Progressive Breakfast: Is New Democratic Tax Plan The Best Way To ‘Grow Paychecks’?


campaignForAmericaLgo

Isaiah J. Poole

Is New Democratic Tax Plan The Best Way To ‘Grow Paychecks’?

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, unveiled a major tax proposal on Monday [including] a new, $1,000 middle-class tax cut … While it is hard to deny the political and popular appeal of a $1,000 tax cut for middle-class and low-income people, the question that should be debated in the coming weeks is whether the goal of raising wages is better served by investing more in efforts that would create jobs and put future economic growth on a more sound, sustainable footing. That includes shoring up our decaying infrastructure, including our transportation systems, water and electric grid; helping local economies left behind by today’s uneven economic recovery; and funding the research and development needed to accelerate the growth of the green energy economy.

Warren Defeats Weiss

Sen. Warren wins as Antonio Weiss abandons Treasury nomination. HuffPost:“Weiss, who had initially been nominated as undersecretary for domestic finance, has instead accepted a job as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, a post that doesn’t require congressional approval … The news is a major victory for Warren and progressive groups who have been criticizing Weiss’s nomination since November … In recent weeks, more than half a dozen Democratic senators announced they couldn’t support Weiss for the post because of his overly close ties to Wall Street.”

“Open Rebellion Pays Off” says Hullabaloo’s Gaius Publius:“…it was the first clear instance of … ‘open rebellion’ — defiance of Democratic party leadership — among the next crop in Congress … Looks like a dose of public tar, followed by a sprinkling of feathers from the neck of a downy goose, was more than Weiss wanted to endure.”

Van Hollen Shakes Up Tax Debate

Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen proposes middle-class tax cut. The Atlantic:“The headline proposal is a $1.2 trillion package of tax cuts for middle-income earners, including a $1,000 ‘paycheck bonus credit’ for individuals making less than $200,000 a year, and twice that amount for couples … [It] would also expand the earned income tax credit and the child care tax credit … scrap tax breaks that go disproportionately to the wealthy and to add a new tax on stock trades that he is dubbing ‘a high roller fee.’”

Demos’ Sean McElwee and Lenore Palladino praise Van Hollen’s financial transaction tax in TNR:“The small FTT in this bill—which also includes provisions to boost stagnant wages and close lucrative tax loopholes—wouldn’t burden longer-term investors. The tax is applied to every transaction … so as long as the investor holds the investment for a decent period of time, the tax is a tiny percentage of their overall portfolio … It’s the high-frequency traders who have fought this tax tooth and nail…”

How might conservatives respond? W. Post:“… they have discussed some ideas that could be both conservative and populist at once. Here are a few: 1. Financial support for families and low-wage workers … 2. Shorter prison sentences … 3. Fewer licenses to work…”

Economists predicting modest wage gains in 2015. Bloomberg:“Hourly earnings for employees on company payrolls will advance 2 percent to 3 percent on average, according to 61 of 69 economists surveyed … They climbed 1.7 percent in the year through December … A jobless rate that’s quickly approaching the range policy makers say is consistent with full employment will mean employers will need to pay up to attract and keep talent.”

Veto Threats Aplenty

Obama threatens veto of anti-regulation bill. The Hill:“The House is expected to vote as early as Tuesday on the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015. While the legislation is expected to easily pass, the White House warned the bill would ‘undermine’ federal regulators with ‘unnecessary procedural steps that seem designed simply to impede the regulatory development process.’ … [And] the White House said the legislation would actually increase costs.”

And immigration bill. Politico:“The White House issued a veto threat Monday on the House GOP plan to use funding for the Department of Homeland Security to fight President Barack Obama’s immigration policies …”

And probably Wall Street bill. Mother Jones:“The Republican-dominated House is poised to approve legislation this week that would obliterate a slew of important Wall Street reforms … Delay the Volcker rule … Water down rules on private equity firms … Loosen regs on derivatives … President Barack Obama would likely veto it. But GOPers could force the legislation into law by attaching bits of it to must-pass bills…”

Senate Dems try to jam Republicans with Keystone amendments. The Hill:“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), for example, plans to offer a nonbinding resolution on whether lawmakers agree with the 95 percent of scientists who say human activities contribute to climate change … Another promised amendment would require companies transporting crude oil through the Keystone pipeline to pay into an oil spill cleanup fund. And Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey (D) is expected to offer a measure that would ban the export of any oil shipped through the pipeline … Consideration of the amendments is expected to begin Tuesday after the Senate voted to advance the Keystone legislation on Monday in a 63-32 procedural vote. “

Dems try to stop House rule change undermining Social Security in the Senate. The Hill:“Democrats are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to repudiate a rules change by House Republicans that could cut Social Security disability payments by 20 percent … They noted that Congress has reallocated taxes between the Social Security retirement and trust funds 11 times in the past.”

Senate GOP divide over budget reconciliation strategy. Politico:“Several influential Republicans want to use a filibuster-proof budget procedure to overhaul the corporate tax code — rather than wield it as a weapon against Obamacare … Sen. John Thune, seeks to use the potent tool known as budget reconciliation to give both the GOP and President Barack Obama the sweeping victory on tax policy that business groups want, which could include a significant cut in corporate tax rates as well as provide funding for a long-term transportation bill. In contrast, an attempt to use reconciliation to gut Obama’s health care law might showcase Republicans’ new strength on Capitol Hill but would inevitably end in a veto.”

Make Sure You’re Ready for the State of the Union:


This year, there will be more ways than ever to take part in the State of the Union, including new ways to take in the remarks, share exclusive content with your social networks, and share your own experiences. There will also be opportunities to discuss President Obama’s remarks with White House officials immediately following the address.

See all the ways you can engage with the State of the Union next Tuesday, and how you can stay updated in the meantime.

Find out more about the State of the Union.

Weekly Address: America’s Resurgence Is Real

In this week’s address, President Obama discusses the economic gains we made in 2014, which was the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s.

READ MORE

The President Proposes to Make Community College Free for Responsible Students for 2 Years

Last week, the President unveiled a new proposal: Make two years of community college free for responsible students across America. If all states choose to implement his new proposal, it could benefit about 9 million students each year.

READ MORE

The Employment Situation in December

The latest employment report caps off a strong year for the U.S. labor market, which achieved a number of important milestones in 2014. Total job growth in 2014 was the strongest since 1999, while the unemployment rate fell at the fastest pace in three decades.

READ MORE

We have an obligation


VoteVets.org

The new Congress was sworn in just two days ago, and we already have a good indication of what to expect from the new batch of Tea Party Representatives and Senators.

Los Angeles Times: “As Republicans take control Tuesday of both chambers of Congress for the first time in eight years, party leaders hope to move quickly to confront President Obama and showcase their conservative ideology, including austere budget cuts and dismantling government regulation.”

New York Times: “On immigration, House Republican officials say they expect to approve a Department of Homeland Security spending measure before the end of January that would deny money to carry out Mr. Obama’s action to ease the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.”

These priorities are not America’s priorities.

As veterans, military family members, and their supporters, we have a crucial voice on these issues, and an obligation to make it heard. Let us know what you hope the 114th Congress will work on.

Thanks for sounding off.

All the best,

Jon Soltz
Iraq War Veteran and Chairman
VoteVets.org

The Senate ~~~ CONGRESS 1/14 ~~~ The House


redpeacesignThe Senate will not be in session on Wednesday or Thursday to accommodate the caucus retreats.

The Senate stands adjourned until 9:30am on Friday, January 16, 2015.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.1, to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. The next roll call votes will occur on Tuesday, January 20, following the weekly caucus meetings.

The following amendments are pending to S.1:

  1. Murkowski S.Amdt.2 (substitute)
  2. Markey S.Amdt.13 (Keep Oil in America)
  3. Portman-Shaheen S.Amdt.3 (Energy Efficiency)
  4. Franken S.Amdt.17 (Keep Jobs in America)

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Last Floor Action:
1:47:54 P.M. – The House adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on January 16, 2015.

Last Floor Action:
9:02:20 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.

9:00:34 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
9:00:38 A.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
9:02:05 A.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
9:02:08 A.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Ellison to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
9:02:20 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.

9:16:35 A.M. H.R. 240 Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 240 — “Making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes.”
9:16:54 A.M. H.R. 240 The House resolved into Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for further consideration.
9:18:35 A.M. H.R. 240 An amendment, offered by Mr. Aderholt, numbered 1 printed in Part B of House Report 114-2 to prevent any funds from whatever source to be used to carry-out (1) the Executive actions announced on November 20, 2014 to grant deferred action to certain unlawful aliens and for other purposes, and (2) four of the `Morton Memos’ on prosecutorial discretion and immigration enforcement priorities issued in 2011 and 2012 that effectively prevent certain classes of unlawful aliens from being removed from the country. 2) Declares that no funds may be used to carry-out any substantially similar policies to those defunded. 3) Declares that the policies defunded and any substantially similar policies have no statutory or constitutional basis and therefore no legal effect. 4) Provides that no funds may be used to grant any Federal benefit to any alien as a result of the policies defunded.
9:18:39 A.M. H.R. 240 Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 27, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 20 minutes of debate on the Aderholt Part B amendment No. 1.
9:46:48 A.M. H.R. 240 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Aderholt amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Price (NC) demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on adoption of the amendment until later in the legislative day.
9:47:33 A.M. H.R. 240 An amendment, offered by Mrs. Blackburn, numbered 2 printed in Part B of House Report 114-2 to provide that no funds may be used to consider new, renewal or previously denied DACA applications.
9:47:36 A.M. H.R. 240 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 27, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Blackburn Part B amendment No. 2.
10:00:15 A.M. H.R. 240 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Blackburn amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mrs. Blackburn demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on adoption of the amendment until later in the legislative day.
10:01:02 A.M. H.R. 240 An amendment, offered by Mr. DeSantis, numbered 3 printed in Part B of House Report 114-2 to require that DHS treat any alien convicted of any offense involving domestic violence, sexual abuse, child molestation, or child abuse or exploitation as within the categories of aliens subject to DHS’s highest civil immigration enforcement.
10:01:05 A.M. H.R. 240 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 27, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the DeSantis Part B amendment No. 3.
10:15:05 A.M. H.R. 240 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the DeSantis amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote announced that the ayes had prevailed. Ms. Lofgren demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on adoption of the amendment until later in the legislative day.
10:15:56 A.M. H.R. 240 An amendment, offered by Mr. Salmon, numbered 4 printed in Part B of House Report 114-2 to express a sense of Congress that the Executive Branch should not pursue policies that disadvantage the hiring of U.S. citizens and those lawfully present in the United States by making it economically advantageous to hire workers who came to the country illegally.
10:15:58 A.M. H.R. 240 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 27, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Salmon Part B amendment No. 4.
10:29:25 A.M. H.R. 240 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Salmon amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Salmon demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on adoption of the amendment until later in the legislative day.
10:30:02 A.M. H.R. 240 An amendment, offered by Mr. Schock, numbered 5 printed in Part B of House Report 114-2 to express a sense of Congress that the Administration should stop putting the interest of immigrants who worked within the legal framework to come to the US behind those who came here illegally.
10:30:05 A.M. H.R. 240 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 27, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Schock Part B amendment No. 5.
10:50:25 A.M. H.R. 240 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Schock amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Conyers demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on adoption of the amendment until later in the legislative day.
10:50:48 A.M. H.R. 240 UNFINISHED BUSINESS – The Chair announced that the unfinished business was the question on adoption of amendments which had been debated earlier and on which further proceedings had been postponed.
11:17:15 A.M. H.R. 240 On agreeing to the Aderholt amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 237 – 190 (Roll no. 29).
11:25:38 A.M. H.R. 240 On agreeing to the Blackburn amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 218 – 209 (Roll no. 30).
11:30:01 A.M. H.R. 240 On agreeing to the DeSantis amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 278 – 149 (Roll no. 31).
11:34:44 A.M. H.R. 240 On agreeing to the Salmon amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 253 – 171 (Roll no. 32).
11:39:23 A.M. H.R. 240 On agreeing to the Schock amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 260 – 167 (Roll no. 33).
11:39:29 A.M. H.R. 240 The House rose from the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to report H.R. 240.
11:40:19 A.M. H.R. 240 The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
11:40:44 A.M. H.R. 240 The House adopted the amendments en gross as agreed to by the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
11:42:02 A.M. H.R. 240 Mr. Israel moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Appropriations.
11:42:19 A.M. H.R. 240 Floor summary: DEBATE – The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Israel motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to report the same back to the House forthwith with an amendment to provide for a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security that does not include dangerous, poison pill amendments. Given recent events overseas, this is not a time to endanger the safety and security of the American people. The House needs to pass a clean bill that would provide certainty to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Additionally, the motion increases funding for the DHS State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative program by $1.5 million each (for a total of $3 million) and reduces the Office of the Secretary and Executive Management account by the same amount.
11:51:58 A.M. H.R. 240 The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.
11:59:11 A.M. H.R. 240 On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 184 – 244 (Roll no. 34).
12:05:36 P.M. H.R. 240 On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 236 – 191 (Roll no. 35).
12:05:37 P.M. H.R. 240 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:05:45 P.M. H.R. 37 Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule 19, further consideration of H.R. 37 will resume.
12:05:50 P.M. H.R. 37 Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 37 — “To make technical corrections to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, to enhance the ability of small and emerging growth companies to access capital through public and private markets, to reduce regulatory burdens, and for other purposes.”
12:06:15 P.M. H.R. 37 Mr. Moulton moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Financial Services.
12:06:56 P.M. H.R. 37 Floor summary: DEBATE – The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Moulton 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 prohibit individuals convicted of providing financial assistance to terrorist organizations or state sponsors of terrorism from participation in activities allowed under the underlying legislation.
12:14:39 P.M. H.R. 37 The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.
12:21:33 P.M. H.R. 37 On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by recorded vote: 183 – 242 (Roll no. 36).
12:27:42 P.M. H.R. 37 On passage Passed by recorded vote: 271 – 154 (Roll no. 37).
12:27:43 P.M. H.R. 37 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:28:00 P.M. SWEARING IN OF ABSENT MEMBER-ELECT – On January 7, 2015, Judge Michael Mills was designated to administer the oath office to Representative-elect Alan Nunnelee of the First District of the State of Mississippi under House Resolution 20, 114th Congress. Judge Mills notified the House that, on January 12, 2015, at Tupelo, Mississippi, he administered the oath of office to Mr. Nunnelee as prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 3331.
12:28:38 P.M. ADJUSTMENT OF WHOLE HOUSE – Under clause 5(d) of rule 20, the Chair announced to the House that, in light of the administration of the oath to the gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Nunnelee, the whole number of the House is now 434.
12:29:11 P.M. The House received a communication from Connie Hair, Chief of Staff for the Hon. Louie Gohmert. Pursuant to Rule VIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, Ms. Hair notified the House that she had received a grand jury subpoena, issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, for testimony and documents, and that after consultation with the Office of General Counsel regarding the subpoena, she will make the determinations required under Rule VIII.
12:30:00 P.M. Mrs. Black asked unanimous consent That, when the House adjourns on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, it adjourn to meet at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 16, 2015. Agreed to without objection.
12:30:01 P.M. Mrs. Black asked unanimous consent That, when the House adjourns on Friday, January 16, 2015, it adjourn to meet at noon on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 for Morning-Hour Debate. Agreed to without objection.
12:31:01 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.
12:36:34 P.M. SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.
1:46:55 P.M. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – pursuant to clause 11 of rule 10, clause 11 of rule 1, and the order of the House of January 6, 2015 the Speaker appointed the following members of the House to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Mr. Miller of FL, Mr. Conaway, Mr. King of NY, Mr. LoBiondo, Mr. Westmoreland, Mr. Rooney of FL, Mr. Heck of NV, Mr. Pompeo, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Turner, Mr. Wenstrup and Mr. Stewart.
1:47:40 P.M. Mr. Gohmert moved that the House do now adjourn.
1:47:53 P.M. On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
1:47:54 P.M. The House adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on January 16, 2015.

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