house of representatives

According To The Left's Rhetoric, President Obama Faces Security Risk During Jobs Speech Tomorrow Night

Just listening to Rush Limbaugh. As usual, he has it nailed with precision insight and delicious humor. According to Rush, shouldn't President Obama be afraid to enter the House of Representatives tomorrow night to give his jobs campaign speech, which he could've (and should've) given months ago (which we have learned now won't even detail all of his proposals — surprise!) After all, by his own recent admission and that of Vice President Biden and members of the administration, "civil rights" leaders, radical union leaders and leftist Congressional allies, there will be close to 300 terrorists, barbarians, outlaws, hostage takers, racists and sons-of-bitches — all of whom should be condemned to hell — in the House chamber tonight. The president is one brave man to enter a hall filled with ne'er-do-wells like that! We hope the Secret Service is especially careful tonight in its security sweep and monitoring of those hooligans who enter the hall. By the logic of the Left's extreme, over-the-top recent rhetoric, there should be several arrests tonight.

Cut, Cap And Balance; Or, How Come Crazy Spending Is Never Called "Draconian"?

Earlier tonight I saw U.S. Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), one of the biggest and most far-reaching leftists in Congress, on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. (She's so far to the left that she doesn't think ObamaCare went far enough and supports the government-run single-payer system — click here to see her gleefully expound on the end of private insurance.) Mr. Blitzer asked Representative Schakowsky about the proposal known as "Cut, Cap and Balance" (see Tom McClusky at FRCAction's The Cloakroom Blog) to solve the impending debt ceiling crisis. Cut, Cap and Balance is the plan put forth by a coalition of members of Congress and conservative, free market and limited government think tanks and action groups that would cut federal spending, cap those levels, and pass to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. (Click here to see an archived webcast on "Cut, Cap and Balance" featuring U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., among other leading limited government proponents.) Ms. Schakowsky's predictable response perfectly illustrated the vacuousness and illegitimacy of The Left. First, she called it a joke (probably knowing her solution can't be called a joke, because it's more like a horror movie). But the real laugh came when she said "Cut, Cap and Balance" would force "Draconian cuts."

That got me thinking . . . how come the term "Draconian spending" or "Draconian increases" is never used? Or is a $1.5 trillion increase in one year not scary? How bad off were we two years ago when the annual federal budget was "only" $2.25 trillion? Where was the suffering then that The Left says we'll have tomorrow if we adopt "Cut, Cap and Balance"? Could it get worse than 9.2 percent unemployment? These Draconian spending increases don't even take into account the unimaginable sums ObamaCare will cost in future years (see ObamaCare Lies). The amount of printing, borrowing and spending in Washington, D.C., is literally crazy, because no one in a proper frame of mind would put their future or their children's and grandchildren's future at such risk.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" package (see Andrew Stiles at NRO's The Corner Blog). It will pass. But what of its future in the Senate? Will it even get a vote? Or will it vote for what Representative Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) calls, "Cut, Run and Hide," also known as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's pass-the-buck plan (see Alexander Bolton at TheHill.com)?

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins offers his thoughts here and encourages people to contact their senators to vote for the former and to defeat the latter (click here to contact Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner):

Unfortunately, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered last week a plan to surrender. It would allow the President to lift the debt ceiling and only allow Congress a vote to stop it if it could garner a super majority. No cuts, no reforms, the McConnell plan is supposedly aimed at laying the political blame on the President. But when Senator Harry Reid immediately calls McConnell's plan "serious," one should question its wisdom.

With President Obama cynically leading from behind on this grave issue (read Senator DeMint's statement issued earlier this evening and that issued by House Speaker John Boehner), which has the potential to send the nation into a Greece-like morass, further debilitating our ability to lead the world and relegating America to also-ran status, it is time to take sound, firm and lasting action. "Cut, Cap and Balance" is the way to do it (see Brian Darling at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog). The Left may caricature it while making the nonchalant spending of trillions seem normal. But we all know the definition of doing the same failed thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

"Cut, Cap and Balance" is gaining momentum: 178 organizations and more than 190,000 citizens have signed the pledge.

Griffith's Floor Speech Against ObamaCare Is All Virginia!

We miss Morgan Griffith at the General Assembly. As you can see from this interview with him, we appreciated his floor tactics and leadership as the House majority leader. But now we share him with the country and if this first floor speech in the House of Representatives is any indication, Congressman Griffith, bringing his Virginianess fully with him, will be a hit with conservatives across the country. We especially like his recall of the highlight of last year's General Assembly and his reminder to the nation of Virginia's historic leadership in the founding of our liberties.    

"As Virginians we did not accept the chains of George III, nor will we accept the chains of ObamaCare!"

Historic Elections: But Why?

The results of yesterday's elections are historic in many obvious ways. Unlike 1994, Virginians participated in making that history by turning over three liberal incumbent members of the House of Representatives (see Washington Post), including a 28-year veteran previoulsy thought unbeatable, someone who hadn't had a competitive race in years. So we congratulate three friends of The Family Foundation who won their races yesterday and are on their way to Congress:

» Congressman-elect Morgan Griffith (Newsweek's The Gaggle blog), a 100 percent TFF voter as a member of the House of Delegates;

» Congressman-elect Robert Hurt (Danville Register & Bee), a 91 percent TFF voter as a member of the Virginia Senate; and

» Congressman-elect Scott Rigell (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot), a donor to our organization.

In the 11th district, liberal incumbent Gerry Connolly has a narrow lead over conservative challenger Keith Fimian, a vote likely to be recounted (Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog). Pending that outcome, eight of Virginia's 11 Representatives are Republican. We were pleased to participate in the voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts in these districts. Some of you may have received our GOTV phone calls over the weekend.

In some ways, though, the elections went beyond politics. While the national and state media focus on Congressional outcomes, something happened a bit below the surface that is even more historic — and perhaps longer term.

For example, at least 19 state legislative bodies, including those in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio flipped partisan control to Republicans (John Hood at National Review's The Corner blog and Ryan Beckwith at CQ Politics' The Eye blog). In fact, the North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870. The Alabama legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.

I don't tell you that to trumpet Republicans, but because our sister family policy council organizations inform us that many of those elected yesterday support pro-family policies. These organizations ran campaigns similar to our Winning Matters 2009 program and saw pro-life, pro-family candidates win across the board. More important than simply electing people of one particular party, citizens in these states elected pro-family conservatives.

Possibly more telling, voters in Iowa defeated three Supreme Court judges instrumental in imposing homosexual marriage on that state against the will of the people via judicial fiat (New York Times). It is the first time since judges have been on the ballot in Iowa (1962) that they have been defeated on Election Day. Once again, when the issue of marriage is put to the people, traditional marriage wins.

Now, the question is, will the message sent by the voters yesterday carry over into next year's crucial Virginia Senate elections? Will party leaders get the message that motivates voters and give us candidates that are unapologetically pro-life and pro-family? Will Virginia follow the lead of other states that brought wholesale change to their legislatures? Will party leaders endorse incumbents for the sake of "party unity" or listen to the voters? Time will tell if they truly got the message.

What Can You Do? Take Real Citizen Action At YouCut!

We live in a time unlike any other in American history. People are as depressed as the economy. Optimism and employment are down, there is an environmental catastrophe, the country is near bankruptcy, basic issues of life and family are either being ignored or worse, attacked and redefined; and government is expanding at the expense of freedoms and fruits of labor. Americans are frustrated not because we face problems — we love to rise to the occasion — but that our own government is creating these problems. It leaves hard working, law abiding, God worshiping Americans despondent. "What can I do?" is the despairing refrain.

One thing is vote. Elections do have consequences. Make an informed decision and work and vote for candidates who best reflect your views. Support organizations (such as The Family Foundation, shameless plug) that work for the principles in which you believe. Get others involved. Be a force multiplier. Then stay on those elected to live up to their promises.

Of course, we live in a we want it now society. Instant satisfaction, if not gratification. We want results and we want to see them — now!

Okay, already. Since we believe in the positive change and equalizing nature of the new media and Internet, here's something you can do now and have an impact. Not just impact anywhere, either. Impact in Congress. The House of Representatives in particular.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) started YouCut, an online program where five areas of wasteful federal spending are highlighted each week. Citizens can vote for the one they most want to see cut. The "winning" program then will be brought to the House floor for an up or down vote (see BigGovernment.com). The program was launched a few weeks ago, but already is attracting millions of online voters. It's so simple it's brilliant. Not only does it involve citizen input, which average people desire in an age when we are governed by elitists, it is, quite frankly, great politics. It also puts on record members of Congress so we can see who genuinely wants to reduce the scope of federal spending. The fear of embarrassment of supporting such waste may actually result in some good votes.

We encourage you to check it out. We now have a permanent link to YouCut on the bottom right corner of this blog. (Perhaps we can get the state government to do such a thing.) It is something you can do . . . and truly make a difference.

Citizen action in its purest form, with real results. YouCut is a program where you can decide what federal spending gets cut.

Don't Bother Congress With The Budget, It's Got More Pressing Matters

This is primary day in Virginia and there are several contested Republican nominations to run for the House of Representatives this November. Several states also have primaries today — in both parties, and not only for House seats, but also for Senate, gubernatorial and other statewisde office nominations as well. Tomorrow morning the field becomes clearer, especially in Virginia, where all 11 House seats will have GOP nominees for the first time in years. That, and the number running today (several candidates in the 5th and 2nd districts, and even as many as four at one time in the overwhelmingly Democrat 3rd), shows the unqualified dissatisfaction and disgust with Congress. Wonder why?   From our friends at bankruptingamerica.org:

While President Obama impotently attempts to address the Gulf as it thickens with oil, Congress incompetently borrows and spends us into bankruptcy without a care.

The Framers Had Doctors, Too: Judge Andrew Napolitano Explains The Commerce Clause

The Congress shall have the Power To . . . regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian tribes. ...

Article I, Section 8, United States Constitution: "The Commerce Clause" 

Many in Congress admit they don't know where in the U.S. Constitution (the document they swear to uphold) it says Congress has the power to takeover health care or interfere in any aspect of the economy. Others, ignorantly, say it's in the Commerce Clause. Still others know they don't have the authority, but live a lie in order to consolidate power in government, rather than the people, to further their statist aims (See U.S. Rep. Phil Hare). A very few, unfortunately, know that the power is nowhere to be found in the document.

Above is the Commerce Clause verbatim. It clearly means that the federal government's only role is to ensure the equal treatment of commerce across borders, whether with other countries, native tribes or "among the several States." That's right! States! Notice the equal footing the Framers gave states with "foreign Nations" — both are capitalized. The Framers did not want New Jersey, for example, taxing goods coming into it from New York differently than it did goods coming into it from Virginia. Similarly, New Jersey and Virginia couldn't impose different tariffs on goods from England; the central government would referee that and put a uniform tariff on imports coming into the country at any port.

The Commerce Clause, then, had nothing to do with individuals conducting their own transactions, much less conducting the personal business of seeking treatment or medical advice. It means just what it says. Pretty simple.

Clarifying it further is former Judge Andrew Napolitano, seen on the Fox News Channel as its senior judicial analyst and heard on his own Fox News Radio program. Here is a telling excerpt from a piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal last September:

I asked South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, where in the Constitution it authorizes the federal government to regulate the delivery of health care. He replied: "There's nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do."   

Rep. Clyburn, like many of his colleagues, seems to have conveniently forgotten that the federal government has only specific enumerated powers. He also seems to have overlooked the Ninth and 10th Amendments, which limit Congress's powers only to those granted in the Constitution. 

One of those powers — the power "to regulate" interstate commerce — is the favorite hook on which Congress hangs its hat in order to justify the regulation of anything it wants to control. ...

James Madison, who argued that to regulate meant to keep regular, would have shuddered at such circular reasoning. Madison's understanding was the commonly held one in 1789, since the principle reason for the Constitutional Convention was to establish a central government that would prevent ruinous state-imposed tariffs that favored in-state businesses. It would do so by assuring that commerce between the states was kept "regular."

In the video below, Judge Napolitano, the youngest Superior Court Judge in New Jersey history, expounds on the original intent of James Madison and the Framers as well as the evils of an all-powerful, big-government. (The Framers had doctors, too, and saw no need to mention "health care" in the Constitution!) Look no further than what the 18th century definition of "regulate" meant to know today's government is out of control. The article, linked above, and the video, are well worth the big education you will get for such a short expenditure of your time.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: If the Framers thought health was a constitutional power, they would've mentioned it. After all, people got sick, then, too.

Hank Johnson: Poster Boy For Liberal Genius

How often does the mainstream media portray liberals as the enlightened, the brilliant, the smart? Conservatives, on the other hand, are flat-earthers, dumb, Neanderthal. Yet time after time we see and hear liberal icons say things that should disqualify them from the ranks of the serious, such as Barack "57 states" Obama, which would go unnoticed except for the new and alternative media. It's bad enough they want to redistribute wealth and control people and business, worse still that they purposefully disregard the Constitution. But when they have completely lost the plot and substitute absurdity for thoughtfulness, by what right do they command credibility . . . from anyone? So, this is who we have making the decisions for us? U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's leadership team (he's a regional whip), thinks Guam will "capsize" under the weight of a deployment of 5,000 Marines! Just as revealing is that  no one from the Speaker's team, much less Johnson, has shown the slightest bit of embarrassment. It smacks of arrogance and elitism. If this thinking is the new normal in the Age of Obama, no wonder these  people think they've "fixed" health care.

Rep. Johnson thinks islands capsize and he's making decisions at the highest levels of the House of Representatives.

Speaking Of Earmarks, Goodlatte To Offer Moratorium Resolution This Week

Speaking of earmarks and Congressional attempts to ban them, at least for a year, I just received this from Fourth District U.S. Representative Randy Forbes (R-Va.): It's a resolution that Sixth District Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) will introduce this week to ban earmarks in the House. Now that both the Republican and Democrat caucuses in that chamber are on record as wanting to end the pork practice, we'll see who is serious about truly ending it.

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of Congress that House Democrats should join House Republicans in a total ban on earmarks for one year, that total discretionary spending should be reduced by the amount saved by earmark moratoriums and that a bipartisan, bicameral committee should be created to review and overhaul the budgetary, spending and earmark processes.

WHEREAS families all across our nation must make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford;

WHEREAS government officials should be required to exercise an even higher standard when spending taxpayers’ hard-earned income;

WHEREAS Thomas Jefferson once wrote: "To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude;

WHEREAS our national debt is at its highest rate ever;

WHEREAS the federal budget deficit is projected to exceed $1 trillion for the next two fiscal years and hover around $800 billion annually for the foreseeable future;

WHEREAS current levels of spending are simply unsustainable;

WHEREAS it is time for Congress to wake up and see that the federal deficits and the national debt have reached crisis status;

WHEREAS Congress must control spending, paving the way for a return to surpluses and ultimately paying down the national debt, rather than allow big spenders to lead us further down the road of chronic deficits and in doing so leave our children and grandchildren saddled with debt that is not their own;

WHEREAS House Republicans have adopted a one year total moratorium on all Congressional earmarks: Now therefore be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that —

(1) The entire membership of the House should join House Republicans in a total ban on earmarks for one year;

(2) Discretionary spending should be reduced in the FY 2011 Budget by the total amount that was spent on requests for earmarks in FY 2010;

(3) In the event that spending in the FY 2011 Budget is not so reduced by the amount spent for earmarks in FY 2010, an amendment to the budget resolution to effectuate this change must be made in order; and

(4) A complete review and overhaul of the Congressional budgetary, spending and earmark processes should be commenced by creating a bi-partisan, bicameral committee to study the issue and report back with recommendations.

Virginia News Stand: December 15, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Bringing Back The Car Tax?

Governor Tim Kaine is yanking the commonwealth's collective chain on whether he will propose re-instituting the car tax in his last budget. Will he or won't he? We'll know Friday when he releases it. Republicans, from Governor-elect Bob McDonnell on down, say they will not go along. Meanwhile, the GOP's sixth House of Delegates seat pickup is official as Ron Villanueva maintained his 16 vote lead in a recount. Speaking of the House, the pre-filing deadline for legislation has brought in a pile of bills and the Washington Times has a preview of some early newsworthy favorites come January. Over in the national House, the Washington Post reports that Dems are fretting over another crush — a crush of retirements that may throw up into the air the issue of control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.

News:

Kaine coy about plans for car tax (Northern Virginia Daily)

Dems on McDonnell advisers list: I'm doing what now? (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Pre-filing allowing avalanche of new bills (Washington Times)

It's official: Villanueva wins close election in Virginia Beach (The Daily Press)

Villanueva winner of 21st District seat in Va. Beach recount (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Conservatives launch PACs to grab for Tea Party cash (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

State fines disappearing candidate (WVEC.com/WVEC-TV)

National:

House Democrats lose fourth member to retirement (Washington Post)

When 'real world data' fails (OneNewsNow.com)

Family group uneasy with FCC appointee (OneNewsNow.com)

FAIR to fight 'ridiculous' amnesty bill (OneNewsNow.com)

Obama to work to solidify support for health bill (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Chinese official pushes 'one child' policy in Copenhagen (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

'Religious Test' — Belong to a Particular Denomination (Bryan Fischer/Focal Point, Rightly Concerned Blog

Muslim followers of Jesus? (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Will The Senate Silence You? Sign FRC Petition Against "Hate Crimes" Bill!

Here's an important and urgent alert from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. Please read it and take the action it requests, including following the link below and signing the petition against the so-called federal "hate crimes" bill — soon to be voted on in the U.S. Senate — which will create special classes of rights for homosexuals and clamp down on religious free speech.

Act Now! Join the 80,000 and Sign Our Petition Today!

The Senate Will Vote To Silence You!

The enactment of so-called "hate crimes" legislation is a long stated objective of the homosexual agenda. It is one step closer to being law and may be voted on this week.

Senate leaders attached the hate crimes legislation to a military funding bill, knowing it would put those who oppose this dangerous bill in a precarious position, vote for giving special protections to homosexuals or vote against funding for the troops. Democratic leaders believe passing their liberal agenda takes precedence over keeping our armed services safe.

The House voted 281 to 146 in favor of extending special federal protection to homosexuals as part of the $680 billion Defense Authorization bill and it is now going to come up for a vote in the Senate — likely this week!

We need your help to stop it.

What "hate crimes" legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.

The religious liberty protections in the bill are flimsy and when Republicans attempted to strengthen them, they were voted down by Democrats.

The act would establish a new FEDERAL offense for so-called "hate crimes" and add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as protected classes. It will mandate a separate federal criminal prosecution for state offenses.

The American credo calls for equal justice under the law, not equal justice unless you happen to be homosexual, then you get special treatment. ALL people deserve to be protected from crime, not just certain groups.

Sign our Petition TODAY to say equal protection under the law means equal protection for ALL. Please join the over 80,000 people who have already signed this petition.

Sign the Petition Today!

Sincerely,

Tony Perkins

President

Say It While You Can: "Government Run Health Care"

Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. Government run health care. We're saying it now, symbolically, in as many different ways as possible since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has censored Republican members of the House of Representatives (see Roll Call) from using the phrase "Government run health care" in their constituent newsletters (see Human Events), which are mailed for free via Congress' "franking" privilege. Franking cannot be used for partisan  purposes and the speaker says "government run health care," and a color-coded chart (see here) designed by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) that Republicans use to explain how the  nationalized medical system would work — with its numerous  beauracratic agencies determining your health needs — are not allowed to be mailed at taxpayer expense. (The different colors above are a nod to the chart.)

If Congress now, you and I when?

Government run health care. Government run health care. Nah, nah, nah-na-nah. Government run health care!

The ACLU's Not Gonna Like This One

Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes has been one of the most passionate defenders of our nation's Christian hertiage, no more so than in a speech he recently gave on the floor of the House of Representatives. According to Forbes' press office, with more than 2,400,000 views, it is one of the most widely watched floor speeches in YouTube history:

A widely viewed speech with great reason.