John Barrasso

That Good News on Obamacare? Republicans Insist It's Not Real
March 31, 2014

For the GOP, denying reality is always easier than dealing with it.

Payroll Tax Cut: Floor Wax And Dessert Topping
February 17, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner has finally learned that if he wants to get something done he has to stop trying to please his own Republican majority. Here is the House roll call, 293-132, extending the payroll tax cut through 2012. Unemployment benefits were extended, too, though not for as long as Democrats wanted, and the Medicare “doc fix” was made, eliminating a drastic cut in Medicare reimbursements. You’ll note that the measure received slightly more votes from Democrats (147) than from Republicans (146), and that more than twice as many Republicans (91) as Democrats (41) voted against.

GOP Again Votes Down GOP Plan
December 08, 2011

Once again there was a vote on the Senate Republican compromise payroll-tax cut. Once again a majority of Republicans and all but two members of the Republican leadership failed to support the "Republican bill." Twenty-five Republican senators voted against the bill, 22 Republican senators voted for it, and the only members of the Senate leadership who cast ayes were Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and John Barrasso of West Virginia, vice-chairman of the Senate Republican conference.

Welfare Millionaires
December 05, 2011

The Democrats are inching toward compromise on the payroll tax, and apparently we'll see something from the House GOP soon. The most significant shifts for the Democrats are that they've lowered the proposed offsetting millionaire surtax a bit and made it "temporary," i.e., it would last ten years. The most significant shift for the Republicans will likely be that the payroll tax cut will be tied to some anti-environmental measures. Note that the Democrats are moving toward the Republicans while the Republicans are moving away from the Democrats.

Will More Smog Create Jobs? Republicans Think So.
August 29, 2011

Republicans continue to tout deficit reduction in the form of dramatic, immediate spending cuts as the best way to boost the economy. But with President Obama set to introduce a new jobs agenda after Labor Day, Republicans are now signaling they want to do something else, as well: Get rid of regulations. In a new memo released on Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor produced a list of "Top 10 Job-Destroying Regulations," including new rules on pollution, labor organizing, and health insurance.

No Republican In Congress Is Safe
January 13, 2011

Tom Jensen on the Republican primary threat: The fact that someone like Hutchison who has generally been among the more popular Senators in the country and has always won by wide margins has been at least partially pushed out by the Tea Party is indicative of a new reality for Republican Senators- pretty much no incumbent is safe if these folks decide to target them.

Defiance
March 01, 2010

Washington—The word "partisanship" is typically accompanied by the word "mindless." That's not simply insulting to partisans; it's also untrue. If we learn nothing else in 2010, can we please finally acknowledge that our partisan divisions are about authentic principles that lead to very different approaches to governing? Last week's health care summit was a day-long seminar that should make it impossible for anyone to pretend otherwise. But before we get to that, let's examine the Senate debate over whether to extend unemployment insurance coverage.

Summited Out
February 26, 2010

Who won? It's the exact same question people asked in 2008, after each of the presidential debates. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. What's "winning"--scoring more debate points, making fewer gaffes, or simply appealing to more voters? And aren't all those judgments pretty subjective anyway? But if Thursday's event didn't produce a winner, it was clarifying. Health care reform, as I've said many times now, is really about achieving three basic goals: Making sure everybody has insurance, making sure coverage is good, and making sure that, over time, medical care will cost less.

The GOP Wants Capitulation, Not Compromise
February 25, 2010

Who won? It's the exact same question people asked in 2008, after each of the presidential debates. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. What's "winning"--scoring more debate points, making fewer gaffes, or simply appealing to more voters? And aren't all those judgments pretty subjective anyway? But if Thursday's event didn't produce a winner, it was clarifying. (Click here to read more.)

Be There and Be Square
February 24, 2010

The White House has released some more details about Thursday's Blair House meeting: Who will be there and the shape of the table where they'll all be sitting: The President will be seated in the middle of one side of the hollow square, with the Vice President, Secretary Sebelius, and congressional Leadership seated alongside him.

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