Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused Boehner of running a dictatorship
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused Boehner of running a dictatorship
, citing his refusal
to call a vote on legislation to keep taxes steady for most while letting them rise at upper incomes. The bill "would pass overwhelmingly," Reid predicted, and said the Ohio Republican won't change his mind because he fears it might cost him re-election as speaker when the new Congress convenes next week.
Boehner seems "to care more about keeping his speakership than keeping the nation on a firm financial footing," he said in remarks on the Senate floor.
A few hours later, McConnell expressed frustration and blamed the standoff on Obama and the Democrats. "Republicans have bent over backwards. We stepped way, way out of our comfort zone,
" he said, referring to GOP offers to accept higher tax rates on some
Bent over backwards!!! Geez.
Plan B...which they couldn't even pass!!!
The bill doesn't include extensions for the expansions of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the American Opportunity Credit (AOC) that were included in the 2009 stimulus. Which means that the "working poor, on average, would see taxes go up between $1,000 and $1,500 dollars." Few, however, making more than $100,000 see their taxes increase. But wait, that's not all.
Not content just to make poor people pay more taxes, Boehner is taking stuff away from them, too in the companion bill to "Plan B," the sweetener bill that contains replacement cuts for the automatic cuts included in last years' Budget Control Act.
That bill voids both the military spending cuts and domestic spending cuts set to take place in 2013 and replaces them with a host of cuts to domestic spending, including:
– Cuts to food stamps that could knock millions of low-income Americans out of the program;
– Cuts to Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers meals to seniors or other individuals who are unable to prepare their own food;
– Cuts funding to health exchanges that will be created under Obamacare and funding for Medicaid included in the same law;
– Cuts to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that will yield no cost savings, but will make bailouts of big banks more likely;
– Denying the Child Tax Credit to the parents of American children, if the parents are undocumented immigrants.
"We wanted an agreement, but we had no takers. The phone never rang, and so here we are five days from the new year and we might finally start talking," McConnell said.
Still, he warned: "Republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything the Democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff."
The problem here is that there has been a coup in the GOP. 50 or so rebel 'Tea Party' fanatic/ nutjobs, all bought and paid for by special interests, can block anything the leadership wants to do.
The Sunlight Foundation, a group that pushes for more transparent politics and policymaking, on Friday reported that federal records show that two mystery companies in September donated over $12 million to the super PAC of FreedomWorks, the tea party-supporting organization that this week was rocked by the abrupt resignation of its chairman, Dick Armey, the former Republican House majority leader. These contributions accounted for more than half of the $23.2 million the group raised for the 2012 campaign, and they came from two shadowy Knoxville-Tennessee-based firms—Specialty Group, Inc., and Pike Development LLC—that publicly have no reason to exist other than apparently to make contributions and mask the true source of the money. Moreover, Armey tells Mother Jones that he knew nothing about the donations or the origins of the cash and that he quit FreedomWorks partly because of a lack of transparency.
After the Sunlight Foundation posted this report—noting that the sources of this funding "remain shadowy"—Mother Jones contacted Armey and asked if he had been aware of these contributions and of where the money came from. He replied, "I know nothing about this."
The Washington Post’s story of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s attempted coup of the tea party group FreedomWorks had the political press buzzing on Wednesday. But in the background, behind the dramatic account of a high-stakes D.C. power struggle, Amy Gardner’s story also supplied some answers to one of the abiding money mysteries of 2012 election.
In early November, several news outlets ran stories about a Knoxville, Tenn. man named William S. Rose III. Over six weeks that began in late September, using two newly formed companies with no other apparent purpose, Rose gave more than $12 million to FreedomWorks. The donations made Rose’s companies among the biggest corporate donors of the election cycle. In response to the press interest over his motivations, Rose released a six-page statement, denying that he or his companies were “shadowy” but insisting that the business of one of the companies, Specialty Group, was a “family secret” that would be kept secret “as allowed by applicable law — for at least another 50 years.”
The Post’s story this week reported that the money given by Rose’s companies actually came from Richard Stephenson, a “reclusive Illinois millionaire” and the founder and chairman of the board of the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America. From the Post:
Rose, who could not be reached for comment, has said publicly he would not answer questions about the donations. But according to three current and former FreedomWorks employees with knowledge of the donations, the money originated with Stephenson and his family, who arranged for the contributions from the Tennessee firms to the super PAC.
[Adam] Brandon, FreedomWorks’ executive vice president, told colleagues starting in August that Stephenson would be giving between $10 million and $12 million, these sources said. Brandon also met repeatedly with members of Stephenson’s family who were involved in arranging the donations, the sources said.
Stephenson attended a FreedomWorks retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in August at which a budget was being prepared in anticipation of a large influx of money, according to several employees who attended the retreat. At the retreat, Stephenson dictated some of the terms of how the money would be spent, the employees said.
“There is no doubt that Dick Stephenson arranged for that money to come to the super PAC,” said one person who attended the retreat. “I can assure you that everyone around the office knew about it.”