Puerto Rico and the PROMESA Act: Claims and Responses

Claim: If conservatives don’t agree to this bill, the alternative is  a $72 billion bailout package.

Response: Things are going to get worse in Puerto Rico before they get better. Even though there is no reason to believe a Republican-controlled Congress would ever pass a direct taxpayer bailout, calls for such action are likely to increase whether or not PROMESA (H.R. 4900) is passed, as Puerto Rico will likely continue to experience economic and fiscal troubles. Congress and Puerto Rico need to pass economic reforms to slow and reverse the ruinous outmigration of Puerto Rico’s young workers. PROMESA reshuffles the deck, but it doesn’t change the game.

Claim: If Congress doesn’t pass some sort of assistance package, Puerto Ricans are just going to abandon the island and move to the mainland, causing an economic death spiral.

Response: Puerto Ricans are moving to the mainland in large numbers because of the lack of economic growth and opportunity on the island — not, for the most part, because of the government’s financial distress and liquidity issues. Regardless of what happens with Puerto Rico’s government debt, this exodus will continue if Puerto Rico can’t return to growth, which it can only do by creating opportunities for young adults and attracting and keeping businesses on the island. There is no reason to believe this bill would create those economic opportunities.

Claim: The fiscal oversight board has the tools it needs to jumpstart Puerto Rico’s economy.

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Want to talk to your Members of Congress? Check this list

Conservative accountability goes beyond casting a vote. Building a society in which freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and the civil society flourish requires a sustained effort.  That is why we have compiled a non-exhaustive list of upcoming townhalls, all of which provide excellent opportunities to discuss important issues with members of Congress.

As always, make sure to confirm the details with the Representative or Senator’s office.

Email Matthew.Lauer@heritageaction.com for any further details.

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Letter to the Candidates — Promise to Repeal Obamacare

January 5, 2016

Dear Republican Presidential Candidates,

On Wednesday, the House will vote to send a bill to President Obama’s desk that would repeal significant portions of Obamacare through the budget reconciliation process. This congressional effort and the forthcoming presidential veto will provide momentum to help make the full repeal of Obamacare a reality in 2017.

Heritage Action has long supported full repeal of Obamacare and outlined a path forward using the budget reconciliation process last year. The 2012 Republican Party Platform was explicit:

“Congressional Republicans are committed to its repeal; and a Republican President, on the first day in office, will use his legitimate waiver authority under that law to halt its progress and then will sign its repeal. Then the American people, through the free market, can advance affordable and responsible healthcare reform that meets the needs and concerns of patients and providers.”

An ironclad commitment to repeal the entire law will keep Obamacare and its disastrous side effects at the forefront of the campaign. The next administration should:

  1. use every executive power at its disposal to halt the implementation of Obamacare-related federal regulation of the insurance market;
  2. ensure the Vice President presides over the Senate during reconciliation to guarantee complete and full repeal is achieved through the reconciliation process; and
  3. sign a complete and full repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including all provisions relating to federal regulation of the insurance market, into law.

A strong majority of Americans believe Congress should use the same process to repeal Obamacare that was used to pass the law. They are right. America cannot afford another four more years of Obamacare.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer

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ObamaExIm3

58 Republicans Embrace Corporate Welfare

This week lawmakers introduced H.R. 597 to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) 69% authored the bill and 57 other lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors in support.  The Export-Import bank aims to facilitate trade between the U.S. and other nations. In actuality it uses tax payer dollars to provide loans for big business like Solyndra and Boeing.

The Export-Import bank adds fuel to the fire of the crony capitalist nature of Washington DC and must be reformed.

Here’s the conservative response;

“Americans didn’t give Republicans a historic majority to hand out favors to K Street lobbyists and well-connected special interests.  If they want to honor their mandate, they’ll allow Ex-Im to expire and advance policies that creates opportunity for everyone.”

Read the full bill online.

These 57 lawmakers added their names as co-sponsor to the legislation:

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Keeping Focused on Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

To:             Interested Parties
From:       Heritage Action for America
Date:         January 27, 2015
Subject:   Keeping Focused on Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

Lawmakers have one month to pass a discretionary funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security that denies funding and resources for President Obama’s amnesty programs. Although the House-passed DHS appropriations bill (H.R. 240) 1 has yet to be considered in the Senate, Politico reported some Republicans were already “exploring ways of escaping their political jam on immigration, with steps that could avoid a funding cutoff for the Department of Homeland Security while letting conservatives vent their anger at President Barack Obama.”  Such actions are premature, as Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) explained to the Washington Examiner:

“You usually don’t know for sure where these fights wind up until you have them. And this is an important one for us to have. We need to have this fight, and then we’ll see where it goes.”

Win the Fight
Some may be tempted to point to vote counts in the Senate and claim that there is a need for compromise legislation. Senator Blunt’s comments bear repeating: You usually don’t know for sure where these fights wind up until you have them.

Voters demanded more than merely a fight in November; they voted to stop the President’s reckless overreach. Forcing debate the issue through votes is just the first step. If Republicans are to deliver on their mandate, they must make the case for immediate action and force the President and his allies to defend these dangerous, unlawful policies.

At least five sitting Senate Democrats have expressed opposition to President Obama’s latest executive actions, which would grant quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally.

  • Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN): “It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it…I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.” (“Donnelly sees
    Obama immigration move as too much,” The Courier-Journal, 11/20/14, http://cjky.it/14T2SW9)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): “Our immigration system is broken, and I support a comprehensive plan to fix it, but executive orders aren’t the way to do it.” (“Local Lawmakers Oppose Obama’s Immigration Action,” KOLR10 News, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1FHJdUy)
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I disagree with the President’s decision to use executive action to make changes to our immigration system, and I disagree with the House’s decision to not even take a vote on the bipartisan Senate legislation that overwhelmingly passed in June 2013.” (“Obama announces immigration plan; WV reps react,” MetroNews, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1vbQOcM)
  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND): “I’m disappointed the president decided to use executive action at this time on this issue, as it could poison any hope of compromise or bipartisanship in the new Senate before it has even started. It’s Congress’ job to pass legislation and deal with issues of this magnitude.” (“Obama fails to convince some Dems on immigration,” Politico, 11/20/14, http://politi.co/1yCcJdJ)
  • Sen. Angus King (I-ME): “I worry that his taking unilateral action could in fact inflame public opinion, change the subject from immigration to the president. I also have constitutional concerns about where prosecutorial discretion ends and unconstitutional executive authority begins.” (“GOP leaders warn ‘impeachment’ is a dirty word,” Politico, 11/19/14, http://politi.co/1F0YPlI)

Two more expressed concern before the announcement:

  • Sen. Al Franken (D-MN): “‘I have concerns about executive action,’ said Franken, who had previously declined to comment, in a statement Thursday. ‘This is a job for Congress, and it’s time for the House to act.’” (“Senate Democrats Urge President Obama To Delay Immigration Order,” Politico, 9/5/14, http://politi.co/1pwyMtR)
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): “A big issue like immigration, the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process.” (“Warner: ‘Right decision’ to delay on immigration,” The Hill, 09/08/14, http://bit.ly/1tvyVRt)

Read the entire memo.

 

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