The Problem with One Last Vote for a Flawed Strategy

    House Republican Leadership is now telling the press that this is likely the last short-term continuing resolution. At his pen-and-pad today, Majority Leader Cantor said, “We hope and intend for this to be the last one…we hope that this is the last time this happens.” But how can conservatives be so sure that this is not mere blind hope? After all, Cantor explained that there | Read More »

    Rep. Tim Huelskamp Stands Tall in Budget Showdown

    Yesterday, Heritage Action for America (my employer), Club for Growth, and Family Research Council released a joint statement announcing their opposition to the three-week continuing resolution on floor of the House of Representatives next week, and their decision to “key vote” the extension on their respective scorecards. In doing so, they joined Mark Levin, Erick Erickson, and others, who are calling for conservatives to step | Read More »

    House Leadership Let Obamacare Expansion Pass

    Yesterday, House Republican Leadership allowed a bill to come to the floor of the House to expand the scope of an Obamacare program. The bill passed by a vote of 280-138—with 95 Republican votes. The Veterinary Public Health Amendments Act (HR 525), introduced by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), would increase the number of veterinarians with public health training via federal subsidies. One of the bill’s | Read More »

    Speaker Boehner Throws Down the Gauntlet

    If there were any doubts that House Leadership was prepared to fight to enact their spending cuts in negotiations with the Senate and the White House over the continuing resolution, Speaker John Boehner answered them yesterday. I am not going to move any kind of short-term CR at current levels…When we say we’re going to cut spending, read my lips, we’re going to cut spending. | Read More »

    Parsing the Pledge, House Leadership Still Not Compliant

    Earlier, I noted that the Republican spending cut plan was thankfully moving in the right direction, but that it was not yet where it needed to be to comply with the Pledge to America.  In the view of many conservatives, that pledge was clear with respect to how the $100 billion number would be arrived at, especially with respect to defense spending.  Republicans promised not to | Read More »

    Movement Towards $100 Billion, But Not There Yet

    According to press reports, House Republican Leaders are moving off their line and indicating a willingness to embrace additional non-defense cuts–closing the gap between their $58 billion “annualized” proposal and the $100 billion promised in their Pledge to America. Leadership is now proposing an additional $26 billion in non-defense cuts on top of the $58 billion already contemplated, for a total of $84 billion. But | Read More »

    How House Leadership Can Fix Their Mess

    Right about now, House Republicans are assembling for their weekly meeting together. Undoubtedly, the mess that remains the undelivered promise to cut $100 billion in the first year is being discussed in full. Leadership is still spinning with conservatives and a skeptical press, insisting that their “annualized” $58 billion over two years is the same thing as $100 billion in the first year (“not next | Read More »

    House Republicans Attempt to Extend “Stimulus” Trade Benefits

    Update:  GOP Leadership pulled the bill from the schedule! Can someone please tell me which party is in control of the House of Representatives? Because I cannot tell from looking at tomorrow’s floor schedule. House Republicans have placed on the “suspension” calendar (typically reserved for noncontroversial matters) a bill to extend expanded Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits until the end of June. The TAA program | Read More »

    YouCut Can’t Cut a $100 Billion?

    I’m going to be honest. I never liked the Republican Pledge to America. It wasn’t much of a governing document and completely lacked the sort of boldness needed to give a new Republican Congress a real mandate to fix the massive problems facing the nation. But the argument at the time was one of deliverables. House Republicans wanted to promise less and deliver more. Or | Read More »

    The Return of the Lunch Bunch

    That didn’t take long. Charlie Bass and other Republican “moderates” are already polluting the new House Republican majority. In yesterday’s Washington Post, Bass—the former head of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which is made up of typically economically and socially liberal Republicans—attempts to balance out the perception that the freshmen are all conservative. He guesses that up to 50 of them will attend Tuesday Group | Read More »

    House Rules Package is a Nice First Step to Control Spending

    Just before the holidays, House Republican leaders released their proposed “rules” package for the next Congress. It will be considered first on January 4th by House Republicans alone, and then thereafter by the full House of Representatives. Since the House is not a continuing body (like the Senate), it must adopt a new set of rules and procedures every two years when a new Congress | Read More »

    Senate Republicans and The Lost Art of Negotiation

    So let’s get this straight. In an attempt to extend current income tax rates for a measly two years, Senate Republicans are getting ready to cave on a year long fight to ensure that additional unemployment benefits are paid for, reinstate the death tax, renew the President’s welfare spending in the tax code (the Making Work Pay tax credit which is a subsidy to people | Read More »

    Stop START: Whip List

    Throughout the last year, it has been very difficult to nail down how many Senators are opposed to ratification of New START. Too many Senate Republicans have kept their powder dry as they deferred to Senator Jon Kyl to negotiate on their behalf. This has been a fundamental mistake, because it has precluded the opponents of the treaty from winning the public debate based on | Read More »

    Bowles-Simpson is a Massive Tax Hike

    Yesterday, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit commission, released a revised proposal that will be voted on Friday. Bowles and Simpson have undoubtedly worked hard at a thankless chore these last few months. They have resisted the temptation to demonize all spending cuts and focus exclusively on raising taxes. They have put forward many reasonable individual reforms that warrant consideration. | Read More »

    Senate Republicans Must Not Use National Security as a Bargaining Chit

    It would be unbelievable, if it were not so common place. After an election in which millions of Americans went to the polls to demand that laws be considered and passed on the basis of principle, Senate Republicans are already reverting to their log-roll ways to help President Obama pass in a lame duck session an arms treaty–New START–that makes the U.S. weaker and Russia | Read More »