Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Senator Cornyn's Record on Obamacare


Save 10% off on orders $99 or more from JC Whitney using code "JCWID4." Offer expires July 7, 2013.




Senator John Cornyn News Release:

Senator Cornyn: Fighting To Put An End To Obamacare

Long before Obamacare was signed into law, Sen. Cornyn was hard at work criss-crossing the state to talk with Texans about the perils of the President’s plans for the biggest government takeover of health care in U.S. history. Sen. Cornyn has met with families, small business owners, employees, providers and senior citizens from across Texas to voice his opposition to Obamacare and outline his ideas for real health care reform that brings down costs and boosts access to health care for all Texans.

Sen. Cornyn hosted roundtable discussion with health care providers in Tyler, Texas.
In the Senate, Sen. Cornyn has been one of the leading voices of opposition to Obamacare and has rallied his colleagues at every turn to undo the President’s “signature” law.

Starting in 2009, Sen. Cornyn repeatedly tried to STOP Obamacare from becoming law:

  • Voted against S. 1796 the America’s Healthy Future Act (original version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) as a member of the Senate Finance Committee
  • Voted against Cloture on H.R. 3590 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
  • Voted against final passage of H.R. 3590 - PPACA
     

Since passage, Sen. Cornyn has voted repeatedly to REPEAL Obamacare:

  • Cosponsored and voted for S.AMDT.202 to the Budget Resolution (S.CON.RES.8)
    • To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide for the repeal of the PPACA  and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
  • Voted for Amendment 13 to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S.223)
    • To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

Since passage, Sen. Cornyn has voted repeatedly to DEFUND Obamacare:


Sen. Cornyn met with Whole Foods employees in Austin, Texas, to discuss innovative health care solutions as alternatives to Obamacare.
  • Cosponsored and voted for S.AMDT.30 to the Continuing Resolution (H.R.933)
    • To prohibit the use of funds to carry out the PPACA
  • Voted for H.CON.RES.35 that would bar use of funds to carry out provisions of PPACA
  • Voted for H.R.1, Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution that included language prohibiting use of funds for implementation of PPACA 

Sen. Cornyn has introduced or cosponsored 27 bills to REPEAL or DEFUND Obamacare:

  • Introduced S.351 Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2013
    • To repeal the provisions of the PPACA providing for the Independent Payment Advisory Board
  • Introduced S.983 Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013
    • To prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from enforcing the PPACA and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
  • Introduced S.668 Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act 
    • To amend the PPACA to eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board
  • Introduced S.AMDT.1762 (S.1243)
    • To prevent the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegates of the Secretary, from implementing or enforcing any provisions or amendments made by the PPACA or the HCERA of 2010
  • Introduced S.AMDT.3698 (H.R.4872)
    • To ensure that healthcare reform reduced health care costs for American families, small businesses, and taxpayers
  • Cosponsored S.177: Obamacare Repeal Act
  • Cosponsored S.1292: A bill to prohibit the funding of the PPACA
  • Cosponsored S.AMDT.30 (H.R.933) To prohibit the use of funds to carry out the PPACA
  • Cosponsored S.AMDT.202 (S.CON.RES.8)
    • To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide for the repeal of the PPACA and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and to encourage patient-centered reforms to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, promoting economic growth
  • Cosponsored S.192: Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act
  • Cosponsored S.3152: A bill to repeal the PPACA  
  • Cosponsored S.232 Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act
    • To amend the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers
  • Cosponsored S.720 Repeal the CLASS Entitlement Act
    • To repeal provisions under the PPACA which establish a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and supports
  • Cosponsored S.868 State Flexibility Act
    • To amend the PPACA and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to repeal certain state Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program maintenance of effort requirements under titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act
  • Cosponsored S.877 Protect Life Act
    • To amend the PPACA to prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services
  • Cosponsored S.1395 WAIVE Act
    • To allow an individual to apply for a waiver from one or more of the requirements of the PPACA by submitting an application to the Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Cosponsored S.1467 Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011
    • To amend the PPACA to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary (in the case of individual coverage) without penalty
  • Cosponsored S.AMDT.423 (S.782)
    • To delay the implementation of the health reform law in the United States until there is final resolution in pending lawsuits
  • Cosponsored S.AMDT.1520 (S.1813)
    • To amend the PPACA to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services
  • Cosponsored S.3673 Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act
    • To repeal provisions of the PPACA and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 that: (1) restrict payments from health savings accounts, medical savings accounts, and health flexible spending arrangements for medications to prescription drugs and insulin only; and (2) impose a $2,500 limitation on salary reduction contributions to a health flexible spending arrangement under a cafeteria plan
  • Cosponsored S.3723 Excluding Abortion Coverage from Health Care Reform Act
  • Cosponsored S.3829 Long- Term Care Bailout Prevention Act
    • To repeal provisions under the PPACA which establish a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and supports

Sen. Cornyn has introduced legislation to REPEAL Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board in every Congress:

  • 113th Congress: S.668 Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act  (3/29/2013)
  • 112th Congress: S.2118 Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act  (2/16/2012)
  • 111th Congress: S.3653 Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act  (7/27/2010)
  • S.351 Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2013 (2/14/2013)

Rubio: If ObamaCare Isn’t Important Enough To Solve, What Is? - U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio

Rubio: If ObamaCare Isn’t Important Enough To Solve, What Is? - U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio

Portman, Bennet Secure Job Training Provision in Workforce Investment Act


Golfsmith.com




Senator Rob Portman Press Release:

July 31, 2013

Portman, Bennet Secure Job Training Provision in Workforce Investment Act

Provision Stems from Bipartisan CAREER Act, Pushes Pay-for-Performance Measures for Federal Job Training Programs

Washington, D.C. – The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) with a provision written by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) to make federal job training programs more responsive to the needs of the 21st-century job market.
The measure stems from the Careers Through Responsive, Efficient and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act that the senators introduced in April and would encourage the use of workforce development funds from WIA to implement pay-for-performance job-training programs. The HELP Committee, of which Bennet is a member, included the provision as an activity that may be funded through the bill’s Workforce Innovation Fund that provide grants to states, local areas and entities to support 21st century programs that help people find jobs and build skills for long-term careers.
“I’ve visited hundreds of businesses throughout Ohio over the past few years, and I have come away impressed with the quality of the research and products I see. But one thing I often hear from companies is that there is a skills gap; companies often can’t find the skilled employees they need,” said Portman. “The federal government has made significant investments in programs that are designed to train the unemployed and underemployed to fill open jobs, but unfortunately these workforce development programs are failing to equip participants with the skills they need to acquire jobs. By building off of the pay-for-performance principles that Sen. Bennet and I established in our CAREER Act, this bill brings us one step closer to ensuring that job training providers will only be rewarded if they produce results. This roots the federal government’s training programs in a basic economic principle that will bring strong accountability to the federal job training programs and a renewed urgency to deliver results.”
“Colorado has earned the reputation as a place where businesses want to locate, and many of them need a skilled workforce to grow and thrive in our recovering economy,” Bennet said. “If we are going to remain competitive in the 21st century, our workers need to be prepared with the skills that employers need. Colorado has been on the cutting edge of using innovative, new approaches like virtual online job-fairs and rapid response programs for employees facing imminent layoffs to maximize WIA resources and help people get back to work. The pay-for-performance model we included in the CAREER Act will build upon this by encouraging states to direct resources towards job-training programs that are delivering results and getting people back to work.”
Portman and Bennet introduced the CAREER Act earlier this year, renewing a push to enhance accountability, improve data on WIA programs, and ensure that workers are being trained to fill jobs in industries with needs and jobs that have openings.
Federal job training programs can be a valuable tool to help job seekers acquire skills to re-enter the job market. By working in coordination with local workforce boards and workforce development councils that administer these services, the CAREER Act will help these programs better serve employers and workers alike. It will make federal job training more responsive to the needs of employers, more efficient with taxpayer dollars, and more effective in connecting the unemployed with good-paying jobs.
The CAREER Act has the support of the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Skills Coalition, the HR Policy Association, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, and the Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education, the Colorado Workforce Development Council, and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, among others.
WIA was first passed by Congress in 1998 and has been overdue for reauthorizations since 2003. It is designed to provide assistance for finding employment, career development, and job training. This reauthorization bill presents an opportunity for Congress to modernize the original WIA legislation to better reflect the real-time needs of businesses, workers, and educators in an ever-changing economy.

Portman, Johnson Push GSA to Speed Up Sale of Excess Federal Property in Washington Co.


Best Deals 24x7 @ Geeks.com!




Senator Rob Portman Press Release:

July 31, 2013

Portman, Johnson Push GSA to Speed Up Sale of Excess Federal Property in Washington Co.

Move Would Allow Community To Use Property To Create Needed Jobs In Region

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Representative Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) have co-authored a letter to the General Services Administration (GSA) in an effort to speed up the sale of an abandoned federal property to the Southeast Ohio Port Authority (SEOPA). The move will allow the Port Authority to sell the property to private investors, which would convert the unused property into a veterans memorial and business park, which would provide a community benefit and create much-needed jobs.
“As families across Southeast Ohio continue to struggle amid a weak economy, speeding up the sale of the Washington County Memorial U.S. Army Forces Reserve Center, an excess federal property in Reno, to help rejuvenate the economy and create jobs should be a bipartisan no-brainer,” said Portman.  “Earlier this week, I cosponsored the Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation to rein in government spending by reforming the federal government’s bureaucratic real property procedures.  The government spends billions of dollars to maintain tens of thousands of excess or underutilized properties across the country.  This is an unnecessary drain on the public purse, and we can realize major savings simply by subjecting costly government leases to greater scrutiny and by accelerating the sale of surplus and excess property in Reno and across the state of Ohio. I appreciate Congressman Johnson’s leadership on this issue and look forward to working together to ensure that this important project come to fruition.”
“The transition of the former Washington County Memorial U.S. Army Forces Reserve Center in Reno to a job-creating facility will create sorely needed jobs in Southeastern Ohio,” said Johnson.  “Working with the SEOPA and the Washington County Commissioners over the last couple years, we have gathered an overwhelming amount of community support to proceed with this sale, which will have a constructive, lasting impact on our community. It is also very appropriate that a memorial to America’s true heroes – our veterans – would be located at the former Army Reserve Center.”
Johnson added, “I thank Senator Portman for joining me in the effort to cut through bureaucratic red tape in order to see this project to completion. His actions illustrate that he understands the vast benefits this project represents.”
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has declared the Washington County Memorial U.S. Army Forces Reserve Center in Reno as excess property, and therefore no longer mission-critical to federal agencies. The disposal of this underused federal property is currently underway with the GSA. The SEOPA has voted to enter into a public-private partnership to broker the sale.
In May of 2012, Portman and Johnson worked closely together to successfully push the GSA to speed up a similar sale of excess federal property in Belmont County, which resulted in the creation of jobs along the Ohio River.
The federal government owns over one million properties across the county, making it the largest property owner in the United States. In fact, every year since January 2003, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has placed real property management on its list of "high risk" government activities, citing long-standing problems with: excess and underutilized property; deteriorating and aging facilities; unreliable property data; and, a heavy reliance on costly leasing instead of ownership to meet new needs. In fiscal year 2009, 24 federal agencies reported that they possessed more than 14,000 excess and 45,000 underutilized buildings that cost more than $1.7 billion annually to operate.

McConnell Argues Against Senate Dems’ Effort to Bust Bipartisan Spending Caps


Save now - 25% off 2-year license of ESET NOD32 Antivirus 6



Senator Mitch McConnell Press Release:

Press Releases


Jul 31 2013

McConnell Argues Against Senate Dems’ Effort to Bust Bipartisan Spending Caps

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Senate Democrats’ willingness to vote for an over-budget THUD appropriations bill that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties and moves the nation in the exact wrong direction:
“You know, there’s not much to say about the President’s speech yesterday, other than that he actually retreated from previous commitments to a more bipartisan, revenue-neutral corporate tax reform, and then tried to sell that rejection of bipartisanship as some quote-unquote ‘grand bargain.’
“I mean, only in Washington. But let me say this: it really would be nice to see the President work with Congress for a change to get some important things done for the American people. Republicans have been eager to do this all along. But it’s almost like he’s got a ‘Gone Campaignin’ sign hanging outside the Oval Office. And, on the rarest of occasions when he does come to the Hill – as he will today – you find out it’s basically just for another internal campaign rally with Democrats.
“So I hope he’ll finally get serious, and make one of his famous ‘pivots’ in a new direction – toward effective policy and away from the never-ending political sideshow. But it’s hard to see, especially when you consider that the President’s party is now attempting to blow up one of the most genuinely bipartisan accomplishments of the Obama era.
“The Budget Control Act that was agreed upon two summers ago represents a commitment from Washington to America – a bipartisan promise to enact $2.1 trillion in spending control.
“Last year, the slightest hint of fiddling with spending caps led to a furious response from senior Washington Democrats. It even led to a veto threat from the White House. But now, Washington Democrats are tired of bipartisanship. The commitments they made have become an inconvenience to their special-interest agenda. So now, they’re threatening to shut down the government if they’re not allowed to break their word.
“That’s what this appropriations debate we’re having is all about. It’s about an attempt to blow up an important bipartisan achievement by busting the spending caps both parties already agreed to. Well, Republicans don’t believe we should be breaking our commitments to the American people. And breaking commitments in order to overspend, as Democrats propose, seems like an even worse reason for them to shut down the government.
“So I hope they won’t. I hope they think about the ‘third way’ offer we’ve made to them too – that we’d happily discuss exchanging some of the particular cuts they don’t like for government reforms. The kind of innovative ideas that can get our economy on track and our government back in the black – not just in the immediate term, but over the long haul.
“This policy discussion has never been more relevant. Especially when we look at what’s happening in Detroit. What’s happening in Europe. When we realize that the real-world consequences of putting off reform are no longer just abstract or hypothetical. They’re here. They’re real. They’re now.
“The experts tell us that the United States is already on a completely unsustainable fiscal trajectory, and that we need to make some big changes today if we want to avoid a similar fate. They also tell us that, unlike Detroit or Greece, America still has some time to chart her own future – but not long.
“That’s why the choices we make today are so important. We can follow the Democrat path to austerity. The path of breaking spending caps wide open and borrowing more money we don’t have, of callously rejecting reform and blissfully denying the future. The path that inevitably leads to European-style austerity. To the decimation of the middle class. To desperation for the least among us.
“Or we can follow the Republican path to reform and growth. A path of smart choices, innovative reforms, and orienting our economy toward the future. A path that not only prevents austerity tomorrow, but leads to more jobs and a better economy today.
“A Democrat path to austerity, or a Republican path to reform and growth. These are the choices.
“Voting for appropriations legislation that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties moves our country in the exact wrong direction. It puts us on the Democrat path to austerity. That’s one of the many reasons I’ll be voting against this spending bill, and that I urge my colleagues to do the same. Because it’s time to get serious about the challenges we face. It’s time to work together to reposition America for growth, and prosperity, and sustainability in the 21st Century.
“And if the President is willing to get off the campaign trail and show some leadership with his party – to convince them of the need for positive reforms, and of the need to actually stick to them – I’m confident we can create a better economy today and leave a better future to our children tomorrow. But it’s up to him. And his visit today offers a great chance to convey this message to his fellow Democrats.”

Paul Ryan: Obama’s 'grand bargain' for Big Business | U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan: Obama’s 'grand bargain' for Big Business | U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan

Cornyn Praises Defense Budget Cutting Funds for Russian Arms Firm Supplying Assad


ESET - Download NOD32 Here!



Senator John Cornyn Press Release:


‘American taxpayers should not be indirectly subsidizing the murder of Syrian civilians’

Jul 30 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) issued the following statement after the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee released its draft FY2014 defense budget that eliminates 2014 funds for the purchase of additional Mi-17 helicopters from Rosoboronexport, the Russian state-controlled arms export firm that has been arming the Assad regime: 
“The Obama Administration’s arrogant circumvention of Congress’ efforts to put an end to our role in subsidizing Assad’s murderous campaign against his own people is mystifying and disturbing, particularly when there are other ways to provide helicopters for the Afghans.
“American taxpayers should not be indirectly subsidizing the murder of Syrian civilians, and I’m pleased committee leaders have joined this effort to end our relationship with Assad’s arms supplier.”
The FY2013 defense budget included an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Cornyn and unanimously passed by both houses of Congress, that prohibited funding from being used by the Department of Defense to enter into new contracts or other business arrangements with Rosoboronexport. Despite this, the Pentagon recently signed a new $572 million contract with the firm. 

PHOTO RELEASE: Rubio Stresses Importance Of U.S.-Colombia Relationship With Colombian Ambassador - U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio

PHOTO RELEASE: Rubio Stresses Importance Of U.S.-Colombia Relationship With Colombian Ambassador - U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio

Rubio: This Is Our Last Best Chance To Stop ObamaCare







Press Releases


Rubio: “[I]f we pass a budget in September that funds ObamaCare, you did not do everything you could. You paid for this. You doubled down on it in ways that will have irreparable harm to our economy and to our country. This is our last best chance.”
Excerpt from U.S. Senate floor speech
Senator Marco Rubio
July 30, 2013
http://youtu.be/ZKG699i3nRw?t=6m25s
“We’ve got to stop this from moving forward. The implications of this law are already being felt. The regulations around this law, the mandates in this law, the fees and the costs and the new rate increases in this law, those are things you’re only going to start to feel that right now. In the next few months, you're going to really start to feel what this law means to your life, to your business, to the place where you work. Now is the time to act.  People ask me, ‘What can we do about it?’
“Let me tell you what is probably not going to work in the short term. You’re probably not going to get President Obama to sign a bill at that repeals ObamaCare. You’re not going to get the votes in the Senate to do that. So, these repeal votes – I’ll vote for every single one of them – but the problem is, our chances of getting that accomplished are probably minimal so long as President Obama is the President of the United States. So truly our last option is to stop paying for this thing.
“Why would we continue to pour billions and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into a disaster? Why would we double down with your hard-earned money on a program that’s going to hurt you? And we have a chance to do that in September, because in September, in order for the government to continue to function, we have to pass something called a short-term budget. I wish it was a permanent budget, but it is supposed to be a short-term budget. And all we’re saying is, in that short-term budget, fund the government. Keep the lights on. Pay the military. Make sure Social Security checks go out. The only thing you shouldn’t do is you should not fund and pay for ObamaCare.
“The pushback we get from that from some people is, ‘Well, that’s crazy, because that means you’re willing to shut down the government over ObamaCare.’ That’s not the way I see it. The way I see it is, if we pass a budget that pays for everything except for ObamaCare, and the President says he’ll veto that, it is he who wants to shut down the government. It is he who is basically saying, ‘I will shut down the government unless it pays for ObamaCare.’ And that is an unreasonable position. It is unreasonable because the law is so bad. His own allies are coming to him and saying, ‘Please stop this from moving forward.’ We’re going to give you a chance, Mr. President. By refusing to fund it.
“And here’s my last point to my colleagues in the Republican Party, who I know every single one of the Senate members here in the Republican Party are against ObamaCare, this is our last chance and our last best chance to do something about this. When this thing starts to kick in and starts to take root, it is going to be very difficult to undo major portions of this, despite the damage that it is going to create.
“Now, I only speak for myself, although I think I can speak for the other two senators that have joined me here today in this effort. I want to be able to go back to Florida, no matter how this thing turns out, and say to the men and women who sent me here in 2010 that I did everything that I could to keep from this happening to you. When someone comes to me and says, ‘I just got moved to part-time because of ObamaCare.’ I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘I did everything I could.’ When someone says, ‘I just lost the insurance I was happy with. I now have this new insurance plan which I’m not that familiar with and my doctor, who I’ve had for 30 years, isn’t on that plan.’ I want to be able to say to them, ‘I did everything I could.’ When someone comes to me and says, ‘I have a pretty successful business. I set some money aside. I was going to open a new business or grow this one, but I’m not because of ObamaCare.’ I want to be able to say, ‘I did everything I could.’
“And if we pass a budget in September that funds ObamaCare, you did not do everything you could. You paid for this. You doubled down on it in ways that will have irreparable harm to our economy and to our country. This is our last best chance, and to those who say they’re against ObamaCare, and I believe you. But let me tell you something, if we are not willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue, then what issue are we willing to draw a line in the sand on? If we’re not going to go to the limit on this issue, then what issue is there? Is there is an issue that we are prepared to say that we will not move forward because of this? Is there an issue that we are willing to do everything we can and lay it all on the line? Is there such an issue? If it is not this one, which one is it? That’s the choice before us.
“I truly believe you cannot go back home and say you did everything could you to stop ObamaCare, if you vote for a budget that funds it.”

Rubio To Examine Dire Effects Of Water Shortage In Apalachicola Bay On Local Industry


DiscountMags.com - Redirect Link




Press Releases


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, today announced the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a field hearing in Apalachicola, Florida to examine the impacts of decreased water flows on the Apalachicola Bay and surrounding industries. The hearing, titled, “Effects of Water Flows on Apalachicola Bay: Short and Long Term Perspectives”, is scheduled to take place on August 13, 2013.
Earlier this year, Rubio sent a letter to Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) requesting the field hearing due to the worsened conditions the drought and low water flows have caused for the bay and its dependent industries, especially the oyster industry. The Apalachicola Bay produces 90 percent of Florida’s oysters and 10 percent of the nation’s supply.
Following the announcement, Rubio issued the following statement:
“I want to thank Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Thune for supporting this important field hearing next month in Apalachicola. It is extremely important to the people of Florida that my colleagues are able to see firsthand the dire impacts the decreased water flows have had on what was once a vibrant, healthy bay, which is home to a booming oyster industry. Understanding the effects of this disaster on the local community, supporting industries and regional economy are key to appreciating the significance of the Apalachicola Bay and its situation. I look forward to examining the situation further in August so that we might determine an appropriate and effective solution.”
To read the original letter from Rubio requesting a field hearing, click here.

Rubio: We Cannot Double Down On Bad Ideas Like ObamaCare


Find the Kaspersky Lab product to suit your personal and family security needs




Press Releases


Rubio: “What does work is a government that’s focused on making America the best place in the world to start a business or grow an existing one because that’s what creates jobs and middle class prosperity. And ObamaCare goes to the heart of that. It undermines that. It makes it harder and more expensive to hire more people, to start businesses, to grow existing ones.”
Excerpts of Interview on “The Mike Gallagher Show”
Senator Marco Rubio
July 30, 2013
Full Interview: http://youtu.be/K4vctGBhH2w?t=1m2s
Senator Marco Rubio: “As this thing gets closer and closer to being implemented, we are starting to see the dramatic impact that it’s going to have on our economy and, in particular, on small businesses and on the middle class. People that work full time are now going to get pushed to part time. Just today a report from the insurance commissioner in my home state of Florida said that in the individual market, where a lot of small business owners are, their rates are going to go down thirty to forty percent. How can we not look at those things and say, ‘You know, we really shouldn’t be doubling down on this idea?’ That’s why I wrote a piece yesterday that said only in Washington do we double down on bad ideas. When Coke came out with New Coke and it was a disaster, they knew when it was time to pull the plug and go back to their original formula, and start from there. But not in Washington. When something is going wrong, they just do more of it.”
Rubio: “This is not a partisan issue. This is not even an ideological issue right now. I think both Republicans and Democrats, and liberals and conservatives are going to be hurt badly. This is going to hurt every American in some way, shape or form. We should not be continuing to pour taxpayer money into a program that’s destined to collapse but more importantly is destined to really hurt our ability to grow jobs and our economy.”
Mike Gallagher: “What I really do appreciate, Senator, is your continued reference to the proper role of government and perhaps that is a real ideological rift, isn’t it? That’s a split. That’s a division.”
Rubio: “If people point to Washington they say, ‘It’s broken, they can’t come to a consensus on anything.’ I think the underlying reason why is because for the first time in a long time we have a deep fundamental disagreement on what the proper role of government is. I mean, usually despite differences in approach you had some level of consensus on the fact that the government should not be involved in every aspect of our economy and certainly not involved in trying to manage it. You don’t have that anymore. You have people here who truly believe, including the President, who truly believe that the way you grow the economy is you get the government more involved in the economy. And that the way you create prosperity is that you get the government involved in redistributing wealth. But we know from American history that that doesn’t work. What does work is a government that’s focused on making America the best place in the world to start a business or grow an existing one because that’s what creates jobs and middle class prosperity. And ObamaCare goes to the heart of that. It undermines that. It makes it harder and more expensive to hire more people, to start businesses, to grow existing ones.”

Vitter to Push for Tough FHA Reforms to Avoid Future Bailouts






Senator David Vitter Press Release:

Vitter to Push for Tough FHA Reforms to Avoid Future Bailouts

Will introduce amendments to FHA Solvency markup in Senate Banking Committee tomorrow


(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) today announced that he will introduce amendments to reform the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) during the Senate Banking Committee markup of S. 1376, The FHA Solvency Act of 2013 tomorrow.
“It’s clear the FHA has been going down an irresponsible path for years, from their drastic deficits to secret stress tests,” Vitter said. “Instead of managing their funds responsibly, FHA prefers to lean on taxpayers to bail them out. Serious reforms are needed to make sure we protect against any taxpayer funded bailouts in the future.”
Vitter has warned of a potential FHA bailout since 2009, and he has previously introduced legislation to prevent one. Last Congress, Vitter introduced legislation to reform the FHA and ensure it can remain solvent without a federal bailout.
Vitter’s amendments will include requirements for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Treasury to notify Congress and the public if Treasury makes a transfer to HUD for FHA, and for HUD to repay Treasury for any bailout transfer.
Vitter would also like to include: an early term delinquency review, a lifetime ban on additional FHA-backed loans for borrowers with two foreclosures, and a capital reserve requirement for the new multi-family program.
Vitter also wants to establish an annual “Fed stress test” of the FHA. Last week, FHA Commissioner Carol Galante committed to submitting all material the FHA has in regard to a secret stress test that projected massive losses for FHA.

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Legislation to Better Manage Federal Property


Visit DaySpring Home Page




Senator Rob Portman Press Release:

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Committee Members Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) introduced important legislation that would assist federal agencies in improving the disposal and management of federal buildings and facilities. The Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013 would help facilitate the disposal of unneeded federal property and establish a framework for federal agencies to better manage existing space in a more cost-effective manner.
“Against a background of record deficits and debt, reforming the federal government’s bureaucratic real property procedures is a bipartisan no-brainer,” said Portman.  “The government spends billions of dollars to maintain tens of thousands of excess or underutilized properties across the country.  This is an unnecessary drain on the public purse and we can realize major savings simply by speeding up the sale of surplus and excess property and subjecting costly government leases to greater scrutiny.”
“It’s been clear to me and to others for a long time now that we can get better results and save taxpayer money by improving the way we manage federal property," said Chairman Carper. "Excess and underutilized federal properties cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year in maintenance, security, and others costs. The good news is that we can solve this problem by taking some common sense steps to improve federal property management. The Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013 will help to reduce waste and inefficiency by requiring all federal agencies to not only maintain a comprehensive inventory of their properties, but to also take a hard look at which assets they actually need and which could be sold or put to better use. The unnecessary expenses associated with maintaining unneeded properties are the type of low hanging fruit that we need to go after in order to help reduce our federal deficit and ensure that our government is financially responsible. Fortunately, both Congress and the Obama Administration are united in their commitment to address this issue and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this important bill forward.”
“Abandoned and underutilized federal properties serve little to no purpose for the government and taxpayers alike,” said Dr. Coburn.  “This bill provides the provisions necessary for agencies to liquidate such properties effectively.”
The federal government currently owns over one million properties across the county, making it the largest property owner in the United States. In fact, every year since January 2003, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has placed real property management on its list of "high risk" government activities, citing long-standing problems with excess and underutilized property; deteriorating and aging facilities; unreliable property data; and a heavy reliance on costly leasing instead of ownership to meet new needs.
The Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013 would address vulnerabilities in current law by requiring agencies to continually evaluate their property needs and how they manage their current property inventory. Additionally, the bill establishes a pilot project to streamline the current federal real property disposal rules in order to achieve greater efficiencies within the existing disposal process.
The legislation comes on the heels of a 2013 Obama Administration policy directive that instructs federal agencies to develop plans to restrict the growth in office and warehouse inventories and encourages increased coordination between top managers charged with managing federal property. The Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013 would take the directive further and provide the direction agencies need to comprehensively review existing property and determine where the government can achieve cost savings.
Specifically, the Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013 would:
• Require that each agency conduct an inventory of real property under its control, continuously survey its real property to identify excess and underutilized property, report any excess or underutilized property to the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Federal Real Property Council, and establish goals that will lead to a reduction of the agency’s excess and underutilized real property.
• Establish the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC) and charge the Council with creating an annual asset management plan and establishing performance measures that will enable Congress to track progress in achieving real property goals government-wide. The membership of the FRPC will be comprised of senior real property officers from each executive agency, the Controller at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the GSA Administrator. The council will be chaired by the OMB Deputy Director for Management.
• Require the GSA Administrator to establish and maintain a single database of all real property owned by federal agencies. The Administrator is required to make the database accessible to the public at no cost within three years after the date of enactment of this bill.
• Require agencies with independent leasing authority to submit a detailed annual report describing its leases. Although GSA is responsible for leasing property on behalf of most federal agencies, some agencies have the power to enter into leases on their own.
• Establish a pilot program to expedite the disposal of surplus properties. This will provide the Director of OMB the authorization to dispose of up to 200 properties each year with priority going to those properties that have the highest fair market value. Under the pilot program, GSA is reimbursed for the costs of identifying and preparing a property for disposal. Eighty percent of the proceeds of any sale of property will be returned to the Treasury for debt reduction while 18 percent or the share of proceeds otherwise authorized to be retained under law will be retained by the agency that owned the property, and the remaining 2 percent will be used to fund homeless assistance grants.

Dayton Daily News Highlights Bipartisan Effort to Protect Ohio Workers from Illegal Imports - Articles - Newsroom - Rob Portman

Dayton Daily News Highlights Bipartisan Effort to Protect Ohio Workers from Illegal Imports - Articles - Newsroom - Rob Portman

TOMORROW: Senate to Vote on Paul Egypt Aid Amendment

Senator Rand Paul Press Release:

TOMORROW: Senate to Vote on Paul Egypt Aid Amendment

Jul 30, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 31, the U.S. Senate will proceed to a vote on Amendment No. 1739, which was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul. The vote will occur mid-morning, though an exact time is yet to be determined.
 The amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill eliminates military foreign assistance to Egypt based upon current law, which prohibits the United States from providing foreign assistance to nations that experience a military coups d'├ętat. That money would be redirected to the "Bridges in Critical Corridors" fund in S.1243.
 "We tell other countries to follow the rule of law, yet our own Administration fails to do so. Sending money to Egypt under their current military coups is illegal," Sen. Paul said. "Instead of illegally sending that money overseas, we are better off spending that money at home."

###

Portman, McCaskill Introduce Federal Permitting Improvement Act


Kaspersky Lab United States | Visit the website.



Senator Rob Portman Press Release:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) today introduced the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation designed to streamline and improve the federal permitting process, which is currently laden with uncertainty and unpredictability that hinders investment, economic growth, and job creation.  The Federal Permitting Improvement Act is modeled on the commonsense, bipartisan permit-streamlining reforms of the 2006 and 2012 transportation bills and recommendations from the President’s Jobs Council, as well as other studies.  Portman and McCaskill are joined by original cosponsors Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Mike Enzi (R-WY).
“In order to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America and encourage job creation here at home, we must reduce regulatory barriers that are preventing businesses from expanding and innovating and reducing our global competitiveness,” said Portman.  “Under the current U.S. system, many major capital projects get bogged down in a lengthy approval process and never see the light of day.  By streamlining the federal permitting process, our bill will speed up regulatory review for these economy-boosting projects and investments.”
“We need to continue getting folks back to work, and that’s exactly what this bill aims to do,” said McCaskill.  “American employers can’t afford unnecessary and duplicative delays while multiple federal agencies check boxes—we need a streamlined and navigable process that allows businesses and communities aiming to construct large projects the freedom to get them off the ground.”
“My number one priority is to help create jobs, and I think one of the best ways to create jobs is to establish the right conditions for the private sector to invest in our country’s infrastructure,” said Donnelly.  “This bipartisan legislation would encourage investment by requiring government agencies to work together to cut red tape, set deadlines, and increase transparency.  We should be building things in this country, and that means expediting the transportation, energy, and other infrastructure projects that strengthen our economy.”
“Across America, job creators who want to start new projects are being held back by excessive red tape and a slow federal permitting process,” said Barrasso.  “In order for our economy to grow, we've got to improve this outdated and bureaucratic permitting system.  Our bill will help give employers the certainty they need to move forward with innovative projects, hire new workers and keep our country competitive."
“Federal red tape and lawsuits are two of the biggest job killers our businesses face today.  This bill seeks to add a little more common sense to the process,” said Enzi.  “It adds transparency and would put in place some sensible legal reforms.  I hope that with the backing of this bipartisan team we can make good progress to get this passed.”
“This commonsense bipartisan legislation will provide greater certainty and streamline the process that businesses must engage in when seeking approval for major capital infrastructure projects,” said Sean McGarvey, President of North America’s Building Trade Unions, AFL-CIO.  “Given the continued unacceptably high levels of unemployment in the construction industry, nearly double the national rate, the enactment of sensible reforms like those contained in this critical legislation will keep our members at work and ensure expansion of employment opportunities.”
“Business Roundtable, which represents major U.S. companies from every sector of the economy, supports this bill because it would implement most of the major permitting reforms the Roundtable proposed in an April 2012 report. We appreciate the leadership of the senators on this issue and urge the Senate to pass the legislation without delay,” said Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company and Chair of BRT’s Select Committee on Smart Regulation.
“The Federal Permitting Improvement Act of 2013 would provide a streamlined process for developers to obtain environmental permits and approvals for their projects in a timely and efficient manner,” said the U.S. Chamber’s Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten.  “This legislation would address the problem that far too many shovel-ready projects face today: lengthy project delays from endless environmental reviews and challenges result in lost opportunities to create jobs and grow the economy.  The Chamber strongly supports this bill to improve the environmental review and permitting process and get more projects moving.”
The United States ranks 17th in the world for the time it takes to get a government green-light to actually build something — one of the ten International Monetary Fund (IMF) metrics for the “ease of doing business.”  Businesses seeking to undertake major capital projects often must run the gauntlet of a dozen separate agency approvals and reviews.  That process is plagued by a lack of coordination, few deadlines, insufficient transparency, and litigation exposure as long as 6 years after securing all required approvals.  State and local government authorities face the same obstacles when they seek federal permits for infrastructure projects. The resulting uncertainty surrounding major capital projects makes new construction and investments less attractive and hinders job creation. Several recent reports have highlighted the need for modernization of the permitting process, including the 2011 Year-End Report of the President’s Jobs Council, the Business Roundtable’s Permitting Jobs and Business Investment, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Project/No Project report.
The Federal Permitting Improvement Act would improve the permitting process for major capital projects in three ways: better coordination and deadline-setting for permitting decisions; enhanced transparency; and reduced litigation delays. The bill is limited to economically significant capital projects, defined based on the size of the initial investment (more than $25 million).  The bill covers major capital projects across all sectors, including renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource projects, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing.
This bill also builds on and makes permanent the new permit streamlining project launched by the Obama Administration last year under Executive Order 13,604, and available at permits.performance.gov.  It would not alter substantive standards or safeguards, but rather seeks to create a smarter, more transparent, better-managed process for government review and approval of major capital projects.
Key Reforms:
1. Better Coordination and Deadline-Setting
• Creates an interagency council, led by OMB, to identify best practices and deadlines for required reviews and approvals of various types of infrastructure projects.
• Establishes a formal role for a single “lead agency” to set a permitting timetable for each major capital project, in consultation with participating agencies and based on OMB guidance.
• Encourages greater cooperation with state and local permitting authorities.
• Encourages agencies to conduct environmental reviews by the most efficient process available.
2. Greater Transparency and Early Public Participation
• Creates a public, on-line “dashboard” to track agency progress on required approvals and reviews of major capital projects and to provide access to relevant documents.
• Requires agencies to reach out to accept comments from stakeholders early in the approval and review process, with the aim of identifying and addressing important public concerns early.
                
3. Litigation Reforms
• Reduces the current (default) statute of limitations on NEPA suits from 6 years to 150 days — as in the bipartisan 2012 transportation bill, MAP-21.
• Permits courts to consider potential job loss in weighing equitable considerations for injunctive relief.