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.
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.
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.
Regularly scheduled elections are a hallmark of the American political system. In 18th-century Britain, the monarch could call new elections on a whim, and our Founders saw in that arrangement a seed of tyranny. The Constitution they designed requires elections for Congress every two years, and the next such elections are less than a year away. This is good news for conservatives as they continue to oppose the Obama administration.
The full reality of what Obamacare will mean for average Americans is only now becoming clear as the crisis over cancelled insurance plans in the individual market has steadily unfolded in recent days.
Contrary to many pundits’ expectations, congressional Republicans seem to have zigzagged their way to a reasonable position in the ongoing budget battles. To be sure, their clumsy manner of getting there has helped to obscure this conclusion. Nevertheless, the GOP has the better argument in the battles over funding the federal government and raising the debt limit.
When two Republicans, Sam Johnson and John Carter, deserted a bipartisan immigration reform group this month, the death knell did not sound for immigration reform. One group may have collapsed, but 84 House Republicans have publicly voiced support for granting some type of legal status to the 11 million immigrants here in the country illegally, and 20 others have said they would be willing to consider it—many more than what most media reports suggest.
The federal government paid more than $74.6 billion last year to provide 46.6 millions Americans with food stamps. This is an astonishing increase, even for this era of rapidly rising federal spending. Four years earlier the comparable figures were $34.6 billion in benefits for 28.2 million recipients.
In a sharp memo sent this morning to fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill, Senator Jeff Sessions argues that the GOP elite view on immigration--shared by President Barack Obama and Senator Chuck Schumer--is "nonsense." Instead, Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, advises his fellow Republicans to adopt a "humble and honest populism."
At a dinner gathering in Washington last week, the members of Congress in attendance were asked if they think immigration reform will pass this year. The two Democrats said yes, the six Republicans no.
The momentum to restrict Iranian oil exports has stalled, and it is time for Congress to eschew a more gradualist approach and mandate zero oil exports with zero waivers. This, along with more concrete military pressure, could increase the otherwise slim chances for success in expected new talks with Iran. U.S. lawmakers and Obama Administration officials should not fear the impact on the oil market, which can manage a cutoff of Iranian oil revenue better than can Tehran.
Senator John McCain gave backhanded praise to opponents of the immigration bill yesterday.
“We’re not winning this fight,” McCain, a proponent of the immigration bill, reportedly told Virginia-based trade publication Politico. “They are mounting a better campaign than we are — the opposition is.”