The House late Tuesday gave final approval to a Senate-backed bill that will let taxes rise for the richest Americans, shield the middle class from tax hikes and extend emergency unemployment benefits, ending Washington’s long drama over the “fiscal cliff.” The dramatic vote followed a wild day in which the critical measure was assumed for several hours to be headed for defeat because of widespread Republican objections. The vote was 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining with nearly all of the chamber’s Democrats. President Obama, whose vice president, Joe Biden, crafted the deal
Congress broke a rancorous stalemate Tuesday to pass legislation designed to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. But the compromise bill, which blocked most impending tax increases and postponed spending cuts largely by raising taxes on upper-income Americans, left a host of issues unresolved and guaranteed continued budget clashes between the parties. The bill represented the largest tax increase in the past two decades and was passed over opposition from conservative Republicans in the House who objected to the fact that it contained no long-term spending cuts of any significance.
Guns are good for the goose but NOT for the gander. A Clarkstown police report issued on December 28, 2012, confirmed that The Journal News has hired armed security guards from New City-based RGA Investigations and that they are manning the newspaper’s Rockland County headquarters at 1 Crosfield Ave., West Nyack, through at least tomorrow, Wednesday, January 2, 2013. According to police reports on public record, Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride was alarmed by the volume of “negative correspondence,” namely an avalanche of phone calls and emails to the Journal News office, following the newspaper’s publishing
Schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore has some peculiar New Year’s resolutions that he published at the Huffington Post Monday evening. At number four was “Stop saying, ‘I support the troops.’ I don´t. I used to.”“I understand why so many enlisted after 9/11,” Moore continued. “Sadly, many of them were then trapped and sent off to invade Iraq. I felt for all of them. I understood those who joined because of a lousy economy. But at some point all individuals must answer for their actions, and now that we know our military leaders do things that
Republican Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) joined Wolf Blitzer on CNN Tuesday afternoon to discuss the possibility that House GOP members would reject the Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal. “You know, a lot of your constituents are going to hate you,” Blitzer quipped. “They are going to hate your fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives if you don’t allow new legislation to go forward.” Issa responded that his only “voting card” was to vote his “conscience” and vote in the “best interest” of his constituency. “Not for one day, for the rest of their lives,” he said.
Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) has about 100 Republican members he can count on if and when the Senate-passed "fiscal cliff" bill hits the House floor, according to an analysis by The Hill. But it remains unclear if Boehner and his lieutenants will be able to convince the majority of the GOP conference to back legislation that increases tax rates on the wealthy and lacks significant spending cuts. The Senate passed its fiscal-cliff bill, 89-8, early on New Year´s Day.
A lot of conservatives in the House wanted to add spending cuts to the Senate deal and spent hours trying to figure out if they could pass a version of the deal that included them. They failed, though, for the same reason Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” failed. You may recall that Boehner wanted the House to pass a bill that blocked income-tax increases for everyone making less than $1 million a year but allowed scheduled increases to take place for people who make more. He couldn’t get such a bill through the House, though, because Democrats wanted a bigger
Even as Washington says it wants to eliminate the tax credits and loopholes that litter the tax code, the “fiscal cliff” deal that Congress is poised to pass is filled with dozens of them. Tax deductions for college tuition and teachers’ classroom supplies, tax credits for adoptions, and special breaks for businesses that train rescue crews to respond to mine cave-ins are only a few of the giveaways that were criticized by both sides going into negotiations. Even as he called on Congress to go after “loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most,” Mr. Obama on Monday touted
The bill was 153 pages long. It was written only the day before, by Washington insiders working in the dark of night. It was crammed with giveaways and legislative spare parts: tax breaks for wind farms and race tracks. A change to nuclear-weapons policy. Government payments for cheese. And most significantly, the bill would raise taxes but do relatively little to cut government spending or the massive federal deficit. To a tea-party-influenced crop of House Republicans, the bill to resolve the “fiscal cliff” crisis was everything they had wanted to change about the way Washington worked. Headline changed by source. Corrected by staff
At the University of Minnesota, the number of employees with “human resources” or “personnel” in their job titles has grown from 180 to 272 since the 2004-05 academic year. Since 2006, the university has spent $10 million on consultants for a vast new housing development that is decades from completion. It employs 139 people for marketing, promotions and communications. Some 81 administrators make $200,000 per year or more. In the past decade, Minnesota’s administrative payroll has gone up three times as fast as the teaching payroll, and twice as fast as student enrollment.
WASHINGTON — For President Obama, the fiscal deal pending in the House would finally end four years of debate with Republicans about raising tax rates on the wealthy. But it seemed to reopen a debate within his party about the nature of his leadership and his skills as a negotiator. While Mr. Obama got most of what he sought in the agreement, he found himself under withering criticism from some in his liberal base who accused him of caving in to Republicans by not taxing the rich more. Just as Speaker John A. Boehner
WASHINGTON -- The "fiscal cliff" is a massive failure of presidential leadership. The tedious and technical negotiations are but a subplot in a larger drama. Government can no longer fulfill all the promises it has made to various constituencies. Some promises will be reduced or disavowed. Which ones? Why? Only the president can pose these questions in a way that starts a national conversation over the choices to be made, but doing so requires the president to tell people things they don´t want to hear. That´s his job: to help Americans face unavoidable, if unpleasant, realities.
The path to attainment of the common good and peace is “above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end,” Pope Benedict XVI has said. “True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions . . . Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life.” (Snip) “Indeed how could one claim to bring about peace, the integral development of peoples or even the protection of the environment without defending the life
House Republicans are none too pleased with the “fiscal cliff” legislation that passed the Senate. That’s not surprising. According to the congressional budget office, it adds $4 trillion to the deficit over a decade. There was talk all day that House Republicans might amend the Senate bill by adding spending cuts. But the Seante has made clear that it will not take up an amended bill, meaning that sending it one would take the country over the “cliff.” It appears that not enough House Republicans are prepared to go that route. It also seems unlikely
Here are some glass-half-full observations on last night’s McConnell-Biden fiscal deal from an inveterate optimist. Raising taxes on those who are already paying roughly double their fair share, while leaving everyone else’s taxes the same, is lousy public policy. But from the Republicans’ point of view, it may be good politics. For the last four years, the Obama administration has run up unprecedented deficits, adding more than $4 trillion to the national debt. How has President Obama justified such profligacy? He has been a broken record: his mantra is that we just need to increase taxes on the “wealthy,”
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has come out against Chuck Hagel’s potential nomination as the next secretary of defense, due to the Nebraska senator’s past derogatory comments about a gay ambassador. “I cannot think of any other minority group in the U.S. today where such a negative statement and action made in 1998 would not be an obstacle to a major Presidential appointment,” Frank said in a statement. Moreover, he argued, the “aggressively bigoted opposition” to the ambassador was not “an aberration” but part of a record of voting against gay rights. In 1998, Hagel opposed
The new year began not with a cannonball off the “fiscal cliff” but with an outbreak of conspiratorial cynicism. This time it’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose fall and concussion, followed by a blood clot between her brain and skull, has prompted an embarrassment of theories. The gist: That woman will do anything to avoid testifying about Benghazi. Several commentators on the right opined via Twitter and TV, those most deadly hosts for the parasites of rumor and innuendo, that Clinton was faking her concussion to duck out on her appearance
WASHINGTON -- Maneuvered into a political corner, House Republicans abandoned demands for changes in emergency legislation to prevent widespread tax increases and painful across-the-board spending cuts and cleared the way for a final, climactic New Year´s night vote. The decision capped a day of intense political calculations for conservatives who control the House. They had to weigh their desire to cut spending against the fear that the Senate would refuse to consider any changes they made in the "fiscal cliff" bill, sending it into limbo and saddling Republicans with the blame for a
The House will hold a straight vote on the "fiscal cliff" bill passed by the Senate overnight - a major step in finally averting several effects of the "cliff." If the bill passes the House, it moves on to President Obama for his signature, ending weeks of fighting about how to deal with the tax hikes and spending cuts that began hitting the country today. It wasn´t easy getting to this point today in the House. After meeting with the Republican conference and listening to members´ concerns, House Speaker John Boehner presented them with two options, a GOP leadership aide said:
Those who were wondering at the truculent tone exhibited by President Obama yesterday afternoon during remarks delivered at a White House event got their answer today. Negotiations between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had already produced a deal by the time the president spoke. That should have meant at least a temporary cessation of partisan warfare, but Obama was having none of it. As I wrote yesterday, though the deal was very much on his terms–including a tax increase on those making $400,000 or more a year and had nothing in it about the spending cuts
The way things are going in the Middle East and here at home, it’s hard to argue with him. The Muslim Brotherhood and its various offshoot are rising to power across the region. The best that can be said of the Obama administration is that it accidentally helped them take power in Cairo. One could also say that the administration is dishonest with the American people about the rising threat, both from the new Egypt and from a renewed al Qaeda, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that has rebadged and retooled after the death of Osama bin Laden.
Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders has released in 2012 his autobiographical account of his internationally known condemnation of, and personal conflicts with, Islam, with a forward available online by his fellow comrade in letters vis-à-vis Islam, conservative columnist Mark Steyn. Marked for Death: Islam’s War against the West and Me recounts how an individual Dutchman became aware of an aggressive and authoritarian agenda in Islam as a faith-based political ideology. Through personal travels to the Middle East and the example of Muslim migrants who sought not to assimilate to Holland’s world-renowned tolerant culture,
On Tuesday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer speculated that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor might try to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House. “It’s possible this is the prelude to a challenge Thursday to Boehner’s leadership by Eric Cantor,” Krauthammer said. “I think that would be quite naked to do it at this late hour, as a result of this split over the vote. Look, there are a lot of conservatives in the Republican caucus in the House who hate the bill
As more details emerge about the Senate´s hastily-passed deal to avert the "fiscal cliff", the scale of the GOP´s capitulation grows more troubling. This morning, it looked as if the Senate GOP had overwhelmingly voted for a $620 Billion tax increase in exchange for almost no real spending cuts. That´s bad enough, but an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office reveals that the deal actually contains $330 Billion in new spending over the next 10 years. More than half of the new tax revenue won´t go to plugging the deficit, but increasing the size of government.