Tag Archive: John Boehner

Norcross and Sires – again, these two – vote with Republicans on KeystoneXL

Here’s the list of Democrats who voted with the Republicans today to approve the $5.4 Billion Keystone XL pipeline. Two of the 29 are from New Jersey; Donald Norcross (NJ-1) and Albio Sires (NJ-8). House vote was 270-152, on a bill identical to one passed by the Senate in late January.

If you want to say anything to them about it, you can use Twitter. Tweet to:

@DonNorcross4NJ.

@RepSires.

Neither has posted on this vote; both know it wouldn’t be their best play (Norcross’ Twitter account is inactive since Jan. 21).

Oddly enough, the tweets at the top of both congressmen’s accounts are about jobs; Sires here (from today) and Norcross here (pinned form Oct. 22, 2014).

President Obama will have 10 days to issue a veto, which he’s very likely to do. Speaker John Boehner says the president is “standing with a bunch of left-fringe extremists and anarchists. (Watch). Norcross and Sires are standing with Boehner and the Republicans.  

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. scorches the Republican House for Obama hatred and wasting time

We don’t generally report on the lonely moments that House members get for star-turns on their pet issues. There’s nothing wrong with those speeches, and I’m grateful they’re televised. They always seem so isolated to me, from the real-time work of Congress.

But this time, the real-time work of Congress has largely ground to a halt because the Republicans have really stepped in it with the threat of a lawsuit against Obama, that constitutional scholars deem baseless and unjustifiable. And all their impeachment talk, which Boehner tried to snatch back when it became clear how well Dems used that to rally their own. (Sorry, John Boehner. Nope.)

This statement of outrage from Rep. Donald Payne is dead-on. The GOP’s behavior is rooted, as he says, in a lack of respect for a man who won an election, like every other election. But they find something wrong with this president. Something about him is illegitimate, just not right. Something about him has members of this institution disrespecting him on a daily basis.

He goes on to say, with millions out of work – including nearly 300,000 in NJ – the Republicans are wasting time and millions of dollars, pandering to their own extremists. With stunts; 50 times trying to repeal ACA, the birth certificate stunt. Stopping at nothing to make him look like a failure. Trying to make people think he’s not even a real American.

Yes. Nailed it. And an African-American representative is the exact right person to call them out on this. Watch it for yourself below:  

President Obama huddles in the Oval, 450 NJ National Guard deploy to the Middle East

A few minutes ago, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell walked into the Oval Office to discuss with the President what to do, if anything, if Iraq falls apart. As Iraq falls apart.

At the same time – right now – 450 members of the New Jersey National Guard are leaving Fort Dix in Burlington County, NJ, on their way to a mobilization center in Fort Bliss, Texas. From there, they ship out to the Middle East. To Qatar, near the action. Their families and friends were there to see them off today. Many of those families have been through this routine, and the uncertainty and concern that goes with it. Not that they can’t handle it. We call on military families to be strong, and they do their best to be strong. But what’s required on our end is coherent foreign policy and intelligent decision-making. If we let President Obama’s fix-it strategy chase George Bush’s adventurism and war-profiteering, will we be doing right by these 450 men and women from New Jersey, or the ones we asked so much of for so long already?

If the situation was bad before, it’s a shitshow now.  

Menendez & Booker vote to extend unemployment benefits

Both our senators voted Yes this morning behind a Democratic initiative to extend unemployment benefits that have expired. The vote was 60-37. That gives a big win on a procedural voteto President Obama and the Democrats, to extend long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans, including more than 200,000 military vets. Six Senate Republicans voted with the Democrats.

But once the bill clears the upper house, it goes to the House and to Speaker John Boehner. And he’s under pressure from tea partiers and the right-wing of his own party to kill it there. Or, amounting to the same thing, to require offsets to pay for it.

Senator Menendez is tweeting this to his more than 10,000 Twitter followers:



NJ’s senior senator also sent a link to the petition to supporters today. @Cory Booker has been using Twitter to talk particularly about unemployment among young adults in NJ today.

If you’re on Twitter, you can tweet your thanks to @SenatorMenendez or @Menendez4NJ and @CoryBooker. Hashtag #RenewUI.

Large NJ Chamber President Slams Right Wing Congress, Goes Keynesian

promoted by Rosi

The Gateway Chamber of Commerce is the second largest chamber in the state, and is — rightly — dedicated to supporting business.  Their president, Jim Coyle, ran the Board of Public Utilities for Governor Christie Whitman, was a GOP communications consultant and even managed a congressional campaign in the 90s.

The national Chamber, and many local chambers, are often seen as adjuncts of the Republican Party at worst or opponents of the Democratic Party at best.

So it’s a surprise to see this from former GOP operative, Chamber of Commerce President and all-around pretty conservative guy Jim Coyle:

So why has [Congress] suddenly gone from almost dysfunctional to completely dysfunctional in the last three years? The most common reason given is the rise of the radical right in the House of Representatives. These guys are so ideological that they will not compromise, even with their own leadership. You have to feel sorry for John Boehner and his attempts to get his own party on the same page.

Wow.  Ideological, won’t compromise, Boehner is toothless.  Wow.

But that’s not the surprise.

The negotiation process is about getting things you want. It is not about being the only one at the table getting anything. Your partner across the table also needs to get things. There is a misconception that compromise is finding a middle ground. Compromise is about getting enough stuff that you are okay with the other guy getting some of the stuff he wants, as well.

In other words, to make things work in negotiations, you have to be able to do a lot of horse trading.

Wait, horse trading? Getting stuff in return for giving up a vote on something you don’t like?  What could that mean Coyle supports?

Goodies, better known as earmarks …

Earmarks are good, he says! Horse trading in Congress is good!

And why would a Chamber of Commerce President, GOP administration executive and former campaign hack support the evil earmarks?  Because when Congress is sending money back to the states for infrastructure, investment and jobs it’s good for local business.

Contrary to what the GOP generally says, earmarks and federal spending are good for local business.  And local business is what Coyle is all about.  You won’t see the words John Maynard Keynes or Keynesian in any column from him, but that’s what he’s talking about.

Which is why the Democrats should be pounding these themes, attacking the GOP for failing local business by blocking any federal spending on things that would help their districts.  There are tons of Republican House members (including at least two and maybe three here in NJ) who win by five points or so who could be hurt by not bringing back the federal dollars.

Voting against transportation bills, supporting sequestration, opposing stimulus, demanding the end to the payroll tax holiday, etc., etc., etc.  The GOP should be vulnerable to attack, and the attack should start now.

Christie’s False Equivalency

Today, Governor Christie excoriated Congress for their inaction on relief to Hurricane Sandy victims. He equated both parties as “bad guys” for putting ideology above results. This is a false equivalency that has been perpetuated by the mainstream media.

Clearly, the Republicans are the masters of not getting things done. Contrast them with the Democrats of a few years ago. Remember the debate about the Affordable Care Act? It was far from a slam dunk for its proponents. Congressman Bart Stupak and other anti-choice zealots threatened to sink the bill to further their ideologies. The reason we passed Obamacare is due in large part to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She got things done, while the current Speaker can’t even find his way out of a paper bag.

Equating the Democrats and Republicans when it comes to gridlock is a false premise and should be called out as such.