Tag Archive: debt ceiling

Tables Turned?

Pelosi apparently has a surprisingly cohesive group of Ds in the House. Reid said uncharacteristically blunt things about the Republican offers and actually shot it down. Obama spoke with Boehner and afterward Boehner snuck out a back door.  McCain is begging – please dont humiliate his party.

Uh, being an Eagle fan I am afraid to jinx an developing win … but, have the tables turned?  Are the Ds finally ready to spike the ball?  

Maybe I have been watching too much House Of Cards, but lets tell Boehner that if he puts our clean bill on the floor, with all the Sequester OUT… our people will vote for him as speaker when the Tea Party tries to oust him.  

The House Votes on Raising the Debt Ceiling

Happening now… 6.55 PM

Probably each representative has a slightly different point of view.

What is yours?

Update 7:12 PM: Vote: 269-161

174 Republicans and 95 Democrats supported the deal, while 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats opposed it.

Rep. Giffords appears on the floor to  loud applause.

See below the fold for how each member of our NJ contingent voted, and let us know your thoughts.

Thanks for Covering the NJ7 Race

promoted by Rosi

I wanted to spend my first blog post at BlueJersey thanking you for the coverage of NJ7, not just this year but since you started this site.    You’ve been a vital voice in trying to turn this district over to the good side, and have been instrumental in my decision to run for the seat.

Things are going very wrong lately in America, as we can see with the “negotiations” over the debt ceiling limit.  And it’s representatives like Leonard Lance who are the problem, unable to stand up to the GOP bosses who refuse to compromise to solve America’s big challenges or to let Republicans think for themselves.  

Once upon a time, he was known as an independent thinker who was willing to buck his party in Trenton and challenged Governor Whitman who made the single worst fiscally irresponsible act in modern New Jersey history.  But the move down the Amtrak route to DC has done nothing but turn the Congressman into a paper tiger who is willing to risk the good faith and credit of America, and by extension your family’s economic security, because he is unwilling to stand up to the extreme right leadership of the House Republicans. I’m excited to be part of the effort to change the representation we have in DC, and have been working hard to be the nominee.  

I announced that I was going to run on May 5th, and in less than two months had raised significantly more funds for the campaign than Lance did for  the entire second quarter.  But that’s just the numbers from a single quarter.

What’s most amazing is that after just two months, we are already almost equal with a sitting Congressman in cash on hand.  He’s got $215,000 on hand (after subtracting debt), while we have $160,000.  Given that he’s been in office and has raised half of that from PACs while we’ve raised almost nothing from PACs, that puts our campaign in a great position.

But it’s about more than money, and more than getting distracted by the horse race of the campaign.  It’s about the people of New Jersey who need quality jobs, who need access to a world class education and affordable healthcare, who need a safe and healthy environment, and the opportunity to live out the American Dream. I want to work with the Blue Jersey community to make this a reality.  

A Bitter Tea

It has been a year and a half since the midterm elections ushered a cold wind of malevolence into the halls of congress and created a chasm in government not seen in more than a hundred and forty years.

The Tea Party Patriots.

The last time a divisiveness this deep cast a pall across the nation, we were steeped in a civil war over the rights of one class of people who, literally, built the nation and, in fact, the nation’s capital. The war for the freedom of the American slaves divided a nation, states and even families.

“Senate Restores Sanity”

“Senate Restores Sanity” is a headline on Senator Frank Lautenberg’s latest statement as he proudly says it “took a stand against the extreme House Republican agenda by voting down this sham bill that would have devastated middle-class families.” Senator Bob Menendez joined Lautenberg in this vote.

More interesting perhaps is the tone and content of this Lautenberg quote in the Washington Post:

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (N.J.) noted “a little separation” between Obama and his former Senate caucus.”

That’s a lot nicer but the content isn’t necessarily much different. Our Senators have to make sure that they don’t support a “sham bill” just because their otherwise fine President negotiated it.

Update: 11:18AM The President is speaking now, or you can read his USA Today article. Unfortunately, he could have accomplished everything he says about taxes on the rich last December without a single Republican vote.

Republicans Threaten Social Security Checks for Nothing

The President rightly pointed out today that the House Republicans are jeopardizing Social Security checks, disability checks, and veterans benefits:

“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it”

Stopping checks or defaulting on debts would be a complete disaster, whether we’re talking about the consequences to individuals or the consequences on the national macro-economy.

Setting recent arrivals Jon Runyan and Leonard Lance aside, every New Jersey Republican and Democrat have voted to raise the debt ceiling multiple times (PDF), each voting yes when their party was in the majority and no when it wasn’t. These long-term Republicans — Frank LoBiondo, Chris Smith, Scott Garrett, Rodney Frelinghuysen — are in perfectly safe seats and it’s time for them to step up for the good of the country. After all, they already approved the budget so they have authorized every dollar of spending, knowing that it required borrowing. It’s been pure political showmanship until now, but reality is intruding. They need to vote — with some Democrats of good faith — to raise the debt ceiling without continuing to take the country hostage.

Furthermore, these long-term debt deals are meaningless because you can’t control what future Congresses do. Look at how Frank LoBiondo complains every year about “cuts” to Medicare doctor reimbursements and votes to pay the doctors more. In fact, LoBiondo and the 1997 Republican majority insisted on putting the Medicare cuts into the budget to “balance” future projections. If he’s reading this, please don’t destroy the country for a deal that you yourself will denounce in a few years.


Yesterday’s Senate Votes

There were some important votes yesterday in the U.S. Senate, so I thought they deserve a post of their own.

Ben Bernancke was confirmed by a vote of 70-30, with opposition coming from both the right and the left. Both Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg voted “aye” as expected. I’ve already said it’s a blunder to re-appoint him, but in the Senate’s defense, it’s more President Obama’s blunder.

Both our senators also voted for “pay-as-you-go” rules, in a 60-40 party line vote. The rules will require any new spending or pay cuts to be “paid for” by other spending cuts or tax increases. Of course, such rules are dropped once the conservatives get power, but with the deficit at such a high level it’s a good idea in my opinion, if the economic crisis is ending. That’s an “if.”

“During the Clinton years, we had massive economic growth and record budget surpluses, in no small part due to these fiscally-responsible rules. We have emerged from a year in which the threat of a second economic Depression forced the need for recovery spending, which both conservative and liberal economists have credited with helping to keep our economy afloat. However, our long-term focus has always been to return to the fiscal responsibility that was present during the Clinton years. This was reflected in President Obama’s first budget proposal, which would significantly cut the budget deficit in the coming years. Today is another major step out of many that will restore budget discipline and help the economy grow.”

The pay-as-you-go rules were attached to the debt ceiling increase, with a party-line vote of Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing. I personally view this as amusing since just a few years ago the debt increases passed with Democrats against and Republican in favor. It’s just kabuki, none of the Senators would plunge the U.S. into fiscal crisis (on purpose.) On the other hand, I do wonder why the debt increase isn’t included in the normal budget legislation. Anyone know the answer?