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While serving as the vehicle to begin the process of repealing ObamaCare, as currently written, S.Con.Res. 3 would increase budget deficits by $7.919 trillion between FY 2017 and FY 2026 and add nearly $9.01 trillion in publicly held debt. It’s beyond comprehension, after seeing more than $8.1 trillion added public’s share of the national debt since on President Barack Obama’s watch, why Congress would pass a budget resolution that doesn’t show any measure of fiscal restraint. Introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), this amendment freezes on-budget federal spending at the FY 2017 level, $3.265 trillion, between FY 2018 through FY 2026. The amendment would bring the budget into balance by FY 2024. The resolution does nothing to adversely affect ObamaCare repeal.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination represents the opportunity to reverse his trend of over-regulation at the EPA. Under his leadership, Americans can have safe air and water and protection from government overreach through rules and regulations. Attorney General Pruitt is a staunch believer in federalism and Article I of the Constitution, which charges the legislative branch with the power to make laws, not executive-level regulatory agencies. He has also seen the negative impact regulation has on businesses and consumers. FreedomWorks considers Democrats' attempts to block a vote on the nomination as a "no" vote.
This resolution of disapproval of the Congressional Review Act nullifies the Department of the Interior's Stream Protection Rule. With an annual estimated cost of $81 million, according to the Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the Stream Protection Rule is another blow to the coal industry, which was a favorite target of the Obama administration. The National Mining Association estimates that rule will lead to billions of dollars in lost revenues to state and local governments, as well as the loss of between 113,000 and 280,000 jobs.
This resolution of disapproval of the Congressional Review Act nullifies the Securities and Exchange Commission's Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers rule. Promulgated under the authority of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or Dodd-Frank, this rule requires resource extraction issuers to include in annual reports the payment of any entity controlled by the regulated business to foreign governments or the United States government "for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals." The Securities and Exchange Commission projects initial compliance costs between $239 million and $700 million and annual compliance costs between $96 million and $591 million.
An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Price, who has a lifetime 89 percent score with FreedomWorks, would bring a unique perspective to the Department of Health and Human Services that is desperately needed at a time when America's health care system is facing significant challenges. The Department of Health and Human Services was one of the federal agencies primarily responsible for the implementation of ObamaCare. HHS promulgated or approved rules developed by agencies it oversees, including rules that led to millions of health insurance policy cancellations and so-called “essential benefits” that have increased the cost of health insurance premiums for Americans. While the details of an ObamaCare replacement supported by the House and Senate Republican conferences are yet to be developed and introduced in legislative text, Dr. Price is the ideal individual to lead this effort in the Trump administration.
The Office of Management and Budget is the largest office working in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. As OMB director, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) would play a large role in preparing President Trump’s Budget, as well as evaluating the degree to which agency programs, policies, and procedures follow the president’s policies. With Rep. Mulvaney’s history of serious concern and constructive activity toward reining in Washington’s overspending, this nominee deserves our support to take Washington by the horns and fight for responsible spending levels at the federal level.
The EPA has become the most notorious offender in the unconstitutional fourth branch of government that we know as the regulatory state. It has promulgated rules and regulations, such as the Clean Power Plan, aimed at destroying an entire industry, hurting workers and their families. Under Scott Pruitt's leadership at the EPA, Americans will have safe air and water and protection from government overreach through rules and regulations. Pruitt is a staunch believer in federalism and Article I of the Constitution, which charges the legislative branch with the power to make laws, not executive-level regulatory agencies.
This resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act nullifies a the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation. This regulation requires federal contractors to disclose decisions on the reporting of violations of federal labor laws and creates paycheck transparency protections for employees of federal contractors. The rule is expected to cost employers $458.3 million in the first year, $413.7 million in the second year, and between $398.5 million and $400 million annually thereafter.
This resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress authority to effectively nullify regulations submitted for review by federal agencies within 60 legislative days, would cancel the Department of Education’s Accountability and State Plans Rule. The Department of Education’s Accountability and State Plans Rule implements part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and leaves open a loophole that federal bureaucrats could exploit to force Common Core on states that haven't implemented the standards. Education officials from several states and local jurisdictions strongly opposed the rule when it was being crafted.
This bill would require a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve Bank. Currently, several of the Fed's economically significant activities are shielded from their annual audit. Given that the Fed's policies have a dramatic effect on interest rates and the value of our money, it is crucial that their practices be subject to public and Congressional scrutiny.
This amendment, S.Amdt. 4685, offered by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), to the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill would greatly expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) surveillance powers, giving the agency the ability to collect sensitive, personal information about American citizens’ online activities. The Fourth Amendment is an important protection against government intrusions into our lives, and we should be wary of any legislation that threatens such a fundamental right. The amendment would allow the FBI to collect Electronic Communications Transactional Records (ECTRs) which includes information about web browsing history, the to/from lines of emails, and location information from IP addresses with only an administrative subpoena, also known as a National Security Letter. In addition to not requiring a warrant, national security letters also include a gag order, so companies cannot even inform their customers that their data is being turned over to federal law enforcement officials.
This resolution, S.J. Res. 28, offered by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) would roll back an unnecessary, expensive, and duplicative federal regulation on catfish at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The resolution would save taxpayers $14.4 million. Federal regulations like this one are part of the regulatory state that burdens individuals and the economy with complex and expensive rules.
To modify the authority of the President of the United States to declare national monuments.
To require campaign finance disclosures for certain persons benefiting from fossil fuel activities.
To make appropriations to address the heroin and opioid drug abuse epidemic for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016
John B. King, of New York, to be Secretary of Education
To provide for the establishment of free market enterprise zones in order to help facilitate the creation of new jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, enhances and renewed educational opportunities, and increased community involvement in bankrupt or economically distressed areas.
To nullify a Department of Labor rule published on April 8, 2016, relating to the definition of the term "fiduciary" and the conflict of interest rule with respect to retirement investment advice.
To reauthorize and amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes
The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides money for states and the federal government to purchase land for "conservation" purposes. This fund has been used to purchase millions of acres of private property, further increasing the massive quantity of government-owned property in the United States. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the government takeover of ever-greater swaths of property, yet this amendment would make this land-purchase fund permanent.
H.R. 2 is a bill to permanently prevent a scheduled cut in payments to doctors under Medicare, as well as to reauthorize S-CHIP - the federal health insurance program for children. Aside from numerous other policy issues, this bill also adds over $140 billion to the deficit over ten years. This amendment by Senator Mike Lee would invoke the statutory pay-as-you-go requirement so that Congress would be forced to find savings to erase the deficits created by this bill.
This amendment, by Senator Flake, would strike the extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program from the bill to create fast-track trade authority. TAA is an ineffective and duplicative program that gives financial assistance to workers and companies that have been negatively affected by free trade. TAA has been shown to be ineffective and even harmful to those it is supposed to benefit, and should be allowed to expire.
This amendment by Senator Lee would allow parents to opt their children out of having to take federally mandated standardized tests, while ensuring that schools are not penalized for these students not being tested.
This amendment by Senator Cruz would prohibit the Department of Education from forcing states to adhere to any federal testing standards, allowing states to determine their own assessment plans for public schools.
The Export-Import Bank is an 80-year-old corporate welfare program that ought to be allowed to expire. That Republican leaders prioritize Ex-Im instead of conservative priorities confirms that they fail to address the expansion...
This amendment by Senator Ron Wyden would address one of the most glaring issues with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), by requiring that companies sharing cyber threat data with the government first scrub non-essential personally identifiable information (PII) from the reports first. Without this amendment, CISA creates a perverse incentive for companies to be less careful about the sharing of their customers' personal data - which would be shared in real times across many government agencies, including the NSA.
This bill was the vehicle for the budget agreement that will spend $80 billion beyond the Budget Control Act caps over two years, along with $16 billion in new defense spending that doesn't count towards the caps. The supposed offsets to this spending are mostly either gimmicks or long-term, while the new deficit spending is immediate. The bill also suspends the debt ceiling through March of 2017, effectively giving the government a blank check for that period.
This resolution invokes the Congressional Act to disapprove of the recent EPA rule that greatly increases emissions restrictions on existing coal-fired power plants. This tremendously destructive regulation would greatly increase energy costs in the many states which rely heavily upon coal-fired power plants for their electricity. These cost increases damage overall economic growth, and in particular lower the standard of living of lower-income earners.
This resolution invokes the Congressional Act to disapprove of the recent EPA rule that greatly increases emissions restrictions on any future coal-fired power plants. This rule tightens emissions standards to the point where it will likely not be economically feasible to build new coal-fired electric plants, crippling one of the most abundant and cost-effective sources of energy in America.
This amendment by Senator Sherrod Brown would make permanent the 100 percent federal match rate for Medicaid enrollees under the ObamaCare expansion of that program. This would completely remove the incentive for states to resist expanding Medicaid because it would be largely free for them. This increase in permanent federal entitlement spending would be paid for by a tax increase on higher income earners.
This bill uses the budget reconciliation process to repeal all of the parts of ObamaCare that have a budgetary impact, which would eliminate nearly all of ObamaCare's core functions. Among the programs repealed are the Medicaid expansion, the insurance premium subsidies, the insurance mandates, several grant programs, and all of the new taxes. Because of the reconciliation procedure, this bill only requires 50 votes to pass.
This bill would renew federal highway funding to states for a period of five years. However, it does not solve the structural deficit within the Highway Trust Fund, doesn't eliminate the wasteful spending that takes away from funding roads, and doesn't offset that spending in any real way. Furthermore, this bill contains a reauthorization of the expired Export-Import Bank, in order to prevent having a standalone vote on renewing such a direct corporate welfare fund.
This omnibus appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2016 funds former Speaker Boehner's budget-busting deal to the tune of $50 billion above the budget caps for 2016. It contains several very troubling legislative riders a well, including more funding for the IMF, and a massive new cybersecurity information sharing program that violates consumers' privacy and due process. It also fails to include most of the amendments from the appropriations process that would have defunded key, harmful federal regulations.
This bill funds the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year (through September, 2014). It spends $45 billion more than the budget caps established in 2011, and perpetuates a vast amount of wasteful spending from previous years. Lawmakers were also given almost no time to read this 1,500 page spending bill.
This final version of the Farm Bill, reconciled between the House and Senate, actually undoes some of the already modest reforms to crop insurance and food stamps that were previously in the bill. This five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill will spend nearly a trillion dollars over ten years, and remains loaded with corporate welfare and special carve-outs for well-connected agricultural corporations.
This bill suspends the debt limit until March 15th of 2015, allowing the president to potentially run up as much debt as he pleases during that time period. The debt is already projected to increase by about $1 trillion over that period, to over $18 trillion. Meanwhile, this debt ceiling suspension contains no reforms to curb spending whatsoever.
This amendment replaced an unrelated bill with a bill to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits by a further six months, starting retroactively in January 2014. Federal unemployment assistance was meant to be temporary, as states already have their own safety nets for the unemployed. Extending this program is an unnecessary cost to taxpayers, and creates perverse incentives than can cause job-seekers more difficulty in finding work.
This bipartisan energy bill further subsidizes state projects to make buildings more energy efficient, among various green subsidies. Many of the provisions of this bill are duplicative, and all would be better handled by states themselves. The projects and the accompanying regulations are theoretically voluntary, but with 'incentives' and studies aimed at coercing states to accept them.
David Jeremiah Barron is a troubling judicial nominee due to his explicit advocacy of judicial activism. He was also the White House legal counsel who approved the extralegal killing of a non-combatant American citizen in Yemen - an unprecedented violation of Constitutional rights to due process and trial.
This was the crucial vote for the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to replace the retiring Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). During her tenure as Chair of the Office of Management and Budget, Burwell oversaw the Obama Administration's attempts to make the partial government shutdown of 2013 as visibly inconvenient as possible, including famously shutting WWII veterans out of their own (open-air) memorial. Thus, it appears unlikely that Burwell would be willing to change the opaque and uncooperative practices of HHS, which is overseeing the implementation of ObamaCare.
This bill would allow students to refinance their private loans into a lower-interest government loan. To pay for this, the bill also contains the so-called "Buffett Tax", a new alternative minimum tax rate that would greatly increase tax rates for higher-income individuals and small businesses.
This amendment by Sen. Mike Lee would stop the cycle of mismanagement and bankruptcy in the Highway Trust Fund by devolving that funding directly to the states over a period of 5 years. Cutting out the federal middleman for highway infrastructure projects will allow states to more accurately address their own needs, and at a lower cost than under the current system.
This bill bails out the nearly depleted Highway Trust Fund through May of 2015, using revenue gimmicks to supposedly offset most of the cost. The Highway Trust Fund desperately needs reform instead of merely continuing to receive periodic taxpayer bailouts.
This constitutional amendment would allow the government broad power to legally define what constitutes political speech for the purposes of regulating expenditures on behalf of candidates. This means that anything from books, movies, billboards, or any other funded public expression that is deemed "political" could be regulated and potentially limited. Effectively, this amendment would place constitutional limits on free speech, stripping away many First Amendment freedoms.
This bill purports to ban unequal pay on account of gender. But by making unequal pay illegal, it exposes employers to expensive and time-consuming frivolous lawsuits for any perceived inequality. The "wage gap" that this policy is supposed to address has been shown by repeated studies to be diminishing on its own, and is in fact non-existent in most industries.
This trillion-plus dollar spending bill was crafted behind closed doors and was packed with dozens of policy riders that Congress never had a chance to vote on individually. It continues to fund the federal government fully, with zero reforms to the government's out-of-control spending.
Senator Booker has not been scored for 2013 because he was elected in a special election in October.
This is the final vote of a complicated Senate parliamentary procedure often referred to as the "Nuclear Option", used the allow the Senate's rules to be changed using only a simple majority vote. Majority Leader Harry Reid used this procedure to allow all executive nominations (except Supreme Court nominees) to pass without a cloture vote, meaning that he only needs 51 votes instead of 60. This is a massive blow to the rights of the minority party in the Senate, and sets a dangerous precedent of tyrannical majority rule in a Senate that has traditionally prized the rights of every Senator and party to have their full say.
This is the vote to end debate on the budget deal negotiated by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray. The deal breaks the budget caps established in 2011 by $63 billion over two years, while claiming to contain a net deficit reduction over ten years by raising fees and making other minor cuts. With no guarantee that future congresses will obey the scheduled spending cuts, this bill delivers increases in both spending and taxes in exchange for no meaningful reforms. Voting for cloture allowed the bill to be passed by a simple majority vote.