So by now, you’ve likely had your head spinning from the news from the DFL side regarding who is running for what, and lots of candidates coming out of the woodwork to run for this and switch to that, and run for something when they were running for something else. It’s interesting, at least to a politics junkie, and you’re reading this web site, so…
You were likely looking at the governor race, and this involves that to be sure. You may not have been following closely enough to know the candidate filing period just closed, or you heard but didn’t care what that meant. The weirdness has a whole lot to do with that however. It all starts, however, with the race for state attorney general (AG). Yes, an office a lot of people haven’t even heard of.
The first update: not only Phyllis Schlafly has been warning Republicans that their assumption that the route back to the presidency requires winning more Hispanics might be wrong. Byron York has been doing likewise, though rather than just assuming Republicans can’t win more Hispanics, he said he crunched some numbers and found that winning more Hispanics won’t be enough to win the electoral college unless they can win the same sort of majority Democrats are winning now. Bolding is mine:
In 2012, President Obama famously won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote to Mitt Romney’s 27 percent. If all other factors remained the same, how large a percentage of the Hispanic vote would Romney have had to win to capture the White House? …READ MORE
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced a resolution that could be termed that, though it’s not the official title, in the U.S. House in late February. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is a co-sponsor. This is from an email I got, from UltraViolet, a tremendously righteous advocacy organization.
The last two years have seen nothing but a constant assault on women’s rights–everything from blocking our access to abortions, to allowing our employers to make our health care decisions, to the insane idea that rape victims can’t get pregnant.
In fact, the last two years saw a record-breaking number of attacks on women’s access to health care.
Now, some leaders in Congress are finally showing what it means to be pro-woman. The Women’s Bill of Rights has been introduced in Congress by progressive champions Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Gwen Moore and Rep. Louise Slaughter. It covers everything from ensuring equal pay for equal work, paternal leave and paid sick days, and increasing access to reproductive health care and birth control.
Many of the candidates running this year in Minneapolis will be at the SD63 DFL’s annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser and Silent Auction. Guests will get to meet candidates and be served spaghetti by candidates and local elected officials including Rep. Keith Ellison. There will be children’s activities, and the silent auction will include political collectibles from local DFLers.
The spaghetti dinner is Saturday March 16th from 5-7:00 at Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church at 4120 17th Av.S. in Minneapolis. Here’s a map. Tickets are adult $20.00, teen (13-17) $5.00, children (12 and under) free. For details and to RSVP, go to the SD63 web site.
Republicans nearly caused the US to default on our debt. They lowered our credit rating with this stunt. They forced Democrats to accept sequestration through the Budget Control Act. The compromise forces deep cuts in all aspects of government including our military.
Despite this, Republicans are trying to blame Obama for the problems they caused. Leave it to Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) to call them on their bull****.
COLE: I think it is inevitable. This was a presidential suggestion back in 2011, an idea. And yet the president himself hasn’t put out any alternatives. Republicans twice in the House have passed legislation to deal with it, once as early as last May and again after the election in December. Senate never picked up either of those bills, never offered their own thing. Now we’re three weeks out, and folks are worried. They ought to be worried. On the other hand, these cuts are going to occur. […]
ELLISON: Well, Tom, the problem with saying this is the president’s idea is that you voted for the Budget Control Act. I voted against it. We wouldn’t have ever been talking about the Budget Control Act but for your party refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling something that has been routinely increased as the country needed it. You used that occasion in 2011 August to basically say we are going to default on the country’s obligations or you’re going to give us dramatic spending cuts. That’s how we got to the Budget Control Act. (Think Progress)
Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) voted against the Republican’s No Budget No Pay Act. It was the House Republicans temporary fix to prevent the US government from going into default over the House’s inability to once and for all deal with the debt ceiling.
The Tea Party members want to hold our economy hostage to get massive cuts to social programs. They have no problem crashing our economy.
Keith cut right to the quick in his press release:
“I voted no today on the No Budget, No Pay Act because it kicks the can down the road and it threatens jobs. The bill sets up another debt ceiling fight in a few months, ensuring that both markets and the American people will continue to be caught up in this manufactured drama. We need a clean debt ceiling increase immediately, as we have done dozens of times in the past, including 18 times under Ronald Reagan and 7 times under George W. Bush.
“The bill also contained a provision that directly violates the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. The Amendment states: ‘No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.’ The 27th Amendment was ratified to ensure that members voted for or against a bill based on what was right for their constituents, not their own compensation. I swore an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and cannot in good conscience support an unconstitutional bill.
“The bill might have a catchy title, but we’re sent here to find solutions that protect and invest in working families. I voted no because this bill fails this test.”
Rose McGee had it tough for a while. She’d lost her job and couldn’t make her mortgage payments. She’s not alone.
Many Minnesotans faced foreclosure and banks like US Bank and Wells Fargo were completely uninterested in renegotiating their mortgages so these folks could keep their homes.
McGee’s case involves Fannie Mae who behave no better than US Bank or Wells Fargo. Despite finding a good-paying job, Fannie Mae refuses to let her keep her home. They have been utterly unwilling to negotiate her mortgage.
To highlight the problem, Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) attended McGee’s eviction hearing today. It’s a symbolic gesture of solidarity.
Here’s the real work Ellison is doing to help folks like Ms. McGee:
The housing market crash has made it very difficult for many Minnesotans to find a home they can afford for their family. Ninety-four percent of Minnesota counties lack any affordable rental housing, and nearly 1 in 7 Minnesotans pays more than half their income for housing. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Ellison has made affordable housing a priority since I came to Congress. In 2012, he introduced the bipartisan Preserving American Homeownership Act. The bill would allow struggling homeowners to qualify for more affordable monthly mortgage payments, ending foreclosure for many Minnesota families and strengthening the housing market. (Ellison Press Release)
Thankfully, Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (Keith is Co-Chair) will not let any so-called “fiscal cliff” deal pass the House if it includes cuts to Social Security.
“102 Democrats recently signed a letter saying Social Security should be off the table in these negotiations,” Ellison noted. “Any agreement brought to the House floor is going to need many of those same Democrats to pass, so it will be difficult to pass something that includes a cut for those who use every dollar from their Social Security checks to pay for food and housing.”
Just yesterday the CPC released a statement on Republican John Boehner’s plan to cut Social Security by changing the way it calculates inflation.
“Everyone has a grandparent, a friend or a neighbor who relies on the Social Security benefits they earned to pay for medical care, food and housing. A move towards chained CPI would be a long-term benefit cut for every single person who receives a Social Security check.”
“The current average earned benefit for a 65 year old on Social Security is $17,134. Using chained CPI will result in a $6,000 loss for retirees in the first fifteen years of retirement and adds up to a $16,000 loss over twenty-five years. This change would be devastating to beneficiaries, especially widowed women, more than a third of whom rely on the program for 90% of their income and use every single dollar of the Social Security checks they’ve earned. This would require the most vulnerable Americans to dig further into their savings to fill the hole left by unnecessary and irresponsible cuts to Social Security.”
“I am committed to standing against any benefit cuts to programs Americans rely on and tying Social Security benefits to chained CPI is a benefit cut.”
As opposed to the imbecile displays of the conservative idiocracy. Check this out.
While a very public debate is happening in the Senate over rules reform that would make Republican obstruction more difficult for them, a quieter discussion happened Monday in a federal court in Washington. Four House Democrats, Common Cause, and a group of DREAM-eligible young professionals brought the challenge to the Senate’s filibuster, claiming it unconstitutionally inconsistent with the principle of majority rule. Monday’s hearing centered on Senate lawyers’ motion to dismiss the case….The House Democrats bringing the challenge are Reps. Keith Ellison (MN), Hank Johnson (GA), John Lewis (GA) and Mike Michaud (ME).
This progressive “gang of six” includes Progressive Caucus co-chairs Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., plus Reps. Michael Honda, D-Calif.; Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.; John Conyers, D-Mich.; and Barbara Lee, D-Calif.
“Low- and moderate-income Americans are already contributing to deficit reduction through the Budget Control Act spending caps and are likely to be asked to sacrifice more. Progressive tax reform is the only way that wealthy Americans can share significantly in that sacrifice,” their statement of principles says. That tax reform, their statement continues, would need to raise the level of taxation as a percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product above the 19.5 percent average that existed the last time the federal budget was balanced on an annual basis, in the late 1990s.
“The writing is on the wall: a revenue-neutral approach to tax reform – on either the corporate or individual side of the tax code – is not an option,” their statement says.
Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) signed a letter to John Boehner, along with 101 other Members of Congress, demanding he take Social Security of the table when negotiating a solution to the fiscal cliff. Ellison is Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Currently, Republican proposals only include cuts to non-military spending. That means Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all social programs.
The 1% are safe and military spending is left alone.
We are writing to inform you that we will oppose including Social Security cuts for future or current beneficiaries in any deficit reduction package.
Under long-standing federal law, Social Security is not part of the federal budget and cannot contribute to the federal deficit.
Under long-standing federal law, Social Security is not part of the federal budget and cannot contribute to the federal deficit. This reflects Social Security’s structure as an independent, self-financed insurance program, in which worker contributions, not general taxes, finance benefits. In our view, it is essential that Social Security’s status as a separate entity be fully maintained.
Contrary to some claims, Social Security is not the cause of the nation’s deficit problem. Not only does the program operate independently, but it is prohibited from borrowing. Social Security must pay all benefits from its own trust fund. If there are insufficient funds to pay out full benefits, benefits are automatically reduced to the level supported by the program’s own revenues. Social Security cannot drive up the deficit by tapping general revenues to pay benefits. Additionally, it is important to note that over its lifetime, Social Security has collected and earned $15.5 trillion and only paid out $12.9 trillion in benefits.
Even though Social Security operates in a fiscally responsible manner, some still advocate deep benefit cuts and seem convinced that Social Security hands out lavish welfare checks. But Social Security is not welfare. Seniors earned their benefits by working hard and paying into the system. Meanwhile, the average monthly Social Security benefit for seniors is only about $1,200, quite low by international standards.
For all these reasons, we believe it would be a serious mistake to cut Social Security benefits for current or future beneficiaries as part of a deficit reduction package. To be sure, Social Security has its own long-term challenges that will need to be addressed in the decades ahead. But the budget and Social Security are separate and should be considered separately.