Friday, March 01, 2013
Sequestration Day = Citizen's Screwed, Elected Officials Safe - Time to say NO
Websters Dictionary Definition of Sequestration:
In law, a writ authorizing a law-enforcement official to take into custody the property of a defendant in order to enforce a judgment or to preserve the property until a judgment is rendered. In some civil-law jurisdictions, contested property may be deposited with a third party until it is determined to whom it properly belongs.
Image above from the BiPartisan Policy Center
Sign this petition https://signon.org/sign/recall-the-dc-535 and like this FB page.
Also Go LIKE this FB page:
If the Sequester kicks in, it is because the Congress has demonstrated a persistent inability to do its job as set forth in the Constitution. Therefore they should be recalled as a body.
However, as recall elections of federally-elected officials are not permitted, we the undersigned declare this Congress and its members illegitimate, and state our intention to remove every member from office, regardless of party affiliation, in the next election.
Do your job. Or go home.
To the people who are looking for jobs this sequestration is very real. The economy is extremely fragile. This is already having effects. It is unbelievable to have this acually going to occur, mostly this affects the poor and elderly.
The solution in my humble opinion, elect women up and down the ticket. No more men in office til they can play fair with others.
March 1, 2013 at 10:05 AM in Candidates & Races, Corporatism, Current Affairs, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Republican Party, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Tom Udall, Steve Pearce | Permalink | Comments (3)
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Cong. Pearce and NM GOP Mislead Public & Victims Regarding Violence Against Women Act Vote
Earlier today, women and advocates representing a diverse group of proud New Mexicans gathered at the New Mexico Republican Party headquarters to call upon Republican Congressman Steve Pearce to support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act that provides protections for every victim of domestic, dating and sexual abuse - including children, immigrants, Native Americans and LGBT persons.
After the press conference and launch of a public petition at StevePearce.us, Mr. Pearce and the New Mexico GOP both released statements accusing those women and ProgressNow New Mexico of misleading the public because Mr. Pearce voted for a House bill in the last session whose only similarity to the VAWA was the substitute title they created for it.
Efforts by Mr. Pearce and the NMGOP only serve to dissuade the media from covering this issue which has brought renewed public attention and pressure on Mr. Pearce to part from his extreme positions against vulnerable New Mexicans.
Here are the facts:
- The US Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act (S. 1925) by a bi-parisan 68-31 margin on April 21, 2012. That bill ensured that no victim of sexual, dating or domestic abuse would be denied the protection of prosecution and aid provided under the VAWA. The House Republican caucus refused to hear such a bill.
- Instead, in May, the Republican caucus crafted their own bill which had no chance of passing and gave it a similar name. It blocked any protections for Native Americans, LGBT persons or immigrants, among others - even if the victim was a child. That bill had no chance of passing or being signed by the President. New Mexico's other Congressmen voted against such a bill and have called, appropriately, for the new Congress to quickly take up the proper bill protecting all victims.
Today, Mr. Pearce further insulted victims, and especially those in New Mexico's precious pueblos, immigrant and LGBT communities, by again asserting that he sees different classes of victims. To Pearce and his colleagues, some victims are "legitimate" while others, including innocent children in those special communities, are simply left to fend for themselves at the hand of their abuser. It is disgraceful that Pearce would turn his back on those constituents and that the New Mexico GOP would come to his defense.
Since noon today, more than 500 persons have used the petition to call on him to back the version of the VAWA that protects every victim of abuse without regard to ethnicity, sexual orientation or family history.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
NM Retiree Leader Slams Rep. Pearce & US House for Voting Against Seniors, Medicare
The following statement was issued today by Barbara Pardo, President of the New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the U.S. House voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
“Representative Steve Pearce and the U.S. House shamefully voted to take away Medicare benefits that are helping seniors here in New Mexico better afford to see a doctor and fill a prescription.
“New Mexican retirees are upset that, in voting for repeal, Rep. Pearce chose ideology and partisan politics over seniors’ basic needs. We are pleased that Reps Heinrich & Lujan stood up against the powerful special interests in support of a law that is helping workers and retirees across our state.
In our state, nearly 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries have already saved a total of $17.6 million on their prescriptions. This is what Rep. Pearce voted to take away from our seniors today. Thanks to what Pearce calls "ObamaCare", over 200,000 New Mexican seniors have received free, life-saving tests for chronic diseases. Seniors call that accountable health care and wonder what Rep. Pearce is thinking by voting so obsessively to repeal such a great deal for all New Mexicans.
“Retirees worry about their children and grandchildren, and are happy that the law allows young adults under age 26 stay on their parents’ health insurance. Seniors are glad to see working families finally protected from the greed and outrageous business practices of the insurance companies.
“This was the 33rd vote in Congress to repeal this law, a law that in the past two years has been approved by both houses of Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court. It is time to move on. Political gamesmanship will not help a single retiree, worker, or students live a better, healthier life. Rep. Pearce needs to focus on serving New Mexicans instead of his Wall Street buddies.”
Health Care Vote: Pearce Snubs Struggling NM families by Voting for Obamacare Repeal
The Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, but today Congressman Steve Pearce refused to move on and told struggling families in New Mexico that politics trumps their health care when he voted to repeal the landmark health-reform law.
By voting for repeal, Pearce indicated he clearly agrees with allowing insurance companies deny families coverage because of preexisting conditions. His vote also means he opposes providing small businesses tax credits to buy insurance; and that he supports throwing thousands of our senior citizens back into the prescription-drug donut hole.
“It shouldn’t come as any surprise.” said Frank Cole, Communications Director for Protect Your Care New Mexico. “Representative Pearce has historically put the interests of the insurance industry above the health needs of his own constituency.”
Nearly one in four New Mexicans lives without insurance. It is estimated that hundreds die every year from health conditions which could have been prevented had those suffering had proper medical coverage. But without insurance, many avoid the doctor until it’s too late.
Steve Pearce would have you believe that the law is bad for New Mexico. But here are the facts:
- Obamacare gives 320,000 seniors access to free preventive services under Medicare and relief to 20,000 more who fall into the donut hole.
- 11,000 young adults are now on their parent’s plan until they’re 26.
- It makes it illegal for providers to place lifetime limits on coverage or drop coverage due to an illness for the 900,000 New Mexicans with private insurance.
- And it begins to provide insurance for those without it by expanding Medicaid and creating health insurance exchanges, making private insurance more affordable and easier to shop for.
That’s just a few of the benefits Pearce would like to see disappear.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Affordable Care Act Upheld by Supreme Court
The Health care reform act was challenged clear up to the US Supreme Court and the decision was rendered today. It is satisfying to know the highest court in the land upheld the constitutionality of this important legislation. The final deciding vote was cast by Chief Judge John Roberts, appointed by Bush 43.
This will not stop the republicans at all, in fact it will embolden them. As Pearce says at the end of these statements, "The House has scheduled a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare during the week of July 9."
What a contrast of message from the R's to the D's about good news for the people of this Country.
Let's contribute to the State races for the NM House of Representatives. You know the SusanaPac is rolling in the dough today with this news. Please start with a contribution to my race for NM House District 30. Please go to this ActBlue link here, thank you in advance.
Below are the statements from all of NM Congressional leaders:
Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s CD-3 released the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
“For too long, families and small businesses in New Mexico have seen their health care costs skyrocket as they continue to pay more and receive less. The ranks of the uninsured grew while insurance companies continued to deny or drop coverage for those who needed it most. That is why President Obama and Democrats in Congress took action to pass health insurance reform that ends the insurance companies’ worst abuses, expands coverage, and takes steps to bring down costs for hard-working New Mexicans.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the law is an important victory for the people of New Mexico. Young adults will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plan, those with pre-existing conditions will be assured that they will have health insurance, and seniors will continue to pay less for prescription drugs and receive free preventive care.
“It is now abundantly clear that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and that the people of New Mexico will continue to benefit from its many important provisions.”
Congressman Martin Heinrich (CD-1) Statement On Supreme Court Decision Upholding Health Care Reform
U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional:
“The Supreme Court has spoken, declaring the Affordable Care Act constitutional. This decision means New Mexicans will continue to benefit from expanded access to quality, affordable health care.
“Now it’s time to move on to the major economic problems facing our country. Our focus needs to be on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track. The finger-pointing needs to end and Washington needs to get its priorities straight by cutting waste and ending the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and companies that outsource jobs, so we can focus on job creation and strengthening Social Security and Medicare."
Michelle Lujan Grisham Candidate for CD-1: Health Care Debate Must Shift to Controlling Costs
Congressional candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has spent her career as an advocate for quality health care, said the Supreme Court’s decision today is a victory for the thousands of New Mexico families that deserve access to quality, affordable health care.
“This is a victory for New Mexico families because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or force women to pay more for health care,” Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “This is a good first step toward reforming our broken health care system.
“However, there is still work to be done. When I get to Congress I will work to require health insurance companies to put patients before profits. We must control health care costs, improve quality and train more health care workers.”
Senator Udall Statement on Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling Following the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
"When Congress and President Obama first took up this issue, we knew it wouldn't be easy. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is the best possible outcome for the American people. Today, quality, affordable health care is a major step closer to becoming a reality for millions of Americans who live one accident or diagnosis away from losing everything. For these families, health care is an economic matter with the very real consequences of life, death and bankruptcy. As a nation, and across New Mexico, we cannot afford to go back to just a short time ago when insurance coverage for all was further from reach, when children with cancer could be denied coverage, and when unemployed, recent college graduates would be kicked off their parents' insurance by age 22.
"We can still improve upon the law we've put into place, but today, New Mexico has already received more than $200 million in grants and loans to establish an insurance exchange, strengthen community health centers, train new health professionals and so much more. Since passing the law, more than 26,000 young adults under 26-years-old in our state have been allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. Almost 20,000 New Mexico seniors on Medicare received a rebate to help cover prescription costs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. And 285,000 New Mexicans with private health insurance no longer have to pay a deductible or copayment for preventive care like physicals, cancer screenings and vaccinations. More is yet to come.
"Today's decision marks another turning point in our country's approach to health care equality. Now’s the time to put aside partisanship and work together to make our health care policy even stronger."
Republican NMCD-2 Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:
Supreme Court Decision Allows for New Obamacare Tax on New Mexico Families
“I have long believed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011 was an unconstitutional overreach by the President. ObamaCare is a violation of our individual rights and an expansion of federal government power our nation’s founders would have found unfathomable.
“The Supreme Court, which has the responsibility of interpreting the law, found this overreach acceptable as a tax. While I do not agree, I respect its authority to make this interpretation.
“Since day one, the Obama Administration has denied that his law was a tax on the American people. Yet, the Obama Administration will claim victory, when all this law does is assess a greater financial burden on hardworking American families and small business owners.
“ObamaCare puts government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors, hurts small businesses and creates trillions in new government spending that will add a huge new weight to our already overloaded deficit.
“We need to get back to work on repealing this ‘tax’ and reforming our healthcare system. These reforms must be focused on protecting patient access to the care they need from the doctor they choose.”
The Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the law is constitutional. The House has scheduled a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare during the week of July 9.
June 28, 2012 at 04:17 PM in 2012 Legislature Races, Healthcare, Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM Congressional Delegation, Obama Health Care Reform, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Sen. Tom Udall, Steve Pearce | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Struggling New Mexicans to Rep. Pearce: Stop Supporting Tax Breaks for Big Oil
(LAS CRUCES) – New Mexicans who are struggling to fill their tanks today contrasted the high cost average New Mexicans are paying at the pump with Big Oil’s $137 billion in pure profits in 2011.
Standing under a billboard asking Rep. Steve Pearce to stop supporting tax breaks for the big-oil industry, average New Mexicans talked about their economic struggles. Since February of 2011, Pearce has voted 8 times to protect oil-industry tax breaks.
“It’s unreal – we pay high prices and the oil and gas companies get away with huge profits at our expense. What’s more? They also get $4 billion in tax breaks supported by Rep. Steve Pearce,” said Las Cruces resident Christian Gomez. “Imagine, that money could be used to do all sorts of things like help people with disabilities, especially our disabled veterans who struggle to find jobs in this economy."
The billboard, which is part of a multi-media effort sponsored in part by the Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ) Education Fund, aims to call attention to how ordinary New Mexicans are paying the price for oil-company tax breaks and educate the public about politicians who are consistently voting to preserve tax breaks for an industry that raked in $137 billion in profits in 2011 alone.
"New Mexicans need to know that they are not only getting ripped off by high gas prices, they are also being robbed when they pay their taxes as incredibly profitable oil companies get away with billions in unfair tax breaks," said Las Crucen Gloria Gutierrez-Taylor. "This is money that could be going toward education and raising up our community.”
OLÉ Education Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to empowering and improving the economic well-being of working New Mexicans.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Guest Blog: Pearce’s Paltry Proposal for the Organ Mountains
In recent days, an already popular proposal to designate an Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monument has gained a handful of high-profile new supporters. On March 23rd, Congressman Martin Heinrich implored President Obama to utilize a comprehensive approach for protecting these culturally, historically, and environmentally significant New Mexico landmarks by designating America’s newest national monument under the Antiquities Act. Congressman Steve Pearce, however, introduced a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing bill that would open the door for exploiting more than 150,000-acres of land already under protection. Those who truly want what’s best for these pristine areas and the Doña Ana County economy should be skeptical of Mr. Pearce’s paltry proposal.
Legislation introduced by Sen. Bingaman to protect the Organ Mountains has been in the federal pipeline for years, but the 2010 wave of Tea Party-backed anti-conservation legislators (of which Mr. Pearce was one) dashed any hopes for passing such a bill. But now, in a half-hearted attempt to appease the growing constituency of southern New Mexico voters supporting national monument designation, Mr. Pearce has come out in favor of legislation using the “national monument” label but with drastically different interests.
Republicans in congress continually frame conservation issues in highly misleading ways – like labeling common-sense protections “land grabs” and falsely blaming high energy prices on the EPA – and Mr. Pearce’s ostensible support for an Organ Mountain national monument is no different. Mr. Pearce’s call for just 58,000-acres of protection is trivial compared to the 241,000-acre full national monument designation that would bring New Mexico thousands of jobs, and millions of outdoor recreation and tourism dollars, and which already enjoys broad support throughout the state.
Mr. Pearce dubs his bill a “compromise” when it’s actually a calculated attempt to strip these lands of common-sense protections that could sustain the land while supporting the local economy. Remember, Mr. Pearce has received some of the lowest rankings on environmental voting records given by the League of Conservation voters and he is a proud member of the , a group of extremist legislators whose website falsely declares that “a monument designation” can be “devastating…to communities and individuals.”
While Mr. Pearce wants to forfeit thousands of acres of protected land to allow for more harmful development and exploitation along the Mesilla Valley, Mr. Heinrich – along with a diverse coalition of conservation, economic, veteran, and sportsmen groups – are calling on President Obama to issue robust protections for these lands by way of the Antiquities Act. Past presidents have used the Act to create New Mexico’s treasured national monuments which contribute over $54 million in annual tourist spending and which support over 1,000 New Mexico jobs. Far from being “devastating” to “communities and individuals,” a true monument designation would bring more tourists, more jobs, and higher incomes to the growing communities of Doña Ana County.
ProgressNow New Mexico supports the effort to have President Obama designate an Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monument. Recently, along with other ProgressNow partners, we launched MonumentalWest.com as an online resource that provides information about this important endeavor. Visit the website to learn more about how you can help us call on President Obama to designate critical western lands as national monuments.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
3/19: New Mexico Seniors to Rep. Steve Pearce: We LOVE the Affordable Care Act!
Seniors to present letter to Pearce’s Las Cruces and Los Lunas offices to mark 2nd Anniversaryof Affordable Care Act
On March 19,2012 – In recognition of the 2nd anniversary of passage of the Affordable Care Act health reform law, leading senior-citizen advocates from Southern New Mexico will present a letter on behalf of seniors to Rep. Steve Pearce at his offices in Las Cruces and Los Lunas on Monday, March 19.
The letter highlights many of the senior benefits of the Affordable Care Act, underscoring just how important the legislation has become for seniors across New Mexico.
As aresult of health reform, every New Mexico senior on Medicare – some 316,000 people – are now eligible for new, free-preventative care services such as flu shots and colonoscopies. More than 20,000 New Mexicans have benefitted from prescription drug donut-hole coverage, helping them pay for costly medications.
These presentations to Rep. Pearce are part of a series of events celebrating theanniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act the week of March 19-23.
WHO: NM Alliance for Retired Americans, Know Your Care New Mexico
WHAT: Presentation of letters on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to Rep. Pearce
WHERE: The district offices of Rep. Pearce in Las Cruces and Los Lunas
Las Cruces Office, 570 N Telshor Blvd, LasCruces, NM 88011
Los Lunas Office, 3445 Lambros Loop NE, Los Lunas
WHEN: March 19, 2012, Las Cruces Presentation 11 a.m., Los Lunas Presentation 2 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Action Alert: New Mexicans Renew Call for State Republicans to Return Iran-funded Campaign Contributions
On word that the US Department of Justice has indicted two men working for the Iranian government on charges that they attempted to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador and possibly injure hundreds of innocent Americans in a terrorist attack on American soil, New Mexicans are renewing last week's call for Governor Susana Martinez, Congressman Steve Pierce and the New Mexico Republican party to return tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions received from corrupt business interests who are reported to have benefited from illegal oil and equipment sales to the terrorist-sponsoring state.
In the story on the Democracy for New Mexico blog last week, the New Mexico GOP and its candidates were big beneficiaries of Koch Industries donations in their 2010 campaigns. Together, they accepted $25,000 in donations from Koch Industries and KOCHPAC to fund races for governor, congress and state races across the state. Governor Martinez even used money from that same account to launch her SusanaPAC political action committee to continue her campaign efforts in 2011 and beyond.
A Bloomberg report recently called into question the legality of Koch profits which benefited the GOP. Koch is alleged to have skirted US embargoes to illegally sell oil equipment to Iran in violation of US law.
Responsible New Mexicans are continuing to call on Martinez and the GOP to return the contributions or donate them to causes working to advance New Mexican issues. To date, no response has been received.
Take Action: If you're disturbed about the kind of tainted money that is making it's way into right-wing Republican hands right here in New Mexico, you are urged to contact Gov. Susana Martinez, NM-02 Congressman Steve Pearce (or call 855-4-PEARCE (732723) or (202) 225-2365) and the Republican Party of New Mexico.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
New Mexicans: Urge Governor Martinez and GOP Politicians to Return Contributions from Corrupt Koch Brothers
Guess who received campaign "donations" from business interests that secretly sold petrochemical equipment to terrorism-sponsor Iran?
- New Mexico's right-wing Governor Susana Martinez ($10,000)
- NM-2 Congressman Steve. Pearce ($10,0000)
- NM Republicans ($5,000)
New Mexicans should start calling for politicians who have accepted contributions from Koch Industries -- and their political arm KOCHPAC -- to return the money or donate it to charity ASAP. Of course you have to wonder why these Republicans need to be urged to return the tainted money. Have they no consciences of their own?
A Bloomberg investigation revealed Sunday that Koch businesses, owned by conservative activists David and Charles Koch, circumvented US trade embargos to sell millions of dollars worth of petrochemical equipment to Iran. Iran is one of four countries designated by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.
In a 2009 report, the State Department called Iran the most active state sponsor of terrorism, stating “Iran’s financial, material, and logistic support for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace, threatened economic stability in the Gulf and undermined the growth of democracy.”
Of course well before the latest revelations about the Koch brothers emerged, they had a horrible reputation as greedy, crooked, obsessed right-wing operators who have little respect for the law or for the facts. They only care about one thing: protecting and expanding their already massive financial empire. And they're ready, willing and able to buy off politicos, launch underhanded attacks on unions and teachers, fund astro-turf political organizations or do whatever else they can conjure -- legal or not -- to do just that. I guess Martinez, Pearce and others in the GOP political machine just hadn't noticed all that scum on the Koch brothers pond of "donation" money.
According to New Mexico Secretary of State election filings, Koch Industries and their political action committee KOCHPAC donated $10,000 to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and another $5,000 to the Republican Campaign Committee of New Mexico in the final days of the 2010 election. Records show that the Republican committee provided polling, fundraising, direct mail, postage and direct contributions to unidentified state candidates and county political parties through at least 27 different transactions after receiving Koch money.
Martinez has since started her own PAC, known as SusanaPac, with $5,000 transferred from the same campaign account Koch money entered.
Congressman Steve Pearce (NM-2), also received $10,000 from Koch Industries in his 2010 campaign.
Meanwhile, Koch Industries has circumvented U.S. law to make money off of business dealings with a terrorist-supporting foreign country. They're a patriotic bunch, aren't they?
That dirty money has been funneled into New Mexico's Roundhouse and Republican establishment and should be returned or donated to charities doing real work to move New Mexico forward. New Mexico's right-wing politicians have no business taking money from companies or individuals that do business with terrorist-supporting Iran. Every Republican who benefited from the Koch's illegal profiteering should immediately denounce this, but I won't hold my breath. Money is money and where it comes from doesn't seem to bother NM right-wing politios one iota.
Monday, August 01, 2011
US House Passes Horrible Debt Ceiling Budget Deal Bill: Heinrich Votes Yes, Lujan and Pearce No
Source: Daily Kos
Today the U.S House of Representatives passed S.365, the Budget Control Act of 2011, by a vote of 269-161 -- not even close. A total of 174 Republicans voted yes, with 66 voting nay. Dem votes were evenly split 95 for and 95 against. Three Dems did not vote. During today's floor vote, just a couple of dozen Democrats voted for the bill at first, but once it became clear the bill would pass, the rest joined in. Here's a chart with the breakdown. In a surprise appearance, Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) returned to the House floor for the first time since she was shot in the head by a gunman in Tucson, and she got a warm and enthusiastic welcome from her colleagues.
S.365 is the awful bill that was the result of a "negotiated deal" orchestrated by House and Senate leaders and the President that permits the government to raise its debt limits and thus avoid defaulting on payments for borrowed funds already spent. Inevitably, a US default would have had disastrous consequences in almost every area of the economy. Unfortunately, the fix has its own horrors -- like large spending cuts that will ensure that our "jobless recovery" economy stays stagnant or goes even farther downhill. No relief for working and middle class Americans anywhere in sight.
A bipartisan, six-member "Super Congress" will make many of the initial decisions on what exactly wlll be cut and by how much, and then the regular old Congress will get to vote on a purely up or down basis on the proposals. No filibusters or amendments allowed. If certain cuts and other provisions are not passed, complicated "triggers" will be automatically activated that will force across-the-board cuts in domestic and defense spending. Jared Bernstein has a decent rundown on what the legislation entails.
As I'm sure you know, Tea Party extremists (and their captive GOP hostages) in Congress basically commited extortion by threatening not to raise the debt ceiling unless all their demands for severe spending cuts coupled with absolutely no tax increases were met. These Tea Party lunatics, who held the government and Congress hostage until they pretty much got their way, have earned themselves a new monicker -- economic insurrectionists. That's exactly what they are.
How NM's Reps Voted
Dem Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) and GOP Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02) both voted against the bill. Click for Pearce's press release on his vote, and here's what Rep. Lujan had to say about his vote:
Republicans have led us to the brink, holding an increase in the debt ceiling hostage while running up deficits with tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires and two wars. For months I have urged my Republican colleagues not to take our country to this point.
Throughout this debate I have called for a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and provides certainty so our economy can create new jobs. We need a responsible approach to cuts and revenue. I believe that we cannot cut the deficit on the backs of the middle class and seniors. With a middle class that is slowly disappearing in our country and families struggling to make ends meet, I cannot accept a proposal that asks nothing from billionaires, the privileged few in this nation, yet fails to fully protect Medicare for our seniors.
It is unfortunate that the debate over increasing the debt ceiling, which took place 18 times under President Reagan and seven times under President Bush, has turned attention away from what is first and foremost in the minds of the people of New Mexico – job creation and protecting Medicare. I hope that once the debate on the debt ceiling is addressed, the Congress will turn its full attention to creating jobs and putting people back to work.
I'm very sad to report that Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) ended up supporting the bill today -- saying he did so reluctantly. He released this statement to explain his vote:
This was a difficult decision between two terrible choices: a flawed bill that raises the debt ceiling or allowing America to default and cause a deep recession.
Over the last several weeks, House Republicans have hijacked the very serious business of upholding the good faith and credit of our nation. We’ve clearly seen that Tea Party Republicans are willing to take our economy hostage just to score political points, but I’m not willing to do that. This agreement was necessary to avoid a global financial crisis, and I voted reluctantly to ensure that did not happen.
Rep. Heinrich also had this to say in an email tonight to supporters:
With the debt ceiling behind us, we can now turn our full attention to the issues that matter most to New Mexicans: job creation, strengthening Medicare, shoring up Social Security, ending the wars abroad and bringing our troops home. If we can get this done, our economy will be the better for it.
That is my focus. And that is what you deserve.
I personally don't see any good reason for Rep. Heinrich's yes vote. The President and the bill's other strong supporters didn't need Martin's vote for passage. It really didn't make any difference. But I imagine Heinrich did it to try and attract independent and moderate votes in his Senate run, as well as campaign donations from certain parties.
I highly doubt his support for this unbalanced, unfair, unseemly and damaging legislation -- which is expected to stall the economy even worse than it's already being stalled -- will gain him many Dem votes in the Senate primary. In fact, it could very well lose him a slew of Dem votes in the pre-primary and primary contests. I don't see how he did himself any favors by voting yes. I think it just makes him look weak and too reluctant to go against the President's wishes.
Liberal economists, progressives and others in the Dem base -- including me -- are absolutely livid about the entire process that got us to this point, including Obama's anti-Democratic framing of the issues. What's really maddening is that the debt ceiling could easily have been extended by the President and Dems last December, when we stlll controlled both houses of Congress. Or it could have been extended for longer when it was last extended. When asked why he wasn't pushing for the extension last December, Obama actually said that he didn't need to because he knew Republicans would be reasonable on the issue -- so there was no rush. If Obama really believed this, he has serious problems with reality and an unbelievably naive view of what the GOP is all about.
There WERE Alternatives
I agree with Glenn Greenwald, who has pretty firmly established -- using Obama's own words -- that the President has long wanted deep spending cuts and "entitlement fixes," and thought a debt ceiling confrontation could provide him with an opportunity to get a good many of them. Meanwhile he could still blame the Tea Party for having "forced" him to support the cuts. In other words, what are called "Obama's blunders" by people who still believe Obama is on their side are really clever, well thought out strategies designed to get the President what he wanted. In an email he wrote to blogger John Cole, Greenwald also laid out other ways Obama could have handled the debt ceiling issue without having to pay off the Tea Party to ransom the debt ceiling provision. Well worth a read.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Doña Ana County Democrats Speak Out Against Steve Pearce Budget Vote
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Doña Ana County Democratic Chair Christy French spoke out against Congressman Steve Pearce’s (NM-2) vote on Tuesday in favor of the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill. The proposed legislation would cost Doña Ana County, and other New Mexico citizens jobs, cripple public education, drastically slash Medicare and Social Security, escalate health care costs and gut programs that protect our environment and natural areas. At the same time the bill protects Pearce’s millionaire and billionaire buddies, and insures that Americans hard earned tax dollars will continue to flow into the pockets Congressman Pearce’s oil and gas industry cronies.
“The Doña Ana County Democratic Party stands in opposition to this radical plan, and we oppose Congressman Pearce who takes his marching orders from Grover Norquist, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and the extremist Tea Party. We stand beside our fellow New Mexicans and call on our two U.S. Senators, Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, and President Obama to stand firm, and turn back this reckless and radical plan to destroy the American dream,” Christy French said.
The "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill, if enacted, will curtail investment in infrastructure and clean energy, and hurl our already fragile economy back into deep recession. The so-called “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill supported by Steve Pearce would:
- Cut education resources by 25 percent;
- Slash clean-energy investment by 70 percent;
- Eliminate health coverage for 50 million people, including people with disabilities and low-income children;
- Increase seniors’ Medicare out-of-pocket costs by an average of $6,400 per year;
- Slash Social Security benefits by as much as $3,000 per year for an average recipient.
"We call on Steve Pearce and others in Congress to abandon their reckless path of undermining our economy and get back to the business of representing the hard working Americans in the Second Congressional District" French said.