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Philanthropy in Defense of Freedom

August 19, 2014 At critical moments in our nation's history, philanthropy has been an essential enabler to our Armed Forces. During World War II, philanthropists banded together to fund the development of RADAR. Another critical moment for philanthropy and defense is now at hand. Global threats to freedom are advancing, while the Pentagon, government-sponsored private-sector industries, and academic research centers are starved for investments in research and development. Game-changing technological innovations are being abandoned because of short-sighted priorities, crowding out true innovation. Without a jump-start from philanthropy, the United States could be sacrificing significant competitive advantages, and putting her liberty at risk. The need for action has never been more pressing. Read more

The Iraq Meltdown: What Next?

July 30, 2014 The Iraq Meltdown: What Next? Read more

Arresting Your Cash: How Civil Forfeiture Turns Police Into Profiteers

July 29, 2014 Civil asset forfeiture is a law enforcement tool with a dark side. Meant to ensure that “crime does not pay,” civil forfeiture laws allow police to seize property suspected of being involved in criminal activity. But this tool often has low evidentiary standards, and in many states law enforcement can keep whatever they seize as profits – leading some agencies to treat civil forfeiture as a way to raise revenue, often at the expense of innocent property owners. As stories continue to surface of cops behaving more like robbers – seizing homes, money, and cars on dubious grounds – action is being taken. States have begun to reform their laws to protect their citizens' property rights, and the issue has now reached Congress. What is the outlook on forfeiture reform, and where do we stand today? Read more

WSJ Overhypes Story of ‘Scrambling’ over Health Exchange Uncertainty

July 28, 2014 At first glance, I thought my informal bet—that a red-state governor will … Read more

Register Now: Wendell Berry and Localism ‘Beyond Food’

July 28, 2014 The American Conservative is excited to cosponsor the fourth annual Front Porch … Read more

Extremism at the EPA: A Discussion on Federal Overreach, Regulation Costs, and Climate Realities

July 28, 2014 On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the next step in its climate change agenda with a draft rule that would cap carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases from existing power plants. In doing so, the EPA used questionable science, ignored climate realities, and discounted major investments around the world to build power plants. This rule will significantly reduce the use of coal as an efficient and inexpensive source of reliable power in America, if the EPA is allowed to succeed in finalizing it in addition to other climate change regulations already in the books or on the way. The consequences will be lost jobs and higher energy costs for American families and businesses with no meaningful reduction in global emissions or temperatures. Read more

Marital Completionism: A Bad Model for Thruples and Couples Alike

July 28, 2014 Why assume you need to make compromises to achieve connubial bliss? In … Read more

Derek Khanna Talks Cellphone Unlocking Victory, Copyright

July 28, 2014 After a popular online campaign to legalize cellphone unlocking, which allows a consumer … Read more

How Long Before a Red State Gov Says He Knew It All Along?

July 26, 2014 A few more thoughts on Gruber-gate: 1. It seems the exponents of … Read more

On Eating Virtuously

July 26, 2014 In her essay on the paleo diet in the latest New Yorker, Elizabeth … Read more

Jonathan Gruber and the Smoking Gun That Wasn’t

July 25, 2014 Conservative economist Scott Sumner offers up a desperately needed example of intellectual … Read more

A History Lover’s Guide to Washington, DC: Designed for Democracy

July 25, 2014 In giving historical context to the growth and development of the federal district, Alison Fortier offers a tour of our nation's capital that goes beyond the traditional guidebook. She highlights some of the more obscure, historically interesting sites in the city as well as those that are so very familiar. In covering each era of Washington’s history, she carefully curates a special expedition of our nation’s capital, reflects upon the people who shaped it, and examines the remarkable events of our national story commemorated at almost every turn. Fortier includes many interesting tidbits about how our capital city came to be and, ultimately, how it assumed the role of capital of the Free World. Read more

Yatsenyuk’s Resignation Topples an Obama Ally in Ukraine

July 25, 2014 With the news that Arseniy Yatsenyuk tendered his resignation as Ukraine’s Prime … Read more

To End the Child Migrant Crisis, End the Drug War

July 25, 2014 As children from Central America continue to pour across the U.S. border, … Read more

Ukraine Has Never Been Worth War

July 24, 2014 In 1933, the Holodomor was playing out in Ukraine. After the “kulaks,” the … Read more

The Ethics of Disability Metaphors

July 24, 2014 From the teenage romance between an amputee and an oxygen-tank user in … Read more

Energy Exports and Free Trade: How the U.S. Can Take Advantage of a Tremendous Opportunity

July 24, 2014 Expanding domestic energy production over the past few years has provided a welcome boost to the American economy. The federal government, however, has constrained the economic benefits by significantly limiting companies’ ability to trade energy freely around the world. Join as Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO) leads a discussion in how open energy markets will create more opportunities for Americans, promote economic prosperity at home and abroad. Read more

How Do We Fix the Ivy League?

July 24, 2014 What’s the problem with Ivy League schools these days? According to William Deresiewicz, … Read more

Obamacare vs. Dr. Evil’s Legal Eagles

July 23, 2014 Decades ago, a few friends and I were listening to Not For … Read more

Gingrich’s Contract with America: The Power of Conservative Ideas

July 23, 2014 In 1994, after languishing in the minority for 40 years, the Republicans decided to stop being the me-too party. They took a principled conservative stand against the reigning liberal dogmas – and won big, taking control of Congress. Key to this victory was Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, a conservative agenda that rallied Americans in favor of limited government and promised to reform the way Congress worked. Read more

Fear and Loathing in Guantanamo Bay

July 23, 2014 The Guantanamo Bay detention center briefly reasserted its presence in the public … Read more

Alliance Challenges in Northeast Asia: Perspectives on U.S.-Japan-South Korea Relations

July 23, 2014 Given the current strategic challenges in Northeast Asia – North Korea, East China Sea and other disputes with China, and the implementation of the U.S. pivot to Asia – it is more important than ever that the triangle of U.S.-Japan-South Korea relations remain strong. Yet Tokyo-Seoul relations are strained due to a difficult legacy of historical problems. What does this mean for the overall conduct of relations and improving trilateral security cooperation? Please join us for an expert discussion on Japan-Korea relations, and what it means from a U.S. perspective. Read more

The Dual Crisis

July 23, 2014 The two crises are distinct, but there is only one American government … Read more

Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel

July 22, 2014 During the Six Day War of 1967, polls showed that Americans favored the Israelis over the Arabs by overwhelming margins. In Europe, support for Israel ran even higher. In the United Nations Security Council, a British resolution essentially gave Israel the terms of peace it sought and when the Arabs and their Soviet supporters tried to override the resolution in the General Assembly, they fell short of the necessary votes. Fast forward 40 years and Israel has become perhaps the most reviled country in the world. Although Americans have remained constant in their sympathy for the Jewish state, almost all of the rest of the world treats Israel as a pariah. Read more

McHenry Op-Ed: Four years after Dodd-Frank fix, system still broken

July 20, 2014 In 2007 and 2008, the American economy suffered through its greatest crisis since the Great Depression. The Treasury Department estimates that from 2007 to 2009, the heart of the Great Recession, more than 8.8 million American jobs disappeared and more than $19 trillion in household wealth was lost.

In response to the crisis, the federal government took steps to reform our financial system, most significantly, passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Signed into law by President Barack Obama four years ago Monday, this bill was designed to improve accountability and transparency in our financial system, ensuring we never again face a financial crisis of this magnitude.

Regrettably, Dodd-Frank has done little to address the root causes of this crisis. Instead, by institutionalizing bailouts and undermining a competitive and fair marketplace, this law has joined Obamacare as another example of big government overreach that has ultimately done more harm than good for the American people.

At 849 pages, Dodd-Frank touches nearly every aspect of our financial system, from capital ratios of large financial institutions down to new rules on the credit cards most Americans have in their wallets.

Dodd-Frank has only grown larger since Obama signed it. Much of the statutory text tasks Washington bureaucrats with writing nearly 400 rules. As of the first of this month, law firm Davis Polk reported 45% of rulemaking deadlines have been missed.

Since its enactment, Dodd-Frank has imposed $21.8 billion in compliance costs while producing regulations that require nearly 60 million hours of paperwork with which to comply, according to estimates by the American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute.

These compliance costs can be devastating to small community banks and credit unions. Often they are the only financial institutions serving small towns and rural areas such as those throughout my district in western North Carolina. Assuming these small institutions can withstand this Dodd-Frank-induced regulatory onslaught and stay in business, they will join larger banks in passing these added costs along to consumers, driving up the cost of borrowing and reducing access to much-needed credit.

Among the great indignities of the financial crisis: American families were footing the bill for the massive taxpayer-funded bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other large financial institutions while struggling to scrape by in the broken economy. In 2009, Bloomberg estimated that the U.S. government and other federal agencies had committed nearly $13 trillion to support these failing institutions. The nearly $13 trillion represented 90% of the U.S. gross domestic product for 2008.

In signing the law, Obama claimed that never again would the American people foot the bill for these large firms. Yet amazingly Dodd-Frank does not just fail to end these bailouts, it cements them into law and greatly increases the likelihood the American people will be stuck with the federal government's bailout tab again in the future.

In addition to an alphabet soup of new agencies, such as FSOC (Financial Stability Oversight Council) and OFR (Office of Financial Research), Dodd-Frank also gave us the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a uniquely (some might say dangerously) unaccountable addition to our federal bureaucracy. Designed with the noble goal of consumer protection, the agency was given significant power to regulate financial offerings but was designed in a manner to leave it free of oversight from both the White House and Congress.

Among the agency's "accomplishments" is its qualified mortgage rule that has negatively affected credit availability in the mortgage market. The rule has especially harmed those who have typically struggled to access credit in the past, women and minorities. A recent report from the Federal Reserve Board showed roughly one-third of black and Hispanic borrowers would not qualify for mortgages under the rule.

Even more troubling is the bureau's latest project, the National Mortgage Database. In an apparent effort to make the National Security Agency jealous, this database will track individual Americans and their personally identifiable information, including the most intimate personal and financial details, going back as far as 30 years.

And this does not even begin to address the consumer agency's management failures that have led to claims of discrimination and retaliation against minority employees going unpunished and spending $216 million to renovate its rented office space.

Put simply, Dodd-Frank is but another failed big government "reform" -- just like Obamacare, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and the stimulus. When will this administration realize more government does not solve problems, it is the problem? Read more

Issa Op-Ed: Special prosecutor needed for uncompromised IRS probe

July 18, 2014

Issa Op-Ed: Special prosecutor needed for uncompromised IRS probe

Click here to read the op-ed online

In May 2013, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an investigation into efforts of an Internal Revenue Service division, which under the supervision of former Director Lois Lerner, systematically selected organizations with conservative sounding names for delay and enhanced scrutiny. But despite evidence of wrongdoing and criminal acts, more than a year later there have been no indictments. Media leaks from the investigation have even pointed to a predetermined outcome that no one will end up facing criminal charges. Amid concerns that numerous factors have compromised the investigation, top U.S. Department of Justice officials continue to rebuff bipartisan calls for a special prosecutor.

This past Thursday, the Department of Justice’s number two official, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, testified before Congress about his department’s criminal investigation of the IRS targeting scandal. What little the Justice Department would share about what it says is an ongoing effort raised more concerns that the current investigation suffers from political interference, conflicts and a stunning lack of competence.

In February, President Barack Obama declared on national television that there is not “even a smidgen of corruption” behind IRS efforts to target conservative nonprofits that legally engage in political speech. For Justice Department attorneys looking at evidence, this creates a dilemma: asserting a belief that there is evidence of serious wrongdoing is effectively calling their boss — the president of the United States — a liar. We have seen from past examples that Justice Department prosecutors are far from immune from the reverberations of politics — unsuccessful challenges to powerful Washington officials are considered very bad for one’s career. The attorneys who prosecuted and secured a corruption conviction of former Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens found themselves under investigation after evidence came to light resulting in an acquittal. Senators of both parties excoriated the prosecutors — one attorney eventually took his own life.

The president’s public declaration of no corruption follows the pattern of his very public campaign against conservative nonprofits following the Supreme Court’s affirmation of political free speech rights in the Citizens United Supreme Court case in 2011. Investigation has shown that the president’s repeated efforts to publicly attack conservative organizations were taken to heart by IRS officials who would help direct targeting efforts that commenced shortly thereafter. When the president speaks, even career employees in the federal government listen.

The current investigation of IRS targeting has also been exposed for numerous conflicts of interest. One lead Justice attorney working on the targeting investigation donated nearly $7,000 to President Obama’s political campaigns and the Democratic National Committee in recent years. Back in 2010, the leader of a division working on the current investigation directed a prosecutor to contact Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the controversy, to discuss the possibility of prosecuting applicants who engaged in political speech.

But the most damning revelation about the Justice Department’s supposed investigation came Thursday. Deputy Attorney General Cole testified that the Justice Department only learned last month from media reports that more than two years of Lois Lerner’s emails had gone missing. Either the Keystone Kops were assigned to this case and just missed such significant evidence after more than a year of investigation or the most politicized Justice Department in our nation’s history is slow-walking the effort to give the Obama administration the cover of an “ongoing investigation” to hide evidence and refuse to answer questions.

If the Obama administration really wanted the truth and to sweep aside appearances of impropriety, they would do what a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives has already asked for: appoint an independent prosecutor of unquestioned integrity. A special prosecutor, given a mandate and necessary independence to pursue the facts wherever they lead, would have public protection from President Obama’s efforts to prejudge the case’s outcome and an ability to wall off attorneys that appear compromised or simply inept. But this Justice Department’s leadership appears determined to resist the bipartisan clamor for a credible and independent criminal investigator, whatever the political price. Perhaps they know more than we realize ….

Issa, R-Vista, represents the 49th Congressional District and is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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Valor: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front

July 17, 2014 Valor features Mark Lee Greenblatt’s interviews with brave American servicemen – soldiers, sailors, and Marines who risked their lives several time over for their country as well as for their fellow troops and civilians – from our 21st Century wars. Until now, however, their stories have largely gone unnoticed by the public, perhaps lost in the frenzied and often contentious debate surrounding those conflicts. Profiling incredible and evocative feats – including an Army pilot who rescued two fellow pilots from a deadly crash in hostile territory and strapped himself to the helicopter’s exterior for the flight to the hospital – Greenblatt provides glimpses into the minds of these men as they face gut-wrenching decisions and overcome enormous odds. He explores each hero’s motivations, dreams, and the genuine emotions that were evoked in the face of extreme danger – whether in close-quarters urban fighting in Iraq to mountainside ambushes in rural Afghanistan to a midnight rescue in the middle of the Atlantic – as they served as patriots in the line of duty. Read more

The Magna Man: My Road to Economic Freedom

July 16, 2014 Frank Stronach came to Canada from Austria with a few dollars in his pocket, a lot of hustle and a hunger to succeed. In a few short years, the young Stronach went from washing dishes to starting up his own tool and die shop in a rented garage, working long hours and sleeping on a fold-up bed next to his machines. He would build that small shop into one of the world’s biggest auto parts manufacturers, with 115,000 employees in 26 countries. His is indeed a remarkable story of overcoming hardship and heartache to climb to the top of one of the world’s most competitive industries. Read more

For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty

July 15, 2014 While much progress has been made toward poverty alleviation, many well-intentioned efforts have led Christians to actions that are not only ineffective, but leave the most vulnerable in a worse situation than before. Is there a better answer? Combining biblical exegesis with proven economic principles, For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty equips Christians with both a solid biblical and economic understanding of how best to care for the poor and foster sustainable economic development. With contributions from fourteen leading Christian economists, theologians, historians, and practitioners, For the Least of These presents the case for why markets and trade are the world’s best hope for alleviating poverty. Read more

Cole Op-Ed: Obama must address surge in young immigrants

July 12, 2014

Cole Op-Ed: Obama must address surge in young immigrants

Click here to read the op-ed online.

As one of America’s premier military installations, Fort Sill continuously accepts and trains hundreds of new U.S. Army recruits. After graduating from Fort Sill’s 10-week basic training course, these soldiers go on to help keep the nation safe and freedoms secure — all with skills they learned in Oklahoma. But in June, new neighbors arrived on the post.

Due to an alarming spike in unaccompanied alien children (UAC) crossing the border illegally, the Obama administration saw an opportunity to use empty barracks at Fort Sill slated for renovations and turn them into UAC housing. While the contract between the Department of Health and Human Services and Fort Sill states that the stay is temporary, the administration has a poor history of abiding by its promises.

In 2012, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland was asked to house UAC for 30 days. The administration then asked the Department of Defense to extend it another 30 days. Earlier this year, the administration again asked the U.S. military at Lackland to house UAC. Within one week, the request for housing capacity more than tripled and expanded to more military bases.

President Barack Obama has already decimated the military with budget cuts and the lack of overall strategy; now he’s asking them to do more. Last week, we learned the administration hopes to use military installations until January 2015 and increase the capacity for thousands more children.

While the initial agreement at Fort Sill only requests UAC housing for 120 days, nothing would require the children to be relocated after that. The president could merely extend the stay and force Fort Sill to identify a new building. Obama’s temporary solution is beginning to look more permanent. The administration’s inconsistent instructions for Fort Sill have made it frustratingly difficult for members of Congress to conduct due oversight.

The military is being instructed to shoulder this burden because it will always rise to the occasion. When called upon, our military has time and again taken care of migrants and refugees with excellence. When thousands were left homeless after an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida served as a port of embarkation for survivors. In 1999, Fort Dix in New Jersey temporarily housed thousands of refugees when war broke out in Kosovo.

These temporary situations bear no resemblance to the administration’s current demands. Fort Sill’s barracks weren’t built to become permanent holding facilities for people with no legal reason to be in the United States. Unlike the situations mentioned above, this crisis is of the president’s making. His policies and campaign tactics have communicated a promise of amnesty to families in Central America.

Not only does this disrupt and destabilize these countries, it also encourages families to entrust their children to dangerous cartels with a known history of bringing drugs into our country.

Rather than simply throwing money at the problem and demanding help from our strapped military, the president must address the reason for the sharp increase in UAC. He owes it not only to our military but also to these vulnerable children to abandon campaign rhetoric and confront his policy failure head-on.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is Oklahoma’s senior U.S. senator. Cole, R-Moore, represents Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District.

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Chabot Op-Ed: Enforce immigration laws to end border crisis

July 12, 2014 Chabot Op-Ed: Enforce immigration laws to end border crisis

Click here to read the op-ed online

As we all know, there is a crisis of sorts brewing along our border with Mexico. Tens of thousands of minor children (mostly teenagers it appears) have flooded the border, hoping to gain access to the U.S. either legally or, more likely, illegally.

So far, the Obama administration’s response has been lackluster, to say the least. Rather than taking action to address the problem, President Barack Obama has focused on shifting blame away from his administration’s lax enforcement of our immigration laws.

First, he tried to blame the crisis on unrest in Central America. While that may be a contributing factor, it is not the primary reason the migrant children have flocked to our border.

In reality, the children are here because they, or their families, believe, as many have readily admitted, that, once they’re in the U.S., President Obama will let them stay.

Where did they get that idea?

Well, the President doesn’t like our immigration laws, so he’s not enforcing them. His refusal to enforce the law is essentially an open invitation to enter our country illegally.

Now, faced with the ramifications of his misguided policy, President Obama has shifted gears and is attempting to blame Congress for his inaction. Incredibly, the same president, who earlier this year informed America that he has a pen and a phone and warned Congress that he will take executive action if we fail to act, is now claiming he is powerless without congressional approval.

Ironically, on immigration matters, the president has plenty of authority to act. He has, in fact, numerous tools at his disposal to address this problem. He could start by enforcing our immigration laws. Letting the world know that we will not sit idly by while our laws are violated would significantly reduce the number of people swarming the border.

To bolster security and provide humanitarian aid to those stranded at the border, he can send in the National Guard. As we witness whenever people are displaced by a natural disaster (like Hurricane Sandy), the men and women serving in the National Guard are well equipped to handle crises of this nature.

Along those lines, the administration could also enlist the help of local law enforcement. Nationally, there are only 5,000 Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents, but there are more than 730,000 state and local law enforcement officers. Current law allows the federal government to work with local law enforcement to help enforce our immigration laws, but the Obama administration has rejected this option. Reversing course on this ill-advised policy could immediately boost security at and around the border at a fraction of the cost President Obama is proposing.

And to slow the deluge, President Obama should apply diplomatic pressure on Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to encourage them to secure their borders and discourage their citizens from making the dangerous trek north to our border in the first place.

Unfortunately, President Obama would rather point fingers and assign blame than pursue these common-sense solutions immediately available to him. The American people, and the children amassed at our border, deserve better. 

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The Many Faces of Tyranny: Why Democracy Isn’t Always Possible

July 11, 2014 History has not ended. Across the world today, we are witnessing both a heroic struggle for democracy and reform and the disturbing strength of tyrannical regimes and movements. Whether it be the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war, the aggressiveness of Putin’s Russia or the increasing bellicosity of China, the forces of democracy and the forces of tyranny are in a dead heat. Read more

Do We Need Another Reagan?

July 9, 2014 Since leaving office, Ronald Reagan has come to embody the ideal conservative leader: principled, confident and capable of boldly advancing conservative ideals and policies. During his presidency, Reagan won the Cold War, fired up the engines of economic growth and restored the country’s self-confidence. Conservatives have been waiting for another Reagan ever since. But is this what the conservative movement – and the country – needs? Read more

Scalise Congratulates Incoming Republican Study Committee Chairman Rob Woodall

July 8, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise today congratulated Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-07) on being elected to serve as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) for the remainder of the 113th Congress beginning July 16th.  Scalise will assume his newly-elected role as Majority Whip on July 31st.

“I congratulate my good friend and colleague Rob Woodall today on being elected by our members to succeed me as the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee,” said current RSC Chairman Steve Scalise.  “As Chairman of the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force, Rep. Woodall has been a champion for fiscally conservative policy and presented our RSC budget that implements bold reforms to balance in four years.  I look forward to working with Rob in our new roles as we continue promoting the conservative solutions necessary to unite our conference and get our country back on track.” 

Congressman Woodall was elected unanimously by the RSC membership to serve as Chairman for the remainder of the 113th Congress beginning July 16th.  He has served as Chairman of the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force since the beginning of the 113th Congress.  

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Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places

July 8, 2014 In this special travelogue, a veteran mission mobilizer leads readers to experience global Christianity, exploring the faith and lives of Christians living in some of the world's most perilous countries. The accounts recorded here – stories that span the globe from the Balkans to Afghanistan – highlight the bold faith and sacrificial bravery of Christian people everywhere. Read more

Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court's 2013-2014 Term

July 8, 2014 The Supreme Court’s 2013 Term will soon be over, but the need for serious analysis has just begun. Did the High Court get the big cases right? Will Congress respond to the Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, the latest challenge to campaign finance restrictions? What’s the status of the Establishment Clause after Town of Greece v. Galloway? Will more states ban racial preferences in college admissions following Schuette v. BAMN? What is the future of the Recess Appointments Clause after NLRB v. Noel Canning? What are the political implications of McCullen v. Coakley, the abortion speech buffer zone case, and Harris v. Quinn, the challenge to Illinois’ unionization of Medicaid personal care providers? What will the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case mean for President Obama’s signature health care law? Read more

The American Boomerang: How the World’s Greatest ''Turnaround'' Nation Will Do It Again

July 2, 2014 Is America still the world's most celebrated and beloved superpower? Is this great nation poised for an amazing American Century or for a slow descent into mediocrity? In The American Boomerang, Nick Adams explores America through sympathetic Australian eyes. He examines the turnaround nature of Americans – or their boomerang spirit. In The American Boomerang, he posits that American values are conservative values and makes the case for American exceptionalism and continued American dominance throughout this century. In the eyes of this outsider, America the Great will only continue to become greater. Read more

Lessons on How the U.S. Can Reform the U.N.

June 30, 2014 The United Nations is far from perfect. The U.N. and its affiliated funds, programs, and specialized agencies are often opaque and resist efforts to increase transparency. The bulk of most U.N. budgets are dedicated to salaries and administrative expenses, leaving relatively little for on the ground activities. Even then, many activities are of questionable merit or are duplicative, but seldom face rigorous evaluation or termination even decades after being approved. Both elements of the employee-employer relationship in the U.N. system are problematic: the U.N. can be capricious and vindictive to whistleblowers but ineffective at holding employees who perform poorly to account. U.N. budgets are broadly misaligned with current priorities and efforts to calibrate them face political impediments from the bureaucracy and the member states. U.N. peacekeepers are rarely held to account if they commit crimes. The U.S. has tried repeatedly to address these and other problems. But as only one of 193 member states, most of whom do not regard reform as a priority, U.S. efforts often stall. What strategies and circumstances increase the prospects for reform? What pressures, levers and tactics have proven successful and should be employed in the future? Join us as former U.S. and U.N. officials offer their thoughts and advice based on their experiences. Read more

Scalise Applauds SCOTUS Ruling on Religious Freedom

June 29, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise applauded today’s Supreme Court decision to defend religious freedom in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.  The Court decided that closely held corporations can opt out of providing contraception coverage as required under the Obamacare contraception mandate.
 
“Today's Supreme Court ruling is a resounding victory for the Constitutional right of religious freedom,” said Scalise. “The Obama Administration clearly overstepped its constitutional authority by mandating that family-owned businesses would have to violate their personal religious beliefs under threat of federal fines just to comply with Obamacare. The contraception mandate violates one of the fundamental rights laid out by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution. I applaud Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood for standing up for the religious freedom rights of all Americans.”
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The ''Waters of the United States'' Proposed Rule: Is It a Federal Power Grab?

June 26, 2014 On April 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule that would define the scope of their jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA) through a new definition of “waters of the United States.” Recent Supreme Court cases have struck down past agency efforts to broadly interpret this language. Now, the agencies are back again with a new definition, but there is significant criticism that once again the EPA and the Corps are going too far by trying to expand their power. What waters would the rule cover? How would the rule impact farmers and ranchers? How would it affect property owners and local governments? Join us as we discuss the details of this controversial proposed rule and its wide-ranging impact. Read more

Goodlatte Op-Ed: The Obama Administration Has Failed the Economy

June 25, 2014 Goodlatte Op-Ed: The Obama Administration Has Failed the Economy

Click here to read the op-ed online.

The Department of Commerce yesterday announced its sharpest setback in the economy since the recession.

Not only is our economy shrinking, it is shrinking fast. The Commerce Department’s revised estimates show a 2.9% decline for the first three months of the year, the “fastest rate of decline since the first quarter of 2009” according to the breaking report in the Wall Street Journal.

Despite promises from the Obama Administration, 5 years after the Great Recession our economy has yet to grow strong enough to bounce back after setbacks.

The administration attributes this to “volatile GDP data” in their statement that exemplifies their signature style of politics and excuses. In the eyes of the administration, the winter weather was even to blame for the contracting economy.

Instead of solving the problem of a contracting economy that hit the lowest point since the Great Recession, the administration continues to push their failed policies in the faces of the American people: their answers are more spending that drives up our federal deficit and more regulation that weighs down job creators.

Clearly, the administration’s course of action has not sparked economic growth or even stability in our country.

While the administration has increased costs on Americans and fed us lines of hope and change, we can see the facts.

Every year, federal regulations impose a hefty, estimated $1.86 trillion burden on the economy yet the administration continues to flood American households and businesses with costly, new regulations.

In stark contrast to the administration’s approach, in the House Judiciary Committee where I serve as chairman, we have passed bill after bill to jumpstart the economy, provide jobs for Americans and protect job creators from extortion.

This legislation includes powerful regulatory reform bills to expedite approval for federal energy and construction projects to create jobs across the country, lower the costs of new regulations, prevent secret deals in litigation that require new regulations, and mandate the Administration to provide real-time transparency on plans to impose new regulatory costs. 

It also includes patent reform legislation to defend America’s job creators and innovators against abusive patent trolls that extort their money and steal their inventions.

While these bills sit in the Senate waiting for action, the committee continues to work on solutions.

Last week, we approved a bill to establish an independent commission to assess and clear the clutter of outdated, unnecessarily burdensome federal regulations that too often keep growth and job creation down.

We also approved a bill to keep Internet access free of tax. Permanently.

Americans carrying the burden of this failing economy deserve better than to foot the growing bill that the administration piles on them. They deserve a real economic recovery, jobs and competition.

And the bills passed through the Judiciary Committee are an important step toward increasing fiscal responsibility in our country, challenging the current strategy of the Obama administration and laying the foundation for a robust economy.

Goodlatte has represented Virginia's 6th Congressional District since 1993. He is chairman of the Judiciary Committee and also sits on the Agriculture Committee.

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Tax Reform and Dynamic Analysis: Moving Forward to a Better Tax System

June 24, 2014 Chairman Dave Camp has developed one of the most comprehensive Congressional tax reform plans in over a decade. The Joint Committee on Taxation conducted a supplemental dynamic estimate of his plan. This marked the first time the Committee dynamically estimated a tax reform plan – a major victory for proponents of reform. What lessons were learned in putting together the tax proposal and dealing internally with JCT in the process? What are the next steps for tax reform? Why is dynamic scoring important? How can we finally push tax reform over the finish line? Join us as Chairman Camp addresses these critical issues. Read more

Scalise Slams Proposed EPA Rules

June 1, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Steve Scalise today issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations which aim to achieve a 30 percent reduction in the carbon emissions from current power plants by the year 2030.

“Today’s proposed EPA regulations are a continuation of President Obama's attack on American jobs, and it will lead to less take-home pay and higher energy costs for hard-working taxpayers as well as those on fixed incomes,” said Congressman Steve Scalise, Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. “Once again, this Administration is trying to impose unachievable standards on our nation's power plants that have no basis in reality.  If allowed to go into effect, this rule will cost millions of Americans their jobs and cost the economy over $500 billion in lost economic activity.  In another end-run around Congress, President Obama is trying to resuscitate the cap-and-trade scheme that was soundly rejected by the Democrat-controlled Senate just four years ago. This radical proposal is devastating to coal-fired plants which are our nation’s largest source of electricity. Is it any wonder that our economy is still struggling and millions of Americans are looking for jobs when President Obama continues to propose radical regulations like this just to appease liberal extremists?”

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a study of a similar proposal ahead of today’s announcement. The study reports that upwards of 224,000 jobs will be lost every year through 2030 under the studied proposed standards.  The Chamber study goes on to say that under regulations similar to those proposed, the average household will lose $3,400 in disposable income.

Specifically, the EPA proposed rule seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by the year 2030. Each state will have different reduction standards, with the national average being 25 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2030. The rule will give states flexibility in complying with the standards by allowing them to participate in cap-and-trade schemes, implementing energy-efficient technology requirements or utilizing more renewable energy. While the proposed rule will regulate carbon emissions from all existing power plants in the U.S., the nation’s 600 coal plants will be hit the hardest.  Coal is responsible for nearly 40 percent of American energy production.

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Scalise, Meadows and Wenstrup Urge IRS to Abandon Rule Stifling Free Speech

May 28, 2014

WASHINGTON – Today, Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise, along with Congressmen Meadows and Wenstrup, wrote to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging the tax collection agency to abandon its revision of rules which would codify the practice of politically targeting certain nonprofit groups.

Last Thursday, the IRS announced that they will restart the writing process of a rule which will severely restrict the free speech rights of certain nonprofit organizations. 

An excerpt from the letter reads:

“Last Thursday's announcement that the IRS is abandoning its proposed change is both welcome and troubling.  We applaud your admission that your proposal was flawed and needed to be abandoned.  However, rather than finding a more creative way to harass taxpayers with further revisions, you should abandon any attempt at a rewrite and instead focus on ensuring that the substantial backlog of 501(c)(4) applications are expeditiously reviewed and processed, free from partisan politics.”

Earlier this year, Scalise, along with 80 members of the Republican Study Committee, submitted a public comment urging the IRS to abandon the proposed rule.

The full letter can be found here.

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Steve Scalise to push GOP leaders on Obamacare alternative

May 27, 2014

Steve Scalise to push GOP leaders on Obamacare alternative 

Click here to read the article online. Excerpt below.

Rep. Steve Scalise is gearing up to put new pressure on Speaker John Boehner and other top Republican leaders to repeal Obamacare in favor of a conservative-backed health care package.

Scalise (R-La.) will push for a House vote on an alternative health care plan crafted by the GOP Conference’s more hard-line members during a closed-door meeting of the Republican Study Committee on Thursday.

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