Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:02 PM
DonViejo (25,438 posts)
Republican Thugs in the House Hope to Derail Obama’s Tax-Hike Bill
Dec 4, 2012 4:45 AM EST
Think Obama’s tax-hike bill can to pass the lower chamber of Congress with a majority of votes? Think again. Michael Tomasky on how the GOP plans to protect its wealthy donors.
As you ponder whether the Obama tax hike can pass the House, I bet you think something like, “All he needs is a few Republicans.” Right? I wouldn’t blame you for thinking it. Obama himself said last week: “If we can just get a few House Republicans on board, we can pass the bill in the House, it will land on my desk, and I am ready—I have got a bunch of pens ready—to sign this bill.” That’s how it works, right—218 votes? Friends, you’re hopelessly behind the times. The Republicans won’t allow measures to pass with just any 218 votes. It has to be mostly Republicans. Welcome to the little-discussed but possibly pivotal concept of the “majority of the majority.”
What does this mean? Pretty much just what it says: For Speaker John Boehner to bring any measure to the House floor, he has to see that a majority of the majority—that is, a majority of his GOP caucus—will support it. You might have in theory a bill that could pass with the support of 109 Democrats and 109 Republicans to reach the needed 218. You couldn’t ask for more bipartisanship than that. But 109 is not a majority of 241, so if Boehner and his whips were counting noses accurately in the run-up, this perfectly balanced measure would never see the light of day for a vote.
Sounds like madness? Yes, it does, and it is. But surely this is something, you say, that goes back a ways, and something both sides have done. Well, not really. It goes back, says congressional scholar Norman Ornstein, only to Denny Hastert, the GOP speaker during the Bush years who was the first to use the phrase. “It was a Hastert original,” Ornstein explained to me Monday. “In earlier eras, it would never have worked—too much heterogeneity in caucuses, to start. Hastert was a different Speaker, in another sense, seeing himself as more a field general in the president’s army than as first and foremost leader of the independent House, but to him that meant creating a majority party machine. More than anything, it formed the parliamentary party mindset.”
Sarah Binder, the congressional scholar at Brookings, notes that in fairness, the pseudo-parliamentary mindset began to develop in the 1970s and 1980s. “I think its parliamentary roots actually stem from liberal Democrats’ effort to challenge the power of conservative committee chairs who dominated the House agenda for a good portion of the 20th century,” Binder says. The Democrats started using the powerful House Rules Committee more aggressively to control the flow of what could and could not get to the floor.
5 replies, 1095 views
Republican Thugs in the House Hope to Derail Obama’s Tax-Hike Bill (Original post)
|Cresent City Kid||Dec 2012||#4|
|Filibuster Harry||Dec 2012||#5|
Response to denverbill (Reply #1)
Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:32 AM
Cresent City Kid (1,621 posts)
4. I think it means any bill that doesn't extend the cut for those at the top.
At least that's how the House leaders define "tax hike". It's bizarro symantics, the top 2% are referred to as "All Americans", or "Small Business Owners".
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:26 PM
Filibuster Harry (664 posts)
5. Thinking too much and obstructionism is going to backfire. The Rs should agree with the
president's tax increase but only if they (the house) get spending cuts. I'll say it again I think the president's tax proposal raises capital gains and dividends to 20% whereas if nothing happens capital gains goes up to 20% but dividends is at regular rates. Then who knows if dividend rates reduction will even be on the table?