Make Government Accountable Again |
- by Senator Mike Lee & Rep. Mark Walker via The Washington ExaminerIn a little over eight months, a new president will take the helm of a federal bureaucracy that inflicts almost $2 trillion in costs on the American economy annually. And under current law, the American people have little opportunity to limit how the next president will use this bureaucracy.
Sure, Congress could pass a new law addressing one or two abuses, but the simple fact is that the vast majority of new laws created by the government today come from unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies, not Congress. For example, in 2014 the people's elected representatives passed 3,291 pages of new laws while federal bureaucracies issued 79,066 pages of new regulations — about 24 times as much — all without a single vote being cast. Read more here...
Walls Closing In on ObamaCare Lawlessness
- via ForbesThe Obama Administration is unlawfully diverting billions of dollars from taxpayers to insurance companies that sell Obamacare policies.
That is the conclusion reached in a legal opinion letter released today by former Ambassador and White House Counsel Boyden Gray.
Mr. Gray’s letter reinforces the conclusion of legal experts at the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service who found that the administration’s actions “would appear to be in conflict with the plain text” of the Obamacare statute. Read more here...
- via The Daily Caller News Foundation
The Senate passed a measure Tuesday aimed at stopping a Department of Labor regulation critics fear will limit low- and-middle income Americans from seeking retirement advice.
“This rule will reduce the availability of investment advice for retirees and make the advice that is available more expensive. Higher costs and a more burdensome system also means more expenses for small businesses trying to sponsor retirement plans for their employees,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said in a statement.
The 1,000-plus page fiduciary rule, which GOP lawmakers have dubbed “Obamacare for your retirement plan,” places new regulations and mandates on retirement advisers. Read more here...
The price of money—also known as interest rates—is arguably the most important price in the economy, and when government fixes these rates below the market level, the markets are distorted and we end up with more borrowing and more debt than we should have. The Federal Reserve is creating an addiction to cheap money, and like any other addiction, there’s only one way to kick the habit and return to a state of fiscal sanity. Read more here...
School Choice Now More than Ever
- by FreedomWorks Senior Economic Contributor Stephen Moore via Forbes
Two things happened this past week that make the most powerful case ever for school vouchers.
First, the Department of Education’s lunatic ruling that public schools will soon have to allow transgender bathrooms and shower facilities. Bring back the dunce cap for whomever thought this one up.
Many parents around the country are so infuriated by this ruling that they see no other alternative than to pull their sons and daughters out of the public schools. The Obama ruling applies only to public institutions, which means private schools can still keep boys out of the girl’s locker rooms.
This is as it should be. Schools should be places that promote family and religious values rather than undermine them. Read more here...
- via The Columbus Dispatch
To watch Rep. Jim Jordan grilling a witness testifying before his congressional panels can be a deeply uncomfortable experience. It’s confrontational. It’s full of interruptions. It’s equal parts question and accusation.
During his decade in Congress, the Urbana Republican has gotten a reputation as someone you either love or loathe.
Tea party conservatives adore him, viewing him as the face of a conservative revolution. Some of his more moderate colleagues, meanwhile, see him as, at least, an ideological splinter under their fingernails and, at most, a leader of the very dissension that has ripped the Republican Party into shreds. Read more here...
- by Neil Siefring
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is at it again.
He is using a House procedure to try and pass major legislation in a way that minimizes debate and prevents conservative amendments from being introduced and debated. Last month the majority leader did this to authorize $1 billion in taxpayer dollars for a global food security bill. FreedomWorks drew attention to the bill on our blog.
Today, Majority Leader McCarthy has scheduled H.R. 5077, the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017, for a vote in the House under the same expedited procedure, called suspension of the rules. This procedure is customarily reserved for non-controversial legislation. This bill is anything but non-controversial. It is scheduled for only 40 minutes of debate, as opposed to an hour of debate, which is the norm for bills considered under a rule. Amendments cannot be offered, and the bill can be voice-voted, allowing members to avoid being put on the record with a recorded vote. Read more here...
TSA: Governance by Bureacuracy Equals Long Lines and Indifference
- by Ted Abram
Every traveler dislikes the long lines, invasion of privacy and often rude and indifferent TSA employees at our airports. With thousands of disgruntled travelers, many of our airports have threatened to seek private inspectors to replace TSA. Fox News reports that Port Authority (which operates Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia airports) notified the TSA that it was “exploring the merits of participating in the Screening Partnership Program (SPP) to enhance flexibility in the assignments and operating hours of front line screening staff.”
Fox News knows changing entrenched federal bureaucracies is very difficult:
Unfortunately, telling a federal agency to go home is never easy. And with the SPP, it’s very complicated, indeed.Why can’t the airport just tell the TSA their contract is terminated and install other forms of inspection? Why doesn’t the Port Authority please their customers – traveling and commuting Americans? Congress is the problem. In 2001, Congress created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and decreed a process to procure alternatives to TSA inspectors by “explore(ing) the merits of participating in the Screening Partnership Program (SPP) to enhance flexibility in the assignments and operating hours of front line screening staff.” Read more here...
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Communications Director, FreedomWorks