The 2008 financial crisis was a major event, equivalent in its initial scope—if not its duration—to the Great Depression of the 1930s. At the time, many commentators said that we were witnessing a crisis of capitalism, proof that the free market system was inherently unstable. Government officials who participated in efforts to mitigate its effects claim that their actions prevented a complete meltdown of the world’s financial system, an idea that has found acceptance among academic and other observers, particularly the media. These views culminated in the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act that is founded on the notion that the financial system is inherently unstable and must be controlled by government regulation.
"We can thank God that there are still judges out there who seek to protect religious freedom, namely those at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago who decided a few days ago that Obamacare infringes on that freedom," rights advocate Dan Weber said.
I want to wish all of the veterans out there a very happy Veterans Day. As many of you know, our district is home to more than 100,000 veterans and that makes today a very special day in our area. If you see a veteran today, please let them know we’re thinking about them and we appreciate everything they have done for this country.
It’s been a relatively slow week in Washington. The main news of the week is already splashed all over everybody’s screens, so I’m not going to pile on too much more. I’ll just leave it at this: The President’s healthcare plan isn’t exactly performing as promised. Saturday Night Live joked about the website, saying that is was only designed to handle six users at a time. As it turned out, back in the real world, only six people actually registered successfully the first day. Supporters remain hopeful that the government’s ability to manage the entire United States’ healthcare system is better than their ability to manage a complicated website. Some of us remain a little… skeptical
As you’d expect, a lot of people on both sides of the fence have been asking me why I decided to vote against the “deal” that would end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling by another several hundred billion dollars.
"There's a foul odor emanating from the nation's capital that should have Americans wrinkling their noses. It's the stench of a political power-grab undertaken by ideologues intent on usurping the Constitutional rights of the people," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
With everything going on this week, I want to take a moment to give you the background you need on two things: First, I want to try to explain exactly what the debt ceiling is, what the deadline of October 17th means, and what the practical implications are – for better or worse. Second, I want to give you the best insight I can as to where things stand in the negotiations.
The average American household has drastically cut personal spending, according to a new Gallup research report. "So, why can't the Democrats in Congress get together with their Republican colleagues in Congress and make federal spending cuts in exchange for the Obama administration's demands for a hike in the nation's debt ceiling," Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens asked.
"Life isn't fair and President Obama and the Senate Democrats who gave us Obamacare pressed the point this week. They adamantly refused to negotiate a compromise to keep the federal government open for business in exchange for a little time and effort to tweak a few unpalatable kinks in the Affordable Care Act," Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, commented.
On Saturday night, the House sent the Senate a third proposal (the first two defunded or delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act). The third proposal included funding for the government and attached the repeal of the Medical Device Tax.
On Friday afternoon, the House passed a bill to fund the government at current levels without providing funding to implement or enforce the President’s healthcare law. Supporters of the law argue that this is just a silly political stunt – that we’re just trying to oppose anything the President puts forward. I can’t speak for anybody else, but what I can tell you is where I stand on repealing, replacing, and defunding (if necessary) Obamacare.
The President has made the appropriate decision in seeking congressional approval, but he won’t get that approval from me. In my opinion, Syria does not pose an imminent threat to our nation or our allies. Attacking them is likely to change that. And while I think most of us agree that the use of chemical weapons – particularly on civilians – is a gross violation of international norms and basic human dignity, I also believe that the United States cannot continue to do the heavy lifting for every other country on the planet.
Health insurance policy holders across the country can expect letters from their providers notifying them of "staggering" rate increases, some even approaching 300%, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
"The Obama administration's liberal, 'big government' agenda is serving to reinvigorate the nation's conservative base," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
"Hold your Congressional representatives accountable this summer; call on them to hold Town Hall meetings during their annual break," Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
We got word that an IRS employee had been arrested on charges that she had accessed IRS servers (which she was not authorized to use) in an attempt to obtain taxpayers’ personal information, which she and an accomplice in Florida could then use to steal the individuals’ benefits. It’s important to note that neither of the suspects has been convicted yet, but the allegations brought to light some serious questions about internal security lapses at the IRS.
This week, the House continued the annual appropriations process with consideration of the FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. In short, the Energy and Water appropriations bill is a mixed bag. It funds a number of agency budgets including, pretty obviously, the Department of Energy. But it also funds the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and a variety of different nuclear agencies. I’ll spare you an exhaustive list of each agency budget and where each comes in compared to last year’s enacted levels and this year’s request from the president.
This week, after months of wrangling in closed-door meetings, the U.S. Senate passed a giant, 1,200 page immigration bill. In a nutshell (if you can put 1,200 pages in a nutshell) the bill has two basic components – the border security piece and the amnesty piece. There are also countless other pieces involving specific visa categories and other things. For the sake of simplicity, let’s focus on the two main components this week.
This past week, the House brought up, amended, and considered the Farm Bill. For the uninitiated, the Farm Bill is the common name for the piece of legislation that reauthorizes five years worth of farm insurance programs as well as food stamps. It surprises many to learn that only about twenty percent of the bill actually has anything to do with farm programs. The other eighty percent is food stamps. So when you consider the full price tag of the bill, at just shy of a trillion dollars over ten years, it shows just how big the nation’s expenditures are on “nutrition assistance”.
The House passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (the NDAA) on Friday. I’ve been through the process a few times now, but this was my first time as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. In short, the NDAA is the single piece of legislation that authorizes each and every dollar spent on each and every individual program within the Department of Defense.
For you graduates, it’s a day to celebrate your hard work, your commitment, time, energy, passion, and prayers that you have put in to graduate from Hillsdale College. It’s also a day to celebrate the sacrifice and dedication your family has put in to get you here. I am honored to join you today—but let me say I fully recognize that the most forgettable part of this important day is going to be the politician delivering your commencement speech.