A Tea Party senator from upstate wishes John Boehner were more like Andrew Cuomo
State Senator Greg Ball believes his friends in the Tea Party would rather see the kind of bipartisan compromise forged by Andrew Cuomo in Albany than the firebrand opposition of the House Republicans in Washington.
“From a leadership perspective, it’s apparent that President Obama lacks the leadership skills of Andrew Cuomo,” Ball told me in a phone call this afternoon. “And it’s also apparent that the congressional Republicans have individual members that are more intent on blowing up the process, as opposed to our conference in the Republican [State] Senate, where we’re focused on moving the state forward through less taxes, bipartisan leadership, even if that means compromise.”
Ball, an outspoken ideological conservative and self-proclaimed Tea Partier who proudly calls the group his political base, was reacting to yesterday’s vote by House Republicans to reject an extension of the payroll tax cut that had already passed the Senate by a vote of 89-10. The vote puts the payroll tax cut in jeopardy, since Senate Democrats have already vowed not to return to session before the cut expires on January 1.
Read more at www.capitalnewyork.com
And while the Tea Party is largely credited for pressuring Speaker John Boehner into scuttling the deal, Ball said that obstructionist posture doesn’t reflect the group’s rank and file, and noted that even Tea Partiers don’t give high approval ratings to the House Republicans.
Tea party groups push Republicans not to accept tax increases
Several tea party-aligned groups are pushing Republican members of Congress not to support tax increases as a congressional super committee tries to come up with a proposal to cut at least $1.2 billion from the nation’s debt.
Republicans serving on the committee that is charged with cutting $1.2 trillion in federal spending over 10 years have proposed hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes balanced against a reduction in tax rates and tax reform.
Americans for Prosperity is pushing 40 House Republicans who have previously indicated a willingness to support new taxes to reverse course and is going up with a $50,000 radio ad campaign on Thursday targeting five House Republicans who serve on the Appropriations Committee. The ad says in part the members “recently joined 40 Republicans and 60 Democrats signing a letter asking the congressional super committee to consider ‘all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues.’ Americans for Prosperity is concerned that this could make higher taxes. And, tax increases would be disastrous.”Read more at politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com
Tea Party Scores Another Victory With Boehner’s Debt Proposal
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will hand another win to the Tea Party on Monday when he rolls out a debt proposal to his conference that features some of conservatives’ prized provisions: spending caps and a balanced budget amendment.
Boehner will pitch his latest plan, and possibly his final offering, to House Republicans during a closed meeting at 2 p.m. Details on the proposal have been vague since Boehner first floated it over the weekend; so far, reports have centered on his call for tying more than $3 trillion in deficit reduction to votes to raise the debt ceiling in two increments, by $900 billion initially and then by about $1.6 trillion next year.
Read more at www.huffingtonpost.com
But on Monday, a senior GOP aide confirmed that Boehner is adding language to require spending caps as well as a vote on a constitutional amendment that would force the government to balance its books every year. Both of these provisions are core pieces of the Tea Party-backed “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal that cleared the House but failed to pass in the Senate last week — after drawing strong opposition from Democrats and the White House.
Why make a deal on the debt ceiling when you could just listen to Ron Paul?
As House Republicans prepare to make a deal on the debt ceiling with the White House, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is offering a solution that is receiving some praise from The New Republic, a publication ordinarily hostile to libertarianism:
Representative Ron Paul has hit upon a remarkably creative way to deal with the impasse over the debt ceiling: have the Federal Reserve Board destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds it now holds. While at first blush this idea may seem crazy, on more careful thought it is actually a very reasonable way to deal with the crisis. Furthermore, it provides a way to have lasting savings to the budget.
Read more at www.unitedliberty.org
The basic story is that the Fed has bought roughly $1.6 trillion in government bonds through its various quantitative easing programs over the last two and a half years. This money is part of the $14.3 trillion debt that is subject to the debt ceiling. However, the Fed is an agency of the government. Its assets are in fact assets of the government. Each year, the Fed refunds the interest earned on its assets in excess of the money needed to cover its operating expenses. Last year the Fed refunded almost $80 billion to the Treasury. In this sense, the bonds held by the Fed are literally money that the government owes to itself.
Tea Party Rips Boehner and Ryan on Debt Ceiling
We’re over here wondering what House Speaker John Boehner promised the Tea Party, since they threaten to unseat him every time they don’t like what he says regarding the nation’s debt. Wes Barrett of Fox News is reporting that Tea Party leaders ripped into Boehner (R-Ohio), as well as other House Republicans, saying any vote to raise the debt limit without major fiscal policy changes will amount to selling out the Tea Party, adding that the group will work to unseat those who vote for an increase in the next election.
“We’re telling Boehner and all of the House Republicans, they came into office with Tea Party help. We now expect them to keep their promises and hold the ceiling on the national debt,” said William Temple, head of this fall’s Tea Party National Convention. “The Tea Party will not be in a very forgiving mood this fall, nor as the GOP primary season opens, if House freshmen and others elected by the Tea Party cave to Obama. We will find replacements for them this fall.”
Read more at www.theroot.com
Temple and the Tea Party should plan to follow through on their threat to “unseat” Republicans they helped get into office, because the debt ceiling is going to increase. What many people didn’t understand about the tax cut for the wealthy is that it would require an increase in the debt ceiling because of the $800 billion it added to the deficit.
Michael Grimm in tempest with tea party
Just six months ago, tea party activists helped catapult New York Rep. Michael Grimm to victory in a race few expected him to win.
But that once-close relationship is already showing signs of strain. The freshman Republican has become the subject of pointed criticism from grass-roots conservatives whose backing he cultivated.
Read more at www.politico.com
Much of the tension surrounds Grimm’s vocal opposition this spring to a government shutdown and his support for legislation that would keep the government funded temporarily until congressional leaders and the White House hammer out a longer-term budget solution — positions that have put him at odds with tea party activists.
Tea Party split on tax overhaul
House Republicans this morning will be presented with a letter from Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, informing the lawmakers that he won’t give them any trouble if they vote to pass HB 387, the tax overhaul bill.
But Georgia Tea Party Patriots this morning is urging lawmakers to vote against it:
Norquist had opposed the first version of the bill, because of its suggested restoration of a state sales tax on groceries, and an increase in the tobacco tax. He declared that the bill violated the no-new-taxes pledge signed by many GOP lawmakers in Georgia.
Read more at blogs.ajc.com
Norquist’s statement will soothe Republicans worried that voting for the measure could result in primary opposition next year.
Dems Blame Tea Party for Stalemate
The Capitol Hill rhetoric reached new levels of ugliness Tuesday as negotiations over some semblance of a federal budget gave way to finger-pointing, with Democrats blaming Tea Party freshmen for a potential government shutdown and Republicans calling those claims a fantasy.
Over the past few days, Democrats have pounded the argument that Congress would have been able to work out a budget deal long ago if not for the extreme demands of Tea Party-aligned lawmakers.
Read more at www.foxnews.com
House Republicans weeks ago called for $61 billion in cuts from last year’s spending levels, a target announced after Tea Party-aligned lawmakers complained an earlier proposal did not go far enough. Since then, Congress passed two stopgap bills which together cut $10 billion. White House budget officials have since indicated they’d be willing to put another $20 billion-$25 billion on the table, bringing total cuts to as much as $35 billion — incidentally, the target originally cited by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., before House Republican leaders pulled back and called for $61 billion in cuts.
Tea party steeped in redistricting
After making a raucous national debut and helping to power a grass-roots uprising that swept conservatives into office, tea party activists are now taking on a more sophisticated and decidedly insider-oriented electoral frontier: redistricting.
With state legislators across the country set to redraw the congressional landscape, the tea party is attempting to further the political gains it made last fall when a slate of activist conservatives won House and Senate seats.
Read more at www.politico.com
“They understand that the way districts are drawn impacts our political culture perhaps more than anything else,” said Mark Meckler, co-founder and coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, a national umbrella group. “It’s advancing the gains they made and adding to the places where they aren’t yet competitive.”
Tea Party complications
In American revolutions, power generally flows to moderate revolutionaries. Sam Adams may get things started, but it is John who gets things done.
With more than 80 freshmen House Republicans ready to demolish the Capitol but unable to find its washrooms, influence will shift to leaders (think Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Tom Price) who possess both Tea Party credibility and governing experience. Their mix of boldness and discretion will determine much about the outcome of the conservative uprising of 2010. They have a serious, intricate plan - in which much can go wrong.
First, House Republicans will produce a shock-and-awe budget, rolling back federal spending to 2008 levels - undoing a 24 percent increase in discretionary spending. Ryan will set the overall targets. Appropriators will abandon scalpels for cleavers. The goal is to reset the political clock - to produce a pre-Obama budget.
Read more at www.washingtonpost.com
Given the tightness of the budget squeeze, many interest groups will squeal, and some of the squealing will be justified. But the stakes of this Republican exercise are relatively low. There is no chance a House Republican budget would be approved by the Senate or signed by President Obama. The purpose is to indicate Republican seriousness to Tea Party voters and to dramatize the large expansion of government during the short Obama era. The likely outcome of a budget conflict with Democrats is a continuing resolution freezing federal spending at 2010 levels, perhaps with a small, across-the-board reduction.