Congress Rushing Through Massive New Healthcare Entitlement Before August Recess

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt

In a classic Washingtonian political maneuver, both parties are prepared to introduce a massive new Veterans Affairs health care entitlement and force members to vote up or down on the entire package before they hustle off to their awaiting flights home for the August recess. While containing one or two good proposals, the Sanders-Miller conference agreement will create a new entitlement, possibly as big as Medicare Part D, without addressing the fundamental problems with the VA that are short-changing our veterans. Most of the funds will be designated as “emergency spending,” which will exempt it from the requirement for offsets.

Much like most crisis-driven pieces of legislation, this bill sounds good on the surface. It would authorize $5 billion for hiring of additional staff and almost $2 billion for construction of 27 new facilities. The bill would also spend $10 billion granting veterans the option to seek care at private facilities, for those who are 40 miles away from a VA system or for those who have waited in line without getting an appointment for 30 days. $5 billion of the spending would be offset with other cuts to the VA while the rest of the tab would be exempt as emergency spending.

Here are some of the core concerns with the bill:

Read more at Breitbart:

Read More

CBO Report Shows Why National Debt is not Just a Number

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy

Earlier today, the Congressional Budget Office released its updated long-term budget projection, and there is not a lot of black ink in that report.  CBO estimates that, despite receiving record revenue gobbled up from the private economy, the Treasury will continue to run enormous deficits over the next 25 years.  By 2039, the public share of the debt is projected to rise from 74% of GDP to 106%.

In light of this new report, it’s worthwhile to go back a tally Obama’s debt tab from the past 5 years and explore what it means for our future.

At present, the gross federal debt stands at $17.589 trillion, which is more than 103% of our GDP.  That is an increase of almost $7 trillion since President Obama was inaugurated five and a half years ago.  To put that in perspective, it took from the presidency of George Washington until 2004 to accumulate $7 trillion in debt.  Concurrently, Obama accumulated roughly $2.9 trillion in foreign-held debt over a little more than 5 years – from $3.071 trillion to $5.96 trillion.

More importantly, roughly 90%, or $6.2 trillion, of that $7 trillion increase is comprised of the public debt, not the so-called intra-governmental debt from Social Security (the money we ‘owe ourselves’).  It took from 1789 until the final months of the Bush administration for us to accumulate $6.2 trillion in public debt, which now stands at $12.6 trillion, roughly 74% of the economy.  It is this number that is projected to rise to 106% over the next 25 years, according to the CBO.  And remember, this president still has another two and half years to radically transform America.

So what does all of this mean?  Who cares about some banal numbers on a federal balance sheet?

Contrary to the perception of many policy-makers, the national debt is not some abstract problem that will only affect future generations once investors no longer trust the security of federal treasures.  As CBO explains (page 10), this is an immediate and near-term problem:

  • The large amount of federal borrowing would draw money away from private investment in productive capital in the long term, because the portion of people’s savings used to buy government securities would not be available to finance private investment. The result would be a smaller stock of capital and lower output and income than would otherwise be the case, all else being equal. (Despite those reductions, the continued growth of productivity would make output and income per person, adjusted for inflation, higher in the future than they are now.)

  • Federal spending on interest payments would rise, thus requiring higher taxes, lower spending for benefits and services, or both to achieve any chosen targets for budget deficits and debt.

  • The large amount of debt would restrict policymakers’ ability to use tax and spending policies to respond to unexpected challenges, such as economic downturns or financial crises. As a result, those challenges would tend to have larger negative effects on the economy and on people’s well-being than they would otherwise. The large amount of debt could also compromise national security by constraining defense spending in times of international crisis or by limiting the country’s ability to prepare for such a crisis.

Much like over-burdensome regulations, high levels of debt serve as a hidden tax on the economy by sucking out private investments through an inefficient allocation of capital diverted towards growing dependency and perpetuating political careers.  Also, the relatively-low annual payments for interest on the debt, hovering around $230 billion a year, are only a temporary reprieve due to historically low interest rates.  According to Investors’ Business Daily, “if Washington had to pay the average interest now that it paid in 2000 (6.4%), it would be paying $500 billion more each year to stay afloat.”

Sadly, Americans are used to navigating opportunities and challenges based upon instant gratification or imminent danger.  Warning voters about the threat of our national debt to the future of their grandchildren is not enough.  Conservatives need to make the case that the current level of debt is a mitigating factor to current economic growth and that it will continue to diminish their wages and job opportunities.

Read More

This Week in Washington

Monday, July 14th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Immigration

As the clock winds down to the August summer recess, both houses of Congress will begin to heat up and quicken their pace of “must-pass” legislation.  As always, conservatives must be careful for last-minute tricks and new spending bills.  Moreover, we must continue to go on offense with the immigration issue and demand that no new money is spent until this president begins to reinstate our laws and protect our sovereignty.

Immigration

Last week, President Obama sent Congress a request for $3.7 billion in supplemental appropriations to deal with the surge of illegal immigration, which was completely engendered by his open border policies.  Instead of using existing funds to follow the laws already on the books, Obama is asking for new funding, which will largely go towards “processing” the illegals, not deporting them.  A whopping $1.8 billion will go to HHS in order to care for the unaccompanied minors.  Only a small percentage will go towards enforcement efforts.

There are signs that Republicans are already going to capitulate to Obama in return for a shiny object.  Conservatives must be clear that this is not a funding problem, rather a policy problem caused by years’ worth of public incentives inviting these people in through lawlessness.

House Republicans must refuse to pass any new funding unless and until Obama repeals his DACA administrative amnesty, restores the 287(g) state-federal immigration enforcement program, and generally resumes deportations.  Any conditions attached to appropriations should be done through the existing DHS appropriations bill, not a new funding bill.

The main concern this week is that Republicans will agree to pass the supplemental bill in return for the shiny object of repealing 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, or TVPRA, which proscribes that children from Central American be processed instead of deported like their Mexican counterparts (because Mexico is geographically contiguous).  This would be a huge mistake for a number of reasons.  First, it buttresses the false notion that the 2008 law is responsible for the crisis, whereas we all know that Obama’s lawlessness and the calls for amnesty are at fault.  Second, the law only governs victims of severe forms of human trafficking, which does not aptly describe the situation of most UACs.  Finally, repeal of this law would only remove an excuse, but it would not compel Obama to deport them.

The other concern is that Republicans would offer Congressman Michael McCaul’s (R–TX) “border security bill,” H.R. 1417, in return for passing the supplemental funding bill.  McCaul’s bill is deeply flawed because it merely offers vague metrics for determining whether the border is secure, not mandating that the administration build the fence, cut off magnets, and expedite deportations.

Conservatives should demand that House leadership bring up the FY 2015 DHS spending bill, and condition all existing funding to restoration of our laws and sovereignty.

Highway Bill

On Tuesday, the House will begin consideration of its stop-gap highway bill to continue funding for highway projects past the supposed August 1 deadline, when Department of Transportation officials say we will run out of funds for states.

The House proposal, HR 5021, sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), would plug the shortfall in the HTF through May 2015 by using a combination of notional and superfluous offsets that have been trotted out as an accounting gimmick for many reauthorization bills in recent years.  The projected $10.9 billion cost would be “offset” by extending custom fees for another year in 2024 – 10 years from now.  Additionally, the bill would “save money” by extending a “pension smoothing” provision for taxpayer-backed pension insurance for another few years.

Needless to say, these offsets are notional at best, and even if we ever actualize the savings, it will be over the course of 10 years to pay for new spending over the next 10 months.  It would be one thing for conservatives to sign onto this proposal so that we can work on crafting a long-term bill returning transportation authority to the states.  But it is clear that this short-term bill full of budget gimmicks and no structural changes will bid time for a long-term bill full of budget gimmicks and no policy changes.  As such, there is no reason conservatives should vote for this bill.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)

In the aftermath, of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the feeling of uncertainty with regard to the risk of terrorism left the American economy flummoxed with how to assess the future risk.  In what was considered a useful temporary response, the federal government created TRIA, which backed a number of insurance plans by providers of insurance from terrorist attacks.  However, more than a decade later, the industry is thriving and most corporations have bought into some sort of insurance plan to protect from the costs of a terrorist attack.

Unfortunately, overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both houses of congress are prepared to reauthorize the program this week (S. 2244, HR 4871).  The senate bill actually expands the threshold for federal assistance.  We have an opportunity to get the federal government out of yet another insurance scheme before this program becomes immutable, much like crop and flood insurance.  There are often temporary catastrophic circumstances in which there is a role for the federal government to play in preserving the market place, the problem is that they never know when to shut the spigot off, especially in the face of inveterate rent-seekers in government.  It will be very telling to watch the roll call votes in the House and Senate to see which members succumb to the demagoguery behind the mellifluous-sounding name of “terrorist insurance.”

Financial Services Appropriations Bill

Continuing on the annual appropriations process, the House will consider their 7th spending bill this year – the FY 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act.  This bill funds the Treasury Department, including the IRS, as well as the Judiciary branch and the Executive Office of the Presidency.  Like every other appropriations bill, this one will contain some conservative spending cut amendments, which we will tally at the end of the week.

This is actually a relatively good bill.  It defunds Obamacare as it relates to the IRS’s ability to enforce the law. It makes drastic reforms to Dodd-Frank and it cuts the IRS’s budget.  The bill also conditions funding for the White House to his commitment not to abrogate federal laws with executive orders.  The problem is that Republicans are just doing this for show and have no intention of standing behind any of the core policy changes in this bill when the real budget battle commences in September.

Oped: U.S. Shouldn’t Give $500 Million To Palestinian Terrorists

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy

Here is our latest op-ed advocating for suspension of all foreign aid to the Palestinians.  Read the full piece at Investor’s Business Daily.

Now that we live in a post-constitutional era, there will always be sharp political debates over the role of the federal government and what we choose to fund with taxpayer dollars.

But can’t we all agree that there is no benefit to sending $500 million to the Palestinian Authority? What national interests does it serve for us to fund ruthless terrorists?

While aid to the PA should have been cut off years ago, the recent unity pact with Hamas, which is responsible for murdering three Israeli teens, should serve as the last straw even for the most naive foreign service workers at the State Department.

Under current law, given that Hamas is designated as an official terror group, they should immediately suspend aid. However, inasmuch as this administration will never follow the law, Congress should move directly to cut off aid.

According to the Congressional Research Service, we have sent roughly $5 billion to the Palestinian government since the mid 1990s. Our annual aid has fluctuated a bit, but has hovered around $500 million per year.

Moreover, at roughly $275 million a year, the U.S. is the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, a multinational group that has long harbored Palestinian terrorists under the guise of humanitarian aid.

It’s time for Congress to stop playing the Palestinian game. The notion that Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah gang are any better than Hamas has always been absurd. Just last week, Israel National News reported that Fatah has declared full solidarity with Hamas and Islamic Jihad by declaring the Palestinian Authority and Hamas share “one goal.”

A post on the official Facebook page of Abbas’ Fatah faction showed a picture of terrorists in the military wings of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, featuring the words “brothers-in-arms: one G-d, one homeland, one enemy, one goal.”

Hence, the liberal foreign policy establishment can no longer attempt to decipher between uniformed terrorists and “suit” terrorists.

Thankfully, a number of rank-and-file Republicans have already taken the initiative to cut off aid. Reps. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., have introduced a resolution to bar all aid to the Palestinians under any circumstances.

New Highway Stop-Gap Bill a Consummate Washington Budget Gimmick

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy

After years of controlling most of our transportation policy from Washington, there is no longer enough money in the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), to cover the cost of construction projects for the remainder of the year.  Naturally, instead of looking for policy changes to solve the problem, such as returning transportation authority to the states, repealing Davis-Bacon wage mandates, and cutting mass transit funding, the politicians in both parties are reverting to their comfort zone.  They are doubling down on our failed federal transportation system by either proposing new taxes or increasing spending to cover the projected $16 billion annual shortfall in the trust fund.

With the August 1st deadline looming, when the DOT is expected to cut back on federal funding for projects, the House and Senate are now working on two short-term patches.  Short-term fixes would be palpable if they were used to make structural policy changes in the long-run.  However, as is the case with most reauthorizations, both parties are looking for immediate notional spending offsets so they can plan a long-term package that either increases taxes or spending on a failed system.

The House proposal, HR 5021, sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), would plug the shortfall in the HTF through May 2015 by using a combination of notional and superfluous offsets that have been trotted out as an accounting gimmick for many reauthorization bills in recent years.  The projected $10.9 billion cost would be “offset” by extending custom fees for another year in 2024 – 10 years from now.  Additionally, the bill would “save money” by extending a “pension smoothing” provision for taxpayer-backed pension insurance for another few years.

The pension smoothing provision is one of the most laughable budget gimmicks, yet it has been trotted out as a savior every time Congress wants to increase spending.  This plan allows corporations to cut the level of payments into the retirement funds backed by the taxpayer-funded Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).  By allowing companies to contribute less to pensions, they are entitled to less tax deductions, and in turn, incur a higher tax liability.  That tortured labyrinth of projected new revenue, estimated at $6.4 billion over 10 years, is what will be used to offset the new highway spending.

Not only is this intangible 10-year offset for a 10-month expenditure reflective of the most absurd budget tricks in Washington – it is also bad policy.

Typically, when interest rates decline to the levels we have seen in recent years, companies must contribute more to their pension funds to ensure that the principle compounds enough for them to meet their overall obligation to retirees.  If we lower the threshold for minimum contributions, taxpayers will likely be on the hook to bail out underfunded pensions in the coming years.

Alternatively, if companies are able to fill in the pension gaps in the coming years to compensate for the short-term underpayments, it will create a rubber-band effect on federal revenue.  They will be entitled to increases in tax deduction commensurate with their added pension contributions, thereby voiding out the potential revenue increase being used as an offset in this bill.  Garbage in, garbage out.

If Congress is committed to kicking the can down the road with a short-term extension, they should just be honest with the taxpayers and drop the phony offsets from the bill.

Read More

We Don’t Need a Bailout for Drug Cartels

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Should an arsonist be granted money to repair and “deal with the crisis” he helped create after starting the fire in the first place?  That is the question House Republicans should ask in response to President Obama’s request for $2 billion to deal with the border crisis.

Presidential requests for supplemental appropriations usually come on the heels of natural disasters or other catastrophic events.  But as we’ve known for some time, the border crisis is not a natural disaster; it is a man-made crisis which Obama’s DHS now admits was the result, in large part, of widespread suspensions in deportations over the past few years.  The collective result of Obama’s public declaration of independence from immigration enforcement has telegraphed an unambiguous message to Central American countries that America is open to any and all forms of illegal immigration.  The word spread quickly, and it is now apparent that the administration has been gearing up for this invasion for quite some time.

Should this same administration now be granted another $3.8 billion, which will largely go towards caring for the illegal immigrants rather than repatriating them to their countries of origin?

Instead of playing defense, it’s time for House Republicans to go on offense and use their Article I powers to control the existing funds allocated to the DHS and HHS in order to ensure that our sovereignty as a nation is preserved.  The supplemental request should be rejected outright, while Republicans should condition all existing funding to the relevant agencies to focus on enforcement, instead of subsidizing the illegal invasion.  Any new funding granted to Obama will only encourage more of this behavior, which will, in turn, serve as a bailout for the drug cartels and human traffickers.

Republicans must place the following conditions on the next DHS appropriations bill:

  • No funding shall be used to transport aliens to the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement.  This will force DHS to have ICE immediately proceed to deportations.
  • Obama’s DACA program must be completely defunded.  It is quite clear that the blank check for illegal immigrant children is fueling this massive new wave across the border.
  • All those who arrive under the current surge from Central America should be barred from being granted refugee or asylum status.
  • The 700-mile border fence must be completed.

The answer to a raging fire is to first stop pouring on the gasoline.  We need a change in policy, not more taxpayer funding to support the government-sponsored arson.

Read More

Madison Project Scores 11 Spending Amendments in Transportation-HUD Bill

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Issues

Amidst the political turmoil in the House last week, members of Congress voted on a number of spending amendments to the annual Transportation-HUD appropriations bill.  This is not exactly the most exciting topic in light of the political gamesmanship involved in running for leadership posts, but it is quite revealing when attempting to ascertain the commitment of some members to reducing the size of government.

The bill, HR 4745, appropriates roughly $52 billion for FY 2015.  Put simply, this bill encompasses more wasteful government that almost any other appropriations bill.  It spends almost $8 billion more than last year’s draft bill from the House and it contains a number of programs that should not be administered at a federal level, such as subsidies for mass transit and rural air service.   The bill also contains a number of programs that were instituted under the Obama stimulus bill in 2009.

Several members of the conference offered amendments to cut back wasteful spending, particularly among programs that subsidize housing, yet most of them were rebuffed by a coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans.  We’ve created a scorecard of 11 amendments detailing how each member of the GOP conference voted.

Click here to view the scorecard

Please find the descriptions of these amendments from the Republican Study Committee pasted below:

Read More

House Leaders Pass Another Bill With Democrat Support

Friday, May 9th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt

Evidently, the fact that Republicans “only” control the House necessitates that they pass bills with Democrats support.  Once again, House leaders passed a bill through the House with only a majority of Democrat support.

As we noted yesterday, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation is a corporate welfare bank to subsidize foreign investment.  106 Republicans voted for it while 116 voted against it.  This is yet another violation of the precedent to pass bills only with majority Republican support.  After all, Republicans control the House for a reason.  House leadership has passed bills with Democrat support on a number of other occasions:

  • “Fiscal Cliff” tax hikes and stimulus pork (HR 8 1/1/13)- This was the McConnell-Biden tax hike coupled $230 billion in new stimulus spending, including $40 billion in green energy pork.  It passed with only 85 Republican votes.
  • Sandy Pork Bill (HR 152, 1/15/13) – This bill contained $60 billion in extraneous pork spending, of which the majority would be appropriated long after the recovery from the Hurricane is over.  It passed with just 38 Republican votes.
  • “Violence Against Women Act (S. 47 2/28/13) – This was the Senate version of VAWA that dramatically expanded the unconstitutional program to include a number of social engineering provisions and violations of due process.  It passed with only 87 GOP votes.
  • Battlefield preservation pork (HR 1033 4/9/13) – This was a random Democrat suspension bill to give money to states for the purpose of buying up more land.  It passed with less than half of Republican members.
  • Obamacare pre-existing conditions program (HR 1549 4/25/13) – to pump $4 billion into Obamacare’s federally managed and manipulated high-risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions.  The bill was pulled from the floor at the last minute due to a mass revolt within the conference.
  • October CR Funding Obamacare and Raising Debt Ceiling RC#550, 10/16/13)  – Passed with only 87 Republicans supporting it.
  • February 2014 Debt ceiling increase RC# 61 (2/11/14)  – Passed under suspension with just 29 GOP votes
  • Doc Fix extension with phony spending offsets (3/28/14).  Passed by voice vote despite conservative opposition.

This end-run around the majority was perpetrated by all leaders.  This includes Cantor and McCarthy.  Cantor is openly flaunting his disenfranchisement of conservative voters.  Any effort to elect the same leadership slate for next Congress will only serve to disenfranchise the conservative voters who elected a GOP majority.  It’s time we get commitments from all members and candidates as to whether they will join the effort to replace the current leadership.

Ask yourselves this question: with hundreds of millions of dollars behind the effort to pass amnesty and comprehensive open borders legislation, will these leaders think twice about passing amnesty with Democrat support?

That’s why primaries are so important. #PrimariesMatter

Cross-posted at RedState.com

Read More

Dependency is the Measure of Success for Obamacare

Friday, April 4th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Obamacare

On the surface, it’s quite puzzling that Democrats would celebrate the fact they signed up 7.1 million people for Obamacare.  They essentially took a number of people who were happy with their insurance and raised the cost to the point where they could no longer afford it themselves, engendering a need for a government subsidy.  Like many Americans, my family will lose our insurance later this year and will have to pay more for subpar coverage.

As for those who had no previous insurance, most of them are being dumped into Medicaid and will be cemented in a permanent status of dependency with limited access to quality care.

Hence, celebrating 7 million people reliant on Obamacare is like rejoicing over an arsonist who burned down millions of homes but created a bungalow of dingy shelters for people to seek refuge.  Would we measure the success of such an endeavor by the number of homes burned down and, in turn, by the number of people registered at the shelters?

Sadly, in the perverse world of liberalism, this is something to celebrate as a mission accomplished.  The end-game for liberals with all government interventions in private enterprise is to make the private sector unaffordable and unsustainable, thereby forcing as many people as possible into government dependency and barring the path towards upward mobility.  Given that healthcare is one of the most vital services and the largest sector of our economy, Obamacare is indeed the crowning achievement of this long-term goal and worthy of celebration among liberals.

This observation was lost on those who opposed the effort to defund Obamacare last year, arguing that the law would implode on its own.  At the time, many of us argued that although from a policy standpoint the law would be a disaster, that is exactly the point of Obamacare.  The law was designed to destroy the private insurance industry, and by extension the entire healthcare sector, and force people into a government-run program.  The website and the incompetence was something they could overcome on some level.  Consequently, Obamacare will not implode on its own – at least not before it implodes the private sector first.

Additionally, there were those who argued that we must wait until 2017 to fight Obamacare.  But as we are seeing now, millions of people will be forced or enticed into joining Obamacare.  Even though the level of access to care and the quality of delivery will gradually deteriorate, it won’t be so apparent during the first year or two, especially if that is the only insurance individuals have.

There is no doubt that the administration will successfully throw millions of more Americans onto Obamacare by 2017.  Again, that is not a sign that Obamacare is working– as it surely is not – rather it is a measure of how successful the law’s deleterious effects on private insurance have impelled people to sign up as their only recourse of seeking coverage.  Once there are tens of millions reliant on Obamacare there is no way we could repeal the law.

This is why conservatives must keep up the pressure.  The media is trying to conflate Obamacare’s success at creating proverbial homeless shelters with real policy success so that Republicans stay away from the issue.  But if we give up on any effort to disrupt implementation now, much of the law will be immutable.

Cross-posted from RedState

Read More

The “Cowardly” Senate Leaders Employ Another Budget Gimmick

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy, Obamacare

Here is exhibit A of why we don’t trust current Senate leadership to do the right thing if they were to win back the majority; they refuse to block new spending when in the minority.

Last week, House leadership decided to pass the “doc fix” bill (H.R. 4302) by voice vote.  This bill reimburses healthcare providers for the scheduled 24 percent cut in payments for services rendered to Medicare patients.  The bill extends the payments through next March.  It also continues some new programs created under Obamacare.

They used a hodgepodge of tenuous offsets spread out mainly over the next 5-10 years to compensate for an immediate expense that will undoubtedly reoccur every year under the 10-year budget frame.  Hence, once again, Republicans have agreed to increase spending without any structural reforms or concessions from Democrats on other policies (the original House bill paid for the extension by repealing the individual mandate).

Yesterday, Senator Harry Reid brought the bill to the Senate floor, but Senator Jeff Sessions raised a budget point of order.  As Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, Sessions has been a stalwart at challenging new spending bills for violating Senate PAYGO rules.  This is one of the few tools at the disposal of the minority party used to block bad legislation since the majority party needs 60 votes to overrule the point of order.

In this case, the $15.8 billion cost would be incurred immediately and the offsets include some budget gimmicks to ensure that CBO would score it as deficit neutral by the year 2024.  One would expect the party leadership to rally behind their point man on budget issues in order to stop the majority from increasing spending.  Yet, Senators McConnell and Cornyn led 14 other Republicans in opposing Sessions, thereby giving Reid the 60 votes needed to send the bill to the President’s desk.

Senator Tom Coburn was right to call this a “cowardly” vote, suggesting that this is the reason he is leaving the Senate:

“If you vote for this bill that’s on the floor today, you’re part of the problem. You’re not part of the solution,” Coburn said. “It’s a sham, it’s a lie. The pay-fors aren’t true. It’s nothing but gimmicks. It’s corruptible. There’s no integrity in what we’re getting ready to vote on.”

Coburn said the “doc fix” is just the latest in a series of decisions Congress has made to avoid short-term pain. He and other fiscal conservatives railed against a fix this year to rising flood insurance rates — a law that’s celebrated by senators from coastal states.

“Just like we did on the flood insurance bill. It got a little hot in the kitchen, instead of actually cooking the omelet, we threw the eggs in the trash can and ran out of the room. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen here,” he said.

Once again, we must ask the salient question: will our predicament improve if we allow the same cowards to lead the GOP majority?

Read More