Tag: Eric Cantor
The first step to lowering the deficit was the fiscal-cliff deal the president got Congress to agree to before the first of the year, the deal that raised income tax rates on wealthy Americans. Then, because Congress refused to act to stop a ridiculous sequester that was so extreme no one figured it would happen, another $1 trillion will be lopped off the deficit by the end of the next decade. Those combined actions, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are sufficient to stabilize the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio. That means the debt is no longer growing faster than the U.S. economy. The deficit crisis is over. As the economy slowly regains momentum after the Great Recession, the improvement in the deficit picture will become even more pronounced.
It's time to declare victory in the deficit war and work to replace the idiotic sequester with more reasonable and sustainable budget constraints. Plus, Congress needs to raise the debt limit and pass a budget. However, Cantor and his tea-poisoned majority in the House now insist that Social Security and Medicare have to be slashed. Since neither one caused the deficit in the first place, it would be foolish to agree to whatever cockamamie scheme Cantor and company have planned to wreck the social safety net for seniors.
House Republicans abruptly pulled the plug Tuesday night on their promise to take up this week an emergency supplemental disaster aid bill for Northeast states damaged by Hurricane Sandy.To recap: Hurricane Sandy killed at least 105 people in the U.S., including two Virginians, and knocked out power to 8.5 million homes & businesses, including 180,000 here in Virginia. With at least 240 Virginia homes damaged, Gov. Bob McDonnell asked for federal disaster relief. It's not the first time Rep. Cantor has turned his back on disaster victims, including those in his own district. You may recall Rep. Cantor holding Virginia earthquake disaster aid hostage to Tea Party ideology. Cantor also blocked Japanese tsunami aid, claiming Americans are too poor to help suffering people.
The decision is a stunning reversal since just hours before New Jersey lawmakers were preparing for floor debate Wednesday as outlined under a strategy promoted by no less than Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Indeed the Appropriations Committee had gone so far as to file a $27 billion bill Tuesday together with an amendment to be offered by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) seeking an additional $33 billion to match the Senate passed package of last week.
Absent a change of heart, the upshot now is that the Senate bill will die with this Congress on Thursday at noon. And the whole affair is sure to bring back memories of the famous Daily News headline in 1975-"Ford to City: Drop Dead."
Other, more responsible Republicans from states hit hard by Hurricane Sandy are furious with House Republican leadership:
This is usually where I'd copy & paste some trenchant news analysis, but ... no one seems to know quite why Stearns is down by 800 votes. Even the local Gainesville Sun seems to have no idea what happened, other than to speculate Yoho's attacks on Stearns as a corrupt career politician may have worked. But while politicos like to espouse Unified Theories that prove they're Savvy Insiders, it could simply be that in a multiple-candidate, low-turnout primary in the dog days of August, anything can happen.
Yoho is being called a Tea Party candidate, but it's hard to imagine he could get much further right than Stearns, rated more conservative than GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan by the National Journal & called one of Congress' conservative leaders by the American Conservative Union. If you're a sitting Republican member of Congress, you could look at Stearns' likely loss one of two ways: How crazy do you have to be for Tea Party if Stearns may not have been crazy enough? Or, if even Stearns' craziness didn't satisfy the Tea Party, maybe Republicans are better off just doing what they think is right & playing to the middle?
This isn't the full story either because the finances themselves are wrapped in derivatives of a sort while the state's infrastructure deteriorates more rapidly than can be mitigated by the maintenance dollars dedicated to preserving it. McDonnell shamelessly went to the General Assembly and asked to issue obligations (through the Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE) Bond Program) backed by the promise of a future federal funding stream that is itself threatened by the state's inability to generate transportation revenue and thus the matching funds required to secure the federal funding. Unlike the Governor, we wait anxiously for the 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the full story.
"The Governor's plan to accelerate the sale of previously authorized CPR (Capital Projects Revenue) bonds, issue federally backed direct GARVEEs, and create a Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank is an innovative approach that doesn't saddle Virginians with further tax burdens." - Senator William Wampler (R-Bristol)
"Innovative:" no taxes...for now. At least Senator Wampler was consistent with Republican fiscal lunacy. Republicans would rather take out a second (or is this a third?) mortgage on Virginia's future than to face the fact that they are fiscally incompetent; that philosophy worked so well for Republicans at the national level. And a hint of the unintended consequences of this charade are reflected in the decreased transportation budget for 2013:
Now, Mudcat and I are pursuing the same story about the dubious career of Eric Cantor, his rise to majority leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, and conflicts of interest in his own family.. A few days ago, I wrote on Blue Virginia about how the office of Eric Cantor had quietly removed a key provision from the STOCK Act, a bill intended to end insider trading by members of Congress, their staffs, and their families. The section in question related to families of those in Congress. Cantor's office moved the section about families to another section of the bill as passed by the House, thus eliminating the requirement for family members to report stock trades.
That little move miraculously exempted Cantor's wife from having to report her stock trades. She makes her living as a financial adviser for very wealthy clients. Like me, Mudcat raises several questions for Cantor to answer for his constituents:
"Mrs. Cantor's investment firm, Alternative Investment Management LLC (AIM), has a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands with assets of $134,570,536. While she is listed as a partner in AIM, Mrs. Cantor is not listed on any SEC filings. This raises two very serious questions. Is somebody trying to hide her name? Is her only job to sell political intelligence?"
In the Senate, the Ethics Committee released one page of guidelines last month ruling that members, their spouses and dependent children all have to file reports after they make stock or securities trades. The House Ethics Committee disagreed, sending out a memo saying that while House members and aides are covered by the law, their spouses and children aren't covered. It seems that the bill, which originated in the Senate, was quietly changed by shuffling around sections in the House version. Those changes made it into the final law.
When confronted by CNN with the information it had uncovered, Cantor's office admitted it had made changes to the bill when the House took it up, changes that removed the requirement for spouses and children to file these reports. One reason this smells so bad is the fact that Eric Cantor's wife makes a lot of money by advising wealthy clients on investments and by trading herself. (Not to mention that Bob McDonnell named her to head the Virginia Retirement System)
Without the reporting requirement for spouses, all Cantor has to do tell his wife any insider trading information he gets, and she'll be able to secretly make the deal.
Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, stated, "House Republicans refuse to admit they voted to give themselves taxpayer-funded, lifetime-guaranteed health care, instead of having the same health care as their constituents."
"Repeal looks like it's worse than anyone would have thought," a Democratic official said. "Not only are Republicans helping their insurance company donors, they're also trying to help themselves."
Right now, members of Congress and their staffs get their health insurance through the same program as other federal employees. That program enables them to keep the same health insurance policy when they retire from Congress. If we keep in mind that people in Congress become eligible for this benefit after five years, I guess it's no surprise that Eric Cantor and his pals keep voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and return to a system they had gamed for their own benefit. After all, they get some great perks.
Now the GOP's ideological war is having real consequences and costing Virginia jobs at a critical time for the fragile economic recovery. Wind energy giant Gamesa has announced that if the U.S. and Virginia can't commit to wind energy, it can't commit to the U.S., building key new wind prototypes off Spain & Africa instead:
Just when I think bunch of Republicans running the House can't get much worse, Cantor proves me wrong every time.
Memo to all Facebook friends:Yes, this is a strongly "red"-leaning district, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strongly challenge a horrible Congresscritter like Can'tor. It also doesn't mean that we can't call Can'tor out for his anti-jobs, anti-women, anti-middle-class, anti-worker, anti-environment, 100% pro-corporate and pro-1% agenda. I look forward to Wayne Powell doing just that in coming months!
I have seen the Delegate numbers from the counties, and it would seem that only a series of both unusual and lucky events could now allow my candidacy to move forward.
So that the various chairs and committees don't have to hold caucuses and a convention with little value, I wish to suspend my campaign for the Democratic nomination for Congress from Virginia's 7th Congressional District.
I am a Democrat first and a candidate second.
Mr. Powell, I wish you well in your efforts to prevail against Eric Cantor.