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Boehner Issues Blunt Warning to Debt Dissenters

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Debt ceiling, budget talks, obama, republicans, economy, politics )

- 2488 days ago -
An increasing number of House members yielded to Speaker John Boehner's blunt command to line up Wednesday behind his budget bill even as his staff moved frantically to alter it in an attempt to resolve the looming fiscal crisis.

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Carrie B (306)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 12:46 am

"An increasing number of House members yielded to Speaker John Boehner’s blunt command to line up Wednesday behind his budget bill even as his staff moved frantically to alter it in an attempt to resolve the looming fiscal crisis. Congressional leaders alternately voiced optimism, determination and a haggard frustration as they struggled to make both the dollars and the votes add up.

The Congressional Budget Office, which on Monday night forced the Republican leaders back to the drawing board by ruling that their plan fell short of their promises, came back Tuesday with a verdict on Mr. Boehner’s latest revisions, declaring that they would cut spending by $917 billion over ten years. His plan would now raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion, requiring another set of decisions in just a few months.

"CBO’s analysis confirms that the spending cuts are greater than the debt hike – affirming that the House GOP bill meets the critical test House Republicans have said they will insist upon for any bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling," said Kevin Smith, the communications director for Mr. Boehner.

The House speaker moved to shore up support on Wednesday as both parties fine-tuned their debt-ceiling proposals after Congress’s budget office released reports on the plans.

Members of the House Republican caucus said after a morning meeting that Mr. Boehner opened by urging the rank and file to “get your ass in line,” but then listened as many of them voiced lingering concerns.

Insisting to members that their bill, rather than the one offered by Senate Democrats, was the path to an agreement, Mr. Boehner added: “This is the bill. I can’t do this job unless you’re behind me,” recalled people who attended the meeting.

Mr. Boehner was able to solidify support for the proposal as some who opposed his proposal suggested they would change their minds.

“We’ve got this back and forth between have we cut enough, how much have we cut, how do we get a long-term solution on this.” said Representative James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma. “I like tea sweet enough to stand the spoon up in it,” he said. “This is not super sweet tea. But it is not unsweetened, either.”

Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, though, who remains opposed, said he would like to see more of the savings in the early years.

“This may be the last train leaving the station,” he said. “That certainly weighs on people’s minds.” But he added, “A lot of us recognize the most meaningful part of an agreement is what you’re willing to do immediately.”

Amid the bickering and tinkering, it was hard to see how a compromise might be reached in a matter of days. But despite the delays, it seemed that the Congressional machinery would ultimately grind its way past the stage of feinting and maneuvering, and toward actual voting on the House and Senate floors. Once the yeas and, just as important, the nays have been counted, the real bargain-making might resume.

“I think we’re going to solve this,” Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the assistant Democratic leader, said on NBC’s “Today” show. But he called the latest delay “a bitter lesson” and accused the Republican leadership, which had offered a plan that fell short in dollars and in the House whip count, of bluffing “with other people’s chips.”

“What we’re facing here is a Republican caucus that is basically showing its political bravery by giving up Medicare benefits for elderly people, by increasing the cost of student loans for working families, by cutting money for medical research,” he said.

Mr. Boehner’s troubles piled up late Tuesday afternoon when the Congressional Budget Office said his plan would cut spending by $850 billion during the next decade — about $150 billion less than the $1 trillion increase proposed for the debt ceiling.

On Tuesday morning, the budget office published its verdict on the competing plan offered, but not yet scheduled for a vote, by Senator Reid.

It would save $2.2 trillion over 10 years, less than the $2.7 trillion that the Democrats had claimed. Even discounting the savings allowed from the costs of the wars (about $1.04 trillion) and savings on interest as borrowing declines (about $250 billion), that would mean $900 billion in savings in a side-by-side comparison with the Republicans’ $850 billion as tallied by the budget office.

The scoring was better news for Mr. Reid than for Mr. Boehner, who quickly retreated from his bill once the budget office scored it on Tuesday night and was preparing to huddle with his caucus on Wednesday morning instead of moving to a vote on the floor.

House Republican leaders were forced on Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and Mr. Boehner said he would come up with more cuts to satisfy the scorekeepers at the nonpartisan budget office.

The scramble to come up with a plan that could be put to a vote, now moved from Wednesday to Thursday, represents a test of Mr. Boehner’s ability to lead his restive caucus. The expected showdown over the legislation is the culmination of months of efforts by Tea Party-allied freshmen and fellow conservatives to demand a fundamentally smaller government in exchange for raising the federal borrowing limit.

Mr. Boehner, of Ohio, rolled out a two-stage plan on Monday that would allow the $14.3 trillion federal debt limit to rise immediately by about $1 trillion in exchange for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. The plan tied a second increase early next year to the ability of a new bipartisan Congressional committee to produce more reductions.
The plan was met with skepticism — and in many cases outright rejection — by several conservative House members who said its savings did not go far enough. President Obama and most Congressional Democrats also have rejected the proposal, saying that it is only a short-term solution and that it could lead to market uncertainty and instability.

Republican leaders said they would probably rework it to in a way that would reflect the decreased savings by raising the debt limit by less than $850 billion. Such a change would mean that the Obama administration would need to make another request for an increase in a matter of months, making the deal even less palatable to Democrats.

“As we speak, Congressional staff are looking at options to adjust the legislation to meet our pledge,” Mr. Boehner said late Tuesday night in a prepared statement. “This is what can happen when you have an actual plan and submit it for independent review — which the Democrats who run Washington have refused to do.”
His spokesman, Mr. Buck, said on Wednesday that Mr. Reid, too, should rewrite his plan to account for the budget office’s critique.

“Speaker Boehner’s plan is not a compromise,” Mr. Reid said, after meeting with Senate Democrats, referring to the earlier version of the bill. “It was written for the Tea Party and not the American people. Democrats will not vote for it. Democrats will not vote for it. It’s dead on arrival in the Senate, if they get it out of the House.”
Before Mr. Boehner postponed the vote on his measure, the White House had sent a two-sentence message to Congress, saying that if the Boehner bill landed on Mr. Obama’s desk, “the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto this bill.”

Although Wall Street analysts and some Republicans expressed doubt that time would really run out on Aug. 2, leading to a possible default, the White House said that the Treasury’s estimate of the deadline was not a charade.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner “has exercised all the wiggle room available to him,” said Jay Carney, the White House spokesman."

Myron Scott (70)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 12:52 am
It's a power struggle inside the GOP. After months of groveling to their Bagger nutwing, the mainstream GOP now is groveling at the feet of their corporatist paymasters, who fear default and downgrading as much as the rest of the country should.

Carrie B (306)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 1:03 am
Thanks Myron. Agree completely.

TomCat S (129)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 1:34 am
What a hypocrite. The storm troopers were goose stepping behind Agent Orange until his blackmail backfired. Now he blames them for being too ignorant to stop goose stepping.

Carrie B (306)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 1:39 am
Hypocrite Tom? Ya think? Boehner is a world class hypocrite!

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 3:37 am
Noted. Thanks Carrie

patricia lasek (317)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 4:00 am
I wonder how many corporate CEO's were involved in drafting his budget plan.

as s (201)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 5:17 am
The teabagger element still seems to want this deadline to come and pass. I hope the rest of congress can see the folly in this.

William Y (54)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 5:31 am
I agree Carrie & TomCat

Past Member (0)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 8:38 am
Hard to believe what pricks the right are.

Ellen m (215)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 9:00 am
His staffs time would be better spent looking for the new jobs they will hopefully need in the near future!

DORIS L (61)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 11:16 am
Boehner is a smug self rightous sob.

Fiona O (565)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 12:18 pm
When the first person dies from cuts in Medicare, I would like to see all House Repblican be proscuted for murder.

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 2:01 pm
It would be hilarious if it weren't so Dreadfully Dangerous!!!!!

Janice P (5)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 8:10 pm
In my opinion, Mr. Bonehead doesn't really care about the American public, just so long as he gets his own way. And should people start dying because of the cuts being proposed, he'll undoubtely deny any responsibility and point the finger at somebody else. I'd like to see all his income and benefits and perks taken away from him for a long period of time and then see how smug he is about his self-righteous attitude.

Terry King (113)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 8:27 pm
Boner is a truly ineffectual speaker!

Nichole L (69)
Thursday July 28, 2011, 9:10 pm
I agree, Yvonne. I would be laughing at the poor lost Republicans right now if times were so perilous.

. (0)
Friday July 29, 2011, 6:17 am
We all know by now that the Teabags are not going to budge....should have kept the old fallout shelters stocked! This congress is beyond belief!!!!!!!! Talk about "Bottom Feeders"

Arielle S (313)
Friday July 29, 2011, 10:55 am
Seems to me that Plastic Man is the one that should be getting the warning - did somebody die and leave him in complete control of the world?

Sherry D (47)
Friday July 29, 2011, 2:55 pm
Who doesn’t think that our Reps should live by the same rules that they impose upon us ? !

Dear Friends,

I have totally cleaned this e-mail from all other names, sending it

to you in hopes you will keep it going and keep it clean. This is

something I will fight for and I hope you all read it all the way

through. You will be glad you did.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took

only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people

demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail,

before cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or

less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

I'm asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty

people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have

the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay

when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social

Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social

Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional

pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in

the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective

1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with

Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers

envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s),

then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only

take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.



Barbara Chally (10)
Friday July 29, 2011, 4:07 pm
Sherry, are you prepared to spend at least a couple years of your life with no more incentive than this provides? I'd love to, but at no point in my life could I have afforded to do that. Do you know anyone who would unless wealthy enough to have other motives they could indulge in promoting once there after buying their way? Perhaps one or two of these adjustments could make it through, but all? Then there would be no one else at all representing us. I think we all have some degree of personal greed or at least self-interest within us, don't we? All we can do is try to attract the right people who are really primarily interested in service to the country first.

Pamela Snook (24)
Friday July 29, 2011, 5:03 pm
I'm not sure they deserve more pay and benefits than others in similar positions. I think not. I'm not sure how all their aids are paid. Is it from their salary or from the government? What benefits do their aids and office workers have? (But; as far as the impolite, not so articulate bonehead, he should be recalled.)

Barbara Chally (10)
Friday July 29, 2011, 8:27 pm
I'm not sure anyone gets precisely what they deserve for their efforts. Many with banking and corporate positions , to say nothing of some athletes, get more than many would say they are worth, yet receive it in today's market. And in contrast, I know as well of some whose real value is never adequately recognized and compensated for. If compensation for lawmakers were based upon what is deserved, that would similarly be difficult for all to agree upon. I'm sure they would say they are worth every cent they get, and how many would do even the minimum without it now that it has been custom for so long? And no, Pam, they don't share their salary and benefits and certainly aren't supposed to! They are budgeted as are all government expense. Please know I'm not quarreling with how much better this plan would be for the average citizen in financial need he observes means less to those well situated. But it is human nature to seek that which is better for oneself and those one is most accountable to provide for. The worst excesses can never be curtailed enough!

Carrie B (306)
Friday July 29, 2011, 10:39 pm
I think the problem is the selfishness and lack of empathy of those at that top. It seems no matter what their may have been before "they made it Big", they have forgotten what it is like to do without or worry about tomorrow. No one would resent their high salaries and compensations if they weren't trying to rob us so they can stay secure. If they want us to live like paupers, then maybe they try it for a while and see what it feels like. Even some of the Hollywood elite and some of the grossly overpaid athletes at least try to give back to their communities and others.

l L (1)
Friday July 29, 2011, 11:09 pm
I hear you carrie b. I hear ya.

Barbara Chally (10)
Saturday July 30, 2011, 12:53 am
You said it very nicely, Carrie, and your point about those among the overpaid who do give back to their own communities or others they see in need is well made. Perhaps you are more generous in giving the benefit of doubt to too many in the top echelons, however, that is it a matter of memory vs. insistence upon remaining on the top of the heap, to the detriment of anyone lacking whatever it took to get them there! The example one sees too often is that few of those climbing the hardest and fastest will never get quite enough to satisfy the goal to stop and look around at those who then must fall as a result! Why can't a level of security be enough when there are others with little or none just out of sight who would be thrilled with a smaller portion?

Carrie B (306)
Saturday July 30, 2011, 3:11 am
You are correct Barbara. Well said.

patricia lasek (317)
Saturday July 30, 2011, 6:42 am
I have signed numerous petitions to fix congress and the senate. Here is a page with several of them. I urge you all to go there and sign them. Please?

SĂĽheyla C (234)
Saturday July 30, 2011, 9:12 am
Noted. Thanks Carrie

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 30, 2011, 10:10 am
This newly elected, ignorant breed of Reptilicans now in the Congress must BE EXPELLED. Impeachment takes too long, but, expulsion is quick and simpler. They are NOT QUALIFIED, and are destroying us.
Unless and until all elected officials have their own retirement and health care removed, (PAID FOR BY OUR TAX DOLLARS!) and are prevented from accepting hand-outs from corporations and lobbyists (Notice how quickly they become incredibly wealthy after elected into office?) none of them should be allowed to play with the retirement and health care of any U.S. CITIZEN.

Barbara Chally (10)
Saturday July 30, 2011, 11:43 am
Amen to your reminder about petitions, Patricia, and the effect they do have! It may have in the past been true that staff in congressional offices were naive enough to disregard online petitions when they arrived too few and far between. That is no longer true, and those organizations that utilize them regularly also report the results of those forwarded in amazing numbers and how many actions have been reversed because they are definitely noticed and often have exactly the result desired. I think I still have a few relatively recent summaries from those like Care2 and If online petition profusion lately isn't convincing enough I can provide some reports of effectivity upon request. Authenticated signature numbers do still count, as all factions now know.

Barbara Chally (10)
Sunday July 31, 2011, 1:54 pm
Lilith, I already am connected on a personal level with friends at Care2 and exchange email with those I care to. I'm just not into forwarding bulk propaganda here on Care2 or to any besides long-time friends and relatives. No offense intended, but since I've already used the introduction format and cannot repeat my declination to link with you for another week, we'll just pass on the emails I had cued up you don't care to receivel.

Carrie B (306)
Sunday July 31, 2011, 2:22 pm
Good job Barbara!

Carrie B (306)
Sunday July 31, 2011, 2:27 pm
Lilith, you are the only one asking and Barbara has already answered your question.

Barbara Chally (10)
Sunday July 31, 2011, 2:46 pm
It would be pointless to load half a dozen emails here when I suspect most posting and reading here already get them anyway. You seem to be the only one doubting everything obvious to those with open eyes.

William K (308)
Sunday July 31, 2011, 2:59 pm
It will be interesting to see how all the politicians will try and salvage their careers after this fiasco.

I am really not expecting there to be a default. I do expect it to go down to the wire before a deal is made, but who knows what sacrifices will have been made in the deal, and how compromised we will all be from the compromises.
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