Tag Archives: Eric Cantor

Chamber of Commerce Wants to Rein in GOP: No More ‘Fools,’ ‘Loser Candidates’

Michele Bachmann – [Image via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]

Good luck with that COC…

The Raw Story

The GOP’s corporate allies have set a New Year’s resolution they hope will lead to electoral victory in the 2014 midterms: “No fools on our ticket.”

Republican House leaders are planning to impose discipline on unruly members to help avert the party squabbles that badly damaged the GOP brand, and major donors and advocacy groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads intend to develop and fund more centrist candidates.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said Scott Reed, the top political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Wall Street Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

Presumably, Reed’s talking about candidates such as Mark JacobsBob Vander Plaats,  Chris McDaniel and David Barton.

Party leaders also plan to promote legislation, such as child tax credits and flextime for hourly workers, in hopes of appealing to working families.

“Working middle-class families are struggling to find a good-paying job, get ahead and keep more money in their pocket,” said Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “House Republicans will continue to offer conservative solutions that help create better conditions for them to succeed.”

Republican House Speaker John Boehner signaled this shift earlier this month when he chided conservative activist groups that opposed the two-year budget compromise.

The Speaker’s deputies also worked behind the scenes to quiet internal dissent by warning committee chairmen that opposition to the deal could jeopardize their committee posts.

“The Speaker, and the entire leadership team, urged all House Republicans to support the [budget] agreement, which lowered the deficit without raising taxes,” said Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel.

Committee chairmen had helped derail a farm bill earlier this year and extended the federal government shutdown.

Party leaders will test their clout next month when Congress considers a bill to keep the federal government running and later in the spring when lawmakers consider whether to extend the debt ceiling.

The debt-ceiling debate will take place as Republican primaries start in early March, and the party’s business wing intends to advocate against Tea Party candidates.

The Chamber of Commerce plans to spend at least $50 million to promote business-friendly candidates who they think can win a Republican Senate majority, and they hope the GOP House might pass a farm bill and reform the immigration system.

But conservative activists groups say that won’t happen.

“Lawmakers do not have a monopoly on information, and we will continue to communicate directly with their constituents on important legislation as it moves through Congress,” said Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action, part of the Heritage Foundation think tank. “(Lawmakers) will find it difficult to go back home and defend votes that increase spending, increase deficits and undermine the rule of law.”

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Least Productive Congress EVER – House Only Working 8 More Days This Year

house calendar 2013

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) | AP

The Huffington Post

Working during the holidays sucks. Luckily for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, they don’t have that much of it before the new year begins.

The House is only scheduled to work eight days between now and January 7, when members return for the second session of the 113th Congress.

The House had 239 days off scheduled during 2013, and they have even more off days scheduled for next year.

The 2014 calendar for the House, released in October by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), shows members will only work only 113 days. That’s down from 2013, when House lawmakers were scheduled to meet for 126 days. Only 107 days were scheduled in 2012.

As HuffPost reported in July, the 113th Congress is on pace to be the least productivein modern history. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been defensive of that report.

“We should not be judged on how many new laws we create,” Boehner told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer in July. “We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce.”

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REPUBLICANS BLAST OBAMA’S SUPPORT OF THEIR IDEA

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Borowitz Report

Moments after President Obama said he would allow insurers to continue health plans that were to be cancelled under the Affordable Care Act, leading Republicans blasted the President for agreeing with an idea that they had supported.

“It’s true that we’ve been strongly in favor of Americans being allowed to keep their existing plans,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “But now that the President is for it, we’re convinced that it’s a horrible idea.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) went further in ripping the President, calling Mr. Obama’s tactic of adopting ideas proposed by him and fellow Republicans “beneath contempt.”

“The President should be aware that any future agreeing with us will be seen for what it is: a hostile act,” he said.

Minutes later, White House spokesman Jay Carney helmed a hastily called press conference, hoping to stem the quickly escalating coöperation scandal.

“The President understands that he has offended some Republicans in Congress by agreeing with them,” Mr. Carney said. “He wants to apologize for that.”

But far from putting an end to the controversy, the President’s apology drew a swift rebuke from another congressional Republican, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who called it a “blatant provocation.”

“If the President is going to continue agreeing with us and apologizing to us, he is playing with fire,” he warned.

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, GOP Duplicity

House Reduces Workdays On 2014 Calendar After Working So Hard In 2013

house calendar 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 29: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) walks through the U.S. Capitol October 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, (R-VA) was headed to the weekly House Republican Conference. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) | Getty

These guys are beyond incompetent.  It’s no wonder their poll numbers are in the tank.  The sad part is that every maneuver they make is to undermine the president’s agenda at every turn.  Shame on them…

The Huffington Post

Who banks a $174,000 annual salary and works less than a third of the year?

Members of the House of Representatives, apparently.

The 2014 calendar for the House was released Thursday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and shows members will only work only 113 days. That’s down from 2013, when House lawmakers were scheduled to meet for 126 days. Only 107 days were scheduled in 2012.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called attention to the House’s sparsely populated 2013 schedule in July 2013, highlighting the fact that the House had only nine workdays scheduled for September.

HuffPost reported in July that the 113th Congress was on pace to be the least productive in history. Many House members are running for reelection in the 2014 midterm elections and will spend part of their time campaigning.

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G.O.P. UNVEILS OWN HEALTH-CARE WEB SITE, EMERGENCYROOM.GOV (Satire)

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The New Yorker - Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that “the American people are fed up with a disastrous Web site that doesn’t work and never will,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) and a phalanx of congressional Republicans today unveiled their own health-care Web site, EmergencyRoom.gov.

“At EmergencyRoom.gov, every American can access the one tried-and-true health-care system that has worked in this country for decades,” he said.

While Healthcare.gov has frustrated many users with its difficult-to-navigate design, Rep. Cantor said that at EmergencyRoom.gov, “Health care is just three easy steps away. One: enter your zip code. Two: see the list of emergency rooms. Three: get to the nearest one before you die.”

The Virginia Republican wasted no time touting the cost savings of EmergencyRoom.gov, comparing it favorably with the notoriously expensive Obamacare site: “Unlike Healthcare.gov, which private contractors built at a cost running into the hundreds of millions, EmergencyRoom.gov was built for nine hundred dollars by my intern Josh.”

And in contrast with Healthcare.gov’s maze of forms, links, and phone numbers, he said, “EmergencyRoom.gov has just one phone number: 9-1-1.”

In what may be the strongest selling point for the new site, Rep. Cantor said that the wait time on EmergencyRoom.gov is “virtually nonexistent,” not counting the twelve to thirty-six hours spent in the actual emergency room.

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, GOP Hypocrisy

The GOP’s little rule change they hoped you wouldn’t notice

This is just one example of how House Republicans rig the system to their benefit…

Rep. Chris Van Hollen(D-MD)

Late in the evening on September 30, 2013, the House Rules Committee Republicans changed the Rules of the House so that the ONLY Member allowed to call up the Senate’s clean CR for a vote was Majority Leader Eric Cantor or his designee — all but guaranteeing the government would shut down a few hours later and would stay shut down.

Previously, any Member would have had the right to bring the CR up for a vote. Democracy has been suspended in the House of Representatives.

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GOP Aims To Corner Dems By Partially Funding Government

Congress-republicans

Boehner and McConnell look like the cats who ate the canaries and proud of it…

It seems the GOP assumes every American is stupid except them.  Conversely everyone who is not a conservative thinks that the GOP are the inmates running the asylum.

TPM DC

Republicans have come up with a plan designed to trap Democrats into making policy concessions in order to re-open the parts of the government that shut down Monday at midnight: a conference committee for the House and Senate to hash out their differences.

“The conference committee is not going anywhere,” admitted a House GOP aide.

Then, in a Tuesday afternoon closed-door meeting, House Republicans formulated a strategy to turn up the pressure by passing piecemeal continuing resolutions at status quo levels to fund popular parts of the government, such as national parks and museums. The idea was first proposed by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), who spearheaded the push to shut down the government over Obamacare.

The purported aim of the conference committee is to work out a compromise to the budget impasse. The actual aim is to force unilateral concessions from Democrats that they cannot achieve through regular channels. That’s why the Democratic-led Senate voted on Tuesday morning to reject going to conference on a short-term CR.

The new piecemeal budget plan comes after House Republican leadership portrayed Democrats as unwilling to negotiate and hash out their differences.

“We’re here to say to Senate Democrats, come and talk to us. This is how we resolve our differences and can work our way out of this,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters Tuesday at noon, even tweeting a photograph of Republican leadership on one side of a table. “Senate Democrat refuse to even discuss these proposals.”

“They won’t even talk,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “They literally just voted against working out an agreement.”

What has ensued is essentially a staring contest: House Republicans demand that Democrats come to the table, but Senate Democrats aren’t budging and insist they won’t negotiate with a gun to their heads.

“It is embarrassing that these people who are elected to represent the country are representing the tea party, the anarchists of the country, and the majority of the Republicans in the House are following them every step of the way,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) early Tuesday morning, after the House had raised the idea of conference.

“This is not serious,” he said later of the GOP’s partial funding strategy. “If they think they can come and nitpick us on this, it’s not going to work.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the piecemeal strategy reflects an “utter lack of seriousness” on the part of Republicans. “If they want to open the government, they should open the government,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “Then we can negotiate about how we fund our budget priorities in the future.”

“Senator Ted Cruz is now going to pick his favorite federal agencies to reopen? Come on,” saidIllinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democratic in the chamber.

Some House Republicans are deeply frustrated with what they see as a self-defeating strategy, but even they are holding the line. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) told reporters that a “clean” CR, or a bill that would fund government at current levels, never came up in the GOP meeting Tuesday. “We’ve come this far,” said the congressman, who famously called his conservative colleagues “lemmings” on Monday. “Now we have to stick with the Ted Cruz-lemmings strategy.”

The House was set to vote on piecemeal bills later Tuesday afternoon, according to a Republican leadership aide, to protect military veterans, re-open national parks and museums and provide local funding for the District of Columbia.

The reason Democrats won’t negotiate on the CR is that they believe if they reward Republicans for brinkmanship, it’ll continue into debt ceiling debate and the next round of budget negotiations — and the one after that. They want to teach them that hostage-taking won’t work, so they’re demanding the House pass a clean CR and then initiate House-Senate talks to resolve broader budget differences.

Republicans have formally rejected bicameral budget negotiations 18 times since April. And House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissed that offer Tuesday, effectively validating Democrats’ concerns by arguing that his party’s strategy is to use the debt ceiling as a cudgel to achieve more budgetary reforms.

“We’ve wanted to go to a budget conference when we thought we had more likelihood of getting an agreement,” Ryan told reporters. “If we went prematurely, that would decrease the likelihood we would have gotten a budget agreement.”

“We have a debt limit coming. That limit is coming up in two weeks,” he said. “That’s what we think will be the forcing action that will bring the two parties together. Our goal and motivation here is to get a budget agreement, and we think this is the way to do that.”

 

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HOUSE REPUBLICANS LINE UP FOR FREE ANNUAL PHYSICALS BEFORE DEFUNDING OBAMACARE

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I’m a huge fan of Andy Borowitz‘ satirical humor in The New Yorker…

The Borowitz Report

Saying that they needed to be in peak physical condition for their looming effort to defund Obamacare, over a hundred House Republicans lined up for their free annual physicals today.

The physicals, part of Congress’s government-subsidized health-care package, yielded good news for many of the House G.O.P., who learned that they were strong and healthy enough for the demanding task of defunding Obamacare.

“My blood pressure was lower than I thought it would be,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). “That’s amazing, because it goes through the roof whenever I think about how Obamacare would destroy America.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia)—whose free annual physical included an examination of his heart, lungs, ears, eyes, throat, and blood—said that his doctor proclaimed him in perfect physical condition: “He said I should be able to live a long, healthy life and defund Obamacare for many years to come.”

Rep. Cantor added that he had lost a few pounds since last year’s free annual physical, as he headed to lunch before defunding food stamps.

 

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The right’s Obamacare obsession is destroying the Republican Party

The right's Obamacare obsession is destroying the Republican Party

Justin Amash, John Boehner (Credit: AP/Carlos Osorio/J. Scott Applewhite)

In my opinion, that’s a reasonable assessment…

Salon

The right’s Ahab-like determination to destroy Obamacare has so thoroughly overtaken the conservative wing of the GOP that its loyalists in Congress are about to squander an opportunity to hand Democrats a huge defeat in the fight over sequestration, and hasten the Republican crackup in the process.

Conservatives are poised — once again! — to align with progressives in temporarily handing control of the House of Representatives over to Nancy Pelosi, and protecting the poor from deep government spending cuts. All because GOP leaders don’t think suicide is a wise political strategy.

You know the backstory. Over the past few months, but most intensely during this August’s Congressional recess, the right organized itself around an impossible demand: no funding for the government unless President Obama agrees to defund his own health care law.

House GOP leaders correctly concluded that demand would earn the party a one-way ticket to complete blame for a government shutdown, followed by a swift, humiliating defeat in the fight over Obamacare. But the right’s not really known for its openness to persuasion. So GOP leaders decided they’d try to hoodwink everyone instead. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor devised a strategy of pairing a symbolic vote to defund the health care law with a sub rosa effort to force semi-permanent austerity on the country.

The latter goal was actually achievable. You can read the legislative details here. But as of Tuesday night, conservatives in the House, along with allies in the Senate and advocacy groups in Washington, were prepared to make the grotesque the enemy of the merely awful.

 

“This is a legislative gimmick designed to provide political cover to those who are unwilling to fight to defund Obamacare,” said Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham. “Any constituent who looks at this vote will know it is intended to look like a vote to defund Obamacare while failing to do so.”

Amash and Heritage aren’t mistaken, per se. But they and the rest of the right are too obsessed with Obamacare to focus on nuance.

What GOP leaders are trying to do is use this feint toward defunding Obamacare to disguise the fact that their bill also sets an otherwise unattainable precedent: That domestic spending should be held at sequestration-levels in perpetuity. Appease the right with a dressed up but powerless vote to defund Obamacare, and then hold the line for permanent sequestration against weary and confused Democrats.

If 218 Republicans could ignore their White Whale for just a moment and pass the House bill, Senate Democrats would kill the provision to defund the health care law, but probably be stuck with Republican spending levels. The GOP would both avoid a government shutdown and extract a major concession from Democrats for free.

But they probably can’t pull it off. We’ll see how the GOP’s whip effort fares. If it fails then Pelosi will get to set the terms under which Democrats will vote to fund the government. Those would surely include no defunding Obamacare and probably no funny business with sequestration, thus dealing complete defeat to both Republican leaders and their internal antagonists in the conservative movement.

John Boehner would have to choose between suffering huge defections on another must-pass bill, or shutting the government to appease conservatives.

All of which is to say the right’s Obamacare Ahabism isn’t just protecting Democrats from their own placative instincts and destroying the Republican leadership’s best laid plans. It’s destroying the party itself.

 

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O’Reilly Apologizes For False Claim That GOP Speakers Not Invited To March On Washington [VIDEO]

Bill O'Reilly black men

Newsone

In an unexpected move, FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly apologized for falsely claiming — during more than one segment — that no members of the Republican Party were invited to speak at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on Wednesday.

During his ‘Tip of the Day’ segment on The O’Reilly Factor, the man known for his often bigoted and racist rants actually showed professionalism and admitted the error in his statements. He not only apologized, but said that invited members of the GOP were wrong for not attending.

I said that there were no Republican speakers invited. Wrong. I was wrong. Some of the Republicans were asked to speak; they declined. That was a mistake; they should have spoken. Now, the mistake…entirely on me. I assumed that since all the speakers were liberal Democrats that Republicans were excluded. Now, here’s the tip of the day: Always check out the facts before making a definitive statement. And when you make a mistake, admit it. By the way, I’m sorry I made that mistake. Because I know that you guys watchThe Factor for accuracy.

We’re stunned. True, the facts were easily proven and his claim so easily disproven that he really had no other option, but still…we’re stunned.

See clip below:

 

As previously reported by NewsOne, not a single Republican elected official — not one — participated in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, despite invitations from event organizers.

Republicans came up with a laundry list of excuses, from ill health to scheduling conflicts, to justify their absence, but former Republican Chair Michael Steele said that the conservative response is a typical — and damaging — one:

“It’s part of a continuing narrative that the party finds itself in with these big deals for minority communities around the country and how they perceive our response to them,” he said.

Steele was not invited to speak because he isn’t a current party or elected official. “But if I were the current chairman and hadn’t been invited, that’d be a different story,” he said. “If I hadn’t been invited, I would have forced myself on them.”

The Washington Post reports:

“We had a very concerted effort, because this is not a political moment. This was about us coming together as a community, so we wanted to be sure that we had all political representations,” Daughtry said. “We attempted very vigorously to have someone from the GOP participate and unfortunately they were unable to find someone who was able to participate.”

House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), the highest-ranking Republican in Washington, was invited to attend Wednesday’s gathering but declined because of a scheduling conflict, aides said.

Boehner was in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and had no public schedule Wednesday but has been headlining dozens of GOP fundraisers nationwide this month. Aides noted that he led an official congressional commemoration of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on July 31 at the U.S. Capitol that other top congressional leaders attended.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) received an invitation to attend 12 days ago, which was too late to change scheduled political appearances Wednesday in North Dakota and Ohio, aides said.

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), currently the only Black senator serving in the United States government, was not invited to speak, but his spokesperson issued a statement minimizing any political controversy that fact could potentially cause.

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Filed under Bill O'Reilly, MOW 2013