Category Archives: Congressional Democrats

>New York’s 26th Not Alone; ALERT BASED ON A NEW NATIONAL SURVEY

>Democracy Corps
Greenberg,Quinlan,Rosner Reasearch

Republican leaders and conservative pundits have spun Democrat Kathy Hochul’s upset win in New York’s 26th Congressional District as exceptional – with peculiar ballot lines, Tea Party independents, quality of the candidates, and Democratic message discipline. We concede: yard signs in Upstate New York did read “Save Medicare: Vote Hochul.” But our national poll completed on Wednesday shows that New York’s 26th is not alone. It is an advance indicator of a sharp pull back from Republicans, particularly those in the House.

Disapproval of the Republicans in the House of Representatives has surged from 46 percent in February to 55 percent in April to a striking 59 percent now. Disapproval outnumbers approval two-to-one; intense disapproval by three-to-one. For the first time in more than a year, the Democrats are clearly even in the named Congressional ballot – an 8-point swing from the election – and Obama has made a marked gain in his job approval and vote against Mitt Romney – with the President now leading by 4 points. This period captured the introduction of the Republican budget plan and vote by the House – and voters do not like what they see.

Perhaps most notably, this survey flags a major retreat from the Republican approach to deficits and spending, the economy, and jobs. As the Republicans have unveiled their plans and approach during this four-month debate on the deficit, priorities and the economy, they have pushed many voters away.

On Wednesday, Democracy Corps will release a major multi-study report on the economy and economic messaging, but we wanted to release these political findings before the holiday weekend.

The memo and frequency questionnaire can be found at:
Democracy Corps.

Leave a comment

Filed under Congressional Democrats, Democracy Corps, Greenberg Qiunlan Rosner Research organization, House Republicans, Kathy Hochuls, Medicare, New York’s 26th Congressional District, President Obama, Survey

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 3/5/11: Cutting Waste, Investing in the Future

>WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Obama called for Democrats and Republicans to come together on a budget that cuts wasteful spending without sacrificing job-creating investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure. Noting that his administration has already proposed specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway, he said that he is prepared to do more and that the job can only be finished by working out the differences and finding common ground.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

Leave a comment

Filed under affordable education, Congressional Democrats, Congressional Republicans, cutting waste, federal budget, infrastructure, Innovation, Job creation, President Obama, weekly address

>Public Still Trusts Obama More

>

Heading into next year, I find this poll from the Washington Post/ABC News intriguing. I see it as an indication of more gridlock coming out of Washington as both sides of the political process try to one-up each other in an attempt to gain the upper hand next year, leading into the 2012 Presidential campaign.

Despite major Democratic losses in the midterm elections, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Americans trust President Obama marginally more than congressional Republicans to deal with the country’s main problems in the coming years, 43% to 38%.

Meanwhile, just 41% of those polled say the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives is a “good thing,” while 27% say it is a “bad thing,” and 30% say it won’t make any difference.

Leave a comment

Filed under ABC News, Congressional Democrats, Congressional Republicans, political wire, Poll, President Obama, Washington Post

GOP Salivating for New Jersey Governorship


By ANDY BARR- Politico

With New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine lagging in the polls, Republicans couldn’t be more enthusiastic about their chances of ousting him in November.

But first they must settle an intraparty conflict over who’s best suited to do the job — former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie or former Bogota, N.J., Mayor Steve Lonegan. Assemblyman Rick Merkt is also contending for the nomination in Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial primary, though he trails by wide margins in the polls.

The contest pits two wings of the Republican Party against each other, with Christie widely viewed as the moderate conservative with more general election appeal in a Democratic state like New Jersey and Lonegan framed as the more orthodox conservative.

Corzine trailed both GOP candidates, according to a Research 2000/Daily Kos poll released Thursday, with Christie leading the incumbent Democrat 46 percent to 39 percent, with 15 percent undecided. Lonegan held a 3 percentage-point lead over the governor, 43 percent to 40 percent, with 17 percent undecided.

According to the poll, Corzine’s favorability rating is just 36 percent, compared with 55 percent who view him unfavorably. Nine percent had no opinion.

In the GOP gubernatorial contest, most polls show Christie leading Lonegan by around 20 percentage points. A May 20 Quinnipiac University poll gave Christie a 56-to-33-point lead.

“It’s pretty obvious that it is going to be Christie vs. Corzine,” said Quinnipiac pollster Clay Richards. “There was a little doubt for a while that Christie just didn’t seem to be catching fire, but in the last few weeks, he definitely has and Lonegan has not.”

Christie has been aided in his run by the support of several prominent national Republicans and is seen as having the support of the national party establishment. Former GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Forbes have spent significant time on the stump with Christie and aided the former federal prosecutor in fundraising.

In his endorsement, Romney praised Christie as “a strong conservative voice for balanced budgets, low taxes and more jobs.”

Lonegan has sought to turn Christie’s establishment support against him by questioning Christie’s willingness to let moderate Republicans from outside the state speak on his behalf.

When asked about the endorsements Christie has gotten from popular Republican figures, Lonegan strategist Rick Shaftan quickly interjected, “You mean all these moderate Republicans helping Chris Christie?”

Read More

Leave a comment

Filed under Chris Christie, Congressional Democrats, Gov. Jon Corzine, Mitt Romney, New Jersey, Politico.com, primary election, Republicans, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Forbes, Steve Lonegan

Commentary: GOP’s "small government" talk is hollow

By Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

note: Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. His new book, “Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security — From World War II to the War on Terrorism,” will be published this fall by Basic Books. Zelizer writes widely on current events.

PRINCETON, New Jersey (CNN) — As the budget debate heats up, Republicans are warning of socialism in the White House and claiming that Democrats are rushing back to their dangerous tonic of big government.

Speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rush Limbaugh warned that “the future is not Big Government. Self-serving politicians. Powerful bureaucrats. This has been tried, tested throughout history. The result has always been disaster.”

On CNN, former Vice President Dick Cheney said he is worried that the administration is using the current economic conditions to “justify” a “massive expansion” in the government.

After the past eight years in American politics, it is impossible to reconcile current promises by conservatives for small government with the historical record of President Bush’s administration. Most experts on the left and right can find one issue upon which to agree: The federal government expanded significantly after 2001 when George W. Bush was in the White House.

The growth did not just take place with national security spending but with domestic programs as well. Even as the administration fought to reduce the cost of certain programs by preventing cost-of-living increases in benefits, in many other areas of policy — such as Medicare prescription drug benefits, federal education standards and agricultural subsidies — the federal government expanded by leaps and bounds. And then there are the costs of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Federal spending stood at about $1.9 trillion in 2000, when Democrat Bill Clinton ended his presidency. In his final year in office, Bush proposed to spend $3.1 trillion for fiscal year 2009. President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal 2010 is $3.6 trillion.

Nor can Republicans blame a Democratic Congress for being responsible for these trends. Much of the expansion took place between 2002 and 2006, when Republicans controlled both Congress and the White House. The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes was writing about “big government conservatism” back in 2003.

Two years later, the right-wing CATO Institute published a report noting that total government spending had grown by 33 percent in President Bush’s first term, lamenting that “President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson.”

There were some areas where Bush backed off government cuts because programs were too popular, like Social Security. In other areas, like federal education policy and prescription drug benefits, the president seemed enthusiastic about bigger government.

Bush and Cheney also embraced a vision of presidential power that revolved around a largely unregulated and centralized executive branch with massive authority over the citizenry. This was a far cry from the days of Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, a Republican who constantly warned about the dangers of presidential power to America’s liberties.

After the 2008 election, Cheney was not apologetic. He explained that “the president believes, I believe very deeply, in a strong executive, and I think that’s essential in this day and age. And I think the Obama administration is not likely to cede that authority back to the Congress. I think they’ll find that given a challenge they face, they’ll need all the authority they can muster.”

Importantly, the marriage between conservatism and a robust federal government was not unique to the Bush presidency. The roots of Bush’s comfort with government can be traced to the Republican Right in the 1950s, members of Congress who called for an aggressive response to domestic and international communism.

Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon were two Republicans who pragmatically accepted that Americans had come to expect that the federal government would protect against certain risks and that trying to reverse politics to the pre-New Deal period would be politically suicidal.

“Should any political party,” Eisenhower said, “attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”

When Nixon and congressional Republicans battled with Democrats over Social Security between 1970 and 1972, the debate revolved over how much to expand the program. Congressional Democrats wanted to increase benefits through the legislative process, while Nixon wanted to index benefits so they automatically increased with inflation.

Nixon and Congress did both.

President Reagan backed off his most ambitious efforts to cut government, most dramatically when he abandoned his proposal to curtail Social Security after facing a fierce backlash, while the military budget boomed. President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, which was one of the boldest regulatory expansions of government since the civil rights laws of the 1960s.

All of these presidents, particularly Nixon and Reagan, likewise promoted a muscular vision of presidential power that strengthened the authority of government and introduced concepts, such as the unitary executive, which would become the intellectual underpinning of the Bush administration.

“When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” Nixon told David Frost in 1977. Like it or not, strengthening the presidency is one of the most important ways in which the role of government has grown since the nation’s founding.

Fifty years of American history have shown that even the party that traditionally advocates small government on the campaign trail opts for big government when it gets into power. The rhetoric of small government has helped Republicans attract some support in the past, but it is hard to take such rhetoric seriously given the historical record — and it is a now a question whether this rhetoric is even appealing since many Americans want government to help them cope with the current crisis.

Leave a comment

Filed under CATO Institute, CNN, Congressional Democrats, Dick Cheney, Julian E. Zelizer, New Jersey, Princton University, Rus Limbaugh, small government, Social Security, the GOP

Congressional Democrats announce earmark reforms

From Raw Story

After this week’s media coverage of the heavily earmarked omnibus spending bill, leading congressional Democrats and the Appropriations Committee triumphantly announced two earmark reform recommendations this morning. President Obama, who helped write the committee’s recommendations, admitted that the $410 billion spending bill was imperfect but insisted that “important progress” was being made.

The reforms were published today in a joint release from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. The Democrat-led initiative has two facets, both focusing on increasing the power of the executive branch. The first part of the reform specified a review by an “appropriate executive branch agency.” A review, according to the document, will ensure that “the earmark is eligible to receive funds and meets goals established in law.” The second part of the recommendation is aimed at cutting down for-profit earmarks; earmarks directed towards for-profit entities will have to undergo a “competitive bidding process” in order to be a part of legislation. The bidding process will also be run by the executive branch.

If these recommendations are enacted by Congress, this will be the third stage of reforms aimed at fixing the earmark problem. In January 2007, the House of Representatives enacted a set of rules concerning earmark ownership and fiscal interest, as well as a 1-year earmarking moratorium. And starting with fiscal year 2010, new earmarks come with a homework assignment for their owner; all Members’ requests for earmarks are to be publicly disclosed on their website with an explanation of why it is an appropriate use of taxpayer money. The new fiscal year will also bring a permanent earmark ‘budget’. No more than 1% of the total discretionary budget will be used for congressional district’s pet projects.

 
Read More >>>Here

Leave a comment

Filed under Appropriations Committee, Congressional Democrats, earmarks, Nancy Pelosi, Omnibus spending bill, President Obama, Raw Story