Opposition to fast track is the only position for constitutional conservatives

April 21, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in opposition to trade promotion authority for President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Proponents of the Pacific trade deal face irreconcilable problems that on one hand, they bemoan Obama’s executive regulatory overreach in areas like amnesty, Obamacare, and Net Neutrality, yet, they claim that Congress should cede to the same president an enormous grant of power that eviscerates the advice and consent treaty ratification process. You can’t be pro-Constitution with one press release and in favor of shredding it in the next and call yourself a constitutional conservative.

“It is also almost become a standard talking point for conservative groups that President Obama’s foreign policy has been a disaster, with the China climate deal treaty, the Iran nuclear treaty, and the opening of Cuba serving as prime examples of this president’s failure to stand up as the leader of the free world. Yet, some conservative groups are willing to trust this same failed president to negotiate the rules for the world economy without even the ability to read the treaty that he’s negotiating. This is either abject naiveté or willful blindness of the goals of Obama’s multinational, corporate partners who helped him make the deal.

“What’s more, the big lie that fast track legislation allows Congress to have input in the treaty-making process should never be repeated again. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is 99 percent completed after almost 5 years of negotiations. The time for a fast track bill might have been at the beginning of that process, not at its conclusion.

“Finally, Obama is under no legal compunction to do anything that Congress requests. The proof lies in the rejection by his of a demand by the majority of the Senate and House to include currency manipulation language in the trade deal, creating an avenue for China to dock into the trade agreement at a later date without ever reconciling their supposed currency manipulation. The key trade issue between the U.S. and China and other nations is currency and price competition.”

Attachments:

Americans for Limited Government letter to Rep. Tom Emmer opposing fast track, Feb. 25, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LettertoEmmerandHouseGOP2-25-15.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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Hatch, Ryan capitulate to big labor to move trade authority

April 16, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement to the announcement that trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be tied to passage of trade adjustment assistance for the same deal:

“Orrin Hatch and Paul Ryan have just agreed to passing trade adjustment authority as precondition to getting Democrat votes for fast track trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Congressional Republicans should reject this big labor giveaway, which puts the GOP in the untenable position of funding organized labor in order to get to 60 votes in the Senate on the trade deal. It is time to put a stake through the heart of Obama’s fast track dreams, and deny him the opportunity to rewrite the economic rules of the world.”

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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GOP’s managed trade death wish poised to advance

April 13, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the imminent introduction of legislation in the Senate that would grant Obama fast track trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“It is hard to imagine that a political party could have more of a death wish than Senate Republicans are exhibiting as they plummet forward with consideration of giving President Obama fast track trade authority for a managed trade agreement.

Here is what Brent Bozell, conservative leader from ForAmerica says about fast track, ‘There is no way that Congress should trust President Obama with the enormous grant of constitutional authority that Trade Promotion Authority or ‘fast track’ represents, and it would be the height of insanity to reward Obama’s abuse of power over the past six years by giving him the pathway to rewrite the economic rules for the world. Any treaty Obama signs should be subjected to the full scrutiny demanded by the U.S. Constitution, that is why Congress should reject giving this President fast track trade authority.’

“The irony of fast track is that President Obama will gain the ability to rewrite the rules for the world’s economy through the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Republicans are united in opposition to the way President Obama has been using his pen and phone to expand the size and scope of government, yet Senator Hatch seems intent on allowing him to rewrite regulatory rules of the world overriding existing law.

“One example is the President’s inclusion of immigration law changes in the law in spite of the bi-partisan opposition to that approach. Passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is assured should fast track legislation become law, legally opens the doors for increased numbers of foreign white collar workers over Congress’ previous objections. This is why NumbersUSA has recently announced that it is urging a no vote on fast track legislation.

“What is most frustrating is that Hatch clings to the past notions and talking points about free trade in justifying handing this power over to Obama ignoring the obvious, the TransPacific Partnership is a regulatory deal, not a free trade deal. At best it is a managed trade deal where those multi-nationals who played ball with Obama politically in America got a seat at the table so their international interests were moved forward.

“This type of crony capitalism is resisted by Republicans in their rhetoric, but rubber stamped by anyone who supports giving this President fast track.

“Should Republicans make the mistake of passing fast track and then the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they will have handed Obama the pen to fundamentally change America, be attacked by labor unions and the Democratic Party for killing American jobs, and their corporate buddies will fund those ads with the dollars they push into the Democratic Party coffers to hedge their bets against a change in leadership.”

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 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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