Archive for BigGovernment

Boehner Border Bill Down To The Wire


A last-minute plan from Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to provide conservatives a vote on a bill attempting to keep President Obama to unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens has already run into fierce resistance from the very people it was intended to placate, leaving passage of the main border crisis bill in doubt.

This morning, only hours after the plan was released, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform have all come out with brutal assessments of new version of the Obama-focused legislation that will receive a vote only if House Republicans pass the main border package.

“The Blackburn language that I introduced before the Rules Committee is not the same language that’s coming before the floor,” said King, referring to Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) House companion to a bill from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) intended to stop further immigration orders from Obama.

King focused his criticism on an exemption in the new version of the bill for aliens that receive parole, noting that liberal legal experts have previously pointed to parole as a possible mechanism for a large-scale executive amnesty.

Blackburn, however, said the new leadership plan was sufficient for her to vote for the main border bill crisis.

And a spokeswoman for Cruz welcomed the change in tack from Boehner, who had previously been resisting addressing Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program at all.

“Sen. Cruz has made DACA an essential element of this debate from the beginning and it’s very encouraging that the House has taken action to elevate the issue,” Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Cruz, said.

The situation in the House is fluid, but the morning revealed clearly passage of the main bill is in doubt.

As a sign of how deeply the crisis on the southern U.S. border has penetrated the politics of immigration on Capitol Hill, a Democratic lawmaker said he was vowing against Boehner’s main bill because of his opposition to “amnesty.”

“Basically, because of the amnesty provisions. I’m not for any amnesty,” said Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), a senior Democrat facing a tough reelection battle.

Although critics on the right have ripped the Boehner border bill on a number of fronts, not even the scathing reports from FAIR or NumbersUSA have deigned the bill itself “amnesty.”

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White House Praises Obama Amnesty Ahead of House Vote


White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reacted to news that the House of Representatives was considering a vote to block President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for children of illegal immigrants.

In a statement emailed to reporters, Earnest said:

It is extraordinary that the House of Representatives, after failing for more than a year to reform our broken immigration reform system, would vote to restrict a law enforcement tool that the Department of Homeland Security uses to focus resources on key enforcement priorities like public safety and border security, and provide temporary relief from deportation for people who are low priorities for removal.

The House vote on DACA has been floated by House leadership, if they can pass a border crisis funding bill.

House conservatives have adamantly demanded that legislation be passed to block Obama’s DACA, especially since the White House has signaled that Obama may soon act again to expand the program to over five million illegal immigrants.

Earnest defended Obama’s 2012 action, praising it as “the most significant progress we have made toward immigration reform in years.”

Earnest also criticized the House approach to block DACA, suggesting that it was insensitive to the millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. 

He said: 

By failing to act on an immigration reform bill that requires that people who are here illegally pay taxes, undergo background checks, and get on the right side of the law, the House is, instead, driving an approach that is about rounding up and deporting 11 million people, separating families, and undermining DHS’ ability to secure the border.

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Gaffey Grimes: Put Bumper Stickers In Your Yard!


Wednesday Kentucky Democrat Allison Grimes, who’s in a tight U.S. Senate race to unseat Republican Mitch McConnell, waxed eloquent about how Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was somehow helpful in the campaign against Hamas’ terror tunnels, which are found deep underground.

Thursday we have video from the NRSC of Grimes urging her supporters to put bumper stickers in their yards.

The same objective, unbiased, not-at-all-liberal mainstream media that pounces with venomous glee upon every real and perceived gaffe made by a Republican (especially female Republicans), hardly gave Grimes’ Iron Dome flub any notice.

Beltway reporters are already wrist-flicking this latest flub off with sarcasm.

Don’t confuse me with someone who thinks the media should jump on every slip of the tongue. That’s not my point, at all. My point is that the media overheats itself to define Republicans with their mistakes. Democrats, however, get a full and complete pass.

If Grimes were a Republican woman, these back-to-back slips would be rerun repeatedly with the likes of Wolf Blitzer and Joe Scarborough “just raising questions” about Grimes being tired, or not ready for primetime, or incapable of hiring competent staff.

Democrats sure got it good.


John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC              

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Father of Santa Barbara Victim Joins With Other Victims' Families for Gun Control


On July 30, Richard Martinez announced he is joining with family members of others killed in attacks around the country to push for more gun control.

Martinez’s son, Christopher Michael-Martinez, was one of the three individuals whom Elliot Rodger shot and killed on May 23.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Martinez is joining with Amar Kaleka, whose father was shot and killed in Wisconsin’s Sikh Temple attack in August 2012. He is also working with survivors of the Santa Barbara attack to push “tougher gun measures.”

Martinez said: “I’m asking people to send postcards to their elected officials…with the words ‘Not One More.’ As of today, there have been more than 2.4 million postcards sent. But we are not done.”

California has some of the strictest gun laws in America, and Rodger complied with them all in acquiring his firearms. He underwent background checks, all his guns “were registered,” and he did not possess “high capacity” magazines when committing his heinous crime. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins   Reach him directly at

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Ted Cruz Meets with House GOP Prior to Leadership Shift on Border Bill

Just hours before House GOP leadership abruptly changed course on the border crisis bill, moving to allow a vote on a second bill that addresses President Obama’s “deferred” prosecution of illegal aliens, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) met with House conservatives on the issue.

Leaving the meeting Wednesday, Cruz signaled optimism. “I am encouraged. I think it is likely that the House is going to vote on the bill to eliminate President Obama’s authority to grant amnesty because of the humanitarian crisis we’re facing right now,” Cruz told reporters after the event.

About a dozen House conservatives joined Cruz in his Senate office for pizza and beer, including Reps. Steve King (R-IA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

The catch in the leadership plan is that the bill sought by Cruz will only come to a vote if the other measure passes first, and it will remain its own separate piece of legislation. Neither bill, though, is expected to become law.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) bill offered by leadership is also slightly different than the one proposed by Blackburn and Cruz.

Exiting the meeting Wednesday night, House conservatives explained that they were not pleased with the border spending bill originally offered by House leadership. “There is not a lot of support for the leadership bill,” Bachmann said, doubting its passage. “Once we actually got to read the bill … we’re not getting what we were told we were going to be getting.”

The original Cruz DACA bill, however, earned support from conservative hardliners on immigration policy. “That we can all vote for. That, I think, will pass quite easily,” Bachmann said. “But I do think that the Speaker’s bill is in big trouble.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who also attended the Cruz meeting, said that as of that time, Boehner had not rallied 218 votes from Republicans to pass the spending bill, but he signaled support for a DACA bill. “The bill still does not solve the issue of border security, but it still makes it a little bit better,” he said.

King said that he was worried that Obama would grant amnesty to over five million illegal immigrants while Congress was on recess in August. If that happened, King said that he hoped Republicans would come back to Washington for a special session to respond. “I’m ready. I’d like to see how many Republicans…I’d like to see some of the Democrats that are ready, too,” King said.

Cruz, however, appeared encouraged with what he was hearing about the legislation introduced by the House. “I believe…I think the House will stand up and lead tomorrow, and if they do, if the House stands up and leads and eliminates President Obama’s amnesty, then the burden will shift to the Senate,” he asserted.

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Bill Kristol to House Republicans: Kill Boehner's Border Bill or Face Wrath of Your Constituents


Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has advised House Republicans on Thursday morning that should vote against House Speaker John Boehner’s border crisis bill.

“The House Republican leadership is having trouble getting 218 votes for its immigration bill,” Kristol wrote Thursday morning. ”The policy objections to the bill seem convincing to me—among them that it seems to appropriate more money, on a pro-rated monthly basis, than the president’s proposal; that it might well make it harder, not easier, to send some or all of the illegal migrants back; that it changes the asylum laws in ways that might well backfire; and that it doesn’t deal in any way the core cause of the problem, the president’s 2012 executive amnesty for minors or his pending huge expansion of that amnesty. These objections haven’t been convincingly addressed by leadership. And of course there’s been no markup of the leadership bill, no hearings about it, and no amendments permitted to it. All of this is grounds for not rushing to pass dubious legislation. The House Republican leadership should pull the bill.”

Kristol wrote that the House Republicans should kill the bill since leadership won’t because there’s no reason to pass it anyway—and they’ll open themselves up to excoriation from constituents who should be focused on President Obama’s failures instead of theirs as they head into town halls in August.

“But the overwhelming reason to kill the bill is that it’s not going to become law anyway. The president and the Senate leadership have made clear they’ll never accept it,” Kristol wrote. “So what’s the point of passing it? Leadership’s answer is—well, we’ll get credit for trying to doing to something. But will they? From whom? The mainstream media? Perhaps for one day. Then the media will focus on what further compromises the GOP leadership will accept in September, on why Republicans won’t go to conference with the original Senate bill or parts of it, and on splits in GOP ranks about immigration. GOP town halls during the August recess will be dominated by challenges about the merits of the bill leadership rushed through—challenges members won’t have an easy time answering and that Republican House and Senate challengers certainly don’t need to be dealing with. Rushing the bill through now will make what Republicans think and don’t think about immigration the lead topic for August. It will take the focus off what President Obama has done about immigration. Rushing through a poorly thought through GOP bill will take the focus off the man who is above all responsible for the disaster at the border—the president.”

Kristol argues that if Republicans do nothing, they can legitimately blame Obama’s unwillingness to change his policies—specifically the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty, and threats of future executive amnesties, for causing the problem.

“If the GOP does nothing, and if Republicans explain that there’s no point acting due to the recalcitrance of the president to deal with the policies that are causing the crisis, the focus will be on the president,” Kristol wrote. “Republican incumbents won’t have problematic legislation to defend or questions to answer about what further compromises they’ll make. Republican challengers won’t have to defend or attack GOP legislation. Instead, the focus can be on the president—on his refusal to enforce the immigration law, on the effect of his unwise and arbitrary executive actions in 2012, on his pending rash and illegal further executive acts in 2014, and on his refusal to deal with the real legal and policy problems causing the border crisis. And with nothing passed in either house (assuming Senate Republicans stick together and deny Harry Reid cloture today), immigration won’t dominate August—except as a problem the president is responsible for and refuses seriously to address. Meanwhile, the GOP can go on the offensive on a host of other issues.”

Kristol concluded that if Republicans vote for this bill, they’re bailing a weakened Obama out.

“The president’s approval rating is slipping to historic lows,” he wrote. “Let it continue to slide. Don’t bail him out by jamming though a bill that divides Republicans, will confuse voters, won’t become law anyway, muddies responsibility for the border fiasco, and takes the spotlight off what should be the focus of the August recess–President Obama’s failed policies and Congressional Democrats’ support for them.”

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NumbersUSA Warns House GOP: A Vote for Border Bill Is 'A Vote for Continued Open Borders'


NumbersUSA is warning House Republicans that it will be scoring votes for the House border supplemental bill as “a vote for continued open borders.”

In a message to House Republicans, obtained by Breitbart News, the limited immigration group warned that the bill under consideration, expected to receive a vote Thursday, “fails” to lay the blame for the ongoing border crisis at the feet of President Obama and does not rein in future expansions of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program or similar actions to provide unilateral amnesty to illegal immigrants.

“The American people understand that his lawlessness and his illegal amnesty, DACA, directly precipitated this crisis, and yet the House bill does absolutely nothing to curb his lawlessness and prevent him from expanding his illegal amnesty, as he is threatening to do,” the Numbers message reads. 

According to Numbers, the Republican strategy to offer a vote on a revised version of Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s measure targeting DACA and future expansions “should be rejected. The group described the effort as a “cynical ploy by Leadership to fool Republicans into supporting a bad bill.”

“The Leadership defanged the Blackburn bill to the point of uselessness, and their obvious attempt to bribe members into supporting a bad border bill by offering a subsequent vote on a useless DACA bill should anger Republicans, not encourage them to capitulate,” NumbersUSA Director of Government Relations Rosemary Jenks elaborated to Breitbart News. 

Overall, Numbers argued that that the primary border bill legislation will make the crisis worse by creating new obstacles to remove unaccompanied illegal immigrant minor and fails to provide “serious asylum reforms” to deal with the fraud in the system.  

“In short, H.R. 5230, the border supplemental, is not a serious effort to actually solve the border crisis and it should be opposed, just as Leadership’s attempt to bribe Members into supporting it should be rejected,” the Numbers message reads. 

The Center for Immigration Studies, another anti-amnesty group, also released an analysis of the House Border bill, stressing that it “ensures continued illegal influx.” 

“While the appropriations sections of the bill are a great improvement over the President’s request, the sections of the bill addressing the processing of unaccompanied alien children will cause more problems than they solve,“ CIS Senior Research Fellow Dan Cadman said. 

Read NumbersUSA’s full message to House Republicans: 

NumbersUSA will score a vote in support of H.R. 5230, the House border supplemental, as a vote for continued open borders.

The bill utterly fails to place the blame for the border crisis where it squarely belongs:  on President Obama.  The American people understand that his lawlessness and his illegal amnesty, DACA, directly precipitated this crisis, and yet the House bill does absolutely nothing to curb his lawlessness and prevent him from expanding his illegal amnesty, as he is threatening to do.

GOP Leadership’s attempt to bribe House Republicans into supporting H.R. 5230 by offering a subsequent vote on H.R. 5272–a toothless, loophole ridden rewrite of the original Blackburn/Cruz bills–should be rejected.  The new, watered down version of the Blackburn bill will do nothing but send a clear message to President Obama that Congress is not serious about limiting his abuse of power.  H.R. 5272 is nothing more than a cynical ploy by Leadership to fool Republicans into supporting a bad bill.

The language in H.R. 5230, the border supplemental, that purports to “fix” the 2008 Wilberforce Anti-Trafficking Act will actually make the crisis worse by layering new procedural hurdles over current hurdles before any UACs, including Mexicans under this bill, can be removed.  Rather than simply expediting the removal of Central American UACs, the House bill compounds the problem by adding UACs from contiguous countries to a convoluted, multi-layered hearing and review process that guarantees the UACs multiple opportunities to remain in the United States for years.  The bill even fails to prevent HHS from turning over UACs to illegal-alien family members in the United States.

The House bill includes no serious asylum reforms to halt the massive abuse of our asylum system.  Nor does it include needed reforms to the Special Immigrant Juvenile visa program or the parole system.  (The new Leadership-approved version of the Blackburn bill, H.R. 5272, actually encourages abuse of the parole system by specifically exempting parole from its unenforceable restrictions.)

In short, H.R. 5230, the border supplemental, is not a serious effort to actually solve the border crisis and it should be opposed, just as Leadership’s attempt to bribe Members into supporting it should be rejected.

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Jeff Sessions: Congress Must Oppose House, Senate Border Bills

On Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said a new plan by House leadership to allow a vote on a separate bill to address the president’s unilateral amnesty is not sufficient.

“The House border supplemental contains no language on executive action and is the only bill that would receive consideration in the Senate,” Sessions said. “The separate House measure on executive actions fails to place effective restrictions on the President’s ability to grant unlawful amnesty and work permits.”

Sessions urged opposition to both the Senate border bill and the House bills.

“With great concern, we as policy makers must face the reality that the President is openly planning to use executive actions to provide amnesty and work permits to millions without any lawful authority,” Sessions said in a statement. “The Congress has a duty to resist. Legislation currently pending in both chambers fails to meet this test and therefore must be opposed.”

Sessions’ recommendation comes after the House leadership on Wednesday evening decided to offer a vote on companion legislation concerning Obama’s potential executive actions to win over skeptical conservatives for its $659 million border bill. Those votes are planned for Thursday. 

But as Breitbart News reported, the separate House measure contains differences from the original bill introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Sessions emphasized that his “position from the beginning has been that Congress should not pass any border bill which does not block funding for the President’s planned executive amnesty.” 

“For Congress to successfully stand against the President’s nullification plans, it must adopt the language proposed by Senator Cruz,” Sessions said. 

President Barack Obama has indicated that, via executive action, he may grant temporary work permits and amnesty to millions of more illegal immigrant adults after Congress goes on its August recess. Earlier in the week, Sessions said that each Member of Congress would face a time for choosing this week to prevent Obama from lawlessly nullifying federal immigration law. 

“Our response now is of great import,” Sessions said Monday on the Senate floor, while emphasizing the detrimental impact Obama’s executive actions would have on American workers of all backgrounds. “It will define the scope of executive and congressional powers for years to come. If President Obama is not stopped in this action, and he exceeds his powers by attempting to execute such a massive amnesty contrary to law, the moral authority for any immigration henceforth will be eviscerated.”

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Obamacare Bringing Insurers, Hospitals Big Profits

Experts, insurers, and hospitals still don’t have enough data to say if Obamacare is going to be good for the country, but two things seem certain thus far: hospital chains and insurers are raking in the dough while patients are paying higher costs for insurance.

Bloomberg reports that HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA), “the largest for-profit hospital chain,” and WellPoint Inc., a for-profit healthcare insurance provider, both raised their forecasts after the two companies made record profits due, they assume, to Obamacare.

Another company, LifePoint Hospitals Inc., reports that their earnings increased $13 million in the second quarter this year.

“Obamacare’s turned out to be quite good for health-care companies,” healthcare investor Les Funtleyder told Bloomberg.

The business reporters went on to note that several other large healthcare companies, such as UnitedHealth Group, Inc., are also seeing higher profits.

One reason these healthcare companies are raking in record profits is because the insurers are getting new clients forced into the system by Obamacare.

Bloomberg claimed, “Taxpayers too may be benefiting from the law approved in 2010.” Yet, reading further into the story, this rosy claim is not buttressed by facts. It seems that there are a lot of assumptions being made on whether or not Obamacare is actually a boon to Americans.

Even as Bloomberg says several times that Obamacare is good for Americans, at the same time the story warns that “it’s early in the life of the law” to say for sure and that “questions remain” on whether or not the recent drop in healthcare costs really is attributable to Obama’s Affordable Care Act or if it is merely a result of a slow economic recovery.

Further, Americans still don’t like the law. “Recent polls indicate that more Americans remain opposed to the health-care law than support it, although that includes people who think it isn’t liberal enough,” Bloomberg writes.

Others think that the slightly improving economy may be responsible for the increase in healthcare spending by Americans.

“We may need to see a couple more quarters to parse out who’s going and why,” Funtleyder told Bloomberg. “If it’s the individually insured who didn’t have insurance going to the hospital, it’s Obamacare. If it’s everybody, it’s probably the economy.”

Finally, all this depends on court challenges, further government actions and tinkering with the law, and the stability of government subsidies and state exchanges, all things that are not known quantities and any one of which could upset the apple cart.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at

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Oklahoma AG Adds Jonathan Gruber's Subsidies Comments as Evidence in Obamacare Challenge

Wednesday, the State of Oklahoma filed a motion to inform a federal judge of “newly-discovered facts” in the state’s challenge of Obamacare. These new facts were two audio tapes of Jonathan Gruber, the Obamacare Architect, stating that Obamacare subsidies are tied only to the existence of state exchanges and not a federal exchange. One of these newly-discovered facts was the audiotape reported last Friday morning by Breitbart News and John Sexton.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s motion included the text of the audio clip Breitbart reported and emphasized Gruber’s comment, “Will people understand that, gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an Exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens?”

The AG’s motion stressed the relevance of Gruber’s comments: “Professor Gruber is an MIT economist who is widely credited with being the ‘architect’ of both the ACA and Massachusetts’ similar health care reform legislation, and who served as a paid adviser to defendants on the subject of health care reform.”

On Saturday, Breitbart also reported three separate reports and analyses by Gruber demonstrating that his comments that subsidies were for only for state-exchanges weren’t a “mistake” made while “speaking off-the-cuff.” It is likely that these reports, originating at Breitbart, will also play a role in the legal process which will likely end up at the Supreme Court.

Slowly but surely the truth is coming out and moving the United states another step towards “Oblimination” – the reversal of Obama’s failed policies.

Read the State of Oklahoma’s motion to introduce Gruber’s comments to court below:

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