Senators ask John Boehner to help block Obama recess appointments
5/25/11 Jonathan Allen – POLITICO
Senate conservatives asked House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday to try to block President Obama from making recess appointments for the remainder of his presidency.
In a letter, the group of 20 senators implored Boehner to refuse to adopt any resolution that would allow the Senate to stand in recess for more than three days.
“As Jonathan Cohn pointed out in The New Republic, filibusters of presidential agency nominations were once very rare, happening only two times each to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton had nine nominations blocked, and George W. Bush had seven. Obama is “already up to 16 blocks,” Cohn noted.”
Fact Check: The Real Reasons Republicans in Congress are Blocking Richard Cordray at CFPB
Posted by Stephanie Cutter on October 06, 2011
In his press conference on October 6, the President spoke primarily about what we can do to create jobs and boost the economy right now, but he also took some time to discuss his efforts to fix the problems in our financial sector that precipitated this economic downturn:
And what we’ve seen over the last year is not only did the financial sector — with the Republican Party in Congress — fight us every inch of the way, but now you’ve got these same folks suggesting that we should roll back all those reforms and go back to the way it was before the crisis.
As he also explained, his nominee to be the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, former Ohio Treasurer and Attorney General Rich Cordray, is being blocked from office, noting that “Republicans have threatened not to confirm him not because of anything he’s done, but because they want to roll back the whole notion of having a consumer watchdog.”
Not surprisingly, those Republicans in Congress have looked for any excuse to avoid admitting that they are seeking to weaken these consumer protections
Senate Republicans’ Vote to Block Job Growth Through U.S. Infrastructure Development
Posted by DNC Press on Thursday, November 03, 2011
Following today’s vote by Republicans in the U.S. Senate to block legislation that would create jobs and grow the economy through the development of our nation’s infrastructure, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“It’s almost hard to believe: This is now the third time in a matter of weeks that Republicans in the Senate have voted in unison to block part or all of the American Jobs Act, which would create jobs and strengthen our economy. First, Republicans filibustered the President’s jobs bill in its entirety—then, when President Obama and Democrats tried to move forward with legislation that would prevent hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders from losing their jobs, the Senate GOP shot that down, too.
“Today, they did it again—voting to block legislation that would make an immediate $50 billion investment in America’s roads and bridges and a $10 billion investment to create a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank. This bill would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for construction.
GOP senators block bill to put teachers, first responders back to work
Posted by Elizabeth Chan on Friday, October 21, 2011
Last night, Republican Senators stood unanimously to block the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, a stand-alone piece of President Obama’s jobs bill that would put Americans back on the job teaching our children and keeping our communities safe.
The GOP is putting politics ahead of country yet again.
DREAM Act dies with rejection of defense bill when Republicans blocked a defense spending bill in the Senate
9/21/2010 By SUZANNE GAMBOA- AP
WASHINGTON—The chance for hundreds of thousands of young people to legally remain in the U.S. evaporated Tuesday when Republicans blocked a defense spending bill in the Senate.
Democrats failed to get a single Republican to help them reach the 60 votes needed to move forward on the defense bill and attach the DREAM Act as an amendment. The vote was 56-43. Arkansas Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor voted with Republicans. Majority Leader Harry Reid also voted to block the bill in a procedural move that allows the defense bill to be revived later.
Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban
9/21/10 By ANNE FLAHERTY, AP
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision.
The mostly partisan vote dealt a major blow to gay rights groups who saw the legislation as their best hope, at least in the short term, for repeal of the 17-year-old law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
House farm bill cuts food stamps by $20.5B
5/10/13 11:00 AM ET By Erik Wasson – TheHill
The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee unveiled a new farm bill [Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013 ] Friday that he said would reduce spending by $39.7 billion over the next decade compared to existing legislation.
The deeper deficit cuts endorsed by Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) are sure to please conservatives and may help get the bill through the full House.
The bill also makes deep cuts to food stamp programs, which could cost the bill support from liberals and make it more difficult to get a deal with the Senate.
Overall the bill, crafted in consultation with Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is “vastly identical” to the bill that passed the Agriculture Committee last year, according to a senior aide.
But it reduces spending more than the earlier bill, which House leaders never let come to the floor. It would have cut $35 billion from existing spending.
Much of the bite comes from food stamp and other nutrition programs. They would be reduced by $20.5 billion, compared to $16 billion in last year’s bill.
Outgoing IRS Chief: Question That Sparked Scandal Was A Plant
17, 2013, 11:33 AM 823 ERIC LACH MAY – tpm
One of the oddest aspects of the IRS scandal was the way the story first came to light last Friday, when Lois Lerner, head of the IRS’ tax-exempt organizations division, apologized for inappropriate targeting of conservative groups. The apology, a major admission, was delivered in a decidedly low-profile place: in response to a question from an attendee at a panel during the American Bar Association tax section’s annual meeting in Washington D.C.
It was such an unusual place for Lerner to drop such a bombshell, many people in the room thought the question had been prearranged. Turns out, it was.
“It was a prepared Q & A,” outgoing acting IRS chief Steven Miller told Congress on Friday, in response to a question from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Nunes asked Miller if the question itself, which was asked by Celia Roady, a veteran tax lawyer, was planted in advance.
“I believe we talked about that, yes,” Miller responded.
Loretta Lynch nomination lingers for no reason
3/06/15 09:27AM By Steve Benen – maddowblog
Loretta Lynch was nominated to serve as U.S. Attorney General 118 days ago. Over the last several decades, no A.G. nominee has had to wait this long for a confirmation vote. And yet, here we are, still wondering why the Senate’s Republican leadership still won’t allow members to vote up or down on Lynch’s nomination.
It’s tough to defend, and just as important, it’s evidence of a Senate that’s failing as some rudimentary tasks.
Specifically on Lynch, the Democratic minority yesterday made clear how absurd it is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t bring her nomination to the floor.
Senate Democrats on Thursday intensified their push for a vote on the confirmation of Loretta E. Lynch as attorney general, arguing that her nomination should not be held up because Republicans are angry with President Obama over executive action on immigration.
“The delay is wrong and it is irresponsible,” Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said during a conference call with reporters. “She should be judged on her merits and not used as a pawn in a proxy fight over the president’s immigration policies.”
It’s tough to disagree. Lynch sailed through her confirmation hearings; she’s already received the Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan backing; and by all appearances, she has the votes needed to clear the Senate and get to work.
And yet, McConnell waits. When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was advanced at the committee level, his nomination was on the Senate floor two days later, and he was confirmed easily. Lynch was nominated before Carter, she cleared committee last week, and yet the whole process is being slow-walked for reasons the GOP has struggled to explain.