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.***
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:
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.
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.
the Senate Convenes: 10:00amET December 4, 2012
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.
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.
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
3) Passage of S.3254, as amended; Passed: 98-0
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
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.|
|1:45:33 P.M.||The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of December 4.|
|1:45:34 P.M.||UNFINISHED BUSINESS – The Chair announced that the unfinished business was the question on adoption of a motion to suspend the rules and on the question of agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal, both of which had been postponed from earlier in the day.|
|1:46:08 P.M.||H.R. 6582||Considered as unfinished business. 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.”|
|2:11:42 P.M.||H.R. 6582||On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 398 – 2, 1 Present (Roll no. 614).|
|2:11:43 P.M.||H.R. 6582||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|2:18:18 P.M.||On approving the Journal Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 290 – 106, 2 Present (Roll no. 615).|
|2:18:26 P.M.||>Mr. Ellison moved that the House do now adjourn.|
|2:34:45 P.M.||On motion to adjourn Failed by recorded vote: 3 – 393 (Roll no. 616).|
|2:35:13 P.M.||Mr. McHenry asked unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 9:00 a.m. on December 5. Agreed to without objection.|
|2:36:10 P.M.||ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.|
|2:39:47 P.M.||>SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.|
|4:45:06 P.M.||Mr. Gohmert moved that the House do now adjourn.|
|4:45:13 P.M.||On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.|
|4:45:14 P.M.||The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on December 5, 2012.|