Tag Archive: Democratic Party (United States)

Bill Clinton, other Democrats distance themselves from Obamacare

In a startling rebuke to President Obama, former President Bill Clinton and other Democrats picked apart Obamacare on Tuesday as privacy concerns about the program’s website multiplied and a video investigation suggested fraudulence among volunteers helping people enroll for government subsidies.

Mr. Clinton called on the president to make good on his repeated and emphatic promise that Americans who like their health insurance plans can keep them. The former president said Mr. Obama should take that step on behalf of consumers whose policies were canceled, “even if it takes a change in the law.”

SEE ALSO: Obamacare enrollment well short of expectations: report

The White House said Mr. Obama is considering a “range of options” but didn’t commit to Mr. Clinton’s proposal. In a reminder of Mr. Obama’s on-again, off-again relationship with Mr. Clinton, the president’s spokesman pointed out that Mr. Clinton tried and failed to enact universal health care.

The highly public rebuff prompted open speculation that Team Clinton has begun to distance itself from Mr. Obama in preparation for a presidential bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016. “And so starts the Clinton team slowly walking away from the train wreck that is the Obama presidency,” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist in Washington.

Lanny Davis, who was an adviser in the Clinton White House, called such talk “speculation” but said Mr. Obama should heed the increasing call of Democrats to change the health care law.

** FILE ** Former President Bill Clinton. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

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** FILE ** Former President Bill Clinton. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson) more >

“A lot of Democrats that I’ve talked to all day are saying just do it — make the fix,” Mr. Davis said. In a column to be published in The Hill newspaper Thursday, Mr. Davis argues that Mr. Obama “might be well advised to admit to trying to do too much too soon in a 1,000+ page ObamaCare bill, passed by an almost entirely partisan vote in 2010 — and revert back to a step-by-step approach to increase required coverage over a longer period of time, in effect reinstating the guarantee that if you have insurance, you can keep your policies.”

“Such a mid-course correction could be a compromise worth trying — saving not only public support for ObamaCare but perhaps the Democratic control of the U.S. Senate in the 2014 elections as well,” he writes.

But a Democratic operative aligned with the Obama White House characterized Mr. Clinton’s comments as unhelpful, especially in light of a House vote scheduled for Friday to allow consumers to keep their health care plans.

SEE ALSO: MILLER: New Obamacare ads make young women look like sluts

“These comments leave rank-and-file Democrats on the Hill awfully exposed right now, especially in the House,” the Obama ally said. “Clinton has now made it a much tougher vote than it should be.”

In what could be the start of a Democratic stampede away from the president’s signature program, Sen. Kay R. Hagan of North Carolina said she plans to formally request a government investigation of Obamacare’s botched rollout. Mrs. Hagan, a Democrat whose re-election effort next year has been imperiled by her support of the law, said she wants to “make sure it never happens again.”

With the White House starting to lose Obamacare allies in the president’s own party, a video investigation bolstered Republicans’ concerns that the entitlement program is ripe for fraud. The video produced by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas appears to show Obamacare “navigators” in Dallas advising a man to falsify his application to obtain higher government subsidies and a lower premium.

The encounter between a Project Veritas “investigator” and an Obamacare navigator was taped secretly at the National Urban League’s offices in Dallas. When the undercover investigator says he never reports outside income on his tax returns, the Obamacare volunteer advises him not to get in “trouble” by declaring the income now.

Other Obamacare navigators can be heard informing the man not to disclose that he smokes tobacco, so he can receive a lower insurance premium.

“You lie because your premiums will be higher,” an Obamacare navigator advises the Project Veritas investigator.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, called it “yet another broken piece of a deeply flawed system.”


CAUGHT ON TAPE: Obamacare Navigators Counsel Applicants to “Lie”

veritasvisuals veritasvisuals

Published on Nov 11, 2013

http://amzn.to/10SdbHd Order BREAKTHROUGH today. The Obama Administration’s campaign to sign everyone up for government healthcare inspired Project Veritas to go straight to the source and investigate what’s really going on.

What we found is shocking: navigators, in positions of public trust, told our undercover journalists to lie and defraud the government. Over and over again.

Yes, as if the roll-out of Obamacare hasn’t been disastrous enough, Project Veritas has caught Obamacare navigators counseling citizens to lie about their income and deceive the IRS, commit fraud on applications by not reporting full health history, and worse.

Despite reassurances that “fraud could not be committed,” clearly, that is not the case.

Obamacare Navigators counseled applicants by saying:

“You lie because your premiums will be higher.”

“Never report it … I always lie on my applications.”

“It didn’t happen.”

National Urban League: Nationwide

2000-2012: $172,000,000

2009-2012: $58,000,000

Source: Openthebooks.com (Federal Spending Database)

Cowboy Segments Directed by Christian Hartsock

Produced by: Niv Gat & Murray Mile

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– Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A document obtained by several news agencies last week shows Democrats preparing to target tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations as part of congressional negotiations to meet a Dec. 13 deadline for a budget deal.

(Photo by Neil Parekh/SEIU Healthcare 775NW) Not on the list of Democrats’ targets: tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry.

The Hill reported that the list

contains 12 examples of the types of “tax loopholes” that [Democrats] would like to see closed in a year-end budget deal. Most have been proposed many times before.

Combined, the items on the list would raise $264 billion in revenue over 10 years, more than enough to switch off two years’ worth of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Bloomberg reported that

In addition to closing what Democrats call the “John Edwards/Newt Gingrich loophole,” the party’s list of options includes carried-interest treatment that allows hedge fund managers and private equity advisers to pay a 20 percent tax rate on their income instead of the nation’s top income rate of 39.6 percent. Ending that break would save more than $17 billion over a decade, according to the Democrats’ estimates.

Another lets U.S. companies deduct their expenses when they send their plants overseas, which Democrats say encourages offshoring of American jobs. It would raise $200 million. Ending preferences for corporate jets and subsidies for yachts and vacation homes, combined, would bring in another $19 billion.

“The list makes clear that Democrats believe they can win public support by targeting tax breaks that they can portray as subsidies for the rich,” according to Reuters.

Republicans have been demanding cuts in Social Security and Medicare in exchange for changes to sequestration spending cuts, and that has failed to be met by a widespread Democratic pushback.

Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have called for an “End [to] tax breaks and subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies to reduce the deficit by more than $113 billion over the next 10 years”—a call echoed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s “Back to Work Budget,” which calls for an elimination of corporate tax subsidies for oil, gas, and coal companies.

But preserving tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry appears to have widspread bipartisan consensus.

The fact that fossil fuel companies are not on the list of targets may be a result of Democrats’ “embrace” of fossil fuels, the Financial Times reported.

James Politi reported at the Financial Times that the omission may “point to an increasing willingness among Democrats to embrace America’s domestic energy boom as a source of economic strength.”

The FT also quotes the American Petroleum Institute as saying there is “growing bipartisan opposition” to taxes that target oil and gas industries.


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The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/05/2013 10:11 pm EST  |  Updated: 11/06/2013 1:48 pm EST


barbara buono democrats


New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono slammed members of her party Tuesday after losing the race to Republican incumbent Chris Christie.


In her concession speech, Buono praised supporters who “withstood the onslaught of betrayal from our own political party.”


“The Democratic political bosses, some elected and some not, made a deal with this governor,” she said, according to NorthJersey.com. “They didn’t do it for the state. They did it out of a desire to help themselves.”


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House Passes Republican Farm-Policy Bill Without Food Stamp Aid

Farmer Bill Maupin, left, confers with landowner Norman Sandelbach while inspecting freshly planted corn seeds in a field outside of Henry, Illinois.

House Republicans passed a five-year U.S. farm-policy bill that retains subsidies to farmers and strips out food-stamp spending, costing it Democratic support.

The plan was approved today 216-208, with all Democrats and 12 Republicans in opposition. The measure also would repeal underlying provisions that potentially would double milk prices when a new law isn’t passed. The measure, scaled back after the House defeated a bill that included food stamps three weeks ago, is “extremely flawed,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Farmer Bill Maupin, left, confers with landowner Norman Sandelbach while inspecting freshly planted corn seeds in a field outside of Henry, Illinois. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

“The bill passed by the House today is not a real farm bill and is an insult to rural America,” the Michigan Democrat, who will lead Senate negotiators to work out a final bill with House lawmakers, said in a statement after the vote.

The legislation, which benefits crop buyers such as Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) and insurers including Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), has been working through Congress for almost two years. The Senate on June 10 passed S. 954, a plan that would cost $955 billion over a decade. Current law begins to expire Sept. 30.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the farm measure that excludes food stamp and nutrition programs.

Action Stymied

House action has been stymied largely by disagreements on food stamps. The legislation rejected last month, H.R. 1947, would cut spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, responsible for more than three-quarters of the bill’s costs, by about 2.5 percent, roughly $2 billion a year. Democrats who balked at the reductions joined Republicans objecting to the plan’s cost to scuttle the bill. Republican leaders revived the measure in scaled-back form.

The stripped-down plan gained support from Republicans willing to deal with food stamps later. “It’s not a secret I am not a fan of the farm bill,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who opposed the June version and supported the bill today. “I’ve learned around here that you rarely get to vote for success but you can vote for progress.”



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8:35 PM on 06/10/2013

While the percentage of Americans who support the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs has remained relatively constant over the past eight years, who supports them has shifted considerably, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post.

Now that Barack Obama is president, a majority of Democrats support NSA surveillance programs and far more Republicans oppose them, almost the reverse of where things stood in 2006, when President George W. Bush’s NSA warrantless spying program was revealed. Here are the numbers:

Partisan Shifts

The Washington Post

Marc A. Thiessen
Opinion Writer

Big Brother isn’t watching you

Not exactly 1984.Moreover, what has been revealed are the “outward-facing” authorities of the NSA activities — what records the phone and Internet service providers are required to provide to the government. The leaks do not describe the many “inward-facing” restrictions directed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to the government that describe the conditions and limitations on when and how the data can be accessed and how they can used.

Let’s pray those restrictions are not revealed — the terrorists would love to learn what they are.

If the critics don’t think the NSA should be collecting this information, perhaps they would like to explain just how they would have us stop new terrorist attacks. Terrorists don’t have armies or navies we can track with satellites. There are only three ways we can get information to prevent terrorist attacks:

The first is interrogation — getting the terrorists to tell us their plans. But thanks to Barack Obama, we don’t do that anymore.

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Democrats abandon proposed assault weapons ban

Published time: March 19, 2013 23:07

Reuters / Joshua Lott

Reuters / Joshua Lott

With the US Senate set to mull new gun legislation this April, a proposed ban on assault weapons will no longer be up for debate, the proposal’s sponsors say. As a result, the ban is almost surely off the table for inclusion in a new law.

California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who promoted the ban, told the press that Nevada’s Harry Reid made the concession with a view to avoiding Republican sabotage. Leaving out the assault weapons ban, she reasoned, would prevent the debate on gun control from being blocked by Republicans before it even began.

I very much regret it,” Feinstein, who wrote the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired ten years later, said of the decision. “I tried my best.”

Instead of debating a ban on military-style weapons up front, Feinstein will propose the measure as an amendment once legislation is in order. The ban could be on thin ice as it faces near-certain rejection from Republicans across the board as well as some Democrats.

A ban would need 60 votes to even be in the running for legislative action.

The Senate is home to 53 Democrats, as well as two independents who can be relied upon to vote to the left. But even “Using the most optimistic numbers,” Reid said, the ban would receive fewer than 40 votes.

I’m not going to try to put something on the floor that won’t succeed. I want something that will succeed. I think the worst of all worlds would be to bring to something to the floor and it dies there,” Reid said.

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Harry Reid said on Tuesday he hopes have a bill to address gun violence on the Senate floor soon after the Easter break. He also confirmed that measure will not include an assault weapons ban.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters Tuesday she is disappointed that her assault weapons ban will not be part of a larger bill, but acknowledged it will likely make it easier to pass gun-related legislation through the Senate.

Feinstein said Reid told her Monday afternoon that the ban on certain types of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would not be part of package of bills that would make up the Senate legislation.

Reid, D-Nev., said Feinstein’s measure simply did not have the support necessary to clear the floor and could not pass the 60 vote threshold needed in order to be considered by the full Senate.

“Right now, her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers…

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By By ALAN FRAM 03/14/13 05:19 PM ET EDT AP

Assault Weapons Ban Senate

WASHINGTON — Democrats pushed an assault weapons ban through a Senate committee on Thursday and toward its likely doom on the Senate floor, after an emotion-laden debate that underscored the deep feelings the issue stokes on both sides.

Exactly three months after 26 children and educators were gunned down in Newtown, Conn., the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a party-line 10-8 vote. The bill would also bar ammunition magazines carrying more than 10 rounds.

Thursday’s vote marked the fourth gun control measure the committee has approved in a week and shifted the spotlight to the full Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he will decide soon how to bring the measures to the chamber, where debate is expected next month.

“Americans are looking to us for solutions and for action,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. He said that despite gun-rights advocates’ claims, the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is not at risk, but “lives are at risk” unless lawmakers can figure out how to keep firearms away from dangerous people.

The other bills would require federal background checks to more would-be gun buyers, make it easier for authorities to prosecute illegal gun traffickers and boost school safety aid.

In a written statement, President Barack Obama thanked senators “for taking another step forward in our common effort to help reduce gun violence” and said Congress should vote on all the proposals. He said assault weapons “are designed for the battlefield, and they have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers.”


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Colorado lawmakers approve sweeping gun-control measures

By Keith Coffman

DENVER | Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:48pm EDT

(Reuters) – Both chambers of the majority Democratic Colorado legislature approved a package of four gun-control measures on Wednesday, capping months of debate in a state that has experienced two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

The most controversial of the bills that are now headed to the desk of Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper is a ban on ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds, which the governor said he will sign into law.

The passage of the bills could push Colorado to the forefront of a national gun control debate reignited by several mass shootings last year, including the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The sponsor of the Colorado magazine-limit bills, state House Representative Rhonda Fields, told fellow lawmakers in a floor debate on Wednesday the proposal was about “saving lives.”

“These are weapons that should be used in a theater of war and not in our local theaters,” said Fields, a Democrat whose district includes the suburban Denver movie theater where a gunman killed 12 people in a shooting rampage last July.

Colorado was also the site of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, where two teenagers shot dead a teacher and 12 other students before committing suicide.

Other bills included in the package of gun-control laws approved by Colorado lawmakers included a measure to make firearm buyers pay for their own background checks and a ban on online certification for concealed-carry permits, both of which Hickenlooper has said he supports.

Another measure would bar gun purchases by people convicted of domestic violence crimes. Hickenlooper had previously said he was undecided about that until he could see the final version.

One remaining gun-control measure to require background checks for all firearms transfers was sent to a conference committee on Wednesday, so that both chambers could hash out differences between the Senate and House versions.

The proposals that won final approval on Wednesday had received little Republican support.

Republican House minority leader Mark Waller issued a statement after the bills’ passage, calling Democrats “out of touch” with their constituents.

“More than 200,000 Coloradans are out of work but Democrats are more concerned with passing legislation that will send hundreds of jobs out of our state without any increase in public safety to show for it,” Waller said in a statement.

Waller was referring to Magpul, a Colorado-based manufacturer of ammunition magazines that has vowed to leave the state and take away its hundreds of jobs if the magazine-limits bill becomes law.

The Colorado legislature’s action follows the passage in New York state in January of a sweeping gun-control law that bans assault weapons and magazines that hold more than seven rounds of ammunition, requires gun owners to register most guns with the states and requires universal background checks.

President Barack Obama has put forward a number of federal gun-control proposals in the wake of the Newtown killings.

On Tuesday, a divided U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee advanced to the full Senate a measure endorsed by Obama that would require criminal background checks for all gun buyers.

By Michael O’Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News


The House of Representatives authorized a suspension of the nation’s debt limit through mid-May, delaying a default on the government’s obligations that would have taken effect in February.

The House of Representatives has passed the extension of the US debt limit to May 19 with a vote of 285 to 144. The measure moves on to the Senate for final passage. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

The GOP-controlled House voted 285 to 144 to comfortably pass a three-month extension in the government’s borrowing authority just as Senate Democratic leaders suggested they would take up and pass the legislation as soon as they could.

The vote early Wednesday afternoon by the House would forestall a default on the national debt. The Treasury Department had warned that the government would exhaust its authority to borrow to finance its existing obligations by the middle of February.

The bill, which Republican leaders unveiled last week, would suspend the debt limit through May 18 and require both the House and the Senate to produce and pass a budget resolution in the meanwhile, with a deadline of April 15. If either chamber fails to pass a budget, its pay would be put into escrow – “No Budget, No Pay” goes the newly-minted Republican slogan to describe this strategy.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP


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Fiscal Cliff BoehnerSpeaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, left, joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., returns to his office after speaking to reporters on the fiscal cliff negotiations, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) – House Republicans have released their plan to avert a debt ceiling breach, demanding that Senate Democrats pass a budget in exchange for a three-month debt ceiling increase.

“Before there is any long-term debt limit increase, a budget should be passed that cuts spending. The Democratic-controlled Senate has failed to pass a budget for four years. That is a shameful run that needs to end, this year,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement Friday.

“We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem. The principle is simple: no budget, no pay.”

Boehner and House Republicans will introduce a bill next week raising the debt ceiling for approximately three months. In exchange for a long-term increase, the Senate must pass a budget. If the Senate does not pass a budget during that time period, the House will block members of both houses from receiving a salary.

“The first step to fixing this problem is to pass a budget that reduces spending. The House has done so, and will again. The Democratic Senate has not passed a budget in almost four years, which is unfair to hardworking taxpayers who expect more from their representatives. That ends this year,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement.

“Next week, we will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget. Furthermore, if the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, Members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay.”

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