Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’

Several newsletters included here from over the last month.

This Week in Washington- Thursday, February 4, 2010

The President unveiled his $3.8 trillion budget earlier this week. It runs a deficit of over $1.6 trillion. Last year’s budget deficit was $1.4 trillion. Despite the recent talk about fiscal discipline, the numbers do not lie. We will now have the two largest budget deficits in American history, back to back. We cannot sustain this uncontrolled Washington spending.

Legislation:

Debt Limit/PAYGO: The House passed H.J.Res 45 by a vote of 233-187. The bill increases the statutory debt limit by $1.9 trillion, from $12.394 trillion to $14,294,000,000,000. The 15.3 percent increase is the third increase since February 2009, and the largest one-time debt limit increase in history. The national debt subject to the statutory limit is currently at $12.36 trillion or 85 percent of Gross Domestic Product. The current share of the debt is $40,053 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. I voted against allowing Washington to continue the cycle of borrow and spend.

In addition, the legislation included a Senate amendment that would institute new, permanent statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting requirements for both the House and Senate, with a number of exceptions. In general, the PAYGO rule would require that bills providing tax relief or new direct spending must be offset by tax increases or mandatory spending reductions.

The legislation exempted certain direct spending increases and tax relief from PAYGO rules, including the “doc fix,” the AMT patch, extensions of 2001 and 2003 tax relief for individuals making less than $200,000 or $250,000 for joint filers, and an extension of the death tax at 2009 levels. The bill exempted discretionary spending and any spending designated as “emergency.” These exemptions undermine the whole point of having PAYGO legislation.

Small Business Expo: I held a Small Business Expo in Kansas City on Monday. Thank you to the over 150 small business owners, presenters and exhibiters who made this a wonderful event.

Next year, I want to invite all of the other 434 members of Congress so that they can hear from real small businesses about how Washington continues to stifle job creation with over-taxation, regulation and litigation.

The House will be is session again next week. Have a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Sam Graves

This Week in Washington- Friday, February 26, 2010

Washington was consumed by the healthcare summit this week. The President, along with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders sat down at the Blair House to talk healthcare.

There was not much agreement or a new breakthrough. What was on display though was a fundamental difference on the role of government. The President and Nancy Pelosi believe that creating more government programs, boards and commissions and spending hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars is the answer. My colleagues including Representative Paul Ryan from Wisconsin and Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma made a very good argument that there are better solutions.

It is very likely that the Senate will now try to use a parliamentary trick called reconciliation to move this healthcare bill. It changes the rules required to pass legislation in the Senate. However, exactly what that bill will look like or when it will happen, we still do not know.

Legislation:

Health Anti-Trust Bill, H.R. 4626: The House passed legislation to remove the health insurance industry’s current federal anti-trust exemption by a vote of 406 – 19. Health insurers that were previously exempt from anti-trust laws will now bear legal responsibility for price fixing, dividing up territories among themselves and sabotaging their competitors in order to gain a monopoly in the marketplace. Such practices have been outlawed in other industries for decades. I voted for the bill.

PATRIOT Act Reauthorization: After running out of time on a long-term reauthorization bill, the House and Senate passed a one-year reauthorization of several expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act. I voted for it, because I believe it is important to give our law enforcement officials all the tools in the toolbox to protect us. It is clear that everyday, there are people out there planning to do harm to this country.

Intelligence Authorization, H.R. 2701: The House passed the Intelligence Authorization bill by a vote of 235 – 168. The bill authorizes the intelligence activities of the United States government. There was no outright prohibition on using intelligence funds to bring Guantanamo detainees into the U.S. and so I voted against the bill.

Native Hawaiian Bill, H.R. 2314: The House passed a bill to recognize and authorize the creation of a sovereign Native Hawaiian governing entity. The bill would establish a process for organizing the Native Hawaiian people into an entity that possesses authority over its members and adopts governing documents. The bill would immediately grant the native governing entity “inherent powers” preempting State regulation, taxation, and civil and possibly criminal jurisdiction for undefined “government activities” conducted by the entity.

If each Native Hawaiian eligible under this legislation were to apply to become a member of the new governing entity, it would be one of the nation’s largest Indian tribes. This bill would confer upon them exclusive benefits, discriminating against Hawaiian residents of other races. The bill passed 245-164 and I voted no.

Extensions, H.R. 4691: The House passed H.R. 4691, the Temporary Extension Act of 2010, by a voice vote. The bill extends a number of programs including federally funded unemployment benefits, COBRA insurance premium subsidies for unemployed workers, the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment adjustment, spending authority through the Highway Trust Fund, SBA loan fee waivers, and the Satellite Home Viewer Act. Under current law, these programs were set to expire on February 28, 2010.

The House will be is session again next week. Have a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Sam Graves

This Week in Washington- Friday, March 5, 2010

The latest unemployment numbers were released this morning. The unemployment rate is still 9.7 percent and we lost 36,000 jobs in February. Washington needs to understand that ramming through more regulations and big government programs is not the answer. We need to set the table for economic growth by cutting taxes, regulations, and litigation.

Legislation

·“Jobs” Bill: On Thursday, the House passed an amended version of H.R. 2847, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act by a vote of 217-201. The bill contains a suspension of payroll taxes for employers that hire new workers that had been unemployed for the previous 60 days, a $1,000 tax credit for retaining employees, increased expensing of new equipment purchased by small businesses in 2010, and expanded tax credit bonds sold by local government and private entities and subsidized by the government. In addition, the legislation includes an extension of surface transportation programs through December 31, 2010, and includes a $19.5 billion transfer from the general fund to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to compensate for the projected FY 2010 shortfall. This bill demonstrates how much Washington does not understand what is needed to create jobs. Giving a business a tax credit for hiring an employee will not create a single job. It is a gimmick that politicians can point to and say they are creating jobs. I voted against the bill.

·Keeping All Students Safe Act: This week, the House passed H.R. 4247, to require the Secretary of Education to issue regulations regarding “seclusion and restraint” practices for students in both public and private schools that receive federal funding. Numerous states already have their own regulations and standards in place. As a former state legislator, I know that education is the chief responsibility of the state and I believe Congress should defer to them on this issue. The House passed H.R. 4247 by a vote of 262-153 and I voted against it.

Small Business Committee

The Small Business Committee held a mark up of the Small Business Administration’s budget for FY 2011 this week.

I also wrote an op-ed on jump starting economic growth. You can view it here.

The House will be is session again next week. Have a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Sam Graves

Below is Senator Purgason’s view of the state from January 21st. As you may know, ClayCoMOPolitics is a supporter of Senator Purgason’s run against Congressman Blunt in the primary for US Senate.

January 21, 2010

Sharing a View of the State

Chuck Purgason

State Senator 33rd District

“Be thankful we’re not getting all of the government we’re paying for.”

– Will Rogers

This week Governor Jay Nixon delivered the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly.

In the midst of 9.6% unemployment and sagging state revenues, there was no mention of the current state of the state. There was no serious conversation of the challenges we face in crafting the next state budget. There was no serious discussion of his priorities in his budget. No mention of serious tax reform, economic incentive reform, or health care reform. The Governor did not mention or take a stand on the health care proposals in Congress.

This was a “safe” speech. It did not address anything controversial, nor did Governor Nixon back any significant issue. He gave his office and the General Assembly all of the elbow room necessary to do anything and claim a victory – after all it is an election year.

Governor Nixon did state that:

We must keep the jobs we have and create thousands more. We must build a granite foundation for Missouri’s future growth. And we must balance the budget without raising taxes.

This simple statement is a great place to start and deserves bipartisan cooperation to move Missouri forward in the coming year and decade. His economic proposals deserve our attention, we must build a budget that lives within our means without raising taxes, and we must position Missouri by simplifying our regulatory environment.

The State of the State address did open the door for Governor, the House, and the Senate to work together this session.

In contrast to Governor Nixon’s silence on the health care proposals in Washington, D.C., the Missouri House passed a concurrent resolution this week by a vote of 111 to 46 that sends a message to our congressional delegation, Speaker Pelosi, and the President opposing these measures on the grounds that they are too expensive, too big, too corrupt, and hand out too many special deals. I expect the Senate to do the same. The cost to the state of Missouri is enormous and will do nothing bend the cost curve making health insurance more affordable.

According to a Rasmussen Reports poll released recently, 55% of the American people oppose these proposals and only 40% support the federal healthcare takeover and mandate being thrust upon us by President Obama, Senator Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi. Other polls in Missouri suggest opposition among Missourians is closer to 60 – 65%.

These proposals contain provisions that obligate the states to substantially increase the amount of money that each state will be required to pay for Medicaid with the exception of special backroom deals like Senator Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback for Nebraska that exempts Nebraska from this provision shifting their costs on the rest of the states.

The Missouri Department of Social Services estimates that the total cost to Missouri could range from $2.18 billion to $2.45 billion. This is on top of the $100 million plus per year in new funding for natural caseload growth. Our budget, along with Missouri taxpayers, cannot bear this new shift of costs without increasing taxes or cutting expenditures on education or other vital state services.

The weeks ahead will pose many challenges for lawmakers. Short-term fiscal policies will fail to promote long-term growth. I will pursue policies that will allow people keep more of their own money, allow them to make decisions for themselves and their families, and give individuals more liberty in their consumption, savings, and debt retirement.

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. I can be reached in Jefferson City at (573)751-1882, you can e-mail me at chuck.purgason@senate.mo.gov or you can write to me by regular mail at 201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 420, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

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Below is the most recent edition of Straight Talk With Sam Graves. In it he gives comment on the newest insult to freedom, HR 3296 “Nancycare.”What a surprise it’s as bad as conservatives have been warning it would be.

Same Bill, Same Problems

This past August, I held 23 town hall meetings across the district. I heard over and over again that my constituents did not want a government takeover of health care. That message was not delivered by slick television ads or special interest lobbyists. Instead, it was delivered by everyday people who had finally had enough. I heard the message loud and clear, but that was not the case for everyone.

Last week, Speaker Pelosi introduced her version of health care reform. The 1,990 page proposal is very similar to the plan that Americans overwhelmingly rejected in August. It costs just over $1 trillion dollars.

Who is going to pay for it? In short, we all are. The bill proposes billions in new taxes. Small businesses that file as individuals will be hit hard. It will also require all but the smallest of businesses to provide health insurance for their employees, regardless of their ability, or pay a penalty.

The bill will also require individuals to buy health insurance. Those who don’t will pay the federal government a penalty fee. In addition, there are new taxes on medical devices like wheelchairs and bandages. The bill would also cut nearly $500 billion from Medicare.

In short, this bill will increase your insurance premiums, cost us jobs with new taxes and mandates, and cut billions from our seniors’ Medicare benefits. That is not common sense reform. I will oppose this bill and work to pass common sense health insurance reform.

Sincerely,

Sam Graves