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.
On July 12, 2016, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) rushed to pass legislation bailing out the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)—the so-called Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 5714)—without a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or a recorded vote. In the process, OGR released a rebuttal document in response to Heritage Action’s statement of opposition. The following are responses to those rebuttals.
Rebuttal #1: “There is a lot for Conservatives to like in this bill. H.R. 5714 treats the Postal Service more like a private sector business. The bill cuts Postal Service costs while also taking away the strongest anti-reform argument: that the agency is only struggling because of an ‘unfair’ retiree health care requirement.”
Response: There is a reason liberal Democrats and USPS support H.R. 5714. It rewards the Postal Service, and its constituencies, with their number one priority for years—relief from their current health care contributions in exchange for few reforms. In fact, it is the important reform principle established in 1971 that USPS should be treated more like a business—responsible for both its assets and liabilities—that is grounds for opposition to the bill. The bill shifts liabilities to taxpayers.
Yesterday, presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton welcomed presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump “to the cause” of placing additional restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. While Trump’s tweet was light on policy — and his campaign declined to provide specifics — it was widely viewed as an endorsement of the types of restrictions President Obama, Congressional Democrats and Michael Bloomberg support.
“The rush to eliminate due process rights is alarming,” Heritage Action’s chief executive officer Michael A. Needham said. “Responsible presidential nominees should lead the nation in a conversation about what types of counterterrorism measures are effective, but restricting firearm access by presuming guilt is not one of them. Americans deserve real leadership on the issue of Islamist terrorism, not made for TV sound bites intended to erode our constitutional rights.”
Earlier this week, The Heritage Foundation’s James Jay Carafano explained that “Restricting Americans’ access to firearms has never been on the list of any responsible counterterrorism agenda” because it’s not an “efficacious responsible measure.”
Heritage: The Terrorist Watch List, Explained
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.
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:
- use every executive power at its disposal to halt the implementation of Obamacare-related federal regulation of the insurance market;
- ensure the Vice President presides over the Senate during reconciliation to guarantee complete and full repeal is achieved through the reconciliation process; and
- 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.
Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer