There is broad agreement on doing the payroll tax holiday through the end of the year … The problem is paying for it. … (Democrats) just don’t want to cut any spending. That is what made it problematic. But we will get it done. We will get it done before the end of February.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Emphasizing that the payroll tax cuts that proved a thorn in the GOP’s side back around Christmas will get extended through the new year, no matter how many arms McConnell has to twist. The thing is, though, he’s not the guy who has to do the hard work. It’s Boehner in the House, who pissed off his rightward-leaning members by ignoring their wishes to score a deal. However, even Boehner is confident: “I’m confident that we’ll be able to resolve this fairly quickly,” he said. The tax cuts expire at the end of February, but there’s no word on how they plan to pay for this. source (via • follow)
The House should pass an extension that locks in the thousands of Keystone XL pipeline jobs, prevents any disruption in the payroll tax holiday or other expiring provisions, and allows Congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions.Mitch McConnell also threw John Boehner under the bus regarding the payroll tax cut. He follows Karl Rove.
Class warfare … may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.Rep. Paul Ryan • Coming out, guns blazing, against Obama’s plan to raise the tax rate for the super-rich. Ryan, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,”also claimed that the tax would be in effect a “double tax” on investments, and would discourage investors from putting their money into the economy. “If you tax something more, you get less of it,” Ryan said. “If you tax job creators more, you get less job creation. If you tax their investment more, you get less investment.” Mitch McConnell, speaking on “Meet the Press,” had similar concerns about the “Buffett Rule,” which we found out about last night. source (via • follow)
What the president’s proposed so far is not serious. And it’s not a jobs plan.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Ramping up his criticism of President Obama’s jobs bill. The plan’s starting point is, as many of the President’s negotiating postures throughout his term have been, pretty generous; more than 50% of its value goes to tax cuts, ostensibly a cherished Republican ideal. Obama’s tact in discussing the bill has been unique from past initiatives, too – whereas on health care and financial reform he deliberately distanced himself from the process, deferring to congress, he’s said in no uncertain terms that this is his plan, and he wants it passed swiftly. Faced with a more assertive adversary, the GOP seems happy to stick to the playbook, and why not? It’s been very successful for them so far, if at the risk of looking obstinate. source (via • follow)
Basically, most Senators in this body are nothing but two-bit pawns…to lay out the groundwork, if you will, for 2012 election.GOP Senator Bob Corker • Saying what everyone knows but rarely acknowledges: If a presidential election wasn’t lurking around the corner, this whole debt ceiling debate would be playing out much differently. This is really harsh language for a senator, especially when used in reference to his colleagues. Last week, Corker accepted blame, on behalf of the Republican party, for bringing our country to the brink of another economic collapse. source (via • follow)
Mitch McConnell knows what he wants. That’s a very critical thing to remember when examining his new debt limit proposal, which would essentially transfer the power to raise the limit from the congress to President Obama. This may seem innocuous, but is a very political decision; forcing Obama to be the sole person taking an affirmative action to raise the limit, then giving congress a vote of “disapproval” that he’d likely have to veto feeds into the narrative of fiscal irresponsibility the GOP craves. The plan would also force Obama to re-up the limit three separate times before the 2012 election, which is theoretically a big political price to pay. Add in that the increase has to be paired with at least an equivalent amount of spending cuts, and what you see is less the grand compromise than what the GOP has wanted all along — spending cuts and no new revenues.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP Leader McConnell proposes giving Obama new power for automatic debt limit increaseVia AP News Alert • Today in news alerts that blow our minds because we have no details. What have we been fighting about if this is what McConnell is suggesting? EDIT: We found details.
In my view the President has presented us with three choices. Smoke and mirrors, tax hikes, or default. Republicans choose none of the above. I had hoped to do good; but I refuse to do harm.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Speaking before another debt ceiling chat with Obama, while doing what he does best: Clouding the waters. Remember the 1980s, where deals like these could be brokered without dudes like McConnell saying things to scare the base into thinking the Democrats were pure, concentrated evil? John Boehner, who we respect a lot more, had harsh but more moderated words: “This debt limit increase is his problem. I think it’s time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table, something that the Congress can pass.” It’s either Obama being a completely evil human being or Obama not coming up with a deal that can actually pass Congress. Choose your boogeyman, guys. source (via • follow)
» And 42 votes is, obviously, not enough. The Senate GOP brought this vote to the floor, and as it lost comfortably by eight votes, they probably considered it doomed to fail from the get-go. As such, this looks like a show vote, less designed to impact policy (though I’m sure the GOP wouldn’t have minded getting it through) than to court political favor. As increased offshore oil drilling would have minor if any effect on the domestic gas prices (global market and all that), this bill serves two goals: make people think Democrats are keeping gas prices high, and remind big oil that despite recent talk of stripping industry subsidies, the Republican Party still has their back.