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scumonkey
December 1st, 2010, 03:41 PM
Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved

By Alan Silverleib, CNNDecember 1, 2010 2:35 p.m. EST
http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/12/01/gop.senate.demands/story.mcconnell.gi.jpg



Washington (CNN) -- Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.
All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers."

full story: http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/01/gop.senate.demands/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

Lame yes- take the word Duck out of it completely!

lofter1
December 1st, 2010, 03:47 PM
But hey! We gotta protect the millionaires (interesting how many of the senators fit that bill).

Ninjahedge
December 2nd, 2010, 08:56 AM
The Dems should step up to it though.

Come right out and say "The ONLY thing they are fighting for is tax cuts for rich people. These cuts will require us to REDUCE SOCIAL SECURITY.

It is a little early for that since people forget things over the course of 2 years, but I have a feeling that if you threaten cuts in services for the majority of voters because you are protecting your financial base, you will find it VERY expensive to get re-elected....



Absolute bull-hockey though.

GordonGecko
December 2nd, 2010, 02:04 PM
The PON (Party of No) is open for business

NYatKNIGHT
December 2nd, 2010, 04:19 PM
I am still waiting for the Dems to go ahead and let them actually fillibuster something. This would be a good one since most people would not benefit from it.

lofter1
December 2nd, 2010, 08:04 PM
This batch of Dems are not that smart (unfortunately). Instead they'll negotiate away all the things they say they stand for and end up with the GOP plan.

scumonkey
December 2nd, 2010, 09:20 PM
And get blamed for it when it doesn't work...

lofter1
December 2nd, 2010, 10:05 PM
I wrote my previous post before I heard the news tonight:

House Dems Pass Only Middle Class Tax Cut Bill (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/house-dems-pass-middle-income-only-tax-cut-bill.php?ref=fpa)

And Harry Reid has just announced that the Senate will vote on Saturday. So maybe the Dems have finally figured out a way to outsmart the Repugniks.

GordonGecko
December 2nd, 2010, 11:45 PM
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/assets_c/2010/12/nancy-pelosi-pointing-profile-cropped-proto-custom_2.jpg http://pixelatedgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/EmperorPalpatine.jpg

lofter1
December 3rd, 2010, 12:03 AM
.....................Pelosi ^..................... versus.......................... Boehner ^

Score ONE for Nancy :cool:

scumonkey
December 9th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Well according to NY1, the senate just voted NOT to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" :eek::(:mad:

scumonkey
December 9th, 2010, 04:15 PM
Senate blocks repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'
(AP) – 28 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans have blocked legislation that would have repealed the military's policy of "don't ask, don't tell" and allowed gay troops to serve openly.
Democrats failed Thursday to cinch a procedural deal with Republicans in the waning days of the lame-duck session. The 57-40 test vote fell three votes short of the 60 needed to advance.
The vote ends months of political wrangling on the bill and makes congressional action on the repeal provision unlikely any time soon.
The 1993 law bans gay troops from publicly acknowledging their sexual orientation. A repeal provision was included in a broader defense policy bill and passed last spring in the House.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A last-ditch effort in Congress to lift the military's ban on openly gay troops appears to be headed for defeat.
Senate Democrats have apparently failed to cinch a procedural deal with Republicans in the waning days of the lame-duck session. A procedural vote in the Senate is expected to fall short of the goal of advancing the measure.
A 'no' vote would end months of political wrangling on the bill and kill the chance of congressional action on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy any time soon.
The 1993 law bans gay troops from publicly acknowledging their sexual orientation. A repeal provision was included in a broader defense policy bill and passed last spring in the House.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

scumonkey
December 9th, 2010, 04:20 PM
Senate fails on repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell'


By Roxana Tiron - 12/09/10 04:06 PM ET
The Senate on Thursday dealt a severe blow to the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law, dimming the chances for the Clinton-era ban to be scrapped this year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) failed to garner the necessary 60 votes for a procedural motion to start considering the 2011 defense authorization bill, which contains a provision to repeal the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. The final vote was 57-40.
Most Republicans stuck to their pledge to block any bills until a deal is reached on the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts and government spending for 2011 is resolved. Republican Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who have expressed support for repealing the law, both voted no. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia also voted against cloture.
Several Republicans indicated that they would support scrapping the ban, but that they wanted to see an open debate process on the defense authorization bill, including the ability to offer a series of amendments. Those Republicans included Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who voted in favor of cloture on Thursday, as well as Brown and Murkowski.
Murkowski's statement of support for repealing the Clinton-era law on Wednesday had given repeal advocates the necessary certainty that they would have the 60 votes necessary to make repeal happen.
But Collins, the GOP's chief negotiator on the defense bill, on Thursday said she was "perplexed" and "frustrated" that Reid would allow the defense bill to become the "victim" of politics. Collins had wanted more time to debate amendments.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/132745-senate-fails-on-repeal-of-dont-ask-dont-tell

MidtownGuy
December 9th, 2010, 11:01 PM
Can they abolish the stinking filibuster already. Jesus.

lofter1
December 17th, 2010, 09:45 AM
Tax Bill Passed by both House & Senate, moves on to Obama ...

Many Winners, a Few Losers

WALL STREET JOURNAL (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704073804576023842991850786.html)
By LAURA SAUNDERS
DECEMBER 17, 2010

House passage of a bipartisan tax bill resolves many urgent questions weighing on individuals and businesses—but also creates vast groups of winners and losers among them.

Because the deal left in place many tax rates that otherwise could have jumped significantly, and lowers the payroll tax for all workers by two percentage points, most individual taxpayers should come out ahead, say tax experts.

Yet some bond investors, for example, could be left poorer. Concerns over the deal's long-term fiscal effects have prompted big selloffs in U.S. Treasury securities since the deal was announced on Dec. 6. Moody's Investors Service warned on Monday that the tax deal raises the chance that it would issue a negative outlook on the U.S. government's AAA credit rating.

"It's easy to have lots of winners when you're giving up this much revenue," said Michael Graetz, a former Treasury official who is now a professor at Columbia University Law School. "But we can't finance the government by borrowing forever."

The bill is notable for a couple of things it leaves out. For example, among the big winners are private-equity and hedge-fund executives who prevailed in their battle against "carried interest" provisions that would have taxed their earnings at higher ordinary-income rates rather than as capital gains. Small-business owners, by contrast, lost their push for "1099 relief" that would have eased the requirement to issue Internal Revenue Service forms to vendors receiving $600 or more in a year.

Individual income and payroll taxes. The bill extends through 2012 the Bush-era tax rates enacted in 2001-2003, instead of allowing them to return to pre-2001 levels, effectively preventing a rise for nearly all U.S. taxpayers. Some 15 million lower-income workers now off the tax rolls will not be restored to them, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Affluent taxpayers also benefit from the two-year repeal of the "Pease" limitation (named for the congressman who sponsored it) and personal exemption phase-out (PEP). These are deduction limits that functioned as back-door tax increases for many affluent taxpayers. The Pease provision cut itemized deductions by 3% for incomes above a threshold; PEP eroded the value of the personal exemption.

For 2011 only, the bill imposes a historic reduction in Social Security (FICA) taxes, cutting by two percentage points the employee's portion of the 6.2% tax. Savings per worker will vary with income, but could be as much as $2,136 for those earning more than $106,800, the maximum amount subject to Social Security tax. Both members of a married couple can receive the benefit.

Some see the payroll tax cut as a partial replacement for the Making-Work-Pay income-tax credit of 2009 and 2010, but it benefits a broader range of workers with higher incomes. For 51 million low-income households with married couples earning less than $40,000 ($20,000 for singles), however, the payroll tax cut doesn't make up for the loss of this credit. On average it costs them $210 each, according to Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center.

The bill also contains a two-year patch for the "alternative minimum tax" retroactive to January 2010. The AMT, an alternate tax regime originally meant to ensure that people with high incomes pay taxes, isn't indexed for inflation, and has come to include middle-class taxpayers. The patch spares an additional 21 million taxpayers this year.

Investment taxes. The bill extends for two years the current tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends. The top rate for both will remain at its historic low of 15%. The rate will remain zero for couples with taxable income below $69,000.

According to the Tax Policy Center, more than half of the benefit of this extension will go to people with incomes above $100,000. Absent the extension, the top rate on long-term gains would have risen to 20%, while the top dividend rate could have risen to as high as 39.6%.

Deductions and credits. Among the benefits extended through 2011: deductions for teacher expenses and for state sales taxes in lieu of state income taxes. Lawmakers also extended through 2011 the provision allowing taxpayers over age 70½ to make tax-free donations of IRA assets to qualified charities.

Several education benefits were also extended through 2012. Not renewed was a property-tax deduction for non-itemizers.

Estate and gift taxes. For 2011 and 2012, the top estate-tax rate falls to 35% and the exemption rises to $5 million an individual. Some in Congress had sought a top rate of 45% and $3.5 million exemption.

The bill also allows executors of 2010 estates to elect whether to use 2010 rules or 2011 rules. The choice will help heirs who would pay more as a result of the lapse of the estate tax in 2010 and a corresponding rise in capital-gains taxes.

The new provisions will cut by at least a third the number of estates subject to the tax, which was paid by about 5,500 estates in 2009, according to Tax Policy Center estimates.

Also for the first time, estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes will be "unified" so that one $5 million exemption per individual applies to all three. "This will make it much easier for wealthy taxpayers to make gifts during life to grandchildren," says estate attorney Beth Kaufman of Caplin & Drysdale.

Copyright ©2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

BBMW
December 17th, 2010, 12:16 PM
As much as I like lower taxes, this is just a bad bandaid. If the weren't going to make substantial cuts, especially in entitlements, they should have let the tax cuts and the unemployment benefits expire. This is only going to balloon the deficit more than it already is.