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HerbChestnut's Journal
HerbChestnut's Journal
December 2, 2017

Senate Tax Bill passes 51-49 at 1:50am EST

And the rich keep getting richer...


December 2, 2017

Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) vote *against* amendment to Senate tax bill...

...that would require any future cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security as a result of the Senate tax bill be passed with at least 67 votes. In other words, these two senators joined Republicans in making it easier for Congress to cut funding to these programs in the future. Thanks guys, great job...

EDIT: And Tom Carper (D-Delaware) too, making 3 Democratic Senators to vote no...wtf...

EDIT 2: Votes are up on Senate.gov


November 29, 2017

Bernie and several Democrats will unveil a "Marshal Plan" for Puerto Rico on Tuesday


On Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will unveil an ambitious $146 billion Puerto Rico recovery plan he says will allow renewable power sources such as solar and wind to provide about 70 percent of the island’s energy needs within the decade.

The bill, which has the backing of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, also calls on Congress to consider retiring Puerto Rico’s debt and would give the island billions in additional federal funding for transportation, health care and education in the hopes of stemming a feared mass exodus to the mainland. It would also allocate funds to the Virgin Islands, which were similarly devastated by Hurricane Maria.

“This is the closest we have to a Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico,” said Ramón Luis Nieves, a former member of the Senate of Puerto Rico who has testified to Congress about the hurricane’s impacts.

Highly doubtful Republicans will vote for this, but it's what the island needs. Also nice to see the Virgin Islands are included.
November 16, 2017

Tim Kaine calls for eliminating superdelegates


Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is urging the Democratic National Committee to end its tradition of using superdelegates, which activists say diminish the influence of regular voters at the expense of party bigwigs in the presidential nominating process.

"I have long believed there should be no superdelegates. These positions are given undue influence in the popular nominating contest and make the process less democratic,” Kaine wrote in a letter Wednesday to DNC chairman Tom Perez, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO.

The plea from Kaine — himself a former DNC chairman, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, and a superdelegate — puts him on the side of many backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent in last year’s race for the White House. Under the current system, elected officials and influential party members get to cast a vote for their preferred presidential candidate with extra weight, regardless of how their state or district votes during the primary.

Pointing to the ongoing work of the Unity Reform Commission appointed last year to review and change the DNC’s nominating process, Kaine urged the group to recommend doing away with the superdelegate system altogether, and by extension encouraged Perez to adopt that proposal.

Story continues...
September 26, 2017

Bernie and Amy did a great job tonight.

I thought both of their arguments were substantive and provided a counterpoint to Graham and Cassidy's evasiveness on key issues. When the Republicans resort to fear tactics (Socialism omg!!!) you know you've won. Kudos to both Senators.

EDIT: Grammar

September 9, 2017

Max Baucus, Architect of the ACA, backs Medicare for All


WASHINGTON — In the summer of 2009, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. was asked if Max Baucus, the Democratic chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee who was taking the lead on health care reform at the time, was open to his ideas.

"To a single-payer idea? No. Not in a million years," Sanders replied to a C-SPAN interviewer.

It turns out the wait was much shorter.

"I just think the time has come," Baucus told NBC News Friday, after stunning healthcare observers earlier in the day by seemingly coming around on single-payer at a public forum. "Back in '09, we were not ready to address it. It would never have passed. Here we are nine years later, I think it's time to hopefully have a very serious good faith look at it."

Baucus' evolution reflects how quickly the once-fringe idea of government-funded health care is gaining traction inside the Democratic party.

A majority of Dems support Medicare for All in the House of Reps, and Senators are starting to publicly support it. The tide is turning for Single Payer. Finally.

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