natural gas energy

A Poor Attempt to Sweeten the Deal on Shaheen–Portman Energy Efficiency Bill

If lawmakers add amendments to a flawed bill in an attempt to attract more support for the bill, but the overall legislation remains flawed, should that be sufficient to satisfy the original policy concerns?

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Jeanne Shaheen7%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard7% and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Rob Portman53%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard53% seem to be using this tactic to gain co-sponsors for their bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 761).  With the addition of ten amendments, they’ve gained new co-sponsors such as Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. John Hoeven44%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard44%, Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Joe Manchin III12%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard12%, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mary Landrieu2%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard2% and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Johnny Isakson52%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard52%.

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Government Money Spending

Morning Action: Tax Day

TAXES.  If you’re a taxpayer wondering where your tax dollars were spent in 2013, the Heritage Foundation has the answer.  Government benefits, namely Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, consume 49 percent of all federal spending.

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Heritage Expert: Take CBO 2014 Budget Projection with “Heap of Salt”

Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its updated budget projections for 2014 to 2024, which contains some seemingly good news about the deficit — it’s smaller than it was in 2013.  But Heritage Foundation analyst Romina Boccia cautions the CBO analysis “should be taken with a heap of salt.”

According to the CBO, the 2014 budget deficit will be $492 billion.  ”Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit—at 2.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—will be nearly a third less than the $680 billion shortfall in fiscal year 2013, which was equal to 4.1 percent of GDP,” the report states.

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Harry Reid

A Tough Sell for Democrats

For the past several weeks, many Democrats up for reelection have been promoting legislation that would extend emergency unemployment benefits, increase the minimum wage, and demand equal pay for women.  As the Washington Post recently put it, Democrats “have declared themselves the party that will ensure a “fair shot” for all.”  Branding themselves as the party of “fairness” will help them avoid another midterm election like 2010, or so their thinking goes.

But are nice sounding slogans really what America care’s about, or should constituents consider a bit more?  

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Capitol Building

Morning Action: Minimum Wage Vote on the Horizon

MINIMUM WAGE.  The Senate is expected to debate and potentially vote on a minimum wage bill when they return from recess.  The effort is being led by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Tom Harkin0%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard0%, who hopes Republicans will proceed to a new version of his proposal to raise the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016 (sub. req’d):

Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry Reid7%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard7% said Friday he was slotting the minimum wage for action on April 30, two days after lawmakers return from the two-week recess. “Oh yeah. I’m going to get to it. We’ll do it on Wednesday,” he said.

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