Hoyer Press Staff Blog

Blog posts from the press staff of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

October 25, 2011

Republicans may want to think twice before printing out their pocket card. Yet another look by economists at Republicans’ partisan agenda shows that House Republican's Forgettable Fifteen bills to roll back consumer and environmental protections – most of which don’t even exist yet - won’t help put more Americans back to work or boost our economy:

From Macroeconomic Advisors:

Regulation does not prevent the economy from achieving full employment. After all, the economy wasn’t that much less regulated in 2007 when the unemployment rate was 4.5%, half of today’s reading…There are, however, legitimate reasons for many regulatory requirements, including the discouragement of health and safety hazards and the reduction of systemic financial risk, the costs of which may not be fully reflected in prices posted in an unregulated market. Hence, it is important to recognize that jobs should not be the sole, even the main, criterion for assessing the value of a particular regulation.”

So, will House Republicans work with Democrats on the American Jobs Act, which economists say could create up to two millions jobs? Or will they continue to cling to policies that economists and fact-checkers agree won’t create jobs or help our economy?

October 24, 2011

As the Senate prepares to take action on infrastructure proposals from the American Jobs Act next week, we wanted to be sure you saw comments from Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the need for investments in infrastructure:

Donohue: “Well, first, we're in agreement of the need to bring along a major improvement in our infrastructure. Second, we understand that a lot of jobs can be created in the transportation and the energy side and the aviation and the water side.”

Trumka: “We can't be competitive in a global economy unless we have infrastructure that allows us to be competitive. We have a major deficit, a $2.2 trillion deficit in old infrastructure and a $2 trillion deficit in new infrastructure, to bring us into the 21st century. This is really a no-brainer.” [ABC This Week, 10/23/11]

Republicans might want to think twice about opposing an issue that everyone – from business to labor – can agree is critical to jobs and our economy, and that used to enjoy bipartisan support.

There was also discussion of the need for a national manufacturing strategy, a key component of the Make It In America agenda:

Trumka: “Look, the other countries that we deal with, they have a plan and a strategy. They have a plan for manufacturing. They have a plan to build things. We don't have that strategy in the United States.”

We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we’ll keep urging Republicans to take action on the American Jobs Act and the Make It In America plan.

October 21, 2011

An op-ed in today’s WSJ by National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling draws a stark contrast between the American Jobs Act and Republicans’ “more-of-the-same” partisan ideas that won’t help our economy.

The American Jobs Act will grow our economy and help put more Americans back to work now:

“First, it provides a strong and immediate boost to demand that could create up to 1.9 million jobs, increase growth by up to 2%, and lower unemployment, according to independent economists such as Moody's Analytics. It does so by cutting payroll taxes in half for nearly all workers and small businesses, preventing teacher and first-responder layoffs, and creating jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, our schools and our blighted neighborhoods.”

“Second, it is specifically designed to take on the problem of long-term unemployment. It includes a tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed and veterans, and a ban on hiring discrimination against the unemployed.”

Meanwhile, economists have said that Republicans’ partisan bills won’t grow our economy and create jobs:

“In fact, Gus Faucher, the director of macroeconomics at Moody's Analytics, after reviewing the latest Republican jobs plan (the Jobs Through Growth Act), told the Washington Post that it would do nothing to create jobs in the short-term and could even make matters worse. Likewise, Macroeconomic Advisers wrote just this week that the bill ‘would not materially change our forecasts for either economic growth or employment through 2013.’”

And, as Sperling points out, it’s disappointing that Republicans are blocking a bill that includes bipartisan ideas:

“This aversion to measures designed to move the needle on jobs and growth is particularly disappointing given that many Republicans supported them only a short time ago.”

“Earlier this year, the heads of the AFL-CIO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce came together to support increased infrastructure investment and back the same bipartisan Senate proposal for a new infrastructure bank—sponsored by Sens. John Kerry and Kay Bailey Hutchison—that is included in the American Jobs Act.”

“The president's proposal to cut payroll taxes in half for workers and small businesses closely resembles a provision included last year in the Economic Freedom Act put forward by 50 House Republicans, including Michele Bachmann and Jeb Hensarling.”

“It simply cannot be the case in a serious economic moment like this that good ideas are transformed into bad ideas solely because President Obama supports them.”

October 21, 2011

There they go again, saying they’re for job creation and then voting in lockstep against even bringing jobs legislation to the Floor for a vote. With the Senate out next week, Republicans have once again left town after obstructing any efforts to create jobs or help our economy while insisting on ideological proposals that nonpartisan experts believe could harm the economy. Here’s a great rundown from TNR’s Jonathan Cohn on what happened in the Senate last night:

October 17, 2011

While Democrats are out on the stump with our plans to create jobs, Majority Leader Cantor is simply stumped when asked how many jobs would be created by GOP proposals.

National Journal: Cantor Stumped on GOP Job Plan

“But Cantor could not answer host Chris Wallace when asked whether outside economists had reviewed Republican proposals and predicted the number of jobs they would create.”

Politico: Cantor Ducks Job Creation Question

“House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sidestepped questions on ‘Fox News Sunday’ about how many jobs would be created by Republican stimulus proposals, saying, ‘We believe the best way is to provide incentives for investment.’”

From Huffington Post:

“Cantor also sidestepped questions about how many jobs the GOP bills would generate. Wallace pointed out that Moody's Analytics, an independent economic consulting firm, said the president's plan would add 1.9 million jobs next year and grow the economy by an additional 2 percent.”

Meanwhile, Democrats are returning to their districts this week to talk to constituents about our jobs plan – Make It In America – and the American Jobs Act, which will create jobs, boost our economy and ensure middle class families can succeed.

October 13, 2011

GOP quote of the day goes to House Armed Services Committee Chairman McKeon:

"We're going to have to stop repeating ideological talking points and address our budget problems comprehensively, through smarter spending and increased revenue.”

We couldn’t agree more. We hope his Republican colleagues will listen and work with Democrats on a balanced package, that includes both spending cuts and revenue, so we can reduce the deficit, create jobs, strengthen entitlements and ensure all Americans pay their fair share.

October 13, 2011

Stop us if you have heard this one before: Instead of bringing a jobs bill to the floor, today House Republicans are bringing up a draconian abortion bill that puts women's health at risk. The bill would limit how women with private insurance can spend their own private dollars in purchasing health insurance and is a solution to a problem that does not exist.

Even though current law forbids federal funding for abortion except in extremely limited cases, the Republican bill would prohibit women from purchasing health plans with their own money, limiting a woman’s right to purchase the health care plan of her choice. This extreme legislation would even allow hospitals to deny life-saving care to women.

No wonder the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote:

“In order for women to receive the best health care and disease prevention, they must have access to all medically appropriate legal medical procedures, regardless of ability to pay…ACOG opposes legislative proposals to limit women’s access to any needed medical care; these proposals can jeopardize the health and safety of our patients, and put government between a physician and a patient.”

Putting the government between a physician and a patient? That sounds familiar.

And did we mention it is not a jobs bill?

October 13, 2011

After blocking the American Jobs Act this week, Senate Republicans are clearly feeling the heat that they don’t have a jobs plan. Unfortunately for them, the “agenda” they’re rolling out is just more of the same partisan ideas that won’t create jobs or grow our economy anytime soon. Their list looks like a greatest hits compilation of GOP favorites: “targeting labor and environmental regulations, enacting a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, lowering corporate and individual tax rates…”

Economists have already said that Republican proposals to end consumer and environmental protections won’t create jobs or help our economy in the near-term. From a recent AP fact-check: “Is regulation strangling the American entrepreneur? Several Republican presidential candidates say so. The numbers don't… Businesses frequently complain about regulation, but there is little evidence that it is any worse now than in the past or that it is costing significant numbers of jobs. Most economists believe there is a simpler explanation: Companies aren't hiring because there isn't enough consumer demand.”

Rather than pursue a partisan agenda that won’t create jobs now, it’s time for Republicans to work with Democrats to put more Americans back to work.

October 13, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw this Washington Post article on a CRS report that found a quarter of millionaires in the U.S. pay taxes at a lower rate than middle class families.

Key excerpts:

“A quarter of millionaires in the United States pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than many middle-class families, according to a new congressional analysis that offers fresh support for President Obama’s push to raise taxes on the nation’s wealthiest households.”

“The report, by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, found that when all federal taxes are taken into account — including those on wages, investment income and corporate profits — some households earning more than $1 million a year paid as little as 24 percent of their income to the Internal Revenue Service in 2006.”

“That’s substantially less than the share paid by many families making less than $100,000 a year that faced a top effective tax rate exceeding 26.5 percent, the report said.”

“All told, 94,500 millionaires paid a smaller share of their income in taxes than 10 million households with moderate incomes, the report found.”

While Republicans want to protect millionaires from paying their fair share and have voted to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and seniors, Democrats continue to pursue a balanced plan to reduce the deficit, create jobs, strengthen entitlements and ensure all Americans – even the wealthiest – pay their fair share.

October 13, 2011

Looks like Republicans are having a hard time selling their “more-of-the-same” agenda that won’t create jobs or help our economy anytime soon.

From Roll Call:

“Unfortunately for Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and his Conference, the glow might be fleeting, in part because of the party’s difficulty selling the rest of its jobs agenda to the public.”

“Republican leaders have struggled to make the case for the agenda, which is based on deregulation, reductions in spending and tax cuts, thanks to a series of fiscal crises, the esoteric nature of much of their agenda and a sometimes raucous caucus that has thrown them off message.”

“‘We just haven’t made the sale yet,’ a Republican lawmaker conceded recently, saying that while the GOP firmly believes in the proposals, voters are not sold.”

“But the public remains deeply skeptical of Republicans on jobs and the economy, with consistent polling showing the public trusts President Barack Obama more for his handling of the economy than Congressional Republicans.”

Meanwhile, poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans support the American Jobs Act and agree with Democrats that all Americans should contribute their fair share to help create jobs. And with economists estimating that the American Jobs Act will create jobs and boost our economy now, there’s no reason for Republicans to continue pursuing their partisan agenda that Americans don’t support and won’t help put Americans back to work now.

October 12, 2011

Another day, another poll showing the majority of Americans support the American Jobs Act and agree with Democrats that all Americans should contribute their fair share to help create jobs.

From MSNBC’s First Read:

“Even though the United States Senate on Tuesday blocked President Obama's jobs bill, the legislation's specifics -- as well as the idea of taxing the wealthy to pay for it -- are popular with the American public, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.”

“…when the legislation's details are included in a follow-up question -- that it would cut payroll taxes, fund new road construction, extend unemployment benefits, and that it would be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy -- 63 percent say they favor the bill and 32 percent oppose it.”

“What's more, 64 percent of respondents agree with the statement that it is a ‘good idea’ to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations, because they should pay their fair share…”

October 7, 2011

Economists have taken a look at GOP policies, and the news isn’t good for our friends across the aisle – the verdict is they won’t help our economy anytime soon:

“I don't think [GOP proposals] mean much for the economy, though, in the near term, not certainly for the next 6, 12, 18 months. And I think that's where I'm most concerned and focused.” [Mark Zandi, Daily Rundown, 10/7/11]

“Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, said Republicans had ‘reasonable ideas’ but not ones that could be measured by the firm’s forecasting model. He said he believed the proposals ‘would have little immediate effect relative to a plan that stimulates aggregate demand’ — that is, a plan like Mr. Obama’s, with tax cuts and spending programs.” [NY Times, 10/7/11]

Meanwhile, economists predict that the American Jobs Act could create up to 1.9 million jobs next year and boost economic growth by up to two percentage points:

“While economic forecasts are not definitive, in that they are predictions, Macroeconomic Advisers, a St. Louis-based firm that the Federal Reserve often uses, has projected that the Obama jobs plan could increase economic growth by 1.25 percentage points and add 1.3 million jobs in 2012. Moody’s Analytics, another firm, has estimated it would add two percentage points and up to 1.9 million jobs.”

So, rather than continue to focus on partisan bills that don’t “mean much for the economy,” it’s time for Republicans to take up the American Jobs Act, which is fully paid for, includes bipartisan ideas and will create jobs and grow our economy now.

October 6, 2011

Mitch McConnell must be feeling a little embarrassed: despite his claim last night that the currency manipulation bill was “not going anywhere,” today twelve GOP Senators bucked their leadership and voted to advance the bill.

A key component of the Democrats’ Make It In America jobs agenda, this legislation would help lower our trade deficit by leveling the playing field and help get more Americans back to work.

Maybe that’s why a similar measure passed last year in the House with 348 votes, including 99 Republicans.

Or that this year’s version has over 218 sponsors in the House and conservatives like Lindsey Graham support the idea in the Senate.

Now that the Senate has agreed to take up this bill and given the majority support for the measure in the House, it is time for House Republican leaders to take it up and give American workers the chance to succeed.

October 6, 2011

As Republicans continue to ignore jobs and instead waste time on partisan bills that don't create jobs, a recent Washington Post–ABC News poll shows the majority of Americans support the American Jobs Act and trust the President more than Republicans to get Americans back to work:

  • 52 percent of Americans support the American Jobs Act compared to 36 percent who oppose the bill.
  • 58 percent of Americans believe the American Jobs Act will improve the jobs situation, including 52 percent of independents.
  • And more Americans trust President Obama over House Republicans to do a better job creating jobs - 49 percent compared to 34 percent.

There’s no reason why Republicans shouldn’t take action on the American Jobs Act – it’s fully paid for, includes bipartisan ideas, and will help put more Americans back to work now. It’s time for Republicans to abandon their partisan agenda, listen to the American people and work with us to create jobs and grow the economy.

October 4, 2011

Despite House GOP claims that deregulation will help job creation, there’s little evidence that rolling back clean air and water protections will help put more Americans back to work. Just ask former Reagan economic advisor Bruce Bartlett:

“Republicans have a problem. People are increasingly concerned about unemployment, but Republicans have nothing to offer them.”

“Evidence supporting Mr. Cantor’s contention that deregulation would increase unemployment is very weak… As one can see, the number of layoffs nationwide caused by government regulation is minuscule and shows no evidence of getting worse during the Obama administration.”

“McClatchy Newspapers canvassed small businesses, asking them if regulation was a big problem. It could find no evidence that this was the case.”

“‘None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it,’ McClatchy reported.”

“Academic research has also failed to find evidence that regulation is a significant factor in unemployment.”

While there’s no evidence that Republicans’ partisan agenda will help put more Americans back to work, economists have said the American Jobs Act will grow the economy and create jobs:

Goldman Sachs predicted the American Jobs Act would increase GDP by 1.5 percent in 2012.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, estimated the bill would add 1.9 million jobs next year, and decrease unemployment by a full percentage point.

And Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC said the bill would boost U.S. gross domestic product by 1.3 percent in 2012, giving “a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near term.”

September 28, 2011

Economists are weighing in on the American Jobs Act, and they agree that President Obama’s plan will grow the economy and create jobs:

From Bloomberg:

“President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.”

“The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said.”

“The plan ‘prevents a contraction of the economy in the first quarter’ of next year, said John Herrmann, a senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston, who participated in the survey.”

“Some 13,000 jobs would be created in 2013, bringing the total to 288,000 over two years, according to the survey. Employers in the U.S. added 1.26 million workers in the past 12 months, Labor Department data show.”

But we weren’t able to find these economists’ estimates for how the Republican jobs plan would boost the economy – probably because Republicans still don’t have a comprehensive jobs plan.

The American Jobs Act is fully paid for, incorporates bipartisan ideas, will create jobs and grow our economy now. There’s no reason why Republicans shouldn’t take action on this bill, and since they don’t have a jobs plan of their own, we hope they’ll abandon their partisan agenda and work with us to help put more Americans back to work.

September 27, 2011

What Democrats Were Doing To Support Job Creation Last Year:

A year ago today, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act into law, expanding much needed lending to millions of small businesses and offering tax incentives to help small businesses grow, hire, and fuel our economy, without adding a dime to the deficit.

What Republicans Are Doing To Support Job Creation This Year:

Still nothing. After nine months in the majority, Republicans still don’t have a comprehensive jobs plan and have taken little action on jobs.

Meanwhile, the Small Business Lending Fund created by the Small Business Jobs Act has provided 191 community banks across the country funding to increase lending to small businesses so they can expand, create jobs and ensure more families can make it in America. And Democrats remain focused on the Make It in America plan. We hope Republicans will abandon their partisan agenda, and work with us on our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and ensure more families can succeed.

September 27, 2011

Yet another poll shows Americans side with President Obama on deficit reduction. According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, 67% of Americans support President Obama’s balanced deficit reduction plan that asks all Americans to pay their fair share, and 62% say they have “little or no confidence” in Republican leaders when it comes to dealing with the deficit.

Poll after poll shows Americans favor Democrats’ approach to deficit reduction. It’s time for Republicans to listen to the American people and work with us on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit, create jobs, strengthen our entitlements and ensure all Americans pay their fair share.

September 23, 2011

From the it-speaks-for-itself file, we here in the Democratic Whip Press Shop wanted to pass along this article from the Hill on the GOP circulating a false list of supporters for their misguided TRAIN bill that would undermine our clean air protections.

Key Point: “The list includes a number of groups that have strongly opposed the bill, including the Texas chapter of Public Citizen, Clean Air Watch, the Clean Air Task Force and Clean Water Action.

“’Depending on how charitably you’re feeling about the people who put the list together, it’s either a lie or a mistake,’ Clean Water Action spokesman Jonathan Scott told The Hill.”

The Hill: GOP wrongly claims greens' support for EPA delay bill

By Andrew Restuccia and Ben Geman - 09/22/11 07:45 PM ET

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's GOP leadership inaccurately claimed Thursday that a number of green groups support legislation to delay – perhaps indefinitely – a pair of Environmental Protection Agency power plant pollution regulations.

On Thursday evening Republican committee staff circulated a list of more than 100 groups that “have sent letters to Congress supporting passage” of the legislation, known as the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act.

The list includes a number of groups that have strongly opposed the bill, including the Texas chapter of Public Citizen, Clean Air Watch, the Clean Air Task Force and Clean Water Action.

“Depending on how charitably you’re feeling about the people who put the list together, it’s either a lie or a mistake,” Clean Water Action spokesman Jonathan Scott told The Hill.

Committee Republicans sent a news release acknowledging the error.
"An earlier list included some groups that had not sent in letters of support," it read. "We regret this error and welcome additional support of H.R. 2401."

Clean Air Watch President Frank O’Donnell was shocked when told by The Hill Thursday that his organization was on the list.

“Clean Air Watch unequivocally does not support that legislation. Any inference to the contrary is an obvious error,” Clean Air Watch President Frank O’Donnell said. “Is Lady Gaga on there too?”

O’Donnell’s group is one of the most outspoken critics of Republicans’ push to delay and block various EPA regulations.

“It’s the dirtiest of dirty air acts,” O’Donnell said, referring to the TRAIN Act.

Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, was equally perplexed.

“I don’t think we support the TRAIN Act. In fact we oppose it,” he said when reached by phone Thursday night.

Stuart Ross, the communications director of the Clean Air Task Force, said his group does not support the bill. Ross said he would seek a retraction and an apology from Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) office.
“There is no way we would sign a letter in support of the TRAIN Act,” he told The Hill. “The TRAIN Act is one of the most aggressive and toxic bills ever introduced on the floor of the House from an environmental and public health standpoint.”

The list correctly includes a large number of groups that support the TRAIN Act, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute.
The TRAIN Act, which is currently being debated on the House floor, would mandate new interagency economic studies of EPA rules and delay a pair of major power plant pollution rules.

The bill would delay a recently finalized rule to cut interstate power plant emissions that worsen ozone and particulate pollution, and an upcoming rule to cut mercury and other air toxics from power plants.

A key Republican is floating an amendment that would mandate longer minimum delays to the power plant rules than the underlying bill requires. It would also make other changes that the bill's Democratic critics say would badly weaken EPA's ability to cut air toxics.

Republicans and some moderate Democrats say EPA regulations will impose massive burdens on the economy and cost thousands of jobs.

A final vote on the bill is expected as soon as Friday. It is expected to easily pass the House, but it is unlikely to pass the Senate.

This post was updated at 8:10 p.m.

September 23, 2011

Now, that Republicans have passed a partisan CR that’s dead on arrival in the Senate, they’re ready to head home before our work is done. We need to work on a bipartisan bill to fund the government and provide aid to those affected by recent disasters. But apparently, Republicans are content heading home and putting both jobs and disaster aid at risk.

Over at the Washington Post, Ezra Klein had a good take on Republicans’ “my way or the highway” approach:

“In his September 15th speech to the Economic Club of Washington, DC, Speaker John Boehner was very eloquent on the need for a new spirit of compromise in politics. ‘If we want to create a better environment for job creation, politicians of all stripes can leave the ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy behind,’ he said.”

“It turns out, though, that he didn't mean to totally leave it behind. He meant to tweak it slightly. ‘My way or the highway’ might be out, but ‘my way because I'm on the highway’ is in.”

“Earlier this week, House Republicans failed to pass legislation that would continue to fund the federal government. Last night, after some cosmetic changes and a stern talking to by the leadership, the bill squeaked through the chamber. But there are still major differences, particularly in disaster-relief funding, between what House Republicans passed and what Senate Democrats. Normally, this would kick off negotiations. But not this time, says Boehner. This time, House Republicans are leaving town for a scheduled recess, so it's either this bill, or the government's lights go off. “

“In legislative parlance, this is called ‘jamming.’ You hand the other chamber a must-pass bill and you walk from the table. In this case, failure to pass a bill before September 30th would mean a government shutdown, and Boehner has said his chamber is not reconvening until October 3rd.”

“It remains to be seen whether Senate Democrats will actually get jammed. They have been pretty clear on their opposition to this bill, and Republicans might find it hard to explain that the government had to shut down because they refused to return to work and negotiate a resolution. But either way, it's hardly a new spirit of job-creating compromise reigning over Capitol Hill.”

September 22, 2011

Unfortunately for Rep. Dreier, his comments on the Floor during the Rule debate that just ended were still wrong about Mr. Hoyer’s position on the CR that failed yesterday. To help him out, here are some quotes from colloquy and from pen and pad that clearly show that Mr. Hoyer was never supportive of the CR.

Colloquy, Thursday, September 15:

“Frankly, on our side we would hope that we could return to what is precedent and that is in an emergency respond with emergency funding as we did throughout the Bush Administration.”

“The fact of the matter is if you target this particular fund, you are targeting a fund which, as demonstrably, grown jobs in America. some 39,000 jobs have been created as a result of loans out of this fund…. There are pending requests, again, which would result in 50,000 to 60,000 new jobs…. So in fact it appears that we may be cutting off our nose to spite our face here.”

“I would urge us to make sure that we do not target a fund which has already demonstrably created jobs.”

“I don't think it's good policy for us to be focused on cutting back on those areas which have the promise of growth and jobs.”

Pen and Pad, Tuesday, September 20:

“I don't know if you listened to the colloquy on Thursday, but I made it very clear that we believe that the Republicans' $1.5 billion cut in the advanced manufacturing technology initiative is counterproductive to growth in jobs and to the growth in the economy. We think they make a mistake. I pointed out eight times under George Bush, we responded to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, other disasters, fires, and we did so by emergency funding. The Republicans supported President Bush's request for that. We think they ought to support President Obama's request for that. As you know, the Senate voted by substantial numbers to do that in previous funding, without offsets.

“My presumption is they will offer a CR which has that offset in it, and Democrats will be loathe to support that effort because we think it is counterproductive.”

And for good measure, here’s the Washington Post from Tuesday:

“In his exchange with Cantor last Thursday on the House floor, however, Hoyer raised the issue of the funding resolution but did not explicitly say that he would vote in favor of it: he criticized the move by House Republicans to offset the disaster relief funding with cuts to the advanced vehicle technology program as “undermining a specific item in the current scheme of things that is in fact creating jobs.”

September 22, 2011

The GOP out-of-touch quote of the day goes to Rep. Jeff Flake:

Representative Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who opposed the measure, complained the figure was $24 billion more than the party agreed to spend when it passed a 2012 budget in April.

“Why in the world would we add $24 billion?” Flake asked. “It’s a disaster.”

Exactly, Mr. Flake. There was a disaster.

September 21, 2011

Add House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to the growing list of Republicans who have compared Social Security to a Ponzi scheme.

As the Huffington Post reports:

Speaking on conservative radio on Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed with Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) claim that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme."

When asked by host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday whether the country's social insurance program is a Ponzi scheme, Ryan replied, "That is how those schemes work."

Ryan’s comments come on the heels of similar comparisons from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Jeb Hensarling.

The fact checkers have declared this claim unequivocally “false,” yet Republicans continue to make it, once again putting ideology ahead of the needs of the millions of seniors who depend on the program.

September 21, 2011

Bad news for House Republicans: a new Gallup poll shows Americans favor President Obama’s plan to reduce the deficit, create jobs, strengthen our entitlements and ensure all Americans pay their fair share.

From the poll:

Americans support Obama’s plan to pay for the American Jobs Act:

  • 70% of Americans support increasing taxes on some corporations by eliminating certain tax deductions
  • 66% support increasing income taxes on individuals earning at least $200,000 and families earning at least $250,000

Americans support the component pieces of the Americans Jobs Act:

  • 85% support providing tax cuts for small businesses, including incentives to hire workers
  • 75% support providing additional funds to hire teachers, police officer and firefighters
  • 73% support giving tax breaks to companies hiring people who have been unemployed for more than six months 
  • 72% support providing additional funds to modernize more than 30,000 schools 
  • 56% support extending unemployment insurance

Americans think the American Jobs Act will help:

  • 65% think it will help a lot or a little to create jobs
  • 60% think it will help a lot or a little to improve the economy

We hope Republicans will listen to the American people and abandon their ideological agenda so that we can reduce the deficit in a balanced way, grow our economy and help put more Americans back to work.

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