9:08 AM, Mar 6, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday afternoon to make the fine/“tax” for violating Obamacare’s individual mandate $0 for this year, and it did so by the wide margin of 90 votes (250 to 160). That’s 83 more than the 7-vote margin (219 to 212) by which Obamacare passed the House four Marches ago. Moreover, 27 Democrats voted for today’s legislation—27 more than the number of Republicans who voted for Obamacare when it passed. In all, 223 Republicans voted for today’s bill, while only one—Paul Broun of Georgia—voted against it. Here’s the member-by-member tally for the vote.
Earlier today, the Obama White House released a 3-paragraph statement on the legislation, noting that Obamacare “helps millions of Americans stay on their parents’ plans until age 26”—which, of course, has nothing to do with the individual mandate or the fine/“tax” for violating it—and saying that if President Obama were presented with the legislation, “he would veto it.”
Given the wide margin by which the legislation passed the House, along with the significant level of bipartisan support with which it passed, perhaps the Senate will actually take a vote, pass the bill, and give Obama that chance. That would provide a welcome reminder to the American people of the extent to which Obama’s centerpiece legislation relies upon coercion.
But it also relies on lawlessness—a fact that is becoming more apparent by the day. Within hours of threatening to veto this legislative change to Obamacare, Obama announced that he is again making an executive change to Obamacare, in plain defiance of the legislative text, the rule of law, and the constitutional separation of powers. No wonder left-leaning constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley says that we are at “a constitutional tipping point” and that Congress must act to stop this president’s “dangerous,” “destabilizing” “aggregation of power.”
Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda.
8:04 AM, Mar 5, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Wednesday to reduce the fine/“tax” for violating Obamacare’s individual mandate this year to $0. It will be interesting to see how Democrats in both the House and Senate react. President Obama has plainly violated the law—and the constitutional separation of powers—by unilaterally delaying the individual mandate for some people (those who liked their health plan but got a cancellation notice) and by unilaterally delaying the employer mandate.
But not an ordinary congressman. Mar 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 25 • By MARIA SANTOS
Representative Kerry Bentivolio once said, “I have a problem figuring out which one I really am, Santa Claus or Kerry Bentivolio. All my life I have been told I’m Kerry Bentivolio, and now I am a Santa Claus, so now I prefer to be Santa Claus.” Bentivolio, a 62-year-old freshman Republican from Detroit, plays Santa in parades and shows for his business, Old Fashioned Santa and Company, back in Michigan.
How the CIA’s No. 2 misled CongressMar 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 24 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, then acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, gave an account of his role on Benghazi that was often misleading and sometimes deliberately false.
Same as the old farm bill.Feb 24, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 23 • By DAVE JUDAY
The president just signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014, a multiyear, comprehensive agricultural, rural, and nutrition policy measure. As legislation goes, it was rather unremarkable. What was remarkable was the path it followed to approval. Unlike most farm bill debates, which tend to be festivals of bipartisanship and comity, this one split lawmakers—rural from urban, House from Senate, Republican from Democrat—along every political fault including between the Tea Party caucus and the rest of the GOP.
10:01 AM, Feb 11, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
I understand House Speaker John Boehner has just announced to his conference that he intends to bring the floor of the House a clean debt limit increase. Conservative members of the conference had argued for this course. Conservatives will vote against "Obama's debt increase," but expect it to pass with mostly Democratic votes, and some Republicans. This should take the prospect of government default or shutdown off the table, and with it one of the few Democratic talking points that might help save them this year.
7:10 PM, Jan 30, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions says that House Republicans should "expose" President Obama's immigration plan, and not join it.
3:45 PM, Jan 30, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
National Republican Congressional Committee chair Rep. Greg Walden told reporters at the House Republican retreat that immigration votes are "probably months out" and will be after the congressional primaries are mostly over.
Offers a better way forward.11:18 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Yesterday afternoon, before President Obama's State of the Union Address, Senator Jeff Sessions' staff hand-delivered to each Republican member of the House an important memo on the so-called immigration reform bill being debated on Capital Hill. The 3-page document, written by Sessions, argues that pushing the current immigration legislation forward is bad politics, bad policy, and that there's a better way for Republicans.
9:31 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By MARIA SANTOS
The House voted Tuesday night to pass Congressman Chris Smith’s (R-N.J.) No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which expands bans on federal funding of abortions and requires that the Obamacare insurance exchanges clearly describe which plans cover abortion.
6:26 AM, Jan 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A group of House Republicans has written a letter to Barack Obama to warn that the immigration bill he supports will have an adverse effect on American workers. The immigration bill will, the letter writers say, lead to an increase in unemployment and poverty, help collapse the middle class, and decrease wages for American citizens.
2:04 PM, Dec 17, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Congressman Frank Wolf announced today that he'll retire and not seek reelection in 2014:
“I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. I thank my constituents for giving me the privilege of representing them in Congress for 34 years.