Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Dent Voted For Cut, Cap & Balance Act

Although progress in the U.S. Senate on debt ceiling relief probably makes this nothing more than an academic exercise, LV Congressman Charlie Dent joined his GOP colleagues in the House for a party-line vote to support a Cut, Cap & Balance Act. Here's his reason.

“To ensure this country starts living within its means, Congress must make difficult decisions about the future of federal spending. Returning spending to pre-stimulus levels and capping it as a percentage of GDP will help restore fiscal sanity in Washington. Additionally, the concept of a balanced budget requirement is certainly not foreign to Pennsylvanians. It is now time for the U.S. Senate to act. It is imperative that a resolution on the debt ceiling be achieved before the August 2nd deadline. Our fragile economy demands leadership and action. The American people, rating agencies, small businesses and investors want us to do our jobs by putting this country on a sustainable fiscal path while protecting our AAA rating and creating an atmosphere that leads to more jobs.“

At the time, it also happened to be the only plan on the table to solve the debt ceiling crisis, something that Dent detractors fail to note in their condemnations.

40 comments:

Jon Geeting said...

What do you mean "at the time"? Really, what's that supposed to mean? Obama has agreed to all the Republicans' demands, but they won't vote for a penny of new revenue. That's why there's an impasse. Dent's party is entirely to blame. This proposal is loony and you know it.

Anonymous said...

You'd defend no matter what he proposed. If he voted in favor of throwing all first born males into the Lehigh River, you'd support him. This is a bad plan and it show the naivete of the GOP

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't both of you realize this was just an academic exercise, and probably was designed to make the just-reached deal in the Senate more palatable?

Anonymous said...

The congress spend a day on this crap instead of working on the actual issues. As was stated in my other post this is the Republicans self professed "proof of their commitment to conservative principles". They knew it was a dead letter in Senate and was a guaranteed veto by the President. They wasted our tax dollars to put on this show and then to have a vote from Dent in the affirmative is disgusting.

This bill (that Dent voted for) would cut funding for clean energy, infrastructure improvements, education and job training. How in the hell are we going to stay on top of the world economy if we don't educate and how are we going to get people ready for the jobs in the new economy without re-education? The real bite is a cut in Medicaid funding by a third. This is an unbelievable suck up to the tea party and our supposed centrist representative voted for it! This is almost as bad as his Ryan budget vote. How can you still sell this guy as a middle ground rep?

Seamus

Patrick McHenry said...

This IS the only plan on the table. The diversion brought forth by the "Gang of Six" has yet to be put into writing. And we all know that the President has done nothing but talk.

I'll be happy to discuss alternatives. But until they are put into writing in the form of a bill that we all can look at, this is the only responsible way to go. The Senate should vote on it immediately, for or against.

Dent's vote was the correct one.

Jon Geeting said...

There's no such thing as an "academic exercise." It's a real vote in the US House. Nobody put a gun to Dent's head. He could've voted no if he believed this was wrong.

And Seamus is exactly right - they know this won't pass the Senate, so why are they wasting time on it. The debt ceiling needed to get raised months ago and the longer they wait, the more it freaks out the markets.

What ever happened to "uncertainty?"

Anonymous said...

There is no "debt ceiling crisis." The debt ceiling simply allows us to pay bills that we have already incurred. Tying it to future spending is misinformation - something the GOP is real good at.

Anonymous said...

Hence the 14th amendment call...Clinton said he would do it without a doubt

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I am curious do you believe the vote that Charlie cast showed leadership? Where is his plan? Why doesn't he and the Tuesday Group forge a plan like the Gang of 6. That is leadership. What Mr. Dent did was show that he was a follower and I believe we have too many followers in both parties in D.C.
I don't believe voting in the House is an academic exercise. It is actually the sole reason we elect our representatives, to vote their conscience.
Charlie actually has an opportunity to lead on the issue, especially if you believe him to be a moderate. Instead he remains silent, hoping his votes go unpublished and unchallenged in the Newspaper (Blogging about it on Pennsylvania Ave does not constitute reporting).

Still Looking

Anonymous said...

Great comments on Colby Itkowitz...uh hum...report. Mcall is really a wrag, how do these people call themselves reporters?

http://blogs.mcall.com/penn_ave/2011/07/dent-all-pa-gop-vote-for-cut-cap-and-balance.html

Seamus

Anonymous said...

This is really lipstick Legislation. How can Charlie contiuously vote for two unfunded wars, TARP and unfunded tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and then support legislation without and real plan.

While I do not like all the proposals, we really have an opportunity to make some meaningful longterm decisions to control spending and deficit reduction strategies.

Lets not pretend some just want the middle class and poor to burden all the pain. A fair, balance plan is the only way to solve the debt.

Lets not forget the unfundeed taxbreaks are a big part of this deficit just like the undunded entitlements.

Enough with the lipstick legislation already.

BOH 1224. You are right, but how much of our money has this Congress wasting on palatable politics. I do not blame Charlie. I blame extreme ideology.

Hold the tea please.

Anonymous said...

The American people in the form of Independents will let congress know how they feel about playing all these games to pander to silly political bases. The need to waste time to "cover your ass" with meaningless legislation that has no chance of going anywhere is disgusting. What is even more disgusting is doing it while retiree's are nervously watching for their SS checks, employees are nervously watching their 401K's and Wall Street is ready to dump. American Bond ratings to go from a "AAA' to 'B+'. That is great. We will have the same credit rating as the nation of Gabon.

Does anyone have any rice to go with my Teas.

No one likes an ideologue, whether it is Chairman Mao or Ms. Bachmann.

Grown up, the nation is tired of your silly games. Your line in the sand is for ten year olds not statesmen.

Pele

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I commend Charlie for his vote. That said, the truth is he would have taken a lot of heat no matter how he voted. One may criticize this legislation as simply symbolic but the truth is many of these Republicans are doing exactly what the voters in their districts elected them to do. Democrats might want to take notice of this.

Scott Armstrong

Patrick McHenry said...

Pele -

The only ones to actually put forth a plan to avert the catastrophe that concerns you so much are the House Republicans.

Their plan allows the debt ceiling to increase (and avoid default) while putting the country on a path to balance the budget in a few years instead of continuing to overspend by about $125 BILLION a month. That's hardly a radical proposal - that's responsible.

Instead, the President and the Democrats have NOTHING on the table. All we have from them are empty promises and NOTHING in writing.

It is the Democrats who are willing to risk default over THEIR ideology, and Obama has stated he will withhold the social security checks of seniors. That's shameful.

Dent's vote was right.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone who registered unease with Democratic congressman wanted an ideological "destroy the village in order to save it" strict tea party agenda. Some voters actua;lly thought the new folks would have some common sense. I believe the numerous Independents that always sway general elections will notice that come next elections.

Pele

Patrick McHenry said...

Pele -

The ones who are stuck on their ideology are the Democrats.

I'm willing to discuss alternatives, but the President and the Senate Democrats won't put anything in writing to discuss. The President has also said he might be willing to withhold social security checks from our seniors.

That's pathetic.

Until the Democrats are willing to get serious, the plan passed by the House is the only responsible option.

Lighthouse said...

McHenry,
I have been pointing out our national debt for years. The shock value of the national debt from year to year was just as shocking to view during the Bush/Republican years, as it is now. As any family or business can tell you there is a limit after which no one will want to lend to you.

Yet, the debt ceiling is a rather arbitrary self-imposition. The Republican controlled House already appropriated the spending they now don't want to pay for (talk about politicians flip-flopping...kind of Kerry-isk, "I approved spending the money, before I opposed spending the money"). Add the previous decade under both Republican and Democratic majorities.... all of this renewed concern of the GOP about the debt ceiling is more hypocritical manuevering for political advantage in 2012. I even read a politico piece quoting an aide saying that once Obama praised the Gang of six, it instantly became DOA for many House GOP...can't dare have ANY sign of cooperation on any point with Obama. And there was another piece about how the liberals were likewise mad at Obama. That tells me that the Gang of six might actually be compromising, aka, trying to govern.

Anonymous said...

Well Pete, there was no recourse because the GOP refuses to increase revenue by removing corporate subsidies. They do whatever it takes to protect their budies

Anonymous said...

What is this"in writing" silliness. So what exactly should be put in writing. Oh wait, I get. please put oin writing we want to raise taxes.

Baggers get off on goofy written pledges. Real people are less inclined to take seriously people who prejudge issues before they even confront them.

Silly baggers and their silly games.

Anonymous said...

Resolved, the debt limit shall be increased to x.

Debt limit crisis resolved.

No, do it the Dent way. Hold the US hostage to the right wing zealots of your party who will slash a program to feed a child while declaring a tax on the uber wealthy as evil and preserving Rupert Murdoch's 4 billion dollar TAX REFUND.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"There's no such thing as an 'academic exercise.' It's a real vote in the US House."

Jonathan, Then you don't know too much about government. The House was giving the Senate and Obama a message. I see this sort of thing all the time. In the Pa Senate, for example, there's legislation to bar divorce under consideration. That has been proposed as an academic exercise to make a point with those who say marriage is sacred and should be between man and woman only.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Why doesn't he and the Tuesday Group forge a plan like the Gang of 6. That is leadership."

Good point, Dent is ranked somewhere in the middle on leadership. I'm not sure if he could do more without alienating people.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I guess my point about leadership is that sometimes you have to alienate people, even your friends to make sure the right think is done. The last think we want is fear of alienation driving what should happen on critical issues facing the future of our country. On less important issues it would be different. However, on issues of such significance you want your elected leaders to stand up and lead. To do that sometimes you put your re-election in jeopardy, but the right thing needs to happen. Fear of alienation and a desire to move up in leadership in both parties is part of the problem. This can be resolved through something like term limits. It a Washington problem and right now our representative is not part of the solution, so he is part of the problem.

Still Looking

Anonymous said...

Patrick,

I prefer the the larger 3 Trillion Dollar plan, however Republicans would settle for the 800 Billion plan to push the debt past the next election just so they could protect tax breaks for the wealthy. How many jobs did those tax breaks create? I say pull back those tax breaks and redistribute to businesses that actually create jobs.

Congress should have agreed on a goal and work together to get to that goal by negotiation.

Throwing out a do-nothing plan and voting infavor of ignorance does not resolve the situation. Just another unproductive day on Capital Hill at TAXPAYER expense.

I favor deeper cuts than raising the retirement age. Is it age discrimination to raise the retirement age of those under 55 despite having met the minimum life time SS contribution?

What kind of Society allows select professions to retire with Defined Pensions after 20 years of service or provides benefits after X terms in office and then ask their kids to work more than 45 years to pay for those benefits?

Anonymous said...

I question just about everything some of these people do. Let us be real, some people just don't belong in power. Some people should not even be voting.

Judson Phillips

Anonymous said...

Dent is an empty suit.He's done. The Lehigh Valley is NOT tea party country.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 11:12 -

We can discuss the "$3 Trillion plan" and contrast it to what the House just passed. However, there is no "$3 Trillion Plan" in writing that would enable us to see what makes up the $3 trillion.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 8:15 -

Yes, I guess I'm a little funny about wanting to see budgets, laws and deficit-reduction plans "in writing" so that they can be properly evaluated.

I'm not an advocate of the Pelosi-approach of having to pass bills to actually see what's in them.

Anonymous said...

dent would be more credible on this, had he pushed for it ANYTIME during the last ten years of our government's budgetary gorge-fest.

Anonymous said...

Time for Charlie to go! He is out of touch with his district.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've been hearing that Dent is out of touch since he was first elected Maybe it's time for you to consider the possibility that you are out of touch.

Anonymous said...

its a D+2 district Bernie....how can a conservative (by voting records)properly represent the district? He just voted to reconnect to his conservative roots remember. As to it being an "academic exercise" That is ridiculous. He voted for a bill that could very easily become law. HE voted, not anyone else and needs to be held accountable for it.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Well your "academic exercise" is being debated today in the senate. Many republicans say it may get through to test Obama's veto threat. Wouldn't that be nice, playing chicken with the world economy.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

He also voted to end medicare. Nuffsaid!

Patrick McHenry said...

Newsline - America Held Hostage by Democrats, Day XXX:

Still no plan for solving the debt crisis from either the President or Congressional Democrats.

American people as if Cut, Cap & Balance is so terrible, where is the democrat alternative?

Anonymous said...

Patrick what have they been doing in the talks at the whitehouse....What was Biden doing with congressional leaders for months....What has the gang of six been doing? Oh, that's right trying to build consensus on a plan!

And what chance in hell would a democratic only plan have of getting through congress and the do nothing party of no.....that's right....none....so stop talking nonsense please it makes you look bad

Seamus

Patrick McHenry said...

Seamus -

The whole point is that none of the things you mention have been reduced to writing.

Put one or two or three of the proposals into the form of a bill, and then compare them. Vote on them to see where there is support. It's not all that difficult.

Talk is cheap. Putting something in writing takes guts - and leadership.

Donna Baver Rovito said...

Seamus asked: "And what chance in hell would a democratic only plan have of getting through congress "

Since the House and Senate are split, about the same chance as a Republican-only plan....of course, we can't KNOW that, since there hasn't been a plan from the Democrats or the President.

Of course, when the House and Senate and the White House WERE all under Democratic control, we got ObamaCare.....

So maybe gridlock IS better....

Anonymous said...

Sorry Donna recheck your math, the R's hold the house and have been doing one hell of a job keeping the voting block together.

And do you people think the negotiations are not documented. Who holds meetings and don't document the proceedings? It has not been written into a bill because there is no sense in doing so until a consensus is met. Why waste days of wrangling when things can actually be getting done. We don't need shows, we need actions.

Seamus

Seamus

Anonymous said...

"Whatever deal emerges from White House debt-ceiling talks, the push to avoid a default comes down to what will fly in the GOP-controlled House."

http://news.yahoo.com/trillion-dollar-debt-ceiling-talks-pass-house-004800475.html

The "what is the Presidents plan or what is the Democratic plan" talking points are moot..

Seamus