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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, September 20, 2013

Obama Administration Threaten One of Americas Greatest Resources | House Calls For Defunding Obamacare

Today in Washington, D.C. - Sept. 20, 2013
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene at 2 PM on Monday. On Tuesday, a vote is scheduled on the nomination of Todd M. Hughes to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit.  Yesterday, the Senate voted 97-2 to pass H.R. 527, the Helium Stewardship Act, as amended.

The House reconvened at 9 AM. They moved quickly to the vote on the C.R< and passed (230-189) H.J. Res. 59 — "Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes." The House C.R. would continue funding government operations through mid-December (3 months) while withholding funding for the Affordable Health Care Act, aka, Obamacare. The C.R. would fund federal agencies at an annualized rate of more than $986 billion and leaves in place automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, set to take effect in January. It prohibits any funding to implement the health-care law and authorizes the Treasury to pay some bills but not others if an agreement is not reached in October on increasing the debt limit.

However, Sen. Harry Reid vows to strip out the defunding of Obamacare in their C.R. version and to return the C.R. to the House. Sen. Ted Cruz and others have verbally committed to filibuster Reid's efforts. Note again that this C.R. funds the government except for funding continuance of Obamacare. President Obama has sworn to veto any C.R. not funding his signature Obamacare legislation. In other words, he would shut down the government if he doesn't get his way.

Congress must pass a new short-term budget agreement by Sept. 30 or risk shutting down the federal government. Contained in the C.R. was an amendment by Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise to defund and delay President Obama’s health care law and protect the nation’s credit rating. The Scalise Amendment protects the nation’s credit rating by incorporating an amended version of the House-passed Full Faith and Credit Act.

Before adjourning the House also passed (244-173) H.R. 1526 - "To restore employment and educational opportunities in, and improve the economic stability of, counties containing National Forest System land, while also reducing Forest Service management costs, by ensuring that such counties have a dependable source of revenue from National Forest System land, to provide a temporary extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, and for other purposes." Also known as the House Continuing Resolution.

The House adjourned at 1:30 PM and will reconvene at 11 AM on Monday. Yesterday the House passed (217-210) H.R. 3102 — "To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008; and for other purposes."

ALG President Nathan Mehrens has issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate to support a continuing resolution, H.J. Res. 59 as amended, that will defund implementation of the health care law: "The message for the Senate is very simple: If you vote to fund Obamacare via the continuing resolution, you will own the health care law. If you vote against a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare, you will own it, too.  . . . The American people will make no distinction between those who are overtly in favor of the health care law, and those who obstructed the only plan that might have gotten rid of it. That is the choice facing every senator. That is the political reality.

"If you're not in favor of stopping Obamacare before it goes into effect, you're in favor of it. You're in favor of the destruction of the 40-hour work week. You're in favor of dismantling the best health care system in the world. You're in favor of knocking people off their health coverage of choice and forcing them onto government-run, taxpayer-funded insurance. The American people do not want this, and it is time for the Senate to finally stand with them."

This is our last chance to get rid of the health care law before it goes into effect. The last chance to defund in full the Medicaid expansion and the insurance subsidies under the state exchanges. The last chance to prevent the destruction of the 40-hour work week. The last chance to keep the best health care system in the world, and keep you on your insurance policy of choice.

Use CapWiz and Urge Your Senators to Defund Obamacare once and for all!

The Obama Administration Threatens to ruin access to one of the largest God Given Resources we have in America - COAL.
Politico reports today, “The Obama administration is preparing to draw a red line against coal . . . . The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule . . . fulfills a key promise to President Barack Obama’s environmental base — while offering a potent line of attack for Republicans in 2014. . . . The White House-vetted proposal would impose strict pollution standards requiring future coal-burning plants to capture and store at least 40 percent their carbon emissions, according to information provided to POLITICO late Thursday. . . . Obama’s critics say the emerging technology is too expensive and amounts to a ban on building coal plants. . . . The rule is the first of two major climate regulations that EPA has in the works. A second, more sweeping draft rule due in June will take aim at carbon pollution from the nation’s thousands of existing power plants — the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. . . . Environmental groups have long been pushing Obama to take this kind of action, while Republican lawmakers and coal industry supporters have warned it would boost both energy prices and unemployment.

“‘The President is leading a war on coal and what that really means for Kentucky families is a war on jobs,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement late Thursday, as details of the proposal began to leak out. ‘And the announcement by the EPA is another back door attempt by President Obama to fulfill his long-term commitment to shut down our nation’s coal mines.’”

The AP adds, “Despite some tweaks, the rule packs the same punch as one announced last year, which was widely criticized by industry and by Republicans as effectively banning any new coal-fired power plants. That's because to meet the standard, new coal-fired power plants would need to install expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide and bury it underground. No coal-fired power plant has done that yet, in large part because of the cost. . . . ‘It is clear that the EPA is continuing to move forward with a strategy that will write off our huge, secure, affordable coal resources by essentially outlawing the construction of new coal plants,’ said Bruce Josten, the vice president for government affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

Many reports have highlighted how the Obama EPA’s war on coal will hurt jobs in coal country. Politico notes “EPA’s proposal would put the squeeze on coal” and “With scores of older coal plants expected to close in the next several years, that would be yet another hit to a coal mining industry that is hemorrhaging jobs in states like West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.” Even at Ezra Klein’s liberal Washington Post blog, Brad Plumer wonders, “Will coal survive the EPA’s new carbon rules?” Plumer says, “In theory, this could mean a moratorium on all new coal plants for decades to come.” The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote last week, “Proposed regulations for new power plants could slam a door that's already closing fast for the reeling coal industry, industry officials and experts said Thursday. . . . Pennsylvania is the country's second-biggest electric power generator and has more than 7 percent of the country's coal miners. Some of them could be in jeopardy, industry officials said. Carbon capture could spell coal's death because that technology isn't economical yet, said George Ellis, a lobbyist who leads the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance in Harrisburg. ‘The president is legislating through regulatory bodies,’ said Lynn Seay, spokeswoman at Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc., which saw its stock drop 1.7 percent to $34.56 per share Thursday. ‘This is a dangerous and unnecessary action at a time when the U.S. continues to sluggishly inch toward economic recovery.’” And Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, told the Charleston Gazette, “It's not going to be pretty. . . . I'm sure about that.”

USA Today adds, “The coal industry says the EPA's proposed rule, if enacted, will lead to more coal plant closures and higher electric bills. It ‘would cause consumers’ power bills to skyrocket over time and cause more pain at the plug than Americans have experienced at the pump,’ St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company, said in a statement.”

Recall that when President Obama first ran for president, he told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Under my plan . . . electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket . . . . That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.” When the president announced these EPA rules in June, The Washington Post wrote that the plan “will raise consumers' electricity prices in the short term” and a few days later a White House climate adviser bluntly told The New York Times, “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.”

Reacting to the EPA’s official announcement today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The President's decision today is an escalation of the War on Coal and what that really means for Kentucky families is an escalation of his War on Jobs and the Kentucky economy. This is another attempt by the President to fulfill his long-term commitment to shut down our nation’s coal mines. Sadly, it does not come as a shock given his failed attempt at getting Congress to pass a cap and tax bill designed to hike utility rates and bankrupt the coal industry. The President's allies in the Senate Democrat Leadership obstructed my attempt to pass the Saving Coal Jobs Act yesterday. However, I will file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating EPA rule.”

Tags: President Obama, War on Coal, U.S. House, Continuing Resolution, Defunds Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:05 PM - Post Link


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