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There's good news and bad news in this lame duck session. The good news is that thanks to your phone calls and emails, GOP leaders are lining up behind earmark bans in both the House and the Senate. Just today, Sen. Mitch McConnell said "the people have spoken - and I'm listening" and that he will support an earmark moratorium.
Getting rid of earmarks is an important first step toward cutting the spending in Washington and it looks like we've met the first post-election challenge for the tea party movement. But our fight is far from over.
It's clear that grassroots action can make a big difference, even when the opposition is a group of lawmakers on the way out, desperate to pull out all the stops to enact their socialist agenda. Now that the liberals have been thrown out of power in Congress, the pressure is that much greater on Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in these last weeks.
The Bush-era tax cuts are about to expire and taxes could shoot up for millions of Americans already struggling in the current economic downturn. The election was clear: Washington has a spending problem, not a fudning problem. Tax hikes would hurt the economy even further.
and tell Congress: No Lame Duck!
Unfortunately, getting rid tax cuts aren't the only thing on Pelosi's Big Government Wish-List before she exits the Speaker's office. She, and Harry Reid would still like to pass the cap and trade energy tax, slap the American taxpaeyrs with another "Stimulus" bailout, pile on more tax hikes to fund their socialist agenda, and allow the death tax to come back next year at 55%.
Tax hikes, bailouts, and more big government spending in the face of the recent election would amount to little more than a violation of the will of the people. "We the People" spoke with our votes and we said "We want less - lower taxes, less spending, less government."
Congress should stop the out-of-control spending, not try to raise taxes. One of the best places to start reigning in the spending is the bloated EPA budget. This agency's budget has grown exponentially more than any other government agency and should be first on the list for a serious spending diet.
and tell your lawmakers: No Lame Duck!
According to a Rasmussen poll, 65 percent of voters oppose a lame-duck session because it would trample on our founding documents, mute the voice of the people and disregard the final results of the November election. Now that the election is over, congressional leaders should act with the dignity their office demands and refuse to pass controversial legislation until the new Congress is sworn in next January.
Thank you for your ongoing vigilance on behalf of more freedom. Keep up the great work.
On Tuesday, the Obama administration’s attempt to seize control of the nation’s energy infrastructure faced its latest day in court before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP), which would more accurately be described as the Creating Poverty Plan for its increased energy costs that fall hardest on poor Americans, is the centerpiece of President Obama’s global warming agenda. It seeks to impose massive regulatory costs on the nation’s economy in order to supposedly prevent less than 0.02 degrees of temperature increase by 2100.
When calculating the future impacts of government action, the federal government has very specific rules about how the calculation should be done. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearly states that when calculating the cost of future impacts a standard “discount rate” of 7% should be used (a discount rate is used to take account of the fact that $10 today is worth more than $20 10 years from now). But when it comes to global warming regulation, that 7% rate is a problem for bureaucrats. With a 7% discount rate, the present cost of future global warming is virtually zero, even using the federal government’s excessively alarmist models. What’s a radical federal bureaucrat to do when math says that global warming will have virtually no negative economic effect? Well, they take a page from Common Core and change how they do the math.
Have you noticed how the price of electronics and appliances like TVs, refrigerators, computers, or cell phones have been continuous declining as a result of technological progress, but the cost of new cars has been increasing? This is not some special quirk of the car market; it is the result of a deliberate policy by the federal government, prodded by radical environmentalists, to increase the cost of purchasing a new car. One of the chief mechanisms for this war on affordability are Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandates, which cost consumers tens of billions of dollars per year. Punishingly high CAFE standards have become a weapon of choice for radical leftists in their efforts to dictate how Americans must live.
Have you ever heard of a school where students are given credit on a math test for an A on a history test? If that sounds preposterous to you, you may be surprised to hear that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses this logic when proposing new regulations. In the process of calculating the benefits of proposed regulation, the EPA also counts benefits from other regulations, essentially double counting benefits that are created elsewhere. With this slight-of-hand, EPA gives the false impression that the benefits of new regulations outweigh the costs. The bureaucrats at EPA then use this as propaganda to force through even more of their destructive regulation.
Regulatory agencies have entered the space of copyright law and have tipped the balance of the intellectual property system. Now, it is somehow unclear that agency regulations designed to protect health, safety, and the environment have absolutely nothing to do with copyright law. As with many threats to the balance of intellectual property, Section 1201 is responsible for tipping the scale.
As one of our over 5.7 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask them to vote YES on Rep. Sanford’s (R-SC) amendment to H.R. 5293, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017. The amendment would keep in place the U.S. military’s current practice of providing vouchers to recruits allowing them to pick the shoe of their choice. Recently, legislation passed the House and Senate that would change this practice and cost the taxpayers over $300 million. Rep. Sanford’s amendment to H.R. 5293 is expected to be considered on the House floor tomorrow, June 16.
In October 2015, the EPA announced a new standard for ground-level ozone, tightening its stringent existing standard even more. It set the new standard at 70 parts per million (0.0070% of the atmosphere), a 9% decrease from the previous standard of 75 ppm established in 2008. Along with nearly 1000 counties nationwide that may not meet this new standard, one-third of all US counties, you’ll find at least 26 national parks. Does it seem ridiculous to you that the EPA has created a situation where some of the most rural and pristine areas of the United States could be lumping in the same category with the most densely-populated and industrialized? Well, then you don’t know the EPA.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to examine employee misconduct at the EPA. Misconduct has continued at the EPA despite repeated reform efforts and multiple hearings. Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) opened the hearing by calling the EPA “one of the most toxic places in the federal government to work.” That is a big claim, and one that should alarm conservatives and libertarians who consciously worry about corruption, protectionism, and bureaucracy in the federal government.
On the eve of the March 30 oral argument in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, a key Supreme Court case that will determine the rights of landowners to challenge the federal bureaucracy's assertion of regulatory jurisdiction over their land, FreedomWorks Foundation Executive Director Curt Levey commented: