Next week, the House is expected to take up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It is expected that Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training, or “ENLIST,” Act (H.R. 2377) will be added as an amendment to NDAA.
ENLIST Act would allow DREAMers—unlawful immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors—to acquire lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in exchange for military service. Exchanging military service for amnesty is wrong. It undermines the rule of law and encourages future unlawful immigration. This proposal would add insult to injury by politicizing the NDAA.
This week, the Senate is expected to consider the Expiring Provisions Improvement, Reform, and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act of 2014 (S. 2260) sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) 12%. The EXPIRE Act would temporarily extend more than 50 expiring tax provisions pertaining to individual and business taxpayers and the energy sector through 2015.
The Senate’s tax extenders — and indeed the entire process surrounding the extension of expiring tax provisions — is one of the most egregious examples of Washington using its powers to prop up well connected interests.
Today the House is scheduled to vote on the Electrify Africa Act of 2014 (H.R. 2548), which includes a three-year reauthorization of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Created in 1969, OPIC is a taxpayer-back federal agency that subsidizes private domestic companies investing in foreign countries.
The Heritage Foundation has opposed OPIC for decades. In 1996, Heritage analyst Brett Schaefer noted the “irony of using a government-run program to encourage other countries to end government interference in their economies. That same year, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman wrote a letter to the House budget chairman: “I cannot see any redeeming aspect in the existence of OPIC. It is special interest legislation of the worst kind, legislation that makes the problem it is intended to deal with worse rather than better…. OPIC has no business existing.”
The Examiner’s Tim Carney noted, the OPIC reauthorization is “more contentious issue” than the bill itself, “So it was convenient that a few inscrutable lines in a 22-page, non-controversial bill would do the deed.”
The inclusion of the OPIC reauthorization in H.R. 2548 is not transparent and is another form of corporate welfare, like the Export-Import Bank. Email your Representative now and encourage him or her to vote no on the Electrify Africa Act of 2014 because of its OPIC reauthorization.
Next week, the Senate is likely to consider the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 2262). Introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) 2% and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) 28% it claims to promote energy savings in industrial and commercial buildings. The bill provides taxpayer-funded federal incentives to make building and manufacturing processes more efficient, but these “incentives” would burden taxpayers and consumers alike while producing no tangible benefits. They are also duplicative of federal and state efforts.
This inappropriate intervention comes in the form of ‘voluntary’ federal mandates and taxpayer funded subsidies for energy efficiency updates in state government and tribal buildings. Specifically, Heritage notes, “The bill authorizes $200 million of taxpayer money to “incentivize and assist” states and tribal groups to meet allegedly voluntary building codes.”
As Heritage notes, only the free-market has been proven to decrease costs and increase efficiency in energy production. The federal government’s role in energy efficiency should be limited to providing information to consumers make well-informed decisions. This legislation allows the government to overstep its boundaries.
Use the POPVOX form below and tell your Senators that the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill is bad policy and should be opposed.