For the first time in American history, a vice president had to vote in the Senate to break a tie on a Cabinet nominee, and Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Donald Trump’s education secretary. With historic tiebreaker from Pence, DeVos confirmed as education secretary:
The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary Tuesday by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Pence casting a historic tiebreaking vote after senators deadlocked over her fitness for the job.
The entire Democratic caucus of 48 senators voted against DeVos, as did two Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, who said they did not think that DeVos was qualified for the job. The remaining 50 Republicans voted for her, setting up a 50-50 tie that could be broken only with Pence’s vote.
It marked the first time that a vice president’s tiebreaker was needed to confirm a Cabinet secretary, according to Daniel Holt, an assistant historian in the Senate Historical Office. And it was the first time a vice president cast any tiebreaker in the Senate since Richard B. Cheney did so nine years ago.
Posted in Arizona Congressional Delegation, AZBlueMeanie, Charter Schools, Congress, Corruption, Education, Ethics, GOP War On..., Party Politics, President, Religion, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged Cabinet, U.S. Senate, vouchers
I warned you about this months ago. The authoritarian Tea-Publcians intend to use the budget reconciliation process to complete the budget that the last Congress failed to pass as the vehicle for repealing the Affordable Care Act aka “ObamamCare” and to give their wealthy benefactors a massive tax cut. They have also now added defunding Planned Parenthood to the reconciliation bill.
The reason for this is that under the budget reconciliation process, it only requires a simple majority vote and there is no filibuster in the Senate. Eddie Munster’s Monstrous Plan for America (snippet):
POLITICO Tiger Beat on The Potomac, reports Ryan plans to steamroll Democrats with budget tool:
If Donald Trump is elected president and Republicans hold onto Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan is bluntly promising to ram a partisan agenda through Capitol Hill next year, with Obamacare repeal and trillion-dollar tax cuts likely at the top of the list. And Democrats would be utterly defenseless to stop them.
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Ryan peeled back the curtain on his strategy at a news conference last week after a reporter suggested he would struggle to implement his ambitious agenda next year. After all, it was noted, Republicans are certain to lack the 60 votes needed in the Senate to break Democratic filibusters on legislation. So Ryan gave a minitutorial on congressional rules and the bazooka in his pocket for the assembled reporters.
“This is our plan for 2017,” Ryan said, waving a copy of his “Better Way” policy agenda. “Much of this you can do through budget reconciliation.” He explained that key pieces are “fiscal in nature,” meaning they can be moved quickly through a budget maneuver that requires a simple majority in the Senate and House. “This is our game plan for 2017,” Ryan said again to the seemingly unconvinced press.
The New York Times has an explainer piece on The Parliamentary Tactic That Could Obliterate Obamacare.
Posted in Abortion, AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Corruption, Economics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Legislation, Party Politics, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged Budget Reconciliation, Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, U.S. Senate, women's health, Women's Rights
Senator John McCain was the first GOP senator to threaten to create a constitutional crisis by imposing a “blockade” of Hilary Clinton judicial nominees. McCain Vows Supreme Court Blockade Will Continue Through Clinton’s Presidency. He has now been joined by “wacko bird” Senator Ted “Calgary” Cruz of Texas, and Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina.
The GOP has descended into authoritarian totalitarianism. Republican talk of holding a Supreme Court seat vacant for four years is without precedent:
One issue weighing heavily on Republican minds these days is the Supreme Court seat vacated in February with the passing of Antonin Scalia. In an unprecedented step earlier this year, Senate Republicans refused to hold hearings for Obama nominee Merrick Garland, arguing instead that American voters should have a say in the process by voting in a new president and letting that person nominate the next justice.
Given the likelihood (albeit a slightly diminishing one) of a Hillary Clinton victory next week, Senate Republicans are starting to shift the goalposts by suggesting they might opt to leave Scalia’s seat open indefinitely if Clinton takes the White House.
Posted in Arizona Congressional Races, AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., McCain, Media, Party Politics, Scandals
Tagged U.S. Senate
Donald Trump’s call for his supporters to be vigilante poll observers on election day — remember, RNC warns its members not to engage in poll watching or any other so-called ‘ballot security’ measures — is all about depressing Democratic voter turnout among “those people” with the prospect of voter intimidation.
Already, “Many of the schools across America that house polling booths will not be open on Election Day for the first time after parents raised fears over violence.” Election Day Safety Fears See Schools Cancel Classes or Move Polling Places.
A USA Today/Suffolk University poll conducted this month finds that Half of likely U.S. voters say they are concerned about violence on Election Day:
Half of likely voters say they are at least somewhat concerned about violence either on Election Day or after.
One in five likely voters say they are very concerned, about the same number who said they were not terribly confident that the United States would “have a peaceful transfer of power after the election.”
And then there were the Trump supporters, i.e., potential vigilante poll observers:
[T]wo out of three Trump supporters said they thought the election’s results would be manipulated rather than be accurate. Trump supporters were also more likely to say that if he lost, it would be due to corruption and therefore the outcome would not be legitimate.
Exactly what Donald Trump has been programming his supporters to believe for months.
Posted in Arizona Congressional Races, Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Civil Rights, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., McCain, Party Politics, President, Scandals
Tagged democracy, U.S. Senate, voting rights