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This Week in Washington: Tax Hikes on Table


The House and Senate will double down on the partisan political discourse this week focused primarily on taxes. The left is going to push Republicans to cave on tax increases before August recess by holding defense spending hostage.

The House and Senate are preparing for a debate on the proper income tax rates of all Americans to show the differences between the parties.  Liberals want to hike taxes on high earners so they can pay for bigger and bigger government. Congress has entered the silly season of using the House and Senate to send messages to the voters.

Roll Call is reporting that Democrats are going to use the Defense Sequester to leverage tax increases from Republicans. “Senate Democrats see no political downside to leaving the issue of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending until after the November elections, as they try to use the cuts as leverage with Republicans to negotiate on tax increases on the wealthy.” Republicans may get so nervous about pending defense cuts to the tune of about $600 billion in 2013 that they may cut a bad tax deal.

Democrats were smart enough to carve out Social Security and Medicaid from the deal they cut with Republican leadership in the House and Senate to pay for an increase in the debt ceiling. The liberals have set up a win-win-win situation this fall. Either they get massive cuts to defense spending, force Republicans to hike taxes or a combination of both. Liberals are prepared to force weak kneed Republicans into violating their Taxpayer Protection Pledge not to raise taxes. Some conservatives have already cried uncle and are ready to sign onto a secret congressional plan to raise your taxes.

The House is out of session today. On Tuesday, the House will conduct five suspension votes on S. 2039 (a bill to allow State and local governments to construct levees on open space lands), S. 1959 (the Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act considered a Pakistani based terrorist organization), H.R. 6018 (State Department authorization legislation), S. 2165 (U.S –Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act), and S. 2009 (Insular Areas Act dealing with the Marshall Islands and American Samoa). The remainder of the week the House will be dealing with H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act, and H.R. 5856, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act.

The Sequestration Transparency Act would give the President 30 days to “submit to Congress a detailed report on the sequestration required to be ordered by” the debt limit deal that ordered a massive cut to defense spending “for year 2013 on January 2, 2013.”  The House Armed Services Committee will be having a hearing on the industry’s perspectives on the defense sequester on Wednesday. Strong defense minded conservatives want to see the defense sequester of cuts turned off.  This legislation will force the Administration to map out their cuts to spending if the sequester is implemented and will provide the defense industry some idea of where the Obama Administration will look for $600 billion in cuts next year if the defense sequester is not undone.

The Senate will be voting on the nomination of Kevin McNulty to be a U.S. District Judge for New Jersey at 5pm today. After that vote, the Senate will vote on a motion to proceed to S. 3369, the so called DISCLOSE Act.  This bill contains a “severability clause” showing that the sponsor, liberal Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) knows there is a good chance that some provisions of his legislation may be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argues that the DISCLOSE Act’s federal government compelled disclosure of contributions to grassroots groups “is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit.”  McConnell further argues that “Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon.” He believes that the proponents want to expose Obama’s “critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies.” This really is a partisan exercise where the government is trying to use power to squelch dissent and criticism.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be voting on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Michael Farris of Home School Legal Defense was quoted in the Examiner saying that “Article 7 of the UNCRPD gives government the ability to override every decision of a parent of a disabled child if the government thinks that its views are ‘in the best interest of the child.”  TheUnited States already has existing laws protecting disabled people so the convention seems unnecessary.

Watch these Washington insiders closely to see if they will agree to increase your tax burden to further grow the size and scope of the federal government. Keep your eyes on both parties, because some Republicans are going squishy on tax issues.

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