the Senate ~~ CONGRESS ~~ the House


The Senate stands adjourned until 2:00pm on Monday, February 8, 2016.

Following any leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00pm with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

At 5:00pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination of Executive Calendar #360, Rebecca Ebinger, to be US District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa. There will be 30 minutes for debate followed by a roll call vote on confirmation of the nomination.

Monday at 5:30pm – 1 roll call vote

  1. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #360, Rebecca Ebinger, to be US District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa.


House Floor Activities
Legislative Day of February 04, 2016

0:00:39 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
10:00:44 A.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Alexander X. Mooney to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
10:00:51 A.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
10:02:13 A.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
10:02:16 A.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Ms. Stefanik to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
10:02:33 A.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 5 per side of the aisle.
10:12:24 A.M. The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on February 4, 2016 at 9:06 a.m.: That the Senate passed H.R. 907, with an amendment and H.R. 3033, with an amendment.
10:13:03 A.M. H.R. 766 Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 595. H.R. 766 — “To provide requirements for the appropriate Federal banking agencies when requesting or ordering a depository institution to terminate a specific customer account, to provide for additional requirements related to subpoenas issued under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, and for other purposes.”
10:13:08 A.M. H.R. 766 Resolution provides for consideration of H.R. 1675 and H.R. 766.
10:13:39 A.M. H.R. 766 House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union pursuant to H. Res. 595 and Rule XVIII.
10:13:40 A.M. H.R. 766 The Speaker designated the Honorable Alexander X. Mooney to act as Chairman of the Committee.
10:13:47 A.M. H.R. 766 GENERAL DEBATE – The Committee of the Whole proceeded with one hour of general debate on H.R. 766.
11:21:54 A.M. H.R. 766 An amendment, offered by Mr. Sherman, numbered 1 printed in Part B of House Report 114-414 to clarify that bill does not prevent federal banking regulators from requesting or requiring a financial institution to terminate a relationship with a customer because (1) the customer poses a threat to national security, (2) is engaged in terrorist financing, (3) is doing business with Iran, North Korea, Syria, or another State Sponsor of Terrorism, or (4) is doing business with an entity in any of those countries.
11:22:13 A.M. H.R. 766 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 595, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Sherman amendment No. 1.
11:28:26 A.M. H.R. 766 On agreeing to the Sherman amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
11:28:56 A.M. H.R. 766 An amendment, offered by Mr. Gosar, numbered 2 printed in Part B of House Report 114-414 to require notice to banking customers if a customer account is terminated at the direction of federal banking regulators
11:29:15 A.M. H.R. 766 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 595, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Gosar amendment No. 2.
11:38:17 A.M. H.R. 766 On agreeing to the Gosar amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
11:38:26 A.M. H.R. 766 The House rose from the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to report H.R. 766.
11:38:56 A.M. H.R. 766 The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
11:39:56 A.M. H.R. 766 Ms. Castor (FL) moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Financial Services.
11:40:11 A.M. H.R. 766 DEBATE – The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Castor (FL) motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to add at the end of the bill the following to ensure financial institutions must prove to federal banking regulatory agencies that in the preceding 5 years they have not been subjected to a consent order, settlement, deferred prosecution agreement, or civil or criminal penalty for unfair or deceptive acts and practices relating to the sale of a mortgage product.
11:50:11 A.M. H.R. 766 The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.
12:08:56 P.M. H.R. 766 On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 177 – 240 (Roll no. 62).
12:10:04 P.M. H.R. 766 MOMENT OF SILENCE – The House observed a moment of silence in memory of 12 Marines who lost their lives in a January 14 training accident in Hawaii.
12:17:50 P.M. H.R. 766 On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 250 – 169 (Roll no. 63).
12:17:50 P.M. H.R. 766 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:17:51 P.M. The House received a communication from the Honorable Bill Johnson. Mr. Johnson (OH) submitted his resignation from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. The resignation was accepted without objection.
12:17:51 P.M. The House received a communication from the Honorable Mike Bost. Mr. Bost submitted his resignation from the Committee on Small Business. The resignation was accepted without objection.
12:17:51 P.M. The House received a communication from the Honorable Marsha Blackburn. Mrs. Blackburn submitted her resignation from the Committee on the Budget. The resignation was accepted without objection.
12:20:09 P.M. H. Res. 602 Considered as privileged matter. H. Res. 602 — “Electing certain Members to standing committees of the House of Representatives.”
12:20:31 P.M. H. Res. 602 On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to without objection.
12:20:39 P.M. H. Res. 602 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:20:52 P.M. H. Res. 603 Considered as privileged matter. H. Res. 603 — “Ranking Members of a certain standing committee of the House of Representatives.”
12:21:07 P.M. H. Res. 603 On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to without objection.
12:21:12 P.M. H. Res. 603 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:21:35 P.M. H.R. 3033 Mr. Smith (TX) asked unanimous consent that the House agree to the Senate amendment.
12:21:56 P.M. H.R. 3033 On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to without objection.
12:21:57 P.M. H.R. 3033 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:24:02 P.M. COLLOQUY ON HOUSE SCHEDULE – The Chair recognized Mr. Hoyer for the purpose of engaging the Majority Leader in a colloquy on the legislative schedule for the House during the upcoming week.
12:45:15 P.M. Mr. McCarthy asked unanimous consent That when the House adjourns on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, it adjourn to meet at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 and that the order of the House of Jan. 5, 2016, regarding Morning-Hour Debate not apply on that day. Agreed to without objection.
12:45:16 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.
12:54:13 P.M. Mr. LaMalfa moved that the House do now adjourn.
12:54:22 P.M. On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
12:54:23 P.M. The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on February 8, 2016.

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Biography

Civil Rights Activist, Minister (1929–1968)Martin Luther King Jr.

 Martin Luther King – Mini Biography (TV-14; 04:39) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is widely considered the most influential leader of the American civil rights movement. He fought to overturn Jim Crow segregation laws and eliminate social and economic differences between blacks and whites.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream.”


Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist, who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.


John Kasich is far from Moderate

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An Extremist in Moderate Clothing

Feb 12, 2016 | By

On Issues From Women’s Health To Education, John Kasich Is Far From Moderate

We are one caucus, one primary, and eight GOP presidential debates into the primary season, and it seems like it could be anyone’s race. After a second place finish in the New Hampshire Primary, Ohio Governor John Kasich is gaining traction as a possible “moderate” alternative to the demagoguery of Donald Trump and extremism of Sen. Ted Cruz. Sen. Rubio’s debate glitch last week also helped Kasich’s case for being a more electable moderate choice for the Party establishment. It is true that Kasich, like Rubio, is less extreme than Trump and Cruz. But being less extreme than the two frontrunners does not make Kasich moderate. A look at his policies show that Kasich is just as extreme and out of touch as most of the GOP field. Here are just a few examples proving John Kasich is far from moderate:

  • His economic plan favors the wealthy at the expense of working and middle class families. In October, Kasich released his five-point “action plan” for “reclaiming our power, money, and influence from Washington,” which proposes a number of spending and tax cuts. Kasich wants to freeze non-defense discretionary spending for 8 years. Non-defense discretionary funding supports a wide variety of programs including medical care for veterans, disaster prevention and relief, support for K-12 education for low-income students and students with disabilities, job training, Pell Grants, housing and food assistance, and many more. And due to inflation and population growth, freezing spending effectively cuts funding for programs that provide opportunity and economic security for working families. Additionally, Kasich’s five-point plan provides tax giveaways to the wealthy, just like the rest of the GOP tax plans.
  • Kasich has repeatedly undermined support for women’s health in Ohio. Right after Kasich’s big second-place “win” in New Hampshire, the Ohio state legislature voted to cut off $1.3 million in public health grants for Planned Parenthood. Kasich has announced he will sign that bill into law, with his spokesman calling it a “fiscally responsible move.” The reduction in funding means Planned Parenthood clinics in Ohio have less funding for health screenings and prenatal care, which is particularly troubling for Ohio, a state that already has a high infant mortality rate among African Americans. Kasich has also signed every single anti-choice bill that has come across his desk, including restrictive anti-choice bills that led to the closing of half of Ohio’s abortion clinics.
  • Kasich undermines unions in Ohio. Kasich strongly supported a bill in Ohio that would have curbed collective bargaining rights for public sector employees in Ohio. The bill would have prohibited 350,000 workers—including firemen, police officers, and teachers—from bargaining for better pensions or health care benefits. Kasich signed this bill into law, but the bill was defeated in a state-wide referendum. And while Kasich spent time going after unions, Ohio’s families continue to feel squeezed by rising costs and stagnating wages.

In addition, Kasich has cut funding for public education in Ohio,opposed the auto rescue that was vital to saving and creating jobs in Ohio, supported fracking, and plans to block grant Medicaid if President, effectively slashing funding for health care for low-income people. He also wants to create a federal agency to promote “Judeo-Christian Western values.” And, even though he claims credit for expanding Medicaid in Ohio, Kasich has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would eliminate that Medicaid expansion.

BOTTOM LINE: No matter how many times Gov. Kasich calls himself a moderate, the reality is he is just as extreme as his competitors in the GOP primary. His policies work for the wealthy at the expense of working class families, undermine women’s health, and weaken unions and workers’ rights.

Donald Trump … Él no es tu amigo

Ted Cruz says we need 100 more Jesse Helms? a repost

wiki says , Jesse Helms was a “master obstructionist” who relished his nickname, “Senator No“.[7] He opposed, at various times, civil rights, disability rights, feminism, gay rights, affirmative action, abortion, and government support for contemporary art with graphic sexuality.[8] Helms brought an “aggressiveness”[9] to his conservatism, as in his rhetoric against homosexuality, and employed racially charged language in his campaigns and editorials.[10] He combined cultural, social and economic conservatism which often helped his legislation win overwhelming support. The Almanac of American Politics once wrote that “no American politician is more controversial, beloved in some quarters and hated in others, than Jesse Helms”.[11]

Jeb’s New Tax Plan: Another Bush Family Favor To The Wealthy Few


New Analysis Of Jeb’s Tax Plan Details Massive Tax Giveaways To Wealthiest Americans

Yesterday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush released a tax plan that he pledged would “unleash 4% growth.” Bush took pains to emphasize that his plan would benefit working families, much like many of his opponents for the Republican nomination. But a new Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis has crunched the numbers, and despite Bush’s rhetoric, the reality is that his new tax plan is a huge giveaway to the country’s wealthiest at the expense of everyone else.

The facts are that Bush’s tax plan:

1. Cuts the Top Tax Rates for the Wealthy Few: Under the Bush plan, the top tax rate would be capped at 28 percent, or a nearly one-third drop from the 39.6 percent top rate in the law now. Cutting top tax rates would mean a huge tax windfall for the wealthiest taxpayers—and could exacerbate rising economic inequality while doing nothing to spur economic growth. The analysis supporting Bush’s plan obscures this massive giveaway for high incomes by only looking at the tax plan’s impact on people earning up to $250,000.

2. Slashes the Corporate Tax Rate and Other Corporate Taxes: The Bush tax plan also proposes dropping the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from the current rate of 35 percent. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the top 20 percent of income earners effectively pay almost four-fifths of the country’s corporate taxes, while the bottom 80 percent of households pays just 21.4 percent. Nearly half of the corporate tax burden—48.7 percent—falls on the top 1 of households alone. No surprise here: corporate ownership is concentrated among high-income households, so cutting taxes on corporations would be a very large giveaway to the wealthy.

3. Lowers Tax Rates on Capital Gains and Dividends: Bush is also pitching to lower the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends, from 23.8 percent to 20 percent. Income from capital gains and dividends goes overwhelmingly to the wealthy. CAP has previously shown that a lower tax rate on dividends and capital gains is one of the ways the U.S. tax code helps those who are wealthy enough to own capital accumulate even more wealth, worsening income inequality. Jeb’s tax plan would go even farther.

The problems with the tax plan don’t end there. All these tax cuts for the rich will be costly. Even the four conservative economists who wrote a white paper defending the Bush plan say so. They say the plan will add $1.2 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years, using a vague model that presupposes significant economic growth resulting from the plan. When using a more traditional way of evaluating the plan, these same conservative economists say it would cost an astounding $3.4 trillion— that is about $45,946 per child under 18 in the United States.

Additionally, the tax plan’s supporters have vastly inflated claims of the economic growth it would create. We know from Jeb’s brother George W. that substantial tax cuts, combined with slashed regulations as Jeb has also promised but not specified yet, do not result in the booming economy we are promised. This tired rationale for selling tax cuts should not be used again after it has been consistently debunked. But it’s what we are getting from Jeb’s economic advisors, two of which were also advisors to his brother.

We aren’t alone in exposing Jeb’s tax plan for what it is. The New York Times calls the plan a “large tax cut for the wealthiest” and estimates that taxpayers who earned over $10 million dollars in 2013 would have saved an average of $1.5 million with this tax plan in place.

BOTTOM LINE: Though Jeb Bush and his Super PAC have boasted the theme of a “right to rise” as a central campaign message, his tax plan proves that his policy priorities are squarely focused on improving the fortunes of the country’s wealthiest—even though everyone else will be left with the bill. We’ve seen how much that fails most Americans, and how it fails our economy overall. We need policies that help working families by growing the economy from the middle-out, not the top down.

The Right to Vote and LBJ … a repost


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Defending And Expanding The Right To Vote

This week marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Obama, along with former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, traveled to the LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Texas to pay tribute to the historic legislation and the man who spearheaded its passage.

In celebrating the milestone, however, both Obama and Clinton also took the opportunity to bring up another critical piece of LBJ’s civil rights legacy currently under attack for the first time in decades: the Voting Rights Act. Last year the Supreme Court gutted the law by deciding that discrimination is no longer rampant enough in Southern states to warrant extra scrutiny. And since then, several of these states, along with GOP-led swing states, have made a concerted effort to suppress the vote under the guise of combating the virtually non-existent problem of voter fraud. (A new rule in Miami-Dade county prohibits voters from using the bathroom, no matter how long the line is.)

Obama, in stirring remarks during which he credits LBJ’s accomplishments as a big part of “why I’m standing here today,” lauded President Johnson’s persistence to pursue voting rights after the Civil Rights Act was passed:

And he didn’t stop there, even though his advisers again told him to wait, again told him, let the dust settle; let the country absorb this momentous decision. He shook them off. The meat in the coconut, as President Johnson would put it, was the Voting Rights Act. So he fought for and passed that as well.

Clinton, meanwhile, took more direct approach. Speaking about the impacts of Texas’s new strict voter ID law, he said:

Here in Texas, the concealed carry permit counts [as a voter ID], but there’s one photo ID that doesn’t count: one from a Texas institution of higher education. This is a way of restricting the franchise after 50 years of expanding it. …Anytime you erect a barrier to political participation that disenfranchises people based on their income or race, it undermines the spirit of the Civil Rights Act.

These comments come as progressives organize to fight back against these repressive laws. States across the country are working to pass laws that don’t suppress the vote, but make it more accessible for every American:


And some of the Democratic party’s biggest names are putting a spotlight on the issue: Vice President Joe Biden recorded a video urging supporters to get involved. Bill and Hillary Clinton are “fired up.” And President Obama recently called efforts to prevent people from voting “un-American.”

BOTTOM LINE: After being arrested for leading a protest to pass the Voting Rights Act, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from a Selma, Alabama jail cell that voting is the “foundation stone for political action.” Today, that basic right is being threatened again. Defending the right to vote shouldn’t have to be a partisan issue; everybody should be able to agree to make voting more accessible for all.

politics, pop culture, petitions & pollution


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