Thursday, April 20, 2017


1. Tax Day Conundrum: Squishy Centrist and Liberal Republicans Might Torpedo Tax Reform - by Noah Wall via Washington Examiner
Tax Day is here, and President Trump and Republicans in the House and Senate are finally talking about tax reform. Unfortunately, a group of centrist and liberal Republicans may derail conservatives' best efforts.Currently, the tax code is a complex monstrosity of high taxes with special interest loopholes. It has been decades since the political landscape made fundamental, pro-growth tax reform a real possibility, and Republicans have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enact substantive change. Read more here...

2. Dave Brat: Freedom Caucus Has Been 'Yes, Yes, Yes" on Health Care Proposals - via The Washington Times
Rep. Dave Brat on Tuesday said it’s incorrect to blame conservative House members for Republicans’ failure to pass health care legislation last month, saying in a radio interview they got to “yes” on several different provisions.“We’ve been to a ‘yes’ on several alternatives,” Mr. Brat, Virginia Republican, said on “The John Fredericks Show.” Read more here...
3. Voters Back Home Don't Mind If Mark Meadows Bucks Authority - via NPR
On Capitol Hill, Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows carries a reputation of a right-wing rebel — after he and his group of roughly three dozen hard-line House conservatives helped kill the Republican health care bill last month. But back home in his western North Carolina congressional district, Meadows is hailed a hero."That was kind of gutsy for him to do that," said Carla Craig, sitting outside Mehri's antique shop in historic downtown Hendersonville. "I'm sure there are a lot of people in North Carolina who wanted him to get on the Trump train and vote to pass it, but he didn't." Read more here...
4. Stop Paying Federal Employees to Perform Union Business - via Competitive Enterprise Institute
Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, recently issued guidance that directs federal agencies to find ways to, in part, “reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce” and “Develop a plan to maximize employee performance.”
A good start toward fulfilling this directive would be to get rid of federal employees who do not perform any public duties but still are paid a government salary. Believe it or not, there are a surprising number of federal employees that don’t do any government work. Maximizing employee performance cannot be achieved without requiring federal employees to do the job they were hired to do. Read more here...
5. It's Time To End Civil Asset Forfeiture - via The Hill
By any stretch of the imagination, it hasn’t been a banner couple of weeks for federal agencies that engage in the little-known practice of civil asset forfeiture.Two separate reports—one by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and the other by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)—painted a bleak picture of both departments’ use of the practice, which allows federal law enforcement to seize, keep, and repurpose assets on the suspicion that they’re involved in criminal activity. This process was intended to target bona fide lawbreakers. However, it has become a veritable Godzilla of late, targeting not just proven criminals but individuals who have never been convicted of a crime, let alone even charged with one. Read more here...

Jason Pye
Director of Public Policy, FreedomWorks

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