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.
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.
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.
October 5, 2012
Redistricting of the state's congressional seats led to retirement announcements by two Southern California GOP stalwarts. Republicans will miss them. There's a good chance Democrats will as well, because even though they may not yet appreciate the fact, Elton Gallegly and David Dreier are moderates (especially by today's standards) who have focused on sound policy more often than ideology. Dreier served in what formerly was the 26th District, covering foothill cities from La Cañada Flintridge to Rancho Cucamonga, and north to the rim of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains.
April 24, 2014
Re "The right takes aim at the solar industry," April 20 The vast sums of money used by the Koch brothers and their ilk originated from average Americans fueling their vehicles and powering their homes. Billions of dollars are sucked out of our economy by those who want us to keep using carbon-based energy. The use of oil, coal and natural gas has massive external costs that are not paid by the end user. This is the reason government regulators are trying to level the playing field by providing reasonable incentives for solar energy.
April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's proposal to trim Social Security's cost-of-living adjustments has sparked not only Democratic outrage, but Republican confusion. In the days since Obama put the idea in his 2014 budget, Republicans' reactions have included support, opposition and refusal to commit. The proposal was once a mainstay of the GOP's deficit-reduction overtures to the White House. House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the idea, the so-called chained Consumer Price Index, “is the least we must do to begin to solve the problems in Social Security.” DOCUMENT: President Obama's 2014 budget But the chairman of the House Republican Congressional Committee, who is trying to preserve the party's majority in the House in the next election, called it a “shocking attack on seniors.” “You're trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors and I just think it's not the right way to go,” Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon told CNN. That potentially off-message comment provoked swift rebuke from the powerful Club for Growth, the conservative advocacy group that supports the measure as a starting point for reining in spending on government entitlement programs.
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)