Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, thinks that the debt ceiling is an "anachronism" and ought to be repealed altogether. Many agree with her.
The debate between congressional Republicans and Democrats over how to address the impending fiscal cliff remains heated, but Republicans are beginning to make concessions in an effort to reach a deal. House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday that by closing loopholes, taxes will effectively be increased on the so-called “rich,” in order to generate more revenue. Even with that concession, however, no deal has been reached between the two parties on the fiscal cliff.
Texas Republican Representative Ron Paul has, based on his decades of experience watching Washington negotiate and dither, predicted a last-minute compromise that will increase government spending and put off hard decisions into the future. On his website Paul noted, "America faces yet another congressionally-manufactured crisis which will likely end in yet another 11th hour compromise, resulting in more government growth."
Responding to a tsunami of organized opposition against a highly controversial United Nations disability treaty known as the “UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (CRPD), on December 4, 38 GOP senators voted against a coalition of 61 Democrats and so-called “RINO” Republicans to kill the agreement by denying a two-thirds majority for ratification. The broad alliance of critics that came together to ultimately defeat the UN CRPD scheme had slammed it as everything from a serious threat to national sovereignty and parental rights to an underhanded power grab by global bureaucrats and pro-abortion forces.
The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the ratification of a deeply controversial United Nations treaty on disabled people, dubbed the UN “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (UN CRPD), which critics say represents a serious threat to American sovereignty and certain unalienable rights. After voting to consider the agreement in late November during the lame-duck session despite furious protests, a vote on whether or not to formally ratify the planetary disability scheme has been set for Tuesday, December 4.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted against the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees, despite veto threats from the White House. The measure was an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization Bill, which failed by a vote of 54-41, with 10 Democrats voting against their party in favor of the amendment.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) continues to pump his bill to impose transaction fees on high-frequency trading, saying that they would raise a lot of money with few consequences.
On November 29, the Senate passed the Feinstein-Lee Amendment to the 2013 NDAA, purporting to protect the right to trial of those detained as suspects.
President Obama has hardened his views on “fiscal cliff” negotiations with congressional Republicans, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner telling a closed-door session of congressional leaders that Obama is now demanding $50 billion in more “stimulus” spending, $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over 10 years, and presidential control over the national debt limit. Any other deal, Geithner counseled, would be vetoed and make inevitable the fiscal cliff's the automatic tax increases and spending cuts on January 1.
Texas Republican Ron Paul, Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, and New Jersey Democrat Rush Holt are continuing the fight in the House of Representatives against the use of drones for targeted killing by the Obama administration. They have once again called upon the Obama administration to release documents to justify the use of the overseas drone strikes.