Tag Archives: house of representatives

Someone’s upset: Cantor defeated in Primary

Eric CantorThe House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been upset in Virginia’s Republican primary.

Results are still coming in, but several agencies are reporting that the political newcomer, economics professor Dave Brat went up against Cantor Tuesday in the 7th District Republican primary and pulled out the impossible. Continue reading Someone’s upset: Cantor defeated in Primary

Romney’s Choice

Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made his choice for his running mate as Vice-President of the United States. United States House Representative Paul Ryan was announced to a crowd in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia. The selection was a clear message for Governor Romney’s focus on our country’s economic future and his goal to unify his support from his own party which is quite insecure at best in some respects. But while his choice further shows his vision and party support, it sends a different message to those across the aisle, who believe that the selection of Ryan is just more of the same.

Paul Ryan is the seven term representative from Wisconsin. At 42 years old, he’s already one of the Republican Party’s leaders and most respected in congress. So what do we know about Paul Ryan? When it comes to fiscal and budget issues, Ryan is the GOP’s go-to guy. Last year, Ryan drafted the republican answer for the economy in the “Path to Prosperity.” As the Republican Party’s budget proposal for our federal government, Ryan’s plan was passed in the Republican controlled House, but naturally struck down by the Democratic controlled Senate. The bill was voted against largely because it included much of the same tax rate reductions for the wealthy and cuts to affect the poor and middle classes that Democrats see typically favor by their Republican counterparts. His plan also included stark changes to the Medicaid system. We also know about Ryan that in the past, the Tea Party favorite has voted for the war in Iraq, Medicaid Part D, and bailouts of both Wall Street and auto industries.

The Obama Campaign has commentated on Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running-mate saying, “Like Mitt Romney, Ryan’s severely conservative positions are out of touch with most American’s values.” To Democrats, this selection is not providing much of a difference from the party’s candidate for president. Usually, vice presidential candidates are chosen to help bring balance to the ticket. Many times we’ll see after the party is split in two during the competitive primary stages, a candidate chooses the one person that opposed his ideologies so much that such move would definitely unify the party. In 2008 Barack Obama was criticized because of his inexperience, in contrast he picked senior Senator Joe Biden. Every Republican man’s dream date, Sarah Palin was chosen by John McCain. She was young, attractive and had some very strong conservative values. Palin had qualities that could have balanced any ticket for any party. In both cases though, we learned that presidential candidates intended to fulfill shortcomings and to reach out to critics, not just in their party, but those votes in the middle that would win them the election.

Not for nothin’ but I can’t say this pick of Paul Ryan by Romney is a winning move. Yeah, it wraps up wavering support in his party, but the move doesn’t seem to reach out to those undecided voters who could go either way. It seems like Paul Ryan is much of the same as Mitt Romney, just a few years younger. These days, there’s an “it” factor or a popularity dynamic to win an election. Paul Ryan is not screaming some feature that the other team doesn’t have. He’s the same white male “Washington insider”, as some would say, that that has dominated politics for years. Mitt Romney did a good job with winning his party over, but made a poor decision in trying to win this election.

Blagojevich Bounced

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich
Former Governor Rod Blagojevich

The drama concerning Rod Blagojevich is almost over.  Blagojevich has been impeached and removed from office.  A new governor has been sworn in, and Blagojevich will never hold public office in Illinois again.  The only thing that remains now is the criminal case against the now former Governor of Illinois.  Although this was a little delayed for some people, most figured it was inevitable when the allegations of Blagojevich trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat first surfaced.

On Thursday, the Illinois Senate voted 59-0 after the state House of Representatives impeached him earlier in the month on charges of abuse of power and attempts to sell the gubernatorial appointment of the Senate seat.

The case provided news organizations across the world with multiple headlines as there were several twist and turns leading up to this point.  Rod Blagojevich was first arrested on December 9 on the charges of conspiracy and bribery.  What took many by surprise was the “pay-to-play” scheme he was accused of by allegedly attempting to sell a Senate seat that he was to appoint.  And then there was the phone call recordings of Blagojevich, many too obscene for the public ear, where he was apparently caught red-handed and heard trying to receive payments and goods for the seat.

Once the impeachment trial began, Rod Blagojevich elected not to attend the hearing because he felt they were unjust.  He instead decided to use his time appealing to another court, the court of public opinion.  Blagojevich spent a couple of days when the trial first began in New York City making several appearances in the media, giving his side of the story, still proclaiming his innocence.  Around this time, his own attorney also withdrew himself from the case and Blagojevich. 

Not for nothin’ let’s all remember that impeachment is just a political procedure, not a criminal one.  Technically Blagojevich is still innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of law.  Although it certainly doesn’t look good, he could still be a pardon from the new president, who just happens to be be from Chicago.  But, good luck with that one too.

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Stimulus…Stimulating?

President Obama speacts with business leaders
President Obama speaks with business leaders

Here it is in late January and we have a Stimulus Plan that’s in the works…almost like clockwork for that matter.  If you can remember around this time last year is when the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate were kicking around the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.  The primary intentions of the president and the administration was to prevent recession and any further economic disaster.  Well, we’re were in a recession then and we still are in a recession and now a new president will take his shot at doing it. 

Late Wednesday the House of Representatives passed President Barack Obama’s $819 billion plant to help stimulate the economy.  This version of it, spearheaded by Democrats, only saw opposition by 12 members of the party, while all Republicans voted against it.  That isn’t the exact sign of bipartisanship that President Obama wanted to see as the plan heads to the Senate. 

But the thing that’s holding up many on the Republican side of the aisle, is they are saying that the bill has too much spending and not enough tax cuts.  While that does sound like your typical GOP line, this package is the largest spending that Congress has ever pushed through.  They were able to cut down the original price from $825 billion to $819 billion, but it’s still quite a hefty undertaking.

In his first major hurdle of his presidency, Barack Obama addressed the passage in speech.  He said he met with business leaders and the plan seems to be in favor of a few economist.   If things work out President Obama could be signing this into law by President’s Day.  But then again, between the tax cuts and the other domestic investments by the government, someone’s not going to get their way, so we could probably expect it to be dragged on a bit and modified.

Not for nothin’, but at this rate it looks like we’re doing one of these Stimulus Plans a year.  If things don’t get any better, who knows what kind of goodies await us in next years plan. 

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Have We Been Bailed Out?

House Passes Bailout Bill
House Passes Bailout Bill

The $700 billion bailout bill went to the House of Representatives Friday afteroon and it was passed.  And almost two hours after the House voted on it, the president signed it to make it official.  The financial bailout plan also came with other incentives to help make it through. 

The goal of the bill was to have the federal government give $700 billion to our nation’s financial sector to help restore confidence in the damaged credit markets and get relationships between businesses, consumers, and banks going again.   The whole idea has had quite a shaky history in its brief lifespan as it began as a plea, moved to a beg, and more controversy ensued.  President Bush spoke on it many times, hoping that the plan, an idea of his administration, would get the proper backing.  Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, both made their positions known about it.  It’s obviously been the talk of the nation over the past two weeks.

Now that it has been passed, is it all over?  How are taxes going to be affected?  Will it be enough to bailout Main Street America?  How long will it take to see the impact of the $700 billion?  But more importantly, after all that’s being done, is it gauranteed it work?

I’m definitely not in a position to answer those questions, I’m not an expert.  But to be honest, it’s doubtful that any expert will be in a position to answer any of those questions.  Our economy has not been in a position like this has been done before, therefore no one can say for certain how to solve it.

Though, the way the plan is detailed some things can be speculated to a certain degree.  Taxpayers may not see a rise in taxes immediately, it could go down before they go up.  This plan should help prevent a deeper recession.  As far as home prices, credit markets could lower rates and make more loans available for home buyers.

Not for nothin’, but if I spent $700 dollars on something that needed to be fixed, I’ll likely need something that came with a guarantee.  Our government is spending $700 billion dollars, and there’s no guarantee that this will help with the issues that our economy is facing.  That in itself is the scary part.

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