Morning Action: Intense Debates Wage on in Washington

MARRIAGE.  We’ve argued that the left must resort to emotional rhetoric and feelings to make their point when reason, fact, history, and in the case of marriage, social science and biology are not on their side.  And last night on CNN, Piers Morgan and Suze Orman played right into our hands.  Heritage’s Ryan T. Anderson spoke eloquently in favor of traditional marriage, and he was met with a barrage of insults and personal attacks.  Heritage’s Rob Bluey described the scene:

After peppering Anderson with several hostile questions on marriage — all of which he answered with composure — Morgan turned to his guest Orman to deliver an emotionally charged tirade in which she called Anderson “uneducated.”

“What are you really feeling right now?” Morgan asked Orman. “Because this is the debate laid bare. This is a guy sitting a few feet away from you who says, ‘Nope, I don’t want people like you to have the same right to get married as people like him.’”

Bluey added:

Had he had the chance to respond, Anderson would have likely returned to a point he’s made throughout the marriage debate: “Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Marriage is based on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father.”

Read More

Yet Another Reason The Sequester’s Not So Horrific

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) explains that even after the onset of the sequester, discretionary spending levels are still higher than discretionary spending levels were in 2007, the last year before the recession.  In fact, while war-related funding has decreased by 46 percent since 2007, discretionary spending (excluding war funding and emergency hurricane relief) increased by 10.7 percent.

Discretionary budget 2007 and 2013

Read More

Morning Action: Obamacare’s 111 Million Hours of Paperwork

OBAMACARE.  Earlier in March we got the gist of just how oppressive Obamacare is when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stacked up the roughly 20,000 pages of Obamacare regulations and shared a picture with the world.  Another way to measure how burdensome this law is is by hours of paperwork:

In its first three years, President Obama’s healthcare law has imposed more than $30 billion in costs and 111 million hours of paperwork burdens, according to a new study from the American Action Forum.

Read More

Moring Action: Vote-a-Rama

VOTE-A-RAMA.   The Senate hasn’t produced a budget in four years, so vote-a-rama will be a first for many new Senators:

Senate Republicans will be on the floor offering an unlimited number of amendments to the Democratic budget resolution. No, lawmakers have not come down with a very unusual case of bipartisanship.

Instead, the Senate will be conducting a rare and chaotic “vote-a-rama,” in which senators of either party can offer an unlimited amount of amendments to the budget resolution. Such a freewheeling process is peculiar to the budget resolution, which the Senate hasn’t considered for four years since one was last introduced in 2009. A third of the senators haven’t even been in the chamber long enough to experience a vote-a-rama, so this will be their first time participating in one.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is responsible for shepherding much of the hectic voting process on the floor.

“I’ve been through this before,” Murray said. “There will be a number of amendments and we’re looking forward to having a strong budget at the end of the day.”

Read More

Spending Cuts, Political Kryptonite for Some Senators

White House press secretary Jay Carney does not suspect sequester cuts will be reversed any time soon.  He’s said that there is “not indication a change of heart is forthcoming” among Republicans.  He also hopes that Congress approves a long-term budget deal that would replace sequester cuts with a combination of other spending cuts and tax increases.

Frankly, the sequester cuts at 2.4 percent of the federal budget for FY 2013, though not made in the most ideal manner, are small relative to the entire budget (not to mention the size of the overall economy) and should be honored.  However lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have spent time and energy trying to reverse the sequester cuts with amendments to the Senate’s omnibus spending bill, which funds the federal government until October 1, 2013. 

Read More