The fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate on New Year's morning became final late Tuesday when the House of Representatives approved the agreement on a 257-167 vote, with almost all Democrats joining 85 Republicans in voting for the measure.
But in case you were worried that the new year would bring an end to congressional dysfunction, the U.S. House of Representatives would like to remind you that there is no relief from the rolling disaster that is the legislative branch. Speaker John Boehner issued this poignant reminder by cancelling a vote on the Sandy disaster aid bill that was scheduled for a vote before the swearing-in of the new Congress on Thursday.
GOP lawmakers blamed inaction on the Senate, which they claim filled the $60 billion aid package with unrelated initiatives.
"They had the opportunity to have a $27 [billion] to $30 billion dollar legit relief package, packed it with pork, then dared us not to vote on it," said the same guys who had no problem voting for abortion restrictions attached to defense spending bills and restraints on the EPA attached to transportation appropriations.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Darrell Issa, House of Representatives, Hurricane Sandy, John Boehner, Republicans
Tropical storm Isaac was a deadly natural disaster that triggered mudslides and flash-floods in Haiti, leaving tent cities ravaged and 10 people dead. By pure coincidence, that also happens to be the name of a fun little metaphor bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Let's count down what soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac really means…
1. It's a penis, coming to get the Republicans. "Isaac doesn't appear to be a Republican, and not only because it presents on the weather map as a throbbing purple penis surrounded by a rainbow," says Andrew Sullivan.
Tags: Andrew Sullivan, Darrell Issa, Natural Disasters, Republican National Convention, Rush Limbaugh, Weather
There's two ways to look at the gridlock besetting Congress. We can worry about the series of federal spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect at the beginning of 2013 if Congress and the Obama administration don't countermand the sequestration process they approved as part of the debt ceiling agreement. Or, we can worry about the much larger issue: there are only 164 calendar days left in 2012 to rename more things after Ronald Reagan.
Rep. Darrell Issa has chosen wisely, introducing legislation rename the Exclusive Economic Zone, an area extending from three miles to 200 miles offshore in which the United States claims sovereignty over natural resources, as the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone.
The only drawback is the confusion the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone may engender vis-a-vis the Reagan Economic Zone of free trade and economic integration proposed by Mitt Romney this year and the Reagan Zone of Economic Freedom proposed by Romney in 2007.
Otherwise, this solves a slew of problems. All those embarrassing stories about American schoolkids unable to point to the Pacific Ocean on a geography quiz? Problem solved, when all bodies of water are named after Reagan.
Famine in drought-stricken regions of the world? Gone, when Republicans realize that the UN's World Food Program is now the Reagan Food Program. In fact, the UN's mandate for Reagan peace should make international aid budgets much easier to adopt. To say nothing of the urgency of solving the problem of Reaganal warming.
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Tags: Darrell Issa, House of Representatives, Ronald Reagan
What is the world coming to when a claim of executive privilege from a Democratic White House is not given the full measure of respect it deserves from a Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee?
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena in the "Fast and Furious" investigation, setting up a legal showdown with President Barack Obama in the middle of his tough reelection battle…
GOP lawmakers weren’t swayed [by claims of executive privilege], and they proceeded with the contempt vote despite bitter objections from the White House, Justice Department and Democratic lawmakers. Speaker John Boehner and other top Republicans went so far as to suggest the White House was using executive privilege to cover up its involvement in Fast and Furious.
Issa and his fellow GOP lawmakers on the Oversight panel defeated several Democratic amendments seeking to revise or water down the contempt resolution and its accompanying report. Republicans then pushed through the chairman’s measure, the gist of which was leaked weeks ago, on a 23-17 vote.
The full House of Representatives won't get to vote on this until next week, and if I'm remembering correctly, the majority of the people in that legislative body seem pretty chill, which could bode well for Holder's chances. Though, I may be confusing them with that indie band Of Montreal. For some reason, I'm always getting them mixed up.
At any rate, at least now Eric Holder and Karl Rove finally have something to talk about at parties.
Tags: Darrell Issa, Department of Justice, Eric Holder, House Oversight Committee
In an historic moment of executive disdain for transparency, the Obama administration has declared executive privilege in the Fast and Furious ATF gun-walking kerfuffle which has embroiled the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder since congressional Republicans discovered something in which to embroil them.
The White House granted Attorney General Eric Holder with executive privilege regarding Fast and Furious…
Executive privilege enables the Justice Department to withhold documents from Congress, even if Congress has issued a subpoena, as Rep. Issa has…
In a letter to President Obama asking for executive privilege, the attorney general wrote "that the Committee has not established that privileged documents are demonstrably critical to the responsible fulfillment of the Committee's legitimate legislative functions."
Well, that settles that, then. I suppose this will be the last we hear of all this Fast and Furious business. You know, that reminds me of something that a very wide and drunk man once… What's that?
Regardless of the action, Rep. Darrell Issa, R.-Cal., head of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee indicated he is moving forward with a contempt vote of the attorney general.
Oh, that's right. America. Democrats, Republicans, deeply-held feelings of violent enmity. I'd almost forgotten.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Darrell Issa, Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, Guns, House of Representatives, House Oversight Committee