Why Congress Failed To Repeal ObamaCare

For seven years, Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare if voters gave them the House, the Senate, and the White House. Last week they failed to repeal ObamaCare. What were some of the things that kept them from keeping their promise.

Yesterday CBN News posted an article about some of the things about the relationship between Congress and ObamaCare that were not widely reported.

The article reports some of that history:

In 2009, when lawmakers were debating Obamacare, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, put forth an amendment calling for congressional employees to subject themselves to insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The amendment was unanimously adopted.

“The whole point of this provision was to make them feel the pain if it didn’t work,” Kerpen (Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment) said in an interview Wednesday with CBN’s Pat Robertson.

One flaw in the final Senate bill was that the amendment did not include employer contributions. Consequently, when Obamacare passed, it terminated coverage that members and their staff previously had through the Federal Employee Health Benefit program, which subsidized about 75 percent of their health care plans.

…Senate Democrats met with President Barack Obama in 2013 to address this problem. After the meeting, Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue a rule qualifying both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate as small businesses, which is a label legally only given to businesses with less than 50 employees.

Kerpen says one person filed “blatantly false documents,” which were obtained by Judicial Watch, in order to sign up 12,000 people in an exchange that should only apply to companies with 50 employees or fewer.

…When President Trump threatens to end the bailouts for members of Congress for Obamacare, he is threatening to direct the OPM to reverse Obama’s regulation allowing employer contributions to exchange plans.

If this rule is reversed, members and their staff would lose their government-funded subsidies and be subjected to paying the premiums people without employer coverage have to pay that make too much money to qualify for subsidies.

“This is mandatory work they’ve got to get done for the American people,” Kerpen said.

This is the tweet from President Trump:

I hope that the President follows through on that threat–Congress is supposed to live under the laws they pass! Insurance Companies should not be compensated for the campaign donations they make!

 

Some Observations On The Election In Georgia Yesterday

Former Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill is credited with saying, “All politics is local.” I think that fact is partially responsible for the victory of Republican Karen Handel over Democrat Jon Ossoff in Tuesday’s special election in Georgia.

This was the most expensive U.S. House of Representatives race in American history. For those people screaming that we need to get the money out of politics, here are some numbers from an article posted at Hot Air today. As of the end of May, Republican Karen Handel had spent $3.2M. Democrat Jon Ossoff had spent $22.5M. Obviously this election was not for sale.

To add irony and a touch of chutzpah to this:

Candidate Ossoff stated in interview:

MARTIN: How do you feel about the money that’s been spent on this campaign? The Atlanta Journal Constitution published a calculation that said you and your opponent have spent or reserved over $40 million for TV and radio ads. Does that disturb you? What does it say about our political culture?

OSSOFF: The role of money in politics is a major problem and particularly the role of unchecked anonymous money. There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads in air for months now. When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back. I’m proud of the fact that my campaign has raised that money in small-dollar contributions, on average less than $50.

MARTIN: Although, it was your party that started the big spending. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also found your campaign and groups supporting it spent about $2 million more in ad spending than Handel during the runoff.

OSSOFF: Well, the overwhelming majority of money spent supporting my opponent has come from super PACs in Washington. And the overwhelming amount of money that’s been spent supporting my candidacy has come from small-dollar donors. But there’s no question that money in politics is a major problem, which is one of the reasons that we need campaign finance reform so that candidates and campaigns will spend more time talking to voters and discussing the issues and less time raising money.

Really?

On Friday, The Daily Caller reported:

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff has set a new national record for out-of-state fundraising in his bid for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

Only about 3.5 percent of Ossoff’s $15 million reported fundraising total came from within Georgia, according the Atlanta Journal Constitution. More than 14 percent came from California and New York.

Here are some of my observations on the election. The mainstream media again had it wrong–they predicted a much closer race or a victory for Jon Ossoff. The money in the election was not the determining factor–the voters looked at the candidates and made their choice according to what they knew. The media has totally lost contact with the voters–they have no idea what the pulse of America is.

The picture below sums up last night:

They just don’t look happy!

A Breath Of Fresh Air In The House Of Representatives

This article is for all of the people who have sometimes looked at the U.S. House of Representatives and thought, “Who in the world do they represent?” Well, I may have found someone who does not physically represent my district, but she sure represents me.

Martha McSally is a Congressional Representative from the Second Congressional District of Arizona. After the repeal and replace ObamaCare bill passed the House of Representatives, Ms. McSally introduced H.R. 2192. H.R. 2192 has already been voted on and passed by the House of Representatives. The bill passed the House unanimously. So what is H.R. 2192?

According to Thomas.gov:

115th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2192

AN ACT

To amend the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Elimination of non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff.

If the American Health Care Act is enacted, effective as if included in the enactment of such Act, section 2701(b)(5)(A)(ii) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg(b)(5)(A)(ii)), as added by subsection (a) of section 136 of the American Health Care Act (relating to permitting States to waive certain ACA requirements to encourage fair health insurance premiums), is amended by striking “1312(d)(3)(D),”.

Passed the House of Representatives May 4, 2017.

What this bill does is to say that if the repeal and replace ObamaCare bill is passed, Congress and Congressional staff members would not be exempt from the law (as they have been under ObamaCare). The law would apply to both American citizens and the politicians who wrote the law. What a wonderful idea. This lady is my new favorite member of the House of Representatives! Let’s see if the bill gets past the Senate.

 

Is ObamaCare Dying?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today to repeal and replace ObamaCare.The bill, named the American Health Care Act, passed by a vote of 217-213. It is not a perfect bill, but it is a first step in stopping the collapse of ObamaCare and the descent into a government-controlled single-payer system. When President Obama gave us ObamaCare, the Democrats knew it would fail–the law ignored the statistics of the actuarial tables that keep the insurance agencies in business. There was no way it could succeed. The goal was to create an entitlement that would collapse and then institute a single-payer government plan. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, that would have happened. Instead, we have a President Trump who believes in free markets.

The Daily Signal posted an article about the passage of the bill today.

The article details some of the amendments to the bill:

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur’s amendment would give the secretary of health and human services the authority to grant a waiver to states that wanted an exemption from costly Obamacare rating rules and benefit mandates.

In order to secure a waiver from these federal insurance rules, the amendment specifies that states must establish a high-risk pool for persons with pre-existing conditions, a program to stabilize the those premiums, or participate in a new federal risk-sharing program designed to secure continuing coverage and market stability.

As drafted, the waiver from these federal regulations would be virtually automatic. In short, the states would make the key regulatory decisions over benefits and rating rules.

A second amendment, offered by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) adds $8 billion over 2018-2023 to the bill’s $130 billion Patient and State Stability Fund (making the total around $138 billion).

It specifies that those additional funds are to be used by states that have received a waiver from federal insurance rules (under the MacArthur Amendment) to assist individuals with increased healthcare costs.

A Good Foundation

The House’s action should be understood as part of a continuing process of national health reform.

As amended, the House bill rightly focuses on costly health insurance rules, makes historic changes in Medicaid—transforming Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a budgeted program—and repeals the national health law’s mandate penalties and its slew of taxes.

In fact, the House bill provides for one of the largest tax reductions on record.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a beginning. Twenty Republicans voted against the healthcare bill. All the Democrats voted against the bill. It would be nice if Congress stopped playing politics and worrying about campaign donations and elections and simply tried to do what was best for America.

The Irony Of This Is Wonderful

Paid protesters have been a mainstay of the Democratic party for a long time. I encountered them years ago when I worked on a campaign for a Republican running for the U.S. House of Representatives. In Massachusetts, they were generally union workers who were commanded to show up at a certain place and given picket signs. In many cases they were told to create an incident that would make the evening news. In other places, newspaper ads recruit protesters.  However, it seems as if some of the chickens have come home to roost.

The New York Post reported yesterday that thousands of protesters have shown up outside Sen. Chuck Schumer’s luxury Brooklyn apartment building. The signs the protesters are carrying as they protest one of their own are as crude as the ones they use to protest Republicans.

The article reports:

As they marched, the anti-Trump demonstrators waved signs saying “Resist Trump” and “Show Some Spine Schumer” — while also chanting things like “Stay strong, Chuck” and “Shut it down, shut it down, New York is an immigrant town.”

The group is ultimately up in arms over what they refer to as Schumer’s “centrist” beliefs and willingness to play ball with the president.

While Schumer did say Monday that he would oppose at least eight of Trump’s cabinet nominees, he has already voted “yes” on three of his picks: Gen. James Mattis for the Department of Defense, Gen. John Kelly for the Department of Homeland Security and Mike Pompeo for the CIA.

“He’s talking the talk on social media, but is he walking the walk?” said Cambra Moniz-Edwards, 35, of Brooklyn. “What the f–k, Chuck?!”

Phoebe Damrosch, 38, of Brooklyn, cited Schumer’s headline-grabbing tears during a recent news conference on Trump’s immigration ban as she voiced her concern Tuesday night.

“His tears know what’s right,” the mother of three said, while carrying a sign with a pack of Kleenex tissues attached that said: “It takes a real man to cry and lead.”

I firmly believe that in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President, the liberals are becoming a parody of themselves. Senator Schumer is the last person they should be protesting. Get out the popcorn–there is going to be a show that may last for a while.

Unfortunately, This Is Only The Beginning

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to deal with Puerto Rico‘s debt crisis today. Bloomberg reported the following:

The U.S. House passed a hard-fought, bipartisan compromise designed to stem Puerto Rico’s worsening debt crisis after months of wrangling and a significant default.

The legislation, passed 297-127 Thursday, would establish a seven-member financial oversight board to manage a restructuring of Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt and oversee the island’s finances. The commonwealth racked up the debt after years of borrowing to cover operating costs. The plan envisions the largest federal intervention into the island’s fiscal affairs since it became a U.S. territory in 1898 after the Spanish-American War.

This is a graph taken from the International Business Times:

PuertoRicoDebtThe direction of their debt was clear. They were evidently unable to get spending under control.

Bloomberg reports:

In the vote, 139 Republicans joined 158 Democrats in favor, while 103 Republicans and 24 Democrats opposed it.

The thing that worries me about this whole situation is that we have numerous cities and states within the United States that have large amounts of ‘unfunded liabilities’ that will eventually catch up with them. At that point they will probably ask Congress for money. At least Congress did not simply bail out Puerto Rico (and hopefully it will not bail out our cities and states as they find themselves in similar situations). This bill seems to be more of a restructuring and a restraint on spending than a bail out. That is better than a bail out, but there will be many people who are owed money that will not be paid what they are owed.

The article at Bloomberg explains why many Congressmen felt that this action was necessary:

Yet the most persuasive closing argument for many lawmakers may have been one articulated by, among others, Alabama Republican Bradley Byrne: “What really worries me is that if Congress doesn’t act on this legislation, then we will at some point find ourselves facing serious pressure to vote on a true, actual bailout of Puerto Rico. That would be a grave mistake.”

A group of unions led by the AFL-CIO urged House Democrats to vote against the bill because of the minimum-wage and overtime pay provisions. The conservative group Heritage Action opposes the measure because it allows debt restructuring and temporarily shields Puerto Rico’s government from lawsuits filed by creditors.

The commonwealth’s fiscal crisis has been escalating since last June, when Garcia Padilla said the administration couldn’t afford to repay $70 billion of debt left by years of borrowing to cover budget shortfalls as the economy contracted and residents left at a record pace for the U.S. mainland. It has since failed to cover $370 million due on bonds sold by the Government Development Bank and $150 million for two other agencies as it conserved cash.

Stay tuned.

Losing The Right To Practice Your Faith In America

On May 18, Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III from Massachusetts introduced H.R. 5272 into the U.S. House of Representatives. On May 23, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

On Monday, CNS News posted an article about the bill. The article reports describes the bill:

…would amend the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to specify that religious exceptions should not apply to “protections against discrimination or the promotion of equal opportunity” and “access to, information about, referrals for, provision of, or coverage for, any health care item or service.”

The legislation is intended to “clarify that no one can seek religious exemption from laws guaranteeing fundamental civil and legal rights.”

The bill emphasizes that RFRA should not be interpreted to “authorize an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes the religious views, habits, or practices of one party upon another” or authorize “an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes meaningful harm, including dignitary harm, on a third party.”

Kennedy claimed in announcing the bill that “the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has become a vehicle for those seeking to impose their beliefs on others or claim that the tenants of their faith justify discrimination.”

This suggested bill would undo exactly what the 1993 RFRA did. Christians who believe in the Bible cannot condone homosexual behavior without compromising their beliefs. Homosexual behavior is strongly condemned in the Bible. Notice that the behavior is condemned–not the person. Anything a Christian is asked to do that supports the homosexual agenda is automatically against their beliefs. Normally businessmen have the freedom (and right) to do business with whomever they choose. Shouldn’t that right also be given to Christians? This bill would take away that right. It is interesting that the businesses that have come under attack for refusing services for homosexual weddings have all been Christian. I am waiting for the first case to be brought against a Muslim business owner. Do you think it will be handled the same way?

The thing to watch as this moves forward is the changes in the language.

This is part of the text of the bill (taken from Thomas.gov):

SEC. 2. Sense of Congress.

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should not be interpreted to authorize an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes the religious views, habits, or practices of one party upon another;

(2) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should not be interpreted to authorize an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes meaningful harm, including dignitary harm, on a third party; and

(3) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should not be interpreted to authorize an exemption that permits discrimination against other persons, including persons who do not belong to the religion or adhere to the beliefs of those to whom the exemption is given.

SEC. 3. Exception from application of Act where Federal law prevents harm to others.

Section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb–3) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(d) Additional exception from application of Act where Federal law prevents harm to others.—This section does not apply—

“(1) to any provision of law or its implementation that provides for or requires—

“(A) protections against discrimination or the promotion of equal opportunity including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Executive Order 11246, the Violence Against Women Act, and Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (77 FR 5662);

“(B) employers to provide wages, other compensation, or benefits including leave, or standards protecting collective activity in the workplace;

“(C) protections against child labor, abuse, or exploitation; or

“(D) access to, information about, referrals for, provision of, or coverage for, any health care item or service;

“(2) to any term requiring goods, services, functions, or activities to be performed or provided to beneficiaries of a government contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or other award; or

“(3) to the extent that application would result in denying a person the full and equal enjoyment of a good, service, benefit, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation, provided by the government.”.

As those who practice deviant lifestyles become politically active and become ‘protected classes’ of people claiming discrimination, we will see this law reach new heights.

The ‘Do No Harm Act’ would also forbid religious objection to ‘any healthcare’ service. Nurses or doctors who believe in the sanctity of life will be required to perform or assist with abortions even if abortion violates their religious beliefs.

Make no mistake. Christianity is under attack in America. Unless Christians begin to pay attention to what is going on in Washington, they will wake up one day and find out that the only place they are free to practice their faith is inside the walls of the church.

 

The House Of Representatives Leadership Does Not Represent Me

Freedomworks posted an article today illustrating how Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are trying to silence conservative voices. It is time we had new leadership in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The people currently serving represent themselves and not the rest of us.

The article reports:

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is at it again.

He is using a House procedure to try and pass major legislation in a way that minimizes debate and prevents conservative amendments from being introduced and debated. Last month the majority leader did this to authorize $1 billion in taxpayer dollars for a global food security bill. FreedomWorks drew attention to the bill on our blog.

Today, Majority Leader McCarthy has scheduled H.R. 5077, the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017, for a vote in the House under the same expedited procedure, called suspension of the rules. This procedure is customarily reserved for non-controversial legislation. This bill is anything but non-controversial. It is scheduled for only 40 minutes of debate, as opposed to an hour of debate, which is the norm for bills considered under a rule. Amendments cannot be offered, and the bill can be voice-voted, allowing members to avoid being put on the record with a recorded vote.

H.R. 5077 proposes to spend $521 million of taxpayer and borrowed money over a 5-year period. That is just on the unclassified portion of the legislation. According to the committee report on the bill, the goal of the bill is to “authorize the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government for fiscal year 2017. These activities enhance the national security of the United States, support and assist the armed forces of the United States, and support the President in the execution of the foreign policy of the United States.” Majority Leader McCarthy shouldn’t bring up such an important bill in a manner that prevents conservative and liberty movement amendments.

The article points out that there needs to be an opportunity for Representatives to make amendments that will protect the U.S. Constitution, as many of the entities funded in this bill have overstepped their boundaries in the past. It is quite possible that if the bill were allowed to be amended, it might be improved. Unfortunately, that may be exactly what Leader McCarthy wants to avoid.

The article concludes:

The majority leader should be running the floor in a way that allows significant bills to be fully debated with opportunities for members of the House to work their will through an amendment process. The intelligence bill should have come up as a regular rule bill, not under an expedited procedure that keeps member input to a minimum. The House, members, and the intelligence bill deserve better.

It is time for a change of leadership in Congress. We need Congressmen who will represent the interests of the American people–not people who represent only their own interests.

Is American Sovereignty Important?

America is now more than two hundred years old. The U.S. Constitution that we began with is still in place. We are still a sovereign nation. Most of us take our freedom and national sovereignty for granted, but what are some of the forces working against our freedom and against our sovereignty and what are we doing to stop them?

Well, one U.S. House of Representatives member has come up with a good place to start. Alabama’s Representative Mike Rogers on March 2, 2015, introduced H.R. 1205: American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2015 into the House of Representatives. The bill has about a 1 percent of being passed, but at least it was introduced. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill would end the United States’ membership in the United Nations. Why would we want to do that? Because the United Nations as of late has become a sounding board for tin horn dictators who want to take money from free countries who have earned it and give the money to other tyrants who have not. Part of their objective is to undermine the sovereignty of free western countries and set up a worldwide government that will control everyone and be run be a few elites who will establish the rules but not have to live by them. I just happen to have a few examples of what the United Nations has done in recent years that should be cause for alarm.

Some comments from the Washington Times about the UN Arms Trade Treaty:

The criteria that arms should not be used to “prolong” or “aggravate” instability is troubling. China could use such a provision to label U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as a violation of international law. In 1941, such a treaty would have made illegal the U.S. lend-lease program to aid Britain before Pearl Harbor.

The implication is absurd: If giving arms to an ally fighting a tyrant prolongs the conflict, the only “legal” option for the ally is to surrender.

Another problem is the draft’s invocation of “international human rights law.” Unfortunately, liberal activists often claim that strict gun control is a “human right.” This reference, then, could be interpreted in ways that infringe on Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.

Why should we care what some U.N. treaty says? Just ignore it, you say, because our Constitution trumps everything. Well, not if the U.S. signs and the Senate ratifies it. At that point, the treaty carries the weight of U.S. domestic law.

Forbes Magazine posted the following about The Law of the Sea Treaty:

Then there’s the currently proposed, Obama-endorsed, Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which would subordinate U.S. naval and drilling operations beyond 200 miles of our coast to a newly established U.N. bureaucracy. If ratified by Congress, it will grant a Kingston, Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority (ISA) the power to regulate deep-sea oil exploration, seabed mining, and fishing rights. As part of the deal, as much as 7% of U.S. government revenue collected from oil and gas companies operating off our coast will be forked over to ISA for redistribution to poorer, landlocked countries.

The U.S. would have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money would go, and be obligated to hand over offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it… for free. And who are those lucky international recipients? They will most likely include such undemocratic, despotic and brutal governments as Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe…all current voting members of LOST.

Both of the above articles are from 2012. This is not a new thing.

According to the website appinsys.com:

On November 14, 2010 the NZZ Online had an interview with Ottmar Edenhofer (Edenhofer is joint chair of IPCC Working Group 3 and deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Berlin Institute of Technology).

Mr. Edenhofer stated:

  • …“Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. … One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore … But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Last night I went to see the movie “Climate Hustle.” There was a lot in the movie that I was already aware of, but it was nice to see it organized and in one place. I don’t know if and when the movie will be shown again, but it is worth seeing.

Representative Rogers H.R. 1205: American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2015  may never get out of committee. That in itself illustrates the need for change in Washington. If we don’t change our representatives in Washington, we may lose our sovereignty as a country and our lifestyle.

This Really Does Not Sound Safe

On Thursday, Fox News reported some changes President Obama made to the Visa Waiver Program.

The article reports:

The Obama administration on Thursday eased visa rules for certain European travelers who have visited terror hotspots in the Middle East and Africa, triggering a backlash from congressional lawmakers who sought the restrictions for security reasons. 

Moments after the announcement, two key Republicans declared the administration is “blatantly breaking the law” – a law that President Obama signed – by implementing the changes.

“This is not a difference of opinion over statutory interpretation, it is a clear contradiction of the law and the agreement we reached with the White House,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., author of the bill, said in a statement. 

The revised requirements announced Thursday pertain to changes passed by Congress in the Visa Waiver Program.

Lawmakers had sought new restrictions to tighten up the program – which allows visa-free travel for residents of eligible countries — in order to prevent Europeans who have joined ISIS from entering the United States. Under the newly passed Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Sudan as well as other travelers who have visited those countries since Mar. 1, 2011 now must apply for a visa in order to travel to the U.S.

So what is this about? The article explains:

The new restrictions had previously been criticized by the Iranian government which suggested the U.S. might be violating the nuclear deal by penalizing legitimate business travel to the country. 

At some point, the executive branch of our government needs to realize that one of the major supporters and sponsors of terrorism is Iran. To allow people who have visited Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan visa-free travel to America is simply not smart. If this policy stands, we will see increased incidents of terrorism in America. This is not about business travel.

Following The Money

The good news is that Congress has chosen a panel to look into Planned Parenthood‘s fetal tissue practices. The bad news is that today’s Washington Times reports that the six Democrats named to the investigative panel have received more than $81,000 from PACs affiliated with Planned Parenthood. I am sure their investigation will be totally unbiased despite the amount of money received. Yeah, right.

The article reports:

More than half of those donations, or $43,362, came in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, according to LifeNews.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assigned the Democrats to the panel Wednesday, saying she was “proud to name six strong champions of women, families and facts to stand up against the latest Republican assault on women’s health.”

The Democrats are Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, Rep. Jackie Speier of California, Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee‘s Select Investigative Panel, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, is charged with examining “medical procedures and abortion business practices” stemming from allegations raised by recent hidden-camera videos involving fetal-tissue procurement from Planned Parenthood.

Anyone who has watched the videos of abortionists harvesting fetal tissue has very little doubt as the humaneness of this practice, much less the legality. Even if you are willing to defend the practice of abortion-on-demand in the latter stages or pregnancy, I do not understand how you can condone the actions depicted on the videos. The fact that this matter is even being discussed is a truly sad commentary on the value our culture places on the lives of the most innocent among us.

Throw The Bums Out

Conservatives who have repeatedly voted Repubican with the expectation of change in Washington are getting impatient. We have a few Representatives in Washington who actually represent the Conservative view, but unfortunately they are few and far between. The latest Washington elite trick to avoid being negatively impacted by the laws they pass was recently exposed in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The link above is to the letters written by various House of Representative members stating that they had only forty-five staff members.

CNS News posted an article yesterday explaining exactly what this is about.

The article explains:

In October 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a final rule that provides an “employer contribution” covering about three-quarters of the premiums of congressional employees enrolled in the small business exchange starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The OPM rule “allowed at least 12,359 congressional employees and their spouses and dependents to obtain health insurance through the Small Business Exchange…These 12,359 participants represent an astonishing 86% of the Small Business Exchange’s total enrollment,” the appeal states.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit last October on behalf of Kirby Vining, a D.C. resident since 1986, who objected to the expenditure of municipal funds to insure congressional employees in an exchange that was established specifically for small employers in the District.

Congress authored the law [ACA], and is going to rather questionable lengths to avoid compliance with the law it drafted,” Vining said.

Laws for thee, but not for me. Representative David Vitter has attempted to shed light on this practice, but his efforts were blocked. The story was posted at rightwinggranny.com in May of this year. Every Congressman who claimed to have forty-five staff members and actually does not should be sent packing immediately.

At Some Point We Are Going To Have To Admit That We Are Guilty Of Murder

On May 1, Red State posted an article about a vote in the United States House of Representatives that took place on April 30. The Republican party has a reputation for being pro life–their platform in the past has affirmed that–I am not sure what it says at this point–but some Republicans decided to go off the reservation.

The article reports:

Last night, the U.S. House passed a Resolution (H. J. Res 43) to disapprove of a law passed by the District of Columbia that seeks to do two things:

 •    Force pro-life and religious organizations to pay for abortion coverage for their employees

•    Force these same organizations to employ individuals directly opposed to their beliefs

The D.C. law – the so-called “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA)” – is in fact, discriminatory. It’s pro-abortion tyranny, it’s anti-conscience, and it’s anti-free speech.

While 225 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted to disapprove of this absurd law, 179 Democrats were joined by 13 Republicans in granting their explicit approval of the District of Columbia to bully organizations like the one I work for, the Susan B. Anthony List.

At some point the minority community that makes up the voters in Washington, D.C. and other places needs to come to grips with the following (from a website called Black Genocide.org):

Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.

Minority women are not being empowered by abortion–they are being eliminated. America is committing genocide against the children of its minorities.

Dashing To Protect Transparency In Government

Generally speaking, Congress is totally out of control. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the Democrats or Republicans are in charge, Congress is out of control.

Yesterday mrctv posted an article explaining how some unpopular bills are getting through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

The article explains:

Most Congressional bills are passed in a nearly empty chamber, and Massie (Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)) explained to the Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Cincinnatimembers of Congress like to use voice votes to pass unpopular bills.

There’s two reasons Congress loves the voice vote: the first is that because there’s no record of who voted, they can’t be held accountable when the bill passes.

The second reason is that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has sole discretion to decide if there is a “quorum” (218 congressmen) present in the room sufficient to take a voice vote. Massie says frequently there’s only ten congressmen present. All Boehner has to do is squint and say that there’s a quorum present and he may hold a voice vote.

As long as no one requests a recorded vote, Boehner is free to do this.

Congressman Massie explains that the distance between his office and the House of Representatives floor is about 500 yards. When Speaker of the House Boehner begins a voice vote, Congressman Massie dashes down the hall and demands a recorded vote. A recorded vote requires an actual quorum. Congressman Massie’s actions have stopped some bills in their tracks. I wish we had more Congressmen willing to stand up for the American people.

Gaps In The E-mails–Say It Isn’t So!

Yahoo News posted a story today about gaps in the emails Hillary Clinton provided to the congressional committee investigating the 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The article reports:

Republican Representative Trey Gowdy said his committee lacked documentation from Clinton’s trip to Libya after the attack despite a popular photo image of her using a handheld device during a flight to that country.

“We have no emails from that day. In fact we have no emails from that trip,” said Gowdy, who heads the committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. “There are huge gaps.”

The article reports that Hillary Clinton has asked the State Department to release her emails, but it does not explain why Mrs. Clinton does not simply release them herself.

The investigation into the attack in Benghazi is what shed light on the problem of the unofficial emails, but I believe the controversy over the gaps in the emails regarding Benghazi is misleading. As I reported last Thursday (rightwinggranny.com), Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking any and all communications – including emails – from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Chief of Staff Huma Abedin with Nagla Mahmoud, wife of ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00321)).   This latest lawsuit will require the State Department to answer questions about and conduct thorough searches of Hillary Clinton’s newly discovered hidden email accounts.  Judicial Watch also has nearly a dozen other active FOIA lawsuits that may require the State Department to search these email accounts.  Huma Abedin is also alleged to have a secret account as well.

Secret email accounts are unacceptable–even for the Clintons. The law needs to apply to the Clintons as well as everyone else. It is ironic that Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State fired United States ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration for using a private email account.

Hope For The GOP

John Hinderaker reported this morning at Power Line that Louis Gohmert has announced that he will challenge John Boehner for Speaker of the House. I have no idea if Representative Gohmert can defeat Speaker Boehner, but I sure hope he does.

The article quotes Representative Gohmert:

You deceived us when you went to Obama and Pelosi to get your votes for the cromnibus. You said you’d fight amnesty tooth and nail. You didn’t, you funded it.

In 2010, Boehner and other leaders said if you put us in the majority, we will have time to read the bills. That hasn’t happened. We saw that with the cromnibus, again.

We’ll get back to appropriating and we will go through regular committee process, so every representative from both parties will have a chance to participate in the process and not have a dictator running things.

The House of Representatives is the legislative body that is supposed to represent the will of the people–all representatives have to run for election every two years. Unfortunately, in recent years, the House of Representatives has simply reflected the sort of autocratic rule that our President has exemplified. The voice of the American people has somehow been lost in the shuffle in Washington.The Republicans have been the majority in the House for a few years now, with John Boehner as Speaker. There have been no visible change from the time that Nancy Pelosi was in charge. It is time for a change in leadership.

 

Did The Election Of 2014 Mean Anything?

We are about to find out if the election of 2014 meant anything at all in Washington, D.C. The election was a resounding victory for Republicans at all levels of government. It was also an expression of voter dissatisfaction with the current status quo.

Brietbart.com posted an article today pointing out that it would only take 29 conservatives to unseat John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Recent polls have shown that as many as 60 percent of Republicans would like to see John Boehner replaced as Speaker of the House.

The article reports:

At this critical juncture, the few dozen conservatives in the House have two options.

They can allow themselves and the 2014 electorate to remain disenfranchised, helplessly standing by while Boehner passes crucial legislation on amnesty, budget bills, Obamacare, and debt ceiling increases with Democrat support. Or they can seize control of their own destiny by using the first vote of this Congress – the only vote for which Boehner cannot rely on Democrat support – to veto the Speaker himself and preempt a disastrous two years of lawmaking.

Despite misinformation some Republican members and incoming freshmen have given constituents, the selection of John Boehner for Speaker, unlike the election of the other party leaders, has not been cemented. And in fact, on Tuesday, if every Republican who claims to be frustrated and even appalled by Boehner’s behavior would vote for any other name, they can deny him reelection as Speaker.

The article concludes:

By joining together and organizing a move to deny Boehner the majority, these 29 conservatives can create such an opportunity. This would force a second or third ballot and Republicans would have to reconvene a conference. They would finally be compelled to negotiate with conservatives who would only agree to give their votes for someone who commits to certain fundamental principles and ironclad concessions.

Although this is arguably not a perfect plan, as these members stand before their constituents and gratuitously utter the words “John Boehner,” they will have sealed their own fate for the next two years because they have offered no alternative plan to reestablish a modicum of conservative control over the conservative party. Those self-described conservatives who are reluctant to join this effort have an obligation to put forth other ideas for reestablishing a voice within the party.

On Tuesday, choose wisely and fear no man.

If the Democrats and the Republicans are ignoring the will of the American people, it is time to replace them both.

A Wonderful Suggestion For The New Congress

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This is the picture of conservatives in the Republican party in recent years. Now, in 2015, we have the chance to do something different. We can take that chance or we can continue our march toward oblivion.

Yesterday, Erick Erickson posted an article at Red State which contained a very good suggestion for the Republicans in the new Congress.

The article stated:

Yes, we need to pick up the flag and force Republicans in February to actually fight as they are now promising when funding for the Department of Homeland Security expires, but there is an even more important intervening event that must draw our undivided attention.

The vote on whether Rep. John Boehner will be Speaker will occur in January, and 30 conservative House members can deny him re-election. It will be an actual public vote—not a behind-the-scenes, paper ballot vote. Although many would have you believe otherwise, Boehner has not yet been elected Speaker for the new term. House Republicans elected him as their nominee for Speaker in November, but the full House of Representatives needs to vote on his nomination in January.

Amen. John Boehner may be a wonderful person to have a beer with, but he has become part of the Washington political class. He needs to be replaced as speaker.

The article reports the incident that convinced me it was time for a change:

One of the main obstacles to unseating Boehner is that House conservatives sort of like him. You hear them say, “He really is a good guy. He just has the worst job in the world.” What they do not realize is that at all times, Boehner and the entire Leadership team are looking to screw and distract conservatives. Leadership has a phrase for this—its called “member management.” It is code to themselves for outright deception towards those they lead. Most of the time they don’t get caught, but occasionally the corruption is exposed. Boehner’s team lied to Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) to get his vote on the all-important procedural “rule” setting up the debate on the cromnibus. He promised to pull the cromnibus if Stutzman voted for the rule. Stutzman gave his vote, and Boehner went back on his word.

We will never have any sort of unity in the Republican party if establishment Republicans are comfortable lying to conservatives. Conservatives have a choice to make–they can either fight to bring the Republican party back to its conservative roots or they can be totally ignored. I prefer the fight.

 

There Are A Few Good Men Still In Washington

The more I watch what goes on in Washington, the more I am convinced that we have two political parties–the first consists of Democrats and establishment Republicans, the second consists of conservative Republicans attempting to force Congress to represent the people who voted them into office. The recent budget debates have done nothing to change my view.

The Hill posted an article on Saturday about recent budget negotiations.

The article states:

Appropriators are expected to roll out the legislation early next week, giving critics scant time to figure out what’s inside before they cast their votes by the end of the week. The government would shut down on Dec. 12 without a new funding bill.

“Here we are doing the appropriations bill the last couple days” before a government shutdown, conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) said in an interview this week. “That’s not to squeeze Harry Reid. That’s to squeeze us.”

Boehner critics say there’s no reason the Speaker couldn’t have brought the spending package to the floor this past week, giving the House more time to consider it.

But doing so would also give more time for the right to build a case against it.

“They don’t want you to read it, that’s why! You think they want you to analyze all the mischievous items in there?” Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.)  told The Hill.

Representative Jones has been always been a budget hawk. He has unsuccessfully fought the establishment Republicans to cut spending. It is time for Americans who are concerned about the growth of government and the growth of government debt to take a close look at their voting habits. It is time to stop sending people to Washington simply because they have an “R” or a “D” after their name and to choose people for office who will actually represent us. We are running out of time to avoid American bankruptcy.

An Announcement From A Friend

Marty Lamb has worked tirelessly to repeal the automatic gas tax increase voted in by the Massachusetts legislature last year. He sent out the following email today:

Today I am announcing that I am leaving the Yes on 1 Ballot Question to Repeal Automatic Gas Taxes.

 I still fully support the initiative!

 So why am I leaving????

 You won’t believe this!

 The Office of Campaign and Political Finance says that our ballot initiative cannot tell the public which legislators voted for or against linking the gas tax to inflation. I feel that this a gross infringement on our first amendment rights!

 We could fight them in court…

 But…

 Time is running out for this election cycle.

 So today I am announcing the TankTheGasTax.Net PAC which will educate voters how legislators voted on indexing the gas tax to inflation. We will tell voters if their Representative or Senator voted for Taxation Without Representation. We will tell you who is against indexing before they were for it. We will tell you which members voted to take more money out of your pocket while collecting taxpayer funded per diems.

 If you agree that the public has a right to know, then please click here to make a much needed donation to kick-off this PAC.

 Beacon Hill insiders want to keep us quiet. I am not going to let that happen.

 While I am very sad about leaving the ballot group which I help build, I am hoping that you will show your support for my decision by making a donation today.

 Your financial support will be immediately used to print handouts that will be distributed to voters regarding their votes to automatically tax us.

 Help me hold them accountable!

 Please let me hear from you today!

 Thank you,

Temporarily this automatic tax increase and government transparency on the tax increase is a Massachusetts issue. Don’t count on it remaining only in Massachusetts.

Playing Politics Instead Of Solving Problems

The Blaze posted a story about a statement made in the House of Representatives on Friday night by Representative Tom Marino that evidently hit a sore spot with former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports Representative Marino’s statement:

“You know something that I find quite interesting about the other side?” Marino said. “Under the leadership of the former Speaker [Pelosi], and under the leadership of their former leader [Rep. Steny Hoyer], when in 2009 and 2010, they had the House, the Senate and the White House, and they knew this problem existed. They didn’t have the strength to go after it back then. But now are trying to make a political issue out of it now.”

At that point Ms. Pelosi charged across the floor and challenged him. The video of the incident is included in the article at The Blaze.

The article includes the following:

The spokeswoman also claimed that, “Pelosi accepted the Congressman’s apology” — but a spokesman for Marino said there was no apology.

“[Rep. Marino] did not apologize to Leader Pelosi and does not intend to do so as he has nothing to apologize for,” the spokesman told ABC News. “She was entirely out of line in approaching him while he was recognized and delivering remarks on the Floor.”

Marino later tweeted about the bizarre incident.

Please follow the link above to the article and read the tweets–they are hilarious.

However, there is a lesson here. Neither political party right now is looking out for the interests of America–the current members of Congress are only interested in getting re-elected and maintaining and increasing their power. There are a few exceptions, but they are very few. And unfortunately, the blame for this lies at the feet of the American voter. It is time for all of us to take a good look at our Senators and Representative and see how they have voted and if they have truly represented us. If we want Washington to respond to us, we have to send people there who represent us. It is up to us. As Pogo used to say (if you are old enough to know who Pogo is), “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Exactly Why Is The Law There?

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that Representative John Conyers would be on the election ballot in Michigan. Representative Conyers was originally taken off the ballot by election officials because he had failed to secure enough valid petition signatures. Some of the people who collected signatures were not registered voters, something that is required by Michigan law.

The article reports:

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Leitman issued an injunction ordering Conyers back on the ballot just hours after state elections officials upheld an earlier ruling that had kept him off for failing to secure enough valid petition signatures. At issue was the question of whether a law requiring signature gatherers to be registered voters is constitutional.

Leitman said he was not issuing an opinion on that question Friday. But because the plaintiffs challenging the law “have shown a substantial likelihood of success” and “because time is of the essence,” he said he opted to order that Conyers be put back on the ballot.

Leitman’s order came the same day the Michigan secretary of state‘s office upheld a decision handed down May 13 by Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett. Garrett’s office said Conyers submitted far fewer than the 1,000 valid signatures required to appear on the ballot. Leitman’s decision puts him beyond the threshold.

There is a problem with the logic here–there is a law in place that governs the collection of signatures. If voters or state legislators are unhappy with that law, they need to change it. This is an example of a judge saying he didn’t want that law to apply, so he overruled it. Would the judge have made the same decision for another candidate? Do voting laws apply equally to all candidates? According to the U.S. Constiution and most of the state constitutions, laws are made by legislative bodies–not by judges.

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Uneven Treatment, Uneven Coverage

As a former New Englander, I remember when Rhode Island representative Patrick J. Kennedy was driven home in Washington, D. C. after a small automobile accident. His spokespeople reported that he was taking sleeping pills and had suffered side effects. There were other drug-related incidents, and Representative Kennedy eventually entered a short rehabilitation program for OxyContin use. He was re-elected until 2010, when he decided not to run for office.

Fast forward to 2013.

On January 27, 2014, the Christian Science Monitor reported:

US Rep. Trey Radel (R) of Florida, a once-rising star in the tea party movement, resigned from Congress on Monday, following a November conviction of cocaine possession.

Congressman Radel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of narcotics possession in November, after he was caught Oct. 29 trying to buy 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover federal agent in Washington’s Dupont Circle area. During his trial, he reportedly told Judge Robert Tignor that he had “hit a bottom” and realized that he needs help. Radel was sentenced to a one-year probation and a $250 fine.

The story was widely reported.

Today, this story was reported in the Huffington Post:

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) will resign his seat Tuesday, a source familiar with the situation told The Huffington Post. The congressman will hold a press conference at 11:30 to make the announcement.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Andrews was leaving to take a job at a Philadelphia law firm.

Andrews is the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation over whether he improperly spent campaign cash to pay for personal trips to Scotland and Los Angeles, and over allegations that he used a graduation party for his daughter to raise funds. His legal bills have risen as a result of the investigation.

A resignation would likely end the ethics investigation against him.

The story also appears at ABC News, but Representative Andrews political party is not mentioned in that version of the story.

Above are some examples of why we need alternative media.

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Can We Just Replace Congress?

Yesterday the Washington Times posted an article about the farm bill that is making its way through Congress. Included in the bill is a fee (a fee as opposed to a tax?) of two-tenths of a cent on every gallon of home heating oil sold. Last week the farm bill passed the House of Representatives with a  bipartisan 251-166 vote.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune is reporting today that the Senate voted to close debate on a five-year farm bill late Monday afternoon paving way for its passage Tuesday.

The article at the Washington Times reported:

Lawmakers in the House and Senate sponsored bills to try to renew the National Oilheat Research Alliance, but the legislation got bottled up in committee. The farm bill offered them a chance to short-circuit the usual legislative process and avoid the kind of scrutiny that accompanies a stand-alone bill.

Indeed, it was not raised at all during the debate on the House floor last week.

Damn the consumer–full speed ahead! This Congress needs to be very quickly voted out of office!

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ObamaCare Has Caused More Problems Than It Has Solved

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about Emilie Lamb, an accountant who suffers from lupus. She is now working a second job to cover a calculated $6,000 increase in out-of-pocket health care costs per year. She will watch the State of the Union address as a guest of Representative Marsha Blackburn.

The article reports:

She was forced to purchase a more expensive plan after her old policy with CoverTN was canceled. The federal government had denied CoverTN’s request for a waiver to grandfather her plan into Obamacare three times.

Even with a small federal subsidy, her premiums increased from $57 to $373 per month.

Ms. Lamb explained that she voted for President Obama in 2012 because she hoped that ObamaCare would help her with her medical care.

Please follow the above link to the story, which includes a video of Ms. Lamb telling her story.

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