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Posts tagged ‘Kevin McCarthy’

Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote.


Image: Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote

 

By Todd Beamon

Rep. Doc Hastings on Thursday became the latest House Republican to announce his retirement — two days after he was part of a critical coalition of House leaders, made up of retiring GOP members and representatives primarily from Northeastern states, that backed a controversial bill to raise America’s debt ceiling without restrictions.

“Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday, and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House,” Hastings said in a statement.

First elected in 1995, Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and recently called for overhauling the Endangered Species Act, charging that the 40-year-old law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.

The announcement came a day after GOP Rep. Gary Miller, 66, of California said that he was retiring after more than 15 years in the House because of family issues.

Hastings is now the 24th member of Congress to say that this year would be his last. He joins 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats to disclose their impending departures from Capitol Hill.

In the House, he is the 11th Republican and 18th member overall to announce his retirement.

But on Tuesday, Hastings and Miller joined with Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and 23 other House Republicans to support a one-year extension of the nation’s borrowing authority — agreeing to President Barack Obama’s demands for a debt-limit increase without any conditions.

Boehner backed the legislation, which won on a 221-201 vote. Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, joined the GOP in rejecting it.

Besides splitting the House leadership — the No. 4 Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, the highest-ranking House GOP woman, was among the leaders to vote “no” — the vote rankled conservatives, tea party supporters and rank-and-file Republicans.

The Senate Conservatives Fund even charged that Boehner should be replaced as speaker.

These groups were further outraged the next day when the Senate voted — after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and Minority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, led an assault on a filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz — to pass a similar debt bill on a straight 55-43 party-line vote.

In the House, the 28 Republicans voting for the measure included six who are retiring at the end of the year. Besides Hastings and Miller, they are Howard Coble, N.C.; Buck McKeon, Calif.; Jon Runyan, N.J.; and Frank Wolf, Va.

“You’ve got retirees, the leadership and Republicans in safe districts with a Northeastern bias,” political analyst and pollster Doug Schoen explained to Newsmax on Thursday.

“Basically, the votes they gave were enough to get it passed — and they didn’t want to put anyone at risk,” he added. “It was retirees, leadership, and Northeastern moderate Republicans who could take the vote without a problem.”

Others in the top House leadership who supported the debt ceiling bill included Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Mich.; Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Calif.; Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Ky.; and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, Calif.

Those Northeastern Republicans on board included four from New York — Reps. Chris Collins, Michael Grimm, Richard Hanna, Peter King — as well as three each from neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Seven California House members backed the measure.

“Put it another way: For the Republican base, this is toxic — and the way the process was organized was to insulate the party and its grass-roots as much as possible to avoid any political problems,” Schoen told Newsmax.

The primary problem was avoiding another federal government shutdown, similar to the partial one that lasted 16 days in October and cost taxpayers $1.4 billion — especially when the GOP could possibly retake the Senate in this fall’s congressional elections.

“It goes back to their basis thesis: We get through this. We don’t fight on an issue we can’t win because, ultimately, this election is moving in our direction — and we don’t need to have a problem like the problem we had with the government shutdown.”

Political strategist Dick Morris described the House skirmishing on Thursday as “phony” and “fraudulent.”

“Boehner went to his caucus and said: ‘Hey guys, let’s approve the debt limit in return for pretty-good spending cuts or other restorations,'” Morris told John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV. “The House Republicans said, or enough of them said: ‘We’re not going to vote for a debt-limit increase under any circumstance. You could balance the whole budget and we’re not going to go for it.’

“He didn’t have his 218 votes to pass it — and he couldn’t get any Democratic votes if there were cuts,” Morris said of Boehner.

The Ohio Republican then put together the GOP coalition to support the clean bill.

“All of these Republican congressmen can now go to their primary opponents from the tea party and say, ‘Hey, I voted against raising the debt limit’ — knowing darn well that they were willing to vote for it if they needed it,” Morris said.

Schoen saw it another way.

“The Republican Party did not want to vote to increase the debt ceiling,” he said. “Because they are in the majority, they had to provide some votes — in this case, 28 — to go along with near-unanimous Democratic support to get it done.

“The leadership understood that it was in their interest, long-term, to increase the debt ceiling without any riders or any possibility of paralyzing the government,” Schoen added. “The vast majority of Republicans, for a variety of reasons, disagree.

“For John Boehner, this became a practical step to avoid more political harakiri.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Republicans Call Debt-Ceiling Vote ‘Missed Opportunity’ for Sanity.


Image: Republicans Call Debt-Ceiling Vote 'Missed Opportunity' for Sanity From left: Reps. Paul Ryan, Marsha Blackburn and Paul Broun

By Todd Beamon

House Republicans told Newsmax on Tuesday that they opposed Speaker John Boehner’s plan for a one-year extension of the nation’s borrowing limit without restrictions because it would not hold President Barack Obama and Democrats accountable to work toward greater fiscal responsibility.

“This is a missed opportunity,” said House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin. “We need to pay our bills today and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow.

“I’m disappointed that the president and Senate Democrats refuse to get serious about our fiscal challenges,” Ryan said.

“Raising the debt ceiling without any guarantee of future spending cuts is irresponsible and only makes our nation’s debt problem worse,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee.

Rep. Paul Broun, of Georgia, said he voted against the bill because “we cannot continue to fuel the president’s spending addiction by increasing our nation’s borrowing limit and leaving our children and grandchildren with bills they simply cannot afford to pay.”

The House vote on the “clean” spending bill was 221-201, with only 28 Republicans supporting the measure. Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, joined the GOP in rejecting it.

The vote marked a dramatic shift from the confrontational fiscal approach of House Republicans over the past three years, culminating in October’s 16-day partial government shutdown, which cost taxpayers $1.4 billion.

Discussions this time had concerned linking the debt ceiling to defunding Obamacare — part of last year’s unsuccessful effort — or to a repeal of planned cuts in military pensions.

Under the legislation, the debt ceiling would be suspended until March 15, 2015, allowing the government to keep borrowing beyond its current $17.2 trillion limit. Afterward, however, the new ceiling would equal the amount of debt the government has accumulated in total.

The Senate could vote as early as Wednesday on the legislation.

The vote even split the top GOP leadership, with Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California backing the measure.

But the House’s No. 4 Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, the highest-ranking GOP woman in the lower chamber, rejected the bill, along with Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma, chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, and Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“We can continue to ignore the problem of out-of-control spending, or we can address it,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Unfortunately, the Democrats who run Washington refuse to seriously address our crushing debt in any other way than higher taxes, which isn’t fair to those in eastern Washington and across America.

“If President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate refuse to address our spending addiction when a debt limit increase is requested, when will they?” McMorris Rodgers asked.

Lankford said, “I could not vote to increase our national debt ceiling because the legislation did not offer long-term spending reforms or a plan to prevent having this same debate in the future.”

“We must stop pretending our national debt is not a major issue even though it already exceeds a completely incomprehensible amount,” he added. “On behalf of my daughters and future generations, I will not support taking the easy road today but make it harder in the future,” Lankford said.

Said Walden, “Previous debt-limit negotiations have resulted in historic agreements that reduced spending. I stood ready to work in a bipartisan way on another such agreement, but the Democrats have been unwilling to discuss even modest proposals to reduce the deficit.”

In addition, the Club for Growth and other conservative groups had urged legislators to reject the measure.

“When we heard that House leadership was scheduling a clean debt-ceiling increase vote, we thought it was a joke,” the Club for Growth said on its website. “But it’s not. Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party.

“This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support,” the club said.

The Senate Conservatives Fund said in a fundraising letter that Boehner should be replaced.

“Republicans are giving up because they know that winning is impossible when their leaders are determined to lose,” the group said on its website. “These leaders have telegraphed weakness to the Democrats and sabotaged conservative efforts so many times that Republicans now have no leverage.

“Unless we install a new leader who will actually go on offense, Democrats will never fear us and we will never have any leverage,” the group said.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told Newsmax that the House failed to “heed the warning that reaching the debt ceiling provides” and did not “use this speed bump on the road to national bankruptcy as an opportunity to deal with the root cause of our debt crisis: out-of-control spending.”

“By passing the unconditional increase in the debt ceiling that the president demanded, the answer to this question sadly appears to be no,” Hensarling said.

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma noted how Obama has refused to negotiate with Republicans over the debt limit. He reiterated that position heading into this round of talks.

“Every negotiation requires a negotiating partner, but the president has remained intransigent and refused to find common-sense solutions,” Cole said. “I have shown time and again that I am willing to work in a bipartisan manner to solve our nation’s most pressing economic problems, and I will continue to do so.

“The legislation presented today is not that solution,” Cole said.

Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona said that “major reform is needed in an area that is swiftly consuming our GDP and is moving our entitlement programs toward insolvency. With today’s vote, we continue to show an addiction to spending and a negligence to address the root of our spending problems.”

Blackburn’s “Volunteer State” State colleague, Rep. Diane Black, was even more blunt.

“Our looming debt crisis threatens the security of the nation we leave behind for future generations,” she said. “Without needed reforms to address the drivers of our debt and deficits, the bill simply gives President Obama a blank check to continue borrowing against our children and grandchildren’s future.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

GOP House Targets Health Care Law; 67 Dems Join in.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led House voted overwhelmingly Friday to bolt new security requirements onto President Barack Obama’s health care law, with 67 Democrats breaking ranks to join with the GOP. It was the first skirmish of what is certain to be a long and contentious election-year fight.

The vote was 291-122 with Republicans relentlessly focusing on “Obamacare,” convinced that Americans’ unease with the troubled law will translate into significant election gains in November. Dozens of Democrats, nervous about their re-election chances or their campaigns for other offices, voted for the GOP bill.

“Americans have the right to know if the president’s health care law has put their personal information at risk, and today’s bipartisan vote reflects that concern,” said Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Among the Democrats joining the Republicans was Rep. Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of his party’s campaign committee dedicated to electing Democrats.

“I voted for this bill because I want to make sure confidential information is protected. That’s just common sense,” Israel said in a statement. “This is an added consumer safeguard on top of the many consumer protections in the law that already exist.”

The bill would require the secretary of health and human services to notify an individual within two business days of any security breach involving personal data provided to the government through the health care website HealthCare.gov.

The administration opposed the measure as an unnecessary and costly burden, insisting that the government already has imposed stringent standards and Americans will be notified if personal data has been compromised. Several Democrats said the measure was a GOP message bill designed to scare people away from enrolling in coverage.

The bill stands no chance for final approval in the Democratic-led Senate.

Republicans said their legislation on the overhaul addressed potential security breaches, though they offered no specific examples of compromised information to this point. Instead, they pointed to the recent security breach at Target Corp. The nation’s second-largest retailer said Friday that personal information connected to about 70 million customers through credit and debit card accounts had been stolen in a pre-Christmas data breach.

“What if Target had not bothered to tell anyone?” asked Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., who argued that the Health and Human Services Department’s promise to notify Americans of security breaches needed the force of law.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., spoke of “credible and documented fear” of the health care website.

But Democrats said there had been no breaches at the health care website. The bill was simply a Republican effort to “put fear into the public,” according to Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.

Rep. Diane DeGette, D-Colo., described the legislation as a “solution in search of a problem.”

In fact, there was at least one breach last year. A North Carolina man tried to log onto the website and got a South Carolina man’s personal information. The administration had to scramble to make a software fix.

Republicans used debate on the bill to assail the health care law more broadly.

The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to expand coverage to tens of millions of Americans who lack insurance, to lower health care costs, to increase access to preventive services and to eliminate some of the pre-existing condition requirements that insurance companies have used to deny coverage. The health care website got off to a calamitous start on Oct. 1, followed quickly by widespread reports of canceled policies and higher premiums.

To date, more than 2 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the federal marketplace covering 36 states and separate exchanges in 14 states. At the same time, at least 4.7 million people who buy their own insurance were told their policies would no longer be offered this year because they failed to meet the standards of the law.

Republicans who steadfastly opposed the law have seized on Obama’s proclamation — repeated by many Democrats — that if you liked your health care, you could keep it. The House voted more than 40 times last year to repeal, replace or undo parts of the law, but the Senate continues to support it.

Among the House Democrats who voted with the GOP were Senate candidates Bruce Braley of Iowa, Gary Peters of Michigan and Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii. Democrats high on the GOP’s target list such as Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Nick Rahall of West Virginia also backed the measure.

Next up as a political test is a House bill that would require the administration to report weekly on the number of visits to the government health care website, the number of Americans who applied and the number of enrollees by ZIP code, as well as other statistics. The administration has opposed this measure, saying it has been providing information on enrollments, and the added requirements would force it to hire new staff.

The House will debate that measure next week.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Rep. McCarthy: Obama Should Not ‘Oversell’ Iran Deal.


House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is cautioning President Barack Obama from “overselling” the deal reached with Iran over its nuclear program.

“It is not a full dismantling of the program,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told CBS’Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer Sunday. “When you have friends and allies inside the region strongly opposed to it, I would caution.”

McCarthy, appearing on the show along with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., both agreed that the nation should still move ahead with sanctions in the Senate, but warned that the United States needs to “remember who we’re dealing with.”

“We’re dealing with Iran, one of the top supporters of terrorism around the world,” McCarthy said. “We are providing them resources and money and we should not take this lightly. We have to have a full dismantling if we want the world to be safer.”

McCarthy, also said it would be a “mistake” for any administration to make decisions like the Iran deal on a “political basis” when it comes to dealing with “lives around the world. I would hope that would never be the case.”

Hoyer, meanwhile, noted that the policy continues to be that Iran not have a nuclear arms capability, and the military option “needs to be on the table” to “make sure that Iran does not move forward.”

He called the treaty a “marginal improvement” that freezes some of Iran’s activities and continues major sanctions against the country.

“It’s going to be costly on a continuing basis to them,” said Hoyer. Further, he said the Senate should continue with its sanctions bill, but not implement it for six months while assuming Iran will keep up its end of the deal.

“I think Secretary of State [John Kerry] is absolutely correct, and verification is correct,” said Hoyer.

Hoyer noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said before the agreement was reached that he would move forward with sanctions after Thanksgiving.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

House GOP to Use Debt-Limit Battle to Win Shutdown Concessions.


House Republican leaders plan to bring up a measure to raise the U.S. debt-limit as soon as next week as part of a new attempt to force President Barack Obama to negotiate on the budget, according to three people with knowledge of the strategy.The approach would merge the disputes over ending the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling into one fiscal fight.

“I’d like to get one agreement and be done,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told reporters today without offering details.

Republican leaders are attempting to pair their party’s priorities with a debt-limit increase, a plan they shelved last month to focus on a stopgap measure to fund the government in the new fiscal year. The goal is to have a bill ready in coming days, even without resolving the partial government shutdown, according to a Republican lawmaker and two leadership aides who asked not to be identified to discuss the strategy.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here. 
There’s no incentive for the Republican-controlled House to take up a Senate-passed short-term measure without add-ons because many lawmakers don’t yet feel the effects of the government shutdown now in its second day, the people said.

Republicans are trying to navigate battles over reopening the government and raising the debt-limit in a way that lets them push for spending cuts and changes to Obama’s health-care law while also avoiding default sometime after Oct. 17.

The goal is to force a deal on both spending and deficit reduction at the same time, they said.

Last month, Republican leaders had planned to take up a debt-limit bill that paired spending cuts, looser regulations and a delay in the Affordable Care Act with the increase in the borrowing cap rather than leading to a government shutdown over the budget on the Oct. 1 beginning of the fiscal year.

That plan was derailed as rank-and-file members wanted to concentrate their fight on the stopgap spending measure.

© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Obama’s ‘Slippery’ Claims on Obamacare, Budget.


Image: Obama's 'Slippery' Claims on Obamacare, Budget

President Barack Obama is the insurance industry‘s most powerful pitchman these days as he drums up interest in the health insurance markets opening for business Tuesday. Whatever the merits of his product, there are reasons for the buyer to beware of his rhetoric.

The president is being a bit slippery on the costs of coverage, in particular.

His opponents are taking their own liberties as they talk up the ills of what they deride as “Obamacare” and defend their approach to the budget impasse that threatens to close parts of the government come Tuesday.

On these points, caveat emptor:

OBAMA: “Knowing you can offer your family the security of health care, that’s priceless. Now, you can do it for the cost of your cable bill, probably less than your cellphone bill. Think about that, good health insurance for the price of your cellphone bill or less.” — Speech in Largo, Md., on Thursday.

THE FACTS: The family coverage you can get for the cost of a monthly cable or cellphone bill is going to expose you to a hefty share of your medical expenses. Looked at in terms of digital communications, it’s more like dial-up Internet than 4G.

The cell-phone analogy has become the talking point of the week for administration officials pitching people on the health care markets opening for business Tuesday. Obama said earlier that of every 10 Americans who are uninsured, “six out of those 10 are going to be able to get covered for less than $100 a month, less than your cellphone bills.”

He is referring to the cheapest of four major options offered by the new markets, the “bronze” plan. But, just like with auto insurance, premiums aren’t the only potential expense for a consumer. Those who choose bronze will have to pay 40 percent of their medical bills out of pocket through deductibles and copayments. A family’s share of medical costs could go as high as $12,700 a year, or $6,350 for individuals, on top of those cell-phone-like premiums.

Plans that cost more in premiums have the same caps on annual out-of-pocket expenses, but they cover more of the bills along the way. The platinum plan, which is the best, pays 90 percent of medical bills, for example.

___

OBAMA: “Premiums are going to be different in different parts of the country depending on how much coverage you buy, but 95 percent of uninsured Americans will see their premiums cost less than was expected.” — Largo, Md., speech.

THE FACTS: Less than who expected? Obama is referring to an administration analysis that finds premiums are coming in 16 percent lower than had been estimated by experts at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Independent analysts find similar results. But it’s a stretch to suggest that numbers crunched by CBO’s experts would reflect the expectations of regular consumers.

The new insurance markets are for people who don’t have access to coverage on the job. Many will have been uninsured, and they may be surprised when confronted with potentially significant out-of-pocket costs in addition to their monthly premiums. People in the other big group of customers now buy their own individual policies. Current individual coverage is notoriously skimpy, and “Obamacare” plans will provide broader medical benefits and more robust financial protections if you get sick. Although many consumers will qualify for tax credits to offset their premiums, they are likely to pay more than now because they’re getting a better product.

___

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY, R-Calif.: “When we started this health care debate, the president led with a very big promise to the American people: If you like the health care that you have, that you currently have, you can keep it.” — At a Sept. 20 House Republican rally after passage of the bill that would finance the government on condition the health care law is starved of money.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: “The big employers are already in the market. Their plans won’t change, and actually that’s one thing that we need to remind everybody. If you have insurance with your employer that you like, if it works for you, if your employer is a state or city government, a large employer, if you’re in Medicare, if you have veteran’s benefits, your patient protections are already in place. Nothing changes in this new market.” — CNN, Thursday.

THE FACTS: McCarthy is correct, Obama said exactly that. It was an empty promise, made repeatedly. Sebelius picks her words more carefully but still offers misleading assurances.

Nothing in the health care law guarantees that people can keep the health insurance they already have. Costs can rise, benefits can change and employers can drop coverage.

Insurance policies that are offered must now meet minimum standards, covering more preventive services, for example, and larger employers that don’t offer insurance to workers will face penalties when that provision of the law, delayed by Obama, comes into effect. But that doesn’t mean the status quo goes on for those who like what they’ve got now.

Some larger companies are already curtailing their coverage to avoid taxes that start in 2018 on high-value plans, those worth $10,200 or more for individual coverage and $27,500 for family policies. The AFL-CIO, whose member unions had supported the law, now says it is being implemented in a way that is “highly disruptive” to some union health plans, driving up costs for these plans to a point that workers and companies must abandon them.

Continuing a long-term trend, many companies are shifting more costs to employees through higher premiums, deductibles and copayments.

Sebelius is on firm ground in stating that “your patient protections are already in place” because the law contains a range of new protections against lifetime caps on benefits, overly discriminatory pricing and more. But “nothing changes” for those with good insurance? Not so. The landscape is already shifting.

___

OBAMA: “Our deficits are now coming down so quickly that by the end of this year, we will have cut them in more than half since I took office.” — Sept. 20 speech at Ford plant near Kansas City, Mo.

THE FACTS: Yes, but.

When Obama took office in January 2009, the deficit he inherited was $1.4 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated it will be $642 billion for the budget year ending Monday, down by roughly half since Obama became president.

An estimated $78 billion of that deficit reduction comes from automatic across-the-board spending cuts, called sequestration, that began taking effect in March — over Obama’s protests. As well, tax increases early this year have brought in more revenue. The economic recovery also has resulted in higher tax payments.

Deficits, though, don’t tell much about the country’s total indebtedness because they only represent a one-year comparison of revenues and spending.

While annual deficits are declining, the national debt — the accumulation of deficits going back to the days of George Washington — is still rising. It stood at $10.6 trillion the day Obama took office. It’s now $16.7 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt.

Thus, the national debt has increased by $6.1 trillion under Obama — the largest increase to date under any president, and a reflection in part of the deep recession early in his first term. The next highest was the $4.9 trillion added to the debt during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. Despite shrinking deficits, the debt is still rising because the U.S. government still must borrow 19 cents of every dollar it spends.

___

OBAMA: “Raising the debt ceiling is not the same as approving more spending, any more than making your monthly payments adds to the total cost of your truck. You don’t say, ‘Well, I’m not gonna — I’m not gonna pay my bill, my note for my truck because I’m gonna save money.’ No, you’re not saving money. You already bought the truck, right? … So raising the debt ceiling, it doesn’t cost a dime. It does not add a penny to our deficits. ” — Speech at Ford plant.

THE FACTS: Raising the debt ceiling is not the same as a consumer merely making monthly payments on existing debt. It’s very much like a consumer getting approved for a higher cap on a credit card. It doesn’t mean the consumer will necessarily spend more, but it makes higher spending possible.

In the government’s case, it has to have a higher credit limit so it can keep borrowing to make necessary payments. Borrowing to pay interest on existing debt as well as the bills is a recipe for deep trouble for consumers. But governments don’t — and really, can’t — handle their budgets as typical households do, despite the kitchen-table analogies that politicians in both parties love to make.

___

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-Texas: “Today, the House of Representatives did what Washington pundits only a few weeks ago said was impossible: A strong bipartisan majority voted to defund Obamacare.” — Statement after the Sept. 20 House vote.

McCARTHY: “That’s why today when we acted, it wasn’t just a group of Republicans, but it was a bipartisan vote. Let me state that again because I want to make sure you write it correctly. (Laughter in the room). It was a bipartisan vote because we’re Americans.” — At the post-vote House GOP rally Sept. 20.

THE FACTS: Still chuckling.

Bipartisan might be in the eye of the beholder but the vote passing the resolution was far from it.

Only two Democrats voted with the Republican majority, Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Jim Matheson of Utah. Only one Republican voted with the Democrats, Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell. The 230-189 vote illustrated bitter partisan divisions, not a harmonious we’re-all-Americans moment.

A strong bipartisan vote to do away with the health care law remains impossible.

___

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR, R-Va.: “We’re seeing our economy turn from a full-time job economy into a part-time job economy.” — Cantor blamed this on “Obamacare” in the House GOP rally after the budget vote.

SEBELIUS: “Actually that just isn’t true. What we see is an increase in full-time jobs. There’s a decrease in the number of Americans working part-time hours.” — On CNN, Thursday.

THE FACTS: Cantor’s statement reflects fears of what might happen over time. Sebelius’ statement rests on statistics, though selective ones.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of people working part-time involuntarily — because of slack work or business conditions or because they can’t find full-time jobs — was 7.9 million in August. That’s down by a hair from a year earlier, when it was 8 million. In that time, the average weekly hours worked also went up marginally. And unemployment overall dropped to 7.3 percent from 8.1 percent. These figures support Sebelius.

Yet involuntary part-time work is up a whopping 75.6 percent since August 2007, when the economy was about to go into deep recession. That supports Cantor’s point about change in the job market. Some recent surveys have found a growing number of businesses that are cutting hours for part-time workers to keep them below the 30-hour threshold that places health-insurance obligations on them.

Much of the surge in part-time work, though, came before enactment of the health care law in 2010 or during its earliest stages. The effects of its obligations on employers have yet to take root. For now, the case that “Obamacare” will turn the workforce into a part-time one is anecdotal at best. Also plausible — and speculative — is the possibility that the law will work as its advocates intend and spur jobs by lightening the health insurance burden.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Obama Faces Defeat In House And Around The World.


Stopping Obama on Syria is a must

If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose — and lose big.

obama-faces-huge-defeat-in-house-on-syria-al-qaeda-rebels

That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process.

High-level congressional sources believe there is some time — but not much — for Obama, Boehner and Pelosi to turn things around. But any vote to authorize an attack on Syria will be extraordinarily close, according to people in both parties with direct knowledge of the political dynamics in the House Republican Conference and Democratic Caucus.

Boehner and Cantor back the president’s plan for “limited, proportional” strikes in Syria. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is not convinced it’s the right decision. McCarthy’s calculus seems to be more in line with many House Republicans — he has spoken to many of his allies in the last week, and the support for a U.S. strike on Syria is incredibly low, sources familiar with those discussions says say.

House leaders plan to takes up the Syria resolution only if it passes the Senate firstsource- Politico

by NTEB News Desk

Paul Ryan Writing Book, Fuels 2016 Speculation.


Paul Ryan is writing a book, and it has tongues wagging not for literary reasons, but for political ones.

The Republican congressman from Wisconsin was propelled into the national spotlight in 2012 when GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney pegged him as his running mate.

With word out that he’s writing a book, speculation has begun that’s it part of a plan to seek the top spot on his party’s ticket in 2016. Ryan’s friends aren’t responding to the speculation.

Ryan is working on the book with lawyer Bob BarnettNational Review reports, and it is set to be released in 2014. It will be part autobiography, political analysis and policy.

Ryan is reportedly concerned that Republicans are losing touch with blue collar Americans. He suggests the party talk to the poor about how to become empowered and achieve economic freedom.

The book will also touch on his childhood Janesville, Wisc., and time spent as an aid for former congressman and HUD Secretary Jack Kemp. His time as part of the Romney-Ryan ticket will be included, though it reportedly will not be a tell-all. Ryan is still friends with Romney.

The yet-to-be titled tome is the first major book by Ryan. He was a co-author of a 2010 campaign book, “Young Guns,” with fellow House members Kevin McCarthy and Eric Cantor.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

Cantor: Democrats Will Regret Vote on Pre-existing Conditions.


By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

Democrats in the House who vote against a bill that diverts money from an Obamacare program to help Americans with pre-existing conditions will likely regret it, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.

“I don’t think that is something that they can go home and be proud of,” Cantor said at a Capitol Hill briefing with reporters on Wednesday.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced earlier this year that it would phase out a temporary program for enrolling people with pre-existing conditions in stop-gap insurance plans. The program is designed to insure them until state-based health insurance exchanges go online in 2014.

The bill scheduled for a vote on Wednesday would reinstate the program using money from Obamacare’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which critics say is riddled with waste and abuse. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill last week on a party-line vote.

“It’s the right thing to do, putting money where it is most needed,” GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said at the briefing. Blackburn serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Editor’s Note: New ‘Obamacare Survival Guide’ Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

That the House is going ahead with the vote — despite a veto threat from the White House — indicates that the House GOP leadership believes they have the votes to pass it.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California demurred when asked about the bill’s chances.

“The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t ask about the rule for Fight Club,” McCarthy said, in reference to a popular movie in the 1990s.

Cantor was more direct.

“We are forging ahead,” he said. “This is the right thing to do.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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