Tag Archives: U.S. Senate

Breaking: Senate rejects all DACA bills – Epic Fail

Just as I predicted, the U.S. Senate has rejected all the proposed DACA bills in an epic fail. The New York Times reports, Senate Rejects Trump’s Immigration Plan (with additional reporting from The Hill):

In a stern rebuke to President Trump, the Senate on Thursday decisively rejected a White House rewrite of the nation’s immigration laws that would have bolstered border security, placed strict new limits on legal migration and resolved the fate of the so-called Dreamers.

The measure by Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, was patterned after one that the White House proposed, but the 39-60 vote was 21 votes short of the 60 votes required for the Senate to consider it. Mr. Trump had threatened to veto any other approach.

But the rejection of the president’s plan was bipartisan: Democrats refused its get-tough approach to legal immigration, while many conservative Republicans opposed its pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

What happens now in the Senate immigration debate is unclear. Before the vote on the White House plan, senators turned away two more modest measures to protect young immigrants known as Dreamers. Neither the plan drafted by a broad group of centrists nor one written by Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, secured 60 votes.

The “Common Sense” bipartisan centrist measure, backed by Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC) and other Republicans, won 54 votes.

Two other amendments were rejected before the vote. The first, a bipartisan proposal from Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) , fell in a 52-47 vote. The second measure [from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)], which would have cracked down on sanctuary cities that don’t comply with federal immigration laws, also fell in a 55-44 vote.

The Senate’s failure leaves Congress with an uncertain path on immigration ahead of a March 5 deadline set by the president.

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Sen. Jeff Flake hangs the Stalin label on Trump for attacking the free press

Well, this should be fun. In planned speech, Sen. Jeff Flake compares Trump’s media attacks to comments by Stalin:

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) plans to give a speech in the coming days that compares President Trump’s public criticism of the news media to similar comments once made by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

A spokesman said that Flake, who will retire after this year amid intense political pressure sparked by his criticism of the president, plans to deliver the speech Wednesday before Trump announces the winners of his self-described “fake news” awards.

Trump announced via Twitter that he would be handing out awards Wednesday to news outlets he thought unfairly covered him.

Flake continues to be one of Trump’s most frequent critics, often speaking out to warn that the president’s words and actions could be detrimental to the future of the Republican Party and the nation’s standing worldwide.

In recent days, he was among the lawmakers who denounced Trump for describing certain African nations and Haiti as “shithole countries” during an Oval Office meeting on immigration policy. Flake has been negotiating a bipartisan deal on immigration with Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, Flake said that he was not at the meeting, but heard about Trump’s comment “before it went public. And what I’ve heard reported is consistent about what I heard about the meeting.”

“I’m not surprised at the sentiment expressed — it’s consistent with what he’s said — but that he would do that knowing the fury it would cause,” Flake added.

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Rep. Martha McSally announces her bid for the Senate (Updated)

Southern Arizona’s media invention mythical moderate Republican, Rep. Martha McSally, who is really a wingnut hardliner who has embraced our nativist and racist President Donald Trump, voting in support of his agenda 96.7% of the time, announced today that she is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake.

Good riddance from your constituents here in CD 2, Martha, and here’s looking forward to your being unemployed come November (don’t worry, the congresswoman from Raytheon no doubt already has a job waiting for her in the military-industrial-congressional complex).

The Hill reports, McSally announces bid for Arizona Senate seat:

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally (R) has officially announced her bid for Senate, a long-awaited announcement that caps a busy week in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R).

McSally formally announced her bid Friday morning in a tour across the state, but her campaign tipped its hand by releasing a video hours before.

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The spot leans heavily on her experience as the first female combat fighter pilot and portrays her as an ally of President Trump.

Her blunt talk in the video shows a push to connect to Republicans across the spectrum, an important challenge for McSally considering she will be facing off in the GOP primary against two controversial candidates in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state Sen. Kelli Ward.

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Salt Lake Tribune delivers a lump of coal to Sen. Orrin Hatch on Christmas Day

I have always considered Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah one of the smarmiest politicians who has ever served in Congress. His recent fluffing of Donald Trump was gag-inducing:

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 12.36.27 PM“This president hasn’t even been in office for even a year and look at all the things that he’s been able to get done by sheer will in many ways,” he said. “I just hope that we all get behind him every way we can and we’ll get this country turned around in ways that will benefit the whole world, but above all benefit our people.”

He said Trump, “who I love and appreciate so much,” is on track for one of the greatest presidencies in history.

“We’re going to make this the greatest presidency that we’ve seen,” he said, adding. “Maybe ever.”

Apparently this was not just too much for us, but for the editors of the Salt Lake Tribune as well.

The paper does its own version of Time‘s “person of the year.” The editors select the Utahn of the year, the label being assigned to “the Utahn who, over the past 12 months, has done the most. Has made the most news. Has had the biggest impact. For good or for ill.”

The Tribune editors delivered a lump of coal to Sen. Hatch on Christmas day. Why Orrin Hatch is Utahn of the Year:

The selection of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch as the 2017 Utahn of the Year has little to do with the fact that, after 42 years, he is the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, that he has been a senator from Utah longer than three-fifths of the state’s population has been alive.

It has everything to do with recognizing:

  • Hatch’s part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
  • His role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in passing a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.
  • His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.

Each of these actions stands to impact the lives of every Utahn, now and for years to come. Whether those Utahns approve or disapprove of those actions has little consequence in this specific recognition. Only the breadth and depth of their significance matters.

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Michael Bloomberg on the #GopTaxScam

Ady Barkan, an activist who has ALS and who works with the Center for Popular Democracy, has set up a web site titled stopgoptaxscam.com. It is a useful resource guide (h/t for the graphic, right).

Addressing the merits of the “GOP tax scam” is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in an op-ed appearing at his Bloomberg News website. This Tax Bill Is a Trillion-Dollar Blunder:

Last month a Wall Street Journal editor asked a room full of CEOs to raise their hands if the corporate tax cut being considered in Congress would lead them to invest more. Very few hands went up. Attending was Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s economic adviser and a friend of mine. He asked: “Why aren’t the other hands up?”

Allow me to answer that: We don’t need the money.

Corporations are sitting on a record amount of cash reserves: nearly $2.3 trillion. That figure has been climbing steadily since the recession ended in 2009, and it’s now double what it was in 2001. The reason CEOs aren’t investing more of their liquid assets has little to do with the tax rate.

CEOs aren’t waiting on a tax cut to “jump-start the economy” — a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company — or to hand out raises. It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth, as Republicans have promised. Had Congress actually listened to executives, or economists who study these issues carefully, it might have realized that.

Instead, Congress did what it always does: It put politics first. After spending the first nine months of the year trying to jam through a repeal of Obamacare without holding hearings, heeding independent analysis or seeking Democratic input, Republicans took the same approach to tax “reform” — and it shows.

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Democrat Doug Jones scores an upset victory in Alabama

Back in November after Democrats won a sweeping victory in Virginia and in races across the country, I said that the Democratic Party should go all-in in backing Doug Jones in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.

They did, and last night Doug Jones broke through in the GOP’s solid South to become the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama in a generation.

Roy Moore was not the only loser on Tuesday. Donald Trump is a two-time loser in Alabama, having backed Luther Strange in the GOP primary and going all-in for the accused serial child sexual predator Roy Moore. Robert and Rebekah Mercer’s white nationalist attack dog, Stephen Bannon from Breitbart, suffered another defeat in his war against the GOP establishment. And FAUX News (aka Trump TV), which went all in for the accused serial child sexual predator Roy Moore.

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