House rejects payroll tax cut, Obama demands GOP give in

After House Vote on Payroll Tax Cut, Obama Demands GOP Give In

 Published December 20, 2011

WASHINGTON –  In a surprise visit to the White House briefing room to demand House Republicans compromise on the legislation — a demand that was promptly rejected —  President Obama said Tuesday that the Senate bill “is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1st.”

“It’s the only one,” Obama said shortly after the House voted to effectively reject a Senate measure to extend the payroll tax cut for two months.

Speaking minutes later at a press conference with dozens of GOP members behind him, House Speaker John Boehner said the House has already taken up the Senate bill, which only gives a $166 tax break to Americans, and opted instead for a bill that gives $1,000 to contributors to the Social Security fund.

“We rejected the Senate bill and we moved to go to conference,” he said. “We’ve done our work for the American people, now it’s up to the president and the Senate to do their work as well.”

House Republicans are insisting on a year-long extension of the break and want to force the Senate to return to Washington to hammer out a compromise. The House voted 229-193 on partisan lines to call for a meeting of lawmakers to blend the House version of the bill with a Senate bill that passed 89-10 on Saturday.

In a letter to Obama sent as the House was preparing to vote, Boehner wrote that the House version is exactly what the president had requested — a year-long payroll tax holiday as well as an extension of unemployment insurance for a year and a “doctor fix” that would prevent doctors paid by Medicare from losing 27 percent of their payments.

“You have said that providing Americans anything less than a full year of tax relief and UI benefits would be inexcusable. We agree,” he wrote, adding that with 11 days left in the year, there’s plenty of time to get the conference done even if it means working through the holidays.

“I ask you to call on the Senate to return to appoint negotiators so that we can provide the American people the economic certainty they need,” he said.

But Obama said a “faction” of Republicans in the House “are refusing to even vote on a Senate bill,” and their refusal means 160 million “Americans could face a tax hike in just 11 days.”

“I’m calling on the speaker to bring up the Senate bill for a vote,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he won’t renew bargaining until the House approves the Senate’s short-term measure, and senators have already returned home for the holiday break.

After the vote, Reid called the ploy “unconscionable,” saying Boehner is blocking a bipartisan compromise negotiated between Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“First, Senator McConnell would not let the Senate vote on the House’s payroll tax cut bill because he knew it would fail, now Speaker Boehner won’t let the House hold an up-or-down vote on the Senate’s bipartisan compromise because he knows it would pass,” Reid said.

“I have been trying to negotiate a yearlong extension with Republicans for weeks, and I am happy to continue doing so as soon as the House of Representatives passes the bipartisan compromise to protect middle-class families, but not before then.”

Without an agreement, payroll taxes paid by 160 million workers and jobless benefits that support millions of the long-term unemployed will expire Jan. 1. With their holiday recess being shortened each day the battle rages, each side blamed the other for the impasse.

“If you say you want to do this for a year, put your vote where your rhetoric is,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, a member of the House GOP leadership. “If you’re not willing to work over the holidays, admit to the American people that you’re not willing to work over the holidays.”

“Show us that you can govern,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. “This is time for an adult moment. It’s time to show your tea party wing that the American people come first.”

Seven House Republicans voted against the strategic move, with Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona saying he would like to see the cut “unravel” more because it was a mistake to cut Social Security taxes without reforming the system.

Other Republicans voting no were Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia, Chris Gibson of Ohio, Timothy Johnson of Illinois, Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington.

After the president spoke, Boehner then released the names of eight members of his caucus to attend the conference.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/20/house-gop-plans-to-reject-payroll-tax-cut-extension-passed-in-senate/#ixzz1h6mwoIfy

Will she or won’t she? Palin says not too late to run

Palin says not too late to consider presidential run

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tea Party champion Sarah Palin, who has already ruled out a 2012 presidential run, on Monday attempted to dangle her name anew as a possible Republican candidate, although it’s probably too late.

In an interview to air on Fox Business Network’s “Follow the Money” program, the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president was asked whether she would still consider a run for the White House.

“It’s not too late for folks to jump in,” Palin said. “Who knows what will happen in the future.”

Palin, the former Alaskan governor, ended months of speculation when she said in October that she would not seek to unseat President Barack Obama.

John McCain’s vice presidential nominee and favorite of the conservative grassroots Tea Party movement has repeatedly toyed with the idea of running for president. She has even held bus tours and campaign-style rallies attended by a passionate group of supporters who have begged her to run.

The first nominating contest in the 2012 elections will be held on January 3 in Iowa.

(Reporting by Deborah Charles and Steve Holland)

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/palin-says-not-too-consider-presidential-run-214350508.html

Why are they so afraid of Ron Paul? IOWA GOV: IGNORE PAUL WIN

That’s a rhetorical question.  For those that don’t know the answer, well it’s really quite simple, the establishment Republicans are afraid that their free ride will end and we the people will finally see them for the scum they are. 

Will Ron Paul kill the caucuses?

By JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEXANDER BURNS | 12/20/11 4:30 AM EST

SIOUX CITY, IOWA –The alarms are sounding in Iowa.

Conservatives and Republican elites in the state are divided over who to support for the GOP nomination, but they almost uniformly express concern over the prospect that Ron Paul and his army of activist supporters may capture the state’s 2012 nominating contest — an outcome many fear would do irreparable harm to the future role of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

In spin rooms, bar rooms and online forums, the what-to-do-about-Paul conversation has become pervasive as polls show him at or near the top here just weeks before the January 3rd vote.

Paul poses an existential threat to the state’s cherished kick-off status, say these Republicans, because he has little chance to win the GOP nomination and would offer the best evidence yet that the caucuses reward candidates who are unrepresentative of the broader party.

“It would make the caucuses mostly irrelevant if not entirely irrelevant,” said Becky Beach, a longtime Iowa Republican who helped Presidents Bush 41 and Bush 43 here. “It would have a very damaging effect because I don’t think he could be elected president and both Iowa and national Republicans wouldn’t think he represents the will of voters.”

What especially worries Iowa Republican regulars is the possibility that Paul could win here on January 3rd with the help of Democrats and independents who change their registration to support the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman but then don’t support the GOP nominee next November.

“I don’t think any candidate perverting the process in that fashion helps [the caucuses] in any way,” said Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, adding that he didn’t know if that’s necessarily how Paul would win.

While there’s no evidence of an organized effort, public polling shows that Paul’s lead is built in large part with the support of non-Republicans – and few party veterans think such voters would stick with the GOP in November.

“They’ll all go back and vote for Obama,” predicted Beach.

The most troubling eventuality that Iowa Republicans are bracing for is that Paul wins the caucuses only to lose the nomination and run as a third-party candidate in November — all but ensuring President Obama is re-elected.

“If we empower somebody who turns around and elects Obama, then that’s a major problem for the caucuses,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Leading Republicans, looking to put the best possible frame on a Paul victory, are already testing out a message for what they’ll say if the 76-year-old Texas congressman is triumphant.

The short version: Ignore him.

“People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third,” said Gov. Terry Branstad. “If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”

The Paul rise comes at a moment when many Iowa GOP elites are already angst-ridden about their beloved quadrennial franchise. The fretting began four years ago when long-shot Mike Huckabee cruised to an easy caucus win, only to lose the nomination to John McCain, who finished fourth in Iowa after ignoring the state for much of 2007.

The concern has only grown in this election cycle. Romney has kept the state at arms-length for much of this year; Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll only to quickly recede to single-digits in state and national polls, raising questions about the future relevance of what is a fundraising bonanza for the state party.

Further, the decline in the number of candidate events here — and the prominent role debates and cable TV have played in this year’s election — have sparked difficult questions about whether Iowa’s retail-heavy traditions are a thing of the past.

Paul officials note that they’ve embraced the Iowa way. And even establishment Republicans like Branstad concede that the congressman has done it “the old-fashioned way” and enjoys the best organization of any of the candidates.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70674.html#ixzz1h68rjBPB

 

Senator releases list of most egregious waste of taxpayer dollars

I’ve proposed before that all federal grants and gifts be suspended.  I don’t want my tax dollars going to promote the arts, museums, Christmas trees or anything else that should be funded by the private sector thru donations.  

The Federal Govt has hundreds of stupid, useless foundations that we fund that are actual govt agencies. 

The A-Z list of govt agencies are listed here http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All-Agencies/index.shtml do yourself a favor and read the entire list, it will blow your mind.

Dec 20 2011

Dr. Coburn Releases New Report on Wasteful Government Spending in 2011: “Wastebook 2011”

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “Wastebook 2011” that highlights over $6.5 billion in examples of some of the most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted. This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects spread throughout the federal government.

“Video games, robot dragons, Christmas trees, and magic museums. This is not a Christmas wish list, these are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars. Over the past 12 months, politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the federal government’s out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not absolutely need. Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5 billion was added each day in 2011 to our national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Congress cannot even agree on a plan to pay for the costs of extending jobless benefits to the millions of Americans who are still out of work. Yet, thousands of millionaires are receiving unemployment benefits and billions of dollars of improper payments of unemployment insurance are being made to individuals with jobs and others who do not qualify. And remember those infamous bridges to nowhere in Alaska that became symbols of government waste years ago? The bridges were never built, yet the federal government still spent more than a million dollars just this year to pay for staff to promote one of the bridges.”

Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2011” include:

• $75,000 to promote awareness about the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias.

• $15.3 million for one of the infamous Bridges to Nowhere in Alaska.

• $113,227 for video game preservation center in New York.

• $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

• $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.

• $350,000 to support an International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.

• $10 million for a remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan.

• $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.

• $765,828 to subsidize “pancakes for yuppies” in the nation’s capital.

• $764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking.

Read the full report: here

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Permalink: http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/6946d43b-bccf-4579-990e-15a763532b40.html