Morning Action: The Wind Energy Tax Credit Needs to Go

WIND PTC.  A coalition of organizations, including Heritage Action, has sent a letter to Congress calling on them to let the wind energy tax credit to expire.

Over the past 20 years, American taxpayers have seen little return from the forced investment in wind energy.  This handout consistently fails to deliver on its promise of long-term job creation, economic activity, and affordability.  It promotes favoritism in the energy marketplace, threatens the reliability of the electric grid, and a 1 year extension costs $12 billion over 10 years.  

Read More

This Week in Congress: June 9 — 13


Analysis: This week the House may consider a series of appropriations bills, including agriculture appropriations and THUD appropriations.

Major Floor Action:

  • H.R. 4745 – Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
  • H.R. 4880 – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
  • H.R. 4453 – Permanent S Corporation Built-in Gains Recognition Period Act of 2014
  • H.R. 4457 – America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014

Major Committee Action:


Analysis:  This week the Senate may consider a series of judicial nominations.

Read More

The Best of the Forge


Senators are currently considering an amendment to the United States Constitution that would “repeal the free speech protections of the first Amendment.”

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Examining a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People,” Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 94% delivered a passionate defense of the First Amendment and free speech — which is why he so adamantly opposes the amendment in question.

Read More

Morning Action: D-Day Matters

D-Day.  Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy.  Heritage’s James Carafano explains why it remains such an important date in our nation’s history:

More than any other battle in the American memory, D-Day symbolizes the Americans going forth in the world when they had no other choice but to fight for what is right.

In many ways, D-Day was America’s battle. Every branch of the armed forces fought during the invasion of Normandy. The Navy delivered the troops. The (Army) Air Force took command of the sky. Sixty U.S. Coast Guard cutters provided search and rescue. Even a handful of Marines were on hand. And 160,000 GIs hit the beaches.

To pause and remember D-Day is in truth an opportunity for all of us to stop and recall the service and sacrifice of every fighting American from Bunker Hill to Baghdad. We are free and safe because they fought.

Reagan.  The Associated Press reminds us that Ronald Reagan set the presidential standard for D-Day observances:

Ronald Reagan was the first [sitting president to attend a D-Day anniversary observance in Normandy], delivering an evocative and emotional remembrance on the 40th anniversary in 1984. Joining him were surviving members of an Army Rangers team that had scaled cliffs at Pointe du Hoc to silence German guns protecting the Normandy beaches.

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc,” Reagan said. “These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

Before him, presidents acknowledged the D-Day invasion with words or statements, but none made a pilgrimage to the site, not even Dwight Eisenhower, who had been the supreme allied commander who ordered the invasion.

Obama. The Examiner’s Philip Klein explains how Barack Obama’s inner circle has become unleashed, and warns us to expect more unilateral action:

Whether it’s recognizing a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, negotiating with the Taliban, releasing five Guantanamo Bay detainees or imposing new regulations on carbon emissions, one thing is constant: The inner President Obama is being unleashed.

Like the end of his first term, in his second term, Obama has not been able to move any of his major legislative priorities through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. But now, he’s no longer facing re-election, so he’s been more willing to assert himself in areas where the president typically has more influence – foreign affairs and regulatory policy.

Veterans.  According to reports, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) 23% and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) 49% have struck a deal on a veterans bill, but CQ (sub. req’d) reports the deal could hit a snag because of the price tag:

But while Sanders and McCain managed to reconcile their policy differences before the Senate adjourns for the week, the prospect of emergency funding for the VA, which would not require offsets, may be resisted by fiscal conservatives in both the House and Senate.

The proposal’s authorization of emergency spending — which was disclosed in a one-page fact sheet but not mentioned in remarks by the pair on the Senate floor — is sure to spark renewed debate in Congress regarding whether such proposals should be offset with corresponding cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Such spats have occurred regularly in the years since Republicans took over the House in 2011. Conservatives have led the charge for offsets to disaster and other types of emergency aid, which was not offset in previous Congresses. That debate consumed Congress in the months after Superstorm Sandy hit land in late 2012; it took lawmakers more than three months to clear a $60 billion supplemental appropriations package to fund rebuilding efforts in the Northeast. That spending was ultimately not offset.

Fiscal hawks, concerned about rising budget deficits and what they see as a Congress that too often circumvents spending caps, has called for matching emergency spending with equivalent cuts elsewhere in the budget



Read More

Morning Action: Senate Set to Confirm Burwell as New HHS Secretary

BURWELL.  Today the Senate will vote to confirm Sylvia Matthews Burwell to lead HHS (sub. req’d):

This afternoon the Senate is set to confirm the woman who will now be held responsible for fixing problems with the controversial federal health care exchange.

Although many Senate Republicans have criticized the 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) during debate of the nomination, few have opposed her as a candidate for confirmation.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) 28% reminded senators this week that high expectations have been placed on Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who is just hours away from expected confirmation to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Read More