Tuesday, February 7, 2017


1. Congress Can Finally Reform Social Security. In Fact, There's No Choice - by Adam Brandon via The Hill
Every time Republicans talk about addressing the impending disaster of Social Security, as its reserves dry up, Democrats characterize their attempts to protect and preserve Social Security as attempts to cut benefits. If they took the same tack in a medical situation, they might say your oncologist is recommending cutting you open and removing part of your body (namely, a cancerous tumor). Back in 2005, when President George W. Bush broached the subject of Social Security reform, congressional Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), rallied against any notion of sustainable reform at a statue of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. “Democrats are unified, Democrats are ready for this fight,” Leader Pelosi declared at the time.
When Congress passed the Social Security Act, a major part of FDR’s so-called “New Deal,” an actuary from Travelers Insurance Company, W.R. Williamson, warned the House Ways and Means Committee that it was passing on a heavy burden to future generations. Read more here...

2. Senator Mike Lee Sits Down to Discuss the Congressional Review Act

3. Congress Moves to Cancel Obama-Era Regulations Under the Congressional Review Act - by Jason Pye
Since the Congressional Review Act became law in 1996 through the 114th Congress, more than 120 resolutions of disapproval have been introduced to cancel regulations promulgated by federal agencies. The Congressional Review Act gives Congress 60 legislative days after a federal agency submits a rule for review. Between the 104th Congress and the 114th Congress, only one resolution of disapproval canceling a rule passed by both chambers of Congress and was signed into law. The only resolution of disapproval that canceled a rule was S.J.Res. 6. The resolution, signed into law by President George W. Bush in March 2001, canceled the Department of Labor's ergonomics rule. The rule would have cost employers $4.5 billion annually.
Other resolutions of disapproval received action in the past 21 years. Eight resolutions of disapproval have received votes in the House and 18 have received votes in the Senate. Six have received votes in both chambers and been presented to the president for consideration. President Barack Obama has vetoed each of the five resolutions of disapproval that landed on his desk. Read more here...
4. Old Confirmation Playbook May Not Apply to Gorsuch Nomination - by Curt Levey via The Hill
Strategy memos and talking points are flying around Washington as Democrats and Republicans begin a fierce battle over the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. I am not on the Democrats' recipient list, but a dozen years of watching these battles from up close tells me a lot about how this contest will play out. Even so, the unique aspects of this confirmation fight ensure surprises. It was always a good bet that Democrats would focus this battle on President Trump as much as on the nominee. Any doubt about that disappeared on Friday, when the president's immigration order enraged his opponents and sent them looking to the courts.
At a minimum, Senate Democrats will use their questions during Gorsuch's week-long confirmation hearings to indirectly attack the president, as they have already done with his Cabinet nominees. Don't be surprised if Democrats question Trump's legitimacy to make Supreme Court nominations and hold Gorsuch's nomination hostage to extraneous demands on the president. Read more here...
5. False Claim About Nominee Gorsuch Highlights Need for Rigorous Fact-Checking - via Competitive Enterprise Institute
People will believe silly things when it fits their ideological preconceptions. Even when they have been debunked and are contradicted by first-hand information and news reports. A handful of mostly left-leaning publications repeated a British tabloid’s wild claim that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch started a “fascism forever club” in high school. This bizarre smear of Gorsuch was debunked by Snopes.  It was also debunked by teachers at his school, as liberal-leaning America magazine noted. And it was also debunked by a lawyer in National Review.
Neil Gorsuch is a well-respected judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has been a judge for more than 10 years, without a hint of scandal. He was unanimously confirmed to the Tenth Circuit by a bipartisan vote, even as other, controversial judges faced filibusters. Nothing in Gorsuch’s judicial opinions or writings is in any way radical, nor does he have a history of saying radical things. Even lawyers like Radley Balko who detest President Trump think that Gorsuch is a well-qualified, judicious, and reasonable man who should be confirmed. Read more here...

Jason Pye
Director of Public Policy, FreedomWorks

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