We agree with the President, we can’t wait to act on measures that will spur job creation and economic growth. The Senate has 17 days, and counting, to pass the bipartisan Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act that prevents a tax increase on every working American, extends unemployment insurance and helps businesses create jobs right away. This common sense bill contains measures supported by both parties. However, Senator Reid isn’t willing to work together on this common sense bill that contains measures supported by both parties. Not only is Senator Reid threatening to hike taxes on middle class Americans, he is now holding up the end of the year funding measure for political purposes and threatening to shut down the government.
Today In History: In 1909, workers placed the last of the 3.2 million 10-pound bricks that pave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. Since then, most of that brick has been buried under asphalt, but one yard remains exposed at the start-finish line. Kissing those bricks after a successful race remains a tradition among Indy drivers.
Birthdays: Rep. Sandy Adams, Rep. Nan Hayworth, Beakman, Vanessa Hudgens and KaDee Strickland
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: House Votes To Prevent A Tax Increase On Middle Class Americans and Create Jobs, When Will The Democrat-Controlled Senate Pass This Bill?
House Passes Bipartisan Bill That Creates Jobs and Prevents A Tax Hike On Every Working American. Approved on a vote of 234 to 193, the Republican tax bill would extend a one-year break in the payroll tax that is due to expire at the end of the month, setting the rate at 4.2 percent for the year instead of allowing it to revert to 6.2 percent. But it also would accelerate the construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast that the White House is determined to slow down. … To fund the tax cut, the measure would freeze pay for civilian federal workers for another year and reduce the government workforce. It would extend benefits for the long-term unemployed but reform the unemployment insurance program to reduce the maximum time those out of work can receive benefits, from 99 weeks to 59 weeks. It also would allow states to require drug testing for benefits. The measure would postpone scheduled cuts in Medicare re¬imbursement rates for doctors but pay for the “doc fix” by raising Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors and eliminating some funding for the federal health-care law. The Washington Post
• COUNTDOWN CLOCK – The Clock Is Ticking, The House Has Acted. When Will Senate Democrats Act To Prevent A Tax Hike On Every Working American?
Speaker Boehner: We’ve Worked To Find Common Ground, Now Senate Democrats Must Act. Republican leaders used the House vote to pressure the Senate and Obama, denouncing the president for threatening a veto on a bill that includes two central elements of his jobs plan — the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits. “We’ve passed a large bill that contains many of the priorities of our caucus and the White House. We’ve worked to find common ground,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters after the vote. “Now Senate Democrats must act.” The Hill
• VIDEO - Leader Cantor: It’s Time For Senate Democrats’ Rhetoric To Match Reality. As the Speaker said, it is now time for the Senate Democrats to act. Frankly, what has now happened is Harry Reid has in his lap a bill that will stave off tax increases for everyone who has a job in this country and will make sure that we get back on to the path to job creation. It’s time for the rhetoric that has come from Senate Democrats, as well as the White House, to start matching reality. Press Conference
White House, Senate Majority Leader Reid’s Political Maneuvering Threaten Government Shutdown. With only three days left before a government shutdown, Democrats took a gamble Tuesday, strategically linking a package to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits to an all-but-agreed-upon bill that wraps up fiscal 2012 appropriations. The White House and Senate Democrats are delaying action on the omnibus spending package because they worry that approving it would remove the incentive for House Republicans to stay in town and reach a compromise on the payroll tax cut extension. But in the process, they've made themselves vulnerable to the attack they've been using all year against Republicans: that they're holding the government hostage until they get what they want. Roll Call
White House Continues To Use “Fictitious” Claim That Has Been Debunked By The Washington Post and Isn’t Supported By The CBO. Press secretary Jay Carney in Tuesday’s briefing repeated W.H. claims that a Republican version of the payroll tax cut extension bill would cut education funding below levels set in the August debt ceiling compromise, or the Budget Control Act. … The cuts would have to come from something else, and there is nowhere else to go besides cuts to education, cuts to welfare.” Also in its statement of administration policy on the payroll tax issue, the W.H. reiterated: “… H.R. 3630 plays politics at the expense of middle-class families. H.R. 3630 breaks the bipartisan agreement on spending cuts that was reached just a few months ago and would inevitably lead to pressure to cut investments in areas like education and clean energy.” These statements came after a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis showed no mention of cuts to education programs in the Republican’s proposal. Politico
• ICYMI – The Washington Post: White House Claim On #GOP Payroll Bill Is A “Stunning Leap Of Logic.”
State Of Play (2): Why The GOP Is On The Offensive
• House has passed a bill - Unlike Senate Democrats, Republicans, along with ten House Dems, have passed what the President asked for. We have the moral high ground. And every day the Senate fails to pass a bill, ours starts looking better and better.
• The President allowed the fight to shift from his terms to ours - When he objected to the Keystone pipeline, a project with broad bipartisan support in both chambers, the debate shifted from the payroll tax and UI to energy policy - an issue that we have owned.
• Democrats' plot to block funding for the government isn't sustainable - It's crystal clear who is threatening a shutdown and holding funding hostage: Democrats. And, meanwhile, appropriators in both parties and chambers aren't going to sit by and allow arguably the most bipartisan bill of this Congress, the minibus, to be blown up in an ill-conceived attempt to gain leverage on an unrelated measure.
• Democrats haven't coalesced around a unified line attack on the House bill. Objections to spending cuts that have been fact-checked as fictitious and meaningless charges of playing 'political games' just aren't credible.
• Democrats have no plan - It's becoming evident that the reason no one knows Democrats' next move is because they don't know themselves. And after months of partisan attacks, they shouldn't count on Republicans to bail them out of the box they're in.
o House Republicans are energized. The Conference office is amping up its booking operation, with members on TV and radio calling on the Senate to act. And the White House's own tax hike clock is being turned around on Senate Democrats.
The Economy: The President’s Regulatory Agenda Is Stunting Economic Growth
President Obama’s Regulatory Surge Is Holding Back Economic Growth, Job Creation. According to an analysis of the Federal Register by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, the Cabinet departments and agencies finalized 84 such regulations annually on average in President Obama's first two years. The annual average under President Bush was 62 and under President Clinton 56. … Mr. Sunstein's numbers are even more misleading because they only include the rules that his office reviews while excluding the prolific "independent" agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission. This means that if Congress tells, say, the Securities and Exchange Commission to write a new rule, it doesn't enter Mr. Sunstein's tally. So it omits, for example, some 259 rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reregulation law along with its 188 other rule suggestions. It also presumes that Mr. Obama is a bystander with no influence over his own appointees who now dominate the likes of the National Labor Relations Board. … The current number of major new rules is 149, which is an historic high. Regulation started to grow in the aftermath of 9/11, and even more with the Pelosi Congress in 2007. Yet both the rule-making rate and number are surging to even higher levels under Mr. Obama. … The evidence is overwhelming that the Obama regulatory surge is one reason the current economic recovery has been so lackluster by historical standards. The Wall Street Journal
• Economic Confidence Among Americans Lower Today Than It Was A Year Ago Gallup
The Road Ahead: House Action In 2012
Leader Cantor: Republicans Will Continue To Focus On Job Creation and Growing The Economy While Fighting Against Democrat Efforts To Raise Job-Destroying Taxes. Now as you know, our Republican majority was elected in the beginning, or last year, we assumed the majority at the beginning of this year, desiring to do a few things. And one of them was to begin to put in place real change. We know that we can’t sustain trillion dollar plus deficits every year. We know we’ve got to get growth going again, and get business back into the game of creating jobs for everyone in America. And what it doesn’t seem to happen is the President doesn’t seem to buy the notion that you can’t keep raising taxes to chase higher spending, because it’s unsustainable. And so if we can see our way clear that we’re about growing this economy, we’re about making sure that the government lives within its means and stops spending money it doesn’t have, there’s a lot we can do together. And again, the voters are going to have to make their assessment in the election year as to whether the President is someone who is willing to compromise and work with us. And if not, I think he’ll pay the price at the ballot box in November. Hugh Hewitt
A New First - Unfavorable Views Of President Obama Reach A High In Latest ABC Poll. Forty-nine percent of Americans now express an unfavorable opinion of Obama, while 48 percent view him favorably — the first time his negative number has exceeded his positive one in this most basic measure of personal popularity. Obama’s favorable rating has plummeted by 31 points from his career high, 79 percent, days before he took office. ABC News
• Former PA Obama Supporter: If This Were A Relationship, I Would Be Talking To A Divorce Attorney. Heller, 56, is a registered Democrat who runs Steamtown Blueprint and Copy Center, a small construction-related firm. In 2008, he placed yard signs for Obama, attended fundraisers and eagerly awaited a first term that he thought would bring more cooperation, more innovation, or at least a better economy. Since then, business has grown worse, the atmosphere in Washington has become more toxic and his faith in Barack Obama has steadily dwindled. "I'm not sure it was entirely his fault, but he made promises he couldn't keep." … Across town, Mark Dennebaum Jr., 31, is one of those young voters who created the wave Obama rode into office. … “When he spoke it was truly inspiring. I loved him in 2008, and right now if this were in a relationship, I'd be talking to a divorce attorney. When you mention Obama, there is a giant, collective sigh." CNN
ICYMI: Grand Jury Investigating Solyndra. A grand jury has been investigating Solyndra for at least two months, according to billing records from the law firm defending the bankrupt California solar company. Solyndra retained K&L Gates as it faces a federal criminal probe into its handling of a $535 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department. According to an 18-page document that K&L Gates filed Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Solyandra attorneys have been in contact more than two dozen times with the U.S. Attorney's Office, as well as the FBI. Politico