MEMO: How to Repeal All of Obamacare with Reconciliation

To:                   Interested Parties
From:              Heritage Action for America
Date:               July 28, 2015
Subject:          How to Repeal All of Obamacare with Reconciliation

Three years ago, Senate Republicans committed to using the budget reconciliation process to repeal Obamacare.  As such, it is no surprise the Republican budget conference agreement “affirms the use of reconciliation for the sole purpose of repealing the President’s job-killing health care law.”

Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Mike Lee issued a joint press release pledging to, as McConnell said, “continue our effort to use reconciliation — as the budget makes clear — to fulfill the promise we made to our constituents.”  Earlier this month, McConnell sought to downplay expectations by saying the Senate would “consider using budget reconciliation for repealing as much of Obamacare as is reconcilable” but cautioned “there are certain rules that have to be applied to what is reconcilable.”  His comments raised concerns — especially among conservative House members — that the Senate is procedurally unable to place a reconciliation bill that fully repeals Obamacare on the president’s desk.

Those concerns are overblown as a clear path forward exists.

Read the entire memo.

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Claim and Fact: Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA)

Claim: TEA does not fix the Highway Trust Fund (HTF)

TEA reduces the federal role in transportation once prior obligations of the HTF are met.  The bill does not (and should not) propose a solution to past mismanagement and past commitments that were based on unrealistic projections of revenue and/or the assumption of a general fund bailout.  Conservatives have proposed numerous offsets and reforms that would enable the HTF to be brought to solvency through spending reductions and devolution of responsibilities to the states.

Claim: TEA will require states to raise their gasoline taxes.

TEA gradually reduces the federal gas tax over a five-year period, while block-granting a portion of those revenues to states over that same time period. This is intended to allow states to transition to a funding structure that allows them the independence to manage their unique infrastructure requirements. Under the current HTF financing structure, one in four of the dollars states send to the federal government are diverted to non-highway spending.  Eighteen percent of gasoline taxes go to the account dedicated to mass-transit within the Highway Trust Fund.  Transit users do not pay anything into the Highway Trust Fund.  There is more than enough funding at the current taxation levels to fund the maintenance of the national highway network—the issue is the wasteful federal diversions and mandates that increase project costs.  State tax burdens will be much lower without federal mandates and wasteful spending absorbing billions of dollars in revenue.  TEA returns the responsibility for raising revenue to the states, gradually phasing out federal gas taxes to a low, but sufficient level.  States then have the flexibility to fund right-size transportation budgets how they see fit.

Claim: TEA will damage the national transportation network.

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Memo: Export-Import Bank Amendment is Dawn of New Era in McConnell-run Senate

“Looks to me like they have the votes, and I’m going to give them the opportunity.”

With those 16 words to the Associated Press about the future of the Export-Import Bank, Senator Mitch McConnell began charting a new course just six months into his tenure as majority leader.  As Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn explained earlier this year regarding amendments and ending debate, “The only person who makes the decision is the leader.” To date, Majority Leader McConnell has not allowed a non-budget amendment to pass that he and a majority of his conference opposed.

Read the entire memo.

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Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum

Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum

Heritage Action will be hosting a presidential candidate forum on September 18th in Greenville, South Carolina at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville. Featured guests include Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham, Former Senator Jim DeMint, and Governor Nikki Haley. We feel there is a need to restore conservative principles to the presidential debate. At this forum the candidates will engage in a dialogue with experts and voters on the policies embedded in our Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None agenda.

Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None is a comprehensive principled agenda that provides a policy roadmap to create opportunity, growth, civil society, limited government, national security and favoritism. You can learn more here.

Who? We will be inviting every viable Republican presidential candidate.

When? September 18th, 2015

Where? Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina

All attendees must be registered. Space will be limited to those registered first before we take walk ins

Register Now

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Memo: Path to Ex-Im Reauthorization Rapidly Closing

To:                   Interested Parties
From:              Heritage Action for America
Date:                May 18, 2015
Subject:          Path to Ex-Im Reauthorization Rapidly Closing

Because the House appears poised to allow the Export-Import Bank to expire on June 30th without taking any action, proponents of reauthorizing the bank are staking their hopes on the Senate jamming the House.  That path seems to be increasingly difficult to walk. While it is conventional wisdom to believe the Senate can “jam the House” the reality is that doing so is extremely difficult. There are two general scenarios in which Senate action could spur House action, but those situations are unlikely to materialize into significant threats.

Read the entire memo.

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