As expected, the bill to raise the federal debt ceiling that House Republicans brought to a quick vote today failed overwhelmingly. The bill, which would have unconditionally increased the debt limit by $2.4 trillion — the precise amount requested by the Obama administration — garnered only 97 Yea votes, all from Democrats. A combined 318 Democrats and Republicans voted Nay, and seven Democrats voted Present.
Remember the halcyon days of the late 1970s, when inflation, interest, and unemployment rates all soared into double digits? Back then the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 70 percent, which may just have had something to do with the economic malaise of the period.
The U.S. Navy is under fire once again, for its decision to name a vessel after radical left-wing activist César Chávez. Officials said last Wednesday that they were naming one of their newest ships after the Mexican American farm labor organizer. (Chávez served in the Navy from 1944-1946 after which he became a leader in the American Labor Movement and a civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.)
Tuesday’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee gave Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) a chance to vent, and witness Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s Special Advisor for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), a chance to defend, and for the entire hearing to accomplish nothing. The BCFP was the brainchild of Warren, and the centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which was signed into law last July. Its Orwellian title hides the fact that the new agency will do little to reform Wall Street and nothing at all to protect the consumer.
As a congressional investigation of the Obama administration’s “Project Gunrunner” scandal proceeds, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif., picture, left) is threatening ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson with contempt of Congress charges if he continues to defy a subpoena demanding documents. The controversial government operation being probed, known as “Fast and Furious,” deliberately put high-powered weapons into the hands of known criminals — with tragic results.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice are under increasing pressure after getting caught providing misleading responses to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, left), who is continuing to investigate a U.S. government operation that deliberately put high-powered weapons in the hands of Mexican cartels.
Late last week Democrats in the House of Representatives reintroduced a measure that would dramatically change current immigration law and provide immigration rights to same-sex couples that are equal to those currently given to traditional couples.
House Republicans passed the Ryan budget proposal April 15 by a 235-193 vote, with every Democrat voting against the measure and only four Republicans in opposition. The Ryan budget would endorse a $1 trillion deficit for fiscal 2012 and a $700 billion deficit for 2013.
The compromise fiscal 2011 budget resolution Congress passed April 14, which awaits President Obama's signature, boasted some $38 billion in "cuts" that were just gimmicks and would increase spending overall, according to analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
The allegedly pro-life Republican Party has betrayed its base again. According to Terence P. Jeffrey of CNSNews.com, the budget deal reached between the Obama administration and Congress on April 9 does not include the Pence Amendment, which would have banned federal funding of Planned Parenthood for the remainder of the fiscal year. Should this bill become law, the nation’s largest abortion provider will continue to receive millions of taxpayer dollars.
Congressional and White House negotiators reached a deal in the early morning hours of April 9 to keep the federal government open one more week until Congress can pass a year-end appropriations compromise that would increase — yes, increase! — the annual deficit from last year's $1.29 trillion to $1.58 trillion for fiscal 2011. Republican and Democratic leaders touted the "cuts" in the bill because the proposed $1.58 trillion deficit in the compromise is lower than the $1.65 trillion deficit that would have resulted from passage of the White House budget proposal.