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
GUNS. Today at 11 am, the gun legislation a handful of Senators have been working on will be revealed, but in Washington, getting things done does not equal making things better:
Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) hope to announce a deal Wednesday and are just working out legislative language, an aide close to the negotiations said Tuesday night. The two lawmakers scheduled a press conference for Wednesday morning, according to advisories issued by both offices.
The deal under discussion would expand background checks for people buying guns from unlicensed dealers in commercial sales online and at gun shows, according to the aide. Currently, only federally licensed dealers must conduct background checks and keep paper records of the sales. The lawmakers agreed to exempt sales to immediate family members and some hunters from the new requirements.
Mr. Schumer and Sen. Mark Kirk (R. , Ill.) also participated in the negotiations.
BALANCE. Heritage experts have proven that balancing the budget would be great for the economy and would provide a framework in which to reduce federal spending responsibly, but as it turns out, balancing the budget is supported by public opinion as well, according to the polls:
When Rep. Paul Ryan first introduced his new budget plan, Democrats dismissed it as draconian for balancing the budget in 10 years.
But the message of bringing the federal government’s books into balance — the central idea behind the Wisconsin lawmaker’s 2014 spending plan — was quietly tested in 18 competitive House races in a late February poll by the National Republican Congressional Committee. It was a winning argument across a broad swath of politically moderate — and nearly split — districts.
The poll showed that 45 percent of Democratic voters think “balancing … the federal budget would significantly increase economic growth and create millions of American jobs.” A sky-high 61 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans agree.