Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Something for Saturday's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

The Iowa Democratic Party posted on its Facebook page  and on its website the below article "Rod Blum Touts Dysfunction and Gridlock in Washington as 'Democracy at its best'". 

Iowa Democrats, as well as Iowa Republicans and all Americans, should rightfully demand of their President and of their Representatives and Senators in Washington that those elected officials own up and tell us: Does our country have in Washington "Democracy at its best"? Or does our country have a broken Congress that is not properly doing its job for the American people?

Those elected officials who believe the latter is the case owe it to the American people to trumpet that Congress is broken and they should publicly call out their colleagues who contend the country has "Democracy at its best."

Then let there be debate.

Participants at the Iowa Democrats Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday should lay out their views about the foregoing, and what they will do to trumpet the matter and what they will do to call out Senators and Representatives in Washington and force debate about this in the 2016 elections.
   October 19th, 2015  Posted In: NewsPress Release

DES MOINES – Over the weekend, Rod Blum touted the recent dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, in two separate interviews (here and here), going as far as to say “this is democracy at its best” and “I think the Founding Fathers are smiling right now for the first time in a long time.”
Given Blum’s affiliation in the pro-gridlock and pro-shutdown House Freedom Caucus, it’s no surprise that he would view Washington, DC dysfunction as a positive. What’s clear, however, is that the recent chaos in Washington, DC caused by Congressional Republicans is nothing to brag about and far from our democracy at its finest; in fact, it could have lasting harmful effects on our country and our economy.
See for yourself below:
Omaha World-Herald

Congress’ inaction on a host of important issues — its inability to deal with our problems — is doing real damage to our country. It undermines our ability to lead in the world and causes undue economic and social hardship at home.

Financial Times

The US is two weeks from hitting its debt limit, raising the spectre for the third time in four years of what Jack Lew, Treasury secretary, has warned would be a “catastrophic” debt default. When Congress flirted with the issue in 2011 it resulted in the US losing its prized triple-A credit rating.

The issue is complicated by politics on Capitol Hill where the Republican-controlled House is in chaos since the resignation of Mr Boehner and an aborted bid to replace him with Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader. Both events were forced by the Freedom Caucus, a small but powerful faction that opposes raising the $18.1tn borrowing cap without a corresponding cut in government spending.

Wall Street Journal | Gerald Seib

Meanwhile, Washington remains stuck in the partisan mud. That stopgap bill, passed to at least keep road and bridge repairs and improvements moving along during the summer months, expires at the end of this month. It will surprise nobody to learn that Congress still hasn’t come up with a plan to keep funds moving.
CBS News

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision on Thursday to withdraw from the race for speaker has thrown the majority’s leadership into disarray, but it does not change the fact that Congress has a packed agenda for the rest of the year.

Lawmakers face several looming deadlines, including the need to raise the debt ceiling by early November and another government funding battle in early December.
Baltimore Sun Editorial

Whether the next House speaker is Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Florida’s Rep. Dan Webster or somebody else who both the extremists in the Republican Party’s Freedom Caucus and the more rational, establishment-oriented party members can back, the immediate future for that chamber looks bleak. The tea party wing doesn’t have the votes to impose its will on the federal government — at least not while Mr. Obama is still in office and the Democrats hold enough seats to block a 60-vote majority in the U.S. Senate — but it does have enough power to make the House majority hopelessly dysfunctional.

But budget drama looms. Lawmakers are facing an Oct. 29 deadline to renew highway spending and a Nov. 3 deadline to lift the debt limit so the government can continue borrowing money to pay its bills. Congressional leaders plan to negotiate with the White House on a long-term budget deal that will keep federal agencies open past Dec. 11. For the House, the most pressing business continues to be choosing a new speaker to replace John Boehner, R-Ohio, who plans to leave Congress at the end of this month unless Republicans fail to choose a new leader. House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to announce soon whether he will run for the top job. Ryan is being pushed to run by Republican colleagues who see him as the best hope to unite the fractured GOP caucus.

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