House Votes Down Spending Bill that Advances Obama’s Transgender Agenda

Washington — This morning, the House defeated the Energy & Water Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5055) over concerns it spent too much and advanced President Obama’s transgender agenda. According to reports, Republican leaders will bring the bill back after the Memorial Day recess. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Republicans were right to oppose the bill, as it spent far too much and affirmed President Obama’s transgender agenda. Americans expect their Republican leaders to govern as they campaigned — advancing opportunity and liberty while reining in government spending.  Yet, so far this year the GOP leadership appears either unwilling or unable to stand up to a lame duck president on important issues facing the American people.”

Related:
Heritage Action: Key Vote “NO” on House FY17 Energy & Water Spending Bill (H.R. 5055)

Department of Labor Continues Attack Against Business Owners, Employees

Washington – This morning, the Department of Labor issued its new, finalized overtime rule affecting salary exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This rule raises the salary threshold for overtime eligibility from $23,660 a year to $47,476 – a 100% increase – beginning on December 1, 2016. The rule change represents another attack by the Obama administration on America’s small business owners. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“The new rule will ultimately hurt the very people the Obama administration claims to be helping. Many employers will be forced to reduce base wages, cut hours, move salary workers to hourly employees, or even lay people off. Congress can and should respond to protect hardworking Americans from this attack.”

The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow in labor economics James Sherk added:

“These new overtime regulations effectively turn every salaried employee making less than $47,500 into an hourly worker. The regulations require them to log their hours and track their time. Employers will offset the new overtime costs by cutting base pay, leaving workers’ total earnings little changed. But the formerly salaried employees will lose the flexibility over when and where to work that many salaried employees value.”­­­­

Sanford Takes Step to Fight Cronyism Invading National Defense Bill

Washington — This morning, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) 85% submitted an amendment to the House Rules Committee for consideration on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (H.R. 4909). The amendment would strip a provision — championed by Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) 16% and Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) 41% — included in the NDAA during committee markup that would effectively force the Department of Defense to provide New Balance athletic shoes for new military recruits. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Congressman Sanford deserves tremendous credit for standing up for the men and women of our military. Those selfless individuals should not be forced into a certain type of running shoe simply because one company has access to the halls of power. If New Balance and its congressional allies believe the company ‘manufacture[s] the highest-quality shoes in the world,’ then it should be willing to compete for the business of America’s sons and daughters. Using the legislative process to limit choice and competition is outrageous.”

Related:
Heritage: A Look Into Washington’s Crony Dealmaking Process
Portland Herald Press: Maine, New Balance officials praise panel’s approval of military shoe-buying policy

Heritage Action on “Draft our Daughters” Amendment

Washington — A proposal to “Draft Our Daughters” was added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) during committee markup last month. The amendment would require women between the ages of 18 and 26 to register for the Selective Service. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief operating officer Michael A. Needham:

“The Republican-controlled House should block any effort to force America’s daughters into combat. More broadly, Congress should revisit the Obama administration’s unilateral decision to open all combat roles.”

Charlie Dent is Shilling for Nancy Pelosi

Washington — According to the Huffington Post, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) 28% is floating “a quirky congressional procedure” known as the King of the Hill, but in a twist, “if no budget secures a majority, then the current budget [ceiling] of $1.070 trillion would be automatically ‘deemed.’” Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Representative Dent’s plan is a gimmick and one that exposes him as a shill for Nancy Pelosi. This isn’t surprising as last October he floated a ‘bipartisan coalition to elect the next Speaker.’ Instead of playing games, House Republicans should pass a budget at $1.040 trillion, the level established by the BCA in 2011.

“If the Republican-controlled House is going to default to any level, it should be the FY17 number established in the previously passed FY16 Republican budget. That number — $1.013 trillion — was supported last year by 226 House Republicans, including Dent. Deeming a spending number set by Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and a small minority of Republicans is unacceptable.”