|2010 Policy Briefs
More than two and a half months into the current fiscal year, Senate Democrats plan to consider an omnibus measure that will come before a Senate that failed to previously consider any
of the FY 2011 bills, and then potentially before a House that failed to consider ten
out of the twelve bills. Because the current CR ends this Saturday—and debate and reading of the Senate bill will necessarily go into next week (though Senator Durbin has argued
the bill can be expedited if it is not read)—a Democrat-controlled Congress is on the brink of failing to reach an agreement by the deadline, which could shut down the federal government.
At yesterday’s RSC Members meeting, National Security Working Group Chairman Franks distributed the attached document outlining the importance of protecting the U.S. electric grid against damage from solar magnetic storms and other electromagnetic pulse threats. A severe magnetic storm from the sun could wipe out electrical power, television, radio, military communication, and nearly every piece of electronics in the Northern Hemisphere.
RSC Info Alert: Virginia Judge is the First to Find the Individual Mandate Unconstitutional (12/13/10)
The attached Politico article summarizes the situation surrounding U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson’s 42-page ruling, which can be found here. The ruling is an important win for conservatives, as it states that - "On careful review, this Court must conclude that Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- Specifically the Minimum Essential Coverage provision [individual mandate] -- exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power."
Yesterday, the President announced a deal on the
expiring 2001/2003 tax cuts. A preliminary
analysis of the deal is included in this brief.
RSC Policy Brief: Impending Tax Increases (10/29/10)
In light of the abject failure of Congressional Democrats to extend numerous expiring tax provisions (including the 2001 and 2003 tax relief and the AMT “patch”), the attached RSC Policy Brief lists many of the more notable tax increases that are scheduled to automatically take effect (by year). This document is an updated version of what was previously released in April 2010, and reflects what the 111th Congress has enacted to date.
RSC Policy Brief: $1.3 Trillion Deficit in Perspective (10/14/10)
CBO recently reported that the final FY 2010 deficit came to $1.291 trillion (8.9% of GDP). This is the second year in a row that the federal deficit has exceeded $1 trillion. Prior to last year, the federal deficit had never exceeded $459 billion. Federal spending came to $3.453 trillion or 23.8% of GDP. Federal tax collections amounted to $2.162 trillion or 15.9% of GDP. FY 2009 and FY 2010 are the first two years that federal spending exceeded $3 trillion. The past two years are the highest spending levels as a percentage of the economy in all of American history, excepting World War II.
The purpose of the attached policy brief is to put this deficit spending in perspective.
RSC Policy Brief: How the Democrat Majority Blocked 85% of Republican Amendments Submitted to the Rules Committee (10/15/10)
Since Democrats took control of Congress, they have taken unprecedented steps to shut down the voice of the minority. One such example of this behavior is the limited number of amendments made in order for bills brought to the floor under a rule. This policy brief analyzes how the Democrat majority dealt with amendments submitted to the Rules Committee by RSC Members, all Republican Members, and finally for the House as a whole. In addition, it includes a list of 30 examples of RSC Member amendments that the House was not given the opportunity to debate (a small sample of the many important conservative amendments that the House was denied an opportunity to consider).
RSC Policy Brief: Department of Education’s “Gainful Employment” Regulation: An Assault on Students (09/28/10)
Due to be finalized and published in early 2011, the proposed “gainful employment” regulation promulgated by the Department of Education requires institutions to implement the requirements of the proposed regulation by July 1, 2012. Many Democrats and Republicans alike oppose the proposed rule which, among other things, attacks for-profit education, will cause thousands of individuals to lose their jobs, and will prevent millions of students from getting a good, quality education. In response to the proposed regulation, the RSC has prepared this brief
RSC Policy Brief: The Democrat Income Tax Hike—NOT Clinton’s Budget Policies (09/24/10)
The President, along with House and Senate Democrats, propose to increase the top federal income tax bracket from 35% to 39.6% by allowing a portion of the existing tax code (the top income bracket tax relief enacted in 2001) to expire. This effectively sets taxes at unprecedented levels, greatly harming the prospects of economic growth. The federal government does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. On the spending side, in President Clinton’s last two budgets, outlays were 18.2% of GDP. Unfortunately, under the President’s budget, federal spending will be an average of 23.5% of GDP over the next ten years. Spending restraint offers a more useful path to a sustainable budget outlook than this unprecedented tax hike.
RSC Outlook: Looming Lame Duck Update (09/23/10)
Today, a vote was held on a privileged resolution offered by RSC Chairman Price that would prohibit Congress from meeting between Nov. 2 and Jan. 3, except in the case of an unforeseen, sudden emergency, requiring immediate action from Congress, and barring the consideration of several controversial pieces of legislation. Unfortunately, the measure failed. As Congress prepares to adjourn for the election less than forty days away, the RSC has prepared the following updated document highlighting a few examples of what out of step priorities Democrats may pursue after the November landslide.
RSC Policy Brief: ObamaCare - Six Month of disappointments (09/23/10)
Remember when Speaker Pelosi famously stated:
"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."
Well, surprise! Promises weren't kept, new alarming provisions were discovered, and the public likes it even less. Linked is a month-by-month breakdown of some of the major discoveries and revelations of ObamaCare.
RSC Policy Brief: Solutions to ObamaCare (09/23/10)
To commemorate the 6 month anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Republican Study Committee has compiled a comprehensive list summarizing over 30 bills introduced by Republican Members, that aim to correct, defund, repeal, and replace this monstrosity of a law in response to the continued disapproval by American families and businesses to both specific provisions and the bill as a whole. Continuously leading the way towards crafting positive, problem-solving solutions, Members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) previously introduced no fewer than 73 health care bills in the 111th Congress, prior to the Democrats’ government takeover of health care. Although virtually none of these solutions was considered before the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, RSC Members continue to listen to the American people and be on the forefront of crafting solutions. The attached document summarizes all of the solutions put forward by Republican Members of the House of Representatives in response to the passage of ObamaCare.
RSC National Security Working Group Updated - Shariah Law (09/15/10)
In response to the recent release of a report entitled, Shariah: The Threat to America, the RSC’s National Security Working Group Chaired by Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) has released the following policy brief on the potential national security threat posed by the socio-political doctrine of Shariah.
RSC Policy Brief: Yemen and AQAP (09/13/10)
On the eve of the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the RSC has put together a policy brief highlighting and describing one of the biggest threats our nation faces today - the threat from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
RSC Outlook: Looming Lame Duck (8/28/10)
This year marks the first time since the modern budget process began that the House did not vote on a budget resolution. This failure of duty comes as the country is experiencing severe fiscal challenges.
During this month’s special session of the House, a vote was held on a privileged resolution offered by RSC Chairman Price that would prohibit Congress from meeting between Nov. 2 and Jan. 3, except in the case of an unforeseen, sudden emergency, requiring immediate action from Congress. Unfortunately, the measure failed. Apparently, since the resolution failed, the Democratic caucus is in lock step with the Pelosi-Reid agenda and remains committed to the consideration of unpopular legislation like a national energy tax, enormous deficit spending bills, and kickbacks to labor unions. RSC has compiled a few examples of what the Democrat majority says it intends to bring to the House floor after the elections.
RSC Policy Brief: "Social Security and Medicare Trustees Report" (8/05/10)
Today, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports (click here for the summary) on the state of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Below you will find background information and a summary of the Medicare Trustees Report. However, as “the projections shown in the report do not represent the ‘best estimate’ of actual future Medicare expenditures” – due to the substantial number of caveats and unrealistic and unsustainable cuts under PPACA – CMS actuaries have prepared an alternative scenario, found here.
RSC Policy Brief: "You Never Want a Serious Crisis to Go to Waste" (7/21/10)
As White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel stated, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” It appears House Democrats are following the advice of their former colleague to impose policies that will have drastic negative impacts on the U.S. economy, jobs in the energy industry, and America’s potential to reach energy independence. Next week, it is anticipated House Democrats will politicize the BP oil spill crisis in order to move expansive legislation to vastly restrict our domestic energy supply.
The Republican Study Committee has become known as a fountain of robust, forward-thinking
ideas and bold action. Continuously on the forefront of crafting positive, problem-solving
solutions, RSC Members have introduced no fewer than 39 immigration bills so far in the 111th
Congress. This document summarizes each of those bills.
RSC Policy Brief: President Obama's "Crippling" Iran Sanctions: Rhetoric or Realism? (6/21/10)
RSC Policy Brief: The DISCLOSE Act Update (6/16/10)
Earlier this month, the United Nations voted to impose some sanctions on Iran intended to slow down the nation’s atomic program. In response to this action, and the possibility a vote on the conference report for the Iran Sanctions Act may occur this week, the RSCs’ National Security Working Group chaired by Representative Trent Franks has produced the following policy brief on President Obama’s “Crippling” Iran Sanctions.
Due to the possibility that the Democrats will bring H.R. 5175, the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act, to the floor this week, the RSC has prepared the following updated policy brief.
RSC Policy Brief: Diplomacy in Reverse (6/08/10)
In light of the ongoing pattern of the Obama administration castigating America’s allies while warming to America’s adversaries, we thought the linked document would be helpful.
RSC Policy Brief: The DISCLOSE Act (5/25/10)
On April 29, 2010, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced H.R. 5175, the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act. The bill is a direct response to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – a First Amendment victory in which the Supreme Court overturned the prohibition on corporations and unions using treasury funds for independent expenditures supporting or opposing political candidates at any time of the year. Simply put, the DISCLOSE Act will limit the political speech that was protected and encouraged by Citizens United.
RSC Policy Brief: Where are the Jobs? (5/25/10)
Come work for Uncle Sam.
RSC Policy Brief: The Budget Record of the Democrat Congress: $10.5 Trillion Fiscal Deterioration (05/14/10)
In just over three years of Democrat control of the Congress, an $800 billion projected surplus has turned into a projected deficit of more than $9.7 trillion—a $10.5 trillion worsening of the budget outlook covering just these ten years (or an average of more than $1 trillion a year). Consequently, the publicly held debt, which in January 2007 CBO projected would decline to a fifth of the economy by 2017, is now projected to increase to more than four-fifths of the economy by 2017.
RSC Policy Brief: New CBO Analysis Finds $115 Billion in Additional Costs in ObamaCare (05/11/10)
Today, in response to a request from Ranking Members Lewis and Cochran of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, CBO has updated their discretionary spending estimate for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) tacking on an additional $115 billion to the price tag. CBO previously found that discretionary spending for H.R. 3590 would total about $75 billion.
RSC Policy Brief: Arizona Immigration Law: Picking up the Slack? (05/04/10)
The RSC has put together the following document to highlight the recent changes made to the Arizona immigration law. The first bill was signed into law on April 23, 2010. The changes highlighted in the attached document were signed into law on April 30, 2010. On April 23, 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB 1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. The bill represents the first state law to make it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant. Supporters argue that this bill is a necessary step in protecting our borders due to a lack of federal enforcement of current immigration laws; opponents argue that this is an overreach of state authority that will result in racial profiling. Attached you will find a brief summary of some of its major provisions, an analysis of the reasons behind the law, and its potential implications.
RSC Policy Brief: What Happens to Revenue Without New Taxes? (04/30/10)
The President’s “Fiscal Responsibility” Commission held its first meeting this week. The goal of the commission is to reduce the deficit to $552 billion by 2015—a higher deficit than any year from 1789 to 2008, but still lower than the President’s budget request with a $793 billion deficit in that year. One concern that conservatives may have with the commission is that the 12 Democrat appointees will likely propose tax increases as a means to bring down the deficit.
RSC Policy Brief: Administration's Own Actuary Finds that ObamaCare Will Increase the Cost of Health Care (04/23/10)
In light of the CMS Office of the Actuary memo release yesterday, the RSC wanted to provide you with a summary that shows, once again, that the Democrats’ government takeover of health care will not reduce health care spending. Instead it further increases it.
RSC Policy Brief: District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act (04/19/10)
Due to scheduled consideration of the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act this week, the RSC has prepared the attached policy brief.
RSC Outlook -- Obama's Nuclear Options (04/14/10)
In just over a week, the Obama administration has made the most significant proposed changes to our nuclear arsenal since the United States and former U.S.S.R. first discussed nuclear disarmament. Some conservatives have expressed concern that these proposals could undermine our nation’s ability protect against an attack from Iran or North Korea or rouge actors like al-Qaeda. The attached RSC document is intended to help staff highlight the issues raised by conservatives to the Administration’s revisions of our nuclear weapons strategy.
RSC Policy Brief: GITMO Update (04/06/10)
Last month, Democrats heard the voices of the American people - and ignored them, by signing into law the $2.5 trillion government takeover of the health care industry. Now, President Obama and his administration appear to be working behind close doors again to disregard public opinion and focus their attention to closing the detention camp located in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As the poll shows, the strong majority of Americans support keeping GITMO open. The attached RSC- National Security Working Group Policy Brief is intended to provide RSC staff with arguments to keep the facility open, as the administration seeks to permanently close it when Congress returns from recess next week.
RSC Info Alert: Tax Documents (04/01/10)
In light of Tax Day this month and the growing tax burdens that Americans face, the two attached documents could be useful in your communications about taxes and the growth of government--both over recess and afterwards.
Tax Facts: With Tax Day looming, the following information might be sueful in conveying the growing burden of complying with the federal tax code.
Impending Tax Increases: Unless Congress takes action ,the following tax increases will automatically occur at the end of the following years.
Democrat Hypocrisy: Democrats Criticize Overspending and then Outspend Everyone (03/29/10)
The attached is a selection of quotes from Congressional Democrat leaders about the Bush Administration’s, and congressional Republicans’, spending practices and the deficits and debt that followed. Oddly enough, their comments could easily be applied to the Obama Administration and the Congress their party now controls. What’s even stranger is that the Obama Administration has not only failed to improve America’s current fiscal condition, but has undeniably made it worse. As Democrats defend the unprecedented deterioration of federal finances that has occurred on their watch, it is appropriate that they be reminded of their criticisms of deficit spending under a Republican Congress that was of a much smaller magnitude.
RSC Policy Brief: Extended Summary of the Democrats' Government Takeover of Health and Implementation Timeline
At this link is the RSC Policy Brief: Extended Summary of the Democrats’ Government Takeover of Health Care (H.R. 3590) and Reconciliation (H.R. 4872).
At this link is the Implementation Timeline for the Government Takeover of Healthcare: H.R. 3590 and the Reconciliation Package.
RSC Policy Brief: It's all about the Cost, the Real Cost and Gimmicks in H.R. 3590 (03/17/10)
In light of the Budget Committee’s “mark-up” of the shell reconciliation bill, the RSC wanted to bring some facts and figures about the Senate bill (H.R. 3590) to your attention.
RSC Policy Brief: The Value of a Trillion (03/11/10)
Today, the CBO reaffirmed that the President’s health care plan will grow government by trillions of dollars. In addition, the CBO recently scored President Obama’s budget proposal, reporting that the administration plans to increase the national debt by $9.7 trillion over the next 10 years. In light of the fact that the President continues to throw around trillions of dollars at will, the RSC prepared the following document to provide some useful—and lighthearted—examples of ways to convey how much one trillion really adds up to.
RSC Policy Brief: How Reconciliation Works (03/09/10)
The Budget Act of 1974 created the current congressional budgeting process. Among other things, it established the Congressional Budget Office, set the timeline for consideration of the budget resolution, and setup the reconciliation process. Reconciliation was intended to give Congress greater authority to enforce the budget resolution. The main reason that a majority may find the use of the reconciliation process advantageous is that it places limits on debate of a reconciliation bill in the Senate. Now that Congressional Democrats are seeking to use reconciliation for healthcare reform, the attached RSC Policy Brief could be useful to understanding the process.
RSC: Updated Health Care Bills Directory (02/23/10)
In light of the continuing Democrat assertions that House Republicans have offered no health care solutions, this link below takes you to the newly updated directory of health care solutions introduced this Congress by Members of the RSC. As always, we encourage you to tout the fact that RSC Members have introduced no fewer than 70 health care bills so far in the 111th Congress. This information may be particularly helpful during floor speeches, press releases, town halls, etc.
RSC Policy Brief: President Obama’s Proposal - Still a Government Takeover of Health Care (02/23/10)
The RSC has prepared the attached analysis on the health care proposal President Obama unveiled on February 22, 2010, three days in advance of the White House-led healthcare “summit.”
RSC Policy Brief -- A Study of Flawed Democrat Solutions on Healthcare (02/02/10)
The RSC has prepared the attached analysis on the various issues in the House- and Senate-passed health care bills that may be of concern to conservatives. Republicans believe that patient-centered health care reform is vital. However, a government-takeover of health care is not a positive solution that conservatives can embrace. Attached is the RSC Policy Brief: A Study of Flawed Democrat Solutions on Healthcare
RSC Policy Brief -- Highlights of the President's Budget Request (02/02/10)
On February 1, 2010, the President submitted his budget request for FY 2010-2020 which proposes: $10 trillion of new deficit spending, the highest spending levels (as a percentage of the economy) since World War II, and $2.8 trillion worth of tax increases over ten years. Attached is an RSC analysis of the President’s budget request.
RSC -- The Budget Record of the Democrat Congress (01/28/10)
In light of this week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report projecting a $7.4 trillion deficit over the FY 2010-2020 period, and next week’s release of the FY 2011 President’s budget, attached is an RSC two-pager: 1) comparing the budget record of the first three years of Democrat control of the Congress to the twelve years of Republican control 2) analyzing the massive deterioration of the federal budget since January 2007 (when Democrats took control of the Congress) 3) giving a small sample of proposals by conservative Members that would lead back to fiscal sanity.
RSC Policy Brief: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (01/25/10)
On Thursday, January 21, 2010, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. the United States Supreme Court produced a decision that has a historic significance on election and campaign law. In a 5-4 decision, written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Court overturned a ban preventing corporations and unions from using their treasury funds for independent expenditures supporting or opposing political candidates. Attached is an analysis of how the decision impacts campaign finance, the effects of the Citizens United decision, and most importantly, how this ruling is a triumph in ongoing efforts to defend First Amendment rights to free speech.
RSC Policy Brief: Christmas Day Bomber (01/12/10)
In response to the Christmas Day terrorist attack on a commercial airliner inbound to Detroit, the Republican Study Committee’s National Security Working Group has prepared the following brief on the attack, failure of intelligence gathering, and Al-Qaeda operations in Yemen.
RSC Policy Brief: Stumbling Blocks to Merging the House and Senate Government Takeover of Health Care Bills (01/12/10)
In light of the current closed door health care negotiations between the House and Senate, the RSC has prepared the attached policy brief analyzing the potential major stumbling blocks to enactment of a final bill.