Archive for Democratic caucus

Live Streaming Audio- President Obama Speaks at the House Democratic Issues Conference, Q&A 12:45p EST




Head of Democratic Caucus: No revenues in deficit deal, no Dem votes


The BushCo tax cuts should expire and go away. Shoo! At the very least, the tax bonuses for the wealthy should, because, see GOPers-- and read my lips here-- all deficit plans being considered pale in comparison to simply letting Bush tax cuts expire in '12, which saves $5.4T over 10 years.

That little factoid was from Think Progress.

But since the GOP is hell bent on making President Obama a one-termer, facts don't matter. Then again, when it comes to the Party of No, did they ever?

Via Roll Call:

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) suggested House Republicans would get no Democratic help if the final package includes only spending cuts and the promise of new revenues later. [...]

Larson on Friday renewed the call from Democratic leaders that cuts in entitlement benefits have no place in the current debt-ceiling debate. He did leave the door open, however, for ... a hike in the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security – as part of a later discussion on deficit reduction. 

"People are living longerand people are leading healthier lifestyles," he said. "This is something that's got to be certainly on the table in terms of discussion" in the future.

That's not really a positive, John. The living longer part is, but longer and healthier? That's another story. There are plenty of people who lead healthy lifestyles, but they are not necessarily immune to, say, diabetes or cancer. Nor does it prevent them from a bout with debilitating arthritis or other nagging ailments that interfere with being able to hold a full-time job. Speaking of which, who says older people would even get hired or be able to hang on to their jobs?

Larson is pushing for a clean debt-ceiling bill, which House Republicans don't want. He fully recognizes that GOP leaders are holding the debt-ceiling deal "hostage" with the ransom being more cuts. And more. And more.

"How does cutting more … help put people back to work? I don't think it does," Larson said.

I don't think so either. You know why? Because they don't. By the way, Speaker of the House Boehner, when do you plan on introducing a jobs bill anyway? You managed to assault women's reproductive rights immediately, but jobs? Not so much.

Larson also got frustrated with only House leaders being involved in the debt negotiations, while other members are unaware of pertinent details that could help them, and us, understand what the heck is going on:

"[It's] all confusing to the people on the outside, but I dare say, equally confusing to members here."

President Obama has talked about extending the payroll tax holiday for another year. House Dems are split on that one, because they're concerned, and rightly so, that Social Security benefits would suffer as a result.

"From a policy standpoint, and for the preservation of Social Security, this raises concerns [about] whether or not the money's going to be there.

Happy days are here again.


Hill reports Dem. Caucus Chairman: "I believe we have the votes"


By GottaLaff

The Wonk Room just tweeted this, and the Hill is reporting it. House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.):

"There’s tremendous anticipation, and certainly a lot of anxiety, but I believe we have the votes and that we will get this bill done this week," Larson, the fourth-ranking House Democrat, said after a caucus meeting.

While others (Nancy Pelosi, President Obama) aren't quite as optimistic, Larson sure is:

"I think that the votes are there," Larson said. "Consensus is about getting everyone to agree that this is the best that they can achieve at this time while individually they may not agree with everything that’s in the bill."

Hopefully, he's right.


Obama Silent On Public Option In Speech To Senators


By GottaLaff

President Obama met with the Democratic caucus today, and spoke for about a half an hour.

I encourage you to find photos of Traitor Joe and deface them, stat:

Lieberman was beaming as he left the room and happy to re-point it out when HuffPost asked him what Obama had said about the public health insurance option, perhaps the most contentious issue still facing Democrats as they negotiate their way toward a final health care reform bill.

"Well, it was interesting to me -- of course everybody hears with their own ears -- that he didn't say anything about the public option," said Lieberman. "In other words, when he outlined how far we've come on the bill, he talked about the cost-containment provisions; he talked about the insurance market reforms; and he talked about enabling 30 million more people to get insurance. He said these are historic accomplishments, the most significant social legislation, or whatever you call it, in decades, so don't lose it."

Harry Reid says we shouldn't read too much into that. And he's always been right about everything. [sarcasm]

Here's what Tom Harkin said:

"Well, he didn't mention either abortion or the public option [...] He just laid out in very stark terms for us what the future would be if we didn't pass [health care reform]. I think he's right. I think it would be devastating. [...] We want to be more hopeful, we want to give people hope. So I thought his message on that was right on target."

I'm already hearing very negative reaction on the Internets. People are "giving up" on Obama. Maybe this isn't what they wanted to hear, but let's try to be a little more constructive with our feistitude.

Yes, I'd love to see him come out swinging. I am as impatient as the next person, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet.