Posts Tagged ‘Boehner


News Of The Day!

Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Affordable Care Act

The Hill: Consumers saved nearly $4 billion on their insurance premiums last year because of new rules in President Obama’s healthcare law, the administration said Thursday. The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) said consumers saved $3.9 billion last year from new rules that govern insurance companies’ spending. The rules have saved consumers roughly $5 billion over the past two years, HHS said. The health law requires insurance plans to spend 80 or 85 percent of their premiums on medical costs, leaving only the remaining 15 or 20 percent for profit and administrative expenses. They must pay a rebate if they miss the threshold.

Consumers saved money as insurers changed their premiums to comply with the requirement, HHS said in a report Thursday. The new rules first took effect in 2011. That year, insurers paid out more than $1 billion in rebates. Last year saw fewer rebates and more up-front savings, according to the HHS report. Consumers saved $3.4 billion last year as insurance companies lowered their premiums to comply with the new rules. Consumers also received $500 million in rebates from insurers that did not meet the new standards.

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We all remember the last Kids State Dinner!


And then this wonderful moment happened!


Washington Post: The House just voted down the five-year, $940 billion farm bill on the floor. The final tally: 195 yeas and 234 nays. This was unexpected, to say the least. Farm bills have historically sailed through Congress without too much trouble. Yet the House farm bill, supported by the GOP leadership, has faced a particular dilemma. Most Democrats opposed the revised version because it cut spending on food stamps for low-income families by $20.5 billion over the next 10 years.

On the other hand, many conservative Republicans also opposed the bill because it didn’t cut spending enough. Squeezed on both sides, the bill failed after House Speaker John Boehner brought it up for a vote. So what happens next? The White House, recall, had already threatened to veto the House farm bill because of its cuts to food-stamp programs. So it likely wasn’t going to become law anyway. But if the House bill had passed, Republicans could have at least gone to conference and tried to reconcile it with the $955 billion Senate version, which contained far lighter cuts to food-stamps funding.

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Roll Call: The House defeated the farm bill resoundingly on a 195-234 vote Thursday, dealing a blow to Speaker John A. Boehner and prompting a bitter round of finger pointing between Democratic and Republican leaders. Most Democrats opposed the bill, unhappy with a deep $20.5 billion, 10-year cut to food stamps and backed by a White House veto threat, while Republicans split into competing factions, with a sizable group opposing the bill over concerns it did not cut deeply enough. Sixty-two Republicans voted against the bill, while two dozen Democrats supported it. The bill’s defeat on Thursday came as a shock to Republican leaders.

The farm bill had been one of the first big tests for the Speaker this year, with immigration and budget battles yet to come.

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Rise and Shine



11:0: The President departs the White House

11:25: Arrives Baltimore, Maryland

11:35: Visits an Elementary School

1:05: Tours Ellicott Dredges (which manufactures innovative dredges and dredge equipment being sold for infrastructure projects across the country and around the world)

1:20: Delivers remarks

2:15: Visits a community center

3:0: Departs Baltimore

3:25: Arrives the White House



Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): It’s Official: Those Bogus Email Leaks Came From Republicans

It’s not as if we didn’t know this already, but Major Garrett made it official: last week’s leaks that misquoted the Benghazi emails came directly from Republicans….

So here’s what happened. Republicans in Congress saw copies of these emails two months ago and did nothing with them. It was obvious that they showed little more than routine interagency haggling. Then someone got the bright idea of leaking two isolated tidbits and mischaracterizing them in an effort to make the State Department look bad…..

But it was typical GOP overreach. To their surprise, the White House took Republicans up on their demand to make the entire email chain public, thus making it clear to the press that they had been burned. And now reporters are letting us all know who was behind it.

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Steve Benen: Whether or not an issue is a “scandal” tends to be a subjective question — one voter’s world-changing controversy may be another voter’s meaningless distraction. Indeed, the Beltway has spent a week telling the nation that the White House is engulfed in three ongoing scandals, though many of us suspect this analysis is deeply flawed.

But if we’re going to talk about real political scandals, can we at least have a conversation about Republicans lying to reporters about Benghazi?

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Jeffrey Goldberg (Bloomberg): So it turns out that Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and, before a group of leading Senate Republicans decided that she was evil incarnate, a top contender to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, had nothing to do with formulating the White House’s response to the fatal attacks last year at the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

…. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, among others, argued for weeks that Rice was a crucial cog in a huge conspiracy to hide the facts of Benghazi from the American people….

…. I don’t expect that Graham will apologize to Rice for accusing her of engaging in an enormous conspiracy, when all she seems to have done is take the consensus of several government agencies and present it publicly. But you would hope Graham would think twice before threatening again to stop her advancement in government.

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The farce of John Boehner


These were the words of the second in line to the Presidency as the deadline for the sequester neared: “We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.”

In a situation which bordered on the surreal, where draconian cuts—which were never intended to come into effect—were, in fact, set to come into effect, Speaker of the House John Boehner, weighted down with the stress of the moment, had what could only be described as a public political psychotic break.

Faced with the pressure of a self-inflicted doomsday deadline—because, don’t forget, the Republican-controlled House voted for the sequester as a mechanism to force a compromise on spending and taxes—and faced with a caucus which increasingly didn’t listen to him, he blamed the Senate for failing to act on two bills passed in the House to avoid the sequester.

Of course, he failed to mention certain salient facts. Firstly, the bills passed in the House were never going to pass the Democratically controlled Senate, and certainly never going to survive a presidential veto. Secondly, and more importantly, those “fixes” were passed in the previous Congress. They were dead letters, as pertinent to the realities of the new Congress as flat-earth theory to modern astrophysics. Mr. Boehner was putting forth a position which he should have known, as Speaker of the House, had no bearing on the current situation. The Senate had to pass the Violence Against Women Act again in the new session because the bill it passed in the previous Congress lapsed due to inaction by the GOP-led House. Not only wouldn’t the Senate pass the House bill on avoiding sequester; it couldn’t; the bills had expired, and new legislation was needed. And, thirdly, all spending bills have to pass the House first. The idea that it was incumbent upon the Senate to do the House’s work for it is something new in American politics. One branch of the legislature has, seemingly, abdicated all responsibility for legislating, merely waiting for the other body to take all the work upon itself.

Continue reading ‘The farce of John Boehner’


Leadership Is Action

Smartypants: Why President Obama Wants A Grand Bargain

A couple of weeks ago at his press conference, President Obama called the sequester cuts that just went into effect – providing an additional $1.2 trillion in savings – “dumb.” The reason he said that is because they don’t tackle the one thing that is driving those upward spikes…health care costs.

While the Affordable Care Act was an historic step toward getting health care costs under control, there is still more that we can do to realize efficiencies, cut waste, and improve Federal health care programs. Most importantly, we can make modest adjustments to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid in a way that does not undermine the fundamental compact they represent to our nation’s seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income families. For this reason, the President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction included proposals to save approximately $320 billion in federal health spending over the next decade. As these reforms save money, they also will strengthen these vital programs so that they are robust and healthy to serve Americans for years to come…

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Steve Benen: Boehner Still Waiting For Others To Lead.

When it comes to power in Washington, John Boehner isn’t exactly a hapless schlub, at least not on paper. He’s the Speaker of the House, second in the presidential line of succession, and ostensibly the most powerful member of the legislative branch of government. He has a powerful megaphone, a sizable House majority, and the capacity to have an enormous impact on policymaking.

Left unsaid: John Boehner, despite his power and authority, isn’t leading, doesn’t want to lead, has no intention of leading, and doesn’t even know how to lead — which is precisely why he keeps waiting for the White House and Senate to do the real work while Boehner waits patiently (or as evidenced by this op-ed, perhaps not so patiently) on the sidelines.

Let’s make this easy for the Speaker: (1) Name one budget issue on which you and your party are prepared to compromise; (2) Name one concession you and your party are willing to accept in exchange for a related Democratic concession.

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‘The Republicans have a fully functioning marionette in the Speaker’s chair’

Charles Pierce: So Sequestration Day is here …. And it seems that the House Republicans are dancing in the streets of Pottersville…..

…. The country’s going to hell, but the Republicans now have a fully functioning marionette in the Speaker’s chair. They want him to be a vandal. He’s a vandal. They want him to be butch. He’ll be butch. If they told him to sprawl across a sofa in the Rotunda dressed as Scarlett O’Hara, well, who the hell knows? Maybe he’s got the legs for it. At least he can sleep with both eyes closed for a while.

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