Tag Archive: John Boehner

Rush Holt on Budget

promoted by Rosi

On August 1, while John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and their colleagues were threatening to shut down the government, Rush Holt gave a speech describing the budget debate as:

at its heart, a debate between two visions for America. One side envisions rebuilding our country, investing in jobs and education and infrastructure, and rising from the Great Recession as a stronger and more resilient Nation. The other side accepts a pessimistic vision of a weakened America with a shrunken government-a Nation hampered by deep cuts to the safety net and hobbled by a refusal to invest in our future.

I couldn’t agree more. And, like the Honorable Representative from the 12th District, I hold with the former.

Here’s the full text, after the jump, of his August 1, 2011 speech. It will be in the Congressional Record as soon as it is updated – assuming, of course, that funds will be budgeted for updating and maintaining the Congressional Record.  

Socialists v Stalinists

The Washington Post reported, on August 6, 2011, that John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and the “Young Guns,” their Republican comrades in the House of Representatives, PLANNED as far back as January, 2009 to use the debt ceiling to create a political crisis. It seems to have worked. The Republicans held fast, Obama and the Democrats blinked. The rating agency Standard & Poors, S&P, downgraded their rating of the credit-worthiness of the United States of America, President Obama’s core supporters seem to be abandoning him. And the stock markets are plummeting – the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1000 points in 3 days.

Rush Holt Letter to Speaker John Boehner: “dangerous and far reaching bills”

To women in New Jersey, the national assault on a woman’s right to choose feels like a home-grown offensive. Our Governor has made a mission of defunding family planning and women’s health for lower-income women, some of whom are left without options. He’s staked his political future with the anti-choice few, speaking at a state house rally for NJ Right to Life. The actors and video pranksters of Live Action, who are well-aware of what established practice at Planned Parenthood is, found an employee breaking that practice (since fired) and have exploited that video to build sympathy for their cause. That was in Perth Amboy. Live Action advisor and best-known video prankster James O’Keefe is a Rutgers grad. And finally, NJ-4’s Rep. Chris Smith has introduced one of the most regressive bills of my lifetime, House Resolution 3, fast-tracked by Speaker John Boehner, criticized by many for its provision of “redefining rape”. In a letter delivered a few hours ago, Rush Holt, a NJ Planned Parenthood board member, speaks his mind about HR3 and its back-tracking companion, far-right Indiana congressman Mike Pence’s HR217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. He also spoke on the House floor today.

Video of Holt protesting HR217 and the last part of his letter to Speaker Boehner are after the jump.

The Honorable John Boehner

Office of the Speaker

The Honorable Eric Cantor

Office of the the Majority Leader

Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor:

I write respectfully to inform you of my strong opposition to H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act.  Both of these bills are thinly veiled attempts to prohibit American women from being able to access comprehensive health care. I urge you to not to bring these dangerous and far reaching bills to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.

Regardless of our personal opinion about abortion, the Supreme Court has determined that abortion is a legally protected medical procedure.  The choice of whether or not to have an abortion is up to a woman, her faith, and her family, not the federal government.

The deceptively named No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act claims that it would enact a government-wide prohibition on federal subsidies for abortion and health insurance plans that cover it. In truth it is an unprecedented attempt to limit health insurance coverage for American women, raise taxes on small businesses, infringe on the legally protected rights of American Servicewomen, and make this legal medical procedure inaccessible to women.

Most offensively, H.R. 3 as introduced, creates a nebulous definition of rape that would require a woman to carry a fetus to term if it is deemed that she was not “forcibly raped.”  Forcible is a term with no legal definition.  This would return our country to the long outdated standard of rape law, where a rape verdict depended not on whether the victim consented, but on whether outsiders thought she resisted as hard as humanly possible. This law was changed because it was rarely found that the victim had “fought hard enough” to resist her rapist.  We should not turn back the clock and revert to a standard that further victimizes rape victims.

Letter continues after the jump.

Andrews spearheads campaign to expose House GOP budget Nincompoopery

“It’s hard to take them seriously until they look at the other two-thirds of the budget.”

–Congressman Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) on the Republican ruse to tinker with the deficit.

I’ll spare you the boring background since it’s so well-established that when the new GOP House majority starts prattling about fiscal (anything) they are totally full of shit.

That said, this article from today’s BurlCo Times shows that at least one NJ Congressman is perfectly comfortable busting their balls for it.

The Party of Death

Over the past two years, the Republican Party has justifiably earned the moniker of “The Party of No”.  Republicans have not only effectively blocked much of President Obama’s agenda, but have even blocked his attempts to pass initiatives that were originally introduced by their own party.  And they are unashamed to point out that the defeat of the President is their number one goal – not jobs, not healthcare – but the bringing down of the President.  

But the labeling of the GOP as the “Party of No” hides a more insidious aspect of their agenda – the fact that their policies cause orders of magnitudes more unnecessary deaths than terrorist attacks have done.

More below the fold…

Barack Obama and John Adler

Pretty strongly-worded post. Blue Jersey, do you agree? – promoted by Rosi

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Congressman John Adler were elected to their respective posts in 2008 to the delight of progressive democrats.  While there were numerous differences between their elections, the actions of both men have been a disappointment.

Obama replaced an unpopular incompetent president.  Adler replaced a very popular and effective retiring long-term congressman.  Both men won against moderate Republicans, although starting with his VP selection, Senator McCain has been intoxicated by Crazy Tea.

Both men ran on platforms of change – change from the “me first” attitude espoused by Republicans.  Yet, once in power, both men moved to the right to the consternation of their respective bases.  If there are any exemplars of the kind of moderate Republicans they defeated (corporatists who promote small, incremental improvements in social programs) then both Obama and Adler fill the bill. But these are not the policies that swept these men into office.

Of course, John Adler faces a re-election challenge this year, while President Obama still has two years to go.  Adler’s opponent is a know-nothing unqualified celebrity who has memorized the Tea Party talking points that resonate with an electorate influenced by Fox “News” and sound bites.  While it’s still early to speculate on the GOP presidential nominee, as of now it looks like Obama also will face a corporate-sponsored Tea Party sympathizer.  Adler has abandoned his base and is pursuing conservative voters who would normally vote for the Republicans.  The danger is that many Liberals and Democrats will sit out this election.  This is a danger that is magnified many times if Obama still believes he can work with the intransigent Republicans – Republicans who put defeat of the president’s agenda ahead of what’s good for the middle class and the nation as a whole.

Could an Adler defeat be a harbinger of what’s ahead for Barack Obama?  Will anticipated Democratic losses in 2010 validate or repudiate Obama’s rightward swing?  If enough moderate Democrats Republicans like John Adler lose this year, President Obama will have to work with a John “Hell No We Can’t” Boehner House and will be distracted by so many GOP-run congressional investigations that it would make the Clinton impeachment circus seem like a blip.  What would it take to re-energize the progressive left that brought both men to power in 2008?  

Hang on, folks; this is going to be a scary ride.

A Progressive’s Dilemma

I feel your pain. – Promoted by Rosi Efthim

Cross-Posted from deciminyan.org

Now that the primary is over and the insurgent candidates were beaten back by their respective party’s establishments, what choice does a Progressive Democrat have in New Jersey’s Third Congressional District?

Two years ago, we rejoiced at John Adler’s victory on the coattails of Barack Obama.  Adler is the first Democrat to represent this area in over a century.  His reputation as a “liberal” in the State Senate brought hope that he would pursue an agenda that would be for the people and not the corporate interests.  But it all came crashing down when Adler bucked his party by voting for the insurance companies and denying health insurance coverage for 40 million Americans for another generation.

So now it’s Adler vs. Runyan.  The Harvard-educated lawyer with tons of legislative experience vs. an ex-footballer who shuns public scrutiny.  The Democrat who abandoned the people who got him elected vs. the anti-tax Republican who harbors donkeys on his Moorestown estate to escape taxes.  A Morton’s Fork creating a dilemma for Progressives this fall.

The Case For John Adler

While Adler brags about his middle-of-the-road voting record, we can assume that in a second term, his approach would be better than that of Jon Runyan.  As a Republican, Runyan would vote in lock step with the GOP leadership, just like his potential colleagues have done over the past two years.  Say what you want about Adler, at least he shows some independence.  But the overriding rationale to vote for Adler has nothing to do with votes on particular issues.  The House races this Fall will be very close, and with the current anti-incumbency fervor, the race for control of the House of Representatives is at stake.  It is critical for the Democrats to keep control, with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.  Despite being demonized by the right, Pelosi has been the star of the 111th Congress – building consensus among the diverse views within her party and shepherding Health Insurance Reform through the process while the President stood at the sidelines until the very last minute.  If the Republicans take control of the House, John “Hell No We Can’t” Boehner will be Speaker, second in line for the Presidency, and would make today’s obstructionist Senate pale by comparison.  If the race for Speaker gets down to a single vote, I’d want John Adler to be there representing NJ-3.

The Case Against John Adler

An Adler defeat would send a clear message that there’s not a large gap between his Blue Dog version of being a Democrat and a less-than-extreme Republican such as Runyan.  This would open the door for a real Progressive Democrat to ride Barack Obama’s coattails into the House in the 2012 election.  While he spouts much of the Tea Party rhetoric, Jon Runyan purports to be pro-choice and is not as homophobic as his party’s leadership.  If he can hold his own against their powerful grip, it might be a good thing to have someone like that in the Republic Party.

So as someone who almost always has voted Democratic, I have not yet made up my mind.  Right now, I can’t see myself voting for either candidate and regardless of what happens in the next five months, I can’t ever contemplate a scenario where I would vote for Jon Runyan.  Whether I vote for Adler or sit this one out remains my dilemma.

Will Myers condemn GOP leader for “summer vacation” too?

He calls it hypocrisy and if anyone should know something about the word, Chris Myers is an expert. Today we have Myers attacking the “summer vacation” Democrats are taking:

Make no mistake, both Republicans and Democrats have failed to properly address this issue for the last 30 years, and both share the blame for our current energy crisis,” said Myers.  “But the Democrats are in control of Congress right now, and their decision to recess for summer vacation without passing real energy reform is inexcusable with so many families struggling to afford a summer vacation themselves

I want something to be done as much as the next person, but while Myers is identifying political stunts, perhaps he should focus his attention on the one the GOP is putting on in the House right now. The one that GOP Leader John Boehner is missing because wait for it, he’s playing golf and raising money on summer vacation:

While House Republicans have been taking turns making speeches before a darkened and empty floor since last Friday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has been playing golf, according to the Washington Post.

The Republican leader has been absent since the GOP protest began when Congress adjourned for the summer recess last week. He might join colleagues on Friday.

Boehner spent some time at the Wetherington Golf & Country Club in West Chester, Ohio this week, the Post said, citing scores posted online by Boehner himself. He also participated in a golf tournament held in Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio to raise funds for his political action committee, Freedom Project.

Asked about the golf games, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told the Post the game in West Chester was most likely held “over the weekend,” and that canceling the Muirfield tournament “would have cost tens of thousands of dollars for Republican candidates across the country.”

Maybe Myers won’t accept any money from Boehner since he was raising it on vacation rather than “taking part in a political stunt” in Congress.  On second thought, he probably wouldn’t see those funds anyway.  I’m assuming he’ll just try to gloss over this latest lack of consistency, just like he has for the rest of his campaign.  

Saxton: Going Down with the SCHIP?

Really good analysis. Promoted from the diaries — Juan

NJ3’s Jim Saxton figured prominently in a September 21 “CQ Today” piece on House GOP moderates. Reading it now, it seems ? quaint.

For much of his career, Rep. H. James Saxton has been sidetracked – a moderate Republican brushed aside by ambitious conservatives who ruled the caucus.

These days, the New Jersey lawmaker has quietly become a leader in a drive by moderates to increase their clout just when the party needs them most.

Just a few days later, Saxton threw off his moderation and voted against a modest increase in the popular SCHIP insurance program for needy kids. And he threw in with the red-scaring crowd of scared Red Staters raising the (false) alarm that expanding SCHIP starts the slide to “socialized medicine.”