Will The King v. Burwell Decision Destroy Obamacare?

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.

Why Good Candidates Matter

Monday, June 15th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized

There is a discussion going on in Washington, DC currently and it goes to the make-up of the House Republican Caucus.

The question in everyone’s mind is: how conservative is this caucus?

If one were to look at the current leadership, one could come up with the conclusion: not very.

To some extent, this is a fairly accurate description. Leadership should reflect the Members.

But we think that conclusion misses part of the picture.

Years ago, when current Madison Project Chairman Jim Ryun, was a Member of Congress, if one belonged to the Republican Study Committee (RSC), one was de facto a conservative. No questions asked.

Over the years, the RSC has become a watered down resume builder for many Members so they can go home and tout it to their constituents (“Of course I am conservative-look, I belong to the RSC!”).

If one were to look at current RSC Members like Cathy McMorris Rogers (a 59% on the Heritage Action scorecard), Frank Lucas (also a 59% on the Heritage Action scorecard) or Kristi Noem (a 60% on the Heritage Action scorecard) among many others, however, one wonders why it even exists anymore.

It is this current state of affairs that gave rise to the House Freedom Caucus, the new bastion of conservatism in the House of Representatives. It is this caucus that has forced John Boehner and other members of the GOP elite to operate in ways that we already knew they were inclined to, but were never forced to.

Now, instead of negotiating with their own caucus first, Boehner and Co. go directly to the Democrats to ram more big government legislation through.

The problem right now for conservatives in Congress is not that they aren’t conservative enough. It’s that there are not enough of them. Which is why we need to 1) protect the good conservatives already in Congress and 2) reinforce them with others. The political math involved in this is very real and it is very simple.

We need more good folks in Washington, DC and we need them now.

So if you haven’t already checked out our Madison Project Candidates Page, do so today and learn more about the candidates we are convinced will do two things in the next Congress-vote for new leadership in the GOP Caucus and continue to push for legislation that turns this country around.

 

The Madison Project Endorses Matt McCall for Congress

Monday, June 15th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized

There is a shifting dynamic in our home state of Texas. For years, to the untrained eye, the federal delegation from Texas has appeared to many to be among one of the most conservative delegations in the nation. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

As our Performance Index shows, many of the Members of the Texas Congressional delegation are not a reflection of their districts or state with some performing as low as -37 on the Madison Performance Index (MPI).

In a word, that is abysmal.

As the state legislature has become increasingly conservative with the likes of state reps Matt Krause, Craig Goldman, Jeff Leach, Jonathan Stickland and others along with newly minted state Senators Konni Burton, Bob Hall and Lois Kolkhorst, it is time to turn in earnest to challenging the federal delegation.

In light of that, our first Texas endorsement goes to Matt McCall who is challenging Lamar Smith in TX-21 (a man with a -17 on the MPI). While a strong voice against illegal amnesty, Lamar has a lifetime score of 71% on the Heritage Action scorecard and a 73% lifetime score on the Club for Growth’s scorecard. In a district that has a Cook Partisan Voting Index number of R+12, it’s clear that we must replace Lamar with a conservative committed to wholesale change in Washington, DC.

That conservative is Matt McCall. Not only is Matt strong on illegal immigration (likely even stronger than Lamar Smith), he checks all the boxes on fiscal and social issues and we believe that Matt will not only match the make-up of TX-21, he will likely exceed expectations. To read more on Matt, see his bio here.

Make no mistake. This is going to be an uphill climb for Matt against a deeply entrenched incumbent. But we have seen challengers overcome greater odds which is why we are happy to endorse Matt McCall in his run for Congress.

 

The Madison Project Endorses Jim Banks for Congress

Friday, June 12th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized

As an Indiana state Senator since 2010, Jim Banks’ resume is one filled with several conservative accomplishments. Ranked one of the top conservatives in the entire Indiana state legislature, Jim is a Navy reserve officer who took a leave of absence from his state Senate seat to serve our country in Afghanistan last year.

He is not just committed to promoting freedom through supporting limited government; he’s actually fighting on the battle lines to preserve it.

More importantly to us, as we have chatted with him, it is clear that Jim understands the current dynamics in Washington, D.C. and is not afraid to commit to opposing the status quo even if it means standing up to his own party when he wins this race for Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District.

During his time in the Indiana state legislature, Jim has co-authored or co-sponsored bills that repeal the death tax, created a statewide voucher system and introduced Right to Work to Indiana. Coupled with his fiscal conservatism, Jim has maintained a 100% pro-life voting record during his tenure, co-authoring numerous pro-life bills along the way.

Jim Banks has proven himself in the legislative trenches and it is time for us to move him from the political bench of the state legislature and into the game of federal level politics.

As we have continually noted, the change needed in Washington, D.C. is not going to take place overnight. It’s going to be a process of multiple election cycles that becomes twofold: electing new conservatives to office and defending the ones who continue to prove their mettle once elected.

It is without hesitation that we endorse Jim Banks in his run for U.S. Congress and look forward to helping him win not only his primary, but the general election as well.

Why the Ex-Im Fight Is Worthwhile

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Uncategorized

Part of the problem for conservatives is the disconnect that many American taxpayers have with Washington, D.C. and the decisions made there. The average American taxpayer knows something is wrong, but because they are working to make ends meet (several working two or more jobs) they don’t know all of the specifics when it comes to legislation being considered or passed. This disconnect is also partly due to the fact that so much goes wrong in Washington, D.C. The inside baseball discussion of legislation takes place every day and many taxpayers are not part of that conversation.

Such is not the case of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).

Created by executive order by FDR, the Ex-Im Bank’s charter was “to create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing sales of U.S. exports to international buyers.”

However, in recent years, the Ex-Im Bank has become a slush fund for corporations that don’t need the money, but would rather not shoulder the risk. The risk is, however, placed in the lap of the American taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of loans subsidized each year with taxpayer dollars.

Loans like the $126 million one to the China National Nuclear Power Corporation or the millions of dollars in loan guarantees to customers purchasing Boeing aircraft. It is the essence of corporate welfare and a slush fund used to manipulate the free market.

While defenders of the Ex-Im Bank will argue that the bank helps level the playing field for small businesses in America, the fact of the matter is that in 2012, 82% of the bank’s loan guarantees went to Boeing’s customers.

At the end of this month, the Ex-Im Bank is up for reauthorization and its future is in jeopardy. Why? Because the foundation on which its current iteration is built (Congress) is shifting underneath it. A new breed of conservatives have been elected to office the last few election cycles, many of whom are Madison Project endorsed. As proponents of the actual free market, not a manipulated one, they are fighting to let the authorization for the Ex-Im Bank lapse at the end of this month.

It’s as simple as that. But make no mistake – there will be a fight over the next few weeks as the GOP leadership attempts to ram it through Congress, potentially attempting to attach it to the Defense Reauthorization bill to create a conundrum for the Ex-Im Bank’s critics.

Stopping it could be a huge win for the conservative movement, but we’re going to need all hands on deck to stop it and begin rolling back the largesse of the big government/big business crowd that has become far too comfortable playing with the American taxpayers’ money.

Deciphering DC

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized

As hard as it may be for some to believe, what politicians say and what they do are often times two different things.

Take for instance the GOP Establishment’s pledge to do all that they could to stop Obama’s executive amnesty. They said what they thought the voters wanted to hear and they were correct.

Instead of fighting it, however, they aggressively pushed to pass the Department of Homeland Security bill that executive amnesty was attached to, even having one of their outside groups, the American Action Network, run misleading ads in the districts of conservatives like Jim Bridenstine and Tim Huelskamp to attempt to force them to vote for the bill.

Or, more accurately, potentially set them up for defeat in 2016.

We fully realize it is hard for those not familiar with Washington, DC to decipher what exactly goes on there and what politicians really mean when they say certain things.

As our friend Daniel Horowitz over at the Conservative Review noted, many of the same promises to stop executive amnesty were broken when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, agreed to bring up President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. Lynch has been outspoken in her support of Obama’s executive amnesty order, even going so far as to say that illegal immigrants had a right to work in the United States “regardless of how they came here” during her confirmation hearing.

Could Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have partially fulfilled his promise to stop executive amnesty by keep Lynch’s confirmation vote from the floor? Yes. See the tactics Harry Reid (D-NV) employed for years as Majority Leader.

Did he? No. Today, Lynch received 66 votes for cloture, which means 12 Republican Senators voted to bring her confirmation to the floor for a vote.

To some extent, many of those Republican Senators are the usual suspects: Hatch of Utah, Flake of Arizona, Graham of South Carolina, Ayotte of New Hampshire and Kirk of Illinois. But there are others among them who are likely going to vote against Lynch on the floor of the Senate and then message to their constituents: “I did the right thing and voted against Obama’s radically left Attorney General!”

But in reality, they didn’t.

There are two votes on the Senate floor and the hardest one, the one that Senators should be judged by, is the cloture vote. Mitch McConnell and Co. knew full well that the big hurdle to clear was the cloture vote. After that, thanks to the support of the aforementioned Senators, her confirmation would proceed without a hitch after cloture and the Senators who needed to message to their home states that they voted against Lynch would be released on the final vote.

Among them, apparently, is Senator John Cornyn of Texas who has become a master at this tactic: vote for cloture, vote against final passage and then message to his home state how he fought as hard as could to stop an Obama nominee or bad legislation when in reality, the opposite was and is true.

This should be yet another wake up call for conservatives who think the GOP is fighting for them in Washington, DC. At this point, we would be happy if they did nothing.

They are not. They are actively working against their base and with the other half of the ruling class, the Democrats, to cram nominees and bad legislation through, proving yet again to conservatives that the current GOP leadership is not for them, they are against them.

Press Release: Steve Russell should have Opposed Boehner for Speaker

Friday, March 27th, 2015 and is filed under Press, Uncategorized

Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC made the following statement regarding the passage of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), also known as Doc Fix, a bill that adds $141 billion to the deficit:

“The House GOP leadership’s “Doc Fix” is bad policy,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “It increases the deficit and forces our nation’s taxpayers to foot the bill. While we’re in favor of replacing the SGR this could have been done responsibly without forcing our nation further into debt.

“If Rep. Steve Russell had kept his campaign pledge to the conservative grassroots and opposed Rep. John Boehner for Speaker we might not be in this current situation.  A more conservative House leadership would not be pushing legislation as destructive as this Doc Fix.”

Why We Need To Stop No Child Left Behind

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Uncategorized

Back in 2001, then President George W. Bush hailed the passage of what he called one of the hallmarks of his administration, the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)*. Considered the most sweeping education reform since Lyndon Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act, No Child Left Behind’s proponents claimed that it would raise the standardized test scores nationwide. In 2005, these same proponents pointed to the National Assessment of Educational Progress results that appeared to show marked improvement among 9 year olds in reading and math.

Oddly enough, there appeared to be no progress in other age groups and opponents to NCLB argued that scores even fell among other age groups even as the makers of the standardized tests worked to make the tests easier.

To some extent, the problem above is not that scores may or may not have improved in certain groups or sub-groups of students nationwide or that standardized tests were made easier.

Those are just footnotes to a much larger problem – a federally mandated education standard.

When standardized testing becomes the goal for teachers, the curriculum follows suit and the learning environment is constrained. With focus on reading, writing and mathematics and rewards based on how students test on those subjects, the liberal arts are, in effect, dismissed as non-essentials. Teachers teach to the test.

It is now proven that under NCLB, history, art, music, language and other subjects have been reduced by over 70% nationwide. On top of all this, NCLB does nothing to actually cut the $25 billion budget of the Department of Education, one of the most bloated bureaucracies in Washington, D.C.

There were a lot of conservatives elected these last few election cycles under the auspices of cutting government spending in Washington, D.C. and getting government out of our lives.

This Thursday, they have an opportunity to do so by voting against reauthorizing NCLB and working towards commonsense education reforms that give parents and local education boards more control over how students are taught as well as making American school childrens’ educational experience more well rounded.

Given its lack of popularity, many would think defeating the reauthorization for NCLB would be an easy task with Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Apparently, it is not.

As Daniel Horowitz writes over at ConservativeReview.com:

Unlike welfare dependency programs, which the best we can hope for is a reform bill cutting around the edges of the program, NCLB is detested by both the Right and the Left.  As an added bonus, it has created no dependency. Quite the contrary, there is popular sentiment to scrap federal intervention and standardized testing altogether.  So why are Republicans committed to preserving it by reauthorizing the program for another seven years?

It is our hope that many of you reading this post will ask the same question and reach out to your Members, asking them to vote against the reauthorization of NCLB on Thursday.

To reach your Member’s office, you can go to www.House.gov and find a listing of each Congressional office with contact information.

If you would like to call them, dial 202-224-3121 (the Capitol switchboard) and ask for your Member’s office.

The request is simple. Ask them to vote against the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, bill H.R. 5.

 *The Madison Project’s chairman, former Congressman Jim Ryun, voted against No Child Left Behind during his tenure in Congress.

#ConvenientConservatives

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 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.

 

 

 

The Nanny State

Monday, January 26th, 2015 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.