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Entries in Boehner (8)

Thursday
Oct132011

Deficit Super Committee Working Against the Clock on Deal

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee, works up against its Nov. 23 deadline to identify at least $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade through spending cuts and/or revenue increases, time is running short to meet its mandate.

The 12-member committee -- split evenly between Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate -- has met regularly since early September, and oftentimes twice daily since the beginning of this month in private sessions.

But as members of the committee remain tight-lipped about the ongoing deliberations, it’s unclear how much headway the committee is actually making just six weeks before time runs out and the Capitol turns into a proverbial pumpkin.

Friday is the deadline for any standing committees to submit their own recommendations to the super committee.

On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released recommendations for revenue increases and savings from 16 Democratic ranking committee members, and she wrote a letter to the co-chairs of the Super Committee -- Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington, and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling, of Texas -- urging them to strike a balanced approach to meet the committee’s objective.

House Speaker John Boehner has urged the super committee to go for as big a deal as possible, but Republicans have strictly resisted any proposals that amount to a tax increase.

If the Congress passes a balanced budget amendment before the end of the year, an unlikely feat particularly in the Senate, then the total of deficit reduction required would drop to $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug082011

House Page Program to Conclude

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the end of the House Page Program Monday, closing the door on a storied program for young people that had hiccups and led to the resignation of at least one congressman.

Pelosi and Boehner pointed to advances in technology that have reduced the need for pages.

"The pages -- high school students who spend a semester in Congress, have been a commonplace sight in Congress for more than a hundred years, with their matching navy blazers. They might be carrying packages and other documents to different offices in both the House and Capitol," said Pelosi and Boehner in a statement. “We have great appreciation for the unique role that Pages have played in the history and traditions of the House of Representatives.

“This decision was not easy, but it is necessary due to the prohibitive cost of the program and advances in technology that have rendered most Page-provided services no longer essential to the smooth functioning of the House. Although the traditional mission of the Page Program has diminished, we will work with Members of the House to carry on the tradition of engaging young people in the work of the Congress.”

The House Page Program, which has been around for 200 years, is run by the office of the Clerk of the House. The position was once filled by high school juniors, assuming they remained non-partisan in order to provide supplemental administrative support to House operations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug042011

House Republican Calls Dems' Message on FAA ‘B.S.'

United States Congress(WASHINGTON) -- One key House Republican is objecting to the Obama administration’s accusation that the GOP was holding the FAA hostage during the agency’s funding impasse, dismissing the partisan charge as “bull----” just before lawmakers reached an agreement Thursday afternoon.

Rep. Steven LaTourette, a graduate of the University of Michigan, noted that lawmakers “spend a lot of time here attempting not to be impolite” … “but it’s time to not be impolite [sic] as we deal with this crisis.”

“It’s a long-standing tradition if you go to watch a football game in the Big House, when the referee makes a call that is questionable, 105,000 people go, ‘bull----,’” LaTourette cursed, coughing his way through the slur. “It is time to declare B.S. on the message that is occurring currently on the aviation bill and strip away what’s going on.”

LaTourette, the vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, claims that earlier this week, House Speaker John Boehner had dispatched him to the Senate to see if he could persuade Sen. Tom Coburn to drop his opposition to a clean-extension, but the Oklahoma senator refused and continued to push his amendment on Essential Air Services (EAS), which was included in the House-passed bill.

Coburn’s amendment would prevent taxpayers from subsidizing airfare beyond $1000 per passenger, and 90 miles from a major airport hub – essentially cutting off subsidies for 13 rural airports. Although Reid said he could agree to the House bill that contains the Coburn language, Sen. Jay Rockefeller objected – lobbying instead for a clean-extension.

Late Thursday afternoon, Senate Democrats agreed to pass the House-passed extension, and are expected to vote on the measure Friday during a pro forma session. Not every senator will need to be present for the vote. Instead, the measure is expected to be passed via unanimous consent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug012011

Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition Won't Support New Debt Deal

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As Speaker Boehner struggles to round up the votes needed to pass the new debt ceiling deal in the House, a coalition of conservative groups and lawmakers have already rejected the proposal.

This statement by the conservative Cut, Cap and Balance coalition certainly won’t help him pick up any Tea Party hold-outs:

"We applaud the efforts of the Speaker and Minority Leader to craft a passable solution despite a Senate majority that valued politics over prosperity and a White House that never presented any solution to the problem.  However, the Cut, Cap, Balance Coalition will not support this bill because it clearly fails to meet the standards of the Cut Cap Balance Pledge...The most glaring shortcoming is that the second debt ceiling increase in this package isn’t tied directly to Congressional approval of a balanced budget amendment as a pre-condition.  It may therefore be avoided altogether."

The Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition is an organization of more than 100 conservative groups and several dozen lawmakers in both chambers who have called for passage of a balanced budget amendment in exchange for a vote to raise the country’s debt ceiling.

Copyrights 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul302011

Debt Debate Drama: Senate Slaps Down House Bill, Clock Ticks on Compromise

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans Friday evening narrowly passed a proposal to raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion, cut spending by about that much and require another debt ceiling vote in about six months -- only to have Democrats in the Senate scuttle it.

As expected, the Senate voted down -- tabled -- the House Republican bill written by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. The vote was 59-41.

Passage of Boehner’s bill in the House could, however, strengthen the Republicans’ position, showing their unity as they enter negotiations with the Senate on what kind of compromise can ultimately pass both chambers of Congress and raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2, when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said the government will start to default on its debt.

That drama will play out over the weekend and into next week as senators begin consideration of their own bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., which would raise the debt ceiling through the coming general election and into 2013. The modified Reid proposal, scored again by the Congressional Budget Office this evening, shows $2.4 trillion deficit reduction over the next 10 years, matching a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit.

Democrats have noted their lack of input on the Boehner plan and say Republicans have refused to negotiate with them in recent days on a deficit reduction deal.

A spokesman for Speaker Boehner reacted to the Senate's vote in a written statement.

“For the second time, the House has passed a reasonable, common-sense plan to raise the debt limit and cut spending," Boehner press secretary Michael Steel said, "and, for the second time, Sen. Reid has tabled it.  The responsibility to end this crisis is now entirely in the hands of Sen. Reid and President Obama.”

So it appeared the game of "Debt Default Chicken" continued.  The House, following the Senate, is preparing a statement vote of its own. Each side's vote is intended to prove to the other that their debt-ceiling bills can’t pass.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

House Passes Debt Ceiling Bill, Debate Shifts to Senate

Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- After a night and day of uncertainty, cajoling and tweaking, House Republicans prevailed in narrowly passing their proposal to raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion and cuts spending by about that much and require another debt ceiling vote in about six months.

House Republicans’ bill, which was written by Speaker John Boehner and passed 218 to 210, is doomed to fail in the Senate, where all Democrats have already pledged to oppose it. Democrats in the House also held the line and not a single one supported Boehner’s proposal. Twenty-two Republicans also opposed their party leadership’s self-described imperfect legislation.

Passage of Boehner’s bill could, however, strengthen the Republicans’ position, showing their unity as they enter negotiations with the Senate on what kind of compromise can ultimately pass both chambers of Congress and raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2nd, when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said the government will start to default on its debt.

That drama will play out over the weekend and into next week as senators begin consideration of their own bill, which would raise the debt ceiling through the coming general election and into 2013. The specifics of what language senators will consider are not yet set.

Boehner delivered a fiery speech before the vote began, accusing the White House and President Obama of not offering their own proposal in months of negotiations.

“I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the President of the United States,” Boehner said, pointing out that until last week he was ready to accept some increased tax revenues to achieve a larger deficit reduction bargain.

“Put something on the table,” he yelled. “Tell this country where you are.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Boehner Tweaks Debt Bill to Include Balanced Budget Amendment

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After House Republicans failed to line up a majority to pass the Boehner debt plan Thursday night, the GOP leadership decided Friday to once again tweak the bill, and once again Republicans have recaptured confidence that they will pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling and send it to the Senate.

House Speaker John Boehner urged his colleagues to pass the measure and put the onus to get a deal done back on the Democrat-controlled Senate, according to a senior GOP leadership aide.

“If we pass this today, we will have sent not one, but two bills to the Senate that would end this crisis,” Boehner, R-Ohio, reportedly told the conference. “All that will stand between the American people and a resolution to this crisis will be the Senate, which has passed nothing.”

Sources inside the room say that Boehner again pleaded for party unity and said the House would vote Friday on a debt ceiling bill -- one way or another.

While the Republicans were strategizing, President Obama went to the airwaves and called on the GOP to stop wasting time and compromise with Democrats, saying the stalled GOP House bill “has no chance of becoming law.”

“The House of Representatives is still trying to pass a bill that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already said they won't vote for,” Obama said. “It's a plan that would force us to relive this crisis in just a few short months, holding our economy captive to Washington politics once again.  In other words, it does not solve the problem, and it has no chance of becoming law.”

As the GOP meeting began to wrap and lawmakers began to trickle out, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama was asked about the president’s comments. Brooks, a tea party-supported freshman, dismissed the president’s comments and broke the news that the leadership had tweaked the bill to include a Balanced Budget Amendment element -- likely boosting the Whip count over the top.

Boehner’s plan, also known as the Budget Control Act of 2011, was revised only to ensure that a balanced budget amendment is passed by both Houses of Congress before the second installment of debt limit increase authority is granted to the president.

All the numbers confirmed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office stand. The measure would find $917 billion in savings over 10 years, while the debt limit will be increased by $900 billion. The second stage of the plan would still create a select joint committee on deficit reduction before the debt limit is increased again.

As Boehner left the meeting he announced "we have a deal" and some noted that he was smiling. The speaker is expected to be on the House floor Friday afternoon to discuss the changes to the bill prior to a vote.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul232011

Congressional Leaders to Work on Debt Legislation Following Meeting

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Congressional leaders have announced that they will draft new deficit chopping legislation following a brief meeting with President Obama on Saturday.

President Obama met with Congressional leaders for about 50 minutes Saturday morning. The meeting came after Obama declared in a terse press conference Friday evening that, "we have now run out of time."

Republic Senate leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Saturday that "new deficit reduction legislation" will be written this weekend.

When asked if a framework could be created by Monday, Democrat and former House leader Nancy Pelosi said, "I certainly would hope so."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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