GOP … Fiscal Plan


By ThinkProgress War Room

TProgress

Ed. Note: Thanks for staying tuned during our hiatus last month. We’re back and eager to cover all of the latest developments on the fiscal showdown and other important issues.***

The GOP’s Warmed Over Fiscal Plan

Last week, the president put out his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, including $1.6 TRILLION in new tax revenues, $1.5 TRILLION in spending cuts that have already been enacted, $400 BILLION in additional targeted spending cuts, and additional measures to stimulate growth, including an extension of emergency unemployment benefits and new investments in infrastructure.

While Republicans have laughed at the president’s plan, said it is not “serious,” and have already fabricated new myths in order to attack it, there’s one thing they haven’t done until today: offer any real alternative.

A prime example of the GOP’s refusal to offer their own credible alternative plan was on display yesterday when Speaker Boehner (R-OH) was pressed on the details of the GOP plan by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Boehner avoided any details and refused to say which tax deductions Republicans could cap or eliminate.

Just a couple hours ago, House Republicans finally offered an alternative: some of the worst of the GOP’s recent budget ideas along with $800 BILLION in new revenues from a tax plan that lowers rates and closes loopholes. And, unlike the new revenue proposed by the president, even this revenue is not locked in. It’s to come as a part of a yet to be determined tax reform plan to be put together by Congress.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It is similar to the plan that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan ran on — and lost. And now Republicans are trying to put it forward as a credible alternative to the policies the president ran on — and won.

Let’s review in brief why this GOP plan does not pass muster:

  • It raises the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and includes deep cuts to both it and the Medicaid program. As we’ve discovered over the past two years, these ideas are both unfair to seniors and the middle class and are also highly unpopular. Raising the Medicare eligibility age is yet another change that simply shifts costs away from the government and onto seniors. In fact, it would actually result in higher overall health care spending.
  • It doesn’t generate enough potential revenue to guarantee that programs that protect the needy, benefit the middle class, and make investments in the future won’t be subject to very deep cuts.
  • It could place tax deductions for the middle class, not just the wealthiest Americans, at risk. This could actually mean lower taxes for the rich and higher taxes for the middle class.
  • It does not seem to address the debt ceiling, affording Republicans yet another opportunity to manufacture a crisis and crash the entire economy unless a fresh set of their demands are met over the next few months.

The Republican proposal states that it is based on a plan put forward last year by Erskine Bowles (not to be confused with a different plan put forward by both Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson). Bowles, however, denied that that was the case today and also noted that “circumstances have changed” since then.

BOTTOM LINE:Any plan that fails to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share and forces seniors and the middle class to shoulder the burden of dealing with our debt is neither balanced nor credible.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

Meet Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s Todd Akin.

Sen. John McCain once offered an assessment of the Benghazi attack nearly identical to what he’s attacking Susan Rice for saying.

Bob Costas was right to talk about gun violence during Sunday Night Football.

Carbon emissions hit a troubling new record high last year.

Fears over Syria’s potential use of chemical weapons mount.

Allen West compares himself to Abraham Lincoln.

Corporate profits hit record high while worker wages hit record low.

Gov. Jan Brewer is shocked that a reporter would even ask about climate change.

CONGRESS: the Republicans led House : the Senate …Dems


capitol30

the Senate Convenes: 10:00amET December 4, 2012

  • Following Leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session with the time until 12:00pm equally divided and controlled between Senators Kerry and Lugar or their designees.

At 12:00pm, the Senate will conduct a roll call vote on the Resolution of Advise and Consent to Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

  • Following the vote, the Senate will recess until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.
  • All time during adjournment, morning business, Executive Session, and recess will count post-cloture on S.3254, the National Defense Authorization Act.

12:06pm The Senate began a roll call vote on adoption of the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

2/3rds of those present and voting not having voted in the affirmative, the resolution is Not Agreed to: 61-38

The following amendments to S.3254, NDAA, have been agreed to by consent:

Kyl #2927, as modified (National Nuclear Security Administration)

Akaka #3019 (state trade and export promotion grant program)

Toomey #3062 (GAO reports)

Brown (OH) #3113, as modified (HUB Zones)

Rubio #3175, as modified (Ticonderoga class cruisers)

Carper #3241 (GAO Mandates Revision Act)

Carper #3242 (Improper payments)

Thune #3277, as modified (SoS spectrum reallocation)

Moran #3285, as modified (conference/convention reports)

Bennet #3226, as modified (troop to teacher program enhancements)

Hatch #3117, as modified (air logistics for system program managers)

 The managers of the bill are working on an agreement to complete action on the Defense bill this afternoon.

4:41pm The Senate began a roll call vote on McCain #3262, as modified (reports on Syria)’Agreed to: 92-6

5:07pm The Senate began a roll call vote on passage of S.3254, National Defense Authorization Act, as amended;Passed: 98-0

The Defense Authorization bill passed the Senate 98-0.

Following the vote, Senator Reid moved to proceed to Calendar #552, H.R.6156, Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.

WRAP UP

ROLL CALL VOTES

1) Adoption of the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; 2/3rds of those present and voting not having voted in the affirmative, the resolution was Not Agreed to: 61-38

2) McCain amendment #3262, as modified (Syria) to S.3254, the National Defense Authorization Act; Agreed to: 92-6

3) Passage of S.3254, as amended; Passed: 98-0

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Discharged the Agriculture Committee and passed S.1947, a bill to prohibit attendance of an animal fighting venture and for other purposes with a Blumenthal amendment by voice vote.

Adopted S.Res.543, a resolution to express the sense of the Senate on international parental child abduction with a committee-reported amendment to the preamble by voice vote.

Completed the rule 14 process of H.R.6429, STEM Jobs Act of 2012. (Republican request)

No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

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Watch Most Recent House Floor Activity

The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on December 4, 2012.

10:00:31 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
10:00:36 A.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Gregg Harper to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
10:01:01 A.M. MORNING-HOUR DEBATE – The House proceeded with Morning-Hour Debate. At the conclusion of Morning-Hour, the House will recess until 12:00 p.m. for the start of legislative business.
10:43:22 A.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. today.
12:00:27 P.M. >The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of December 4.
12:00:47 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Dr. Glen Bohannon, College Acres Baptist Church, Wilmington, North Carolina
12:02:05 P.M. POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – The Chair announced that he had examined the Journal of the last day’s proceedings and had approved it. Mr. Walz demanded that the question be put on agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal and by voice vote, the Chair announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Walz demanded the Yeas and Nays and the Chair announced that further proceedings on the question of agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal would be postponed until later in the legislative day.
12:03:36 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Walz of MN to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
12:03:37 P.M. CALL OF THE PRIVATE CALENDAR – Pursuant to clause 1(a) of rule XIII, the Chair announced that the call of the Private Calendar was in order on this day and would be considered after one minute speeches.
12:05:43 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 15 per side of the aisle.
12:28:41 P.M. H.R. 1857 Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 1857 — “For the relief of Bartosz Kumor.”
12:28:59 P.M. H.R. 1857 On passage Passed without objection.
12:29:03 P.M. H.R. 1857 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:29:04 P.M. H.R. 824 Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 824 — “For the relief of Daniel Wachira.”
12:29:20 P.M. H.R. 824 On passage Passed without objection.
12:29:25 P.M. H.R. 824 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:29:26 P.M. H.R. 823 Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 823 — “For the relief of Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez and J. Refugio Carreno Rojas.”
12:29:41 P.M. H.R. 823 On passage Passed without objection.
12:29:44 P.M. H.R. 823 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:29:45 P.M. H.R. 794 Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 794 — “For the relief of Allan Bolor Kelley.”
12:30:00 P.M. H.R. 794 On passage Passed without objection.
12:30:02 P.M. H.R. 794 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:30:04 P.M. H.R. 357 Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 357 — “For the relief of Corina de Chalup Turcinovic.”
12:30:18 P.M. H.R. 357 On passage Passed without objection.
12:30:19 P.M. H.R. 357 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:30:31 P.M. H.R. 316 <ACTION_DESCRIPTION>Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 316 — “For the relief of Esther Karinge.”
12:30:35 P.M. H.R. 316 On passage Passed without objection.
12:30:36 P.M. H.R. 316 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:30:38 P.M. S. 285 Called up from the Private Calendar for consideration.
12:31:04 P.M. S. 285 By request of Mr. Smith (TX) the House passed over the measure without prejudice.
12:31:23 P.M. The Speaker announced that votes on suspensions, if ordered, will be postponed until a time to be announced.
12:31:31 P.M. H.R. 6582 Mr. Whitfield moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 6582 — “To allow for innovations and alternative technologies that meet or exceed desired energy efficiency goals, and to make technical corrections to existing Federal energy efficiency laws to allow American manufacturers to remain competitive.”
12:32:08 P.M. H.R. 6582 Considered under suspension of the rules.
12:32:11 P.M. H.R. 6582 DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 6582.
1:04:35 P.M. H.R. 6582 At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
1:04:50 P.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for approximately 1:45 p.m. today.

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