Tuesday, February 17, 2009

RSC Update

If you're not already getting this, I strongly urge you to click and sign up. Once a week you get a good roundup of spending, bills winding their way through the murky D.C. corridors and more. Here's a bill that I think might be interesting to follow: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) to introduce Healthcare Choices for Seniors Act (below).

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RSC Update: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

From the Chairman
Today is a sad one for the future of our great nation, as the President has signed the terribly misguided non-stimulus package. Democrats have squandered an opportunity to address our economic problems by delivering a massive bill that is more focused on growing government than growing the economy. The country is looking for a real solution, yet the majority delivered only a borrow-and-spend bill that will prolong our economic turmoil and indebt future generations.

The legislation failed the American people on both process and policy. Ignoring their own calls for bipartisanship, Democrats completely shut out Republicans and the American people by crafting the legislation behind closed doors. In turn, the final product was a hodgepodge of pet projects and pork instead of sound economic policies.

Yet, there was one positive product of the vote last week. In a strong signal of principle and unified desire for a better approach, the legislation did not receive a single vote of House Republican support. It is important for American families to know that Republicans are on the side of economic growth and real job creation, not more borrowing and spending. And your support in fighting this misguided legislation is greatly appreciated.

Now we must set out to hold the majority and administration accountable for the generational theft they have committed by enacting this legislation. We will demand strict oversight on the disbursement of these funds and vocally inform the American people of the waste and abuse that the bill has created. This was surely a setback, but we will not let it to go without fighting back. With your continued support, we can shine a light on the ugliness of their so-called stimulus and continue to pursue real economic solutions.

Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
Chairman, Republican Study Committee

RSC Media Activity
Every week, Republican Study Committee members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. With unbridled federal spending once again Washington’s leading issue, Republicans have been busy spreading their message.

New York Times: Thirty Years Later, a Return to Stagflation
Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-01)
Congress has made a terrible mistake. Amid a rhetorical debate centered on words like “crisis,” “emergency” and “catastrophe,” it acted too fast. While arguments were made about the stimulus bill’s specific components — taxpayer money for condoms, new green cars and golf carts for federal bureaucrats, another round of rebate checks — its more dangerous consequences were overlooked. And now the package threatens a return to the kind of stagflation last seen in the 1970s. (Read more)

Flash Report: The Un-Stimulating Stimulus
Rep. Ed Royce (CA-40)
Under the guise of an attempt to stimulate the economy, today the Democratic leadership in the House will push through a massive increase in government spending that experts say will do little or nothing to create jobs. Unfortunately, the bill does little more than create 31 new government programs and provide additional funding for 73 existing programs while boosting pork-barrel spending. (Read more)

TownHall: Rationing Health Care Creates Jobs?
Rep. John Shadegg (AZ-03)
Every day Americans learn about another outrageous, irrelevant spending provision in Democrats’ so-called stimulus bill. There’s money for global warming. There’s money for sex education. There’s money for Amtrak. There’s money for unions. There’s money to buy new cars and office space for bureaucrats. They’re even doing golf course renovations. Who knows, maybe they’ll even fix-up my rain gutter. But here’s the bottom line: this bill has everything except economic stimulus. It’s just one big, sordid payback for Democrat special interests. (Read more)

The Hill: Cure Should Not Be Worse than the Disease
Rep. Buck McKeon (CA-25)Given the challenges facing America’s healthcare system, it seems safe to move beyond the question of whether we need reform to focus our attention on how that reform should be accomplished. Because the ‘how’ matters. If we don’t approach healthcare reform carefully, we could destroy one of the few parts of the system that actually works. (Read more)

RSC Legislative ActivityRSC members have made it a priority to introduce productive, conservative alternatives to the Democrats’ reckless agenda.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) to introduce Healthcare Choices for Seniors Act
Rep. Blackburn’s bill allows seniors to delay Medicare coverage and retain their health savings account (HSA) without penalty. To give our seniors more choice in their own healthcare, the “Healthcare Choices for Seniors Act” splits the connection between Social Security and Medicare, provides a voucher for those that opt-out of Medicare in return for their years of paying Medicare payroll taxes, and allows individuals to continue tax-free contributions to their HSA. (Read more)

Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05) Preparing Letter Urging Guantanamo Detainees Kept Off U.S. Soil
“I am writing to express my concern with the potential transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States, and to ask you to join me in a letter to President Obama urging him not to move the detainees to any location on U.S. soil…Military prisons in the U.S. also have limited capacity and resources. Transferring Guantanamo detainees to any of these facilities will significantly decrease space, resources, and attention available for domestic military and civilian criminals in an already over-crowded environment.” (Read more)

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter to introduce Military Recruitment Protection Act
Under current law, high schools receiving funds under the No Child Left Behind Act must provide military recruiters the same access to school campuses and basic contact information that is provided to colleges and universities. Schools also are required to notify parents of their right to “opt-out” by submitting a written request that contact information not be released. Since passage of the law in 2003, some school administrators and liberal activist groups have tried to deny access to military recruiters. (Read more)

House Floor Activity
The following key legislation saw a vote on the House floor this week:

The American Recovery and Investment Act (H.R. 1), also known as the Democrats’ Non-Stimulus bill, is the largest borrowing-and-spending bill in American history. The 1,100-page bill was rammed through Congress by the Democrat Majority before any member was able to read its contents – despite the $1.1 trillion overall price tag. The bill is full of handouts for Democrat pet projects and even includes a foundation for government-run health care. Rather than focusing on pro-growth, market based solutions, Democrats instead insisted upon spending a mountain of taxpayer money, sticking future generations with the debt. Seven Democrats joined a united Republican Conference in voting against the bill. Passed 246-183.

Money Monitor
Each week, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.

Five-year cost of authorizations passed by the House this week: $540.5 million
H.R. 908 (Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program): $25.0 million
H.R. 488 (Elder Abuse Victims Act) $233.0 million
H.R. 632 (National Silver Alert Act): $70.0 million
H.R. 554 (National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments: $11.5 million
H.R. 631 (Water Use Efficiency and Conservation Research Act: $101.0 million
H.R. 469: Produced Water Utilization Act: $100.0 million
Five-year cost of authorizations passed by the House this year: $690.8 million

Mandatory Spending
Five-year change in mandatory spending passed by the House this week: $274.4 billion
H.R. 1 (Conference Report, American Recovery and Investment Act): $274.4 billion
Five-year change in mandatory spending passed by the House this year: $333.4 billion

One-year cost of appropriations passed by the House this week:
Fiscal Year 2008: $0
Fiscal Year 2009: $288.7 billion
Fiscal Year 2010: $7.1 billion
Fiscal Year 2011: $4.6 billion
One-year coast of appropriations passed by the House this year:
Fiscal Year 2008: $0
Fiscal Year 2009: $288.7 billion
Fiscal Year 2010: $66.5 billion
Fiscal Year 2011: $4.6 billion

Five-year change in revenue passed by the House this week: -$211.8 billion
Five-year change in revenue passed by the House this year: -$171.7 billion

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