For the second straight day a vote on Rep. Paul Ryan’s substitute for the UnAffordable Care Act was pushed back. This is thanks to the Republican Party’s House Freedom Caucus. They have been working on making Ryan’s bill true to the promises of the Republicans who ran last year and won; full repeal. And this bill is not a full repeal at all.
With all the lengthy negotiations by all the involved parties, Rep. Thomas Massie had planned to “change” his vote from “no” to “hell no.” Even Virginia’s 10th District Rep. Barbara Comstock planned to vote against it, which ought to tell you a lot. Great job to the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Keep working, this is not over by a long shot. Stay tuned for more.
This is an amazing story. Congressman Tom Garrett of Virginia’s 5th District helped to free a Christian missionary who was sentenced to over twenty years in prison in The Sudan for “espionage,” which is what the Sudanese government calls reporting. Rep. Garrett is only two months into his first term on Capitol Hill and he has already done something extraordinary. It matters who we elect and Rep. Garrett is one of the good guys.
Copied and pasted below is the press release from Rep. Garrett’s office, also linked here.
Rep. Garrett instrumental in securing release of imprisoned Czech missionary
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday Petr Jasek, a Czech national who was sentenced to twenty-two years in a Sudanese prison, was freed and has arrived safely in Prague.
Initially, Jasek was arrested on charges of “espionage,” among other accusations. The case sparked international outrage when details emerged that Jasek was on a missionary trip and was arrested after filming Sudanese government officials persecuting Christians. Two other local Sudanese pastors were arrested and sentenced to ten years as accomplices to Jasek.
In early February, several constituents made Rep. Garrett aware of this grave human rights issue. In the ensuing weeks, Rep. Garrett held meetings with the ambassadors from The Czech Republic and The Sudan with his Sudanese Embassy visit marking the first by a U.S. Congressman in a decade.
Last week, Rep. Garrett was part of a Congressional delegation to Germany and spent the week with members of the German Bundestag to discuss immigration and refugee issues and their national economic and security impact. His schedule also included a meeting with the Czech Deputy Foreign Minister in Prague to further discuss Mr. Jasek’s case. This information was not released publicly at the time for fear of disrupting negotiations for the release of Mr. Jasek.
Upon release of the first three prisoners, Rep. Garrett issued the following statement:
“This unfortunate case has unfolded for over a year and I am happy to report that within a week of our meetings with these respective countries, Mr. Jasek was released. I commend each of these nations for working on a swift release and look forward to continuing my role in the negotiations to overturn the imprisonment of the remaining two Sudanese pastors and provide them refugee status under the J-2 visa program.”
Pictured is Rep. Garrett with Czech Deputy Foreign Minister during last week’s visit to Prague.
Today members of the House Freedom Caucus released their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Embedded below is the video of their announcement from C-SPAN. And we are proud to see two members of Virginia’s congressional delegation on stage; Reps. Dave Brat and Tom Garrett.
Despite the looming threat of a blizzard the March for Life will take place today, Friday January 22, in D.C. as planned. The March for Life website says the event “will go on no matter the weather.” If you are going you should have no problem getting there, but how anyone expects to leave DC around 4pm today and head south or west is anyone’s guess. Be careful on the roads. Here is more info on today’s march.
11:45 a.m. Musical Opening Mr. Shawn Welcome; Performance Poet
Ms. Caitlin Jane; Christian Music Artist 12:00 p.m. Rally 1:00 p.m. March 3:00 p.m. (approx) Listen to Silent No More testimonies outside U.S. Supreme Court 3:30 p.m. Visit your Representative or Senator to advocate for life
We are starting to realize that the only difference between Donald Trump and Senator Harry Reid is one wears a hat and the other wears sunglasses.
Yesterday Trump said another stupid thing. Republicans from all up and down the leadership ladder slammed him for it and made clear that Trump doesn’t represent the GOP. Today Senator Reid responded to Trump’s comments saying, “Donald Trump is standing on the platform of hate, and I’m sorry to say hate the Republican Party built for him.” Wow. There is no difference between their flaming hot rhetoric. How is that kind of bullshit appropriate?
Wait a minute. Another difference between these two media whores has just come to mind. Republicans have never elected Trump to anything while the Democrats in Nevada have elected Reid time and again and then the Democrats in the Senate have elected Reid as their leader time and again. Now that’s embarrassing. Glad I’m not a D.
So there it is. Republicans call Donald Trump a Looney Tune and Democrats call Harry Reid leader. That’s a pretty big difference after all.
US Senator James Lankford has released his first edition of Federal Fumbles, a report on some of the more strange forms of waste from our federal government. The report is an interesting read. Senator Lankford identifies the top 100 items of waste and, instead of just complaining about things, a solution is proposed for each item in-order to avoid repeating the same wasteful practices. As Lankford writes in the opening, which is addressed to “My fellow taxpayers,” he states that he believes he has “the obligation to solve the troubles of our nation, not just complain, which is why for every problem identified, you will also find a recommended solution.”
It is not just wasteful spending that is identified in this report, but it also includes the waste of burdensome regulations. Lankford writes, “The National Association of Manufacturers calculated the total cost of federal regulations in 2012 to be a staggering $2.028 trillion (11 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product). If our $2 trillion federal regulatory cost were a country, it would be the ninth-largest in the world.” Wow.
There are a lot of noteworthy highlights. One project was for $43 million for a gas station in Afghanistan. Another is dishwasher water usage regulations that end up requiring the user to wash a load of dishes twice, thus rendering any efficiency standards as wholly ineffective. A study on the history of smoking in Russia is listed, as are the consequences of our government failing to keep accurate death records, which results in continued payments to the deceased. Also making the list is the year-end spending spree of government agencies who exercise the use it or lose it style of spending, with is such an irresponsible way to spend tax payer money.
Great job by Senator James Lankford and his staff on putting together this comprehensive work of sunshine on our government’s expenditures. Researching and fact-checking all of this must have been a logistical nightmare, which alone is a problem. And the solution here is offered by Lankford in the form of a bill he introduced called the Taxpayer’s Right to Know Act, which, as described by Lankford, “creates a central database for the financial data of every federal program in all federal agencies and departments.” It should be easy for the average Joe to look up how our government is spending our money. Right now that is not the case. It should not have to take the weight and access of a congressional staff to find out simple expenditure information.
Sunshine is the best cleaning agent for government waste. Federal Fumbles seeks to offer the sunshine needed to reform the outrageous way our government spends our money, and we are appreciative of that to say the least.
Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri wrote a very pointed op-ed for The Hill directed at Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her shady tactics. Very interesting piece, it’s definitely worth a read (linked here). In the op-ed, Rep. Wagner accuses Sen. Warren of bullying members of congress with the zeal of an autocrat. In the piece Rep. Wagner asks, “Who will stand up to Elizabeth Warren?” Gutless Democrats need to take note.
Rep. Wagner writes; “[Sen. Warren] has made the White House demure in their nominee suggestions, she has made academic think tanks dump long-time, respected employees for expressing an opposing view and she makes House Democrats cower at the mention of her name. Warren’s brand of intimidation truly is what is wrong with Washington.”
Sen. Warren is supposed to be next in line for the de facto leader of the Democratic Party once Hillary Clinton fades away. It is too bad for Democrats that their brand will drift farther left and continue to be sold by an angry, cut-throat ruler who thinks leadership is to bully and intimidate to get their way. Warren’s class warfare message is a hypocritical farce. She needs to be exposed for the fraud she is. Glad to see Rep. Wagner is standing up against Sen. Warren’s type of leadership. Are there any Democrats with enough principles and courage to stand up too?
Yesterday’s Sunday morning talk shows were buzzing about who will be the next Speaker of the House. Rep. Paul Ryan was a popular choice among the talking heads, while Rep. Daniel Webster seems to be the favorite of the more conservative side of the House Republicans. The chatter on Sunday morning can be expected. But what I wasn’t expecting was seeing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, an announced candidate for Speaker, taking his candidacy public by promoting himself on ABC’s This Week, which was mistake.
Intra-party races, even something as big and public as Speaker of the House, need to be kept within the ranks. Campaigning on national TV is the wrong angle to take. The votes for this race will be cast by House members so reaching outside that group is a waste of time. Chaffetz needs to whip his vote with the members first, then take his case to the people.
Making a move for a party position needs to begin within the party and debate needs to grow from there. We need to have a candid debate on who is best for the GOP’s top leadership position and jumping on the first round of Sunday morning talk shows is not the place for that debate.
Young Rep. Chaffetz is showing his inexperience. His jump to be an important guest on Sunday morning was a temptation he should have passed on. Republicans need a statesman. We need a strong a leader. Young Chaffetz ain’t ready for primetime.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy should not be the next Speaker.
First off he is Boehner Jr. He will most likely offer no change in the priorities or legislative plan set by Boehner. He will play ball with the Democrats well and have a hard time keeping conservative Republicans from pointing out all the times leadership abandons principles.
McCarthy will not stand tall when pushed. We saw this on Tuesday night on Fox’s Hannity. McCarthy was pushed by Sean Hannity on what has this Congress accomplished. As Majority Leader, McCarthy shares in the responsibilities of the failures and successes of this Congress. Pushed just a little by a conservative talk show host and McCarthy said something beyond stupid; “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.” Wow, that is so very wrong that he should now be officially disqualified to be Speaker. He can go back to California and stay there.
Let’s be clear about just how inaccurate McCarthy’s gaffe is. The select committee on the terrorist attack in Benghazi was set up under Congress’ oversight authority to investigate the how and why behind the murders of four Americans. It had nothing to do with anyone’s campaign for anything. Americans died in Benghazi and we need to know everything behind it to hold anyone responsible for any errors or negligence that occurred. And the chairman of the committee Rep. Trey Gowdy has always maintained that and has conducted the committee in a way that is totally consistent with that understanding.
But the Democrats now have their cannon fodder from McCarthy’s inaccurate gaffe. They already pounced on the statement with statements of their own vindicating their partisan suspicious. They are evening taking the disingenuous high road in some of and really pouring on the witch hunt theme hard. And it’s just starting. Really looking forward to the next few weeks, and the Democrats debate, and all the other crap.
Huge gaffe, so big, McCarthy should be done. Imagine how he’ll perform negotiating with Democrats when he screws up so big when pushed back just a little. I was watching the show Tuesday night when it happened and I first shook by head angrily because I know just how wrong and flat out messed up McCarthy’s statement was. Then I started to shake my head again in disappointment because I know the Democrats now have all they need to play their partisan victimhood card in the media. Thanks a lot you fool.
If Kevin McCarthy doesn’t know the reason behind the Benghazi hearings, and if he can’t articulate the message from those hearings, and if he is too stupid to connect the dots of how his words will be used, then he has no business being Speaker of the House.
So let me get this straight; Planned Parenthood claims to need federal money AND they have enough money to run campaign ads to oust Republicans in whatever state they decide they need to target. WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!
Here is a link to their latest commercial. Even for a radical institution that kills babies this is over-the-top. If Planned Parenthood doesn’t get their campaign commercial money, oops I meant to say, money to kill babies, oops again I meant to say, money for healthcare, then they will put pressure on Democratic congressmen to shut down the government, which then will be blamed on Republicans. Directly linking baby killing money to veterans’ benefits, as the commercial does, is a disingenuous way to drum up fear. The left does this well. They are absolutely uncompromising when it comes to their radical liberal agenda and then they are quick to brand anyone who disagrees as an uncompromising hate-filled obstruction to liberty. That is such garbage.
Planned Parenthood exists to terminate pregnancies. That is an indisputable fact. And terminating a pregnancy is the act of killing a human baby. Like it or not, that’s another fact. Planned Parenthood ain’t about women’s healthcare. If a women needs healthcare, then she will need to go to a doctor, not to an abortion clinic. Planned Parenthood’s version of healthcare is a referral to a doc, which is an unneeded step had the woman gone to a doctor first. Women’s healthcare can be found at your local doctor’s office or hospital, not at your local baby killing clinic.
Let’s get the government out of the abortion business. Defund Planned Parenthood now.
Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia’s 2nd District voted for Rep. Daniel Webster for Speaker of the House. Rigell was one of 25 Republicans to vote for someone other than Rep. Boehner, who won a third term as Speaker with 216 votes. Boehner won because there is no procedure within the party to challenge the incumbent Speaker without looking like you are trying to commit treason. In Washington, the newbies are expected to fall in line with the established, which has contributed to casting a vote for Speaker into a ceremonial exercise absent of meaningful thought.
Rigell defended his vote yesterday on the John Fredericks Show calling Webster “a viable alternative.” Rigell mentioned how Webster is well respected in the House Republican Caucus and served with distinction in the Florida legislature, but he didn’t really explain why he voted against Boehner. Fredericks didn’t press Rigell at all on why he didn’t vote for Boehner and let Rigell go on and on about jobs when the question was on the vote for Speaker. All Rigell said were nice things about Boehner and nice things about Webster and that was all. No real debate was offered.
Dave Brat of Virginia’s 7th District joined Rigell in voting for someone other than Speaker Boehner, but Brat joined no one in casting a vote for Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, including Duncan who voted for his state delegation colleague Rep. Trey Gowdy.
Cheers to the courage shown by Rigell and Brat in their votes for Speaker. It would have been nice to see Brat vote for someone more viable than a guy who couldn’t get two votes, but we admire the effort anyway. It would have been nice for the Republican Caucus to produce one challenger, then have a short but substantive and real debate and then vote for the best candidate. That did not happen at all this time. Rigell found out Webster was interested in being Speaker the morning of the vote. The parties need to end confusion like that by having a real contest put in place for Speaker.
Next time around let’s hope the Republican House Caucus can internally debate who will step up and challenge the incumbent Speaker, then run publicly with a civil debate on the difference between the two conservative visions, and then hold a real vote within the caucus before the vote on the floor so that a split doesn’t lead to a united Democratic vote putting Rep. Nancy Pelosi in charge of the majority while she is in the minority. During the short public debate constituents will be able to call their Rep. to weigh in and after the internal vote the party will have the chance to stand unified behind their choice. No hard feelings, no vengeful committee assignments, just good old debate that leads to a stronger and more conservative message.
Without setting the system up to produce a contest for Speaker then we are left with a rubber stamp ceremonial vote for something that is pretty important. No vote should be a coronation, as alternatives are an essential component of democracy. In addition to running the House, the Speaker sits in the line of succession to be president behind only the vice president. A position like that deserves a lot more than just a rubberstamp for the guy that got there.
I would like to have seen a new Speaker elected this time. Rep. John Boehner hasn’t done a very good job. There has to be someone better. If a contest was the accepted protocol then Boehner would probably have been ousted. But in Washington the protocol is don’t rock the accepted establishment’s boat, which leaves us stuck with Boehner for the unforeseeable future.