Morning Action: Disobey the Hastert Rule, We Pick Up the Tab
GUNS. Today at 11 am, the gun legislation a handful of Senators have been working on will be revealed, but in Washington, getting things done does not equal making things better:
Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) hope to announce a deal Wednesday and are just working out legislative language, an aide close to the negotiations said Tuesday night. The two lawmakers scheduled a press conference for Wednesday morning, according to advisories issued by both offices.
The deal under discussion would expand background checks for people buying guns from unlicensed dealers in commercial sales online and at gun shows, according to the aide. Currently, only federally licensed dealers must conduct background checks and keep paper records of the sales. The lawmakers agreed to exempt sales to immediate family members and some hunters from the new requirements.
Mr. Schumer and Sen. Mark Kirk (R. , Ill.) also participated in the negotiations.
OBAMA BUDGET. “It’s a great budget,” said no one ever. Of course, the President’s gotten very different complaints from the two ends of the political spectrum, conservatives displeased primarily with the new taxes and spending and liberals decrying the budget’s meager entitlement reforms:
President Obama will unveil his budget later today, offering a fiscal plan that even before it’s officially released is eliciting groans from his conservative opponents as well as his backers on the left.
The president’s 2014 budget details a plan for cutting the deficit by $1.8 trillion over the next decade, while also calling for billions of dollars in new spending to repair the country’s infrastructure and bolster education, according to a White House overview of the document.
GOP FAIL. Yet again, fiscally irresponsible legislation finagled its way through the House, because House leadership failed to adhere to the Hastert Rule, which Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) recently called for. And guess who gets to pay for this kind of mistake? You guessed it! We do.
The House on Tuesday barely passed legislation that would extend a national battlefield preservation program in a vote that saw most Republicans oppose it after Heritage Action for America called on members to vote it down.
Republicans split 101-122 on the bill, and every Democrat voted for it.
The vote is the latest example of Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) willingness to abandon the so-called “Hastert Rule,” the principle that leadership only brings up legislation that is supported by a majority of the majority.
TAXES. There is a clear divide in America between people who like the income tax system and those who do not:
A clear majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the federal income tax system, according to new Washington Post-ABC News polling. But, in a somewhat remarkable finding, a majority of Democrats view the tax system in a positive light while Republicans and Independents carry the exact opposite view. Fifty-three percent of self-identified Democrats in the Post-ABC survey view the income tax system favorably while 43 percent see it unfavorably. That’s a stark contrast to the 66 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of independents who have an unfavorable opinion of the tax system.
Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas of the role of the federal government in our lives. But this difference is seen much more clearly between conservatives, who believe that we the people, not we the government, are the best stewards of our own financial resources, and liberals, who believe that the government should decide how to spend our paychecks.