On Lame Duck, Heritage Action Agrees with Boehner

Washington — Today, House Speaker John Boehner told the New York Times that Congress should not act on an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) during a lame duck session, saying “Doing this with a whole group of members who are on their way out the door, I don’t think that is the right way to handle this.” Heritage Action released the following statement from communications director Dan Holler:

“The Speaker made an extremely important point about lame duck sessions.  Retiring and defeated lawmakers who are no longer accountable to voters should not have the opportunity to vote on major policies like the Internet sales tax or international treaties.  Nor should they be empowered to hand out favors to well-connected special interests that may one day serve as future employers.”

Heritage Action Congratulates Mike Lee

Washington – Today, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mike Lee96%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard96% was elected to be the next chairman of the conservative Senate Steering Committee.  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“No one has been more active pushing a positive conservative agenda in Congress than Mike Lee.  He has shown you can fight the radical policies advanced by President Obama while promoting opportunity for all and eliminating favoritism to the well connected.  We congratulate Mike and look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Authorizing the Training of Syrian Rebels Shouldn’t Be Part of the CR (UPDATED)

Washington – Today, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, backtracked on comments regarding President Obama’s request to include language that would authorize American troops to give support to supposedly moderate resistance forces in Syria.  Yesterday Rogers said it was a “complicated, big-time change in policy” that he would “hate to see us attach to a continuing resolution at the very last minute.”  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Chairman Rogers had it right yesterday: It is unconscionable to expect lawmakers to make a decision on this complex, complicated policy issue as the administration simultaneously invokes the specter of a government shutdown.  President Obama’s Syria policy should be considered separately from the CR.”  

James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., the Heritage Foundation’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, added:

“Last night the President finally outlined a strategy for dealing with the threat of ISIS.  If Congress considers authorizing the use of military force, it should do so as a standalone measure.  Furthermore, the pending continuing resolution should not be used to give a $500 million blank check to Syrian rebels whom we know little about. That is neither wise nor necessary for driving ISIS out of Iraq and restoring its territorial integrity.  The need for action is real, but matters of war and peace should be dealt with separately.”

Sen. Shelby Calls CR with Ex-Im “Not Totally Clean”

Washington – Earlier today, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Richard Shelby75%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard75%, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, warned that even an across-the-board reauthorization of programs could be problematic, telling CQ “We need to look at that. It’s not totally clean.” Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Harold Rogers43%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard43%, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was less clear, but emphasized the need to keep the CR “as clean as we can, because the object here is to prevent a shutdown.” Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“By continuing to discuss Ex-Im in the context of the CR, House Republicans are breathing life into the very shutdown narrative they are trying to avoid.  Republicans can end the drama by passing a clean CR and leaving it to President Obama to defend taxpayer handouts to Russian oligarchs and Chinese airlines.  No one is talking about rejecting a clean funding bill except congressional Democrats and the K Street lobbyists being paid to save Ex-Im’s corporate welfare.”

Heritage Action, Club for Growth Urge Majority Leader to End Export-Import Bank

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth and Heritage Action For America, two of America’s leading free-market advocacy groups, sent a letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on the Export-Import Bank today. The content of the letter can be found below and also downloaded as a pdf by clicking here.

Dear Leader McCarthy,

As you know, authorization for the Export-Import Bank is set to expire on September 30th. On behalf of our respective organizations, we hope you will stand strong and work with conservatives in Congress and across the country in letting the bank expire.

We were greatly encouraged by your comments on Fox News Sunday on June 22nd, in which you stated that the Export-Import Bank is “something government does not have to be involved in. The private sector can do it.” You also quite explicitly answered “yes” to the question of whether or not you would allow the charter for the bank to expire.

As the new Majority Leader of the House, now is the time for you to provide leadership to the Republican conference and reaffirm your admirable opposition to the Export-Import Bank. In the past several months, the bank and the private corporations it benefits have launched an all-out public relations campaign to repair the bank’s image. This simply confirms what we have said all along – the Export-Import Bank is a crony-capitalist slush fund benefitting mainly politically-connected companies that receive its subsidies.

These export subsidies pick winners and losers in the free market and hurt companies here at home. That’s a fact. While a company like Boeing benefits from the vast majority of subsidies, companies like Delta are hurt by the benefit bestowed on their foreign competitors. Taconite miners in Minnesota and Michigan were hurt by export subsidies given to Caterpillar to send mining equipment to the richest woman in Australia.

Nearly every time the government interferes in the free market there is a negative consequence that hurts Americans of all stripes. Whether it is quotas on imported sugar, President Obama’s takeover of our health insurance system, or the renewable fuel standard, actions by politicians in Washington working with lobbyists on K Street have made life harder for everyone. In contrast, eliminating corporate welfare, passing pro-growth tax reform, reforming entitlements, and paying down the debt will raise the living standards of every American.

The Export-Import Bank is a small thing, this we know. But Leader McCarthy, if you can’t start with the Export-Import Bank, then how can Americans trust the Republican Party to tackle the big challenges our nation faces after six years of President Obama and his failed policies?

We hope you’ll take the coming weeks to stay true to your comments from June and affirmatively fight to end the Export-Import Bank. House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling has done great work exposing the bank, but he needs Leadership not just backing him up, but leading.

Sincerely,

Chris Chocola                                      Mike Needham

Club for Growth                                  Heritage Action For America