W.H. Adviser: Boehner’s ‘Ass’ Talk ‘Not Helpful’

A top White House adviser slammed House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday shortly after the Republican demanded that the Senate to ‘get off their ass’ to approve a bill to avert the deep federal budget cuts coming this week known as the sequester. Democrats and Republicans have been tussling over how to avert the budget cuts set to start Friday that were enacted as a sort of “doomsday device” as part of the budget battle of 2011. “We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something,” Boehner says. White House adviser David Plouffe was quick to respond via Twitter. “Boehner … Continue reading

In The Supercommittee Blame Game, Fingers Point To Just One Republican

The failure this week of the so-called congressional supercommittee to agree on a package to reduce the federal budget deficit comes down not only to Republican intransigence, but really to that of just one conservative in particular, a man referred to as the “13th member” of the committee. Specifically, many on both sides — including Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, a prominent member of the supercommittee — called out Grover Norquist, the extremely powerful anti-tax activist in Washington, for his role in keeping Republicans from agreeing to any new taxes. Norquist wields much of his power due to the anti-tax pledge signed by most Republicans in Congress, and his ability to enforce that oath by working to defeat any who … Continue reading

VIDEO: Occupy Protesters To Reach Washington Tuesday

The group of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who have been hiking toward Washington to protest potential proposed cuts to Social security and other federal safety-net programs are scheduled to reach their destination Tuesday, a day ahead of the mandated deadline for the so-called congressional supercommittee to release its recommendations to cut the federal deficit. “They’re marching to call out the congressional Super Committee, which could cut a deal before Wednesday slashing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to protect tax breaks for the 1%,” says an email sent Sunday by MoveOn.org, a prominent progressive advocacy organization. “The marchers’ stories are powerful, and Congress needs to hear them before they slash programs that so many people rely on.” The supercommittee was tasked … Continue reading

‘The Supercommittee Must Fail,’ Congress Is Told

By focusing on deficit reduction, not job creation, the so-called congressional supercommittee is focused entirely on the wrong problems and therefore, the nation would be better off it were to fail to come up with a deal, progressive members of Congress were told Wednesday. Indeed, the sorts of budget-cutting likely to be recommended by the supercommittee, known formally as the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, likely would only worsen the already-bleak U.S. unemployment situation, according to Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a progressive policy organization. “For this nation to succeed, the supercommittee must fail,” Borosage says. Borosage was one of those invited to testify Wednesday at a hearing called by the Congressional Progressive Caucus focusing on … Continue reading

Protests Planned As Anger Against Supercommittee Rises

A prominent Washington progressive organization plans national protests next week against further cuts to federal safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare. Among those speaking out against any such cuts by the so-called supercommittee is former senator Russ Feingold. MoveOn.org is organizing what it calls national demonstrations on Nov. 17, ahead of the release of recommendations to cut the federal budget deficit by the bipartisan supercommittee. “The past months have been filled with powerful, creative, and passionate displays of people fighting back against a system rigged against them,” says an email sent by Monday by MoveOn.org. “But many of our elected officials continue to sit on the sidelines—or worse, to look out only for millionaires and powerful industries. Until … Continue reading

Capitol Idea: Occupy vs the Supercommittee: How the Movement Could Soon Impact the Debate

To the consternation of some, and the joy of others, the ballooning Occupy Wall Street movement has so far resisted injecting itself into the nation’s political debate. Even without a concrete list of policy goals or demands, however, there is a growing sense that, by simply existing and persevering, the month — old movement already is exerting a new influence. President Obama, for instance, has appeared to be taking a more forceful, populist, and progressive tone in recent weeks. And Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) has explicitly given Occupy Wall Street credit for the renewed energy on the left: “We’re coming together. Maybe the protesters unified the Democratic Party.” If Occupy Wall Street is indeed exerting a new gravitational pull leftward, … Continue reading