Calmes: The Jan. 6 committee did the country proud but it hasn’t changed our calcified politics.
The House passed the GOP’s tax package that also contained about a quarter of our nation’s debt for a total of $1.4 trillion, and the Senate is expected to pass it before the Jan. 15 break in the legislative calendar, which would be the deadline for the legislation to become law.
Republicans were able to rally Republicans from around the country to vote for it, although a few key congressional Republicans, such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., voted against it.
The measure, however, included some of our country’s most harmful policies including $1.5 trillion in cuts for Social Security and Medicaid benefits, and $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicare payments to hospitals, and only $100 billion for increased Medicare spending on prescription drugs.
The American people were left with little option but to pass the GOP’s tax bill and to be part of the GOP caucus for a lame duck session that will wrap back up in a few weeks — if the Senate and House can avoid a government shutdown.
“If only one person had stood up for our principles in the Senate, Obamacare would never have been considered and there would never have been a government shutdown,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “Sadly this is the kind of leadership that got us here and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
If the House had not voted on the tax bill, Democrats would have had the power to offer amendments to ensure the legislation included only provisions they supported, while a simple majority vote would have allowed the final bill to pass. But Republicans had no plans to vote on any amendments and simply voted on amendments as amendments of their own.
“It’s hard for me to blame Democrats for being pissed,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., head of the Democratic National Committee and a potential Democratic presidential candidate. “It’s hard for me to blame the GOP for being upset, it was a bad vote, but we still have a democracy,