ANOTHER CONTINUING RESOLUTION WON’T SOLVE THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

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Senator Mitch McConnell walks to the chamber on the first morning of a government shutdown. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Olga Shvetsova, Binghamton University, State University of New York and William B. Heller, Binghamton University, State University of New York – 

Republicans Can’t Agree On A Budget

That lack of agreement has made it necessary for Congress to pass a series of continuing resolutions to keep the government open.

There’s no budget agreement because factions within the GOP hold contradictory policy positions on almost every issue. James Madison, an author of the Federalist Papers might have framed the problem this way: The party draws on votes from – and is accountable to – diverse groups of citizens with conflicting interests. That conflict within the Republicans’ voting base means that any policy they propose would hurt at least some of the members’ key constituents.

In an era of hyper-accountability, swift electoral punishment from any negatively impacted constituency is all but inevitable. Every vote and utterance by a political incumbent is scrutinized on Facebook and Twitter. The personal electoral costs of following the party line are prohibitive for enough to break down compromise within the party and preclude any significant policy change.

The recent tax bill was a happy exception for the Republicans. It lowered – or, at least, did not raise – federal taxes for practically everyone who mattered to Republicans. In essence, it handed out money to majorities in all categories of supporters without specifying who would bear the costs.

Now with the budget, the time has come to clarify – to agree on where and for whom to cut expenditures. It is no surprise that there is about as much internal consensus within the GOP as they had on cutting expenditures on Obamacare – none. It is the practical reality of unified Democratic opposition that in order to legislate, the Republicans would have to agree on something.

What once was, arguably, a party united by fiscal responsibility and economic and social laissez-faire is now committed to a wide variety of causes. Disparities among constituencies that vote Republican across the country have been growing since the mid-1990s. Because this lack of unity is electoral in nature, the inability to formulate policies will remain a problem for the long run.

The ConversationWhen key decision-makers disagree, the result is that they cannot change the policy status quo. Republican failure to move the policy status quo on health care, or to reach a consensus on the budget is caused not by poor Republican strategies. It is caused by contradictions within Republican rank-and-file members because of who their voters are and what they want.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden – New Senate Republican Tax Bill Medicare Cuts

 

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
November 15, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today gave the following remarks as the Finance Committee began consideration of a new version of the Senate Republicans’ tax bill.

It’s now day three of this tax debate, and this bill seems to get worse by the hour. It started off as a tax hike on nearly 14 million Americans to pay for multi-trillion dollar handouts to multinational corporations and new loopholes for tax cheats.

Then the news broke that these corporate handouts are going to force billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare. And Republican leaders said that entitlements are next after taxes, which means further cuts to Medicare, cuts to Medicaid, and cuts to Social Security.

Let’s cut to early yesterday afternoon. The Republicans couldn’t get through lunch without hatching another plot to go after Americans’ health care. Apparently somewhere between the salad course and the entree, it was decided that permanent corporate tax cuts should be paid for, in part, by kicking 13 million Americans off their health care and raising premiums for millions more. Let’s not kid around, this is not just another garden variety attack on the Affordable Care Act. This is repeal of that law.

That brings us to today, when the American people are learning that individuals are only getting temporary tax cuts out of this Republican bill, but corporations are getting permanent cuts. What a double standard that is. For multinational corporations their handouts are set in stone, written in ink, locked in place with the key thrown away. But not for the middle class.

The Treasury Secretary even said that was where the administration was going to draw its line in the sand — permanent breaks for multinational corporations. But they’re not drawing any lines in the sand when it comes to permanently protecting middle class families.

In fact, for middle-income families, this deal is looking worse and worse. It used to be a promise of a tax cut — cash back in their pockets. Now it’s a roll of the dice. Families are going to have to hope they’re not going to be among the millions whose taxes go up.

So bottom line, my colleagues on the other side have now shown their hand. The corporate handouts are permanent, the family breaks are not. In fact, they don’t even make it a full decade.

To pay for these handouts to multinational corporations, millions of Americans are going to lose their health care, millions will see their premiums skyrocket, and millions will get hit with a tax hike. That’s what’s on offer as of today.

SDDP’s Statement on Noem’s Support of Trump in Today’s Debate 

October 10, 2016

Sioux Falls, SD – The South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger released the following statement in response to State Rep. Paula Hawks’s debate with Rep. Kristi Noem today at the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary meeting.   

“The State Party congratulates Representative Paula Hawks on a great debate, focused on the issues important to South Dakotans. From agricultural and economic issues to foreign policy, it was clear Paula Hawks is the best choice to represent South Dakota families in Congress.

“In addition, it was extremely troubling to hear Kristi Noem double down on her support of Donald Trump, even after the release of a video last week where Trump brags about actions that amount to sexual assault. Trump’s statements were bad enough for Republicans Senator John Thune and Governor Dennis Daugaard to call for Trump to withdraw from the race, but Noem continues to support Trump despite the racist, misogynistic, and erratic statements he has made during the campaign that show he is unfit to be President.  Given Noem’s history of voting against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, I suppose it is not surprising, but it is disappointing nonetheless.”

Paid for by the South Dakota Democratic Party. (www.sddp.org) Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Hermosa Custer County Fair-Food-Chickens-Wine-Cars and Politicians

All Images: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Custer County Commissioner Jim Linz readies the grill for pancakes at the Custer County Fair Pancake Breakfast Sunday morning August 14, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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4-H member Hevin-Mairie Adcock holds her Java Rooster at the Custer County Fair Pancake Breakfast Sunday morning August 14, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Wayne Boots, Sandy Arseneault 2016 Democratic candidate for District 30 of the South Dakota House of Representatives and Mary Boots, Chairman Custer County Democrats at the Custer County Fair Saturday morning August 14, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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John and Anne Van Dis, Tim Goodwin 2016 Republican candidate for District 30 of the South Dakota House of Representatives and his wife Marcia Goodwin at the Custer County Fair Saturday morning August 14, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Blue Ribbon wine winners at the Custer County Fair Sunday morning August 15, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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First place ribbon, “Salsa” made by Butch Hawking from Rapid City at the Custer County Fair Sunday morning August 14, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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A selection of quilts at the Custer County Fair Sunday morning August 15, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Car show at the Custer County Fair Sunday afternoon August 15, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Car show at the Custer County Fair Sunday afternoon August 15, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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A pumped up “VW” towing a custom camper at the Custer County Fair Car Show Sunday afternoon August 15, 2016. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press