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/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
Saturday, March 31, 2012
March 2012 Porker of the Month: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow
Porker of the Month
Citizens Against Government Waste: In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day earlier this month, and in recognition of the potfuls of taxpayer gold that have been squandered on subsidizing ill-advised green energy programs, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) Porker of the Month for submitting an amendment that would have extended federal subsidies for alternative fueling stations, biofuels, refined coal, energy-efficient appliances, wind power, and similar initiatives.
Sen. Stabenow’s ultimately unsuccessful amendment exemplifies the public policy fallacy gripping the Obama administration and many lawmakers, which holds that the key to unlocking a green energy surge is simply more taxpayer money.
“The past six months have been marred by examples of the futility of picking winners in energy markets…Failures at Solyndra, Ener1, Beacon, Tesla, Amonix, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, SunPower, and others make it obvious that the government has about as much chance of stumbling across a four-leaf clover as it does of being successful as a venture capitalist,” declared CAGW President Tom Schatz.
For attempting to compound the federal government’s costly foray into green energy investment, and doing her best to bury taxpayer greenbacks at the end of the rainbow, Sen. Stabenow is the March 2012 Porker of the Month. Read more about the Porker of the Month. Tags:Citizens Against Government Waste, CAGW, porker of the month, March 2012, Democrat, Debbie Stabenow, MichiganTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Trayvon tragedy, Reverends, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, fuel to the fire, political cartoon, A.F. BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ICYMI: U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Now No. 1 In The World
Japan has just helped the Obama administration reach one of its objectives. The United States will on April 1st (and it's no April Fools Joke) have the highest corporate tax rate in the World. But, since the U.S. did not actually do anything to achieve this negative statistic -- it is really a "nonachievement" for the Obama administration. Thus, it is doubtful that this changed statistic will satisfy what Dinesh D'Souza described as Barack Obama's "anticolonialist rage against Western dominance, and most especially against the wealth and power of the very nation Barack Obama now leads." CNN Money has the graphic and figures. Chris Isidore, CNN Money: NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- On Sunday, the United States gets a distinction no nation wants -- the world's highest corporate tax rate.
Japan's cut in corporate tax rate, set to take effect April 1, will leave the U.S. corporate tax rate the highest in the world.
Japan, which currently has the highest rate in the world -- a 39.8% rate on business income between national and local taxes -- cuts its rate to 36.8% as of April 1. The U.S. rate stands at 39.2% when both federal and state rates are included.
"The change in and of itself is not that important, but there's some symbolism involved in being the highest in the world," said Eric Toder, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan think tank. "There's certainly been a long-term trend of our rate getting higher relative to everyone else."
But despite the headline number, the statutory rate only tells part of the story.
Loopholes and other special treatment for different kinds of businesses mean that businesses pay an effective rate of only 29.2% of their income, which puts the United States below the average of 31.9% among other major economies, according to analysis by the Treasury Department. . . . Read More Note: Is there any doubt that the Obama administration will continue to advance an agenda to adjust the final referenced CNN statistic so that eventually those "bad job creating" U.S. Corporations will in fact be taxed more than Corporations in the rest of the world? Tags:World, USA, Us Corporations, highest corporate tax, CNN Money, Obama administration, Barack Obama, Dinesh D'SouzaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
RNC Video Detailing Facts: Last Wednesday, March 28, 2012, The US House voted on President Obama's budget . Democrat and Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi voted "NO"! Democrat Party Chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz voted "NO"!
Not a single Democrat voted for the President's budget in the House of Representatives. Final vote on H.Con. Res 112, the President Obamat's budget, was 0-409. Nobody voted to support the President's budget! Barack Obama's greatest bipartisan achievement: Zero Votes for his Budget in the House of Representatives.
Tags:President Barack Obama, FY 2013, budget, zero votes, congress, house, senate, 2012 election, House of Representatives, RNC, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Flexibility for what? In International political intrigue, weakness begets greater threats and deception begets deception. Now ,after U.S. President Barack Obama laid hands Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in South Korea, and solicits more time (for what we don't know) via message to Putin, this week we find the American Ambassador to Russia having his schedule compromised and the Russian News media showing up where ever he is goes. Is former KGB Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sending a signal to President Obama? If so, what is that message? Fox News has the following background story:
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul suggested Thursday that the Russian government is spying on him. “Everywhere I go (Russian television station) NTV is there,” he tweeted. “Wonder who gives them my calendar? They wouldn’t tell me. Wonder what the laws are here for such things?”
The unusual tweets come just days after President Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in South Korea.
A State Department spokesman, peppered with questions about a string of similar tweets from the ambassador, said he was "not aware" that the U.S. government has raised these concerns formally with Moscow. But the administration did not admonish McFaul, either, as the ambassador used one of the world's largest social media platforms to openly hint he was being watched by forces inside the United States' former Cold War foe.
"I respect (the) press’ right to go anywhere and ask any question. But do they have a right to read my email and listen to my phone?” McFaul also posted on his Twitter feed Thursday. “When I asked these ‘reporters’ how they knew my schedule, I got no answer. Heard the same silence when they met me after meeting w/ Chubais.”
Reporters from the Kremlin-friendly station reportedly met him after a meeting with activist Lev Ponomaryov.
. . . An NTV spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that the station learned of the diplomat's plans through a network of "agencies and private citizens." ‘There is nothing surprising about it,” spokeswoman Maria Bezborodova said. “We are everywhere."
McFaul’s concerns about eavesdropping follow Obama’s recent trip in South Korea for a Nuclear Security summit in which a private conversation between him and Medvedev was caught on a live microphone. The president said he would have “more flexibility” after the 2012 elections to deal with such complex issues as missile defense. He also said incoming President Vladimir Putin needs to give him some “space” when he takes office in May.
Obama downplayed the incident, saying negotiating arms reductions amid election-year politics would be difficult. Though Republicans criticized Obama for the exchange, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reminded them that "I'm pretty sure the Cold War ended when some of the folks in this room were still in elementary school."
"Any suggestion that Russia is America's No. 1 geopolitical foe represents a unique understanding of recent history," Carney said sarcastically during the daily White House briefing, in response to a comment presidential candidate Mitt Romney had made about Russia.
McFaul had tweeted his concerns about Russian media just a few hours earlier.
Obama appointed McFaul in January to the post of U.S.-Russia ambassador after McFaul served several years as the president’s special adviser on Russian affairs. McFaul, a Stanford University political science professor, was part of the White House foreign policy team that developed the “reset in relations” phrase regarding Washington-Moscow affairs. Tags:political cartoon, William Warren, flexible enough, behind their backs, Barack Obama, American people, flexibility, for what?, Russia, American Ambassador, Russia, Michael McFaul, Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin , To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - March 30, 2012:
The Supreme Court has ceased hearing oral arguments on the Federal Health Care Law, aka Obamacare, and the Supreme Court justices may meet today to conduct their initial vote in the case. Chief Justice John Roberts will then select an author to prepare the majority opinion of the court. The final decisions may be internally argued and changed before their official final release of the decision. However, this vote will not be made public. It is doubtful that their decision will be released before June.
There are numerous opinions on what the Court may do. Most believe they will strike the individual mandate, other debate whether the rest of the law will be allowed to stand. It is interesting that the without the sever-ability clause in the actual Healthcare bill how the American taxpayer can be saddened with a deficient law. However, the justices after hopefully striking the unconstitutional individual mandate may leave the fate for the rest of the bill up to the people to decide by their votes in November as to who will control and / or repeal, replace or correct this major monstrosity created and forced on America people with apparent malice and forethought by the members of democratic party.
The Senate is in recess until Monday April 16. When the Senate returns, Democrats have scheduled a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2230, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) “Buffett Rule” tax hike bill.
Yesterday, Democrats’ latest bid to raise taxes on American energy producers, S. 2204, failed to get cloture by a vote of 51-47.
The House adjourned this morning for its two week spring break and is scheduled to return on April 16, 2012. Yesterday, the House passed H. Res. 600 to HR 4281 (266-158), a 90 Day temporary funding extension of Highway funding. The House and the Senate were unable to resolve the differences between the original House passed bill and the Senates changes to the bill. Senate Democrats are insisting that the House pass the modified $109 billion two-year Senate bill. The Senate Democrats, infamous for their own Continuing Resolutions, angrily accepted the House 90 day extension the highway funding which would have ceased on Saturday with Congress with Congress out of session for a two-week spring break except for potential pro-forma meetings.
Yesterday, The House voted on two budget plans. The first plan, H.Con.Res. 113, was defeated (136-285). It was the conservative Republican Study Committee's "cut, cap, and balance" 2013 budget proposal which would have brought the government back into alignment in five years. The ARRA News Service supported the RSC proposal and appreciates the the efforts of SRC and the leadership of Reps Jim Jordan and Scott Garrett, and the majority of House Republicans who voted for the alternative that would have placed the government on a path of fiscal responsibility and accountability.
The House then approved H.Con.Res. 112. (228-191) the Ryan Budget plan. All the Republicans except for 10 voted for the Ryan budget plan. All the democrats opposed the Ryan budget plan. Americans for Limited Government called the Ryan plan "a small step in the right direction that will reduce deficits to just $166 billion by 2018, a fraction of the current trillion dollar deficits we see every year from the Obama Administration. It would actually result in net cuts to the budget in 2013 and 2014 by $94 billion and $54 billion, respectively. However, it may be too little, too late, to save the nation from flying off the cliff of insolvency."
Doug Schoen at Forbes added: "Ryan's Budget isa start -- but only a start. ... Republicans can now say that they are putting forward actual solutions to the nation’s fiscal problems, repudiating the Democrats’ attack that they have only rejected President Obama’s initiatives without proposing ideas of their own. . . . Meanwhile, the Democrats have largely avoided taking a serious approach to entitlement reform and balancing the budget. Despite what Obama senior advisor David Plouffe said on last Sunday’s morning talk shows, the President did not really embrace the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, and has not yet committed to fiscal discipline and achieving a balanced budget."
The Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday, “The White House and its Democratic allies are doing what they can to shift Americans' frustration with high gasoline prices from President Barack Obama to another group: oil and gasoline companies. Senate Democrats pressed for a vote Thursday to end some $20 billion in federal subsidies to the largest oil and gas companies. The vote failed, as Democrats knew it would. The effort was a political gesture . . . .” ABC News added, “A last minute entreaty by President Obama wasn’t enough to convince senators to strip the oil and gas industry of billions in tax incentives.” And The Hill noted, “Four Democrats — Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Jim Webb (Va.) — voted against the bill. The outcome of the vote was not a surprise, given that a similar plan failed 52-48 last May. But the decision to take another shot at passing the bill— and the decision by the White House to wade into the fight — underscore the political salience of rising gasoline prices in an election year. Obama has sought to deflect blame for high gas prices, in part by casting Republicans as allies of big oil companies.”
Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News last night, “I think any objective observer would look at what the president said today in the Rose Garden on this and conclude as I did: it is truly staggering cynicism.” Indeed, Senate Democrats have repeatedly acknowledged that their attempts to raise taxes on American energy producers would have “no impact on gasoline prices” and “will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.”Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) lamented this week, “We should have a real energy debate, not this show and tell for campaigning purposes.” And previously Begich and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have called this tax proposal “a gimmick” and “laughable,” respectively.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that “the price of gas has risen for 20 consecutive days” and yet the president and Democrats put forward this tax hike that news reports called “a political gesture.” Also, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “Is this really the best we can do? Is this the best we have to offer folks who are staring at $4 a gallon gasoline? A bill that even Democrats admit won’t do anything to lower the price of gas? And a process that blocks any other idea from even coming to the floor for a vote? Does anybody think the Senate’s really done its job on this issue?” Tags:Washington, D.C., Obama administration, high gas prices, US Senate, US House, Highway funding, continuing resolution, RSC budget plan Ryan budget plan, Tony Blanco, political cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
NC Candidate for Congress Bill Randall Takes Responsible Stand on Florida Tragedy
Bill Smith, Editor: Bill Randall is a conservative Republican candidate running for the North Carolina 13th District seat in the US House of Representatives. This week, he boldly stepped into what some would call consider a proverbial mess. Many would have advised that as a candidate for Congress and being himself a black American, that he should have remained politically silent or at least not call a press conference. However, I disagree.
If Bill Randall had remained silent, it would have gone against the very nature of his family heritage and his years of walking and breathing "duty, honor, country." One does not show leadership by sticking their head in the sand.
In the below video you will see a man committed to principles and a man who evidences a clarion cry for tempered responses as well as sane reasoning. Of course, Bill Randall was very well prepared for this moment to boldly share his positions before this press conference. He has already gained the respect of senior military officers and civilians in his past. Randall retired as a Command Master Chief (E-9), the highest rank for a Non-commissioned officer in the Navy, Randall served for 27 years. As a retired Air Force officer who spent 3 years attached to the US Army and then 2 years after retirement working with the US Navy, I can assure you that military operations do not operate efficiently or effectively without the leadership of the senior non-commissioned officers and the top kick in Navy units is not the person getting the salutes and "yes sirs." It is the Command Master Chief.
So, what did Randall do that deviated from the traditional campaign? First, he held a press conference on one of the hottest topics in the news - the Trayvon Martin Crisis. He actually put to shame the prior response by the President of the United States and the responses by those who pontificated vitriol and prejudgement of a tragedy. He shines a light on the people who claim to care for the hurting family members but who in fact seek self aggrandizement and advancement of their personal and organizational agenda. Finally, he schooled and educated the press.
Bill Randall press conference addressed the results developing as a result of "all out media false reporting" and run-down activists who are seeking to profit from this tragedy and who are actually promoting hatred toward other people. In the following video, you will see and hear a balanced level headed response from Bill Randall as he addresses the current situation in Florida after the shooting of Trayvon Martin and answers the questions of the media, some of them already biased.
In closing, I do not wish to focus on me but to illustrate a truth. As a former national political director working with 23 candidate campaigns for Congress in the same election cycle, I may have advised caution - let Florida's problem be Florida's problem. But then again, how can reasoned men and women stand by and allow unreasoned men and women to use a tragedy for distorted purposes which would set our country back years with respect to race relations. And then, we have the lame street media false reporting and the editing of tapes to make things appear different from the facts.
So, I salute Bill Randall for taking both a stand which may even be uncomfortable for him in coming days. He has evidenced that leaders do not duck and run and are there to take care of those whom they are responsible for. And that includes sharing truthfully and openly about the events of today. Members of Congress need to be level headed. I encourage those in his Congressional district to consider Bill Randall as a man you would be proud to have not only represent you in Congress but also proud that he would be coming home as also a friend and neighbor. I know I would.
As many readers know, I rarely endorse candidates via my articles on the ARRA News Service. Well, if the following is an endorsement - so be it. If I was a resident of North Carolina's 13th District, I would be campaigning with and for Bill Randall. Thank you Bill for not taking the safe road and for showing leadership! Tags:Bill Randall, 2012 Election, candidate for Congress, 13th District, North Carolina, press conference, Trayvon Martin, death, FloridaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tony Perkins, FRC Washington Update: Less than a mile separates the Supreme Court from America's founding documents at the National Archives. But when the ObamaCare case is decided, the country will see how far the Justices really are from the U.S. Constitution. From what people inside the courtroom have observed, the two may be closer than liberals originally thought. Yesterday's arguments--the last before June's historic ruling--focused on severability. The Justices must decide that if one part of the law is found unconstitutional, should they save the rest? Unlike other cases, this one is decidedly messy. If the Court voids the individual mandate, then the burden of paying for the law would fall to the states--many of which cannot afford it.
Even the bench's liberal newcomers, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, talked about how unworkable that solution would be. "So they leave the market," Kagan said, "the rates go up further, more people leave the market, and the whole system crashes and burns." Sotomayor agreed. Hollowing out the law would be, in her words, "a death spiral." The President and his party designed the mandate as the engine that drives the bill. Without it, the law is almost unsustainable. If the Justices tear down the order to buy insurance without hitching the entire policy to it, then Americans would be left with a massive Medicaid expansion, taxpayer-funded abortion, a conscience-violating mandate, and the $1.76 trillion tab.
The results would still be catastrophic--though not, as the Wall Street Journal describes the whole law, a "bunker buster into the original idea of America." It would also put the burden on the Court, a non-legislative body, to decide which parts of the policy stay and which go. That, insisted Justice Anthony Kennedy, is a more activist solution than taking a wrecking ball to the entire law. If the Court strikes down the individual mandate but leaves the rest of the law untouched, "We would have [created] a new [law] that Congress did not provide for, did not consider. That, it seems to be can be argued at least to be a more extreme exercise of judicial power than... striking the whole." Almost on cue, Justice Antonin Scalia joked, "What happened to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?" (The Eighth Amendment, as FRC's Ken Klukowski points out, is the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.) Essentially, both men were arguing that it's Congress's place--not the judiciary's--to rework the law.
In the end, this case is--and always was--about the fundamental principle of freedom. And while the Solicitor General did his best to argue that the law was nothing short of patriotic, attorney Paul Clement views it differently. "I certainly appreciate what the solicitor general says, that when you support a policy, you think that the policy spreads the blessings of liberty. But I would respectfully suggest that it's a very funny concept of liberty that forces somebody to purchase an insurance policy whether they want to or not." Ultimately, the Court will have to decide who enjoys the vastest expanse of power: the people or the President? We'll have to wait until June to find out.
--------- Also note previous articleShall We Be Citizens or Subjects? Tags:SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Justices, ObamaCare, Federal health care, mandate, Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington UpdateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrats' Plan On High Gas Prices: Raise Taxes On Energy Producers
Democrat's Solution To High Gas Prices -
Raise Taxes On Producers -
Thus Increasing Gas Prices Even MORE!
Today in Washington, D.C. - March 29, 2012:
The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 2230, Democrats’ “Buffett Rule” tax hike bill. Earlier today Democrats’ latest bid to raise taxes on American energy producers, S. 2204, failed (51-47) to get cloture. Yesterday, the Senate voted 59-39 to confirm Miranda Du as District Judge for the District of Nevada, and 96-1 to confirm Susie Morgan as District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The House this morning passed H. Res. 600 to HR 4281 (266-158) which will allow a 90 Day temporary funding extension of Highway funding. The House and the Senate have been unable to resolve the differences between the original House passed bill and the Senates changes to the bill. Senate Democrats are insisting that Speaker Boehner and the house Republican majority have to pass the modified $109 billion two-year Senate bill. However, if the Senate Democrats do not accept the 90 day extension which they (Democrats) themselves are in the famous for doing in the past, highway funding will cease on Saturday and Congress will be out of session for a two-week spring break except for potential pro-forma meetings.
This afternoon the House is expected to vote on Republican budget proposals that with variations cuts spending, repeals ObamaCare, promotes small business job creation and expands American energy production.
The Washington Post reports today, “The national average [gasoline price] is $3.91 [per gallon], compared with about $3.70 last month and just below $3.59 this time last year. Across the country, the price of gas has risen for 20 consecutive days, with only three days of decline in three months.”Yet Senate Democrats and President Obama are pushing a bill that will do nothing to lower the price of gas and will instead raise taxes on American energy producers.
Speaking on the floor before the Democrats’ latest bid to raise taxes on American energy producers failed to get the needed 60 votes, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wondered, “Is this the best we have to offer folks who are staring at $4 a gallon gasoline? A bill that even Democrats admit won’t do anything to lower the price of gas? And a process that blocks any other idea from even coming to the floor for a vote? Does anybody think the Senate’s really done its job on this issue?”
Even Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) blasted this futile Democrat exercise, “We should have a real energy debate, not this show and tell for campaigning purposes.” He explained, “[W]e will have wasted 2½ days doing nothing on real energy policy in this country, and people are still going to be paying higher gasoline prices.”
A recent Gallup poll shows 65% of Americans say they personally worry “a great deal” about gas prices and 67% say they’ve cause financial hardship in their household. Eighty-five percent (85%) would like to see “immediate” action by the president and Congress on gas prices.
Dems Say Gas Prices 'Not The Issue'
Unfortunately, progressive / liberal democrats pushed a retread bill which they have tried to pass before. Following the Obama administrations lead they seek a tax increase on American energy companies. However, they cannot explain how raising taxes is supposed to lower gas prices. Democrats never even tried, admitting, “This was never intended to talk about lowering prices,” as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told CNN. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “You know, this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. That's not the issue. I don't see that as an issue at all.” Disgusted, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) took to the Senate floor the last time her fellow Democrats were pushing this plan to declare, “It will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.”
Senator John Boozman(R-AR) spoke for mid-America this morning stating before the vote was taken: "American families and businesses deserve a plan that will help bring down the price at the pump. The legislation before this chamber proposes to raise taxes on American energy producers. This won’t change the supply or the demand, but it will drive the cost up. Once again hardworking Americans will be left with bill.” He also said, "The reality of our country’s nonexistent energy policy is it forces us to rely on the Middle East for oil. We import about 9 million barrels of oil every day, about half of our supply. This is costly to our economy, our citizens and threatens our national security. This is the only developed country in the world that refuses to use its natural resources. Opening up Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and increasing offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf is a step in the right direction that puts us on the path of energy independence. More we can also boost our domestic energy supply through the development of the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed 1,700-mile pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast and allow us to get reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner and trusted ally."
GOP Leader McConnell expressed frustration: “Senate Democrats have put on a clinic this week in how not to run a serious legislative body. And if they’ve achieved anything at all this week, it’s to make Americans even more frustrated with Congress, as if that were possible. Faced with skyrocketing gas prices, Senate Democrats turned to a bill that even they admit doesn’t lower them. And then to make matters worse, they blocked Republicans from offering anything that might. That was their brilliant plan on how to deal with gas prices: raise taxes on energy companies; when gas is already hovering around $4 a gallon, then block consideration of anything else — just to make sure gas prices don’t go anywhere but up. Somehow they thought that doing this would set up some kind of a political win for them, which I never really understood. I mean, I can’t imagine anybody giving them any high-fives for not lowering the price of gas. But anyway, that was the plan. . . . [I]t’s getting tedious. Day after day, Senate Democrats ask us all to come out here not so we can make an actual difference in the lives of working Americans and families struggling to fill up the gas tank, but so we can watch them stage votes for show.” Tags:US Senate, Dems, high gas prices, more taxes, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The high court is considering a historic challenge by twenty-six states to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. Hundreds of people have stood in line, some of them overnight in the chill March air, to get inside. Our colleague, Ken Klukowski, was one of those fortunate few. We are relying on Ken’s reporting and also on the impressions of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Ken Klukowski reports what was perhaps the critical exchange in the three-day oral arguments. Justice Anthony Kennedy is widely viewed as the pivotal figure in this case.
His vote is essential to any likely 5-4 ruling. Kennedy mildly said that this health care legislation “changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in a very fundamental way.” With this statement, Klukowski hopefully reports, “the individual mandate—the centerpiece of ObamaCare—is likely doomed.”
We agree, with Ken Klukowski and with Justice Kennedy. It is noteworthy that press reports already capitalize “Federal Government” and lower-case the word individual.
The next question, of course, is exactly how will ObamaCare change the relationship of the Federal Government and the individual?
Thomas Jefferson provided the answer. The National Archives announced with some excitement over the Independence Day weekend in 2010 that they had discovered an early draft of the Declaration of Independence. In it, young Mr. Jefferson scratched through the word Subjects and wrote in the word Citizens.
Archivists instructed us on the importance of the change. They invited us to go through that mental process with Thomas Jefferson as he and we became Citizens of a republic for the first time.
Was this amazing event on the nation’s birthday a portent? The National Archives made this announcement on the first Fourth of July after the passage of ObamaCare. It’s almost as if we were receiving a message from on high. Shall We Be Citizens or Subjects?
Why is this so? America is not like other countries. Ronald Reagan understood why America is exceptional. He offered these words in his Farewell Address to the nation in 1989.
Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: “We the People.” “We the people tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us.
But under ObamaCare, government not only tells us, it Mandates. We have seen a great controversy over the first Mandate from HHS . This first HHS Mandate would require religious hospitals, schools, colleges, and institutions provide drugs that can cause abortions, and orders them to further violate their consciences by covering sterilizations and contraceptives.
This is only the first of many Mandates that are coming under ObamaCare. There are literally hundreds of places in this ill-conceived legislation where “the Secretary” determines what is mandated. Life and death decisions for millions will be mandated by an unelected government bureaucrat in a distant city.
Justice Scalia asked Obama administration attorneys: “If the government can do this, what can it not do?” Attorney Mike Carvin represents the National Federation of Independent Businesses, suing the Obama administration. Carvin said: If a person enters the market simply by being born, “that…means they can regulate every human activity from cradle to grave.”
Death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin said those were the only certainties on earth. This truth was reaffirmed in the oral arguments before the Supreme Court, as Ken Cuccinelli reports: Somewhat amusingly, Justice Alito noted that burial costs were expensive and could hit one unexpectedly as well. He further noted that if he was too poor to pay his own costs and hadn’t prepared for his burial, he would still certainly be buried, and those costs would in turn be shifted to others either by raising everyone else’s burial costs if the buriers had to absorb those costs, or we’d all pay higher taxes if the government bore these costs.
Before our liberal readers generously take up a collection for Justice Alito’s burial costs, it is time for all of us to step back and consider very carefully the question that is really before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.
If the Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare, columnist George Will notes, then government’s “power to compel contractual relations would have no logical stopping point.” Which is why, Will says, the case the high court hears this week is “the last exit ramp on the road to unlimited government.” Which will it be: Citizens or Subjects?
------------------------- J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. 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 a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, Citizens or Subjects, citizens, United States, Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Federal health care, individual mandate, mandate, Obamacare, forcing people to buy products, to pay to be citizens, liberty, freedomTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
During the debate over Obamacare, Democrats and the president claimed that the law would lower health care costs, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, protect Medicare, and allow Americans to keep their health care plans. Two years later, it's clear that not one of those promises will be kept.
Instead, the health care law will drive up families' premiums by more than $2,000, force cash-strapped state governments to shoulder more than $100 billion in new Medicaid costs, take more than half a trillion dollars from Medicare, and encourage employers to drop health care coverage for up to 35 million Americans. And far from creating jobs, the health care law will actually result in 800,000 fewer jobs over the next decade. It's time to repeal Obamacare and replace it with commonsense, step-by-step reforms that will actually lower costs.
Tags:Obama TownHall, doctors, Senators, John Boozman, Ron Paul, HCTownHall, healthcare townhall, video, Rob Portman, Mike Johanns, Roy Blunt, Tom Coburn, John Barrasso, Ron Johnson, Kelly Ayotte To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Yesterday, your voices, the voices of the American people, were heard over the pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle. According to one speaker, our voices “rattled the windows of the Supreme Court.” Together, we sent a crystal clear message to the Supreme Court: do the right thing...overturn this disastrous, unconstitutional government takeover of our health care.
From our event, a CNN correspondent reported to Wolf Blitzer, “I want to give you a sense of what the crowd looks like here; it goes on and on and on!” Click here to see photos of the rally!
Sen. Rand Paul
Over 4,000 activists joined Americans for Prosperity and our 20+ coalition groups for the incredible Hands Off My Health Care Rally across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court. We heard from great speakers like Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Pat Toomey, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Paul Ryan, and Rep. Alan West. We heard from breast cancer survivor, Tracy Walsh, who told her personal story of survival due in part to choices and access provided by our health care system. We heard from Canadian, Shona Holmes, who told how she faced waiting lists and denied treatments for her brain tumor in her home country thanks to their socialized health care system but thankfully she drove south to the United States for the treatments that saved her life.
Rep. Allen West
This fight is far from over, but our fellow Americans are with us. Every poll shows they want to see the health care takeover law repealed. But we've got to keep taking our message of freedom to the American people.
If you have not done so already, make your voice heard by signing AFP's Statement to the Court. We displayed the many thousands of signatures we've collected so far at the Rally, and we're continuing to gather more! Be sure to forward this message to your friends and family, and ask them to sign AFP's Statement to the Court.
We can't let up now. We have to keep pushing hard, and make sure that the President's health care takeover is struck down in its entirety. Until that day comes, Americans for Prosperity will keep fighting with help from activists like you.
Americans for Prosperity® (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP has more than 1,900,000 members, including members in all 50 states, and 34 state chapters and affiliates. Tags:SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Obamacare, Federal healthcare, AFP, Americans For Prosperity, rally, Washington, D.C., Hands Off, My Health Care, rally, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Allen West, Rep. Michele BachmannTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
SCOTUS, EPA Cap & Tax Rule & Democrat Rips Dems' Energy Tax Bill "For Campaign Purposes"
Cap & Tax Is Back
Via EPA Regulations
Today in Washington, D.C. - March 28, 2012: SCOTUS: The Supreme Court continues its hearings on Obama and yesterday focused heavily on the individual mandate.
Obama Administration:The EPA was at it again yesterday. Below latest fallout from the EPA's cap-and-tax greenhouse gas rule, released yesterday.The National Association of Manufacturers responded: "Today, the EPA proposed yet another regulation that will hurt manufacturers, consumers and jobs. Looking at the broad range of costly EPA regulations, from Boiler MACT, Utility MACT and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, to coal ash and other greenhouse gas regulations, it’s evident that the Administration is playing a primary role in the 20 percent cost disadvantage facing manufacturers in the United States. The cumulative impact of these regulations is bad news for our manufacturing economy and will result in less reliable electricity at a higher price. Specifically, this latest proposed regulation would limit the construction of new coal fuel power plants, taking a stable and affordable source of energy off the table and putting the power grid at further risk. The impact will be higher electricity prices on manufacturers and consumers versus lower energy prices that allow manufacturers to continue to lead the economic recovery and create jobs."
Congress: The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 2230, Democrats’ “Buffett Rule” tax hike bill.
At 4:30 PM, the Senate will take up and vote on two district court nominees: Miranda Du to be District Judge for the District of Nevada, and Susie Morgan to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked all amendments to S. 2204, the Menendez energy tax hike bill that would raise taxes on American energy producers. Reid then filed cloture on the bill, setting up a cloture vote for Thursday. Earlier yesterday, cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1789, the postal reform bill, failed by a vote of 51-46.
Yesterday, The House passed (380-41) the Senate amended version of H.R. 3606 and it now moves to the President's Desk for signature. Passage of the bill, prevents another Congressional showdown between the Republican controlled House and the Democrat controlled Senate. The Senate amendment to H.R. 3606, which would allow companies to raise up to $1 million in investment capital from “crowdfunding” via the Internet. In addition, it would ensure protections for investors by requiring these companies to meet specific disclosure requirements. All other components of the House passed bill were unchanged.
The JOBS Act combined six bills, four of which have already been passed by the House with strong bipartisan support. In addition to the Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act (H.R. 3606), this package includes the Small Company Capital Formation Act (H.R. 1070), the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act (H.R. 2940), the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (H.R. 2930), the Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act (H.R. 2167), and the Capital Expansion Act (H.R. 4088). H.R. 4088 is similar to the Shareholder Threshold for SEC Registration Act (H.R. 1965), which passed the House on November 2, 2011.
Yesterday, the House also passed H.R. 3298 (414 - 5) - "To establish the position of Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and for other purposes" and H.R. 3309 (247 - 174) - "To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to provide for greater transparency and efficiency in the procedures followed by the Federal Communications Commission."
Today the House is considering one of those time honored useless legislative actions with H.R. 1339 - "To amend title 32, USC, the body of laws of the United States dealing with the National Guard, to recognize the City of Salem, Massachusetts, as the Birthplace of the National Guard of the United States."
Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Gas prices have more than doubled under President Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate. This is a problem that affects every American; that drives up the cost of everything from commuting to groceries. And yet the Democrat response is to propose legislation that even they admit doesn’t do a thing to lower the price of gas. We’ve got seven Senate Democrats on the record saying this bill doesn’t do a thing to lower gas prices. One of them has called it laughable. But this is apparently the best the Democrats can do. It’s the most they’re willing to do. At a time when gas prices are at a national average of nearly $4 a gallon, this is what passes for a response to high gas prices for Washington Democrats — a bill that does nothing about it.
Indeed, Democrats pushed this same legislation, which would raise taxes on American energy producers, just last year. At the time, many Democrats — including several in leadership - acknowledged that the bill would do nothing for gas prices. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Democrats’ messaging chief, said, “This was never intended to talk about lowering prices.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that “it is not a question of gas prices.” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “You know, this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. That's not the issue. I don't see that as an issue at all.” And even Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the lead sponsor of this year’s tax hike, said, “Nobody has made the claim that this bill is about reducing gas prices.”
Politico reported yesterday that another member of Democrat Senate leadership, Sen. Mark “Begich [D-AK] said the Senate was wasting time. ‘We should have a real energy debate, not this show and tell for campaigning purposes,’ Begich told reporters afterward. ‘This is the third act of the same play. It has the same outcome every time.’” He lamented that “[W]e will have wasted 2½ days doing nothing on real energy policy in this country, and people are still going to be paying higher gasoline prices.”
As Leader McConnell said, “So at a moment when working Americans are struggling with high gas prices, the message Democrats in Washington are sending this week is simple: get used to it. Because they’ve got nothing– nothing but a phony proposal aimed at distracting people from the fact that they have nothing to offer. Maybe the reason they voted yesterday to get off their own bill is that they realized the American people were onto them. Maybe they realized they didn’t have the political issue they thought they did. Well, my point is that they should be more concerned about helping Americans than helping their own campaigns. . . . This whole episode is completely unacceptable. And hopefully at some point, a number of Democrats will recognize that; will recognize that this should be about more than political games.” Tags:SCOTUS, Obamacare, individual mandate, EPA, Cap & Tax, regulation, coal power plants, US Senate, US House, Dem's Tax BillTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
American Crossroads launched a new national TV ad. It addresses that "Obama was right on the individual mandate ... before he was wrong." Now the Supreme Court of the United States is deciding if the Obamacare mandate is constitutional. A majority of the American people have already decided that it is not.
Tags:Obama, Barack Obama, Individual Mandate, Health Care, Health Care Law, Election, Clinton, Politics, Obamacare, Supreme Court, American Crossroads, adTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Wouldn’t you like to have been in the White House Situation Room when the president decided to take out Osama bin Laden? Thrilling, right? You’d have been part of history and have stories to tell your grandchildren. Well, you can’t. Not even if you donate a million dollars to the Obama re-election campaign. Sorry, Bill Mocker, you’ll have to wait for the movie. It’s Top Secret.
Nor can you listen in when the President is at one of his G-8 Summits (or is it G-20 by now?) It would doubtless be interesting to learn what the Big Wigs are deciding about international trade and technology issues. It would be valuable, too, as you are filling out your own stock portfolio. Sorry, no entry allowed. Authorized Personnel only. And you are not authorized.
So, it’s rare and exciting when we actually get to eavesdrop on conversations at the Summit when high matters of state are being resolved between President Barack Obama and outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. We have to thank Jake Tapper of ABC News. He played this one straight.
No tingling went up and down his leg as Tapper reported on one of the most shocking conversations ever held by an American President. Instead, the hair should go up on every American’s neck when we overhear something as chilling as this conversation.
A press microphone, described by one journalist as a highly sensitive “shotgun mike,” picked up President Obama and Medvedev in an appalling exchange during a recent Summit in Seou , Korea.
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space. President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you… President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility. President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
Here, President Obama is confiding information to Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB agent, that he would not confide in us. He is telling Putin to cool it until November 6th. After that, Mr. Obama will have more “flexibility.”
Flexibility for what? For making even more concessions than he made in the weak and unenforceable START treaty? (That treaty was the one so unwisely ratified in late 2010 by the “Lame Duck” Senate in the 111th Congress.)
The Summit Mr. Obama was attending with Medvedev in Seoul was just a few miles from the one of the most dangerous flashpoints on earth, the De-Militarized Zone between North and South Korea. Has Russia been helpful in restraining North Korea ’s nuclear program? Not at all.
Are the Russians helpful in Syria? They are backing dictator Bashir al-Asad to the hilt. Are they helpful with Iran? They actually designed and built portions of Iran ’s nuclear reactors.
Russia has sent spies to the United States . When the FBI nabbed ten of them, just weeks before the President’s 2010 “Hamburger Summit” with Medvedev in Northern Virginia , the spies were allowed to go home. They weren’t extensively interrogated to learn who their contacts were in this country. They weren’t even required to go through a TSA pat down. Small wonder that Medvedev munched on Mr. Obama’s fries at Ray’s Hell Burger. The Russian just ate his lunch.
What we see in this “secret” exchange between Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev confirms the worst fears of Americans about our national leadership. Iran is supplying weapons that have killed American soldiers—in Iraq and in Afghanistan. And Russia has been aiding Iran.
The Russians are not our friends. No one wants a new Cold War to break out. And we certainly don’t want a hot war. But, again, at least since Vladimir Putin’s rise to power on New Year’s Eve, 1999, Russia has not been our friend.
President Obama’s willingness to conspire—that is literally what the word means—with Dmitry Medvedev at a secret meeting raises the most serious questions about his character and his policy. This should not be a one-day story. This should be an issue of the highest concern to all Americans, regardless of party or politics.
Famed ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers was deeply depressed when Harry Truman was re-elected in 1948. He thought he had become a “witness” against Alger Hiss, a top appointee of Franklin Roosevelt, and had provided stunning testimony of disloyalty at the highest levels of our government—all for naught. Chambers feared that Truman re-elected would soften his stance against Russian subversion. But a Baltimore lawyer, a top Democrat, Richard Cleveland, came to Chambers and told him to take heart. He was telling the truth and the country would listen. That Democrat was the son of President Grover Cleveland. In those days, we could rely on both parties being loyal. We need that reliance again.
--------------- J. Ken Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He is the co-author of the new bestseller: The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. Blackwell is also a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member, and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, conspiring, Russia, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Yes indeed, "Government control over every aspect of your life."
Quoting President Obama, "I'll have more flexibility after I'm re-elected."
Folks is this what you want? Again quoting Tony Branco's title for this cartoon; "The Free Ride Isn't Free."
Wake up America!!! Tags:free ride, not free, loss of freedom, loss of personal choice, government programs, President Obama, Obamacare, election 2012, political cartoon, A.F. BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today, the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) unveiled a new “Cut, Cap, and Balance” budget (H.Con.Res. 113) that would eliminate deficit spending in just 5 years. Essentially, they build off the Budget Committee’s proposal but cut more spending. It’s noteworthy that the RSC plan is the only proposal in the House that meets the requirements of the Balanced Budget Amendment that almost every single House Republican voted for last year.
In summary, first, the RSC budget is not based on or related to the proposed Ryan Budget. The RSC budget is a conservative budget that balances in 5 years because it . . .
Cuts discretionary spending to slightly below the 2008 levels approved by Nancy Pelosi and freezes it until the budget balances in 2017.
Incorporates the cuts required by last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling, making the automatic “sequestration” unnecessary. Instead of half the cuts coming from defense, we propose the same defense spending as the House Budget Committee proposal. Non-defense in our proposal shrinks from $377 billion for the coming year to $329 billion in FY 2022.
Extends federal funding for Medicaid & CHIP at current FY 2012 levels and gives states the tools they need to design and improve their own programs, as proposed in the RSC’s State Health Flexibility Act.
Budgets responsibly for federal welfare programs by returning spending for these programs to pre-recession levels once unemployment drops to 6.5%, as proposed in the RSC’s Welfare Reform Act.
The RSC budget also proposes reforms to strengthen Social Security and Medicare over the long-term while making no changes for people currently age 55 and older. Because of the 10-year delayed implementation, these reforms make no contribution to the budget balancing in 5 years. Specifically, the RSC proposal . . .
Transitions Medicare to a solvent premium-support system, as proposed by the House Budget Committee. This plan provides Medicare enrollees a greater menu of choices including staying with the current system, harnessing the power of competition among private insurance plans and improving the quality of care.
Gradually realigns the Social Security eligibility age with Americans’ increasing longevity. The threshold for eligibility would increase by 2 months per year, beginning with people born in 1958 and after.
It would be both cruel and unfair to make a 7-year-old girl pay off $50,000 she had no part in borrowing. Yet President Obama plans to do that and worse in his newest budget.
We hear every day from people who want Washington to cut spending and stop borrowing from their children. President Obama either doesn't hear them or isn't listening. He proposes huge tax increases, yet his budget still never balances and the borrowing never stops. This is a path to fewer jobs and fewer opportunities. As the sorry state of the Greek economy proves, you pay for borrowing too much, either sooner or later.
The $50,000 mentioned above represents our national debt divided evenly among every single American, including senior citizens and second-graders. But in reality, the burden will not fall so evenly. As the years pass and the debt grows, the cost will fall more heavily on today's second-graders.
Last week, Chairman Paul Ryan and the House Budget Committee unveiled a plan to restrain spending and put the budget on a path to balance by 2040. This represents a vast improvement over President Obama's goals, and certainly over Senate Democrats, who have failed even to produce a budget for the third year in a row.
Even so, we join the many Americans concerned by the thought of waiting decades to balance the budget.
Conservatives in the Republican Study Committee hope to build on and improve on the Budget Committee's work. Our goal is simple: The federal government should stop borrowing from today's second-graders before they graduate high school.
Last year, the RSC laid out a path to balance in just nine years without raising taxes. Today, we take another step by making the tough decisions necessary to balance the budget in just five years. Our plan begins by freezing agency spending at slightly below 2008 levels until the budget balances in 2017.
A balanced budget will require a vibrant economy in addition to spending cuts. Entrepreneurs must have the confidence to begin new enterprises. Existing businesses need confidence to grow and expand. To provide this, and to reward hard work, our budget reforms taxes so that no American family or business will pay a federal tax rate higher than 25 percent.
We eliminate the death tax and alternative minimum tax, both of which punish success and stifle job growth. We also call a timeout on costly new regulations that are strangling businesses.
The RSC budget calls for unlocking America's energy resources, opening more areas to drilling, approving the entire Keystone XL pipeline, and removing unnecessary government rules that increase the price of gas. While oil and natural gas production boom on private and state lands, production has fallen in areas controlled by the federal government. Our economy will not meet its full potential until we fix this problem.
Our budget also looks beyond the short term to address the entitlement elephant in the federal budget. We repeal Obamacare in its entirety and introduce greater choice and competition to fight the rising cost of health care. In Medicare and Social Security, on which many Americans rely, this proposal makes absolutely no changes for people 55 and older. But to preserve these programs for the young, the RSC believes that Medicare should transition to a solvent "premium-support" system as proposed by the House Budget Committee last week.
Like Ryan's, our plan provides Medicare enrollees a greater menu of choices -- including staying with the current system. By harnessing the power of competition among private insurance plans and improving the quality of care, we put Medicare on the path to long-term solvency. Additionally, we strengthen Social Security by gradually realigning eligibility with Americans' increasing longevity.
The road to recovery has already been far too long, and our journey remains far from over. For this reason, we aim our proposals not only at balancing the budget, but also at restoring sanity in Washington, confidence in our economy and opportunity for our future. Our second-graders deserve nothing less.
---------- Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC); Rep. Scott Garrett R-MJ) is an RSC member. The article was provided by the RSC Communications Director to the Editor, ARRA News Service. * The Republican Study Committee is a group House Republicans organized for the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives. The RSC is dedicated to a limited and Constitutional role for the federal government, a strong national defense, the protection of individual and property rights, and the preservation of traditional family values. The group has played a major role in key policy areas including budget, appropriations, taxes, education, Social Security reform, defense, deregulation, and general government reform. The RSC is an independent research arm for Republicans. Identified members of the RSC does not indicate members will exclusively support proposed actions of the RSC. Tags:RSC, Republican Study Committee, conservative, House republicans, Cut, Cap, balance, 2013 budgetTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Republicans To SCOTUS: Strike Down Obamacare's Unconstitutional Individual Mandate
Repeating Lisa Benson's Previous Point: The Issue IS The Individual Mandate
Update 2:16 PM: The House must have worked out the disparity reported by Reuters yesterday over the Jobs Act. The House passed (380-41) the Senate amended version of H.R. 3606 and it now moves to the President's Desk for signature. Arkansas U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR-02) immediately releases the following statement after the vote: "The House is fighting to strengthen our economy and encourage job creation, and the bipartisan JOBS Act is part of that effort. This bill will eliminate unnecessary hurdles and excessive reporting burdens for small businesses seeking access to capital. Thankfully, the Senate followed the House’s lead and approved the JOBS Act last week. Now it’s time for the President to sign this critical bill into law, and I encourage him to do so immediately."
Passage of the bill, prevents another Congressional showdown between the Republican controlled House and the Democrat controlled Senate. The Senate amendment to H.R. 3606, which would allow companies to raise up to $1 million in investment capital from “crowdfunding” via the Internet. In addition, it would ensure protections for investors by requiring these companies to meet specific disclosure requirements. All other components of the House passed bill were unchanged.
The JOBS Act combines six bills, four of which have already been passed by the House with strong bipartisan support. In addition to the Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act (H.R. 3606), this package includes the Small Company Capital Formation Act (H.R. 1070), the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act (H.R. 2940), the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (H.R. 2930), the Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act (H.R. 2167), and the Capital Expansion Act (H.R. 4088). H.R. 4088 is similar to the Shareholder Threshold for SEC Registration Act (H.R. 1965), which passed the House on November 2, 2011.
------------------------ Today in Washington, DC - March 27, 2012:
The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 2204, a bill offered by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that would raise taxes on American energy producers. As reported yesterday, this latest Democrat bill raises taxes on American energy producers, does nothing to reduce gas prices, and is yet another example the President’s anti-energy administration whose actions have made gas prices worse, not better. This proposal would cost American jobs and punish a productive American industry and its workers. Raising taxes on oil and gas would cost over 150,000 American jobs, and would in fact increase the deficit. The call for new taxes on the energy industry is a politically motivated distraction from the critical work facing our lawmakers, and should be quickly and resolutely rejected.
This afternoon, it’s likely the Senate will have a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 1789, the postal reform bill.
Yesterday, the House passed (357-36) H.R. 2682 — "To provide end user exemptions from certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and for other purposes." Today, the House may consider Concurrence in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3606 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act and H.R. 3298 Homes For Heroes Act of 201; and and H.R. 4239 To provide an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such program.
However, concurrence by the US House with the changes by the US Senate to the House Jobs Act (H.R 3606) appears to have glitches. Yesterday, according to Reuters, "Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress held talks on Monday over an extension of transport construction authority that would avert project shutdowns . . . Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and their staffs were discussing how to proceed after Boehner postponed a House vote on his proposal for a 90-day renewal of current law. If no action is taken by week's end, the government would have to stop collecting gasoline taxes and cut off the flow of money to road, bridge and mass transit projects, forcing the lay-off of tens of thousands of construction workers.
'We are in the midst of bipartisan conversations about a short-term extension of the highway bill,' Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner. 'To facilitate those conversations, the House vote on an extension will occur later this week rather than tonight.' . . . House Republicans are unlikely to adopt the Senate bill, which does not contain the energy provisions they favor, such as approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, and expanded offshore drilling opportunities. Boehner has touted the legislation as the Republicans' top jobs initiative this year."
This morning, oral arguments at the Supreme Court resumed in the landmark case where multiple states and the National Federation of Independent Business are challenging President Obama’s massive health care law. The focus of today’s hearing is on the constitutionality of the controversial, unpopular mandate that every American must purchase health insurance. The states and the NFIB are challenging this power-grab from the then Democrat-run Congress.
Senate Republicans, led by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the Court should rule the mandate unconstitutional. In their brief, they write, “Put simply, Congress acted without constitutional authority in enacting the Individual Mandate of the [Democrats’ health care law] … Because the Individual Mandate regulates a simple decision or choice not to purchase a particular product, it exceeds the proper scope of the Commerce Clause.” They add, “The step from regulating market participation to mandating participation in a market is novel and unprecedented. ... The fact that Congress in 200 years has not attempted to regulate inactivity to force market participation also strongly suggests it never has had such authority.” Further, Senate Republicans argue, “If Congress may punish a decision to refrain from engaging in a private activity (namely, the purchase of health insurance) because the consequences of not engaging in it, in the aggregate, could substantially affect interstate commerce, then the Congress can require the purchase of virtually anything.”
Discussing Commerce Clause precedents, the Senate GOP brief points out, “none even suggests that, under the Commerce Clause, Congress has the power to affirmatively obligate otherwise passive individuals to engage in a particular economic activity – to purchase a particular good or service – and to punish them if they choose not to do so. What the [Obama administration] urge[s], therefore, is frankly an unprecedented interpretation of the Commerce Clause – an interpretation that, if adopted, would result in a dramatic expansion of Congressional power without any realistic limitation on its reach. Because the Individual Mandate regulates a simple decision or choice not to purchase a particular product, it exceeds the proper scope of the Commerce Clause.”
Several lower courts have agreed with this argument. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded, “Economicmandates such as the one contained in the Act are so unprecedented, however, that the government has been unable, either in its briefs or at oral argument, to point this Court to Supreme Court precedent that addresses their constitutionality. Nor does our independent review reveal such a precedent.” The D.C. Circuit Court noted, “The Government concedes the novelty of the mandate and the lack of any doctrinal limiting principles; indeed, at oral argument, the Government could not identify any mandate to purchase a product or service in interstate commerce that would be unconstitutional, at least under the Commerce Clause.” According to the 6th Circuit Court, “The mandate is a novel exercise of Commerce Clause power. No prior exercise of that power has required individuals to purchase a good or service.” Further, the court said that “Congress crossed a constitutional line in imposing this unprecedented requirement.”
Even independent offices in Congress have recognized the unprecedented nature of the powers Democrats claimed for Congress in passing this bill. The Congressional Research Service wrote, “This is a novel issue: whether Congress can use its Commerce Clause authority to require a person to buy a good or a service and whether this type of required participation can be considered economic activity.” And back in 1994, the Congressional Budget Office noted, “A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action.The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”
Seventy-two percent of Americans think the individual mandate imposed by President Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. And even a New York Times poll finds, “Two-thirds of Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn some or all of the health care law . . . . At the heart of the opposition is the individual mandate requiring Americans to obtain health insurance, the least popular part of the bill and a crucial piece at the center of the court arguments, which began Monday and will turn to the mandate on Tuesday.”
Leader McConnell said yesterday, “[A]s one of the many public officials who filed a brief before the court opposing this law, I believe strongly that the law is unconstitutional, and I hope the court agrees. But even if the court ends up disagreeing with me, the case for repeal has become increasingly difficult to refute. . . . [T]he bill [President Obama] gave us and that Democrats forced through Congress on a party-line vote just isn’t working. Instead of lowering costs, it’s increasing them. Instead of strengthening Medicare, it raided it. Instead of helping states, it’s created financial burdens they can’t even bear. Instead of lowering insurance premiums, it’s caused them to go up. When it comes to jobs, some have called the law the single biggest detriment to job creation in America right now. And most Americans believe it’s unconstitutional. This law is a mess, and regardless of what the court decides, it needs to be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that actually lower costs and that Americans really want.” Tags:INSERT TAGSTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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