Pelosi: My members will protect benefits

Talking Points Memo:

The debt limit fight is over, but the fight over entitlement programs will continue for months. In the weeks ahead, the leaders of both parties in both the House and Senate will name three members each to a new committee tasked with reducing the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.

The ultimate makeup of that committee is key. It will determine whether this Congress will pass further fiscal legislation, and, thus, what the major themes of the 2012 election will be.

At a pre-recess press conference Tuesday afternoon, TPM asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) whether the people she appoints to the committee will make the same stand she made during the debt limit fight — that entitlement benefits — as opposed to provider payments, waste and other Medicare spending — should be off limits.

In short, yes.

“That is a priority for us,” Pelosi said. “But let me say it is more than a priority – it is a value… it’s an ethic for the American people. It is one that all of the members of our caucus share. So that I know that whoever’s at that table will be someone who will fight to protect those benefits.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will also appoint three members to the committee. And if even a single one of them is willing to cut into Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits, then Pelosi’s efforts won’t really matter — the committee’s report can be approved by a bare majority of its 12 members.

But if Reid and Pelosi play this smart, they could create a sturdy firewall. And that’s especially true if Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appoint people to the committee who pledge not to allow net revenue increases.

10 thoughts on “Pelosi: My members will protect benefits

  1. Yeah, if it’s Harkin, Sanders, and Merkley for Senate and Kucinich, Lee, Conyers for Congress. Any way in @#$% it will be them?

  2. It’s all about the chained CPI, and Pelosi ain’t exactly a firewall on that. Unless by firewall they mean “lubricious , shifty wall of jello.”

  3. I read things like this and all I can think is, “who do they think they’re fooling?”

    Nancy herself voted yes on this shit-Twinkie: why the hell would I believe she’s going to be a “firewall” now?

  4. We need to purge the rottenness from the Democratic Party. I think an effective electoral slogan across the board would be “Throw Out the Bums” No matter whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.

    No wonder nobody in the Press takes the Democrats seriously. Why should they? This economy and our way of life is over forever because the men and women we elected are selfish, callow assholes who are compromised and compromising, and who are simply unprincipled and have no sense of shame. At least the Tea Party neanderthals believe in something, even if it’s wrong.

    It’s like we’re being led by the 21st-century version World War I generals who amuse themselves with maps and tin soldiers far from the horrors of economic trench warfare. I get the feeling the ensuing calamitous economic collapse will also lead to the final major resources (read: oil) war.

  5. To Jay: Don’t forget the war over water as climate change gets worse and the world population booms to10 billion or so. But that’s another story. The short-term disaster here at home is all I can stomach for now, and just barely. Pelosi is a lying sack of shit and Harry Reid is like a dying weed blowing in the wind. They were stupid and/or dishonest to sign on to the idea of a special committee, which only excludes regular people even more from the so-called democratic process. Just remember: Not one of these fucking hacks is saying a word about how they caved on revenues. We should remind them every day.

  6. They’re satisfied with fooling enough of us long enough to get away with what they WANT to do.

    A commneter at FDL found a clear reason why there will be NO revenues for any Committee of the Twelve Caesars recommendations/bill.

    >blockquote>KellyCanfield, Denver, August 2nd, 2011 at 2:48 pm # 6

    I found a loophole in the SuperCongress bill. There is a provision for debate in the Bill.

    (e) Consideration by the Other House-
    (1) IN GENERAL- If, before passing the joint committee bill, one House receives from the other a joint committee bill–
    (A) the joint committee bill of the other House shall not be referred to a committee; and
    (B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be the same as if no joint committee bill had been received from the other House until the vote on passage, when the joint committee bill received from the other House shall supplant the joint committee bill of the receiving House.
    (2) REVENUE MEASURE- This subsection shall not apply to the House of Representatives if the joint committee bill received from the Senate is a revenue measure. (emphasis added)

    So, an all cuts bill won’t be subject to amendment in the House. But any bill with revenue? Subject to amendment in the House.

    Anybody who claims that revenue is an option in the bill coming out of SuperCongress is flat out lying. Anybody.

    We wuz robbed. And lied to. And they’re working hard on bamboozing us as much as they can, as long as they, until they gut SocSec and Medicare/other New Deal and Great Society programs.

    They includes Obama and his Corporatist ConservaDems, as well as Republicans. In fact, Obama’s looking more to me like a master lying liar.

    Joe Biden told the Dem caucus that Obama had been willing to use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling IF the bill had not passed.

    Obama wanted his own little Politburo. And he got it. By lying. He does luv secret negotiations behind closed doors….

  7. Blockquote of Kelly’s comment ends at “Anybody who claims that revenue is an option in the bill coming out of SuperCongress is flat out lying. Anybody.”

    Apology for the messed up formatting. (I need a better proofreader.)

  8. Read this and then decide if you can trust a word that this woman says.

    “When the voting began on the controversial—and ugly—debt ceiling bill in the House of Representatives on Monday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Democratic leader, did not know how many votes House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had for the measure that had been crafted by President Barack Obama and the Republicans. Boehner had not reached out to her to make certain that the crucial legislation designed to prevent a potentially disastrous US default would be approved. When Boehner “went to the table”—brought the bill to a vote—he “had no idea” how many votes he had, Pelosi says.

    The speaker, as it turned out, did not have enough Republican votes to pass the bill—only 174—and he had made no arrangement to guarantee its success. When there were minutes left for the vote, and it became apparent that Boehner would fall far short of the 216 votes necessary for passage, Pelosi’s Democrats began voting in favor of the measure. “We were not going to let it go down,” she told a small group of journalists on Wednesday morning….”

    “Pelosi didn’t have to send any signal. Her Democrats, she says, are a “sophisticated” group, and they could see that without Democratic support the bill would fail.”

  9. i don’t trust ANY of them any more. They do NOT act in our best interest and haven’t since Clinton (and even HE sold us out to NAFTA). No, it’s over –
    politics is completely useless as a means for the citizenry to effect change through “their” representatives. We don’t count. Voting does nothing and the whole system is corrupted by corporate interests, special interest groups and lobbyists. It’s only going to get worse in our lifetimes.

  10. Not much talk these days about how we managed to accumulate the deficit. Which is too bad, because then we might realize that we are trying to reduce the deficit by doing the same dumb shit that created it in the first place.

    Too bad it’s considered impolite to mention George W. Bush or his wrongheaded policies (which, let’s face it, are just standard Republican policies. Bush didn’t invent them, he just carried them out). It’s like not mentioning a friend’s alcoholic relative with a history of DUIs when trying to figure out who could have smashed up the car.

    And too bad Democrats dislike bad manners more than bad policy.

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