HAFA Sentinels

Tea Party Defines “New Republican”

A new project, led by longtime GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, is aimed at rebranding the Republican Party.  Announced today in Politico’s Playbook, NewRepublican.org will focus “on outlining a positive GOP agenda for the future.”  In an ad slated to run on Sunday shows, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) says “If you don’t think the Republican Party should be the party of big government, big business or big anything, you’re thinking like a New Republican.”

If that message sounds familiar that’s because Heritage Action has been pounding it for years.  In October 2011, CEO Mike Needham and COO Tim Chapman wrote an op-ed for Real Clear Politics entitled “The Washington Establishment’s Big Problem.”  They explained:

The Bigs – Big Wall Street, Big Government, Big Labor, and Big Business – are all protected classes in the American political system. The tax code, regulatory regime, and campaign finance laws are all written by those powerful enough to hire an army of lobbyists to descend on Washington. Labor unions pushed their way ahead of bond holders when the Establishment bailed out Chrysler. Solyndra got venture funding from the middle class taxpayer after spending $1.9 million lobbying the Establishment. 

This corrupt nexus is at the heart of the dissatisfaction across the country towards Washington.

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Doctor

Obamacare “Fix” Raises Serious Questions

This week the House will debate and vote on the Save American Workers Act of 2014 (H.R. 2575), which would repeal Obamacare’s 30-hour rule and replace it with a 40 hour rule.

There is absolutely no doubt Obamacare’s 30-hour work week threshold has harmed individuals as employers predictably cut back on hours.  In October 2011, The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk predicted it would “price many unskilled workers out of full-time employment.  He continued:

The employer mandate will also encourage employers to replace full-time jobs with part-time positions. Obamacare does not penalize employers for not providing health benefits to part-time employees, so part-time positions will cost much less to fill than full-time positions.

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Export Import Bank

Australia’s Richest Person and America’s Export-Import Bank

Australian press is buzzing over the strange nexus between the country’s richest person and American taxpayers.  The headline in The Australian Financial Review even invokes the phrase “welfare queen.”

How Australia’s richest person, mining heiress Gina Rinehart, secured a $US694 million ($764 million) loan from American taxpayers is surely one of the great ironies of the capitalist system.

The case is the latest example of a flaw in the United States political economy: what some see as crony capitalism.

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Capitol Building

This Week in Washington: March 24 – 28

The House and Senate are back after a week-long recess.   Two issues are expected to be front and center this week: the Ukraine aid package and action on the Medicare “Doc Fix.”  Before the congressional recess, the House passed legislation intended to demonstrate support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s takeover of Crimea.  The Senate amended the legislation to include controversial and long-stalled legislation that would weaken U.S. control at the IMF.  At this point, there is not a clear path forward on the Ukraine package.  The House and Senate will also consider some legislation — likely a short-term patch — to address the pending cut to Medicare’s doctor reimbursement rate.

Major House Floor Action

  • H.R. 2824 - Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America
  • Possible action on Ukraine and Doc Fix legislation

Major Senate Floor Action

  •  S.2124 - Ukraine and IMF legislation
  • S.2110 — Medicare SGR Repeal and Beneficiary Access Improvement Act of 2014
  • S.2148 — a retroactive extension of emergency unemployment benefits
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The Forge Blog

The Best of the Forge

Why A Hobby Lobby Victory at the Supreme Court is Important to Everyone

Hobby Lobby is a Christian owned craft store chain. It is run by the Green family according their Christian values. It is closed on Sundays, pays employees far above the minimum wage, and limits store hours so employees can spend more time with their families.

Founder David Green says his “family cannot in conscience subsidize certain mandated drugs and devices that can cause abortion in early pregnancy.”

Why does this matter, especially for those who consider themselves secular or non-religious?

Putin’s Russia and America’s Export-Import Bank

Even as Americans sour on Russia their financial activity in the country has soared through a little known credit export agency called the U.S. Export-Import (ExIm) Bank. According to the Bank’s2013 annual report, it guaranteed more than $580 million in export funding during the last fiscal year — up 177-percent from fiscal year 2012.

ExImBank RussiaGaurantees

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