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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, March 31, 2017

Tax Cut More Than Tax Reform

by Newt Gingrich: President Reagan left us with many useful lessons in his 1989 farewell address.

Earlier this week, I related Reagan’s words to the health bill failure last Friday.

But today, a different passage from his speech caused me to rethink the current approach to tax reform.
“The way I see it, there were two great triumphs, two things that I’m proudest of. One is the economic recovery, in which the people of America created—and filled—19 million new jobs. The other is the recovery of our morale. America is respected again in the world and looked to for leadership,” Reagan said.Reading this, I was struck with a single thought: If eight years from now, President Trump can point to 19 million (or more) new jobs, Americans – and others around the world – will regard his presidency as a success.

Job creation is the metric by which every policy must be measured. With that in mind, Reagan accelerated job growth by drastically cutting taxes. During the Contract with America we created jobs by greatly reducing the capital gains tax.

So, for the Trump administration, Republicans should stop saying we want to reform the tax system. Reforming will not create jobs on its own. We want to cut taxes and reform the system.

We should stop trying to achieve revenue neutrality and instead focus on deficit neutrality. The difference is enormous and decisive for economic growth and job creation. Revenue neutrality inevitably leads to taxes being raised to pay for taxes being cut. In the short run the tax increases always hurt more than the tax cuts help.

But there are six more steps lawmakers can take to create space for tax cuts that will drive job creation.

First, Congress must score economic growth from Obama’s finish line. The psychology of Trump’s election has created an upsurge in economic activity. Businesses are focused and hopeful about the president’s aggressive stance on deregulation, pro-American trade policy, and relentless focus on investment.

Consider the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which jumped to 125.6 points this month – the highest confidence has been 17 years. The Conference Board CEO Business Conditions Survey increased from 17 points last quarter to 60 points this quarter. The CEO Short Term Forecast hiked from 25 points to 60 points, while General CEO Confidence jumped from 50 points to 65 points.

The economy clearly has momentum. Projected over the next ten years, the new Trump economy will generate more jobs and more income than the Obama economy. Extra federal revenue from this growth should be set aside to offset a big tax cut bill. The Republicans should insist on using the last Obama projected revenue as the baseline for counting new growth for this offset. Liberal bureaucrats will try to create a new baseline absorbing the higher revenue to minimize the size of the tax cut. They should be stopped.

Second, unused federal assets should be leased or sold. This will generate non-tax revenue which could offset the cost of some of the tax cuts. Aggressive leasing of oil, gas and mineral rights combined with selling federal housing and office stock currently being mismanaged could generate billions to support tax cuts.

Third, cut spending by cutting through red tape, bureaucracy, waste, and fraud.

Establishing work requirements for programs that currently promote dependency will save billions. Substantial fraud exists in our food stamps, disabilities, and welfare programs.

There is an estimated $110 billion in fraud in Medicare and Medicaid alone. If we adopted an American Express-Visa-Master Card-like anti-fraud system, we could likely save more than $100 billion a year – that’s $1 trillion over a decade, plus the savings in interest on money we would no longer have to borrow. We should be able to find another $50 billion in tax cuts a year just from this zone.

Fourth, creating pro-American trade policies will clearly have positive impact on growth. This growth might not be huge statistically, but even an increase of two-tenths of 1 percent can yield billions over a decade that could be leveraged for tax cuts.

Fifth, cut taxes that have a widely agreed upon positive impact on revenue. Capital gains tax cuts have consistently yielded more federal revenue than people expected. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan once testified that setting the capital gains tax to zero would generate the most revenue due to new economic growth. Repatriation of the money currently locked up overseas and adoption of a territorial tax system would yield revenue from substantial growth. And repealing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act would dramatically increase the number of Americans selling American goods and services overseas.

Sixth, we should have a bias for pro-growth tax reforms that have compounding, revenue generating effects. Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposal for a border transfer tax will increase American manufacturing jobs. It will also generate revenue paid for by foreign importers. Because we are still the world’s largest economy, the Ryan border transfer tax will incentivize foreign manufacturers to open factories in America. The result will be even more economic growth and future government revenue to pay for tax cuts.

This is the kind of dynamic, pro-growth, pro-jobs tax cut and reform bill that will attract lawmakers from both sides, be very popular, and create the economic and job growth we so badly need.
----------------------
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, commentary, Tax Cut More, Tax Reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Faux Filibuster Foes

Once Strident Filibuster Foes Sens. Merkley & Udall Turn Outspoken Filibuster Cheerleaders

MSNBC’S CHRIS HAYES: “Are you going to filibuster Gorsuch?” SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): “Absolutely. Hundred percent.” HAYES: “Are you guys going to get to 40?” MERKLEY: “We are going to succeed in filibustering Gorsuch.” HAYES: “You think so?” MERKLEY: “Yes.” (MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” 3/30/2017)

SEN. TOM UDALL (D-NM): “Judge Gorsuch … I will vote no on his confirmation, including cloture.” (Sen. Udall, Press Release, 3/24/2017)

Sens. Merkley & Udall Led The Fight To Invoke The Nuclear Option In 2013, Decrying Filibusters ‘As An Instrument Of Partisan Politics’

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “Boy, if there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it is tonight. These two young, fine Senators said it was time to change the rules in the Senate. We did not. They were right. The rest of us were wrong or most of us anyway. What a shame. … I am finished. But I wish to say again for those who are listening here or watching, Senator Udall and Senator Merkley wanted to do something to change the rules regarding filibusters. If there was anything that ever needed changing in this body, it is the filibuster rule.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.3070, 5/10/12)
·         CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC: “Joining me now is Senator Tom Udall, Democrat from New Mexico. And, Senator, it was you and Jeff Merkley, more than any other, too, who came to Harry Reid early on when you first got to the United States Senate and said we have to reform the filibuster…” SEN. TOM UDALL (D-NM): “I thought we were going to see this day, because this was a victory for democracy and we`ve returned to the Constitution, and I think it’s very important that we do that…” (MSNBC, 11/21/13)

“‘The filibuster, once used only on issues of personal principle, is now used regularly as an instrument of partisan politics,’ Merkley said. ‘It hurts our ability to take on the big challenges we face as Americans. And we need to fix it.’” (“Udall, Merkley And Harkin Unveil Filibuster-Reform Resolution,” The Hill, 1/04/13)

In 2013, Sens. Udall & Merkley Embraced The Nuclear Option

In 2013, Sens. Udall and Merkley both voted to change Senate precedent and eliminate filibusters for most judicial nominations. (On The Decision Of The Chair (Shall The Decision Of The Chair Stand As The Judgment Of The Senate? (Reid Appeal), Roll Call Vote #242, Decision Of Chair Not Sustained 48-52: D 3-50; R 45-0; I 0-2, 11/21/2013, Udall And Merkley Voted Nay)

Prior To The 2016 Election, Merkley Even Suggested ‘We’re Going To Have To Consider Rules Changes’ Regarding Supreme Court Nominations

“[Banning the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations] may be necessary next year if Hillary Clinton wins the White House and Democrats narrowly recapture the Senate …Senator Jeff Merkley told me from New Hampshire, where he was campaigning for Maggie Hassan. On the other hand, ‘If there’s deep abuse, we’re going to have to consider rules changes.” (David Sarasohn, “Will Democrats Nuke the Filibuster?,” The New Republic, 10/31/2016)

Sen. Udall Used To Say, ‘The Constitution Does Not Give Me The Right To Block A Qualified Nominee No Matter Who Is In The White House … A Minority In The Senate Should Not Be Able To Block Qualified Nominees’

SEN. TOM UDALL (D-NM): “One of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle said: We should be careful what we wish for; that is, majority rule could backfire, which might get more Justice Scalias. Well, that is exactly the point. The Constitution does not give me the right to block a qualified nominee no matter who is in the White House. The real norms and traditions of the Senate honor that principle. Some of us may disagree with Justice Scalia on judicial philosophy, but he was a qualified nominee. He received an up-or-down vote and he was unanimously confirmed. Likewise, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was considered liberal, the former ACLU general counsel. Many on the other side may have disagreed with her views, but there was no filibuster. She was confirmed by a vote of 96 to 3. A minority in the Senate should not be able to block qualified nominees.” (Sen. Udall, Congressional Record, S. 8296, 11/20/2013)
·         UDALL: “[T]his is not advise and consent; this is obstruct and delay. The people elect the President. They give him or her the right to select a team to govern and to appoint judges to the Federal bench. If those nominees are qualified, they deserve an up-or-down vote. That is how our democracy is intended to work. That is the mandate of our Constitution. That is the real tradition of the Senate. That is the way it is supposed to work.” (Sen. Udall, Congressional Record, S. 8296, 11/20/2013)
·         UDALL:I do not think there is any doubt in this country that on both sides--the Republican side and the Democratic side--the base pushes us hard. I think we have reached this stage of hyperpartisanship. I believe our job as leaders is to overcome that and to lead. Leading here means allowing the norms and traditions of the Senate to continue, and that would be an up-or-down vote on judicial nominees.” (Sen. Udall, Congressional Record, S. 8297, 11/20/2013)

Sen. Merkley Used To Assert ‘The Norms And Traditions Of The U.S. Senate Regarding Nominations … Is An Up-Or-Down Vote’

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): “[W]e cannot allow this process in which a minority says: When our President is in charge we are going to insist on up-or-down votes, but when a President of the other party is in charge, we are not going to allow those votes.” (Sen. Merkley, Congressional Record, S.8295, 11/20/2013)
·         MERKLEY: “What are the norms and traditions of the U.S. Senate regarding nominations? It is an up-or-down vote, with rare exception.” (Sen. Merkley, Congressional Record, S.8295, 11/20/2013)>
·         MERKLEY: “Let's be clear: There should not be an ‘our President’ and ‘their President.’ The President is the President of the entire country, of the blue States and the red States, altogether. The judicial system serves all of us regardless of our party identities. It is our responsibility to make it work.” (Sen. Merkley, Congressional Record, S.8295, 11/20/2013)
·         MERKLEY: “[U]nited minority caucuses, backed by powerful interest groups, seek to use the supermajority requirement to block action and discredit the majority. The resulting paralysis and partisanship hurt our nation. They are probably the largest element behind the low opinion of the Senate. Our citizens expect more.” (Sen. Merkley, Op-Ed, “Why ‘Supermajority’ No Longer Works In The Senate,” The Washington Post, 11/04/2011)
·         MERKLEY: “[T]he Senate is broken... Our role of advice and consent has been turned into obstruct and delay in terms of nominations for the executive branch and the judiciary. We have a constitutional responsibility to express our opinion, but this body, by using the filibuster, has prevented Senators from advising and consenting, either approving or disapproving these nominations.” (Sen. Merkley, Congressional Record, S. 37, 1/05/2011)

Tags: Faux, Filibuster, Foes 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 Ice Man Cometh . . .

. . . And the illegals’ Democrat collaborators boil over with rage.
by Lloyd Billingsley: Those who violated U.S. immigration law and remain in the country illegally claim to be fearful that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will grab them in church or at the doctor’s office. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones thought it would be a good idea to bring in ICE acting director Thomas Homan “to try and find common ground by reducing conflicting information, eliminating ambiguity, and reducing fear by presenting factual information directly from their sources.”

No sooner had Jones announced the March 28 informational event, the first of its kind, when the Democratic Party of Sacramento County issued an Instagram “action alert” stating: “It’s time to tell Scott Jones what we think of his discriminatory efforts to divide families & harm our community. Join us as we stand united against his hate-filled attacks against immigrants.”

Protesters marched under banners reading “no ban no wall” and bearing the image of a Muslim woman in a hijab and a Mexican farmworker with a red scarf over her face. Local SEIU union boss Miguel Cordova said it was to “celebrate and honor the work of Cesar Chavez.” It somehow escaped notice that United Farm Worker boss Chavez had deployed goons to attack illegals coming across the border, lest they take union jobs.

The day before the event, Salvador Sarmiento of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network announced “ICE is not welcomed here.” On Tuesday protesters sang “this land was made for you and me,” chanted “California is an immigrant state, we don’t want your racist hate,” and carried signs reading #resiste.

The organizing group was Hermandad Mexicana, founded by the late Bert Corona, a Stalinist with a history of violence and adept at extracting millions in government funds from Democrat politicians. It is entirely possible that California taxpayers paid for the March 28 protest materials.

Also appearing was state senate boss Kevin de Leon whose Democrat-controlled Senate recently silenced and ejected Janet Nguyen, a refugee from Communist Vietnam, for daring to criticize New Left icon Tom Hayden. On Tuesday De Leon told the protesters “sanctuary cities and counties are safer” than those that are not. “Study after study,” he said, shows that the “undocumented” commit crimes at a lower rate.

Thomas Homan explained that sanctuary cities make it difficult for ICE to do its job. ICE prioritizes “those with criminal histories,” and 75 percent of illegals arrested in Los Angeles had criminal histories. So did violent illegals who had been active in Sheriff Jones’ jurisdiction.

In October, 2014, Luis Enriquez Monroy Bracamontes, a Mexican national in the United States illegally, gunned down Danny Oliver, 47, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy. Bracamontes shot Oliver in the head with a 9mm handgun but the killer and his wife Janelle Marquez Monroy also packed an AR-15 rifle.

After killing Danny Oliver, Bracamontes and Monroy shot Anthony Holmes, a motorist who refused to give up his car. Holmes survived the shooting but later Bracamontes killed police detective Michael Davis with the AR-15 and wounded Jeff Davis, a deputy. Bracamontes also fired at Placer County deputies Charles Bardo and Joseph Roseli before being captured and arrested.

In a YouTube video, Jones said that the person who killed Danny Oliver “is in this country illegally from Mexico. He has a significant criminal history and on at least four prior occasions he was removed from this country, each time having no consequences for his actions.”

In similar style, Mexican nationals Saul Isidro-Aucencio and Francisco Delgado breached the border with no difficulty. In February 2011 the pair shot and killed Robert Corpos, 20, Richard Ward, 16, and Jamir Miller, 15, an African American. The illegals shot Miller in the head from behind with an AK-47. They shot Corpos, father of an 18-month-old boy, in the back as he sought cover behind a tree.

Local media did not identify the killers as illegals but Melissa Jellison, Jamir Miller’s mother, discovered their status and expressed anger that her son’s killers were in the country illegally. Judge Helene Gweon told her the case “has nothing to do with illegal aliens.”

Another northern California case had everything to do with terrorism. Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, came to the United States in October, 2012, as a refugee from Iraq. He left in 2014, as he explained, to visit his grandmother in Turkey. On that trip he rejoined the armed struggle in Syria in company with terrorists.

On his overseas adventure, the refugee praised acts of violence against Americans and took part in the execution of three Syrian soldiers. “I am eager to see blood,” he told a fellow Islamist. When another contact lamented that he had never sprayed fire with a Kalashnikov, Al-Jayab wrote back: “All my work was with the Glock and a nine Tariq and also its silencer … Once it hits someone, you would think the person fainted right before your eyes. It does not look like you killed him.”

Al-Jayab is the kind of radical Islamic terrorist President Trump is trying to keep out of the United States so police officers don’t have to deal with their hate-filled attacks. Trump is also trying to deport violent criminal illegals before they can inflict further harm on Americans in the manner of cop-killer Luis Bracamontes and Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the illegal charged with gunning down Kate Steinle.

As the forum made clear, California’s leftist Democrats seem inable to distinguish between Mexican farmworkers and Muslim terrorists masquerading as refugees. Likewise, the leftist protesters made little if any distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, criminals and non-criminals.

According to a RAND study, in the Los Angeles riots of 1992, 51 percent of those arrested were “Latino” and “Latinas” were twice as likely to be arrested for looting. And according to the INS, those arrested for riot-related acts included 1,044 illegal immigrants.
----------------
Lloyd Billingsley is an author at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's FronPage Mag and author of Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Film Industry.

Tags: Ice Man Cometh, illegals, Democrat collaborators, boil over, rage, Lloyd Billingsley, FrontPage Mag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Professor Stephen Cohen: Not One Piece of Factual Evidence That Russia 'Hacked the Election'

by Debra Heine: Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton, spoke Thursday evening with Fox News' Tucker Carlson about the latest shoes to drop in the investigations into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday that Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security advisor, has told the FBI and congressional investigators that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution -- not a particularly good sign for the Trump White House.

Cohen, one of the country's foremost experts on Russia, has been arguing for months that the anti-Russia hysteria in Washington, D.C., is becoming a "grave national security threat."

Carlson began the discussion by bringing up what he sees as the core issue -- the allegations that the Russian government "hacked our election" by breaking into email accounts at the DNC and the Clinton campaign office.

"Everyone assumes this is true," he said. "We're all operating under the assumption that it's true. Do we know it's true?"

"No," Cohen answered flatly. "And if you listen to the hearings at the Senate today, repeatedly it was said -- particularly by Senator Warner, the Democratic co-chair of the proceedings -- that Russia had hijacked our democracy. What he means is that, the Russians, at Putin's direction, had gone into the Democratic National Committee's emails, which were embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton, given them to Wikileaks, Wikileaks then released them to damage Mrs. Clinton and put Trump in the White House."

He noted, "This is a very dramatic narrative and they're saying in Washington that this was an act of war.... So whether or not it's true is existential. Are we at war?"

After studying Russian leadership for 40 years, focusing on Putin in particular, Cohen said it was hard for him believe that the Russian president would have done such a thing.

"I could find not one piece of factual evidence," he said. "The only evidence ever presented was a study hired by the Clintons -- the DNC -- to do an examination of their computers. They [Crowdstrike] concluded the Russians did it. Their report has fallen apart." He added, "Why didn't the FBI do their own investigation?"

Tucker pointed out that even Republicans say that seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies (including Coast Guard Intelligence!) have concluded that Russian intelligence was behind this.

"They say that, but it's bogus," Cohen argued. "When Clapper, the director of national intelligence, signed that report in January, technically he represents all seventeen. I'll bet you a dime to a nickel you couldn't get a guest on, unprepared, who could name ten of them. This figure -- seventeen -- is bogus!"

The professor made one more critical point: "The one agency that could conceivably have done a forensic examination on the Democratic computers is a national security agency," he said.

"We learned from Snowden they're in your computer, mine, our iPhones. Everybody else who signed that report said they were highly confident. The NSA said it was only moderately confident. You don't get married based on moderate confidence! You don't go to war with Russia, you don't stage this theater that is going on in Washington which could destroy a presidency."

He continued: "When they admit that they have no evidence, they fall back on something else which I think is very important. They say Putin directed Russian propaganda at us and helped elect Trump. I don't know about you, Tucker, but I find that insulting -- because the premise they're putting out ... at this hearing is that the American people are zombies. ... It's the premise of democracy that we're democratic citizens," he said. "That we have a B.S. detector in us and we know how to use it."
---------------
Debra Heine is a Catholic, mom of six and long time political pundit. She has written for PJ Media and several blogs including her own, Nice Deb!

Tags: Debra Heine, PJ Media, Professor Stephen Cohen, Not One Piece of Factual Evidence, Russia, 'Hacked the Election' To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump’s FDA Pick Should Let Patients Be Free to Choose

by Bartley J. Madden and Susan E. Dudley: President Trump made an excellent choice in nominating Dr. Scott Gottlieb to be Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Gottlieb, a medical doctor and former FDA deputy commissioner, knows from experience how FDA’s culture and its ever-increasing demands for more extensive clinical testing delay access to life-saving treatments

If confirmed, he has an opportunity to shake up a system that has lost sight of what its goal should be—to help patients receive access to better drugs, sooner, at lower cost.

Rewarding Hesitation
FDA’s primary goal appears to be to avoid risks of adverse side effects from approved drugs. This is the classic reaction to the lopsided incentives FDA faces; if it approves a drug that later shows undesirable side effects, the victims are visible and its officials get dragged before Congress and pilloried in the press.

On the other hand, when it delays approval of a promising drug that could improve patients’ lives, the victims of delay are invisible; patients who die before the drug is available were unaware of its promise. As a result, FDA is rewarded for erring on the side of risk aversion, rather than for making better affordable drugs available to patients as soon as possible.

Before manufacturers can market and patients can benefit from a new drug, FDA requires three phases of clinical trials. These trials can easily take 12 years or longer and cost the sponsoring company $2 billion or more.

The FDA rigidly requires these clinical trials even for drugs, like Marathon Pharmaceutical’s recently approved Deflazacort, that have been used successfully in other countries for years. Not surprisingly, to cover the high costs of clinical testing and FDA approval, manufacturers charge exorbitant prices once a drug is finally allowed on the market.

Simply stated, the FDA has a monopoly on access to new drugs. Biopharmaceutical companies have learned that the best way to profitability is to follow the well-trodden path of incremental change that conforms to clinical testing procedures that give the FDA comfort.

A mindset focused on greater competition, transparency, feedback and learning could greatly improve patient access to life-enhancing pharmaceuticals.

The high costs of the clinical trials favor large pharmaceutical companies while innovative small companies must continually raise capital since they cannot generate revenues from drug sales until they secure FDA approvals. Moreover, investors are not eager to fund radical innovations that face the added risk of uncertain FDA testing demands.

If confirmed, Gottlieb will be in a position to change these incentives and introduce a new regulatory paradigm focused on competition to accelerate innovation, dramatically shorten the time from development to patient access, and sharply reduce the prices for new drugs—all to the ultimate benefit of patients. Rather than settling for the status quo that rewards delayed access and excessive caution, he can promote early access and fast learning.

Free To Choose Medicine
This new mindset is attuned to today’s reality of accelerating medical breakthroughs, big data analytics, personalized medicine with inherently safer drugs tailored to your genetic makeup, and patients’ enthusiasm for sharing data and participating in medical advancements. It also addresses patients’ justifiable moral objections to being sacrificial lambs in clinical trials in which many participants receive a placebo that helps FDA statisticians, but not seriously-ill patients.

A mindset focused on greater competition, transparency, feedback and learning could greatly improve patient access to life-enhancing pharmaceuticals. One of us has offered a proposal that holds particular promise, called “Free To Choose Medicine”; it has three key components:

First, a free to choose track would complement FDA’s existing clinical trial track. This would enable patients, advised by their doctors, to contract with a drug developer to use not-yet-approved drugs after Phase I safety trials are successfully completed and one or more Phase II trials have demonstrated continued safety and initial efficacy.

Free-to-choose drugs could be available seven years earlier than the status quo and fundamentally change the economics of drug developmental costs and drug pricing — to the benefit of patients. In this new, fast-paced, competitive environment, many existing drugs, over time, would face heightened competition thereby forcing prices down. A premium would be placed on scientific skill in developing breakthrough medicines, not skill in dealing with the FDA bureaucracy.

Second, an open access database, managed by an agency such as the National Institutes of Health, would include up-to-date treatment results for free-to-choose drugs, including patients’ genetic makeup and relevant biomarkers. In addition to offering guidance to patients and doctors, the database would be a treasure trove of insights to guide drug developers in making better R&D decisions.

Third, a new type of drug approval is needed based on treatment results (observational data) for real-world patients who receive free-to-choose drugs. This would utilize advancements in big data analytics, incentivize drug developers to participate in the free-to-choose track, and expedite insurance reimbursements.

Back to Gottlieb
Despite his strong qualifications, Gottlieb will face detractors in this partisan political climate, but FDA reform need not be partisan. A system that focuses on patients first, harnesses competition and new data analytics, and rewards innovation and learning is something everyone should be able to agree on.
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Bartley J. Madden and Susan E. Dudley article was shared by The Foundation for Economic Education and reprinted from The Hill.

Tags: President Trump, nominates, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, FRA, reform, Bartley J. Madden, Susan E. Dudley, patentents, free to choose To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Nunes Nonsense, Will Flynn Talk, Cease Fire, Democrats To The Mat

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Nunes Nonsense - Yesterday news broke that two White House officials -- Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis -- had provided documents to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA). Chairman Nunes has said the documents indicate that the Obama Administration monitored the Trump campaign and transition team on matters unrelated to Russia.

In violation of the law, the identities of U.S. citizens were revealed in the intelligence data and widely circulated throughout the government. We know from the Evelyn Farkas interview that this was done intentionally in the hope that it would eventually be leaked and used to undermine the legitimacy of the Trump Administration.

If this can be proven, it would be such an unprecedented abuse of America's national security apparatus that it would make even Richard Nixon blush with shame. Meanwhile, the Trump White House has invited the Democrat and Republican leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to review these documents for themselves.

Not one mainstream media outlet seems willing to even entertain the possibility that there is a major Obama scandal here that could be bigger than Watergate. Instead, Big Media are fixated on how Nunes got his information.

Will Flynn Talk? Washington is buzzing with reports that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is reportedly ready to "spill the beans" on the Trump/Russia connections. The left is so sure that Flynn is guilty and has a really juicy story to tell because his attorney reportedly asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony.

Folks, this is absurd. President Trump supports an immunity deal for Flynn. He tweeted this morning, "Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt . . . of historic proportion!" That doesn't sound like a man who has something to hide.

The president is right -- this is a witch hunt, and Michael Flynn's lawyer would be very smart to request immunity for him. The Senate Intelligence Committee, however, said it would not agree to such an arrangement.

The sad reality for years is that the left has used the criminal justice system to persecute conservatives. Here are a few examples:
By the way, according to the New York Times, Stevens' conviction caused his defeat in 2008 "briefly giving Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, which enabled them to pass the health care law."

Lastly, let's not forget that Lt. Gen. Flynn was himself the victim of a deliberate intelligence leak. Someone should be going to jail for what they did to him. And we still don't know why Lois Lerner refused to talk about the IRS scandal or why Bryan Pagliano refused to talk about Hillary's private server.

Speaking Of Hillary. . . Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) has launched an investigation of Hillary Clinton. Sen. Grassley sent a letter this week to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demanding to know why six key Clinton appointees at the State Department were designated as "research assistants" and allowed to retain their security clearances AFTER Clinton resigned as secretary of state and they left the department with her.

It turns out that these individuals retained their security clearances, which included access to top secret information, during the presidential campaign. Worse, their clearances were not revoked even after FBI Director James Comey had concluded that Hillary and her staff had been "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information."

Grassley has tried several times to get answers to critical questions, but was repeatedly stonewalled while Obama was in office. Maybe now we will finally get some answers.

Cease Fire! All last year, many people underestimated Donald Trump and misunderstood his strategy, including me at times. And since he is the one sitting in the Oval Office today, perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

That said, I am mystified by his tweet yesterday singling out the Freedom Caucus as the problem when it comes to repealing Obamacare.

When the audio of Trump and Billy Bush broke, there was a serious effort to force Trump off the ticket. Laura Ingraham said on Fox News last night that Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's 2012 running mate, was widely believed to have been part of that "dump Trump" effort. (Here, here and here. ) During that political crisis, many Freedom Caucus members closed ranks and defended the party's nominee.

It is to his credit that Donald Trump values loyalty, but what about loyalty here? Going to the mat in defense of Ryancare, while berating the Freedom Caucus, doesn't make sense to me. Ryancare is supported by only 17% of the public. Even Republican voters oppose it by 34 points.

Why is that? Because House leaders have not explained what the good things are in the legislation. The House leadership failed on a fundamental responsibility -- to explain why that alternative would be better.

I don't want to oversimplify the complex issues involved here. Obamacare must be repealed. That may require time and a complicated process nobody likes. But for that to happen, to at least get the process of repeal started, the Republican Party must be unified. The circular firing squad must stop.

Democrats Go To The Mat - Democrats are going to the mat to block the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch. Desperate to justify their unprecedented obstructionism, Democrats are spreading lies about "standards for confirmation" and the filibuster.

According to the latest count, 37 Senate Democrats are opposed to Gorsuch's confirmation -- just four votes short of the number needed to sustain a filibuster. So far, only two Democrats -- Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) -- are on the record in favor of confirming Judge Gorsuch.

This is not a fight we can afford to lose. Nor should we. Only 37% of Americans support the left's attempt to deny Judge Gorsuch a vote in the Senate.

ACTION ITEM: If you haven't already done so, please click here now to send a message urging your senators to oppose Chuck Schumer's filibuster of Judge Neil Gorsuch. If you have emailed your senators, call them at 202-224-3121.

It is especially important for Republican senators to hear from conservatives that there should be no "gangs" or backroom deals this time. If Democrats filibuster, Republicans must invoke the "Reid Rule" to ensure that a simple majority vote is all that is needed to confirm Judge Gorsuch.
----------------
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, Nunes Nonsense, Will Flynn Talk, Cease Fire, Democrats To The Mat To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Very Difficult To Find Any Candidate For SCOTUS Better Than Neil Gorsuch

Judge Neil Gorsuch
Judge Gorsuch ‘Masterful,’ A ‘Mainstream Nominee,’ ‘Exactly The Kind Of Jurist We Need On The Supreme Court’

SEN. COLLINS: ‘He Is Eminently Well Qualified To Serve On Our Nation's Highest Court’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “David Frederick — a longtime Democrat and board member of the left-leaning American Constitution Society … may have summed it up best in a recent Washington Post op-ed. ‘The Senate should confirm [Gorsuch],’ Frederick wrote, ‘because there is no principled reason to vote no.’ No principled reason to oppose him—none. As this American Constitution Society member says, there is not one single principled reason to oppose Judge Gorsuch, so it makes sense that Democrats can’t come up with a single substantive reason to oppose him either.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 3/30/2017)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “The world had a chance to see--and certainly all of America--during the 20 hours that Judge Gorsuch testified before the Judiciary Committee that he is a superb nominee. He is a person with a brilliant legal mind…. I believe he is one of the most qualified nominees in recent history, to be sure…” (Sen. Cornyn, Congressional Record, S.2019, 3/28/2017)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): “I shall cast my vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch to be a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. …my conclusion is that he is eminently well qualified to serve on our Nation's highest Court…. If it can be said that Judge Gorsuch would bring a philosophy to the Supreme Court, it would be his respect for the rule of law and his belief that no one is above the law, including any President or any Senator. I am convinced that Judge Gorsuch does not rule according to his personal views, but rather follows the facts and the law wherever they lead him…” (Sen. Collins, Congressional Record, S.2021, 3/28/2017)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “We are looking for mainstream judges with the right temperament and the right philosophy, and that is what Judge Gorsuch has proven time and again in the Tenth Circuit Court--that temperament that we need on the highest Court…. From his opinions, it is clear that Judge Gorsuch is a mainstream nominee who understands the importance of putting personal beliefs aside and applying the law as written. This is why George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley argued that Judge Gorsuch shouldn't be penalized for his past opinions. As he said, ‘the jurisprudence reflect, not surprisingly, a jurist who crafts his decisions very close to the text of a statute and, in my view, that is no vice for a federal judge.’” (Sen. Gardner, Congressional Record, S.2031-2032, 3/28/2017)

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): “Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, I would venture to say that it would be very difficult to find any candidate for the Supreme Court in this century who is any better than Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is going to apply the law as written, not as he conjures up his ideas of what it should be. He is not going to do that. He is going to apply the law as written. He did that as a circuit court of appeals judge on the Tenth Circuit, my circuit. You would be hard-pressed to find a better qualified person. In fact, I do not think you could find a better qualified person for the Supreme Court than Neil Gorsuch. So what is all the whining about? They lost the election.” (Sen. Hatch, Congressional Record, S.2058, 3/29/2017)

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): “Last week the Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, held a week-long series of hearings concerning Judge Gorsuch’s nomination. After listening to the judge’s flawless testimony, after listening to him answer questions from my colleagues for days on end, I am even more convinced than ever that he is exactly the kind of jurist we need on the Supreme Court of the United States.” (Sen. Lee, Congressional Record, S.2063, 3/29/2017)

·         SEN. LEE: “Last week, over and over, Judge Gorsuch affirmed… that it is his job as a judge to interpret and apply the law—not to make it, not to establish policy, but to apply that policy which has already been placed into law by the legislative branch. When you are reading law, the text matters. Our laws consist of words and each word matters. If the law leads to an uncomfortable outcome for the parties, for politicians, or for anyone else in our society, then, it is our job as a Congress—or if it is State law at issue, it is the job of a State legislature—to get the policy right, to fix the policy problem at issue. The judge’s job is to go where the law leads the judge, not to correct the law.” (Sen. Lee, Congressional Record, S.2063-4, 3/29/2017)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “[T]hroughout the hearings last week, Judge Gorsuch proved that he has the knowledge, he has the temperament, and he has the experience to serve on our Nation's highest Court…. Judge Gorsuch said: ‘I have one client, it's the law.’ It is not the little guy. It is not the big guy. It is not the medium-size guy: It is the law. He was asked over and over: Are you going to find for the little guy or the big guy? Well, that is not the judge's job. The judge's job is to read the law so both the little guy and the big guy know when they are in court that this is a country where the rule of law matters.” (Sen. Blunt, Congressional Record, S.2022, 3/28/2017)

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): “Judge Gorsuch understands the proper role of a judge, and that role is to interpret the law, not make the law; to judge, not legislate; to call balls and strikes, not to rewrite the rules of the game…. ‘A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge,’ Judge Gorsuch said more than once. Why? Because a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is likely making decisions based on something other than the law. That is a problem. Equal justice under the law, equal protection under the law--these principles become meaningless when judges step outside of their role and start changing the meaning of the law to suit their feelings about a case or their personal opinions.” (Sen. Thune, Congressional Record, S.2028, 3/28/2017)

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “Mr. Gorsuch may be one of the most remarkably talented nominees in a long, long time … [A]s we approach the vote next week on Neil Gorsuch on the floor of the Senate, … overwhelming Senate tradition requires that whether to approve it should be decided by a majority vote and there should be no attempt by the minority to filibuster the nomination, especially of such a qualified man.” (Sen. Alexander, Congressional Record, S.2036-2038, 3/28/2017)

SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R-ID): “Let’s talk about what Judge Gorsuch testified to under oath. Despite repeated efforts to get him to make commitments about how he would rule or how he would reshape social policy, on his first day, he gave no fewer than eight assurances that he follows the law as a judge. By my count, on the second day, he gave at least 36 assurances that he looks to the law for his rulings. On the third day, it was 29 more times that he was asked and again repeated that he would look to the law for his rulings. That is right. He said at least 73 times that he is committed to the law when he hears a case as a sitting Federal judge. Still, several of my colleagues worried that he had a secret agenda to overturn longstanding legal precedence. Just in case there are some confused, Judge Gorsuch mentioned no fewer than 97 times in these 3 days that he follows precedent as a judge, as he is bound to do. More than 160 times, Judge Gorsuch reminded the Senate and the American public what a proper jurist does: follows the law and the precedent. We even talked about the book he coauthored titled ‘The Law of Judicial Precedent’—942 pages of dedication to following precedent. Maybe the title of the book was confusing to some. During his oral testimony, he said he was dedicated to ‘rul[ing] as the law requires,’ ‘reading the language of the statute as a ‘reasonable person’ would understand it,’ and ‘respect[ing] precedent.’ Just to put all such questions to rest, he assured everyone that he is ‘without secret agenda. None.’ In reviewing his record, it is clear that those who come before Judge Gorsuch receive equal treatment under the law.” (Sen. Crapo, Congressional Record, S.2073, 3/29/2017)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): “[Judge Gorsuch] is also a guy who knows how to find common ground. Listen to these numbers: 97 percent of the cases he has decided were unanimous decisions with the other two judges on the panel. Typically, as you know, these are judges who have been appointed by Presidents who are Republican and Democrat. Finally, he has been in dissent less than 2 percent of the time. So this is a guy who 97 percent of the time is unanimous, and 2 percent of the time he is in dissent. Out of the more than 180 opinions he has written as a judge—180 opinions—only one had ever been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court from the circuit court, and, by the way, that one was affirmed. So this is a guy who clearly knows how to build a consensus, bring people together, and that is needed right now.” (Sen. Portman, Congressional Record, S.2073, 3/29/2017)

SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA): “[Judge Gorsuch’s] testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee was masterful. It absolutely convinced me that he is the man for this job. Judge Gorsuch listened to questions, carefully responded thoughtfully, and he gave an indication into his own demeanor that he would use in the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch listened to questions carefully over and over. He illustrated the ability to show a balance of judgment, which is what we look for in a lifetime appointment like this. He made it abundantly clear that the role of the judicial branch is to interpret—not to make law but to interpret the law.” (Sen. Perdue, Congressional Record, S.2079, 3/29/2017)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “In this body in 2006, he was put on the Tenth Circuit, a circuit that Oklahoma happens to be in. There was a unanimous vote in the Senate in 2006 for him to join the Tenth Circuit. He was seen as a consistent, solid, mainstream, fair judge. That means Senator Joe Biden voted for him. Hillary Clinton voted for him. Chuck Schumer voted for him. Barack Obama voted for him in 2006. After going through all of his background leading up to this point, since that time, what has happened? Did he leave the mainstream during that time period after he was overwhelmingly voted here, unanimously out of the Senate, to be on the Tenth Circuit? Well, since that time, he has been a part of 2,700 cases in the last decade. Of those 2,700 cases, 97 percent of them were unanimous. In 99 percent of the cases, he was in the majority in those opinions. Only 1 percent of the time he was not in the majority of the decision.” (Sen. Lankford, Congressional Record, S.2079, 3/29/2017)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “The American people want judges who are smart, who are principled, who are fair, and who know that their job is to follow the law, not write the law. The American people know that Neil Gorsuch is exactly that kind of judge, and that is the kind of judge who we should have on the Supreme Court and on every court of the land.” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S.2082, 3/29/2017)

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): “Character and temperament are extremely important—actually, essential—characteristics for a judge or a Justice. I have heard nobody criticize the character or temperament of Judge Gorsuch, whatsoever. In fact, he has only gotten glowing praise about both his integrity, his character, his temperament, and the way he treats people in his courtroom and throughout his life.” (Sen. Toomey, Congressional Record, S.2082, 3/29/2017)

·         SEN. TOOMEY: “Here is what I think. I really think there are two unpardonable offenses in the minds of our friends and colleagues who are opposing Neil Gorsuch’s nomination. The first is that Judge Gorsuch believes in the rule of law. … I think the second one was that he was nominated by Donald Trump. We have folks in this Chamber who don’t seem to be able to accept that they lost an election, and they are reflexively opposing whatever it is President Trump wants, and apparently they intend for that opposition to continue indefinitely.” (Sen. Toomey, Congressional Record, S.2087-8, 3/29/2017)

Tags: Candidate For SCOTUS, Neil Gorsuch To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Secular America

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: America is turning more into a secular society. But this post-Christian nation has not turned into a kinder, more tolerant place to live.

Peter Beinart, writing in The Atlantic, reminds us that a vast majority of Americans still believe in God, but they are fleeing organized religion in increasing numbers. The percentage of people with no religious affiliation jumped from 6 percent in 1992 to 22 percent in 2014. Among Millennials, the figure is 35 percent.

Many secular people would have predicted that this trend would end the culture wars and lead to greater harmony in society. Just the opposite has happened. “Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But it’s also making America’s partisan clashes more brutal.

Non-church goers have adopted a bleak view of America, more so than their churchgoing peers. He wonders: “Has the absence of church made their lives worse? Or are people with troubled lives more likely to stop attending services in the first place? Establishing causation is difficult, but we know that culturally conservative white Americans who are disengaged from church, experience less economic success and more family breakdown than those who remain connected, and they grow more pessimistic and resentful.

I think you could make the case that without the peaceful influence of the Christian faith, Americans gravitate to a darker view of the country and of other citizens. Trust and civility decline, while anger and animosity increase.

We should not be surprised that as many Americans leave the church and organized religion that the conflicts in society are intensifying rather than diminishing.
-----------
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Secular America, conflicts, Peter Beinart, The Atlantic To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Freedom Caucus Is an Ally, Not an Enemy in Draining the Swamp

by Genevieve Wood: President Donald Trump’s tweet that it’s the House Freedom Caucus that “we must fight” shows there may be a little confusion about what “draining the swamp” means or, at the very least, what it looks like.
I thought draining the swamp meant changing the culture not just in Washington, but of Washington. I thought it meant putting an end to business as usual, making deals behind closed doors, and the mentality that Washington knows best.

I thought it meant politicians would start doing what they promised voters they would do.

I truly thought that lawmakers fresh from the 2016 election, in particular Republicans, would do their due diligence in draining the swamp by getting rid of the government regulations and mandates forced on individuals and businesses in an effort to run more and more of our lives.

But, perhaps I was wrong.

Because if that is what draining the swamp looks like, then the House Freedom Caucus should be considered a loyal and reliable ally in that battle, not the enemy. It is a part of the solution, not the problem.

Republicans in Congress and running for Congress promised for seven years to repeal Obamacare. Candidate Trump changed the mantra to “repeal and replace.”

Fine. But if you promise to do both, then you have to do both.

The best strategy to do both would have been to repeal Obamacare first, as Republicans had agreed on before, and then debate in an open process the new reforms (the replace parts) that would improve our health care system from where it was even before Obamacare became the law of the land.

There was precedent for doing it this way. In early 2016, then-President Barack Obama vetoed a bill that repealed Obamacare—a bill overwhelmingly supported by the Republican-led House and Senate.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the former Freedom Caucus chairman, reintroduced this bill and encouraged GOP leaders to use it instead.

Meanwhile, weeks before GOP leaders unveiled their flawed American Health Care Act, the Freedom Caucus officially threw its support behind conservative health care reform legislation introduced by Paul and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

From that moment in mid-February, it was clear where House conservatives stood on the matter of replacing Obamacare.

But congressional GOP leadership, perhaps at the urging of the White House, decided they wanted to do it differently.

OK, fine. But the way they went about doing it was to pull out the old Washington playbook.

Draft the bill behind closed doors first. Then hold hearings on a compressed (and, frankly, artificial) timeline so that lawmakers are allowed little opportunity to read and understand the bill, offer amendments or debate, discuss and work out compromises among their colleagues.

And lawmakers certainly won’t have time to have a conversation with their constituents about how the bill will affect them and get their feedback.

When all was said and done, the bill was more replace than repeal.

Yes, it capped federal Medicaid spending. Good. However, though Obamacare had expanded it, Medicaid was not a new program. So, that was more “reform” than “repeal.”

But new federal regulations, such as the essential benefits and preventative care mandates, which made up the architecture and web of Obamacare and were the primary drivers of higher premiums, were left in place.

At the end of the day, the legislation did not repeal the parts of Obamacare that had expanded the role of government in its takeover of the private health care market.

Here’s what you’re not hearing from GOP leadership or the White House: Freedom Caucus members wanted to get to “yes”—even more than their centrist Republican colleagues. Conservatives were even willing to swallow some of the bad policy in the American Health Care Act.

But neither GOP leadership nor the White House would budge on the disastrous Obamacare regulations that are driving up your premiums.

And that is Washington as usual. It’s OK to tinker with the financing of government programs as long as the government remains in control of said programs—in this case, in control of what makes up private insurance plans.

And that is why those who support draining the swamp should be thankful the House Freedom Caucus played a role in stopping what Republican Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie labeled #SwampCare.
Even now, as Freedom Caucus members try to collaborate with centrist Republicans, they’re getting unfairly blamed by Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump. In fact, one of Trump’s closest House allies, Rep. Chris Collins of New York, had this advice about working with the Freedom Caucus: “If that call comes in just hang up.”

GOP centrists seem to be following that advice. After a productive meeting between six centrists and six conservatives earlier this week, the centrists abruptly canceled a follow-up discussion.

We also know that at least 17 centrist Republicans were on the record in opposition of the bill. Had the bill come to a vote, that number could’ve doubled given the unpopularity of the legislation and lingering concerns among centrists.

So why is GOP leadership blaming the Freedom Caucus?

After all, conservatives were doing what they promised voters: repeal Obamacare. Presented with a flawed bill, they tried to make it better—even if it meant major compromises.

Their reward? Facing the scorn of a Trump tweet.

One thing is clear: There are too many Republicans who would prefer to keep Obamacare rather than repeal it, and those claiming they want to “drain the swamp” need to figure out, and figure out fast, what that means.

Let’s applaud the Freedom Caucus, and certainly not fight it.
--------------------
Genevieve Wood (@genevievewood) advances policy priorities of The Heritage Foundation as senior contributor to The Daily Signal.

Tags: House Freedom Caucus, an ally, not an enemy, draining the swamp, Heritage Foundation, Genevieve Wood, the Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pence Casts Tie-Breaking Vote to Reverse Obama Rule on Planned Parenthood

by John McCormack: Late in the Obama administration, the Department of Health and Human Services enacted a rule to stop states from defunding Planned Parenthood. On Thursday afternoon, the Senate voted 51-50 to overturn that rule.

The effort to reverse the Obama administration's rule was led in the Senate by Joni Ernst of Iowa, and all of her fellow Republicans, except Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, supported the measure. All Democrats opposed it, so Vice President Mike Pence cast a vote to break the 50-50 tie.

To pass the measure, Republicans utilized the Congressional Review Act, which allows a simple majority in the Senate to repeal executive rules (rather than the typical 60 votes required to break a filibuster).

Efforts to defund Planned Parenthood gained momentum in 2015 after undercover videos revealed that the organization was involved in selling the body parts of aborted human beings to biotech companies. That year, the Senate utilized another process to bypass the filibuster (known as budget reconciliation) to pass a bill for the first time ever redirecting Planned Parenthood's federal funding to community health centers.

The House reconciliation bill that was pulled from a vote last week also included the provision to defund Planned Parenthood. But even if Congress can't come to an agreement on replacing Obamacare, there's no reason it can't use reconciliation to defund Planned Parenthood this year, as pro-life groups are urging Congress to do.

When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was asked this week about using a government-funding bill, which must be passed by April 28 but can be filibustered by the Senate minority, to defund Planned Parenthood, Ryan said: "We think reconciliation is the tool because that gets it into law. Reconciliation is the way to go."
----------------
John McCormack is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

Added by ARRA news Service Editor:

Tags: Vice President, Mike Pence, cast, tie-breaking vote, reverse, Obama rule, defunding, Planned parenthood, John McCormack, The Weekly Standard To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Statue Of Lunacy . . .

. . . Sanctuary city mayors across the country demonstrate a reckless disregard for the law and the safety their own citizens for political correctness and more votes.

 Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, State of Lunacy, sanctuary cities, mayors, disregard, law and order, safety of citizens, political correctness, more votes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

From Brexit to Calexit

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: When last we touched upon the strangely over-the-top Californian reaction to the Trump presidency, the secession movement, I took the occasion to bring up the rather less radical separatists in the north. “Already 21 of the 23 northernmost counties,” I wrote, “have made declarations to form the State of Jefferson.”

But now there is a new wrinkle.

“Former UKip leader Nigel Farage and Leave backer Arron Banks recently helped raise $1 million for Calexit, which would split California into eastern and western regions,” we learn from the Daily Mail and the World Tribune. Banks, citing the high disapproval ratings Californians give their government, said that “he and Farage wanted to show people in California ‘how to light a fire and win’ the Calexit referendum.”

Their proposal is distinct from complete secession. It would amount to a California split, with the west coast (Los Angeles and north to the border) splitting off from the rest of the state. This would form an East California and a West California.

Politically, this might appease the conservatives and moderates who live in more rural east and Southern California, especially since they are coming to increasingly despise Left Coast “liberals” (read: progressives). Whom they not implausibly blame for ruining the state.

But it leaves some Jefferson secessionists stuck with those “liberals.” This, if an oversight, is a big one. Would this not doom the scheme?

While the failed initiative effort of 2014 to split the state into six separate states was far too complicated to wrap one’s head around, the new Calexit effort seems too . . . simple.

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, Brexit, Calexit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

4 Things That Ought To Be In Any Obamacare Replacement To Reduce Costs

by Robert Romano: It looks like the House debate on how to replace Obamacare is open again, with pressure mounting on conservative members to support the legislation proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Before members rush ahead, however, given the current pause in the bill's passage, this appears an opportune moment to note a few of the major shortcomings in the legislation's current iteration, and potential changes that would improve it dramatically.

1) Get rid of the 30 percent premium hike for 12 months for those whose insurance lapses 63 days. The House-proposed legislation included this new mandate that looks too much like the individual mandate and will be used by the left and the right to hammer members for raising premium rates, particularly on the uninsured. When rates go up, Republicans will get blamed for the government-mandated penalty, and this provision will loom large. Moreover, it does nothing to incentivize uninsured to go out and buy insurance, since by definition insurance will always be more expensive if you've been uninsured for a sufficiently long time.

2) Go across state lines. Instead, the way to incentivize more people to buy insurance is to cut consumer prices, by allowing purchase of insurance across state lines, creating a national market for insurance and much larger, likely regional risk pools. This was major campaign promise by Republicans in 2016 including President Donald Trump.

3) Get rid of much of the insurance regulations. In a similar vein, and to inspire competition in the new, national insurance market, consumers should be allowed to purchase plans that cover less than other plans, if they choose, ranging from catastrophic-only plans at the bottom of the spectrum, for example to covering chiropractors at the high-end. Individuals will purchase what they think they and their families can afford, and what they need. By reducing via regulation what must be covered, cheaper options will become available via certain states that are less regulated, thanks to going across state lines, and consumers in more expensive states can buy plans in cheaper states if they want. This will, create real competition and prices will come down.

4) Break up American Medical Association monopoly on medical schools and personnel. To help ease costs particularly on Medicaid (which an increasing number of seniors depend on for long-term care), more medical personnel are urgently needed. By 2027, there will be about 67.5 million seniors, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections. If they keep using long-term care at the same rate as 2012, then the number of patients will increase to 13.4 million, with about 7 million using Medicaid. By 2037, there will be 80 million seniors, with 16 million on long-term care, and about 8 million using Medicaid. So, in 10 years, the nation will need about 6.1 million senior long-term care workers. To keep up with demand, then, our nation's universities will need to churn out an additional 2.3 million from what we have today. And in 20 years, 7.3 million senior care workers will be needed, 3.5 million more than we have today. By allowing more universities to teach medicine, we can fill that gap in rapidly, something that needs to happen over the next 10 years.

While by no means comprehensive, for example this memo does not address Medicaid expansion provisions in Obamacare or costly tax credits, these are a few market mechanisms that might help to bring costs down, the goal of this exercise. Because, if prices come down, there is no need for taxpayer-subsidized insurance.
----------------
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, 4 things, Obamacare replacement, reduce costs 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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  • 6/28/15 - 7/5/15
  • 7/5/15 - 7/12/15
  • 7/12/15 - 7/19/15
  • 7/19/15 - 7/26/15
  • 7/26/15 - 8/2/15
  • 8/2/15 - 8/9/15
  • 8/9/15 - 8/16/15
  • 8/16/15 - 8/23/15
  • 8/23/15 - 8/30/15
  • 8/30/15 - 9/6/15
  • 9/6/15 - 9/13/15
  • 9/13/15 - 9/20/15
  • 9/20/15 - 9/27/15
  • 9/27/15 - 10/4/15
  • 10/4/15 - 10/11/15
  • 10/11/15 - 10/18/15
  • 10/18/15 - 10/25/15
  • 10/25/15 - 11/1/15
  • 11/1/15 - 11/8/15
  • 11/8/15 - 11/15/15
  • 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
  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
  • 2/7/16 - 2/14/16
  • 2/14/16 - 2/21/16
  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
  • 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
  • 9/4/16 - 9/11/16
  • 9/11/16 - 9/18/16
  • 9/18/16 - 9/25/16
  • 9/25/16 - 10/2/16
  • 10/2/16 - 10/9/16
  • 10/9/16 - 10/16/16
  • 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
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 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
  • 3/26/17 - 4/2/17
  • 4/2/17 - 4/9/17
  • 4/9/17 - 4/16/17
  • 4/16/17 - 4/23/17