GOP Does the Right Thing With Payroll Tax
We all agree that a temporary payroll tax cut without permanently restructuring Social Security, along with its funding source, is a ludicrous idea. Sadly, Democrats would rather play politics by introducing this inane stimulus measure, in an attempt to get Republicans to vote against a tax cut. For far too long, the extension of the payroll tax cut was coupled with more entitlement spending, in | Read More »
Why Are Republicans ‘Evolving’ On Transportation Spending?
Throughout the week, Republicans have expressed their shock and dismay that we would have the unbridled temerity to oppose a highway bill. They want to know why we are suddenly opposed to such basic things as transportation bills, even ones that will leave us with a $70 billion budget shortfall. They are impugning our motives, charging us with opposing everything that emanates from leadership. Well, | Read More »
Alert: Senate Republicans Vote to Raise Taxes With Highway Bill
We’ve directed a lot of attention to the deficiencies of the House version of the highway bill (here and here). We must also work to defeat the Senate version, which is even worse. The 2-year $109 billion Senate bill (S.1813) offers no reform to mass transit and continues to mandate that states use 10% of their funding for wasteful “enhancement projects.” As bad as the | Read More »
The Highway Bill: A Road to Cave City
Last week, several House committees favorably reported the $260 billion 5-year House GOP highway bill to the full body. This 846-page behemoth is now headed to a floor vote sometime next week. Simply put, conservatives oppose the House leadership’s highway bill (H.R. 7) because it continues the failed top-down federal approach to transportation spending, while precluding devolution to the states for at least another five | Read More »
Let the Full House Decide Major Legislation
We have a legislative process, often referred to as “regular order,” for good reason. The committee, floor, and conference committee stages of the process are designed to maximize transparency and allow all members of Congress to offer their input on the impending bill. In recent months, there has been a disturbing trend among House leaders to jettison the floor process in the House in favor | Read More »
They Spent Our Taxes on This?
Our national debt stands at $15.2 trillion, and is growing by roughly $6 billion per day. We have tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Unfortunately, we have learned that Republicans lack the gumption to fight for transformational spending cuts and reforms of major entitlements. However, at the very least, one would expect them to oppose silly pork projects like | Read More »
Breaking the GOP Cycle of Capitulation
As we forge ahead to the new legislative session, it is important that we internalize the lessons of the dismal failures from last session. Most of the dominant and sundry legislative battles last year can be explicated by the inane cycle of Republican capitulation. It goes something like this: Democrats propose some odious and profligate legislative idea or budget bill. Conservatives advocate that we uproot | Read More »
Can a Nonexistent Congress Issue $1.2 Trillion in Debt?
Pursuant to the Budget Control Act, brought to you by the GOP leadership’s sellout, Obama notified Congress yesterday that the federal debt is approaching the statutory ceiling of $15.194 trillion. [The actual total debt is already $15.237 trillion, but a small amount is not subject to the limit.] As such, he is calling on Congress to grant him another $1.2 trillion in debt, conveniently enough | Read More »
Our Task Moving Forward: Focus On Congress
Irrespective of the outcome of the presidential primaries, it is highly unlikely that we will nominate a reliable and consistent conservative. Unfortunately, with the exceptions of Coolidge, Goldwater, and Reagan, we never do. Not on a presidential level. This year we might nominate someone who is not a conservative at all. Perforce, our most important task going forward (aside for defeating Obama) is to win | Read More »
Oh Yes, It’s in Article 1
At the beginning of the 112th Congress, as part of an effort to inject more transparency into the legislative process, the House adopted a rule requiring that each bill be accompanied by a Constitutional Authority Statement. The purpose of the rule was to expose the cavalier attitude of those members who desire to legislate ‘just because they can.’ Well, after a year of legislating under | Read More »
Pass A Payroll Tax Cut Extension…and Only a Payroll Tax Cut Extension
“We need to stop forcing Republicans to face the grim choice between blocking a tax cut and fighting against more entitlement and deficit spending.” There are two inexorable political realities at this point: the payroll tax cut must be extended and those who block it will incur a needless political reprisal. To that end, Republicans must outflank the Democrats on the payroll tax cut, while | Read More »
More Problems With Senate Extenders Package
The Senate-passed payroll tax cut extenders package was already on the ropes with House Republicans over the weekend. The bill (HR 3630) offers a pathetic two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. In addition, it extends long-term unemployment benefits for the ninth time, along with the annual Medicare doc fix. The bill gutted all House-passed reforms to medicare and unemployment insurance, while offsetting the cost | Read More »
House Must Decouple Payroll Tax Cut From Broader ‘Extenders’ Package
“The Senate action was akin to grounding into a triple play for Team GOP, yet the underlying bill passed with unanimous consent.” Over the weekend, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans obviated the superior leverage of House Republicans by passing a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, along with a clean extension (no reforms and offsets) of doc fix and unemployment benefits. In a premature | Read More »
The Great Spending Betrayal
Over Friday and Saturday, 61% of House Republicans and 34% of Senate Republicans voted for the omnibus megabus bill. In doing so, not only did they violate their pledge pertaining to bundled (1200-page) bills and the 72-hour layover rule and agree to fund Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Planned Parenthood, the EPA, the PLO and the UN; they actually agreed to spend almost $9 billion more than last | Read More »
So This is It?
This is what we get from a new House Republican majority? Call me naive, but from the onset of this legislative session I really expected we would witness some transformational change in the way Washington does business. That was obviously a foolish expectation. GOP leaders agreed last night to pass the omnibus bill with largely the same provisions as the one they introduced yesterday. After | Read More »