News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor: Dr. Bill Smith [OzarkGuru] - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, March 06, 2010
ICYMI: Harry Reid Claimed Paying Income Tax in America is Voluntary
A year ago, we posted the following two year old video. Over the past year, we have noted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) further decent into lunacy. He is a purveyor of numerous liberal agendas including nationalized health care, cap-and trade, massive bailouts, phony stimulus bills, etc. that were / are designed to separate you from take your money and to expand BIG Government. Some may contend that he has bought into the Obama agenda. The truth, Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are co-creators of the Obama agenda. Reid is committed to the agenda to such a degree that when trying to explain his positions, we find his double talk revealing. One might even wonder if he has had a lobotomy or is possessed with an intent to destroy America. The following video was a warning then as it is today. We cannot trust what Harry Reid says. Even when the words may ring true, they are spoken with an agenda to mislead, harass or intimidate his fellow Senators and the American people. From the archives: This video was posted almost a year ago. You will see and hear Harry Reid repeated claims that paying Income Tax in America is voluntary. And Reid is the Majority Leader of the Senate pushing the Stimulus bill. No wonder so many of his fellow Democrat friends did not pay their taxes and are now losing their chance of being appointed to a Cabinet post - they listened to Harry Reid. We need to audit Harry Reid!
As AlliDrac, the video poster, says: "When you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. Idiot Harry Reid maintains that paying income tax is voluntary in the U.S.. Harry Reid is the Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate. He's obviously not very bright. But then again... he is a politician. Interviewer Jan Helfeld does a great job of trying to nail him down but... well, you'll see."
Tags:Harry Reid, income tax, news, Politics, Senate Majority Leader, US Senate, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: Americans should beware when Members of Congress talk about "reform" and "comprehensive" because those words usually cover a lot of mischief. The latest example of this legerdemain is the so-called Patent Reform now aggressively pushed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Since we've outsourced millions of well-paying American jobs overseas, the one asset we have to maintain our American standard of living is innovation superiority. The United States is the world's leader in technology innovation, which is due to our private enterprise economic system, our constitutional protections of private property, and most especially our unique system of granting patents to inventors.
Other countries can produce things we invent more cheaply because of the pitiful wages they pay, but they have a dismal record of inventing anything. Lacking expertise in innovation, some foreign countries concentrate on stealing ours. Communist China is the world's top producer of illegal copies of music, movies, software, designer apparel, medicines, and other U.S. products. Chinese agents stole or illegally purchased high-tech machines and systems, restricted electronic components, embargoed components for military weapons, and communications systems, in order to copy them. Now that Communist China has become America's banker, China is flexing its muscles in a new way that threatens our economy and our jobs.
The buzzword is "indigenous innovation." China has promulgated new anti-American trade rules that prohibit imports of our products unless they are based on intellectual property that is developed and/or owned in China, and associated trademarks are originally registered in China. These rules mean that U.S. products cannot be sold in China unless the U.S. companies give China their current patents plus their research and development of new products. This targets our most innovative manufacturing and service industries, including computers, software, and telecommunications. The Chinese government has issued a catalog of products that are subject to this obnoxious rule, and the list is expected to be expanded soon to other industries. China's "indigenous innovation" rule will exclude many major U.S. firms from the Chinese market or require them to give China their patents and advanced technology.
Yongshun Cheng, former senior judge and deputy director of the Intellectual Property Division of Beijing High People's Court, stated bluntly that the proposed U.S. patent bill is bad news for American innovation and good news for foreign infringers. He pointed out that the bill "is friendlier to the infringers than to the patentees in general as it will make the patent less reliable, easier to be challenged, and cheaper to be infringed." President Obama has promised that exports are the key to our recovery from the current recession. But China's "China First" policy drives a dagger into our hope for more exports. Free trade now means free to China.
Nineteen U.S. trade associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Business Roundtable, signed a joint letter to six Obama Administration agencies calling China's behavior "alarming." The letter warns that this rule poses "an immediate danger to U.S. companies" and to their "ability to create jobs here at home." The longtime consensus among government and business elites has been that as China became richer, its interests would become more like ours. It didn't work out that way because China is a Communist totalitarian country striving for military and economic superiority.
Our American patent system is a precious American property right which the Founding Fathers put into the U.S. Constitution even before they added freedom of religion and speech. The inventor's exclusive right to his discovery for limited times was unique in 1787; it still is unique, and 220 years of experience have proved it is the world's best system because the overwhelming majority of great inventions are American.
Our successful system is under attack not only by the foreigners who want to steal our innovations, but also by some big corporations. Most of our breakthrough inventions have come, not from big corporations, but from independent inventors and small companies. The big corporations, however, have the lobbyists and the lawyers, and they are breathing hard on Congress to change our patent law to make it easier to challenge the patents granted to small inventors. The big corporations want to challenge a patent after it is issued (known as post-grant review), thereby delaying for many years the inventor's ability to use his own invention and forcing him to spend a fortune on litigation.
Congress should hold a new hearing to listen to the views of real inventors. We also want to hear what the Obama Administration and Congress will do to protect U.S. innovation, inventors and small businesses from Chinese theft and arrogant attempts to force us to give away all our patents. Tags:Eagle Forum, patent reform, patent system, Phyllis SchlaflyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Amanda J. Reinecker, Heritage Foundation: One of the pernicious consequences of ever-larger government is the increasing dependence of the population on the government for their well-being and livelihood. To drive this point home, experts in The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis set out to answer the question, "are Americans more dependent on their government?" Their answer: Yes.
But what sets this year apart from the others, writes Beach, is that "all of the evidence points to even more rapid increases in dependency ahead, which well could threaten democratic government." This is particularly true because America faces the pending mass retirement of the Baby Boom generation, as well as an increase in the number of people who pay no taxes whatsoever. Since his inauguration, President Obama has worked to expand the size and scope of the federal government, rapidly deepening and expanding the reliance of the American people on federal programs. Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the President's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — a.k.a. the "stimulus" — which essentially reversed welfare reform and reestablished dependency. The Left's health care "reform" would only make the problem worse.
"Americans should be concerned" about this year's Index, writes Beach. "Dependence on the federal government for life's many challenges strips civil society of its historical and necessary role in providing aid and renewal through the intimate relationships of family, community, and local institutions and governments." Some fear that America is nearing a tipping point in the relationship between government and the private civic associations that have for so long defined our nation. But Beach believes this year's index score shows, "we've reached that point." Tags:big government, Heritage Foundation, socialismTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Text: Charlie Rangel: "Fine, Fine, I'll will step down as the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, but only temporarily." Tags:Charlie Rangel, ethics investigation, political cartoon, US House, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: If socialized medicine and taxpayer-funded abortions aren’t bad enough, here’s something else to get your blood boiling. In her press conference yesterday, Nancy Pelosi bragged that she and House Democrats “were very effective in passing the Obama agenda in 2009.” Hold on to your wallets, because Obama’s agenda is going to cost you in more ways than one.
A key Obama agenda item is “climate change” and regulating energy use through some kind of cap and trade scheme. Despite what you may be hearing, the issue is not dead on Capitol Hill. Like healthcare “reform,” cap and trade passed the House and liberal Democrats desperately want to see it reach Obama’s desk because it’s a huge revenue source for the administration. That means it’s a great big tax. But there’s more.
The New York Times this week reported on a Harvard study measuring the economic impact of the administration’s proposed carbon caps. To reach the targets Obama has set by 2020, carbon will be taxed at $60 a ton. That translates into gasoline prices of $7.00 a gallon.
To me, the administration’s advocacy of $7.00 a gallon gasoline would seem like big news. But I did a Google news search and found virtually no coverage of this Harvard study in the “mainstream” media. I wonder why. Could it be that liberal reporters don’t want the American people to know the real cost of Obama’s agenda?
I think you also deserve to know that this study is not just a fluke. High gasoline prices are a priority for key administration officials like Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. In 2008, Chu told the Wall Street Journal, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” At that time, gas in Europe was going for about $8.00 a gallon. I think you need to know this information so you can decide whether you are willing or able to afford Obama’s agenda. And in 242 days you can let Nancy Pelosi know how much you appreciate all her hard work on Obama’s agenda. Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. He submitted this article in an email to the ARRA News Service Editor. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser. Tags:Campaign for Working Families, cap-and-trade, Gary Bauer, gasoline, gasoline taxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 5, 2010 - What Deals Will Obama & Pelosi Make to "Rahm" Gov't Healthcare Through?
Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 4213, the tax extenders bill. The bill extends tax provisions that expired at the end of the year such as state sales tax deductions and the research and development tax credit. Yesterday, the Senate rejected the first amendment offered by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) by a vote of 44-56. The Brown amendment would have provided a six month payroll tax holiday to employees, offset by unspent stimulus funds. The Senate also rejected an amendment by Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to limit discretionary spending for the next 5 years. The amendment failed to get the 60 votes needed to waive a budget point of order against it.
With the next move on Democrats’ 2,700 page $2.5 trillion health care plan now apparently up to the House of Representatives, it will be instructive to watch how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team go about rounding up votes for a bill the overwhelming majority of the American people oppose.
Recall that the last time Democrat leaders were hunting for support of rank-and-file Democrats in a close vote on the health care bill was in November and December in the Senate. The results? The infamous Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback, the Gator-Aid (exempting many Florida seniors from Medicare Advantage cuts), and other provisions were inserted into the health care bill in order to secure the votes of wavering Democrat senators.
With the action now in the House, what sort of deal-making and strong-arm tactics will Democrat leaders use to get their members to vote for a massively unpopular government takeover of health care? We got a glimpse of the beginning yesterday.
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack noted that on Wednesday night, the White House hosted a reception that included 10 House Democrats who had previously voted against the health care bill. Among them was Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah. McCormack reported, “The White House just sent out a press release announcing that [the same day] President Obama nominated Matheson’s brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.” Rep. Matheson and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs have both said there’s nothing to this. But DNC Chairman Tim Kaine had an interesting comment on the Matheson situation in an appearance on MSNBC yesterday. Mika Brzezinski asked Kaine, “Are you saying there is no other reason but qualification for this?” Kaine replied, “Qualification is the most important and I’m sure there are other factors. Life is life.”
Another indicative story was a bit lost with all the other news yesterday. The Hill reports that Blue Dog Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) stepped down from the House Budget Committee yesterday. Interestingly, The Hill noted, “Louisiana Democratic officials claimed the party leadership pressured Melancon into leaving the committee for not supporting healthcare reform.” Melancon previously voted against the bill in November.
Will this continue? Some Democrat leaders apparently aren’t troubled by it. According to Politico, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) actually defended the Cornhusker Kickback yesterday, saying “We needed 60 votes, if we didn’t have 60 votes, we wouldn’t be standing at the steps. . . . At the time, it was an important part of the ultimate agreement.”
DickMorris.com identified that "All aspects of President Obama’s Chicago-style tactics are on display as he cajoles, bullies, and bribes the House to pass his health care proposals despite the overwhelming public rejection with which they have been met. To some, he offers bribes. Congressman Jim Matheson [D-UT] . . . succeeded in getting his brother Scott appointed to a federal judgeship. Matheson voted against Obamacare when it first passed the House. . . . now professes to be undecided. . . .
Eric Massa [D-NY], a renegade Democrat . . . faces his wrath. Massa’s sin was to vote against Obamacare. So Pelosi and the ethically-challenged House Ethics Committee are investigating him . . . . But there is a reward waiting for House members who ignore the wishes and interests of their constituents and vote for Obama’s health care proposals. Alan Mollohan has had a pesky FBI investigation hanging over his head for a few years. Now, presto, right before the health care vote, it went away. . . . With health care reform coming up for a vote in the next few days, such tactics send a message to the House where Pelosi is having trouble lining up her votes: That Obama will do anything - anything at all - to pass this bill."
What “ultimate agreement” will Speaker Pelosi roll out? Hopefully nothing like the laundry list of backroom deals that came out of the Senate process, but Americans should keep their eyes on undecided House Democrats. Tags:government healthcare, Impeach Nancy Pelosi, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Reconciliation debate in the Senate for passage of the Health care bill under the budget reconciliation bill, outlining the vote-a-rama process in the Senate. Stop this madness! [Video].
To share or to post to your site, click on the date / link for the post. Please mention or link to us. Thanks! http://arranewsservice.com Tags:government healthcare, US Congress, Us Senate, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 4, 2010 - Federal Land Grab, Massive Federal Spending, No Pay-Go & DOJ Advocates For Detainees
The Senate resumes consideration of H.R. 4213, the tax extenders bill. The bill extends tax provisions that expired at the end of the year such as state sales tax deductions and the research and development tax credit. Votes on amendments to the bill are possible throughout the day. Yesterday, all 59 Democrats voted to waive a point of order from Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) that the bill violates new pay-as-you-go rules instituted by Democrats, because the bill is financed with deficit spending.
This morning, House members: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) met via a conference call with conservative bloggers. It was interesting as they had to juggled the call and interview questions with their ongoing work in committees. They clearly demonstrated how today's elected officials can reach out , if they so desire, to communicate with the public and their constituents. The primary point of discussions was the newly proposed Spending Limit Amendment to the US Constitution that is being proposed by Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) and Congressman John Campbell (R-CA). With the rate of growth in federal spending, we will double the size of Government Spending in the next 10 years. As related by Rep. Hensarling, "the cost of Government is what it spends not what it taxes." Stopping spending will lower taxes. They shared their concerns over the direction of Government in expanding control over the lives and freedoms of people and that it is a priority to keep government from going bankrupt which is the path it is on with continued growth and spending. More info on this call and interview comments will be tweeted @arra.
Also note the ARRA News Service article about the White House memo portraying planned land grabs by the Obama administration. The memo was was made public by Rep. Robert Bishop (R-UT) and discussed yesterday by Sen. Jim DeMint in The Washington Times editorial.
After months of pressure from Republicans in Congress, the Obama administration yesterday finally released the names of political appointees in the Justice Department who previously represented or advocated for terrorism suspects. A Justice spokesman confirmed the names to Fox News yesterday. Fox notes, “For several months, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has led an effort to uncover politically-appointed lawyers within the Justice Department who have advocated for Guantanamo Bay detainees or other terror suspects. ‘The administration has made many highly questionable decisions when it comes to national security, ‘ Grassley said in a recent statement. ‘[Americans] have a right to know who advises the Attorney General and the President on these critical matters.’”
However, a number of key questions remain. In particular, the Fox story points out, “it’s unclear what roles, if any, [the appointees] have played in detainee-related matters since joining the Justice Department.” A number of their former clients are currently in the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Have any been working on Attorney General Eric Holder’s plans to close that facility? According to the Fox News story, several appointees urged various federal courts to hear the cases of detainees such as Ali al-Marri and Jose Padilla. Did any of them have a role in deciding to process the Christmas Day Bomber through the civilian justice system or with the decision to try the 9/11 conspirators in civilian court in New York City?
In addition to this news, word is today that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to put the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel back on the Senate calendar, after failing to secure 60 votes to move her nomination last year. Johnsen is another official who seems to advocate for a law enforcement approach to the War on Terror. In fact, responding to a questionnaire from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), she wrote, “it might be a wise choice not to use … language [that includes the word ‘war’]when talking about constitutional questions related to the new national security threats we face, because war has a long history of specialized constitutional meaning.”
As Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said previously in a speech on security policy at the Heritage Foundation, “The bottom line is this: Treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter is precisely the attitude that kept us from seeing this threat when we should have. Reverting to it now is not only dangerous, it’s potentially disastrous.” The Justice Department lawyers and Dawn Johnsen both appear to be more evidence that the Obama administration views terrorism more as a law enforcement issue, and that’s a serious problem. Tags:Dawn Johnsen, DOJ, federal spending, government healthcare, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Warning: White House Memo Portrays Plannned Land Grab
Over 60% of the land in the State of Utah is already under control by the Federal Government. Now, imagine your land and rights to use its property in your state being taken away. Well it is time for all to wake-up to this threat. The Obama administration has plans another massive land grab and this is just one plan that has been uncovered.
Senator Jim Demint (R-SC), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee, revealed in a The Washington Times editorial that a "A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job - creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that's essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers."
The 21-page document, marked "Internal Draft-NOT FOR RELEASE," names 14 different lands Mr. Obama could completely close for development by unilaterally designating them as "monuments" under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The memo was made public by Rep. Robert Bishop (R-UT) who expressed that "he didn't want another unilateral land grab by the White House, like what happened under former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter."
Senator Demint related,
"President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from the communities affected by it. At a time when our national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, it is unbelievable anyone would be looking to stop job-creating energy enterprises, yet that's exactly what's happening.
The document lists 14 properties that, according to the document, "might be good candidates" for Mr. Obama to nab through presidential proclamation. Apparently, Washington bureaucrats believe it's more important to preserve grass and rocks for birdwatchers and backpackers than to keep these local economies thriving.
Administration officials claim the document is merely the product of a brainstorming session, but anyone who reads this memo can see that it is a wish list for the environmentalist left. It discusses, in detail, what kinds of animal populations would benefit from limiting human activity in those areas.
It says all kinds of animals would be better off by doing so, like the coyotes, badgers, grouse, chickens and lizards. But giving the chickens more room to roost is no reason for the government to override states' rights."
President vs President: “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan” The President Himself Previously Admitted That “Some Of The Provisions” In The Senate Bill “Violated That Pledge”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan. If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor.”(President Obama, Prepared Remarks, 3/3/10)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Some Of The Provisions” In The Democratic Health Bill “Violated That Pledge.” “We said from the start, that it was going to be important for us to be consistent, in saying to people if you can have your – if you want to keep the insurance you’ve got, you can keep it. That you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge.” (“Obama’s Planned Medicare Cuts Distress Some Democrats,” Bloomberg, 12/3/09)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Eight To Nine Million People … Might Have To Change Their Coverage.” “Well, let me, since you asked me a question, let me respond. The eight to nine million people that you refer to that might have to change their coverage, keep in mind, out of the 300 million Americans that we're talking about.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10) Tags:Barack Obama, speech, Fact Checking, government healthcareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
New York Daily News: The former Republican vice presidential nominee turned into a stand-up comic on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" Tuesday, dropping one-liners about the White House, Congress and Fey - the "Saturday Night Live" star known for her impression of the former Alaska governor. . . . [Full Story] Sarah Palin on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno [Video]:
Tags:Jay Leno, Sarah Palin, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Proposed Spending Limit Amendment to U.S. Constitution
Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) and Congressman John Campbell (R-CA): Over the last five years, federal spending increased from nearly 20 percent as a share of the economy to 24.7 percent as the government’s expenditures grew from $2.47 trillion to $3.52 trillion—a 42 percent increase. These are the highest levels of spending as a share of the economy since World War II. Such high levels of spending have seriously worsened federal budget deficits, which have grown from $318.3 billion in 2005 to $1.4 trillion in 2009. And with such borrowing, the national debt has ballooned, growing from $7.3 trillion to $11.9 trillion—a five-year increase equal to the nation’s entire accumulation of debt from the presidencies of George Washington to Bill Clinton.
These levels of spending and borrowing are economically unsustainable, but unfortunately, the fiscal situation is only getting worse. By 2036, three entitlement programs will consume all of federal revenue, and public debt will reach 200 percent of the total economy by 2038, according to CBO. This will invariably lead to higher taxes, a lower standard of living, and weakened national security for generations to come. If runaway spending and borrowing continues unchecked, this generation will be the first to mortgage away the future prosperity of its children and grandchildren.
The Spending Limit Amendment (SLA) to the Constitution of the United States would ensure that federal spending cannot grow faster than a family’s ability to pay for it. The Amendment would limit spending to one-fifth of the economy—the historical average for spending since World War II. The limit could only be waived if a declaration of war was in effect or by a two-thirds vote of Congress.
The SLA does not promise a particular spending plan of which programs to restrain and by how much, but rather a Constitutional constraint on lawmakers present and future. As columnist George Will has said, “The Constitution stipulates destinations. It does not draw detailed maps.”
But unless there is first a national consensus of the optimal size of government and its limits, it is clear that lawmakers will not be prepared to address our spending and debt crisis without asking taxpayers to pay more.
The decision to amend the Constitution can never be made lightly. However, the Founders knew that occasionally sands shift and foundations need shoring up, which is why they provided a rigorous amendment process to be used with great deference. Thomas Jefferson himself expressed a desire to amend the Constitution to limit the size of government when he stated, “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution, I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government.” Such an amendment’s time has come. Tags:amendment, federal spending, House Republicans, US ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 3, 2010 - House Republicans Call for Spending Limit Constitutional Amendment
Yesterday, the Senate voted 78-19 to pass a bill (H.R. 4691) extending unemployment insurance, COBRA subsidies, highway funding, and the Medicare doc fix through the end of the month using deficit financing.Prior to that vote, 53 Democrats voted down a substitute amendment from Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) to pay for the bill with unused stimulus funds. Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 99-0 twice to invoke cloture and to confirm Barbara Keenan to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today, the Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 4213, the tax extenders bill. The bill extends tax provisions that expired at the end of the year such as state sales tax deductions and the research and development tax credit. Votes on amendments to the bill are possible throughout the day.
In the House, Speaker Pelosi is whipping democrats into line to abandon the House proposed health care plan and to accept the Senate version as their bill based on trust that Reid will allow them to push through changes using conference agreements and then to force voting using reconciliation in the Senate. Today, President Obama proclaimed that it is time to move forward and to use reconciliation. The arrogance of this president is beyond belief. He speaks our on pontificates as if he is running Congress now. If Sen. Reid and Rep. Pelosi are allowing Obama and his administration to dictate to the legislative process, they have abrogated their Constitutional responsibility and have placed the Republic at risk. In addition, the House faced the issue of Rep. Charlie Rangel stepping down from his committee leadership due to ethics violations. Today's GOP House Leadership Press Conference can be viewed here.
The runaway spending under the democrat leadership has become so disastrous that three House members today proposed that the American people need a new constitutional amendment. Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Rep. John Campbell "believe that a constitutional amendment to control spending must be a central part of that debate and will likely serve as a necessary precondition for any serious spending restraint at the national level. The last few decades have proven far too often that the appetite to spend taxpayers’ money is strong, and lawmakers of both parties repeatedly bend to electoral pressures to bust their own budgets and amend statutory constraints. " So they are proposing " a Spending Limit Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to limit spending to one-fifth of the economy—the historical average for spending since World War II. The limit could only be waived if a declaration of war was in effect or by a two-thirds vote of Congress."
The Washington Post reports today, “As Democrats on Capitol Hill prepared a risky effort to muscle sweeping health-care legislation to final passage, President Obama on Tuesday made a last gambit to split Republicans on the issue, proposing to incorporate a handful of GOP ideas into his signature domestic initiative. On Wednesday, Obama plans to call on Congress to bring the year-long debate to a swift close, and congressional leaders expect him to signal support for a strategy that includes a special budget maneuver known as reconciliation.”
But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained the problem with this approach in a floor speech this morning. “Americans don’t want us to tack a few good ideas onto a bill that reshapes one sixth of the economy, vastly expands the role of government, and which raises taxes and cuts Medicare to pay for it all. They want us to scrap the underlying bill altogether and start over with step-by-step reforms that target cost and expand access.”
Yet Democrats are apparently determined to jam this bill through over the bipartisan objections of the American people, abusing the reconciliation process in the Senate along the way. In an editorial, The Wall Street Journal doesn’t pull any punches in blasting the Democrats for their decision: “A string of electoral defeats and the great unpopularity of ObamaCare can't stop Democrats from their self-appointed rendezvous with liberal destiny—ramming a bill through Congress on a narrow partisan vote. What we are about to witness is an extraordinary abuse of traditional Senate rules to pass a bill merely because they think it's good for the rest of us, and because they fear their chance to build a European welfare state may never come again.”
As Sen. McConnell points out, “[Americans] don’t want it, and they won’t tolerate any more back room deals or legislative schemes to force it through Congress on a partisan basis. History is clear: Big legislation always requires big majorities. And this latest scheme to lure Democrats into switching their votes in the House by agreeing to use Reconciliation in the Senate will be met with outrage.”
One senatoreven said of reconciliation, “Reconciliation is therefore the wrong place for policy changes . . . . In short, the reconciliation process appears to have lost its proper meaning. A vehicle designed for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been hijacked to facilitate reckless deficits and unsustainable debt.” Which senator? It’s a statement from the junior senator from Illinois in 2005: Sen. Barack Obama. Tags:federal spending, government healthcare, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Post Office to Lose $238 Billion - Big Gov't Has No Business Sense
by Adam Bitely, NetRight Nation: In some rather believable news, the Postmaster General has announced that the Post Office could lose $238 Billion over the next decade.
According to the Washington Post, "The U.S. Postal Service estimates $238 billion in losses in the next 10 years if lawmakers, postal regulators and unions don't give the mail agency more flexibility in setting delivery schedules, price increases and labor costs."
The postmaster general called for many of these changes last year but failed to convince lawmakers. This time he's armed with $4.8 million worth of outside studies that conclude that, without drastic changes, the mail agency will face even more staggering losses.
Three studies -- by Accenture, the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Co. -- reviewed the Postal Service's books and presented 50 options for cuts and new services. The agency's business model is so poor, consultants concluded, that privatizing it is untenable.
Officials will also seek greater flexibility in forthcoming union negotiations, including addressing ballooning health-care costs, Potter said.
He particularly wants Congress to reverse a 2006 law requiring the Postal Service to prepay its retiree health benefits, to the tune of $5 billion per year. No other federal agency or Fortune 500 company makes such payments, Potter said.
Maybe Congress will now wake up to the nonsensical funding that the Post Office receives. As the notion of postal delivery becomes more and more lost to the American people, we could finally see a reduction in the size of this Federal behemoth.
But the Post Office still has some ideas on how to become a force in the 21st Century. They have plans to launch a "hybrid" service that will deliver mail via e-mail. The details of the service have not been launched yet, but one wonders why the customer would need the Post Office to deliver an email for them.
The time for the Post Office to lose access to the Federal dollars it receives is now. It's time to stop throwing good money after bad. Tags:Adam Bitely, debt, NetRight Nation, Post OfficeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 2, 2010 - Dems Promote Obamacare & Backdoor National Energy Tax
Senate resumed consideration of the nomination of Barbara Keenan to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and will vote this afternoon on cloture regarding her nomination. In the afternoon, the Senate will likely resume consideration of H.R. 4213, the tax extenders bill. The bill extends tax provisions that expired at the end of the year such as state sales tax deductions and the research and development tax credit.
In the House, besides the below topic of Obamacare, currently 84 House Republicans the EPA’s Backdoor National Energy Tax and are on a resolution of disapproval that would prevent the EPA from implementing these job-killing regulations. You may recall that late last year, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) head Lisa Jackson signed an “endangerment finding” stating that greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” These findings pave the way for EPA regulation of emissions even though the EPA has admitted that it has not evaluated possible job losses or shifts in employment that may occur due to its rules and regulation.
it is clear that the Obama Administration is moving ahead on another front using the EPA regulations to pressure Congress into passing cap-and-tax legislation—if the Democrat Congress does not force a job-killing cap-and-tax scheme on the American people, the EPA will. The EPA endangerment finding and resulting regulation is just another massive intrusion of government into the U.S. economy. This action will stifle economic growth and kill jobs, especially in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The EPA regulation is simply a national energy tax that will raise costs for consumers and ship jobs overseas during a recession. If implemented, the new EPA permitting processes and rules will cost billions of dollars to implement and could potentially affect millions of small emitters such as hotels, hospitals, churches, farms, and various small businesses. The rules will inject uncertainty into the economy, delay or halt new construction, and deter investment.
Several States’ governors, attorneys general, environmental agencies, and agricultural agencies have weighed in to oppose the EPA finding, citing negative impacts for their State. In addition to House Republicans opposing efforts to implement the EPA’s job-killing regulations, they have offered a better plan to clean up the environment without a backdoor national energy tax. The American Energy Act is an all-of-the-above plan that would provide energy independence, more jobs here at home and a cleaner environment at the same time.
On the continuing saga of ramming through nationalized heath care (Obamacare), both CNN and New York Times identify that President Obama is preparing to give "a speech on Wednesday to outline ‘the way forward’ and to flesh out the substance of his proposed compromise based on the bills passed by the House and Senate . . . .” There’s been some speculation that Obama will put forward a new, smaller health care bill tomorrow, mostly based on a comment from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday.
But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer clarified for The Hill today what Democrats are actually planning on doing: “Hoyer affirmed that Democratic leaders intend to press ahead with their plan for the House to take up the Senate bill and for both chambers to consider a package based on Obama’s proposal via budget reconciliation rules that would allow the smaller bill to pass the Senate on a simple majority vote.”
In other words, in order to provide political cover for House Democrats to vote for the 2,700 page $2.5 trillion monstrosity of a Senate health care bill, Democrats want to pass another bill and jam it through the Senate on a partisan basis. Why do House Democrats feel they need political cover? The Senate bill still features such gems as the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, a new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans, and other troublesome provisions.
Poll after poll shows that Americans have rejected this approach to health care reform. Not only do overwhelming majorities oppose Congress passing this bill, there was an election just over a month ago in Massachusetts where voters elected a Republican who campaigned against the Democrats’ bill.
As previously reported both Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) explained precisely why using reconciliation for expanding national health care is so outrageous. Americans have said loud and clear that they want Congress to start over on health care reform and shelve these badly flawed bills. As Sen. McConnell said, “Democrats are saying they want a simple up or down vote on health care. What they really want is to jam their vision of health care through Congress over the objections of a public that they seem to think is too ill-informed to notice. If they go ahead with this plan, they’ll see how wrong they are.” Tags:cap-and-trade, energy tax, EPA, government healthcare, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Four-Minute Guide to the Seven-Hour Obama Blair House Show
While the future of health care reform remains in doubt, the summit at the Blair House helped demonstrate to the American people the sharp differences in ideology and substance that form the gap between liberal and conservative solutions to our current healthcare problems. For those who did not watch all seven hours of The Blair House Show, the Heritage Foundation has compiled the following 4 minute video:
Tags:government healthcare, summit, video, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Ken Blackwell on RNC Strategy: Stick with the Principles or Rewrite the Message?
Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author is also Vice Chairman of the RNC's Platform Committee and attended CPAC. He sat down with Dana Loesh at PJTV to discuss how the RNC plans to grow the party without compromising principles. The RNC is reaching out to young people, women and minorities, and acknowledging that Tea Party principles are at the core of conservatism. Recommend watching the PJTV video!
----------------- Mr. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. He submitted the video link to the ARRA News Service. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and American Civil Rights Union. Tags:CPAC, Ken Blackwell, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
FRC Action: Doctors announced that President Obama passed his annual check-up--but the most important one may come in November. Whether voters still think he and his party are "fit for duty" on Election Day may depend on what happens in the next few weeks. Despite last week's high stakes talk, the President is tossing aside the same bipartisanship he promoted on television to force his reforms through a reluctant Congress. According to White House advisors, all signs point to the reconciliation process, which would protect the bill from Republican opposition by calling for a simple majority vote.
Right now, however, it's unclear whether Democrats even have enough of their own party on board to succeed. A handful of key "ayes" have already promised to peel off the House majority if Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) moves forward with legislation that removes Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-Mich.) outright ban on taxpayer-funded abortion. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) told Congressional Quarterly on Thursday, "I will not vote for a health care bill that doesn't have the House abortion language in it." His Mississippi colleague, Rep. Gene Taylor (D), agreed. "It's a fairly safe bet that if they include the Senate language on abortion, the legislation would go down."
Of course, Speaker Pelosi would have us believe that the President's plan (a mildly modified version of the Senate bill) does erect a wall between taxpayers and the bloody business of abortion. During Friday's press conference, there weren't enough lie detectors in the greater metropolitan area to process all the whoppers. "Let me say it this way, there's three, three, I don't want to say principles, but three standards that we are using as we go forward, and I talked to the Catholic Bishops about this and people on all sides of the choice issue... Federal law prevents federal funding of abortion. There is no federal funding of abortion in this bill. There'll be no expansion or diminution of a woman's right to choose... This bill that passed the Senate does not have federal funding of abortion."
Not surprisingly, the Catholic Bishops have a different take on the conversation. In a counter-statement, the USCCB was flabbergasted. "We do not know how anyone who has spoken to the bishops could conclude that the Senate health care bill does not fund abortions. As bishops have said in their letters to Congress, abortion problems in the Senate bill are so serious that, despite our strong support for expanding access to health care, we will have to oppose the bill unless they are resolved."
One More Point -- For Pelosi and Rangel, The Ends Justify the Ways and Means?
When she isn't keeping the AP Fact Checkers busy, the Speaker of the House is trying to cover for her party's ethical deficiencies. One day after the House ethics panel "admonished" Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) for taking vacations on the corporate dime, Pelosi defended him in the press. While other Democrats called for him to step down from his powerful post as the head of the Ways and Means Committee, Pelosi said the twenty-term congressman should stay put. For a woman so bent on taking out then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) for similar deeds, her tune has radically changed in six years. This weekend, she shrugged off the charges, telling ABC, "It was not something that jeopardized our country in any way."
It may not have jeopardized the country, but it would be naive to think it hasn't jeopardized her party. Tagged with an unpopular health care bill and now a culture of corruption, the Speaker would have been wise to heed at least one campaign promise--to lead "the most ethical Congress in history." Among other things, the House is investigating Rep. Rangel's improper leasing of four rent-controlled apartments, his failure to report rental income from a vacation property, and the decision to redirect contributions to a personal project. In 2006, Nancy Pelosi said she would "drain the swamp" of Washington corruption, but so far the only thing her party has drained is American confidence in the legislative system. Sign the FRC Action Petition to Speaker Pelosi asking for Rep. Rangel to step down from his powerful chairmanship. To share or to post to your site, click on the date / link for the post. Please mention or link to us. Thanks! http://arranewsservice.comTags:abortion, Charlie Rangel, corruption, Democrats, FRC, health care, Nancy PelosiTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 1, 2010 - Democrats Wrong On Reconciliation - Ignoring Majority of Americans
The Senate will consider H.R. 4213, the tax extenders bill. The bill extends tax provisions that expired at the end of the year such as state sales tax deductions and the research and development tax credit. Finance Committee chair Max Baucus (D-MT) is expected to offer a substitute amendment that will likely include extensions to unemployment benefits, COBRA subsidies, and highway funding that expired this week. No votes are schedule today. Around noon on Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on cloture on the nomination of Barbara
Over the weekend, much of the discussion following last week’s health care summit was over whether Democrats would choose to use the partisan tactic known as reconciliation to jam their health care bill through the Senate with only 51 votes, instead of the 60 votes controversial legislation traditionally needs to pass.
The Washington Post reports, “Raising the prospect of a ‘simple up-or-down vote’ on health-care reform, White House adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle said on Sunday she thinks Democrats will secure enough ayes on the measure and signaled that the administration could be moving toward trying to pass it along party lines.” And according to The Hill, “[Senate Majority Whip Dick] Durbin defended Democrats’ plans to move forward with their healthcare bill using the budget reconciliation process, only to the objection of Republicans, who claim the 50-vote process is hyperpartisan and has never been used on legislation of this magnitude. ‘We have used this process for big ideas in the past,’ Durbin said during an appearance on MSNBC. ‘It can be used this time.’”
In fact, reconciliation has never been used on a partisan basis to pass major legislation not dealing solely with revenue issues. Democrats are fond of pointing to welfare reform in the 1990’s and President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts, but both of those measures had significant bipartisan support, and welfare reform was signed by President Clinton.
In this case, the only thing bipartisan is the opposition to the Democrats’ health care bill. Last year, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), the former majority leader, wrote in The Washington Post, “I was one of the authors of the legislation that created the budget ‘reconciliation’ process in 1974, and I am certain that putting health-care reform and climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted.”
And of course, the American people not only overwhelmingly oppose the Democrat bill, a clear majority oppose Democrats using reconciliation to push it through. Last week, a CNN poll found that “48 percent [of Americans say] lawmakers should work on an entirely new bill and a quarter [say] Congress should stop all work on health care reform.” That’s 73% saying Congress should start over on health care reform or stop altogether. And a Gallup poll found that Americans oppose the use of reconciliation by a 52%-39% margin. Fifty-three percent of independents oppose such a move and even 24% of Democrats are against it.
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on CNN yesterday, “[T]he American people do not want us to use that kind of parliamentary device to jam this down their throats. In Washington, they want to portray this as an argument between Republicans and Democrats. This is an argument between the Democrats and the American people. We know the American people oppose this bill and they oppose using reconciliation to pass this bill. This is really the Democratic majority, in frankly an arrogant way, saying we are smarter than you are Americans, and we are going to give this to you whether you want it or not.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in The Washington Post wrote: "Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process. America's Founders gave us a system of governance designed to limit government power and maximize liberty. The legislative branch is different from the executive, and the Senate is different from the House. No single branch has all the power. That can be frustrating for those with ambitious agendas, but everyone benefits by respecting those checks and balances even as we fight over policies. While the House is designed for action, the Senate is designed for deliberation. That is why Senate rules and procedures give a minority of senators the power to slow or even stop legislation. . . .
"This use of reconciliation to jam through this legislation, against the will of the American people, would be unprecedented in scope. And the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances, corrode the legislative process, degrade our system of government and damage the prospects of bipartisanship. . . . The president said in his State of the Union address that "we were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let's show the American people we can do it together." I agree. Poll after poll tells us that is what Americans want. To do that we must start by taking the reconciliation procedure off the table. . . ." Tags:government healthcare, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Phyllis Schlafly Report: Obama's "spread the wealth around" doesn't mean only higher taxes on taxpayers and more handouts to non-taxpayers; more especially, it means transfers of financial goodies to the President's political allies. The American people were rightfully outraged when it became known that Senators Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson were rewarded for voting for Obamacare with hundreds of millions of dollars of benefits given uniquely to their states, Louisiana and Nebraska. Now we find that President Obama is paying off the feminists big-time for their support of his election.
When Obama presented his multi-trillion dollar budget, he declared with great fanfare that he was calling for a freeze in discretionary spending. Feminists immediately had a tantrum to complain that the freeze exempted funding for the military, intelligence, and homeland security. Now we learn that all feminist programs and organizations will also be exempted from the freeze. Instead, they will get what White House spokesman Kate Bedingfield admits are "significant funding increases."
A White House document entitled Opportunity and Progress for Women and Girls describes 15 federal programs that will receive increased funding to appease the feminists. Chief among them is the Violence Against Women project, which is targeted for a 22% increase, an extra $117 million more than current funding, which is already close to $1 billion a year. That earmark is a Joe Biden project known as feminist pork because the money goes right into the hands of radical feminist centers where they teach their anti-male, anti-marriage ideology, counsel women to get a divorce, and urge criminal prosecution against a man no matter how slight or unverified the alleged offense. . . . [Full Report] Tags:Barack Obama, earmark, feminists, Joe Biden, Phyllis Schlafly, radical feministsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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