Capitol Hill Update, 26 January, 2015

Capitol Hill Update, 26 January, 2015

House & Senate/Schedule: Both House and Senate will remain in session until the week of February 16th.

Senate/Energy: The Senate will finally wrap up its consideration of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, S. 1. A noteworthy accomplishment – Senate Republicans have been operating under a much more open process than under Senator Harry Reid, to say the least. Last week, 24 amendments to S. 1 were allowed to come to a vote – more amendments than were allowed in all of 2014!

House & Senate/Economic Outlook: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook, which shows how federal spending, revenues, and deficits will look over the next ten years under current program levels. Among the more concerning numbers: Social Security spending alone will exceed $1 trillion annually starting in 2018, and Medicare will do the same in 2021. Also, the gross interest on the nation debt is projected to exceed $1 trillion per year by 2024. These numbers show that, in spite of the administration’s rhetoric to the contrary, our country is continuing a spending explosion that will continue unchecked without major reform.

White House/Budget: Next Monday, February 2nd, the White House is expected to release President Obama’s budget plan (on time!). As usual it is expected to proposes massive increases in federal spending and taxes for the rich, among other big government expansions listed in the president’s State of the Union speech.

House & Senate/ObamaCare: Senator Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) have reintroduced the ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Protection Act, which repeals the section of ObamaCare that provides for an automatic bailout for insurance companies who take a loss because of the law. You can read FreedomWorks’ letter of support for the bills HERE.

House & Senate/Regulatory Reform: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Congressman Todd Young (R-IN) have reintroduced the REINS Act, which would require that major regulations from executive agencies be voted on in Congress. This bill is an important step towards reining in the out-of-control regulations coming from unaccountable agencies like the EPA, FCC, and NLRB. You can read FreedomWorks’ letter of support for the bills HERE.

Senate/Education: Several senators have introduced bills that would stop the federal government’s ability to compel states to adopt uniform standards like Common Core. For more information on why federal reform is necessary for states to escape from Common Core and any future federal interventions, check out this post. The two bills that FreedomWorks believes offer the best chance to ditch Common Core are:

  • S. 144 – Local Leadership in Education Act: Sponsored by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  • S. 182 – Learning Opportunities Created at the Local Level Act: Sponsored by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)