As the Gang of 8 introduces their proposal, just remember that all of your concerns are unfounded. Unlike previous amnesties, this one will not grow the welfare state; it will not affect wages; it will not change the composition of the country. Most importantly, it will finally ensure that we enforce the laws before people are granted amnesty. NOT! Although the bill keeps being leaked in pieces, here are some clear concerns that have emerged from the memos circulating around the Hill:
Did you know that Congress and the President quietly repealed misguided aspects of the Stock Act a few days ago? I thought not.
Late in 2011, CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a sensational news story detailing allegations that lawmakers were profiting from investments spawned by non-public information. Harry Reid seized the moment, and in a highly political calculation, brought the STOCK Act (S. 2038) to the Senate floor. The bill banned lawmakers and some aides from buying or selling stocks and other securities based on confidential information. As a means of enforcement, the bill required those effected to report stock and bond transactions within 30 days of the transaction. The bill sailed through the Senate and passed 96-3 on February 2.
Not to be outdone in the game of political grandstanding, the House passed a similar bill under suspension 417-2, circumventing the entire committee process. Differences between the House and the Senate were resolved by unanimous consent and the bill was signed by the President in March.
So in a matter of two months, Congress voted to overcriminalize the undefined and ambiguous vice of insider trading. In their mind, corruption in the legislative process was over.
The gross federal debt stands at $16.8 trillion, up from $10.6 trillion when Obama took office. The total public debt is almost $12 trillion, double what it was when Obama was inaugurated. The most destructive part of the public debt is the share of foreign owned treasuries. According to the Treasury Department, the share of foreign holdings in U.S. treasuries has reached a record high – $5.66 trillion.
The Treasury Department said Monday that foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities increased 0.3 percent in February from January to a record $5.66 trillion. It was the 14th straight monthly increase.
China, the top foreign owner of Treasury debt, increased its holdings 0.7 percent to $1.22 trillion. Japan, the second-larger holder, trimmed its holdings 0.6 percent to $1.1 trillion.
Overall demand kept rising despite sharp disagreements between Congress and President Barack Obama over tax and spending issues. Still, Congress approved a measure to temporarily suspend the borrowing limit until May 19. That has allowed the government to take on more debt while the debate continues.
The increase left total holdings 10.8 percent higher than a year ago. Out of the total foreign holdings, 72 percent is owned by foreign governments including foreign central banks.
This press release was blasted out to the media earlier today. We want to send two messages: one, we want the freshmen Members who are taking courageous stands to know that we are with them. We want to encourage them to stay strong in the face of all the competing interests they face on a day to day basis in Washington, DC. The second message is to the GOP Establishment and it is, “These Members work for the American taxpayers, not you. They are not in Washington, DC to protect the apple cart. They are there to upset it.”
For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2013
Contact: Daniel Horowitz
Madison Project PAC Thanks Conservative Freshmen for Standing Strong
Madison Project Chairman Jim Ryun: “Many Republicans run for office pledging to challenge the status quo in both parties, but few of them ever deliver. We’d like to recognize those freshmen who have stood strong in their commitment to a limited government agenda.”
Washington, DC – The Madison Project PAC today announced that it is sending campaign donations to the following conservative freshmen members of Congress: Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11), Jim Bridenstine (OK-1), Ron DeSantis (FL-6), Tom Massie (KY-4), Matt Salmon (AZ-5), and Ted Yoho (FL-3).
“Many freshmen conservatives come to Congress with strong ideals, but are quickly sucked into the system,” said Jim Ryun of the Madison Project. “They are intimidated to ‘vote along to get along’ with the GOP establishment; they are often pressured by leadership to violate their principles; they are quick to allow the allurement of power and fame to corrupt their support for the free market and limited government.”
“We want to recognize these freshmen members who have demonstrated that it is indeed possible for conservatives to deliver on campaign promises. The checks we are sending them today are just the first of several more for each one of them and our way of saying, ‘You are doing a great job, we are with you, and stay strong’.”
Added Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project, “These members have not lost their commitment to advancing conservatism since last year’s elections, and the six we are highlighting today are just the first of what we hope will be many more. We want to encourage them to stay strong and continue to retain an independent spirit within the GOP House Conference. We urge all conservatives in these districts to thank their representatives for their strong and bold leadership. We at the Madison Project believe that if we are committed to holding wayward Republicans accountable for abrogating conservative principles, we must also be willing to stand with those who remain committed to those values.”
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/
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“First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia … In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.” […]
“The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.” [Ted Kennedy at Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 10, 1965, commenting on the Hart-Celler Act]
What is it not? It is not millions of people cascading across the border….It is not welfare benefits for those folks immediately. In fact, it’s in the bill right now that they cannot get AFDC benefits….It is not immediately wives, husbands, and children will come across. Not the case.” [Chuck Schumer on the House floor, commenting on 1986 amnesty bill].
Well, the rest is history. It is impossible to quantify how much the last two decades of illegal immigration – a direct result of the ’86 amnesty – has cost us in education, healthcare, welfare, refundable tax credits, and criminal justice. It is impossible to quantify how much the 1965 Kennedy bill has upset the balance of the country, ballooned the welfare state, and created a permanent Democrat majority in many parts of the country.
Now, instead of being ashamed of his past failures and lies, Chuck Schumer is back pushing amnesty for the people who were never supposed to come here as a result of his original amnesty. This is about as Orwellian as it gets. Now he has Marco Rubio to do his bidding and use mellifluous language to cajole conservatives into supporting another “Charlie Brown” style immigration bill.
Yesterday, 16 Republicans voted along with the Democrats to break the filibuster against the Reid gun control bill (S.649). Although Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn voted against it, they failed to whip against the vote, exerting no pressure on these wayward Republicans to put the brakes on this fast moving train wreck. The end result is exactly what the Wall Street Journal editorial page advocated earlier this week: we will now have a debate on how much we are willing to limit the Second Amendment.
On Tuesday, the WSJ condescendingly chastised Senate conservatives for mounting a filibuster on the motion to proceed with debate. They mockingly observed that “If conservatives want to prove their gun-control bona fides, the way to do it is to debate the merits and vote on the floor. They can always filibuster the final bill if they want to, but it makes no sense to paint themselves into a political box canyon before even knowing what they’re voting on.”
Moreover, they argued that by blocking debate on the bill, red state Democrats “don’t have to declare themselves on provisions that might be unpopular at home.”
Obviously, these novice observers of the legislative process have not been paying attention to the way the Senate has functioned in recent years. The reason why Republicans need to filibuster even the motion to proceed on debate is precisely to leverage Reid into allowing a debate in the first place! Reid has used a parliamentary procedure to “fill the amendment tree” and block all amendments that would embarrass his caucus. To that end, the only recourse for Republicans is to filibuster the motion to proceed with debate, as a means of forcing him to allow amendments to go through.
Now that these Republicans, with the support of the dinosaur conservative intelligentsia, have handed over their one point of leverage, Harry Reid has once again taken full control of the amendment process in an effort to protect the vulnerable Democrats. In fact, it is those 16 Republicans who afforded Reid the opportunity to hand out hall passes to Pryor and Begich yesterday to vote no on cloture. They provided him with more than enough votes to break the filibuster without those two Democrats. Now they can go home to their states (Arkansas and Alaska) and feign a more pro-gun posture than one-third of Republicans.
Now it will only get worse once “debate” commences next week. Harry Reid knows that there is no chance of ever passing a sweeping gun banning bill. He merely wants Republicans to break their consistency on the issue, and grant the overzealous ATF more power to begin stepping up gun stings and collecting more data. Perforce, he will bring up Feinstein’s assault weapons ban knowing that it will never pass, only to offer Democrats like Kay Hagen (NC), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN), Max Baucus (MT), and Claire McCaskill (MO) the opportunity to vote no and bolster their position at home. They might also vote yes on some good Republican amendments with the knowledge that they won’t pass either. This will give them the requisite cover to vote for the part of the bill Reid thinks will actually pass.
Enter Schumer’s Toomey-Manchin amendment. Although it contains dangerous healthcare privacy concerns, statist regulations on transporting guns across state lines, and allows the ATF to collect more data from background checks, it doesn’t overtly ban guns. All those vulnerable red-state Democrats will have enough cover to support it because they will vote the right way on all the straw men votes.
There’s one overarching problem with all of the proposals for comprehensive immigration reform. They are being drafted by the same La Raza/big labor/big corporate welfare coalition that blew up our immigration system and engendered this problem in the first place. Having a couple of Republicans lend their names to the pack of wolves guarding the henhouse of “reform” will not change the fact that these people want open borders, endless supplies of low-skilled immigrants, welfare recipients, and Democrat voters. Their promises about enforcement and welfare after legalization are about as valuable as the Palestinian promise to stop the terror after getting a state.
The Senate’s Gang proposal will immediately legalize every single illegal before even their tepid conditions for enforcement are implemented. The other so-called hoops they have to jump through are only preconditions for a path to citizenship. Moreover, the same logic that is pushing them to legalize them now will persist for those who don’t jump through the hoops later. They are all predicated on the fact that we can’t enforce the laws and we can’t deport illegals when we find them. So what are they going to do with the ones who don’t jump through the hoops or pay the fines and taxes? What are they going to do with those who came here more recently? Deport them? What are they going to do with all those friends and relatives who come here and overstay their visas to take advantage of the amnesty? Deport them? These guys already stated that they have no desire to do that.
Moments ago, 16 Republicans joined with Democrats to vote for cloture on the biggest gun grabbing bill since 1994. In doing so, they gave cover to Senators Pryor (AR) and Begich (AK), allowing them to vote no, while still granting Harry Reid the votes needed to break the filibuster. The names of the traitors are Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, John McCain of Arizona, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
They will contend that they are merely allowing debate to proceed and will not vote for a bad bill in the end. The problem is that once cloture is invoked, Reid will cut a deal to move some sort of compromise, such as the Toomey-Manchin expanded background check deal, which will undoubtedly garner enough support to win passage.
Although Mitch McConnell personally voted no, he failed to enforce party discipline by whipping up the vote. This is exactly why we must change the leadership and the members of the GOP Senate Conference.
Until recently, taxes and guns were the two issues that served as the glue to bind together Republicans of all stripes. They were the two issues that even feckless elected-Republicans could be counted on to hold the line and stand with conservatives. But over the past few years, Obama and the Democrats have gotten Republicans to break their impervious opposition to tax increases by supporting “increased revenue” and closing “loopholes.” Now they are doing the same thing with guns.
Democrats know that they have lost the policy debate on these two issues over the past two decades. That’s why they will never directly push for sweeping tax hikes on everyone (at least not in a way people will notice) or for complete confiscation of guns. Instead they are trying to cut around the edges in order to get Republicans on record as supporting some new “revenue increase” or a new gun law, in the hopes of reopening the door on those two issues for future concessions.
On the tax front, they have gotten many prominent Republicans to agree to the premise of closing “loopholes” for those who already pay 40% of the income tax (even after those so-called loopholes are factored in). They also got them to sign onto the Biden/McConnell tax increases. The irony about these tax hikes is that in order to win the messaging war with Republicans, they must target only the very rich. However, by only targeting the rich, the amount of revenue they raise is so insignificant that it defeats the original purpose of the tax hikes.
Or does it?
Once again, House GOP leadership passed a bill to grow government by utilizing Democrat votes to win passage. In another violation of the Hastert Rule, which requires Republican leadership to only pass bills that are supported by the majority of the majority, leadership brought The American Battlefield Protection Program Amendments Act, H.R. 1033, to the floor yesterday. It reauthorizes and expands a federal program which provides grants to states to buy and preserve battlefield sites. The House approved the bill 283-122, but a majority of the House GOP Conference, 121 members, voted against it.
This bill ,sponsored by liberal Democrat Rep. Rush Holt, would spend $50 million helping states buy up battlefields. We all understand that this is not a lot of money for Washington, but the broader point is this: why are we growing government at all when we need to be shrinking it? Why are we getting involved in helping states buy up more land when the federal government already owns 2/3 of the land in the country?
Here’s an even broader question: why are we squandering our time in control of the House on dumb suspension bills, which fail to help us jam the Senate with good legislation, and to the contrary, actually serve the purpose of growing government? Week after week the House is voting on these dimwit bills instead of going on offense on major legislative issues. While the Senate is trying to jam the House with inane gun control proposals and amnesty, the GOP-controlled House should jam them with right-to-carry legislation and border enforcement bills.
The GOP leadership in the House is looking more and more like a band of lazy people who would rather be playing golf than actually using their control of the House to fight for conservatism.
In a sane world, Republicans would actually wield more legislative power than Democrats. They have full control over the House, while Harry Reid only has tepid control over the Senate. Republicans have enough votes to block almost anything in the Senate; Democrats can’t block anything in the House. Senate Republicans should be fighting Democrats legislation, while House Republicans should go on offense and pass popular legislation to jam the Senate. What we have now is the opposite dynamic: Senate Republicans are cutting backroom deals to shred every tenet of conservatism, while House Republicans are passing dumb suspension bills.
Any wonder why Democrats are winning the message war?