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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
Friday, March 27, 2015
M855 Plot Thickens: One Congressman Proposes Center-Fire Ammo Ban | Another Proposes Preventing Obama Admin From Banning Ammo
NRA-ILA: You didn’t need a crystal ball to see this one coming. On Monday, a week after the BATFE withdrew its plan to ban M855 as “armor-piercing ammunition,” U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced that he intends to introduce legislation to “extend the definition of armor-piercing ammunition to include all bullets that can pierce body armor and be used in handguns.”
On March 13, 2015, three days after the BATFE rescinded its proposed ammo ban framework regulation, anti-gun U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 1358, a bill designed to ban civilian use and possession of M855 ammunition. This is the same round that the BATFE, after meeting fierce bipartisan opposition from Capitol Hill and from NRA members and supporters across the country, decided to rescind its framework to ban M855 ammunition.
The reason you didn’t need a crystal ball is that gun control supporters have been pushing this idea for years. In the 1980s, after NBC-TV did an attack piece on bullets invented for law enforcement officers to shoot through walls and doors, disingenuously calling them “Cop Killer Bullets,” gun control supporters seized upon the term and proposed legislation to ban any bullet that could penetrate a soft protective vest.
Fortunately, the Departments of Justice and Treasury, along with the NRA, opposed the “performance-based” approach to defining “armor-piercing ammunition,” because it would have banned virtually all center-fire rifle ammunition and some center-fire handgun ammunition. Therefore, in 1986, Congress instead adopted a “construction-based” approach, defining bullets as “armor-piercing ammunition” based upon the metals from which they are made.
In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton and then-Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) pushed for a performance-based bullet ban within terrorism legislation. A study released by the BATFE in April 1997, however, concluded “existing laws are working, no additional legislation regarding such laws is necessary.”
Now, the BATFE’s recent attempt to ban M855 has inspired gun control supporters to take another shot at a near-total center-fire bullet ban, and in the case of Rep. Israel, to do so without knowing the first thing about the subject. Israel says his bill is necessary “[b]ecause of significant developments in bullet propellants, coatings and materials, such as Teflon.”
To which we have to ask: Seriously, Teflon? The substance used to coat skillets and 1970s-era all-steel handgun bullets invented for law enforcement officers, so the bullets wouldn’t scratch the rifling of the officers’ handgun barrels? Teflon, which has nothing to do with whether a bullet can penetrate a protective vest? Teflon (speaking of Clinton), the substance said to cover dishonest, misbehaving public officials who nevertheless skirt scrutiny and accountability again and again?
As we have previously noted, in the 38 years that the FBI has reported the caliber of handguns used to kill law enforcement officers, no such crime has been committed with a handgun capable of firing M855 or any other .223 or 5.56mm cartridge.
Rep. Israel is right about one thing, however. He says that the 1986 law that the BATFE tried to twist in order to ban M855 “is outdated.” Indeed, it is, but not in the way that Israel imagines. The law should be amended to narrow BATFE’s discretion to ban ammunition. It should be understood to cover only such bullets as are designed for the express purpose of penetrating protective vests when loaded into pistol-caliber cartridges and fired from handguns. It should further exempt all bullets that are primarily intended for any legitimate purpose, including self-defense.
Rest assured we'll keep readers apprised of any new developments. Update: Gun owners' ally U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced the “Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act”, H.R. 1365, to prevent BATFE from acting on its plans.
Besides expressly protecting M855 and SS109 type ammunition, the bill would also reassert in unmistakable terms Congressional intent that the “armor piercing ammunition” law not be used to ban “ammunition designed, intended, and marketed for use in a rifle.” As NRA noted in its recent comments on BATFE’s Framework, the law at issue “focuses narrowly on the specific concern of projectiles that are purposely designed to penetrate bullet resistant armor when fired from a handgun, rather than those that are incidentally capable of doing so because of their design for some other legitimate purpose.” This is a key point in correctly understanding the intended scope of the law, as its original authors emphasized their intention not to ban ordinary rifle ammunition overwhelmingly used for law-abiding purposes.
Of course, anti-gun members of Congress are incensed that BATFE has been forced into retreat, and they have introduced their own bill (see related stories) to codify and expand upon BATFE’s distorted reading of the law. The overwhelming response by NRA members and other gun owners stopped BATFE’s proposed ban in its tracks. Now, those who hold dear their Second Amendment rights must ensure that any Congressional response to BATFE’s actions protects liberty, rather than infringes it.
Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to SUPPORT H.R. 1365 and oppose any attempts to further restrict the availability of ammunition as a direct assault on your Second Amendment rights. The NRA thanks Rep. McHenry for his leadership in this important effort.
You can contact your U.S. Representative about this legislation by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or by phone at (202) 224-3121. Tags:gun ammo, M855, Representative, anti-gun, Eliot Engel, D-NY, ammo ban, H.R. 1358, pro-gun, Patrick McHenry, R-NC, “Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act”, H.R. 1365, NRA, NRA-ILATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: There is speculation based on the travel schedules of the key figures involved in the Iranian nuclear negotiations that a potential deal could be announced this Sunday. From everything we know, that deal will be a disaster for us and our allies, and a gift for the Iranian regime.
Consider the news just from the past week:
The New York Times told us that the Iranians were resisting "any kind of formal 'framework' agreement." In other words, they want as little as possible to be put in writing. The Times adds that this could lead to the Obama White House claiming one thing while Tehran claims something completely different, which happened the last time Obama claimed to have a deal with Tehran.
The Associated Press reported that Iran was refusing to permit "snap inspections" of its nuclear facilities by U.N. inspectors.
The Washington Post wrote, "The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran has failed to provide the information or access needed to allay the agency's concerns about the weapons potential of the country's nuclear program."
There are reports today that the Obama Administration "may allow Iran to run hundreds of centrifuges" -- this is truly unbelievable -- at "a fortified underground bunker."
The Iranians are bragging about how much we have conceded. A key Iranian negotiator said this week, "The [West] has withdrawn from its positions compared with the past, otherwise we wouldn't have stood at this point and stage in the talks at all."
Responding to the latest revelations, Senator Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "We are not inching closer to Iran's negotiating position, but leaping toward it with both feet." If there is a deal announced this weekend regarding Iran's nuclear program, by all indications it will be a sellout of U.S. and Israeli security interests. Not surprisingly, such a sellout will only accelerate nuclear proliferation in the Middle East as Arab nations realize that the Obama White House has no intention of reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Sellout Sunday, Obama administration, Iran, Israel, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
One consequence of widespread failure to charge market rates for water turns out to be hyper-regulation of hydro-usage, and the penalizing - even criminalizing - of using "too much" H2O.
To deal with drought, California now regards it as riminal to "waste" water. Don't hose down that sidewalk! Las Vegas tries to save water by paying people to rip out their lawns. The EPA is developing technology to force hotels to monitor guests' specific water usage.
In unhampered markets, sudden and big drops in supply tend to cause sudden and big rises in prices. People economize without being forced. If you must pay more for orange juice because of frozen crops, you either buy less juice or buy less of something else (if orange juice is your favorite thing). But the shelves don't go bare.
The worse supply problems are, the higher the prices, the more customers economize, the more producers produce. So when there's a local drought, what will a water company do (as opposed to an overweening water authority)? Charge more. Pipe in water from other states. Other solutions I can't think of offhand . . . because I'm not running a water company. I lack the direct incentive that the possible profit from solving the problem provides.
Let people cooperate with each other. That is how they'll solve their water problems - without governmental bullying.
The water will come like rain.
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
------------------ Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America — and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Paul Jacob, Common Sense, water, California, water crimes, water criminals, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Ben Shapiro: There is a unicorn lair in North Korea. We know this because the Dear Leader of North Korea, Kim Jung Un, tells us so. According to the official Korean Central News Agency, archaeologists have “recently reconfirmed” the existence of the unicorn lair dating back to the Koryo Kingdom (918-1392).
President Obama has his own unicorn lair. It is the world as it exists inside his head, Walter Mitty-style. In no way does this world resemble reality; it is a bizarre fantasyland of Obama’s own construction, in which he is all-powerful, all-knowing and always right. It is a world in which his foreign policy predictions come true, in which his policies are successful, in which the flaming world he has helped create sparkles rather than burns.
In President Obama’s world, Iran is not a threat, but an ally. Iran, in this world, is not an Islamic dictatorship, but a rational actor simply demanding the global respect to which it is entitled. The Ayatollah Khamenei’s public statements of “Death to America” constitute a rhetorical love tap, designed for a “domestic political audience” — presumably an audience to whom the ayatollahs must answer, despite the lack of real elections in Iran for well over three decades. Iran’s repeated statements that it intends to wipe Israel from the map simply show that Iran requires more concessions, not less. Iran’s open suggestion that snap nuclear inspections be ruled out of negotiations show it is untrusting, not untrustworthy. Iran’s expansionist policies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen are all growing pains that can be eased by Western kowtowing.
In fact, in President Obama’s world, Yemen is a shining example of American foreign policy at work. Just months ago, Obama used Yemen as his paradigm of functional anti-terrorism; two days ago, Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, said that Yemen “did serve as a sort of template for the kind of strategy that we would employ to mitigate the threat from extremists around the world.” Earnest claimed that the Obama administration’s anti-terror policy in Yemen helped to “stabiliz[e] the country so extremists can’t use it to plot against the West.” Last month, the American embassy closed in Yemen, with its Marine guard evacuated without its weapons. Last week, the last American forces left the country, which has been plunged into full-scale civil war by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias.
But the real threat to global peace, in President Obama’s world, lies with the quarrelsome Jews some 1,200 miles to the northwest. There, the democratic country of Israel has endangered its status as a democracy by failing to negotiate with terrorism-backing Palestinians; there, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a troublesome Jew if ever there was one, insists that Iran, not Jews building bathrooms in East Jerusalem, represents a threat to global order. If only the United States could achieve some daylight between itself and the Jewish state, all would be well — even though Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have never drawn closer to Netanyahu, knowing that Netanyahu is a far better guarantor of their security against an Iranian bomb than Barack Obama.
Delusional dictatorship is a danger to regional peace. But delusional American leadership is a threat to global peace. Nonetheless, things are going swimmingly in Barack Obama’s head. Iran is a regional ally, Yemen is a model of peace and security, and Israel is an incipient enemy. The unicorns still roam free, even if free people live in danger of chains.
------------- Ben Shapiro is a graduate of UCLA and (unlike Barack Obama a documented) Harvard Law School, a radio host on KTTH 770 Seattle and KRLA 870 Los Angeles, Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org, and Senior Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News. Tags:Barack Obama, secret life, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Newt Gingrich: Congress Needs a Strategy to Defeat Violent and Cultural Jihad!
This week, the House Committee on Homeland Security, under the leadership of Chairman Michael McCaul, held the first of a series of very important hearings on the threat of radical Islamism.
As I told the committee in my testimony, it is vital that the United States Congress undertake a thorough, no-holds-barred review of the long, global war in which we are now engaged with radical Islamists. This review will require a number of committees to coordinate since it will have to include Intelligence, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, and Homeland Security at a minimum.
There are three key, sobering observations about where we are today which should force this thorough, no-holds-barred review of our situation.
These three points—which are backed up by the facts—suggest the United States is drifting into a crisis that could challenge our very survival.
First, it is the case that after 35 years of conflict dating back to the Iranian seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran and the ensuing hostage crisis, the United States and its allies are losing the long, global war with radical Islamists.
We are losing to both the violent Jihad and to the cultural Jihad.
The violent Jihad has shown itself recently in Paris, Australia, Tunisia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Yemen to name just some of the most prominent areas of violence.
Cultural Jihad is more insidious and in many ways more dangerous. Cultural Jihad strikes at our very ability to think and to have an honest dialogue about the steps necessary for our survival. Cultural Jihad is winning when the Department of Defense describes a terrorist attack at Fort Hood as “workplace violence”. Cultural Jihad is winning when the President refers to “random” killings in Paris when they were clearly the actions of Islamist terrorists and targeted against specific groups. Cultural Jihad is winning when the administration censors training documents and lecturers according to “sensitivity” so that they cannot describe radical Islamists with any reference to the religious ideology which is the primary bond that unites them.
In the 14 years since the 9/11 attacks, we have gone a long way down the road of intellectually and morally disarming in order to appease the cultural Jihadists who are increasingly aggressive in asserting their right to define how the rest of us think and talk.
Second, it is the case that, in an extraordinarily dangerous pattern, our intelligence system has been methodically limited and manipulated to sustain false narratives while suppressing or rejecting facts and analysis about those who would kill us.
For example, there is clear evidence the American people have been given remarkably misleading analysis about Al Qaeda based on a very limited translation and publication of about 24 of the 1.5 million documents captured in the Bin Laden raid. A number of outside analysts have suggested that the selective release of a small number of documents was designed to make the case that Al Qaeda was weaker. These outside analysts assert that a broader reading of more documents would indicate Al Qaeda was doubling in size when our government claimed it was getting weaker—an analysis also supported by obvious empirical facts on the ground. Furthermore, there has been what could only be deliberate foot-dragging in exploiting this extraordinary cache of material.
Both Lt. General Mike Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Colonel Derek Harvey, a leading analyst of terrorism, have described the deliberately misleading and restricted access to the Bin Laden documents.
A number of intelligence operatives have described censorship from above designed to make sure that intelligence which undermines the official narrative simply does not see the light of day.
Congress should explore legislation which would make it illegal to instruct intelligence personnel to falsify information or analysis. Basing American security policy on politically defined distortions of reality is a very dangerous habit which could someday lead to a devastating defeat. Congress has an obligation to ensure the American people are learning the truth and have an opportunity to debate potential policies in a fact based environment.
Third, it is the case that our political elites have refused to define our enemies. Their willful ignorance has made it impossible to develop an effective strategy to defeat those who would destroy our civilization.
For example, the President’s own press secretary engages in verbal gymnastics to avoid identifying the perpetrators of violence as radical Islamists. Josh Earnest said such labels do not “accurately” describe our enemies and that to use such a label “legitimizes” them.
This is Orwellian double-speak. The radical Islamists do not need to be de-legitimized. They need to be defeated. We cannot defeat what we cannot name.
There has been a desperate desire among our elites to focus on the act of terrorism rather than the motivation behind those acts. There has been a deep desire to avoid the cultural and religious motivations behind the Jihadists’ actions. There is an amazing hostility to any effort to study or teach the history of these patterns going back to the Seventh Century.
Because our elites refuse to look at the religious and historic motivations and patterns which drive our opponents, we are responding the same way to attack after attack on our way of life without any regard for learning about what really motivates our attackers. Only once we learn what drives and informs our opponents will we not repeat the same wrong response tactics, groundhog day-like, and finally start to win this long war.
Currently each new event, each new group, each new pattern is treated as though it’s an isolated phenomenon—as if it’s not part of a larger struggle with a long history and deep roots in patterns that are 1400 years old.
There is a passion for narrowing and localizing actions. The early focus was Al Qaeda. Then it was the Taliban. Now it is ISIS. It is beginning to be Boko Haram. As long as the elites can keep treating each new eruption as a free-standing phenomenon, they can avoid having to recognize that this is a global, worldwide movement that is decentralized but not disordered.
There are ties between Minneapolis and Mogadishu. There are ties between London, Paris and ISIS. Al Qaeda exists in many forms and under many names. We are confronted by worldwide recruiting on the internet, with Islamists reaching out to people we would never have imagined were vulnerable to that kind of appeal.
We have been refusing to apply the insights and lessons of history but our enemies have been very willing to study, learn, rethink and evolve.
The cultural Jihadists have learned our language and our principles—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, tolerance—and they apply them to defeat us without believing in them themselves. We blindly play their game on their terms, and don’t even think about how absurd it is for people who accept no church, no synagogue, no temple, in their heartland to come into our society and define multicultural sensitivity totally to their advantage—meaning, in essence, that we cannot criticize their ideas.
Our elites have been morally and intellectually disarmed by their own unwillingness to look at both the immediate history of the first 35 years of the global war with radical Islamists and then to look deeper into the roots of the ideology and the military-political system our enemies draw upon as their guide to waging both physical and cultural warfare.
One of the great threats to American independence is the steady growth of foreign money pouring into our intellectual and political systems to influence our thinking and limit our options for action. Congress needs to adopt new laws to protect the United States from the kind of foreign influences which are growing in size and boldness.
Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, written 500 years before Christ, warned that “all warfare is based on deception”. We are currently in a period where our enemies are deceiving us and our elites are actively deceiving themselves—and us. The deception and dishonesty of our elites is not accidental or uninformed. It is deliberate and willful. The flow of foreign money and foreign influence is a significant part of that pattern of deception.
We must clearly define our enemies before we can begin to develop strategies to defeat them.
We have lost 35 years since this war began.
We are weaker and our enemies are stronger.
Congress has a duty to pursue the truth and to think through the strategies needed and the structures which will be needed to implement those strategies.
---------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, we are losing, enemy, we refuse to nameTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:missing leadership, U.S PResident, President Obama, dereliction of duty, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Indiana Protects Religious Liberty. Why That's Good Policy!
by Dr. Ryan T Anderson & Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation: In a victory for religious freedom, earlier today Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., signed into law the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This is good policy that protects the fundamental freedom of Indiana citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion.
The Indiana law is based on the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act—a law that has served the American people well for more than 20 years. Passed with 97 votes in the Senate and by unanimous voice vote in the House, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. This federal law prohibits substantial government burdens on religious exercise unless the government can show a compelling interest in burdening religious liberty and does so through the least restrictive means.
These protections for religious freedom, like the one passed in Indiana, provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects against federal government violations of religious liberty, and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts protect against state violations.
By passing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana joins the 19 other states that have implemented such laws. Eleven additional states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar level of protection. These commonsense laws place the onus on the government to justify its actions in burdening the free exercise of religion.
Responding to critics of the bill, who wrongly characterized the religious freedom protections, Pence stated in a press release following the signing:For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana. ...
Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.The Indiana law, like all state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, prevents government discrimination against religious free exercise. Religious Freedom Restoration Acts simply provide a way to balance religious liberty with compelling government interests.
Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible.
But it isn't clear that forcing every photographer and every baker and every florist to help celebrate same-sex weddings is advancing a compelling state interest in the least-restrictive way possible. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience doesn’t infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms.
No one has the right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them, or a certain photographer to capture the first kiss or a baker to bake the wedding cake. Declining to perform these services doesn’t violate anyone’s sexual freedoms. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in a same-sex ceremony, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. The government should not force them to choose between their religious beliefs and their livelihood.
Again, Religious Freedom Restoration Acts don’t allow individuals to do whatever they wish in the name of religion. There will be times when the government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression—to ensure public safety, for instance.
But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom. The way we’ve learned to live in a pluralistic society, with diverse religious and moral opinions, is to have a balancing test like the one the Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides.
A robust conception of religious liberty provides every person the freedom to seek the truth, form beliefs, and live according to the dictates of his or her conscience—whether at home, in worship or at work.
Fortunately, citizens of Indiana now have greater protection of that fundamental right to live out and express their faith.
--------------------- Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanT_Anderson)researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory. Sarah Torre / (@sarahtorre) focuses on policy issues related to religious liberty, marriage and family as policy analyst in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Tags:Indiana, protects, religious liberty, good policy, Ryan T. Anderson, Sarah Torre, Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Today in Washington, D. C - March 27, 2015:
The House is not in session today. They have headed to their home states for "District Work" until and unless recalled earlier will return on April 13 with votes postponed until 6:30 PM. On Wednesday the House passed their budget plan.
Yesterday the House passed H.R. 2 (392-37) — "To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate and strengthen Medicare access by improving physician payments and making other improvements, to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, and for other purposes."
The Senate is now adjourned for Easter Recess. They worked in an all-night session and at 3:28 AM today passed a Senate budget plan that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, fundamentally remake federal health care for the poor and elderly, and push the federal deficit toward zero over the next decade. The vote was 52-46 along party lines. The Senate considered hundreds of amendments and voted on dozens of amendments. Republicans cheered and Democrats cursed.
The House and Senate will have to reconcile their passed plans. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said, "Fortunately for the country, the Republican budget will not become law." He was referring to a expected future veto by the President of any Republican budget. Both Sen. Harry Reid and former Rep nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as leaders continued to support continuing resolutions verses the requirement to pass a balanced budget.
The good news today is that Sen. Harry Reid, age 75 and minority leader in the U.S. Senate, has announced he will not run re-election at the end of his term. He has been in the Senate since 1986. He vowed to work to regain the Democrat's majority and control of the Senate in the 2016 elections. Prior to being elected to the Senate, he served two terms in the House. he is a former former trial lawyer and head of the Nevada gaming commission. Tags:Harry Reid, to retire, Senate, passes budget, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Will Democrats Continue To Aid Obama’s War On Coal Families?
Today, Dems Have An Opportunity To Help Rein In The EPA’s ‘Constitutionally Reckless’ War On Coal Families
McConnell / Paul Amendment ‘prohibition on withholding highway funds from States that refuse to submit State Implementation Plans’ to the EPA: “To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency of greenhouse gas emissions, which may include a prohibition on withholding highway funds from States that refuse to submit State Implementation Plans required under the Clean Power Plan of the Agency.” (S.Amdt.836, Introduced 3/25/15)
Think Progress: “So an epic struggle for the fate of America and the world has begun. … It is McConnell who is waging a war — a war on humanity, a war on America’s future, a war on the world’s children and indeed the next 50 generations, since man-made climate changes are essentially irreversible on a time scale of centuries.” (ThinkProgress, 3/20/15)
OBAMA ADMIN:‘A War On Coal Is Exactly What’s Needed,’ ‘Make Examples Out Of People’
DANIEL P. SCHRAG, White House Climate Adviser: ‘A war on coal is exactly what’s needed’ “The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. …a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” (The New York Times, 6/25/13)
Obama EPA Official:‘Make examples out of people’ “The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish (sic) town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people...” (Forbes, 4/26/12)
THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA:“Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, even, you know, regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I'm capping greenhouse gases, coal powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.” (The San Francisco Chronicle, 1/17/08)
THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA: “So if somebody wants to build a coal fired plant they can,it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that is being emitted.”(The San Francisco Chronicle, 1/17/08)
“Regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent, an Obama administration official told lawmakers on Tuesday. Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight board that carbon capture and storage technology was still not ready for prime time.” (Washington Examiner, 2/11/14)
‘Examples’ Made In Kentucky: 20,000+ Impacted By Democrat War On Coal Families
“…in coal country, the changes have meant layoffs. Nowhere has been hit harder than eastern Kentucky, where more than 6,000 miners have lost their jobs since January 2012. For each mining job, there are estimated to be at least three directly related jobs, like trucking, that also disappear.” (Fox News, 1/16/14)
“According to [Bill] Bissett, [the president of the Kentucky Coal Association] the coal industry has lost more than 6,000 direct jobs, and 18,000 people indirectly connected to the coal industry are out of work. Coal production in Eastern Kentucky is down 30 percent...” (Commonwealth Journal [KY], 1/7/14)
COAL MINER:‘Never Know From Day To Day If You Are Going To Have A Job’>
GARY LOCKHART, Coal Miner:“Our biggest worries now are just trying to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, telling your family that this was all caused by the EPA, directed by our President for his political agenda.” (Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13)
PHILLIP CONLEY, Coal Miner: “I just believe the Obama administration has taken a huge impact on the coal industry and Appalachia. Anymore, you just never know from day to day if you are going to have a job or not.” Fox News, 1/16/14)
HOWARD ABSHIRE, Coal Miner:“I say to you, Mister President of the United States… We're hurting. You say you're the president of the people? Well we're people too. No one loves the mountains no more than we do. We live here. We crawl between them. We get up every morning and we go on top of a mountain in a strip job in the cold rain, snow, to put bread on the table.” (Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13)
ABSHIRE:“Come and look at our little children, look at our people, Mr. President. You're not hurting for a job; you've got one. I don't have one.” (Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13)
JUSTINE BRADFORD, Teacher:“Dear EPA: Will you please tell Santa Claus all we want for Christmas this year is to be able to work. Here in Eastern Kentucky we too are real people.”(Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13) Tags:Obama administration, War on Coal, EPA, News Reports, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Real News: Six Brave Men Died Looking For Deserter Bergdahl
The Patriot Post: Bowe Bergdahl, the Army Pfc. taken “captive” by the Taliban but freed in exchange for five Taliban Gitmo detainees, will be charged with desertion. Bergdahl deserted his post in 2009 under cover of darkness, carrying with him a knife, a compass, a camera, a diary and some water. Shortly thereafter, he was “captured” by the Taliban, though the Pentagon never classified him as a POW.
At least six Americans lost their lives searching for him. Barack Obama insisted then, “Regardless of the circumstances … we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period.” He rightly took it on the chin for the foolish exchange and his stubbornness, and the news of the charges, which come after a months-long investigation, is no surprise.
On the other hand, one might be surprised the whole thing wasn't swept under the rug precisely because it’s such an embarrassment for the commander in chief. The administration defended the swap earnestly at the time, with National Security Advisor Susan Rice insisting Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction.” It’s even more obvious now that he didn’t. But the important thing for Obama was never bringing one of our boys home; it was emptying Guantanamo Bay. If he has to, as he put it, “whittle away” one prisoner swap at a time, so be it. Oh, and the released Taliban commanders are eager to rejoin the battlefield when their year in Qatar is up. But not to worry; State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says, “Was it worth it? Absolutely.”
Meanwhile, everyone knows Bergdahl’s name. But how many know the names of the six men who died looking for him? Their names are Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen, Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Michael Chance Murphrey and Second Lt. Darryn Andrews.
Tags:sic brave men, died, Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen, Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Michael Chance Murphrey, Second Lt. Darryn Andrews, looking for, deserter, Bowe BergdahlTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Constitutional Carry Bill Heads to Kansas Governor’s Desk
by Bob Owens: Congratulations, Kansas. You are about to rejoin those free states allowing constitutional carry.Kansas is poised to join a handful of other states that allow their residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit after the Legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a bill backed by the National Rifle Association.
The measure was headed to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback despite some lawmakers’ misgivings about the state dropping its requirement that anyone seeking to carry a concealed firearm undergo at least eight hours of training. Brownback’s office didn’t say what his plans are, but he’s signed every other major gun-rights measure sent to him since taking office in January 2011.
Kansas would become the fifth state to allow concealed carry without a permit everywhere within its borders, according to the NRA.
“Carrying a gun is a lifestyle,” said Republican Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady. “The government should trust its citizens.”West Virginia was actually slightly ahead of Kansas in passing a constitutional carry bill through its legislature, but the bill was vetoed by West Virginia’s Democrat Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin. West Virginia’s legislature seems to have the votes to easily override Tomblin’s veto, and we hope that the legislature will take up that override vote soon.
You’ll note that both Kansas and West Virginia were able to get as far as they have without obnoxious and intentionally provocative open carry demonstrations near schools, in the legislature, or in private businesses that unnecessarily added additional hurdles and gave gun control groups ammunition to fight against us.
Firearm rights campaigners in other states need to study carefully how the organizations in Kansas and West Virginia are building coalitions. In both of these states, supporters worked diligently and with resolve, while making sure not to do anything to generate or intensify opposition.
Anyone who looks at trends is well aware of the fact that firearms freedom is spreading in all but the most restrictive and liberty-challenged states. The momentum is on our side and legislators in both major parties know it. We will prevail… as long as some of the more “politically challenged” on our side don’t get in our way.
Fight smart. Win.
--------------- Bob Owens is the Editor of BearingArms.com. Tags:Kansas, constitutional carry, bill, goes to governor, for signatureTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Flipping the flop, Democrats, Ted Cruz, Obamacare Repeal, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Four (Black) Cops Killed in Seven Days --Where's the Outrage?
by Larry Elder: Wednesday, March 4: Fulton County police detective Terence Avery Green was killed, shot in the head by a suspect. According to WXIA-TV, Atlanta: "Police responded to a shots fired call early Wednesday. They were told the suspect was possibly intoxicated. Neighbors said the man was going from house to house, banging on doors and firing a long barrel gun. ...
"(Fulton County Assistant Police Chief Gary) described the situation as an ambush, saying the officers 'were trying to do their job, they were trying to protect this neighborhood from someone who was shooting. And they had no other option but to do their job. And the way it appears to me, they were ambushed without warning.' ...
"Green was a veteran officer with nearly 22 years of service. He is survived by his parents and his four sons."
Thursday, March 5: Officer Robert Wilson III, while on duty and in uniform, walked into a game store to purchase a gift for his son. Two men robbed the store, and shot and killed Officer Wilson. According to CNN: "Wilson was standing at the counter across from employees at the GameStop store when two brothers, Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams, walked in carrying guns, police said.
"They allegedly stuck up the store with at least five patrons and two employees inside.
"'They said they thought it was going to be an easy target,' said police spokesman Capt. James Clark. ... Wilson confronted (the suspects), and a firefight broke out, police said.
"The officer, an eight-year veteran, stepped away from others in the store to keep them out of the crossfire, police said after watching the store's security camera footage.
"He was a hero and a warrior, Clark said. "He fought until the very, very end, firing at both of them."... Within 30 to 40 seconds, 50 shots fell, he said. ...
"Wilson was 30 years old. In addition to his son, he leaves behind a 1-year-old daughter. His son turns 10 on Monday. The game was also going to be a birthday present."
Saturday, March 7: Police Officer Brennan Rabain was killed while trying to make a traffic stop on a speeding driver. The officer lost control of his squad car and crashed into a fence. According to the local NBC affiliate news: "Police are searching for anyone who may have witnessed a crash that killed a Prince George's County police officer. ... Rabain had been off duty, but when he initiated the traffic stop, he went back on duty, police said." Rabain, 27, had been with the department less than two years, and leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter.
Tuesday, March 10: Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells, 27, was killed in a shootout near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as he attempted to apprehend a fugitive accused of killing a brother and sister.
According the Associated Press: "The fugitive, Jamie D. Croom, 31, was shot and taken to a hospital. ... Croom was wanted in the shooting deaths of a brother and sister in New Roads, Louisiana. ...
"The shootout took place in Scotlandville, an area north of Baton Rouge. A task force made by federal Marshals was serving an arrest warrant when the shootout happened. ... Croom, a resident of New Roads, had a lengthy criminal record, (local Sheriff Beauregard) Torres said. 'He was a dangerous criminal,' Torres said. 'It was a very high price to pay for this warrant to bring this man into custody. It was a very, very high price.'
"Wells was a graduate of East Central High School in Hurley, Mississippi, and of Jackson State University. 'He was a tremendous student,' East Central Principal James Hughey told WLOX-TV. 'He was very well liked.' ... Wells' father, Obie Wells Sr., is a retired Jackson County sheriff's deputy. His brother, Obie Wells Jr., is an officer with the Jackson Police Department in the state capital.
"'His dad was so proud of him for being a U.S. marshal,' (Mississippi state Rep. Manly) Barton said." The day after his death, Wells' wife -- who is pregnant with the couple's first child -- learned the sex of their baby. She is having a boy, and she plans to name him Josie Wells, Jr.
Last year, according to the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 126 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers died in the line of duty in 2014 -- although some deaths were attributed to health problems or traffic accidents. Fifty officers were killed by firearms, 15 of them in ambush attacks.
The memorial fund says that shootings against officers increased 50 percent in 2014. This total includes two NYPD officers killed in December in an ambush. The suspect, killed by police, had posted Internet messages that accused police of racism, threatened to kill officers and urged others to do the same.
Despite the widely publicized recent cases where cops killed blacks, new studies show cops -- black and white -- more reluctant to shoot a black suspect compared to a white suspect. Reasons are unclear, but fear of additional scrutiny -- whether fair or not -- might be a factor.
Suspects who kill cops, however, appear colorblind.
--------------- Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. Tags:Larry Elder, commentary, police officers, cops, black cops, killed, where's the outrageTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
After the highly controversial prisoner swap in May of five hard-core Taliban commanders from Guantanamo for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Rice went on ABC's "This Week" and said Bergdahl "served the United States with honor and distinction."
That was despite platoon mates accusing Bergdahl of abandoning his post.
Now after a lengthy investigation, Army officials have charged Bergdahl with one count each of desertion and misbehavior with the enemy -- charges that could land him in the stockade for life.
Which raises the question: How does Susan Rice even have a job? Clearly, she can't be trusted with the one she has now.
Let's not forget the repeated tales she told after our consulate was attacked in Benghazi in 2012. Rice went on the Sunday news show circuit immediately afterward and insisted the assault was carried out by random protestors over an offensive anti-Muslim video. That was soon proven false.
We know the attack was committed by radical terrorists in Libya. And now that jihadi snake pit has fallen into complete chaos.
But instead of firing Rice, President Obama promoted her. She has jumped from U.N. ambassador to national security advisor. And what is the thanks we get for paying her salary? She botches the Bergdahl swap.
The U.S. has a long-standing policy of not negotiating with terrorists. Why encourage our enemies to grab more American hostages?
Then there's the high recidivism rate of prisoners rejoining the battlefield once released.
CNN has reported that one of the five terrorists swapped for Bergdahl tried to rejoin the jihad. Fox News reported yesterday that three have already made attempts to rejoin the fight.
It's simply wrong to ask our brave men and women in uniform to fight the same enemy twice.
But Obama has made it clear he wants to shut GITMO to honor a misguided campaign promise. And obviously he's willing to put our security at risk by releasing dangerous terrorist prisoners bent on killing us.
He's also willing to retain high-ranking members of his administration, including Rice, even when they fail the American public.
Both are a disgrace.
-------------- Adriana Cohen is co-host of "Boston Herald Drive" on Herald Radio and WMEX AM 1510 weekdays from 7 to 9 a.m. Follow Adriana on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. Tags:Susan Rice, Obama's Head Liar, GOPUSA, Adriana CohenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama’s FEMA Puts Climate Ideology Over Saving Lives
by Rick Manning: New Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rules on requirements for states to receive federal emergency preparedness dollars are being met with disbelief by many of the nation’s governors. The new rule forces a state to include a “consideration of changing environmental or climate conditions that may affect and influence the long-term vulnerability from hazards in the state” in conducting risk assessments.
FEMA continues by holding out what it considers to be an olive branch to the states saying it “recognizes there exists inherent uncertainty about future conditions, and will work with states to identify tools and approaches that enable decision-making to reduce risks and increase resilience from a changing climate.”
But Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, where he has presided over the final part of the Hurricane Katrina recovery and weathered the BP oil spill emergency, is not taking kindly to the politicization of public safety.
The Washington Times reports that Jindal reacted forcefully against the rules stating that FEMA emergency preparedness funding “prepares families and communities for national disasters.”
Yet that is exactly what the Obama Administration is doing. Emergency preparedness funds are spent to equip local first responders, state and local emergency management centers, and educate the public about potentially life-saving steps that they can take in an emergency. Yet, somehow, the Obama Administration is choosing to discriminate in the dissemination of these dollars based upon the governor of the state’s views on climate change and its impact.
With Atlantic Ocean states from Florida to North Carolina, Gulf Coast states from Texas to Florida, and Tornado Alley states all politically conservative with governors who don’t worship at the President’s climate change altar, FEMA is effectively choosing to withhold funds from the states that are most likely to need it.
If FEMA doesn’t rescind the rule and continues to contend that those states that are most likely to face natural disasters on a regular basis should be denied funding because they won’t bend on the climate change issue, then Congress must step in.
In FEMA’s 2016 appropriation, Congress must tell FEMA that climate change preparedness shall not be a consideration for eligibility for federal emergency preparedness funding.
The state of Louisiana faced the worst natural disaster in the past decade, and no one knows better about the importance of preparation than Governor Jindal, when he reminds, “This preparation saves lives.
“The White House should not use it for political leverage to force acquiescence to their left-wing ideology.”
Would you vote for a man who openly says he favors a fair tax and wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service?
Would you vote for a man who opposes Obama’s efforts to offer illegal aliens amnesty and promises to secure the borders?
Would you vote for a man who decries a federal government “that wages an assault on our religious liberty”?
Would you vote for a man who wants a federal government that “works to defend the sanctity of human life” and would “uphold the sacrament of marriage”?
Would you vote for a man who defends our Second Amendment rights and condemns the effort ban ammunition?
Would you vote for a man who condemns a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculums and wants to repeal “every word of Common Core”?
Would you vote for a man who would stand “unapologetically with the nation of Israel”?
Would you vote for a man who has pledged that he would do everything he could to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon?
Would you vote for a man who openly says he would do everything he could to defeat radical Islamic terrorism?
I said I would on May 6, 2013 when he was beginning to get attention. Columnist George Will said he was “as good as it gets” when it comes to being a true conservative in Congress.
I am of course speaking of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who has announced his candidacy to be the presidential candidate of the Republican Party.
I suspect that his announcement probably terrifies the Republican “Establishment” who have managed to serve up some good men, but poor candidates, to be President. When Republican voters stayed home, we got Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Now they want to get the Party faithful to vote for Jeb Bush, but from my vantage point, the real base is ready to vote for anybody else, Sen. Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Walker, and Sen. Rubio come to mind.
First of all, there is no Tea Party in the sense of a political party with its own candidates. What there is are Republicans who believe in the U.S. Constitution, small government, fiscal prudence, strong national security, and all those other values outlined in Ted Cruz’s speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
As Cruz said in an email about his announcement “Washington, D.C. has become completely disconnected from the values of real Americans. That’s why we are now more than $18 trillion in debt, why wages have stagnated, and why our foreign policy is an absolute mess.” That pretty much sums up what Obama has delivered.
Does it surprise anyone that Cruz’s candidacy was instantly attacked, not just by Democrats, but by a number of leading Republicans? Appearing on CNN’s “Situation Room” with host Wolf Blitzer, Rep. Peter King said he’d “jump off that bridge” when he got to it if Cruz becomes the GOP candidate. He also accused Cruz and Rand Paul of being “counterfeit conservatives.” Nonsense!
The March 24 Wall Street Journal had a lengthy editorial devoted to “The Cruz Candidacy” noting that on most issues with the exception of immigration they found themselves in agreement with him and offered an upbeat view that “The good news for GOP voters is that their field of candidates in 2016 is going to be deep, offering many varieties of conservative leadership” but ending with reservations about “his polarizing style” which was another way of saying he is not a wishy-washy centrist.
We will hear more such accusations and criticisms and, as often as not, they will come from the GOP Establishment.
The GOP Establishment regards real conservatives as unable to secure election, preferring RINOs, Republicans in Name Only, and candidates who move as close to the center politically as possible. It seems to have escaped their notice that the Republicans elected in the last two midterm elections were sent to Washington, D.C. by Tea Party and other serious conservative voters.
It has been a long time since a real conservative Republican, Ronald Reagan, was elected President, but it can happen again as serious voters, particularly those who are independents, join with those who find Sen. Cruz a refreshing voice, Will he get the nomination? We are a very long way from the 2016 election, but at least we know it won’t be a boring one!
----------------- 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:Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Republican establishment, electing, real conservatives, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
EPA Attempting Unconstitutional Trifecta: Usurping The States, Congress, and Federal Courts
Update 3/27/2015 (8:03 AM): In response to a inquiry by the ARRA News Service editor concerning Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR-01) vote of NO on H. Con. Res. 27, Rep. Crawford explained his vote as follows: "The budget blueprints put forward today called for the passage of a balanced budget amendment for the first time since I was elected to Congress, but without any legal binding authority, this non-binding resolution can be ignored and no action has to be taken. Sadly, since being elected to Congress, we have voted once on permanent spending controls in the form of a balanced budget amendment that was required by law as a result of the Budget Control Act. Until Congress accepts that non-binding budget resolutions are ineffective without a permanent law like a balanced budget amendment or spending limitation amendment, the budget process will only be an exercise in futility and our debt crisis will continue on its current path.”
The House today may take up the following bills today: H.R. 2 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate and strengthen Medicare access by improving physician payments and making other improvements, to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, and for other purposes, and providing for proceedings during the period from March 27, 2015, through April 10, 2015."
Yesterday the House passed: H. Con. Res. 27 (228-199) — "Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025." All democrats voted against the resolution. H.R. 1527 (Voice Vote) — "To accelerate the income tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for the relief of the families of New York Police Department Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, and for other purposes."
In a floor speech today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called on the full House to back H.R. 2, the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act:“First, let me thank Chairman Upton and Chairman Ryan, Mr. Pallone and Mr. Levin. And thank you also to Wendell Primus with Leader Pelosi, Charlene MacDonald with Mr. Hoyer, and of course, Charlotte Ivancic on my team. Thanks to their hard work, and the work of this House, we expect to end the so-called doc fix once and for all. As you know, we’ve patched this problem 17 times. I decided about a year ago we’d had enough of it.
“In its place, we will deliver for the American people the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades. This is good news for America’s seniors, who will benefit from a more stable and reliable system for seeing their doctor. It is good news for hardworking families, who will benefit from a stronger Medicare program to help care for their elderly parents. It is good news for the taxpayers, who – according to the CBO and a number of fiscal experts – will save money now and well into the future.
“And that means it is especially good news for our kids and grandkids. Because today is about a problem much bigger than any ‘doc fix’ or deadline. It’s about solving our spending problem – and it’s about strengthening and saving Medicare, which is at the heart of that problem. Normally, we’re here to admit that we’ve just ‘kicked the can down the road.’ Today, because of what we’re doing here, we will save money 20, 30, and 40 years down the road. Not only that, we are strengthening Medicare’s ability to fight fraud, waste, and abuse. And we are extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Community Health Centers as well.
“My colleagues, this is what we can accomplish when we focus on finding common ground. But we cannot be complacent. We know more serious entitlement reform is needed. It shouldn’t take another two decades to do it – and frankly, it can’t take that long. I urge every member of this House to join this effort, and to start by casting a vote for H.R. 2.” The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and resumed consideration of S. Con. Res. 11, the budget resolution passed by the Senate Budget Committee.
At noon, all debate time on the budget resolution expired. The Senate then began its “vote-a-rama” on budget amendments. Senators will vote on amendments back to back late into the evening, until the Senate is ready to pass the budget resolution.
Currently, there are more than 95 amendments pending to the budget and over 600 have been filed.
Yesterday, the Senate voted on 7 amendments, adopting 3 and rejecting 4. Among those approved was an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that would allow for legislation preventing the United Nations or other international institutions from taking unfair or discriminatory action against Israel. The amendment passed 99-0.
This afternoon, as the Senate works its way through its famous budget amendment “vote-a-rama,” among the amendments senators will be voting on is one offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to prevent the federal government from attempting to punish states that refuse to go along with the EPA’s regulations aimed at crippling coal-fired power plants.
The Obama administration has threatened that states could lose their federal highway funding or other “sanctions” if they don’t go along with the EPA’s legally shaky ruling.
As Leader McConnell wrote in aletter to all 50 governors warning about the dangers of following the EPA’s regulations, “Some have recently suggested that failing to comply with the EPA’s requirements would be to disregard the law. But the fact is, it is the EPA that is failing to comply with the law here. By requiring states to submit a plan aimed at achieving a lower emissions target . . . the EPA is overreaching . . . . In other words, the EPA is attempting to compel states to do more themselves than what the agency would be authorized to do on its own, as many states have noted in their comments in response to the rule. This point has been repeatedly stressed by noted Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe, an otherwise strong supporter of President Obama who taught the first course in environmental law in the United States. As Professor Tribe has noted, the Clean Air Act not only fails to authorize the EPA’s plan, it forbids it. Professor Tribe recently called the EPA’s plan ‘constitutionally reckless’, saying it ‘usurp[s] the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts — all at once.’”
In an article last week, Politiconoted Professor Tribe’s arguments against the EPA’s actions.“ ‘You know, I’ve cared about the environment ever since I was a kid. And you know, I taught the first environmental course in this country, and I’ve won major victories for environmental causes. But I’m committed to doing it within the law,’ Tribe said. ‘Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy,’ he added. . . .
“Tribe argued thatthe proposed rule would give allow the federal government to overtake control of energy regulations, which would violate the Tenth Amendment provisions that say the federal government only has powers conferred to it by the states or the people via the Constitution. The EPA can’t give states a ‘Hobson’s choice’ by forcing them to adopt unpopular policies or face unpopular federal control, he said. . . . Tribe . . . also argued that the proposed rule could violate the Fifth Amendment’s ‘takings’ clause, by unfairly saddling coal-fired power plants with the costs.
“The Harvard professor would not be limited there: he also argued that EPA’s view of the Clean Air Act ‘raises grave constitutional questions under Article I, Article III, and The Separation Of Powers.’ If EPA is allowed to choose its interpretation of whether it may regulate power plants . . . the agency would essentially be making laws itself, according to Tribe. ‘EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts all at once,’ he said.”
Earlier this month, in an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader, McConnell explained how this ill-considered regulation will hurt families. “Just consider how extreme this regulation is. According to a respected group of economists, the regulation could cost our country about a third of a trillion dollars in compliance costs and cause electricity price hikes in nearly every state.
“And who gets hit hardest when energy bills go up? Lower-income families. Seniors on Social Security and a fixed budget. Those who struggle just to get by. These are the people the administration has chosen to attack.
“In Kentucky, the regulation would likely shrink our economy by almost $2 billion and throw countless out of work. The commonwealth's coal industry alone has already shed thousands of coal jobs during this administration's tenure. And now, many more of the thousands of Kentuckians whose jobs are tied to coal — including many proud miners who just want to give their children a better life — are likely to lose their jobs, too.
“In short, this regulation threatens to hurt a lot of people without doing much for the global environment.”
With the McConnell amendment today, Democrats in the Senate will have a chance to go on record opposing this unconstitutional rule and supporting states who decide to protect their citizens from the EPA’s costly mandates. Will they stand up for families and workers or for the heavy-handed and constitutionally reckless bureaucrats of President Obama’s EPA? Tags:EPA, unconstitutional actions, usurping, states, Congress, Federal courts, U.S. BudgetTo 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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