Thanksgiving Dinner Politics Survival Kit
We know, we know -- you've got Thanksgiving with the extended family and a hefty dose of political debate is on the menu. Whether you delve in reluctantly or with gusto, here are some links, fact checks, and trivia to help you make it through dinner.
And while you may practice your arguments with those who are near and dear... be sure to share your opinion with those whose job it is to listen and represent you. Weigh in with POPVOX and tell Congress what you think!
ABOUT THAT VIRAL EMAIL
FactCheck.org's "Viral Spiral" is a great resource for checking the veracity of the chain email your well meaning relatives forward. Click through and read the real story behind some ofthis year's greatest viral email hits:
- Has President Barack Obama signed 900 executive orders, some of which create martial law?
- Is it true that members of Congress, their staffers and their family members do not have to pay back their student loans?
- Is “Obama’s finance team” recommending a 1 percent tax on all bank transactions, as a chain e-mail claims?
- Is President Obama giving away several Alaskan islands to Russia?
IS THAT PART OF THE "FISCAL CLIFF"?
Talk of the "fiscal cliff" is all over, and quite frankly, it's a little tough to keep up with it all. Check out this post on the elements of the Fiscal Cliff, and some of the bills in Congress that may be a part of an eventual solution. Some highlights:
Expiring Bush-era Tax Cuts from 2001 and 2003
- S 3412 The Middle Class Tax Cut Act (Sponsor: Sen. Harry Reid): to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax relief to middle-class families. (Passed the Senate; pending before the House.)
- S 3413 The Tax Hike Prevention Act (Sponsor: Sen. Orrin Hatch): to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to temporarily extend tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, to provide for temporary alternative minimum tax relief, to extend increased expensing limitations, and to provide instructions for tax reform.
- HR 8 The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act (Sponsor: Rep. David Camp): to extend certain tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, and to provide for expedited consideration of a bill providing for comprehensive tax reform.(Passed the House; pending before the Senate.)
CONGRESS DID WHAT?
Just because the viral emails are debunked, don't think you can't still be surprised. Why not impress your family with this list of pending trade bills in Congress that demonstrate a wide range of priorities: (see the full list)
- S. 2536: A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on drinking glasses valued not over $0.30
- H.R. 4656: To suspend temporarily the duty on certain eyelash curlers
- H.R. 4650: To suspend temporarily the duty on certain fishing reels
- S. 2360: A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain food choppers
- S. 2810: A bill to reduce temporarily the duty on golf club iron heads
- S. 2811: A bill to reduce temporarily the duty on golf wedge club heads
- H.R. 4646: To suspend temporarily the duty on certain grill brushes
- H.R. 4655: To suspend temporarily the duty on nail clippers
- H.R. 5429: To suspend temporarily the duty on certain non-women’s footwear
- H.R. 5379: To extend the temporary suspension of duty on certain reusable grocery bags
- S. 2799: A bill to extend the temporary reduction of duty on rubber basketballs
- H.R. 5104: To suspend temporarily the duty on ski poles and parts and accessories thereof
- S. 2362: A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain toasters
NEW BILLS IN CONGRESS
The election may be over, but Congress is back to work. Check out the new bills that have been introduced over the past week.
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.