News Briefing for Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15, 2014



Study: 42 Percent of New Medicaid Recipients in the Last Two Years Were Immigrants

“Almost half of the low-income Americans who have enrolled in Medicaid in the past two years are immigrants to the United States, according to a new report, suggesting that Obamacare’s large expansion in the program will disproportionately benefit immigrants as well. “The data show that immigrants and their children accounted for 42 percent of the growth in Medicaid enrollment from 2011 to 2013,” the CIS report says. Because immigrants are more likely to have low incomes or lack insurance from their jobs, they’re much more likely to be eligible for the existing Medicaid program — and Obamacare’s expansion of it, which began this year. The report looks specifically at Medicaid growth right up until the program’s dramatic expansion. This year, the health-care law expanded the program, in most states, to any adults and their dependents with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, boosting federal spending on the program by tens of billions of dollars per year. Much of the benefits of the expansion, the CIS report points out, will then flow to low-income immigrants. Federal law bans the admission of immigrants who are likely to be significant beneficiaries of welfare, technically a “public charge,” but that definition doesn’t consider in-kind welfare programs like Medicaid: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services defines being a public charge as “the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.” The USCIS union president has recently complained that President Obama is not enforcing public-charge laws. Illegal immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid currently and are technically ineligible for the Medicaid expansion or any other direct Obamacare benefits, but fraud in the program is rarely investigated and recipient-level eligibility is rarely investigated.”

Study: Immigrants Are Boosting Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Rolls The Most


Who Gets Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act


ObamaCare: Cheapest Bronze Plan Rates To Rise 15%

“Overall, ObamaCare’s 2015 premium hikes look moderate, yet many of the most price-sensitive customers still may be in for an unpleasant surprise as the second year of enrollment gets underway on Saturday, Nov. 15. A review of premiums in one major market in each of 48 states plus D.C. shows that, on average, premiums for a 40-year-old earning 250% of the poverty level ($29,175 for a single person) will rise 15% for next year. That includes the impact of a smaller average tax credit. In 25 of these cities, modest-income bronze customers will experience double-digit premium hikes. Still, the average percentage hike is skewed by an odd 372% jump in Jackson, Miss., due to a much smaller subsidy. A more useful way to examine the available data is by looking at how much more these modest-income individuals will pay for the cheapest bronze plan: an average of $128 over a year. A 40-year-old couple with no children at 250% of the poverty level would have to pay $208 more. The extra cost of buying the cheapest plan is likely to be a headwind as the state and federal exchanges aim to keep 2014’s customers and make inroads among healthy adults who opted out of ObamaCare in year one. Not-So-Silver Lining. The jump in after-subsidy bronze premiums comes even as the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that silver premiums, excluding subsidies, would actually dip slightly in the same 49 cities. Kaiser foundation researchers looked specifically at the second-lowest-cost silver plan in each area. That is a key ObamaCare benchmark because it is used to determine how much of a subsidy a household can get. That matters a lot when it comes to how much the government will spend on ObamaCare, but may not be a great indicator of affordability for modest-income households. In Jackson, the second-lowest-cost silver plan for a 40-year-old will come down from $410 a month in 2014 before subsidies to $305 a month in 2015. But that turns out to be really bad news for modest-income households. For an individual at 250% of the poverty level, the cost of that benchmark plan will rise only slightly in 2015, from $193 per month to $197. That’s the same pretty much everywhere because it’s based on a pre-determined percentage of income, which rises along with earnings. Discount Rates At A Premium. As a result, the available subsidy fell from $217 a month to $108, which will hike the monthly after-subsidy cost of the cheapest silver plan from just $65 to $184.”


MSNBC: So, your Obamacare costs are going up


Federal and State Regulators Continue to Mull Employer Stop Loss Plans as Way Around the Affordable Care Act

“In 2012, three federal agencies quietly asked the public for information on identifying the scope and implications of business using stop-loss insurance policies to possibly avoid coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. A stop-loss policy is purchased by a self-insured employer as protection from large employee health claims. The policy kicks in and pays for the employers expenses beyond a set level of coverage. CQ HealthBeat’s (@CQHealthTweet) John Reichard reported (subscription) earlier this year on a congressional panel’s examination of the possible role for stop-loss coverage for small business and any federal guidance on managing the plans. Possible widespread use of stop-loss plans could siphon healthy employees out of the broader insurance pool and the policies could entice employers into self-insured plans, which avoid Affordable Care Act mandates. However, information is limited about the extent of actual use of stop-loss plans. A Department of Labor sponsored report questioned the reliability of current reporting on self insurance coverage and state insurance regulators are mulling limits on the point at which stop-loss coverage kicks in and the possible management of an employee’s health care by the stop-loss insurer.”


Cost of Coverage Under Affordable Care Act to Increase in 2015

“The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans. The data became available just hours before the health insurance marketplace was to open to buyers seeking insurance for 2015. An analysis of the data by The New York Times suggests that although consumers will often be able to find new health plans with prices comparable to those they now pay, the situation varies greatly from state to state and even among counties in the same state.

“Consumers should shop around,” said Marilyn B. Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the federal insurance exchange serving three dozen states. “With new options available this year, they’re likely to find a better deal.” She asserted that the data showed that “the Affordable Care Act is working.”


BEDFORD: How Obamacare Hurt Us, Personally


GOP Conference Voting: All GOP Staffers May Be Forced onto Obamacare Exchange

“The Senate Republican Conference is currently conducting leadership elections. It is also voting on a handful of proposals and resolutions that, if backed by a majority of the conference, will be adopted as the formal positions of the GOP. They include the provision below, proposed by Louisiana senator David Vitter, which would require all Republican senators to force their staffers onto D.C.’s Obamacare exchange, and to challenge Democrats to do the same. The proposal is below:  Resolved, that it is the policy of the Republican Conference that all Members shall designate all staff they employ as official for purposes of healthcare when filling out the Annual Designation of “Official Office” staff or otherwise complying with the section 1312 of the Affordable Care Act regardless of whether they work in a member’s personal office, committee office, leadership office, the cloakroom or any other office. Challenge to Democrats. The Republican Conference calls upon the Senate Democrats to adopt a policy that all Democrat members shall designate all staff they employ as official for purposes of healthcare when filling out the Annual Designation of “Official Office” staff or otherwise complying with the section 1312 of the Affordable Care Act regardless of whether they work in the member’s personal office, committee office, leadership office, the cloakroom or other any other office.”

Mandatory Obamacare for all congressional staffers?


Some functions won’t work overnight

“The Obama administration says some functions of will be temporarily shut down overnight as the website transitions to the start of sign-up season on Saturday. Spokeswoman Lori Lodes (Low-dess) said Friday that consumers will not be able to update or start new 2014 applications during the overnight transition. However, they will still be able to look at plans and premiums for 2015 during this time. Lodes says that when consumers wake up Saturday morning the site will be working, and they will be able to sign up for 2015 coverage. She gives no specific time. Last year, was plagued by technical problems. It froze the first day, and repairs took about two months. The administration says that won’t happen this year, though there may be some outages.”


Obamacare’s ‘Burwellian’ rollout


Blackout: Former CNBC anchor claims she was silenced for criticizing Obamacare

“Melissa Francis, who now anchors at Fox Business Network, said Friday that network executives at CNBC silenced her a few years ago when she questioned the long-term sustainability of the Affordable Care Act. “It’s shocking, but it actually doesn’t surprise me because when I was at CNBC, I pointed out to my viewers that the math of Obamacare simply didn’t work. Not the politics by the way. But just the basic math. And when I did that, I was silenced,” Francis said. “I said on the air that you couldn’t add millions of people to the system and force insurance companies to cover their pre-existing conditions without raising the price on everyone else. I pointed out that it couldn’t possibly be true that if you like your plan, you can keep it,” she added. She continued, claiming during the segment that CNBC executives met with her after she criticized the massive healthcare law, reprimanding her for “disrespecting the office of the president.”

Fox Anchor: CNBC ‘Silenced’ Me For Reporting On Obamacare [VIDEO]


Melissa Francis: CNBC scolded me for criticizing ObamaCare


Did Jonathan Gruber earn “almost $400,000” from the Obama administration?

“Barrasso, in the Fox News interview, said Gruber’s comments about the “stupidity of the American voter” were so reprehensible that “he ought to just give the money back.” Did Gruber really earn nearly $400,000 from the administration — and if so, why? The facts: In 2009, just one month after President Obama took office, the Department of Health and Human Services put out a sole-source solicitation titled “Technical Assistance in Evaluating Options for Health Reform.” The contract would be with Gruber, who the document said was the only person “reasonably available to satisfy agency requirements.” As the agency put it, “Dr. Gruber developed a proprietary statistically sophisticated micro-simulation model that has the flexibility to ascertain the distribution of changes in health care spending and public and private sector health care costs due to a large variety of changes in health insurance benefit design, public program eligibility criteria, and tax policy.” The model, the Gruber Microsimulation Model, is the coin of the realm, in large part because it is similar to the model used by the Congressional Budget Office. That means administration policy-makers could predict with reasonable certainty how CBO would score legislation. Given that legislation in Washington often falls or rises depending on the CBO score, that made this model a very powerful tool for administration officials. The first four months of the contract could not be found on the Web site, but in June 2009, HHS renewed the contract for eight months, with a value of $297,600. Gruber in an e-mail confirmed that the first part of the contract was for $95,000. That adds up to $392,600 — or “almost $400,000.”

WaPo fact check: Yes, Gruber got $400,000 for ObamaCare work

Despite Dem claims, trash-talking Gruber was well-paid adviser for ObamaCare and more

Despite Dem claims, trash-talking Gruber was well-paid adviser for ObamaCare and more


Yet Another Video of Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Is Making the Rounds — This Time He Brags About a ‘Dirty Secret’

ObamaCare architect mouths off again, as videos cause problems for Dems

“The mouth that won’t stop giving — and that has Democrats and the Obama administration cringing — has been caught shooting off yet again on video, this time bragging how the Massachusetts health care system he helped design worked by ripping off millions of dollars from the federal government. On top of that, another video has surfaced from Vermont showing him mocking a critic of single-payer health care, comparing him to an “adolescent” child.  The latest videos of Jonathan Gruber come after House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed Thursday she didn’t know who he is. Though Pelosi actually cited Gruber’s analysis — repeatedly — several years ago to boost the passage of ObamaCare, her office continued to insist he played no real role in the crafting of their bill.  Yet video after video has emerged of Gruber boasting about the behind-the-scenes crafting of the Affordable Care Act, and how law-writers supposedly took advantage of the “stupidity” of the American voter.  The latest videos pertain to state health overhauls, in Massachusetts and Vermont. One video, from a January 2012 forum, shows Gruber discussing the Massachusetts overhaul under then-Gov. Mitt Romney. He explained how the state was able to bilk the feds over hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars. “The dirty secret in Massachusetts is the feds paid for our bill, okay?” he said. “In Massachusetts we had a very powerful senator you may know named Ted Kennedy. … Ted Kennedy and smart people in Massachusetts had basically figured out a way to sort of rip off the feds for about 400 million dollars a year.”  He explained how when ObamaCare was written, they had to take a different approach because they had to raise money elsewhere. (As he explained in other recently uncovered videos, part of this involved taxing insurance companies for high-end health plans.) In yet another video, reported by and shot by, Gruber in 2011 mocked a critic during a Vermont House committee hearing examining a publicly financed health program. At the hearing, a lawmaker read aloud one comment that warned of “ballooning costs” and “bureaucratic outrages.” As the hearing participants began to laugh, Gruber said: “Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?”


Yet another video shows ObamaCare architect disparaging voter intelligence (continuation of yesterday’s story – 3rd video)

“Yet another video has surfaced of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber crediting the passage of the health care bill in part to American voters’ lack of intelligence. The Daily Caller posted the third video Wednesday of the MIT professor, this time speaking at the University of Rhode Island in 2012. Gruber was discussing the law’s so-called “Cadillac tax,” which he said was helped along by “hero” then-Sen. John Kerry. The “Cadillac tax” mandates that insurance companies be taxed rather than policy holders. He said that taxing individuals would have been “politically impossible,” but taxing the companies worked because Americans didn’t understand the difference. “So basically it’s the same thing,” he said. “We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” The new video follows a second tape played on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” Tuesday that showed Gruber speaking on a similar topic at an October 2013 event at Washington University in St. Louis. Referring to the “Cadillac tax,” he said: “They proposed it and that passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.” This was similar to remarks he made at a separate event around the same time in 2013. In a clip of that event, Gruber said the “lack of transparency” in the way the law was crafted was critical. “Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,” he said.”

How Bad Is Obamacare? Remember the Context For Gruber’s Deceptions

“As now the third video emerges of “Obamacare architect” Jonathan Gruber ”insulting voters,” it’s important that we remember the context for Obamacare’s lies, spins, evasions, and deliberate obfuscation. Obamacare was so expansive, so unpopular, and so outside the perceived will of the voters, that Gruber and his administration allies felt that they had to intentionally confuse and deceive the American people to pass health care reform through a Democrat-dominated Congress. Remember, these were the halcyon days of President Obama’s alleged mandate — when mainstream pundits were heralding a potential sea change in American politics, when Time declared Republicans an “endangered species.” Yet Obamacare’s architects knew they were moving farther and faster than the American people wanted. They knew that if they wrote a law in plain English that even their Democratic allies in Congress would reject it. They knew that if they explained the true effects of the law — including the existence of very real trade-offs — that not even a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate could save them.”

Third video emerges of Obamacare architect insulting voters


CNN: Hey, who’s up for a fourth Gruber video? (4th video)

Obamacare architect discussed misleading public in 4th newly uncovered video


Gruber video #5: Mocking critics as “adolescent children”

5th Video Shows Gruber Laughing At and Mocking ObamaCare Critic’s Accurate Predictions

“In one week’s time Jonathan Gruber has gone from the brilliant and celebrated ObamaCare architect whose expert views were sought after as he sat on one panel after another – to a completely disowned laughingstock regarded by the ruling class as having “remarkable hubris” and views that are “not good” and “damaging.” I was actually beginning to feel a little sorry for Gruber.  Then this next video came out.’s Bruce Parker has this clip from the ObamaCare architect’s appearance before a Vermont legislative panel in February 2011, where one of the committee members read a warning letter about the dangers of adopting a massive, top-down government program controlling health insurance markets. After hearing a list of predicted negative consequences, Gruber dismissed it as something that might have been “written by my adolescent children”

ObamaCare architect mouths off again, as videos cause problems for Dems

“The mouth that won’t stop giving — and that has Democrats and the Obama administration cringing — has been caught shooting off yet again on video, this time bragging how the Massachusetts health care system he helped design worked by ripping off millions of dollars from the federal government.  On top of that, another video has surfaced from Vermont showing him mocking a critic of single-payer health care, comparing him to an “adolescent” child. The latest videos of Jonathan Gruber come after House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed Thursday she didn’t know who he is. Though Pelosi actually cited Gruber’s analysis — repeatedly — several years ago to boost the passage of ObamaCare, her office continued to insist he played no real role in the crafting of their bill. Yet video after video has emerged of Gruber boasting about the behind-the-scenes crafting of the Affordable Care Act, and how law-writers supposedly took advantage of the “stupidity” of the American voter. The latest videos pertain to state health overhauls, in Massachusetts and Vermont. One video, from a January 2012 forum, shows Gruber discussing the Massachusetts overhaul under then-Gov. Mitt Romney. He explained how the state was able to bilk the feds over hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars. “The dirty secret in Massachusetts is the feds paid for our bill, okay?” he said. “In Massachusetts we had a very powerful senator you may know named Ted Kennedy. … Ted Kennedy and smart people in Massachusetts had basically figured out a way to sort of rip off the feds for about 400 million dollars a year.” He explained how when ObamaCare was written, they had to take a different approach because they had to raise money elsewhere. (As he explained in other recently uncovered videos, part of this involved taxing insurance companies for high-end health plans.)”


The hits keep coming: Gruber celebrates ‘mislabeling’ Obamacare in video #6


Gruber Begs ‘Give Us Another Chance’ On Failed Obamacare Exchange

“Embattled academic Jonathan Gruber pleaded with reporters Thursday to give Massachusetts’ Obamacare workers a second chance after the state’s Obamacare exchange failed miserably over the past year.  “We didn’t do a great job last year,” Gruber said to reporters after a meeting with state Obamacare officials Thursday, the Boston Herald reports. “Give us another chance.” Gruber, an MIT professor who worked for the Obama administration and several states on the health-care law, is also a board member of the Massachsuetts Health Connector. Massachusetts had a perfectly functional Romneycare exchange when Obamacare became law, but took federal money to build a revamped Obamacare exchange for 2013. That new exchange was a disaster and Massachusetts is set to launch a third version of a health insurance marketplace Saturday. Last February, Gruber blamed his fellow board members for “falling down on our jobs” and being “disinterested” in overseeing the creation of the new Obamacare exchange. The Boston Herald reported that Gruber repeatedly said “No comment!” when asked about his many, many recorded comments discussing the “stupidity of the American voters” and the ways the administration misled the public about what was in Obamacare while it was passed. Given the state’s messy experience over the past year, Massachusetts Obamacare officials have tended towards the dramatic before. The former director of the state-run Obamacare exchange was reduced to weeping in a hearing with Obama administration officials about an extension for the decrepit website earlier this year.”


New Obamacare furor: Was Jonathan Gruber the “architect”?


ObamaCare an edict from “elitists” who don’t get the American people, says … Howard Dean


Thank You, Jonathan Gruber

Obamistas believe they had to lie to pass Obamacare because Americans are stupid.


“The stupidity of the American voter”


Calling Me Stupid

No, in hindsight, that’s what the arrogance of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was.

“The arrogant remarks of Obamacare architect and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber should come as no surprise. He called the American people “stupid” and said that passage of the law relied on its “lack of transparency,”  which enabled it to slide through Congress and onto the public’s lap. Arrogance and condescension have too often characterized the attitudes of the current administration and their proponents. But the fact is, the American public is not stupid when it comes to Obamacare, and they are not deceived. Understanding this clunker and not liking it is precisely why this law has never been popular. A health-care tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation for this July showed that more than 50 percent of Americans viewed the Affordable Care Act unfavorably, the fifth time since the bill’s passage that more than half of Americans polled by Kaiser were found to be against the health-care law. Americans know that having health insurance doesn’t automatically mean access to care. Trust me, patients were wary of the state exchanges long before they began to flounder and seize. The days of my patients proudly showing their shiny new insurance cards and demanding instant service are long gone. There isn’t a patient out in my waiting room these days who isn’t familiar with the red tape of denied tests, unobtainable referrals, narrow doctor networks. The problem preexisted Obamacare, but the Affordable Care Act made it worse, as most Americans knew it would. Gruber bragged that the Cadillac tax that was levied on the top employer insurance policies (instead of repealing the tax advantage) led to higher premiums, as if the public wasn’t aware that the insurance companies would immediately transfer these costs to consumers. Employers and employees everywhere are miserable under the chafing impact of Obamacare, but employers anticipated this, and it is one of the reasons that there is a rise in part-time workers who don’t qualify for these policies. What American didn’t always think of the individual mandate as a tax, given that it appears on his yearly tax form and the IRS is responsible for collecting it? We already feel overtaxed, which is one reason that Obamacare never had the slightest chance of bipartisan support. Probably if you polled Americans from early childhood on you would discover that the only thing we trust less than a government proclamation is an insurance-company promise. Obamacare, which wraps both together in one neat package, is a perfect storm.”


Arrogance plus deception equals Obamacare. Ask Gruber.


The Gruber Confession


GOP’s anti-Obamacare push gains new momentum in wake of Gruber video

“The Republican Party’s ardent campaign against President Obama’s health-care law gained new momentum Wednesday as lawmakers reacted angrily to assertions by an architect of the policy that it was crafted in a deliberately deceptive way in order to pass Congress. On both sides of the Capitol, leading conservatives said they may call economist Jonathan Gruber to testify about his remarks, which were made last year and surfaced this week in a video on social media. In the video, Gruber suggests that the administration’s signature health-care legislation passed in part because of the “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” over its funding mechanisms. “The strategy was to hide the truth from the American people,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is slated to chair the Senate Budget Committee next year. “That is a threat to the American republic.” Gruber has been a complicated figure in the history of the health-care law. He helped the Obama administration craft the measure and has been a leading advocate of it, but he has also made sporadic comments sparking political brush fires that have been problematic for the law’s supporters. The White House sought Wednesday to distance itself from Gruber and his comments.”

Obamacare ‘stupidity’? New energy for repeal push

“Newly surfaced videos are adding fresh energy to the efforts of congressional conservatives to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, feeding into their contentions that the overhaul was approved through a scheme of deception. Some are calling anew for hearings on the law, which is about to begin its second year of coverage for millions of Americans. And activists are telling lawmakers to make good on their talk of scrapping the law or face defeat in the next elections. The videos show MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, an adviser in the law’s drafting, saying that “the stupidity of the American voter” helped Democrats pass the complex legislation.”The Gruber clip has caught fire,” says David Bozell, whose ForAmerica group campaigns against the health care law online. In one video, Gruber describes what he depicts as the behind-the-scenes political strategy of the law’s supporters. At a 2013 University of Pennsylvania public forum, he says Americans’ lack of understanding helped Democrats pass the legislation. Other impolitic statements have continued to dribble out in which Gruber claims that the law was written to deceive federal budget watchdogs and mocks conservatives’ concerns over health care policy. He has since disavowed the most controversial remarks, saying he “spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments.” Republicans, who made big gains during last week’s midterm congressional elections, have stood unified against the law they deride as “Obamacare,” and they now point to Gruber’s comments as yet another reason to dump it. They say the remarks show a cynical strategy by Democrats to camouflage the law’s politically unpalatable aspects and sneak them past an unsuspecting public. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is among those calling for hearings, perhaps including Gruber as a witness. “This is what we complained about when we fought it for all those months on the floor. Nobody understood it,” McCain said. Another advocate for scrapping the law, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, branded the measure “just a bundle of deception.”



“On Friday, the Republican National Committee criticized some of ObamaCare’s staunchest proponents with a video highlighting MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the so-called architects of the ObamaCare legislation, which included some of his statements challenging the intelligence of the American voter. “Gruber’s comments reveal how President Obama and Democrats like Nancy Pelosi took advantage of Americans and violated the trust of voters. Like Gruber, they clearly think Americans are too ‘stupid’ to figure out what’s in our own best interest,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. “In 2009, Nancy Pelosi encouraged Americans to read Gruber’s ObamaCare analysis, and now she is claiming she doesn’t know who Gruber is. The lack of transparency from the White House and Democrat leaders is appalling.”


President Crafted Obamacare Deception With Gruber At White House Meeting

“President Obama personally crafted a major Obamacare deception with Jonathan Gruber at one of Gruber’s numerous White House meetings, according to a 2012 Gruber interview with PBS. MIT professor Gruber, who served as a top Obama administration consultant during the writing of Obamacare, garnered national condemnation this week after The Daily Caller published a video in which he credited a lack of transparency for Obamacare’s passage. Gruber said the law survived an existential threat posed by “the stupidity of the American voter.” Gruber had a powerful partner in his effort to spin or conceal politically vulnerable aspects of Obamacare from the public: the president of the United States. The Gateway Pundit highlighted a clip from Gruber’s 2012 interview with the PBS program Frontline in which the professor admitted that he worked together with the president in the Oval Office to conceal the political impact of their plan to get more tax revenue out of employer-sponsored health insurance plans by imposing a new “Cadillac tax” on companies. The Gateway Pundit also confirmed that Gruber checked into the West Wing for a meeting with the president on July 20, 2009, according to White House visitor logs.”


Dear Democrats, Don’t Even Think about Running from Jonathan Gruber


White House says Gruber’s wrong, attacks GOP

“The White House is denouncing comments from key Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that a lack of transparency and the stupidity of voters helped in the passage of the health care law and is instead pointing a finger at Republicans. “The fact of the matter is, the process associated with the writing and passing and implementing of the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a news briefing in Myanmar, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “I disagree vigorously with that assessment,” Earnest responded when asked about Gruber’s claim that Obamacare wouldn’t have passed if the administration was more transparent and voters more intelligent. He added, “It is Republicans who have been less than forthright and transparent about what their proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would do in terms of the choices are available to middle class families.” Earnest said the president “is proud of the transparent process that was undertaken to pass that bill into law.” The response from the White House comes as a third video of Gruber criticizing the intelligence of American voters has surfaced.

“We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said in remarks from 2012 that aired Wednesday evening on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”


Earnest “Disagrees” With Gruber: Obamacare Process “Extraordinarily Transparent”



Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Don’t Know’ Jonathan Gruber — but the Media Quickly Found Some Damning Information to the Contrary

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday tried to downplay comments by an architect of Obamacare, who was caught talking about the “stupidity of the American voter,” by saying she doesn’t even know who he is, even though her office has relied on his analysis before. “I don’t know who he is,” she told reporters. “He didn’t help write our bill.” “So, with all due respect to your question, you have a person who wasn’t writing our bill, commenting on what was going on when we were writing the bill, who has withdrawn some of the statements that he made,” she added. “So let’s put him aside.” But shortly after she spoke, the Washington Post later reported that in 2009, Pelosi’s office noted Gruber’s analysis of what would happen under an earlier version of the Obamacare legislation. In December of that year, her office noted that Gruber’s analysis showed that the bill would lower health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. A Pelosi spokesman later tried to clarify Pelosi’s remarks by saying she meant to say that she didn’t “know who he is,” and not that she has “never heard of him.” Jonathan Gruber has been credited with writing parts of the Affordable Care Act before its passage in 2010. He’s since been caught in a video from 2013 saying the “stupidity of the American voter” helped pass the bill into law. In a second video, Gruber said “American voters are too stupid” to understand the process of passing the legislation. Pelosi also tried to downplay Gruber’s remarks by saying they are old, and that he has moved away from them.”

Nancy Pelosi says she doesn’t know who Jonathan Gruber is. She touted his work in 2009.

“Many have pointed out since then that Pelosi’s office has cited Gruber’s work in the past. That’s notable, but it’s very unlikely Pelosi herself wrote those press releases herself or even participated in their drafting. But then there’s this: Pelosi herself has also mentioned Gruber and his work — back in November 2009, at the height of the Obamacare debate. Here’s the transcript, via Nexis:

Q: As you know, the Republicans released their health- care bill this week. And I wanted to get your comment on the bill, and specifically on the CBO analysis that it would cost significantly less than the Democratic plan and that it would lower premiums.

PELOSI: Let me just say this. Anything you need to know about the difference between the Democratic bill and the Republican bill is that the Republicans do not end the health insurance companies’ discrimination against people with preexisting conditions. They let that stand. That’s scandalous, the fact that it exists. I don’t understand why they have not heard the American people, who have said preexisting conditions should not be a source of discrimination. And secondly, the Republican plan ensures about 3 million more people than now, and ours does 36 million people. So that’s a very big difference in that. We’re not finished getting all of our reports back from CBO, but we’ll have a side by side to compare. But our bill brings down rates. I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange. And our bill takes down those costs, even some now, and much less preventing the upward spiral. So again, we’re confident about what we set out to do in the bill: middle class affordability, security for our seniors, and accountability to our children. Pelosi’s office told the Washington Post that the minority leader meant that she didn’t know Gruber personally. “She said she doesn’t ‘know who he is,’ not that she’s never heard of him,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said. Hammill added: “We’ve cited the work of dozens upon dozens of economists over the years. As the leader said today, Mr. Gruber played no role in drafting our bill.”

Nancy Pelosi Doesn’t Know Who Jonathan Gruber Is (but Her Website Does) (Updated)


Pelosi cited ObamaCare architect in push for law – now claims she hasn’t heard of him

Pelosi: “I Don’t Know” Who Gruber Is; Flashback: Pelosi Cites Gruber’s “Analysis” In 2009


Sebelius on Gruber: “I Don’t Have A Comment About His Comments”

“Speaking at the American Academy of Actuaries on Thursday, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius briefly addressed Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s controversial comments about how Obamacare got passed. “You can talk to Dr. Gruber about what he said, but I don’t have a comment about his comments. Anything else,” she said.”


That time Harry Reid had nothing but praise for Obamacare’s controversial architect

“In 2009, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., heaped praise on Jonathan Gruber, one of the chief architects of the Affordable Care Act, calling the MIT health economist “one of the most respected” in his field of expertise. “The Congressional Budget Office said yesterday the majority of American families who buy insurance in the new marketplace we will create — what we call health insurance exchanges — what they will see is their premiums go down,” Reid said from the floor of the U.S. Senate. “CBO’s experts aren’t the first to recognize these benefits. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jonathan Gruber, who is one of the most respected economists in the world, said in today’s Washington Post: ‘Here’s a bill that reduces the deficit, covers 30 million people and has the promise of lowering premiums.’ Pretty good statement,” the former Senate Majority Leader added.”

That Time Harry Reid Called Obamacare Advocate Jonathan Gruber ‘One of the Most Respected Economists in the World’


Obamacare Debate an Ugly Process Lacking in Transparency Says…President Obama

“Thursday the White House pushed back on the claim that the passage of Obamacare lacked transparency. But President Obama has already admitted that was the case in a major interview with ABC News broadcast in January 2010. Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was caught on video at an event last year saying a “lack of transparency” was a big “political advantage” in the process of passing the bill into law. This clip and several more like it have been leading the non-network news cycle for most of the week. Yesterday White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about Gruber’s claim. Earnest denied it was accurate saying, “The fact of the matter is, the process associated with the writing and passing and implementing of the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent.” He added that President Obama, “is proud of the transparent process that was undertaken to pass that bill into law.” Actually, President Obama was not at all proud of the process that led to the law’s passage. In a January 2010 interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, Obama described it as an “ugly process” and added, “it looks like there are a bunch of back room deals.” The President admitted the lack of transparency had raised legitimate concerns even among his own supporters. “Part of what I had campaigned on was changing how Washington works, opening up transparency and I think it is — I think the health care debate as it unfolded legitimately raised concerns not just among my opponents, but also amongst supporters…” he told Sawyer. At the time, President Obama seemed to take some responsibility for the lack of transparency in the process saying, “we started worrying more about getting the policy right than getting the process right.” He promised to “own up to the fact” that the process hadn’t lived up to his ideals.”


Howard Kurtz: Media’s “Virtual Blackout” Of Gruber’s Obamacare Remarks

Former Dem Operative: ‘Stunning’ That Media Is Ignoring Obamacare Architect Comments

Bret Baier: Broadcast Networks Continue to Ignore Gruber Tapes


Besieged by stupid Americans, Media circles the wagons around Gruber


Fox News Reporter Goes Head-to-Head With White House Press Secretary Over Gruber Comments

“Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry went head-to-head Thursday with press secretary Josh Earnest over the controversial comments made by an Affordable Care Act architect. Summarizing the comments in which economist Jonathan Gruber openly discussed how a “lack of transparency” was used to push the landmark health law through Congress, Henry pressed the White House press secretary for an explanation. “Didn’t the president promise unprecedented transparency?” he asked Earnest. “Why would one of the architects of the law suggest that you were misleading people?” “Well, I’m not sure, frankly, Ed,” Earnest responded. “The fact of the matter is the process associated with writing and passing and implementing the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent.”… Henry then asked if the White House felt “bad” about Gruber’s comments. “I disagree vigorously with that assessment, I think is what I would say.I think the fact of the matter is this is a — this was a very difficult undertaking, but ultimately this is a law that has had significant benefits for millions of people that have been able to sign up through the marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act,” Earnest replied. Gruber, who helped craft the controversial law, was heavily criticized this week after video of him surfaced saying a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” were “really critical” in moving the landmark legislation through Congress. In another video shot in 2013, the Obamacare architect said, “The American voters are too stupid the understand the difference.” A third video of him surfaced Wednesday where he is seen discussing how to trick the American voter.”


Carney: Jonathan Gruber “Speaks From The Ivory Tower With Remarkable Hubris”


Cruz Hits ObamaCare With Gruber Video: “Can’t Shake It Off”



“In a rather bizarre move Friday, the Washington Post published an appeal to Fox News  to “Investigate Gruber’s Remarks.” The Post is referring to none other than Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of ObamaCare, who’s currently under fire for six(!) instances (so far) where the MIT professor’s been caught on video bragging about the deceit Democrats and the Obama Administration used to pass the unpopular government program: When such astounding comments from the mouth of an Obamacare architect, the White House must be pressed for its version of events. So [Fox News’ Ed] Henry is doing righteous work here, and surely he knows that his network will welcome the interrogation. After all, Fox News has devoted 57 segments to the Gruber thing, according to an analysis done by Media Matters for America. Just how transparent and straightforward was the making of Obamacare? Well, Gruber offers one take on the events. Brian Beutler of the New Republic has another, arguing that it was “one of the most transparent in recent memory.” Earnest has his own take. So here’s a suggestion. Fox News has revenues approaching $2 billion and a newsgathering investment of nearly $900 million per year — why not plow some of those funds into an investigation into the transparency of the passage of the Affordable Care Act? If what Gruber says is on target, after all, then there must be a heck of a lot more scandal to uncover. Don’t rely on one source for this story, Fox News.”


Doubting Gruber

“Jonathan Gruber has suggested on several occasions that people had to be misled about aspects of Obamacare to get it passed. Leaving aside the moral questions, are his political judgments correct? I’m not sure two of them are. Gruber has said, for example, that Obamacare’s “Cadillac tax” on the most expensive employer-provided health-insurance plans is a way of scaling back the tax break for employer-provided insurance that avoids the political disadvantages of scaling it back explicitly: “It’s a very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” Some analysts dispute the idea that these two policies are equivalent to each other. But as I said, I’m just talking about the politics. I am not at all sure that the Cadillac tax was received more favorably than a reduction in the tax break would have been. I suspect that had the administration gone with the second description, indeed, it would have been very slightly better off: that scaling back a tax break for expensive insurance sounds better than imposing a new tax on it. Gruber has also suggested (as best as I can tell, and with the help of this interpretation of his remarks) that explicit subsidies for people with preexisting conditions would have been less popular than imposing regulations that cut premiums for those people while raising them for everyone else. I am not sure this is true, either. The regulation forcing insurers to treat sick and healthy people identically is one of the most popular features of Obamacare; but it is tied to one of the least popular features of Obamacare, its individual mandate. If it were possible to do a meaningful poll that asked people to choose between two packages — a ban on insurers’ treating sick people differently plus higher premiums plus the mandate (plus subsidies to help people comply with the mandate to pay those higher premiums) vs. subsidies for sick people but lower premiums and no mandate — I could easily see a plurality or majority of the public choosing the latter.”


Obamacare’s lame-duck period


How to Prepare for Obamacare’s Collapse


Will work when open enrollment begins Saturday

“Will work when open enrollment begins on Saturday? That’s the question on the minds of Americans who will be logging on to buy health insurance on the government’s website. “We’re very confident we’re going to be in good shape beginning Saturday,” said Kevin Counihan, the man charged with running the federal government’s insurance marketplaces. In an interview with CBS News National Correspondent Wyatt Andrews, Counihan was confident about the website’s functionality, saying, “This is not last year. This is not last year.” Last year’s rollout was fraught with technical problems, with repeated crashes that effectively shut down the site for most of the first month of the launch. frustrated consumers and became a national joke on late-night television. The disastrous rollout ultimately cost Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius her job and at least $175 million to fix. Jeff Zients, now the director of the National Economic Council, was called in to manage the repair of the website, and his work to that end was considered to be a success. Now, as year two is about to begin, Counihan says extensive end-to-end testing has been performed to ensure the process goes smoothly. Last year, contractors failed to complete stress tests before the launch of the site. Today, Counihan says “we’ve kicked the tires on this system both internally and externally to see that it works and that it’s stable.” He also promised a more streamlined sign-up, so it will take less time to get through the online process, from welcome screen through enrollment. “There are 16 screen shots to go through the application…compared to 76 from a year ago,” Counihan said. Customers will also be able to choose from more insurance companies–25 percent more. This, he says, will create more competition and better pricing. Counihan ensured better information about whether consumers’ physicians are in the networks offered. Information about the tax credit available will be easier to figure out. The website team has, he said, “taken an extremely aggressive and diligent view to protect the website, protect the personal information that’s on this site, and that’s been validated through the re-testing.”


Obamacare enrollment starts again Saturday. Here’s everything you need to know.


Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom President on Why You Shouldn’t Enroll in Obamacare


The selling of Obamacare 2.0

TV’s out; hashtags are in.


Epic Court-Packing Fail: D.C. Circuit Calls Off Halbig Arguments

“On routine motion of the plaintiffs, the D.C. Circuit yesterday canceled next month’s arguments in Halbig v. Burwell and ordered the case to be held in abeyance pending the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell, which was granted certiorari last week. Since those two cases concern the same central issue, namely, whether tax subsidies for Obamacare can go through exchanges not “established by the State,” the D.C. Circuit is now in a holding pattern until the Supreme Court issues its ruling on the issue, which will control the outcome of both cases. As a result, the administration’s strategy to run out the clock on timely judicial review of Obamacare has failed.”


Will Obamacare separate Scalia from his principles?


Op-Ed History gives clues to Chief Justice Roberts’ thinking on new Obamacare case


What Happens to Insurers if the Supreme Court Throws Out Subsidies?

Challenge to Obamacare on Contraceptives Rejected

“A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a path devised by the Obama administration that allows religious nonprofit groups to avoid paying for contraception under the president’s health care law. In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a challenge by the groups, which claimed that the accommodation still imposes a substantial burden on their expression of religion. The Affordable Care Act requires that women covered by group health plans be able to acquire Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods at no additional cost. In response to an outcry from religious groups, the government devised the accommodation, but the groups continued to oppose the regulations. To be eligible for the accommodation, a religious organization must certify to its insurance company that it opposes coverage for contraceptives and that it operates as a nonprofit religious organization. The religious groups argued that the notice to insurance companies requesting the accommodation is a trigger that will result in the government hijacking their health plans and using them as conduits for providing contraceptive coverage to their employees and students. The appeals court said that all the religious groups must do to opt out is to “express what they believe and seek what they want” via a letter or two-page form. “That bit of paperwork is more straight-forward and minimal than many that are staples of nonprofit organizations’ compliance with law in the modern administrative state,” wrote appeals judge Cornelia Pillard, who was nominated by President Barack Obama. “Religious nonprofits that opt out are excused from playing any role in the provision of contraceptive services, and they remain free to condemn contraception in the clearest terms,” she added. Among the organizations challenging the accommodation are the religious group Priests For Life and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.”

Challenge to Obamacare on contraceptives rejected


Fireworks: Ed Schultz vs. Dana Loesch on Obamacare

TheBlaze TV’s Dana Loesch Battles Ed Schultz During Explosive Obamacare Debate: ‘Dana, I’m Not Gonna Do This’

“TheBlaze TV’s Dana Loesch made good on her vow to appear on MSNBC and debate Ed Schultz about Obamacare on Thursday — and things got tense in a hurry. After starting with some friendly small talk about the Dallas Cowboys, Schultz pressed Loesch on why Republicans don’t have a health care plan to replace Obamacare. He argued that the GOP’s only plan is to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. “Because Harry Reid has hid it on his desk, that’s why,” Loesch replied. “You know that there are over at least nine plans that have been submitted by House Republicans and sent to the Senate — alternatives to Obamacare.” The host and guest started to clash when the reality of Americans losing health insurance plans under Obamacare became the topic of conversation. Schultz claimed only “junk” plans were dropped because they no longer complied with federal standards, but Loesch disagreed. “Remember, it was Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ just recently that the president promised that if you like your health care plan you can keep it,” Loesch said. “That’s not the question!” Schultz yelled as he and Loesch talked over each other. “I want you to tell my audience — Dana, I’m not gonna do this.” When Schultz told Loesch that he was showing her “respect by doing the interview,” she snarked back, “I’m doing you a favor by doing this interview.” Plenty of heated crosstalk continued, with Schultz telling Loesch at one point that she was being “rude” and “unworkable.” Eventually, Schultz allotted Loesch 30 seconds to make her point.”


Gallup: Good reviews for Obamacare coverage

“A majority of Americans give good reviews for insurance they recently acquired through government exchanges within the past year, a new poll shows. With the second round of Obamacare enrollment set to begin on Saturday, 71 percent said their coverage through the exchanges was good or excellent, according to a Gallup poll released Friday. Another 19 percent said the coverage was fair, while 9 percent rated it poorly.”


Dems’ path after Obamacare: Down, down, down

“There were 60 Democrats in the Senate on Christmas Eve 2009, when they voted in lockstep to pass the Affordable Care Act. Soon there will be 46 Democrats in the Senate, or perhaps 47, if Sen. Mary Landrieu manages to eke out a win in Louisiana. In plain numbers, the post-Obamacare trajectory has not been good for Senate Democrats. The 46 or 47 Democrats in the next Senate are a bit different from the group that passed Obamacare. Sixteen of them took office after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. They never had to vote for it and have never had to defend voting for it. Are those post-Obamacare Democrats as strongly opposed to changing the law as their colleagues who voted for it? Or are they possibly a little less personally invested in staving off challenges? It’s a question that will be tested in coming months. “After [the midterms], the conditions for repeal and replace may be even better than most people think,” writes a Senate Republican aide in an email exchange. “Not only is there a fresh crop of Republicans eager to make good on campaign pledges, but a significant number of Democrats have no particular attachment to the law and may even want to be rid of it as a political issue.” There could be some wishful thinking in that. Yes, the post-Obamacare Democrats include Sens. Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, and perhaps another centrist or two. But there are a lot of solidly doctrinaire liberals in the post-Obamacare class: Chris Murphy, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, and others. They’ll likely be just as lockstep as their predecessors. To make fundamental changes in Obamacare, Senate Republicans will have to muster 60 votes, which means — if the GOP has 54 — they will need to find six Democrats to go along. On a few questions, that will probably be easy; for example, there is broad support for repealing Obamacare’s medical device tax. There could be such support for restoring a 40-hour work week. Of course, even if six or more Democrats join Republicans to pass Obamacare-related measures, the president can still veto them. But he would have to overturn the will of a supermajority in Congress. Maybe that will give him pause. Or maybe not.”


Physician-Assisted Suicide: Poll Shows 2X People Voted Against It After This Debate




Obama nearing final decision on immigration

“The White House says President Barack Obama is nearing a final decision on what executive actions he’ll take on immigration. Obama has pledged to act on immigration before the end of the year. But Republicans who will control both chambers of Congress come January are threatening a showdown in an attempt to stop him. Immigration activists want Obama to halt deportations for millions. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama still hasn’t decided what actions he’ll take. Earnest says Obama has been discussing options with Cabinet officials. Final recommendations are expected after Obama returns from Australia on Sunday. Earnest also says that, if the House were to later pass a Senate-passed immigration bill, Obama would sign it in a way that supersedes his executive actions.”


Obama to GOP: Immigration action ‘going to happen’ in 2014

“President Obama Friday dismissed Republican warnings against taking executive action on immigration reform, telling GOP leaders his unilateral plan is “going to happen before the end of the year” unless they pass a bill of their own. “There has been ample opportunity for Congress to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that would strengthen our borders, improve the legal immigration system,” Obama said during a press conference in Myanmar, part of a weeklong trip to Asia. “It passed out of the Senate,” he added. “I gave the House over a year to at least give a vote to the Senate bill. They failed to do so.” According to multiple reports, the president is set to take executive action that would defer deportations for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants and grant many of those individuals work permits. Obama’s announcement could as come as early as next week, but senior Democrats are pressing the White House to hold off on unveiling the blueprint until Congress passes a budget for the rest of the fiscal year. Some conservatives have floated the idea of tying up the spending bill if Obama moves forward unilaterally on immigration.”


White House hints Obama immigration action will be broad

“A top White House official, speaking to reporters just before a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar (which used to be known as Burma) with President Obama and Myanmar’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, said no final proposals for executive action on ‎immigration have reached the president and the timing of an announcement remains uncertain. The official, who is directly involved in the policy and political process, said Mr. Mr. Obama has received frequent updates on the range of options for exercising executive power to provide legal protection from deportation for up to 5 million undocumented adult workers. The final presentation will be consistent, generally, with the ongoing internal debate over the mix of deportation relief and increased border security. “This isn’t like the Academy Awards where the president gets an envelope and doesn’t know what’s inside,” the official said. “He’s been involved throughout.” As for timing and scope, the official said the White House sees no benefit from trimming back action to appease congressional Republicans. The GOP reaction will be angry no matter what, the official said, suggesting Mr. Obama is leaning toward an expansive use of executive power to shield undocumented adults from deportation – much as he has done with so-called Dreamers (children brought to the country illegally but who are long-time residents). During the Myanmar news conference, the president pointed at lawmakers back home. “I belive that America is a nation of immigrants. The system is broken,” Mr. Obama said. “There has been ample opportunity to pass a bill, to lift people out of the shadows. … I am always interested in negotiating a legislative solution to the problem. The minute they pass a bill I can sign, then any executive actions I take are replaced. “They have the ability to fix the system . I will not stand by with a broken system in perpetuity. Rather than trying to constrain my lawful actions as chief executive, they (should) spend time passing a bill.” The White House official also said Mr. Obama is weighing the timing of the announcement against fears a move this month could jeopardize negotiations over a short-term spending bill designed to prevent a government shutdown.”


Obama Plan May Allow Millions of Immigrants to Stay and Work in U.S.

“President Obama will ignore angry protests from Republicans and announce as soon as next week a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan. Asserting his authority as president to enforce the nation’s laws with discretion, Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away. President Obama on Thursday attended a meeting of leaders of Southeast Asian nations in Myanmar’ s capital, Naypyidaw.Obama, Down but Not Out, Presses AheadNOV. 13, 2014

That part of Mr. Obama’s plan alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration research organization in Washington. But the White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.”

Report: Obama immigration plan keeps up to 5 million from deportation

“President Obama as soon as next week will announce executive action on immigration reform that would defer deportations for up to 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally. Obama administration officials familiar with the president’s plan told the New York Times that many of those undocumented immigrants could also receive work permits. The president is set to unveil his immigration plan in the face of intense conservative backlash, with Republican lawmakers insistent that such executive action would derail any hope of bipartisan compromise on a range of other issues. Under the potential Obama blueprint, parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents would be protected from deportation. However, the Times said the administration is also weighing a plan to limit such benefits to those who have lived in the U.S. at least a decade.”

New York Times: Obama to Announce Plan to Protect Up to 5 Million Illegals From Deportation

Obama’s immigration executive action could save millions from deportation



Obama’s New Visa Law Seen Helping Chinese Buy U.S. Real Estate


VP Biden Announces Refugee Plan for Central American Kids

“Vice President Joe Biden announced Friday a plan to allow U.S. parents here legally to apply for their Central American children to join them in the hope of preventing a crisis as was seen this summer when more than 68,000 migrant children arrived at the country’s southern border. The announcement came in an appearance by Biden with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador at the Inter-American Development Bank conference on investing in Central America. The crush of children that arrived from violence-ravaged Central America put a strain on border inspection centers and forced the administration to open emergency shelters around the country. The children’s presence sparked protests from anti-immigrant groups and communities, including in Marrietta, Calif., where protesters blocked a bus of children and families being transported to an immigration center, forcing the bus to turn back. Other communities, such as Dallas, provided housing and assistance for them.”

Ahead of Obama’s immigration plan, Biden announces refugee program for Central American minors

“The U.S. government will launch a program in December to grant refugee status to some people under the age of 21 who live in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and whose parents legally reside in the United States. U.S. officials say parents can ask authorities free of charge for refugee status for their children in the Central American countries, which are plagued by poverty and vicious gang violence. The program does not apply to minors who have arrived in the U.S. illegally. Vice President Joe Biden announced the program Friday at the Inter-American Development Bank, where the presidents of the three Central American countries will present a plan to stem child migration from their countries. U.S. officials said that children deemed refugees will be able to work immediately upon arrival in the U.S., opt for permanent residency the following year and for naturalization five years later. They did not say how long the process of receiving refugee status will take. Central American children who meet the requirements will be part of a quota of 4,000 people from Latin America receiving refugee status each fiscal year, officials said. The U.S. quota of Latin America refugees currently consists of Cubans and Colombians. Applicants who don’t meet the requirements will be evaluated to see if they can be admitted conditionally under a non-permanent migratory status that allows them to work temporarily in the U.S.”





Obama Eases Immigration Path for Central American Kids with Parents in the U.S.

“The Departments of State and Homeland Security on Friday announced a new refugee/parole program that will grant some children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras refugee status in the United States if they have parents in the U.S. already. The program is a response to the past year’s flood of immigrant children to the United States, which saw more than 70,000 children — mostly from the three Central American countries — try to cross the border. The State Department said the refugee program is aimed in part at encouraging these children not to attempt the perilous and illegal trip.”


Obama: Action on Immigration Is ‘Way Overdue’


Obama promises his deeply unpopular views on amnesty, Keystone won’t change


Video: Obama makes the case against his executive amnesty



“Vice President Joe Biden previewed President Obama’s decision to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, during a speech to the Inter-American Development Bank Conference on Central America in Washington D.C. today.  “In the absence of congressional action, the president will not stand on the sidelines,” Biden asserted. “He will use his lawful executive authority to act in the absence of inaction by the Congress.” Biden explained that Obama was determined to improve what he characterized as a “broken immigration system,” targeting illegal immigrants “who have been in the shadows the longest.” According to reports, Obama is expected to grant legal status for up to 5 million illegal immigrants before Thanksgiving. Biden urged Congress to follow Obama’s lead encouraging them to “do the right thing.” “Waiting though, is not an option,” he added.”



“The Service Employees International Union is circulating a petition to press Obama to act on executive amnesty. “President Obama has committed to act by the end of the year, and he needs to know now more than ever that we have his back in improving our broken immigration system,” Sylvia Ruiz, the SEIU Immigrant Justice Campaign director, wrote in an email to supporters pushing for signatures Friday. Recent reports have pinned the time Obama announced his executive actions on immigration as early as next week and Republicans are considering ways to prevent the unilateral action — which many expect could include amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.  “Regardless of the exact timing, we’re closer than ever from the biggest immigration victory in decades — and Republicans are panicking,” Ruiz continued going on to note that while a “permanent solution” would require Congressional action, Obama “can take the first step in turning the tide.” Meanwhile the anti-amnesty group Numbers USA has a new petition out as well, calling on Congress to defund any executive amnesty Obama announces. “More than 90 million working-age Americans are out of the labor force, and 18 million Americans who want a full-time job can’t find one. But if Pres. Obama’s executive action is anything like DACA, 4.5 million working-age, illegal aliens will receive work permits adding more competition to the job market for millions of unemployed Americans,” the petition reads.

The SEIU and other labor groups have been advocates for amnesty both via the legislative process and executive action. Last week SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and other labor leaders called on Obama to move forward with executive amnesty, despite the midterm drubbing Democrats took.”




USA Today’s Alan Gomez: WH “Doesn’t Think” It Can “Stop All Deportations”

“ALAN GOMEZ, USA TODAY: I believe they think they can go very, very far. And, understand, this is pretty much they’re viewing this as an extension from what they did a couple years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, where they protected close to 600,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.  And in their view, they’re allowed to pick who they’re going to focus their immigration enforcement efforts on. And, so by doing this, so they think what they can do now is extend that to one, two, three, four, million people. So long as they don’t say we’re not going to deport anybody, they think they can protect certain group of the undocumented population.  So, trust me they’ve been told– they’ve been suggested, advocated, pushed to prevent — to stop all of the deportations completely.  They don’t think they can do that. So what they’re looking at is about a group of about 3.5 million is what we’re hearing right now. Maybe 4.5 million. And mostly parents of children who are U.S. citizens and legal residents in this country, so that’s about 3 of 4 million people. It may be more, may be less, but it sounds like that’s kind of the ballpark where they are settling in to.”


Dem Rep. Clyburn Compares GOP Opposition to Amnesty to Pro-Slavery Segregationism

“Facing emboldened Republican opposition to President Obama’s unilateral amnesty, a top Democratic leader is invoking race to help explain his colleagues’ resistance to executive action.

South Carolina congressman and assistant Democratic leader Jim Clyburn reacted on Friday to House speaker John Boehner’s promise to fight “tooth and nail” against any White House push for illegal-immigrant amnesty. “I would simply say to Mr. Boehner, it would not be the first time that the Congress has fought the president tooth and nail for doing the right thing for the country,” Clyburn told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “We all know . . . what a fight Lincoln had with Congress over the question of slavery. What a fight we had over integrating the armed services.”

“This issue of immigration is just as important to this country as integrating the armed services was back in the 1940s,” the Democratic lawmaker said. “So I say to the president, have at it. Get your pen, sign the executive order, and let them do what they will or may.”


“Friday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) compared President Barack Obama’s threatened Executive Amnesty that would effect upwards of 5 million illegal immigrant living in the United States to President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves in ten states that were in rebellion from the union at that time.

Clyburn said, “I have been urging the president with the executive orders to do this. I think it would put him in big company. Lincoln use the executive order to do Emancipation Proclamation. Truman used it on the armed services. I can go down and see where the presidents have used executive authority to do mighty big things that have very positive impacts on the country. I am calling upon the president to take his place among that group that I just enunciated. I think it’s very, very important for him to do so.”

Clyburn on Immigration: “Lincoln Used The Executive Order To Do The Emancipation Proclamation”





“USA Today immigration and Latin America reporter Alan Gomez said that the president’s legal authority to give work permits through an executive order was “murky” and “something that really hasn’t been tested” on Friday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC. “He [Obama] created the deferred action for new arrivals where he allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children to register with the federal government and be allowed to stay here, to be protected from deportation, that’s about 580,000 young undocumented immigrants have been approved from that program so far. Now, the argument is that he can pretty much expand that, continue protecting undocumented immigrants while still carrying out the laws of Congress…but it gets into a lot murkier ground when he starts talking about granting work permits. And this is one of the things that we’re going to be hearing quite a bit about in this Republican Senate in these next couple of weeks, is that next step of allowing them to work. He’s not going to try to give them citizenship as you said, but it’s, the legal ground on which he’s standing to provide work permits is something that really hasn’t been tested and it’s something that’s a lot more difficult to understand” he stated.”


John Boehner: President Obama action on immigration will ‘jeopardize other issues’

The speaker of the House argues against unilateral action on immigration.

“Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans on Thursday that he offered a stiff warning to President Barack Obama last week: Unilateral action on immigration will kill immigration reform and “jeopardize other issues as well.” During a closed GOP meeting in the Capitol basement, Boehner said Obama is “playing with fire, and when you play with fire, you get burned.” “I told the president last week directly: ‘If you proceed with executive amnesty, not only can you forget about getting immigration reform enacted during your presidency, you can also expect it to jeopardize other issues as well,’” Boehner said, according to a source in the room. “We don’t know when exactly he’ll do it or how exactly he’ll do it. But if he proceeds, we are going to fight it.” The executive action on immigration is suddenly dominating the lame-duck session of Congress. Republicans don’t know when it will come, but they are worried about it interfering with their plans to pass a government-funding bill. Some Republicans are holding out on passing a yearlong funding bill simply because they want a mechanism to keep the White House on a short leash ; these Republicans prefer a short-term stopgap bill. Funding runs out Dec. 11.”


Boehner Will Fight ‘Tooth and Nail’ Against Obama’s Executive Amnesty, Doesn’t Rule Out Shutdown (Updated) (Video)

“Speaker John A. Boehner said Republicans will fight “tooth and nail” against President Barack Obama’s plans to act on immigration by himself, and didn’t rule out a government shutdown. “We’re going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path,” the Ohio Republican said at a press conference introducing the new GOP leadership team. “This is the wrong way to govern. This is exactly what the American people said on Election Day they didn’t want. And so, all the options are on the table.” Boehner is facing pressure from conservatives to pre-emptively defund any amnesty, but that could lead to a shutdown fight. “We’re going to have conversations with our members and when we have a decision, we’ll let you know. … Our goal here is to stop the president from violating his oath of office and violating the Constitution. It’s not to shut down the government.”

Boehner: I’ll fight Obama ‘tooth and nail’ on immigration


GOP warns of ‘explosion’ if Obama rushes immigration executive action

“As Democratic lawmakers and immigrant advocacy groups urge Obama to act as soon as possible, Republicans bristled at the apparently looming announcement. “He will make the issue absolutely toxic for a decade,” Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., said Thursday. One concern is that Obama would act before a Dec. 11 deadline for passing a new spending bill. Doing so could thrust the immigration debate into the budget process, with conservatives threatening to yank money from the immigration effort – and potentially triggering another showdown that could result in a partial government shutdown. Indeed, Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., already has gathered dozens of signatures on a letter calling for no funding for “the President’s reported intentions to create work permits and green cards for undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said Thursday if Obama acts before the spending bill is done, there will be an “explosion.” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., meanwhile, reiterated his concerns that the president would be acting outside the law. “The president has no authority to do this. It’s against the law,” he told Fox News. The draft plan contains 10 initiatives that span everything from boosting border security to improving pay for immigration officers. But the most controversial pertain to the millions who could get a deportation reprieve under what is known as “deferred action.” The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates. Sessions voiced concerns that illegal immigrants could simply fib in order to meet the criteria for the program. Further, he said millions more people would then be “entitled” to U.S. privileges including health care. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, traveling with the president in Burma, stressed that the president “has not made a final decision at this point about exactly what will be included in the administrative steps that he will take.” He would not specify the timing, but reiterated that Obama plans to make an announcement before the end of the year. “That should be an indication to you that the president is nearing a final decision,” he said. Earnest also said that Obama would “retract” his executive actions if the House passes an immigration overhaul previously passed by the Senate. The planning comes as immigrant advocates and Democratic lawmakers urge Obama to act. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement to Fox News Latino that they are urging the president to “go big and bold.”


Top Senate Democrat urged Obama to delay U.S. immigration move

“U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Thursday that he had urged President Barack Obama not to make his expected announcement on immigration policy before Congress approves legislation to keep the government operating beyond Dec. 11. “The president has said he’s going to do the executive action. The question is when. It’s up to him,” Reid, a Democrat, said outside the Senate. “But I’d like to get the finances of this country out of the way before he does it,” he said, adding that he had told the president this.”

Reid to Obama: Wait on Immigration Move (Updated)

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he would like President Barack Obama to wait for Congress to pass legislation funding the government before he takes executive action giving deportation relief to undocumented immigrants. “The president said he is going to do the executive action,” the Nevada Democrat said heading in to a Democratic lunch. “The question is when. It’s up to him. I’d like to get the finances of this country out of the way before he does it. But it’s up to him.” Reid said the president was aware of his preference. Republicans have warned the president not to take unilateral executive action and have raised the possibility that such a move could threaten work on an omnibus spending bill currently being developed by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Some Republicans, including Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, said they would prefer a short-term continuing resolution, rather than an omnibus. Obama’s move could give that position more traction. Later in the day Reid put out a statement playing down any problem timing issue. He underscored his support for the president acting immigration and put the onus on Republicans to allow the spending package to get through the chamber. “I strongly support  the President’s use of his well-established authority to provide relief to families who continue to suffer under our broken immigration system. The President can and should act to provide this relief. Immigrant communities cannot wait any longer for House Republicans to act,” Reid said.”

Harry Reid Urges White House to Delay Immigration Executive Action


Republicans Move to Ban Funding for Obama’s Immigration Action

“A movement is growing among rank-and-file House Republicans to explicitly ban funding for White House executive actions on immigration. Just one day after the chamber returned from a seven-week recess, more than 50 GOP lawmakers have signed on to a letter asking House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., the ranking member, to include a rider on the upcoming government funding bill that would essentially block implementation of the executive actions that could come as early as next week. Specifically, the letter calls for banning funding for enacting “current or future executive actions that would create additional work permits and green cards outside the scope prescribed by Congress.” In the letter, lawmakers led by Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., call for including the language in all relevant appropriations legislation for fiscal 2015. One of the most pressing items of business in the final days of the 113th Congress is passing an omnibus appropriations bill to prevent a government shutdown when current spending expires on Dec. 11. If that rider is included, it could jeopardize its chances for passage. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., who is still the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee until the chamber changes party hands in January, said the suggested language would be a “deal-breaker” for her — and probably for the president as well. Back on the House side, Rogers was also skeptical that the maneuver would work as many of his colleagues hoped. “I don’t think that would work,” Rogers told reporters Wednesday night. “I don’t want a shutdown. I want to pass an omnibus spending bill that incorporates much of what we’ve already passed in the House … that puts the conservative spin on the spending that we want.” He also dismissed the suggestion that House Republicans push for a shorter stop-gap spending bill — a continuing resolution — that would allow this fight to be revisited early next year, when all of Capitol Hill is under Republican control. “The only way that they would argue to do a CR is try to stymie [Obama] from issuing his executive order, but that’s a shutdown scenario,” Rogers said. “I’ve always heard that you should not take a hostage that you can’t shoot, and if it passed the House and Senate it would be vetoed.” But Rogers’ warnings might fall on deaf ears. Wednesday evening, one of the letter’s cosigners, Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said that the GOP ought not to be afraid to push the envelope on issues that matter. “I’m not interested in shutting down the government, I’m interested in getting government working once again,” Fleming said, “but we can’t say, ‘we can’t allow a shutdown, so we’re just gonna roll over and play dead.’ We can’t do that either.”


Jeff Sessions to GOP: No Money for Obama’s Amnesty

“Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) wants Congress to withhold funding for the implementation of President Obama’s expected executive orders, either in the lame-duck session or the next Congress. “A long-term funding bill that does not deal with President Obama’s unconstitutional overreach, adopted before a single newly elected Republican is sworn-in, would be to acquiesce to the President’s unlawful action,” Sessions said in an apparent warning to House Republicans inclined to pass a year-long appropriations bill. “This executive amnesty scheme will give work permits, photo IDs, and Social Security numbers to millions of illegal immigrants—taking jobs directly from unemployed Americans.”  Sessions suggested that he would support a short-term continuing resolution to fund government until next year, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will relinquish control of the Senate. “If Reid will not take up a long-term bill with these restrictions, then we should pass a short term CR so our new majority can include such language after it takes office,” Sessions said.”



“Sen. Mike Crapo has a conservative voting record, but he’s no one’s idea of a bomb-thrower. The Idaho Republican toiled for years negotiating with Democrats over deficit issues with the “Gang of Six” and has a knack for bipartisan deal-making on other issues as well. So it’s notable that on President Obama’s executive amnesty, Crapo says Congress must defend its prerogatives through upcoming spending bills, foreshadowing a major clash over the legislation despite the qualms from GOP leaders and the House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY). “Congress’s most significant potential avenue of dealing with that at this point would be through their power of the purse,” Crapo said in an interview with Breitbart News. “We would need to defund the executive branch operations related to the implementation of this executive order.” Republicans are currently discussing a variety of scenarios, including a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to bridge into the next Congress, when Republican reinforcements arrive, a long-term CR and a long-term omnibus appropriations bill, which would include a much broader set of changes to spending policy than a simple CR. Crapo would prefer to see GOP leadership enact a short-term CR and begin working on Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations bills in January, enabling them to bring the fight over Obama’s executive amnesty, which he has vowed to issue before the end of 2014, on the Homeland Security Appropriations bill.”


GOP considers bill to block President Obama on immigration

The rhetoric heats up as yet another immigration debate surfaces.

“House Republicans have begun to talk about how to stop President Barack Obama from issuing an executive order changing the enforcement of immigration laws, according to multiple GOP sources. Several options are being considered, including a standalone bill to strip or restrict funding from agencies that deal with immigration. The staffs of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other lawmakers involved with immigration policy are working through possibilities. No decisions have been made, as discussions have just started. And some in the top rung of the party aren’t certain the House has the ability to stop the Obama administration from using this authority. Just a few days into the lame-duck session, the rhetoric is getting hotter, and the brief session of legislating has morphed into yet another immigration debate. In a Thursday morning meeting, Boehner told House Republicans that he warned Obama not to issue an executive order, or else his agenda would be completely stymied on Capitol Hill. And in a news conference in the afternoon, Boehner said Congress would go as far as ignoring requests from the administration if Obama “goes down this path.”


GOP debates its immigration strategy as Obama prepares executive action

“Congressional Republicans have split into competing factions over how to respond to President Obama’s expected moves to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, which are likely to include protecting millions from being deported. The first, favored by the GOP leadership, would have Republicans denounce what House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has called “executive amnesty” and use the party’s new grip on Congress to contest changes to the law incrementally in the months ahead. The second, which has become the rallying cry for conservatives, would seek to block the president’s decision by shutting down the government for an extended period until he relents. The brewing internal debate, which started to play out Thursday in meetings on both sides of the Capitol, represents the first significant test for Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) since Republicans won full control of Congress, forcing the leaders to balance their desire to show that the GOP can govern and their fears of upsetting the conservatives who lifted them to power. “It’s a big test for the leadership. We cannot listen to the loudest, shrillest voices in our party,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican who represents the Philadelphia exurbs. “At some point we have to fund the government, and we should not fight to attach some demand. I don’t want to stand by and watch as our party gets driven into a ditch.”


Republicans mull response to Obama on immigration

“House Republicans debated Friday how to respond to President Barack Obama’s expected executive action on immigration, with GOP leaders anxious to craft a solution that satisfies the demands of their most conservative members without courting a government shutdown. Options under consideration include suing the president to overturn his action, or passing a stand-alone bill to try to stop him. Some are pushing for House Republicans to write their own immigration bill — something they’ve been unable to do in the past two years — to show they are serious about acting and pre-empt Obama. Another option would be to pass a temporary spending bill into next year when the GOP will control the Senate, to try to see if Republicans can use their grip on the purse strings to gain leverage over the president.”



“The White House must have thought Republicans in Congress would fall in line behind Speaker John Boehner and let President Barack Obama do what he’s “gotta do” on executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. Politico reports that as Republicans have instead organized behind incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to oppose the President, the Democrats and White House—including Obama himself—are showing signs of weakness.

Obama showed his frustration during a press conference in Myanmar on Friday, Politico’s Seung Min Kim and Carrie Budoff Brown wrote late Friday night. “They [Republicans] have the ability to fix the system,” Obama said. “What they don’t have the ability to do is to expect me to stand by with a broken system in perpetuity.” Obama added that his vision of “immigration reform” is something that “is way overdue. And we’ve been talking about it for 10 years now and it’s been consistently stalled.” Obama frustration is not the only problem the Democrats are facing. Democrats are in widespread disagreement over whether he should declare an executive amnesty for illegal aliens. And even those who support it are infighting over the rollout plan—when it should happen and how. “Ever since Obama decided to delay taking unilateral action until after the election and before a self-imposed deadline at the end of the year, people close to the process said they didn’t expect the president to act before Thanksgiving,” Brown and Kim wrote about the chaos inside the White House. “When the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough in September, the lawmakers left with the impression that nothing would happen until December. Before the election, the White House had set an internal deadline of next Friday to ready the proposal, but remained undecided on when to roll it out.” Kim and Brown quoted liberal activist Angela Kelley, an “immigration strategist” with the Center for American Progress, who details for Politico the uncertainty liberals are having—even ones as close to the White House as she is.“The conversation has evolved even from a few days ago,” Kelley said, adding that the White House—which recently brought CAP head John Podesta in as a senior adviser to the president—has completely cut off the liberal base from insight about what’s going on.”


If Obama takes executive action on immigration, GOP has limited options

Republicans could follow Ted Cruz’s advice and respond to any presidential exercise of executive action by blocking spending bills, likely precipitating a government shutdown, if the White House does not back down.


The GOP should threaten publicly to use Obama’s amnesty precedent once they’re back in the White House



“Although two GOP lawmakers and influential commentator Charles Krauthammer have raised the topic in recent days, using impeachment as a tool to deal with President Obama’s expected executive amnesty is likely not on the table, several conservative representatives said Friday. “I don’t hear [impeachment] talked about,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told reporters Friday.

Obama has repeatedly reiterated his intent to move forward with executive action on immigration. Recent reports pin the announcement of those actions as early as next week. Republicans have been discussing possible ways to deal with the expected controversial actions.

One option that Gohmert said he is not hearing about and does think would make sense is impeachment.   “Andy McCarthy in his book, ‘Faithless Execution’, made a great point that I really hadn’t thought about, that the Founders — when they provided for impeachment in the Constitution — were not providing a provision for proving a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, that was not the purpose at all,” Gohmert said. “It is actually a political tool that would be used once a majority of the American people believed we needed a new president,” the Texas Republican added. “Well a majority of the American people do not yet believe we need a new president so it wouldn’t make sense to move forward with it.” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) echoed that sentiment Friday.  “I said last night, ‘Have you met Joe Biden?’ That’s my response on impeachment.” “Nobody is talking about impeachment except yall,” he added to reporters, “Nobody.” Gowdy said that the fight against executive actions on immigration should be fought “where ever the best footing for the fight is” but stressed that he not believe there will be a government shutdown — despite discussion of using the must-pass upcoming spending measure to block such actions.”





‘Obama’s insurance policy’: DC chuckles after GOP congressman rules out impeaching Obama because – ‘Have you met Joe Biden?’

“–Trey Gowdy said his party can’t impeach the president over his threatened immigration overhaul – but only because Biden would become president

–The folksy Biden wants the top job for himself but Republicans see him as a potentially embarrassing one-man gaffe factory

–One senior House GOP aide said Biden is ‘two floppy shoes short of a complete clown outfit’ and Obama’s ‘insurance policy’

–Gowdy hinted that impeachment is being dangled by the White House as bait in the hope that the GOP will destroy its own credibility by trying it

–A Texas Republican congressman and a judge-turned-news-analyst floated the idea this week”


As Obama Weighs Executive Action on Immigration, Is Government Shutdown Possible? (Video)

“While House Republicans consider how to fund the government beyond December and how to stop President Barack Obama’s expected executive action on immigration, there are two words that have suddenly, unexpectedly re-entered the GOP lexicon: government shutdown. Arizona Republican Rep. Matt Salmon has penned a letter, with more than 50 Republican co-signers, to House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers of Kentucky and ranking Democrat Nita M. Lowey of New York asking them to include a rider on a bill to fund the government — either an omnibus or another continuing resolution — that would block funds for the purpose of implementing any executive action on immigration. Putting in a rider like that could cause an appropriations standoff. Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., has said such language would be a “deal-breaker” for her, and even if a bill could get past the Senate, Obama would likely veto it. Democrats know Republicans don’t want a government shutdown. “Well, we’re not going to shut down the government,” Rogers said Thursday. “So there’s no use talking about using that as a threat. We’ve been down that road before.” As Republicans consider whether they’ll do an omnibus, which would incorporate already-passed appropriations bills, or another short-term continuing resolution, which would be used to retain the threat of a government shutdown, Rogers thought a CR was an empty threat. “There’s really no reason to do a CR, if that’s the purpose of it is to threaten a shutdown, to dare him to issue his executive decree,” Rogers told reporters. “Consequently, an omnibus to get this year out of the way so we can start fresh in January is really the way to go.” Asked if he thought Republicans should address an executive action on immigration retroactively instead of preemptively, Rogers said there are any number of ways to “tackle” the question. “There could even be a separate bill, separate from the omnibus, dealing with that subject,” he said.”


Mitch McConnell on Obama’s executive amnesty: We’re not shutting down the government


Cory Gardner: “A Mature Governing Body” Should Not Even Contemplate A Shutdown



“Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) predicted that Republican Party leadership in the House and Senate will cut a deal with President Obama on immigration during an interview on Thursday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.” When asked whether he thought GOP leaders in Congress would cut a deal with a president, he responded, “absolutely, I mean, we saw the Speaker’s true colors in the immigration debate in July, we were supposed to have 72 hours to actually see a full bill, we never saw the full bill, we saw what was coming out in deferred action, my office wrote a Dear Colleague letter and they pulled it…I witnessed people pivot against each other and I saw leadership that didn’t interact and create an environment of confidence or reconciliation.”

He further described the strategy of the Republican Party against the president’s planned executive order as “very incoherent at this point and time,” pleading “give me a vision of where we’re going and how we hold [the president] accountable,” something that he says “we haven’t seen.” Gosar also urged a secret ballot for leadership elections in the House because of the “extortion” where members who oppose House Republican leadership lose their positions on committees, something he says he is “abhorred” by. Later stated he was “confused” because Boehner in his earlier days was an anti-Establishment crusader, but now is part of the “old boys club.” Earlier in the interview, Gosar dubbed the president the “commander-in-deceit,” and said “what he’s trying to do is trying to push out something here that’s frankly illegal.” He argued, “we have to do all that is within our power, which is the power of the purse, and holding people accountable through impeachment to make sure that he does not defy the Constitution any further.  So, what we’re looking at is, looking at the purse strings to make sure that these agencies that are conspiring with the commander-in-deceit do not get the appropriate funding to be able to print green cards or to enable this executive order.”


Gutiérrez: There Are ’40, 50, 60′ GOP Votes in House for Immigration

“Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, the Illinois Democrat who has been at the forefront of efforts to overhaul immigration in Congress, said Friday there are enough votes in the House Republican caucus now to pass a bipartisan bill. “There are 40, 50, 60 … Republicans” who will join Democrats to pass a bill, Gutiérrez said in an appearance on MSNBC. The congressman and other Democrats, frustrated with lack of action from GOP leaders, are urging on President Barack Obama, who has indicated he will take unilateral action on immigration perhaps as early as next week. “The problem is they won’t give us a vote on all of the wonderful work. I don’t want to mention the names of my Republican colleagues that I worked with but you know who they are,” the Illinois Democrat told MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart, whose brother is a Republican congressman from Miami. “There are dozens of them.” Diaz-Balart’s brother, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., told CQ Roll Call earlier this year that he was close to having enough Republican votes to pass a bipartisan immigration overhaul in the House that would balance GOP demands for border security with Democratic calls for legal status for the undocumented. But Republicans backed off the issue this summer after an unprecedented surge of Central-American children and women crossing illegally into Texas and the primary loss of then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who previously had indicated some support for an overhaul.”


The Big Money Behind the Push for an Immigration Overhaul

“When President Obama announces major changes to the nation’s immigration enforcement system as early as next week, his decision will partly be a result of a yearslong campaign of pressure by immigrant rights groups, which have grown from a cluster of lobbying organizations into a national force. A vital part of that expansion has involved money: major donations from some of the nation’s wealthiest liberal foundations, including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations of the financier George Soros, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the past decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally. The philanthropies helped the groups rebound after setbacks and financed the infrastructure of a network in constant motion, with marches, rallies, vigils, fasts, bus tours and voter drives. The donors maintained their support as the immigration issue became fiercely partisan on Capitol Hill and the activists intensified their protests, engaging in civil disobedience and brash confrontations with lawmakers and the police. The donors’ strategy arose in 2007, as immigrant groups nursed wounds from a rout after a bill pushed by President George W. Bush failed in Congress. “For all our vaunted work, we were basically a fractious coalition that just got our butts kicked,” said Frank Sharry, a longtime advocate who is now executive director of America’s Voice, a core organization in the coalition. Atlantic and several other philanthropies funded a series of soul-searching retreats. Days and nights of arguments produced a plan that came to be known as the four pillars. The groups agreed to redouble their local community organizing; to expand their work into mobilizing voters; to create policy research to underpin their pro-immigrant message; and to “turbocharge” their communications with the news media, as Mr. Sharry put it, a task that fell to him.”






“The mid-term elections made clear American voters want Washington to better address high unemployment and stagnant wages. Yet, on issues ranging from energy to immigration to trade, President Obama continues to put politics ahead of strengthening American families.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D, LA) is locked in a tight runoff election with Representative Bill Cassidy (R, LA). To improve their chances, both are trying to move a bill through Congress to finally approve the Keystone Pipeline. The project would bring billions of barrels of western Canadian oil to Gulf ports and refineries and create thousands of high paying jobs, but the president threatens to veto any legislation in deference to the bogus claims of environmentalists that the pipeline would promote fossil fuel use and exacerbate climate change. Canadian oil is going to get to global markets one way or another—it’s too important to our northern neighbors not to. By denying the safest, most direct route, the oil will get there by rail and other pipeline projects that pose more, not fewer, risks. Even if environmentalists managed to slow development of western Canadian reserves, production would shift to developing countries—where environmental risks are less well managed than in Canada—or in the Middle East—where oil money too often ends up in the hands of terrorists. Obama appears intent on blocking new jobs in Louisiana and other Gulf States and worsening terrorist threats, simply to sustain support for Democrats among radical environmentalists. Some 11 million illegal immigrants live and work in America. Many have become critical in construction and other industries—but only by driving down wages and displacing native born Americans with third world competition.

One out of six adult males ages 25 to 54 remain jobless, and many could be offered the dignity of employment if President Obama enforced immigration laws—and required the states to cooperate, for example, by requiring proof of citizenship to possess driver’s licenses, enroll children in schools, and access social services. Centrist GOP leaders in Congress recognize they have little hope of winning back the White House if they ignore the sentiment of Hispanic voters, who frankly want the president and Congress to ignore our immigration laws and end deportations.”


Union Caller: Democrats Abandoned American Workers

“CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  It’s a pleasure to speak to you finally, and forgive me if I sound a little nervous.  My question is on immigration. I grew up in Chicago — union contractor, union household, Democrat now converted to Republican — but I just wanted to know something. I’m really confused. When did it slip that the Democrats were so concerned about illegal aliens, illegal immigration and everything? Because we were always taught that it was the evil Republicans that wanted these illegal immigrants and illegal aliens here and they were gonna take our jobs and all this other stuff, and it’s like flip-flopped.  I’m just really confused, so I don’t know if you want to comment on that.”


Senator Sessions: Obama Will Void All Immigration Law with Stroke of a Pen

“SESSIONS:  Let’s be clear.  Immigration officers have told us if this goes through, it will be almost impossible to enforce the law in the future.  Expert economists have told us if we bring in more and more people lawfully into our country, giving them the right to take jobs, and every one of these individuals are going to be given a photo ID, a Social Security number, and the right to take a job in America, jobs that too few exist and too many Americans are looking for.  It’s just the wrong policy, and it will incentivize more illegality in the future.”



“President Barack Obama’s administration is unveiling a plan to allow illegal aliens who receive amnesty under the president’s planned executive action—and other aliens as well—to petition the government to bring family members from three Central American countries to the United States. The plan, from the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), would allow aliens to bring family members from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador—the three countries at the center of this past summer’s border crisis—to America.

“The United States is establishing an in-country refugee/parole program in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to provide a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States,” the State Department said in a press release. Also:  This program will allow certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still in one of these three countries. Children who are found ineligible for refugee admission but still at risk of harm may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis. The refugee/parole program will not be a pathway for undocumented parents to bring their children to the United States, but instead, the program will provide certain vulnerable, at-risk children an opportunity to be reunited with parents lawfully resident in the United States.”


Obama’s immigration overhaul could put burden on states

“This would immediately raise questions about the impact on states where illegal immigrant populations are concentrated. “State and local governments and taxpayers will pay the price if President Obama takes immigration into his own hands,” Republican Texas state Sen. Kelly Hancock told in a statement. The draft Obama plan calls for expanding a program known as “deferred action,” which currently allows some undocumented residents who came to the U.S. as children to stay. The potential expansion would extend that to anyone who entered before they were 16, and before January 2010 – a change estimated to affect up to 300,000 people. The bigger change would, according to the draft, extend the program to some illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents – affecting up to 4.5 million people. The impact on the states is a subject of speculation at this point, as it’s unclear whether states would give these newly protected immigrants access to things like driver’s licenses, health care and in-state tuition for college. Dan Holler, spokesman for the conservative Heritage Action, said, for starters, “it will have a ripple effect on jobs” – because they likely would be handed a Social Security card and the ability to work in more varied occupations. “That’s going to put extra pressure on a job marketplace that is, by most accounts, not doing so well,” he charged. “Some communities will be hit hard and others won’t, based on where the illegal immigration trends are, and what the job markets are like. There is a jobs component here that just can’t be ignored.” While giving immigrants who are here illegally “deferred action” status likely would not make them eligible for green cards or the panoply of federal social services, including Medicaid, each state has its own laws dictating the level of state-funded benefits such as protected immigrants can get. Some are more generous than others. One guide would be how states reacted when the administration enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy in 2012. After that measure, the U.S. approved 550,000 applications. Five states had 60 percent of the approvals: California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Arizona, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Those DACA immigrants are now able to get driver’s licenses in 10 states and access to in-state college tuition in 17 states. California, Washington, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Washington, D.C., also now offer low-income DACA recipients health insurance. Others states like Texas and Nebraska offered no new benefits under DACA. Under any future changes, states like California and Texas probably would see the biggest impact based on their populations.”


Bret Baier: Executive Amnesty Would Be ‘Nuclear Political Bomb’ [VIDEO]


O’Reilly: President Obama Is “Declaring War” On The Republican Party

“BILL O’REILLY, FNC: Fox News is reporting that within the next few days, Mr. Obama will grant legal status to more than four million undocumented aliens currently in the U.S.A. The President, not giving the new Congress, not giving the new Congress time to put together an immigration bill. That’s insulting to the new Congress, which begins in January. Already the Republican Party is unified in opposition to the President’s unilateral action. And so there will be consequences. For example, in early December, Congress is supposed to pass the spending bill which might very well be blocked in the house paralyzing the government and there are a number of other things the Republican Party may do to punish the President for his executive order. All of this terrible for the country and Mr. Obama has to know that. But he doesn’t seem to care. Surely he could have waited a few months and lobbied for what he believes is a just immigration compromise, but no, the President, seething over the election results has decided to tear the country apart, politically… Now there are some who believe the President wants Republicans to come after him so Hispanic Americans and liberals will rise to his defense. “Talking Points” wants to clearly state we are not talking about the merits of the President’s plan. That is a separate story. We are talking about a blatant action that will divide the U.S.A. an action that has no urgency behind it. If the new Congress didn’t come up with a workable immigration plan, then the President could justify his executive order, at least as a last resort. It’s impossible to justify it now. The 10-point immigration plan the President would impose on the nation is essentially an amnesty for millions of people. Some of them deserve a break. Some of them do not. But Mr. Obama makes no distinction appealing to his left wing base on humanitarian grounds. But by initiating an executive order that changes federal law with a signature Barack Obama mocks the founding fathers and the Republican Party. If he does this, the President will pay a heavy price now with government chaos and later on the pages of history.”


Krauthammer On Amnesty: Obama Wants to ‘Change The Country,’ Give GOP ‘Road Rage’ [VIDEO]


Does Obama Have Constitutional Authority to Legalize Aliens? Rep. Wilson: ‘Ask the President’


Will Obama’s immigration moves have any staying power?


Is President Obama making the right call on immigration?


Will President Obama Help Legal Immigrants, Too?


Ten Questions for President Obama on Executive Action on Immigration

“1) Mr. President, you often blame congressional Republicans for Congress’s inability to pass immigration reform. However, your party held Congress during 2009 and 2010. If the need for immigration reform is so great, why did you not work to pass it during that period?

2) Mr. President, it is no secret that many top Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and former vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, are very sympathetic to passing immigration reform. Why do you think, then, that your administration has struggled to pass an immigration package during this Congress?

3) For years leading up to this decision, you denied that you had the ability to bypass Congress and implement changes to U.S. immigration policy unilaterally. Yet now you seem to be claiming that you do have the power to go it alone on immigration. Were you wrong when you earlier denied that you had this power? Were those earlier statements “speak-os,” as Jonathan Gruber might put it?

4) Many on both the right and left have asserted that your potential executive action on immigration could set a dangerous precedent, allowing future presidents to essentially nullify portions of the law that they disagree with as a policy matter. They have posed hypotheticals relating to tax policy, environmental laws, and so forth. Are you in any way concerned about setting such a precedent? How could you procedurally differentiate your action on immigration from a future president’s potential decision to stop enforcing parts of the tax code?

5) In 2008, you said the following about President George W. Bush: ”The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.” How would Barack Obama of 2008 respond to the Barack Obama of 2014 on executive power? Wouldn’t taking this executive action be basically an admission that you have refused to deliver on this campaign promise?

6) Mr. President, as you know, many staunch advocates of immigration reform, such as John McCain, have begged you not to take unilateral action, fearing that such action would sabotage efforts to pass a legislative immigration package. You yourself have said that a legislative solution would be far better than executive action. If your executive action poisons the well for immigration reform in the future, will you take responsibility for that?

7) Many of your allies believe that you formulated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in 2012 in order to preempt a legislative effort at the DREAM Act being worked on by Florida senator Marco Rubio, among others. Do you think DACA has in any way contributed to the failure of efforts to pass the DREAM Act on the federal level?

8) If there is any risk of your action imperiling future legislation, why are you acting now? You clearly were comfortable delaying action until after the midterm elections, so why are you unwilling to wait another few months?

9) Mr. President, in 2010 you said the following: “There are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws. . . . I recognize the sense of compassion that drives this argument, but I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair. It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision. And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration. And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally.” In light of those remarks, are you concerned that your executive action will lead to more illegal immigration?

10) Finally, Mr. President, let’s talk about the average American. Obviously, the past eight years have not been kind to the average working family. Even many college graduates face lackluster career prospects, and many Americans have dropped out of the workforce. What do you say to those Americans? Can you promise them that future unauthorized immigration will not harm their employment prospects? If you cannot promise them that, what concrete steps will you take in order to protect the interests of both the native-born and legal immigrant worker?”




Elections Have Consequences 2.0

“President Barack Obama was dangling a promise to issue an executive order to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation before the end of the summer; the order would be so big, an aide boasted, that Republicans might try to impeach Obama. Then the White House had to revise the promise — with a new plan to act after the midterm elections. This is a pledge the White House should delay again. As a lame-duck Congress convenes, it would be a big mistake for the president to legalize the presence of millions of undocumented immigrants with the stroke of a pen. Now the president has to deal with a cold wind come to Washington. The latest Gallup poll shows that a modest 36 percent of voters have a favorable view of the Democratic Party. Republicans enjoy higher numbers — 42 percent — for the first time since 2011. It’s time to back off. As Obama himself famously said, “elections have consequences.” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters, “I’ve made clear to the president that if he acts unilaterally on his own outside of his authority, he will poison the well, and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving in this Congress.” Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell warned that an executive order would be “like waving a red flag in front of a bull.” Some Democrats are pushing for the president to sign a big order now and seal the party’s hold on Latino and Asian voters. An ABC News/Washington Post exit poll found that 64 percent of midterm voters favor a policy to allow employed undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status. So these partisans may think that a White House action would enhance their standing with most voters. If so, I don’t think the good feelings would last long. After the president signed his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to shield from deportation undocumented immigrants who came here as children, there were 68,000 unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border in fiscal 2014. Then polls showed that 53 percent of Americans wanted the government to speed up deportation of asylum seekers. What happens if the president, by the stroke of a pen, legalizes the presence of millions of undocumented adults? You make something legal, you get more of it. Surge 2.0.”


The Midterms’ Immigration Lesson

Last week’s election results proved that open-borders advocates have become reactionaries.


NYT: Next Week, Obama to Ignore Angry Protests From Republicans and Save Families Anyway



“Rockingham County, NC Sheriff Sam Page (R) said “I don’t see anything” that would discourage individuals from entering the country and that President Obama’s planned executive action on immigration would “encourage the same thing we saw last summer” on Friday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel. “I think it [executive action on immigration] seems like a rewarding of persons that are coming in to break our laws and it would only encourage, I think, encourage more people to do so. I don’t see anything that occurred between last summer and current[ly] right now that would deter a person who is wanting to come into our country illegally through our borders” he stated, adding that the president’s plan would “encourage the same thing we saw last summer, with 60,000 persons coming across the border, that we do know of, that were coming in and basically turning themselves in to the Border Patrol agents and saying ‘I want to seek asylum or refugee status.’” He argued this is because “until you secure your borders…[and] when you announce a date or a situation where persons if they get in on a certain date, you’re going to always have people trying to get in under the wire.” Page warned “until we in America decide that we’re going to secure our international borders, north, south, east, and west, each sheriff in America is going to end up being a border sheriff.” And “we really can’t talk about anything about any further immigration, fixing the immigration system until we truly dedicate ourselves to securing our international borders.”





“Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu has suggested that illegal alien minors who reportedly arrived in late July at an Oracle, Arizona detention facility for at-risk youth are connected to a dramatic increase in emergency calls from the facility, including reports of violent crime.

“Murrieta-style” protests had erupted against moving the minors to Oracle from overcrowded Texas facilities in mid-July. Arrivals were held back temporarily at the time in light of the protests, which eventually died down. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office reported this week that there has been a great increase in concern from the Oracle community in the wake of a significant increase in violent events at the detention facility, named Sycamore Canyon Academy. Most recently, an October 8 emergency call was made reporting the assault of a 74-year-old Sycamore staff member by then 13-year-old Cristian Dakin of Columbia, together with an inmate who had arrived July 30.  One juvenile inmate had asked a night watch staff member to help retrieve an inhaler, distracting the staff member while the other inmate assaulted the victim. A tube sock filled with three bars of soap was used to strike the back of the elderly staff member’s head, injuring the victim. Staff members responded and restrained the teen, then called 9-1-1. That was just one of 13 9-1-1 calls between August 1 and October 8. Of those, five were assaults on students and staff, one was made for criminal damage, three were hang-ups, one was an agency assist for a juvenile in crisis, one was a missing person report, and one involved narcotics, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. By comparison, 2013 saw eight emergency calls in the same time period. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said:  Law enforcement was never provided with the profiles or criminal histories of the unaccompanied juveniles coming from Central America and being placed into our communities. Now, we are seeing an increase in violent crimes occurring at Sycamore Canyon Academy, where they were sent. Understandably, the residents of Oracle have been emailing and calling my office due to their concern of hearing of this increase in violence at the Academy and they have every right to be upset. My office is acutely aware of the situation and we will continue to work to ensure the safety of those in Oracle and the surrounding areas.”


Here’s How the U.S. Government Now Patrols Nearly Half the Mexican Border

“The U.S. government now patrols nearly half the Mexican border by drones alone in a largely unheralded shift to control desolate stretches where there are no agents, camera towers, ground sensors or fences, and it plans to expand the strategy to the Canadian border. It represents a significant departure from a decades-old approach that emphasizes boots on the ground and fences. Since 2000, the number of Border Patrol agents on the 1,954-mile border more than doubled to surpass 18,000 and fencing multiplied nine times to 700 miles.”


Working for ICE ‘is hell right now,’ as Obama plans amnesty for illegals




Conservatives push short-term spending bill as way to defund ‘amnesty’

“Conservative lawmakers and groups are pushing Republican leaders to pass a short-term government spending bill so that they will have more power to defund any executive action from President Obama on immigration as well as other measures. Government funding runs out Dec. 12, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are leaning toward passing an omnibus appropriations bill funding the government through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Doing so, advocates of that strategy say, would avoid a messy and contentious government shutdown or more brinksmanship early in the new year after a wave GOP election in which voters expressed a desire for bipartisan cooperation. But conservative members of the GOP conference argue that passing an omnibus spending bill would give away most, if not all, of the leverage they can exert in the next year against Obama and Democrats.”

Congressional Republicans consider using short-term funding bill to pressure Obama

“Congressional Republicans said Friday that they might create a series of showdowns over funding the government to try to force President Obama to back down on his expected plans to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Instead of passing a spending bill in the coming days that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, Republicans are considering a short-term measure that would expire early next year, according to more than a dozen top lawmakers and their aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity. When Congress reconvenes in the new year, Republicans would then pass other short-term bills, each designed to create a forum to push back against the president and, possibly, gain concessions. Republicans also are planning to file a lawsuit against the president over his use of executive authority, according to the lawmakers and aides. The efforts are seen by Republicans as ways to pressure Obama to relent and pull back his expected executive orders to change immigration policy, which are likely to include protecting millions from being deported. Asked whether the threat of budget conflicts would have any effect on the president’s thinking, the White House referred to comments Obama made on immigration Friday in Burma, where he said Congress has had ample time to act on immigration reform.”

A Vote for a Long-Term Budget Is a Vote for Amnesty

“Fox News reported last night possible details of the president’s lawless immigration plans. The ten-point plan, which could be announced as early as next Friday, includes work permits for up to 4.5 million illegal aliens, an expansion of the earlier lawless DACA amnesty (covering perhaps another 300,000 illegals), and pulling the plug on the Secure Communities program (which runs the fingerprints of arrested suspects through DHS databases at the same time they’re checked by the FBI). These are all demands of Obama’s leftist and ethnic-chauvinist constituencies; what the corporate interests get is a unilateral increase in job-related green cards, by illegally exempting dependents from the numerical caps. The plan would also give a raise to ICE officers to “increase morale,” as though that’s the reason for the despair among law-enforcement officers prohibited by their political superiors from enforcing the law. It’s not clear who leaked the “draft proposal from a U.S. government agency” that Fox’s report is based on, but it confirms the speculation about the elements of Obama’s planned edicts. My guess is this was leaked by the White House itself so that when it makes the actual announcement (which I still don’t think will happen till at least mid-December), it will be able to present it as old news. In any case, the ball is now in the Republican House leadership’s court. With all due respect to Andy McCarthy, impeachment is out of the question; there is almost nothing the first black president could do that would lead to his impeachment. Yes, it’s a double standard, but Obama was only nominated and elected because of his race, so his de facto immunity from impeachment should not come as a  surprise. But Congress still has the power of the purse. While it cannot stop Obama’s passive abuse of discretion (his exempting the vast majority of illegal aliens from immigration enforcement, for instance), it can use that power to prevent active abuses, like the provision of work permits, Social Security cards, and driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, which would be politically irreversible. This is why the message of today’s editorial rejecting a long-term budget deal made in the lame duck is so important. Harry Reid will obviously not agree to any funding riders prohibiting Obama from issuing work permits to illegal aliens. Also, the Republican leadership has already said it’s not going to engineer another government shutdown. But in the next Congress, the House could pull out the Homeland Security budget (rather than fold it into an omnibus funding bill for the whole government) and attach the rider just to that, so when Obama vetoes it, only DHS will be subject to a “shutdown.” The reason for the quotation marks is that it won’t be much of a shutdown since law-enforcement components continue to function as “essential personnel,” including the Border Patrol, the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, ICE, and the TSA. In fact, the chief component of DHS that actually would be idled by a budget battle would be US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the very bureau that would have to implement Obama’s lawless amnesty. This creates a Catch 22 for Obama, if only the GOP has the wit to exploit it — if he signs a DHS budget with the rider prohibiting his amnesty, then it doesn’t happen (though he would still be able to implement certain other parts of his lawless plan). But if he vetoes it, the agency that he needs to process the amnesty is furloughed, so the amnesty still doesn’t happen. But all this depends on Congress approving a short-term spending bill (a Continuing Resolution or CR) now — one that would keep spending at the current (absurdly high) levels for the next two or three months, so the new GOP-run Congress can have a free hand. If spending were locked in till September 30 (the end of the fiscal year) the opportunity to halt the amnesty will be lost; it would take months to implement the amnesty, so little will have happened by January or February, but once millions of people are legalized, even if it’s ostensibly temporary, it will be impossible as a practical political matter to revoke their work permits, Social Security cards, drivers licenses, etc.”


As Time Runs Out, House Leaders Spar on Funding, Immigration

“House GOP leaders are taking a wait-and-see approach as their conference has begun splitting into factions over how to fund the federal government and whether to bring immigration into the mix. That leaves appropriators, currently negotiating a 12-bill omnibus package for fiscal 2015, with some room to build momentum and strike a deal on the legislation. But it also leaves the door open for outside political maneuvers that could imperil their $1 trillion effort.

Republican leaders told conference members during a closed-door meeting on Nov. 13 morning that no decisions have been made about whether they would support an omnibus, which would provide fresh, line-by-line guidance to agencies, or look to advance a more basic continuing resolution next month. Federal agencies require fresh funding on Dec. 11, when the current stopgap (PL 113-164) expires. By not giving House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., their full-throated public endorsement, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and GOP leaders are buying themselves some flexibility in the days and weeks ahead. If Rogers and his Senate counterpart, Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., make significant headway on the spending package, leadership could decide to endorse appropriators’ work and forge ahead after taking the temperature of the conference. Or, if work falters, the caucus splits and if President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration that the party would like to address in the spending bill, leaders could choose to pursue a stopgap instead. Such an approach could help shield leaders — who are still helping the freshman class get situated — from political embarrassment should they ultimately choose to change course. “These are big decisions, and one of the things that I’ve learned about Speaker Boehner is that he likes to be thorough, he likes to listen and he likes to be well-informed before he makes big decisions, and you see that time and time again, and I think you’re going to see that here,” said Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a GOP appropriator.”


Emergency Spending Requests Weighed in Omnibus Talks

“White House emergency spending requests are taking a back seat to a debate about whether to use a wrap-up fiscal 2015 spending package to block executive actions on immigration.

But that doesn’t mean the emergency proposals are not a factor as appropriators and their staffs try to negotiate a $1 trillion, wrap-up omnibus behind closed doors over the next few weeks. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., told CQ Roll Call that staffers have been “scrubbing” a pair of emergency funding requests the White House submitted last week. They proposed $6.2 billion to fight the Ebola outbreak and $5.6 billion for operations against the Islamic State terrorist group. “We are looking at them carefully. We know there’s a need and we’re going to try to address it,” Rogers said in an interview. Appropriators want to have the package negotiated by early in the week of Dec. 8 to give both chambers time to move it before Dec. 11, when the current stopgap (PL 113-164) expires. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., chairman of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee, said he has been speaking with top administration officials regarding the Ebola request. “Trying to keep this in perspective but also trying to be mindful of what the threat actually is and where the line is between the panic and the reality,” Kingston said on Nov. 14. Thus far, the Ebola requested has faced little resistance including at both Senate Appropriations and House Foreign Affairs committee hearings this week. Some Senate appropriators suggested even more money may be needed for fighting the disease in West Africa. Omnibus negotiators are also weighing a $3.7 billion emergency spending request dating back to the summer to manage the surge of child migrants at the Southwest border. Kay Granger, R-Texas, chairwoman of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee, said the White House is still “pushing hard” for additional money even though the number of border apprehensions has dropped significantly since the summer months. “We know what’s going on right now, but we can’t predict that it will stay that way and that’s what we have to account for,” said Granger, who also chaired a special working group this summer on the border crisis. She said she’s looking to fold in many of the group’s policy recommendations into the text of the spending bill. Even if appropriators are forced to resort to a continuing resolution to fund agencies at current levels for fiscal 2015, additional emergency money for Ebola and the Islamic State could still ride on the legislation.”


Obama pledges $3B to help poor nations on climate

“The United States will give $3 billion to a U.N.-established fund to help poorer vulnerable countries prepare for a changing climate and develop cleaner energy, President Barack Obama announced Saturday. The United Nations is trying to raise at least $10 billion for its Green Climate Fund to help developing nations adjust to rising seas, warmer temperatures and more extreme weather. It also would help the nations come up with energy sources that limit or reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from coal, oil and gas. Obama said the money would help farmers plant more resilient crops, governments to cut carbon dioxide emissions and communities to develop better defenses against storm surges and other climate-related changes.”

Obama to pledge $3 billion in climate aid

Obama to Offer $3 Billion for Green Climate Fund


Obama Touts Energy Taxes To Fight Global Warming

“President Barack Obama told a group of Asian youths in Burma Friday that countries that tax energy usage emit the least carbon dioxide and use energy most efficiently. “The countries that are most efficient in energy use, not only do they not subsidize energy — in fact, they tax energy use,” Obama said. “So you look like — in a country like Norway, which produces a lot of oil, but gasoline there is still $6 or $7 a gallon, which in liters — who wants to do a liter conversion for me?” “Anyway, it’s very expensive,” Obama added. Obama’s remarks came after he rather ironically bashed Asian countries for subsidizing energy use. Obama himself has come under fire from conservatives for subsidizing green energy companies, some of which went bankrupt and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. “Now, oftentimes this is with the best of intentions,” Obama said. “The idea would be we want to make gasoline cheaper or electricity cheaper so that poor people can afford it. The problem is that when you subsidize energy, there’s no incentive to use less energy.”


Billions Of Taxpayer Dollars Are Spent … Collecting Taxes


IG: Improper disability claims cost taxpayers $2B

“A small group of Social Security judges have improperly approved disability claims for nearly 25,000 people who didn’t qualify, costing taxpayers $2 billion over the past seven years, government investigators conclude in a report being released Monday. The price tag will grow by nearly $300 million next year because many of these people are still getting benefits, the report said.Social Security’s office of inspector general is scheduled to release a report on the judges Monday. The Associated Press obtained a copy Friday. Investigators examined cases decided by 44 judges who had been approving disability claims at unusually high rates. The judges were labeled “outliers” because they had approved 85 percent of the claims they had heard in at least two of the previous seven years. During these years, the judges decided at least 700 cases a year.”


Cruz: ‘No Net Tax. Not Now, Not Ever.’


October budget deficit rises to $121.7 billion

“The federal government started the new budget year with a higher deficit in October than a year ago, but the increase reflected quirks in the calendar rather than a deterioration in the government’s budget outlook. The deficit last month was $121.7 billion, up $31.1 billion from a year ago, the Treasury Department reported Thursday. However, that deterioration reflected the fact that the government had to send out $41 billion in November benefit payments in October because Nov. 1 fell on a Saturday. October is the first month in the 2015 budget year. The deficit for 2014 dropped to $483.3 billion, the smallest imbalance since 2008. The expectation is that the deficit will improve further this year. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting a $469 billion deficit for 2015. But the CBO is forecasting the deficits will start rising for the rest of the decade as baby boomers retire and Social Security and Medicare costs rise. The CBO and other budget experts have warned that the current trajectory for the deficit is unsustainable and eventually could lead to a fiscal crisis.”


Economy not yet strong enough to lift interest rates, Fed’s Dudley says




How Common Core Is Affecting…Gym Classes

“Gym teachers across the country are finding ways to implement the Common Core State Standards into physical fitness, creating some concern that actual exercise time will be reduced and that teachers who aren’t prepared will be instructing students on English and math.”

Common Core Is Now Also Ruining Gym Class




House approves Keystone XL pipeline as Senate vote awaits

“The House passed legislation Friday that would green-light the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, as attention now shifts to an upcoming Senate vote next week. The bill from Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., passed 252-161, with all Republicans supporting — except one who voted present — and 31 Democrats joining them. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., have floated the same bill in the upper chamber, which is scheduled for a Tuesday vote. President Obama, however, hinted Friday that he would veto the bill if it reached his desk. He reiterated that he would not let legislation circumvent the review process at the State Department, which has had the application for a cross-border permit needed to build the pipeline’s northern leg for more than six years. “My position hasn’t changed, that this is a process that is supposed to be followed,” Obama said during a press conference in Burma, dashing some speculation that he could OK the legislation as an olive branch to the incoming Republican-led Senate.”

House Passes Bill Directing Obama to Proceed on Oil Pipeline

Keystone: House sends oil pipeline bill to Senate


House Approves Keystone Pipeline Bill — Here Are the 31 Democrats Who Voted For It

“Some House aides have speculated that Obama will not sign it, since doing so would make it look like Congress was dictating terms to the administration, and would also upset environmentalists. Instead, Obama could decide not to sign the bill, but then issue all final approvals for the Keystone project. The full list of Democrats voting for the Keystone pipeline follows: John Barrow (Ga), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Robert Brady (Pa.), James Clyburn (S.C.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Mike Doyle (Pa.), Al Green (Texas), Gene Green (Texas), Ruben Hinojosa (Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), Sean Maloney (N.Y.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Patrick Murphy (Fla.), Ricard Nolan (Minn.), Donald Norcross (N.J.), Bill Owens (N.Y.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Nich Rahall (W.Va.), Cedric Richmond (La.), David Scott (Ga.), Terri Sewell (Ala.), Albio Sires (N.J.), Bennie Thompson (Miss.), Marc Veasey (Texas), Filemon Vela (Texas) and Tim Walz (Minn.). In Thursday debate, House Republicans noted the cynical reason why the bill suddenly had a chance in the Democratic Senate. “Sadly, while the House has continued to take definitive bipartisan action to advance this critical goal, it appears the Senate has waited only until it is politically advantageous to do so, even as it enjoys majority support in that Chamber,” said Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).”




Obama unmoved by looming Keystone XL vote: ‘My position hasn’t changed’


For Innovation’s Sake, We Can’t be Neutral on Net Neutrality


Landrieu Works to Gather Senate Votes Needed to Approve Keystone



“Watchdog group Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Administration in October, in order to obtain records relating to media monitoring plan records.  More specifically, the FOIA is against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and relates to a “Critical Information Needs” (CIN) pilot study conducted by the government agency. The study revolved around how media outlets make editorial decisions when covering stories.  The FCC’s Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs study, announced in May 2013, had a stated purpose to analyse the “access/barriers to CINs in diverse American communities … with special emphasis on vulnerable/disadvantaged populations.”  In order to conduct the study, the FCC planned to ask media outlets various questions. Some of these questions were: What is the news philosophy of the station? Who decides which stories are covered? What are the demographics of the news management staff? What are the demographics of the news production staff? Subsequent to announcing the study, the FCC received considerable backlash. House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) wrote in a December 2013 letter to the FCC that the study was aiming to “control the political speech of journalists.” The effort was further dubbed “constitutionally questionable” after FCC commissioner Ajit Pai wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the endeavor would “thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country.”


Christmas Eve to Deliver U.N. Gun Control Treaty — and It Has Some Pro-Firearm Advocates in the U.S. ‘Worried’

“Second Amendment advocates are concerned that the Obama administration will use a United Nations treaty as a basis for executive action on gun control. The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is set to take effect on Christmas Eve. Though the United States delegation to the U.N. has supported the treaty, it has very little chance of being ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. But there is still reason for concern, said Catherine Mortensen, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association. “We are worried about an end-run around Congress,”  Mortensen told TheBlaze. “Barack Obama or a future anti-gun president could use ATT and international norms compliance to rationalize enacting gun control policies through executive actions, especially in the import and export realms.” “Even now, with an existing appropriations rider prohibiting action to implement the treaty unless it is approved by Congress, administration officials are publicly professing support for international efforts to bring the treaty into effect. That’s outrageous,” she added.”


Mitch McConnell Unanimously Elected Senate Majority Leader

“Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky won election by fellow Republicans on Thursday to become Senate majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January, fulfilling a long-held ambition. A Senate Republican official said McConnell, 72 was chosen by acclamation at a closed-door meeting of the rank and file. As majority leader, McConnell will set the Senate’s agenda. Along with House Speaker John Boehner, he will decide what legislation is sent to the White House in the final two years of President Barack Obama’s term. McConnell was elected to a sixth Senate term last week in elections in which Republicans gained a majority for the first time in eight years. He will formally assume his duties as majority leader in January. Democrats have assailed him in recent campaigns as a guardian of gridlock for his opposition to nearly all of President Barack Obama’s initiatives. At the same time, his office in the Capitol is decorated with two paintings and a bust of Henry Clay, a 19th century Kentuckian known as the Great Compromiser who favored government development of roads and bridges in a young America. Senate Republicans had only one contested leadership race, and selected Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi to chair the party’s campaign committee for the 2016 elections. He defeated Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada. Neither Republican leader faced public opposition on the eve of Thursday’s party elections in closed door meetings. If the sessions were celebratory occasions for Republicans, they were less than that for Democrats, who took a pounding in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.”


Harry Reid to Lead Senate Dems Again, Despite Midterm Election Implosion

“Democrats voted Thursday to have Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lead them in the Senate next year, even though Reid’s performance as Senate majority leader was widely seen as a contributing factor to the Democrats’ crushing midterm election losses last week. Democrats emerged from a four-hour meeting Thursday morning to announce that Reid would remain in his leadership post, in a Senate that is expected to see a 54-seat GOP majority. Democrats also elected to give Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) a communications role among Senate leaders, a bid to give her a higher profile in light of her popularity with Democrats. The meeting stretched for hours because 28 Democrats got up to spoke about why they lost the election, and what they need to do to win the Senate back. Reid and other Democrats said it was a constructive meeting, and said they would refocus on ways to help the middle class. “We have to create an atmosphere where the middle class feels that we’re fighting for them,” Reid said. While the retirement of several Democrats was a big factor in the Democrats’ loss of their Senate majority, many analysts agreed that Reid essentially shut down the Senate for the last several years, which may have made it harder for some Democrats to convince their constituents to vote for them again. Some Republicans noted that many Democratic senators haven’t had a vote on a single amendment since they’ve been in the Senate.”


Slate: Landrieu’s “Desperate, Pointless” Campaign

“How bad are things for Democrat Mary Landrieu in her bid to try and hold onto power? This bad. When Slate is calling your campaign cynical, desperate and pointless, it may well be time to give it up. But that’s not even the worst of it for Landrieu.

Given the current political landscape, her eleventh-hour gamesmanship reeks of desperation. Worse yet, it’s totally pointless desperation. Landrieu’s Keystone bill currently lacks the 60 votes it needs to avoid a Democratic filibuster, and if she finds them before a potential vote next week, the White House has left little doubt that President Obama will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.”




Outgoing Democratic Governor Is About to Pardon His Own Son

“Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will issue a pardon to his son, Kyle, for a felony drug conviction. Beebe is leaving office in January due to term limits. “I would have done it a long time ago if he’d have asked, but he took his sweet time about asking. He was embarrassed. He’s still embarrassed, and frankly, I was embarrassed and his mother was embarrassed. All of the families that go through that, it’s tough on the families, but hopefully the kids learn,” Beebe told KATV-TV.”


Rob Portman Talking Up White House Run



“Friday on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” the former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) saved the U.S. Constitution by refusing to take up the over 400 bills sent to him by the House of Representatives. Dean said, “The Republicans have been very good at saying ‘no.’ And the truth is that Speaker Boehner and his crowd have obstructed almost everything the president wanted to do without proposing any reasonable   alternative. They say they have passed 400 bills that have gone over to the senate to die, and that is because the Senate is doing there job and not letting the crack pot right wing and Speaker Boehner’s Tea Party caucus rewrite the Constitution and rewrite the laws of the United States.”


Obama Indemnifies Gov’t Contractors From Damages Arising from Importing Ebola to US


ISIS, Al Qaeda affiliate reportedly unite to fight US-backed rebels in Syria