Tag Archives: David Vitter

Doubling Down


The GOP’s Anti-Obamacare Dead-Enders

The American people are not happy with the GOP for inflicting a government shutdown that cost $24 BILLION on the country in a failed and mean-spirited attempt to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. A new memo from former Obama campaign pollster Joel Benenson presents an “array of public polling from a wide variety of outlets” demonstrating that the GOP’s effort to undermine Obamacare has hurt the party “on every front”:

– A Quinnipiac poll shows that 58% oppose Congress cutting off funding for the health care law to stop its implementation.

– Kaiser’s tracking poll has consistently found strong opposition to scrapping the health care law.  In late September, 56% disapproved of cutting off funding to the ACA.

– CBS / NY Times pollsters found 56% of voters want Congress to uphold the law and make it work as well as possible, compared to just 38% who want to stop it by defunding it.

– According to NBC/WSJ, only 39% support eliminating federal funding for the law while 50% oppose.

– In Gallup’s recent polling, just 29% want the law repealed, while 64% want it kept as it is, or kept with some changes.

– Even Tea Party supporters knew the Republican strategy was doomed, with a Fox News poll showing that 54% believed that the ACA would remain the law in spite of attempts to defund it.

In view of the unpopularity of their strategy and complete and total failure of the GOP to accomplish anything with their 16-day shutdown (other than sabotaging the economy and causing pain for millions of Americans) and more than 40 Obamacare repeal votes, one would think they’d shift gears.

One would be wrong. Even after the disastrous shutdown, the most prominent Obamacare opponents are simply doubling down on their failed campaign against the law:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): The Tea Party lawmaker was the primary architect of the GOP’s shutdown strategy. But now that it’s failed, Cruz won’t admit defeat. “I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” he said on Thursday. He has also hinted that he hasn’t ruled out pushing for another government shutdown over Obamacare.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA): Vitter tried to use the funding negotiations to push through an Obamacare-related amendment that would ultimately force Congress members and their staff to pay more for their health plans under the law. He was unsuccessful, and the final agreement didn’t include his amendment. But Vitter isn’t fazed and promises to keep pushing to amend the law anyway. “I’m not going away, and this issue is certainly not going away,” Vitter said on Fox News this week.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Speaking on the Senate floor over the summer, Rubio told his colleagues that shutting down the government represented “our last chance and our last best chance” to undermine Obamacare. Now, the senator is saying that Republicans will keep fighting anyway. This week, he told Fox News that there is going to an “all-out revolt” next year, once the rest of Obamacare’s major provisions take root. “And that is, I think, the moment to absolutely act and say we are going to get rid of this law and then look for opportunities in the future to replace it,” Rubio said.

The Heritage Foundation: During the shutdown battle, Heritage’s political arm told its supporters that it needed their support because “we only have one more chance to repeal Obamacare.” The group didn’t deliver. Now, Heritage is simply assuring its supporters that it won’t stop fighting the law. The group’s president, Jim DeMint, published an op-ed this week claiming that most Americans’ lives “are not dominated by the electoral cycle,” so those people “shouldn’t have to wait three more years for Congress to give them relief from this law.”

FreedomWorks: The right-wing group recently claimed that shutting down the government “may be the last best chance to defund Obamacare before it goes into effect.” Rather than adjusting their strategy, the group is now planning rallies to discourage young Americans from signing up for health coverage. The group says that Obamacare will still be a losing issue for Democrats up for re-election in red states — although outside polling has shown that the shutdown fiasco has made more than a dozen House seats more winnable for Democrats.

BOTTOM LINE: Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The American people are sending Republicans a message loud and clear: stop the insanity on Obamacare.


daily kos 10/16

a deal to end the shutdown and avoid default looks within in reach—so House Republicans are working around the clock to find a way to screw it up. Here’s all the latest from Daily Kos today:











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The Daily Kos team

Consumer Unions : the EPA needs to hear from you

Cleaner Air:



Let’s get this done!

Last month the Senate finally confirmed new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and she has a lot of important work to do. That includes a clean-car plan that is widely supported by health groups, cities, enviros – even the auto industry.

With some minor changes to new cars, and cleaner gasoline that would add about a penny per gallon, this plan would remove the equivalent of 33 million polluting cars from our roads!

But Big Oil is digging in against it. They don’t want to make changes in their refineries, and they want your family to live with the consequences – dirtier air, dirtier environment.

Let’s show the new EPA Administrator that Americans support this common-sense plan. Send a quick email of support now, and show Big Oil that they don’t run our country!

Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

EPA needs to hear from you, not Big Oil!If Americans speak out in support of a plan that will clean up our gasoline and our air, we can beat back Big Oil. But we have to get this done by the end of the year. Tell the EPA’s new boss to approve it now!Take action


The clock is ticking on a clean-car plan that will dramatically slash pollution in our cities – the equivalent of taking 33 million cars off our roads!

The Environmental Protection Agency has only four months to finalize a plan that would clean up our gasoline so it doesn’t emit so much pollution when it’s burned. And with a new EPA administrator now on board, we have a great opportunity to get it moving!

Of course, Big Oil is out in force trying to kill it. They don’t want to make needed changes in their refineries, and they expect you to live with the consequences – tens of thousands of more respiratory problems in kids and adults, and the resulting environmental problems.

Tell new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy you support the clean-car plan. She needs to hear from you, not just Big Oil.

While many of us would like a world without polluting cars, we’re just not there yet. But we can make a huge dent in pollution by cleaning up the gas our vehicles run on. The air near our roadways has high concentrations of particulates, ozone, carbon monoxide, lead and sulfur – over 50 percent of which come from vehicles.

This plan would add under a penny to a gallon of gas, and less than $150 to the cost of a new car in 2025. It’s widely backed by public health officials, cities, environmentalists – even the auto industry is on board.

But Big Oil is digging in! They’re hoping to run out the clock or get Congress to intervene and kill it. That’s why it’s so important EPA Administrator McCarthy finalizes the plan soon!

Send a quick email of support right now. It’s a common-sense way to clean our air and improve the environment.

If you have friends and family who would join you in action, please forward this email to them. Let’s show the new EPA director that Big Oil doesn’t run our country!

Sincerely, Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Consumers Union Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Banks taken to court!

Yesterday, the NY Attorney General announced plans to file a lawsuit against HSBC for ignoring the law and hurting families in foreclosure. Big banks like HSBC think the rules don’t apply to them — not acceptable!

Over 40,000 people have already joined Elizabeth Warren in saying that we need to protect the public and break up the big banks.

Can you add your voice in support of the Brown-Vitter bill to break up the big banks? Click here to sign the petition.

Thanks! — Adam Green



Stand with Elizabeth Warren


Elizabeth Warren did it again.

In another moment sure to go viral on YouTube, she grilled Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on the Obama administration’s opposition to breaking up the big Wall Street banks that are “too big to fail.”

Warren endorsed breaking up the big banks and preventing future bailouts. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-Louisiana) have introduced a new bipartisan bill to do just that.

Watch Elizabeth Warren in action — and join her in urging President Obama and Congress to end “too big to fail.” Sign our petition supporting the Brown-Vitter bill.

Warren pointed out that the largest financial institutions are getting bigger and bigger — 30% larger than they were when they wrecked our economy.

She asked Treasure Secretary Lew, “How big do the biggest banks have to get before we consider breaking them up?” He had no answer.

The media and political insiders need to see the public quickly rallying around Warren in order for her grilling yesterday to make a lasting impact.

Watch Warren in action and sign our petition in support of breaking up the big banks.

Thanks for being a bold progressive.


The Senate's side of the Capitol Building in DC.
The Senate’s side of the Capitol Building in DC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • The Senate stands in adjournment until 10:00am on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 11:00am with the Majority controlling the first half and the Republicans controlling the final half.
  • Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of S.601, the Water Resources Development Act with the time until noon equally divided and controlled between Senators Boxer and Vitter or their designees.
  • At noon, there will be a cloture vote on S.601, WRDA. The managers of the bill continue to work on a finite list of amendments; Senators will be notified if an agreement is reached.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

As a reminder, the filing deadline for second degree amendments to S.601, Water Resources Development Act, is 11:15am today. Please send a signed copy of any germane second degree amendments to the cloakroom prior to the deadline so that we may file it at the desk for you. If you have already filed, there is no need to re-file.

The managers of the bill continue to negotiate an agreement to complete action on the WRDA bill. Last night we hotlined a list of amendments that could either be agreed to or would require a vote. We believe we are close to being able to lock in an agreement to limit amendments and vitiate cloture, but, as always, that takes consent and we’re not quite there yet. Another message will be sent if and when an agreement is reached.

If no agreement can be reached, at approximately 12:00 noon the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on S.601, WRDA.

In an effort to give the managers additional time to work on an agreement to limit amendments to S.601, the cloture vote has been postponed and will now occur at 2:30pm.

If we are unable to reach an agreement, we will proceed to the cloture vote at 2:30pm. If cloture is invoked, it will be considered as having been invoked at 12:00 noon.

It appears that we are very close reaching an agreement on a finite list of amendments to S.601, WRDA. We are currently in a quorum call to finalize the details. If we are able to reach an agreement, cloture would be vitiated and we could see some votes on amendments in the 5:30pm range tonight. Again, if no deal is reached, we would proceed with the cloture vote.

The following amendments are pending to S.601, the Water Resources Development Act:

The following amendments have been considered to S.601:

Senator Boxer asked consent to consider a finite list of amendments including Johnson (SD) #891 (flood insurance) and Landrieu #888 (flood insurance). Senator Toomey reserved his right to object and stated his opposition to Landrieu’s amendment #888 and objected to the request.

After some debate between Senators Landrieu and Toomey, Senator Boxer asked the same consent without the Landrieu and Johnson (SD) amendments.

Senator Rubio reserved his right to object and asked that the Rubio amendment #892 (IRS) be in order. Senator Boxer reminded the Senate that this is a water resources bill and did not agree to include the Rubio amendment in the agreement. Senator Rubio did not object to the overall agreement on the WRDA bill and the request was agreed to.

As a result of this agreement, we will not have a cloture vote on the bill. We expect a series of 2 votes beginning at 5:00pm tonight. Most likely candidates for roll call votes tonight are Barrasso #868 and Sanders #889. Inhofe #797 will likely be a voice vote. We expect to resume voting in relation to the remaining amendments and passage at a time to be determined tomorrow.

The following amendments will be considered and agreed to, en bloc:

–          Baucus #847;

–          Boxer-Vitter #899, as modified;

–          Inhofe #895;

–          Wicker #894;

–          Inhofe #867;

–          Boozman #872;

–          Thune #912;

–          Cornyn #880;

–          Murkowski #904;

–          Klobuchar #884;

–          Wyden #870, as modified;

–          Cochran #911, as modified;

–          Carper #882;

–          Murkowski #903, as modified;

–          Durbin #906, as modified;

–          Levin #893;

–          Collins #898;

–          Cardin #861, as modified;

–          Brown-Graham #907; and

–          Wyden #896.

Further, that the only remaining amendments in order to the bill be the following:

–          Inhofe #797;

–          Barrasso #868 (60 affirmative vote threshold);;

–          Sanders #889 (60 affirmative vote threshold);

–          Coburn #815;

–          Coburn #816;

–          Merkley #866;

–          Udall(NM) #853;

–          Hoeven #909; and

–          Boozeman #822

No second degree amendments are in order to any of the amendments prior to votes in relation to the amendments. The time until 5:00pm will be equally divided between the two Leaders, or designees, for debate on the amendments. At 5:00pm, the Senate will proceed to vote in relation to the amendments in the order listed. All after the first vote will be ten minute votes. There will be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote. The following amendments are subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold:  Sanders #889; Barrasso #868.

Finally, upon disposition of the Hoeven amendment #909, the cloture motion be withdrawn and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of S.601, as amended.

At 5pm today, the Senate will vote in relation to the Barrasso amendment #868 (water rights) and Sanders #889 (restoration of certain properties impacted by natural disasters). Both amendments are subject to 60-affirmative vote threshold. Following the votes, the Senate will turn to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. When the Senate resumes consideration of S.601, WRDA, tomorrow (expect around 11:15am), we will resume the voting sequence in the previous order. The first vote in each series will be 15 minute votes and the subsequent votes will be 10 minutes in duration.

5pm votes

–          Inhofe amendment #797 (land exchange) **expect voice vote

–          Barrasso amendment #868 (water rights)

–          Sanders #889 (restoration of certain properties impacted by natural disasters)

Tomorrow’s roll call votes (approx. 11:15am)

–          Coburn #815 (beach renourishment);

–          Coburn #816 (Infrastructure Deathourization Commission projects);

–          Merkley #866 (use of American iron, steel, and manufactured goods);

–          Udall(NM) #853 (pilot program);

–          Hoeven #909 (surplus water charges);

–          Boozeman #822 (recreational lands pass programs);

–          Passage of S.601, as amended.

The Senate agreed to the Inhofe amendment #797 (land exchange) by voice vote.

At 5:06pm the Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on Barrasso amendment #868 (water rights) (60-vote threshold);

Not Agreed To: 52-44

Next Vote:

Sanders #889 (restoration of certain properties impacted by natural disasters)

5:34pm The Senate began a roll call vote on Sanders #889 (restoration of certain properties impacted by natural disasters);

Not Agreed To: 56-40

Senator Warner asked unanimous consent that the Senate go to conference on the Budget resolution.

Senator McConnell asked that the request be modified so that it not be in order for the Senate to consider a conference report that includes tax increases or reconciliation instructions to increase taxes or raise the debt ceiling.

Senator Warner objected to modifying the request.

Senator McConnell then objected to the original request.



1)      Barrasso amendment #868 (water rights) (60-vote threshold); Not Agreed To: 52-44 (60-vote threshold)

2)      Sanders #889 (restoration of certain properties impacted by natural disasters); Not Agreed To: 56-40 (60-vote threshold)


Adopted S.Res.140, Commemorating and acknowledging the dedication and sacrifices made by the Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty.

Adopted S.Res.141, A resolution recognizing the goals of National Travel and Tourism Week and honoring the valuable contributions of travel and tourism to the United States.

Began the Rule 14 process of S.953, the Student Loan Affordability Act. (Reed)



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Last Floor Action:
2:03:49 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn.

The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on May 14, 2013.

Watch Most Recent House Floor Activity