Mike Simpson

Government Shutdown: GOP Rep. Simpson: For the Right Flank, It’s “$61 Billion or Die”

The possibility of a government shutdown looms largely in our immediate future…

Mother Jones

With a government shutdown looking increasingly likely, Republicans are blaming Democratic leaders for failing to come to an agreement on government funding for the rest of 2011. If House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the Democrats fail to strike a deal by Friday, the government will shut down. “There’s no other explanation except that [Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader] wants to have a government shutdown and blame it on Republicans,” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

But other Republicans have made it clear that there’s major resistance within the GOP itself to any compromise whatsover. Those Republicans have concluded that any deal that falls short of the drastic $61 billion in cuts that the House GOP is demanding would constitute abject failure. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) explained the position of the House’s right flank to reporters on Tuesday: 

It’s also clear from the number of people who have gone up at the microphone at our conferences that it’s $61 [billion] or die…

Many of our constituents will think we’ve caved if it’s less. Now the reality is if you get to $58 or to $59 or $60 [billion], then say it’s just silly to not take a deal like that. But you never know. There will be some that will say, if it’s less than $61, if it $60.5 [billion]—someone’s going to say it’s not enough.

There was a phrase coined for such posturing during the last government shutdown, when Newt Gingrich was speaker: the Perfectionist Caucus. And if Boehner has too many ideological purists on his hands, he won’t have any choice but to shut down the government—or else risk being stripped of his leadership role by his own caucus members. 

‘Birther’ disrupts House reading of Constitution

It didn’t take long for the crazies to come out of the woodwork…

MSNBC – Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON — House Republicans’ reading of the Constitution was interrupted Thursday by a woman who shouted “except Obama, except Obama” to the venerable document’s words on a U.S. citizen’s eligibility to be president.

Boehner addresses birthers

Just as Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., was reading “no person, except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States” is eligible for the presidency, a woman in the visitor’s gallery yelled out that it did not apply to President Barack Obama.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who was presiding over the House, banged the gavel and halted the proceedings, warning that such action from members of the public was a violation of House rules. The woman was quickly removed by Capitol police.

Lawmakers took turns reciting each verse and article of the document. Republicans in charge of the chamber rattled it off with missionary zeal, as if in a school civics class. Democrats pitched in, but with seemingly less ardor.

Historians said it was the first time the 222-year-old governing document had been read in its entirety on the House floor.

‘Birthers’ question Obama’s eligibility
So-called “birthers” claim Obama is ineligible to be president because they say there’s no proof he was born in the United States, with many of the skeptics questioning whether he was actually born in Kenya — his father’s home country.

The Obama campaign issued a certificate of live birth in 2008, an official document from Hawaii showing the president’s birth date, city and name, along with his parents’ names and races. The certificate doesn’t list the name of the hospital where he was born or the physician who delivered him, information collected by the state as part of its vital records. Hawaii’s health director said last year and in 2008 that she had seen and verified Obama’s original vital records.    More…

Watch here…