April 22, 2013 |
On Monday the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first public hearing on the sweeping immigration bill unveiled last week that seeks to overhaul the current system. The hearings produced a sharp exchange between Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-New York), who cautioned critics against using the Boston bombing as an excuse for delaying efforts to overhaul the immigration system, and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who responded by shouting that he never made any such statement. But what intrigued me about Monday's hearing was the clash that took place between some conservatives, who are at odds over the fiscal impact of immigration reform.
November 25, 2012 |
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday joined the ranks of Republican lawmakers stepping away from Grover Norquist's famous anti-tax pledge, offering to cut his support for the pledge - with a catch. “I will violate the pledge for the good of the country only if Democrats will do entitlement reform,” he said on ABC's “This Week,” adding that “the only pledge we should be making to each other is to avoid being Greece.” Graham specified that although he agrees with Norquist's stand against raising tax rates and not raising taxes for wealthy Americans, he disagrees with him on deduction caps and buying down debt.
November 15, 2012
Re “ Republicans in disarray over how to fix damage ,” Nov. 12 I've been inspired by Mark Z. Barabak's article on the disarray of the GOP. Republicans believe that government is the problem and that just about every sphere would be better managed by the private sector. It would be most persuasive to see America's rich and powerful movers and shakers demonstrate exactly how this could be done. Let's see the private sector give billions of dollars to the Red Cross in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
November 4, 2011 |
At least one freshman Republican in the House won't be signing Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge next year. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) said that from here on out, he won't sign the Norquist tax pledge - or any other pledge - as he wrestles with the complexities of holding office. Ribble is among the gang of 100 lawmakers who have urged the congressional "super committee" to put all options on the table for revenues and spending cuts in seeking a grand bargain to reduce the nation's deficits.
May 8, 2013 |
Over the last few years the Republican Party has campaigned hard against comprehensive immigration reform and in favor of tougher internal enforcement and beefed-up security along the U.S. border with Mexico. Now the GOP leadership is hoping to persuade its base to consider a different option: a bipartisan Senate bill that would result in sweeping changes to existing immigration laws. The bill would also create a pathway for millions of immigrants who are illegally in the United States to remain in the country and eventually apply for citizenship.
August 15, 2013 |
In his speech to the American Bar Assn. on Monday, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. sounded more like a fierce critic of the federal criminal justice system than its formal leader. He described some federal mandatory minimum prison terms as "excessive" and "draconian" and said "they oftentimes generate unfairly long sentences. " He asserted that "people of color often face harsher punishments than their peers," and he more broadly lamented that "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.
November 29, 2011 |
The Senate is expected to vote this week on President Obama's proposals to expand a payroll tax holiday for workers and provide a tax break for companies that hire new employees - the first of several attempts Democrats promise to make to pass the proposals over GOP opposition. The tax breaks are part of Obama's $447-billion jobs plan, and failure to continue the payroll tax holiday after it expires next month would slap workers with an average $1,000 tax hike on Jan. 1. The proposals would be paid for with a surtax on millionaires.
December 17, 2012 |
Call it a tale of two tax times, or, “It was the best of rates, it was the worst of rates.” In Washington, President Obama got a sort of early Christmas gift from Republicans, with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) reportedly offering to raise tax rates on those Americans making more than $1 million a year. Among many Republicans, this probably earns Boehner a new title: traitor. Obama, of course, turned up his nose, because he wants higher tax rates on those making more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples)
December 26, 2012 |
How's this for a cheerful headline: " Washington's Christmas gift to America: Nothing "? That was Politico's gloomy day-after-Christmas assessment of lawmakers' sputtering efforts to avert a bevy of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect on or around Jan. 1. With House Republicans unable to muster the votes for a counteroffer by Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), the chances of them reaching a "grand bargain" with President Obama and Senate Democrats seem remote at best.
November 28, 2012 |
Grover Norquist on Wednesday rebuffed claims that his anti-tax crusade is losing steam, calling statements from prominent Republicans hinting at their departure from his anti-tax pledge "impure thoughts. " Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, met with Politico's Mike Allen to offer his thoughts on the looming “fiscal cliff,” and the growing narrative that Republicans, after years of tying themselves to ATR's pledge not to raise taxes, may be ready to jump ship.