Category Archives: Blogs

Today in Congress….12/9/10…

By David Waldman@ Dailykos….

In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:


House Meets At: 10:00 a.m.: Legislative Business
First Vote Predicted: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Last Vote Predicted: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

“One Minutes” (5 per side)
Suspension (1 Bill)

  1. Senate Amendment to H.R. 4994 – Medicare & Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 (Reps. Levin/Waxman – Ways and Means/Energy Commerce)

Postponed Suspension Vote (1 Bill):

  1. H.R. 6412 – Access to Criminal History Records for State Sentencing Commissions Act of 2010 (Rep. Scott (VA) – Judiciary)

  • Conference Reports may be brought up at any time.
  • Motions to go to Conference should they become available.
  • Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:

Convenes: 9:30am

Following any Leader remarks, Senator Durbin will be recognized to speak for up to 10 minutes. Following his remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.3992, the DREAM Act, with the time until 11:00am equally divided and controlled between the Leaders or their designees.

At 11:00am, the Senate will proceed to a series of at least 2 and possibly 3 roll call votes. Those votes will be on the following items.

  • Cloture on the motion to proceed to Calendar #663, S.3992, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010 (DREAM Act); and
  • Cloture on the motion to proceed to Calendar #641, H.R.847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.
  • Senator Reid may reconsider the failed cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S.3454, DoD Authorization.

Following the votes, Senator Bennett will be recognized to speak for up to 20 minutes for his farewell speech.

Senator Bunning will be recognized at 1:00pm for up to 30 minutes for his farewell speech.

Senator Dorgan will be recognized at 2:00pm for up to 20 minutes for his farewell speech.

The House, having finished its heavy lifting for the week with the passage of the DREAM Act last night, cleans up with a couple of suspension bills today, before heading out of town.

The Senate, on the other hand, picks up where the House left off and continues its cloture vote-a-rama, beginning with DREAM.

And if DREAM cloture fails, it’s the 9/11 first responders’ health bill. And if that cloture fails, it’s a possible shot at reconsideration of the Defense authorization bill — so far, still with DADT repeal.

The situation remains the same as yesterday. If any of the cloture votes actually succeeds, you’d see the 30-hour post-cloture clock start ticking. Yes, that’s right. Succeeding on one of the votes today would send the Senate into a 30-hour time-wasting exercise that would consume the rest of the week, after which you’d have yet another vote… on the motion to proceed. And only after that would you get to the bill itself. Frankly, I’m a little surprised the Republicans didn’t opt to vote for cloture on some of these motions to proceed just to waste 30 more hours, and then start filibustering the bill itself after that. But apparently the allure of voting no was stronger.

And I don’t know if this is reflective of how they expect the votes to go or not, but afterward, the plan is to have three farewell speeches from Senators Bennett, Bunning and Dorgan. I suppose that if one of the cloture votes actually passes, they could suspend the 30-hour clock by unanimous consent to allow the speeches instead. The rules would normally preclude any other business from coming to the floor. So it’s not entirely clear whether scheduling these speeches for today means they expect them all to fail, or that they simply expect to be able to get unanimous consent in the even that one passes.

I guess we’ll see.

Today’s committee schedule appears below.

UPDATE: The Senate is currently scheduled to vote on a motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to consideration of the DREAM Act under the designation of S. 3992. However, the House-passed version of the DREAM Act from last night is under H.R. 5281 (which began life as a completely different bill, on a completely different subject, but was amended by the House yesterday to carry the DREAM Act). Whether the Senate will change its plans in some way is unknown at this point, but it would sure be a faster path to completion if the Senate opted to take up H.R. 5281 instead. Even if the texts of H.R. 5281 and S. 3992 are identical, the key is passing them under the same designation. So if the Senate defies the odds and invokes cloture and eventually passes S. 3992, it’d only have to go back to the House for another vote, and the last one was too close for comfort as it was. So we may very well see something engineered in the Senate to get them to H.R. 5281 instead. Or at least I hope so.

Is Joe Biden the REAL new Chief of Staff for the President?

With a new lightweight as White House Chief of Staff it’s natural that Biden would become more influental…..

Obama needs the help for sure…..

Biden Replaces Rahm

Politico: “With Capitol Hill increasingly hostile territory for President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden seems ready to take the place of the departed Rahm Emanuel as the one senior administration official who can deliver the White House’s position — good news or bad — to members and senators of both parties.”

“White House officials say it’s the same role the vice president, who served nearly four decades in the Senate, has played since the start of the administration. But in the absence of Emanuel, who formerly served as Obama’s chief of staff and as a House member, no one in the West Wing matches Biden when it comes to his ties on the Hill, depth of knowledge on how Congress works and having the members’ trust on both sides of the aisle.”

House Democrats defy Obama ….Will Not release his Tax Deal Bill for a vote…..

Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.

“This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It’s as simple as that,” said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

“We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward,” he said.

The vote comes a day after Vice President Biden made clear to House Democrats behind closed doors that the deal would unravel if any changes were made.

The vote also come less than an hour after Obama himself urged Congress to pass the compromise he struck with GOP leaders earlier this week and warned that failing to do it could cost jobs.

“There is an important debate on Capitol Hill that will determine in part whether our economy moves backward or forward,” Obama said at an Export Council meeting. “The bipartisan framework we have forged on taxes will not only protect working Americans from seeing a major tax increase on January 1, it will provide businesses with incentives to invest, grow, and hire.”


Dog Comments…..

This seems more like a face saving dance to this Dog….

Like someone who has had their clothes stripped from them in front of a crowd…

The Democrats are mad..

They lost something they had for 24 months to a bad economy and no jobs….


They are not gonna have this power in month….

Obama has shown them that he has adjusted to this in negotiating this directly with the GOP…

Lets face it… President Obama has NO love for Liberal and Progressives…

He never has…

This back stiffing move comes too late anyways….

In the end this is a theater…

THE DEMOCRATS MUST PASS Obama’s basic Bill by December 31st….

Forget the drama now….


If they don’t …

The Republican’s will scrap the whole deal and just pass a PERMANENT Bush tax cut extension attached to a bill Obama wants and shut him  and Democrats out completely…

(All money bill MUST originate in the House)

All this anger is gonna do is make the Liberal’s and Progressive’s worst in the public’s and White House’s eyes…

Folks you haven’t seen nothing yet…

I said I don’t like the deal…

(I AM arguing against something I don’t like….This BIll)

But my nose tells me that the Left is playing a dangerous game here..

They have driven their President to dealing directly with the GOP this time…

Keep it up…

I could get worst …

With a President who feels he can deal with the right more than left….

If it’s the Estate Tax…


Work THAT out with the GOP so you can feel you did something….

But if they don’t budge…

You gotta do the deal….

Least YOU become the bad guys and the President AND the GOP come out as the GOOD Guys…..

(IS this payback  to Obama for no House support on the Healthcare Bill…. and Obama’s lack of selling his policy moves ?)

Larry Summers is trying to scare you….Don’t take the bait….

Daniel pointed this out to me last night…

I told him I thought Summers’ statement was Bullshit…

I still do….


Give the American SOME credit Larry…..

WH warns of deeper economic crisis

In a dramatic escalation of the rhetoric over President Obama’s controversial tax cut deal, senior White House economic adviser Larry Summers warned Congress on Wednesday that failing to pass the legislation could lead to a double-dip recession in 2011.

“If they don’t pass this bill in the next couple weeks it will materially increase the risk that the economy would stall out and we would have a double dip,” he told reporters at a White House briefing.

Pressed for clarification given the dire nature of his statement, Summers stressed that he was only saying it would “significantly increase the risk” of that outcome and was not predicting an actual double dip recession, which is defined as a recession followed by a short-lived recovery and then another recession.

While some economists feared the possibility of a double dip recession for parts of 2009, White House aides have said for months that the possibility of such an outcome was remote.

Summers’ statement seemed to be a clear attempt by White House officials to raise the stakes in the tax cut fight, with senior White House adviser David Axelrod adding at the same briefing that “there are real consequences” for the American people if Congress fails to approve the package, which includes a two-year extension of all the Bush tax rates as well as 13 months of unemployment benefits and a two percentage point cut in the payroll tax……


Get some sense people…..Take the Deal….We have other things to take care of….DSD…

Do I like tax cuts for the very wealthiest? No. I’ve always been some kind of socialist or social democrat.

Are they the worst possible thing? No. Even confining oneself to economics, a prolonged slump or worse a double-dip recession/depression are far, far worse.

Is a bill that continues, extends or even expands help to the lower, working and middle classes a good thing, both in terms of economic health and social equity? Yes.

Stop reacting in Pavlovian fashion like a bunch of tea-party cultists and support this bill, so we can seal the deal in this lame-duck Congress, and move quickly to some other important things, like START and Don’t Ask.

(Did I think John Roberts would be a liberal Justice?


But given the time remaining in that Senate and in President Bush’s term, I thought [maybe wrongly] that he was clearly the best nominee we’d see for that slot.

So I, with the support of half a dozen fellow liberals, asked my Senator to confirm his nomination.)


Nissan Leaf: A revolutionary vehicle that drives like a car…..It doesn’t have a Gas tank….

The exterior styling is unique from any angle. Although this is a good thing at the back of the car, the bulging headlights in the front make for a bit of an odd look. <br> <a href=

A Nissan Leaf ready for a charge is shown at the 2010 L.A. Auto Show.  <br> <a href=

[A Nissan Leaf ready for a charge is shown at the 2010 L.A. Auto Show.]

( Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times )

The Leaf is revolutionary because when it hits the road this winter, it will be the first mass-market all-electric car on the market and will start at $32,780 before tax credits. Kudos toNissan Motor Co. for having the joules to devote the time (it started developing electric vehicles in 1992) and the expense (billions of dollars) necessary to bring the Leaf to production.

And in so doing, Nissan addressed the myriad shortcomings that electric cars traditionally have had in comparison with their internal-combustion brethren. Key among these are concerns about the cars’ practicality and cost and consumers’ range anxiety, a nascent term that describes the fear of running out of power before reaching the destination…..

See full story…..

Rep. Barney Frank admits the Obama Tax Deal WILL pass……

I agree with Barney Frank….

While Obama is cursed…

He shows that he’s a VERY smart man….

This Bill will have him campaigning against the rich extension less than two years from now…

Being right before the next Obama second term election …He has locked himself into NOT having the rich get another extension because he needs the liberal vote…

He will have the Republicans defending that same extension during the campaign for the November 2012 election…

He has given the GOP what they want to pacify them…

While taking care of the unemployed with more benefits

And he has added a sweetener of a payroll tax …..

Thus out Republicaning the GOP with a  tax cut for poor and middle class voters…

The think that makes all of scratch our head is why the estate tax move?

It only should affect 5,000 or so people for the next two years at an estimated $5 Billion?

President Obama’s tax cut deal with Republicans will pass through Congress, despite a tide of opposition from Democrats, Rep. Barney Frank predicted Wednesday. 

Asked on MSNBC if Congress will pass the deal, Frank (D-Mass.) — who said he is opposed to the compromise — said, “I’m afraid that it is, yes.”

Very few, if any, members of Congress have predicted the deal will pass since Obama announced the accord Monday night.

As the outgoing chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank is a high-profile voice within the Democratic caucus.

Incoming House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is less confident the bill would pass. 

“I’m not sure this bill can pass in this form in the House of Representatives,” he said during an interview on MSNBC.

“Time will tell.”


Rand Paul compliments Obama….The Congress begins to move ahead….

The more I read today…

The better I feel…

While my good friend Daniel wanted everything Obama touched turned around…

That isn’t gonna happen…

In the last 24 hours there has been MAJOR movement in BOTH Houses of Congress….

We’re on our way….

I knew all the rhetoric was campaign theater…

Including the Tea Party deficit tightening stuff….

“It’s Fixed…..It’s Fixed…..”


Rand Paul: Obama Will Be ‘Pragmatic’ With New GOP Congress

Kentucky Senate Candidate Rand Paul (R)

A day after President Barack Obama’s White House’s compromise with Republicans on extending the Bush-era tax cuts, Sen.-elect Rand Paul almost had a compliment for the president.

“I actually think that President Obama is going to turn out to be fairly pragmatic with the new Republican Congress,” Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview to be broadcast later.

Read more »

House passes DREAM Act, but bill faces tough Senate vote Thursday…..

The House first step was easy on this one…

The Senate is gonna be a tough one…..

Where the bill failed the last time he got there…..

The bill has been framed in military recruitment and improved national economic terms this time around…..


House lawmakers on Wednesday passed legislation allowing illegal immigrant students to remain permanently and legally in the United States.

The DREAM Act — a top priority of Democrats in both Congress and the White House — was approved by a tally of 216 to 198. Eight Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of the bill, while 38 Democrats voted against it.

The bill now moves to the Senate, which is expected to take up the measure Thursday morning. The proposal’s success is much less likely in the upper chamber, where a GOP filibuster will require 60 votes for passage. The Senate shot down a similar measure in 2007, and most of the opponents at the time haven’t changed their positions over the last three years.

First introduced in 2001, the House legislation extends conditional legal status for five years to those illegal aliens who:

• Were younger than 16  when they entered the country

• Have lived in the U.S. for at least five years

• Have a degree from a U.S. high school, or the equivalent

Beneficiaries can apply for an additional five years of conditional nonimmigrant status if they’ve completed at least two years of higher education or military service.

Afterward, they could apply for permanent legal status.


Senate procedural vote on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ postponed to give Collins more time….And amendments….

THIS is how the founders wanted things to work….

‘Lets make a deal’…..

And stop with ‘NO’ stuff….

The campaigning is over……

[Senator Collins]

The Senate postponed a procedural vote Wednesday to move forward on a defense bill that would end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, giving Senate Democrats more time to negotiate with moderate Republican senators willing to support ending the ban on gays in the military.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had announced plans earlier Wednesday to hold a procedural vote on the bill, but Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key moderate vote on the issue, said late in the day that she would not support the efforts until senators voted on bills regarding tax cuts and government spending.

The Maine Republican has negotiated for more than a week with Reid and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) on terms of an agreement favorable enough to win her vote to move forward on the defense bill, plus the support of Republicans, including Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.),Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John Ensign (Nev.).

In a key concession, Reid promised Collins an opportunity for Republicans to introduce 10 amendments to the defense bill, with Democrats introducing up to five. Collins also asked for four days to debate the bill and amendments.

“If he does that I will do all that I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not,” Collins told reporters……


Don’t Ask is up to GOP Senator Collins…..

Dem Aide: Fate Of DADT Rests With Susan Collins

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

Maine’s junior Senator, the Republican Susan Collins, has the power to end the military’s ban on openly gay soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen today — or the ability to crush the hopes of those hoping to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year, according to a Democratic aide. It’s her choice, says the Senate Democratic aide, who has direct knowledge of the talks leading up to today’s planned cloture vote on the defense spending bill that contains the repeal language.

The aide says supporters of repeal have all the votes they need to move the bill to a final vote, save for Collins, who has been the focus of a coordinated campaign to shift her position by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and President Obama, who the aide said called Collins yesterday to lobby her on DADT.

All three have attempted to get Collins to budge from her position that a cloture vote on the defense bill must be preceded by unlimited debate, which in Senate parlance means any Senator — including the many vocal opponents of DADT repeal — could offer a “non-germane amendment” (the aide suggested repeal of the health care law as an example) that would shut down debate and prevent a final vote on DADT. The aide said that an unlimited debate process would be all but unprecedented on a defense spending bill, and amounts to an “unreasonable demand” on Collins’ part.

Now, with the hours ticking down until Reid announces a cloture vote on the defense bill, Democrats are waiting for Collins’ counteroffer to their proposal to offer ten amendments before the final vote, which the aide says is a good faith effort to give Collins what she has professed to need all along.

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