House Conservatives Beware the New Whipping Strategy

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, News

Over the past few years, the number of conservatives in the House has grown exponentially.  Well, at least to the extent that you can’t count them on your fingers.  Unfortunately, House conservatives are about to become a victim of their own successes if they fail to change course.

In a sane world, Republicans would have more leverage than the Democrats over the legislative process.  They have full control over the House and a filibuster-strength minority in the Senate.  Consequently, they have the ability to block bad legislation from passing the Senate, while jamming the Democrats with good bills from the House.

But such a process is predicated on a Republican leadership that actually stands for Republican values.  The reality is the opposite.  We have Mitch McConnell outsourcing his leadership to McCain and Graham so that a number of bad bills pass the Senate (McConnell makes sure to vote against the bills, of course).  Then, instead of ignoring unpopular bills that pass the Senate, House leaders work indefatigably to see how they can pass Senate bills.

Here is how the cycle of capitulation plays out.  House conservatives balk at leadership’s initial attempt to pass bad legislation.  Leadership is defeated.  Conservatives prematurely view this as a sign of strength.  Then, McCarthy and the whipping team come to conservatives and “whip” up general principles from conservatives.  They ask them what it would take to get them to a “yes vote.”  Conservatives mistakenly perceive this as a conciliatory gesture form leadership, when in reality, it is an attempt to get them to sign on to bad bills.  Conservatives offer some general principles.  Leadership commits to those general principles.  Then they offer a new bill that employs a subterfuge in which those principles are addressed on paper in general terms, yet they are completely voided out by the specifics of the bill or the strategy behind the process.  But because those principles are addressed in a superficial way, conservatives feel as if they had already given their word to vote for the bill.  Repeat and rinse as needed.

During the 2011 debt ceiling fight, conservatives rallied behind Cut, Cap, and Balance as a precondition for raising the debt ceiling.  Leadership had no intention of abiding by that condition.  They offered a new plan that gutted the spending cap and initial cuts but retained a balanced budget as part of the second tranche of the debt ceiling hike.  All but 22 conservatives signed onto it because it officially contained a balanced budget amendment, as promised, even though it wasn’t CCB.  As we all know, they ultimately caved on that deal and passed a new plan to merely require a vote on a balanced budget amendment, not passage.  Leadership hoodwinked conservatives into abjuring their principles because their ridiculous plan was supposedly “in the spirit of cut, cap and balance.”

Last January, leadership confronted another debt ceiling and a CR that contained funding for Obamacare.  They asked conservatives what they needed to get to yes.  Conservatives said they wanted the sequester cuts and a budget that balanced in 10 years.  The sequester cuts were going to be enacted by default anyway.  So what did they do with the budget?  They repackaged last year’s Ryan budget, which balanced in 2040, to include all the new revenue from Obamacare tax hikes, fiscal cliff tax hikes, and overly optimistic CBO revenue projections, and poof….they had a balanced budget in 10 years.  The budget actually called for more spending than the previous iteration.  So they manipulated conservatives into a trap where they co-opted their general principles with a crap sandwich.  Moreover, they never committed to actually standing behind that budget as a pre-condition for raising the debt ceiling this fall.

Last week, leadership asked conservatives what they needed to get to yes with the farm bill.  They asked to split up food stamps and the agriculture subsidies.  Now the entire purpose of splitting up the bill is so we can reform both sides without the legislative logrolling.  Instead, leadership added massive new subsidies and made all the programs, including the sugar subsidies, permanent law.  So while conservatives got what they wanted on paper, making it difficult for them to say no, they were forced to vote for something even worse.

Why am I going through all this “inside baseball?”

Leadership plans to do the same thing with immigration.  Here is a very troubling report from National Review’s Robert Costa:

McCarthy’s message in those sessions was simple: “You bring people together and you tell them, ‘This is like sitting in the exit row.’ You have to see who is willing, at some level, to support it,” he says. “Then you go around the room and get people engaged. We quickly found that by splitting up the bill, we’d be able to get to our number. Once we got there, it was a huge shot in the arm, but you’ve got to get there first.”

McCarthy believes the farm-bill experience has consequences beyond alleviating internal tensions. He says House Republicans, who have long been cautious about moving forward on immigration reform, are now more open to considering such legislation. Before the farm bill, there was resistance to pursuing a piecemeal strategy and doubts about the leadership’s cloakroom clout. Since the farm bill passed, “I’ve felt momentum,” McCarthy says. “We’re able to do things on our own terms.”

He argues that the farm bill’s passage, though arduous, also gives Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia leverage for negotiations with Democrats on immigration, since they proved that they still have the support of a majority of House Republicans on big-ticket items. “The speaker’s hand is strengthened,” he says. “In politics, you’ve got to show that you can get bills through without the other side. We did that, and we got back to where we needed to be as a Republican team.”

Keep in mind that Eric Cantor and Bob Goodlatte are already crafting piecemeal amnesty bills and Paul Ryan is working on promoting a House gang bill.

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Compromise, Senate GOP Style

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues, News

Who could have predicted the outcome of the latest filibuster imbroglio in the Senate?  Republicans paid the full ransom.  What else is new?

Once again, Mitch McConnell outsourced his leadership position to the McCain-Graham duo.  He tapped them, along with Bob Corker and Roger Wicker – all from solid red states – to negotiate a compromise with Reid and Schumer over the filibuster and executive nominations.  What could go wrong?

The outcome produced a compromise similar to the deals the Israelis cut with the Palestinians.  In other words, it was all one-sided.  Republicans agreed to allow Richard Cordray to direct the Consumer Financial Protection Board, even though he was originally appointed illegally.  The following senators voted for cloture:

  • Ayotte (NH)
  • Blunt (MO)
  • Chambliss (GA)
  • Coats (IN)
  • Collins, S. (ME)
  • Corker (TN)
  • Flake (AZ)
  • Graham, L. (SC)
  • Hatch (UT)
  • Hoeven (ND)
  • Isakson (GA)
  • Johanns (NE)
  • Kirk (IL)
  • McCain (AZ)
  • Murkowski, L. (AK)
  • Portman (OH)
  • Wicker (MS)

The entire purpose of the CFPB  is to limit the choices of consumers in financial markets, making it harder and more expensive to obtain credit.  This unaccountable agency will operate autonomously within the Federal Reserve and will not be subjected to congressional appropriations or oversight.  Now Republicans will have no leverage to preclude this time bomb from taking root.  Worse, they gave away their bargaining chip to strike down all the illegal rules that were issued by the agency while Cordray was illegitimately serving at its helm.

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Mitch McConnell Begging for Amnesty Again

Monday, July 15th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration, News

What does an undocumented supporter of amnesty look like?  It’s someone who publicly votes against amnesty so as not to raise the ire of the unwashed masses in his state, but lobbies hard for it so as to placate his special interest bundlers and consultants.  In other words, he looks like Mitch McConnell.

You see, while Obama is embroiled in multiple scandals, an Obamacare meltdown, and the crashing and burning of his foreign policy, there is nothing more important to Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders than bringing some sort of immigration bill to conference.  Why let Obama stew in his misery?  Mitch wants to bail him out like he bailed out the failing banks.  What better way to do so than by giving him his biggest legislative victory since Obamacare?

Here’s the latest and greatest from Mitch McConnell, courtesy of The Hill:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Sunday urged Republicans in the House to move on immigration reform legislation.

Even though McConnell voted against the Senate immigration reform bill, he hopes the House will pass something that can be melded with the Senate proposal in conference negotiations.

“I don’t think anybody’s satisfied with the status quo on immigration,” he said in an NBC “Meet the Press” interview. “And I hope the House will be able to move forward on something and we can get this into conference and get an outcome that will be satisfactory for the American people.”

What exactly does it mean that anything is better than the status quo?  It’s like saying, “well, what we have now is defacto cap and trade from Obama’s EPA, so let’s go to conference with Barbara Boxer on compromise comprehensive energy reform so we can solve the problem.

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Bill Shuster Receives Donation from Former Chairman of PA Democrat Party

Friday, July 12th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News

In response to our radio ads educating voters about Shuster’s big-government voting record, Shuster is touting his fundraising success.   His spokesman told PoliticsPA that he was proud  “to have the support of hard working conservatives across the country.”  He touted his ability to raise money “from likeminded voters who are proud to stand with us to fight Obamacare, and oppose the big spending policies that have led to record debt and deficits like the stimulus, and rebuild America’s roads.”

Let’s put aside for the moment the fact that he voted 8 times to raise the debt ceiling and numerous times to fund Obamacare in appropriations bills.  He wants us to believe that “likeminded” conservatives across the country are rallying to this committee chairman, a career-politician who is the epitome of an establishment Republican.  His campaign finance report reads like a who’s who list of every special interest on K Street.

Art Halvorson, on the other hand, is committed to ending the sinkhole of federal transportation policy, which is controlled by all of Shuster’s special interests who waste state priorities on labor and environmental regulations.  There might not be a lot of money involved in supporting such a position, but it is consistent with the views of constitutional conservatives – the antithesis of special interests.

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Ted Cruz is Serious About Defunding Obamacare. What About Your Senator?

Thursday, July 11th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

There’s a reason why all the candidates we interview for 2014 say they want to be like Ted Cruz.  All Republicans talk a good game about conservative policy, but few of them have the gumption to fight for it.  While Republicans like Mitch McConnell will rail against Obamacare, and even create a photo op with the tower of regulations, most of them have voted to fund the beast through the appropriations process.  Ted Cruz, on the other hand is leading the fight to defund it.

Earlier today, Ted Cruz introduced a bill to defund Obamacare and issued the following statement:

“Consistent with my long-standing position that no continuing resolution or other appropriations measure should fund Obamacare, I am introducing a bill to permanently defund the law.

The Administration’s recent announcement to delay the onerous and unpopular employer mandate until after the 2014 election, coupled with its announcement to delay income and health status eligibility requirements in favor of an honor system for the most expensive entitlement for our generation, confirms what has been obvious from the start—this law is a colossal mistake.

Yesterday, all 46 Senate Republicans called on President Obama to permanently delay the law. This legislation would guarantee that result by ensuring not one more taxpayer dime is wasted in its establishment.

House Republican leadership is resorting to optics and messaging by pushing for a vote to repeal only the individual mandate.  None of this will ever pass the Senate, so the only way to halt implementation is by refusing to vote for any bill that doesn’t contain a rider defunding Obamacare through the IRS and HHS.  Moreover, half-baked measures will only provide cover to Democrats for retaining the remainder of the law, as Cruz notes in his statement:

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Why We Need New Leadership

Thursday, July 11th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Elections, Immigration, Issues, News

Many conservatives are placing false hopes in the GOP-controlled House to do the right thing on policy issues.  They are being fooled by some superficial concessions leadership has made to conservatives on some of these issues, misplacing their actions for sincere motivations.  We are seeing this both with the farm/food stamp bill and the amnesty bill.

Conservatives won a major legislative victory last month when over 60 Republicans banded together to defeat the $940 trillion Food Stamp/Farm Bill.  We have long maintained that it is better to extend current policy than to pass a long-term bill that creates more programs and precludes real reform for another 5 years.  Leadership has finally agreed to split up the farm and food stamp components into separate bills.  They are claiming that conservatives got what they wanted with the new bill.  But again, let’s take a look at their motivation.

It’s not that these people have discovered a newfound affinity for phasing out welfare and eliminating corporate welfare.  They want both of them.  It’s just that our numbers and degree of influence has increased to the point that they are forced to offer that concession and split up the bill.

So who cares what is motivating them, you might ask.

Well, once they are finished with the head fake and pass an agriculture-only bill, they plan to go to conference with the Senate and re-sow the food stamp portion back into the bill.  Moreover, even if they sever the two portions of the bill, they should not bring them to the floor without major reforms.  The point of separating them out, as conservatives have noted all along, is so we can actually reform them individually without the robust alliance they enjoy when bundled together.  What is the point of separating them without reforms?  We will just get two separate welfare bills – one individual and one corporate – instead of a combo bill.  And ultimately, we will get the grand combo in conference.

It’s all about trust, and there is no trust with them.

And speaking of trust, yesterday’s immigration conference should serve as a stark reminder that we can’t trust House leadership. Despite the conventional wisdom that the bill is DOA is the House, I have been concerned about 3 things – all of which were confirmed in yesterday’s conference.  1) They won’t pass the Senate bill, but they will pass their own pale-pastel version that agrees to the premise of legalization first. They will strip out or delay citizenship, but still agree to some sort of legalization before enforcement. 2) They will take good enforcement bills and go to conference with the Senate. 3) They will go for incremental amnesty like the Dream Act.

Based on what I’ve heard from members in the meeting, all those sentiments were expressed.  More broadly, there is a maniacal and incorrigible obsession to pass “something.” That is all you need to know.  All the other statements from leadership are not born out of conviction, rather out of fear from the conservative members of the conference.  They want this amnesty badly.  There is not a single consultant in town who doesn’t want it.  It’s a matter of how to get there.

[ To digress a bit, amidst all of the incoherent drivel and platitudes propagated in favor of amnesty, read this piece from Rep. Tom Cotton in the Wall Street Journal.  It is the most cogent position I’ve seen on this issue from a member of Congress.]

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Bill Shuster Flip Flops on Another Spending Cut

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues, News

Wow – what a difference a primary challenge makes.

Yesterday, conservative Rep. Tom McClintock offered an amendment to the FY 2014 appropriations bill funding the Energy Department which would cut $1.5 billion from energy subsidy programs.  If Obama has taught us anything it is that government should never distort the energy sector and pick winners and losers (usually losers) in the market.

Amazingly, Shuster voted the right way.  He didn’t join the 50% of Republicans who helped vote down this commonsense free-market spending cut.

The only problem is that when a similar amendment was proposed by Mr. McClintock to last year’s energy appropriations bill, Shuster voted against it…along with his RINO buddies.  Additionally, Mr. McClintock offered another amendment last year to eliminate the Office of Fossil Energy and save taxpayers $428 million in special interest handouts to green energy social engineering.  Shuster voted no.  In 2011, Shuster voted against cutting $3.25 billion from the Innovative Technology Loan Program, which was responsible for Solyndra and some other Obama venture socialist activities.

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A Vote For Amnesty Is a Vote For Servility

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Economy, Immigration

Elite Democrats and their Republican co-dependents are representatives of a government enterprise to ensnare citizens in the bowels of a swelling federal beast. It explains the insane drive of Democrats and Republicans alike to immediately legalize 11-20 million illegal aliens. It is directly linked to their need to be seen as the governors of a massive, paternalistic State that provides for every needs of the bedraggled poor. Democratic Senators such as Marco Rubio, disguise this by arguing that amnesty will be a net plus for the economy [read: federal government].

We know it won’t be. As Steven Camarota has been documenting for over a decade, immigrants have the highest usage of social services.

This is no small point. Among its more pernicious acts, the welfare state entices Americans to exchange their hard won but fragile liberty for a seemingly secure and well padded servility.

Look at the history of Black Americans.

In response to hostility and pariah status in the North and legislated inferiority in the South black communities were honeycombed with mutual aid societies such as the Negro Odd Fellows, the Black Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of St. Luke, the Galilean Fishermen, the Free African Society, and the African Benevolent Society. They established banks, churches, schools and social insurance programs that provided resources for families during times of illness, death or unemployment. In large cities such as Baltimore and Philadelphia, 98 percent of adult blacks carried insurance through mutual aid societies. Some of the societies became so large that they opened department stores, ran newspapers, or became full-fledged insurance carriers. 

Black mutual aid societies were defensive accommodations of Jim Crow. The New Deal, while repressive in many respects, offered blacks a pathway out of the Depression that seemed even-handed and inclusive. Blacks would gain an equality before the law at least as much as they were recipients of government largesse. Black workers — last hired, first fired and worse off in the Depression than other groups — were offered a hand by their government. It was the first time in living memory for most blacks that the U.S. government showed any interest in them as citizens. It proved to be a powerful stimulus to ditch the self-help ethos that had dominated black thinking until that time.

Roosevelt won the black electorate by advertising the federal government as a reliable replacement to the localized structures that sometimes failed. In 1936 the black vote turned Democratic.

By 1960, despite the segregationist bloc in the South, the black vote was reliably Democratic. The federal government could not remove the boot of Southern Jim Crow regimes but its welfare programs could lessen the pain caused by racist local governments. New Deal programs were administered with less discrimination in the North than in the South which further encouraged black migration to Northern cities. That distance from the Wallaces, Connors’ and Barnetts of the world made it easier for blacks to vote for Democrats.

Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty went beyond replacing neighborhood welfare structures. They were billed, in part, as a repentant nation’s response to historical injustices wrought upon African slaves and their descendants. The traditional view that civil and economic rights were unalienable to all humanity was discarded — the federal government was now in the business of securing those rights for its downtrodden black wards. In a hundred years blacks had gone from actively seeking their own betterment and defending what was theirs by birth to becoming passive recipients of whatever the Democratic Party could secure for them through legislation.

Marching in unison behind men with bullhorns is a relatively new feature of black political life. Actually, it is a perversion of the great social movements blacks cobbled together to survive and advance in a society that ranged from antagonistic to indifferent.

Admittedly this recounting leaves out the radicalization of the NAACP and other civil rights organizations and it bypasses entirely the cynicism of the Democratic and Republican parties. All that is being stated here is that the social tradition of blacks in America — strong families, mutual aid and self-help (exactly the purported virtues of the allegedly morally pristine aliens the government class wants to grant citizenship) — was gutted and filleted by the federal welfare state long ago.

And lest you think this is isolated to the black community check out the rising dependency in white America. For working class whites illegitimacy is up, disability claims are up and workforce participation is down. Charles Murray’s 2012 book, Coming Apart, The State of White America, 1960-2010 is an outstanding read into how the welfare state’s encroachment  is damaging a growing segment of  the  white community.

Native born Americans have been swallowed up and degraded by our voracious welfare establishment. It doesn’t take a deep imagination to understand what will happen to scores of the poor we plan to import.

Author Wendell Talley

Madison Project Targets Bill Shuster on Debt Ceiling Votes

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt

For  Immediate  Release:

July    10,   2013

Contact:  Daniel  Horowitz


Madison Project Targets Bill Shuster on Debt Ceiling Votes

Washington, DC – The Madison Project PAC today released a new radio ad holding Rep. Bill Shuster accountable for his record of voting for endless debt.  The radio ads will air throughout the Ninth Congressional District as part of our first effort to educate Republicans in the district about Bill Shuster’s liberal record in Washington.

To listen to Madison Project PAC’s new Radio Ad entitled “Endless Debt”, click here

“Like many big-government Republicans in Washington, Bill Shuster talks a good game when he is home in the district, but his voting record reflects the fiscally liberal mentality that Republican voters are trying to change,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “Bill Shuster voted to raise the debt ceiling eight times during his tenure in Washington, failing to promote any consequential means of downsizing government in return for those votes.  There is no way we will change the trajectory of perennial growth of government with people like Shuster.  That is why we were proud to announce our support for Art Halvorson last month.  Art is a man who is committed to challenging the liberal policies of both parties, including endless increases of the debt ceiling.”

To view our endorsement of Art Halvorson, click here.

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



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Drop The Gloves

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

The men and women of the GOP who are not wholly owned subsidiaries of Big Government should welcome an election campaign centered on illegal immigration. An ideological contest on the merits of importing a poor, non-English speaking, low skilled servant class is one conservatives should win handily. The Democrats taunt of racism would be easily deflected because the facts show amnesty can only be supported by a post-American elite bent on exploiting the world’s poor for their raw pursuit of political power.

Instead of fearing a backlash from Hispanic voters Republicans should  use immigration as a vehicle for reaching out to black voters whose turnout percentage has increased every presidential cycle since 1996. As the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has documented, illegal immigration harms poor and black Americans the most because it decreases the wages of high school educated, low skilled labor i.e. about 60% of the black male labor force. That is a better entree´to a discussion with black voters than learning awkward handshakes, or slang or pretending you care to spend the morning in a black church.

Amnesty is the perfect forum for the GOP to regain its historic tie to the black community as the party of Emancipation. Democrats want to import a new, more fecund, servant class because they’ve ridden the old one as far as it will take them. Republicans should loudly, and repeatedly, point out the Democratic Party’s addiction to creating and maintaining a large class of dependent minorities and contrast it with their plans to free those same people from federal servility.

Author Wendell Talley

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