Congressional aides: Maybe Boehner will bypass the tea-party freshmen and make a deal with Dems on the payroll tax

posted at 9:34 pm on January 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

Two words: “Speaker Cantor.”

Seriously, though, I’m skeptical that he’d do this.

House Speaker John Boehner, hoping to spare fellow Republicans a second embarrassing defeat over payroll tax cuts, is prepared to navigate around rebellious Tea Party-aligned lawmakers to get a deal, according to congressional aides…

Boehner’s office would not comment on possible divisions among Republicans in the upcoming debate over the payroll tax cut or tactics to get a bill passed. But one House Republican leadership aide told Reuters: “I think Boehner will seek a more accommodating approach to get a good percentage of Democrats to vote for it – even if it costs him a lot of House Republican freshmen.”…

Some Tea Party lawmakers, however, see round two of the payroll tax cut negotiations as another opportunity to press their demands for cuts to unemployment benefits and some federal healthcare programs and a freeze on federal workers’ pay. Those are unlikely to be accepted by Democrats who feel they have the political upper hand…

A senior Senate Republican aide said December’s drama might have even strengthened Boehner’s hand. Given that a conservative groundswell in late December to block the two-month payroll tax cut, against Boehner’s advice, “backfired in a big way,” some of those conservatives might now conclude that “Boehner knows what he’s doing” and fall into line with him.

Remember back on January 3 when a “senior White House official” floated this very idea — that Boehner should do an end-around tea partiers by making a deal with Democrats and passing the bill with help from Republican moderates? Quote: “Abandoning such a stance, members on both sides have said, would almost certainly prompt a challenge to his leadership from conservatives who make up the bulk of the lower chamber GOP, a challenge the speaker is likely to lose.” Boehner’s own press secretary called the proposal “remarkably stupid” when asked about it. To have a Republican speaker cut his own caucus loose at the start of an election year to make a deal with The One would play straight into the Democrats’ hands in their messaging about a “do-nothing Congress” (“Republicans are so obstructionist that even John Boehner won’t deal with them anymore!”), so yeah, a leadership challenge really might follow. Which means the only way Boehner would consider doing this, I take it, is if he had some votes more or less already lined up within the freshmen class for a deal with the Democrats so that he could point to them as proof that “tea partiers are split” or whatever.

Either that or Republican leaders are so worried about a decline in the tea party’s brand that Boehner’s willing to risk putting a little distance between the party’s leadership and GOP freshmen. (Especially on a budget deal; remember, according to that recent Rasmussen poll, 45 percent of unaffiliateds said the tea party’s impact on the budget debate had made things worse versus 25 percent who said it made things better.) Maybe Boehner expects that, precisely because it is an election year, the caucus would think twice about ousting him and feeding the media a million headlines like “GOP in disarray!!” and “Tea-party coup!!!” He could even try to sell the right on the maneuver by framing it as an election pep talk. E.g., “I hate having to deal with a Democratic Senate but we need to move on from this penny ante issue to more important spending debates. The way to solve this problem next year is to take back the Senate so that no one has to make these awful compromises.” Exit question: Think it’ll work? (Me neither.)


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Third!

carbon_footprint on January 13, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Tearful resignation is coming. Soon.

portlandon on January 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM

What the unintended consequence of a lengthy payroll tax cut?

batterup on January 13, 2012 at 9:38 PM

If Boehner wants to seriously damage his his party and his career,he couldn’t choose a better way than to try to marginalize the new congressman who are aligned with the Tea Party.

novaculus on January 13, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Go ahead Boehner, I dare you – I double dog dare you.

He really ought to retire before he’s forced out.

Over50 on January 13, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Boehner looks surprisingly reasonable sometimes.

But, in an election year, let’s have the Republican Party make raising taxes on every single individual who pays social security taxes a part of their program, even as they argue for further cuts for the extremely well off.

Make my day.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 9:40 PM

House Speaker John Boehner, hoping to spare fellow Republicans a second embarrassing defeat over payroll tax cuts, is prepared to navigate around rebellious Tea Party-aligned lawmakers to get a deal, according to congressional aides…

Sure, he’d fall on his own sword to “spare fellow Republicans.” Because politicians are so altruistic like that.

cynccook on January 13, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Yup, Congress will certainly pull Romney to the right! They are nothing like the progressives of 2001 through 2006 that passed massive amounts of big government goodies.

Gingrich is the only person in the race that has ever pulled congress to the right. He paid for it in 1990′s by having the republicans in the house back Democrat trumped up baseless ethics charges. The republicans were so full of hatred for Gingrich having removed power from their hands, they helped the enemy string him up. He is the only person in the race that I see has any shot of turning the direction of this nation for the better.

Vote for Romney, I will be backing Newt.

astonerii on January 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Two words: “Speaker Cantor West.”

Fixed it for ‘ya, big guy…

Seven Percent Solution on January 13, 2012 at 9:43 PM

“Speaker Cantor” is no fan of the Tea Party so I’m not sure he would be all that much better.

John Boehner and the GOP establishment have been in bed with the dems and have done precious little to stop their mad power grab.

It’s going to take a major shift in the House and Senate to turn things around. It’s all up to us.

NickDeringer on January 13, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Watch it Boner.

We’re watching you. Last I heard, you’ll be replaced in June.

/Tea Party

Key West Reader on January 13, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Either that or Republican leaders are so worried about a decline in the tea party’s brand that Boehner’s willing to risk putting a little distance between the party’s leadership and GOP freshmen.

You’re getting warmer. The real issue is that with the ascension of Romney as the Republican nominee, that sends a clear signal to people like Boehner that it is now safer to ignore the Tea Party. The Republican plan, it seems to me, is to replace the conservative base with a coalition of center-left Democrats and party-line Republican voters.

Conservatives have very little power remaining in the Republican Party. Should the party leadership decide they no longer need our money or votes, watch out.

Doomberg on January 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Go ahead Boehner, I dare you – I double dog dare you.

He really ought to retire before he’s forced out.

Over50 on January 13, 2012 at 9:39 PM

They will not force him out. They all agree with him. It is the problem with the whole thing. The conservatives we have in congress just ain’t. They want all the power they can keep and this is just part of the power plays going on. The only way Boehner gets forced out is if he actually cuts government power.

astonerii on January 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Cantor is NO BETTER than Boehner!

Speaker Joe Walsh would rock my world in a good way!

katy on January 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Speaker Allen West would solve all these problems.

HopeHeFails on January 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Two words: “Speaker Cantor West.”

Fixed it for ‘ya, big guy…

Seven Percent Solution on January 13, 2012 at 9:43 PM

You mean the guy who voted for pigford claiming he did not know what was in the bill? That West?
You mean the guy who voted for the debt increase? That West?

Yeah, he sure spouted the right things to get elected. He is not one iota different than any of the rest of the power hungry leeches we have in congress.

astonerii on January 13, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Speaker Cantor” is no fan of the Tea Party so I’m not sure he would be all that much better.

John Boehner and the GOP establishment have been in bed with the dems and have done precious little to stop their mad power grab.

It’s going to take a major shift in the House and Senate to turn things around. It’s all up to us.

NickDeringer on January 13, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Whel, what I’ve heareded. teh tee [arty is ded. ‘N all that.

So, no worries. We will jest keep draggin our knuckles on the ground and breathing through our mouths under the radar and such.

How bout that grape jelly jam! Woo hoo!

Key West Reader on January 13, 2012 at 9:48 PM

House Speaker!…you mean House Weeper!
They may have to arrest me, if the cry-baby Boehner does!
(There! I’ll be bringing Homeland Security to Hot Air!)

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2012 at 9:50 PM

The Boner GOP will betray you.

I’ve heard something similar to that here before, haven’t I?

predator on January 13, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Hey Romney supporters, this will be Mitt’s right hand man.
Two birds of a feather…

dacoach on January 13, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Chicago Tribune? O.K., got it, thanks.

Mr. Arkadin on January 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Cantor is NO BETTER than Boehner!

Speaker Joe Walsh would rock my world in a good way!

katy on January 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

That’s one seat that may be lost. The “deadbeat dad” stuff is sticking.

JPeterman on January 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Yeah Boehner – your crocodile tears were b.s. after all, weren’t they?

disa on January 13, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I always find it interesting that Boehner and McConnell fight their own, but refuse to fight the real enemy.

SouthernGent on January 13, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Yeah, he sure spouted the right things to get elected. He is not one iota different than any of the rest of the power hungry leeches we have in congress.

astonerii on January 13, 2012 at 9:47 PM

You shoulnt be tawking bout dem pigs, nag nabit. If’in you dew, you might be bringing about some Brietbart.

You know that fat lookin blonde guy? Dat pig farker that started a whole lotta crap about the PigFord settlements n all dat?

/

Really, I’m just a well spoken woman who is tasked with tweaking the Obama Administration. Tweak!

P.S. You still gotta angry black woman on yo hands, Carney.

Who’s left?

Key West Reader on January 13, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Speaker Michelle Bachmann could hand Weepy hankies, while she took that big ole gavel and started hitting people with it!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2012 at 9:53 PM

He needs to get the H out of everybody’s life. The weeper of the house is a weakling, elitist, RINO, disgrace.

ultracon on January 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM

http://www.PIGFORD.COM

Key West Reader on January 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM

First, I respect the tea party movement. Wrote the local paper in early 2009 saying that the tea party movement was a real grass roots movement. Quite contrary to the paper’s opinion.
Second, I think that the aims of the tea party are generally correct.
But, controlling only 1/2 of 1/3 of the Federal Government is not a sufficient enough base upon which to dramatically change the direction of the Federal Government. At least control of the other branch of the legislature is necessary. And even so, with this particular President, it would take control of the Presidency to assure sufficient change.
Progress has been made. The issue of the size of the government and the debt has occupied center stage and needs to remain there, with the Republican’s offering the best long term solutions.
To utilize a phrase from another group, “keep your eyes on the prize,” both the Senate and the Presidency. Trying to get too much now will backfire, witness December. Work with Boehner, move things in the direction of responsible fiscal management, but do not expect to accomplish it all now.
Get what you can now and then push again next time.

A.S.R. on January 13, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Boehner and McConnell need to be PRIMARIED out of existence.

wildcat72 on January 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

GOP ACP
American Conservative Party

Party like its 1856!!

Everlasting_Knowitall on January 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

After Boehner got rolled by Reid and McConnell before, he’s boxed himself in to go along with whatever they do.

Stupid Party indeed.

Wethal on January 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Key West Reader on January 13, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Sweeet I love jelly sandwiches. Thanks!!!

NickDeringer on January 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Hey, what a great idea!

Let’s start de-funding bankrupt programs so they collapse even sooner!

Why don’t you care about the elderly?

Chip on January 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM

He won’t do it. He’d end up getting forced out. Even if a majority of his caucus stood behind him, a significant number of members expressing “no confidence” would destroy his legitimacy.

amerpundit on January 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Are Republicans believing that the majority of Americans don’t want cuts to spending and smaller government? It may be that the Tea Party name is unpopular since both parties and the press have been busy trashing it, but the Tea Party stands for smaller government and less spending. I’m not hearing from Americans that they want more spending or more government. The Republicans need to call up Trump and ask him how to make a deal with the Democrats, because Republicans don’t seem to have a clue.

Charm on January 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Hey, what a great idea!

Let’s start de-funding bankrupt programs so they collapse even sooner!

Why don’t you care about the elderly?

Chip on January 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Fund it out of general revenue.

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

So why doesn’t Boehner get out in front of the issue by pointing out that continuing the payroll tax cuts further underfunds the already jeopardized SS system?

onlineanalyst on January 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Boehner and McConnell need to be PRIMARIED out of existence.

wildcat72 on January 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Possible with McConnell, but impossible with Boehner. The House GOP will have to replace him in leadership. To name drop, Boehner lives in my brother’s gated community. And that district ain’t going to primary Boehner.

BuckeyeSam on January 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM

The solution should be to require the payroll tax cut into an HSA or IRA. And match it and raise it a notch by removing the prevailing wage so more work can be done on stuff for less cost.

As for unemployment insurance — make it so after 10 weeks you can apply for welfare — if you’re eligible. Otherwise, get a job, or make one yourself.

It might also help employment figures if homeowner repair, upgrades and maintenance costs would optionally be tax deductible instead of a home mortgage. Give homeowners the option to employ people in the building and maintenance trades — it’s a tax deduction that businesses have. This would give the building trades, as well as home maintenance folks, lots and lots of new clients and spur job creation in one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy.

Just saying, if given lemons, make lemonade. Just don’t ask for some salt and tequila for another drunken spending party and hangover.

drfredc on January 13, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Fund it out of general revenue.

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

What lala land are you inhabiting? SS is already coming from the general revenue fund, where it has been dumped, and SS is filled with a bunch of paper IOU bonds.

onlineanalyst on January 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Boehner and McConnell need to be PRIMARIED out of existence.

wildcat72 on January 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Boehner’s already got someone challenging him for his seat.

I hope the people of my hometown give young David a good look.

Flora Duh on January 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I like Boehner and he seems like a good guy, but he’s gonna get screwed either way here. At least with how the media/Obummer has framed things. Just sad.

Roymunson on January 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM

What lala land are you inhabiting? SS is already coming from the general revenue fund, where it has been dumped, and SS is filled with a bunch of paper IOU bonds.

onlineanalyst on January 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Yep. And for 80 years, it’s worked well. If the IOUs are good enough for the Chinese they’re fine for my retirement.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Boehner forgets one thing: the Tea Party cannot elect ANYONE: but they are the electoral DIFFERENCE MAKER. If we get stuck with Romney and A stack of RINOs, they stand a VERY good chance of losing ground instead of gaining it.

michaelo on January 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Fund it out of general revenue.

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

What lala land are you inhabiting? SS is already coming from the general revenue fund, where it has been dumped, and SS is filled with a bunch of paper IOU bonds.

onlineanalyst on January 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM

So urban elitist, why don’t you want the elderly to get their Social Security checks?

Chip on January 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Fund it out of general revenue.

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

What lala land are you inhabiting? SS is already coming from the general revenue fund, where it has been dumped, and SS is filled with a bunch of paper IOU bonds.

onlineanalyst on January 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I’ve said it before, I’m afraid the Dems want SS is to be a traditional entitlement program that the ‘poor’ get for free and demand the ‘rich’ to pay for.

Everlasting_Knowitall on January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

What the unintended consequence of a lengthy payroll tax cut?

batterup on January 13, 2012 at 9:38 PM

A bigger deficit forever, an inability to ever again raise the payroll tax because it would be a “tax on the middle class,” and much sooner-rather-than-later fiscal collapse due to unsustainable entitlement programmes.

“Lies” About Social Security and Medicare Pandering Politicians Never Told You

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2011/09/lies-about-social-security-and-medicare.html

If you adopt the Obama administration’s position that the Bush tax cuts “cost” money and returned to the Clinton rates for the top 2 brackets plus a CGR of 20%, you would only raise $100 billion ceteris paribus, which is unlikely, and far, far, far too small an amount to close the deficit much less have any impact whatsoever on the national debt. Today, at very low rates, the US is paying $10 billion a day to service our national debt.

Resist We Much on January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

The GOP will betray you.

They won’t quite force you into reeducation camps like the StasiRats, but they will betray you.

Bishop on January 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM

My humble Mr. Speaker do so at your own peril. Please sir.

Bmore on January 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Is there anything in the Constitution that prohibits smacking a member of Congress upside the head to knock some sense into him?

I think it’s time to work for the ratification of the “Boehner Amendment” allowing such a thing – cause some folks just need head smackin’.

Spineless twit.

Horace on January 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Two words: “Speaker Cantor.”

He certainly couldn’t do any worse.

Dr Evil on January 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I’ve said it before, I’m afraid the Dems want SS is to be a traditional entitlement program that the ‘poor’ get for free and demand the ‘rich’ to pay for.

Everlasting_Knowitall on January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I hope they get their wish! When it happens, then Newt Gingrich can do welfare reform part II.

astonerii on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Today, at very low rates, the US is paying $10 billion a day to service our national debt.

Resist We Much on January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Correction: It’s around $1 billion per day, not $10 billion. Sorry.

Resist We Much on January 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Boehner to the Tea party:

“You sure got a purty mouth”.

dacoach on January 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM

What lala land are you inhabiting? SS is already coming from the general revenue fund, where it has been dumped, and SS is filled with a bunch of paper IOU bonds.

onlineanalyst on January 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I’ve said it before, I’m afraid the Dems want SS is to be a traditional entitlement program that the ‘poor’ get for free and demand the ‘rich’ to pay for.

Everlasting_Knowitall on January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

The Socialists in the Democratic National Committee are being too clever by half – their great maneuver has shown everyone that Soc.-Security in just another wealth transfer scam.

Chip on January 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

After Boehner got rolled by Reid and McConnell before, he’s boxed himself in to go along with whatever they do.

Stupid Party indeed.

Wethal on January 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

They got the majority in the house back because of the backlash to the Progressive left’s power grab and over reaching. Now the progressives in the republican party are following their lefty brother’s lead of over reaching and power grasping. This isn’t the path to retaining control of the house, and taking back the Senate. This is the path to political suicide. Why do they note that the Socialist Democracy is a complete failure in Europe, but still insist on imposing it on the United States?

S&P downgrades nine euro zone countries

Dr Evil on January 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

I’m not surprised the Tea Party is being marginalized…Nope!

In Other News…This is Righteous! And Maybe the start of something BIG!

Gov. Rick Perry on the Citizen Legislators Act 1/12/2012

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the Citizen Legislators Act filed today by Illinois Congressman Timothy V. Johnson.

“I applaud Rep. Johnson for filing legislation to create a part-time, citizen congress that will restore the vision of our founding fathers. This bill aligns closely with my Uproot and Overhaul Washington plan, which calls for cutting congressional sessions, staffs and salaries in half.

“I support Rep. Johnson’s legislation because I believe members of Congress should spend less time in Washington and more time living at home under the laws they pass with the people they represent.

“Americans are tired of Washington politicians who are out of touch, spend all their time inside the beltway, and whose reckless spending and corrupt practices are endangering our great nation. It is time to send these politicians back home to get real jobs rather than spending all their time in Washington spending money we don’t have on programs we don’t need.

“With a part-time congress, we can save taxpayers billions of dollars, end the permanent political class and begin a complete overhaul of Washington’s broken status quo.”

http://data.greenvilleonline.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/12/gov-rick-perry-on-the-citizen-legislators-act/

workingclass artist on January 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Some Tea Party lawmakers, however, see round two of the payroll tax cut negotiations as another opportunity to press their demands for cuts to unemployment benefits and some federal healthcare programs and a freeze on federal workers’ pay. Those are unlikely to be accepted by Democrats who feel they have the political upper hand…

So, two writers at Reuters, (Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro) think they’ve got the Tea Party framed right where they want you all to believe what is a fact/supposition. Did ya catch the first line—”Some Tea Party Lawmakers”??? I could be wrong, but I thought most real Tea Party Patriots couldn’t stand lawmakers. Further, why do these Reuter’s boys think the Tea Party would advocate, (at this juncture), “to press their demands for cuts to unemployment benefits and some federal healthcare programs and a freeze on federal workers’ pay”

Sorry, but I’m not buying this story. Even freezing Fed worker’s pay would be stupid at this point in the election process. “Some” no most in the Tea Party understand when to pick their battles, and that’s after they’ve mobilized to take back the White House sending our favorite community organize back to Chicago.

Ain’t the narrative just grand for them Reuters/Kos kids?

Rovin on January 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM

How about Speaker Jim Jordan, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, or Michelle Bachmann.
Senate Majority Leader Jim Demint.

ritewhit on January 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Go West young man

Dingbat63 on January 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM

I’m actually with Boehner on this. The fact is that Republicans do not control enough of Congress — yet — to get the kinds of changes conservatives are clamoring for. Why damage the Congressional election prospects for the GOP this close to 2012? This president and this Senate are NOT going to make any spending deals with the GOP. It just isn’t going to happen. Ever. But they are eager for a fight they can demagogue right on through to the election. Don’t give it to them. Let Obama and the democrats keep spending for the next year, cut tons of ads pointing out all of the spending, the entitlement disaster that is coming, and the democrats’ total unwillingness to even discuss it, let alone do anything about it. And then get control of both houses. THAT is when the Republicans will have their hill to die on, and Boehner can make it happen or get out of the way.

Rational Thought on January 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Once upon a time, the fourth estate in America took their responsibility to cover the workings of government seriously. Even the Grey Lady was known to provide detailed reporting that met an objective standard because their reporters understood that once you bent you’re knee to one party’s agenda in your reporting, you were (in the current colloquialism) their biotch for life.

Why are you people ranting over a piece of political gossip dropped for the self-serving purposes of an anonymous source in Washington, DC ???

AP, aspire to be more than a gossip columnist – next time you want to put this type of article forward, contact someone in the House Republican leadership who will comment for the record. If no one can be found, then drop the trash in your recycle bin.

The only thing more grating than the continual sermonizing about raising the level of debate that is allowed to spew unchallenged from the Obama administration is the horde of “conservative” bloggers that spend their day looking for inside the GOP molehills to turn into mountains of division.

PolAgnostic on January 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Link to Johnson’s Citizen Legislators Act.

Johnson’s Citizen Legislators Act filed 1/12/2012

“We go to Washington three weeks a month and spin our wheels butting heads over how to spend the taxpayers’ money,” Rep. Johnson said. “We vote on naming post offices and recognizing sports teams and hold news conferences to slam the other party. We are getting paid generous salaries to accomplish very little. Our country is broke, and we have earned every ounce of disapproval the public has shown for us.

“The Citizen Legislator Act may not be a perfect instrument in the eyes of Washington insiders, but it is a beginning step in righting the ship,” Rep. Johnson said.

Specifically, the bill:

Limits days in session to five per month or 60 business days per session.

Halves the salary of Representatives and Senators.

Permits members to have jobs outside of Congress so long as they do not derive their income as a result of the privilege of their office, such as speaking tours, lobbying, consulting, etc.

Allows members to choose benefit plans to reflect their lower salaries and allows them to opt out completely for a private option.

Cuts member office allowances, committee and leadership budgets in half.

Prohibits any grandfathering out of the new salary requirements and benefit packages for current members.

Cuts member salaries an additional 10 percent for every five business days Congress exceeds 60 business days in a session…”

http://timjohnson.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=29&sectiontree=7,29&itemid=501

Many of these measures are Gov. Perry’s Uproot and Overhaul Washington Plan

Fundamental Reform of the Legislative Branch
Fundamental Reform of the Judiciary
Fundamental Reform of the Executive Branch
Fundamental Spending Reform

http://www.rickperry.org/uproot-and-overhaul-washington-html/

workingclass artist on January 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Full tax reform or bust. The GOP is wasting precious time. Propose it already and dare the Democrats to ignore it or vote against it. It seems new leadership could be required…

ojfltx on January 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Once upon a time, the fourth estate in America took their responsibility to cover the workings of government seriously. Even the Grey Lady was known to provide detailed reporting that met an objective standard because their reporters understood that once you bent you’re knee to one party’s agenda in your reporting, you were (in the current colloquialism) their biotch for life.

PolAgnostic on January 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Weren’t the press protections in the first amendment meant to be a check on governmental power?

Essentially these days we have a press enabling that power instead of restraining it.

Do members of our much vaunted fourth estate realize this turn of circumstance?

Chip on January 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Here’s how I see it.

The Tea Party representatives have a lot of passion, and are very driven. This is good in most situations, but because they are inexperienced they over extend themselves. Even this wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the democrats were negotiating in good faith, but this simply isn’t the case.

The democrats are playing politics right now. They are taking every opportunity they can to bloody up the tea party because they know it poses a mortal threat if they cannot significantly diminish it.

So the democrats are going to create situations where they believe the tea party will over extend itself, and then use these situations to bloody it. They likely came up with this strategy while observing their behavior during the debt ceiling debate, and the payroll tax-cut extension was the opening salvo.

Unfortunately it worked very well. The democrats conceded just enough to look reasonable, and when the tea-parties tried to push forward to get something of substance accomplished they were slammed for it.

Thankfully, its not a tactic that can work multiple times, though undoubtedly the democrats will try it again. Enough people in the tea party realize what happened to know what’ll happen if they over-extend themselves again. They will be far less eager to push forward when the house leadership says not too.

What this report is likely indicative up, is Boehner reminding people of this fact. He’s probably throwing the threat out there just to keep more stubborn members of his caucus in line, just in case.

Now, I need to be clear, this does not mean that nothing can be accomplished between now and the next election. It simply means that any progress is going to need to be made up of a series of smaller victories, that pile up over time.

I mean, lets be honest. We’d all love to wake up tomorrow and read a headline that says we’ve suddenly cut six trillion dollars from the budget. If we accomplish the same amount of cutting through a series of much smaller bills however, it’s just as good really.

And yes, if we control the senate next year we will be able to make bolder cuts and reforms, even IF Romney is in office. Heck, we may be able to do some even if Obama is still in charge, but it’ll be far more difficult in that case.

WolvenOne on January 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Seriously, though, I’m skeptical that he’d do this.

Allowing public speculation about it is more than enough. The deed has been done and it’s been done dirty … and with lots of tears.

But, this is no change from the way Weeper Boehner has been giving the Tea Party the finger ever since he got his Speakership, thanks to NO ONE but the Tea Party.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Cantor has been leading my Tea Party Congresswoman away from the fold.

We must primary the leadership.

Valiant on January 13, 2012 at 10:48 PM

“We strongly support the extension of the payroll tax cut for the remainder of the year. We also support creation of jobs, so the XL Pipeline should be approved with this legislation.”

Hey Replublicans, it’s going to happen. Get something for it…..

Barred on January 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Dwayne T. Boehner:
This is Deputy Chief of Police, Dwayne T. Boehner, and I am in charge of this situation.

Tea Party:
Oh, you’re in charge? Well, I got some bad news for you *Dwayne*, from up here it doesn’t look like you’re in charge of jack s***.

Everlasting_Knowitall on January 13, 2012 at 10:51 PM

oops… Republicans

Barred on January 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

It would be just like the Stupid Party to distance themselves from Tea Party policies and think themselves canny and cunning because of irrelevant polls about the movement itself.

The media demonizes the Tea Party in the exact same way the demonized Bush, Gingrich, Reagan, and even Bush’s dad, sending polling numbers for all those (except Reagan) into the toilet, as well as approval for a myriad of American institutions like McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, and even entire industries like energy and health insurance.

Funny thing though – while the American people can be made to hate and fear all those people, they still oppose government control of services, higher taxes, and socialism in general. And they still voluntarily buy those products. And they still vote even farther to the right than their mixed responses to polls.

Remember two weeks ago, when Axelrod and EJ were claiming Obama was the conservative in this race? Yeah, that’s the America we live in. The Republicans claim to be the conservative, and the Democrat claims to be the conservative. And the Republican leadership triangulates. That’s why they call it the Stupid Party.

HitNRun on January 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM

The way to solve this problem next year is to take back the Senate so that no one has to make these awful compromises

That’s when they really start compromising, for the fear that they will lose the majority if they don’t.

Buddahpundit on January 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM

oops… Republicans

Barred on January 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

I’d say you had it right the first time.

plubplubplub as they’re slowing going under.

Flora Duh on January 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM

That’s when they really start compromising, for the fear that they will lose the majority if they don’t.

Buddahpundit on January 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM

That’s exactly what happened in 2000, and in 1994.

The Republicans always have a Cunning Plan for after the next election. That, not the Democrats, is why we have a $15T debt and are one unexpected interest rate bounce away from the literal end of the United States.

HitNRun on January 13, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Sure hope Boehner is being primaried in his home district in Ohio. I’ll sure support that person. Too bad Mr. Boehner didn’t use the power we gave to him in 2010.

cpasherry on January 13, 2012 at 11:03 PM

workingclass artist on January 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Tim Johnson is my rep. Glad to see him doing this, although he admitted it probably won’t fly and he knows it’s a popular theme this election cycle. I still like the fact that he proposed it.

predator on January 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM

…and people are saying Mittens is electable! Boy, getting up in arms about Boehner doing this, just wait…. if Mittens gets to be the POTUS we can sure be comforted by knowing he will do the very same thing! BOY CANT WAIT!

watertown on January 13, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Fund it out of general revenue.

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

The SS and Medicare Trustees Report for 2011 begs to differ. The program will have exhausted its reserve funds by 2035. After that point, the “workers” will only generate enough to cover ~75% of the planned benefits for retirees and other beneficiaries..and that assumes things return to normal fairly soon and stay that way. Still trying to dig into their base assumptions regarding costs, inflation, etc….but I’ve never seen any govt analysis that came close to hitting the major “what ifs” on target…so the current estimates are probably a wee bit too optimistic.

ScottiesRule on January 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM

If he does, he doesn’t understand where the Tea Party is. It is not an entity, never has been. It is a way of thinking. Since it boiled over a couple of years ago there have been all sorts of entities try to take it’s name, some legitimate, many not, thinking that doing so would lend their individual organizations some credibility. These are also the entities that people think of when the Tea Party polls poorly. But the people who considered themselves Tea Partiers are still there, and there are many. They didn’t just pop out of a hole, sweep elections across the nation, and then disappear. They are still there and they will make themselves known through the voting booth and through their pocketbooks. To insult them is a fools errand and it will cost the estabishment repubs that many more seats next year.

CTimbo on January 13, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Boehner is a nice guy. He’s just not the kind of leader we need. It’s very unfortunate.

JellyToast on January 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

I really, really wanted Boehner to be, I don’t know, maybe the male version of Nanzi Pelosi (or female, I forget which it is) but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. Sometimes is sucks to be Republican…

ccrosby on January 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM

workingclass artist on January 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Tim Johnson is my rep. Glad to see him doing this, although he admitted it probably won’t fly and he knows it’s a popular theme this election cycle. I still like the fact that he proposed it.

predator on January 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM

It’s a popular theme this election cycle because it’s part of his platform. He rolled out his policy plans in 3 stages. If you haven’t read them they are great, loaded with data,graphs and references to please wonky types and accessible reading for average voters. They cover a lot of ground. He does this in the governors office.

Energizing American Jobs & Security
Cut Balance and Grow
Overhaul Washington

http://www.rickperry.org/uproot-and-overhaul-washington-html/

Perry wants to expand FOIA to make Government as transparent and accountable as possible for voters. He did this in Texas and Texas and Tennessee top the states scoring a 96%

Gov. Perry is the Governor of my state so I guess we’re both lucky huh?

Texas has weathered and thrived this economy because of strong conservative leadership and I want the rest of the country to thrive too. Every state that has adopted their own version of the Texas model is seeing job growth.

workingclass artist on January 14, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Boehner… go ahead.

Slit the RNC’s throat. It’s become QUITE obvious that you don’t want us Tea Party conservatives anymore.

Frankly, after the disgusting displays that have been your weak kneed capitulation to the leftists on every issue of merit, and the way the RNC machine has rigged this primary against conservatives, we don’t want you either. We will find real conservatives to support, your party can join the whigs in the dust-heap of history, and the demonrats will be the ones that profit, but so be it.

I’ll happily cut my own nose off to spite my face – it’s not like I am getting any measurable representation in this craphole system anyways.

SilverDeth on January 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Chip on January 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM

When the fourth estate was still a source of information rather than an opportunity for celebrity, yes they realized they were a check on government power.

These days, they no longer dream of being Woodward and Bernstein (that was 40 years ago!) or Edward R. Murrow. Their role models are the “1% level of compensation” anchors/pundits who are ferried about in limos and would never ‘speak truth to power’ lest they lose their access and privileges.

Remember that a fair percentage of the fourth estate feels the Constitution is outdated.

PolAgnostic on January 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM

But, controlling only 1/2 of 1/3 of the Federal Government is not a sufficient enough base upon which to dramatically change the direction of the Federal Government.

Shut up you idiot.

Yeah I went there.

You think us stupid?

Apparently, yes, you do – you said as much in your creepy little pontification about the RePubics “only controlling 1/3 the government.” Let me slap you around verbally for a moment while I remind you, you condescending jackhole, that we are NOT so MORONIC that we the AMERICAN CONSERVATIVES can’t see when the HOUSE IS NOT EVEN USING THE TOOLS AT IT’S DISPOSAL – only 1/3 of the government.

Those weenies can’t even be bothered to exercise what meager powers they have.

They have the power to shut down OBAMACARE. What did they do?

They funded it.

They had the power to stare down the Marxist in Chief on the Debt Ceiling, and could have forced REAL cuts to the PIGGISH entitlement programs. They capitulated.

One third of the government (scoff), you insult me me greatly, and you think me stupid enough to fall for that line – THEY CAN’T EVEN BE BOTHERED TO USE THE POWER OF “1/3″ OF THE G*DD*MNED GOVERNMENT.

SilverDeth on January 14, 2012 at 12:49 AM

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Only if you think the wealthy will continue to buy bonds. Social Security only contains special treasury bonds which are the equivalent of IOU’s. In order to use them they have to be sold on the bond market. Which means that the government pays out an additional 2x for a total of 3+ the original amount. They’ve spent the original money + when they sell the bonds they will spend that money then they have to pay off the bonds with interest. So no Social Security is not in pretty good shape.

chemman on January 14, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Possible with McConnell, but impossible with Boehner. The House GOP will have to replace him in leadership. To name drop, Boehner lives in my brother’s gated community. And that district ain’t going to primary Boehner.


THEN YOU RUN AGAINST HIM AS A CONSERVATIVE INDEPENDENT AND LET THE DEMOCRAT BEAT HIM.

SilverDeth on January 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM

It simply means that any progress is going to need to be made up of a series of smaller victories, that pile up over time.

I mean, lets be honest. We’d all love to wake up tomorrow and read a headline that says we’ve suddenly cut six trillion dollars from the budget. If we accomplish the same amount of cutting through a series of much smaller bills however, it’s just as good really.

And yes, if we control the senate next year we will be able to make bolder cuts and reforms, even IF Romney is in office. Heck, we may be able to do some even if Obama is still in charge, but it’ll be far more difficult in that case.

WolvenOne on January 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I have been hearing this argument from the GOP for 40 years. The only small changes have been to the growth of the government. The GOP has never actually cut government since Coolidge.

Maybe if you say it enough you will really believe it. But for me I will actually have to see it happen. Considering that my Brute Force electron microscope hasn’t found the GOP’s spine yet it isn’t likely that they will make those series of small changes that actually cut government.

chemman on January 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Progress has been made. The issue of the size of the government and the debt has occupied center stage and needs to remain there, with the Republican’s offering the best long term solutions.

A.S.R. on January 13, 2012 at 9:56 PM

About as much progress as was made during the Reagan Administration when we were barely 800 billion in debt at it’s start. We will be 16 trillion and change in debt at the start of the next administration. Talking about it and tinkering around the edges just is viable anymore.

chemman on January 14, 2012 at 1:09 AM

It’s become plainly DAMN obvious that the RNC are nothing more than the caretakers that keep the democrat plantation running in between periods of control and expansion.

The Repubics don’t change anything, they don’t roll back the nanny-state, they don’t repeal excessive federal laws and regulations, they don’t rain in entitlements or the amok agencies. They just coast along in neutral maintaining the status quo, while the democrats regroup for a few years, then surge back and continue the death-march exactly where they last set left off.

And if we challenge their apathy, the establishment threatens us with the “But the Democrats are worse – vote for us or you’re voting for them” horsesh*t. We are the lesser of evils!!!”

Yeah?

What happens now that us peons have realized that both paths offered in this nation lead to serfdom? The rout offered by the RePubics is just a more drawn out death.

Exit Question: What’s it going to take to roll this crap back when neither party wants to do anything but stride ever onward into oblivion? What recourse are we left, those of us unwilling to submit to a creeping soft-tyranny?

Party like it’s 1861?

SilverDeth on January 14, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Don’t do it, Mr. Boehner. No, really – don’t you even contemplate it.

Midas on January 14, 2012 at 1:22 AM

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

LOL, wow.

Midas on January 14, 2012 at 1:24 AM

The Social Security System is, in fact, in pretty good shape for the next 50 years, with very modest tweaking A GIANT PONZI SCHEME.

urban elitist on January 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Fixed -_-

SilverDeth on January 14, 2012 at 1:27 AM

In fact, to expound… I will go so far as to say that, if you as a citizen of the united states, ran a financial planning firm the exact same way that our government runs social security, the feds would arrest you, clap you in irons, and lock you up in a cage next to Madoff.

And you’d have it coming.

SilverDeth on January 14, 2012 at 1:32 AM

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.

The only difference between a Ponzi Scheme and Social Security, is that the Federal Government holds a gun to your head, and forces you to pay into it.

So I redact my prior statements somewhat. Social security is not a Ponzi Scheme.

IT’S WORSE.

SilverDeth on January 14, 2012 at 1:36 AM

WHAT!!!!

Winebabe on January 14, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Silverdeth:
You misquote – the Republicans do not control 1/3 of the Federal Government – rather 1/2 of 1/3, the House of Representatives. The other half of the third, the Senate is controlled by the Democrats. The President is Mr. Obama, and the Judiciary is uniquely itself.
The House of Representatives can pass budgets (which it did) but the Senate, led by Democrats, has proven to be a roadblock – not passing a budget in nearly 1000 days. We now fund the government by continuing resolution. If we were to throw a fit – as you imply we should – we might find ourselves back in the situation Mr Gingrich found himself when he forced a shutdown of the government and lost the political battle.
We need to control at least one other entity, either the Senate or Presidency to change the direction. Control of both would allow profound change.
I want to win the political battle, the election this year, so that we can change the direction. Gingrich’s shutdown was a failure, as was the disaster this past December. Look at Obama’s approval, look at the strength of Democrat congressional approval over the Republicans. I understand the frustration, but it usually takes at least two election cycles to change the direction of this country.

A.S.R. on January 14, 2012 at 3:05 AM

Rumor has it that Boehner is switching parties! That is incorrect – there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats.

AndAero on January 14, 2012 at 3:25 AM

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