With the presidential and congressional elections, battles over the federal budget, debates over immigration and same-sex marriage, and one of the most watched Supreme Court cases in a generation, 2012 was an eventful year for U.S. politics. Here is The Christian Post's list of the top 10 moments in U.S. politics for 2012.
1. Barack Obama Re-Elected
President Barack Obama once again won the biggest prize in American politics. The Obama campaign's "get out the vote" effort surpassed any previous presidential campaign in its sophistication and use of new technologies and will become a model for future campaigns. more >>
The U.S. government will go over its debt limit on Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced Wednesday. "Extraordinary measures" will be used to keep the nation from defaulting on promised payments for about two months.
The announcement came in a letter to congressional leaders.
The "extraordinary measures" will provide about $200 billion of "headroom," Geithner wrote, but the amount of time that will buy will depend much on what lawmakers do with regard to the "fiscal cliff." more >>
Lawmakers have given up on a "grand bargain" to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and fix the nation's long-term debt woes. Instead, the Senate is now working on a plan that would delay the spending cuts and tax increases that will ultimately be necessary to prevent the long-term debt crisis that experts say will be much more damaging than the fiscal cliff.
After a short Christmas break, President Barack Obama and the Senate will be back in Washington, D.C., Thursday, giving themselves only five days until the start of the fiscal cliff. The House is not scheduled to be is session Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will introduce a bill that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 per year, extend unemployment benefits, eliminate the alternative minimum tax for middle income families, and delay cuts in payments to doctors who see Medicare patients.
The plan would be less favorable to House Republicans than the "plan B" bill that they rejected last week. Reid expects, though, that the House would rather sign onto his plan than be blamed for going over the fiscal cliff. Plan B, introduced by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), would have kept the Bush-era tax cuts in place for all taxable income below $1 million. more >>
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suffered a political setback on Thursday night when after passing the first of two bills known as "Plan B," he was unable to muster enough votes from members of his own party for the second portion of the plan. It is unclear where this leaves the discussion between the White House and House Republicans.
"The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass," Boehner said in a statement. "Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff."
Frustrated with the lack of process in his talks with President Obama, Boehner came up with a plan that would allow a tax increase but only on those making $1 million of more annually. The bill that passed would avoid deep defense cuts that would occur if the sequester takes place. more >>
In a procedural vote Thursday afternoon, the U.S. House voted to allow consideration of the budget plan known as "Plan B" and put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as a way to avert the dreaded fiscal cliff. The final vote is expected to take place later Thursday evening.
The vote was 219-197, with 13 Republicans voting against the measure. If passed later Thursday night, the bill would allow taxes to increase on those earning $1 million or more annually and a second bill would avoid the deep cuts in defense that will occur if the sequester takes place.
However, even if the bill passes the House, it is doubtful it will be passed into law since if would have to pass a Senate controlled by Democrats and then signed by President Obama, who has firmly stated he would veto the bill. more >>
In a Wednesday press conference, President Barack Obama again rejected Speaker of the House John Boehner's "plan B" proposal to increase taxes on millionaires while preserving tax cuts for everyone else. He also accused Republicans of being unwilling to compromise because they will not support his plan.
"Remember what I said in the campaign," Obama remarked in response to a question about the "fiscal cliff." "I thought that it was important for us to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way. I said it was important for us to make sure that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share."
Boehner's plan to increase taxes on taxable income above $1 million and preserve tax cuts for everyone else did not meet the goal of balance and making sure that "millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share," Obama said, because it would give tax breaks to those making more than $250,000 and less than $1 million. more >>