Tag Archives: Republican’s in Congress

Congressional Republicans bail…..

‘Ain’t fun to be a Republican these days?’

A small wave of Republican lawmakers have announced that they will not seek reelection next year, and more are actively considering it, threatening to make what many within the GOP already viewed as a difficult election cycle even harder.

In the House, the early spate of GOP retirements means the party won’t enjoy the advantage of incumbency in several closely divided districts — and raises the possibility that many more lawmakers will choose to retire rather than face tough reelection campaigns.

No Republican senators have announced retirement plans yet, but several are considering it amid threats by outside groups backing President Trump to challenge establishment-wing senators in next year’s GOP primaries.

The trend reflects an increasingly competitive landscape next year, fueled in part by a highly motivated Democratic Party eager to reclaim at least one lever of power in Washington. It also comes at a time of legislative gridlock and an increasingly contentious relationship with Trump. Despite the party’s control of government, it just isn’t that fun to be a Republican right now….

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The Govt. isn’t gonna shut down over Donald Trump’s border wall…

Nope…

Not gonna happen…

The numbers of border crossing apprehensions are down over 80%...

The number of border cops hasn’t risen….

They lose up to 20% of those applying for the job…

Trump has said the Mexicans would pay for the wall…

That isn’t gonna happen…

He said he’d get a border tax….

That isn’t gonna happen either…

(But the media has ANOTHER one its scare the public stories to run for there next few months!…They LOVE this stuff!….That’s Entertainment!)

His admin has actually had to DOUBLE the Visa’s for out of country workers too come work the fields in the Southwest…

Folks?

This is just another example of how Donald Trump is trying to leverage something he KNOWS he won’t get to pressure establishment Republicans….

He’s from the beat’m over the head school and has never deveated from that course in the past year and half….

Sure, few Republican lawmakers will have the balls to stand up to this….But as those in Congress do?

The vast majority will wait and pray that several of of their party will stand up in the end like with the healthcare repeal failure…..

While Trump and his supporters don’t give a shit?

Most Republicans do…

…Lawmakers in both parties anticipate that Mr. Trump will back down in the end and claim victory over any border security money included in the package. But by threatening the shutdown over the wall funding at this stage, it is Mr. Trump who has fenced himself in….

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I’m betting that come next year there WILL BE a budget and the US Government won’t skip a beat in running day by day…..

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In a draw?…Trump’s Republican Lawmakers would probably drop him for Pence…

Somewhere immediately after Robert Mueller releases his Grand Jury results Republicans in Congress will have to make a choice on how they come down on their party leader….

Right NOW?

They’d be inclined top pick the guy waiting in the wings to cool things down…..

Vice President Mike Pence….

Image result for trump/pence

Beyond his base voters, Trump has an even bigger potential problem looming with his base in Congress. While Republican lawmakers won’t say it publicly, it’s widely known if they could pick between President Pence and President Trump, the Vice President would win 90% of the vote among the GOP…..

Source…

image……usmagazine.com

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President Obama tries hard to empty Guantanamo…

Barack Obama made a campaign pledge to close the dentition center on the tip of Cuba  for Middle Eastern prisoners back in 2008…..

(President Bush had moved out 532 in six year….35% of which where found to have rejoined fighting….Obama has moved 131, of which 10% are through to resumed fighting)

The US Congress has worked just as hard to block the President from doing so…

Reuters is now out with a piece that points to the US military dragging ITS feet in helping the White House work out deals to move detainees  to other countries….

The American President may be Commader-in-Chief of his military…But as we have seen other times in history?

That does NOT mean he gets what he wants from the troops….

Today, nearly 14 years since he was placed in the prison and five years since he was cleared for release by U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic officials, Ba Odah remains in Guantanamo.

In interviews with multiple current and former administration officials involved in the effort to close Guantanamo, Reuters found that the struggle over Ba Odah’s medical records was part of a pattern. Since Obama took office in 2009, these people said, Pentagon officials have been throwing up bureaucratic obstacles to thwart the president’s plan to close Guantanamo.

Negotiating prisoner releases with the Pentagon was like “punching a pillow,” said James Dobbins, the State Department special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2013 to 2014.

Defense Department officials “would come to a meeting, they would not make a counter-argument,” he said. “And then nothing would happen.”

Pentagon delays, he said, resulted in four Afghan detainees spending an additional four years in Guantanamo after being approved for transfer.

In other cases, the transfers of six prisoners to Uruguay, five to Kazakhstan, one to Mauritania and one to Britain were delayed for months or years by Pentagon resistance or inaction, officials said.

….

Pentagon officials denied any intentional effort to slow transfers….

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House Speaker Paul Ryan seeks to wrestle the Republican current brand from ‘Trumpism’….

With the daily Donald Trump stuff running all over the media and Republicans seeminly hopely lost on how to handle it…..

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc), maybe seeking to advance a more rational view of what Republican’s have as goals….At least in his house of Congress…..

While Ryan has pledged to work with his Freedom Caucus rightwingnuts, just like John Boehner did , when he started…..

It is looking like Ryan will need Democrats to help him get things done…..

JUST LIKE THE GUY WHO JUST QUIT THE JOB BEFORE HIM…..

With Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly alarmed by what they hear coming from the presidential campaign trail, Speaker Paul D. Ryan will seek on Thursday to gain some control over his party’s overarching message and image.

“We want all Americans, when they look at Washington, to see spending going down, taxes going down, debt going down,” Mr. Ryan is to say, according to excerpts from what is being billed as his first major address since becoming speaker. “We want to see progress and have pride. We want people to believe in the future again.”….

Lawmakers and strategists in both parties have credited Mr. Ryan with a good start in his new role. The speech seems an effort to take advantage of that momentum as Congress advances major bipartisan legislation this week…

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Staten Island DA wins US House seat in Special Election…

To NO ONE’s surprise….

The US House seat remains in Republicans hands….

Daniel Donovan easily won a special election to replace Rep. Michael Grimm on Tuesday, keeping a New York City swing congressional seat in Republican hands.

Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney, was leading his Democratic opponent, City Councilman Vincent Gentile, 60 percent to 38 percent in the returns on Tuesday night, with 96 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Voters had just reelected Grimm, who had represented the district since 2011, in a landslide last November in spite of a 20-count federal indictment against him. He resigned shortly after pleading guilty to one count of felony tax fraud in December.

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IRS and Homeland Security employee’s looking at possible furloughs and unpaid work…

The countries President has moved ahead on Immigration Reform, using powers he has as the nations chief executive…The IRS has asked conservative non-profits to tell them what they are doing….

Republicans are besides themselves against this….

Their solution?

Cut money for these agencies…A LOT of money….

Never-mind that Homeland employee’s affected are PROTECTING those Congressmen and the rest of us….

Never-mind that the IRS takes IN the money that pays America’s bills….

Makes senese…Right?

Work now, get paid later.

Federal employees hoped they were through with this kind of madness after the partial government shutdown of 2013.

But the nightmare remains for employees at the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. Both agencies continue to face a questionable future because of uncertain funding. If they don’t get the money they need soon, their employees and the public services that the agencies provide will suffer.

This was on the minds of federal workers attending the National Treasury Employees Union legislative conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Meeting a day after President Obama released his fiscal 2016 budget proposal, they complained about its slight 1.3 percent federal pay-raise proposal. But they also worry about other budget issues that could hit federal workplaces.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen warned his employees in an e-mail last month that budget cuts could lead to the “shutdown of IRS operations for two days later this fiscal year, which will involve furloughing employees on those days.”

“There is no way around the severity of these budget cuts without taking some difficult steps,” he said.

Federal employees would feel the difficulty the most….

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Education testing requirements will probably be cut ….

Be it No Child Left Behind or Common Core Federal Educational programs?

The amount of testing will be the subject of Congressional and State Republican efforts review….

Responding to complaints from with the nation’s educational system and parents about too much time and effort spent on the testing as the expense of learning ….The incoming Republican majority (and some Democrats) in Congress are ready to make cuts….

The NCLB program was introduced by George Bush…

Republicans on the Hill are finding unusual common ground with teachers unions about an overthrow of the annual testing mandate embedded in No Child Left Behind.

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is making reauthorization of the law one of his biggest priorities — and testing is expected to take center stage. He plans to tackle the issue during a hearing early in the new year. Under serious consideration: slashing the number of federally required tests or even doing away with them all together.
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This political alliance is part of a larger nationwide movement, buoyed by a grass-roots crusade led by parents and teachers who reject the testing regimes that they say have come to dominate public schools for the past decade.

“We are actively exploring the question of whether the federal mandate on annual tests is warranted,” one GOP aide said. The goal is to give states more flexibility in how they track student progress, report those results to the public and hold schools accountable for all kids.
A bipartisan bill gaining momentum among lawmakers would give states grants to audit their testing regimes — and weed out unnecessary exams.

“Annual statewide assessments are critical to ensuring that all students are held to the same high standards and parents, teachers and communities have the information they need about how their children are doing every year,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said when the bill was introduced. “However, in many places, the amount of testing that is redundant or simply not helpful for instruction has become a real problem.”

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Breaking…President Obama will double the number of military advisors in Iraq….

The additional US military soldiers will join Canadian, Australian and Norwegian Special Forces advisors….

The advisor and assistance program will move into more area’s and provide assistance to Iraq troops themselves in addition to the Iraq command structure….

The President will have no problem from Republicans in Congress, who are coming into the leadership positions and have asked for a stronger US effort in the War on Terror…..

The President is also asking for more funds from Congress in his efforts….

President Obama has authorized the deployment of an additional 1,500 American troops to Iraq in the coming months, the Defense Department said on Friday, a move that will double the number of those sent to advise and assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the battle against the Islamic State.

The Pentagon also said that American military advisers would establish a number of additional training sites across Iraq, in a significant expansion of the American military campaign against the Sunni militant group in Iraq and Syria. Officials in the office of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that a number of American military personnel would deploy specifically to Anbar province….

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GOP establishment leaders don’t poll too well….

The Civil War in the Grand Old Party continues with the poll people divided almost evenly on the party being TOO Conservative….And NOT Conservative enough….

Kinda confusing, eh?

Three days after Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) stunning loss in the Republican primary in Virginia sent shockwaves through the U.S. Capitol, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that Cantor is not the only GOP congressional leader struggling to find support from the party’s base. According to the poll, only about a third of Republicans have a favorable view of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The poll asked respondents to rate five congressional leaders: Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Among all Americans Pelosi had the highest rating, though only 27 percent of respondents said they view her favorably. Cantor received a favorable rating from the fewest respondents, with just 16 percent giving him a positive rating. Boehner, McConnell and Reid were in the middle, with 20 percent of respondents viewing Boehner favorably, 19 percent viewing McConnell favorably and 24 percent viewing Reid favorably.

Even among Republicans themselves, GOP leaders received mediocre-to-poor ratings. Just 33 percent of Republicans gave Boehner a favorable rating, while 41 percent said they view him unfavorably. McConnell was viewed more favorably than unfavorably, but only by a margin of 36 percent to 32 percent. Cantor was also quite unpopular among Republicans. Only 28 percent gave him a favorable rating, while 39 percent gave him an unfavorable rating — though that result could be due in part to Cantor’s loss on Tuesday.

Also troubling for the GOP leaders is the fact that 45 percent of Republican respondents said GOP leadership in Congress is not conservative enough.

Democratic respondents expressed much more positive views about their party’s congressional leaders. Almost half of Democrats said they view Reid favorably, compared to only 21 percent who view him unfavorably, and 58 percent gave Pelosi a favorable rating, compared to just 19 percent who gave her a negative rating. Only 24 percent of Democrats said Democratic leaders in Congress are not liberal enough.

Overall, 40 percent of respondents said Republican leadership in Congress is too conservative, 23 percent said the leadership is not conservative enough and 18 percent said it is about right. In comparison, 41 percent of all respondents said Democratic leadership is too liberal, 13 percent said not liberal enough and 27 percent said the leadership is about right….

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GOP Plan…Think Small…Go after Obama and Circle the Wagons….

Realizing that their political  Civil War has caused them causalities …..

The Grand Ole Party is striving to calm things down and turn their focus outward against their Democratic President….

That with Midterm elections that all but guarantee their continued majority in the House and a chance to grab a thin majority in the Senate….

Republicans plan to keep legislation to a minimum to cut down on their fights between hard right and establishment types in their party…

House Republican leaders, having dispensed with the debt limit and put immigration reform on the back burner, will return to their political comfort zone with a legislative agenda focused on attacking the Obama administration and government excess.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has announced that the week of Feb. 24 will be “Stop Government Abuse Week” in the House, and his office has lined up more than a dozen bills targeting IRS activities, government transparency and bureaucratic red tape.

The legislative push is a response to what Cantor described as “continual overreach” — complaints that the Obama administration regularly oversteps its bounds with regulatory rule-making and inappropriate targeting of political groups by the IRS.

While many of the bills are narrow in scope and technical in nature, freshman Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said they respond to “meat-and-potatoes” concerns from constituents.

“This week focuses on things I hear in my district, which is why is the government involved in my business?” he said.

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GOP brass in both chambers have shifted their focus to stability, looking to avoid intraparty drama, rally behind incumbents and build Republicans’ ground game ahead of November’s midterm elections, where they hope to be competitive in a slew of Senate races and hold on to the party’s 17-seat House majority.

In that vein, championing a handful bills on job growth, energy and regulatory policy — all targeted at courting swing voters but unlikely to win Democratic support — has become a priority, with party leaders planning to spend months seeking consensus among Republicans and avoiding talks on controversial matters.

“It’s a natural progression,” said Republican Vin Weber, a former Minnesota congressman. “If you’re a Republican in Congress, you’ve learned that when we shut down the government, we lose. Now that we’ve had some success in avoiding another shutdown, our fortunes seem to be rising, so maybe we don’t want big things to happen.”

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The GOPer’s lick their wounds and get ready for their next up at bat…..

Are they gonna put the President’s call for Immigration Reform aside and get in a political fight to make MORE cuts and give MORE money to Defense?

Will they fight to keep the sequester cuts eating away?….and go to the mat to cut entitlments?

Are we gonna be seeing ANOTHER brinkmanship show?

House Republicans are digesting the lessons of the shutdown fight and weighing whether to change their tactics before the next budget battle.

Centrists in the party are signaling the conference may be chastened by the public backlash that accompanied the shutdown and the near debt default. Polls show the party’s popularity has plummeted to historic lows.

But senior members of the party are stoking expectations that the coming House-Senate budget conference could help them win the major cuts to entitlements that they have long sought.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who will co-chair the budget conference, said Wednesday he plans to seek big changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

“I’ve made no secret that I want to get a budget agreement that gets entitlement spending under control, that gets a dent on the debt and enacts pro-growth policies to create jobs. Nothing has changed from my perspective,” Ryan said.

The debt-ceiling deal creates a House-Senate budget conference that is tasked with coming up with a fiscal blueprint by Dec. 13.

That blueprint could replace the sequester cuts, or put in place tax and entitlement changes that smooth the path for a long-term debt ceiling increase after the borrowing limit is hit on Feb. 7.

Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) warned that the budget conference would only be able to replace the sequester cuts to the military if members approach the task with a spirit of compromise.

“It depends on people’s willingness to really work. If it is just go to your corners and throw rocks at each other it won’t accomplish anything,” he said.

McKeon said that he trusts Ryan to prioritize a fight for an increase in defense spending.

“Paul Ryan and the budget did a good job for defense, and he’s very supportive,” he said.

But it remains to be seen how hard of a bargain Republicans will try to drive with Democrats, who are likely to feel emboldened by their victory in the shutdown fight.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said the budget conference could succeed if the GOP stops making “unrealistic” demands.

“Don’t talk about cutting half the government, or defunding,” he said.

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Democrats have the President to worry about on Syria….

Will the House Democrats feel compelled to vote to support the President for HIS and THEIR interests in the end against the public worries on engaging in military action in Syria?

The Democrats have a whole lot of OTHER stuff coming up to deal with in Congress over the next month…A Politically damaged President isn’t gonna help them…..

With Obama scheduled to address the country Tuesday night, several Democrats said the fate of the Syria vote could very well hinge on the president’s ability to change public opinion.

“This is going to be a fireside chat, somewhat like it was in the Thirties,” Levin said. “I wasn’t old enough to know, one has to remember how difficult it was for President Roosevelt in WWII.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who remains undecided on the Syria question, agreed.

“It’s very, very important that the case for involvement in Syria not only be made to the members of Congress and the Senate, but it must also be made to the American people,” Cummings said Friday in the Capitol.

Still other Democrats, meanwhile, are arguing that the ripple effects of a Syria vote are simply too complicated to game out in advance. Some said the GOP has shown little indication it will advance Obama’s agenda even after his reelection, so a Syria failure would do little damage.

“There is a constant wounding [of Obama] going on with the Tea Party on budgets, appropriations and the debt ceiling,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). “I am going to reach out to my colleagues, Tea Party or not, and ask is this really the way you want to project the political process?”

Jackson Lee said using Syria to score political points would be “frolicking and frivolity” by the Tea Party.

Yet others see a more serious threat to the Democrats’ legislative agenda if the Syria vote fails.

A Democratic leadership aide argued that Republicans — some of whom are already fundraising on their opposition to the proposed Syria strikes — would only be emboldened in their fight against Obama’s agenda if Congress shoots down the use-of-force resolution.

“It’s just going to make things harder to do in Congress, that’s for sure,” the aide said Friday……

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But other aides said Obama could also double down on fighting the cuts from sequestration if he becomes desperate for a win after Syria, and the net effect could be positive.

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GOP Texas Seanator Ted Cruz walks back Defunding Obamacare push…..

Truth be told, eh?

The conservative plan to use the resolution that funds the government to cripple the president’s health-care law has a problem, according to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz: other Republicans.

“The problem right now is we don’t have Republicans willing to stand up and do this,” Cruz said Monday on The Andrea Tantaros Show, a conservative radio program. “We need 41 Republicans in the Senate or 218 Republicans in the House, to stand together, to join me, to join Mike Lee, to joinMarco Rubio, all of whom have said, we will not vote for a single continuing resolution that funds even a penny of ObamaCare.”

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The President’s jawboning has little success…

If there is ANYTHING you know about the political climate in Washington is these days …..It is that Republican’s don’t care much for just about ANYTHING Democratic President Barack Obama says or wants….

It appears that 3 days of going to the Republican’s to sell HIS wants hasn’t impressed many if any of the Republicans who are holding firm against the President’s wants….

President Obama appeared on Sunday to still be enjoying a bit of good karma from his extended outreach to Congress last week, but Republican leaders who hold the most sway over fiscal negotiations were holding firm in opposition to the president.

The good karma was reflected in remarks like those from Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who said he could imagine fellow Republicans agreeing on a big budget deal that would provide new revenue through tax reform if Democrats would give ground on reductions to entitlement programs like Medicare.

“I think there, by the way, is a chance on a deal,” Mr. Corker said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I know the president is saying the right things, and we have an opportunity over the next four months.”

But Republican leaders who appeared on television Sunday seemed to indicate that Mr. Obama’s three days of visits to the Capitol would not change Republicans’ opposition to his desire to raise taxes as part of a larger plan to reduce the budget deficit.

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Tea Party Activists Angry at G.O.P. Leaders….

That’s a New York Times story from yesterday….

Well people….. You’re gonna be seeing that story a lot for the next two years…

As the Democratic left has found out…

It’s one thing to make promises when you are they people not running things…

It’s another when you ARE running things….

US Congressmen and women are there for ALL the people …

Not just one party or even on segment of their party….


Just Barack Obama has found out…

The founders set the US government up to work on compromise….

So the Tea Party stuff might be good campaign slogans…

But most of it simply will not see the light of day….

GOP leaders Boehner and McConnell will be fighting rear actions from WITHIN their party for the new two years just as the President has since the Democratic primaries…..

[Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler, co-founders of the Tea Party Patriots, at a November rally.]

(Cliff Owen/Associated Press)

Just a month ago, Tea Party leaders were celebrating their movement’s victories in the midterm elections. But as Congress wrapped up an unusually productive lame-duck session last month, those same Tea Party leaders were lamenting that Washington behaved as if it barely noticed that American voters had repudiated the political establishment.

In their final days controlling the House, Democrats succeeded in passing legislation that Tea Party leaders opposed, includinga bill to cover the cost of medical care for rescue workers at the site of the World Trade Center attacks, an arms-control treatywith Russia, a food safety bill and a repeal of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.

“Do I think that they’ve recognized what happened on Election Day? I would say decisively no,” said Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, which sent its members an alert last month urging them to call their representatives to urge them to “stop now and go home!!”

“We sent them a message that we expect them to go home and come back newly constituted and do something different,” Mr. Meckler said. “For them to legislate when they’ve collectively lost their mandate just shows the arrogance of the ruling elite. I can’t imagine being repudiated in the way they were and then coming back and saying ‘Now that we’ve been repudiated, let’s go pass some legislation.’ ”

“I’m surprised by how blatant it was,” he added.

But Tea Party activists did not reserve their criticism for Democrats. “The Republicans, frankly, have been a disaster,” Mr. Meckler said. “They stood strong on some things, but the only reason they stood strong is because we stood behind them with a big stick.”

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