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Posts tagged ‘Paul Broun’

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.

Republicans Develop New Strategy to Tackle Obamacare.


A growing number of congressional Republicans are abandoning what they say is a futile strategy to repeal Obamacare, and are instead proposing a number of legislative fixes to tackle the worst effects of the law.

The move suggests that the party has all but abandoned attempts for a wholesale repeal of the law, a strategy which led to the government shutdown after Tea Party conservatives used the budget negotiations to force a vote to defund it.

“I, just like all my colleagues, want to repeal Obamacare. We think that’s the best solution for the law. But repeal is always going to be hard. Therefore, I think we have a duty as elected leaders to try to do as much as possible to protect our constituents from the harm of the law,” Arkansas GOP Rep. Tom Cotton told The Hill.

Other Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Jack Kinston of Georgia, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Paul Broun of Georgia, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia have proposed alternatives or voted to repair the law, according to The Hill. For example, a measure for a legislative fix by Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton to let people keep their insurance plans drew solid support from the party.

“Common sense conservatives recognize one irrefutable truth, and that is Obamacare cannot be repealed. So, instead of wasting their time talking about something that can’t possibly happen, they are applying their energy towards something that can,” Mark McKinnon, a strategist for former President George W. Bush, told The Hill.

In the days and weeks following the botched roll-out of the Obamacare website, others in the party suggested the best course of action would be to stand back and let the healthcare program implode.

But Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan is making the case against that approach, and says he is pursuing measures for “substantial repair” of the healthcare program.

“I understand that,” he said of the strategy to let the law fail, “but coming from a part of Michigan, a state that was first into the recession and arguably could be one of the last ones out…my district still has an average higher unemployment than the statewide average.”

Still, the GOP has not entirely abandoned its attempts to roll back Obamacare. Separate to pursuing legislative fixes, the GOP House leadership is still looking at piecemeal ways to dismantle the program, including increased pressure on the administration and actions through the states to fight the set-up of insurance exchanges.

And the party is also pursuing other avenues to undermine the law in the form of publicizing case studies of constituents who have been harmed by Obamacare.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melanie Batley

Blackburn to Newsmax: Newest Delay Proves Obamacare Is ‘Not Workable’.


Image: Blackburn to Newsmax: Newest Delay Proves Obamacare Is 'Not Workable'

By Todd Beamon

The Obama administration’s one-year delay for small businesses to purchase health insurance via the main Obamacare website proves that “nothing is ready for implementation,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn told Newsmax on Wednesday.

“Because of these delays, there are problems caused every day to the insurance market, the healthcare delivery market,” the Tennessee Republican said in an exclusive interview. “Our healthcare system is going to fall into disarray because this president has brought forward a plan that is not workable.”

In the latest setback for the beleaguered healthcare law, the White House said earlier Wednesday that the online health insurance marketplace for small businesses was being put off until November 2014 to make sure the HealthCare.gov website gets fixed first. 

The announcement came on the day before ThanksgivingThe White House disclosedits delay of the Obamacare employer mandate until 2015 on the day before the July Fourth holiday.

“They are consistent in one thing,” Blackburn told Newsmax, laughing. “They’re consistent in how they choose to give bad news. They think nobody’s paying attention, but we’ve seen that it doesn’t work that way.”

With the announcement, employers with 50 or fewer workers who want to buy Obamacare marketplace plans will need to go through an agent, broker, or insurance company. The administration says the move will allow small businesses to buy coverage, without slowing technical repairs to the hobbled federal site.

The marketplace was supposed to provide small businesses a new way to shop for coverage.

Problems continue to plague HealthCare.gov, which covers 36 states that do not have their own health exchanges, since the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act took effect on Oct. 1.

The site has been shut down for repairs — and HealthCare.gov crashed last week during a visit by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to a hospital in Miami. 

Americans continue to experience technological and accessibility problems with the site.

Further, lead technology officials have told Congress that HealthCare.gov may not be fully operational at the end of the month this week, as promised by President Barack Obama.

The administration this week also announced a postponement of a Spanish sign-up tool for the Obamacare site.

“This one is going to hit our small businesses particularly at this time of year,” Blackburn told Newsmax of the latest delay. “The fourth quarter of the year is the most crucial time for our small businesses.

“They have make-it-or-break-it season, especially retailers. They are trying to get ready for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday,” she added, referring to major shopping days later this week. “Then, all of a sudden, they get this — and many of them have had their insurance dropped.

“It is so disquieting and upsetting — and it is part of the deceptiveness of this entire rollout. You would never expect an administration to be this disrespectful of taxpayers, but this is what we’re seeing from this one.”

Blackburn added that the timing of this latest announcement further fuels public dismay about the Obama administration.

“People are watching. People are paying attention,” she said. “Due to the haphazard nature and deceptive nature of how they’ve gone about making their pronouncements, people are watching.

“They’re incredibly distrustful. They are tired of the half-truths and the falsehoods — and they are ready to get this law off the books.”

And, of course, it’s clear that the White House moved the delay to November to protect vulnerable Democrats in next year’s congressional elections.

“Everybody sees through that now. I’ve been out in my district, and people have caught on to what he’s doing,” Blackburn told Newsmax. “Of course, Democrats are very concerned about losing the Senate — and all indications are that they are going to lose the Senate.

“People are disgusted at how this implementation has been carried out. They see it as, not trying to provide access to quality healthcare, but as trying to take control of healthcare. People are saying: ‘It’s not going to work. Get rid of it.’

“They want the whole thing repealed. They’re looking to us to do everything we can possibly do to delay it, to forestall it, to make certain that we get rid of this law.”

In lieu of complete repeal, however, Blackburn encouraged the House to vote on a bill she introduced in July that would delay all Obamacare provisions for one year.  The legislation, which has more than 150 co-sponsors, remains in subcommittee and has not been brought to a floor vote.

“We started our due diligence in overseeing the rollout in March 2011. We have held countless hearings,” said Blackburn, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We were told: ‘We’re on track.’ ‘We’re going to meet our deadlines.’ But now, it’s been, first, one thing and then another.

“Now, we’ve found out that they’re not meeting any of their deadlines — and they’re just, willy-nilly, deciding to delay things. They have this ‘take it-or-leave it’ mentality in delaying one thing at a time instead of addressing the entire process.

“What we’re seeing is just a lot of unhappy people who are so disappointed,” Blackburn continued. “I’ve talked to so many people who voted for the president, who supported the president, contributed to the president. They are so disappointed in his lack of leadership and his seeming lack of ability to lead or his seeming lack of interest in leading.

“Because of that, it’s basically come down to people saying: ‘If they can’t stand the program up, they need to get rid of the program. We’ve seen too many things that have run off the rails, so let’s not even go there with this one.'”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rep. Broun to Newsmax: It’s time for Obama to Get Off His Behind and Lead.


Image: Rep. Broun to Newsmax: It's time for Obama to Get Off His Behind and Lead

By Lisa Furgison

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia tells Newsmax he and his fellow Republicans are working hard to end the government shutdown, but the “disaster that is Obamacare” is getting in the way.

Broun calls Obamacare “the flaw of the land,” and wants to see it shelved and the government reopened for business.

“We need to keep this government open, and that’s what the House Republicans are fighting for,” he tells Newsmax TV. Broun says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unwilling to compromise with Republicans.

“Harry Reid has resisted even talking to us. He said, you just do it my way or we’re not going to even talk,” said Broun, who accused Reid and President Barack Obama of leading in a “dictatorial manner.”

Broun called Obama out for a lack of leadership during the days leading up to the shutdown, saying, “It’s time for him to get off his behind and lead.”

Broun also slammed Reid for sending senators home while House Republicans worked through the night to craft a solution to the shutdown, which is why Broun says Democrats are the ones to blame for the government closing its doors.

“They need to look in the mirror, because they’re the ones to blame. They’re the ones that shut the government down,” he said.

While Broun said he’s ready to end to the shutdown, he thinks ending Obamacare is a priority.

“The president himself has admitted it’s a disaster through his own action,” said Broun, who took office in 2007.

He was referring to 204 waivers that were issued to members of Congress and several big businesses, including a high-end restaurant in Nancy Pelosi’s district.

“He has exempted his big-business buddies, and he stuck it to the middle class, he stuck it to small family businesses, he stuck it to hard-working Americans and said he’ll protect his big-business buddies while making Obamacare go into effect for all the middle class in this country, and that’s what Republicans are trying to stop.”

Broun, who also is a physician, said Obamacare should be replaced immediately: “We need to defund it, delay it, repeal it and replace it with something that makes sense.”

Broun has a replacement plan for Obamacare ready to go — his Patient Option Act.

“Patient Option Act would put in place a policy that is market-based, is patient-centered. It will make healthcare cheaper for every single American,” Broun said. “It will provide access to good, quality healthcare for all Americans, and it’s going to save Medicare from going broke.”

But he said Reid and other Democrats won’t consider his bill, or attempt to make any concessions when it comes to healthcare law.

“We’ve offered Reid plan after plan, and he just rejects it and says no, you do it my way, period. And it’s not fair to the American people. It’s not fair to the governmental workers. It’s not fair to anybody in this country,” he said.

They’re acting like spoiled children, Broun said.

“They’re saying no, I want to have it my way,” Broun said. “And that’s exactly what President Obama is saying to the American public, that’s exactly what Harry Reid’s doing. The American people deserve better, they need better, and must demand better from President Obama and from Harry Reid.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Gingrey ‘Stuck Making $172,000 a Year’ Comment Drawing Fire.


Image: Gingrey 'Stuck Making $172,000 a Year' Comment Drawing Fire

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Rep. Phil Gingrey complained Wednesday that he is “stuck” in Congress — earning $172,000 — while his aides can become lobbyists and earn at least a half-million dollars a year, according to the National Review.

“[They] may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money,” the Georgia Republican said during a GOP conference, according to the National Review. “But in few years they can just go to K Street and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year.”

Citing aides who attended the meeting, the newspaper reported that the comments came during a debate among Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, over a Gingrey measure to bar members of Congress and their staffs from getting federal subsidies for their healthcare coverage under Obamacare.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

Some lawmakers at the meeting spoke against the measure, saying they need the subsidies just as much as their lesser-paid aides because of the high cost of medical insurance, according to the report.

Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton, for example, reportedly said he’s never been wealthy, and that losing the government subsidy would cost him $12,000 a year.

“That’s a burden,” he reportedly said. “And it’s a burden on our staff, too.”

For his part, Gingrey believes the subsidies amount to special treatment for lawmakers and their aides that most Americans won’t be entitled to receive unless they are poor and cannot afford insurance at all.

Gingrey later said he didn’t remember the comment.

But, he repeated, “It is completely unfair for members of Congress and Hill staffers to get this special treatment that the general public are not getting.”

“I was engaged in a dialogue with some members of our conference who truly believe that Congress should get special treatment. And some also believe that staff members should get special treatment. I happen not to believe that,” he added.

Rep. Paul Broun, a fellow Georgia Republican, called Gingrey’s comments “disappointing.” Both congressmen are running for the Senate seat of Republican Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring.

“While most Americans are struggling to make ends meet and battling higher healthcare costs, it’s disappointing that Congressman Gingrey, whose reported net worth exceeds $3 million, complains about being ‘stuck here’ (in Congress) making $172,000 a year,” Broun said in a statement to The Hill

“Georgians needs a senator who understands what it’s like to balance a budget, not one who is more concerned with their salary than the needs and economic challenges faced by most Georgians.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Broun: Amnesty for Illegal Aliens Would Be ‘Tremendous Economic Burden’.


Rep. Paul Broun says any immigration reform adopted by Congress should not offer amnesty or legal status that condones unlawful entry into the U.S. — changes that would cost taxpayers a whopping $54 billion.

“We’ve got to be a nation that is ruled by law, not by man, and we’ve got what’s estimated as 11 million plus illegal aliens in this country that have broken the law,” Broun, a Georgia Republican, told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“If we give them amnesty then it’s going to be a tremendous economic burden on the American taxpayers. In fact, it’s estimated it’s going to cost $54 billion per year to give these illegal aliens amnesty.”

Last week, Broun introduced House Resolution HR-326 to prohibit amnesty or legal status for those who illegally entered the country.

“I will not support any legislation that has any semblance to the Senate bill … we must enforce the law, the laws that are on the books,” Broun said.

“The only new laws I’d like to see put in place right now is one to make English the official language of America, but we must secure the border first and foremost. Until then nothing else matters.”

Broun said he is concerned with Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s statement that he is OK with get the bill passed in the House, even if it is done in piecemeal fashion — as long as there is “some path to citizenship” for illegals.

“What he wants to do is give amnesty to 11 plus million and maybe up to 20 million illegal aliens in this country. He wants to put them on federal welfare programs and federal largess so that they vote Democrats and keep Democrats in power for perpetuity,” Broun said.

“Anything that Chuck Schumer’s for, any freedom-loving American should be against.”
Broun said border security remains the top priority in any immigration reform.

“The thing is, we were promised to secure the border in 1986 when President [Ronald] Reagan signed an amnesty bill that gave amnesty to almost 2.7 million illegal aliens in this country and what has happened?” Broun asked.

“No border security, no enforcement of the law which we were promised also in ’86, and now we’ve got over 11 million … illegal aliens in this country. Until we secure the border, nothing else matters.”

Broun, a medical doctor, has announced he is running for U.S. Senate in 2014 for the Georgia seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss.

He is vice chairman on the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Bill Hoffmann

Rep. Broun: Obamacare Must Be ‘Ripped Up By the Roots’.


House Republicans need to do more than just vote to repeal portions of Obamacare and instead push to make sure the healthcare law is “ripped up by the roots” and replaced with a cheaper, more effective alternative, Rep. Paul Broun, told Newsmax.

“What we need to do though is repeal the whole law because it’s a destroyer. It’s going to destroy the quality of healthcare in America. It’s destroying the doctor-patient relationship. It’s going to short budgets from family budgets all the way up to the federal budget,” the Georgia Republican said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.

Story continues below video.

“We must pull it out by the roots and replace it with something that makes sense — something that will make sure that patients make decisions along with their doctors and Obamacare is not going to do that,” said Broun, a doctor who practiced family medicine.

“We need to replace it with something that’s going to lower the cost of healthcare where Obamacare’s already running up the cost of insurance premiums for everybody,” he said.
Broun said he has come up with his own healthcare plan based on his experience as a doctor, and he is “probably” introducing it as a legislative proposal this week.

“My Patient Option Act would repeal Obamacare and put in place policy that’s market-based, patient-centered, and it would actually lower the cost, make healthcare cheaper for everybody. It would provide coverage for all Americans and save Medicare from going broke,” Broun insisted.

“It’s the only solution that gets the federal government out from the middle between doctors and patients. It is the only health insurance plan that’s going to literally lower the cost and put patients in charge,” he said.

Broun, who is running in the 2014 race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, faulted both Democrats and Republicans for failing to turn to family doctors like himself for guidance on healthcare reform.

“I’m a family doctor and I’ve been dealing with healthcare cost issues with my patients. That’s what family doctors do, as opposed to any other specialty. We deal with the financial aspects of healthcare so it looks to me that leadership on both sides of the aisle would have looked to doctors for suggestions but they have not,” Broun said.

If Obamacare goes forward, Broun predicted widespread layoffs by employers who can’t afford to provide health insurance, or get slapped with federal fines. And in the end, he said fewer Americans would end up with health insurance provided by their workplace.

“It’s certainly going to be less people that are going to be on health insurance provided by their employer. We’re going to have a lot of people who cannot afford to get into federal exchanges in spite of the fines, our taxes, whatever you want to call them that are going to be placed upon them,” Broun said.

He said that Obamacare will “cause a tremendous upheaval within the American population all across this land and that’s the reason Barack Obama has delayed implementation, because he knew that there would be a lot of pushback towards him and Democrats in this next year’s election and he’s pushed it off until Jan. 15 so that the Democrats don’t suffer electorally in this next year’s election because Obamacare is a destroyer and it would destroy the chances of the Democrats being re-elected if it stayed in place.”

On immigration reform, Broun said the chances of passing measures through the House won’t be improved even if Obama taps a popular choice, like New York Police commissioner Ray Kelly or retired Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, to succeed Janet Napolitano.

“I don’t think whoever he picks is going to help conservatives vote for amnesty, and that’s what he’s promoting, and I will not vote for amnesty for anybody,” Broun said.

“We’ve got big problems across the board with legal immigration as well as 11 million-plus illegal aliens here in this country. They’re not immigrants. They’re illegal aliens. They’re lawbreakers. And we’ve got to find some solutions that make sense. But until we secure the border and actually have it secured, nothing else matters. We’ve got to start enforcing the laws,” Broun said.

“The only new law I’d like to see pass is one to make English the official language of America. But beyond that, we must secure the border. Until we do that, nothing else matters,” he added.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Tom Topousis and John Bachman

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