Sunday, March 29, 2015

Budget Wrap Up


Congress Budget Week Review: See How Your Members Voted
- by Josh Withrow

With only one week left until their annual two-week recess for Easter and Passover, Congress had a lot of work to do. Both the House and Senate passed a budget resolution, voted on tons of amendments, and the House passed a huge health care bill. Here are some of the highlights from this crazy week on the Hill.

House Budget The House voted Wednesday on its budget plan (H.Con.Res 27), which passed narrowly, 219-208, with 26 Republicans voting against. Although the budget contained a number of excellent policies, fiscal conservatives were dismayed by the leadership’s use of “emergency” war funds to boost defense spending without accounting for the new money elsewhere. Read more here...

Conservative Group Gives Alternative House Budget Top Marks
- via The Hill

Conservative group FreedomWorks is giving an alternative House conservative budget top marks, compared to other GOP blueprints, according to the group’s 2015 scorecard, first obtained by The Hill.

The group gives a budget prepared by the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) an “A-,” but gives the House GOP budget a “B-“ and the Senate GOP budget a “C.” Read more here...

Mike Lee: Helping Us Find Our Lost Constitution
- by Logan Albright

Mike Lee is one of the most courageous and principled defenders of liberty in Congress, and when he has something to say, all of us would do well to listen. Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document, on sale April 7th, is the liberty-loving senator’s latest salvo in the neverending battle for freedom.

There have been a lot of books written about the Constitution; at first glance, one wonders what Sen. Lee adds to an already overwhelming body of literature on the subject. The answer is threefold: passion, clarity, and relevance. Read more here...


ObamaCare's 5% Success Rate for Handing Out Subsidies
- by Nate Russell

Just one week after the President said ObamaCare is working better than he expected, the Kaiser Foundation published a study that shows a whopping 95 percent of people who received advanced subsidies last year may have been handed an amount for which they were not eligible. To put that in perspective, to every 100 individuals that ObamaCare sent advanced subsidies, only five received the correct amount.

This blunder would shape out to be a costly surprise for most of the people who received advanced subsidies under ObamaCare in 2014. Half of them would owe the IRS a significant average repayment of $794. It would eat up roughly 65 percent of the tax refunds to the middle-income families who received these subsidies. On the other hand, since only about five percent of the eligible population would have finished the year with the correct amount of subsidies, about 45 percent could look forward to an average refund of $773. Read more here...

Civil Forfeiture Reform: States Have Led, More Need to Follow
- by Michael Greibrok

Under civil asset forfeiture, the government can take someone’s property without convicting them of a crime. The law has its basis in British admiralty law and makes little sense in today’s modern world. While there are has been some discussion of reforming forfeiture at the federal level, the states are leading the charge to reform. However, more reforms are needed at the state and federal level, and can be based on the reforms already implemented in some states.

Civil asset forfeiture is an obscure area of law which turns many principles of western legal thought on its head. Under the law, the government is able to seize your property if they believe it was connected to a crime. No longer are you “innocent until proven guilty,” instead your property is taken without any guilt established. Read more here...

Real Talk: Civil Asset Forfeiture
- by Julie Borowski

Would you believe the government can take you home, your car, your cash without convicting or even charging you with a crime? In 2015? Find out why civil asset forfeiture reform is so crucial for Americans' civil liberties. Watch the latest Real Talk now!


New Mexico's Governor Eerily Silent on Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill
- by Jason Pye

Last weekend, in the final hours of its session for the year, the New Mexico Legislature unanimously passed a sweeping bill, HB 560, that effectively bans the practice of civil asset forfeiture, an egregious tool used by law enforcement in many instances to seize assets from innocent people without ever charging them with -- let alone convicting them of -- a crime.

Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, has been quiet about HB 560 since its passage. A spokesman for Martinez, a former district attorney and the State Bar of New Mexico's 2010 "Prosecutor of the Year," told that she 'will review each bill in its final form and give them all due consideration." Read more here...

FDIC Intimidates Banks from Doing Business With Politically Unpopular Companies
- by Tom Borelli

The abuse of power by the Obama administration goes beyond the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting politically conservative organizations.

Congress is investigating another source of power abuse stemming from Operation Choke Point – a Department of Justice led multiagency effort that seeks to “choke off” banking services to businesses suspected of engaging in consumer fraud.

Under this program the regulatory power of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was used to intimidate banks from working with targeted businesses. Read more here...

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Iris Somberg
Press Secretary, FreedomWorks

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