Category Archives: Party Leadership

McConnell Says Senate Will Vote on President’s Budget

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced in a press release statement today that the Senate “will vote on the budget President Obama submitted to Congress in February.”

“I understand that the Majority Leader would like to have a vote on the House-passed Ryan budget and we will,” McConnell said. “But we’ll have a vote on the President’s budget at the same time. Since there is no Democrat budget in the Senate, we’ll give our colleagues an opportunity to stand with the President in failing to address the problems facing our nation while calling for trillions in new spending, massive new debt and higher taxes on American energy, families and small businesses across the country.”

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Filed under Budget, Party Leadership, White House

Reid Won’t Set Preconditions on Debt Limit Increase

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said today “he is not ‘drawing any lines in the sand’ about what must be included in a deal to raise the debt ceiling except to say it must ‘prove that we’re willing to do something’ about the ever-growing debt,” CNN reports.

Most Republicans and many Democrats on Capitol Hill have vowed not to raise the borrowing limit unless it is tied to strict reforms to rein in spending and shrink the deficit.

Reid said he supports a "deficit cap" similar to one the White House recently proposed. It would trigger spending cuts "if by 2014, budget projections do not show that the debt-to-GDP ratio has stabilized and is declining in the second half of the decade," according to a White House summary.

Those spending cuts would not apply to entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid, something many Republicans might oppose.

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Reid Says Senate Will Consider Legislation Repealing Oil Subsidies

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “said Wednesday that the Senate will turn quickly to legislation to repeal billions of dollars in government subsidies enjoyed by big oil companies every year,” the AP reports.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate will consider as early as next week Obama’s proposal to repeal the tax breaks. Obama wants to use that $4 billion a year to invest in alternative energy in an effort to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

"There’s no necessity for these subsidies," Reid told reporters. "The companies have broken all records for profits."

It’s not at all clear “that Senate Democrats would be able to overcome a certain GOP filibuster of legislation to repeal the tax breaks, which include a deduction for drilling costs and oil and gas depletion allowances that give producers a tax deduction comparable to the break given manufacturers for depreciation of the value of an investment in plants and equipment.”

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Filed under Energy, Party Leadership, Taxes

Reid Will Hold Senate Vote on Paul Ryan Budget

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “confirmed on a conference call with reporters Wednesday that he’ll force Senate Republicans to vote on the controversial House GOP budget,” Talking Points Memo reports.

"We’re going to have an opportunity in the Senate to vote for the [Paul] Ryan budget," Reid told reporters, to "see if Republicans in the Senate like the Ryan budget as much as their colleagues [in the House] did."

According to The Hill, Reid spokesman “Jon Summers confirmed that the majority leader will hold a vote on it, but said that the timing has not yet been decided.”

Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pressured Reid to vote on a Democratic proposal. 

"A better question is: when will he vote on the Democrat budget?" he said, "When [is he] going to vote on the president’s budget?"

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Filed under Budget, House of Representatives, Party Leadership

Reid Says Trip Improved Relationship Between China, U.S.

A high-powered “US Senate delegation to China helped build ‘mutual trust’ in talks on human rights, economic disputes, clean energy, and Iran’s suspect nuclear drive, its leader said Tuesday,” according to the AFP.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who headed the 10-member group, said the week-long visit’s "primary focus" had been to secure "a level playing field" for US businesses in China.

"The world needs its two largest economies to work together. We have to communicate and build mutual trust," Reid said in a statement issued after the group returned home. "Our meetings in China helped improve that relationship."

At the same time, Reid said, "our experience there was an unmistakable reminder of just how hard we have to work to make American more competitive with the rest of the world."

The lawmakers met with parliamentary chief Wu Bangguo and Vice President Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to succeed President Hu Jintao as China’s top leader by 2013, as well as outgoing US Ambassador Jon Huntsman and US business executives in China.

On currency:

The senators urged Beijing to be "more aggressive" in letting the yuan gain value against the dollar, amid charges in the US Congress that the Asian giant keeps its currency, and thus its exports, artificially cheap, hurting US exports and stifling job growth.

But "Chinese officials confirmed that China would continue the managed appreciation of its currency," said the statement.

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Filed under China, International Visits, Party Leadership

Senate Sunday Lineup: April 23

Here’s a list of Senators hitting the Sunday talk show circuit tomorrow:

  • Face the Nation (CBS) – Mark Kirk (R-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Coons (D-DE)
  • State of the Union (CNN) – Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • Fox News Sunday – None
  • Meet the Press (NBC) – Tom Coburn (R-OK), John McCain (R-AZ) and Kent Conrad (D-ND)
  • This Week (ABC) – None

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Kyl Removes Planned Parenthood Remarks from Congressional Record

Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) “has erased from the Congressional record his false claim that abortions comprise 90% of Planned Parenthood’s services,” Talking Points Memo reports.

According to the Library of Congress website, members of Congress are entitled to "edit the transcript of their floor remarks before publication in the daily record or the permanent record."

On April 8, Kyl said that, "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." Following the change, the Congressional Record now reads, "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that is what Planned Parenthood does."

Soon after Kyl delivered his false claim, critics pointed out that abortions actually make up only about 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. Kyl’s office then issued a clarification, saying his claim was not intended to be a factual statement.

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Filed under Party Leadership, Planned Parenthood