Another Self-Inflicted Wound to the Economy?


By ThinkProgress War Room

GOP to Blame for Latest Manufactured Crisis

The country is bearing down on March 1, the day that deep, damaging across-the-board spending cuts — known as the “the sequester” in Beltway parlance — start to kick in.

If Republicans hadn’t taken the entire economy — the full faith and credit of the United States — hostage in 2011, there would not be a sequester. Period. End of story. What’s more, an overwhelming majority of Republicans in the House and the Senate voted in favor of the cuts. At the time, Speaker Boehner said he’d gotten 98 percent of what he wanted in the deal that wrote the cuts into law.

In the year and a half since Republicans demanded — and received — the cuts, they have rebuffed every effort to substitute something else smarter, more balanced and less damaging to the economy in their place . The president repeatedly offered significant spending cuts and changes to social insurance programs, including Medicare and Social Security, as part of balanced plan that also included new revenues, but Republicans always said no in order to protect millionaires and special interests from having to pay their fair share in taxes.

Just months ago, Mitt Romney and Speaker Boehner actively advocated for closing tax loopholes and eliminating giveaways in the tax code. But now Republicans are saying no in order to protect the wealthy and special interests like Big Oil and Wall Street. They say they now prefer spending cuts that stand to kill several hundred thousand jobs and could potentially drag the economy back into recession to raising even a penny more in new revenue. Just months ago, leading Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan said these cuts would “devastate” the country, but now they appear to be fine with them.

Here’s a few examples of what the choices we face actually mean — and which side Republicans are coming down on:

  • Republicans will let the wealthiest Americans keep special tax breaks instead of funding our military.
  • Republicans will kick 70,000 kids off Head Start and fire 10,000 teachers instead of ending giveaways to Big Oil.
  • Republicans want to cut 1,000 FBI agents and aid to thousands of schools instead of ending loopholes that allow people like Mitt Romney to pay a lower tax rate than middle class workers.
  • Republicans will cut thousands of food safety inspectors, which could shut down the entire meat industry, instead of eliminating giveaways for corporate jets and special tax breaks for horse breeders in Kentucky (the home state of Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell).
  • Republicans want to cut unemployment benefits and loans to small businesses rather than end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

We need to reduce our deficit, but we should do it in a balanced, targeted way instead of with blunt, across-the-board cuts that will harm the economy. Instead of governing, the GOP is only interested in gimmicks and games. As the President said again last week, we have got to stop governing by crisis. Our economy cannot afford to play the GOP’s games any longer.

BOTTOM LINE: Once again we find ourselves facing yet another crisis manufactured by the GOP. It’s time for the GOP to choose sides: the middle class and the military or millionaires and special interests.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

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Budget and Economic Outlook


cbologoTestimony on the Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023

 

Testimony before the Committee on the Budget, United States Senate

This statement summarizes CBO’s new economic forecast and baseline budget projections, which cover fiscal years 2013 to 2023. Those estimates were released last week in the report titled The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023.

CONGRESS: the House :::::::: the Senate


capitol30

the Senate Convenes: 10:00amET February 12,2013

  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.47, the Violence Against Women Act with the time until 11:00am equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees.
  • At 11:00am, there will be up to 6 roll call votes in relation to the following in the following order:
  • The Senate will recess following disposition of S.47 until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. 
  • The State of the Union will be Tuesday evening. Senators will gather at 8:20pm in the Senate Chamber to proceed together.

The previously scheduled series of votes will now begin at 11:30am. Upon disposition of the Coburn amendment #15, the Senate will recess until 2:15pm for the weekly caucus meetings. At 2:15pm, the Senate will resume the voting sequence. All votes after the vote on the Leahy amendment will be 10 minutes in duration, including the two votes at 2:15pm. The Leahy amendment #21 was modified. Text of the modification and a summary of the amendment, as modified, is attached to this email.

11:30am:

– Leahy amendment #21, as modified (human trafficking);

– Portman amendment #10 (sex trafficking);

– Murkowski amendment #11 (tribal protections);

– Coburn amendment #15 (consolidate DOJ rape programs);

Recess until 2:15 for caucus meetings

2:15pm:

– Coburn amendment #16 (notice to victims);

– Passage of S.47, VAWA, as amended, if amended.

11:30am The Senate began a roll call vote on the Leahy amendment #21, as modified (human trafficking) to S.47, the Violence Against Women Act; Agreed to: 93-5

11:59am The Senate began a roll call vote on the Portman amendment #10 (sex trafficking); Agreed to: 100-0

12:19pm The Senate began a roll call vote on the Coburn amendment #15 (consolidate DOJ programs); Not Agreed: 46-53

2:19pm The Senate began a roll call vote on the Coburn amendment #16 (STD testing for sexual assault defendants)

2:39pm The Senate began a roll call vote on passage of S.47, the Violence Against Women Act

2:39pm The Senate began a roll call vote on passage of S.47, the Violence Against Women Act;

Passed: 78-22

WRAP UP

ROLL CALL VOTES

1) Leahy amendment #21, as modified (trafficking victims) to S.47, the Violence Against Women Act; Agreed to: 93-5

2) Portman amendment #10 (sex trafficking victims); Agreed to: 100-0

3) Coburn amendment #15 (consolidate DOJ programs); Not Agreed to: 46-53

4) Coburn amendment #16 (STD testing for sexual assault defendants); Not Agreed to: 43-57

5) Passage of S.47, VAWA; Passed: 78-22

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Adopted S.Res.29, to constitute the majority party’s membership on certain committees for the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, or until their successors are chosen.

No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

————————————————————————

Senate panel approves Hagel for Pentagon chief

14 – 11 … goes to full Senate vote

————————————————————————

Last Floor Action:
2:41:26 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 8:35 P.M. today at which time the House will meet in Joint Session with the Senate to receive a communication from the President of the United States.

 The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on February 12, 2013.

12:00:40 P.M.   The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
12:01:23 P.M.   MORNING-HOUR DEBATE – The House proceeded with Morning-Hour Debate. At the conclusion of Morning-Hour, the House will recess until 2:00 p.m. for the start of legislative business.
12:35:51 P.M.   The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 P.M. today.
2:00:52 P.M.   The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of February 12.
2:01:02 P.M.   Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
2:02:08 P.M.   The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
2:02:11 P.M.   PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Kinzinger of IL to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2:02:33 P.M.   ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches.
2:18:09 P.M.   The Speaker announced that votes on suspensions, if ordered, will be postponed until later in the legislative week.
2:19:06 P.M. H.R. 267 Mr. Whitfield moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill. H.R. 267 — “To improve hydropower, and for other purposes.”
2:19:18 P.M. H.R. 267 Considered under suspension of the rules.
2:19:23 P.M. H.R. 267 DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 267.
2:24:58 P.M. H.R. 267 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.
2:25:05 P.M. H.R. 316 Mr. Whitfield moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill. H.R. 316 — “To reinstate and transfer certain hydroelectric licenses and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of certain hydroelectric projects.”
2:25:22 P.M. H.R. 316 Considered under suspension of the rules.
2:25:24 P.M. H.R. 316 DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 316.
2:32:25 P.M. H.R. 316 On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.
2:32:28 P.M. H.R. 316 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
2:32:32 P.M. H.R. 235 Mr. Whitfield moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill. H.R. 235 — “To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide grants to States to streamline State requirements and procedures for veterans with military emergency medical training to become civilian emergency medical technicians.”
2:32:49 P.M. H.R. 235 Considered under suspension of the rules.
2:32:53 P.M. H.R. 235 DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 235.

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