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Jan 5

House Finally Acts

imageIn a surprise move, the House of Representatives yesterday voted overwhelmingly to secede from the union.

Shortly after taking their oaths of office and posing for ceremonial pictures with House Speaker John Boehner, the newly-installed members of the 113th Congress acted on a bill offered jointly by Chuck Fleischmann, Republican from Tennessee, and Joe Barton of Texas, compelling the House to formally withdraw from the United States of America.

All 233 Republicans voted for the measure, ensuring its passage. Not a single Democrat voted in favor.

Rep. Barton, explaining his reasons for offering the bill, said, “In this last election, the American people spoke loud and clear. They want a Congress that will solve this country’s problems, that will move beyond narrow partisan gridlock, that will take issues like global warming and guns violence seriously. That sure as heck isn’t what we in this chamber want.”

Michele Bachmann, Republican from Minnesota, an early and enthusiastic supporter of the bill, added, “It’s pretty dang clear that America and the House don’t see eye to eye on pretty much anything. Their agenda is so out of whack with ours it’s ridiculous even trying to talk to them. Health care for all, a progressive tax system, putting the interests of the people ahead of our campaign contributors—let’s face it, we have nothing in common with America.”

Speaker Boehner, in a last-minute attempt to stave off the vote, proposed a Plan B in which the House would move to an undisclosed offshore location but remain part of the country, but he was unable to muster enough support in the Republican caucus to bring the measure to the floor.

After the vote, a triumphant Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, exclaimed, “Let’s see them call us a do-nothing congress after this!”

Jan 2

Avoiding the Cliff

In a rare show of bipartisanship, a reluctant House of Representatives yesterday went along with the Senate and passed legislation designed to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and budget cuts scheduled to go into effect on January 1. The compromise legislation raises taxes on Americans making more than $400,000, extends unemployment insurance and buys Congress more time to address deep spending cuts.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the No. 2 man in the House, said in a prepared statement, “Today the members of the House of Representatives chose to put the best interests of the nation ahead of our own narrow self-interests. That will never happen again on my watch.”

Angry rank-and-file Republicans, many of whom held their noses and voted to support the bill, passed earlier by the Senate, echoed Mr. Cantor’s sentiments.

Rep. John Campbell of California said, “Today the American people, not the politicians and not the special interests who fund our campaigns, are the real winners. It’s sickening. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to the wealthy contributors who rightly expect us turn the entire national treasury over to them.”

Mr. Cantor added, “At least we still have the debt ceiling to fight over. We can look forward to bringing the government into default and destroying our credit rating in a few weeks. There’s still ample opportunity to derail this recovery and throw America into recession again if we play our cards right. As soon as the new members are sworn in, we can get down to the business of making the 113th Congress even more lame than the 112th. This isn’t over. Not by a long shot.”