Speaking of the debt ceiling, both sides are still about $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion apart to be able to be clear through the 2012 elections. President Obama will either head to Capitol Hill Wednesday or host talks at the White House. And there appeared over the weekend to be some wiggle room from Republicans on accepting new revenues and possibly accepting a short-term deal and then moving on to try and reform the tax code. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and John McCain (R-AZ) indicated they’re open to some ending of subsidies or closing of loopholes. But Cornyn had this catch – anything would have to be “revenue neutral,” a Grover Norquist term.
Just asking, but what’s the point of trying to increase revenue to close deficits if you’re not actually raising any money that would offset those deficits?
McCain deferred to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who McCain said is open to some new revenues but didn’t say specifically what. Kyl told NBC outside his whip office last week that he wants to see ethanol subsidies eliminated, for example. OK… that’s $2 billion to $3 billion.
“Obama administration officials are offering to cut tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid in negotiations to reduce the federal budget deficit, but the depth of the cuts depends on whether Republicans are willing to accept any increases in tax revenues,” the New York Times writes.
“Two senior Republicans said Sunday that they might be open to raising new government revenue as part of a deal to resolve the dispute over the federal debt ceiling, but they warned that there was little time to enact a comprehensive deal,” The New York Times writes.
“The 112th Congress is on pace to be one of the least productive in recent memory — as measured by votes taken, bills made into laws, nominees approved,” the Los Angeles Times writes. “By most of those metrics, this crowd is underperforming even the ‘do-nothing Congress’ of 1948, as Harry Truman dubbed it. The hot-temper era of Clinton impeachment in the 1990s saw more bills become law.”
But at least there’s this: “Something is off in the House of Representatives: It’s already July 4, and the House still has not yet registered its opinions on bald eagles, motherhood or the American flag,” the Washington Post writes.
“A week after New York became the biggest state to legalize gay marriage, Capitol Hill is all but silent on the topic,” Politico writes. “Using the power of the federal government to ban gay marriage was all the rage in Republican circles from the mid-1990s right up through the 2006 midterm elections. But Republicans, more focused on spending, taxes and economic issues, are no longer anxious to tangle over spousal rights for same-sex couples.”