Category Archives: Polling

Congress is broken: Debate over DACA fix devolves into Kabuki theater

I’m not surprised, but disappointed, that the Senate debate on immigration and a DACA fix has devolved into Kabuki theater. They are simply going through the motions of “stylized movements, dances, and songs in order to enact” a tragedy — a Senate bill that is DOA in Paul Ryan’s House, and under a veto threat from the white nationalist in the White House. It is a futile effort.

Joan McCarter at Daily Kos sums it up succinctly. Democrats need to make Republicans walk their talk and vote on a clean DREAM Act:

The so-called “Common Sense” bipartisan group of senators finally, decided on their plan late Wednesday, ignoring veto threats from both the White House and the House Freedom Caucus, intent on making a deal for the sake of a deal regardless of lasting harm it could do to immigrant families. See, the New York Times Senators Strike Bipartisan Deal on Immigration Despite Veto Threat, and this from the Washington Post, Bipartisan group reaches deal on immigration, fulfilling some Trump demands:

The self-dubbed “Common Sense Caucus” of senators late Wednesday circulated legislation that would fulfill Trump’s calls to grant legal status to 1.8 million young immigrants and would appropriate $25 billion for southern border security construction projects over the next decade—not immediately, as Trump wants. The bill also would curb family-based immigration programs, but not to the extent Trump is seeking, and would not end a diversity visa lottery program that he wants eliminated.Word of an agreement came as formal debate on immigration policy is set to intensify Thursday. The new bipartisan plan is slated for a vote, as is the GOP proposal sought by Trump, another Republican bill that would punish “sanctuary” cities and a bipartisan idea that would significantly water down Trump’s demands. […]

In an interview late Wednesday, a senior administration official denounced the bipartisan bill, calling it a “giant amnesty” that did nothing to secure the border, and vowed the White House would strongly lobby against it Thursday.

They’re conceding family reunification, a concession that Dreamers themselves have rejected. Meanwhile, Trump is not really denouncing the effort in a tweet, saying “Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working hard to come up with a solution to DACA,” but mostly bragging about his economy[.]

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The ‘shit-show’ shutdown is because of Donald Trump’s racist white nationalism

House GOP leaders found enough votes to pass a short-term CR over Democratic opposition after a deal was reached with conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, who had threatened to oppose the bill throughout Thursday. House approves spending bill, shifting shutdown drama to Senate:

The group’s chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), secured an agreement with GOP leaders to consider military spending within 10 legislative days.

Most GOP defense hawks said they would vote to avert a shutdown, despite their frustration with repeated short-term bills to fund the military.

Nearly all Democrats refused to support the legislation, which would extend funding through Feb. 16, in the absence of a solution to protect young immigrants known as “Dreamers.”

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The final vote was 230-197, with six Democrats voting for the measure and 11 Republicans voting against it.

The 11 Republicans who voted against the stopgap were mostly members of the Freedom Caucus, but included two Florida centrists — Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — who, like Democrats, are demanding a solution for immigrants brought to country as children.

Six Democrats defected to support the bill: Reps. Salud Carbajal (Calif.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Vicente González (Texas), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.).

The Senate is expected to vote on a procedural motion Thursday to take up the House bill. The procedural vote is expected to be approved, but a follow-up procedural motion to move the bill to a final up-or-down vote is expected to fail and may not even clinch a simple majority as several Republicans have already voiced opposition.

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GOP Disarray on DACA Deal

Just ten days ago, President Trump staged a televised bipartisan congressional discussion on immigration and DACA at the White House, the purpose of which was to dispel the claims of his incompetence in Michael Wolff’s new book “Fire And Fury.” It did not go well.

Trump literally agreed to everything each member of Congress proposed, including a “clean” DACA bill proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. GOP Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy had to jump in, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” and remind Trump of the Republican position on DACA: that any agreement needs to come with substantial border security.

The takeaway from this meeting was this: Trump says he’ll sign DACA deal, pursue comprehensive immigration reform:

You guys are going to have to come up with a solution [for DACA], and I’m going to sign that solution,” Trump said during a bipartisan meeting of House and Senate leaders at the White House on Tuesday morning.

“When you talk about comprehensive immigration reform, which is where I would like to get to eventually,” Trump said, turning to Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., “If we do the right bill here, we are not very far away, we’ve done most of it. You want to know the truth, Dick, if we do this properly, DACA, you’re not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform. And if you want to take it that further step, I’ll take the heat. I don’t care,” said Trump.

“My positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” the president later told the press pool. “If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it, because I respect them,” Trump said, flanked by Durbin and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

The Senate’s “Gang of Six” has put together a bipartisan compromise on DACA which has bipartisan support. Senate DACA deal picks up GOP supporters:

A bipartisan immigration agreement is picking up the support of several additional GOP senators despite opposition from President Trump and the White House.

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) office announced that GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mike Rounds (S.D.) are signing onto the forthcoming legislation.

That brings the total number of Republican lawmakers officially backing the bill up to seven, including Graham and GOP Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Cory Gardner (Colo.) — who were part of the original “Gang of Six.”

Despite Trump’s televised assurances that “”My positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with … If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it, because I respect them,” Trump called the Senate proposal “horrible” on border security and “very, very weak” on reforms to the legal immigration system on Wednesday. Trump calls immigration proposal ‘horrible’.

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Senate passes GOP tax bill, back to the House for final action of betrayal

In the end, there was not a single Tea-Publican in the Senate to display courage and conviction of principles to vote against this abomination of a GOP tax bill finaced by $1.5 trillion in debt that future generations will pay. They all failed their “Profiles in Courage” moment.

The GOP’s plutocrat campaign donors and corporate masters demanded a tax cut they did not need and these lickspittle servants of the oligarchy kissed their feet and said  “yes master, your wish is my command.”

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning when decent people were asleep, the Republican Tax Bill Passed the Senate in a 51-48 Vote:

Republicans took a critical step toward notching their first significant legislative victory since assuming full political control, as the House and Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday and into early Wednesday to pass the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades.

The $1.5 trillion tax bill, which is expected to head to President Trump’s desk in the coming days, will have broad effects on the economy, making deep and lasting cuts to corporate taxes as well as temporarily lowering individual taxes.

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House passes GOP tax bill on a party-line vote, moves to the Senate

House Speaker Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” was so overjoyed with achieving his boyhood dream of sticking it to the working class, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor — the “takers” as his running mate Mitt Romney once referred to them — that he was practically giddy.

That someone takes such pleasure in causing millions of Americans to suffer is pure evil.

The House has passed the abomination of the GOP tax bill on a party-line vote of 2227-203, with only a dozen Tea-Publicans voting no. House passes final tax bill, edging GOP closer to win:

Arizona Congressional Delegation: YEAHS: Biggs, Gosar, McSally, Schweikert; NAYS: Gallego, Grijalva, O’Halleran, Sinema. Not Voting: Franks (seat vacant).

The Senate is expected to pass the bill later on Tuesday, sending it to President Trump’s desk and allowing the GOP to achieve its goal of rewriting the tax code in Trump’s first year in office.

Multiple protesters interrupted House floor debate on the tax bill Tuesday, including people who shouted “kill the bill, don’t kill us!” as well as a woman in a wheelchair who said she relies on Medicaid and warned that the bill would “starve” the public.

One protester even interrupted Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as he delivered a floor speech that he’s wanted to give for decades in support of the tax overhaul.

“Today we are giving the [wealthy] people of this country their money back. This is their money, after all,” Ryan said.

A woman in the public visitors’ gallery then shouted, “You’re lying!”

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The math gets tricky in the Senate for GOP tax bill (updated)

There is a glimmer of hope today that The Republican tax plan,  the most unpopular bill in 30 years, is not a done deal. The math is getting tricky in the Senate.

Roll Call reports that Marco Rubio, Mike Lee Support for Tax Bill in Jeopardy:

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, are withholding their support for the GOP tax bill in an attempt to bolster the child tax credit, a change that may be difficult amidst opposition from House Republicans.

The duo is hoping to make the credit fully refundable. The two senators, backed by top White House adviser Ivanka Trump, had previously succeeded in increasing the credit to $2,000 per child in the Senate-passed bill.

It was reduced to $1,100, only a $100 increase, by GOP conferees on their tax bill.

Should Lee and Rubio join Corker in opposing it, the bill would fail. The GOP can only afford to lose the support of two members in the event of a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

“I understand this is a process of give and take, especially when there are only a couple of us fighting for it. Your leverage is lessened,” Rubio said. “But given all of the other changes they made in the tax code leading in to it, I can’t in good conscience support it unless we are able to increase the refundable portion of it. And there are ways to do it,” he continued.

A spokesman for Lee said the Utah Republican is now “undecided” on the legislation.

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A Republican lawmaker, speaking on background to discuss internal negotiations, said it was unlikely the changes sought by Rubio and Lee could be made given opposition in the House.

The Hill adds: “Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable would cost $87 billion over 10 years — a significant amount that won’t be easy to pay for. Negotiators are already straining to cover the costs of other fixes, such as lowering the top individual tax rate to 37 percent and allowing people to deduct up to $10,000 for state and local taxes.

“The House pushed back hard on that,” the member said of the revised child tax credit in the Senate bill. “We’re pretty much done with that.”

So is Sen. Rubio a “no” vote then? As Chris Hayes cautions, “If your life depends on Marco Rubio having a spine, you are already dead.” I have to agree: Trump predicts Rubio will vote for tax plan.

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