No, Unfortunately, The Republican Agenda Is Not A Mirage
Wednesday House Republicans rolled back another Obama rule so that-- after Trump signs it-- when people file for unemployment compensation they will be able to be drug-tested. Looks like the GOP is eager to ramp up the War of Drugs again-- and fill those private prison jail cells for their campaign donors. Kevin Brady's blil passed 236-189. Four of the very worst right-wing Democrats crossed the aisel to vote with the Republicans:
• Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN)And-- lo and behold!-- this horrible legislation is rendered "bipartisan."
• Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
• Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
• Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
Yesterday, John Harwood reported for CNBC that when ole Rahm met with Trump, he came away chattering that Dreamers will be safe-- one was arrested in Seattle this week-- and that the GOP plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act will fail but that the Republicans will achieve Wall Street;'s top priority of neutering Dodd-Frank, setting the predatory banksters loose to plunder America again.
When Jennifer Steinhauer reported in yesterday's NY Times that the GOP's grand vision for Congress is falling apart and now looks like a mirage, she wasn't taking into account that the one tie that binds all Republicans for all wings the party is the greed and selfishness factor and that the pro-Wall Street/anti-Dodd-Frank mania is far from a mirage. If they accomplish not else but that, they're go to their political demises happy as pigs in shit. Sure, Trump and amateur, a buffoon and a bungling moron, but Republicanism inches forward.
Congressional Republicans, who craved unified control of the government to secure their aggressive conservative agenda, have instead found themselves on a legislative elliptical trainer, gliding toward nowhere.Chief New Dem, Jim Himes, who was looking forward to teaming up with the Republicans to push the goals that bind the GOP and the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, is disappointed. "It’s painful for someone like me who was excited about infrastructure and tax reform. It seems like the administration and the majority are nowhere." But don't cry for Himes, an ex-Wall Street bankster and one of Wall Street's favorite members of Congress-- he's taken $5,547,712 in legalistic bribes from the Finance Sector since first getting into Congress in 2008-- his top priority is still very much on track: screwing with Dodd-Frank. Just ask House Financial Services Committee chairman, Jeb Hensarling! As we mentioned over the weekend, Trump's cascading unpopularity isn't slowing down the Republican (and New Dem) mania to kill Wall Street reforms-- and the #1 priority is the CFPB.
After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.
The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Mr. Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a very general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago-- which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border-- has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter.
At this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled Washington, Congress had passed a stimulus bill totaling nearly $1 trillion to address the financial crisis, approved a measure preventing pay discrimination, expanded a children’s health insurance program, and begun laying the groundwork for major health care and financial regulation bills. President George W. Bush came into office with a congressional blueprint for his signature education act, No Child Left Behind.
But in the 115th Congress, the Senate has done little more than struggle to confirm Mr. Trump’s nominees, and Republicans ultimately helped force his choice for labor secretary, Andrew F. Puzder, to withdraw from consideration on Wednesday in the face of unified Democratic opposition.
The House has spent most of its time picking off a series of deregulation measures, like overturning a rule intended to protect surface water from mining operations. For his part, Mr. Trump has relied mostly on executive orders to advance policies.
The inactivity stems from a lack of clear policy guidance-- and, just as often, contradictory messages-- from the Trump administration, which does not appear to have spent the campaign and transition periods forming a legislative wish list. Democrats have also led efforts to slow the confirmation of nominees to Mr. Trump’s cabinet who might otherwise be leading the charge.
“When you spend a lot of time talking about policy and debating policy in the presidential campaign, it is far easier to be specific about legislation when you get into office,” said Austan Goolsbee, who served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration. “President Trump spent the campaign fleshing out nothing in detail, so it’s not really a surprise that they can’t even agree on priorities, much less on actual legislative detail.”
House Republicans are making a big move against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which was designed for basically one reason: to prevent crooked, avaricious, greed-obsessed banksters from preying on bank customers and investors. The Members of Congress the banksters pay off most richly are determined to deliver for their bankster masters by destroying the extremely successful agency.That's where Himes and his New Dems come in. They just have to be a tiny bit patient.
...The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee will move forward on legislation to neuter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its power to crack down on predatory business practices, according to a leaked memo that emerged on Thursday and infuriated Democratic defenders of the bureau.
The memo, drafted by the chairman, Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas and a longtime foe of the consumer agency, aligns House Republicans with President Trump in the latest attack on President Barack Obama’s legacy. The memo detailed plans to weaken the leadership of the agency, allowing the president to replace the bureau’s director at any time. Legislation in the works would limit the bureau’s enforcement authority, reduce its ability to make rules and repeal its consumer complaint system.
It would also greatly shrink the enforcement tools at the consumer watchdog’s disposal, blocking it from being able to go after businesses engaged in deceptive practices and restricting its oversight of big publicly traded companies that are already regulated by agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“This would substantially change the structure of the C.F.P.B. and greatly limits the scope of its authority,” said Hunter Wiggins, former principal deputy enforcement director at the bureau.
The proposal was part of a broader set of policies that Republicans have been devising to roll back the Wall Street regulations known as the Dodd-Frank Act, which emerged from the 2008 financial crisis. While Mr. Trump also supports dismantling the law, Republicans would probably be unable to accomplish a sweeping repeal of Dodd-Frank without the support of some Democrats.