Posts Tagged ‘House of Representatives’

DC Statehood Bill Passes the House

April 23, 2021

DC Statehood Bill Passes the House

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed legislation to make the District of Columbia the nation’s 51st state. If passed, the 712,000 Americans in DC would have voting represention in Congress. Washingtonians paid $27.5 billion in federal taxes last year, so you’d think, what with that No-Taxation-Without Representation thing, Senate passage of the bill would be a slam-dunk. Nope.

More:

“The 5 dumbest GOP arguments against D.C. statehood,” Paul Waldman, Washington Post

“Steve Scalise’s Ignorant, Racist Case Against D.C. Statehood,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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The Trump Coup: It’s Coming From Inside the House! And Senate.

January 8, 2021

The Trump Coup: It's Coming From Inside the House! And Senate.

Clearly, the chief instigator of the rioting mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol was one Donald John Trump, who summoned the mob with a December 20th tweet (“Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”) and gave them their marching orders on the day of the insurrection, inciting the riot.

 It’s Coming From Inside the House! And Senate.

Terrorist Trump had allies, and some of them were already inside the Capitol, blocking the purely ceremonial recognition of the presidential election results, a rite required by the Constitution, which usually takes two hours. The falsehood-spewing, Trump-abetting obstructionists seeking to overturn the will of the electorate, all Republican members of the Senate and House, helped incite the MAGA mobs. Their names can be found here. Chief among them were Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, who used their unconstitutional, unconscionable ploy to send out fundraising emails at the very time mobs were vandalizing the Capitol building.

While some of these congressional coup plotters have already faced loss of political donors and publishing contracts, Congress itself needs to act. Tepid measures like censure seem inadequate; perhaps expulsion under Article I, Section 5, clause 2 of the Constitution, expulsion from the Senate and House, should be invoked, since precedents have concerned disloyalty to the United States and its Constitution.

But of course, of these 147 insurrectionists, all but two (Byron Donalds and Burgess Owens) are White, so they may escape any punishment whatsoever, just like all but a handful of the Capitol-desecrating MAGA mob and its Instigator-in Chief.

More:

“Never Forget the Names of These Republicans Attempting a Coup,” Tom Friedman, New York Times

“The Disgrace on Capitol Hill,” Wall Street Journal

“The Republicans Have an Insurrectionist Caucus,” Jordan Weissmann, Slate

“Here Are The Republicans Who Objected To The Electoral College Count : Insurrection At The Capitol,” Barbara Sprunt, NPR News

“The long list of Republicans who voted to reject election results,” Alvin Chang, The Guardian

Updates:

“Some GOPers Blame Colleagues’ Anti-Democracy Scheme For Fueling Capitol Riots,” Summer Concepcion, Talking Points Memo

“Lawmakers who voted against Biden are denounced back home,” Jeffrey Collin, Associated Press

“Letters signed by House Republicans objecting to election results,” Jesse Byrnes, The Hill

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Postmaster General Doesn’t Know What It Costs To Mail A Postcard

August 25, 2020

Postmaster General Doesn't Know What It Costs To Mail A Postcard

At a House Oversight Committee meeting on Monday, Rep. Katie Porter (D, CA-45) asked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy what it costs to mail a postcard:

“‘I don’t know,’ he said.

When a surprised Porter shot back, ‘you don’t know the cost to mail a postcard,’ DeJoy laughed and confirmed, ‘I don’t.’ As Porter continued to ask some pricing questions, DeJoy admitted, ‘I know very little about postage stamps.’ He also said he doesn’t know the starting rate for USPS priority mail, and he couldn’t estimate how many people voted by mail in the last presidential election.”

— “Postmaster general admits he doesn’t know what it costs to mail a postcard,” Brendan Morrow, The Week

Someone please tell Mr. DeJoy that postcards mail for 35 cents.

More:

“Katie Porter Reveals Just How Little Louis DeJoy Knows About the Mail,” Abigail Weinberg, Mother Jones

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DC Statehood

June 30, 2020

DC Statehood

On Friday the U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 232-180, approved legislation granting statehood to Washington, D.C. The District’s 700,000 citizens, who pay federal income taxes, do not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress. This bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the chief executive, would rectify that. In our current polarized political climate, those next two steps are unlikely to occur, but an election is looming.

The 51st state would still be known as Washington DC, but DC would stand for “Douglass Commonwealth,” in honor of long time resident Frederick Douglass, crusading abolitionist, orator, and publisher, who himself escaped from bondage. “District of Columbia” would refer to the area of monuments and federal buildings.

Washington DC has more residents than Wyoming and Vermont, and about the same population as North Dakota; each of those has a vote in the U.S. House and two in the Senate, and DC would get the same. The populations of Wyoming and North Dakota are about 90% White and Vermont is even whiter; DC is 46% African American. Perhaps that explains the Senate and White House reluctance to grant DC statehood. Every other excuse is just noise.

More:

“D.C. statehood approved by U.S. House for first time in history,” Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post

“In Historic Vote, House Approves Statehood for the District of Columbia,” Emily Cochrane, New York Times.

“In Historic First, The House Of Representatives Passes D.C. Statehood Bill,” Nathan Diller, DCist

“DC is closer to becoming a state now than it has ever been,” Ian Millhiser, Vox

“Six Colossally Stupid Arguments Against DC Statehood,” Jane Recker, Washingtonian

“Trump Is Exploiting D.C.’s Lack of Statehood,” Quinta Jurecic, The Atlantic

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House Votes to Condemn Trump’s Racist Tweets

July 17, 2019

House Votes to Condemn Trump's Racist Tweets

On Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to condemn recent racist comments by President Donald J. Trump. Congressional rules prevented members from calling Mr. Trump a racist, but that shouldn’t stop you.

From H. RES. 489
Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.
July 15, 2019

Whereas President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.

Read the whole resolution here.

Related:

“Trump’s Tweets So Clearly Racist It’s Spelled Out In Discrimination Law,” Matt Shuham, TalkingPointsMemo

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Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated

May 7, 2018

Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated
If you missed it, last week Jesus trumped Ayn Rand at the U.S. House of Representatives. House Chaplain Fr. Patrick Conroy was forced to resign for his prayer suggesting that Congress remember the least among us when crafting a tax bill. Not only didn’t Congress take his advice, but House Speaker Paul Ryan was personally affronted and forced Father Conroy, a former lawyer turned Jesuit priest, to resign or be fired. While Mr.Ryan is an ostensibly-devout Catholic, his devotion to Ayn Rand overwhelmed Christian compassion in his screw-the-poor Tax Bill, now law.  The tax law is the only real accomplishment of Mr. Ryan’s tenure as Speaker, other than the huge federal deficit resulting from it.

Paul Ryan’s only problem: Congress really likes Father Pat, even most of the extreme-right Freedom Caucus members, except for the casually anti-Catholic ones. There’s also a question as to whether a House Chaplain, approved by a vote of the full chamber, can be peremptorily fired by the Speaker. Buoyed by overwhelming support, Father Conroy rescinded his forced resignation letter.

What’s a good Irish-American boy to do? Paul Ryan is leaving Congress anyway, so why should he care? He’s letting Father Pat continue serving as House Chaplain.

More:

“Paul Ryan vs. the House Chaplain Is Really Ayn Rand vs. Pope Francis,” Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast

“In a reversal, Speaker Ryan says the House chaplain will remain in his post,” Paul Kane, Washington Post

“Read: House Chaplain’s letter rescinding resignation,” The Hill

“Firing Fr. Conroy fits Paul Ryan’s pattern when it comes to the poor,” Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

“3 Ways In Which the House Chaplain Controversy May Continue,” Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call

Updates:

“Ryan swears chaplain back in after controversy over resignation,” Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

“Paul Ryan Had A ‘Good Cup Of Coffee’ With Reinstated House Chaplain,” Kate Riga, TPM Livewire

Related:

“7 Ways Paul Ryan Revealed His Love for Ayn Rand,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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House Health Care Bill Leaves 23 Million Americans Uninsured

May 24, 2017

House Health Care Bill Leaves 23 Million Americans Uninsured
The “American Health Care Act” was passed by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could determine how much it would cost and who would be covered. The CBO has finished the analysis, and the AHCA score is, basically GOP +1, Americans less than zero. 14 million Americans would be without health insurance next year, 23 million within a decade. In states that seek waivers from providing essential health coverage mandates, a feature of the bill, insurance would be priced out of reach for many people with preexisting conditions. There would be a new tier of plans at lower cost that don’t actually cover major medical risks, so the CBO doesn’t count the projected buyers as insured.

The cynical, life-threatening measure might reduce the federal budget by $119 billion over a decade, less than the $150 billion in savings projected by Paul Ryan, who wants to use any health care savings to give the wealthy a tax break. For the GOP, there’s no problem that can’t be solved by tax cuts for the rich.

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GOP Congress Passes Health Care Plan, Now Must Read It

May 4, 2017

GOP Congress Passes Health Care Plan, Now Must Read It
Before leaving DC for yet another recess, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and replace it with something they haven’t read, something the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t scored. That means no one in Congress knows how much this so-called “American Health Care Act” will cost taxpayers, how much insurance will cost, and who won’t be covered. In other words, the GOP just bought a pig in a poke.

More:

American Medical Association condemns House healthcare bill passage,” Max Greenwood, The Hill

“House GOP Just Voted to Slash Medicaid — Which Pays for 60 Percent of People in Nursing Homes,” Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

“House Sends Health Care Hot Potato to Senate,” Lindsey McPherson and Erin Mershon, Roll Call

“Analysis: 5 issues that could derail the GOP health care bill in the Senate,” Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News via PBS Newshour

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Paul Ryan Coronation Today. Make That ‘Paul D. Ryan.’

October 29, 2015

Paul Ryan Coronation Today. Make That 'Paul D. Ryan.'

After refusing the crown three times, like Caesar, Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI-1) accepted it, along with the sable, sceptre and orb, and was anointed as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Henceforth, he shall be known as “Speaker Paul D. Ryan.”

Okay, he’s not Emperor, but the GOP’s Tea Party and Freedom Caucus loons resent the imperial powers invested in the office by Newt Gingrich while he was Speaker.

More:

“Paul D. Ryan elected House speaker, but GOP divisions remain,” Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times

“Paul Ryan Is Elected House Speaker, Hoping to Manage Chaos,”Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times

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Paul Ryan Wants Job Security, Weekends Off

October 22, 2015

Paul Ryan Wants Job Security, Weekends Off

Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI-1), Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee and former Oscar Myer salesman, has deigned to replace Rep. John Boehner (R, OH-8) as Speaker of the House under the following conditions:

  1. A Change in House Rules so that he can’t be removed as Speaker
  2. House Republicans need to vote the way he tells them to
  3. Weekends off so he can spend time with his family
  4. Reduction of the Speaker’s Republican Party fund-raising duties
  5. All GOP House Members must immediately read Atlas Shrugged and start P90X workouts

Okay, we lied about that last demand but Mr. Ryan’s GOP colleagues are choking on the rest of them, especially Items #1 and #2.  That goes double for the mysterious but powerful anarchists of the Freedom Caucus. No matter what you’ve heard, the Freedom Caucus didn’t quite endorse Paul Ryan as Speaker in a vote Wednesday night, and the real vote isn’t for another week, anyway. Plenty of time for FC members to reconsider and throw their typical fits of rage.

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