Update: this vote has occurred.
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More than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have illegally crossed America’s southern border this year. Their presence in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico is putting pressure on Congress to grant the President’s $3.7 billion request for emergency funds.
Heritage Foundation policy analyst David Inserra has broken down the proposals in the House’s immigration working group here, and noted that “the U.S. does not need to throw money at the problem but rather carefully consider the better policies that more effectively enforce the law and contribute to border security.”
>> Call your Representative to share the message that any “border fix” that does not include addressing DACA should be opposed.
If any funding at all is to be allocated, it must be on the condition that the package addresses the root causes of the unlawful immigrant surge.
Rarely is the link between a policy and a problem as clear as with President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the current situation at our southern border. Despite the overwhelming consensus that executive decree has caused the crisis, Congress and the White House are refusing to end DACA.
>> Call your Representative to oppose border spending that doesn’t fix the problem.
The House is now preparing to vote on a bill to authorize $659 million for border and immigration spending. The problem is this spending bill doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. Fortunately, some lawmakers are pushing to include language to stop Obama’s lawless DACA program, but we only have a few hours to make a difference.
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Today, the House is scheduled to vote on the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act of 2013 (H.R. 1022), which is on the suspension calendar. Introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the bill — which did not go through the committee process — would “create a number of taxpayer-supported government programs to extract and recycle domestic rare earth minerals” to “address price volatility for rare earths.” While Congress may be justified in gathering information through basic research on energy-critical elements, subsidizing mining, production, or refinement of rare earth elements is not justifiable and would have adverse effects on markets in the future.
The approach in H.R. 1022 is misguided. The Heritage Foundation explains rather than creating a new government program and subsidizing “technologies the private sector won’t invest in without a handout, the government should open access to the 13 states where rare earths lie and establish an efficient regulatory pathway that provides companies the certainty needed to extract REEs.”
Rather than create an expensive new government program, Congress should deregulate the market for rare earth elements and energy-critical elements.
Use POPVOX to easily and directly email your Representative and ask him or her to oppose the Rare Earth Mineral bill:
This week, the Senate will vote on the misleadingly named Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act (S. 2578). Introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), the bill is in reaction to the June Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, which granted closely-held family businesses relief from being forced to comply with the HHS anti-conscience mandate if they have a religious objection. Specifically, the Murray-Udall bill would force employers like the Greens of Hobby Lobby and the Hahns of Conestoga Wood Specialties to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices and “would also prohibit employers from seeking relief from any federal health care mandate — no matter how coercive the rule or controversial the procedure.”
The Murray-Udall bill “would essentially exempt all federal health care mandates from the protections afforded by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and allow the administration to trample on the religious freedom of families like the Greens and Hahns who are trying to run their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs.
The Murray-Udall bill “could also affect the freedom of non-profit employers like religious schools and charities,” Heritage adds. As long as Obamacare is the law of the land, government bureaucrats will have the “authority to decide the details of insurance plans, dictating what employers must offer and individuals must purchase.”
The government has already exempted 100 million employees from the anti-conscience mandate for commercial and political reasons. The Murray-Udall bill is allegedly designed to keep employers out of their employees’ health care decisions, but it in fact forces employers to get involved in these decisions and seriously violates their fundamental right to religious freedom in the process.
Use the POPVOX form below to email your Senators in opposition of the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act:
On Tuesday, the House is scheduled to vote on the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 5021). Introduced by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the bill would inject $10.8 billion into the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF), marking the fifth bailout of the HTF since 2008. The bill would offset the additional spending over the next decade through a series of revenue raisers, budget gimmicks and budget transfers. It would also extend existing surface transportation programs until May 30, 2015.
Excessive spending levels set by highway bills enacted in recent years, and many spending diversions to non-road, non-bridge activities, have put the HTF on an unsustainable path.
An inability to control spending combined with costly regulations that inflate the cost of projects has rendered the HTF model functionally obsolete. With each bailout, the link between highway spending and gas taxes is degraded, making it increasingly difficult to enact structural reforms that turn over the federal highway and transit programs to the states, so they can manage their transportation needs without Washington bureaucrats.
Use the POPVOX form below to email your Representative to oppose this bailout of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act (H.R. 5021):
This week, the Senate will vote on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2244). Introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) 9%, the bill would extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) — a temporary program passed in the aftermath the September 11th terrorist attacks — for seven years while making only minor changes to the program.
The purpose of TRIA, as stated in the 2002 legislation, was “to establish a temporary Federal program that provides for a transparent system of shared public and private compensation for insured losses resulting from acts of terrorism” to “allow for a transitional period for the private markets to stabilize.” Two years later, Heritage’s Diane Katz, a research fellow in regulatory policy, explains “insurance industry today is well-capitalized, and fully equipped with the resources necessary to provide terrorism risk coverage without government subsidies.”
Rather than beginning the long-overdue wind down to this temporary program, S. 2244 ensures taxpayers will continue to be on the hook for private sector losses that the insurance industry is well-positioned to handle.
Use the POPVOX form below to e-mail your Senators to oppose the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (S. 2244):