We hear lots of talk about the debt limit and Congressional arguments over whether or not to raise it, but it is all kind of abstract. This video makes a little easier to understand.
President Obama has recently submitted a jobs plan to Congress. Unfortunately for him, the reception has been less than stellar even among members of his own party. In typical Obama style, he is now going around Congress to start creating those jobs and is spending $21 billion to do so.
This is not a new tactic for President Obama as he has often used regulatory agencies to accomplish what he cannot get through legislatively. For instance, Congress rejected Cap and Trade yet the EPA has implemented most of the cap and trade policies on its own. Congress wouldn’t pass an immigration reform bill, so President Obama used an executive order to grant what amounts to amnesty. Under this administration, the FCC has tried to put in place a new regulatory structure for the internet called Net Neutrality–again, something Congress wouldn’t pass.
The President is becoming increasingly bold about these kinds of maneuvers. Recently while announcing exemptions from the No Child Left Behind Law, President Obama said the following:
I’ve urged Congress for a while now, let’s get a bipartisan effort, let’s fix this,” Obama said. “Congress hasn’t been able to do it. So I will. Our kids only get one shot at a decent education. They cannot afford to wait any longer. So, given that Congress cannot act, I am acting…
This is not the mindset of someone who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers.
And that doesn’t even begin to address problems with the actual policy. The regulatory burdens in this country have become so heavy and difficult, many businesses are looking for ways to move over seas to places that have a much more business-friendly environment. Recently Coke announced it was ramping up its investments in China. The Coke CEO, Muhtar Kent, made the following statements about his reasons for shifting more investment to China:
“Coca-Cola now sees the US becoming a less friendly business environment than China, … citing political gridlock and an antiquated tax structure. … Muhtar Kent, Coke’s chief executive, said ‘in many respects’ it was easier doing business in China, which he likened to a well-managed company. ‘You have a one-stop shop in terms of the Chinese foreign investment agency and local governments are fighting for investment with each other … They’re learning very fast, these countries … In the west, we’re forgetting what really worked 20 years ago. In China and other markets around the world, you see the kind of attention to detail about how business works and how business creates employment’. …”
“Kent argued that US states did not compete enough with each other to attract businesses while Chinese provinces were clamouring to draw investment from international companies.
There are a growing number of business owners and investors who have publicly stated their unwillingness to invest or expand due to the uncertainty in the regulatory field and with the nation’s economy. Back in February, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee heard directly from small business owners about the devastating impact the tsunami of Obama Administration regulations is having on their ability to grow and create jobs.
“The cost of regulation incurred by all businesses is eventually passed on to the consumer and our workforce. Regulatory costs require business owners like me to devote more time and resources to government compliance, which means less capital devoted to investment and job creation.
“If regulatory burden continues to grow we, along with all other private sector companies, will no longer be able to compete in the world market. Jobs will not be created and new businesses will not be formed. You will suffocate the system that has produced everything we enjoy today. It is that simple.”
It’s time for Congress to stand up to the President and take back its Constitutional authority. Rep. Geoff Davis and Sen. Rand Paul are proposing legislation that will do exactly that. Called the REINS Act, H.R. 10 will require major regulations (defined as regulations that have more than a $100 million impact on the economy among other things) to be voted on by Congress before they have the force and effect of law.
Alabama Representatives Spencer Bachus, Jo Bonner, Mo Brooks and Martha Roby have already signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation, along with Senator Jeff Sessions in the Senate. We ask you to encourage Representatives Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers and Terri Sewell to sign on as well, along with Senator Richard Shelby. Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121
The latest version of the deal to raise the debt limit is not the answer to our budget woes. In fact, according to this video by the Cato Institute, the deal doesn’t cut spending at all:
The Heritage Foundation has put the following statement out about the deal, “The deal relies on an insufficient level of cuts, a “super committee” tasked with brokering a grand bargain that will lead to massive tax hikes, massive defense cuts, or both. It remains insufficient to the task at hand and the standards which Heritage Action for America has set forth during the course of the debate.”
RedState’s Erick Erickson also recognizes the holes in the Speaker’s argument that it will not allow for tax increases stating, “There will be tax increases. The Deficit Commission will have at least one weak kneed Republican and the commission will only be as strong as its weakest link. The Bush tax cuts will also absolutely expire and not be renewed.”
The bottom line: Say NO to the $2 Trillion debt deal.
Conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives are under tremendous pressure to compromise on a debt ceiling increase. Last week, House Republicans offered a solution to the crisis called “Cut, Cap, and Balance.” Unfortunately, the plan was tabled in the Senate. Now House and Senate leaders are scrambling to come up with new proposals. There are a few key elements an acceptable proposal must have if we want to save the country from crushing debt:
- It must contain significant spending cuts and not just accounting gimmicks.
- It cannot raise revenue. We are already over-taxed. Raising taxes even more will stifle the economy.
- Entitlement spending must be addressed.
So far, the only plan offered that meets these requirement Cut, Cap and Balance. We cannot allow this country to continue down the same road of out of control spending. Our future is at stake. Please call your Senator and Representative and ask them to hold the line on the debt ceiling deal. Any plan without real spending cuts and with increased revenues is not
Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121
Senator Mitch McConnell has unveiled a proposal to give President Obama the power to raise the debt limit on his own by $2.4 trillion in three installments before the end of 2012–unless two-thirds of Congress votes to block it.
Senator McConnell’s proposal will undermine everything conservative Republicans have been working for in regard to spending cuts. The GOP was using the debt ceiling as leverage to get the President and Congress to agree to significant cuts in spending, including entitlement programs. The last thing we need to do is give President Obama the unfettered power to continue to spend us into oblivion and Senator McConnell’s proposal does not give us any real protection against that eventuality.
And that’s not all–Senator McConnell’s proposal comes out ahead of next week’s vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment. The amendment would put the U.S. on a path to reduce the federal deficit. Moody’s Investor Service has been very clear that a reduction is necessary to maintain our current credit rating. Their response to the McConnell proposal was not positive:
“the outlook assigned at that time to the government bond rating would very likely be changed to negative at the conclusion of the review unless substantial and credible agreement is achieved on a budget that includes long-term deficit reduction. To retain a stable outlook, such an agreement should include a deficit trajectory that leads to stabilization and then decline in the ratios of federal government debt to GDP and debt to revenue beginning within the next few years.”
So what can you do to stop Senator McConnell’s attempt to give President Obama an unlimited line of credit?
1. Call Senator McConnell’s office along with your Senators and Representatives and ask them not to give President Obama the authority to raise the debt limit.
2. Ask your Senators and Representatives to support the Balanced Budget Amendment
The Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a budget yesterday that eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood. The Daily Caller reports:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed a state budget Sunday that cut spending on education and health clinics, including Planned Parenthood centers, reported National Journal.
Unsurprisingly, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin denounced the budget. The group, which runs 27 centers statewide, says that services like cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and birth control will be cut back. Conservatives have targeted the group because it also provides abortion services.
Julaine Appling of the organization Wisconsin Family Action said, “If organizations want to do that, we’re not saying they don’t have the right to do that under the law. While we disagree with abortions entirely, they do have that right … [But] we don’t have to use taxpayer money to do that.” Read More
Wisconsin is the fourth state to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, following Kansas, North Carolina and Indiana. Unfortunately, a U.S. District Judge in Indiana has halted enforcement of their law.
Planned Parenthood funding is also under fire on the federal level. Back in February, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a budget amendment to cut funding to the organization. The Senate, still under Democrat control, has not yet followed suit. Stories like this clearly demonstrate why funding to the organization should be cut.
Despite a growing opposition to the 3-week continuing resolution, all six Alabama House Republicans voted Yes. 54 Republicans voted against the CR. Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan issued the following statement explaining his opposition:
“Americans sent us here to deal with big problems in bold ways. We’re borrowing billions of dollars a day, yet Senate Democrats have done little more than wring their hands for the last month. With the federal government facing record deficits and a mammoth debt hanging over our economy and our future, we must do more than cut spending in bite-sized pieces.
“Democrats control both the Senate and the White House, and it’s time they stopped dithering. We need swift action to deal with spending for the rest of this year. We need to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, and we need to defund ObamaCare. And we need to start tackling next year’s budget, the debt-ceiling, and other challenges standing in the way of job creation. We’ve made some solid first downs on spending. Now it’s time to look to the end zone.”
You can find the full roll call vote here.
Find out why they should have voted NO on the CR here.
Erick Erickson over at Red State does a better job explaining why the new short-term CR is a bad idea than I do, but in a nutshell: House Republicans are terrified of a government shut-down. They have introduced a new Continuing Resolution to fund the government for three more weeks. The fact that the new CR has no policy riders to defund Obamacare, NPR or Planned Parenthood is evidence of their fear. Passing another short-term CR buys the Democrats more time and gives them more leverage. It also sends a message that the Republicans were not serious about the $61 billion in cuts and defunding policy riders they initially proposed.
There’s another major problem with passing this CR, it will keep things running until April. The debate over the debt ceiling will take place in April. Combining these two issues will be disastrous for the Republicans. It will give them a much weaker position in negotiations, and if they fold on this, it will set the tone for the next two years.
Call your Congressman and tell him to oppose the new short-term CR!
Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on an amendment to the budget that defunded Planned Parenthood. That amendment passed by a vote of 240-185. The New York Daily News has a good recap:
The amendment was part of a bill to cut $61 billion from hundreds of federal programs, which passed in the House 235-189 on Saturday morning. Now it will be sent to the Senate, where it will be harder to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and a veto threat from the President.
Failure to pass a bill to March 4, when current funding runs out could lead to a government shutdown.
The vote on Planned Parenthood came after days of heated debate, where Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier delivered an emotional speech confessing that she once had an abortion herself 17 weeks into a pregnancy.
Democrats argued Planned Parenthood provided important access to contraception, medical exams and counseling, while Republicans argued the organization is too insistent about performing abortions.
One argument Speier made really stuck out:
“Planned Parenthood has a right to operate,” she said. “Planned Parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. Planned Parenthood has a right to offer abortions. Last time I checked, abortions were legal in this country.”
She’s correct that abortions are legal and Planned Parenthood has a right to operate. However, they do no have the right to operate on the government’s dime. Planned Parenthood supporters like Rep. Speier are still completely free to spend their own money supporting the organization.
Call and encourage House Republicans to fulfill their promise to cut $100 billion from the budget.
Rep. Jim Jordan has offered an amendment to cull an additional $20 billion from the budget in order to achieve the full $100 billion in non-security cuts the Republicans promised in their Pledge to America. The House of Representatives will be considering that amendment today. Please call the House Republicans and ask them to fulfill their promise. Response from the grassroots has already prompted them to increase their cuts from $58 billion to $81billion, and with your calls we can get to $100 billion.
Capital Switchboard 202.224.3121