the Senate CONGRESS 10/2 the House

fixgunchecksThe Senate stands adjourned until 4:00pm on Monday, October 5, 2015.

Following Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00pm.

At 5:00pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination of Dale Drozd, of California, to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of California. There will be 30 minutes for debate, equally divided, prior to a roll call vote on confirmation of the nomination.

As a reminder, during today’s session Senator McConnell filed cloture on the conference report to accompany H.R.1735, NDAA. The cloture vote is expected to occur on Tuesday.


House Floor Activities
Legislative Day of October 02, 2015

Last Floor Action:
1:04:58 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on October 5, 2015.

1:00:01 P.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
1:00:17 P.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Mac Thornberry to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
1:00:33 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Cara Spaccarelli, Christ Church, Washington, DC.
1:01:33 P.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
1:01:42 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
1:02:32 P.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 or Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on October 1, 2015 at 5:11 p.m.: That the Senate passed without amendment H.R. 1624.
1:03:33 P.M. COMMISSION ON CARE – Pursuant to section 202(a) of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146), the Minority Leader appointed Ms. Charlene Taylor, Elk Grove, California.
1:03:34 P.M. Without objection, the Chair announced that when the House adjourns on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, it adjourn to meet at 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, and the order of the House of Jan. 6, 2015, regarding morning-hour debate shall not apply on that day.
1:04:58 P.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on October 5, 2015.


Thank Governor Bullock for Medicaid Expansion!

Wordpressmo-medicaid-whiteRight now, 70,000 Montanans are caught between not qualifying for Medicaid and being unable to afford health insurance on their own.

Governor Bullock has just signed a bipartisan bill that would close this gap and ensure all Montanans have access to quality health care.

SIGN YOUR NAME: Thank Governor Bullock for expanding Medicaid!

Donald Trump: (Full Interview) | NBC News

Donald Trump … Él no es tu amigo

Trump’s Tax Plan: The Best, Most Luxurious Tax Plan For Those Already Living In Luxury


Donald Trump Releases His Tax Plan, A ‘Uge Tax Cut For The Wealthiest Few

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump released his tax plan today and—shocking no one familiar with American politics—analysis by the Center For American Progress Action Fund shows the plan would be another ‘uge windfall for the wealthiest few. In fact, Trump’s family stands to gain more from his plan than almost anyone, with the elimination of the estate tax giving the Trump family a tax cut of up to $3.48 billion, and the dramatic cut to the corporate tax rate also benefitting the family.

The “losers” under Trump’s plan will be anyone that relies on Medicare, Medicaid, or investment in things like infrastructure, education or job training—in other words middle class families. Like Jeb! Bush before him, Trump makes the tired argument that his tax plan is focused on the middle class, when in fact it is a big, beautiful tax cut for the wealthy. Here are three ways the plan favors the wealthy few at the expense of the middle class:

A simply tremendous gift to his kids. Among the biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s pitch to eliminate the estate tax? The Trumps themselves. The estate tax only applies to estates worth $5.43 million, and only two out of every one thousand estates pay any estate tax at all.

  • Eliminating the current 40% estate tax could mean that Trump’s kids could stand to save as much as $3.48 billion in estate taxes—given Trump’s claimed net worth of $8.7 billion.
  • Because it is easy for wealthy people to use loopholes to lower their estate tax bills, using a more cautious estimate that assumes Trump pays near the average estate tax rate of 18.8 percent, Trump’s plan would result in giving his kids $1.64 billion.

The best, most luxurious tax plan for those living in luxury. Trump’s tax plan would slash corporate, individual income, and capital gains and dividends tax rates—three moves that give bigger boosts to the nation’s richest.

  • The top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 78.6 percent of the country’s corporate taxes—meaning a tax cut on corporate income would be a huge boost for them, but do little to nothing for the other 80 percent.
  • Trump would cut the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent—even lower than Jeb Bush’s proposed top individual rate of 28 percent. An analysis by the Center for Tax Justice predicts that the top one percent of Americans would see an average break of $184,000 a year under Trump’s plan, compared to an average annual cut of only $250 for the bottom 20 percent.
  • Trump’s plan to cut tax rates on income from capital gains and dividends is yet another gift to the nation’s wealthiest people. The 400 richest taxpayers alone received 12 percent of all capital gains income and 8 percent of all dividend income. As shown in a recent Center for American Progress report, a lower tax rate on dividends and capital gains is one of the ways the U.S. tax code worsens inequality by helping those who are wealthy enough to own capital accumulate even more wealth.
  • Even the hedge fund managers who Trump says are “getting away with murder” might get a tax cut on their carried interest. Trump claims to close this loophole, but if investment funds pay taxes as businesses their tax rate on carried interests would fall from 23.8% to 15%. And even if Trump requires hedge funds to pay taxes using his individual rates, taxes on carried interest would only go up from 23.8% to 25%. Not to mention the fact that Trump would still give hedge fund managers huge tax cuts on the rest of their income.

A ‘uge increase to the deficit. Trump claims that his plan “doesn’t add to our debt and deficit,” but any reasoned analysis of the plan suggests that it would be extremely costly. The plan jeopardizes programs that working and middle class families depend on for economic security, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

  • The Center for Tax Justice estimates that Trump’s plan would cost $10 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • Though the plans vary in some ways, Bush’s and Trump’s plans pledge to make some very similar tax cuts, which would inevitably force budget cuts from crucial programs. And even the team of advisors Bush recruited to support his plan say that it would cost $3.4 trillion over the next ten years.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite Trump’s populist rhetoric, his tax plan would only be the best, most luxurious tax plan for those already living in luxury. It gives his own family a potential $3.48 billion tax cut, jeopardizing programs that middle class families depend on for economic security along the way.

Five Things Ben Carson Doesn’t Get

Terrance Heath

Two more candidates joined the race for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday. Of the two, retired brain surgeon Ben Carson is the one likely to have the most impact. That makes it frightening how much Carson just doesn’t get.

Carson went back to his roots to announce his candidacy for the nomination. On an auditorium stage in Detroit — his estranged hometown — he recounted his troubled, poverty-stricken childhood and then launched into a speech that revealed just how much he doesn’t get, for a guy who wants to be president.

What Ben Carson Doesn’t Get About The Safety Net

Carson’s humble upbringing is an important part of his narrative. His rise to becoming one of the top neurosurgeons in the country and a best-selling author is impressive because it starts in the poverty-stricken streets of Detroit and a fatherless home headed by a single mother with little education. Carson attempted to preemptively rebut those who would point out that his childhood experience of poverty doesn’t seem to inform his political positions.

There were many people who were critical of me, because they say Ben Carson wants to get rid of all the safety nets and welfare programs, even though he must have benefitted from them. I have no desire to get rid of safety net programs for people who need them. I have a strong desire to get rid of programs that create dependency in able-bodied people.

This is a blatant lie. Carson pointed out that his mother worked “extraordinarily hard,” often at two or three jobs, “trying to stay off welfare. And the reason for that,” Carson said, “was that she noticed that most of the people she saw on welfare never came off of it.” Carson either forgot or neglected to mention that his mother turned to the welfare system to meet family needs her earnings could not.

In his book “Gifted Hands,” Carson writes that his grades improved after he got free eyeglasses from a government program:

By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps. She couldn’t have provided for us and kept up the house without that subsidy.

What Carson doesn’t get about the safety net is that there are plenty of “able-bodied” people who receive some form of government assistance, and it doesn’t make them any more “dependent” than it made his mother. There are plenty of people who work “extraordinarily hard,” who have to rely on the safety net — not because they’re “dependent,” but because they don’t earn enough to afford essentials like shelter, food, medical care and transportation without assistance.

If Carson is really concerned about “dependency,” he should take on the $70 billion per year we spend subsidizing the oil industry, or the $20 billion a year we spend on farm subsidies, before taking assistance away from families who are where he used to be.

What Ben Carson Doesn’t Get About The “Turmoil In Our Cities”

Carson alluded to the unrest in Baltimore; Ferguson, Mo., and other cities where unarmed black men have been killed by police.

The past couple of weeks, there has been a great deal of turmoil in Baltimore. I spent 36 years of my life there, and we see the turmoil in cities all over our nation. We need to start thinking about how do we get to the bottom of this issue. I believe the real issue here is that people are losing hope, and they don’t feel life is going to be good for them no matter what happens. When an opportunity comes to loot, to riot, to get mine, they take it — not believing that there is a much better way to get the things that they desire.

What Carson doesn’t get about “turmoil in our cities,” is that in cities like Ferguson, Baltimore, and Detroit, people lose hope because their isn’t much of any way to get the things, or the life, they desire. That’s because jobs have disappeared from these cities, in large part due to economic policies and trade deals that made it easier for businesses and corporations to ship jobs overseas, where labor was cheap and unorganized, and environmental protections were few or non-existent.

In cities like Detroit and Baltimore, the loss of manufacturing jobs hit black communities the hardest — and black men in particular — because they were disproportionately represented in those jobs. Those jobs didn’t require a college education, but provided good wages and benefits that lifted many families into the middle class.

Not only are those jobs gone, but they have been replaced by low-wage jobs that provide no pathway to the middle class. That’s unlikely to change as long as we subsidize businesses and corporations that don’t pay their employees a livable wage.

What Ben Carson Doesn’t Get About Health Care

He didn’t dwell on it in his announcement speech, but Carson is so opposed to the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare, that he’s compared it to both slavery and 9/11.

● In a speech at the 2013 Values Voter conference, Carson said: “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”

● Later, in an interview with the Daily Beast, Carson said that Obamacare was the worst thing to happen to the U.S. since the 9/11 terrorist attacks: “Because 9/11 is an isolated incident. Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift. You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America.”

● The health care plan on Carson’s website is about as sparse and vague as the GOP plans for Obamacare “replacements.” Beyond re-establishing “a strong and direct relationship between patients and their physicians,” the only idea he has is an old one: health savings accounts, which by definition favor the well and wealthy. Republicans have been pushing health savings accounts since 2006.

What Carson doesn’t get about Obamacare is that, despite its imperfections, the health care reform law is popular with the majority of Americans. A recent Bloomberg poll showed that 63 percent of Americans think the law should be left alone, or allowed to work in order to find out how it should be changed. Only about 35 percent want Obamacare repealed, and most of them are people the who aren’t impacted by the law.

That’s because it lowered the number of uninsured Americans, and increased the number of Americans with access to care without increasing spending on medical care. In fact, it’s coming in 20 percent under projected costs. The number of uninsured has fallen by more than 11 million since the law’s passage, and is now at a seven-year low. More than 16 million Americans now have affordable, quality health insurance thanks to Obamacare — including presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who once swore to repeal “every word it.”

What Ben Carson Doesn’t Get About Climate Change

For a man of science, Ben Carson doesn’t get what the big deal is about climate change. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that we have an obligation and a responsibility to protect our environment,” he said in an interview in Des Moines, Iowa. “You can ask it several different ways, but my answer is going to be the same. We may be warming. We may be cooling.”

What Carson doesn’t get about climate change is what the GOP doesn’t get. Not only is there a consensus in the scientific community, but (as with the next issue) Americans have moved past the GOP on this issue. A Yale/Utah State University poll showed that 63 percent of Americans think climate change is happening, along with 99 percent of the counties in the country.

What Ben Carson Doesn’t Get About Marriage Equality

Despite the issue currently being before the Supreme Court, Ben Carson didn’t mention marriage in his announcement speech. Perhaps he finally learned his lesson. Carson managed of the biggest gaffes so far this campaign season when he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo how he knew that being gay is a “choice.”

Ben Carson, the prospective 2016 presidential hopeful beloved by Tea Partiers, told CNN host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday that he believes homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice—because “a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight, and when they come out, they’re gay.”

The former neurosurgeon went on, “So did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”

While the rest of the country cringed, the scientific community called Carson out, noting that decades of research shows that sexual orientation is inborn, not chosen. (Something so obvious that even Florida Sen. Marco Rubio can grasp it, or at least pretend to.)

After becoming the focus of near universal ridicule, Carson decided that he just wouldn’t talk about the issue anymore. What Carson doesn’t get about marriage equality is that he won’t get away with that on the campaign trail. The GOP base is light years behind the rest of the country, and they will demand that he says something about it, especially when the court’s decision is announced this summer.

politics, pop culture, petitions & pollution


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,543 other followers

%d bloggers like this: