Almost no one gets married for tax purposes. People marry for many reasons — almost always love, some for stability, some even out of tradition — taxes are rarely, if ever, a reason people marry. In fact, some couples actually, sadly, divorce to increase their access to life-saving benefits. But when the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, yes, the IRS, announces that it will now recognize all legal marriages regardless of the couple’s place of residence, that is a tremendous move forward for equality.
Previously, the argument has been that only states have the right to declare who is and who is not legally married — whose marriages the state will recognize. When the Supreme Court essentially struck down DOMA in June, it was assumed that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages that their home state recognized.
Now, that’s changed, as the IRS announced today it will recognize all legal marriages — including same-sex marriages — regardless where the couple calls home. So if you married in Provincetown, but live in Tennessee, the federal government will still recognize your marriage. Today, in a similar move, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will recognize all legal marriages — including same-sex marriages — based on the “place of celebration” — based on where a couple is married — to determine Medicare benefits eligibility.
In other words, the federal government is making it clear that same-sex marriages are no different from opposite-sex marriages, and it will recognize them all equally, regardless of how the couple’s home state behaves.
So, America, on this eve of the Labor Day holiday weekend, is rejoicing.
Here are some responses:
â€” The White House (@whitehouse) August 29, 2013
Wow. Contacts everyone. Today the wall came down. Married gay couples are all legal regardless of where we live for federal tax purposes .
â€” Suze Orman (@SuzeOrmanShow) August 29, 2013
NYC Speaker Christine Quinn:
â€œToday, the federal government has brought our nation one step closer to full equality for all people. The Treasury Department and IRSâ€™ announcement that they will now recognize all legally married same-sex couples for federal tax purposes, even in states that have not yet granted their citizens the right to marry, will increase equality across America.
“No one should be deprived the federal protections of marriage because of who they love. Todayâ€™s ruling affirms what we have always known – that all love is equal, and must be treated equally in the eyes of the law. I thank Edie Windsor, whose courage and strength paved the way for todayâ€™s important ruling and the Obama Administration for recognizing that all people are equal.â€
THIS IS HUGE Y’ALL http://t.co/F12v3N6AzH
â€” Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) August 29, 2013
Garden State Equality Executive Director, Troy Stevenson:
â€œWhile this is great news for couples who have been married in the 13 states that recognize full marriage equality; let us be clear, New Jerseyans should not be required to cross state lines to be afforded the dignity of marriage. This decision by the IRS makes it crystal clear that civil unions are not now, and never will be equal to marriage.â€
The IRS decision to recognize all gay couples means more revenue in the long run, but may mean less this year. http://t.co/L4ezfwap5s
â€” Josh Barro (@jbarro) August 29, 2013
Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin:
â€œWith todayâ€™s ruling, committed and loving gay and lesbian married couples will now be treated equally under our nationâ€™s federal tax laws, regardless of what state they call home,â€ said Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin. â€œThese families finally have access to crucial tax benefits and protections previously denied to them under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.â€
â€œWe urge all federal agencies to the greatest degree possible to join the Treasury Department and the IRS in recognizing the legal marriages of all same-sex couples,â€ continued Griffin. â€œNo family should have to worry about losing important federal rights and benefits, simply because they live in a state that doesnâ€™t recognize them as equal under the law.â€
â€” freedomtomarry (@freedomtomarry) August 29, 2013
Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson:
â€œThis announcement makes today a day of celebration and relief for married same-sex couples all over America. At long last, the IRS will treat them as what they are: married. Freedom to Marry commends the administrationâ€™s swift implementation of the Supreme Courtâ€™s landmark ruling for federal equality in an area that will have a direct, tangible impact on familiesâ€™ financial health.
â€œThe fact that this new respect applies only to married couples â€“ not those joined by domestic partnerships or civil unions â€“ highlights the need for an America where everyone can marry the person they love in any state, and have that marriage respected at all levels of government.â€
â€” Mark Udall (@MarkUdall) August 29, 2013
PFLAG Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby:
â€œThe announcement today by the U.S. Department of Treasury and IRS that same-sex married couples will be treated the same as all other married couples for federal tax purposes, regardless of where they reside, is a huge step forward for equality for our LGBT loved ones. It is just and fair treatment for these loving married couples and their families to have equal standing, rights, responsibilities, and protection in the eyes of our federal government.
“PFLAG National and its members and supporters will continue to urge all federal agencies to follow the lead of those which have already taken steps to equally recognize and respect all legally married couples and their dependents. We will work fervently toward full federal understanding that without exception love is love, family is family and marriage is marriage.â€
Family Equality Council
â€œThis announcement is yet another giant step forward for our families,â€ said Gabriel Blau, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council. â€œThe Federal Government will now acknowledge same-sex couples, and their children, as a family under the tax code, regardless of their zip code.â€
â€œThis is a significant win for the millions of our families who work hard, pay taxes and deserve to be recognized equally by the Federal Government. Once again the Obama Administration has demonstrated that they value the lives and contributions of the 3 million LGBT parents in the US raising 6 million children.”
â€” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) August 29, 2013
“This welcome clarification provides fair and consistent treatment for all legally married couples across the country,” said James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. “The federal government is right to recognize that people’s marriages shouldn’t dissolve when they cross state lines.”
I hope today’s decision gives momentum to efforts across the country to enshrine marriage equality into our laws. http://t.co/P1QsP9Dsgp
â€” Jim Moran (@Jim_Moran) August 29, 2013
â€” Mike Quigley (@RepMikeQuigley) August 29, 2013
Welcome clarification and an important step in the right direction (though nothing else would make sense). http://t.co/7fqBCA467d
â€” Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) August 29, 2013
Image by Jamison Wieser via Flickr
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Acting Speaker McHenry Did Not Have Authority to Evict Pelosi Says Top Rules Committee Democrat
U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Kevin McCarthy’s hand-picked temporary successor and acting Speaker, operated outside of carefully crafted House rules when he evicted Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic Majority Leader, from their Capitol Hill offices just hours after Republicans ousted McCarthy as Speaker.
That’s according to the top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), who previously served as the Chair of the Rules Committee. He says the “Speaker pro tempore” has one job only: help elect a new Speaker of the House.
“I want to clear up some confusion,” McGovern wrote late Wednesday afternoon.
“As an unelected acting Speaker pro tempore, @PatrickMcHenry’s job is to guide the House toward the election of a new Speaker. That’s it.”
“His power is constrained by the plain text of Rule 1, Clause 8 of the Rules of the House,” said McGovern.
Rep. McGovern said he is “alarmed” by McHenry’s order evicting Pelosi and Hoyer.
“Given the plain text of the rule, I don’t think he has that power,” McGovern added.
McGovern further explained, “The rule says he can only exercise as much authority as is ‘necessary and appropriate’ towards the end of electing a Speaker. The Rules Committee narrowly described this rule in 2004: an acting Speaker pro tempore serves ‘for the sole purpose of electing a new Speaker.'”
“These rules were put into place after 9/11 to ensure continuity of government & quick election of a new Speaker in an emergency. Not to provide for a short-term Speaker due to Republican dysfunction,” concluded McGovern, who has served in Congress since 1997.
‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted critics across the political spectrum who are angered House Democrats did not vote to keep Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, after Republicans ousted him on Tuesday.
“Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right,” Ocasio-Cortez said on social media. “The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”
AOC also blasted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is now a former Democrat, after he criticized Democrats on CNN.
“Why did Dems vote along party lines to oust Kevin McCarthy? Not because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do,” Yang said on social media when posting his remarks.
“Yes,” Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez responded, “because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country.”
“Do some of you hear yourselves?” she asked rhetorically.
Tuesday night she also defended Democrats for not, as some have put it, “saving” McCarthy.
“Does anyone believe for one minute that McCarthy would help elect a Dem speaker ‘for the institution’?” she asked. “McCarthy’s hubris is a theme. He loudly stated he wouldn’t negotiate w/Dems, called virtually none, trashed those who helped w/CR, and then expected Dem votes for free?”
Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos
In the middle of an interview with U.S Senator John Kennedy, Fox News interrupted the Louisiana Republican for some “breaking news,” as the right wing cable network’s Peter Doocy began to ask White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the chaos far-right wing Republicans caused by ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.
“All right. Senator, thank you for joining us. We got a little bit of breaking news here. We got to jump back to the briefing. Our Peter Doocy is questioning the Press Secretary,” John Roberts told viewers as the camera cut to the White House Press Briefing Room.
“Is any part of the West Wing here, just loving the fact that Republicans don’t appear to be able to govern the one part of the government that they actually control?” Doocy asked.
“Nobody’s ‘loving’ anything when it’s when we’re not when we’re not able to deliver for the American people. Nobody’s loving that,” Jean-Pierre replied, as she explained to Doocy what the White House believes is actually important.
“It is important for Congress to work, not for us, but on behalf of the American people. It is important to make sure that we meet the challenges of the American people. That’s what’s important. What we saw, you heard from the President, what we saw on Saturday should have never have happened, but we’re glad that a deal was made. We’re glad that we’re not in a shutdown. But House Republicans should have never gotten us that far.”
Jean-Pierre went on to tell Doocy that since Republicans “are the majority in the House, they can fix this.”
“They’re creating the chaos. That is not helpful to the American people.”
“That’s why you saw the President today talk about student debt relief, and talk about what else he’s doing to make sure that we’re giving a little bit of breathing room to the American people. That’s why you heard from the President yesterday talking about or our announcement, talking about how we’re continuing to beat Big Pharma so we can lower prescription drug costs for the American people. That’s what the President cares about. That’s what he wants to see – what can we continue to do to help Americans as they face really tough challenges? So this is not, we’re not loving it. It is not helpful to any any American across the country.”
Doocy, went on to ask if “anybody in the West Wing has heard anybody talking about the possibility of ‘Speaker Trump.'”
Watch below or at this link.
Fox News cuts off interview with senator for “breaking news,” which is Peter Doocy asking KJP the following questions:
– is the West Wing “loving the fact” that the GOP doesn’t appear able to govern the House?
– are you guys talking about a possible Speaker Trump? pic.twitter.com/Csr2E2CYI5
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