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Posts tagged ‘Debbie Wasserman Schultz’

‘Growing Crescendo’ in GOP to Hold Lerner in Contempt


There’s a “growing crescendo” to hold retired IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for her repeated refusal to testify about the tax agency’s targeted scrutiny of tea party groups, one House Oversight Committee member said Wednesday.

In the wake of a contentious less-than-10-minute hearing where Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination — triggering an angry exchange between committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa and ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings — North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows said “The American people … want to hold those people accountable.. and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“There is a growing crescendo that they should hold her in contempt of Congress and the American people get what they deserve,” Meadows told Fox News.

Among the GOP chorus calling for a contempt charge is House Speaker John Boehner.

“She has to testify or she should be held in contempt,” the Ohio Republican said after the hearing, saying he’d wait for a report from Issa.

A contempt vote could lead to a criminal prosecution — and fan the controversy that erupted last year when the agency’s extra scrutiny of tea party-backed nonprofits came to light.

Issa’s committee since then has held five hearings, issued three subpoenas for documents and interviewed IRS officials.

Democrats howled after the hearing, where Cummings had demanded he be given a right to speak before adjournment — but instead had his microphone turned off.

“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America,” Cummings yelled as Issa dismissed the meeting and cut of microphones. “I am tired of this.

“We have members over here, each who represent 700,000 people. You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that. And, it’s absolutely un-American,” Cummings yelled.

“We had a hearing. We are adjourned. I gave you an opportunity to ask a question. You had no questions,” Issa, a Republican from California, responded.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, slammed Issa for conducting a “witch hunt.”

“What we’re seeing in the House today is a sign of larger dysfunction and partisanship on behalf of Republicans,” Van Hollen told MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” according to Politico.

“Darrell Issa has been conducting this political witch hunt for a long time now. He’s frustrated because he hasn’t been able to come up with any evidence of intentional political wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration, and so he’s getting frustrated and making stuff up.”

Democratic National Committee chair, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, called Issa’s conduct at the Wednesday hearing comparable to oppression in Ukraine and Venezuela, according to Politico, saying she was “stunned” that Issa would try to silence Cummings by cutting off his mic.

Cummings continued speaking for about 10 minutes; Lerner remained seated.

Issa said he’ll decide by next week whether his committee will seek to hold Lerner in contempt.

Lerner first appeared before the committee last May, when she also invoked the Fifth Amendment after maintaining that she was innocent of wrongdoing. The committee determined the following month that Lerner waived her right against self-incrimination by making that statement.

A Treasury inspector general’s report has since determined the IRS had used inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups, though it found no evidence of a political motivation.

The Justice Department is involved in a criminal probe of the matter.

The IRS has since proposed new rules for handling social welfare groups engaged in political activity, though conservative groups have called them too restrictive.

Bloomberg news contributed to this report

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers and Cathy Burke

Democrats Have 11 Videos Ready to Slam Christie on Bridge-gate.


Democratic Party strategists are focusing on a systematic strategy to undermine New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s national image by capitalizing on the backlash from the George Washington bridge scandal.

According to The New York Times, Democratic operatives reaching up to the highest levels of the party are using every opportunity to define Christie as a corrupt bully as they aim to sabotaging his chances of mounting a successful run for the White House.

Democrats have already created 11 different videos to capitalize on Christie’s links to the bridge-gate scandal. They are also organizing protests and news conferences in different parts of the country to dog Christie during his travels in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

“If Republican governors want to keep embracing him as their chair, as their model for the future, we’re happy to help them out,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, told the Times.

Democrats have also resorted to attacking GOP candidates and lawmakers who have come to Christie’s defense, from a potential Senate candidate in New Hampshire to a New York congressman, according to The Times.

For example, when former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is considering a run for Senate in New Hampshire, defended Christie on television, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee immediately ridiculed him as being “defender-in-chief of scandal-ridden Chris Christie,” according to The Times.

The Democratic National Committee has issued 58 emails to the media about the Christie administration’s alleged acts of political revenge, while American Bridge, a Democratic research group, has issued 169 requests for internal documents from the Christie Administration, the Times reports.

The escalating attacks have begun to limit Christie’s ability to work on behalf of GOP candidates, with aides being forced to conceal the details of fundraisers and events. But key donors have so far said they will not turn their backs on him.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melanie Batley

Priebus Unlikely to Support Another Shutdown.


RNC Chairman Reince Priebus says he probably won’t support another government shutdown in January, but he’s more curious if Democrats are actually going to run in the 2014 midterms on the dubious achievements of Obamacare.

Priebus appeared Tuesday on CNN’s “Crossfire” along with his Democratic counterpart Debbie Wasserman Schultz in what was billed as a rare appearance between the two parties’ leadership.

Hosts Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter were hardly able to get a word in edgewise as the RNC and DNC chairs traded jabs and tried to make their points. But that was fine with Gingrich, who was forced to relive his days as House speaker as he used his fist to gavel the proceedings to a close at the end of the 30-minute program.

“You will both be invited back,” Gingrich said.

Priebus said the GOP is doing well in midterms, but struggles in presidential elections, having lost the last two to President Barack Obama.

He conceded it is “very important” to win presidential elections, but noted that his party isn’t in as much trouble as Wasserman Schultz tried to portray. Republicans control 29 governorships and 24 state legislatures, he said.

Wasserman Schultz said Republicans can’t win the White House because “they’re dramatically out of touch with most Americans in the country.” A rebrand of the party didn’t work, she said, because it has done things to alienate blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and non-Christians.

Democrats, on the other hand, are reaching out to expand their party, she said.

“We’ve turned red states to purple to blue,” she said, while no blue states are anywhere near being turned to red.

Priebus repeatedly pressed Wasserman Shultz on whether Democrats will run on Obamacare in 2014. She said they would, predicting that their message of allowing people to have affordable healthcare, combined with the government shutdown in October, would ensure their wins.

“You still haven’t answered the question: who’s running on Obamacare?” Priebus asked Wasserman Schultz, commenting on the ACA’s troubled implementation.

“I did answer,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Any of our candidates will be able to run on Obamacare.”

Priebus was unconvinced, predicting huge GOP gains if Democrats use a pro-Obamcare strategy.

Individual Democrats in contested races haven’t been as optimistic as Wasserman Schultz. They have distanced themselves from Obama and his health insurance law that has had a shaky start-up with a malfunctioning website and broken promises of allowing people to keep insurance and doctors they like.

The Obamacare foul-ups have given a reprieve to the GOP, which suffered heavily in the polls after tea party Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah led an effort to repeal Obamacare that ended up partially shutting down the government for 16 days.

A temporary budget agreement postponed talks until mid-January, but party leadership has indicated there will not be another shutdown over the issue.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

 
 

National Review’s Malkin: Pelosi Has ‘Turned Her Back on Women’ in Weiner Scandal.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has not yet said whether San Diego Mayor Bob Filner should resign amid new sexual-harassment allegations, staff resignations and a recent lawsuit.

And Pelosi’s silence shows that the most powerful female Democrat on Capitol Hill “has turned her back on women. Again,” author Michelle Malkin writes in the National Review.

“What goes on in San Diego is up to the people of San Diego,” said Pelosi, a 13-term California Democrat, she writes. “I’m not here to make any judgments.”

Malkin is a conservative political commentator and blogger, author and a Fox News contributor.

On Monday, Filner’s former spokeswoman said that the Democratic mayor had ordered her to “work without her panties on” and viewed women “as sexual objects or stupid idiots.”

Other women also have alleged that Filner groped, forcibly kissed, and harassed them, and his fiancée broke up with him two weeks ago after observing his “abusiveness” and “disrespect” for women, Malkin writes.

Filner has “apologized” — admitting, “I need help” — but he has refused to step down.

The Review noted that Pelosi snapped at a reporter last week when asked whether Filner, a former 10-term congressman, should step down. “Don’t identify him as my former colleague,” Pelosi said.

“When it comes to holding scandal-plagued predatory liberal men accountable for their scummy behavior, See No Evil Nancy’s pattern of malign neglect is unrivaled,” Malkin says.

In addition, Pelosi has been silent on the latest sexting scandal involving former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, the Review notes. He served seven House terms before quitting in 2011 after acknowledging that he had sexual conversations with at least a half-dozen women.

The Minority Leader was just as quiet during that first round of Weiner revelations, the Review reports, noting that Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called for his resignation only after his “interactions with an underage girl in Delaware were exposed by conservative bloggers and confirmed by police,” the magazine reports.

Malkin also cited Pelosi’s silence on accusations by Oregon Democratic Rep. David Wu, the seven-term Democrat who resigned in 2011 amid accusations that he made unwanted sexual advances on the teenage daughter of a campaign donor and friend.

Only when those accusations were reported by The Oregonian newspaper did Pelosi call for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, says Malkin.

“Pelosi looked the other way at her former colleague’s vulgar antics. Whether she’s carrying a gavel or just carrying water, Pelosi has served as a loyal apologist and abettor of the Democratic Bad Boys Club,” Malkin concludes, before asking what would it take to turn Pelosi into a “former colleague”?

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Todd Beamon

GOP-led House Seeks 24 Cut in IRS Budget: $3 Billion.


The GOP-controlled House unveiled slashing cuts to the budget of the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday, punishing the beleaguered agency after it targeted tea party groups and other nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status.

The agency’s 2014 budget would be cut by $3 billion, or 24 percent below levels approved in March. Also, 10 percent of its budget for tax enforcement would be fenced off until the IRS implements recommendations by an agency watchdog designed to prevent further abuses.

The IRS cuts come after a wave of bad publicity for the agency including questionable spending on conferences like a lavish $4.1 million event in 2010 that included a “Star Trek” video parody and a $17,000 payment to a motivational speaker who was a painter.

President Barack Obama had requested a $1 billion increase for the IRS.

“Right now I can’t think of a federal agency in a worse position to ask for more money,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

The Appropriations Committee also revealed cuts to NASA, White House salaries, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The full House took up a $30.4 billion measure funding the Energy Department and water projects that is about $3 billion below levels enacted earlier this year. Democrats protested cuts to clean and renewable energy programs.

Democrats controlling a Senate panel, meanwhile, went in a wholly opposite direction in giving a $1.3 billion increase to the IRS, the agency chiefly responsible to implement Obama’s signature health care law.

At issue are the annual spending bills funding the day-to-day operations of federal agencies. The GOP-controlled House and Democratic-led Senate are acting as if on different planets, with the Senate ignoring deep automatic spending cuts and the House promising even more punishing cuts to domestic programs while restoring cuts to the Pentagon.

The House is drafting spending bills in line with a $967 billion “cap” required by automatic cuts that took effect in March after Washington failed to agree on an alternative mix of tax increases and cuts elsewhere in the $3.5 trillion federal budget. The Senate is writing bills to a $1.058 trillion cap, almost a full 10 percent higher. But the House GOP cuts to domestic programs are greatly magnified by a $41 billion shift from nondefense programs like NASA, education and research on renewable energy to the Pentagon.

The result are night-and-day differences between the House and Senate spending bills illustrated most dramatically by a $164 billion Senate measure unveiled Tuesday by liberal Democrat Tom Harkin of Iowa. The measure, which funds education, health and labor programs, is a full 26 percent more generous to such programs than an as-yet-unreleased House version.

So even as advocates for the poor worry about budget cuts forcing poor preschoolers from Head Start, the Senate measure promises to increase the program by $1.6 billion or about 20 percent. Health research would win a small increase, as would Title I grants to help educate disadvantaged school children.

Republicans say the Senate bills are filled with empty promises. Even if they were enacted over GOP opposition, they would be subject to across-the-board cuts known as sequestration that would bring them down to the $967 billion level embraced by Republicans. Sequestration is required because Congress and Obama have failed to follow up a 2011 budget pact with deficit cuts other than a bitterly fought tax increase on upper-bracket earners.

Democrats say that Republicans are offering empty promises as well — to defense hawks upset by sequestration. The House GOP increases to the Pentagon would be automatically rolled back through sequestration, as would Senate Democrats‘ efforts to increase domestic programs.

By contrast, the House measures revealed Tuesday are laced with painful cuts. While the FBI is exempted, NASA would absorb an almost $1 billion cut below 2013 levels. Spending on federal buildings would be cut $2.4 billion below Obama’s request and the U.S. Marshals Service, the federal prison system and the Drug Enforcement Administration would also have to absorb cuts.

“At some point, there is no ‘doing more with less,'” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. “There is only less.”

Absent a broader agreement on the budget, the rival chambers of Congress are on a collision course facing a potential government shutdown when current-year funding runs out on Sept. 30. A shutdown is unlikely, but avoiding one would require a stopgap funding measure to keep the government running after that date.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Millions to Be Priced Out of Obamacare.


Millions of Americans will be priced out of health insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul because of a glitch in the law that adversely affects people with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by their employers, a leading healthcare advocacy group said on Tuesday.

Tax credits are a key component of the law and the White House has said the credits, averaging about $4,000 apiece, will help about 18 million individuals and families pay for health insurance once the Affordable Care Act takes full effect, beginning in January 2014.

The tax credits are geared toward low and middle-income Americans who do not have access to affordable health insurance coverage through an employer. The law specifies that employer-sponsored insurance is affordable so long as a worker’s share of the premium does not exceed 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income.

In its rule making, or final interpretation of the law, the IRS said affordability should be based strictly on individual coverage costs, however.

That means that, even if family coverage through an employer-based plan far exceeds the 9.5 percent cutoff, workers would not be eligible for the tax credits to help buy insurance for children or non-working dependents.

“It’s an issue. It needs to be fixed,” Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an influential healthcare advocacy group said on Tuesday, referring to what he called “the family glitch problem.”

He spoke on a teleconference calling attention to a report, released by his organization on Tuesday, that said more than 1.7 million Floridians will be eligible for the new premium tax credits next year.

 

‘TEA PARTY INFUSION’

“The tax credit subsidies are a game changer. They will help make health coverage affordable for huge numbers of uninsured families in Florida who would have been priced out of the health coverage and care they need,” Pollack said.

He had no estimate for the number of people in Florida affected by the affordability question and IRS policy. But he said there was little hope for a legislative fix in Congress, where the House is controlled by Republicans still bent on repealing Obamacare.

The problem comes on top of another more contentious healthcare issue in Florida, where the state legislature has opposed Republican Governor Rick Scott’s endorsement of an expansion of Medicaid. Without the expansion, envisioned under Obama’s 2010 reforms, Pollack said about 1.8 million Floridians would be left without healthcare coverage.

“It would mean that the poorest of the poor really would be left out in the cold,” he said.

Pollack was joined on the teleconference by Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congressional champion of healthcare reform who also chairs the Democratic National Committee.

“I think one only has to look at the budget the Republicans crammed through the House last week, with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act attached to it, to know that the odds of adding coverage and improving coverage in Obamacare in this Tea Party-infused House of Representatives is very unlikely,” she said.

“The way to improve this law and to address concerns that have come up with it is not to repeal it, not to throw it out, but to simply make modifications to it. It would be wonderful if we had Republican colleagues in our chamber, on the other side of the aisle, who were willing to sit down and do that.”

Speaking after the call, Families USA health policy director Kathleen Stoll told Reuters recent studies showed that anywhere between 2 million and 4 million people across the United States would be adversely affected by the federal rule limiting aid and the IRS interpretation of whether an employer’s health plan is affordable.

“We’d like to see it fixed because it clearly doesn’t reflect what Congress intended,” Stoll said.

“It could mean the difference between being able to move in to purchasing private insurance and not purchasing private insurance. Hopefully within the next couple of years there will be room to fix it.”

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

ISN’T THAT THEFT? Obama And DNC Refuse To Pay Back $10 MILLION Loan.


Last summer, with organizers struggling to raise enough money for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., party planners turned to Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, for help. Duke, the nation’s largest utility company, stepped up with a $10 million line of credit for the convention. Organizers insisted Duke would be repaid after the convention.

Or…not

A Duke Energy official told the Charlotte Observer on Thursday that Democratic officials would not repay the $10 million they owe the company. Instead, Duke Energy will write off the loan as a business expense. Shareholders are expected to absorb $6 million of the cost of the loan.

obama-and-dnc-defaul-on-10-million-dollar-campaign-loan-march-2013

Steal from the rich….and keep it.

In effect, Duke Energy’s “loan” has turned out to be a $10 million contribution to the Democratic convention. Duke CEO Jim Rogers hinted at this possibility in an interview with theObserver last month, when it was becoming clear the Democrats might not repay the company.

“At the end of the day, we’ll do our best to get our money back,” he said. “But if we don’t, it’s just a contribution we’re making I think for the greater good of our community.”

The decision by Democratic organizers not to repay the loan smacks of hypocrisy. In the run-up to the convention, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chair of the Democratic National Committee, vowed that convention organizers would not accept corporate money. “We will make this the first convention in history that does not accept any funds from lobbyists, corporations, or political action committees,” she said.

Yet even before the Duke loan became a straight-up donation, various convention committees revealed that they accepted corporate money. One committee took in at least $5 million in corporate money to rent Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable area and a million more in in-kind contributions from AT&T, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Costco.

Asked about this hypocrisy, Democratic officials have responded by noting that their anti-corporate-cash pledge was self-imposed. Legally, they could use corporate money to fund their convention. Which, in the end, is precisely what they did. source – Mother Jones.

by NTEB News Desk

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