News Briefing for Wednesday, December 3, 2014



Americans Are Spending 42 Percent More on Health Insurance Than They Did in 2007

“Data on consumer spending show that spending on health insurance surged 42 percent from 2007 to 2013, according to analysis by the Wall Street Journal. The rise reflects the increasing cost of health insurance and the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that everyone buy extensive health insurance. Another feature shown by the data is the movement away from home-ownership and associated costs. Families are more likely to rent than in 2007, so mortgage spending is down and rent spending is up. Some of the other categories where spending fell – appliances and furniture – are complements to home-owning.”


Survey: 4 In 10 Say California’s Obamacare Exchange Isn’t Working

“The country’s largest state Obamacare exchange may still be plagued by technical problems, according to a new survey. Almost four in 10 Californians report that Covered California, which accounts for more Obamacare customers than any other single state, is not working well or isn’t working at all, found a study from the Public Policy Institute of California, a San Francisco-based think tank. Fifty-two percent of people reported that the website is working well or fairly well; in May of this year, a similar survey reported that 54 percent believed the exchange was performing up to standards. Covered California had its own share of glitches during the first enrollment period. Several editions of in-network physicians were removed from the website after customers discovered that the information was incorrect. And just weeks before open enrollment began again in November, a flaw in the system halted enrollments and any coverage changes entirely, Sacramento Business Journal reported. Some of those problems have continued since open enrollment began Nov. 15. The problems reportedly blocked many insurance brokers from making edits to existing insurance enrollments. But according to the exchange, they’ve still managed to sign up more new customers than this time last year. During the first open enrollment period, the exchange signed up 1.2 million customers in all. The exchange reported that during the first three days of open enrollment, 11,357 people chose private plans; in Oct. 2013, the exchange broken 10,000 applications after 15 days.”


Sebelius: Americans don’t like Obamacare because their “financial literacy is low”

“Well, she may claim to not know who Jonathan Gruber is, but she sure did get a copy of his talking points. Discussing Obamacare with a USA Today reporter, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blamed many of the law’s problems on the fact that Americans lack her sophisticated understanding of insurance: “Still, Sebelius didn’t dispute the point that many Americans don’t fully understand how health insurance and the Affordable Care Act work, including the trade-offs involved in expanding coverage. “A lot of Americans have no idea what insurance is about,” she said. “I think the financial literacy of a lot of people, particularly people who did not have insurance coverage or whose employers chose their coverage and kind of present it to them, is very low — and that has been a sort of stunning revelation. It’s not because people hid it from folks. It’s because this is a complicated product.”

Kathleen Sebelius: Jonathan Gruber? Who?



“Fox News Channel Media Analyst and “MediaBuzz” host Howard Kurtz argued that the media paid more attention to comments made by Congressional aide Elizabeth Lauten about the Obama daughters than comments made by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber even though Lauten’s comments were “a blip” compared to Gruber’s on Tuesday’s “Special Report.” The Lauten story, “kept mushrooming from the major newspapers, to cable news, to all three network newscasts,” according to Kurtz. He pointed out that there have been controversies over coverage of President Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s children, but that those were stories covered by mainstream media outlets and not “a Facebook post by an obscure Hill staffer.”

He continued, “by contrast when Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was caught on video saying the law was deceptively sold to a stupid public, the network newscasts took from four to eight days before they covered it. When the Washington Post reported that Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) top aide David Krone had ripped the white house for screwing up the Obamacare rollout, TV news barely noticed.” Kurtz concluded “the attack on the president’s teenagers struck a cord because the media love a simple morality tale. But compared to Obamacare’s impact on the country, it’s a blip on the radar.”


An Issue That Could Define Alternatives to Obamacare

“A line buried in a Heritage Foundation policy paper issued just before the November elections hinted at a major fissure point in discussions surrounding a conservative alternative to Obamacare. The distinctions it raised could shape the form of any health-care alternatives the Republican-led Congress considers next year. The policy brief, outlining the principles for any conservative health-care alternative, included the following lines: “Replacing the current tax treatment of health benefits with a new design for health care tax relief that is both revenue and budget neutral (based on pre-PPACA levels) is the first step in transforming the American health system into one that is more patient-centered, market-based, and value-focused.” The words in parentheses pack the most punch, for they lay down a clear marker regarding budgetary baselines—which define the parameters of many policy debates in Washington. Consider a hypothetical alternative to Obamacare that repeals the law entirely, including its more than $1 trillion in tax increases, but then imposes new limits on the tax break for employer-provided health coverage—raising, say, $400 billion in revenue—to finance coverage expansions. Does that alternative cut taxes by $600 billion (the $1 trillion in repealed taxes, offset by the $400 billion in new revenue), or raise taxes by $400 billion, because repeal of the law should be seen as a given? Polling data conducted for America Next earlier this year suggests that Americans believe the latter. A majority of voters (55%)—and sizable majorities of conservative voters—believe that “any replacement of Obamacare must repeal all of the Obamacare taxes and not just replace them with other taxes.” Economists and policy experts on both the left and the right agree on the need to reform the tax treatment of health insurance. But there is less agreement on the means. For instance, in one of his now-infamous videos, MIT economist and Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber explained how provisions in Obamacare—sold as a tax on insurance companies—ultimately would raise tax burdens on the middle class. Some on the right have proposed that Congress accelerate this tax increase by amending the law next year. Other alternatives to the Affordable Care Act would repeal and replace the law’s tax increases, while still other alternatives (including the plan put forward by America Next) would repeal all of the law’s tax increases, and reform the tax code, without raising additional revenue in its stead. To the casual observer, these baseline distinctions may seem arcane—but in Washington, they can pack a wallop. Expect the issues referenced in the Heritage brief to resurface whenever the new House and Senate consider health-care alternatives.”


McConnell: Supreme Court Is Best Hope for Obamacare ‘Do Over’

“Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Tuesday said the Senate is likely to vote on a series of measures to pick apart the Affordable Care Act starting next year, but pointed to a pending court case as the best opportunity to disassemble President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law. “Who may ultimately take it down is the Supreme Court of the United States,” Mr. McConnell said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting.  “If that were to be the case, I would assume that you could have a mulligan here, a major do-over of the whole thing–that opportunity presented to us by the Supreme Court, as opposed to actually getting the president to sign a full repeal which is not likely to happen.” The Supreme Court last month said it would review whether the Obama administration is improperly providing tax credits to consumers who buy insurance through federal exchanges serving more than 30 states. The health law provides tax credits to lower-income Americans who purchase insurance “through an exchange established by the state.” At issue is whether those same credits are available to consumers who buy insurance through the federal exchanges, which the law established as a backup if states didn’t set up their own marketplaces. “These lawsuits won’t stand in the way of the Affordable Care Act. We are confident that the financial help afforded millions of Americans was the intent of the law,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said when the court announced its review. A ruling is due next summer.”


Mitch McConnell Says SCOTUS Could Take Down Obamacare, Progressives Go Wild


ACA’s Hospital Penalties Help Save 50,000 Lives, $12 Billion

“The Obama administration today said 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and $12 billion in “health care costs were saved” due in part to initiatives woven into the Affordable Care Act that helped reduce hospital-acquired infections from 2010 to 2013. Many of the initiatives, such as Medicare reimbursement incentives to improve quality as well as penalties for hospitals that re-admit patients within 30 days from errors and hospital acquired infections, were part of the health law signed into law by President Obama. The report, linked here, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. Infections acquired included everything from an illness acquired from a misplaced catheter to acquiring the superbug known as  MRSA. “These data represent significant progress in improving the quality of care that patients receive while spending our health care dollars more wisely,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a statement accompanying the report.  “HHS will work with partners across the country to continue to build on this progress.”


Is Obamacare Destroying the Democratic Party?




YouGov poll: Plurality of Americans oppose Obama’s executive order on amnesty, 38/45

“Interesting, and encouraging. Now convince me that either the White House or its friends in Congress really care. Immigration for them is about pleasing one particular demographic group long-term even if it ends up irritating other demographic groups short-term. They can probably tolerate a backlash among white working-class if it’s broad but ephemeral or durable but narrow, knowing that the gains they make among Latinos will offset those votes. But what if the backlash is broad and durable? “This may be a nation of immigrants (and 82% of the public agree that it is), but the President’s plan for executive action on immigration clearly does not sit well with many Americans.  Democrats support the President’s decision to use an executive order to delay deportation proceedings for parents of U.S. citizens, but 51% of independents and 80% of Republicans oppose it. Most independents and nearly all Republicans say the President should have waited for Congress to act on immigration – even though majorities think it is unlikely Congress will take action soon. The President’s immigration actions has helped him at least with one group – one that was clearly disappointed in his previous activity on immigration – the country’s Hispanics.  Two in three Hispanics consistently have supported a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and approve of the plan President Obama put forth in his speech last week. By more than two to one, they approve of the President’s executive order.” Ten months ago, 55 percent of Americans favored a path to citizenship for illegals. As of last month, that number had dropped below majority support and landed at 47 percent. After the summer’s border crisis and O going rogue on executive amnesty, go figure that people would be more skittish about normalizing citizenship for lawbreakers any further. In fact, there’s another political scenario for Democrats: What if the backlash to O’s order is short-lived … but so is the boost they’ve gotten for it from Latinos? Scrolling through the crosstabs, I was surprised by how equivocal some of the reactions to various immigration policies were among that group. For instance, when given a choice of letting illegals stay and apply for citizenship, stay but not be allowed to apply, and sending illegals home, just 51 percent of Latinos favored the first option. Another 20 percent favored the second and 29 percent favored the third, meaning that even among that demographic, the split on whether a path to citizenship should be offered is just 51/49.”


House may vote to undo Obama immigration order

“The Republican-led House may vote this week to undo President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, House Speaker John Boehner told lawmakers Tuesday as he sought to give outraged conservatives an outlet to vent over Obama’s move without shutting down the government. The move would be mostly symbolic, since Obama would certainly veto such legislation and the Democratic-led Senate likely wouldn’t go along with it. But GOP leaders hope it will assuage Republicans furious about Obama’s two-week-old actions to shield some 4 million immigrants in this country illegally from deportation, and grant them work permits. “We’re looking at a number of options in terms of how to address this. This is a serious breach of our Constitution,” Boehner told reporters. “It’s a serious threat to our system of government, and frankly we have limited options and limited ability to deal with it directly.” Publicly, the speaker told reporters that Republicans were considering several options and no decision had been made, but aides and lawmakers said that he indicated during a closed-door meeting with the rank and file earlier that the vote on legislation to block Obama was the leading option. It would be on a bill by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., aimed at blocking Obama from unilaterally allowing categories of unlawful immigrants to live and work here. Party leaders then hope to move on next week to voting on must-pass spending legislation to keep the government running. In the wake of their midterm election victories last month to win full control of Congress, Republican leaders are eager to show they can govern responsibly without risking government shutdowns. But Obama’s administrative moves on immigration and the resulting GOP fury has created complications. Boehner floated the two-step approach as Congress reconvened after a week-long Thanksgiving recess. But there were immediate signs of opposition from immigration hard-liners who have scuttled past efforts by Boehner to address the issue. Several conservative lawmakers said Boehner’s approach didn’t go far enough. They said they would hold out for a spending bill to include language explicitly blocking Obama’s actions from taking effect. GOP leaders fear that could scuttle the spending bill or even lead to a government shutdown. “If we start out with a bill that does nothing to reverse the president’s illegal conduct it will be difficult for me to support it,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. “I’ll be surprised if they can muster the 218 votes needed to pass the House.” Some conservatives were not mollified by the prospect of voting on Yoho’s bill aimed at overturning Obama. “I’m going to vote for Yoho’s bill but it’s not going to go anywhere and everybody knows that,” said Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.”


Republican strategy to counter Obama immigration moves emerging

“Congressional Republicans are developing plans to use their funding authority to challenge President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration. The emerging plan is a telling example of how the new GOP majorities in the next Congress plan to govern: with anger toward president whom they believe has abused the powers of his office, but wary of their own potential for political over-reaching. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) shared his strategy with members Tuesday morning, but told reporters afterward that no final decisions have been made. Aides privately described a two-step process that will allow Republicans to rebuke the president and keep the government open after the current spending agreement expires next Thursday. Aides privately described a two-step process that would begin with a bill to ban the White House from changing immigration laws, a largely symbolic effort to curb Obama’s executive authority that would be quickly discarded by the Democratic-controlled Senate. The bill is being pushed by tea party conservative Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.). The second bill would fund most of the government through the end of the fiscal year next September, but strip out parts related to immigration funding. Those agencies and programs would be funded for a briefer period, likely until the Spring, giving GOP lawmakers more time to come up with specific ways to chip away at Obama’s executive actions. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson has warned Republicans that incrementally funding his department and its dozens of agencies risked the nation’s security and his ability to enforce current immigration laws. Johnson clashed with GOP lawmakers Tuesday over Obama’s actions during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing.”


House GOP Floats Multi-Pronged Approach to Avert Government Shutdown

“House Republican leaders took members’ temperatures Tuesday morning on a multipart plan to avert a government shutdown and hold President Barack Obama accountable for his recent unilateral changes to immigration law. GOP lawmakers are still processing the proposals, and plan to whip votes later in the day. Democrats, meanwhile, were unwilling to say explicitly whether they would be willing to vote for anything other than a “clean” spending bill. To prevent a lapse in funding when the current stop-gap government spending bill expires on Dec. 11, Republicans intend to put forward a package of 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills to float federal agencies and operations through the remainder of the fiscal year. The outstanding appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security, would only be funded through early next year. The DHS houses the offices that would do the bulk of the implementation of Obama’s immigration action; isolating the agency’s funding in such a way would signal that House Republicans are serious about continuing to fight, in a piece of must-pass legislation, the president’s executive orders. That plan would remove the immigration fight from the debate on the current must-pass legislation facing Congress: an overall spending bill needed to avoid a government shutdown before Christmas. In exchange for supporting the “cromnibus,” House Republican leaders will allow members to vote on legislation “disapproving” of Obama’s breach of power in regard to his unilateral actions on immigration. Sponsored by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., the measure would “make it clear that the Executive Branch does not have the authority” to defer deportations for certain undocumented immigrants living in the United States. It could come to the floor as early as Thursday. Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., suggested a third tack that could ultimately be taken — one that would have a litigation component, potentially on top of the existing lawsuit pending against the president for his changes to the health care law. Emerging from the closed-door meeting Tuesday morning, some of the most hardline conservatives in the conference suggested the framework laid out by leadership wasn’t going to be enough to compel them to vote for the government funding component. “The Yoho bill is OK, but [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid’s gonna put it in his desk drawer,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who is one of the most vocal opponents of the executive action. “I did not hear anything in the GOP conference that persuaded me that there is a sincere effort to stop the president’s illegal granting of amnesty to roughly 10 million illegal immigrants,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., a King ally. At a news conference following the meeting, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans would continue to discuss their options in the months ahead — in January, all of Capitol Hill will be controlled by the GOP — and he said no final decisions have been made about a short-term strategy. “This is a serious breach of our Constitution,” Boehner said of the executive orders. “It’s a serious threat to our system of government, and frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly. But that’s why we’re continuing to talk to our members.” House Democrats appeared to be keeping their powder dry on Tuesday morning. Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California told reporters that rumblings across the aisle felt reminiscent of the lead-up to the government shutdown last year. “It sounds like the seeds of the same B movie we saw last year are being planted again,” he said. Adding, that Republicans should not play a “social agenda game” when it comes to funding the government.”


GOP seeks year-end plan on funding, immigration


House G.O.P. May Cast Symbolic Vote on Immigration

“House Republicans on Tuesday emerged from a closed-door meeting determined to avoid a government shutdown. The lawmakers began coalescing around a two-part plan that would allow a symbolic vote to show their frustration with President Obama’s executive action on immigration, before funding the government ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline. The proposal, presented by Speaker John A. Boehner, first calls for House Republicans to vote on a resolution proposed by Representative Ted Yoho, Republican of Florida, that says that the president does not have the power to take the executive action he took last month. The resolution, however, would largely be a way for House Republicans to express their displeasure with the president’s immigration action. Mr. Yoho said that his measure would be a largely “symbolic message” if Senate Democrats do not take up his resolution, which they are unlikely to do. “The simplest way this would work is, it will bring a stop to the action that the president wants,” Mr. Yoho said. “He talks about how he has a pen and a phone. This will take the ink out of the pen.”

A vote is expected as early as Thursday, said a Republican leadership aide. Then, House Republicans would vote next week on what has become known as a “cromnibus” bill to finance the government. The legislation would fund almost all of the government through September 2015, but use a short-term measure known as a continuing resolution to finance the Department of Homeland Security, the agency primarily responsible for overseeing the administration’s immigration policy, into March of next year. “What’s being put together is an omnibus of the 11 bills, with the exception of the Homeland Security Department, which would be continued on a continuing resolution until sometime in March,” said Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky, and the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “We don’t have much choice.” At that point, Republicans will control both chambers of Congress, and they believe that they will have more leverage in negotiations with Mr. Obama. A complicating factor, however, is that the primary agency responsible for carrying out the president’s executive action is United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is financed entirely through fees collected from immigration applications and therefore cannot be defunded in the appropriations process.”


GOP Rallies Around Symbolic Vote to Stop Obama Immigration Plan

“Call it the Republican venting plan. The House is set to vote Thursday on legislation to effectively undo President Obama’s executive action on immigration. It’s a proposal put forward by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida, which allows Republicans to voice their outrage, without sparking a government shutdown. “That’s the beauty of this bill,” Yoho told ABC News. “There’s no threat of a government shutdown.” The measure allows Republicans to cast a vote of disapproval on the president’s executive action, but to move ahead with a short-term spending bill to keep the government open when it runs out of money next week. Speaker John Boehner said most of his fellow Republicans accepted the political reality that their hands are tied – for now, at least – in how they respond to the president’s unilateral action on immigration. Two years ago, Yoho was one of the conservative Republicans who voted against Speaker Boehner. Now, Republican leaders selected his plan to help pacify conservatives by giving them a way to express their anger at the White House. It’s largely symbolic, considering the Senate is controlled by Democrats until next month. But Yoho dismissed that characterization, saying the burden is on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring the bill to the floor after it passes the House. “Our bill would stop the president’s amnesty,” Yoho said, “and put the brakes on it until the next Congress can get sworn in.”


GOP Rallies Around Symbolic Immigration Vote


GOP readies Obama immigration response: No shutdown, but a nod to conservatives


House GOP plan on fighting amnesty emerges: Formal resolution challenging Obama plus “cromnibus”


Less than 2 Weeks to Shutdown, Conservatives Cool to ‘Cromnibus’

“As House Republicans sort out how they will fund the government past Dec. 11, leadership is running into a problem: Many conservatives looking to block President Barack Obama’s immigration plan contend the House must act now rather than wait until later. That’s a more confrontational approach than the “cromnibus” proposal floated by GOP leaders Tuesday morning. The cromnibus — a portmanteau of continuing resolution and omnibus — would incorporate 11 of the 12 appropriations bills in the House, funding operations through the end of the fiscal year in September, and couple that package with a temporary CR for Homeland Security operations, likely to extend to March. Homeland Security houses the agencies where the bulk of the executive action implementation is expected to take place. GOP leaders argue the cromnibus is the best way to keep the government open while ensuring a fight later on the immigration executive actions — once all of Capitol Hill is under Republican control. They also point to a “sweetener” of sorts, a chance to vote as early as Thursday on legislation that’s been introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., to “disapprove” of Obama’s immigration actions. But it might not be enough for many of the president’s staunchest opponents in Congress. At Tuesday’s monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” get-together, Republicans said the idea of asking members to vote for any spending bill that funds the president’s executive order — even on a short-term basis — is tough to swallow. “I think that the real answer to the question becomes how many people are willing to go with a cromnibus without limitation language, and I don’t think there are the votes there,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said. Members noted leadership hadn’t made any concrete decisions or produced final language, but none of the lawmakers attending the Heritage Foundation event seemed willing to go along with a bill that didn’t stop the president immediately. “I don’t think you fund any unconstitutional action,” Rep. Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, said. “Constitutionally, what’s wrong is wrong, and we need to figure out a way to defend that principle.” Off the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona said he believed, “as many of the members do,” that what the president is proposing is unconstitutional. “So you just want me to fund the unconstitutional act for 60 days?” Salmon asked. “Isn’t that kind of like being a little bit pregnant? No, that doesn’t work for me.” Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., said it made no sense to “punt” spending decisions until October when the president is trying to act on immigration through executive orders. And Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, added that with Republicans set to take the Senate majority in January, “The cavalry is coming.” To start, Jordan said, Republicans should put limitations on what the president could do with immigration in a government funding bill by way of a policy rider. “And then if Harry Reid and the Senate don’t pass that … then let’s do something very short term,” Jordan said. “Let’s wait for the majority in the Senate to change.” After the conclusion of “Conversations with Conservatives,” Rep. Raúl R. Labrador, R-Idaho didn’t seem bothered by the possibility of the Senate rebuffing a government funding bill if it had language defunding the president’s executive action. “Then you would just do a short-term CR,” he said with a shrug. “And how can they reject that?” Labrador said he thought Obama would look like a “hypocrite” if he didn’t sign a CR. “I would think that he would have to sign that, because then he’s the one shutting down the government,” he said.”


House may vote to undo Obama immigration order



“Conservative lawmakers are expressing doubt that the so-called cromnibus could pass without some concessions from House leadership. “Is the cromnibus without limitation language, in terms of funding the unconstitutional acts of this president in trouble? I think the answer to that is yes,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said during the Heritage Foundation’s monthly Conversations with Conservatives Tuesday. He added that the problem is not conservatives, but rather the American people expect the House to respond to the president’s actions.

“Are we going to stand by and allow the American people to not be heard?” he added.

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) noted that House leadership presented a plan to confront the executive amnesty at its Tuesday morning conference meeting. In an interview with Breitbart News, he called that plan a starting point, and said that he expected there to be some movement and difference with the final product. “They’re likely to get a lot of suggestions which then they could go back and fix it and pick up support. With it a little loose as it is now, a little loose language, and a little too much spending period, I think they’re likely not to have quite the number they need,” he said. He added that while he expects that the final product will be either a cromnibus or omnibus with a separate Continuing Resolution funding immigration-related items, he thinks it will be difficult for leadership to garner support if the CR goes to March.”



“Following a closed-door meeting described as passionate but not contentious, Republicans are poised to move forward on a two-step response to President Obama’s executive action, but they are still haggling over the details. As early as this week, the GOP will move on a bill introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) to explicitly deny the authority to declare whole categories of people immune from prosecution under immigration law. Next week, they are likely to move forward on a spending bill that carves out immigration-related funding, only providing it a short extension. But the length of that extension was the most vigorously discussed part of the closed-door session, with conservatives raising concerns about leadership’s proposal to extend funding until March, saying that would be too long. “The problem I have…is that the [immigration portion] would be funded until the end of March. I think that’s way too long. The president is already printing work permits as we speak. Why do we want to give him another 2-3 months? We could vote on this the day we get back,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA). Speaker John Boehner told reporters after the meeting that no decisions had been made. “The president on the other hand has ignored the will of the American people and he has refused to listen. His decision to take unilateral action on immigration — actions he himself has said exceeded his authority — and makes it harder for the American people and their elected representatives to trust his word on anything,” Boehner said.”



“Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL) said that a government shutdown is “not even a topic I think we’re going to discuss at this point” and “bait” that the GOP would not take in a clip broadcast on Tuesday’s “Wolf” on CNN. Ross was asked by Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash whether there was talk of a government shutdown in a meeting of Congressional Republicans held earlier today, to which he responded “that’s not even a topic I think we’re going to discuss at this point. I don’t think that that’s an issue that we even want to address. So, we’re not going to take that bait.” He added that he considered a shutdown “bait” because “that’s been the president’s biggest bully pulpit, is trying to scare the American public into thinking that we’re going to shut down the government.” Bash added in a later report that this means the GOP will likely pass a bill funding the majority of government through the next fiscal year, but that Homeland Security funding will be carved out and only funded on a short-term basis so the GOP could have another shot at defunding the president’s executive order on immigration once it takes the majority in both houses of Congress.”


Rand Paul: Krauthammer Is Right, GOP Should Not Shut Down Government And Wait To Act Until January


Labrador: Shutdown Didn’t Hurt GOP, Why Take It Off Table?

“Rep. Raúl R. Labrador has a message for Republican leadership as they decide how to respond to the president’s executive action on immigration and funding the government beyond Dec. 11: Keep a government shutdown as an option. “I don’t think anything is off the table,” Labrador told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday. “I don’t think anybody is thinking about a shutdown, but, in negotiations, you never take anything off the table. That’s the first rule of negotiating, and apparently it’s not one that’s been learned in Washington, D.C.” Asked if leaders are too “gun shy” about a government shutdown, the Idaho Republican was clear. “I think they are and I don’t understand why,” he said. “We had a shutdown a year ago, and we just got the biggest majority we’ve ever had in the House since 1928, and one of the largest majorities we’ve ever had in the Senate. So I don’t understand their reasoning for taking anything off the table.” Labrador said GOP leadership was “very good” at kicking the can down the road. “But they never tell us once we get the can again, what’s going to be the next fight,” he said. The conservative lawmaker, of course, has long criticized Speaker John A. Boehner and others for their immigration stance. Members are calling leaders out for what they see as a chasm between tough talk against President Barack Obama’s immigration move and what Republicans actually are doing to prevent it. Labrador said Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida told the Conference Tuesday that the rhetoric on the executive action and the Republican efforts to block it just don’t match. “And it’s impossible for us to tell the American people that we’re serious about this when we’re not doing anything that is serious,” Labrador said.”


House Republicans likely to punt on immigration until early 2015

“House Speaker John Boehner said House Republicans likely will have to wait until the party takes control of the Senate in early January before they push back at President Obama’s executive action on immigration. “I think [my House GOP colleagues] understand it’s going to be difficult to take meaningful action as long as we’ve got Democratic control in the Senate,” the Ohio Republican told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday. Boehner also brushed aside criticism that the GOP’s pending attempts to undo the president’s mandate to allow millions of undocumented workers living in the United States to remain would be nothing more than political showboating, calling the president’s move a “serious breach of our Constitution.” Boehner said he hasn’t decided on exactly what tactic to take but vowed “we are going to proceed.” “We’re looking at a number of options in terms of how we address this,” he said. “Frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly.”


Boehner moves to push off immigration fight to 2015


Did John Boehner Just Wave the White Flag on Immigration?

“House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated on Tuesday that he’s not willing to risk a government shutdown in the GOP’s fight with Democrats over President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, by saying Republicans have “limited options” when it comes to pushing back against Obama, and by and noting that Senate Democrats would likely reject an aggressive House bill. In a meeting with Republicans Tuesday morning, he offered a plan that would do nothing to stop Obama’s immigration move, and instead called for passage of a non-binding resolution expressing the House’s opposition. “Frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly,” Boehner said after meeting with Republicans. “But that’s why we’re continuing to talk to members. We have not made decisions about how we’re going to proceed, but we are in fact going to proceed.” Boehner also said he thinks Republicans understand that “it’s doing to be difficult to take meaningful action as long as we’ve got Democrat control in the Senate.” One option that many conservative opponents of Obama’s immigration move want to see is language that prevents the government from spending money to implement Obama’s plans. They want that language attached to legislation that’s required to keep the government funded after Dec. 11. While Senate Democrats would almost certainly reject those sorts of proposals, many Republicans have been hoping the House would at least test the waters by sending something over and forcing the Senate to object. But there was no sign of that proposal today, and Boehner’s comments signaled that he is unwilling to employ a brinksmanship strategy that could lead to delays in funding the government. Boehner has said before that Republicans don’t want to shut the government down, and GOP leaders are known to be wary that they would be blamed for a shutdown.”



“Republicans in Washington, under the tutelage of House Speaker John Boehner, are planning a full-scale cave to President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, by aiming to fund Obama’s immigration action in full this week. Boehner on Tuesday pitched colleagues on a plan that utilizes bills from the reliably conservative Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Tom Price (R-GA), but ultimately fully funds Obama’s executive amnesty until at least March—and then will likely do so at that point in time as well. The government funding portion would keep most of the government open until September 2015 but would only supply monies to the Department of Homeland Security until March, Politico’s John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman note in a Tuesday piece. Current government funding runs out on Dec. 11, so to avoid a government shutdown before Christmas, Congress has to do something soon. But conservative-movement leaders say the forthcoming plan from Boehner and the other members of GOP leadership (including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise) using Yoho and Price is a phony, toothless battle. “A House vote on the Yoho bill would be purely symbolic, since it has no chance of being brought up in the Senate,” Rosemary Jenks, NumbersUSA’s director of government relations, told Breitbart News. “Americans expect Congress to take effective action to stop Obama’s lawless amnesty, not only to protect their jobs and wages, but also to protect the Constitution of the United States. Defunding the amnesty is the only way to stop it.”

Daniel Horowitz, the senior editor of the Conservative Review, added that this plan is a “joke” and Boehner knows it. “Leadership’s attempt to sugar-coat their failure to address Obama’s amnesty in the CROmnibus, is a toothless, stand-alone bill that will never force the issue, and they know it,” Horowitz said. “Any bill that does not condition the funding for the immigration agencies to a rider defunding Obama’s amnesty is a joke.” Horowitz added that Boehner’s buddies including House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) have misrepresented this issue to conservatives throughout this process, so no Republican House members should trust him now. Rogers specifically attempted to tell Republicans in Congress—and the American people—that Congress can’t block funding for Obama’s executive amnesty using the appropriations process, something the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) thoroughly refuted last week.”


Boehner Poised to Deal With the Devil to Avoid Shut-Down?


Boehner Retreats On Amnesty


Boehner: Obama’s Unilateral Action On Immigration “Makes It Harder” To “Trust His Word”

“SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER (R-Ohio): The American people want both parties to focus on solutions to our still-struggling economy. This week we’ll pass important legislation to help families with special needs and to prevent tax hikes on millions of families and small businesses. The president, on the other hand, has ignored the will of the American people and he’s refused to listen. … His decision to take unilateral action on immigration – action he himself said exceeded his authority – makes it harder for the American people and their elected representatives to trust his word on any issue. I said before Thanksgiving that Republicans would fight his unilateral actions. We’re looking at a variety of options, both for right now and when Republicans control both Houses of the Congress next year. And we’ll continue to discuss with our members a number of options, in terms of how we will deal with this, in consultation, again, with the members – but no decisions have been made at this point.”


“Tuesday, Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) said, “His [President Barack Obama] decision to take unilateral action on immigration, action he himself said exceeded his authority, makes it harder for the American people and their elected representatives to trust his word on any issue.” He added, “Republicans will fight his unilateral action, and we are looking at a variety of options.”


Source: Senate GOP Refuses to Strategize Against Obama

“Senate Republicans had no appetite for discussing how to thwart President Obama’s executive orders on immigration during the conference’s weekly lunch, according to sources familiar with the meeting. Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Senator David Vitter (R., La.) tried to broach the topic, but they were ignored, according to the first source. “At different times, Lee and Vitter stood up and tried to begin a discussion about what the plan was and asked leadership about what their strategy was to deal with the spending bill and respond to Obama executive amnesty, and the reply was always an effort to try to change the subject to the ozone rule from the EPA or some other issue, and it was just bizarre,” said a second source in corroboration of that account. “What made it bizarre was that it was like [Lee and Vitter] were standing up and speaking in Latin,” the source continued, saying that other senators would respond to the immigration-related remarks with “a bizarre attempt to segue into a different issue.” Another source disputed that account, saying that “they must have been at a different lunch because at today’s multiple members discussed the joint House-Senate strategy and you can bet that senators like Senator Sessions are rarely silent in discussions like this.”


Of Course Republicans Can Censure Obama



“Incoming Senate Steering Committee chairman Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is laying out the strategy that House Republicans should take if they want to successfully block funding for President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty, something that begins with passing a short-term government funding bill now that blocks federal dollars from being used to implement the president’s program. “The House should quickly pass a short-term CR that includes language prohibiting the use of funds to implement the President’s executive action on amnesty,” Lee said in statement exclusive to Breitbart News. “The American people deserve to know where Members of Congress stand on this issue. The power of the purse is one of the tools Congress has to rein in an out-of-control executive.” After the House passes that type of bill, Lee said, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has two choices, since he won’t want to block funding for Obama’s amnesty in the spending bill. Reid could either shut down the government, or he could take up the House bill blocking the funding for Obama’s amnesty and try to pull that language out. Lee said: Once the House sends over a bill funding everything in government except the President’s executive action on amnesty, then Harry Reid could ignore it and create a government spending emergency, or he could take the bill up and attempt to strip out the defunding language. In the latter case there would be a vote, and, I believe, it would be a very difficult vote for a number of Democrats. At least four Democrats have publicly stated their opposition to what the President did, and another eight Democrats have stated that they have strong concerns about the President going around Congress. So the question is, would these 12 Democrats stand by their words and show respect for the message the American people sent on Election Day, or would they side with a President who has already cost their party the majority in the Senate? I’m not so sure we know the answer to that question right now, which is exactly why the House should take this first step to send us the right bill so we can put Democrats on the record. Lee said that either way—whether Reid has the votes to strip out the language, or if he doesn’t—Republicans win. If he does have the votes to strip the language, the new Republican-controlled Congress can block the funding for Obama’s amnesty in early 2015. If Reid doesn’t have the votes, then Obama can either veto the bill—as he has threatened to do—or sign it into law. If Obama vetoes the bill, he will have by himself shut down the government in contravention of what several Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted for right before Christmas—something that would be a political disaster for a president still reeling from his party’s horrendous showing in the 2014 midterm elections.”



“There is a sentiment among some conservative lawmakers that they cannot vote to allow any funding for president Obama’s executive amnesty, Rep. Steve King explained to Breitbart News Tuesday.  “I really think there is a core position that is forming among conservatives that says ‘I will not vote to fund the president’s unconstitutional, lawless act,’” King said as he left a House Judiciary hearing on Obama’s executive actions.  House GOP leaders Tuesday morning presented members with the idea of a government funding strategy — dubbed a “cromnibus” — that would fund the majority of the government through September 2015 but fund the Department of Homeland Security for only a short amount of time, so the newly-elected Congress can decide how to handle it early next year.  According to King, even a short-term funding of immigration related services, largely enacting Obama’s executive orders for the time being, would be too much. “We take an oath to uphold the Constitution and we’ll be asked to take another oath as early as January 6. So how do you vote to fund the president’s lawlessness and then about three weeks later step out on the floor of Congress and take an oath to uphold the Constitution, how do you go home and say, ‘I took my oath, I kept my oath, and I’m going to take it again?” he asked.  King added that there are a number of lawmakers who likely feel the same way.  “It’s kind of a yes or no thing where I stand,” he said. “Either you’re going to fund his lawless act or your not. So I don’t have a count and I don’t have my own judgement. I just have other members that have been talked in the term of several dozen.”… Senate conservatives, including Rep. King, are pushing back against the idea of any funding for executive amnesty and called for a bill that thwarts the orders. “A funding bill that blocks amnesty is the best, smartest way to do this, and I hope they realize this in the first go around before they send a bill to the Harry Reid Senate that funds amnesty,” Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) said. “Make no mistake, sending a bill to the Senate without first making an attempt to include defund language is telling the American people that you support Obama’s executive amnesty. That would be a slap in the face to the voters who sent a message last month by electing Republican majorities in Congress.” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) added the current Republican plan is not enough. “The executive amnesty language is substantially weaker than the language the House adopted this summer, and does not reject the central tenets of the President’s plan: work permits, Social Security, and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants—reducing wages, jobs, and benefits for Americans.” Sessions said going on to argue that Congress “must respond to the President’s unlawful action by funding the government but not funding illegal amnesty.”


Sessions: House GOP Is On the Verge Of Breaking 2014 Campaign Promises

“Sessions said that the proposed language “fails to meet [the] test” established by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who promised earlier this year that the GOP would do everything possible to thwart Obama’s executive orders. “The executive amnesty language is substantially weaker than the language the House adopted this summer, and does not reject the central tenets of the President’s plan: work permits, Social Security and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants — reducing wages, jobs and benefits for Americans,” Sessions said in the statement expressing his dissatisfaction with the results of a House Republican conference meeting today. In the meeting, “the lawmakers began coalescing around a two-part plan that would allow a symbolic vote to show their frustration with President Obama’s executive action on immigration, before funding the government ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline,” according to the New York Times. Sessions wants Congress to attach a rider to the government-funding bill that prohibits Obama from implementing the orders; his office released a list yesterday, compiled with the assistance the Congressional Research Service, of instances in which Congress did just that on a variety of issues last year. “Congress must respond to the president’s unlawful action by funding the government but not funding illegal amnesty,” Sessions said. “This is a perfectly sound and routine application of Congressional authority. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that last year’s omnibus spending bill included 16 such funding restrictions on fee-based programs.” To those inclined to worry that using the spending power would backfire on Republicans, Sessions suggested that economic populism would lead to a GOP victory. “Polling shows voters believe that Americans should get preference for available jobs by almost a 10–1 margin,” Sessions said. ”Republicans should not be timid or apologetic, but mount a bold defense of struggling Americans.”


Judiciary Chair: ‘Administration Driving Full Speed Ahead to Constitutional Crisis’

“House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said at a hearing Tuesday that President Obama’s executive action to protect millions of illegal aliens from deportation is driving the U.S. toward a “constitutional crisis.” “By acting lawlessly and assuming legislative power, the Obama administration is driving full speed ahead to a constitutional crisis, tilting the scales of our three-branch government in his favor and threatening to unravel our system of checks and balances, ” Goodlatte said in his opening remarks. Obama issued an executive order last month that could allow as many as five million people who are in the country illegally to obtain temporary legal status, based on their relationship to people with legal status.”


Rand Paul On Executive Amnesty: Obama Can’t ‘Defend The Indefensible’ [VIDEO]


President Obama’s ‘Deferred Action’ Program for Illegal Aliens Is Plainly Unconstitutional

“That’s the title of a new paper by Temple University law professor Jan Ting (who appeared on NRO recently). It is the first extended analysis of the administration’s legal rationales for President Obama’s lawless amnesty decrees. Professor Ting divines “three separate assertions of authority to justify its alternative presidential immigration system,” examining each in turn. He concludes that each legal step — prosecutorial discretion, advance parole, and employment authorization — is being taken illegally and that “the three steps, taken together, amount to an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress’s exclusive constitutional authority to formulate immigration policy.”​


Advice for Republicans: How to Tame a Cromnibus

“Since Congress has failed to pass a budget through the regular channels, the safest thing they could do right now is to pass a CR through the end of the current fiscal year. With so many retiring and defeated lawmakers getting out the door, we shouldn’t increase spending or open the door to other policy changes without having to do so. This wouldn’t necessarily prevent Republicans from defunding the president’s immigration policies – that should be possible in a separate bill. If Congress does decide to go with higher spending levels than a CR would allow them, they should absolutely stay within the budget caps that were set in the Ryan-Murray plan last winter. The caps are already higher than the sequester called for originally And lawmakers should include the projected spending for any “emergency” needs that they know will come up, so they don’t have excuses to bust the budget over the coming year. For instance, they should include the $6 billion for Ebola or military intervention abroad that’s in the cromnibus and cut other spending to make room for it. Over the years, Congress has had the bad habit of using the emergency label to fund non-emergency spending and to go around the budget caps. Finally, as I mentioned yesterday, Congress should also stay away from bringing back to life some expired tax credits to special interests. Unfortunately, all signs point to Republicans still not getting the difference between being pro-business and being pro-market.”



“House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) kicked off Tuesday’s hearing on President Obama’s “executive overreach on immigration” by comparing Obama to England’s King James II. But amnesty activists quickly disrupted the hearing with shouts, chants and signs. After playing a video of the numerous times Obama had stated he did not have the authority to unilaterally change the laws himself, Goodlatte noted that Obama last week said, “I just took an action to change the law.” “As the Washington Post’s own ‘Fact Checker’ concluded ‘[a]pparently he’s changed his mind.’ And, I should add, a jeweled crown worthy of King James II of England, who precipitated the Glorious Revolition by dispensing with the laws passed by Parliament,” the Virginia lawmaker said.  “The Constitution is clear: it is Congress’ duty to write our nation’s laws and, once they are enacted, it is the President’s responsibility to enforce them,” he added.

According to Goodlatte, the Obama administration is mistaken when it believes it has precedent to take such actions. Instead, it’s moving quickly toward a “constitutional crisis.”

“No president has so abused and misused the power of prosecutorial discretion as has President Obama,” he explained.  “President Obama has entered the realm of rewriting the laws when he can’t convince Congress to change them to match his personal tastes,” Goodlatte added, going on to argue that Obama is creating a “toxic” relationship with Congress and that his actions “have further set back congressional efforts to enact legislation to reform our broken immigration system.”  At the conclusion of Goodlatte’s opening statement several amnesty protesters interrupted the proceedings, yelling in broken English against deportations.

When they were escorted out into the hall they were greeted by cheers and chants of “Si se Puede.”


Congressman Rips Reporters as Obama’s ‘Shills’ on Immigration

“Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, today criticized the news media for failing to do their homework on the history of President Obama and immigration reform, urging them to “stop being shills for this president.” Addressing reporters at the monthly Capitol Hill gathering Conversations with Conservatives, Labrador began by noting that the House Judiciary Committee has passed multiple bills to fix aspects of the immigration system. But Obama faults the House for not passing a comprehensive bill like the one the Senate passed last year. As president, Labrador said, Obama did not follow through on his promises as a candidate to achieve immigration reform early on when Democrats controlled the House and the Senate. And as a senator from Illinois, he said, Obama “killed” President George W. Bush’s attempt to get immigration reform through Congress.”



“Tuesday at the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, Rep. Jason E. Chaffetz (R-UT) grilled Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson over if Obama’s executive action was actually the president changing the law.”

Jason Chaffetz Confronts DHS Secretary Johnson On Immigration: “Did Obama Change The Law?”


Rep. Chaffetz Asks Homeland Chief if U.S. Deported Four Alleged Terrorists – Wait Until You Hear His Answer

“Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah.) grilled Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson over his department’s failure to deport four members of a terrorist organization who were captured crossing illegally into the U.S. During a Tuesday hearing, Chaffetz recalled that Johnson had previously promised four men nabbed crossing the Southern border in early September would be deported. The individuals were thought to have ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an organization designated as a terrorist group by the State Department. “Did you deport them?” the Utah representative asked Johnson. “Uh, no. Not at this point,” Johnson answered.”


Jeh Johnson Really Doesn’t Like It When You Quote President Obama’s Past Claims about Amnesty

“There’s one source in the current debate over President Obama’s executive amnesty that Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson doesn’t like Republican congressmen quoting, and even considers “suspicious”: President Obama himself. Johnson argued that the sound bites Republicans have quoted, in which the president claimed he didn’t have the ability to curtail deportations, are ”suspicious” and must have been taken out of context.  The secretary testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security Tuesday, discussing the White House’s unilateral immigration action. “The president said over 20 times that he did not have the legal authority to take this executive action, and that this is not how democracy works,” said GOP chairman Mike McCaul. “Do you agree with that prior statement?” “Chairman, I know from 30 years as a lawyer that when someone paraphrases remarks from somebody, I want to see the full Q&A, I want to see the full context,” Johnson responded. Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz later asked whether Johnson believed the White House had “changed the law” on immigration, as the president said recently — a charge Johnson denied. When Chaffetz played a video clip of the president saying those words, the secretary became visibly annoyed. “Listen, I’ve been a lawyer 30 years,” he said. “Somebody plays me an eight-word excerpt from a broader speech, I know it to be suspicious. Okay? That was very nice.” The hearing room erupted in laughter following the secretary’s defense.”


DHS chief to Republicans: You must be taking Obama’s old comments that he lacks authority for executive amnesty out of context


Why did Obama once say he didn’t have the legal authority to stop deportations?

“House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, grills Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson over President Obama’s changing statements on immigration.”



“Members of the Obama administration continue to be confronted by President Obama’s statement to a group of illegal immigrant protesters in Chicago that he had taken action to “change the law” on immigration. “Did the president misspeak in a moment of passion to try to calm the crowd? Or do you fundamentally believe that he has taken action to change the law?” asked CBS reporter Major Garrett during the White House Press Briefing. White House press secretary Josh Earnest explained that Obama was “speaking colloquially” when he made his remarks. Earnest reaffirmed the White House position that it was the responsibility of Congress to write the laws and that the executive branch was in charge of implementing and enforcing them. “I think the impact of the law certainly has been changed – in terms of the way that it affects, you know, millions of people who are in this country,” Earnest said. “I think that’s what the president was alluding to.” “He did not literally mean he changed the law?” questioned Garrett. “Again I think he was speaking colloquially there,” Earnest said, stumbling over the pronunciation of the word. “Say that five times fast,” he laughed. “Maybe I’ll stop saying it.”

White House: Obama Didn’t Really ‘Change’ Immigration Law, He Was ‘Speaking Colloquially’

Josh Earnest: Obama Spoke ‘Colloquially’ When He Said He ‘Took Action to Change the Law’

Josh Earnest: Obama Didn’t Mean It When He Said He “Changed The Law”

White House: When Obama said he changed the law on immigration, he was speaking “colloquially”


Jeh Johnson: Obama’s Plan Is ‘Simple Common Sense’ (Video)

“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson defended President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration before skeptical Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Johnson, who has become the administration’s point person on immigration, told the House Homeland Security Committee that the president’s order to stay the deportations of millions of illegal immigrants is “simple common sense.” “The reality is that, given our limited resources, these people are not priorities for removal. It’s time we acknowledge that and encourage them to be held accountable,” Johnson said.”



“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is flat out denying that President Obama’s executive action on immigration was amnesty. During a House Committee hearing on the department, Johnson was asked: “Is this amnesty?” by Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA).

“No.” Johnson replied shortly. “No, in my judgement.”

“Is it even functionally amnesty?” Keating asked.

“The current situation amounts to amnesty,” Johnson replied.”


Johnson defends Obama’s immigration moves the GOP seeks to undo


Jeh Johnson: Legalized Illegals Don’t Need to Comply With Obamacare

“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in congressional testimony today that the Affordable Care Act–also known as Obamacare–will not apply to illegal aliens who are allowed to stay and work in the United States as a result of President Obama’s executive action.

“Mr. Secretary, is it true that the illegal immigrants who are granted amnesty will not need to comply with the Affordable Care Act?” Rep. Lou Barlett (R-Pa.) asked Johnson at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. “Those who are candidates for and are accepted into the Deferred Action Program will not be eligible for comprehensive health care, ACA,” Johnson responded. Barletta then asked: “So therefore, an employer may have a decision to make: Do I keep the American worker and provide health insurance or pay a $3,000 fine or do I get rid of the American worker and hire someone who I do not have to provide health insurance, and I won’t get fined. Is that a possibility?” “I don’t see it that way,” Johnson said. “You don’t think any employers will see it that way?” Barletta asked. “I don’t think I see it that way. No. No, sir,” Johnson said. On Nov. 20, Obama announced that his executive action on immigration would apply to illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for more than five years, have children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, register and pass a criminal background check, and pay their fair share of taxes. They will be able to apply to stay in the country “temporarily without fear of deportation.”


DHS chief: Short-term funding a ‘very bad idea’

Johnson pushes back against GOP move to limit budget for his agency after Obama’s immigration actions.

“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned Tuesday that a short-term funding measure for his agency will be a “very bad idea,” telling Congress that such a bill would hold up everything from hiring Secret Service agents to paying for border security.

House Republican leaders are pitching a plan that would fund nearly all government agencies through next September except the Department of Homeland Security. DHS – which oversees nearly all immigration operations – would only be funded until March. That vote is likely to come next week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told lawmakers in a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning. Republicans are looking for ways to punish the White House for President Barack Obama’s unilateral action to protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation but avoid a government shutdown. The two-prong funding approach would allow most of the government to operate while penalizing DHS and allowing the incoming GOP-controlled Congress to take more aggressive action on the issue. But Johnson, testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, strongly urged Congress against a short-term measure, called a continuing resolution or a CR. “That is in my judgment a very bad idea for Homeland Security because during that period of a CR we cannot engage in new starts,” Johnson told the panel, which was holding a hearing on President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. “We’ve got some homeland security priorities that need to be funded now.” Johnson testified that he would not be able to hire new Secret Service agents unless Congress passes a new appropriations bill rather than a short-term CR that keeps everything at current funding levels. And while DHS is readying a new, 2,400-bed detention center in Dilley, Texas, a short-term measure cannot fund such “enhanced” immigration enforcement operations, Johnson said. “I need the help from Congress to support and build upon border security that I believe all of you support,” Johnson told the committee. “I am urging that we act on our current appropriations request for the purpose and sake of border security and homeland security.” The White House has yet to comment on the House Republican plan.”


Witness: ‘If American Indians Had Strict Immigration Laws, None of Us Would Be Here’

“In testimony at a House Judiciary Committee hearing examining the legality of President Barack Obama’s executive action to protect millions of illegal aliens from deportation, a law professor said the United States would not exist if American Indians had “strict immigration laws.”

“I think it’s important to explain that I favor increased immigration into the United States,” Ronald Rotunda, professor of law at Chapman University, Fowler School of Law. “Remember, if American Indians had strict immigration laws, none of us would be here.” Obama took executive action last month that could allow as many as five million people who are in the country illegally to obtain temporary legal status based on their relationship to people with legal status.”


Immigration Advocate: Obama Was So Committed To Working With Congress He Had To Lie [VIDEO]

“Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, leading immigration advocate Marielena Hincapié explained President Barack Obama’s flip-flopping on the legality of his executive action by saying he was so committed to working with Congress on immigration reform he had to lie about his inability to change policy on his own. The hearing, called to examine the constitutionality of the president’s executive action, kicked off with a four-and-a-half minute video compilation of every time Obama said he couldn’t reform the immigration system on his own. For example: “I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself,” he said in 2011, “but that’s not how democracy works. See democracy is hard, but it’s right. Changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds, and changing votes, one by one.” Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center, was asked by Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner why the president, after saying on at least 22 separate occasions he did not have the power to do what he did, “he did a 180.” “Unfortunately I think the president was talking politics,” she began. “He made those comments, much to our dismay, because we believed for many years now that the president did, and does in fact have the legal authority. The president on a number of those occasions was specifically talking about immigration reform–he has been so focused on getting immigration reform done with Congress that he continually told the immigrant rights community that he could not do immigration reform.”



“Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has thrown his public support behind House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to fund President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty order through March. “That would be a big accomplishment if we could get a bill over here that would fund all the appropriations subcommittees except for one,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday, according to The Hill. “I think it’s kind of unfortunate that they’re talking about not doing Homeland Security, but that’s the way it is.” On Tuesday morning, in a closed-door GOP conference meeting, Boehner pitched House Republicans on a plan to fund Obama’s amnesty in the upcoming spending bill battle. The government funding portion of the Boehner plan, parts of which originated from usually conservative Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Tom Price (R-GA), would keep most of the government open until September, 2015 but would only supply monies to the Department of Homeland Security until March. But Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), in an exclusive for Breitbart News, laid out a different pathway forward that puts the ball back in Reid’s court. Lee’s plan is to have the House Republicans block funding for Obama’s amnesty now, and then force Reid to either shut down the government or take up the House bill blocking the funding for Obama’s amnesty and try to pull that language out. If Reid does have the votes to strip the language under Lee’s plan, the new Republican-controlled Congress can block the funding for Obama’s amnesty in early 2015. If Reid doesn’t have the votes, then Obama can either veto the bill—as he has threatened to do—or sign it into law. If Obama vetoes the bill, he will have by himself shut down the government in contravention of what several Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted for right before Christmas—something that would be a political disaster for a president still reeling from his party’s horrendous showing in the 2014 midterm elections.

Incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) put out a statement on Tuesday signaling he supports what Lee is pushing, and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) did as well.”


Jeb Bush Not Opposed To The Substance Of Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

“During an on-stage interview on Monday night during the The Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting, Bush was asked about his opposition to Obama’s sweeping executive action to unilaterally halt the deportation for five million illegal immigrants.

Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal: Is your problem with what the president did the substance of what he has proposed to do, or with the way he has proposed to do it?

Jeb Bush: It’s the way. First of all, I don’t know the exact details. I mean, frankly, he didn’t permanently change things because he doesn’t have anywhere near close that authority to do it. … He granted a deferral of the execution of the law for a couple of years. So these people are still in limbo. What we need to do is get to some certainty for people, the 11 million people that are here, five million of which he dealt with. We need to find some … give them some legal status and move to a system that is more economically driven. After Obama announced his executive action last month, Bush likewise railed against him over the process: “President Obama’s ill-advised unilateral action on illegal immigration undermines all efforts to forge a permanent solution to this crisis. Action must come in the form of bipartisan comprehensive reform passed through Congress.”

Geraghty: Immigration, Common Core Could Doom Jeb Bush in 2016


Gutiérrez presses ‘millions’ to get documents ready for legal status

“Immigration reform champion Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) on Tuesday urged undocumented immigrants to take quick advantage of President Obama’s executive actions giving them temporary legal status. Speaking in both English and Spanish, he urged those eligible for the new program to also get their paperwork ready for legal status. “When that door opens, we should have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, with their documents, ready to submit them,” Gutiérrez said at a Capitol Hill press conference. “While Republicans are complaining and bellyaching, we’re going to act.” Gutiérrez appeared with five other Democrats who sit on the House Judiciary Committee, which will consider on Tuesday the legality of Obama’s actions. The Chicago-area lawmaker slammed Republicans for trying to derail Obama’s plans for immigration reform without presenting other options. “If you do not like what the president of the United States has done, then it is your responsibility to offer us an alternative other than to demonize and criminalize our immigrant community,” Gutiérrez said to a packed room of immigration activists and the children of undocumented immigrants protected by the DREAM Act, known as DREAMers. “What unites Republicans is being against anything Barack Obama proposes,” he said, accusing the GOP of using the issue of immigration against Democrats “in order to regain the Senate and in order to regain more House Seats.” Gutiérrez said he had worked hard with Republican leadership to pass immigration reform, but was repeatedly told, “Just be patient Luis, we’re almost there.” He said Democrats were no longer willing to wait. The two GOP-led hearings on Tuesday are the first since Obama announced his immigration plans. Republicans have blasted Obama for the decision, arguing he is going well beyond his constitutional authority with actions that could give legal status to up to 5 million immigrants. “His decision to take unilateral action on immigration — action he himself said exceeded his authority — makes it harder for the American people and their elected representatives to trust his word on any issue,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday. Democrats appearing with Gutiérrez argued Obama acted within the law.”

Gutiérrez Urges Illegals To Get Documents ready


Obama Has The Power To Grant Amnesty, Says Obama’s ICE Nominee

“The woman President Obama has nominated to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement agrees with his decision to take executive action on immigration, saying she has “great confidence” in those who shaped it. In answers sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and obtained be The Daily Caller, U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña said she did not reject Obama’s action, and affirmed his authority to take it. “I believe that the President of the United States, as others before him, has legal authority to take Executive action to address areas within the purview of the Executive branch,” she wrote. “It is my understanding that the recently announced Executive action pertaining to immigration was reviewed, shaped, and considered by a number of people in whom I have great confidence, including Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder.” Saldaña, the county’s first Latina U.S. attorney, was nominated to succeed former ICE director John Morton, also an Obama nominee, in August. Morton resigned in 2013, moving on to a private sector position as an executive at Capitol One bank. The position has been vacant since. Saldaña also claimed that Obama’s executive action won’t lead to a flood of new illegal immigration because it “is limited to persons who entered the United States before January 1, 2010.” A series of questions posed by Republican Senators Jeff Sessions, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz also grilled her on the Constitution. When asked what she thought Article II, Section 3 (the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,”) required of the president with regard to immigration laws, she replied, “with respect to immigration enforcement, ‘faithful execution of the laws means to me that the President must judiciously allocate limited enforcement resources to best meet the nation’s needs.” The question was prompted by the Obama administration’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which ignored and contradicted existing immigration law.”



Obama’s Latest Immigration Nominee Says It’s Impossible to Enforce All Federal Laws

“President Barack Obama’s nominee to be assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has told senators she does not believe it will be possible for her to enforce all federal laws in her new job. Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked nominee Sarah Saldana several questions about how she would approach her role as a top immigration official. One of those was whether the nation would be safer if Obama fully enforced immigration laws as they are written. But Saldana said that’s an unrealistic goal, and said she supports the idea of prosecutorial discretion. “My own experience in making tough prosecutorial decisions by my 100-county district clearly precludes the idea that I can fully enforce all the thousands of federal statutes and regulations on the books for which I am responsible,” she wrote. “I believe that the use of prosecutorial discretion is an important management and law enforcement tool,” she added. In a later question about what it means for the president to “faithfully” execute the laws, Saldana said that means the allocation of “limited resources to best meet the nation’s needs.” Saldana is expected to be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as Wednesday. She was also asked by GOP senators on that committee whether it’s the requirement to faithfully execute the laws is consistent with a president’s decision not to enforce a law because the he believes it’s not as important as other laws. “It can be, depending on the applicable facts, circumstances and the availability of resources,” she wrote. “Whether the tension arises between statues, or between parts of statutes, the concept of prosecutorial discretion does involve prioritizing some activities over others.” The senators also asked Saldana whether she agreed that Obama had the authority to go around Congress and allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and work legally. “I believe that the president of the United States, as others before him, has legal authority to take executive action to address areas within the purview of the executive branch,” she replied. “It is my understanding that the recently announced executive action pertaining to immigration was reviewed, shaped and considered by a number of people in whom I have great confidence, including Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder,” she added. “Unless and until the president’s action is invalidated or withdrawn, I am bound to faithfully execute applicable laws, regulations and policy.”


Cruz opposes Saldaña for ICE, calls Dallas prosecutor “rubber stamp for amnesty”

“Sen. Ted Cruz announced Tuesday that he will oppose Dallas-based U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña’s nomination to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement, calling her “another rubber stamp for illegal amnesty.” He cited her assertion that President Obama has the authority to take executive actions shielding 5 million people in the country illegally from deportation. “Ms. Saldana has made it clear in a written statement that as Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement she would enable President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty,” said Sen. Cruz. “I do not support the President’s unconstitutional amnesty, and therefore, cannot vote for a nominee who will be another rubber stamp for illegal amnesty. I encourage my colleagues, especially those who oppose Obama’s amnesty, to oppose this nomination.” Obama nominated Saldaña in August. ICE is a sprawling agency within the Department of Homeland Security whose missions include tracking down people living in the country illegally. Texas’ senior senator, John Cornyn — the deputy GOP leader – introduced Saldaña at her confirmation hearing in mid-September. He had supported her nomination for U.S. attorney in 2011, and lavished praise on her for ICE. But the day before Obama rolled out his immigration orders on Nov. 20, Cornyn said that if the president “set off a bomb” that would make it much harder for her to win confirmation. “She is an outstanding person and is actually a good choice for that job,” Cornyn said at the time. The Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the nomination on Nov. 12. The Judiciary Committee, on which both Texas senators serve, will consider the nomination on Wednesday. ICE, the largest investigative agency after the FBI, falls under the jurisdiction of both panels. Cruz cited Saldaña’s written answers to queries he submitted with Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Mike Lee of Utah. Asked whether she rejects Obama’s actions on the 5 million, she said, according to Cruz’s office: “No. I believe that the President of the United States, as others before him, has legal authority to take executive action to address areas within the purview of the Executive branch.” She added that she would feel duty bound to execute those policies “unless and until the President’s action is invalidated or withdrawn.”

Ted Cruz on the First Step to Blocking Obama’s Amnesty: Don’t Confirm His ICE Nominee


Union-Sponsored Ads By SEIU Target ‘Anti-Immigrant’ Politicians

“One of the country’s largest labor unions launched television ads Tuesday to kick off what it vowed will be a long-term bid to hold what it calls “anti-immigrant” politicians accountable. The Service Employees International Union ads call on Latinos to urge Republican senators to stand with immigrants instead of GOP “extremists” who threaten to derail President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration. The Spanish-language ads are running in seven states: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. According to the English translation of one ad running in Ohio, a voiceover says, “In the battle for immigration reform, President Obama took a bold step forward to keep our families together. But Republican politicians respond with more opposition… and keep insulting our families. Enough! Our families deserve respect and a better future. Call Senator Rob Portman. Tell him to stand with our families and not with Republican extremists.” The ad then posts Mr. Portman’s office phone number on the television screen. Mr. Portman’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.”

Labor Union: Obama Immigration Action Si, Government Shutdown No


Brothers Castro: No immigration reform until 2016

“Both HUD Secretary Julian Castro and his and brother Rep. Joaquin Castro said Tuesday that they don’t expect immigration reform for at least another two years. “If you gave me an under-over, 50-50, whether I think they’re going to pass a major overhaul of the immigration system, I would say no, I don’t think they’re going to do that by 2016,” Rep. Castro (D-Texas) said of House Republicans. Rep. Castro, who appeared with his brother Tuesday morning at POLITICO’s “Lessons from Leaders” event held in Washington, D.C., at the Bank of America building, called on Republicans in the House and Senate to take the lead on the issue. The Castros spoke for about an hour at the Q and A with POLITICO’s Mike Allen before an audience of over 80 in attendance. The event was sponsored by Bank of America. “Lessons from Leaders” is a series of discussions with prominent leaders in both the private and public sector on the challenges in pursuing successful leadership. “Ideally you would have the Republican Congress now, as Republicans control both chambers, pass their own bill with respect to immigration and then try to come to some agreement with the president,” Rep. Castro said. He said it was “remarkable” that not only has Speaker John Boehner not put the Senate immigration bill up for a vote, but House Republicans have not drafted their own legislation which Castro said could serve as a starting point for negotiations with President Barack Obama. “They didn’t file anything,” the congressman said. “I would hope, and I suspect, that that will change in 2016.”

Secretary Castro, who has also been supportive of Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, echoed his brother.”


Gov’t Report: Congress and the States Will Have a Tough Time Challenging Obama’s Immigration Action in Court

“Members of Congress and individual states will likely have a difficult time proving their legal standing to take on President Barack Obama’s unilateral actions on immigration, a Congressional Research Service report concluded. But, an individual who could demonstrate economic harm might be able to challenge the legality of Obama bypassing Congress. Members of Congress have talked about a lawsuit to challenge Obama’s executive actions, which could shield as many as 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. Meanwhile, the governors of Indiana, Texas and Wisconsin have suggested they might bring state lawsuits against the federal government.”


Obama Amnesty as Feds Bust Illegal Aliens That Got $7.2 Mil from IRS with Stolen IDs

“In the same week that President Obama issued his administrative amnesty sparing millions from deportation, the feds busted a criminal ring of illegal immigrants that used stolen identities to defraud the U.S. government out of $7.2 million in tax refunds. The mastermind of this sophisticated operation is a resourceful delinquent in Frankfurt, Delaware who runs a landscaping and cleaning business called “Las Tres Mujeres” (the three women in Spanish). Her name is Linda Avila and she’s admitted in federal court that she filed more than 1,700 fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using stolen identities assigned to migrant workers—mostly from Mexico—living in the U.S. illegally. Avila altered W-2 forms with white out to cover up the names, social security numbers and addresses then wrote in other names and addresses to create the fraudulent returns, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement. Foreign dependents were often added to increase the refund amounts. The IRS then cut refund checks ranging from $4,000 to more than $7,000, according to the feds. Avila provided the illegal aliens fake identification documents so they could cash the IRS refund checks. The illegal alien migrant workers kept a small fee and gave most of the money to Avila. When federal agents searched Avila’s home in Delaware they seized about 17 boxes of fraudulent tax records, according to the DOJ document outlining the case. Templates for fraudulent W-2 forms and identification documents were also found on her computer. The records included copies of approximately 1,754 tax returns filed between 2008 and 2014 for tax years 2004 through 2013. The total loss to the IRS based on the fraudulent returns is approximately $7.2 million, federal authorities estimate. Back in July a federal grand jury in Norfolk Virginia indicted Avila on charges of conspiracy to make false claims, mail fraud and false claims against the United States. On November 17, the same week Obama issued a long-anticipated administrative amnesty, Avila finally pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and mail fraud. She faces three decades in prison and remains free pending sentencing on February 17. The feds have not disclosed if her illegal immigrant partners in crime will be charged.”



“Border Patrol agents, in conjunction with Laredo police officers, arrested two illegal aliens previously convicted of first-degree murder. The two men were apprehended on November 24, after illegally re-entering the United States, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  The arrested men, ages 36 and 38, are brothers who are Mexican nationals.  Laredo police officers pulled the men over for a routine traffic stop. While processing the duo, the police called in Border Patrol for assistance, according to CBP.  It was then discovered that both brothers were previously convicted of first-degree murder in Illinois. Each served between six to 10 years behind bars and were then deported back to Mexico.  South Texas Campaign Commander Robert L. Harris said in a statement, “This unity of effort between Border Patrol agents and Laredo Police to apprehend and process these convicted murderers for immigration violations exemplifies the whole of government approach to border enforcement embodied by the South Texas Campaign.” Following the recent arrests, the brothers were processed for immigration violations.”



“The deployment of National Guard troops that Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered in response to the border crisis is set to be phased out under a recommendation from the Texas Legislative Budget Board released on Monday. The move comes after media interest in the issue has died down after peaking this summer, when tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, were illegally crossing the border. The LBB is a permanent joint legislative committee comprised of the Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, and four members each from the Texas House and Senate. Current membership is Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Speaker of the House Joe Straus, Senators Kevin Eltife, Craig Estes, Juan Hinojosa, and Jane Nelson, and Representatives Drew Darby, John Otto, Sylvester Turner, and John Zerwas.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Dewhurst announced at a press conference last month that he had joined with Perry and Straus to send a proposal to the LBB to recommend that they approve more than $86 million in funding to sustain border operations through the end of the fiscal year, which ends in August 2015. The vote was necessary to ensure continuous funding for the border security operations, which would have otherwise expired this month and could not have been resumed until after the new Legislature was sworn into office in January and could take official action. Part of the proposal to the LBB included phasing out about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops from the border in the Spring, to be replaced with Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers. The LBB, which, as mentioned above, currently includes both Dewhurst and Straus as members, accepted this recommendation in a unanimous vote.

The $86 million approved by the LBB will fund border security activities through August 2015, and according to Straus’ office, will primarily go to additional overtime for DPS officers. DPS estimates that this funding will be the equivalent of adding 640 more DPS personnel to the border. The funding will also continue the involvement of Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens in border security efforts through August, but only provides for the deployment of Texas National Guard troops, at a reduced level, through March 2015.”


No, Neither Obamacare Nor President Obama’s Immigration Actions Are Inevitably Permanent




National debt exceeds $18T, sparking renewed criticism of spending under Obama

“The national debt has passed the $18 trillion mark, sparking renewed criticism Tuesday from Republicans and other fiscal conservatives over the soaring trajectory of government spending under President Obama. “This is a sad milestone for America,” Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Tuesday. The debt was at $10.6 trillion when Obama took office in 2009 but has increased by 70 percent during his roughly six years in office. “The national debt has skyrocketed by over $7.3 trillion,” Priebus said. “President Obama once said it was ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘irresponsible’ to add $4 trillion to the debt. By his own reasoning then, (he) has reached a new level of irresponsibility.” The federal debt, which topped $18 trillion last week, is the sum of two numbers. The first is $12.92 trillion in public debt, which consists of all the outstanding Treasury bills, notes and bonds held by individuals, corporations, foreign governments and others. The second is the $5.08 trillion in so-called “intra-governmental” holdings, special securities held by U.S. government trust funds and special funds – or basically IOUs from the federal government for money that it “borrowed” from Social Security and Medicare. The new figure, reached late Friday, likely drew little attention because the federal deficit — how much the U.S. government spends annually in excess of revenue — has dropped under Obama, from roughly $1.4 trillion to $483 billion.  But fiscal conservatives argue the climbing national debt is still a big problem. Kevin Broughton, spokesman for the Tea Party Patriots, calculates the debt when divided equally among the U.S. population means “every man, woman and child” in the country owes $56, 250.”


U.S. DEBT HITS $18,000,000,000,000.00

“U.S. debt has now surpassed $18 trillion.  Under President Barack Obama, America’s debt has skyrocketed 70%.  On the day Obama took office, January 21, 2009, Zero Hedge reports U.S. debt stood at $10.625 trillion. The national debt cleared $18 trillion for the first time on Black Friday.  In March, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the Obama U.S. debt explosion would result in interest payments on U.S. debt quadrupling by 2024 to a stratospheric $880 billion a year, a sum 105 times bigger than the FBI’s budget.  Still, Obama contends his economic policies have been a boon to America.  “By every economic measure, we are better off now than when I took office,” said Obama in October.”


National Debt Passes 18 Trillion, Nets Ignore

“The U.S. National Debt reached a staggering $18 trillion on Nov. 28, 2014, but none of the three broadcast news networks covered the milestone. That debt has increased by more than $7 trillion during Barack Obama’s presidency, Forbes said. According to The Blaze, “In the last fiscal year, the national debt increased by just over $500 billion, and that number is expected to rise again in the coming years.”



“Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is blasting President Barack Obama over the fact that U.S. debt has soared past $18 trillion. “This is a sad milestone for America. Under President Obama’s failed leadership, the national debt has skyrocketed by over $7.3 trillion,” said Priebus. He added, “President Obama once said it was ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘irresponsible’ to add $4 trillion to the debt… He has the worst record of any president when it comes to putting America deeper in debt.”  Indeed, under Obama, U.S. debt has skyrocketed 70%. When Obama took office on January 21, 2009, America’s debt stood at $10.625 trillion.

Still, Obama maintains that under his economic leadership, America is better by every economic measure. “By every economic measure, we are better off now than when I took office,” Obama said in October.”


Taxes, Defense, Appropriations Remain Big 3 Issues Before Christmas (Video)


Long-term tax-break plan fizzles, along with hopes of some bipartisanship in Congress


House will vote on short-term tax cut deal Wednesday


Obama administration could support short-term tax extender deal

“The Obama administration could support “short-term alternatives” that extend expiring tax breaks if lawmakers don’t find a way to permanently lower business tax credits while also building in protections for middle-class families, a top official said on Tuesday, citing remarks by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. Lew made the remarks in a meeting with Democrats in the House of Representatives, an official with the Treasury Department said.”


The wind energy credit buried in the tax extender deal should get the ax

“Ed talked about some of the issues surrounding the current tax deduction extender deal the other day. As of this afternoon, it’s looking more and more like a complicated deal is going to wind up making it to a vote. The plan involves a largely symbolic vote on the President’s executive amnesty plan, with a two stage funding bill which will fund most of the government through the fall / winter of 2015, but place a limit on funding for Homeland Security (and thus, ICE and immigration control activities) only through March when the new Senate majority is in place. This may or may not prove productive for conservatives, but the aforementioned tax extenders currently under consideration have a serious poison pill buried in them. It continues to dish out billions of dollars in wind energy credits which are distorting the market and continuing to flush taxpayer money into technology which is allegedly standing on its own feet these days. Also, recent changes to the language of the credit open it to systemic abuse. The American Energy Alliance explains. “The wind PTC was a bad idea yesterday, it’s a bad idea today, and it will be a bad idea tomorrow. “Over twenty percent of this extenders deal, nearly $10 billion, is a handout to AWEA and its allies like the League of Conservation Voters who spent $75 million during the midterm elections in an effort to defeat Republicans. Now the House Republicans are prepared to reward them with a massive handout courtesy of the American taxpayer. This sweetheart deal will cost American families close to $100 per household, and will stick them with more expensive and less reliable electricity in the future. “A vote for this deal is also an endorsement of President Obama’s climate agenda, as the PTC is integral to the administration’s costly climate action plan.”


A Taxpayer’s Guide to the Lame-Duck Session


Obama: “We cannot beat Ebola without more funding”

“President Obama warned on Tuesday that the U.S. needs more money to fight Ebola and said Congress should approve the request his administration made for more money as a Christmas present to the American people and the world.” This is an expensive enterprise. That money’s running o ut. We cannot beat Ebola without more funding. If we want more countries to keep stepping up we will have to continue to lead the way. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to approve our emergency funding request to fight this disease before they leave for the holidays. It’s a good Christmas present to the American people and to the world,” Mr. Obama said during a speech at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The White House asked Congress to approve an additional $6.18 billion in emergency spending to improve domestic readiness for the disease and speed up the testing of vaccines. Under the White House’s recommendation, $4.64 billion would be used for immediate needs, while $1.54 billion in contingency funding would ensure there are resources available to respond to the outbreak both in the United States and abroad.”


Ryan says Republicans will work on business tax reform

“House Republicans will work on corporate tax reform next year, Paul Ryan said Tuesday, creating a possible area of agreement with an Obama administration resistant to other GOP tax plans. Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican set to become chairman of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in January, said at an event with business executives hosted by the Wall Street Journal that “if we can get halfway toward comprehensive tax reform … I think that’s great.” Obama administration officials have insisted that they are hopeful about working with Republicans to overhaul the corporate tax code by broadening the tax base by eliminating tax credits and deductions and lowering rates. The U.S. statutory corporate tax rate is the highest among developed nations, although many companies pay lower effective rates. Ryan’s comments appeared to suggest some possibility of working with the administration on business taxation. He wants to lower the statutory tax rate from its current 35 percent to 25 percent, below the Obama administration’s target of 28 percent.”

Paul Ryan to Pursue Business Tax Overhaul in 2015


Report: EPA Lost Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars To Fraud, Poor Management

“Republicans are targeting wasteful and “egregious” spending at the Environmental Protection Agency, issuing a new report showing the agency has lost millions to employee scams, lax oversight and wasteful research projects. A report released by Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake found numerous examples of EPA mismanagement and excess, including employees illegitimately spending $15 million on agency credit cards and $9 million the agency lost track of funding projects in California. The report found the agency spent “$3,500,000 to fund ‘Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health’ workshops across the country… $1,500,000 annually to store out-of-date and unwanted publications at an Ohio warehouse” and another “$700,000 to attempt to reduce methane emitted from pig flatulence in Thailand.” Sen. Flake’s report also points out another big-ticket spending item: the EPA spent $40,000 on a portrait of former Chief Administrator Lisa Jackson — who resigned in early 2013 amid a transparency scandal. “For an agency keen to regulate every puddle from a rainstorm, the EPA has proven itself remarkably inept when it comes to managing its own affairs,” Flake said in a statement. Flake’s report comes as the EPA rolls out new environmental regulations and prepares to finalize rules to fight global warming next year. Republicans have vowed to fight back against the slew of agency regulations when they take control of the Senate next year.”


City Council raises Chicago’s minimum hourly wage to $13

“Determined to beat Springfield to the finish line in the race to address income inequality, the City Council voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $13-an-hour by 2019. The final vote was 44 to 5. No votes were cast by Aldermen Matt O’Shea (19th); Brendan Reilly (42nd), Michele Smith (43rd), Tom Tunney (44th) and Mary O’Connor (41st). Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the special City Council meeting amid concern that the Illinois General Assembly would approve a lesser, statewide increase — from $8.25-to-$10-an-hour — that prohibits Chicago from going higher. But, all pretenses were off after House Speaker Michael Madigan was quoted as ruling out legislation that includes a pre-emption that ties Chicago’s hands. The rush to approve a Chicago-only minimum wage is more about politics and hastening Emanuel’s shift to the political left than it is about the City Council racing to beat the Il. General Assembly. Emanuel is trying desperately to shed the “Mayor 1%” label pinned on him by his two strongest challengers: Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, both of whom favor a Chicago minimum wage of $15-an-hour. The minimum wage hike is the cornerstone of Emanuel’s efforts to undercut their progressive base. So is the mayor’s recent decision to champion affordable housing, preserve single-room-occupancy buildings and propose softening Illinois’ war on drugs — by decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana statewide and by reducing to a misdemeanor the penalty for possession one gram or less of any controlled substance. Tuesday’s debate began with Tunney, owner of Ann Sather’s Restaurants, attempting to use a parliamentary maneuver to defer consideration of the mayor’s plan. Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th), who knows Roberts Rules of Order like the back of his hand, argued that the motion was out of order. Emanuel upheld that ruling. That left Tunney no choice but to denounce the increase on the City Council floor. He argued for a lesser increase that would create a level playing field statewide — not a dramatically higher increase in Chicago that would put small businesses struggling to stay alive amid increased competition from the internet at a competitive disadvantage. “Whatever the entry-level wage is, when there is no company, there is no job,” Tunney warned. “How do you go from $8.25 [an-hour] to $13 overnight? You know what you do? You raise the prices and you’ve also got to find ways to do it with less help. That’s what’s going to happen.” Tunney also fired back against those who attempted to frame Tuesday’s debate as a fight between corporate honchos raking in millions and the “little guy” who got the shaft. “These are not financial traders folks. These are people that get up at 3 in the morning to make their businesses happen. You know how many hours they work? Ask `em. They work 60 or 70 hours-a-week. And some years, they don’t get paid,” Tunney said.”



“CA Republicans proposed two bills aimed to stop a cap-and-trade program for transportation fuels which starts up in January that will increase gasoline prices for motorists across the Golden State. The Sacramento Bee reported that since 2006 cap-and-trade laws, designed to reduce carbon emissions, have forced companies to purchase permits covering what they put into the air. Up until now producers of transportation fuels have been exempted from buying cap-and-trade allowances. The 2006 law calls for the expanded coverage in January 2015. Patrick DeHaan a petroleum analyst for price tracker, predicts that the new cap-and-trade regulations could produce a 10- to 20-cent-per-gallon increase in fuel prices. Claiming that the new program will push gas prices upward and burden individual drivers, businesses, schools and farms, Republican lawmakers selected the first day of the 2015-2016 legislative session to announce their bill.”


US construction spending up 1.1 percent in October


Economic News: U.S. CEOs Hiring, Consumers Upbeat




Critics say Common Core includes collecting psych data on kids

“A little-known aspect of Common Core should have students worried about what goes on the dreaded “permanent record,” say critics of the national education standard. Parents in Pennsylvania have written outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett to demand a moratorium on the collection of what they describe as sensitive and personal information on students, which they say is part of a federal database to track the development of every child. And education activists around the nation say it is part and parcel of the controversial campaign to impose a uniform, national standard for math and English. “This follows them from the cradle to the grave,” said Tracy Ramey, of Pennsylvanians against Common Core. Her group, along with Pennsylvanians Restoring Education, recently wrote Corbett to demand the shutdown of the state’s Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS) in all 500 school districts. “What’s alarming is what they are doing with the data,” Ramey said. The process, set to play out throughout the country in what critics call a “womb to workplace” information system, was originally developed by the Department of Labor and contains information on every U.S. citizen under the age of 26. Most of the information on individuals is collected while K-12 students are in school, and includes names, grades and information such as personality traits, behavior patterns and even fingerprints. The state of Pennsylvania was one of the early adopters of the data mining and contributed to the framework for a nationwide program. Both groups allege that any state entity as well as outside contractors can access personal information. “The personally identifiable information includes information on every student’s personality, attitudes, values, beliefs, and disposition, a psychological profile called Interpersonal Skills Standards and anchors,” reads the letter sent to Corbett on Monday. “This data has been illegally obtained through deceptive means without the parents’ knowledge or consent through screening, evaluations, testing, and surveys. These illegal methods of information gathering were actually fraudulently called ‘academic standards’ on the [Pennsylvania] Department of Education website portal.” Anita Hoge, a member of Pennsylvanians Restoring Education, said local districts may have a need to collect some personal information, but a state or national database is a danger. “There are two problems with sharing data beyond the local district,” she said. “First, parents are not aware that FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] regulations now allow their children’s data (personally identifiable information) to be shared to outside third party vendors. And, this data is being collected and placed on a data system that is shared with the feds. This first level of data collection and sharing is a violation of privacy.”


North Dakota Proposes Mandatory US Citizenship Test For All High School Graduates

“Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Who is one of your state’s U.S. senators right now? How did Wickard v. Filburn affect the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Commerce Clause in the short and long terms? OK, maybe not that last one, but high school students across North Dakota who seek diplomas could soon be required to answer the first two questions or others like them, Fox News Latino reports. Bipartisan legislation proposed on Monday by Betsy Dalrymple, the first lady of North Dakota, and Kirsten Baesler, the state’s superintendent of schools, would require every student to pass a civics exam to graduate high school. The civics test would be similar to the one immigrants must pass before they can become U.S. citizens. The idea for such a test has generated interest in a handful of states (including North Dakota) thus far. Other states mulling a mandatory civics test for would-be high school graduates are Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri and South Carolina. “Every single student in Arizona and across the United States of America should have basic knowledge and understanding of American government,” Arizona state representative Steve Montenegro said back in September, according to The Arizona Republic. “Civics is just common sense.”


Just 19 Paterson, NJ Kids Are College-Ready But 66 School Officials Make At Least $125,000


Father EXPOSES Ohio elementary school for teaching students that our RIGHTS come from GOVERNMENT




Little Conservative Group Gives Up in Nonprofit Status Battle with IRS

“Marve Munyon and his two fellow members on the Rock River Patriots board of directors finally were forced to throw up their hands. The Internal Revenue Service has a way of doing that to people. After being hounded for years, the group with the tea party-sounding name gave up its pursuit of 501(c)(4), tax-exempt status, took the best deal it could get and walked away from the fight. “We finally got out from underneath that mess,” Munyon said. In April 2012, Munyon applied for 501(c)(4) designation for the group, as a pending tax-exempt, “social welfare” organization. The IRS cashed the group’s $400 application fee on May 2, 2012, according to documents. Munyon was informed by letter in January 2013 the IRS was delayed in reviewing applications for tax-exempt status. All the while the meter was running on the conservative organization’s tab with the IRS. The IRS did offer a deal, Munyon said — an offer the limited-government advocate had to refuse. An IRS agent in Ogden, Utah, informed Munyon that if he could pledge the Rock River Patriots never violated an election law in the past, were not violating any such laws at present and would never do so in the future, the IRS would guarantee the group a favorable ruling on its tax-exempt status within two weeks. “I said, ‘If you have not been able to grant us a favorable status in two years, how could you grant it to us in two weeks?’” Munyon said in January.  “Their comeback was that they ‘didn’t call to argue. We called you to help you.’” The agency’s ‘help’ eventually amounted to “failure to file” fees and “failure to pay” penalties that amounted to nearly as much as the application fee. And the fees kept mounting even as the IRS deliberated on whether the group would make the 501(c)(4) cut. Finally, after two years, hours of phone calls, continuous correspondence and growing aggravation, the IRS refunded the Rock River Patriots the penalties — a total of $153.65, plus two checks for $1.16 and $3.04, without explanation, Munyon said. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue refunded the group $150 in late fees and charges, he said.”


Exclusive: New U.S. oil and gas well November permits tumble nearly 40 percent

“Plunging oil prices sparked a drop of almost 40 percent in new well permits issued across the United States in November, in a sudden pause in the growth of the U.S. shale oil and gas boom that started around 2007. Data provided exclusively to Reuters on Tuesday by industry data firm Drilling Info Inc showed 4,520 new well permits were approved last month, down from 7,227 in October. The pullback was a “very quick response” to U.S. crude prices, which settled on Tuesday at $66.88 CLc1, said Allen Gilmer, chief executive officer of Drilling Info.”


Democrat-led Senate confirms Obama bundlers to Argentina, Hungary ambassador posts

“The Senate on Tuesday confirmed two nominees from President Obama for ambassadorships, over strong objections that the high-dollar fundraisers for the president’s 2012 re-election were unqualified for the job. Noah Mamet, a Democratic political consultant and fundraiser, and Colleen Bell, a former producer for the TV soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful,” were approved despite struggling through confirmation hearings earlier this year. Mamet was confirmed as ambassador to Argentina by a vote of 50-43. Bell was confirmed as ambassador to Hungary by a vote of 52-42. Mamet was confirmed despite not speaking Spanish and acknowledging during his confirmation hearing that he has never been to Argentina. Before the vote, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain objected to both nominations, arguing that too many U.S. ambassadors are now political appointees, not career foreign service employees. However, he saved his strongest objection for Bell, whom he called “the most egregious example.” “Hungary is a very important country where bad things are going on,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “We’re about to vote on a terribly unqualified individual.” McCain said Bell gave more than $800 million to Obama’s successful 2012 re-election effort and helped “bundle” roughly $2.1 million. More than 40 percent of Obama’s second-term picks for diplomatic posts have reportedly been political nominees.”


ABC Reporter Grills White House Press Secretary Over Qualifications Soap Opera Producer, Obama Fundraiser Has to Be a U.S. Ambassador

“The Senate voted 52-42 to confirm Colleen Bell, a former producer of the soap opera, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” “Ambassador Bell has the president’s confidence that she will do an excellent job representing the U.S. and maintaining the important relationship the U.S. has with the government and the people of Hungary,” Earnest said. ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl asked where Obama gets the confidence. “She certainly is somebody, again, that has had her own distinguished private sector career,” Earnest responded. Karl asked again, “As a soap opera producer?” Earnest responded, “As somebody who obviously has succeeded in the business world and she is somebody that the president has confidence will be able to maintain our relationship with the government and the people of Hungary.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) complained that Bell raised $2.1 million for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. The Senate also voted 50-43 Tuesday to confirm Noah Mamet, a Democratic political consultant and fundraiser, to be ambassador to Argentina. Mamet reportedly does not speak Spanish.”


White House Defends Soap Opera Producer As Ambassador


Two more highly qualified ambassadors approved by the Senate

“Jim Geraghty sent out a warning this morning that the lame duck Senate was getting down to the people’s business and was going to vote on confirmation of two more Obama nominees, this time ambassadors. Today the U.S. Senate votes on two of President Obama’s ambassadorial nominees: Noah Mamet, the nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Argentina and Colleen Bell, the nominee to be ambassador to Hungary. You may recall Noah Mamet admitting in response to a question to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., he has never traveled to Argentina. Bell is perhaps best known as producer of soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She, too, had difficulties during her confirmation hearing. Well, it didn’t take all that long at all. Given the rather, shall we say… dubious credentials of these two candidates, and the already tenuous state of trust in the competence of the White House, I assume that they were both declined and more suitable nominees can be sought. Right? The Senate confirmed the nominations of two former Obama campaign fundraisers on Tuesday despite objections. The Senate voted 50-43 to confirm Noah Mamet’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Argentina and voted 52-42 to confirm Colleen Bradley Bell to be U.S. ambassador to Hungary. Some criticized Mamet and Bell for showing a lack of knowledge during confirmation hearings about the countries they’ll be serving in.”


Obama to nominate Ashton Carter for Secretary of Defense

“President Obama is expected to nominate former Pentagon official Ashton Carter as secretary of defense, CNN reported Saturday. Hagel will remain in office until his successor has been confirmed by the Senate. Carter was nominated to his previous position, deputy defense secretary, by Obama in 2011. Before that, he was the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer. He was a contender for Secretary of Defense in 2013, and left the Pentagon at the end of that year after Hagel was nominated. He has ties to the private defense industry, with previous experience at a tech and defense firm and advisory experience for Goldman Sachs.”


Obama plays it safe with Ashton Carter, defense secretary pick

“President Obama will nominate former Pentagon official Ashton Carter as his next secretary of defense as soon as this week, tapping a technocrat seen as a safe selection for an increasingly insular White House. After a handful of potential candidates dropped out of the running for the top Pentagon post, Carter, the former deputy defense secretary, was essentially the lone remaining name on the White House’s short list for the position, according to multiple sources familiar with the selection process. The expected selection of Carter comes after Obama forced out Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who fell out of favor with the White House and complained about being micro-manged by the president’s inner circle. Carter, a long-time deputy once passed over for the job given to Hagel, is unlikely to clash with Obama — an increasingly valuable commodity for a president burned by past defense secretaries who have have openly criticized his policies.”


Who Is Ashton Carter? A Look at Obama’s Leading Defense Secretary Candidate



“Former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter appears to be considered the favorite to replace Chuck Hagel, the outgoing Pentagon chief, according to numerous reports surfacing today. As the new Defense Secretary, Carter would be taking charge of the U.S. operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the mission to contain the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, and the new phase of the Afghanistan war as the combat mission is expected to end next month, among other responsibilities.    Carter, 60, took the top position of the short-list of candidates to replace Hagel after Michèle Flournoy, a former under secretary of defense, and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), a former officer with the Army’s 82nd Airborne, withdrew themselves from being considered for the post.   Mr. Carter served as the Deputy Defense Secretary between October 2011 and December 2013, under both Leon Panetta and Hagel. He resigned citing personal reasons.  There were speculations that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was being considered for the post.  However, CNN reports that Johnson would have complicated things for the White House, since it would have to find a replacement for him that would have to be confirmed by the incoming GOP-controlled Senate.   Bob Work, the current Deputy Defense Secretary, is also rumored to be considered as a potential replacement for Hagel.

Several anonymous U.S. administration officials told CNN that “barring any last minute complications, Ash Carter will be President Barack Obama’s choice as the new Secretary of Defense.”  This is consistent with what defense industry experts told Breitbart News. Mr. Carter, they say, is qualified and well-liked by lawmakers from across the political spectrum.

“Ashton Carter is widely known to want the job. He’s well-liked by both parties on Capitol Hill, which is a really helpful trait with the [incoming] Republican Congress,” Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Defense official and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). “He is certainly qualified.” Mr. Carter is a top-notch technocrat who knows what it is like to work in the Pentagon and has experience operating under President Obama’s methodology– Steven Bucci, who previously served as an Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official and is now director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, told Breitbart News.”




Constitutional Convention Gathers Some Steam


Mike Lee’s Plan To Fix Congress

Five Steps To Restore Trust, Transparency, And Empowerment


Liberal media has trouble understanding the Democratic rhetoric doesn’t work

“The daily San Antonio Express-News has devoted some of its prime space the past month stating things like the “best voting states” are “liberal in their openness.” They tell their readers that states, “like Texas, have tended to make voting more difficult by instituting voter identification laws” which “results in less competitive races.” But most Texans aren’t buying those explanations. Take Cecilia Abbott, wife of upcoming Texas Governor Greg Abbott, for instance. Mrs. Abbott is the personification of everything most women look up to, yet there is “dead silence coming from the Democratic Women’s cheering section for the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas,” said Mirt Foster, from Austin. Foster thinks it “good to note” that when it comes to Mrs. Abbott there will be “no pink sneaker rallies for her!” “Despite the (Democratic) rhetoric, their support is only for women and minorities they agree with – not entirely ‘pro-woman’ at all, but pro-party as usual,” Foster detected. “It’s not rocket science to us,” San Antonio’s Teresa Wick state on Dec. 1st. “When a good woman like Cecilia Abbott spent her life devoted to serving others as a teacher and principal at our schools and worked hard for senior health care, only to be run down in the name of dirty politics, it’s quite easy to see who is actually on the side of our children, our sick, our elderly and our women.” “I heard Wendy Davis and others like the Castro brothers go off on the Abbotts with the typical vile rhetoric and they expect us to follow their nonsense,” added Brenda Delgado, also from San Antonio. “Don’t they know that we know Cecilia (Abbott) is the granddaughter of Mexico immigrants like so many of us are?” Mrs. Abbot has earned three degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Houston: a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Theology. “It’s hard to find anything bad to say about her (Mrs. Abbott),” Wick said. “But when the liberals had the audacity to make fun of Mr. Abbott in a wheelchair, and thought they were cute, that was a defining moment.” In 1984, while jogging in Houston, Greg Abbott was paralyzed when a 75-foot tall tree fell on him. Friends say the loving Cecilia Abbott was critical in her husband’s recovery. “It has nothing to do with stupid voter registration ID requirements and everything to do with what is decent, Texas values, honesty and not following the same old formula speeches and repeating the so-called speaking points making anymore,” asserted Wick. “Hispanic voters are rethinking this blue-state red-state way of rational,” Margaret Juarez, from near McAllen chimed in. “There is a growing connection between Mexican-Latino-Hispanics and Conservatives in Texas.” “My family is not falling into the conformity trap used by liberals,” Juarez proudly exclaimed. “We are no longer subscribe to the ‘herd instinct’ of being influenced by the broken promises of liberal politicians.” Juarez admits that in the Rio Grande Valley, families are “raised to be Democrats” and there is “considerable peer pressure to adopt the behaviors and policies of the liberal community. Time and experience has shown us that not all advertising and solicitations are true, especially in politics.” “The evidence is in the actions of the parties, not just in their words,” noted Virginia Fontenot, a Black conservative. “Look at all the firsts in this last election and tell me who is trying to reach all Americans in a fair way.”


Landrieu Plays The Obama Card Both Ways


Landrieu’s Last Stand: The Top Moments From Louisiana’s Senate Debate [VIDEO]


Louisiana Democrat: Look, nobody’s going to prosecute you for illegally voting, so…

“That headline is no exaggeration; if anything, it under-sells the ugliness of the clip below.  Watch it first (skip ahead to 0:46), then stay tuned for additional context — via Elbert Guillory and Black Conservatives Fund:… “If you early voted, go vote again tomorrow. One more time’s not going to hurt. Tomorrow we’re going to elect [Democrat] Earl Tayor as [District Attorney], so he won’t prosecute you if you vote twice.” That would be Don Cravins, Senior – former Democratic state Senator, current mayor and father of Don Cravins, Junior, who made a Hot Air appearance just yesterday.  Father and son’s almost cartoonishly harmful comments appear to have originated from the same recording, taken at a pro-Mary Landrieu event in November.  How much do you want to bet that Mayor Cravins is an ardent opponent of “suppression” in the form of (wildly popular) voter ID laws?  Fight Republican-imposed “poll taxes,” vote multiple times, and elect partisan prosecutors to look the other way.  Democracy.  Meanwhile, we’ve already laid out the reasons why Team Mary is likely in heavy duty panic mode right about now — as if this move wasn’t a dead giveaway of an early onset freak-out.  Soak in the desperation, friends, via Buzzfeed:” The radio ad features Landrieu saying she approves the message and is “authorized by Friends of Mary Landrieu and authorized by the Democratic State Committee of Louisiana.” [Partial transcript]: “I’m Mary Landrieu, candidate for Senate, and I approve this message. This is Congressman Cedric Richmond. Have you heard the crazy stuff Bill Cassidy, Bobby Jindal, and the Republicans are always saying about President Obama? They have shown our president so much disrespect. They said he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, they even sued him – and if Cassidy wins, they will impeach him.”



“Even though moderate Republican candidates lose presidential elections without the conservative base (see: George H.W. Bush ’92, Bob Dole ’96, John McCain ’08, Mitt Romney ’12), former Florida Governor and potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush thinks conservatives are not needed to win the White House. Bush believes that a presidential candidate who is “willing to lose the primary to win the general” has the best shot at the White House. “I don’t know if I’d be a good candidate or a bad one,” Bush said at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council meeting on Monday evening in Washington, D.C. “I kinda know how a Republican can win, whether it’s me or somebody else – and it has to be much more uplifting, much more positive, much more willing to be… ‘lose the primary to win the general’ without violating your principles. It’s not an easy task, to be honest with you.” Should Bush run, his embrace of comprehensive amnesty legislation and Common Core will put him at odds with conservative voters in the early primary states. Bush, who said he would make a decision in “short order” about whether he will be a presidential candidate, revealed on Monday that he thinks a moderate Republican who runs as a moderate in the primary has the best chance of winning the White House. Bush has shown every indication that he will not pander to conservatives and take positions that are at odds with what he truly believes so that he is not viewed as a phony politician like Mitt Romney, who tried to have it both ways on nearly every issue.  For instance, at the event, Bush continued to support immigration reform, saying the economic benefits of amnesty legislation should be emphasized. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bush said that America should take more immigrants who are “first-round draft picks.” But he did not mention that a comprehensive amnesty bill would allow more guest-workers and low-skilled immigrants that would lower the wages of American workers, which is what the Congressional Budget Office determined, and make it more difficult for them to find jobs.  Earlier on Monday, Bush, who said that the pro-amnesty Journal is his “paper of record,” reportedly urged Republicans in Congress to not defund President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty and pass “sensible” immigration bills, according to the Washington Post:  At a private luncheon Monday on Capitol Hill, former Florida governor Jeb Bush told a group of GOP officials and donors, including soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, that the party should avoid a standoff. Instead, Bush said in brief remarks, Republicans should pass a series of “sensible” immigration bills next year once they control both congressional chambers to underscore their commitment to governing and reforming the immigration system with their own policies.”


Pettus: Chris McDaniel ‘hasn’t lost his nerve’

“Ex-U.S. Senate candidate Chris “Never Surrender” McDaniel has formed the United Conservative Fund, his former campaign coalition coordinator has said. Scott Brewster said the announcement is “huge news for the future of the conservative movement in Mississippi.” That is huge news. I didn’t know there was any other kind of movement in Mississippi. McDaniel is the tea party candidate who lost in the June primary to incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, and then lost his election challenge in an appeal dismissed by the Mississippi Supreme Court, which ruled that he missed the deadline.”


Democrats Sell Christmas Gifts That Say ‘I Hate Tea Parties’

“The Democratic National Committee is selling Christmas gifts including an “I Hate Tea Parties” tumbler. The Democrats tweeted Tuesday a list of overpriced items they’re asking an ethnically ambiguous Santa for, including a gift that expresses hate for fellow Americans. To paraphrase Tiny Tim: “God bless us everyone except the people that we ‘Hate.’”


DHS: Islamic State Backers Can Strike U.S. ‘With Little to No Warning’


Ted Cruz: The world is ‘on fire’ because of the ‘Obama-Clinton foreign policy’

“Sen. Ted Cruz says it seems “like the world is on fire right now,” and he blames the Obama administration. The Texas Republican took jabs Tuesday at the foreign policies of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “There is a critical need both at home and abroad to restore America’s leadership in the world,” Cruz said. Cruz stressed that the top priority of American foreign policy should be to protect the national security interests of the United States. “It is not the job of our military to produce democratic utopias across the world,” he said. The senator argued that America has become less safe as its leaders have made the country step “away from the world,” and that “the failures of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy are manifest.” “Leading from behind doesn’t work,” Cruz said. “We are seeing the consequences when America recedes and hides.”


Russia to carry out large-scale military drills in 2015


Jihadists in Syria write home to France: ‘My iPod is broken. I want to come back’

French jihadists complain about the cold, not knowing how to fight and how their iPods are running out



“Speaking on the House floor, members of the Congressional Black Caucus used the “Hands up! Don’t Shoot” gesture popular with Ferguson protesters reacting to the shooting of Michael Brown. “Hands up, don’t shoot,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. “It’s a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence.” “It was a John Carlos moment,” pointed out Rep. Al Green (D-TX) “Because this has become the new symbol, a new statement, a statement wherein people around the country now are calling to the attention of those who do quite understand that this is a movement that will not dissipate. It will not evaporate.” Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) criticized the “attacks” by the Ferguson police department. She says they demonstrated “an assumption that young women and men who are African-American are inherently suspicious, a false assumption with deadly consequences.” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) praised the St. Louis Rams players who raised their hands prior to Sunday’s football game. “Let me say that I also admire the young St. Louis Rams players who raised their hands, to be able to share in the dignity of those young peaceful protesters,” she said.”


Congressional Black Caucus Takes the Floor to Talk About Ferguson and Race in America”

We want a fair, impartial, and color-blind criminal justice system. But if we’re honest with ourselves, that doesn’t exist for all Americans today.”

“Charles Rangel, the longtime New York Democrat, followed Jeffries and CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio to deride America’s “cancer” and those who don’t acknowledge it. “Like anything else you love, if there’s an illness, if there’s a problem, you would want to know: What can you do to cure it? How can you make it all that our country can be?” Rangel said. “How can we say that we have a cancer until we recognize that we do, then we don’t really love the country? How can we be able to say that white and black in this country are equal and that those who work hard and live by the rules have the same opportunities as each other, when we know that we have this cancer?” Rangel went on to address the idea of reparations for slavery, suggesting that it goes beyond money. “Some people may talk about payment for restitution for past crimes committed against human beings,” he said. “But that restitution could be the ability to say that we’re going to make certain that people of color in this country would be able to have access to the same type of education, live where they want to live, compete against anybody for the job, and not feeling that they’re inferior because people have been taught that just because they have a different complexion that they are superior.”


Holder: New Justice Dept. Policy Will ‘End Racial Profiling, Once And For All’

“Speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta — the church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that he will soon unveil long-planned Justice Department guidance aimed at ending racial profiling. Holder traveled to Atlanta to meet with law enforcement and community leaders for the first in a series of regional meetings around the country. The president asked Holder to set up the meetings in the wake of clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Missouri. “In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement. This will institute rigorous new standards — and robust safeguards — to help end racial profiling, once and for all,” Holder said. “This new guidance will codify our commitment to the very highest standards of fair and effective policing.” Tensions between police and the community in Ferguson boiled over into violent confrontations in August after a white police officer shot a black teenager. Protests turned violent again last week after a grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Holder told the audience that the issues raised in Ferguson can “threaten the entire nation.” “We are dealing with concerns that are truly national in scope and that threaten the entire nation. Broadly speaking, without mutual understanding between citizens – whose rights must be respected – and law enforcement officers – who make tremendous and often-unheralded personal sacrifices every day to preserve public safety – there can be no meaningful progress,” Holder said. “Our police officers cannot be seen as an occupying force disconnected from the communities they serve. Bonds that have been broken must be restored. Bonds that never existed must now be created.”


Ferguson protester: Obama trip too late now

“A leader of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, who met with President Barack Obama said Tuesday that a trip there now would be “too little, too late.” Ashley Yates, co-founder of Missouri-based Millennial Activists United, said the youth leaders who gathered in the Oval Office on Monday did not push the president to make a visit to Ferguson. The president has considered going since racially charged protests erupted over this summer’s shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer. “What we need him to do now is him use the power of his position, the power of the highest office of the land to enact some real change,” Yates said in a conference call with reporters. “We have been on the ground making the changes that we can in our community, but these are high-level changes that we need to see. These are systemic issues and we need systemic solutions for them. We need policies. We need the backing of our black president to say that this is a racial issue and that he stands behind us. We don’t need him to come and put boots to the ground. He should have done that 100 days ago.”


Despite Obama promises, Ferguson protesters say more change needed


Chief Jackson: ‘Pursuing’ Investigation into Whether Brown’s Stepfather Incited Riot

“Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson indicated that they are “pursuing” an investigation into whether comments made by Michael Brown’s stepfather the night Ferguson officer Darren Wilson was not indicted by a grand jury incited a riot. Following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision Nov. 24, Louis Head was caught on camera yelling, “Burn this motherf***** down! Burn this bitch down!” Violent protests broke out following the decision, as dozens of buildings and businesses were looted and set fire. Appearing on Fox News, Sean Hannity asked Jackson if Head’s comments helped incite a riot and were being pursued by law enforcement.

“We are pursuing those comments and there’s a lot of discussion going on about that right now,” Jackson told Fox News on Monday.”




Mark Levin: Black Community ‘Miserable’ Under Obama And Holder [VIDEO]


After Protesters Burned American Flags, These National Guardsmen Just Couldn’t Stand by. What They Did Speaks Volumes.

“In a video uploaded to YouTube Sunday, a man recording questioned a Ferguson police officer about another matter, but before the officer walked away, he made one thing very clear: ”Just so you know, the Guardsmen have come over to look for pieces of the American flag that got burned.” “Why is that?” the man asked. “Because it’s an American flag,” the officer said. Moments later, National Guard troops maneuvered their way through the crowd of cheering and laughing protesters. The man, seeming dumbfounded by what the Guardsmen were doing, said as they passed him, “It’s a piece of cloth.” “But it means something to us,” one of the troops replied. The man said again,  ”I appreciate you guys’ service but it’s a piece of cloth.” Once the Guardsmen passed, the man asserted, “it’s not their flag.” Around the same time, National Guard troops appear to be picking up pieces of a torched flag before making their way back across the street to Ferguson City Hall.”




U.S. designates 35 hospitals to treat Ebola patients

“Nearly two dozen hospitals are near the five international airports — John F. Kennedy in New York; Newark Liberty; Washington Dulles; O’Hare in Chicago and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta — that travelers from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali are required to use when arriving in the United States. They include Bellevue Hospital Center in New York; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J.; Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore; MedStar Washington Hospital Center, George Washington University Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center in the District; the University of Virginia Medical Center and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Virginia; Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago; and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.”

2 Phila. hospitals among Ebola treatment centers


Boston has a suspected Ebola case