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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, January 09, 2015

Muslim Radicalism, Media Fears & White House Resonses

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Paris Siege Ends Two hostage crises in Paris were resolved today. Cherif and Said Kouachi, the two jihadists responsible for Wednesday's slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, seized a hostage and entered a printing plant outside of Paris. They told police that they wanted to die as martyrs. They got their wish.

Not long after the police cornered the Kouachi brothers, a second jihadist attack erupted at a kosher market in Paris. Four hostages were reportedly killed. Amedy Coulibaly, the radical Islamist responsible for that incident, murdered a French policewoman yesterday. He is also dead.

Out of an abundance of caution, French authorities immediately ordered all shops in Paris' Jewish district to be closed. While I understand the concern, it is a sad echo of events in the 1930s when Jewish stores were closed for their own safety and that decade ended with Jews in cattle cars.

French Jews have been the targets of increasing jihadist violence for years now. In 2012, a rabbi and three children were shot at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France. Last summer French synagogues were attacked by Muslim mobs. The list goes on.

Anti-Semitism in France has gotten so bad that Natan Sharansky of the Jewish Agency said recently that 50,000 French Jews requested information about emigrating to Israel last year.

Somewhere in hell, Hitler is smiling.

A Fifth Column? These were not isolated events. Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers were part of a radical Islamist group in France called the "Buttes Chaumont" cell, named after a Paris park. The men had extensive criminal histories, and their desire to wage jihad was known to intelligence officials.

The larger reality is that there are an unknown number of such cells throughout Western Europe and here in the United States. Some may be affiliated with Al Qaeda, some with ISIS, some with Hezbollah or Hamas. (By the way Hezbollah is very active throughout South America, something that we have often noted during debates involving our porous borders.)

Nigel Farage, leader of a populist party in Great Britain called the UK Independence Party (UKIP), warned that the Paris attacks are the bitter fruit of the left's devotion to political correctness and multiculturalism. Farage said:

"We now have within many European countries, and dare I say it, within the U.S.A. too, a fifth column living within our own countries. . . people who are out to destroy a whole civilization and our way of life. . . So let's recognize the mistakes we've made. . . .

"We have promoted multiculturalism. We have promoted division within our societies. We have said to large numbers of people, 'You can come here from any part of the world. Oh, by the way, please don't bother to learn our language, don't integrate in any way at all. You can take over whole parts of our towns and cities and we'll say it's made us a wonderful diverse nation.' That hasn't worked."

The West's Response Meanwhile, the Obama Administration continues its asinine policy of releasing radical Islamists from Guantanamo Bay. We know that a significant percentage of them will rejoin the jihadi war against the West.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose anti-police rhetoric has come back to haunt him as cops are being buried, shutdown surveillance of mosques last year, citing all the left-wing canards about racial profiling.

As the war quickens, the last thing we should be doing is freeing captured jihadists and stopping surveillance in communities where cells, like the one in Paris, hide and launch their attacks.

By the way, the head of Britain's intelligence agency, MI5, warned yesterday that Al Qaeda is planning mass casualty attacks in the West. He had planned to deliver these remarks prior to Wednesday's slaughter at Charlie Hebdo. While this battle in Paris may be over, more jihadi assaults are coming.

And as more men, women and children are slaughtered, people from Paris to London, Berlin to Washington and Sydney to Toronto will be forced to decide how they will respond. Will the West follow the current philosophy of barely disguised appeasement, denial of who the enemy is and what motivates it, while surrendering more of our liberty?

Or will we do what we eventually did with German Nazism and Soviet communism -- rally the forces of freedom and, with every ounce of courage we can muster, defeat this threat to our civilization?

The Left's Surrender - Listening to many talking heads over the past few days, it seems that some on the left have already surrendered. For example, former Carter advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski referred to "The Prophet" this morning, while noting how terribly offensive those cartoons were. It reminded me of Obama's remark before the United Nations in 2012 when he said, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

It struck me that Brzezinki wasn't the only person I have heard in the last 48 hours who referred to Muhammad as "The Prophet." I don't recall any commentator in recent weeks referring to "Jesus, the son of God" or "Jesus, the Messiah."

Is the fact that some reporters feel compelled to refer to Muhammad as "The Prophet" a sign that Islamism is winning as the corpses pile up?

The media have an obvious double standard. Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, decided that his paper would not publish the cartoons run by Charlie Hebdo. Baquet did not want to offend the "sensibilities of Times readers, especially its Muslim readers." Yet, it has no qualms about offending Christians and Jews.

Here's another disturbing example of self-censorship. A female journalist at Charlie Hebdo was told by one of the attackers, "I'm not going to kill you because you're a woman, we don't kill women, but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself."

That quote directly tying the attack to Islam was removed from a New York Times column.

Imagine a different scenario. Suppose a gunman burst into an abortion clinic and told a woman there just before shooting the abortionist, "I'm not going to kill you because you're a woman, we don't kill women, but you must convert to Christianity, read the Bible and submit to your husband."

Does anyone think for a second that the New York Times would drop that quote out of concern for the sensibilities of its Christian readers? Of course not!

That exchange would be on the front page, held up as Exhibit A for why every pastor must denounce the "radical pro-life movement."

How Deep Is Muslim Radicalism? Many commentators are assuring us this morning that sympathy in the Muslim world for the kind of terror attack that took place in Paris yesterday is incredibly small. But last year a Pew Research survey in Muslim countries found disturbingly high support justifying violence against civilian targets to defend Islam.

For example, 19% of Nigerian Muslims said violence against civilians to defend Islam is "often or sometimes justified." In Bangladesh the figure was 47%. In Egypt, 24% of Muslims agreed that violence was justified to defend Islam. In Lebanon 29% agreed as did 18% in Turkey.

In real numbers, those percentages conservatively translate into approximately 118 million Muslims in just five countries who are willing to kill civilians in order to defend their faith.

Figures about Muslims living in non-Islamic countries are harder to come by. We do know that in a 2012 study done in the U.S., nearly half of Muslims surveyed said they believed that Americans who are critical of Islam or make fun of it should face criminal charges. And 40% believed that Muslims in the U.S. should be governed by Sharia law, not the Constitution or American law.

The New York Times Is Afraid Twenty-four hours after Islamic jihadists brutally murdered journalists in Paris, The New York Times is deeply worried. . . about European conservatives.

In an analysis this morning, under the headline "Paris Attack Reflects A Dangerous Moment For Europe," Times writers Steven Erlanger and Katrin Bennhold made clear that the "dangerous moment" was not the escalation of Islamist attacks but that the Paris massacre will cause a swing to the right on a "continent already seething with anti-immigrant sentiments. . . feeding far-right nationalist parties."

Meanwhile, a Paris policewoman was gunned down this morning in another likely jihadist attack.

Meanwhile At The White House White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest outlined for reporters what the U.S. must do to confront the growing Islamist threat. Earnest bemoaned that, "There are some individuals who are using a peaceful religion and grossly distorting it."

Then he gave the remedy, which was that the U.S. must "be clear about what the tenets of Islam actually are. And we are going to redouble those efforts. . ."

So as Islamists kill us, the Obama Administration feels it is essential for the United States to tell the world how peaceful Islam is. That should work.

By the way, if you need more evidence of the left's politically correct idiocy, check out this exchange on MSNBC comparing the Paris murders to the "extremism" of Jerry Falwell filing a lawsuit.

A Jewish Realignment? As readers know, I am not a fan of President Obama's foreign policy, especially when it comes to Israel. I have often noted in these reports that just like in Europe there is a growing hostility among America's political left toward Israel.

That hostility burst into public view in dramatic fashion during the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Left-wing delegates voted to remove references to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from the DNC's platform.

Realizing the potential PR nightmare, party leaders orchestrated a floor vote to reinstate the language. The ensuing debacle of repeated votes and loud boos turned into a PR nightmare.

American Jews have long been loyal to the Democratic Party. In some respects it makes sense: Harry Truman was president when the modern state of Israel was formed and he pledged America's full support for the Jewish state. Old habits, including voting patterns, are hard to break.

But a new Gallup survey suggests that Jewish support for Truman's party may be waning. Since 2008, there has been a 17-point swing in partisan loyalties among Jewish voters -- Democrats have lost ten points, while Republicans gained seven.

The Washington Post notes, "In 2000, George W. Bush got 19 percent of the Jewish vote. In 2012, Mitt Romney got 30 percent."

For issue-oriented voters, partisan loyalties are important, but ultimately they are secondary concerns. For example, if the Republican Party abandoned its positions on life and marriage, millions of values voters would walk away from the GOP.

Likewise, it appears that Obama's irrational pressure on Israel and repeated appeasement of Iran has not been lost on Jewish voters who care about America's and Israel's safety and security.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Muslim Radicalism, Media Fears, White House Resonses, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Bear Is Sinking ...

. . . Russian economy being affected by falling global oil prices.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Russian Bear, Russian economy, global oil prices, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

14.4% of Young People Out of Work And Labor Force Exodus In December

Americans for Limited Government Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the latest job numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.:
"Only 111,000 more Americans were employed in December than the month before, while 456,000 people abandoned the workforce entirely. That is how the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in spite of extremely disappointing job growth numbers.

"Astonishingly, the workforce dropouts were entirely women, with the number of men in the workforce actually increasing slightly.

"The sad reality is that this is the ultimate Obama new normal report, fewer new people employed than needed for healthy economic growth rates combined with drops in labor participation across all age groups.

"When coupled with a drop in wages for the average worker, it was hardly a Merry Christmas for Americans who are trying to get ahead in spite of the headwinds created by the President's regulatory policies."
Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan youth advocacy organization, announced its Millennial Jobs Report for December 2015 which is specific to 18-29-year-olds:The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-olds, which adjusts for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work, is 14.4 percent (NSA). The (U-3) unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is 8.5 percent (NSA).

The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.847 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.

The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-old African-Americans is 21 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 16.1 percent (NSA).

The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-old Hispanics is 14.8 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 8.7 percent (NSA).

The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-old women is 12.1 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 7.5 percent (NSA).

Corie Whalen Stephens, Spokesperson for Generation Opportunity, issued the following statement:
,dir>“The innovative spirit of our generation is slowly starting to produce benefits for the broader economy, in spite of policies that hamper it. It's always great to see job creation, though much of the growth we saw this month was among part-time and low wage jobs. If politicians want to unleash our creativity to the fullest, they should rethink their priorities.

"Laws such as Obamacare have created a part-time work force with falling wages, and are unfairly enriching well-connected big businesses at our expense. Let us thrive without these roadblocks, and you’ll see job numbers vastly better than these."

Tags: unemployment rate, BLS Report. Bureau Labor Statistics, Americans for Limited Government, Generation Opportunity, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Nebraska Court Decision Clears Way For Keystone

Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan. 9, 2015:
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and began a period of morning business. Following 3 hours of debate on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate adjourned until Monday. At 5:30 PM on Monday, there will be a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to (i.e. whether to take up and debate) S.1, the bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline

Yesterday, the Senate voted 93-4 to pass H.R. 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, sending it to the president for his signature. Prior to passage, the Senate voted 31-66 to reject an amendment to the bill offered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The House reconvened at 9 AM today. The House today passed H.R. 3 (266 - 153) — "To approve the Keystone XL Pipeline." Twenty-eight Democrats joined Republican in Passing the bill; with 153 Democrats voting against the Keystone XL Pipeline and jobs for Americans. Twelve democrats joined republicans in passing the bill.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) noted today, "In light of today’s Nebraska Supreme Court ruling, the president should reconsider his threat to veto the Keystone pipeline and the tens of thousands of jobs it will create. A presidential veto would put his own political interests ahead of the needs and priorities of the American people. There is no excuse – scientific or otherwise - for the president to continue blocking the pipeline. An overwhelming majority of Americans support this job-creating energy project and President Obama ought to respect their will and stop standing in the way."

Yesterday the House passed H.R. 30 (252-172) - "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the 30-hour threshold for classification as a full-time employee for purposes of the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and replace it with 40 hours. Twelve democrats joined republicans in passing this bill.

On the XL Keystone Pipeline, National Journal noted: <“In a victory for supporters of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, the Nebraska Supreme Court struck down a lower-court challenge to the project on Friday. That determination paves the way for president Obama to approve or reject the project, which has become a hot-button issue at the center of a nationwide debate over American energy security and climate change.”

“In the verdict handed down Friday morning, the court overturned an earlier district court decision finding that Gov. Dave Heineman's decision to approve the pipeline route violated the state constitution.

The House is set to vote on a bill to greenlight the project Friday afternoon, while an identical measure is currently advancing through the Senate and expected to see a vote in the coming weeks. The pro-Keystone legislation is expected to pass Congress. But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced Tuesday that the White House plans to veto any legislative attempt to approve Keystone XL.”


Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said this morning that the ruling means the president has no excuses left to keep delaying the pipeline. “President Obama is out of excuses for deciding whether or not to allow thousands of Americans to get back to work. Today’s ruling provides the perfect opportunity for the President to change his unproductive posture on this jobs project and reverse his veto threat. Congress will soon pass a bipartisan proposal to approve this job-creating infrastructure project in order to help grow our economy and put thousands of Americans back to work. The president now has every reason to sign it.”

In spite of their denunciations of such delays when they were in the majority, Senate Democrats are taking every opportunity to slow-walk and filibuster the bipartisan Keystone legislation, as Kimberley Strassel writes: “[W]hile [Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)] isn’t officially running the Senate anymore, he’s still running on a Senate dysfunction agenda. . . . Mr. Reid this week again accused the former Republican minority of ‘gratuitous obstruction and wanton filibustering,’ and vowed such tactics would not ‘be a hallmark of a Democratic minority.’ He then proceeded to unleash all the obstruction and filibustering in Christendom to slow Mr. McConnell ’s first priority: authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline.”

“Tuesday morning—the first day of session—assistant Democratic leader Sen. Dick Durbin took to the floor to formally object to the Senate Energy Committee even holding a hearing on the pipeline, despite Republicans having charitably arranged for even opponents of the project to testify. Having tanked that hearing, Mr. Reid’s office turned around and publicly complained Mr. McConnell wasn’t sticking to his promise to hold a hearing and report the bill out of committee. This was doubly rich, coming from a former Senate leader who barely acknowledged committees existed.”

“Democrats have meanwhile indicated they intend to filibuster the Keystone bill at every turn. They’ll demand 30 hours of debate here, 30 hours there. And nearly every Democratic office is already busy writing dozens of amendments to the bill—a few designed to embarrass Republicans, though plenty aimed at wasting time.”

Strassel explains why this matters. “The reality is that Mr. Reid has a compelling interest in ordering his members to keep the Senate looking like a circus. He spent the past four years telling the American public that nothing got done under him because Republicans were obstructionist and because the Senate was ‘broken.’ The ‘broken’ point he even used as an excuse to blow up the filibuster for presidential nominations.”

“If Mr. McConnell is successful in using regular order (including debate, amendments, conference work, the filibuster) to begin methodically moving bills to Mr. Obama’s desk, that blows up the Reid story line. It exposes Democrats as the real obstructionists of the past years, even as it proves the GOP is able to get things done.”

Tags: ISenate, House, Keystone XL PipelineTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Time to Act on Energy Security

by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Authro: With the new year comes a new Congress, and, as always, energy policy will be a major priority for this 114th session. Now that Republicans have regained control of both the Senate and the House, and with President Obama looking to establish his legacy, there is a unique opportunity to build positive momentum on energy security and reduce America’s vulnerability to the historically volatile oil market.

Oil prices are at their lowest in years, and Americans may be tempted to think we are entering a new era of stable, cheap fuel. Indeed, we find ourselves in a phase of temporarily low prices on the oil market rollercoaster. Unfortunately, those easily forgotten high prices will inevitably return, shocking the economy in the process and damaging U.S. productivity. This scenario will replay itself again and again, unless we take steps to avoid it.

Moving forward requires a new approach, one that focuses on addressing the national and economic security challenges that result from our near-exclusive reliance on oil to power American transportation.

We must begin by acknowledging that as the world’s biggest oil consumer — we use one fifth of global supply — the United States is dangerously dependent on petroleum. It composes more than a third of our primary energy demand, more than any other fuel, and we rely on it to power 92 percent of our transportation sector. As a result, the price of oil wields incredible influence over our economic health.

The wild oscillations of the global oil market make this dependence all the more hazardous, and there is little we can do to stop them. Although the United States now claims the position of top global oil producer, 90 percent of all proven reserves still remain under the control of national oil companies, many within the OPEC cartel. This fact alone illustrates how little control we have when we let the oil market determine our economic fate. And widespread geopolitical instability in oil producing countries like Libya, Iraq, and Nigeria will continue to threaten supply disruptions that could send crude prices skyrocketing.

Surging American production has helped us lower oil imports, created hundreds of thousands of jobs, and has facilitated today’s drop in oil prices. However, increased production alone cannot produce true energy security. We must create a strategy that continues to encourage expanded domestic energy production while also diversifying the fuels that power our transportation sector.

Breaking America’s oil dependence will require policies that fuse supply-side and demand-side initiatives. Policymakers must craft legislation that tackles our dependence in order to move forward, and the clock is ticking.

One way to accomplish this is through the creation of an Energy Security Trust Fund, designed to facilitate expanded North American energy production while driving investments in technologies that can make the American economy less vulnerable to the whims of the global oil market. With the aim of using oil more efficiently and diversifying the transportation sector altogether, these investments would support basic research and development in cutting-edge components such as longer-lasting batteries and high-capacity storage tanks for natural gas trucks—not costly boondoggles on unproven technology or expensive “green” alternatives.

This R&D funding would originate from some of the revenues generated by new production in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and other federal lands and waters currently not available for development. For conservatives, this is an opportunity to open new areas of production that otherwise would remain inaccessible due to government restrictions, while incorporating demand-side policies that would reduce American oil consumption and increase American national security in the process.

We have a unique opportunity to act quickly during this period of lower oil prices. Historically, we have moved on energy policy only in times of crisis, reacting after the damage has already been done. This was the case during the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, and it will be the case again when the next oil price spike inevitably arrives.

We should seize this moment, working from a position of strength to lay the foundations for real, lasting U.S. energy security. We have a chance to pass effective supply-side and demand-side legislation that both sides can rally behind, putting us on the path towards an America that is more economically resilient and better protected from its enemies—and that’s a good deal for all of us.
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Ken Blackwell is a former ambassador to the U.N., Ohio Secretary of State and mayor of Cincinnati. He serves on the board of directors of the Club for Growth, the National Taxpayers Union and the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: energy policy, 114th Congress, time to act, energy security, U.S. oil dependence, Energy Security Trust Fund, Ken Blackwell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Yoder and Woodall and 56 Other Co-sponsors Urge Passage of #FairTax Proposal

Legislation would repeal income tax, abolish IRS

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) joined Representative Bob Woodall (R-GA) and 57 of his House colleagues as cosponsors of HR 25, a bill to replace our current tax structure with the Fair Tax.

“It’s no secret that our current tax code is broken, Representative Yoder said. “Not only is it a constant drain on our economy, but it is also fundamentally unfair. This year alone, over half of all Americans – and many businesses – will pay no income tax due to the numerous corporate loopholes existing in the current system. That is why I am proud to again cosponsor Representative Woodall’s proposal to scrap this unhealthy and unfair system in favor of the Fair Tax.”

The Fair Tax proposal repeals the income, employment, and estate and gift taxes and establishes a nationwide 23 percent sales tax. To ensure that each family can consume tax free at or beyond the poverty level, it provides for a universal “prebate.” It also abolishes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and entrusts the States with collection of the tax.

“As we’ve seen with the targeting of conservative groups for their political beliefs, this Administration’s IRS is out of control. This proposal gives Americans of all stripes the ability to control their own tax burden by choosing how much to consume, thereby eliminating the need for an IRS altogether. I see no better way to get the government out of our lives and our pocketbooks than this proposal, and that is why I urge the House of Representatives to take it up for passage as soon as possible.”

The Fair Tax (HR 25) -- What is in it for you?
* Enables workers to keep their paychecks free of federal withholding
* Allows retirees to keep their entire pensions
* Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
* Allows American products to compete fairly
* Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
* Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
* Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
* Eliminates Corporate Welfare
* Reduces Lobbying efforts in D.C.
* Promotes a smaller, more efficient, more effective government
* Collects taxes from illegals & the underground economy
* Abolishes the IRS
58 Sponsors as of 1/8/2015 - for updates visit GovTrack.us:
Bilirakis, Gus [R-FL12]
Bishop, Rob [R-UT1]
Brady, Kevin [R-TX8]
Brat, David “Dave” [R-VA7]
Bridenstine, Jim [R-OK1]
Carter, Buddy [R-GA1]
Chabot, Steve [R-OH1]
Collins, Doug [R-GA9]
Conaway, Michael [R-TX11]
Crenshaw, Ander [R-FL4]
Culberson, John [R-TX7]
DeSantis, Ron [R-FL6]
DesJarlais, Scott [R-TN4]
Duncan, Jeff [R-SC3]
Duncan, John “Jimmy” [R-TN2]
Farenthold, Blake [R-TX27]
Flores, Bill [R-TX17]
Foxx, Virginia [R-NC5]
Franks, Trent [R-AZ8]
Granger, Kay [R-TX12]
Graves, Sam [R-MO6]
Graves, Tom [R-GA14]
Harris, Andy [R-MD1]
Hice, Jody [R-GA10]
Huelskamp, Tim [R-KS1]
Issa, Darrell [R-CA49]
Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS2]
King, Steve [R-IA4]
Kline, John [R-MN2]
Long, Billy [R-MO7]
Loudermilk, Barry [R-GA11]
Lucas, Frank [R-OK3]
Marchant, Kenny [R-TX24]
Massie, Thomas [R-KY4]
McCaul, Michael [R-TX10]
McClintock, Tom [R-CA4]
Meadows, Mark [R-NC11]
Mica, John [R-FL7]
Miller, Jeff [R-FL1]
Mullin, Markwayne [R-OK2]
Neugebauer, Randy [R-TX19]
Nugent, Richard [R-FL11]
Olson, Pete [R-TX22]
Poe, Ted [R-TX2]
Pompeo, Mike [R-KS4]
Posey, Bill [R-FL8]
Price, Tom [R-GA6]
Ribble, Reid [R-WI8]
Roe, David “Phil” [R-TN1]
Rooney, Thomas [R-FL17]
Salmon, Matt [R-AZ5]
Stutzman, Marlin [R-IN3]
Thornberry, Mac [R-TX13]
Walberg, Tim [R-MI7]
Westmoreland, Lynn [R-GA3]
Wittman, Robert [R-VA1]
Yoder, Kevin [R-KS3]
Yoho, Ted [R-FL3]


Tags: Fair Tax Bill, HR 25, FairTax, filed, 114th Congress, sponsors, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Orrin Hatch Is Now Third in Line for Presidential Succession

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah (Photo: Newscom)
by Philip Wegmann: Since Election Day, pundits have bombarded the incoming Republican majority with a common refrain, “Republicans must prove they can govern.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, hopes to silence these critics with his new office as president pro tempore.

Hatch told The Daily Signal that he’s frustrated the “foundations of the Senate’s unique character” have been sacrificed “in an attempt to score political points” during the last session. As president pro tempore, he intends “to be active in helping restore the Senate as a deliberative and legislative body.”

A constitutionally mandated office with a classically inspired title, the president pro tempore serves as the presiding officer of the Senate “for the time being” during the vice president’s absence.

Thus, for the 114th Congress, Vice President Joe Biden technically will remain the Senate’s president, and Hatch will serve as president pro tempore.

More than a symbolic title, the president pro tempore does wield power. By law, the officer presides over the Senate and stands third in line for presidential succession. By tradition, he serves as the elder statesman of the entire legislative body.

A past president pro tempore, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.V., best described the position as the highest Senate honor “bestowed upon a colorful and significant group of senators during the past two centuries—men who stamped their imprint on the office and on their times.”

Since the first Senate quorum in Philadelphia to the most recent session in Washington, D.C., the president pro tempore has exerted significant influence.

Most notably during the rogue vice presidency of John C. Calhoun, the Senate employed the office to hold back executive encroachment.

On the eve of the nullification crisis, Calhoun began appointing Senate committee chairman hostile to the current administration. Together, President John Quincy Adams and Sen. Henry Clay wrested appointment power from Calhoun to place it in the hands of the president pro tempore.

Committee appointments have since become the prerogative of Senate caucuses. However, the president pro tempore has played an important role in safeguarding the constitutional separation of powers.

The most senior member of the new majority, Hatch assumed the historic position on Tuesday afternoon. At 80 years old, Hatch is the oldest Republican in the Senate.

He succeeded former president pro tempore, Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt. Hatch also will serve as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
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Philip Wegmann is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program.

Tags: IOrrin Hatch, Republican, Utah, line of Presidential succession,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Our Political Class: 114th Congress

Boehner listens to Obama tell more lies
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: I have a theory that ties in with John Boehner’s third election as Speaker of the House on Tuesday.

Could it be that the newly elected congressmen and women are greeted by one of the members who has been there long enough to be the chairperson of one of the many committees of the House and quickly informed that they now belong to a very exclusive group in which they can, with relative safety, ignore the voters who just elected them?

In the House there were 58 freshman members and in the Senate, there were 13, some of whom were formerly members of the House. In total, the opening session of Congress welcomed 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats.

Those contesting for the job of Speaker in addition to Boehner were Reps. Ted Yoho and Daniel Webster of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas. The Democrats nominated Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Four Democrats did not vote for her. Meanwhile Webster received 12 votes, Gohmert earned three, and Yoho won 2. Of the 408 votes cast, Boehner won 216.

My other theory is that enough members of the House had concluded that Boehner had done as good a job as possible under the circumstances and saw no reason to turn the job of Speaker over to someone who might rock the boat. His opposition came mostly from the strongly conservative bloc in the House.

What we likely have in the 114th Congress is a very pragmatic leadership who are not likely to do anything dramatic regarding immigration, energy, or any of the other issues about which conservatives want action. In both the House and the Senate, they know what they are up against. They will put forward legislation, but all it will do is demonstrate what we already know about Obama.

In his first speech on the floor of the Senate, Mitch McConnell (KY-R), the Majority Leader, said “Bipartisan compromise may not come easily for the President. The President’s supporters are pressing for militancy these days, not compromise.” Those supporters are the Far Left. I doubt that he or John Boehner met with the President that much over the past six years.

The Founding Fathers created a republic in which the business of legislating was intended to move slowly, subject to debate and the need for compromise. Obama has made it clear he has no intention to work with Congress, especially now that it is controlled by the GOP. So gridlock will continue and conservatives will stay angry.

Regarding my theory that our political class doesn’t really worry that much about what the voters want, do you recall the omnibus budget that was passed in the last hours of the previous Congress? That was 2,000-plus pages crammed full of things we are not likely to ever learn about until well after the money is spent. Does that suggest that the members of Congress think it wiser to keep us in the dark? Yes.

Think of it another way, Over the course of the last six years with Obama as President, the House passed some fifty resolutions calling for the repeal of ObamaCare. Were we supposed to take that seriously? Are we going to see legislation repealing, for instance, Obamacare’s medical device tax? Maybe. I will be very interested to see any legislation aimed at undermining ObamaCare because I believe the 114th Congress would prefer to wait for the courts to do that for them.

Boehner knew early on that Obama was a President who had little regard for Congress or, for that matter, the Constitution.

Despite a major rejection of the Democratic Party and Obama’s policies in the 2013 midterm elections, Obama has been acting as if the Party won those elections and they had confirmed his agenda. He has let it be known he has no intention of negotiating, preferring to use his veto power, unilateral executive orders, and to get what he wants via various federal agency regulations.

One of the most important functions of the 114th Congress will be oversight of departments and agencies. Has anyone heard from the Justice Department’s Lois Lerner lately? Any word about the Benghazi tragedy?

Little wonder that, after being elected to his third term as Speaker, Boehner said “All I ask is that we disagree without being disagreeable.” There are 435 members in the House of Representatives and Boehner is responsible primarily for its Republican members. If there are Democrats who are willing to cross the aisle, he will welcome their votes. As in the Senate, they will be needed on occasion.

Regarding the passage of legislation, Boehner said “It’s the real work. It’s a grind. The battle of ideas never ends and frankly never should. We Americans never quit,” adding “Let’s once and for all prove the skeptics wrong.”

It is worth keeping in mind, as Karl Rove reminded us in a Jan 7 commentary, "Every Republican senator and virtually every congressman challenged as insufficiently conservative won their primaries." The voters have spoken.

As unhappy as many conservatives are with Boehner and those they call RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), Boehner did not sound like a man expressing great joy at having been reelected to what appears to be a very difficult job. That this is his third term suggests that his colleagues in the House have a measure of respect for him that his critics do not.

The House and Senate used to be exclusively an old white man’s club. Now the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader are looking at an extraordinarily diverse membership.

The same day Boehner was reelected Speaker the Congressional Black Caucus hosted a swearing-in ceremony to welcome new and returning members of the House and Senate. There were 46 of them.

Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) will make history as the first black Republican woman in Congress. She and the others represent the largest Black Republican class in Congress since the Reconstruction era. Makes you wonder what those blacks rioting in the streets are so angry about? More than 125 blacks have been elected to Congress over the past forty years, including of course, Barack Obama.

The 114th Congress has been hailed by The Hill as the “Most diverse Congress in history to take power.” There are a record number of female lawmakers at 104, alongside 420 men. Hispanic lawmakers will number 33 with 30 in the House and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in the Senate. There are 12 Asian-Americans and Oklahoma has contributed two Native-Americans.

The Hill reports that “A vast majority of lawmakers identify as Christian, either Protestant or Catholic, along with 16 Mormons.” There are 28 Jews, two Buddhists, two Muslims, and one Hindu.

Think you’d like to have John Boehner’s job or Mitch McConnell’s? To all that diversity add political points of view that range from Far Left to Far Right.

Let me return to my original theory. In the House, though they must face election every two years, I suspect they quickly conclude that there is no satisfying the voters so they might as well vote as they wish. In the Senate where they face election every six years, that goes double or triple.

These are professional politicians. Of the new Congress, ten have been governors, 32 were mayors, and 251 served in state legislatures. It’s a job they have chosen and, frankly, I am glad it is them, not me.
-----------------
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs  He is a contribution author on the  ARRA News Service.

Tags: political class, 114th Congress, Obamacare, warning signs, Alan Caruba To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Keystone and Pearl Harbor

by Phil Kerpen. Contributing Author: Wondering what the Keystone XL pipeline has to do with Pearl Harbor? Or why liberal activists are so adamant about stopping this no-brainer infrastructure project supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans?

Watch this video of liberal hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer (who has spent $100 million to kill the pipeline) caught on tape - and then take action to stop him!

The House will vote on H.R. 3 tomorrow to approve Keystone XL. The Senate could vote as soon as next week. The White House has issued a veto threat. There is broad bipartisan support in Congress, but not yet enough votes to override a veto. It is time to act and we need your help.

You can get to our action page by clicking here or pointing your browser to KeystoneXLNow.com.

The State Department's own analysis found Keystone XL would reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the alternatives are shipping crude by rail or on tanker ships. This oil is going to get to market, and the pipeline is the safest, cheapest, most efficient way to do it.

So why are liberals pullng out all the stops to delay it for six years running and, they hope, kill it completely?

Because this is their "Pearl Harbor" sneak attack on affordable energy and the U.S. economy, and they believe it will pave the way for a massive new carbon tax.

Please click here now to watch Tom Steyer caught on tape saying it's really about a carbon tax - and then take action to stop him!

Thank you so much for all you do for freedom.
------------------
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Tom Steyer, Keystone XL Pipeline, Phil Kerpen, American Commitment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

In Veto Threat, President Claims 6 Years Isn’t Enough Time to Study Keystone Pipeline

Obama Criticizes Potential Benefits
Of Keystone XL Pipeline
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: On the first day of taking control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans ran into some trouble:Democrats managed to put the kibosh on a planned Energy and Natural Resources [ENR] Committee hearing today on Keystone XL, forcing Republicans to cancel the event. Sen. Dick Durbin, on behalf of Barbara Boxer, objected to a GOP floor move seeking unanimous consent to appoint Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell as the leaders of ENR. The appointment was necessary for the move to take place because Democrats do no formally organize until today. Objecting to the UC request prevented the committee from being able to organize in time for today's hearing, which was then scrapped.While a minor setback, it typifies the many delays and obstacles put in front of the Keystone XL pipeline since permits applications were filed in 2008.

However, as soon as the bill to approve the job-creating, energy infrastructure project was filed in the Senate, the White House threatened to veto it.

The Statement of Administration Policy on the bill states the bill “seeks to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether cross-border pipelines serve the national interest” and “prevents the thorough consideration of complex issues.”

In other words, the President wants you to believe that there hasn’t been enough time to study the pipeline.

That’s absurd.

The Keystone XL pipeline has been studied for over six years. Five times, the State Department has issued reports that the project would have minimal impact on the environment.

In the time it's been studied you could have built one Golden Gate Bridge (with time to spare), built three Pentagons, or watched all six Star Wars movies 3,917 times.

The most recent State Department analysis found that along with little environmental impact, the Keystone XL pipeline will create 42,000 jobs, generate $3.4 billion in economic activity, and generate $55.6 million in local property taxes once it’s operating.

Reaction to the President’s veto threat was greeted with bipartisan disappointment. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):I assure you, threatening to veto a jobs and infrastructure bill within minutes of a new Congress taking the oath of office — a bill with strong bipartisan support — is anything but productive.Bill co-sponsor, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV):His decision to veto such a commonsense bill prior to the unfolding of regular congressional order and the offering of amendments appears premature and does little to mitigate the congressional gridlock. It is time that we address the critical issues of moving America toward energy independence and fostering job growth and economic prosperity.By working at a snail’s pace, the administration has turned this project into a mobilization tool for anti-energy activists. It has allowed special interest demagoguery to trump sober policy analysis and made the Keystone XL pipeline a symbol of a dysfunctional federal permitting process. People in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and the rest of America have waited long enough.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board advised Congress to vote to approve the pipeline anyway [subscription required]:Members of both parties should move ahead despite the veto threat and call his bluff. At least the country will see who is the real obstacle to faster growth and job creation.Agree. Tell Congress to support the Keystone XL pipeline.

Businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs wondering if it’s still possible to build big things in America are watching, labor unions that support the pipeline are watching, and a majority of the public who supports the pipeline is watching.
------------
Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and blogger at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.
----------------
Tags: veto threat, President Obama, Keystone XL Pipeline, 6 year of study not enough, energy, oil, gas, Canada, United States, Sean Hackbarth, U.S. Chamber of Commerce To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Override Of An Obama's Keystone Veto Possible If You Pressure These Democrat Senators

. . . Be heard!
by Herman Cain: Conventional wisdom is that the new Congress won't be able to pass any of its priorities into law because Barack Obama is still president and he will veto anything the Republicans pass. And yes, he probably will. But let's not forget that the Constitution provides for a congressional override of presidential vetos. This is not easy to do. It requires a two-thirds vote of each chamber.

But it might be possible in the case of Obama's promised veto of a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Republicans have 247 votes in the House, which means 43 Democrats would have to vote to override a veto. That would only happen if these Democrats felts a massive wave of public pressure for the federal government to get out of the way and get the pipeline built.

The Senate is even more interesting. There, the Keystone bill already has 60 co-sponsors, including all 54 Republicans and six Democrats. The Democrat co-sponsors are Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), Claire McClaskill (Missouri), Mark Warner (Virginia), Jon Tester (Montana) and Joe Donnelly (Indiana). Three other Democrats have indicated they will vote for the bill. They are Bob Casey Jr. (Pennsylvania), Tom Carper (Delaware) and Michael Bennet (Colorado).

That means only four more Democrats have to get on board to get a veto override in the Senate. Let's try to make that happen. Here is the contact information of the other 37 Democrat senators. Call. E-mail. Do it again. Flood their switchboards. Don't spare anyone (especially Harry Reid). Be relentless. Let's get this done:

Baldwin, Tammy - (D - WI)
717 Hart Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5653
Contact: www.baldwin.senate.gov/contact

Blumenthal, Richard - (D - CT)
724 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2823
Contact: www.blumenthal.senate.gov/contact/

Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ)
141 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3224
Contact: www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact

Boxer, Barbara - (D - CA)
112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3553
Contact: www.boxer.senate.gov/contact/

Brown, Sherrod - (D - OH)
713 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2315
Contact: www.brown.senate.gov/contact/

Cantwell, Maria - (D - WA)
311 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3441
Contact: www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-maria

Cardin, Benjamin L. - (D - MD)
509 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4524
Contact: www.cardin.senate.gov/contact/

Carper, Thomas R. - (D - DE)
513 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2441
Contact: carper.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-senator-carper

Coons, Christopher A. - (D - DE)
127A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5042
Contact: www.coons.senate.gov/contact/

Durbin, Richard J. - (D - IL)
711 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2152
Contact: www.durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Feinstein, Dianne - (D - CA)
331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3841
Contact: www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

Franken, Al - (D - MN)
309 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5641
Contact: www.franken.senate.gov/?p=contact

Gillibrand, Kirsten E. - (D - NY)
478 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4451
Contact: www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/

Heinrich, Martin - (D - NM)
702 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5521
Contact: www.heinrich.senate.gov/contact

Heitkamp, Heidi - (D - ND)
502 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2043
Contact: www.heitkamp.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Hirono, Mazie K. - (D - HI)
330 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6361
Contact: www.hirono.senate.gov/contact

Kaine, Tim - (D - VA)
388 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4024
Contact: www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

King, Angus S., Jr. - (I - ME)
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5344
Contact: www.king.senate.gov/contact

Klobuchar, Amy - (D - MN)
302 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3244
Contact: www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/contact-amy

Leahy, Patrick J. - (D - VT)
437 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4242
Contact: www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/

Manchin, Joe, III - (D - WV)
306 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3954
Contact: www.manchin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form
Markey, Edward J. - (D - MA)
218 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2742
Contact: www.markey.senate.gov/contact

McCaskill, Claire - (D - MO)
506 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6154
Contact: www.mccaskill.senate.gov/contact

Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ)
528 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4744
Contact: menendez.senate.gov/contact/

Merkley, Jeff - (D - OR)
313 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3753
Contact: www.merkley.senate.gov/contact/

Mikulski, Barbara A. - (D - MD)
503 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4654
Contact: www.mikulski.senate.gov/contact/

Murphy, Christopher - (D - CT)
303 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4041
Contact: www.murphy.senate.gov/contact

Murray, Patty - (D - WA)
154 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2621
Contact: www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme

Nelson, Bill - (D - FL)
716 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5274
Contact: www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact-bill

Peters, Gary - (D - MI)
2 Russell Senate Courtyard Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6221

Reed, Jack - (D - RI)
728 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4642
Contact: www.reed.senate.gov/contact/

Reid, Harry - (D - NV)
522 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3542
Contact: www.reid.senate.gov/contact

Sanders, Bernard - (I - VT)
332 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5141
Contact: www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/

Schatz, Brian - (D - HI)
722 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3934
Contact: www.schatz.senate.gov/contact

Schumer, Charles E. - (D - NY)
322 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6542
Contact: www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck

Shaheen, Jeanne - (D - NH)
520 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2841
Contact: www.shaheen.senate.gov/contact/

Stabenow, Debbie - (D - MI)
133 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4822
Contact: www.stabenow.senate.gov/?p=contact

Udall, Tom - (D - NM)
110 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6621
Contact: www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=contact

Warren, Elizabeth - (D - MA)
317 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4543
Contact: www.warren.senate.gov/?p=email_senator

Whitehouse, Sheldon - (D - RI)
530 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2921
Contact: www.whitehouse.senate.gov/contact/

Wyden, Ron - (D - OR)
221 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5244
Contact: www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/
------------
Herman Cain is the host of Best of Cain. He is a noted conservative radio show host and ran for the 2012 Republican nomination for president, He had over 40 years of experience in the private sector, where he balanced budgets, created jobs and rescued failing companies. He served as an analyst for Coca-Cola, an executive at Pillsbury, a regional Vice President with Burger King and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Cain also served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and as a supervisory mathematician for the Department of the Navy developing ballistics and fire control systems for the armed forces.

Tags: Herman Cain, Best of Cain, Democrat Senators, override, president veto, pressure demicrat senators, American jobs, Keystone XL Pipeline To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Senate Energy Committee Approves Keystone XL Pipeline . . .

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
. . . After A 6 Year Delay By The Obama Administration.
Today in Washington D.C. - Jan. 8, 2014:
The Senate reconvened at 11 AM today and began a period of morning business.

At 1:45 PM, the Senate will take up H.R. 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which passed in the House yesterday by a vote of 416-5.

The Senate will first vote on an amendment to the bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), which will require 60 votes for approval. Following that, the Senate will vote on passage of H.R. 26, which will also require 60 votes.

Yesterday, the Senate passed by unanimous consent S. Res. 21 and S. Res. 22, setting committee assignments for the majority and minority.

The House convened at 10 AM today.
The House may consider the following bills today:
H.R. 3 - "To approve the Keystone XL Pipeline"
H.R. 30 - "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the 30-hour threshold for classification as a full-time employee for purposes of the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and replace it with 40 hours."

Yesterday the House passed:
H.R. 23 (381-39) — "To reauthorize the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, and for other purposes."
H.R. 26 (416-5) — "To extend the termination date of the Terrorism Insurance Program established under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002, and for other purposes."
H.R. 34 (Voice Vote) — "To authorize and strengthen the tsunami detection, forecast, warning, research, and mitigation program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and for other purposes."
H.R. 35 (Voice Vote) — "To increase the understanding of the health effects of low doses of ionizing radiation."
H.R. 37 (276-146) — "To make technical corrections to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, to enhance the ability of small and emerging growth companies to access capital through public and private markets, to reduce regulatory burdens, and for other purposes."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded to the House extending long-term reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act:“Terrorism risk insurance protects the businesses and services Americans rely on every day, and it’s important we reauthorize it without delay. This, of course, is no ordinary insurance program: it reinforces the vigilance of hardworking Americans and furthers our commitment to protecting our economy and homeland – responsibilities we’ve all been reminded of today in the worst way possible. By acting swiftly and in bipartisan fashion, we’ve laid the groundwork for the Senate and the president to follow suit.”Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again urged the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline after the Senate passes its bill. “The new Republican majority has pledged to run the Senate differently and stop protecting the president from good ideas. That’s why we look forward to the Senate beginning consideration of a bipartisan, job-creating infrastructure project: the Keystone Pipeline.”

He continued, “The Keystone jobs bill will then be subject to real debate and amendment on the floor of the Senate. And then, we plan to send the Keystone jobs bill to the president’s desk with bipartisan support. That may be a departure from what Senators have become used to. But for members on both sides, I think the change is welcome. I think Senators in both parties are ready to have their voices — and the voices of their constituents — heard. . . . “Let’s keep the voters in mind who sent us here, and let’s remember what they told us in November. One of the things they told us is that they’d like to see more teamwork across the aisle. So for a president who has said he’d like to see more bipartisan cooperation, this is a perfect opportunity. A number of the many Democrat supporters of this bill have already written to the president urging him to ‘choose jobs, economic development and American energy security’ and approve this pipeline. We’re asking the president again today to do that by working with us to end the gridlock and get this job-creating infrastructure project moving.”

Earlier today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the Keystone XL bill by a bipartisan 13-9 vote, sending it to the floor for consideration.

Of course, the White House issued a statement yesterday saying the president would veto a bill finally approving the pipeline. The statement claims the bill “would cut short consideration of important issues relevant to the national interest.”

But as Senate Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) exasperatedly pointed out in a floor speech yesterday, it’s hard to see how forcing a decision after 6 years of delay is cutting anything short. “We are all frustrated by a President's decision--or unwillingness, really, to make a decision about this pipeline. It has been 2,301 days and counting since the company seeking to build it submitted an application for this cross-border permit--2,301 days. That is more than 6 years ago. Yesterday the President was finally able to make a decision. He issued his statement of administration policy. In his statement he says that by advancing this measure, it would cut short consideration of important issues. Excuse me, Mr. President--cut short a process that has been underway for over 6 years? That is amazing to me.”

As Leader McConnell said, “Keystone has been studied endlessly, from almost every possible angle, and the same basic conclusion seems to keep coming back: build it.”

Looking at the objections of some liberal Democrats to the pipeline, The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler finds them to be wanting. He writes, “We’ve previously fact checked President Obama’s claim that the pipeline was designed to take Canadian crude oil to the world markets.  The president earned Three Pinocchios for suggesting that all of the Canadian crude would be exported. First of all, most of the oil would almost certainly stop on the Gulf Coast to be refined into products. On top of that, current trends suggest that only about half of that refined product would be exported. . . . [T]he fact remains the reason for the pipeline is because it is taking the crude oil to the refiners on the Gulf Coast, where it would be refined into products such as motor gasoline and diesel fuel.  The State Department report disputed claims that the oil “would pass through the United States and be loaded onto vessels for ultimate sale in markets such as Asia,” saying it was not economically justified. The State Department noted that the traditional sources of crude for the Gulf Coast, such as Mexico and Venezuela, are declining, and so refineries would have ‘significant incentive to obtain heavy crude from the oil sands.’”

Leader McConnell concluded, “Keystone’s construction could support thousands of jobs. It could invest billions in our economy. That’s why Democrats say ‘build it.’ Republicans say ‘build it.’ Prominent labor unions say ‘build it, ’and, most importantly, the American people say ‘build it.’ The president has called for Congress to send him infrastructure projects to sign. Keystone is the largest shovel-ready infrastructure project in the country that makes sense. So we’re going to send it to him. We hope he’ll sign it.

“He may ultimately veto an infrastructure project that could increase workers’ wages by $2 billion — a project whose construction alone could, according to the president’s own State Department, support many thousands of jobs. He may. Or he may decide to try and make divided government work. Either way, this Congress is determined to do what we can to pass bipartisan jobs legislation. It’s what the American people asked us to do. And that’s just what we’re going to do.”

Tags: Keystone XL Pipeline, U.S. Senate, Obama Administration To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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  • 10/11/15 - 10/18/15
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  • 10/25/15 - 11/1/15
  • 11/1/15 - 11/8/15
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  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
  • 12/6/15 - 12/13/15
  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
  • 1/3/16 - 1/10/16
  • 1/10/16 - 1/17/16
  • 1/17/16 - 1/24/16
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  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
  • 2/7/16 - 2/14/16
  • 2/14/16 - 2/21/16
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  • 2/28/16 - 3/6/16
  • 3/6/16 - 3/13/16
  • 3/13/16 - 3/20/16
  • 3/20/16 - 3/27/16
  • 3/27/16 - 4/3/16
  • 4/3/16 - 4/10/16
  • 4/10/16 - 4/17/16
  • 4/17/16 - 4/24/16
  • 4/24/16 - 5/1/16
  • 5/1/16 - 5/8/16
  • 5/8/16 - 5/15/16
  • 5/15/16 - 5/22/16
  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
  • 5/29/16 - 6/5/16
  • 6/5/16 - 6/12/16
  • 6/12/16 - 6/19/16
  • 6/19/16 - 6/26/16
  • 6/26/16 - 7/3/16
  • 7/3/16 - 7/10/16
  • 7/10/16 - 7/17/16
  • 7/17/16 - 7/24/16
  • 7/24/16 - 7/31/16
  • 7/31/16 - 8/7/16
  • 8/7/16 - 8/14/16
  • 8/14/16 - 8/21/16
  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16
  • 8/28/16 - 9/4/16
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  • 9/11/16 - 9/18/16
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  • 10/2/16 - 10/9/16
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  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
  • 10/23/16 - 10/30/16
  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
  • 11/6/16 - 11/13/16
  • 11/13/16 - 11/20/16
  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
  • 12/4/16 - 12/11/16
  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
  • 2/5/17 - 2/12/17
  • 2/12/17 - 2/19/17
  • 2/19/17 - 2/26/17
  • 2/26/17 - 3/5/17
  • 3/5/17 - 3/12/17
  • 3/12/17 - 3/19/17
  • 3/19/17 - 3/26/17