John Boehner could be in for a fight Thursday when the newly seated House votes for the next speaker, with conservatives grumbling about his leadership and a report surfacing about a supposed plan to challenge him.
The 11-term congressman, who’s endured his share of political turbulence, presumably enters the election with the upper hand. So far, a single viable Republican challenger has not emerged and the rules of the vote tend to work in Boehner’s favor.
But Boehner’s potential troubles were compounded by a late-night flare up with outraged northeast lawmakers over a decision by the speaker to postpone a vote on an aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims.
I am not sure if Boehner is out, or if the next Republican will be better, but I do not have much faith in the GOP to get it right if Boehner is replaced. Meanwhile, stories like this make me wonder if this country is even capable of righting the ship.
The fiscal deal cemented Tuesday night includes a one-year extension of tax credits for the wind-energy industry that will cost taxpayers an estimated $12.1 billion.
The extension was part of a tax-extender package that the Senate Finance Committee approved in August and was included in the final package that Congress approved before sending it to the president.
Congressional Republicans and other fiscal conservatives opposed the extension, arguing the deal between Congress and the White House was supposed to include cuts to federal spending, not additional subsidies for alternative-energy programs.
Prior to the vote, Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander cited several reasons to end the tax credit – including the cost to taxpayers, putting coal and nuclear energy at an economic disadvantage and wind companies producing just 3 percent of U.S. electricity despite receiving billions in subsidies over the past 20 years.
“A better idea is to reduce the debt and increase research for solar, batteries, carbon capture from coal plants, more energy-efficient buildings, advanced biofuels and the disposal of nuclear waste,” Alexander wrote in The National Journal. “Then let the marketplace decide which fuels can produce enough clean, cheap reliable energy.”
The Production Tax Credit was created in 1992 and has been extended for wind companies several times over the past several years at an estimated cost of $16 billion to taxpayers.
Using taxes to reward certain behaviors, or to punish others or using taxes to favor one business over another is a dreadful mistake. It goes against the founding principles of America, and against common sense. If an industry cannot survive on its own, let it die. Propping it up with tax dollars hurts everyone eventually. Not to mention that these types of subsidies are SPECIFICALLY what we out to be eliminating to cut spending. Seriously, folks, our fiscal troubles are bad, and getting worse because Congress has no ability to stop spending.
Donald Douglas links to a piece by Daniel Henninger
Here’s one thought: The main reason there isn’t, and may never be, a solution on the fiscal cliff is that Barack Obama doesn’t know how to do a political compromise. Where in his career did Barack Obama ever learn the art of the political deal? Nowhere.
Recall the famous Blair House summit he called early in 2010 amid the legislating over ObamaCare. Lamar Alexander, Tom Coburn, Paul Ryan and other Republicans talked about wonkish compromises. All of it, every single idea, blew right by the president. Naturally the legislation got zero GOP votes. A kid running for high-school president could have gotten more opposition votes than that.
Presidents, kings, queens, generals all have accomplished a modus vivendi with their opponents and mortal enemies. Until now. What deal of Clintonesque majesty has Barack Obama ever pulled off?
The fiscal-cliff negotiation is a train driven by an engineer who doesn’t know how to use the brake, doesn’t know where the brake is and doesn’t care. His idea of politics is giving campaign speeches outside Washington to assemble a Sandy of public sentiment that will blow congressional Republicans off the cliff.
Politics ain’t beanbag, but it also isn’t just about politics. While Barack Obama may think his election mandate includes the ruin of the Republican Party, Republicans seeking a strategy of self-preservation should assert their refusal to participate in the ruin of the nation. As it is, the fiscal cliff has degenerated into a familiar Beltway melodrama in which the media reduce the whole thing to which party gets shafted. As to the health of the gasping American economy, well, whatever.
I give you one word, radical! Donald Douglas sums it up like this
Progressives suck, especially our Dear Progressive Leader Barack Hussein. All hail!
Republicans are working on multiple fronts to stop President Barack Obama from making companies bidding on federal contracts disclose their donations to third-party political groups.
The chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and the Small Business Committee have introduced legislation that would ban the federal government from collecting or using information about the political expenditures of federal contractors, allowing them to keep their political donations to third party groups secret. Yesterday, the House passed an amendment to the 2012 defense bill which would prevent federal agencies from collecting such data.
Introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK) in response to a leaked draft of an executive order the Obama administration was considering which would have mandated federal contractors disclose their donations to third-party groups, the legislation is titled the “Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011.”
A companion bill is being introduced in the Senate by Susan Collins (R-ME), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
Center for Competitive Politics President Sean Parnell called Cole’s amendment to the defense bill a “strong rebuke to the executive branch’s effort to bring politics into the federal contracting process and enable the creation of a Nixon-style Enemies List.”
I think it is safe to say that this power grab by Comrade Obama is not about “transparency” but rather about political strong arming tactics. Unions, by the way, would not be forced to give up inf o on THEIR political contributions under Obama’s vision. And I believe we all know the love between Obama and unions thugs don’t we? Sen. Jim DeMint sure does.
Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., sat down for an interview with Coffee and Markets, a podcast hosted by Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech. When asked about the National Labor Relations Board’s attempt to keep Boeing from building a factory in his state, DeMint had some exceptionally harsh words for the NLRB:
DeMint: I mean, they’ll lose the first couple of appeals because they go back to the board that the President has stocked with union thugs basically, and –
Cianfrocca: “Union thugs”, may we quote you? That’s a great word.
DeMint: Once this gets in front of a fair and impartial judge they’ll win, but it’s only after millions of dollars in legal expenses and several years of chilling effect.
DeMint: What they’re trying to do is to tell any company in America, don’t even think about moving to a right to work state or expanding to a right to work state or you’re going to have to go through millions of dollars of legal expenses and this type of government harassment. It’s pretty amazing in America that we’re dealing with this type of third world tyranny.