GOP unity frays, frustration builds

GOP unity frays, frustration builds

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., center, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee is pictured. | AP Photo

‘The only person in town who can cause default is President Barack Obama,’ Steve Scalise says. | AP Photo

By JAKE SHERMAN | 10/8/13 8:03 PM EDT Updated: 10/8/13 9:33 PM EDT

A reality is beginning to dawn on — and eat away at — many House Republicans: They aren’t at all sure of their party’s strategy to re-open government and lift the debt ceiling.

After forcing leadership to pick a fight it didn’t want to pick, sitting through hours of meetings with lots of internal hand-wringing and failing to force Democrats to negotiate, the path to avoid a prolonged government shutdown and the first debt default in American history is completely uncertain.“If anybody tells you it’s clear to anybody let me know,” said Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the chairman of the Rules Committee and a member of Republican leadership. “I’ll call them collect.”

(WATCH: Key moments leading to shutdown deadline)

Now, the party is flagging in polls one week into the first government shutdown in nearly two decades. And they’re just eight days ahead of the deadline set by the Treasury to lift the debt ceiling. A slew of House Republicans are now saying they believe they won’t bear responsibility for a default. Continue reading “GOP unity frays, frustration builds”

Lawmakers in shutdown debate will get paid no matter what

Lawmakers in shutdown debate will get paid no matter what

Sep. 26, 2013 – 01:26PM   |  By RICK MAZE   |

A government shutdown won’t stop members of Congress from being paid, although the House of Representatives has voted to stop receiving pay if the nation faces the more serious problem of defaulting on its debts.

Rank-and-file members of the House and Senate receive $174,000 in annual salaries; congressional leaders get more. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, third in line for the presidency, receives $223,500 a year, slightly less than the $230,700 salary for Vice President Joe Biden and about half of the $400,000 salary for President Obama.

Members of Congress, along with Obama and Biden, get paid during a government shutdown because their jobs are authorized by the U.S. Constitution and they are paid with mandatory funds not dependent on passage of annual appropriations. Continue reading “Lawmakers in shutdown debate will get paid no matter what”

Sequestration – Whose Idea Was It Anyway?

Budget Control Act of 2011

An Act to provide for budget control112th United States Congress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Effective:    August 2, 2011
Public Law: Pub.L. 112–25
Stat:        125 Stat. 239
Codification

Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

Legislative History:

Introduced in the Senate as “An original bill to make a technical amendment to the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002” (S. 365) by Tom Harkin (D-IA) on February 16, 2011.  Committee consideration by: Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.   Passed the Senate on February 17, 2011 (Unanimous consent).  Passed the House as the “Budget Control Act of 2011” on August 1, 2011 (269–161) with amendment.  Senate agreed to House amendment on August 2, 2011 (74–26). Signed into law by President Barack Obama on August 2, 2011

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112–25, S. 365, 125 Stat. 240, enacted August 2, 2011) is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on August 2, 2011. The Act brought conclusion to the 2011 United States debt-ceiling crisis, which had threatened to lead the United States into sovereign default on or about August 3, 2011.  The law involves the introduction of several complex mechanisms, such as creation of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (sometimes called the “super committee”), options for a balanced budget amendment and automatic budget sequestration. Continue reading “Sequestration – Whose Idea Was It Anyway?”

Congress OKs cliff deal, signaling future fights

Congress OKs cliff deal, signaling future fights

 ALAN FRAM | January 2, 2013 07:54 AM EST |

WASHINGTON — Congress’ excruciating, extraordinary New Year‘s Day approval of a compromise averting a prolonged tumble off the fiscal cliff hands President Barack Obama most of the tax boosts on the rich that he campaigned on. It also prevents House Republicans from facing blame for blocking tax cuts for most American households, though most GOP lawmakers parted ways with Speaker John Boehner and opposed the measure.

Passage also lays the groundwork for future battles between the two sides over federal spending and debt.

Capping a holiday season political spectacle that featured enough high and low notes for a Broadway musical, the GOP-run House voted final approval for the measure by 257-167 late Tuesday. That came after the Democratic-led Senate used a wee-hours 89-8 roll call to assent to the bill, belying the partisan brinkmanship that colored much of the path to the final deal.

“A central promise of my campaign for president was to change the tax code that was too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of working middle-class Americans,” Obama said at the White House before flying to Hawaii to resume his holiday break. “Tonight we’ve done that.” Continue reading “Congress OKs cliff deal, signaling future fights”

The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn’t

The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn’t

By: John Bresnahan and Carrie Budoff Brown and Manu Raju and Jake Sherman
January 2, 2013 12:21 AM EST

From left: John Boehner, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid are pictured. | AP Photos

House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday.

It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.

“Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.

Reid, a bit startled, replied: “What are you talking about?”

Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.” Continue reading “The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn’t”