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

June 12, 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

Uncle Sam Can’t Count: A History of Failed Government Investments, from Beaver Pelts to Green Energy

May 21, 2014 Drawing on examples from the nation's past and present, Uncle Sam Can't Count provides a thorough economic history of why the federal government cannot – and should not – pick winners and losers in the private sector. Burt and Anita Folsom argue that government subsidies have failed dismally from the days of George Washington through World War II to today. Draining the Treasury of cash, they impede economic growth and hurt the very companies receiving aid. As the authors detail, federal officials don't have the same abilities or incentives as entrepreneurs. In addition, federal control always equals political control of some kind. What is best for politicians is not often what works in the marketplace. Politicians want to win votes, and they can do so by giving targeted CEOs benefits while dispersing costs to others. Read more

A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat

May 20, 2014 What does it mean for Iran to have nuclear weapons capabilities? And what should the United States do about this threatening situation? Read more

Reagan at Reykjavik: The Weekend That Ended the Cold War

May 8, 2014 In October 1986, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met for a forty-eight-hour summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. Originally intended as a short, inconsequential gathering to outline future talks, the meeting quickly turned to major international issues, including the Strategic Defense Initiative and the possibility of eliminating all nuclear weapons. With both men at the height of their power, they had the rare opportunity to move towards disarmament and peace in a way neither side had predicted. Read more

11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative

May 8, 2014 Every election, as presidential hopefuls jockey for the Republican nomination, each one claims to be a “Reagan conservative.” But are these candidates truly carrying on the mantle of Ronald Reagan, or are they abusing the memory of our great president? Read more

Vying for Allah’s Vote: Understanding Islamic Parties, Political Violence, and Extremism in Pakistan

May 1, 2014 In this book, Haroon K. Ullah analyzes the origins, ideologies, bases of support, and electoral successes of the largest and most influential Islamic parties in Pakistan. Based on his extensive field work in Pakistan, he develops a new typology for understanding and comparing the discourses put forth by these parties in order to assess what drives them and what separates the moderate from the extreme. A better understanding of the range of parties is critical for knowing how the United States and other Western nations can engage states where Islamic political parties hold both political and moral authority. Pakistan's current democratic transition will hinge on how well Islamic parties contribute to civilian rule, shun violence, and mobilize support for political reform. Read more

100 Years Later: Lessons from World War I

May 1, 2014 A centennial from the beginning of World War I is a grim reminder of just how important U.S. leadership in the world is. The U.S. needs military capabilities to exercise this leadership and to fulfill the federal government’s obligation to “provide for the common defense.” Read more

Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths about Marijuana

April 30, 2014 In Reefer Sanity, Dr. Kevin Sabet considers the consequences of marijuana legalization. He uses a plethora of research – drawn from his almost two decades of work and policymaking in this area – to argue that the United States should not legalize marijuana with all of its attendant social costs, nor damage the future of marijuana smokers by prosecuting and jailing them. Rather, he contends we should shift our emphasis to education about the newly revealed health dangers of marijuana use, as well as focus on intervention and treatment. In short, he argues for trying these evidence-based reforms first. Read more

U.S.-Japan Cooperation in Southeast Asia

April 25, 2014 The U.S. and Japan share many interests in Southeast Asia, from development to military modernization. Where they can work together most productively and synergistically is a positive challenge for the alliance. Peace, security, and prosperity in the region depend on leaders of both sides – and in Southeast Asia – coming to grips with it and finding ways forward. Please join us as we explore the possibilities. Read more

Protecting American Interests in the South China Sea

April 24, 2014 The security environment and diplomacy around American interests in the South China Sea become more complex by the day. China’s growing maritime might and assertiveness, Philippines UNCLOS arbitration, the health of the U.S. “rebalance,” ASEAN’s 20-year quest for a code of conduct, and the more recent initiative of talks among three of the four Southeast Asian claimants, as well as other factors, will all be on the table for discussion with this distinguished panel of experts. Read more

Too Big To Fail: Can Fixing Capital Requirements End It?

April 24, 2014 Too Big To Fail: Can Fixing Capital Requirements End It? Read more

U.S. Army Aviation Restructure Initiative: A Win-Win for National Guard and Active Duty?

April 23, 2014 The U.S. Army has proposed an initiative to restructure its aviation assets so that the Active Duty and National Guard components each receive the aircraft that best aligns with their respective missions, makes most effective use of taxpayer dollars, and preserves the greatest amount of capability across the Total Army force. This entails the transfer of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the Guard to the Active force and a transfer of some of the Active Duty’s UH-60 Blackhawk utility aircraft to the Guard. The Guard has flown Apaches during wartime in Iraq and Afghanistan, but as those conflicts conclude, the Army contends the transfer of the attack helicopters is the only way to ensure that pilots maintain sufficient proficiency. The Guard benefits from this transfer by receiving aircraft that are more capable and relevant to their peacetime missions supporting their state Governors and other civil authorities. Yet some in the Guard and in Congress question this transfer and are calling for a commission to study that matter further. Read more

Rand Paul Taps a New Constituency

April 23, 2014 Philip Weiss discusses an interesting Hardball clip here, where bestselling mainstream political author … Read more

Boycotting the Arts and Academia

April 23, 2014 The Russians are withdrawing. Not from Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, but from … Read more

Happy Earth Day: Dispelling Environmental Myths and Celebrating Human Achievement

April 22, 2014 There is a lot to celebrate this Earth Day. The environment continues to get cleaner. Air and water quality are much better. Human achievement and development are helping to create a more prosperous nation that can better address environmental challenges. This important success story often gets lost in the misinformation campaigns that try to paint a picture of a country with dire environmental conditions. This panel will highlight environmental trends, dispel environmental myths, and demonstrate how human progress is critical to the well-being of humans and the environment. Read more

Antibiotic Knowledge Is More Important Than the Big Bang

April 22, 2014 Yesterday, the Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal wrote up a new AP poll confirming a … Read more

Nationalism, Not NATO, Is Our Great Ally

April 21, 2014 With Vladimir Putin having bloodlessly annexed Crimea and hinting that his army … Read more

Propaganda, Disinformation, and Dirty Tricks: The Resurgence of Russian Political Warfare

April 21, 2014 The Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea, a part of Ukraine, has renewed the interest in Russia’s extensive political warfare activities. In Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and other states of the former Soviet Union, Russian influence operations have been aggressively increased and targeted at Russian-speaking populations, who often have little other access to news and information and, therefore, are easy targets for Russian propaganda. Russian efforts hark back to the ideological battles and active measures of the Cold War and are aimed at audiences and policymakers here in the United States as well. For home audiences, Russian propaganda persistently shows strong strains of anti-Americanism. Join us as our panel of experts analyzes this threat and how the United States can best counter it. Read more

General Mills and Consumers’ Contracting Access to Courts

April 21, 2014 In films, signing a contract is a considered, deliberate affair. Pens are … Read more

The Stillness of Saturday

April 19, 2014 It’s Saturday—the day of waiting, the day of quiet. The day when … Read more

How to Fix the Census’s Obamacare Errors

April 18, 2014 Can you cook the books by using more accurate statistics? That’s the … Read more

Americans Don’t See Ukraine as Their Cause

April 17, 2014 When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Empire an “evil empire,” the phrase … Read more

Peter King and the Hawks’ Hysterical Attacks on Rand Paul

April 17, 2014 Those accusing the Kentucky senator of fear-mongering should look in the mirror. Read more

Rousseau’s American Heirs Fight the Final Prejudice

April 17, 2014 Joseph Bottom’s An Anxious Age has stirred up quite a debate over … Read more

Building Conservative Prison Reform

April 17, 2014 Talk of bipartisan prison form has rallied spirits in Washington in recent … Read more

Iran: Nuclear, Human Rights and Terrorism Challenges

April 16, 2014 Iran long has posed major challenges to the United States, its allies and Middle Eastern stability. In recent years, Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons has been a primary focus for concern, but that issue should not eclipse all other issues. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and continues to commit widespread human rights abuses against its own people. Read more

When Seized Land Lies Fallow

April 16, 2014 When then Justice John Paul Stevens handed down his now infamous ruling … Read more

Give Kerry a B for Effort

April 16, 2014 Is John Kerry’s effort to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian “framework” for peace (i.e. … Read more

What Is Conservatism?

April 15, 2014 Though often mistaken for a partisan ideology, true conservatism represents a much … Read more

Don Draper Returns for One Last Shot at Salvation

April 15, 2014 Will Dick Whitman be able to save his persona's soul? Read more

The Crusade Years, 1933-1955: Herbert Hoover’s Lost Memoirs of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath

April 14, 2014 Covering an eventful period in Herbert Hoover’s career – more specifically, his life as a political pugilist from 1933 to 1955 – The Crusade Years is a previously unknown memoir that Hoover composed and revised during the 1940s and 1950s – and then, surprisingly, set aside. A parallel volume to Hoover’s Freedom Betrayed, this work recounts Hoover’s family life after March 4, 1933, his myriad philanthropic interests, and his unrelenting “crusade against collectivism” in American life. Aside from its often feisty account of Hoover’s political activities during the Roosevelt/Truman era and its window on Hoover’s private life and campaigns for good causes, The Crusade Years invites readers to reflect on the factors that made possible his extraordinarily fruitful post-presidential years. As least as much as Theodore Roosevelt, he came to personify the activist ex-presidency; some historians even argue that he invented it. Read more

Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It

April 11, 2014 Read more

Salmon Op-Ed: Excellent education, reasonable cost: Arizona has it

April 10, 2014 Salmon Op-Ed: Excellent education, reasonable cost: Arizona has it

Click here to read the op-ed online

Today's students and families are concerned not only with the cost of education, but also with career prospects post-graduation. Across the nation, the cost of higher education continues to grow while news articles point to examples of college graduates working in the fast-food industry.

To confront these issues head-on, the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee recently convened a hearing in Arizona. We had the opportunity to discuss these important issues between members of Congress and local Arizona experts.

It was a great opportunity to share that, although there is still much to be done, Arizona universities and community colleges are on the cutting edge of creative initiatives to deliver high-quality education while working to resolve the financial challenges of the contemporary world.

Quality of education is as important, if not more so than the cost. In order for Arizona to be globally competitive, we need to ensure that our students are graduating with the skills necessary to forge a great career and to adapt to the ever-changing, global workforce.

Nearly 30,000 students will graduate from Arizona's four-year public universities this year. If we are to maintain a competitive edge in education and the global economy, all schools should be held to a high standard of excellence. Transparency and accountability for institutions of higher education allow prospective students a clearer choice.

All higher-education institutions, whether public or private universities, career colleges or community colleges, should be held to an equal standard of accountability, including gainful employment measures if they move forward. We look forward to the process of developing the details behind this proposal.

Arizona's Constitution states that university instruction "shall be as nearly free as possible." The average national cost of education has experienced inflation twice as high as general inflation over the past several years, averaging about 8 percent annually.

To give our next generation of graduates a fighting chance, we must continue to work together on the challenge of affordability while ensuring that they have the skills needed by top employers. Students need an education that will not leave them still making payments on student loans when they send their own children off to college.

Arizona universities and community colleges have partnered to provide seamless credit transfer and even joint- admissions processes. These innovative, low-cost models provide options for earning a world-class degree at lower total cost. A low-cost education would mean nothing if students were unable to find good work post-graduation.

To maintain strong workforce relevance, our Arizona universities actively partner with local and international industry to shape curricula that prepare students for in-demand jobs. Expansion of programs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and health fields are two examples of responsiveness from our Arizona universities to meet the high demands of businesses.

This will have a positive impact on Arizona's economy and serve our graduates in well-paying, recession-proof careers that advance the state's competitiveness in the global innovation marketplace.

We look forward to the discussions surrounding the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act because it is the key federal policy affecting our schools and, consequently, our future workforce. We are encouraged that the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has held several hearings on this legislation.

The recent hearing in Mesa with committee members, including Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., demonstrated the important role Arizonans have in shaping the discussion. It is necessary to create an environment where institutions of higher education can implement innovative strategies to best prepare graduates for careers in an ever-changing economic landscape.

Our Arizona schools, leaders and businesses are taking the lead on this initiative, and the field hearing provided the venue to showcase the great work done here in the Grand Canyon State.

Matt Salmon represents Arizona's Congressional District 5 in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Michael Crow is president of Arizona State University. John Haeger is president of Northern Arizona University. Ann Weaver Hart is president of the University of Arizona. Read more

Big Tent: The Story of the Conservative Revolution – As Told by the Thinkers and Doers Who Made It Happen

April 10, 2014 Drawing from his comprehensive, star-studded course at The Citadel, Mallory Factor, the New York Times bestselling author of Shadowbosses, brings together a fascinating and diverse range of essays from leading figures and activists which explore and illuminate the conservative intellectual tradition in American politics. The Big Tent offers a panoramic portrait of the intellectual history of the conservative movement. Some of the leading lights of the Right offer an unparalleled introduction to conservative figures and ideas, from the Revolution to William F. Buckley; Barry Goldwater to the Reagan Revolution; Libertarianism to the War on Terror. Read more

Scalise: Passage of House Republican budget marks another significant milestone as we work to get our economy back on track

April 9, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise today released the following statement after the House approved the Budget Committee’s budget proposal.

“Passage of the House Republican budget today marks another significant milestone as we work to get our economy back on track and protect the American Dream for future generations,” Scalise said.  “As the father of a seven and four year old, I don’t think it is too much to ask that we balance the federal budget before my children graduate from high school.  This responsible budget balances in ten years, saves Medicare from bankruptcy, repeals Obamacare, fixes our tax code, and implements pro-growth reforms that create jobs. 

“Our proposal stands in stark contrast to both President Obama's budget, which raises nearly $2 trillion in new taxes and never balances, and the Senate which refused to meet legal obligations to even present a budget. Washington has a serious spending problem, and the only responsible solution is for Washington to start living within its means like American families do every year. I commend Paul Ryan and the House Budget Committee for their aggressive focus on solving the spending problems plaguing our nation.”

Read more

Meadows Op-Ed: It’s time to hold the IRS accountable for tea party-targeting

April 8, 2014

Meadows Op-Ed: It’s time to hold the IRS accountable for tea party-targeting

Click here to read the op-ed online.

On Thursday, my colleagues and I on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will vote on whether to hold Internal Revenue Service Official, Lois Lerner, in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her role in the IRS political targeting scandal.

You may recall President Barack Obama’s promise to make his administration the “most transparent in history.” In fact, the day after his first inauguration, he promised a new era of “openness in government.” Yet here we are, five years later, confronted with yet another case of government abuse, secrecy and cover-up.

After it came to light that the IRS was systematically targeting conservative and tea party-affiliated organizations seeking tax exempt 501(c)(4) status, Lerner — the main official behind the illegal practice — refused to testify about her involvement. For months, the Committee tried to work with the administration to get answers, but was met with roadblocks and misleading information. The Oversight Committee is now in a position where a contempt vote is necessary to get the answers the American people deserve.

A recent report put out by my colleague, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), found that despite repeated claims that the IRS also targeted liberal organizations, a thorough investigation into the matter shows that that was not the case. Internal documents released show that Lerner and other senior IRS officials were concerned, for example, about the “hugely influential Koch brothers.”

“[T]he Administration and congressional Democrats have seized upon the notion that the IRS’s targeting was not just limited to conservative applicants,” the report reads. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the facts.  Yet, the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflect and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

Further, the Obama administration actually doubled-down on the practice of ideological targeting following these revelations, rather than correct the egregious overstepping. In November, the agency quietly issued a new rule meant to keep social welfare organizations from abusing their tax exempt status by engaging in “electioneering.” What the proposed IRS rule change actually does is severely restrict 501(c)(4) organizations’ ability to engage in the public square by restricting a wide array of campaign-related activities, as well as define what activities are considered political. The rule was no doubt intended to stifle Tea Party-affiliated groups — but its scope actually goes well beyond those, opening nonpartisan groups up to more scrutiny as well.

As the House Appropriations Committee begins drafting legislation to fund the government for fiscal year 2015, I am imploring the committee to prohibit funds from being used to implement these new IRS regulations. On Thursday, when the contempt vote is scheduled to take place, I will vote for transparency for the American people who demand answers. Congress must hold those responsible for unfairly targeting organizations based on their ideological views accountable.

Read more

What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America

April 8, 2014 Solutions ... not theories. Political progress ... not political posturing. Instead of the constant jockeying for political advantage, in What Works, Cal Thomas focuses on what promotes the general welfare, regardless of which party or ideology gets the credit. He addresses questions such as: Why must we constantly fight the same battles over and over? Why don't we consult the past and use common sense in order to see that what others discovered long ago still works today? And why does present-day Washington too often look like the film Groundhog Day, with our elected officials waking up each day only to repeat identical talking points from previous days, months, and years? What Works is about solutions, not theories. It's about pressuring political leadership to forget about the next election and start focusing on the needs of the people who work hard to provide for themselves, send their tax dollars to Washington, and want to see the country achieve something of value ... like it has always done. Read more

Special Treatment: The President’s Unlawful Health Care Handout to Congress

April 7, 2014 Due to the hurried nature of its drafting and passage, Obamacare contains a number of provisions which – had Congress read the bill more carefully – might have been rejected. For example, one section mandates that Members of Congress and their staff should lose their current government-sponsored premium support for health insurance. The Office of Personnel Management has issued a final rule allowing Members of Congress and their staff to continue to have their taxpayer-funded health insurance. Yet, this new ruling is likely unlawful. The scheme is therefore threatened by potential lawsuits by Members of Congress and their staff. Read more

RSC Releases FY 2015 Budget: Back to Basics

April 6, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise and RSC Budget and Spending Task Force Chairman Rob Woodall today released their FY 2015 budget – Back to Basics

 The RSC budget balances in four years, repeals and replaces President Obama’s health care law, saves Medicare, reforms Medicaid, protects Social Security, helps Americans get back to work, reduces spending, and enacts pro-growth tax reform.

“By removing roadblocks to job creation and replacing President Obama’s health care law with reforms that lower costs and put patients back in charge of their medical decisions, our proposal lays out a bold roadmap to preserve the American Dream for future generations,” Scalise said.  “Washington needs to get back to basics by living within its means and getting re-introduced to fiscal responsibility.  The window to rescue our economy is closing, and we cannot allow more time to pass without decisive action towards a balanced budget.  I applaud Chairman Ryan and the House Budget Committee for their aggressive focus on the spending problems plaguing our nation.  Both our plan and the House Budget Committee proposal are light-years ahead of President Obama’s proposal, which fails to balance, and the Senate proposal, which doesn’t exist.”

 “The federal government’s excessive spending has created an enormous debt that weighs heavily on the American taxpayer, and continuing on that path is unsustainable,” said Woodall.  “The time to act is now, and the RSC budget fully embraces that reality.  For our economy to thrive it must have firm financial footing, and that is what this budget provides.  Compared to a Presidential budget that never balances, this committee provided one that balances in four years while reestablishing our military resources and safeguarding such vital programs as Medicare and  Social Security.  It also replaces the President’s economically draining healthcare bill with affordable, patient-centered alternatives in the American Health Care Reform Act.  I am proud to lead this budget effort and am eager to continue the work of restoring fiscal responsibility to our nation’s finances and ensuring opportunity and prosperity remain for the next generation.”

For additional information on the RSC budget, click here.

Read more

Hultgren Op-Ed: No Republican alternatives to ObamaCare? Think again

April 3, 2014 Hultgren Op-Ed: No Republican alternatives to ObamaCare? Think again

Click here to read the op-ed online

The White House and Nancy Pelosi announced with great excitement this week that the President’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a huge success because they hit their goal of signing up 7 million people to the new federal system.

The celebrating should stop there. Hitting a target without full recognition of the brokenness of the overall health care scheme is nothing to be proud of.

The law has provided anything but economic security to Americans who need a buffer against life’s unexpected circumstances. For instance:

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the law’s incentives will slash our economy’s total number of hours worked by the equivalent of around 2.5 million jobs by 2024, and its redefinition of the work week will force schools and small businesses to either cut employees’ hours or lay them off entirely.

President Obama said Americans could keep their doctors and insurance plans if they liked them, but it is estimated that more than 5.5 million U.S. residents have received cancellation letters from their insurers, including 185,000 Illinoisans. An economist from the American Enterprise Institute estimates that as many as 43 percent of Americans will face changes to their insurance plans.

The persistent claim that the law would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family” has proven untrue. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office predicted in 2009 that premiums would increase 10-13 percent in the individual market and $2100 per family in the non-group market. A CMS study has predicted that 65 percent of small businesses may see their health premiums increase. And premiums have continued to rise for middle class Americans.

Our leaders in the governor’s mansion have jumped on the bandwagon, ignoring the challenge that the law poses to Illinois. While Gov. Quinn did not hesitate to push Illinoisians onto ObamaCare, enrollment has lagged. Only 13,733 Illinois residents signed up for coverage during the first five months of the enrollment period, more than 100,000 people short of the original goal. So Gov. Quinn decided to partner with the satirical news site, The Onion, to push enrollment. While The Onion is skilled at humor, losing your insurance or doctor is no laughing matter for Illinois families.

The administration’s solution to the law’s disastrous performance is to suspend the rule of law, and authorize a myriad of delays of some of the law’s most unpopular provisions under a “fix-of-the-day” approach to public backlash. And it’s no coincidence that some of these delays push the law’s application until after the November midterm elections.

While Democrats fight to delay the law’s real consequences for health consumers until after they’ve secured re-election, House Republicans have always fought for positive alternatives – not just repeals – that will provide economic security for Americans, while protecting patient choice and driving down health care costs.

H.R. 3121, the American Health Care Reform Act, and H.R. 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act, both repeal the president’s health care law but spur competition to lower health care costs and provide tax incentives for people to maintain health insurance.

These bills and others like them embody viable alternative models to ObamaCare.

These ideas include allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations, and allowing individuals to pool together to provide coverage through churches, alumni associations, trade associations, and other civic groups.

Smart tax provisions would allow families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies. Expanding, not retracting, access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), would allow individuals to deposit even more of their income tax-free into savings accounts that they can use for health expenses.

Reforming medical malpractice laws would protect caring doctors who just want to practice medicine.

Alternatives like these would also give greater flexibility to Medicare patients, tackle fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and address our doctor shortage by offering loans to medical students.

Thursday, the House will take up a bill I co-sponsored, H .R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, which will protect hard-working Americans from losing hours and wages as a result of the law’s redefinition of the work week. American workers fought hard for the 40 hour work week. They shouldn’t have to give it up just because the administration needs the money that would come to the federal government by way of fines to keep the ACA afloat.

But we should also keep what is good about the President’s law by safeguarding individuals with pre-existing conditions through state-based high risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections. No one should be denied coverage based on a disease or ailment outside of their control.

Like any piece of legislation, these ideas aren’t perfect or complete. They need to be debated through the normal legislative process to fine-tune them to the needs of American health consumers. That’s what was missing when the Affordable Care Act was passed four years ago: a thorough debate about what works and what doesn’t.

While the law was passed by one side of the aisle then, that shouldn’t stop us from working together to truly reform our health care system. I hope Democrats will stop doubling down on promises that have proven impossible to keep, and join us in this fight to offer real economic security to struggling Americans.

Randy Hultgren represents Illinois' 14th U.S. Congressional District. Read more

Scalise supports bill to Save American Workers

April 1, 2014

Washington, D.C. – RSC Chairman Steve Scalise today issued the following statement after supporting the Save American Workers Act of 2014, a bill to repeal the 30 hour threshold under the Obamacare employer mandate.  

“President Obama’s health care law includes perverse incentives that are forcing hard-working taxpayers to have their work week reduced below 30 hours,” Scalise said.  “This part of Obamacare has resulted in 25 percent less take home pay for millions of American workers, including many employees in New Orleans’ world-renowned restaurants. We must reverse the devastating impacts that Obamacare is having on families across America. 

“President Obama has twisted and bent his health care law through more than 20 different delays in an effort to minimize the political damage in an election year.  Every one of the Administration’s unilateral delays is a tacit admission that the President’s health care law is unworkable and has failed to meet the promises that were made to help get it passed.  While the President and Senate Democrats continue their minimum wage push, they turn a blind eye to the devastation of their own health care law.  I’m proud to support this common-sense measure today to restore the 40 hour work week and bolster our economy.”

Read more

Scalise to President Obama: Answer a few basic enrollment number questions

March 31, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise today issued the following statement regarding the Administration’s announcement that seven million Americans have signed up for health care coverage.

“A few basic questions must first be answered by the President in order for there to be any credibility to the latest enrollment figures,” Scalise said.  “The Obama Administration has been quick to release intentionally vague enrollment figures when it suits them politically, but has:

1. Failed to provide data showing how many enrollees have actually made a premium payment or were previously uninsured.

2. Failed to indicate how many people lost the health care coverage they had and liked as a result of the President’s signature health care law. 

Unless President Obama answers these specific and meaningful questions, his rosy projections of updated enrollment numbers will lack credibility and should be greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism.”


Read more

Scalise statement on Obamacare enrollment “deadline”

March 30, 2014

Washington, D.C. – RSC Chairman Steve Scalise today issued the following statement on the last day to sign up for President Obama’s health care law.

 “Judgment day has arrived for President Obama’s health care law, and yet the self-proclaimed ‘most transparent administration’ still hasn’t released figures to the public showing how many enrollees have actually made a premium payment or were previously uninsured,” Scalise said.  “President Obama has twisted and bent his health care law through more than 20 delays in an effort to minimize the political damage in an election year.  Those efforts culminated earlier this month with an announcement that the administration would implement the honor system and not impose penalties against those who claim they tried to enroll before the deadline.  Every one of the Administration’s unilateral delays is a tacit admission that the President’s health care law is unworkable while failing to deliver on the promises that were made to help get it passed.  President Obama’s health care law has failed millions of American families who want immediate relief from the devastating effects of this law, not more time to come around to the idea of government-run health care.”

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Hudson Op-Ed: ObamaCare birthday nothing to cheer

March 27, 2014 Hudson Op-Ed: ObamaCare birthday nothing to cheer

Click here to read the op-ed online.

Anniversaries are usually supposed to be a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, this past week’s anniversary was more like a bad rendition of “Groundhog Day” than it was an excuse for balloons and streamers.

Sunday, March 23 marked the four-year anniversary of President Obama signing ObamaCare into law. Although Nancy Pelosi was comfortable “passing the law to find out what’s in it,” we all knew this would be a disastrous litany of broken promises and empty rhetoric. Four years later, our deepest fears have unfortunately proved to be true.

On top of stopping job creation for millions of Americans who are out of work and creating a part-time economy, this harmful law is forcing hard-working individuals and families to deal with rising health care costs, restricted access, and canceled insurance plans. Just last week, WTVD in Raleigh reported that in response to the law’s 30-hour work week definition, our state’s public and private employers are considering cutting employee hours just to stay afloat and avoid Obamacare’s burdensome mandates. In Greenville, WITN reports that the same ObamaCare mandate is causing hours to be cut for as many as 200 North Carolina teachers.

The pain this law is causing for millions of Americans is tragic. It is no surprise that with less than 10 days left to sign up, the administration was nowhere near the original enrollment numbers they needed and decided to once again unilaterally delay the deadline in order to provide themselves political cover. This marks more than 30 times that the administration has delayed its own law. The American people deserve basic fairness and genuine accountability from their government, not self-serving executive overreach that only proves this law is unworkable and in need of a permanent delay for everyone.

Additionally this week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. This mandate is a blatant violation of our fundamental right to religious freedom. While President Obama has proven entirely comfortable granting delays and exemptions where it is politically convenient for him to do so, he refuses to grant the same leniency to those whose conscience is violated by this unconstitutional mandate. I hope the court will stand up for the First Amendment and demand the administration to show respect for the Constitution and for people’s faiths.

It’s past time that everyone admit that Obamacare is an utter failure. Instead of digging in their heels and trying to force this train wreck on the American people, the administration should scrap it and start over by working with Republicans to advance patient-centered reforms that ensure quality, affordable health care. I joined my House colleagues in proposing The American Health Care Reform Act (H.R. 3121) — a patient-centered system that strengthens the doctor-patient relationship, reduces cost, increases access, and allows American businesses to grow again.

I will continue to do everything in my power to defund, repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Richard Hudson, a Concord Republican, represents the 8th District in the U.S. House, which includes most of Robeson County.

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RSC unveils bill to create JOBS, revive economy

March 25, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise today unveiled the Jumpstarting Opportunities with Bold Solutions (JOBS) Act.  The proposal will create hundreds of thousands of American jobs and provide economic security for American families and small businesses.

“The best way to get our economy back on track is by passing bold conservative solutions that get America working again,” RSC Chairman Steve Scalise said.  “While President Obama is busy defending his failed policies, House Republicans are focusing on the needs of American families who are struggling under the weight of radical regulations and a stagnant economy.  The best unemployment benefit is a good job.  The JOBS Act builds on many strong proposals that have been championed by RSC Members and advanced by House Republicans.  This effort represents the necessary next step in a bold agenda to solve problems and rebuild an America that works.  It is a comprehensive approach to jumpstart economic growth and revive the American Dream for people from all walks of life. 

“By unleashing the power of American energy, reforming federal labor laws, promoting transparency and accountability in the regulatory process, and spurring investment in local businesses, we will provide opportunities for millions of Americans to succeed with good, high-paying jobs,” Scalise continued.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, applauded the proposal.

"The RSC's Jobs Act is a combination of novel conservative ideas that will impel economic growth, unleash America's energy producers, and cut inhibitive red tape,” Norquist said.  “Big Government's burdensome regulations are one of the key reasons America is mired in a jobless recovery.  How can an energy producer get oil and natural gas out of the ground when they have to wait years for permits?  How can an entrepreneur start a company without capital?  The Jobs Act looks to answer these questions, and many more, by giving America's jobs creators a reprieve from the weight of onerous regulations.”

 More information on the JOBS Act can be found here. The JOBS Act is supported by:

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