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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama said that we must invest in the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising and thriving middle class. He said that every day, we must ask ourselves these three questions: “How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

This morning the President sent Congress his Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which presents his plan to address each of these questions. He also spoke to the press about his proposal in the Rose Garden, and said that while our economy is poised for progress, we need to get smarter about our priorities as a nation. And that’s what his 2014 Budget represents — a fiscally-responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth:

To make America a magnet for good jobs, this budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. We’ll spark new American innovation and industry with cutting-edge research like the initiative I announced to map the human brain and cure disease. We’ll continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change. And our Rebuild America Partnership will attract private investment to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools, in turn attracting even more new business to communities across the country.

To help workers earn the skills they need to fill those jobs, we’ll work with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. And we’re going to pay for it by raising taxes on tobacco products that harm our young people. It’s the right thing to do.

We’ll reform our high schools and job training programs to equip more Americans with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy. And we’ll help more middle-class families afford the rising cost of college.

To make sure hard work is rewarded, we’ll build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for anybody who is willing to work hard to climb them. So we’ll partner with 20 of our communities hit hardest by the recession to help them improve housing, and education, and business investment. And we should make the minimum wage a wage you can live on — because no one who works full-time should have to raise his or her family in poverty.

President Obama’s budget also replaces the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester with smarter ones, making long-term reforms, eliminating actual waste and programs that are no longer needed.

And finally, because he is willing to make tough choices and serious about finding common ground to further reduce the deficit, President Obama’s budget incorporates his compromise offer he made to House Speaker Boehner that achieves another $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced way. When combined with the deficit reduction already achieved, this will exceed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, while growing the economy and strengthening the middle class.

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Energy

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The President on energy:

Few areas hold more promise for creating good jobs and growing our economy than how we use American energy, and today President Obama visited the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to talk about the progress we are seeing from his all of the above approach to energy independence and the risk that this important sector faces from the arbitrary cuts being imposed by the so-called sequester.

As President Obama noted in his remarks, these cuts do not distinguish between wasteful programs and vital investments. “They don’t trim the fat; they cut into muscle and into bone,” the President said. “Like research and development being done right here that not only gives a great place for young researchers to come and ply their trade, but also ends up creating all kinds of spinoffs that create good jobs and good wages.”

Because of the sequester, American labs could face two years without starting new research, opportunities we cannot afford to miss. This comes at a time when this country is poised to take control of our energy future, as the President pointed out:

After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future. We produce more oil than we have in 15 years. We import less oil than we have in 20 years. We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from sources like wind and solar — with tens of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We’re producing more natural gas than we ever have before — with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We supported the first new nuclear power plant in America since the 1970s. And we’re sending less carbon pollution into the environment than we have in nearly 20 years.

In addition to the balanced solution he has proposed to replace the painful cuts, a phased-in approach that includes smart spending cuts, entitlement reforms and new revenue, and that won’t hurt the middle class or slow economic growth, President Obama today talked about his proposal to create an Energy Security Trust. The proposed trust uses revenue generated by oil and gas development on federal lands to support new research and technology that will shift our cars and trucks off of oil for good. The recent rise in gas prices is a reminder that we are still too reliant on oil, which comes at a cost to American families and businesses, and the President today urged Congress to take up his common-sense proposals that will further reduce our dependence on oil, better protect consumers from spikes in gas prices, and reduce pollution.

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Warren Buffett on the Debt Ceiling

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told Becky Quick. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”

“You really don’t have any business by playing Russian roulette to get your way in some other matter,” he said. “We should be more grown up than that.”

“We had debt at 120% of GDP, far higher than this, after World War II, and no one went around threatening we’re going to ruin the credit of the United States or something in order to get a better balance of debt to GDP. We just went about our business, and people did it in a cooperative way.”

“You’re playing with fire when you don’t need to play with fire. We don’t need to tell the rest of the world that anytime people in Congress start throwing a tantrum that we’re not going to pay our bills.”

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HellCare for all!

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

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Help Oppose the President’s Health Care Proposal

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

The latest battle in the healthcare war is being waged using a new strategy — the circumvention of the intent, spirit, and true definition of the legislative process by supplementing the already-passed Senate health care bill with a second bill to modify the Senate bill as per President Obama’s most recent health care proposal. Congressional Democrats propose that the House pass the Senate bill, then have both houses pass this second bill by means of the budget reconciliation process. The 1974 reconciliation method is the perfect vehicle to navigate around certain obstacles like a Republican filibuster. Besides, the budget reconciliation process only requires a 51-vote majority in the Senate and limits debate to 20 hours.

The President’s Proposal has had no official cost analysis completed but the White House estimates that the plan would cost about $950 billion over 10 years. The plan would extend coverage to more than 31 million Americans by 2019. And the excise tax to help pay for this latest unconstitutional, healthcare budget buster would be delayed for insurers and employers until 2018.

The role of federal regulators, czars and overseers would be expanded in order to review and block premium increases by private companies. The federal government would be able to supersede the authority of the states if it so chooses, which is another intrusion into what has historically and constitutionally been reserved to the states.

The broad language pertaining to abortion funding in the Senate version remains in the president’s version as government officials “believe they cannot make changes to the Senate language on abortion” when using budget reconciliation.

Nonetheless, passage of Obama’s personal plan for the nation’s health care may not be achieved as easily as originally planned, given the political climate and the resurgence of constitutional awareness.

This is a crucial issue at a crucial time and it is up to each and every one of us to relentlessly persevere in contacting our elected representatives to insist they vote “no” on any unconstitutional, government-run healthcare plan, no matter how many times it is presented and re-presented to us.

Send an email opposing Obama’s health care plan to your senators and representative. Click here for contact information for visiting, phoning, and faxing them. (Click here for how your senators voted on their health care bill on December 24. Click here for how your representative voted on the House health care bill on November 7.)

Thank you,

Your friends at The John Birch Society

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C-SPAN Challenges Congress to Open Health Care Talks to TV Coverage

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

FOXNews.com

The head of C-SPAN has implored Congress to open up the last leg of health care reform negotiations to the public, as top Democrats lay plans to hash out the final product among themselves.

C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb wrote to leaders in the House and Senate Dec. 30 urging them to open “all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings,” to televised coverage on his network.

“The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of the sessions LIVE and in their entirety,” he wrote.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference on health legislation negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to object to the premise behind the request.

“There has never been a more open process for any legislation in anyone who’s served here’s experience,” she said.

However, Republican leaders sided with C-SPAN’s calls for transparency.

“As House Republican leader, I can confidently state that all House Republicans strongly endorse your proposal and stand ready to work with you to make it a reality,” Minority Leader John Boehner wrote in response to the letter. “Hard-working families won’t stand for having the future of their health care decided behind closed doors. These secret deliberations are a breeding ground for more of the kickbacks, shady deals and special-interest provisions that have become business as usual in Washington.”

Democratic leaders could bypass the traditional conference committee process, in which lawmakers from both parties and chambers meet to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of a bill. Top Democrats in the House, Senate and White House were meeting Tuesday evening to figure out the final product in three-way talks before sending it back to both chambers for a final vote.

“We don’t even know yet whether there’s going to be a conference,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said responding to a question about the C-SPAN request. “It’s not clear whether or not that’s going to happen yet.”

This format would seem ideal for closed-door meetings, which congressional Democrats have used many times to figure out sensitive provisions in the health care bill — though President Obama pledged during the campaign to open up health care talks to C-SPAN’s cameras.

“That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are,” Obama said at a debate against Hillary Clinton in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2008.

Asked about the request to Congress, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he hadn’t seen the letter.

“I know the president is going to begin discussions today on health care to iron out differences between the House and Senate bills,” he said.

Lamb urged Congress in his letter to fling open the doors in the final stretch of the negotiations.

“President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system,” he wrote. “Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.”

Lamb said his network would use “the latest technology” to be “as unobtrusive as possible” during the talks.

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Change Obama’s Mind, Change the World

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Next week, Congress will vote on President Obama’s plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan. These wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been going on almost a decade. There are first and second graders in this country who have never known an America at peace. To them, America is always at war.

President Obama inspired us in his run for President with his message of peace. He told Iowans about his courageous stance against the war in Iraq, “I opposed this war from the beginning. I opposed the war in 2002. I opposed the war in 2003. I opposed it in 2004 and 2005 and 2006.”

This is why Obama was elected: to bring peace and prosperity to our country.

Obama told the people in Illinois who elected him to the Senate, that “the consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not – we will not – travel down that hellish path blindly.”

He told us that we should “not stay the course or take the conventional path because the other course is unknown.” These are the words of a man of peace, and I believe that we can remind the President that he can be that man of peace.

Help me remind the President of something very basic: Peace is good, and war is bad. I’ve set up a site at www.TiredOfWar.com where you can send the White House a message, written using his own words and some of your own, that peace is good.

We do not want to join a battle to occupy a foreign country indefinitely, no matter how much the military-industrial establishment may press for it. General Petraeus already said in May that Al Qaeda doesn’t even operate in Afghanistan any more, and President Karzai agreed.

But we do want to join the battles that President Obama told us about before he became President, the battles, he said, “against ignorance and intolerance, corruption and greed, poverty and despair.” Those are the battles that, “we willingly join.”

Click here to send your message to the White House now.

www.TiredOfWar.com

We will end these wars. It’s going to take time, but we will bring peace to America.

Mr. President, be the President that we voted for, the President that you promised to be. We agree with you that we should not “travel down this hellish path blindly.”  It is time to come home.

Regards,

Alan Grayson
Member of US Congress

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Dr. Ron Paul – Statement Introducing the Free Competition in Currency Act

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

Statement Introducing the Free Competition in Currency Act

December 9, 2009

Madame Speaker, I rise to introduce the Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009. Currency, or money, is what allows civilization to flourish. In the absence of money, barter is the name of the game; if the farmer needs shoes, he must trade his eggs and milk to the cobbler and hope that the cobbler needs eggs and milk. Money makes the transaction process far easier. Rather than having to search for someone with reciprocal wants, the farmer can exchange his milk and eggs for an agreed-upon medium of exchange with which he can then purchase shoes.

This medium of exchange should satisfy certain properties: it should be durable, that is to say, it does not wear out easily; it should be portable, that is, easily carried; it should be divisible into units usable for every-day transactions; it should be recognizable and uniform, so that one unit of money has the same properties as every other unit; it should be scarce, in the economic sense, so that the extant supply does not satisfy the wants of everyone demanding it; it should be stable, so that the value of its purchasing power does not fluctuate wildly; and it should be reproducible, so that enough units of money can be created to satisfy the needs of exchange.

Over millennia of human history, gold and silver have been the two metals that have most often satisfied these conditions, survived the market process, and gained the trust of billions of people. Gold and silver are difficult to counterfeit, a property which ensures they will always be accepted in commerce. It is precisely for this reason that gold and silver are anathema to governments. A supply of gold and silver that is limited in supply by nature cannot be inflated, and thus serves as a check on the growth of government. Without the ability to inflate the currency, governments find themselves constrained in their actions, unable to carry on wars of aggression or to appease their overtaxed citizens with bread and circuses.

At this country’s founding, there was no government controlled national currency. While the Constitution established the Congressional power of minting coins, it was not until 1792 that the US Mint was formally established. In the meantime, Americans made do with foreign silver and gold coins. Even after the Mint’s operations got underway, foreign coins continued to circulate within the United States, and did so for several decades.

On the desk in my office I have a sign that says: “Don’t steal – the government hates competition.” Indeed, any power a government arrogates to itself, it is loathe to give back to the people. Just as we have gone from a constitutionally-instituted national defense consisting of a limited army and navy bolstered by militias and letters of marque and reprisal, we have moved from a system of competing currencies to a government-instituted banking cartel that monopolizes the issuance of currency. In order to reintroduce a system of competing currencies, there are three steps that must be taken to produce a legal climate favorable to competition.

The first step consists of eliminating legal tender laws. Article I Section 10 of the Constitution forbids the States from making anything but gold and silver a legal tender in payment of debts. States are not required to enact legal tender laws, but should they choose to, the only acceptable legal tender is gold and silver, the two precious metals that individuals throughout history and across cultures have used as currency. However, there is nothing in the Constitution that grants the Congress the power to enact legal tender laws. We, the Congress, have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, but not to declare a legal tender. Yet, there is a section of US Code, 31 USC 5103, that purports to establish US coins and currency, including Federal Reserve notes, as legal tender.

Historically, legal tender laws have been used by governments to force their citizens to accept debased and devalued currency. Gresham’s Law describes this phenomenon, which can be summed up in one phrase: bad money drives out good money. An emperor, a king, or a dictator might mint coins with half an ounce of gold and force merchants, under pain of death, to accept them as though they contained one ounce of gold. Each ounce of the king’s gold could now be minted into two coins instead of one, so the king now had twice as much “money” to spend on building castles and raising armies. As these legally overvalued coins circulated, the coins containing the full ounce of gold would be pulled out of circulation and hoarded. We saw this same phenomenon happen in the mid-1960s when the US government began to mint subsidiary coinage out of copper and nickel rather than silver. The copper and nickel coins were legally overvalued, the silver coins undervalued in relation, and silver coins vanished from circulation.

These actions also give rise to the most pernicious effects of inflation. Most of the merchants and peasants who received this devalued currency felt the full effects of inflation, the rise in prices and the lowered standard of living, before they received any of the new currency. By the time they received the new currency, prices had long since doubled, and the new currency they received would give them no benefit.

In the absence of legal tender laws, Gresham’s Law no longer holds. If people are free to reject debased currency, and instead demand sound money, sound money will gradually return to use in society. Merchants would have been free to reject the king’s coin and accept only coins containing full metal weight.

The second step to reestablishing competing currencies is to eliminate laws that prohibit the operation of private mints. One private enterprise which attempted to popularize the use of precious metal coins was Liberty Services, the creators of the Liberty Dollar. Evidently the government felt threatened, as Liberty Dollars had all their precious metal coins seized by the FBI and Secret Service in November of 2007. Of course, not all of these coins were owned by Liberty Services, as many were held in trust as backing for silver and gold certificates which Liberty Services issued. None of this matters, of course, to the government, which hates competition. The responsibility to protect contracts is of no interest to the government.

The sections of US Code which Liberty Services is accused of violating are erroneously considered to be anti-counterfeiting statutes, when in fact their purpose was to shut down private mints that had been operating in California. California was awash in gold in the aftermath of the 1849 gold rush, yet had no US Mint to mint coinage. There was not enough foreign coinage circulating in California either, so private mints stepped into the breech to provide their own coins. As was to become the case in other industries during the Progressive era, the private mints were eventually accused of circulating debased (substandard) coinage, and with the supposed aim of providing government-sanctioned regulation and a government guarantee of purity, the 1864 Coinage Act was passed, which banned private mints from producing their own coins for circulation as currency.

The final step to ensuring competing currencies is to eliminate capital gains and sales taxes on gold and silver coins. Under current federal law, coins are considered collectibles, and are liable for capital gains taxes. Short-term capital gains rates are at income tax levels, up to 35 percent, while long-term capital gains taxes are assessed at the collectibles rate of 28 percent. Furthermore, these taxes actually tax monetary debasement. As the dollar weakens, the nominal dollar value of gold increases. The purchasing power of gold may remain relatively constant, but as the nominal dollar value increases, the federal government considers this an increase in wealth, and taxes accordingly. Thus, the more the dollar is debased, the more capital gains taxes must be paid on holdings of gold and other precious metals.

Just as pernicious are the sales and use taxes which are assessed on gold and silver at the state level in many states. Imagine having to pay sales tax at the bank every time you change a $10 bill for a roll of quarters to do laundry. Inflation is a pernicious tax on the value of money, but even the official numbers, which are massaged downwards, are only on the order of 4% per year. Sales taxes in many states can take away 8% or more on every single transaction in which consumers wish to convert their Federal Reserve Notes into gold or silver.

In conclusion, Madame Speaker, allowing for competing currencies will allow market participants to choose a currency that suits their needs, rather than the needs of the government. The prospect of American citizens turning away from the dollar towards alternate currencies will provide the necessary impetus to the US government to regain control of the dollar and halt its downward spiral. Restoring soundness to the dollar will remove the government’s ability and incentive to inflate the currency, and keep us from launching unconstitutional wars that burden our economy to excess. With a sound currency, everyone is better off, not just those who control the monetary system. I urge my colleagues to consider the redevelopment of a system of competing currencies and cosponsor the Free Competition in Currency Act.

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Kucinich: Afghan War is a Racket!

Friday, December 11th, 2009

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Curt Schroder For Congress – Pennsylvania 6th District

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

SCHRODER ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR CONGRESS

State Representative Curt Schroder running to serve the 6th Congressional District

Downingtown, PA –State Representative Curt Schroder today announced that he is seeking the Republican nomination for the 6th Congressional District that includes portions of Chester, Berks, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties.

“I have decided to enter this race to ensure that the values that built our country remain for our children, that we encourage the policies of entrepreneurism, limited government and to preserve the economic future of our nation,” said Curt Schroder.

Schroder added, “America’s greatness comes from free enterprise and hard working families, not government bailouts and bureaucracy. I will bring my passion for public service and Pennsylvania values to Washington to better our community and nation.”

As a life long resident of Chester County, Curt grew up in the Downingtown area and now raises his family in East Brandywine Township. Curt and his wife Deanna have two kids, Mark and Kristen. Curt’s life long devotion to Chester County motivates him to be a zealous advocate for the best interests of his community.

Raised in a blue collar, middle class family, Curt Schroder understands the pressures of raising a family and making ends meet on a limited budget. After graduating from Downingtown High School in 1979, Curt attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Summers were spent working in the steamy environs of the Davey Paper Company where he earned money for the next year of college. After graduating from IUP in 1983, Curt went to Widener School of Law’s evening division in Wilmington Delaware at night while working for the Philadelphia law firm German, Gallagher and Murtagh during the day. Schroder practiced law with German, Gallagher after graduating
law school and passing the bar exam.

First elected to the State House in 1994, Schroder has been an effective advocate for legislative issues and a champion for our communities in Harrisburg. During his time in the legislature, Curt has been a leader in many issues including healthcare and government reform. Schroder lead efforts to reform medical malpractice and preserve our healthcare system. Schroder also spearheaded efforts to reform the PA General Assembly and preserve the secret ballot rights of workers.

Schroder believes strongly in community service and serves in a number of community organizations. He serves on the Boards of Brandywine Hospital and Brandywine YMCA. He previously served on the Chester County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board and as a
member of the East Brandywine Township Planning Commission.

Curt Schroder has received numerous honors for his work in the House and here at home. He was presented with Leadership Awards from both the Hospital and Healthcare Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and the Delaware Valley Health Care Council, the 2004 Friend of Family Medicine Award from the Academy of Family Physicians, and
Legislator of the Year from the Pennsylvania Orthopedic Society.

Curt received the first Matthew J. Ryan Legislator of the Year Award in 2004 from the Chester County Chamber Foundation. He was named Legislator of the Year by the TriCounty Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and again in 2006. Schroder was honored as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1998 by the Downingtown Chamber of Commerce
for his work in revitalizing the Borough. In 2007, Curt was named the first recipient of the Sen. Robert. J. Thompson Public Service Award by the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce and was also presented with the Citizenship Award from the Pennsylvania VFW for his commitment to fostering patriotism. More recently Curt Schroder received recognition from the Upper Uwchlan and West Vincent Township Police Departments for his work on the Route 100 Safety Corridor Project.

As our next Congressman Curt looks to continue to work for responsible budgets, low taxes, and limited government so that our country and community can encourage job creation and retain the liberty and freedom for our children’s future.

Curt Schroder believes that government must live within its means and unleash the productive forces of the private sector to lead the way to economic recovery. “This binge of bailouts and borrowing will come to an end if I have anything to say about it!” concluded Schroder.

http://www.vote4curt.com/

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