As state budgets are increasingly shrinking, many are getting "creative" as they look for ways to meet the spending requirements in order to receive matching federal welfare funds.
In the face of the $500 billion "taxmageddon" tax increase coming in 2012, Congress will pass the buck. Nothing is likely to happen before the election, and the lame duck Congress will then drop-kick the issue into next year by extending current law and letting the new Congress deal with it.
On Wednesday the Senate voted down five budget proposals, reflecting gridlock and unwillingness to face reality. Four of the budget proposals were presented by Republican senators, while the fifth was based on President Obama’s budget.
House speaker John Boehner decided on Tuesday to fire the first round in the coming battle to deal with the huge tax increases taking place after the first of the year by setting the terms for the debt ceiling debate. In a speech at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 Fiscal Summit in Washington Boehner said that any discussion would revolve around his “Boehner principle” — every dollar of additional debt increase for the federal government must be matched by an equal or greater reduction in government spending.
On Thursday morning, the House Armed Services Committee passed the 2013 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA); the provision providing for the indefinite detention of Americans remains in the bill.
Federal legislation sponsored by “progressive” Democrat lawmakers, dubbed the “Trayvon Amendment” to play on people’s emotions in the wake of the now-infamous Florida shooting, would aim to bully state governments into restricting self-defense rights by withholding federal taxpayer funds. The controversial attack on individual and state rights was withdrawn from the House floor this week for being “out of order.” But it is not dead yet.
In April the Senate voted to pump $11 billion into the insolvent Postal Service to keep it afloat for a little while longer.
House Republicans are accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of obstructing the House investigation into the flawed Operation Fast and Furious, and are preparing a contempt citation against him and the Department of Justice. The citation would force Holder to turn over tens of thousands of document pertinent to the investigation.
This is “cybersecurity week,” according to Brock Meeks at Wired.com when CISPA (the Orwellian-named Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is scheduled to move to the House floor for a vote. Offered originally before SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and its sister PIPA (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) were blown up in January, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich., left) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) have offered some amendments to the bill (H.R. 3523) to soften some of its critics and to avoid the same result.
“Sound and fury signifying nothing.” That is how Shakespeare’s Macbeth described life. That same description could be aptly applied to a bill introduced recently in the House of Representatives that purports to cure the cancerous malady that is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to include black box data recorders from the year 2015, and would (among many other provisions) permit the IRS to confiscate one's passport on the suspicion of owing taxes. SB 1813, called the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21), passed in the Senate quite easily after heavy promotion from Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif., left). The bill is scheduled for a vote in the House, where Republicans are hoping to add a Keystone XL Pipeline provision before passage.