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Capitol Hill Update, 2 February, 2015
House & Senate/Schedule: Both the House and Senate are in this week and will remain in D.C. until the week of February 16th.
Legislative Highlight of the Week: On Tuesday, the House will vote to fully repeal ObamaCare. H.R. 596, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), would both repeal ObamaCare in its entirety and instruct various House committees to produce patient-centered reforms to replace the law after it's repealed. The main importance of this vote is stating once more the Republican commitment to repealing (rather than merely attempting to tinker with) the president's unworkable and unaffordable takeover of health care.
White House/Budget: For just the second time in seven attempts, President Obama has released his budget on time. The budget spends nearly $4 trillion next year, and $50 trillion over 10 years, and blows through the spending caps that Obama himself signed into law. President Obama claims he is showing fiscal responsibility in stopping the growth of deficits. However, deficit growth is only stopping in relation to GDP. Altogether, his budget never balances so that by 2025 the gross national debt will be more than $26 trillion. The budget includes tons of new programs, as well as infrastructure spending and more "free" education for pre-schoolers and community college students.
House & Senate/Regulations: FreedomWorks continues to support the REINS Act, which has been reintroduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN)and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as H.R. 427 and S. 226. The REINS Act is a step towards returning lawmaking authority into the hands of elected lawmakers. Each year un-elected officials in executive agencies issue regulations that hurt businesses. The REINS Act requires elected officials in Congress to approve regulations that will have an economic impact of at least $100 million.
House & Senate/Criminal Justice Reform: Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Senator Rand Paul have introduced the FAIR Act (H.R. 540 and S. 255). This bill forces federal law enforcement agencies to provide clear and compelling evidence that a person is guilty of a crime before their property can be taken and sold off. Currently many state law enforcement agencies partner with the federal government to abuse this power of asset forfeiture, because it is difficult for the victims to get their property back even if they are not convicted of a crime, and law enforcement uses the forfeited goods as a source of funding. You can read FreedomWorks' letter of support HERE.