Tag: Congress

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Exhibit A:  Marco Rubio Since leaving the presidential race, Marco Rubio has basically been out of the national limelight.  He’s been busy working on a number of issues in the Senate and hasn’t said too much about the ongoing primary process.  Recently, though, Rubio has done a few interviews in which he was asked some […]

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I have always delighted in Uncommon Knowledge (or at least whatever I could find online since I learned of the show when I was a senior in highschool; I would watch a couple old episodes every night till I caught up to the latest ones) and today I found another episode with Ben Sasse. Preview […]

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Trump: The Glass Half-Full Perspective

 

Trump Ice bottled water was forced into receivership in 2006. Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

As I drive my kids to school I switch between Fox News and Glenn Beck, and when each station plays the incessant My Pillow and 877-Kars-4-Kids commercials, we enjoy some morning Zeppelin.

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In this CPAC panel, Dennis Prager, Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling, and Utah Senator Mike Lee discuss both the cultural and legislative steps necessary for Congress to again be a representative and equal branch of government. They argue for taking legislative authority back from unelected regulators and regaining the power of the purse. Preview Open

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Folks, it’s time to stop talking Trump, start talking turkey. Life is long, & it’s longer if you make bad choices. For better & worse, we’re conservatives, & what does that mean in America? It means you get the Congress, but maybe not the presidency. Time was, the GOP had no big problem winning the […]

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Be Still My Constitutionalist Heart!

 

shutterstock_103176035In these pages, I’ve occasionally griped about how Congress has lost its nerve. I don’t just mean that in a partisan sense — though I mean that, too — but more in the way of Congress’s failure to act as a co-equal branch of government intended to check the abuses of the other branches, specifically the executive. In short, Congress has responsibilities and powers that it should guard jealously, regardless of partisan politics.

To my amazement and pleasure, ten members of congress have taken up the cause and produced an impressive — and surprisingly readable — manifesto that admirably describes the problem and sketches some possible fixes. Do read the whole thing, but what follows is an abridged version.  From the introduction:

Though all three branches of the federal government have contributed to this toxic state of affairs, Congress bears primary responsibility, both for the problem and its solution. In many ways, the federal government is a mess today because Congress allows it to be.

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The Secretary shall not attempt to influence, incentivize, or coerce State adoption of the Common Core State Standards… [The NCLB replacement] does something exquisitely rare — it actively shrinks the federal footprint, in perhaps the sharpest reversal of federal ambitions since the welfare-reform act of 1996. Preview Open

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I consider myself a constitutional conservative. Here in the US we have a constitution that separate powers among a Federal government and the States, and within the Federal government among three branches; Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. This separation of powers led to the development of processes (traditions and institutions) that fill out the spare framework […]

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After the Budget Agreement, a Budget Process in Shambles

 

shutterstock_269057810Now that the budget agreement has been reached, many in the public may believe that the federal government is starting to work in a way that gets the people’s business done. Wrong. The agreement itself is doing further damage to an already-weakened process by which Congress establishes the budget and enacts the required follow-on legislation to change spending and revenue laws so that they conform to that budget.

Accordingly, House and Senate leaders need to pay heed to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi’s comments on this problem, which appeared on November 3 in U.S. News and World Report, and take steps to restore the process and return to the regular budget order. This process starts by recognizing that the only reform step with enough strength to restore responsible budgeting in Washington is to adopt a debt-limiting, balanced budget constitutional amendment—which is now gaining momentum in the states.

Much of the commentary on the budget agreement describes how it breaks through the caps on discretionary domestic and national security spending and bypasses the process of automatic spending reductions, called sequestration, in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Far less attention has been paid to the fact that the agreement also effectively sets aside the budget resolution Congress adopted earlier this year in 2015 (S.Con.Res. 11) that sets forth the budget for fiscal year 2016 and the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 throughout 2025. S.Con.Res. 11 provides the pathway to a balanced budget by fiscal year 2023—without resorting to either massive tax increases or massive tax cuts. Now, after Congress has spent considerable effort to get back to the regular budget order by adopting the budget resolution, it is highly disappointing that many of the gains stemming from that effort are being lost.

Giving Thanks For Congress

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 12.56.48 PMEvery Thanksgiving I sympathize with lobbyists: can you imagine sharing their obligation to feel grateful for Congress? Amidst the vast, un-American growth of the administrative state, the world’s greatest deliberative body continues to do what it does best: taxing our children and passing the savings onto us.

The distinction progressives make between public and private is a false one. Many Americans know what it’s like to struggle beneath the weight of debt: not a day that goes by when my mailbox isn’t stuffed with offers from Visa or MasterCard informing me that I have been pre-declined.

Recall the heyday of the Tea Party, which relentlessly pointed out that every penny of the stimulus would have to be paid for by our children and grandchildren. Frankly, that’s the only thing I like about it. Even the New Deal wasn’t able to extend the Great Depression beyond a decade. Today, nearly one decade after the orgy of spending instituted during the George W. Bush administration, crony capitalists can say it was worth it. With each passing year, it seems government assumes more and more responsibility for our lives. Take solar subsidies — please! As Republicans and Democrats debate how much taxpayers should fund solar energy, let’s take a step back and realize that politicians have figured out a way to charge us for the sun.

A Winning Issue for Republicans: Repeal Congress’ Obamacare Exemption

 

shutterstock_159942077By Kellyanne Conway and Heather R. Higgins

With so much time spent and ink spilled over who will carry the banner for the GOP both in the presidential campaign and now for new House speaker, perhaps the real question is not who, but what is a winner. Some new survey data suggests an unorthodox issue might help Republicans attract voters who have been elusive to the center-right, and help the party re-establish its law-abiding, anti-crony moorings with its base.

Would you agree that women, young people, liberals, and minorities have cost the GOP elections? Wouldn’t it be worth noting an issue that has more than 70 percent support overall, and above 60 percent even among these groups largely sympathize with the left in presidential elections?

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Watching Trey Gowdy and co. attempt and fail to throw darts at a target so cosmically large as Hillary Clinton, I’ve begun to wonder if investigation by Congressional committee is hopelessly flawed. Think HUAC vs. the Hollywood 10, or the Select Committee on Iran/Contra vs. Oliver North: even badly compromised individuals emerge looking sympathetic. Or […]

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It’s Not the Price and Profit That Matter, Planned Parenthood. It’s the Body Parts.

 

shutterstock_133423673-e1444998785546Planned Parenthood – a billion-dollar corporation and the world’s largest abortion business – is in the midst of the most sustained communications crisis of its 100-year history. The undercover videos, exposing the abortion giant’s doctors joyfully discussing organ extractions from unborn babies, appear to have Big Abortion’s biggest player in a Gracie arm bar and on the verge of tapping out.

This is an organization founded in 1916 by a vicious racist, a eugenics enthusiast and advocate for coerced sterilization. The company’s highest award is named after her.

[Sidebar: Coerced sterilization became super-relevant in Congressional hearings last week. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois said he didn’t want to go back to a time like when in his native Puerto Rico women were forcibly sterilized. He claimed that defunding Planned Parenthood would lead right there. Problem: America’s favorite abortion provider was, itself, complicit in the coerced sterilization program. Rick Perry, give him a word.]

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There is a terrific scene from Larry David’s HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm where an argument at a dinner party leads to food and drink to be spilled all over the host, Larry. His mother-in-law exclaims “Somebody get a sponge!” Immediately Larry forgets that his evening, and his suit, have been ruined and he […]

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A Real Deal

 

imageWe’ve come to think of compromise as splitting the baby. Comprehensive immigration reform, for example, is a particularly good example of this sort of bad compromise: Republicans agree to an amnesty now, Democrats pretend they’ll do a better job of enforcing immigration laws in the future, and we pretend to believe them. I agree that’s awful, and we can’t do that sort of thing anymore.

What I propose is more like a trade: we get something we want, they get something they want, both at the same time.

For example:

Thought Experiment: Congress for the White House?

 

white-congIf you were given the choice, would you accept winning the White House in 2016 at the cost of losing both houses of Congress? For the sake of argument, assume the numbers for Congress would mirror what they are right now.

Please give a “yes” or a “no” as the first word of your answer, followed by as much explanation as you see fit. If you’re 51% in favor of the proposition and 49% against, that’s a “yes.” Explain, if you wish, after your answer.

Note: this is not about the interaction between different slots on the ticket or any of that. Never mind about a proposed mechanism — there isn’t one.

A Litmus Test for GOP Leadership

 

shutterstock_225535513A big topic of conversation in the Beltway and beyond is the new Republican leadership elections scheduled for next week. While most are asking who will replace Boehner’s team, the more important question is what will they do differently?

There’s a great opportunity for new GOP leadership to differentiate themselves, which will start the process of taking advantage of their majorities in both houses. It’s past time for Republicans to move legislation that Democrats can’t duck and that will advance our strategic interests and policy goals, and it’s what Americans want to see Republicans do.

As I recently wrote in The Hill, here’s the most effective one:

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Happy Halloween, Ricochet, America, soon to be former Speaker Boehner! Speaker Boehner has announced he will step down just before Halloween This is the right thing to do & the timing is no doubt intended to suggest all hell is breaking loose. Maybe you can have the pope back to anoint the next one, just […]

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