Thursday, July 9th, 2015 and is filed under Blog
As Congress looks at the next three weeks, there are particular pieces of legislation they seek to address before the recess at the end of July. On that list is the proposal to update the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education law that saw it’s beginning during the Bush-era. While both Democrats and Republicans seem to be concerned with rewriting the law, supporters of No Child Left Behind fail to see that the provision as a whole is problematic and does not address the problems with the education system in the United States in an effective manner.
For more on this issue click here to read the Daily Signal’s analysis.
Thursday, July 9th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy
Recently, the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) was not reauthorized and expired for the time being. While the bank cannot make out new loans, it can still manage its existing loans and investments since it was funded by Congress through September.
Regardless of the fact that debate over the bank lead to the failure of reauthorization by Congress, supporters unfortunately have reasons to stay optimistic (reasons conservatives cannot put down the fighting gloves just yet).
Congress has less than three weeks before its recess at the end of July, and one, if not the most important item on the to do list is the passing of the Highway Bailout Bill that would fund the nation’s Highway Trust Fund for a couple of years in addition to pet projects and waste added on by Washington politicians. To give a little bit of background, the Highway Trust Fund is the method by which the federal government gives states funds to build and maintain roads, transportation, and infrastructure projects.
But before we get into the issues of the Ex-Im Bank, its important to recognize that the Highway Trust Fund is simply not the most efficient way of costing road maintenance and transportation improvements as a whole. States already control about 75% of the maintenance of highways and roads, and would most definitely do a better job at managing the costs than the federal government (they already do!). Efforts to push for more control by the states regarding road and transportation, such as Rep. Ron DeSantis’ introduction of the Transportation Empowerment Act are necessary to ensure that the federal government continues to receive money that the states could better manage.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised supporters of the bill the opportunity to vote on the measure within the month. A vote conducted a little ago showed that there are enough votes in the House to get it to pass. However, not as much is known about the Senate, and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), another supporter of the Im-Ex Bank, is waiting to see what the Senate does about the matter (and most likely follow suit).
The issue with the Ex-Im Bank is more than just reauthorizing it. Fundamentally, all it has been doing is taking a great deal of government money and sending it to companies that simply don’t need the aid. To give some background, the Ex-Im Bank has been around for about eighty-one years and exists for the purpose of financing US firms in their attempts to connect with markets overseas. The bank, while claimed to help American businesses, only really helps large companies; in 2012, more than 80% of the bank’s assistance went to Boeing.
Opposers of both legislations that promote a disgusting and inefficient use of government money need to continue to fight against it and realize that the next month is crucial to the survival or defeat of the bank that sends unnecessary amounts of money to large companies that don’t need it. Conservatives need to stress the problems with the Ex-Im Bank and fight against the bad GOP leadership in Washington and continue to nail the coffin on Ex-Im. In other words, we need not allow supporters of the Ex-Im Bank to continue to try and attach theses provisions to other legislation to try and get their agendas in by force.
Same goes for the Highway Trust Fund: conservatives need to continue to fight to give more power to the states regarding things that the states have much better control over (in this case roads and transportation).
The Ex-Im Bank and the Highway Trust Find alike need to go, and those who want to continue to give big government, businesses, and corporations a break need to be silenced.
Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Family Values
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th amendment of the Constitution guaranteed same sex couples the right to marry. Regardless of this misinterpretation of the 14th amendment, as of now, same sex marriage is legal throughout the entire United States.
What does the Supreme Court’s decision mean for those who do not support or agree with same sex marriage? Before the Supreme Court came to its conclusion, Justice Alito has asked Solicitor General Verrilli regarding IRS regulations if schools and other religious institutions would lose their tax exemption status if the definition of marriage were to be changed. There has long been suspicion and fear that the advancement of the same sex marriage campaign would lead to the coercion of those who do not share the belief into participating in the celebration and affirmation of same sex marriages, regardless of religious beliefs and practices.
A brief example of this attack on religious liberty is the well known case of Aaron and Melissa Klein of Oregon, whom when refusing to provide their bakery services to a same sex couple that wanted a wedding cake were fined $135,000. This horrible violation of the Constitution came after the couple had to shut their bakery down as a result of the many protests and boycotts that occurred in reaction to their exercise of their right to refuse service.
In response to the SCOTUS decision, Senator Mike Lee continues to stay true to protecting the religious liberties of Americans and defending the actual rights granted in the Constitution. The Senator from Utah has introduced the First Amendment Defense Act (which has 57 House co-sponsors and 18 Senate co-sponsors) in order to protect the rights of individuals and institutions that support traditional marriage. In particular, the bill would prevent the federal government from denying contracts, tax exemptions, grants, certificates, license, or anything of the sort to a person, business, or institution solely because that person, business, or institution believes that marriage is and can only be between one man and one woman.
Regarding the importance of protecting the rights of all Sen., Lee states: “Our focus must now be on defending these crucial rights of conscience. That is exactly why Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) and I have introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which would prevent the federal government from discriminating against anyone who believes that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”
Mike Lee continues to show through his efforts to preserve a fundamental right that he is willing to lead and defend our values when few in Washington are willing. His example should be a motivator for all of those who value the rights granted to us in the Constitution and remind us that we need not be discouraged by the inability of the Supreme Court to make the correct decision. Instead we should mobilize and fight for our religious liberty like never before. It’s time to support real conservatives, like Mike Lee, who will spend their time in Washington fighting the status quo not becoming part of the problem. Our freedoms are at risk and we must do all we can to support efforts to protect them.
Thursday, June 25th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare
Cross posted from Conservative Review.
By: Daniel Horowitz | June 25th, 2015
With a Republican Party that fights just as hard for the liberal agenda as the Democrat Party, the remaining argument promoted in defense of voting for liberal Republicans is that they will appoint good judges to the Supreme Court. Today’s events should relegate that argument to the fate of the Confederate flag.
For the second time in two years, Chief Justice John Roberts redrafted Obamacare from the bench. We already know that Obama has supplanted the legislative powers of Congress; now Roberts is competing with him to consume the remaining vestiges of legislative power ceded by the people’s representatives.
In upholding the Obamacare subsidies in states with federal exchanges – in contravention to the plain text of the law – Roberts and the 5 other Justices have made it clear that political outcomes and ideology not only affect their constitutional jurisprudence but their obligation to read the plain meaning of congressional statutes.
After essentially conceding the argument that the plain language of the text only provides for subsidies for those states that set up state-based exchanges, Roberts wrote, “In this instance, the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.” Roberts concludes, “A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
Read More at Conservative Review
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
Let’s just say that over the last two election cycles, especially in 2014 and 2015, the cat and mouse game between the GOP Establishment and the outside conservative groups has moved from a few forearm shivers thrown here and there to a full on brawl.
And it’s a good thing.
For too long the GOP leadership has attempted to co-opt conservatives and make them part of The System (who can forget Trent Lott’s infamous quote to this affect in the Washington Post? He said what Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and all the Establishment talking heads were thinking back in 2010.).
The problem is, the harder the GOP hits, the stronger we outside groups become as well as the Members of Congress we helped elect because the GOP Establishment is on the wrong side of history. We will see this play out in the Mark Meadows scenario. We just saw it today with Ted Cruz’s op-ed backing away from TPA because of the wrong-headed “leadership” of Mitch McConnell.
Ever since the Bush Administration, the conservative movement has taken on a battered spouse syndrome, afraid to challenge the GOP, either at the party level or in the halls of Congress. Dissenters were quietly strong armed or beaten back into submission with threats of drying up campaign donations.
This has given rise to the new generation of conservative groups like Heritage Action, the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Madison Project and a newly reinvigorated Club for Growth. Members like Mark Meadows and Ted Cruz can now openly disagree with GOP Leadership and their tactics because they know the vast majority of Republicans are conservatives who stand with them. They also know the outside groups have their backs and the threat of drying up campaign funds is a hollow one.
With the events of the past few days, it’s apparent the GOP Establishment is throwing off any more attempts at smoke and mirrors. They are all in with the corporations and big business and will do whatever it takes ram their bad legislation through.
It is time for conservatives to gear up. 2016 presents a fantastic opportunity for us, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s time to shed the old persona and put on the new.
We are the Republican Party and it’s time we took back what is ours.
Monday, June 22nd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
Over the weekend something not entirely unexpected happened.
Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) of Utah, stripped Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) of his subcommittee chairmanship.
The reason for this harsh move by Chaffetz (someone who ran and won as a conservative)?
Meadows had the audacity to vote against the rule on the Trade Promotion Authority vote in the House. For those of you unfamiliar with this vote, it is not dissimilar to the cloture vote in the Senate. When bills are voted on in the House of Representatives, the rule establishing regular order must be voted on first. The rule votes are generally uneventful. Regular order is established, often along partisan lines, and then the actual vote on a bill takes place on the House floor.
With the current make-up of the House of Representatives, for the rule to go down, it will take 40 votes. On June 11th, 34 GOP Congressman voted against what many are calling Obamatrade as Trade Promotion Authority is really only part of the equation when you consider it is tied to the Trade Adjustment Assistance and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In other words, they made the right vote, not because they are against free trade. Rather, they are for it, but they are not for giving the Obama Administration a blank check when it comes to trade and trade agreements.
Here is the rub. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Co., lackeys of their corporate interests, are in danger of getting rolled on many bills these days because, well, they just aren’t pushing conservative legislation. They have to, in their minds, “restore order” and part of that process is disciplining conservatives who are simply fulfilling their campaign promises. As we have written about in the past, this is the rub for the current GOP. The Establishment will say whatever it takes to gain a majority (see Boehner and McConnell’s campaign trail promises they had no intention of fulfilling) versus conservatives who run on campaign promises they intend to fulfill once they win. GOP party bosses are figuring out a majority is one thing, a majority filled with conservatives is another.
We took a calculated risk on Mark Meadows in the 2012 election cycle. Many others thought he was just Establishment-lite and was telling outside groups what they wanted to hear, not what he was actually going to do once he got to Washington, D.C.
They were wrong.
Out of the gates this year Mark voted against John Boehner for Speaker, against executive amnesty in the DHS funding bill and the Doc Fix amongst other major votes. Because of these votes and the ones he cast against the TPA and TAA, Mark is now a target of the GOP Establishment. They have stripped him of his subcommittee chair. We know they are going to try and squeeze him when it comes to PAC donations to his re-elect. It is quite possible they are already working on trying to recruit a primary challenger to Mark without their fingerprints on it.
It is now time for the conservative movement to strike back, not just in supporting Mark with our dollars, but also to finding other conservatives we can defend and ones we can help win for the first time in 2016.
To give directly to Mark, go here. Seriously. Go there right now and give.
The GOP leadership in Washington, D.C. has no intention of changing and they will fight to the end to maintain their status quo.
It is now contingent upon us to change the equation for them.
Friday, June 19th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy, Issues
At this point in his presidency, President Obama is trying to do anything he can in order to get his final agenda through.
The trade deal proposed by the President between twelve different countries was rejected by his own fellow Democrats. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to support the president in passing key legislation that would be necessary to eventually get the trade deal underway. Clearly they are coming at it from a different angle than we are, kowtowing to the labor union oligarchs.
Let’s be very clear. We love free trade. These trade deals that the Obama Administration is pushing along with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are not free trade vehicles.
Because of issues we’ve already laid out, the Trade Promotion Authority must be defeated as must the trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would unite countries in the East like Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and New Zealand, with countries in the West like Peru, Mexico, Canada, and of course, the United States.
The deal would include a total of twelve of the world’s largest economies, constituting an overall forty percent of the world’s economy. Tied to this, President Obama continues to advocate for fast track authority, which would in turn allow him to submit a trade deal to Congress with limited debate on the proposal and a bar Congress’ ability to amend the deal. Talk about undermining checks and balances in a democratic republic.
The President argues that the trade agreement would not only make it easier to import goods from other countries, but it would also make it easier to export goods domestically produced, thus creating American jobs and benefiting American businesses. Creating the world’s largest free trade agreement would, at least the President hopes, allow the United States to better control the way that things are regulated in the world economy.
Let’s be honest, what the President is really aiming to do is to have more control over China regarding trade, the way that labor is conducted, environmental concerns and more. This isn’t really about helping the American people: the President’s agenda focuses on controlling export giant China. It’s about control, not opportunity.
And frankly, who is he kidding anyway-control China?!
In order to try and compensate for the outsourcing of American jobs, the President proposes a Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which would provide aid (relocation assistance, subsidized health care insurance, some unemployment benefits) to those who lose their jobs because of jobs being sent overseas. Note, however, that this program is nothing new: it was introduced by President Kennedy in 1962 when he agreed to a trade round and it was implemented to help the labor union’s protectionist monopolies.
Another aspect of the program that isn’t being mentioned is the cost: it would cost about $1.8 billion in order to fund the expansion through 2020, taking nearly $700 million from certain Medicare programs in 2025.
While the bill has received much opposition, it has also received some support from those in the GOP Establishment’s leadership. Speaker of the House John Boehner has advocated amongst fellow Republicans in favor of the deal and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is quietly looking for vehicles to attach the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank to.
At this stage, let’s just say that whatever those two are for, we are against.
On top of this, studies show that those who took TAA benefits as opposed to regular unemployment benefits are worse off. The study also showed that those who were younger were more likely to benefit from the program as opposed to older workers.
It’s important to see though the supposed measure that as being billed as the vehicle that will increase exports, create American jobs, and help the American economy, but at what cost? Any measure that would hurt the American people and continue to empower large corporations and a big government, is not a deal that should be considered or made at all.
The President’s so called efforts to help the American businesses and employees out is a wolf in sheep’s clothing to increase the scope of control of the government while hurting American businesses and jobs in the process.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy, Elections, Uncategorized
Running for President is a game of high stakes. There is little margin for error, especially if you are a Republican.
It’s no secret there is groupthink amongst the political subset known as reporters. Products of our increasingly intellectually rigid “academic” institutions, these would be purveyors of news come from a worldview and ideology diametrically opposed to that of the Republican Party.
Increase that tenfold or more when it comes to conservatives. “Far rightwing” and “extremists” are among the other monikers the news makers toss out there to attempt to paint the conservative movement as out of touch with what they think is real America.
Never mind that nothing statistically bears this out. Limited government, freedom loving, individual liberty minded Americans are conservatives and are the majority today in America.
Yet, on climate change and other “settled” issues, the liberals inside the media live in their own world, eager to please others in their subset while spouting opinions (not news) that they think the herd will approve. In their minds, the knuckle draggers are the conservatives.
Enter politicians like Ted Cruz. He is an insult to them because he does not fit the straw man mold they have created for conservatives and therefore he will never win them over.
Make no mistake. He’s not perfect.
A general rule of thumb in politics is not that politicians will disappoint you. That’s a given. It’s the ones that will disappoint you the least that we should celebrate. Ted Cruz absolutely falls into that category. As such, he walks a tightrope daily between the media attempting to discredit him, a GOP leadership trying to derail him and a grassroots base eager to anoint him the Chosen One.
Let’s be honest, though. Ted made a misstep in recent months by being hoodwinked by Paul Ryan’s pencil behind the ear routine on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).
While in the past TPA efforts have been mostly good, the current TPA is fraught with all kinds of political pitfalls as it is tied to Trade Adjustment Assistance, a big government program favored by the Democrats and their labor union allies, and the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
In other words, in the end, this is not your daddy’s TPA. This has rightfully earned the nickname “Obamatrade” for the “pass it and find out what is in it” mentality swirling around it.
So what is Ted Cruz to do? He’s out there already has 1) penned an op-ed supporting TPA 2) having voted for TPA in the Senate and 3) attempting to defend his vote. The response from the conservative grassroots has been one of outrage and justifiably so. While supporters of free trade, they smell a skunk in the details of the TPA and want Ted to walk his support for it back.
It’s hard for politicians to say, “I was wrong. Sorry about that.” They are Type A’s which is both blessing and curse and that sort of thing does not come easily.
However, a lifeline was thrown to Ted in the last few days as it became apparent that TPA and the associated vehicles are hiding a small business tax hike. Now, not six weeks from now, is the perfect opportunity for Ted to pivot and say, “I love free trade. It’s what our nation is built on. But I cannot abide a tax hike on small businesses-they are the lifeblood of the American economy and I will stand with them every step of the way. In light of this, I am removing my support from TPA.”
Whether he takes the lifeline thrown to him or not remains to be seen.
But with one camp already against him (the media), Ted cannot afford to have one that has been to this point firmly with him (the grassroots) turn against him.
Monday, June 15th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized
With the Supreme Court about to wrap up for the summer, many know that THE big decisions are being held until the very last day of their term (either June 29 or 30).
Among the cases waiting to be settle is the King v. Burwell case, which challenges the legality of the tax credits offered to those who signed up for Obamacare via the federal marketplace at www.Healthcare.gov.
It seems as though, similar to the case in 2012 that stated Obamacare was legal on the premise that it coincided with Congress’ right to levy taxes, the decision will likely be close and rely on the votes of one or two of the justices (in 2012 that one vote was Chief Justice John Roberts).
Nonetheless, there is a great chance that later this month, the Supreme Court will deem the federal subsidy unconstitutional.
Last week at the 41st G7 Summit Conference in Germany, President Obama clearly stated that he does not have a plan if the federal subsidy part of Obamacare were to be struck down by the court. When asked about having a backup plan, the President simply answered, “if someone does something that doesn’t make any sense, then it’s hard to fix.”
What Obama is really attempting to do is to blame conservative members of Congress and use his presumed political high ground to create the image that those opposed to federal subsidies are essentially against legitimate healthcare reform. As the Heritage Foundation noted in a recent paper, if the federal subsidies are deemed unconstitutional, this does not mean that there will be a loss of coverage for millions of people. It’s just that the Band-Aid of federal subsidies will be ripped off, the real cost of socialized medicine will set in and people will have to make the choice: a Rolls Royce or a Ford? When this happens, we believe people will clamor for legitimate healthcare reform and a wide variety of options, not just the healthcare plans the government approves.
Let’s be clear on one thing, though. This notion that the GOP is to blame for the problems caused by the dismantling of a great part of Obamacare is absolutely not accurate.
According to healthcare.gov, premiums for Obamacare have been requested to increase by double-digit percentages in the upcoming year in every state (data was not available for CA, CO, MA, and CT). Regardless of the battle taking place in the Supreme Court, healthcare costs are still on the rise and the promise for affordable and efficient healthcare ultimately comes out to an unfulfilled promise by the President and the drafters of the Affordable Care Act.
In other words, it’s their fault.
So, why is this a great concern for the GOP and conservatives?
In his statement at the G7 Summit, President Obama repeatedly stated that Congress could fix this issue with Obamacare if they wanted to. To some extent they can. But rather than playing the President’s game, conservative leaders need to find a free market solution for healthcare that is fair.
Conservative leaders and candidates have the chance to prove once and for all that Obamacare is simply ineffective and unlawful and in turn, does not give the nation the best chance to provide affordable and efficient healthcare.
Monday, June 15th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Immigration
Cross posted from Conservative Review.
By: Daniel Horowitz | June 15th, 2015
When Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” for the Statue of Liberty in 1883, it’s quite unlikely she could have envisioned this current president’s immigration policies.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” she wrote in her poem, which was eventually engraved inside of the Statue of Liberty. Obama’s version of the poem would probably read something like this: “Give me all of the world’s poor, your security risks, your sex offenders, and violent criminals yearning to commit violent crimes and be allowed to breathe free without any potential retribution.”
Sound harsh or unfair?
This is exactly what is occurring at present, yet almost none of the politicians are voicing any concern over the growing list of immigrant murderers and sex offenders who are released into the public. What is so tragic about this growing crisis is that it is so avoidable. It’s tough enough preventing heinous crimes from Americans. There is no reason we should become a magnet for the world’s criminals, especially those who come here illegally and can easily be deported.
The Obama Administration’s open door policy to criminal aliens
There are over 167,000 criminal aliens who have been ordered deported yet are roaming free throughout all 50 states. The Obama administration has released roughly 66,600 over the past two fiscal years. In addition to releasing criminal aliens, agents are now arresting criminal aliens at a slower rate than ever.
Now the Boston Globe has published a riveting expose on information they discovered about hundreds of violent sex offenders who have been released with no desire on the part of the feds to seriously track their behavior or whereabouts. After winning a lawsuit against ICE for withholding this information, the federal officials finally released the data to the Globe – just for the years 2008-2012. The Globe discovered that 424 sex offenders were released during that time. One can only imagine how many more were released after 2012 when the administration vitiated immigration enforcement altogether. ICE is still withholding that information.
While listing the shocking details of some of the specific offenders, the Globe characterized the broad group of individuals they researched as follows:
Read More at Conservative Review