Thursday, December 12, 2013

Only 32 Democrats Vote Against Budget Deal That Screws Federal Workers and the Unemployed

The House just passed the Murray-Ryan budget with a large bipartisan majority of 332 to 94. 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voted for it. 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats voted against it.

Yesterday, I wrote about how Democrats were urging a vote on the extension of unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million of the long-term unemployed. Patty Murray apparently had no problem selling them out when crafting a budget deal with Paul Ryan.

The House voted to leave for the year earlier this afternoon. The vote Democrats said that they want did not happen and will not happen this year. It might not happen next year. The easiest way to guarantee the extension of long-term unemployment benefits was the budget, and the Democrats gave that up in the negotiating process.

Patty Murray also sold out federal workers when crafting the budget deal. Republicans might not like taxing the rich, but they don't mind taxing federal workers, civilian and military. The budget deal raises the amount that federal workers have to contribute to their pensions, the equivalent of a payroll tax increase. And this comes after federal workers' salaries have been frozen since January 2010.

As John Nichols of the Nation said earlier today, the budget deal was "cruel, irresponsible, and dysfunctional". It did not end sequestration, just provided some "relief"--funding the government at levels still below Paul Ryan's infamous 2011 budget. It does nothing meaningful to address still-high unemployment and, as I noted, is cruel to those currently unemployed. It continues the tradition of making federal workers a bipartisan punching bag. And it fails to close any tax loophole, such as the carried interest loophole or the preferential treatment for capital gains, which both manage to survive every new budget.

Who are the 32 Democrats you should thank for voting against the deal?

Karen Bass (CA-37)
Judy Chu (CA-27)
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Lois Frankel (FL-22)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01)
Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Sander Levin (MI-09)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Linda Sánchez (CA-38)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Peter Visclosky (IN-01)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Mel Watt (NC-12)

The House also voted on the NDAA. I'll do a separate write-up on that.

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