Friday, January 30th, 2015 by Ericka Andersen and is filed under Blog, Immigration
You would think a bill with “border security” in the title would be a surefire win with conservative Members of Congress. But, it’s easy to give a bill a deceptive name that doesn’t truly reflect it’s full intentions.
That’s exactly the case with Rep. Michael McCaul’s “Secure our Borders First” (H.R 399). Sounds great, but doesn’t do nearly enough to begin fixing America’s massive immigration problem.
As conservatives Members huddle in talks in the newly minted House Freedom Caucus, so too do establishment Republicans hell bent on keeping their agenda afloat. But transparency is the key to all things government so let’s talk about what this “border security” bill really is.
The border security provisions in the bill aren’t bad ideas, they’re just not good enough. More moderate Republicans like McCaul and his supporters aren’t committed to crafting hardcore immigration legislation that substantively combats Obama’s awful policies.
Sen. Jeff Sessions has been a vocal opponent of the bill and a voice for conservatives in the fight to do more, noting how little McCaul’s bill does to tackle Obama’s amnesty policies, which are the main issue at stake now. Sessions has said:
Surely, Congress must not allow the president a single dime to carry out an illegal order that Congress has rejected and which supplants the laws Congress has passed.
The opposition is gathering steam. A vote on the bill was pushed back from this week. GOP leadership claimed it was due to inclement weather but insiders believe they feared a lack of support. So, they are likely scrambling behind the scenes now, attempting to rally more Members to support the bill before moving forward.
The bill did pass last week in the House Homeland Security Committee, which McCaul chairs, but it’s anyone’s guess whether they can gain needed support in the House now. As one conservative member, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said, it’s a “show horse, not a work horse.”
Are GOP leaders trying to fool the American people into thinking they’re actually doing something? Americans certainly expect that they will make bold moves on this issue, considering they just elected a GOP majority in both houses with these very reforms in mind.
The bottom line is this: The GOP needs to stop trying to prove their doing something — and actually DO it. This issue will affect our country for a long time to come and it’s worth heading back to the drawing board and presenting something with true, lasting value that will put us back on the right track.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, Elections, Family Values, Uncategorized
We all know them. In fact, every election cycle, they woo us with campaign trail promises that they will go to Washington, D.C. and be champions for the conservative cause. However, when they get to Capitol Hill the excuses begin: the time is not right, you don’t understand the process, etc. On and on the well worn excuses go, more smoothly with each use as the power of incumbency sets in and the very folks who elected these people are left scratching their heads in frustration.
Who are these two-faced politicians?
They are #ConvenientConservatives who know exactly what it takes to get elected and have no intention of ever fulfilling their campaign promises.
In fact, as we have noted before, many Republican candidates won in 2014 running on conservative issues: the repeal of Obamacare, halting illegal amnesty, defending life, lowering taxes, etc.
The problem is, very few of them actually intended to go to Washington and fulfill their promises. There are reasons for this. The chief amongst them is many campaigns are poll tested for messaging. In other words, campaigns and candidates know what the voters want to hear often before campaigns are even launched.
Two, those who decide elections have loyally followed the GOP thinking they are the party of limited government and social conservatism and these activists work overtime to get them elected.
Yet charts like this one from the Heritage Foundation beg the question: if the GOP is the party of limited government, why has government grown so much during an era when the GOP has dominated control of the House of Representatives, the chamber from which all fiscal bills originate?
While the above is a sobering reminder, electing more and more conservatives should be encouraging to those who believe that “a government that governs best governs least.”
And they are not alone in their beliefs. A majority of Americans agree with conservatives that Obamacare is not our healthcare solution, that illegal immigration must be stopped (some polls even have Hispanics supporting efforts against illegal immigration at 66% to 21%), that a reduction in taxes is the path forward and that we must oppose abortion in all or most cases.
Could it be that the majority of Americans really are conservatives? Does the silent majority still exist in America today? We believe it does and therefore the electoral math is simple, isn’t it? Run on a platform of 1) Repeal Obamacare 2) Stop amnesty 3) Reduce taxes and 4) Run as a Pro-Lifer and statistically, you’ll have a greater chance of winning (gerrymandered districts not withstanding).
As noted above, however, the GOP Establishment has become a professional spin machine as it advances the cause of its corporate friends on the backs of the grassroots who elect them every cycle, all the while pacifying them with empty promises and throw away lines.
Lock stop with the GOP leadership are these #ConvenientConservatives like Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC). Elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, Ellmers ran as a comprehensive conservative. She was going to Washington, D.C. to take on career politicians, to buck the GOP leadership, to reduce taxes, limit the overreach of government and fight for family values.
At face value, it would appear that she has done much of that. One loses track of how many times she has voted to fully repeal Obamacare on the floor of the House. These votes mean nothing, though. They are show votes. Whether she is a willing participant in the scam or a backbencher looking to please leadership, none of these votes to repeal Obamacare meant anything (nor will they in the future).
However, on the votes that really matter, Ellmers has not only voted to fund Obamacare, she has voted for abortion loopholes for Planned Parenthood.
How, you ask, has she pulled this off under the noses of her conservative constituents and grassroots supporters?
It’s simple, really.
She voted yes on the $1.1 Trillion Omnibus and Cromnibus spending bills just this past December. While most conservatives are watching the shiny objects like full repeal bills that will never go anywhere legislatively, Ellmers is voting for the $1.1 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill that not only increases the base discretionary spending to $24 billion, it continues funding failing government programs. It also contains a loophole that could allow Obamacare subsidies to fund abortions.
After having read the above, ask yourself: is Renee Ellmers a conservative? She clearly goes out of her way to message like she is. Her voting record on the real bills (not the shiny object ones) indicates that she is not.
As for immigration, Ellmers ran on a strong, cookie cutter conservative platform. She was going to work to secure the borders and fight amnesty. But again, when the rubber hit the road, she voted for the Cromnibus that did nothing to defund President Obama’s executive amnesty that was tied to the Department of Homeland Security funding. Ellmers and her apologists will retort that two weeks ago she voted to send a House bill that defunded amnesty to the Senate.
It passed. And it was a shiny object and an easy vote.
The GOP leadership in the House knows full well that the Aderholt Amendment that defunds amnesty will be stripped out in the Senate and a bill that does nothing to defund amnesty (and frankly, may advance amnesty) will be returned to the House.
This next vote is the one that counts and it appears that the conservatives in the House will likely have to take down a rule to stop the Senate bill from advancing. All eyes will be on #ConvenientConservatives like Renee Ellmers to see what she does in this scenario.
If her about face on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is any indication, not only will Ellmers cave, but the litany of excuses will begin: we don’t have the votes, the President will veto it anyway, etc.
Sadly, Ellmers is not alone in leading the #ConvenientConservative Caucus. There are many more like her and instead of being fooled by show votes and shiny objects, conservatives need to start paying attention to their Members real voting records and holding them accountable when their true colors are exposed.
Monday, January 26th, 2015 by Ericka Andersen and is filed under Blog, Immigration
After the most interesting election for Speaker of the House in years, John Boehner won again and promised he would fight President Obama’s executive amnesty “tooth and nail.”
Many are skeptical of that promise, wondering if Boehner and his leadership friends will truly stand up for conservative principles in the face of the coming 2016 elections.
The first test for Republicans comes this week, when Rep. Michael McCaul’s border security bill comes up for a vote. It sounds good from the outset but key conservative leaders like Sen. Jeff Sessions — newly appointed chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration — aren’t so sure about that.
The bill is reported to provide multi-billions for drones, radars, surveillance systems, fencing and more — but Sessions said it “fail[ed] to include the measures necessary to fulfill its promises.”
Even though McCaul calls it the “toughest border security bill ever set before Congress,” it’s clear that conservative leaders want to get this right the first time.
After Obama’s amnesty passed last year against major opposition, they know there’s little room for error when it comes to re-establishing a solid immigration reform plan for the future. By placing Sessions in a high level position on the immigration issue, it’s clear Republicans are serious about taking a hard line stance.
The McCaul bill, however, just isn’t good enough.
“Democrats fight with more passion in defense of illegal immigrants than Republicans fight in defense of American workers,” said Sessions recently.
What exactly is the problem with the McCaul bill? Sessions says it’s a bad use of taxpayer money to put more into the border Obama’s policies have moved the problem inside the country, with amnesty for up to 5 million and permits for more to enter legally.
As The Daily Caller reported from one Hill staffer who opposes the bill, “Even if additional spending and border guards catch more migrants, Obama’s deputies will likely release them and give them work permits unless the laws are changed.”
Sessions isn’t alone in his concern. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) have all expressed doubts about the bill. Fleming claimed it has “too many loopholes” and many conservatives agree.
With less than 2 years left in his Presidency, Obama is on a destructive policy pathway and it’s up to conservatives in Congress to stand strong for foundational principles on immigration that will have a lasting legacy.
If this border security bill isn’t good enough, they need to create something that is — and get the rest of the GOP on board.
UPDATE: House Republican leaders have pulled the border security bill from this week’s schedule, pointing to bad weather conditions.
Monday, January 26th, 2015 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, Economy, Immigration, Uncategorized
The Rule of Law.
It is what America was founded on. When the first Pilgrims left England, they did so because they faced two options: open revolution or immigrate. On the heels of the English Revolution, they chose immigration and left England.
However, when the British government began attacking freedoms of their descendants in the colonies, revolution was the only option left. There was, in their descendant’s minds, no place else to immigrate to.
Out of this revolution, our nation was formed. Influenced by political theorists like John Locke and his Two Treatises of Government as well as Samuel Rutherford’s Lex Rex (The Law is King), the Founders vision was of an ordered, moral and structured society in which government played a limited and constrained role.
It was never intended to be a panacea used to cure societal ills. It was a necessary evil meant to constrain society and be constrained itself.
Jump forward 200 plus years and you find a completely different government, one that overreaches into virtually ever facet of our lives.
We live in a Nanny State where the ascendancy of individual freedom and choice are being replaced by a utilitarian “greater good.”
We have the Patriot Act, the TSA and NSA. We have 110 million Americans on welfare, a number that brings to mind Alexis de Tocqueville’s statement in Democracy in America:
[Democracy] can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.
As we slide into a monitored welfare state, our government daily loses track of visa holders from hostile nations, illegal immigrants entering our country without threat of being sent back to their home country and border checkpoints over 50 miles into our sovereign territory.
Taxation, the spark that lit the fires of America Revolution, has spiraled even further out of control with the abuses of power of the Internal Revenue Service. As the IRS scandal continues to unfold, it’s clear that this is a simple cause and affect that the Founders wished to avoid at all costs. To them, limited government was possible due to low taxes. With limited resources, government could not grow and overreach its bounds. Now we live in an era where if something moves, the government wants to tax it and it has created a massive vehicle for doing so.
Why? A good starting point to answering this question is the de Tocqueville quote above.
The Nanny State is not a creation of the Obama Administration. Both parties are to blame as both have grown government for their own purposes, not that of the American taxpayer.
The equation in this scenario is not Republican versus Democrat, shirts versus skins. It is the American taxpayer versus the Ruling Class in Washington and if we are to beat it, it is going to take continual vigilance and effort to roll back the Nanny State they have put in place.
Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 by Ericka Andersen and is filed under Blog, Elections, Family Values
Today, thousands of people across the nation descend on Washington, DC for the 42nd Annual March for Life.
It’s been 42 years to the day since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion came down — and passionate activists have been pushing back against it ever since.
In the past few years, the life movement has gained momentum, thanks to gains in scientific knowledge and cultural awareness. The country has pivoted toward a much more pro-life view, with more Americans identifying themselves as such.
The March comes just one day after the GOP decided to pull a bill that would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act had already faced a promise of a veto from President Obama, but it was expected to pass the House.
Some establishment Republican lawmakers, lead by Rep. Renee Elmers (R-NC), feared that dealing with this issue could hurt their chances with millennials and women, but they clearly aren’t listening to the American people.
A new poll shows that 60% of Americans support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, which is just one week shy of a baby feasibly being able to survive outside the womb on its own.
The disappointment will serve only to embolden marchers more, as they brave the cold temperatures in what’s been called, “the nation’s largest and most enduring peaceful protest.”
Over 56 million children have been killed by abortion since Roe v. Wade, but states are making strides every year to protect both women and the unborn from the awful consequences of abortion.
The Madison Project is proud to endorse only pro-life candidates and conservatives who believe in the fight for protecting life before birth. Today, they are proud to stand with those who March for Life.
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, Immigration
Let’s be very clear on something. When the Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives voted 236-191 to defund President Obama’s executive order giving amnesty to illegal immigrants last week, only a minority of its members did so out of principle.
The remainder, especially the GOP leadership, signaled their votes were not against amnesty. In spite of campaign rhetoric that suggests otherwise, they want it as a payoff for their friends at the Chamber of Commerce. They just don’t want the President stepping on their toes to do so. More importantly, they have to find a way to thread the needle so as to fool (they hope) their conservative base, a base adamantly opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants.
It was the conundrum of the entire 2014 political cycle for the Establishment. With their friends at the Chamber of Commerce pushing “comprehensive” immigration reform on the Hill in Washington, DC and playing heavily in primaries against conservative candidates, it was clear that the Chamber and Establishment had one objective in mind this election season: to elect a majority of amnesty friendly Republicans.
The trick was getting them past the electorate, which, as we have noted, was accomplished by telling voters what they wanted to hear, not what they were actually going to do.
In fact, the Chamber’s political director, Rob Engstrom, recently took a leave of absence to help Jeb Bush’s Presidential campaign get off the ground, a campaign whose core tenets of amnesty and Common Core are not going to mesh with the conservative base that votes in the primaries (issues that the Chamber proactively spent millions of dollars on last year).
With the House passed bill that stripped funding for amnesty about to be taken up by the Senate, the political gamesmanship has already begun and this is how it will play out.
Any amendments, especially the Aderholdt amendment, that strip funding for amnesty from the Department of Homeland Funding bill will mysteriously disappear in the black hole of principle called the Senate because, “The votes just aren’t there!” and “The President will veto this anyway, so why bother?”
While saying all the right things (as he is known to do), the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell is currently finding ways to remove the “offending” portions of the House bill to send it back to the House. The messaging will be, “Yes, we may have the House and the Senate, but without the White House, there is only so much we can do. We must avoid a government shutdown!”
Now, if this seems like a Charlie Brown moment for the conservative movement, you would be correct in that assumption. The GOP Establishment promised over and over again this past election cycle, “If you just put us on the field, we’re going to score for you!” Lucy-like, however, they are getting ready to yank the ball away at the last minute and as the conservative movement whiffs and wonders where the ball went, the Establishment will again reiterate to us, “There is nothing we can do right now. Give us two more years to set the stage for taking the White House and THEN we can really get stuff done around here.”
While many cheered the House vote last week, it was simply a show vote. The real vote is going to happen when the Senate sends its version of the House bill (stripped of any and all defunding amendments) back to the House and asks the House to pass it.
This is the vote conservatives need to pay attention to and expect their Members to fight the GOP leadership in both chambers. It is here that we must put the pressure on conservatives in the House to take down the rule.
Friday, January 2nd, 2015 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, Elections
Today Congressman Jim Bridenstine announced that he will not be voting for John Boehner for Speaker of the House next Wednesday. Speaker Boehner has consistently undermined conservatives and actively worked with Democrats to pass legislation that increases the size and scope of government. We applaud Congressman Bridenstine’s principled stand and call on other Members to join him.
For Immediate Release:
January 2, 2015
Madison Project Praises Bridenstine
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project Political Director, Drew Ryun made the following statement today regarding Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s announcement that he will not support John Boehner for Speaker of the House:
“There are few principled leaders in Congress willing to fight for conservatives policies – Congressman Jim Bridenstine is one of them. Voters sent Republicans to Washington to oppose President Obama’s liberal policies not help them succeed. We need a Speaker of the House that actually listens to the grassroots of Main Street not the lobbyists on K Street.
“The Madison Project was proud to endorse Bridenstine for Congress and we’re proud to join him today as he stands with the conservative movement and defends the principles of freedom that make our nation great.”
The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/
Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Ericka Andersen and is filed under Blog, Economy, Immigration
If you flipped on the news or scrolled through Twitter, you couldn’t have missed the epic statement made by Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee this weekend.
At issue? President Obama’s executive amnesty. The two leading conservatives refused to let Obama’s unconstitutional actions venture on their merry way without a fight.
Just today, a federal judge ruled Obama’s actions were unconstitutional. But, of course, Sen. Harry Reid and his liberal friends will admit nothing of the sort. And most of them, as well as many Republicans, were whining all weekend about having to miss Christmas parties at home to work the weekend.
Sorry if the American people can’t muster up an ounce of sympathy for those complaining. Conservatives should be lauding Cruz and Lee for doing everything in their power to make this argument heard.
The lame duck congress is unfortunate for many reasons, but it boils down to this: The American people voted for a drastic change in leadership last month. It’s not okay for the losers to continue carrying out their failed policies — especially when conservatives have the opportunity to speak out.
The $1.1 trillion “CRomnibus” was irresponsible, full of unnecessary spending and plenty of issues unrelated to funding the government. At the end of the year, politicians get lazy — but not Cruz and Lee. They came to Washington for a reason — and it wasn’t to bow down to the status quo so they can make it home for the weekend Christmas party.
As former Senator Jim DeMint wrote: “There is absolutely zero debate within the Republican Party as to whether the President overstepped his constitutional authority or acted improperly.”
So why weren’t they backed by the entirety of the GOP? Now is the time to band together against the lawlessness represented by Obama’s amnesty — not criticize the guys making waves for the Left.
Republicans have a lot to prove in the next two years. With a starting point like this one, many conservatives are worried. But with leaders like Cruz and Lee standing up for the American people, there’s hope the majority will be heard and that valuable, long-term change will soon arise.
Monday, December 15th, 2014 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, Elections
In 2010, Senator Mike Lee stunned political pundits and the GOP Establishment, first by defeating incumbent Senator Bob Bennett at the Republican convention then winning a hotly contested primary against Tim Bridgewater before cruising to victory in November.
Son of Ronald Reagan’s Solicitor General, Rex Lee, Mike ran on a platform of limited government, repealing Obamacare, lowering taxes and fighting for the sanctity of life and marriage. In short, he was the epitome of what we at the Madison Project look for in candidates-a comprehensive conservative who could clearly enunciate the principles on which he was running.
As we all know, however, that the rhetoric candidates use to get elected and the actions they take once in office are often diametrically opposed to each other. The GOP class of 2010 in the United States is a clear example of this. In stark contrast to many of his classmates, Senator Mike Lee has been exactly the kind of Senator he said he would be. He has been a strong voice and vote for conservatives, even when the odds against him appear intimidating and insurmountable.
It is not often that we can look back over a 6-year term of a United States Senator and say without qualification that we are happy to endorse him. When it comes to Mike Lee, not only are we proud to endorse him again, we look forward to working with him for years to come as we fight to get this country back on track.
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 by Ericka Andersen and is filed under Blog, Elections
Americans made a big play last month when they voted for a Republican Majority in both Houses of Congress.
It seems their message went further than just the voting booth, as well. A new Gallup poll comparing pre and post-election results shows that Americans now identify more strongly with the GOP than they did before the election.
With 42% of Americans identifying with them, Republicans have a slight lead over Democrats, who came in with only 41%, a 2 point decrease for them compared to pre-election results.
Past elections with similar results have also resulted in identity shifts. The question is, will the winning Party remain true to the promises that got them here?
It’s easy to spout lofty commitments on the campaign trail but the going gets tough once the lame duck session ends and January begins.
There is so much riding on this Congress. With more Americans than ever putting their faith in the GOP, they must deliver results on the big issues, like Obamacare, immigration and big government spending.
Too many times, we’ve seen well-meaning politicians get elected to office only to begin towing the Party line because it’s easier to play nice with Congressional leadership. It shouldn’t be easy and newly elected conservatives must stick to the strong principles that got them here.
After 6 years with the most liberal President in history, Americans are more than ready for lasting change in the right direction. The inside politics of Congress tempt new Members to compromise on their principles but that would be the worst thing any of them could do moving forward into 2015.
The Republican reputation is riding on this Congress and 2016 will be determined by exactly that.
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