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Author:  Catherine [ Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  SUPER CONGRESS???!!!! A MUST READ!

Super Congress': Debt Ceiling Negotiators Aim To Create New Legislative Body


WASHINGTON -- Debt ceiling negotiators think they've hit on a solution to address the debt ceiling impasse and the public's unwillingness to let go of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security that have been earned over a lifetime of work: Create a new Congress.

This "Super Congress," composed of members of both chambers and both parties, isn't mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but would be granted extraordinary new powers. Under a plan put forth by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his counterpart Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), legislation to lift the debt ceiling would be accompanied by the creation of a 12-member panel made up of 12 lawmakers -- six from each chamber and six from each party.

Legislation approved by the Super Congress -- which some on Capitol Hill are calling the "super committee" -- would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn't be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who'd have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law. A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits. Negotiators are currently considering cutting the mortgage deduction and tax credits for retirement savings, for instance, extremely popular policies that would be difficult to slice up using the traditional legislative process.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made a Super Congress a central part of his last-minute proposal, multiple news reports and people familiar with his plan say. A picture of Boehner's proposal began to come into focus Saturday evening: The debt ceiling would be raised for a short-term period and coupled with an equal dollar figure of cuts, somewhere in the vicinity of a trillion dollars over ten years. A second increase in the debt ceiling would be tied to the creation of a Super Congress that would be required to find a minimum amount of spending cuts. Because the the elevated panel would need at least one Democratic vote, it would be presumably include at least some revenue, though, if it's anything like the deals on the table today, would likely be heavily slanted toward spending cuts. Or, as Obama said of the deal he was offering Republicans before Boehner walked out, "If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue."

Republicans, however, are looking to force a second debt ceiling fight as part of the package, despite the Democratic rejection of the plan. Under the Republican plan, lawmakers would need to weigh in on the debt ceiling during the heat of the presidential election, a proposal Democrats reject as risky to the nation's credit rating. "We expressed openness to two stages of cuts, but not to a short-term debt limit extension," a Democratic aide close to the negotiations said. "Republicans only want the debt ceiling extended as far as the cuts in each tranch. That means we’ll be right back where we are today a few months down the road. We are not a Banana Republic. You don’t run America like that."

The aide said that Democrats are open to a series of cuts as well as a Super Congress, but only if the debt ceiling is raised sufficiently so that it pushes past the election. "Our proposal tonight was, do two tranches of cuts, but raise the debt ceiling through 2012 right now, though the McConnell process would be one way," said the aide, leaving open the possibility that Boehner could craft a new process and distinguish it from McConnell's, which the Tea Party despises as a dereliction of duty. "Do that now with a package of cuts, and have the joint committee" -- the Super Congress -- "report out a package that would be the second tranch. Republicans rejected that, and continued to push a short-term despite the fact that Reid, Pelosi and Obama all could not have been clearer that they will not support a short-term increase. A short term risks some of the same consequences as outright failure to raise the ceiling -- downgraded credit rating, stocks plunge, interest rates spike, etc. It is unclear why Republicans have made this their sticking point."

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel argued that the inability to come to a larger deal so far left a short-term extension as an "inevitable" option. "For months, we have laid out our principles to pass a bill that fulfills the president's request to increase the debt limit beyond the next election. We have passed a debt limit increase with the reforms the American people demand, the 'Cut, Cap, and Balance' bill. The Democrats who run Washington have refused to offer a plan," he said in a statement. "Now, as a result, a two-step process is inevitable. Like the president and the entire bipartisan, bicameral congressional leadership, we continue to believe that defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States is not an option."

Obama has shown himself to be a fan of the commission approach to cutting social programs and entitlements. Shortly after taking office, Obama held a major conference on deficit reduction and subsequently created, by executive order, The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The White House made two telling appointments to chair the commission: The first was former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wy.), a well known and ill informed critic of Social Security who earned notoriety by suggesting, among other things, that the American government had become "a milk cow with 310 million tits!" His Democratic appointment was even more indicative of whose interests took priority, former Sen. Erskine Bowles (D-N.C.). Bowles is a member of Morgan Stanley's board of directors; an adviser to Carousel Capital, a private equity firm; and is a director of Cousins Properties Incorporated, a firm with significant investments in commercial and mixed-use real estate.

Author:  King Fisher [ Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SUPER CONGRESS???!!!! A MUST READ!

One thing for sure, anything that Sen. Mitch "Gay Lips" McConnell and Rep. John "Cry Me A River" Boehner come up a idea of a Super Congress, we know it's not in the best favor for the American people....That would be the middle income tax payers and senior citizens. Besides, who ever heard of a group of even number (12), to get a real choice of votes there must odd numbers like 11, 13, 15, etc. Such as six Republicans, six Democrats, and three Independents to make the decisions. Please!, Please!, don't pick Joseph "Traitor" Lieberman as one of the Independents.

BTW: Just forget about organizing a Super Congress. If a Republican(s) thought up this scheme, we know it's bad for America.

Author:  dori [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SUPER CONGRESS???!!!! A MUST READ!

Heck, I have been fed up with the 'gang' approach Washington has taken to 'fix' legislation. Gang of six, gang of eight, etc. Now we are supposed to accept a condensed Congress?

Have you noticed those gangs are always made up of conservatives? What is the difference between a conservative R and a conservative D? Cherry picking which elected officials are going to be actually making laws may be popular, but somehow I don't think the Founding Fathers would approve.

But then, who cares about the intentions of those quaint ol' Founding Fathers anyway, eh?

Author:  Catherine [ Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SUPER CONGRESS???!!!! A MUST READ!

As Keith Olbermann said, why the hell do we suddenly need two Congresses when the first one can't function as a governing entity? :evil:

Author:  lefty [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SUPER CONGRESS???!!!! A MUST READ!

First off, hello all. Sorry I've been absent for so long.

I have thought a lot about why it is that Obama, and democrats in general, always appear wishy-washy on things that should be fairly easy. Why they seem to give in to things that should never be compromised and why they never really push much of anything in a united way.

Republicans, by and large, are very united on a lot of things: no taxes, no entitlements, pro-business, anti-humans, pro-war, anti-choice... I could go on but those are the big things that you will find most politicians who say they are republicans agree on. Now democrats, on the other hand, tend, as the term liberal used to mean, to be fairly generous and humanistic in their wants and ideas. Find 4 or 5 democrats and all of them will probably be for a lot of things that help people and not so much for things that generally cause people hardships but all of them will probably differ widely on the things they believe in. So, even as I try to illustrate my example my inability to give a good example of a democrat sort of proves my point.

Democrats have many different ideas of good vs bad and are generally willing to allow other people to have different ideas than their own without wanting to totally silence the others. Take myself as an example. I am (I guess) a democrat, but more so I am very liberal and very progressive. I want my fellow humans to get the most and best out of the world and I do things that I believe help this cause. On a micro-scale, I tend to take generous care of everyone around me. I give away everything I have without thinking about what I am going to do when I run out. I argue fiercely with people, but when they explain their point of view, I often will be able to understand where they are coming from, whether I agree or not, and understanding them and their idea makes it easier to accept the whole thing and I am less likely to force my idea or opinion on them. I am more likely to quietly show by example or by gently exposing them to the thing I like or do or believe.

Now, take a republican, my sister for example. She is a generally good person, like she's not going to swerve to run over a cat when she's driving down the road and she probably won't push an old lady down if she's in her way. But she is pretty domineering. She really doesn't even try to see any point of view but her own. She thinks that guns are good and has actually talked about buying her 3 year old daughter a pink freaking rifle. She thinks entitlements are bad (except, of course, when they are helpful to her). She will fiercely argue with someone and attack personally at the same time. She will never back down and will generally make things harder on everyone around her if she doesn't get her way, and you know what ends up happening? We change so that she will quit being so angry and so mean and so aggressive.

I hope my rambling makes some sort of sense. My point is that republicans are willing to fight even if they are wrong and proven so. While democrats will fights but can easily be swayed by just being shown the other side's ideas. Not that they will change their mind, but they will not really force anyone to do anything.

I hate that this is so in politics, but in life I am glad. If this weren't the case shit would suck a lot worse than it does. My son always asks me why we have to be the nice ones (meaning our family) and I say that because if we don't who will? I have to chose to let the shitty people survive so that I can continue to try to do good. If I quit my good then everyone loses. If I take out the people who don't do good, so they aren't in my way, I am just as bad as them. How do you reconcile this in the world we live in?

Author:  Catherine [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SUPER CONGRESS???!!!! A MUST READ! return after your long absence with an excellent post! :bounce: WELCOME BACK, OLD FRIEND...YOU'VE BEEN MISSED!

I have always liked Will Rogers' description of being a Democrat...A Proud Liberal uses it as his signature. I think Will hit the nail on the head when he said: "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

Again, Welcome Back, lefty...and I hope to see you here as often as you can make it! Your wisdom in greatly needed.

Author:  lefty [ Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SUPER CONGRESS???!!!! A MUST READ!

That is a great quote. As many posts of his that I have read, I completely missed that in his signature. So apt though.

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