Posts tagged Senate
It’s 19 months to election day. So why on earth am I writing a Senate Watch now? In part because we’re already hearing news of Senators retiring at the end of their terms. There’s more to look at, but that will wait for upcoming articles. Thus far, five Senators have announced that they will not be seeking reëlection next year. Those five are:
- Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
- Tom Harkin (D-IA)
- Mike Johanns (R-NE)
- Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
- Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
And there’s a sixth wildcard seat, arising from Senator John Kerry (D-MA) moving to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. What do those six seats’ prospects look like? Let’s take a look. (more…)
With John Kerry’s confirmation as Secretary of State, a seat opened in the U.S. Senate. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick named his former chief of staff, William “Mo” Cowan, as his interim replacement, and he was sworn in on February 7, created a record two (2) African Americans in the Senate at the same time.
A special election will be held June 25 to choose a “permanent” replacement for the five-term Senator Kerry. It isn’t really very permanent, because it will only fill out Kerry’s current term, which expires after the 2014 midterms. In other words, there will be yet another election for that seat next year.
Here is a brief rundown of some candidates who have so far declared their intention to run in the June special election. (more…)
Two votes happened in the U.S. Senate last Wednesday, votes which highlight how Republicans and Democrats feel about tax rates.
Senate Republicans voted to raise taxes on all Americans. Senate Democrats voted to avoid raising taxes on all Americans. A Democratic-sponsored bill that limits tax increases was passed, despite Republican opposition. Republicans are now insisting that the bill the Senate passed has no chance in the Republican-controlled House. In other words, Republican votes could force everyone’s taxes to go up.
How in the world will Grover Norquist spin this?
That’s not the most amazing part. Democrats have been trying to make the argument that Republicans only care about the super-rich. Republicans have been trying to deny this charge. So to demonstrate their position, Senate Republicans forced a vote on a bill to lower taxes on the super-rich as the quid pro quo for avoiding tax increases on everyone, apparently not noticing that this proves the Democrats’ point.
Let’s review how we got into this peculiar situation. (more…)
A deal has been reached in the Senate, to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits for two months, along with the perennial “doc fix” that prevents health care providers from receiving smaller reimbursements from Medicare. President Obama has agreed to this deal. It passed the Senate, in a rare Saturday vote, by an overwhelming 89 to 10. Seven Republicans, two Democrats, and one Bernie Sanders voted against it.
The deal also has a strange and unrelated rider on the Keystone pipeline. President Obama had previously promised to veto any deal that forced an early start to pipeline construction, before an alternate routing of the pipeline could be found that avoided danger to the nation’s largest aquifer. (more…)
The 2010 midterms revolved around the anger of Americans at losing so many jobs, and the slow pace of the economic recovery after the crash of 2008. This anger was epitomized by Speaker Boehner’s iconic demand, “Mr. President, where are the jobs?”
Since taking control of the House and narrowing the partisan gap in the Senate, Republicans have done nothing to create more jobs in America. Instead, they have concentrated on creating more joblessness, by attempting to cut federal spending, thus throwing hundreds of thousands of American workers out of work. Even as unemployment in the private sector has dropped, and hiring has risen, these gains were nearly wiped out by increased unemployment in the public sector.
In response to Republican inaction, last month President Obama announced the American Jobs Act, an attempt to do what the public demanded be done in the election of 2010.
Last week, Republicans in the Senate refused to allow the America Jobs Act to merely come up for a vote. A few days later, they released their own jobs bill, though it isn’t getting much attention, and rightfully so. It isn’t a jobs plan; it’s no more than a laundry list of Republican talking points. There’s nothing new in the plan, it doesn’t do anything to create jobs, and it strives to undo legislation on health care and environmental protections that Presidents have been seeking since Theodore Roosevelt. (more…)