“NO” on the Confirmation of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General

This month, the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as Attorney General.

Lynch’s testimony raises serious questions about her ability to represent the nation in legal matters, as well as give advice and opinions to the rest of the administration.  Unsurprisingly, Lynch defended the President’s executive amnesty, saying the “legal opinion was reasonable” and it was a “reasonable way to marshal limited resources to deal with the problem.”

The Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm argues the President’s executive amnesty moves well beyond his limited, constitutional authority:

“NO” on DHS Funding Bill: A Blank Check for Amnesty (H.R. 240)

On Friday, February 27, the Senate adopted a substitute amendment (#255) offered by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mitch McConnell67%Senate Republican Average29See Full Scorecard67% to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 240).  Heritage Action was key voting in favor of the House-passed DHS funding bill prior to the adoption of the McConnell Amendment, which essentially removed language that would have denied funding and resources for the President’s unconstitutional amnesty.  With the adoption of the substitute amendment, Heritage Action will key vote against H.R. 240 and include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

Text of the original key vote, which was posted on February 2, 2015, is below.

“NO” on the Heitkamp Amendment Supporting the Wind Production Tax Credit

This afternoon, the Senate will vote on an amendment (SA 133) to the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (S. 1).  The amendment, introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Heidi Heitkamp5%Senate Democrat Average29See Full Scorecard5%, expresses the sense of the Senate that the Wind Production Tax Credit and seven other now-expired tax credits for green energy production should be reauthorized and extended until 2020.

At the beginning of the year, special interest tax breaks for wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal and solar energy facilities,  landfill gas facilities, trash facilities, qualified hydropower facility, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities expired.  The Heitkamp amendment goes to great lengths to defend the renewal of the Wind PTC in particular:

“the wind energy industry and utilities require long-term certainty regarding the Production Tax Credit for project planning in order to continue build out of this valuable natural resource”

Although the subsidy has been on the books for more than two decades, the wind energy industry is still reliant upon taxpayer handouts.  As one CEO said two years ago, the “extension [of the Wind PTC] makes it all finance-able. It will get us through another year.”  The most recent one-year retroactive extension of the Wind PTC is estimated to cost taxpayers $6.4 billion. Lobbying for taxpayer dollars should not make-or-break someone’s business model. The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris explains:

“YES” on Keystone XL Pipeline Act (S. 1)

This week, the Senate began consideration of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (S. 1), which mirrors the bill (H.R. 3) approved by the House on January 9th. The project would increase America’s energy security, create thousands of jobs, and increase revenue in the states it runs through.

The 1,200 mile pipeline, which enjoys broad bipartisan support, would transport 380,000 barrels of oil daily from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast and would create an estimated 15,000 jobs.  The State Department conducted numerous reviews of the environmental impacts of the project on soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, wildlife, and endangered species and repeatedly confirmed it would be safe.

For too long, the politics of the left, radical environmentalists, and President Obama and his congressional allies have stood in the way of Keystone’s construction.  Approval of H.R. 3 would represent a small but notable first step towards creating thousands of jobs for hardworking Americans.  The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris outlined additional five easy steps for Congress to take:

“YES” on Coburn Motion to Remove Lands Package from NDAA

Today, Senators will vote on a motion to refer the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 3979) back to the committee.  The motion, which will be made by  Sen. Tom Coburn, would instruct the Senate Armed Services Committee to remove the 450-page lands package that was inserted into the NDAA behind closed doors.

Heritage Action’s Michael A. Needham and The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Bucci, a former Pentagon official who oversees defense policy, explained:

“Undermining policies that are literally life-and-death is not in our nation’s interest, but that is the path this Congress is preparing to take.  Congress has successfully passed the NDAA every year for the past half century, overcoming ideological divides in order to appropriately authorize and prioritize defense measures needed to defend the United States. That trend should continue. That means treating the NDAA with the seriousness that it deserves, not as a legislative Christmas tree for Congress to ornament with unrelated pet projects.”

In a letter to Congress, groups such as Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum and March for Life Action made the following argument: