Senate Republicans fail to pay for $141 billion Medicare doc fix

April 15, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting the U.S. Senate for voting not to pay for repealing the Medicare sustainable growth rate:

“The Senate Republican majority could not even do a measly $15 billion a year in spending cuts elsewhere in the budget to pay for the $141 billion Medicare so-called doc fix. It was a no brainer. If you’re going to blow a $141 billion hole in the deficit, you pay for it. Previous doc fixes had been paid for. Why not this one?

“It is sad to learn that the energetic promises from some Republicans in elections about cutting the size and scope of government are only valid when they are in the minority. It is time that their actions match their campaign rhetoric.”

Attachments:

Senators who voted against paying for the $141 billion doc fix at http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=114&session=1&vote=00139 :

Alexander (R-TN)

Baldwin (D-WI)

Bennet (D-CO)

Blumenthal (D-CT)

Booker (D-NJ)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Capito (R-WV)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Casey (D-PA)

Cassidy (R-LA)

Cochran (R-MS)

Collins (R-ME)

Coons (D-DE)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Donnelly (D-IN)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Graham (R-SC)

Hatch (R-UT)

Heinrich (D-NM)

Heitkamp (D-ND)

Heller (R-NV)

Hirono (D-HI)

Kaine (D-VA)

King (I-ME)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Leahy (D-VT)

Manchin (D-WV)

Markey (D-MA)

McCaskill (D-MO)

McConnell (R-KY)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)

Nelson (D-FL)

Perdue (R-GA)

Peters (D-MI)

Reed (D-RI)

Reid (D-NV)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schatz (D-HI)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Tillis (R-NC)

Udall (D-NM)

Warner (D-VA)

Warren (D-MA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

Wyden (D-OR)

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Senate hearing on incomplete fast track trade bill imminent

A heretofore secret hearing is being held on a secret bill to enable expedited passage of a secret treaty. Only in D.C.

April 14, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to a Politico Pro report that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) would hold an April 16 hearing “regardless” of whether legislation granting trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been introduced:

“Senator Orrin Hatch apparently plans to hold a hearing that has not been officially announced on a trade promotion bill nobody has seen yet because it’s not finished, on a Pacific trade deal that nobody can read because it’s secret.

“Doubling down on Nancy Pelosi’s you’ll have to pass it to read it declaration on Obamacare, Senate Republicans are raising the absurdity that is Washington, D.C. by holding a Senate Finance Committee hearing on providing Obama fast track trade authority without the ability to even examine a bill. Fast track limits the constitutional requirement for treaty ratification to a simple majority rather than a two-thirds Senate vote requirement.

“The controversy is over a 99 percent completed trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A trade deal which is so hush-hush that Obama officials limited briefings on environmental portions of it to staff with secret or above clearance levels. It is shameful that Republicans have not only backed away from requirements to have bills posted in advance of votes so the public has the opportunity to read them, but this new blind committee hearing process rivals the opaqueness of the Pelosi-Reid reign.”

Attachments:

“Hatch hopes for TPA bill tomorrow,” Politico Pro, April 14, 2015 at https://www.politicopro.com/go/?wbid=51642

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government Foundation at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG Foundation President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG Foundation releases study on pathway to free market agriculture

April 13, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Foundation released a report today by Dr. J. Wesley Burnett of the College of Charleston detailing some of the federal government barriers obstructing the growth of a thriving agriculture sector.

Nathan Mehrens, president of the foundation explained, “Agriculture is one of the great drivers of the American economy, and is fundamental to our nation’s self-sufficiency. We decided that it was important to take a look at federal government actions that negatively influence a farmer’s capacity to thrive, so that a pathway can be forged to remove these barriers and create a consensus on how to establish an agriculture sector that is less government dependent in the future.”

Burnett’s report details environmental, tax and the impact of foreign subsidies on the U.S. farmer pointing to efforts by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from dramatically expanding their reach to every puddle and irrigation ditch on the family farm.

Titled, “Moving to a Free Market Agriculture Policy,” Burnett praises the 2014 Farm Bill for eliminating direct farm subsidies and making, “strides in moving these agriculture subsidies toward a more market based environment.”

While noting that the current shift to complete reliance on a subsidized crop insurance system is a step in the right direction, Burnett calls for further reductions in these federal government supports to move the system closer to a free market.

Burnett also pointed to an innovative approach to ending federal government sugar subsidies championed by Representative Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) known as zero for zero. Yoho’s approach would have the U.S. end sugar subsidies but only upon agreement through international negotiations from other major sugar exporters to similarly end their support systems.

Yoho’s triggered end to sugar price manipulation by foreign producers both protects U.S. producers from the market distorting effects of foreign subsidies while giving U.S. negotiators an already approved promise to end price floors.

Mehrens argues that, “Burnett’s work lays the groundwork for a series of congressional actions that can be taken now to end many of the federal government policies that artificially increase the costs of doing business for farmers and by ending these costly barriers, open the doors to moving aggressively toward a more free market based agriculture policy.”

Dr. Burnett currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the College of Charleston. Dr. Burnett’s research emphasizes the applications of applied microeconomic theory to solving and analyzing problems in agricultural and resource economics and policy. Before arriving at the College of Charleston, he served three years on the faculty at West Virginia University. Dr. Burnett holds a MA and PhD of Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Georgia.

Attachments:

“Moving to A Free Market Agriculture Policy,” By Dr. J. Wesley Burnett, PhD on behalf of Americans for Limited Government Foundation, April 2015, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Free-Market-Agriculture-Policy-Report.pdf

“Conservatives develop pathway for free market agriculture minus big government subsidies,” By Alex Swoyer, April 13, 2015, at http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/13/conservatives-develop-pathway-for-free-market-agriculture-minus-big-government-subsidies/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government Foundation at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG Foundation President Nathan Mehrens.

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Economy slows as labor force contracts—again

April 3, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to the latest economic and jobs numbers:

“This week’s double whammy of bad economic news with the Atlanta Fed’s first quarter growth estimate down to 0 percent and the abysmal jobs report showing only 34,000 more people are working while 277,000 left the labor force effectively puts the brakes on recovery talk. The real question, seven years after the financial crisis, is whether we have begun a slide into a new recession. The malaise that engulfs our labor force has not been seen since the participation rate was 62.7 percent in February 1978, 37 years ago.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick manning.

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ALG urges votes to protect the Internet with Sen. Mike Lee amendments

March 26, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today urged the U.S. Senate to hold up or down votes on amending the budget resolution to include S.Amdt. 751 and S.Amdt. 856 offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah):

“The Internet is the great democratizer of speech around the world. The amendments offered by Senator Mike Lee are about protecting the free and open Internet from two separate but equally important threats: foreign domination and excessive government regulation.

“The first amendment will guarantee that any proposal to transition Internet governance over the domain name system from Commerce Department oversight will require Congressional assent, giving proper oversight to any administration proposal. This will protect the domain name system from any potential foreign capture and protect the free and open Internet — everywhere.

“The second will roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s alarming change to the Communications Act, applying Title II to Internet broadband, and assure that only Congress has the power to make such a change to law. Whatever the merits of so-called net neutrality, it is not up to the executive branch to regulate the Internet at will, which is what happened here. It’s an awful precedent, and it is up to Congress to assert its legislative prerogatives here.

“The Internet may be free but that freedom is also quite fragile, and it would be naïve for this Congress to ignore these obvious threats to it. Votes should be allowed on Senator Lee’s amendments.”

Attachments:

S.Amdt. 751, To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund to support legislation maintaining United States oversight over functions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and preventing the United States from transferring such Internet responsibilities, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Lee-856-Net-Neutrality.pdf

S.Amdt. 856, To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund to support legislation preventing the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and from implementing other ‘‘net neutrality’’ provisions, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Lee-856-Net-Neutrality.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick manning.

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Medicare deal expands gov’t, postpones real fixes

March 24, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging rejection of a new bipartisan deal to eliminate the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate:

“It is disappointing that the so-called bipartisan Medicare deal eliminates one of the few cost-containment measures in the program without adequately replacing it with anything that deals with the immediate exploding costs of the program. Instead, the measure will rely on small but politically toxic out-year cuts to the benefits of those who actually saved for their retirements. These cuts could be political poison for a future Congress.

“The doc fix conversation that was forced by the sustainable growth rate was a good thing. It created a regular legislative discussion around the expanding costs of Medicare and the threat posed to our nation’s financial security. Now, under this deal that honest discussion has been traded for a fix that fails to save the program, creates massive amounts of new debt, and locks in some of Obama’s expanded social welfare spending as part of the deal.

“Unfortunately, as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reports, this deal could add as much as $400 billion to the debt over the next 20 years, and do little to nothing to slow down the exhaustion of the trust fund over the next 15 years. In the mean time, there still is no opt-out for younger Americans who will now be expected to pay into a program that may not be adequate when they retire.

“If this Congress was serious about saving the Medicare program, they would institute their reforms right now, which will be no less jarring in 2018 when they finally take effect. This kick-the-can approach guarantees that taxpayers will assume the increased costs of the program, and postpones the pain for a future Congress to deal with.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/medicare-deal-expands-govt-postpones-real-fixes/

Attachments:

“Meet the Med-fix, the new doc-fix,” By Robert Romano, March 18, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/03/meet-the-med-fix-the-new-doc-fix/

“Unpaid for doc fix could add $2.3 trillion to Medicare unfunded liabilities,” By Robert Romano, March 19, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/03/unpaid-for-doc-fix-could-add-2-3-trillion-to-medicare-unfunded-liabilities/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick manning.

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ALG calls for Lindsey Graham resignation for proposing military coup

March 12, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today called for the resignation of presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for suggesting at a New Hampshire event his first act as president would be to use the military to force Congress to end sequestration (see video), saying, “Here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts”:

“Senator Lindsey Graham’s statement that for his first act as president, he ‘would literally use the military to keep Congress in if I had to’ followed by ‘We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts… We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts’ while campaigning in New Hampshire is the most troubling statement uttered by a supposedly serious candidate for President in my memory.

“The very fact that Graham has the imagery of M1 Abrams tanks surrounding the Capitol building to force Congress to do his bidding is so far removed from any Constitutional framework, that Graham should not only withdraw from the Presidential race, but should immediately resign from the Senate. This is no laughing matter. And then his spokesman says the comment should not be taken literally?

“There literally is no place in our elective government for someone who advocates a military solution against those elected to do the will of the people when he doesn’t get his way.  The same Congress that expresses concern about President Obama’s seemingly daily abuse of power should immediately move to censure the senior Senator from South Carolina and the people of that state should demand his immediate removal from office.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/alg-calls-for-lindsey-graham-resignation-for-proposing-military-coup/

Attachments:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaking at “Politics and Pie” event hosted by the Concord City Republican Committee, stating, “Here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.” March 8, 2015 at http://benswann.com/graham-military-force-congress/

The military line was “not to be taken literally,” according to Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop, March 12, 2015 at http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-12/how-a-lindsey-graham-joke-turned-into-a-coup-plot-against-the-government

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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ALG praises Steve Russell for ‘Right track, not fast track’ stance

March 11, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) for opposing granting fast track trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Rep. Russell is correct to oppose giving Obama such an extraordinary grant of power to present the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Congress without any possibility of amending its contents and sacrificing the traditional two-thirds majority required for a treaty. After Obama has seized so many legislative powers from Congress, why would Republicans now give him a free pass to rewrite the rules of the global economy? As Russell states, the American people must be at the table for such an important agreement. Enough with ceding Congressional prerogatives to the executive branch. It’s time for Congress to do its job.”

Attachments:

“Right track, not fast track,” By Rep. Steve Russell, March 11, 2015 at http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/235238-right-track-not-fast-track

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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354,000 leave labor force, driving unemployment rate down

 March 6, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the latest jobs numbers:

“If the Bureau of Labor Statistics February household survey is to be believed, the unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 percent, with only 96,000 more Americans finding employment.  Shockingly, a seasonally adjusted 354,000 more people dropped out the civilian labor force, accounting for most of the drop in the jobless rate. On an unadjusted basis, 56 percent of those who left according to the agency were under the age of 65. So, while some are cheering this report as being good news, the sad truth is that about a quarter million more Americans gave up hope of finding work.  That is an economic disaster.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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75 Republicans who voted to fund amnesty

March 5, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement condemning 75 House Republicans who voted to fund President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty for 4.5 million illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children:

“The vote to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty will have a profound negative impact on our nation for years to come. The 75 Republicans who lost courage have aided and abetted the shredding of the U.S. Constitution by giving Obama the funds to rewrite federal law.

“Each of these Republicans took an oath of office less than two months prior to their vote. And in that oath, they swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Their failure may forever put Congress in a junior rubberstamp role for any presidential action. There is a time when every elected official is forced to make a choice. Unfortunately, the cowardly 75 chose to violate their oaths and break trust with America.

“I sincerely hope that the 75 find the heart to stand up to the President in the many upcoming battles.”

Attachments:

75 House Republicans who voted in favor of H.R. 749 at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2015/roll109.xml :

Dan Benishek
MICHIGAN’s 1st DISTRICT

Mike Bishop
MICHIGAN’s 8th DISTRICT

John Boehner
OHIO’s 8th DISTRICT

Mike Bost
ILLINOIS’ 12th DISTRICT

Susan Brooks
INDIANA’s 5th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan
FLORIDA’s 16th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert
CALIFORNIA’s 42nd DISTRICT

John Carter
TEXAS’ 31st DISTRICT

Mike Coffman
COLORADO’s 6th DISTRICT

Tom Cole
OKLAHOMA’s 4th DISTRICT

Chris Collins
NEW YORK’s 27th DISTRICT

Barbara Comstock
VIRGINIA’s 10th DISTRICT

Ryan Costello
PENNSYLVANIA’s 6th DISTRICT

Carlos Curbelo
FLORIDA’s 26th DISTRICT

Rodney L. Davis
ILLINOIS’ 13th DISTRICT

Jeff Denham
CALIFORNIA’s 10th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent
PENNSYLVANIA’s 15th DISTRICT

Mario Diaz-Balart
FLORIDA’s 25th DISTRICT

Robert Dold
ILLINOIS’ 10th DISTRICT

Renee Ellmers
NORTH CAROLINA’s 2nd DISTRICT

Tom Emmer
MINNESOTA’s 6th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick
PENNSYLVANIA’s 8th DISTRICT

Rodney Frelinghuysen
NEW JERSEY’s 11th DISTRICT

Chris Gibson
NEW YORK’s 19th DISTRICT

Kay Granger
TEXAS’ 12th DISTRICT

Frank Guinta
NEW HAMPSHIRE’s 1st DISTRICT

Richard Hanna
NEW YORK’s 22nd DISTRICT

Crescent Hardy
NEVADA’s 4th DISTRICT

Joe Heck
NEVADA’s 3rd DISTRICT

Will Hurd
TEXAS’ 23rd DISTRICT

David Jolly
FLORIDA’s 13th DISTRICT

John Katko
NEW YORK’s 24th DISTRICT

Peter King
NEW YORK’s 2nd DISTRICT

Adam Kinzinger
ILLINOIS’ 16th DISTRICT

John Kline
MINNESOTA’s 2nd DISTRICT

Steve Knight
CALIFORNIA’s 25th DISTRICT

Leonard Lance
NEW JERSEY’s 7th DISTRICT

Frank LoBiondo
NEW JERSEY’s 2nd DISTRICT

Tom MacArthur
NEW JERSEY’s 3rd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy
CALIFORNIA’s 23rd DISTRICT

Michael McCaul
TEXAS’ 10th DISTRICT

Patrick McHenry
NORTH CAROLINA’s 10th DISTRICT

Cathy McMorris Rodgers
WASHINGTON’s 5th DISTRICT

Martha McSally
ARIZONA’s 2nd DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan
PENNSYLVANIA’s 7th DISTRICT

Candice Miller
MICHIGAN’s 10th DISTRICT

John Moolenaar
MICHIGAN’s 4th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy
PENNSYLVANIA’s 18th DISTRICT

Kristi Noem
SOUTH DAKOTA

Devin Nunes
CALIFORNIA’s 22nd DISTRICT

Erik Paulsen
MINNESOTA’s 3rd DISTRICT

Robert Pittenger
NORTH CAROLINA’s 9th DISTRICT

Joe Pitts
PENNSYLVANIA’s 16th DISTRICT

Bruce Poliquin
MAINE’s 2nd DISTRICT

Dave Reichert
WASHINGTON’s 8th DISTRICT

Hal Rogers
KENTUCKY’s 5th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
FLORIDA’s 27th DISTRICT

Ed Royce
CALIFORNIA’s 39th DISTRICT

Paul Ryan
WISCONSIN’s 1st DISTRICT

Steve Scalise
LOUISIANA’s 1st DISTRICT

Aaron Schock
ILLINOIS’ 18th DISTRICT

John Shimkus
ILLINOIS’ 15th DISTRICT

Mike Simpson
IDAHO’s 2nd DISTRICT

Christopher Smith
NEW JERSEY’s 4th DISTRICT

Elise Stefanik
NEW YORK’s 21st DISTRICT

Steve Stivers
OHIO’s 15th DISTRICT

Glenn Thompson
PENNSYLVANIA’s 5th DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi
OHIO’s 12th DISTRICT

Dave Trott
MICHIGAN’s 11th DISTRICT

Michael Turner
OHIO’s 10th DISTRICT

Fred Upton
MICHIGAN’s 6th DISTRICT

David Valadao
CALIFORNIA’s 21st DISTRICT

Greg Walden
OREGON’s 2nd DISTRICT

Mimi Walters
CALIFORNIA’s 45th DISTRICT

Todd Young
INDIANA’s 9th DISTRICT

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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