To The Republican Leadership In Congress

Long, thought provoking, and GOOD ADVICE from John Hawkins “Open Letter To The Republican Leadership In Congress” at Townhall.com:

While it would certainly be cathartic to flog the GOP for the lousy omnibus bill House Republicans just passed, it seems more productive to tackle a bigger issue. After a historic, yet unearned (Obama was the real GOP MVP) election victory, isn’t it time for the Republican leadership to try to heal the rift with the base that’s tearing the party apart?

Do Republican leaders REALLY want to spend the next two years of a presidential election cycle getting trashed the way they are right now by activists, Tea Party leaders and radio talk show hosts? Anyone who thinks the base is going to sit down and shut up or that the GOP can thrive over the long-term with this kind of intra-party feuding going on is kidding himself.

So realistically, here’s what the Republican Party leaders need to do to help get everyone back on the same page.

Below are excerpted highlights, do go to the link above and read the entire letter.

1) They should never, ever, under any circumstances trash their base again. That means if the words “Tea Party, “Senate Conservatives Fund,” “Mark Levin,” “Rush Limbaugh,” “Club for Growth,” “Heritage Action,” etc., etc., come out of their mouths, then they better be saying something nice at best or neutral at worst.

2) The GOP has to keep its promises — and quite frankly, more than a few Republicans seem to have a pre-YouTube era mentality about that. They think they can say anything they want on the campaign trail and then do something completely different in the office without people being any the wiser.

3) It’s fine for the Republican Party to recruit candidates, but it should ALMOST NEVER be involved in primaries.

4) The GOP leaders need to open up some lines of communication and if they have good motives, explain what they’re trying to do and the strategy they’re using with talk radio hosts, big websites, activist groups, etc. Locking influential conservative groups out of discussions of what the GOP should be doing BEGS for them to make trouble because it’s the only way they can get their opinion heard.

5) Speaking of fights, the GOP leaders need to prove they’re willing to fight and WIN on something that really matters to conservatives. At this point, the expectation of the Democrats, the mainstream media and even the GOP base is that the Republican Party is going to cave in every time.

6) People feel so burned by Boehner and McConnell that it would take AN INCREDIBLE amount of work for them to ever be trusted again. If someone like Jeb Hensarling took over in the House or John Thune took over in the Senate, he’d immediately get a much longer leash from the base because he’d be given the benefit of the doubt while people evaluated his performance.

7) Last but not least, there’s toxic residue in this area that goes all the way back to the end of Bush’s first term that has never been addressed by the GOP leadership in an effective manner. There are a lot of conservatives who feel like they’ve been SCREAMING at the GOP for a decade and haven’t been respected or heard. As long as the GOP leadership insists on maintaining a system where the only way conservative activists can make an impact is by raining hell down on the GOP leaders, they better keep a lot of ice water handy because that’s exactly what they’re going to continue to get.

December 19, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Jeff Duncan year end legislative update

Here’s a copy of my December Legislative Update:

I am deeply honored by the trust you have placed in me as your representative, and I look forward to working on your behalf in Washington to bring your concerns to the forefront of the debates taking place. I wanted to send you an e-mail to give you an update on some things going on inside of DC:

Immigration:

I believe what the Administration has done is unprecedented, unconstitutional, and an affront to the American people. In addition to poisoning the well and making it almost impossible to work together on other issues, I believe the Administration’s actions have created a constitutional crisis that our Founding Fathers had hoped to avoid. Presidents cannot create law. Regardless of how one feels about this issue or any other, I believe that hopefully reasonable minds can come together and agree that the precedent set by this Administration is dangerous. I am fighting hard to make sure that Congress uses the power of the purse to stop this in its tracks.

CRomnibus:

While the spending bill contained several good reforms, I believe it didn’t address the fact that this Administration has taken extraordinary steps to violate both the Constitution of the United States and our separation of powers. For this reason, I voted against the legislation. I believe it simply did not do enough to stop the Administration’s executive action. Congress will have an opportunity to reevaluate the funding for the Administration’s executive order when funding for the Department of Homeland Security expires in February.

Field Hearing:

Recently, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, part of the Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on the campus of Clemson University. The hearing focused on challenges local communities face concerning emergency preparedness. We heard from some of the most qualified officials spanning from academia to law enforcement. Thanks to all of the participants, especially the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve the citizens of South Carolina. It is always important to break outside of the DC bubble and hear real stories from people on the ground. For more information on the hearing, please read this article from the Greenville News (link is external) or watch this story from by WSPA Greenville (link is external).

American Energy Independence:

On the energy front, America’s representatives must encourage the continued exploration and development of domestic natural resources. An “all of the above” plan can harness the power of the free market benefiting working Americans. I have pushed legislation to open up South Carolina’s coast in the federal waters of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf for production which passed the House this Congress as part of the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act. A few months ago, South Carolina was given the green light for seismic testing on the coast for natural resources. Congress is working hard to have South Carolina included in the next five-year energy plan. A recent study prepared by Quest Offshore (here (link is external)) estimates that by 2035, offshore oil and natural gas development could produce 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, generate up to 280,000 jobs, contribute up to $23.5 billion per year to the U.S. economy, and generate $51 billion in total government revenue.

My comprehensive energy plan, the Energy Exploration and Production to Achieve National Demand (EXPAND) Act, H.R. 3895, is essential to harnessing the wealth generated by the energy renaissance currently taking place in America. Much of the language from my bill H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act was included in a Continuing Resolution passed by the House and signed into law by the President. The law lifts a moratorium on production of over nearly 1.5 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico known as the Western Gap. In the next Congress I encourage Congress to take up common sense policy measures that all rational people can agree on, such as the Keystone XL pipeline to continue to push energy production. Though these are only steps, the principles of liberty will serve to reinforce our economy by spreading innovation and ingenuity to the energy sector.

Constitutional Oversight:

I believe the holes continue to get deeper for the Administration as they dodge our efforts in the House to find the truth surrounding the many scandals plaguing the executive branch.

Benghazi:

There are Americans who are still unsatisfied with the answers given by the Administration concerning the death of four Americans at the Benghazi security compound over two years ago. Speaker Boehner’s support to continue the investigation by reselecting Congressman Gowdy to serve as chair of the Select Committee will provide oversight of the Executive branch. His conclusions will surely be made justly, and I wholeheartedly back his search for the truth of what happened that tragic night. Please follow the link for a further news update regarding the hearing here. (link is external)

ObamaCare:

Unfortunately, I believe there are still questions for the Administration to answer on Obamacare. The Department of Health and Human Services has recently disclosed that they have been misleading the American people on the ObamaCare enrollment figures by including dental plans. Over the next few weeks the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform will be investigating how far these numbers go. More information regarding the hearing can be found here (link is external), as well as a compilation of comments made by ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber here (link is external).

IRS:

In October, after a long fought battle against the Internal Revenue Service, the Laurens TEA Party has finally been granted approval for tax-exempt status. Also, an estimated 30,000 of the e-mails from Lois Lerner claimed to be lost by the IRS have been found! You can find articles for the Laurens TEA Party here (link is external), and the missing e-mails here (link is external).

Jobs & the Economy:

It is imperative Congress pushes rational and widely supported legislation that will incentivize businesses to hire and encourage optimism about the future. At least 47 jobs bills were stuck in the Senate during the 113thCongress. I insist the next Congress to follow the example of these bills by reintroducing them. Those include H.R. 890, Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act, which prevents the undermining of reforms critical to helping millions out of poverty and into the workforce. The Small Business Capital Access and job Preservation Act, H.R. 1105 reins in the vast maze of red tape preventing small businesses from hiring Americans hurting for work. The American dream needs a jump start, and I believe the free market agenda is the perfect prescription to our current malaise. You can find a great compilation of pro-growth jobs bills here (link is external).

I will continue to keep you updated on what is taking place in Washington. Please contact my office if you have any thoughts, questions, or opinions of what is taking place in our nation’s capitol.

Blessing and Liberty,
Jeff Duncan
Member of Congress

http://jeffduncan.house.gov/pres…/december-washington-update

December 18, 2014  Tags:   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Did you know this about Jim DeMint? I didn’t. Very Excited!

Tim Alberta at the National Journal reports:

Since abruptly retiring from Congress nearly two years ago, DeMint has adhered to Senate Ethics Committee rules that forbid virtually all communication and interaction with current members of Congress and their staffers—no chats in private, or forums in public, or even televised discussions on Sunday shows. DeMint has followed these guidelines religiously, recognizing that his scholarly think tank is already under the microscope because of its spinoff lobbying arm, Heritage Action for America.

That’s all about to change. On Jan. 1—precisely two years after he officially resigned from Congress—DeMint’s ban will be lifted. The former South Carolina senator, who became a conservative kingmaker responsible for the recruitment of tea-party darlings in 2010 and 2012, will be back in action. And the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. With Republicans taking over the Senate—and three of DeMint’s star pupils pondering runs for the presidency—he’s ready to get back into the game.

“I don’t think they’re going to tie yellow ribbons around the oak tree when I come back,” DeMint said in an interview. “But it’s going to be fun to get back into those offices.”

DID YOU KNOW THAT? I didn’t and I’m so excited! I had thought that DeMint was engaged behind the scenes. Knowing that he wasn’t gives me a vision for the things he can accomplish beginning in January with a more engaged role! OH BOY!

Read the article to learn how DeMint has had to have a “hands off” approach, and what Senators like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio look forward to beginning in January.

December 18, 2014  Tags:   Posted in: Uncategorized  4 Comments

SC’s Child Support Enforcement Computer Still 4 Years Away

Robert Kittle at WSPA reports on this story.

It is horrifying that South Carolina elected leaders boast that “More Bikes are Built in South Carolina! … South Carolina manufactures more car tires! … We Built PLANES! … We have a State Vegetable! … Look HUNDLEY! … while for two decades vulnerable South Carolina children have gone without. Decades. Those kids who have been overlooked by our South Carolina leaders are now adults with families.

Do you think it has anything to do with how lucrative family court legal system is for lawyers? Lawyers who make up much of our legislature? I’m just asking.

Do you think it’s because there’s absolutely no bragging rights to “Hey Look! South Carolina has finally after … 10 … 12 … 18 years brought our child support enforcement system up to where we were legally obligated to in 1992?” Yeah, somehow that’s not as exciting to see on a political resume as TIRES! PLANES! IT’S A GREAT DAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA BECAUSE BUSINESS!!!!’

Here’s the story:

The South Carolina Department of Social Services now says it will have a statewide child support enforcement computer system up and running in four years, more than two decades after it was due by federal law. Katie Morgan, director of the DSS’s child support enforcement, gave the news Tuesday to state senators working on next year’s budget.

Congress passed a law in 1992 requiring all states to have statewide child support enforcement computer systems. They make it easier to find parents who owe child support, especially if they move to another county or state.

In South Carolina’s case, it now has 46 different systems, one in each county. The statewide system would tie all 46 counties to each other, into the state DSS system, and into other states.

South Carolina had a deadline of 1997 to have a system up and running, but the original company the state hired quit right before the system was due. That led to a lawsuit that put the project on hold for years.

The state then hired a second company, which worked on it for years, but the state fired them for missing deadlines. That led to more litigation and delays.

Missing the federal deadline means South Carolina has been fined almost $124 million by the federal government. The vendors who were supposed to build the system have paid about half of that, but that still leaves taxpayers paying the rest.

Morgan told senators that the state will now build a system based on Delaware’s. She says finishing the system that was already being built would cost more than copying Delaware’s.

That’s frustrating to state senators, who’ve been asking for years why South Carolina is the only state that hasn’t been able to build a system. If every other state has done it, why not just copy one of theirs? Morgan says a study in the early 2000s found it would not be cost effective to build a system based on another state’s, but technology has changed so it would be now.

December 18, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Jonathon Hill on Leadership PACs

From Jonathon’s website:

(go there and join his email list)
BTW Jonathon will be our Guest Speaker at our January 6 Spartanburg Tea Party meeting. Calendar that date, it is the FIRST TUESDAY of January.

Why I filed H. 3077 – click that link to read the bill

Sometimes efforts to fix a problem actually make the problem worse.

Buried in a package of 15 rules changes that were quickly adopted by the House on a voice vote during the organizational session on December 2nd was an amendment to House Rule 4.16 which banned legislators from having a “Leadership PAC.” I do support the notion that House and Senate leadership should not be allowed to wield the power of a large PAC as a carrot or as a stick over the members of the body in which they preside the way former Speaker Bobby Harrell did.

Sadly, this new rule does not accomplish it’s stated purpose.

Notwithstanding Section 8-13-1340, a member of the House shall not, directly or indirectly, establish, finance, maintain, or control any entity including, but not limited to, a noncandidate committee that receives or makes contributions as defined in Section 8-13-1300. This rule does not apply to a candidate committee or a legislative caucus committee.

I filed H. 3077 to strike this new rule for the following reasons:

1. Nothing is said about “leadership.” This doesn’t ban leadership from having PACs, it bans all members from having PACs. Why shouldn’t House members be able to raise money to help their friends out, or to oppose their enemies? After all, that’s exactly what our own former Sen. Jim DeMint did with the Senate Conservatives Fund, which played a significant role in the elections of 2008 elections of Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Pat Toomey, and the 2010 elections of Sen. Mike Lee and Sen. Rand Paul. As DeMint famously said, “I would rather have 10 Marco Rubios than 30 Arlen Specters.” Would any conservative argue that replacing Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter, and others was a bad thing for DeMint to have done?

2. Nothing is said about “PACs.” The actual term this rule uses is a noncandidate committee, which could, conceivably, advocate for or against issues as much as for or against candidates. In fact, South Carolina has no legal definition at all for a “PAC.” This blurry line cannot be fixed in a House rule; it will have to be addressed statutorily.

3. This rule specifically exempts legislative caucus committees. Caucus committees are essentially “super” PACs with different rules and higher contribution limits. The current Republican Caucus chairman also happens to be House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister. The Speaker of the House, Jay Lucas, also has outsized influence on Republican Caucus decisions by virtue of his position. If we don’t want leadership getting involved in each others races, then why exempt caucuses? It’s worth noting that the House Republican Caucus did contribute to several House incumbents who had challengers in the 2014 primary.

You may dislike the role money plays in politics. I understand that. However, if allowed to stand, this new House rule will not reduce the role money plays in SC politics, rather, it will put more of it into the hands of House leadership. To use a crude analogy, it is like disarming legal gun owners while allowing thugs and criminals to walk the streets with guns.

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. That’s what I’m doing with H. 3077.

December 17, 2014  Tags: ,   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Spartanburg GOP – leadership in action and bench strength!

I had a fun time at the Spartanburg GOP Christmas party last night, great conversations! and my fav Pimento Cheese sandwich.

Chairman Nic Lane gave a rundown of why Spartanburg County is one of the most respected county parties across the state, we lead through action!

– There have been 12 official precinct walks this year, with a few more unofficial ones, resulting in some previously unorganized precincts to become organized.

– Spartanburg has hosted a slew of legislators, as well as potential Presidential candidates – Tim Scott, Trey Gowdy, Nikki Haley, Henry McMaster, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie.

– We’ve held several candidate forums and social events

– Pamela Satterfield has updated our website and it looks great! She has posted the Treasurer’s reports and ethics statements online.

– Our Executive Committee passed a resolution urging our delegation to work to close SC primaries.

– Our Executive Committeman, Case Chumley, authored a resolution in support of H3101 (protection against Obamacare) which was passed UNANIMOUSLY by the SCGOP State Executive Committee.

– Republicans in our county have attended County Council meetings, and have traveled to Columbia, keeping up with legislation and ordinances, and have had an impact on budgets and bills.

– A proposed $71 Million tax increase in School District 5 was defeated.

– We had a successful primary and general election cycle, with lots of campaign volunteer hours at every level of elected office.

In addition, a couple of our county party officers are taking amazing actions to lead at the state GOP level …

First Vice Chair Bill Conley has been asked to do a presentation on “Precinct Organization” at the January SC Tea Party Conference based on Spartanburg’s reputation for assertive action and sound strategy on that effort! Ben Carson and Rick Santorum have already signed up as speakers for this year, as have Congressmen Jeff Duncan and Louie Gohmert (TX) just to give folks a sense of the caliber of speakers that Bill will be joining.

Treasurer Pamela Satterfield has conferenced with Matt Moore and will be facilitating a “SCGOP County Treasurer’s Summit” after the January statewide Executive Committee meeting, to present best practices. She’ll have a representative from the SC State Ethics Commission to inform on how to file ethics reports, and a lesson in local fundraising by a party leader.

Finally, one of the most telling things about last nights Christmas party for me was the growth we’ve had in Spartanburg County of new faces, young faces, folks who have joined us through the year determined to help grow our local and state party, and … who are making plans to run for office themselves! See the young Republicans we had at our Christmas party last night! There’s some serious campaign and party building muscle in that group right there, including one elected official! And likely a few future candidates!

December 17, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Jeff Duncan explains “The Rules”

Jeff posted this longer explanation on the rules vote. What an education. I appreciate him taking the time to even type this out for us. We are well served.

Rule Votes, the CROmnibus and other ramblings on these efforts for your edification:

Almost every bill that comes to the floor of the US House of Representatives comes via the Rules Committee where a “Rule” or playbook, if you will, determines how that bill proceeds to a vote.

I say “playbook” because how each bill proceeds is different.

For example, a bill can come under a “structured” rule, limiting the length of time of debate for both the opposing and supporting sides, as well as allowing the number of and type of amendments that are made in order – those amendments having to have been drafted and offered in the Rules Committee before being offered on the floor, thus getting a vote in Rules Committee first.

Another type “rule” would be a “closed” rule, where the length of time for debate is set (and once it runs out – it runs out. Period), as well as no amendments can be offered.

An example was the CROmnibus which was just voted on. It was a “Closed” rule and no amendments – like the Mulvaney amendment that many of us fought for – are made in order.

Another example of a “Rule” would be an “Open” rule – one which is more traditional, allowing a bill to come to the floor, any and all amendments which are germane to the subject of the bill can be offered, and all debate is exhausted before final votes and passage.

Exceptions to the necessity of “Rule” votes are what is known as bills voted on under “Suspensions” – or where the House suspends the rules and considers the bill for passage immediately. You see this happen on non-controversial bills like the naming of post offices.

Many people confuse the procedural votes in the House with the procedural votes in the Senate, like a cloture vote. They are in some ways similar – but the two chambers handle them differently and they have different effects.

On the CROmnibus bill, which leadership rushed a 1,600+ page bill, violating the promised 72 hour requirement for bills to be posted on-line – the bill had a closed rule, allowing, I believe, one hour of debate per side and no amendments were made in order.

It takes a simple majority to adopt a rule (that means 218 votes if everyone is present and voting). One would assume that 100% of the minority party – in this case the Democrats – will vote against the rule. There are 201 Dems – so, to defeat a rule, there would need to be 100% of Dems and 17 Republicans.

If the “Rule” vote fails to get 218 Yea votes, the bill cannot be brought up at that time for debate and passage.

Is the bill “Dead?” Not necessarily.

In the case of the CROmnibus, many of us knew that it would not die. (When I say “us” – just look at the variety of conservatives who voted for or against the rule. Members with conservative bonafides like Bridenstine, DeSantis, Mulvaney, Sanford, Gowdy, myself and others voted for the rule; guys like Jordan, Amash, Gosar and others voted against.)

So, if the rule had failed – what would have happened? (Understand that this was an important funding bill at a year-end deadline, etc. – important to Leadership, etc.). Well, the Rules Committee would have simply met, a sweetner would have been added – like making a Democrat Amendment in order or allowing more debate or something – and there would have been another rule vote on the floor. (That isn’t always the case – but I can tell you that, with what I witnessed going on with this bill, there would have been). I think that is the reason groups like Heritage, Freedomworks and Club for Growth did not score the rule vote, but instead signaled that they were scoring final passage votes.

After a new rule was written, more Dems would have voted for it or the White House would have got involved and convinced more Dems to support the rule – just as you saw the WH get involved in final passage – and the bill would have moved for a final vote on the bill.

I say all of this for those who asked “Why did you vote for the procedural vote which allowed the bill to move forward? If yiu and one other had voted “No” – y’all could have killed it.” It wasn’t gonna die. Our hope was to kill it on final passage, get more of a fight a lot sooner with a short-term CR or maybe the Mulvaney language added. And House leadership had a short-term CR drafted as a “just in case” scenario.

What we witnessed after that defies explanation and sickens me. You saw Pelosi whipping Dem votes against the bill. Barack Obama was making personal calls to Dem members in support of the bill. Boehner and Company were whipping Republican members in favor of the bill and conservatives were standing firm and trying to get better language, shorter terms and a commitment from leadership to fight this Executive over-reach.

But at the end of the day – Congress didn’t “fund Obama’s Executive Amnesty.” There is no new $ for that. We did not, however, restrict, cut or eliminate the funding either. We allowed DHS to continue to collect fees for USCIS and we funded DHS for around 60 days, whereas the rest of government is funded through Sept. 30th.

We have another shot at this Executive action. We have been promised a fight in January. Many of us wanted it now, in a funding battle, when we felt our leverage was greater. It was a matter of tactics, I guess. I just ask for your support and prayers as we enter this next phase, with the Senate reinforcements arriving in January.

December 16, 2014  Tags: ,   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Jeff and Trey … what about those “yes” votes on the procedure? Jeff answers.

I’ve seen people lambasting Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan on their yes vote for the procedure/no vote on the spending bill. I watched that happen, and having watched the votes for years for these two decided to hold fire until I heard for them. Here is Jeff Duncan from his Facebook page.

Jonathon Hill question: How come you voted yes on this procedural vote which allowed the bill to move forward to a vote? Your no vote here would have prevented the passage of this vote (it passed 214-212). http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll561.xml
26 mins · Like

Jeff Duncan answer: Jonathon Hill I wrote about this pretty extensively with Danny Cooper on another thread. The short answer is it wouldn’t of prevented passage of this vote, because leadership had already lined up another rule vote with Dem votes had this one not passed. Best case scenario for conservatives would of been that they would of immediately conducted another rule vote with the Dem votes they used for final passage. Rep. Mick Mulvaney and I waged a fight in the rules committee the day before to allow an amendment to the overall bill that would of included the proper defunding language.

If there’s a silver lining to this it’s that we get another stab at it in February with the DHS appropriations. Technically there was funding for the President’s executive order in the CRomibus, since the agency that would be implementing the executive order is funded by fee’s. Therefore in order to stop this legislatively, we have to use the leverage of budget to proactively add language that would prevent this from taking place. The CRomibus decoupled DHS spending from the rest of the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The bad news is it gives us slightly less leverage to use in this fight. The good news is it gives us better ground to fight on because the President can’t threaten to hurt seniors and veterans in the process.

The other problem is late February may be too late given how rapidly these agencies are staffing up in preparation to process these applications. Praying for you in the upcoming legislative session!

I thought there’s be more to the story. Would I have liked a no vote on procedure? ABSOLUTELY! But like the clowns who are proclaiming that Ted Cruz’s Constitutional Point of Order allowed confirmation votes on Obama’s nominees, sometimes you have to look at more than a headline.

And ask the actual person the actual question. Good for you, Jonathan Hill.

I tried to go find the thread where Jeff went into more detail that he mentioned above, but a quick look didn’t do it. If I do run across it, I’ll post it. Below is Jeff’s post that Jonathan asked his question about:

I voted “no” on the spending bill because it didn’t do enough to stop the President’s executive actions related to immigration. While the spending levels were an improvement from past years, they still weren’t good enough to make a significant impact on our nation’s debt and deficit. I also didn’t like the fact that this bill was written and negotiated behind closed doors and rushed to the floor with little time for review or debate. That being said, there were some decent provisions in the bill.

For example, the bill cuts the EPA by another $60 million. Since 2010 the agency’s budget has been cut by $2.2 billion, or 21%. As a result the EPA will be forced to reduce its staffing to 1989 levels. This is a huge win because like the President’s executive amnesty, this is an agency that he has tried to use to bypass Congress and implement his agenda. The bill also blocks the EPA from regulating certain farm ponds and irrigation ditches, which is a huge win for farmers in South Carolina.

The bill cut funding to ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board by $10 million.

Cuts the IRS budget by $345.6 million.

Rolls back many of First Lady Michelle Obama’s school nutritional regulations and provides more flexibility to local school districts.

Blocks foreign aid to Libya until it’s confirmed that the country is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigations into the Benghazi attacks.

One of the most important features is that the DHS budget is now set to expire in February instead of September 2015. This will give us an opportunity to include language in the DHS spending bill to block the President’s executive amnesty.

December 16, 2014  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Jim Demint and Ted Cruz weigh in on the weekend’s votes

The usual go along crowd has been all “Ted Cruz is stupid/a loser/a bad republican/FillInTheBlank” losing their religion defending the Senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain who voted against Cruz’s Constitutional Point of Order Saturday night. Because HEY! in xx number of days we’ll have the Senate and THEN oh THEN we’ll REALLY be able to do something about immigration.

And then they wander off on the idiot trail as they try to convince that all those nominations were put through by Harry Reid ALL BECAUSE of what Ted Cruz did. CLICK HERE to see how we debunked that nonsense.

Well today we have two Op-Eds from gentlemen who fight. every. time. and don’t wait until “next time” to do something.

Ted Cruz writing at Politico: Why I tried to block Obama’s amnesty.

Amnesty is wrong, and it is unfair. It’s unfair to millions of legal immigrants, to the 92 million Americans who are currently not in the labor force, and to minority communities across the nation struggling with record unemployment.

Even more troubling was how the amnesty was decreed: by executive fiat, directly contrary to federal immigration law and to the Constitution. The former prohibits issuing work authorizations to those here illegally, and the latter prohibits the president from ignoring federal laws passed by Congress.

If a president can defy federal law, it renders useless the checks and balances in our Constitution. And it sets the stage for presidents to ignore any other laws (tax, labor, environmental) with which they might disagree.

If Congress does nothing in response, we acquiesce to this constitutional crisis.

Within hours, I joined a handful of other senators in going to leadership and affirmatively offering to cooperate to facilitate a quick vote on the CRomnibus—that very evening, we suggested—in exchange for a simple up or down vote on defunding executive amnesty.

Republican leadership told us we would likely get our vote. All day Friday, they told us the same thing. Then, late Friday night, Harry Reid apparently changed his mind, and we were told there would be no vote on amnesty.

At that point, I supported an objection to delaying the CRomnibus vote any further. We used the leverage we have under the rules to try to force our vote.

Read more from Cruz at the link above.

And Jim DeMint offers this Op Ed at The Daily Signal:

I’ll save you the boring back-and-forth that occurred in our nation’s capital over the procedural stuff and cut right to the chase: Ted and Mike were attempting to carry out the mandate that voters gave to Congress on Nov. 4.

They were fighting to stop Obama’s executive actions, which grants quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to millions of those who are in the country illegally while millions are waiting to come to America legally.

These two senators were representing the mainstream of their party and the majority of voters from the past election.

There is absolutely zero debate within the Republican Party as to whether the president overstepped his constitutional authority or acted improperly. Everyone agrees that he has. The disagreement, apparently, is over whether lawmakers should actually try to stop him.

This is not a difference over tactics, as some have been quick to suggest. It is a difference that originates from distinctly different objectives.

CLick the link above to read DeMint’s entire Op Ed. I agree with him — it is Cruz and Lee who are fighting for the mainstream of our party. Not the Grahams and McCains.

December 16, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Report on Monday’s Spartanburg County Council Meeting

Councilman-elect Justin Bradly with a recap. I have to note with some degree of serendipity that it was a year ago tonight, at last years Spartanburg County Republican Party Christmas Party that I first met Justin and he shared a vision for running for Spartanburg County Council. See! You don’t want to miss these parties, Big Things Happen!

Council ended 2014 on a positive note this evening. I appreciate the work council put into this year and continuing our strong progress as a county. I look forward to joining council in January.

Council’s agenda included:

-Honoring Councilmen Dale Culbreth and O’Neal Mintz in their final council meeting for their service to our county over their past two terms. I appreciate the sacrifice both men have made to give a better future for our county. Please keep Mr. Culbreth in your prayers for continued recovery following his recent open heart surgery.

-Councilman Michael Brown addressed the recent events in Ferguson and New York. I appreciated Councilman Brown’s inclusive statement and show of support for our local police and the hard work they put in to prevent a similar situation from happening in our community. I also agree with his statement that every life matters, and we should all do our part to help improve the lives of those around us.

“All lives matter,” he said. “It’s not about color, it’s not about race; it’s about our community. … Not everyone has someone who can come home and tell you, ‘I love you.’”

-Council voted to change the vice-chairmanship to a one year term from a two year term. Council will elect the vice-chairman at the January council meeting.

-Council received the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

-Council gave first reading to an ordinance relating to derelict vehicles. Councilman Nutt made an important observation that although we trust our environmental enforcement officers to apply the ordinance appropriately in line with the legislative intent, the ordinance as written would remove the right to an appeal with a county board and leave a homeowner’s only appeal with a magistrate court. I hope the second reading of the ordinance we address in January will be amended to change this appeal process.

December 16, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments