Thom's blog - Monday January 3rd, 2011
You need to know this. In 2 days – Congress will reconvene for it’s 112th session – with Republicans firmly in control of the House of Representatives. On that day – a series of votes will be taken to approve new rules for the House – set by the Republican majority. Among these new rules: each new piece of legislation will now be required to include a statement regarding its constitutionality – also the Democrats’ previous rule known as PAYGO – which required all new spending legislation to be paid for by cuts to other programs – will be dismantled to exclude tax cuts for rich people from having to be paid for. Say hello to even higher deficits thanks to tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. But perhaps the most audacious new rule created by the Republican majority is one that gives the new Republicans Chairman of the Budget Committee Paul Ryan “stunning and unprecedented” powers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Under this new rule – if there is disagreement between the House and Senate Budget Resolutions – which is likely this year in a divided Congress – then Chairman Ryan will have the power to set spending levels completely on his own - without debate. Ryan has already made his intentions clear – he published a memo entitled “Roadmap for America’s Future” in which he calls for the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, handing both of those programs over to the traders and hustlers on Wall Street who helped fund his campaign for election. And now – if these new House rules pass – Ryan will become one of the most powerful men in Congress – able to carry out his radical agenda with a single stroke of the pen – and no debate.