Category Archives: Debates

The final countdown on the Senate GOP tax bill has begun: call your senators now

The Senate voted 52-48 along party lines Wednesday to begin debate on the Senate GOP tax bill. Several Republicans who have not committed to voting for the final bill, including Sens. Collins, McCain, Corker and Flake, voted in favor of moving forward to debate. But final passage could be another story.

Currently there is no firm agreement on the trigger provision Sen. Corker wants, no pay-for to partially keep the state and local tax deductions Sen. Collins wants, and no language on the pass-through changes for small businesses sought by Sens. Johnson and Daines. Senate Republicans are about to overhaul the tax code, and they don’t know what’s in their bill yet;

Senate Republicans are in such a rush to pass a tax overhaul in the next few days that they voted to start debate on a bill that could still undergo a bevy of last-minute changes they haven’t seen in writing — changes that could dramatically affect the US economy over the next decade.

But most Republicans aren’t letting some last-minute deal cutting that could mean billions of dollars in tax increases, tax cuts, or federal spending cuts get in the way of moving the bill along.

Even Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who’s one of the senators most skeptical of the bill and is pushing for the major addition of automatic tax hikes if the federal deficit grows too quickly, voted to start debate on the bill. He had told reporters earlier that he couldn’t describe the changes “until we get it in writing.” Corker later told reporters they could “throw away” anything they’d heard about the deal because it is “still evolving.”

Continue reading

Arizona Legislature: Tax Cuts R Us

Arizona House

Taking our first votes of the 53rd Legislature

This week in the Arizona Legislature is crossover week, which means bills passed by one house will be heard by the other. The House began hearing Senate bills on Monday and vice versa. In advance of crossover week come two weeks of cramming as many bills into the pipeline as possible.

Last week the House passed the 200-bills-passed threshold and had two late nights– 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 11:30 p.m. on Thursday (the deadline to hear House bills). If you want to hear some late-night speechifying, check out the debate on the Citizens Initiative— which the Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce want to kill and the Democrats defended. (When you go to the video, the agenda of the debate appears below, so you can scroll in to the sections you want to view.)

There have definitely been some themes so far in this session. Besides the push for fingerprinting citizens, the jabs at environmental protection, and the elimination of oversight and transparency by cutting all citizen review boards, the big theme has been giving away tax revenue (AKA, tax cuts, tax credits, tax subtraction, tuition waivers, economic development or trickle down economics).

Ironically, on many of these giveaway bills fiscally conservative Republicans (who don’t like spending money) and the fiscally conservative Progressives (who don’t want to give away tax revenue as long as the schools are underfunded) voted together. In the past two weeks, there have been maybe as many as 10 bills where some combination of Progressives and Conservatives voted against spending money that we don’t have.

Continue reading

This is what has Rep. Martha McSally hiding in the chicken bunker

This is what has Rep. Martha McSally hiding in the chicken bunker:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) represents one of the reddest districts of a deep-red state. As chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he promised to continue his years-long witch hunt of Hillary Clinton if she was elected president, but now says he will not investigate President Trump‘s multiple conflicts of interests or tax returns (for possible violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution). Chaffetz Won’t Investigate Trump Because He Only Cares About Investigating Democrats.

Chaffetz got a frosty reception in his home state on Feb. 9, at a town hall (video).

Angry constituents packed a high school auditorium, grilled the congressman with questions and peppered him with boos and chants while protesters amassed outside. “Do Your Job!” Hundreds of People Shout Down Jason Chaffetz Over Lack of Trump Probe:

At a town hall meeting on Thursday night held by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, the mood got rough, when hundreds of people demanded answers from Chaffetz regarding a host of controversies: his unwillingness to investigate President Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest, his support for Obamacare repeal, a proposal to sell off public lands, and more.

“You’re really not going to like this part,” Chaffetz said at one point. “The president under the law is exempt from the conflict of interests laws.”

Continue reading

#LD9 Voters – Can’t Decide How to Vote? Watch the Debate (video)

Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley, Ana Henderson

The Arizona Clean Elections Commission recently hosted a debate between the three candidates vying for two seats in the Arizona House: Democrats Rep. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley (me) and Tea Party Republican Ana Henderson.

This debate was the first candidate forum that Henderson participated in with the two Democrats, and it’s likely the last. With 75 or more people from both parties, the debate was well-attended. The audience submitted many great questions. Some questions are asked of all candidates– like education funding, climate change, Prop 205 (marijuana legalization), and Prop 206 (raising the minimum wage).

Below is the video.

Continue reading

John McCain flees from a reporter refusing to answer questions

Senator John McCain’s attack ads against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick all rely on a video clip of her “walking out” on constituents at a “Chats with Ann” constituent event when questioned about the Affordable Care Act in 2009.

The ads say: “Kirkpatrick betrayed Arizona on Obamacare, walking out on constituents when questioned about it.” The ad shows Kirkpatrick walking out of an Aug. 6, 2009 meeting in Holbrook, Arizona.

PolitiFact fact-checked John McCain claims Democratic challenger walked out on constituents:

bullshitjPolitico reported that the event was overrun by protesters, noting that conservative interest groups had organized opposition to similar events across the country. Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, an anti-health care reform group, did have the Kirkpatrick’s event listed on their website.

* * *

“Ann was trying to answer questions, and was shouted down,” Kirkpatrick spokesman D.B. Mitchell said.

We were unable to find a full video from the 2009 chat, but an extended clip does appear to show several people shouting.

* * *

The ad fails to mention that Kirkpatrick went back to Holbrook for a town hall meeting on health care a month later.

Our ruling

While Kirkpatrick did walk out of the Holbrook grocery store, the ad fails to mention the protesters — and that she returned for a health care town hall a month later.

So some unruly White Mountain Tea Partiers decided to disrupt a constituent event, and McCain fails to mention any of this in his ads to portray Kirkpatrick in a false light. Mr. “honor” and “integrity” he’s not.

But now our boy Johnny has a video of his own in which he flees from a reporter, refusing to answer questions about Donald Trump and his statement this week about obstructing President Hillary Clinton with a “blockade” of any nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Karma is a bitch, Johnny.

Continue reading

Senator Elizabeth Warren on the GOP myth of voter fraud

cartoon_65The Republican Party has for years perpetuated the myth of voter fraud for two purposes: (1) to suppress voter turnout, and (2) to delegitimize Democratic voters.

This GOP mythology has been so pernicious that this week a new poll demonstrates that “41 percent of voters say November’s election could be ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump due to ‘widespread voter fraud.'” Poll: 41 percent of voters say election could be ‘stolen’ from Trump.

This poll result is without any factual evidence to support the GOP’s voter fraud mythology. Trump thinks non-citizens are deciding elections. We debunked the research he’s citing.; Fact-checking two false claims by Trump alleging widespread voter fraud; Can you rig a U.S. presidential election? Experts say it’s basically impossible. (This poll confirms my long-standing theory that 42 percent of the American public is batshit crazy on any given day, believing in things that are demonstrably proven false).

Senator Elizabeth Warren in an op-ed at the Washington Post today writes, Trump didn’t invent the ‘rigged election’ myth. Republicans did.

Cratering in the polls, besieged by sexual assault allegations and drowning in his own disgusting rhetoric, Donald Trump has been reduced to hollering that November’s election is “rigged” against him. His proof? It looks like he’s going to lose.

Senior Republican leaders are scrambling to distance themselves from this dangerous claim. But Trump’s argument didn’t spring from nowhere. It’s just one more symptom of a long-running effort by Republicans to delegitimize Democratic voters, appointees and leaders. For years, this disease has infected our politics. It cannot be cured until Republican leaders rethink their approach to modern politics.

Continue reading