Paul Ryan Postures On His Reaction To The Budget Deal

House leadership has come to an agreement with the White House over the federal budget. Apparently this deal, brokered by House Speaker John Boehner, was worked on in ‘secret’ with the Obama administration.

As a result Speaker-in-waiting, Paul Ryan feigns outrage on how this budget agreement was achieved.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the front-runner to be the next House speaker, said the budget process “stinks,” and blasted current House Speaker John Boehner, leadership in the Senate and the White House for the secret talks that have led to the tentative budget and debt ceiling deal, Politico reports.

“This is not the way to do the people’s business,” Ryan said Monday. “And under new management we are not going to do the people’s business this way.”

Well of course Rep. Ryan has to keep face with the Freedom Caucus and the other radical conservatives in the party…and not hurt his opportunity to become Speaker. Of course current Speaker Boehner realizes this and will take the heat while he walks out the House door…and the White House could care less.

But I call bullshit on this one…Rep. Paul Ryan is the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee…the most powerful committee in the House of Representatives and the chairman is one of the most powerful legislators in Washington. I would find it very unusual that he wouldn’t have been aware of the exact nature of the negotiations and what the agreement entailed during the entire process. Now he’s just got to hope that the president can rally enough democrats in the House to vote for it so Rep. Ryan can hold the line and vote against it if he feels the need.

Paul Ryan Is In For Speaker of the House?

Tonight Madison.com is saying: Ryan to seek speakership if House GOP unites behind him. It seems like nearly everyone who has been an ally of Rep. Ryan has suggested he stay out of this fight…but sometimes ambitions and egos get in the way of common sense. OTOH: I don’t really care if the GOP pulls itself together under the circumstances since I don’t see a Speaker Ryan being anymore willing to work with the Dems or the White House than Speaker Boehner or the Freedom Caucus.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers late Tuesday that he will run for speaker, but only if they embrace him by week’s end as their consensus candidate — an ambitious bid to impose unity on a disordered and divided House.

Dragged reluctantly into seeking a job he never wanted, Ryan spoke to the House GOP behind closed doors and said he will run only with the endorsement of the major caucuses in the House, including the hardline Freedom Caucus that chased out the current speaker and his No. 2.

“We as a conference should unify now,” Ryan told reporters later. “What I told members is if you can agree to these requests and if I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve, and if I am not unifying, that is fine as well — I will be happy to stay where I am.”

The 45-year-old Ryan gave his colleagues until Friday to express their support. The question will be whether he can win over the Freedom Caucus, which drove Speaker John Boehner to announce his resignation by threatening a floor vote on his speakership, and scared Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy into abruptly withdrawing from the race to replace him.

That left Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, as the only figure in the House with the national profile, stature and broad popularity to unite a caucus divided against itself, at a moment of deep turmoil. He had consistently said he does not want to be speaker and would prefer to stay on as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, which he’s described as his dream job.

It would take a whole lot of convincing for me to give up my dream job for anything resembling the viper pit that is the GOP caucus in the house right now…I still think he’s not going to actually accept the position.

Elect Donald Trump Speaker of the House

The GOP could kill two birds with one stone…elect Donald Trump Speaker of the House…tea party would love it…they’ll have an irrational shoot from the hip self described smartest toughest guy in the room…and they get him off the campaign trail.

What do you say?

background on the Speaker of the House is here:

Peter King: Boehner resignation signals “the crazies have taken over the party”

It looks the House Republican Party might turn into a circus now that Speaker John Boehner has announced he’ll be leaving Congress at the end of October.

House Speaker John Boehner’s sudden resignation Friday “signals that the crazies have taken over the party,” New York Republican Peter King said Friday.

“I think it signals the crazies have taken over the party, taken over to the party that you can remove a speaker of the House who’s second in line to be president, a constitutional officer in the middle of his term with no allegations of impropriety, a person who’s honest and doing his job. This has never happened before in our country,” King said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Friday afternoon. “He could have stayed on.”

To be honest, I’m kind of looking forward to the inevitable dumpster fire that will be the House GOP under some extremist tea party Congressperson.

Speaker John Boehner to resign from Congress at end of October

Wow…..this is unexpected.

Speaker John Boehner announced to House Republicans that he is retiring from Congress at the end of October, according to multiple sources in a closed party meeting.

No doubt what comes next for Republicans in the house is a whole lot of crazy, because this move by Boehner was no doubt prompted by a burgeoning challenge to his Speakership by the “tea party” wing of the Republican Party in the House.

House Republicans cut Amtrak funding the day after fatal Amtrak crash

Well isn’t this something?!?!?

House Republicans voted Wednesday to chop about a fifth of Amtrak’s budget, less than a day after a deadly train crash that Democrats pointed to as a prime example of the dangers of shortchanging the nation’s transportation needs.

They also rebuffed Democrats’ attempts to provide money for an advanced speed-control technology that federal investigators later said would have prevented the crash.

“Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred,” National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told reporters Wednesday evening. Sumwalt, who is leading the crash probe, spoke hours after the House Appropriations Committee voted down a Democratic amendment that would have offered $825 million for the technology known as positive train control.

In a related story, Republican House Speaker John Boehner apparently thinks it’s stupid to blame federal funding of Amtrak for the fatal train crash.

Speaker John Boehner’s said Thursday it’s “stupid” to blame federal funding of Amtrak for the deadly train crash in Philadelphia.
Democrats responded, in so many words, that the comment itself was dumb. And at least one safety expert said that federal investment in train-speed technology would have prevented the accident that killed eight people.
Story Continued Below
“Are you really going to ask such a stupid question?” Boehner said at a news conference, cutting off a reporter as she asked about criticism that railways aren’t adequately funded.

What’s really stupid about Speaker Boehner’s comment is that it’s absolutely true that the installation of positive train control technology could have prevented the crash, and an increase in funding for Amtrak could have sped up the installation of positive train control technology, which is mandated to be completed on all railroads by the end of 2015.

Republicans in Congress forget Constitution, think they’re responsible for foreign policy

Republicans may be good at winning elections, but they’re awful at actually governing.

Case in point? Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner recently invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress, despite the fact that Congress isn’t empowered to conduct foreign policy; that responsibility actually falls to the President of the United States.

Republicans and Netanyahu likely wanted to shift the focus to derailing international diplomacy, but they’ve instead been forced to explain who’s responsible for this fiasco.

The fact that Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer talked to Jeffrey Goldberg late last week and tried to pin this mess on House GOP leaders – a dubious argument, to be sure – was itself evidence of just how messy this has become.

Last week, even Robert Kagan, a leading neoconservative and no ally of the Obama White House, made a detailed case against the Netanyahu/GOP partnership and urged the Israeli prime minister to cancel his speech to Congress.

Hoping to undo some of the damage, Netanyahu reportedly worked the phones last week, reaching out to Democratic leaders to calm the waters, but Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid told the Israeli leader what he already knew: by going around the White House to partner with Republicans, Netanyahu has done real damage.

There’s an interesting debate underway about whose screw-up was more severe: Boehner’s or Netanyahu’s. To my mind, it’s a close call – on the one hand, the Speaker took deliberate steps to undermine American foreign policy at a delicate time, siding with a foreign government over his own president, while arguably taking steps to intervene in a foreign election. On the other hand, the Prime Minister needlessly undermined his frayed relationship with the White House, risked damaging Israel’s standing in the U.S., and probably strengthened the diplomatic talks he hoped to ruin.

It was of interest to see former Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican from the Reagan and Bush eras, speak out yesterday about the protocol breach: “[T]he executive branch of government really has the primary power and responsibility and authority to conduct the nation’s foreign policy. It’s not in the Congress, it’s in the executive branch. So our foreign policy benefits when there’s cooperation and so does the issue of U.S.-Israeli relations.”

Indeed, the beneficiary of this little debacle is President Obama, whose hand has been strengthened, at least for now, while Team Boehner and Team Netanyahu argue over whose actions were more misguided.

GOP continues to support #3 House Republican who spoke at white supremacist event

Well isn’t this awkward?!?

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), the #3 Republican in the U.S. House, has Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) “full confidence as our Whip,” according to a statement put out by Boehner’s office. That’s despite the fact that Scalise spoke at a white supremacist event in 2002.

This sentiment is echoed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who claims that he’s known Scalise “as a friend for many years and I know that he does not share the beliefs” of the organization that hosted the event.

The event in question was hosted by an organization called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO, which was founded by David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Although Scalise spoke at the event more than a decade ago, his appearance at the event did not become widely known until a local blogger uncovered several posts buried in the archives of the white supremacist cite Stormfront. According to one Stormfront user’s account of Scalise’s speech, “Representative Scalise brought into sharp focus the dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the community at the expense of graft within the Housing and Urban Development Fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race.”

Boehner labeled Scalise’s decision to appear at this event an “error in judgment.” Scalise, meanwhile, blames his attendance, at least in part, on the fact that he did not have a scheduler at the time of the event.

That excuse has not convinced at least one prominent conservative. RedState blogger Erick Erickson, who is influential among Republicans, appeared baffled Monday night that Scalise did not know who he was speaking to when he spoke before a former KKK leader’s organization. “How do you not know? How do you not investigate?” Erickson wrote, adding that “By 2002, everybody knew Duke was still the man he had claimed not to be. EVERYBODY.”

Do Corporations Who Benefit From Tax Inversions Give Up Political Free Speech?

The Obama administration is starting to implement methods to deter US corporations from participating in tax inversions. Essentially buying foreign companies and moving their world headquarters off shore to avoid paying US taxes. You can read about it here!

It will be interesting to see how this plays out financially and politically. And will the administration and Congress actually work out a corporate tax code the keeps the home boys home. It probably won’t play out in the 2014 elections but it will certainly become a topic for discussion in 2015.

But in the meantime, once a corporation moves via a tax inversion, don’t they cede their rights of personhood and free speech in our political process? Would political contributions to American campaigns become illegal??? Just thinking out loud!

Congress Passes ISIS Bill and Evacuates Washington!

In probably one of the worst decisions to come out of Washington since the decision to invade Iraq under President George W Bush, the Senate piled on and passed the bill to ‘train moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS’ that easily passed the House yesterday.

What an incredible waste of American resources…and many of those very same legislators who decried President Obama’s broadcasting when he intended to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan…actually built in a December 11 sunset date by adding the Syrian authorization to an budget extension bill…because, well once again we are two weeks away from the new fiscal year without a budget…but I digress.

On the Senate bill:

The Senate gave overwhelming approval on Thursday to a measure on the training and arming of Syrian rebels, then fled the Capitol for the fall campaign, sidestepping the debate over the extent of American military action until the lame-duck session of Congress later this year.

The training measure, pushed hard by President Obama, was tucked into a larger Senate bill to keep the government funded past Sept. 30, a maneuver that leaders of both parties favored to ensure as few defections as possible. The Senate’s 78-to-22 vote, a day after the House passed the measure, masked the serious doubts that many senators had.

The broader debate over Congress’s role in blessing or expanding a new military campaign in the Middle East was one that few on Capitol Hill wanted just six weeks before the midterm elections.

And hopeful presidential candidate Rand Paul:

“I’m not sending your son, your daughter over to the middle of that chaos,” said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, whose libertarian views have propelled him into contention for his party’s 2016 nomination. “The people who live there need to stand up and fight.”

He added, “I am not giving up, but it is their war, and they need to fight.”

About the House bill:

An unusual but overwhelming coalition in the House voted Wednesday to authorize the training and arming of Syrian rebels to confront the militant Islamic State, backing President Obama after he personally pleaded for support.

The 273-to-156 vote was over a narrow military measure with no money attached, but it took on outsize importance and was infused with drama, reflecting the tension and ambiguity of members wary of the ultimate path to which any war vote could lead.

There was rare unity between House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, who strongly backed the training legislation and sought to portray it as a modest measure. And the opposition included the equally unlikely pairings of antiwar Democrats and hawkish Republicans.

And how did the Wisconsin House Delegation vote?

Only two of Wisconsin’s eight House members voted for the resolution — Democrat Ron Kind and Republican Paul Ryan.

And the six who voted no included lawmakers with very disparate views on intervention.

Democrat Mark Pocan, who opposed the resolution, said he feared this would turn out to be a much bigger military commitment than advertised. “All of this sounds like it’s looking a lot more like a war rather than a very limited engagement,” he said in an interview.

But Republican Jim Sensenbrenner expressed almost the opposite rationale for voting no, saying his fault with the administration’s approach was that it was tepid. “We need to annihilate them,” he said in an interview.

Republican Reid Ribble said his opposition was both procedural and substantive. “The president didn’t need authorization. We train troops around the world all the time,” he said. “And I personally was not convinced we knew who we were training.”

Also voting no were Republicans Sean Duffy and Tom Petri and Democrat Gwen Moore.

In voting yes, Kind said he opposes committing combat troops to the region. But he said in a statement: “The step we took today is the best of the bad options that we have. … It gives the president bipartisan support to help him build a coalition in opposition to this growing threat, provides oversight resulting in greater accountability and is the best plan to avoid putting combat troops on the ground.”

And then they all left town to continue their campaigns…

And unfortunately, I had a graphic from the NY Times showing the vote nationally for both houses, but I lost it. I will add it later if I find it again.