find a solution … but it hadn’t.
We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
Because the sequester is (and is likely to continue to be) very ill-defined in the minds of most Americans, the politics of it will devolve into a popularity contest between the major players. Which gets us to the fact that Obama is at (or close to) his high-water mark in terms of job approval, while Congress sits in political reporter/used car salesman territory.The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, theorizing that there’s no way possible way Congress can win the sequester battle against President Obama. The thinking here is is based on three premises: One, that Obama believes the sequester ultimately will not be avoided, because Congress is dysfunctional and if they could have struck a deal on these cuts, there wouldn’t have been a sequester to begin with; two, that effects of the sequestered cuts will be felt by many Americans once they come into effect; and three, that Obama is significantly more popular than Congress. Given these three assumptions, it seems reasonable enough to conclude that if the sequester happens, Congress—and the GOP-led House of Representatives—will be blamed by the American public. It’s not a bad theory, though it’s still quite speculative given the assumptions. More information on the sequester here. source
Washington Democrats’ newfound concern about the president’s sequester is appreciated, but words alone won’t avert it,” he said. “Replacing the president’s sequester will require a plan to cut spending that will put us on the path to a budget that is balanced in 10 years. To keep these first responders on the job, what other spending is the president willing to cut?Rep. John Boehner • Responding to a speech by President Obama this morning which blamed Republicans for
[Calling for John Boehner’s ouster] is like saying that the superintendent of an insane asylum should be discharged because he couldn’t control the crazy people. It’s nuts.GOP Rep. Steve “That’s A Bullshit Question” LaTourette, in the wake of Boehner’s failure to rally his own caucus around his “Plan B” legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The accuracy of this characterization aside, we’d argue that a superintendent of an asylum who can’t control the inmates probably should, indeed, be discharged. source
We just have to do the right thing. So call me a hopeless optimist, but I actually still think we can get this done.President Obama • Discussing the current state of the fiscal cliff negotiations ahead of the Christmas holiday. Obama is headed to Hawaii for Christmas, and members of Congress are headed home. ”I met them halfway on taxes and I met them more than have way on spending. In terms of actual dollar amounts, we’re not that far apart,” the president said regarding the deal. House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” tax plan fell on deaf ears earlier this week, adding to the uncertainty of whether or not there will be a deal. If the two sides can’t come up with a deal by the end of the year, a set of automatic spending cuts commonly referred to as the “fiscal cliff” will take effect.