Senate GOP pledges to block all bills

Postby RaharuAharu » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:30 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/01/ ... tml?hpt=T1

Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved


Washington (CNN) -- Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers."

"With little time left in this congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike," the letter said.

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts enacted by former President George W. Bush will expire after December 31 if Congress fails to reach an agreement on their extension. Top Democrats and Republicans disagree sharply over whether the current tax rates should be extended just for families earning $250,000 or under per year or for everyone regardless of income.

Republicans contend that a failure to extend all of the tax cuts would hamper an already-sluggish economy. President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders argue that the roughly $700 billion price tag attached to an extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans would be fiscally irresponsible.

White House and congressional tax negotiators began deliberations Wednesday morning. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner characterized the initial talks as "very civil" and said that while everything was discussed, there were no surprises.

House Democrats, meanwhile, announced their intention to move forward with a vote Thursday to permanently extend the breaks only for families earning $250,000 or less.

On the spending side, a continuing resolution responsible for funding the government is scheduled to expire Friday.

Democrats are trying to pass several pieces of legislation before a more Republican Congress is sworn in in January, including the START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, a repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, and the so-called DREAM Act, which would create a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants.

Reid blasted the GOP letter on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, calling it part of a "cynical" and transparent" Republican strategy to "obstruct" and "delay" legislative progress while blaming the Democrats for failing to effectively govern.

"Last month, the American people issued their verdict on the Democrat's priorities," replied Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. "We need to show the American people that we care more about them and their ability to pay their bills than we do about the special interests' legislative Christmas-list.
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A comment from Fark.com that I found interesting and worth sharing:

AdolfOliverPanties [TotalFark] Quote 2010-12-01 11:53:43 AM
Obama should let the Bush tax cuts expire and introduce the Obama tax cuts.

He should go on national TV and tell the nation how the Bush tax cuts were passed through reconciliation, and as such were required to have an expiration date. Now that the date is approaching, Obama would like to introduce a new tax cut plan, which would keep taxes low for 95% percent of families.

He should point out that the Republicans are vowing to block this tax break for American families, as well as vowing to stop unemployment benefits and shut down the government, unless the wealthiest Americans, in a time of economic crisis, get massive tax breaks.

Seriously, why is this so farking hard for him to figure out?
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Re: Senate GOP pledges to block all bills

Postby Coda » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:00 pm

Answer: Obama is an excellent president but he's not a politician. He doesn't "play the game" -- he gets stuff done rather than playing spin doctor. That's why his approval ratings are so low. The history books will show him as amazingly accomplished, but since he doesn't make a show of "look how good I did!" like other politicians do, the average uninformed American has no clue.

So I believe Obama would find it unethical to spin it up to say that the Republicans are blocking tax cuts. That's deceptive, since blocking tax cuts isn't their motive even if it is an effect of their actions.
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Re: Senate GOP pledges to block all bills

Postby Zygote Jr. » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:28 pm

...you'd think Republicans were pre-adolescents, if not for the wrinkles and chins. SO junior high.
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Re: Senate GOP pledges to block all bills

Postby Sinosaur » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:35 pm

Am I allowed to feel completely ashamed of the political system yet? Is there any way that we can actually have a government not run by people who are douchebags? Because as far as I can tell, politicians of all stripes tend to lean that way if not immediately then as the system grinds them down.

Power generally attracts those who think too highly of themselves, and once you've had power... well, power corrupts.
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