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If it wanted to, the House Republican majority could immediately end the government shutdown it has caused. While Americans wait, over 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed; millions more are working without pay; vital services, programs, facilities, parks and monuments have been suspended or closed; intelligence and law enforcement agencies are understaffed; communities where federal facilities are located and the tens of thousands of small businesses with federal contracts and the hundreds of thousands of workers they collectively employ are being hurt. Some of these businesses may not recover.
Constituents ask: How much longer is the shutdown going to affect me? Why did things come to this and who’s responsible for this mess? What needs to be done to reopen the government?
All over Queens, thousands of people are living in the shadows. They may be unable to enter the school their children attend, even in the event of an emergency. They may be working for pay far below the minimum wage or simply going unpaid for weeks on end. They may be afraid to call the police if they become the victims of crime.
They might be called second-class citizens, but they’re not citizens at all, though many would like to be. They’re the illegal immigrants who have found their way into the country over the years and now want to stay here.
On May 16, Republicans in the House of Representatives came together, cast a vote, and tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, just as they’ve done nearly 40 times before. At what point does obstruction become treason?
The healthcare law was passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. It’s been the law of the land for more than three years. It’s not going anywhere. We know that, and so do the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. But instead of creating jobs and growing the economy, some of them want to make yet another gesture of protest — even if it’s meaningless.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean that 6.6 million young adults would lose the option of staying on their parent’s health insurance. It would mean that 34.1 million seniors would pay more for preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies, and 18 million middle-class families lose the opportunity to save money on their monthly premiums starting in 2014.
But this isn’t about numbers; this is about our families’s lives. And as usual the GOP couldn’t care less. Who would benefit from its repeal? The insurance companies that gave the GOP millions to fight its implementation. When asked for a reason as to why the GOP continues to vote on Obamacare John Boehner said, “We have over 70 new congressmen who haven’t had a chance to vote on it yet.”
Amazing. How about we also let them vote on all the other good votes they missed? Repealing Prohibition, declaring war on Japan or calling on America to put a man on the moon by the end of ... 43 years ago!
Recent reporting about Hurricane Sandy centers on the $60.4 billion aid package Congress enacted at the end of January, fully 90 days after the super storm devastated coastal areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This unprecedented delay was caused by unprecedented and unfathomable opposition from Republicans in the House of Representatives, many of whom represent districts that benefited from billions in federal aid when natural disasters struck.
Some of the coverage implies that now all is well. Beleaguered New Yorkers — particularly my constituents on the Rockaway Peninsula, one of the areas Sandy hit hardest — should not allow themselves to believe our collective ordeal has come to an end or that no future federal aid will be needed.
Ever since the stunning GOP defeat last November, the media has been full of inflammatory, stupid, right-wing Republican rhetoric.
The recent Senate hearing was full of GOP attacks on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The worst one came from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who said she “would have been fired” if he were president.
My real concern is with what House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said: “Obama is out to annihilate the Republican Party.” A ridiculous charge! While President Obama and friends were enjoying their first inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 2009, a gang of 15 key GOP leaders held a secret dinner just a few blocks away. The purpose was to map out a strategy to annihilate the Obama presidency. For four years they have tried to implement this plan. But thanks to our free press and sharp voter groups, they failed.
Folks, if the GOP expects to win the White House in 2016, it will need to do an about face and return the party to moderate leaders. Proof of my views comes from Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who said the GOP must “stop being the stupid party” and might need to change everyt
hing because it is turning swing voters away. Even Joe Scarborough, the host of “Morning Joe,” agreed with Gov. Jindal.
The U.S. Senate passed the final installment of aid to Hurricane Sandy survivors on Monday and President Obama signed the bill into law Tuesday night.
The $50.5 billion in funds passed by a 62-36 margin with all Democrats — including both New York senators — and nine Republicans present voting yes.
Congresswoman Grace Meng being sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner as her husband Wayne Kye holds the Bible and sons Brandon and Tyler look on.
Congress passed at least part of the $60 billion requested for aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy on Friday morning.
The House of Representatives passed part of the supplemental bill, which included $9.7 billion in flood insurance claim reimbursements for hurricane victims, by a vote of 354-67, with every Democrat and 161 Republicans voting in favor. Every member of Congress from Queens voted yes.
Congress passed at least part of the $60 billion requested for aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy on Friday morning.
The country did go off the fiscal cliff this week, but it was more like a bungee jump than a fall.
Less than 24 hours after billions of dollars in tax hikes and spending cuts went into effect, the House of Representatives agreed to a deal struck by the White House and Senate leaders and passed by the upper body of Congress on New Year’s Eve, before the year-end deadline that had been termed the “fiscal cliff.”
Hurricane Sandy victims waiting for money from the federal government will have to wait a little longer.
A $60 billion relief package for Sandy victims was scheduled to come to a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday after the fiscal cliff bill, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled the bill in a surprise move that led to shock and outrage from local members of Congress.
The closing days of the 112th Congress, known as the lame duck, will see a historic debate called Fiscal Cliffhanger. Budget cuts vs. higher tax rates are at the heart of this battle royale between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
However, behind the scenes, a nonelected GOP politician will play an important role. His name is Grover Norquist. For decades, he was the antitax advocate and “field marshal” for the Republican Party. He manipulated most GOP congressionals into signing his “no new tax” pledge. If anyone violated the pledge, Grover had enough clout to see that member of Congress defeated in his or her primary bid for re-election.
Mr. Norquist is best known for saying, “My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) responded to his remark by commenting, “I hope he slips in there with it!”
Since the Republican Party was unable to elect Mitt Romney president, there are signs that, for the good of our country, some GOP members of Congress will reject their pledge to Norquist. Are Grover’s days numbered? Only time will tell.
In “Can we talk?” (Editorial, Nov. 8), the Chronicle editor expresses concern about the “lost art of compromise,” but the very meaning of the past election seems to have eluded him.
Our country is divided between those who would have constitutional democracy and those who would have socialism, or control over everything in a person’s life by the federal government. That was the choice, and if both sides are sincere in what they believe, there can be no compromise.
House Speaker John Boehner is not a right winger or a Tea Partier. Boehner is a middle-of-the-road panderer. President Obama never compromised on anything. To pass amnesty for one and a half million illegal aliens between the ages of 18 and 30, to put an end to NASA and to give trillions of American taxpayer dollars to “green energy” companies owned by friends and friends of friends, which went bankrupt, he simply bypassed the Congress and ruled by diktat.
The American people approved of most of what Obama did in his first four years in office so they re-elected him. It isn’t necessary for Republicans to “negotiate” with him because the president has already proven that whatever he wants done, he can do without them. Boehner, to whom you attach so much importance, never even asked where all the stimulus money went! He and the Republicans are ciphers, but even if they weren’t, Obama has shown that the opposition is no longer relevant. He will continue to do what he wants without them.
The author of “Can we talk?” need not concern himself with what we get from Boehner. What the United States and Americans need to be concerned with is what we’ll be getting from Obama. He’s the president, with a mandate now to complete his “transformation” of America.
Now that President Obama has been re-elected, we hope the two parties can come together and at last tackle the serious crises facing the country, starting with the so-called “fiscal cliff” we’ll all jump off at the end of the year if automatic spending cuts are not averted by the seemingly lost art of compromise.
We’re not encouraged, however, by the first post-election press conference held by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who stuck to the right-wing, Tea Party, hard line position that there will be no tax increases on anyone ever.
(An Open Letter to House Speaker John Boehner)
Dinnertime has always been the perfect venue in our household to catch up on our daily affairs as well as discuss world events and politics. Lively exchanges are welcome and everyone’s opinion is respected. When our children were young I always told them, “Just because a person makes it into adulthood, it does not mean that he/she knows what they are doing, or, for that matter, they might or might not turn out to be a good person or responsible adult.”
Last night Mr. Akin was the topic of conversation at our dinner table. Everyone agreed that he was one of those individuals who made it into adulthood but did not turn out to be a good person, a responsible adult or an informed one. We discussed his comment, “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” and we were shocked not only by the insensitivity of his remark but at his lack of compassion or medical knowledge.
His disdain toward women is reprehensible, as is his cavalier and dismissive attitude toward the pain and suffering of a rape victim: “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Although I agree that the rapist should be punished I fail to understand why he and many in the Republican Party believe that the victim should be further victimized by not allowing her to have an abortion if she so chooses.
I am not certain if Mr. Akin has daughters or sisters, but at least I know he has a mother so I suggest that he sit down with her and try to understand from a woman’s perspective what it would be like to be violated and then be forced to give birth to the rapist’ s child against your will.
Shame on Mr. Akin and all who share his belief for attempting to impose their narrow-minded, ill-informed views on women. They owe it to their constituents to seek professional help before they start pontificating morality.
A party hijacked
What FDNY bias?
Never vote GOP
After U.S. Rep. Bob Turner became the first Republican to represent the 9th Congressional District in more than 80 years, he thought his star would return to Earth — or at least be dimmed.
After all, the election that garnered Turner headlines from New York to Los Angeles had wrapped up in a blinding barrage of flashes from reporters’ cameras documenting a Republican’s victory in a district once thought to be among the safest stomping grounds for Democrats in the state, if not the country.
When U.S. Rep. Bob Turner (R-Queens and Brooklyn) woke up the morning of Sept. 14 as the 9th Congressional District’s newest legislator, he could not take much time to recuperate from the long days of campaigning and his victory party that lasted into the early morning hours.
That day, he and his family were whisked down to Washington DC, where U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), speaker of the House of Representatives, swore him in on Thursday as the first Republican to represent the 9th Congressional District since the 1920s.
U.S. Rep. Bob Turner, center with hand on the Bible, is sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives by Speaker John Boehner, front right, last Thursday.
Not Obama’s fault