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Buffet Rule is blocked by GOP in Senate

We knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. The Republicans will continue to side with millionaries and billionaires. We must continue the pressure.

From TPM:

Senate Republicans defeated a motion to take up Buffett Rule legislation the day before taxes are due.

Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill late Monday. The final party-line vote was 51 in favor, 45 against, with Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) breaking ranks with their leadership. The sharp contrast promises to be a defining issue in the presidential election this November.

The principle behind the rule — that people making over $1 million a year should pay at least 30 percent in taxes — was championed by President Obama in his State of the Union this year and subsequently written into legislation by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The rule includes nuances and exceptions aimed at minimizing adverse incentives. It’s expected to raise tax receipts by $47 billion over 10 years, although Democrats say that figure would be at least $160 billion if the Bush tax cuts are extended.

By |2012-04-16T21:10:29-04:00April 16th, 2012|Economy|Comments Off on Buffet Rule is blocked by GOP in Senate

After 17 years…equality in the Military

I have never liked the law Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It was stupid. It was an excellent example of liberal overreach combined with liberal spinelessness. Remember that President Clinton promised to end discrimination in the military. This was a great goal but he didn’t talk with the military or didn’t think that they would mind. He was talking and promising without thinking. Then he got elected and had to confront reality. The military wasn’t interested in changing, period. So, being a politician, President Clinton decided that he would compromise. Let’ s pick a halfway point, he thought. Well, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was that compromise. It was the halfway point between complete discrimination and complete equality. It was sort of discrimination which was sort of stupid.

So, the Senate finally voted to end this discriminatory policy. This is a great thing. Now, the military will have to adjust. The military will adjust because they are great soldiers who answer to the people.

From HuffPo:

The Senate voted 65-31 on Saturday to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, defeating a 17-year policy of banning gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military. Six Republicans initially crossed the aisle to vote against the policy: Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio).

The Senate vote is a vindication of Obama’s decision to push for congressional repeal as opposed to unilateral executive action, though activists note he could have done both. The Senate will make a final vote on ending the policy at 3 p.m.

In the first procedural vote on Saturday morning, 63 senators voted in favor of the bill and 33 against. In the final passage, Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) switched their voted to “aye,” despite initially voting against moving forward with the bill.

“The important thing today is that 63 senators were on the right side of history,” Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, told HuffPost after the first vote, adding he sees the bill as a “stepping stone to further advances for the gay and lesbian community.”

By |2010-12-18T17:59:22-04:00December 18th, 2010|Civil Rights, Military, Senate|Comments Off on After 17 years…equality in the Military

House passes aid to help teachers

This is a relief.

From TPM:

House Democrats today passed a bill doling out $26.1 billion to states to help them pay for teachers and emergency workers and to cover growing Medicaid costs. President Obama Tuesday morning hailed Congress for returning to Washington unexpectedly one week into the summer recess. Thanks to two Republican votes from Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both from Maine, the measure passed the Senate 61-39 last week.

The House passed the measure 247-161. Democrats and the White House estimate the new spending could save up to 300,000 teachers’ jobs across the country. Supporters see it as building on the stimulus program from 2009. But like anything in an election year, the vote set off political nastiness.

It’s a ready-made campaign commercial as Democrats plan to hail their own votes as heroic when states are facing massive budget crises. And — you guessed it — Republicans will say it’s another big-spending government plan.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) mocked the bill as “more ‘stimulus’ spending,” and offered a preview for how Republicans will frame the debate on the trail by saying the taxes that pay for the measure are a “new job-killing tax on U.S. job creators.” It was actually paid for with cuts to programs such as food stamps. (more…)

By |2010-08-11T09:09:21-04:00August 11th, 2010|Congress, Economy|Comments Off on House passes aid to help teachers
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