The most stunning display of misplaced priorities took place in the House, where our Republican representatives ditched their constituents…hung em out to dry. Wisconsin State Journal:
U.S. DEBT PRIORITIES: Voting for the bill, House bill (HR 807) gave payment priority to bondholders, such as domestic pension funds and foreign governments, if the Treasury were unable to meet all of its debt obligations. Social Security trust funds would be next in line … Republicans said this advance statement of debt-payment priorities would instill confidence in investors essential to the health of the U.S. economy.
Investors were more essential than Americans, especially seniors. Here’s what the Democrats wanted. Compare their priorities:
DEMOCRATS’ DEBT PRIORITIES: Voting 200 for and 207 against, the House defeated a bid by Democrats to ensure that obligations to federal deposit insurance, Social Security and Medicare trust funds, veterans’ benefits and recovery from natural disasters be paid ahead of debt service to foreign bondholders such as China and Iran under the terms of HR 807 (above).
Who’s looking out for our interests? The Republicans who put paying off China and Iran first, or securing out social safety nets and veterans benefits? It’s breathtaking really.
A yes vote backed the Republican bill. Voting yes: Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Sean Duffy, Reid Ribble. Voting no: Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, Gwen Moore.
That was the first slap in the face. Here’s the second where Republican take the side of business owners and not working Americans. Essentially, Republicans support doing away with overtime pay:
‘COMP TIME’ FOR OVERTIME: Voting 223 for and 204 against, the House sent bill (HR 1406) authorizing employers in the private sector to offer “compensatory time off” in place of extra cash for working overtime. Under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are required to pay “time and a half” for each hour worked over 40 hours per week. Under this bill, they could instead provide one and a half hours off for each hour over 40 if that is agreeable to the employee. Employers have discretion to schedule the time off under the bill, and state agencies, not the U.S. Department of Labor, would enforce comp-time agreements.
A yes vote was to pass the bill. Voting yes: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble. Voting no: Pocan, Kind, Moore.
The Democrats should have opposed any changes outright, blasting the Republicans, but as usual they “compromised” by softening this bizarre attack on overtime pay:
EMPLOYEE CONTROL OF ‘COMP TIME’: Voting 200 for and 207 against, the House defeated a Democratic bid to give employees the right to schedule their time off under certain circumstances. This motion shifted control to workers if they need to schedule medical appointments, care for a family member or, if they are veterans, schedule appointments related to combat injuries.
A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.Voting yes: Pocan, Kind, Moore. Voting no: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble