Your morning jolt: A Sine Die fight over Senate leadership

The Senate Republican caucus has gathered again this morning, to continue its debate over who will lead the chamber through the last day of the session.

A session that started on 1 p.m. Wednesday ended in time for the 7 p.m. Braves game – with a few breaks in between. Casey Cagle paid two visits during the day, to argue his case for a return to a chamber led by the lieutenant governor.

The object is to settle the issue before senators point their brake lights toward Atlanta – rather than allowing it to fester until the General Assembly re-assembles later this summer.

A vote to change the Senate rules is possible today, though it would require Democratic cooperation – and the approval of two-thirds of the chamber.

GOP members of the Senate will be asked to vote on one of two proposals now on the table. Peach Pundit offers this description of the first:

The proposal pushed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle would alter the make-up of the Committee on Assignments from the current structure, which has eight members to six. Leadership would get three appointees; the President Pro-Tem (Tommie Williams), Majority Leader (Chip Rogers) and Caucus Chairman (Bill Cowsert). Cagle would get three appointees, and chair the committee; voting only in case of a tie.

We would add that Cagle’s proposal would also permit the GOP caucus to override any of his decisions, by a two-thirds vote.

A proposal by Williams, now the titular head of the Senate, is more complicated. The six members of a Committee of Assignments, as outlined by Cagle, would elect a seventh member – guaranteeing no ties for Cagle to break.

Williams would also establish an executive committee chaired by Cagle, Williams and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers that would handle the rest of the duties that would normally fall to the lieutenant governor alone – the appointment of conferees, assignment of legislation and keeping the purse strings.

But only Williams and Cagle would have a vote on the executive committee – making the Senate president pro tem a co-ruler of the chamber with the lieutenant governor.

Rogers would be cast somewhat to the side.

***
As my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon explained, Gov. Nathan Deal has decided to stay out of the final negotiations over HB 87, the illegal immigration bill. But in this sound clip posted by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), Deal may have thrown out a hint of where he’d like to see the bill go:

”The whole question of e-verify is one of those issues that the General Assembly’s having difficulties with, apparently a difference of opinion between the two chambers. I’ll leave that to their judgment as to whether or not that is something they want to incorporate for the state of Georgia.

“My understanding is that the Supreme Court of the United States still has a case that is challenging whether or not E-Verify can be mandated on the private employment community.

“Unfortunately, they have not given us guidance by deciding that case at this point in time. It’d be nice to know what the Supreme Court’s direction on this issue might be, but I’m afraid we’re not going to know that before this session of the General Assembly adjourns.”

***
Only hours after Barack Obama outlined his deficit reduction plan, Grover Norquist, the anti-tax guru of Washington, panned it – and tied U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to the president. From the Washington Times:

The other team is captained by President Obama. It’s the team that believes in shadowy tax hike triggers, vague and unserious budgets, massive tax increases, lying about tax hikes by calling them spending cuts, raising taxes to pay for permanently higher government spending, and leaving the entitlements totally unreformed.

On his team are the aforementioned Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, virtually all Congressional Democrats, the mainstream media, and the Republicans foolish enough to get drafted into this effort: Gang of Six co-chairs Tom Coburn and Saxby Chambliss.

***
On the other hand, Roll Call has an intriguing piece on the same topic, wondering whether U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ close friendship with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner holds the key to a deal:

The prospects for a grand bipartisan debt deal may depend in large part on the personal marketing skills of Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Can the folksy Georgian persuade his fellow Republicans, including his buddy Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), to embrace a tax reform package that lowers rates but raises revenue to cut the deficit?
The idea is a key component of the $4 trillion plan backed by a majority of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission, which the “gang of six” Senators, including Chambliss, are using as a framework to reach a grand bargain.

But Chambliss has his work cut out for him. Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both warned Tuesday that they don’t support any tax increases as part of a bipartisan deficit deal before Obama’s deficit speech today. And conservative critics have blasted the commission plan as a tax increase dressed up as tax reform.

***
AJC’s Politifact today looks at a MoveOn.org statement that Paul Ryan’s budget plan would abolish Medicare within 10 years.

***
At Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Emory University political scientist swims against the current and explains why Democrats could re-take control of the U.S. House in ’12:

First, as a result of their big gains in 2010, Republicans will be defending a large number of seats in House districts that voted for Barack Obama in 2008; second, many of those districts are likely to vote for Obama again in 2012 because of the difference between the presidential and midterm electorate in the current era; and third, Republican incumbents in these Obama districts will be at high risk of losing their seats if Obama wins because straight-ticket voting is much more prevalent now than it was 30 or 40 years ago.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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49 comments Add your comment

ByteMe

April 14th, 2011
9:19 am

Why isn’t Grover Norquist treated with the same level of respect as the lobbyists for the tobacco companies? They’re both trying to sell crack to a population willing to believe and do anything to keep their debt habit going.

Clarence

April 14th, 2011
9:35 am

ByteMe – Doesn’t the tobacco lobby send Norquist a lot of money too?

Aquagirl

April 14th, 2011
9:39 am

No word from Beth Merkleson on the Senate bickering? Her mother’s surgery must have gone badly. What a shame.

Larry Edgar

April 14th, 2011
9:51 am

Just in: Federal prosecutors in Savannah have charged two hispanic managers of a local McDonalds with selling stolen identities to prospective illegal employees. Oscar Lazo and Eva Ramos are charged with conspiring to sell stolen identies of US citizens and harboring illegal aliens. But we don’t need Everify !!!! Are you kidding me, this is one of the very reason we need this. I will personally boycott McDonalds.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

April 14th, 2011
9:52 am

Senate Republicans…VOTE TO PASS HB87..or suffer the consequences in the primary.

Aquagirl

April 14th, 2011
9:58 am

Suffer the consequences? To who? Someone who will blow even more smoke up your @$$?

GAPeach

April 14th, 2011
10:02 am

Who exactly elected Grover Norquist? Oh right. He’s not elected to anything. So why is everybody bowing down to this guy?

Centrist

April 14th, 2011
10:10 am

While this blog goes out of its way to find an “Emory University political scientist swims against the current” in predicting the U.S. House may get a majority in the next election, here is a more mainstream prediction from Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg: http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_111/rothenberg-uneven-senate-landscape-2012-2014-204931-1.html?ET=rollcall:e10143:80020084a:&st=email&pos=eam

jd

April 14th, 2011
10:17 am

Grover isn’t registered as a lobbyist… hmmm… he wouldn’t break the law would he?

eatmotacos

April 14th, 2011
10:18 am

@Larry Edgar

” I will personally boycott McDonalds…”

Don’t forget to boycott VIDALIA ONIONS. This is an issue that is not going away. Next time you watch that “immigrant” pay for his groceries with your money, pulling out the wad of tax free cash to pay for the 24 pack of beer, then load the groceries and his family of nine into the Cadilac Escalade, with the spinning wheels, all the while, talking on their cell phones, just think VIDALIA ONIONS.

eatmotacos

April 14th, 2011
10:24 am

The Vidalia onion people need 26 “immigrants” to pick onions and they are willing to block the removal of 1/2 million illegal aliens, who are destroying the rest of the state. DO NOT BUY VIDALIA ONIONS.

Last Man Standing

April 14th, 2011
10:31 am

“The other team is captained by President Obama. It’s the team that believes in shadowy tax hike triggers, vague and unserious budgets, massive tax increases, lying about tax hikes by calling them spending cuts, raising taxes to pay for permanently higher government spending, and leaving the entitlements totally unreformed.”

It appears that Norquist has ‘nailed it’. When you really think about it, Hussein is “vague” about nearly everything – by design. Am I to believe that Hussein has suddenly become thrifty with the taxpayers’ dollars? I don’t think so! As a democrat and a progressive (code word for “Marxist”), he is all about raising taxes and spending. He has offered NO solid plan for reducing spending, correcting the deficit and paying down the national debt, and he NEVER will.

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
10:34 am

GAPeach — “Who exactly elected Grover Norquist? Oh right. He’s not elected to anything. So why is everybody bowing down to this guy?”

Maybe we should flip the script on Mr. Norquist and starve *him* down to the size where he could be drowned in a bathtub, as he’s said he wants to do to the government.

eatmotacos — “DO NOT BUY VIDALIA ONIONS.”

Surely you must be joking. I wouldn’t miss my spring and summer Vidalias even if I had to buy them from John Boehner and Eric Cantor.

Last Man Standing

April 14th, 2011
10:35 am

I don’t like MacDonalds and I don’t like Vidalia onions and I despise Illegal immigrants. This is an easy choice for me!

pn

April 14th, 2011
10:36 am

Georgia desperately needs honest and pragmatic leadership. Someone like my 9th grade Civics teachers who was completely mission-oriented and utterly incorruptible. Instead we have a bunch of banty roosters strutting around trying to impress each other with their importance.

Aquagirl

April 14th, 2011
10:38 am

With the construction industry dependent on illegals, good luck boycotting buildings. I hear Target has tents on sale. Maybe you can pay an illegal to go inside and buy one for you.

Red

April 14th, 2011
10:44 am

If Grover is upset with Saxby, he has no one to blame but himself. He, Ralph, and numerous others were the ones shoving him down our throats in 2002. When there could have been many other options, they ensured us that Saxby was a true conservative. Now Saxby is on board with tax hikes. Told ya so back in 2002.

Sabato is usually good with forecasting but a bit premature on calling the election. Many districts are being redrawn. Let’s wait until the smoke clears on reapportionment before basing them on which districts voted for Obama in 2008.

td

April 14th, 2011
10:46 am

Aquagirl

April 14th, 2011
10:38 am
With the construction industry dependent on illegals, good luck boycotting buildings. I hear Target has tents on sale. Maybe you can pay an illegal to go inside and buy one for you.

There are thousands of unemployed construction workers that will be more than willing to do the work. This area is not a problem to fill the needs.

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
10:49 am

Red — “He, Ralph, and numerous others were the ones shoving him down our throats in 2002. When there could have been many other options, they ensured us that Saxby was a true conservative. Now Saxby is on board with tax hikes. Told ya so back in 2002.”

While I don’t care for Saxby’s politics, I dislike him for another reason — the way he slagged on Max Cleland during the 2002 election. After what his campaign ads said about Maxie, Saxby could single-handedly save me and my wife from a burning building and I still wouldn’t support him.

I’m a disabled veteran, and I took Saxby’s comments to be a direct and personal insult to veterans who, like myself and Mr. Cleland, disagreed with our involvement in Iraq. It’d be different if Saxby served himself, but IIRC, he got a deferment and played college ball.

Centrist

April 14th, 2011
10:50 am

Like me, nobody else other than the blogger appears to care about which way the Republican leadership goes concerning Senate rules.

Please don’t get me wrong when I point out the leftist tilt of this blog – I wouldn’t want a return to Republican control of all three branches of government either. Divided government is our only chance of avoiding further massive plundering to benefit politicians, friends, lobbyists, campaign contributors, and left/right wing dogma.

td

April 14th, 2011
10:51 am

Red

April 14th, 2011
10:44 am

“If Grover is upset with Saxby, he has no one to blame but himself. He, Ralph, and numerous others were the ones shoving him down our throats in 2002. When there could have been many other options, they ensured us that Saxby was a true conservative. Now Saxby is on board with tax hikes. Told ya so back in 2002″

And Max would have been more likely to follow the direction of Grover? Saxby is 100 times more conservative than Max was and is in line with Grover 90% of the time. This is a non argument all the way around.

Aquagirl

April 14th, 2011
10:51 am

td, the only problem is lack of incentive for the builders to hire legal citizens. So when and where does the building boycott start? I just HAVE to see this. People skipping a Big Mac or onion rings aren’t nearly as entertaining.

RetiredSoldier

April 14th, 2011
10:52 am

AQ-

This may be one area we agree on, the construction industry. I agree it is over run with illegals because it is cheaper to hire them and thus greater profit for the builder. I for one would be willing to pay the higher price for citizen builders. We need to be willing to pay higher prices for our own workers. It lowers unemployment, reduces govt. spending and reduces the number of illegals. Sounds like a winner to me.

jconservative

April 14th, 2011
10:54 am

Obama wants to raise taxes.

Boehner refuses to raise taxes.

Boehner wants to close “tax loopholes”.

Obama wants to close “tax loopholes”.

Ah!

Both claim that closing “tax loopholes” is not raising taxes. Well, maybe in DC raising taxes is not raising taxes. But where I come from if you end up paying more taxes, you have had your taxes raised. But then, I am not from DC.

In any event, I smell a deal being cut. Some modest spending cuts will be made and some tax loopholes will be closed. There will be a modest reduction in the FY 2012 deficit.

Both sides will claim victory.

We will then have the 2012 elections.

Maybe we can then do some real spending cuts for FY 2014.

Busbey

April 14th, 2011
10:54 am

“Rogers would be cast somewhat to the side.”

That really spells out Tommie Williams’ work in all this and his disturbing power grab. When he sees that his past power grab set up is falling apart – he suggests an executive committee that makes him an equal with the Lt. Governor and kicks Chip Rogers to the side?

Truly unbelievable how power hungry he is.

Aquagirl

April 14th, 2011
10:56 am

RS, you’re just the man the building boycott needs. I bet you have plenty of experience in practical living outdoors.

td

April 14th, 2011
11:00 am

Last Man Standing

April 14th, 2011
10:31 am

I was suckered into watching Obama’s speech yesterday thinking he may actually want to be serious about the problem. I as wrong and wrong in a huge way. His solution was the basic socialist response. Tax the rich and cut defense. I did think it was interesting that since his Goldman, sachs supporters are out of the derivative business he is ready to throw the housing industry out the window by doing away with the home mortgage deduction and of coarse he wants to do away with the charitable deduction because then people would only be able to depend on government for a safety net.

RetiredSoldier

April 14th, 2011
11:01 am

yeah yeah, the woods, the desert, and the jungle have been very good to me.

Pinche Huevos

April 14th, 2011
11:04 am

Illegals are a drop in the bucket compared to the GOP rip off artists. LOSERS……..

td

April 14th, 2011
11:04 am

jconservative

April 14th, 2011
10:54 am

“In any event, I smell a deal being cut. Some modest spending cuts will be made and some tax loopholes will be closed. There will be a modest reduction in the FY 2012 deficit”

There is one big difference. Obama wants to raise the tax rates and close the loopholes while the Republican plan is to lower the tax rates and close the loopholes to head towards a flat tax rate.

td

April 14th, 2011
11:07 am

Busbey

April 14th, 2011
10:54 am

This whole Senate power grab is about setting up the run for Governor in 2014. Deal will be 74 and will probably not run for re election. The Lt. Governor has been historically the odds on favorite to become the next Governor. Williams, Rogers and others are trying there best to nuder Cagle and set themselves up to run for Governor.

RetiredSoldier

April 14th, 2011
11:24 am

td-

I’m with you but the best answer to the tax question would be the Fair Tax.

ANGRY AS HELL

April 14th, 2011
11:26 am

Yeah, td, we wouldn’t want the rich to have to pay any more taxes than they already don’t pay. We just need the middle class to keep sucking it up for those poor rich folk. With the help they got from George W, they keep paying less and less. Where are all those jobs that they were going to create for American workers? Oh, wait, that’s right, I remember. They invested the money by shipping the jobs overseas.

td

April 14th, 2011
11:39 am

RetiredSoldier

April 14th, 2011
11:24 am
td-

I’m with you but the best answer to the tax question would be the Fair Tax.

I agree that the Fair tax is the best answer but unfortunately that is going to take a great deal longer time to get there. In the meantime, the flatter the tax and less complicated the tax code the closer we can get to the fair tax. Right now the tax code gives a great deal of power to the legislature and effects their campaign contributions. It is going to be a long struggle to get them to give up this power.

RetiredSoldier

April 14th, 2011
11:47 am

angry-

The top 2% of earners pay what percentage of all income tax?

RetiredSoldier

April 14th, 2011
11:49 am

Angry-

I meant to add this also. What financial institution do you keep your money in and why?

td

April 14th, 2011
11:52 am

ANGRY AS HELL

April 14th, 2011
11:26 am

What do you consider rich and what do you consider middle class? What is the correct % to pay? If you make $100,000 per year then you are in the 39% tax bracket so you are going to pay the Federal government $39,000 per year in income tax, $6,000(6%) to Georgia, $3,000 (3%) for Medicare and $7,500(7.5%) to Social Security. That is $55,000 or 55% of your income goes to taxes and this is not including state sales and property taxes or those little pesky hidden taxes like energy or communication. That would give this person about $45,000 per year to live on.

I this enough for the government? Should this person pay more? How much?

td

April 14th, 2011
12:01 pm

ANGRY AS HELL

April 14th, 2011
11:26 am

Now let us take $1,000,000 per year salary (You would consider this rich right?). Federal tax is $390,000, State tax is $60,000, Medicare $30,000 and Social security $11,000 (SS is capped at 7.5% on the first $160,000 made). That is a total of $500,000 to the government is taxes not counting sales and property each year. Is this enough?

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

td — “That is a total of $500,000 to the government is taxes not counting sales and property each year. Is this enough?”

That’s not the right question to be asking. In your example, the person in question has $500,000 to *live on* per year, after taxes.

Is *that* enough?

BTW, your Medicare numbers are off. For a $1M salary, you’d pay 1.45%, the same as everyone else. So you’d actually pay out $14,500, not $30,000.

Plus, you blur the line by mixing up Federal, state and county/local taxes in the same pot. Georgia lawmakers aren’t to blame for Federal tax rates, and Federal lawmakers aren’t at fault for Georgia’s tax code. IMO, you need to sharpen your aim.

td

April 14th, 2011
12:44 pm

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

I did not add property or state sales tax into the numbers because that is not a fixed amount and I do not know the assessed value of a house.

“Plus, you blur the line by mixing up Federal, state and county/local taxes in the same pot.”

Total taxed paid by a person is very important. When you get around 50% of a persons earnings going to the government then you are basically working half the year to “take care” of the needs for people who will not take the personal responsibility to take care of themselves. Before you start. We as a nation have an obligation to take care of the people that can not take care of themselves and to take care of the people that have made extreme sacrifices to our protection as a nation. The lazy A$$ able bodied people that choose to not get an education, have babies when they can not take care of them or become dependent on drugs or alcohol are a different story. These people need to be cut off the governments tit and fend for themselves and I personally do not care if they die in the street.

td

April 14th, 2011
12:49 pm

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

“Is *that* enough?”

Sounds like a little wealth envy to me? No, that is not enough. If you go out sacrifice to get an education, work hard and develop a skill set that others are willing to pay you a high salary to practice then you should be able to keep a larger share of your labors then 50%.

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
12:52 pm

td — “Total taxed paid by a person is very important.”

Sure it is. But it is misleading if you’re complaining about Federal taxation or state taxation. You don’t pay an effective 50% rate to the Federal government.

“When you get around 50% of a persons earnings going to the government”

To different *levels* of government; this is what I was pointing out earlier.

“then you are basically working half the year to “take care” of the needs for people who will not take the personal responsibility to take care of themselves.”

And to build and maintain roads and bridges that we all use. And to feed, house, equip and maintain our military. And to test, inspect and assure the quality and safety of our food supply.

I do get it, td. You have a complaint about a *certain segment* of Federal expenditures. But IMO you’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater here.

“Before you start. We as a nation have an obligation to take care of the people that can not take care of themselves and to take care of the people that have made extreme sacrifices to our protection as a nation.”

You’re welcome.

“The lazy A$$ able bodied people that choose to not get an education, have babies when they can not take care of them or become dependent on drugs or alcohol are a different story. These people need to be cut off the governments tit and fend for themselves and I personally do not care if they die in the street.”

I recognize that. Just don’t expect me to stop pointing it out.

There are a lot of people in need through no fault of their own, and frankly, I don’t think you distinguish between the tragically unfortunate and the willful layabouts.

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
12:58 pm

td — “Sounds like a little wealth envy to me?”

No, not at all. I’m doing just fine, thank you.

“No, that is not enough.”

Question for you. Do you donate to any charities? If you do, would you perhaps tell me which ones, please?

“If you go out sacrifice to get an education, work hard and develop a skill set that others are willing to pay you a high salary to practice then you should be able to keep a larger share of your labors then 50%.”

Well, that depends on what kind of society you want. Depending on the services and duties you expect your government to deliver, you’ve got to come up with a way to pay for it.

I recognize that cuts in services and programs are necessary, but revenue’s got to increase if we’re ever going to bring down the outstanding debt that’s ALREADY floating around. And that means taxation.

td

April 14th, 2011
1:11 pm

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
12:58 pm

“Question for you. Do you donate to any charities? If you do, would you perhaps tell me which ones, please?”

Just because you said the magic word: I donate money to my church, to my local schools, to the girl scouts every year (I am addicted to the cookies), PBS (yes, I actually like some of their TV programming and believe federal funding should be cut off), Red cross, local foster care Christmas fund and a few other assorted things. If I could keep more of my money I would give more to charity.

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
1:16 pm

td — “Just because you said the magic word”

You will find that I often do. Courtesy is often lacking on these boards; in both directions.

I appreciate you listing the charities to which you donate. Could you elaborate on *why* you donate to those particular ones, please?

td

April 14th, 2011
1:21 pm

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
12:58 pm

“Well, that depends on what kind of society you want. Depending on the services and duties you expect your government to deliver, you’ve got to come up with a way to pay for it.”

There is probably where we differ. As stated above I see the need for government, I just think the government should be lean, mean and streamlined and only have a limited role. I also believe that the Federal government role should be limited to the defense of the country, foreign policy, protecting the borders and involved only in such projects as effects multiple states. That would cut your share of Federal taxes down dramatically. The states should be responsible for all social service issues, which would probably mean an increase in state taxes. If a state wants to offer all the social services then fine that is a decision the voters of said state can make.

td

April 14th, 2011
1:28 pm

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
1:16 pm

“Could you elaborate on *why* you donate to those particular ones, please?”

Just because I feel it is my own personal obligation to donate to the charities I choose to give is the main reason. I began my career in social services so I choose to make sure foster children have a Christmas, My children attend the local schools so I choose to help them get the best educational experience as possible. The Red Cross helps people pick themselves back up after a natural disaster and that to me is worthy of my help (and yes I know some of it is wasted on sorry able bodied people but so be it). I told you why the girl scouts and PBS.

Joe Mama

April 14th, 2011
1:38 pm

td — “There is probably where we differ. As stated above I see the need for government, I just think the government should be lean, mean and streamlined and only have a limited role. I also believe that the Federal government role should be limited to the defense of the country, foreign policy, protecting the borders and involved only in such projects as effects multiple states.”

Where do you stand on these items, sir? Do you feel that they’re more properly a Federal matter or a state interest? Or perhaps that they don’t belong to either one at all?

Fiscal/economic/monetary policy (e.g. trade talks, setting interest rates, etc.)
Setting of social policy (i.e. through the tax system)
I may come up with others; these are the only two that come to mind just this instant.

“That would cut your share of Federal taxes down dramatically. The states should be responsible for all social service issues, which would probably mean an increase in state taxes. If a state wants to offer all the social services then fine that is a decision the voters of said state can make.”

Do you see no social role whatsoever for the government to play? How about guaranteeing civil rights and equal access?