Earlier this morning, Speaker John Boehner and the U.S. House Republican leadership held a press conference to announce a new proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy and avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” or the steep set of spending cuts and tax increases that will arrive by the end of the year if a deficit deal is not reached. Specifically, Mr. Boehner’s plan would extend the current tax rates on everyone making less than $1 million a year, a sharp jump from President Barack Obama’s own counteroffer yesterday, which conceded a $400,000 ceiling. Mr. Obama had previously stood firm on allowing the tax cuts to expire for everyone making more than $250,000, a number that GOP lawmakers apparently found unacceptable.
“Our hope continues to be to reach an agreement with the president on a balanced approach that averts the fiscal cliff. What we’ve offered meets the definition of balance, but the President is not there yet,” Mr. Boehner began. “What the White House offered yesterday was essentially $1.3 million in new revenues, for only $850 billion in net spending reductions. That’s not balanced in my opinion. So, at the same time that we’re going to talk to the President, we’re going to also move ‘plan B.’”
Governor Andrew Cuomo spent the day in Washington yesterday lobbying for the approximately $40 billion in federal aid he is asking for to help the state recover from Hurricane Sandy. Politicker spoke with sources familiar with the governor’s schedule to get details on how he spent his time and who he met with on his first trip to Washington since taking office.
“The governor hit the trifecta; the White House, the Majority Leader and the speaker,” an administration official said.
Earlier today, President Barack Obama gathered with the majority and minority leaders of both houses of Congress to move forward in avoiding automatic spending cuts and tax hikes set to occur at the end of the year. Although Democrats and Republicans have, at times, seemed to have irreconcilable differences in the process, the various elected officials walked out of the Roosevelt Room with an optimistic outlook that a compromise would be reached.
“I can only echo the observations of the other leaders that it was a constructive meeting. We all understand where we are….We are prepared to put revenue on the table provided we fix the real problem,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, according to a White House pool report. “Most of my members, I think without exception, believe that we’re in the dilemma we’re in not because we taxed too little but because we spent too much.”
House Speaker John Boehner sounded downright pessimistic on his party’s odds in New York during a Fox News interview earlier today, The Hill reports.
“I believe that we will, but we’ve got a real challenge,” Mr. Boehner said when asked about Republican chances of holding onto their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I would say that there is a 2-in-3 chance that we win control of the House again but there’s a 1-in-3 chance that we could lose.”
Congressional Republican leaders are taking a lot of heat for their their rejection of the payroll tax cut extension passed by the Senate, but one person is encouraging Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to stick to their guns–Queens Congressman Bob Turner. In a letter to Speaker Boehner and Congressman Cantor today, Congressman Turner told them to keep fighting the good fight. “I am writing you today to ask you to continue fighting for the one year extension of the payroll tax holiday, and to convince the Senate that doing the hard work necessary to come to an agreement on a bill that will help our citizens long term, is much more important than a vacation,” Congressman Turner wrote.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gets more Wall Street donations than anyone else in Congress.
Mayor Bloomberg described the failure of the supercommittee as “a disaster for the country.”
Westchester businessman Daniel Rubino is considering running for Senator Gillibrand’s seat in 2012.
Senator Chuck Schumer told the Observer today that Speaker of the House John Boehner has “frustrated” President Obama by not compromising more in debt talks, but he thinks the situation will help the President’s chances of reelection.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said Occupy Wall Street is following his lead on the “Millionaire’s Tax.”
The FBI was watching former Queens Congresswoman and
Republican Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.
Democratic State Senator Adriano Espaillat organized a march in Washington Heights in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
MF Global, a hedge fund brokerage headed by former New Jersey Governor and Senator Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy Monday. The New York Times is calling the firm’s collapse “the first American financial casualty of the European debt crisis.”
debt ceiling debate
Members of a bipartisan “supercommittee” formed to address the national debt can’t seem to agree on a plan and it doesn’t look like they will any time soon.
Add Long Island Congressman Peter King to the list of Republicans who support the agreement hashed out by President Obama and Congressional leaders to raise the federal debt ceiling.
In a statement sent to The Politicker last yesterday evening, after House Speaker John Boehner had laid out the details of the budget bill, he had high praise for the both the deal and the embattled Boehner.