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Entries in House Republicans (15)

Tuesday
Nov202012

House Republicans Write Obama Letter Opposing Susan Rice Nomination

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Although they have no say in her possible confirmation proceedings, 97 House Republicans have spoken out loud and clear about their opposition to President Obama nominating United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice as the next secretary of state.

Rice has come under attack by the GOP and some Democrats for initially stating that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 was the result of a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Islam movie.

The Republican lawmakers, in a letter to the White House Monday, alleged that Rice, who was working off talking points from the CIA, "either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi affair."

It was eight days after Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed that "the American people learn(ed)...that the intelligence services quickly considered the attack an act of terrorism and that al Qaeda may have played a role," according to the letter.

In spite of Obama and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, defending Rice, the House Republicans claimed she "caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world...we strongly oppose any efforts to nominate Ambassador Susan Rice for the position of Secretary of State" to replace outgoing envoy Hillary Clinton.

Obama hasn't made an announcement yet as to his pick for secretary of state, which will come down to the Senate affirming his selection.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep212012

House Dems Want to "Fire" Republicans

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Considering the high unemployment rate, Democrats have chosen a curious message for GOP House incumbents: You’re fired.

At a press conference with top-tier Democratic candidates on Friday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel unveiled “pink slips” to be handed out by Democrats in their districts, saying they will “fire” Tea Party lawmakers.

“They came to work, and they hardly worked, and when they did, they worked for the wrong people,” Israel said of the freshman GOP House class, speaking at a podium labeled “FIRE the Tea Party Republican Congress.”

“When you do damage on the job, you get fired. When you don’t perform, you get fired,” Israel said. Pointing to Congress’s 13 percent approval rating, he added, “I ran a small business. If one of my employees was right only 13 percent of the time, I’d fire them.”

Other Democrats echoed Israel’s comments, telling reporters that it’s time for Republicans to “get the pink slip,” citing national issues like women’s health and business tax loopholes.

Republicans used a similar messaging campaign in 2010, when the Republican National Committee ran a “Fire Pelosi Bus Tour,” aimed at turning races across the country into referendums on then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democratic House majority.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul112012

House Planning Yet Another Vote to Repeal Healthcare Law

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When it comes to House Republican efforts to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law, it’s a case of, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again -- and then try some more.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has already voted 32 times this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and House Speaker John Boehner says another vote is expected Wednesday afternoon.  The repeal measures have passed in the House but died in the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority.

House Democrats once again are voicing their opposition to GOP efforts, saying there are more pressing issues facing the country.  During a procedural vote Tuesday, Democrat Louise Slaughter of New York said the repeal measure is nothing more than political theater.

Even though all previous 32 House measures have gone nowhere in the Senate, Speaker Boehner is optimistic about vote number 33, saying hope springs eternal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec222011

Obama to Publicly Pressure House Republicans to Pass Payroll Tax Cut

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With just nine days before a payroll tax break for 160 million Americans expires, President Obama on Thursday will step up pressure on House Republicans to pass a two-month extension bill that sailed through the Senate.

As the partisan stalemate continues, the White House is pursuing an aggressive campaign on social media to highlight the loss in benefits millions of Americans will incur on Jan. 1 if Congress doesn't act.  Americans, on average, would lose about $40 per paycheck if the tax cuts expire.  Obama himself personally took to Twitter on Wednesday, asking Americans to share what that loss would mean to them.

On Thursday, Obama will push that point in a statement early in the afternoon.

"If Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck," the White House said in a statement. "The president will discuss what's at stake for the American people, and will be joined by Americans who would see their taxes go up if the House Republicans fail to act, including some of those Americans who have responded to this call to illustrate what $40 means to them."

The White House says more than 25,000 people have responded to its "What 40 Dollars a Paycheck Means to American Families" campaign on Twitter and whitehouse.gov.

House Republicans are under increasing pressure, even from their Senate counterparts, to find a compromise.  Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has called for the creation of a bipartisan conference committee to solve out differences but Democrats have refused to send any negotiators.

Democratic leaders are insisting that the House pass the two-month extension that the Senate approved on Saturday, and then continue negotiations to find a long-term fix when members return from recess in January.

Republican aides say GOP leaders may come to an agreement soon, and that is likely to happen next week.  Many Tea Party-backed members are refusing to support a short-term extension, opting instead for lasting tax changes -- putting increasing pressure on the leadership.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug262011

Lawmakers' Summer Recess is No Break from Voter Anger

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Summer recess has been anything but relaxing for many D.C. lawmakers who've returned home only to find that voters are hopping mad about the economy.

House Republicans are particularly distressed.  Rather than being treated like conquering heroes after swamping Democrats in 2010, they're finding out that constituents are cutting them very little slack, a sign that they could be thrown out of office 15 months from now.

While President Obama has taken a lion's share of the blame for the sputtering economy and high unemployment, the GOP is also getting lambasted for doing little to turn things around.  The recent fight over the debt ceiling and downgrading by Standard and Poor's has not enhanced the Republican brand.

Illinois Republican Congressman Timothy Johnson admits, "I’ve never seen people as angry as they are right now.  They’re angry at the whole system and evidencing that in their comments to me."

Freshman GOP Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona has been hearing the same at his town hall meetings, saying voters are "very angry.  They want to get back to work and they feel government is in the way with rules and regulations."

Gosar concedes that he could be a one-term Congressman if things don't turn around.

Johnson and Gosar are among the brave lawmakers who are willing to endure the wrath of constituents.  Some Congressmen have decided to skip talking to large groups all together for fear of things getting of hand.

Copyright 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

Saturday
Jul302011

GOP Weekly Address: Kyl Accuses Obama of Increasing Gov. Spending

House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) delivered the Republican address Friday, urging Congress to reduce government spending in reaching a deal on the debt ceiling.

“We start from the understanding that the reason the debt ceiling is a problem is because of runaway Washington spending.  So, Republicans have been united in the belief that raising the debt ceiling without making significant spending reductions would be irresponsible," Kyl says.

Kyl described Europe as a omen of the U.S.'s debt risk.

“With debt crises rolling across Europe, we know it is only a matter of time before people start to question whether America can sustain its huge and growing debt. If we don’t do something about our spending problem now, the scenes we’ve seen playing out all across Europe could happen in America."

Kyl also accused Obama and the Democratic leadership of trying to raise taxes and increase government spending.

“The simple fact is, in order to afford the kind of government this President wants, taxes would have to be increased dramatically – and for middle income Americans, not just on the wealthy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun022011

Exclusive: Pelosi Says Dems Have 'Very Good Chance' to Retake House

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told ABC News in an exclusive interview that Democrats "have a very good chance of winning the House" majority in the 2012 elections, pointing to Medicare as the key issue that could propel her party back into control of the lower chamber of Congress.

"We just take it, as I say to the members, one day, one good day, one good week, one good month, one good quarter at a time," said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Asked directly whether she thinks she will be elected speaker again, Pelosi pointed to 63 congressional districts that President Obama carried in 2008 that are now held by Republicans.  House Democrats need to win just 24 of those seats to regain control of the House.

"It takes a strong message...which enables us to have the mobilization at grass-roots level," Pelosi said. "I was talking about the M's: message, mobilization, the money to get the message out, and management -- management of the campaign by the candidates so that it can be effective."

"What we're about is policy," she added.  "What we want is to change the view that the Republicans have that it is OK to abolish Medicare [and] to make seniors pay more for less while we give tax breaks to big oil. That's not a formula that I think works for the middle class."

Pelosi said that cuts to seniors' benefits are "absolutely" off the table in the ongoing deficit reduction negotiations, but suggested that Congress could improve Medicare by working to eliminate fraud and also by giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services unilateral authority to negotiate for lower prices for the endangered entitlement program.

"When you talk about Medicare, the first thing I would do if I ruled the world would be to allow the secretary of HHS to negotiate for lower prices.  That would save tens of billions of dollars," Pelosi said.  "The last place we need to go -- we don't ever have to go there -- is to what the Republicans are doing: Eliminate Medicare [and] make seniors pay more for less as you give tax breaks to big oil and say that's how we have to reduce the deficit.  We don't subscribe to that."

Pelosi said the election in 2012 "is not about Paul Ryan [the architect of the Republicans' budget and Medicare proposals].  It is about the Republicans in Congress."

"I wish we could change the minds of Republicans on abolishing Medicare," she said.  "The public is going to have to help us do that either before the election or at the time of the election."

"If the Republicans are convinced of that over the next 18 months, that they will change their mind on it, then that is less of an issue in the campaign," she said.  "We'd rather solve the problem than have the issue.  But we are determined to fight for the issue."

After a said-to-be tense meeting between Republicans and President Obama at the White House Wednesday, Ryan took to the airwaves to again assert his plan does not abolish Medicare, and again warn the president and key Democrats to stop "demagoguing" the Medicare issue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

House GOP to Meet with Obama, Push for Deep Spending Cuts

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans head to the White House Wednesday to meet with President Obama one day after the House rejected a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling. And House Speaker John Boehner is carrying a message from 150 economists supporting his call last month in New York for spending cuts that exceed any increase in the debt limit.

In a statement signed by some of the country's leading economists, Boehner reiterates the GOP's position that an "increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms to address our government's spending addiction will harm private-sector job creation in America."

Notable signatories to the statement include a Nobel Prize winner (Robert Mundell), economists from universities such as Stanford (Michael Boskin, John F. Cogan, Eric A. Hanushek, David R. Henderson, James C. Miller III and John B. Taylor) and Carnegie-Mellon (Robert Dammon, Marvin Goodfriend and Allan Meltzer), a former U.S. Secretary of State (George P. Shultz), and two former directors of the Congressional Budget Office (Douglas Holtz-Eakin and June O'Neill).

A senior aide to the Speaker confirms that the letter will be a leading topic of discussion that Boehner and House Republicans will bring up with President Obama.

Boehner said the underlying message is simple: "To help our economy grow and create jobs, any debt limit increase needs to be met with even larger spending cuts."

"Increasing the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts and budget reforms will send a message to American job creators that we still are not serious about ending Washington's spending addiction, and this will bring further harm to private-sector job growth in America," Boehner said Wednesday morning in a statement.  "We need to enact reforms that will help our economy grow while stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have."

House Democrats are set to have their own meeting with the president at the White House on Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb152011

House GOP Budget Puts NPR, PBS on Chopping Block

Photo Courtesy - Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the House prepares for debate on the budget Tuesday, Republicans are trying to cut off public funding for NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service, which run such iconic programs as Sesame Street and Morning Edition.

The House Republicans' budget would rescind any funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which funds these two organizations -- for the remainder of the year, and zero out millions in funds after that.

This is not the first attempt by Congress to cut funding for what many Republicans see as liberal-leaning broadcast operations.

House Republicans made a proposal in November to strip federal funding for NPR after the radio station fired controversial commentator Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims.

That bill didn't pass, but this time, Republicans are in the majority in the House, and many say the cuts are needed to balance the burgeoning U.S. deficit.

If funding indeed gets put on the chopping block, it could have a detrimental impact on PBS and NPR affiliates, many of which are already struggling financially.

PBS president and chief executive Paula Kerger, pointing to the network's educational programming, said, "It's America's children who will feel the greatest loss, especially those who can't attend preschool."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio