anti-families with children

What do Johnny and Saxby and Lindsey have in common with the ladies from New Hampshire and Maine, Kelly and Susan? The U.S. Senators, Isakson, Chambliss and Graham, along with a handful of others, couldn’t wait to gum up the longterm unemployment compensation legislation, so they attached themselves to number one amender, Senator Ayotte. To wit:

Senators Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham
Senators Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham

1. S.AMDT.2603 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. : Sponsor: Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (14) Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

Right, the “purpose will be available.” We’ll tell you what it’s for later. Wouldn’t do to have that in the Congressional record up front.
What kind of a legislator springs for that? One who’s trying to gum up the works, nothing more. The text is no better. Judge for yourselves whether this makes any sense.


SA 2603. Ms. AYOTTE (for herself, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Portman, Mr. Hoeven, Mr. Moran, Ms. Collins, Mr. Johnson of Wisconsin, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Inhofe, and Mr. Graham) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 1845, to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:


(a) Repeal. — Section 403 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 is repealed as of the date of the enactment of such Act.
(b) Social Security Number Required to Claim the Refundable Portion of the Child Tax Credit. —
(1) In general. — Subsection (d) of section 24 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
“(5) Identification requirement with respect to taxpayer. —
“(A) In general. — Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any taxpayer for any taxable year unless the taxpayer includes the taxpayer’s Social Security number on the return of tax for such taxable year.
“(B) Joint returns. — In the case of a joint return, the requirement of subparagraph (A) shall be treated as met if the Social Security number of either spouse is included on such return.
“(C) Limitation. — Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to the extent the tentative minimum tax (as defined in section 55(b)(1)(A)) exceeds the credit allowed under section 32.”.
(2) Omission treated as mathematical or clerical error. — Subparagraph (I) of section 6213(g)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:
“(I) an omission of a correct Social Security number required under section 24(d)(5) (relating to refundable portion of child tax credit), or a correct TIN under section 24(e) (relating to child tax credit), to be included on a return,”.
(3) Conforming amendment. — Subsection (e) of section 24 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting “With Respect to Qualifying Children” after “Identification Requirement” in the heading thereof.
(4) Effective date. — The amendments made by this subsection shall apply to taxable years beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

The amendment is not to extend unemployment compensation. It’s to make it harder for people, from whom taxes have been collected that they don’t owe, to get them back, especially if they don’t have the “right” ID.

It should be noted that a million persons, each year, have dollars deducted from their pay and sent to the IRS and, because they neglect to do the paperwork, they don’t get them back. Presumably, that’s a million people that would also qualify for health insurance. So, the expectation is that some of the subsidies for the ACA will be covered by these unallocated dollars, if people can be persuaded to apply. Because our system of government does not coerce, despite what our authoritarian Republicans believe should be the case.

The phrase “qualifying children” does provide a clue to as to what this is really about. “Qualifying” is a new kind of segregating and, despite the legal prohibition against segregated establishments of public education, children are still the last best hope for some form of discrimination being considered socially acceptable.

Why? Because, for some people, status is all-important. If there’s not a social ladder for them to climb and if some people can’t be defined as inferior, there’s no incentive for them to succeed. Doing good is not enough. There has to be a prize. And, if there’s no reward, they’d just as soon do bad. It makes no difference to them. They’re an amoral lot and they’re not, as is evidenced by this little episode, confined to one part of the country. Mean people, you can find them anywhere. And, like birds of a feather, they flock together.

Images -- From their official portraits (public domain) via

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."