CD016: They Want Cuts

CD016: They Want Cuts

Mar 1, 2013

No one really tried to avert the sequester, the House of Representatives travels in style, and something good actually happened this week in Congress.


Here is a rundown of what kind of effort each division of Congress put forth to try to avert the sequester.

Senate Democrats offered S. 388: The American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013

  • Freezes the sequester, keeping the budget the same for 2013.
  • Lowers the spending caps from the Budget Control Act, totaling $39 billion in future spending (not a cut)
  • Eliminates direct payments to farmers for peanuts, sugarcane, and sugar beets
  • Protects other agricultural programs by making them mandatory spending, extending their funding, or exempting them from sequestration.
  • Increases taxes on earnings over $1,000,000 to 30% starting in 2014
  • Eliminates tax deductions for business expenses relating to moving a business out of the United States
  • Defines bitumen products (tar sands) as oil so that it can be taxed as oil

This bill failed to pass the Senate; Republicans don’t like it.

Senate Republicans offered S. 16: Sequester Replacement

  • Gives the President until March 15th to create a sequester replacement plan
  • Caps defense cuts at $42.7 billion
  • Prohibits amendments to the the President’s bill when it comes up for a vote in Congress
  • Enacts the President’s cuts if there is no Congressional vote of disapproval

This bill failed to pass the Senate; Senators were uncomfortable giving the President the authority to do Congress’ job.

House Democrats wanted to vote on H.R. 699: The Stop the Sequester Job Loss Now Act

  • Cancels the 2013 sequester
  • Repeals a 2% sequester cut to veteran’s medical care
  • Eliminates direct payments to farmers for wheat, corn, barley, oats, cotton, long grain rice, medium grain rice, soybeans, and peanuts.
  • Eliminates tax deductions for oil and natural gas companies
  • Increases taxes on earnings over $1,000,000 to 30% starting in 2014.

The House Republicans leadership wouldn’t allow this bill to come up for a vote.

House Republicans… did nothing.

House Committee Travel Report, Oct 1 – Dec 31 2012

Examples of airfare we paid to send our Representatives on trips:

$15,037 to send Todd Platts (R-PA) to India/Afghanistan for 4 days. Orbitz: $6,800

$19,743 to send Steven Pearce (R-NM) to Egypt/England for 4 days. Orbitz: $3,400
We paid similar costs per person for him to bring along 3 staff members.

$8,023 to send Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on a weekend trip to Germany. Staff member on same trip flew for $1,821.

$10,200 each for Robert Wittman (R-VA), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam delegate) and two staff members to spend 3 days in Taiwan and Japan. Orbitz: $1,900 per person.

$13,575 for Bill Flores (R-TX) to go on the same trip on the same days

$21,063 to fly Duncan Hunter (R-CA) to Afghanistan for a day. Orbitz: $8,800. Military transportation: Free.

Total spent on House of Representatives travel in 3 months: $855,743.25

Good News: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Passes Congress

… Despite an attempt by House Republicans to eliminate protections for lesbians, immigrants, Native Americans, and college students.

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