I regret to give you this legislative update
I wrote a post-Thanksgiving blog post about the Republican's big "fuck you" to the disadvantaged in the United States, while insisting on less taxes for those who don't need it and contemporaneously insisting--in a contradictory fashion--that now is the time to address the federal budget deficit. Today we have an update on how the then-pending legislation ended up faring:
- Increased spending on health care for 9/11 first responders: today Senate Republicans blocked the vote to end debate and allow the Senate to vote on it. If that's not anti-American, I'm not quite sure what is.
- Child Nutrition Act: at the beginning of December the House passed the Senate version of the bill, that funded the $4.5 billion bill with a $2.2 billion cut in food stamps funding (a.k.a. robbing Peter to pay Paul--now inadequate nutrition will just be centered in the home rather than schools.)
- Extension of unemployment benefits: blocked by Senate Republicans late last week....because it's not "paid for." Yet...
- Republicans continued to insist on giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. In fact, they went a few steps further, first essentially blackmailing Congress by pledging to block every piece of legislation that came up--including issues of national security like the START Treaty--until they get their tax cuts, and second, going even further than that by agreeing to extend unemployment benefits so long as they get their tax cuts for the rich. Looks like the Republicans aren't actually all that interested in cutting the deficit after all, then, since the $75 billion tax cuts for the rich add billions onto the deficit, are far less stimulative than the $56 billion UI bill (they actually cost more than they stimulate), and there's no good reason to buy the Republicans' claim that the rich will use the cuts to add job, since jobs aren't created out of the goodness of people's heart but are added when they are economically necessary to businesses.
(Cross-posted to Speak Truth to Power)