Posts Tagged ‘congress’


WASHINGTON – Prodded by an insistent President Barack Obama, Congress’ top two lawmakers sought to reinvigorate compromise talks Tuesday aimed at cutting tens of billions in federal spending and averting a partial government shutdown Friday at midnight.

There was at least a hint of flexibility, accompanied by sharply partisan attacks and an outburst of shutdown brinksmanship.

According to Democrats, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, suggested at a White House meeting that fellow Republicans might be able to accept a deal with $40 billion in cuts. That’s more than negotiators had been eyeing but less than the House seeks.

The speaker’s office declined comment, and Boehner issued a statement saying, “We can still avoid a shutdown, but Democrats are going to need to get serious about cutting spending – and soon.”

For his part, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid sounded an accusatory note. “I hope the Republicans do what the country needs, not what they believe the tea party wants,” he said at the Capitol

“I mean, it seems that every step we take, it’s something just to poke us in the eye,” he said.

Boehner and Reid met privately later in the day. While there was no indication of substantive progress, there was a marked change in tone afterwards.

Spokesmen for the two issued identical statements, shorn of partisan bickering, saying the two leaders “had a productive discussion. They agreed to continue working on a budget solution.”

Obama stepped forcefully into the dispute, at times sounding like an exasperated parent.

He convened a meeting at the White House with the chief congressional antagonists, rejected a Republican proposal for an interim bill with sharp cuts and then announced Boehner and Reid would meet later in the day.

If they can’t sort out their differences, he said, “I want them back here tomorrow.”

And if that doesn’t work, he added, “we’ll invite them again the day after that. And I will have my entire team available to work through the details of getting a deal done.”

Obama, eager to regain the confidence of independent voters as he seeks a new term, said the American public expects that its leaders “act like grown-ups, and when we are in negotiations like this, that everybody gives a little bit, compromises a little bit in order to do the people’s business.”

At issue is legislation needed to keep the government running through the Sept. 30 end of the budget year, and a desire by all sides to avoid being blamed politically if there is a shutdown.

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In a pre-dawn vote Saturday, the GOP-led House approved legislation to cut nearly $61 billion from the federal budget. The House vote sets up a high-stakes impasse between President Obama and Congress that seems likely to lead to a government shutdown early next month.

The budget plan, approved on a largely party-line vote, would impose serious spending cuts over the next year in virtually every reach of government, including domestic programs and even some military programs. Among the more controversial proposed cuts are hundreds of millions of dollars in reductions of  the nation’s border security, nearly $400 million culled from U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and another $1.5 million taken from support for Iraqi security forces.

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“Unlike most of the 111 that preceded it, the 112th Congress must begin the process of restoring the national regime and civic culture the Founders bequeathed. This will require reviving the rule of law, reasserting the relevance of the Constitution, and affirming the reality of American exceptionalism. … The American Revolution was a political, not a social revolution; it was about emancipating individuals for the pursuit of happiness, not about the state allocating wealth and opportunity. Hence our exceptional Constitution, which says not what government must do for Americans but what it cannot do to them.”

– columnist George Will


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords may be released from intensive care and transferred to a brain rehabilitation hospital as early as this week, ABC News has learned. The fluid accumulation in her brain that concerned doctors over the weekend has already begun to subside.

Meanwhile, at tonight’s State of the Union address, members of both political parties will be wearing black and white ribbons in a show of solidarity with Giffords and the people of Tucson. In a special gesture, her friends in Congress will leave one seat unfilled.

“There is going to be a chair left empty to symbolize what we all know will be a triumphant return to the House of Representatives when she comes back to us full strength,” said Giffords’ friend and colleague, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

In Houston, Giffords’ husband, NASA Commander Mark Kelly, plans to watch tonight’s State of the Union Address from the hospital. While he keeps watch by her side, the clock is ticking on a critical decision. Kelly has said he will decide within two weeks whether he will command the space shuttle Endeavor’s final mission in April.

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Democrat Leaders…

Posted: January 25, 2011 in political quotes
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At this moment, two of their [Democrat] leaders from a supposedly disadvantaged minority are about to be tried for ethical transgressions (read: thievery) even Congress couldn’t sweep under the rug. Never mind that these transgressions mostly exploit the very minority these people purport to represent. It’s part of the game. Convince minorities they should act like victims. Extort guilt payments from the majority and keep the change. Meanwhile, nothing improves for the minority because it would interrupt the system.

columnist Roger Simon


Despite its 13% approval rating there are those who are hailing the 111th Congress for its myriad legislative ‘accomplishments.’ Not surprisingly, many of those touting those ‘accomplishments’ are the very members of Congress who voted for the legislation in the first place. … Americans should expect better results from the 112th Congress, that is, if the newly-elected representatives heed their electoral mandate: less spending, lower taxes and limited government. But Americans should also be aware that even if Congress stays in line, President Obama can still pursue a big government agenda with more regulations from unelected bureaucrats. As the president said when the Democrats lost the House and failed to enact cap-and-trade, ‘I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.’ America, look out.”

– Heritage Foundation

Patrick Henry Said

Posted: January 18, 2011 in political quotes
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Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?

Patrick Henry (1736-1799)