Today, the House will vote to maintain the current pay freeze for all federal employees and members of Congress. As a new CBO report shows, federal employees earn higher salaries than their counterparts in the private sector. With record trillion-dollar deficits, we need to cut spending and not use hard-earned taxpayer dollars to give Members of Congress and government bureaucrats a raise.
Today In History: In 1790, in the Merchants Exchange Building on New York City's Broad Street, the Supreme Court of the United States meets for the first time, with Chief Justice John Jay of New York presiding.
Birthdays: Sen. Mike Enzi, Rick James, Clark Gable, Jodi Gordon, Mike Ference, Eric Straus and Colena Mayle
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: The President’s Policies Have Failed, It’s Time To Try New, Pro-Growth Solutions
Leader Cantor: President Obama’s Policies Have Failed To Produce The Growth Necessary, It’s Time To Try Something New. Noting that 2012 will mark the fourth consecutive year of trillion-dollar deficits, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) urged voters to change course. “We know that President Obama’s policies have failed to produce the economic growth needed to pay down these massive deficits that are creating uncertainty, preventing economic recovery, and harming job creation,” Cantor said in a written statement. “When something doesn’t work, you change it. Let’s try something new.” The Washington Post
CBO Confirms That President Obama and Congressional Democrats’ Push To Raise Taxes Will Destroy Economic Growth. Even the Keynesians who run CBO concede that the 2013 tax hike—on capital gains, dividends, estates and small business—would knock economic growth down to 1% next year and raise unemployment to 9.1% (from 8.5%). That means about 750,000 more jobless Americans. You can't have such a lousy economy and cut the deficit in half. The Wall Street Journal
Broken Promise: CBO Report Shows Obama Won't Come Close On Pledge To Halve Deficit. President Obama's pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term will fall short, according to the latest economic outlook released Tuesday by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The president said in February 2009 that the $1.3 trillion deficit he inherited would be cut in half under his budget blueprint, but according to the CBO, the deficit in 2012 will continue to hover around $1 trillion, and fall to just under $1 trillion next year … USA Today
• Chairman Hensarling: "Today's [CBO] report is further confirmation that the president's record has failed to live up to his rhetoric," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. USA Today
House Republicans Have Made Progress In Reining In President Obama’s and Senate Democrats’ Spending Spree. CBO reports that annual spending over the Obama era has climbed to a projected $3.6 trillion this fiscal year from $2.98 trillion in fiscal 2008, or more than 20%. The government spending burden has averaged 24% of GDP, up from an average of about 20%. This doesn't include the $2 trillion tab for ObamaCare. … In other words, the four years of the Obama's Presidency will mark the four highest years in spending and deficits as a share of the economy since Harry Truman sat in the Oval Office. … We pause from this gloom for some good news: Despite the abuse they've taken, House Republicans have made some fiscal progress. CBO estimates that overall federal spending in 2012 will grow by only $3 billion, or less than 1%, which compares with double digit increases during the Obama-Pelosi years. Republicans have also tried to reform entitlements, but Democrats wanted a $1 trillion tax hike ransom for even modest cuts, which was wisely rejected. The Wall Street Journal
Committee Check: Republicans On Ways and Means Provide A Very Telling Then and Now On The President’s Record:
Time Is Up – On February 1, 2009, President Obama said, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” Three years later, the results couldn’t be clearer.
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On The Floor: House To Vote To Prevent Members Of Congress and Government Bureaucrats From Getting A Raise
House To Vote Today To Maintain The Current Federal Employee Pay Freeze. A new study from the Congressional Budget Office undercuts the argument from progressive policy shops and union leaders that government workers make less money than their counterparts in the private sector. … The full-time federal workforce has grown by 140,000 employees during the president’s term, to about 2.2 million workers, not counting the military or postal workers, government data show. Federal-worker compensation was higher versus what private-sector workers receive in almost all categories, the CBO study says. … The CBO study comes as House Republicans have scheduled a vote this week on legislation, authored by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.), to freeze salaries for federal civilian employees and members of Congress. House GOP leaders have been pushing to force federal workers to contribute more to their retirement benefits. "While millions of Americans continue to struggle with stagnant wages and high unemployment, government bureaucrats in Washington continue to enjoy significant advantages over those whose tax dollars finance their compensation," says a statement by the office of Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee. Fox Business
• Will Democrats Vote To Raise Their Own Pay? Democrats might have the votes to block a measure on the House floor today that would freeze the pay of federal workers for a third year in a row, but opposing the bill could involve political risk for some Members … several senior Democrats expressed discomfort with the notion of tacking a third year onto an already existing two-year freeze on the pay of civilian federal employees, whose unions are key supporters of the Democratic Party. … At a weekly meeting with reporters Tuesday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) accused Republicans of including the Congressional pay freeze extension in the legislation as an attempt to force Democrats’ hands. “To include [in the bill] a freeze of our salary is very clever. ... It will be perceived as, if you’re voting against the bill, you’re voting to raise your own salary,” Hoyer said. Roll Call
On The Floor (2): House Republicans Move To Repeal The CLASS Act
House Votes To Repeal ObamaCare’s Entitlement Program – The CLASS Act. The House votes today on repealing one of the Affordable Care Act's major new subsidy programs, and the referendum deserves more attention than it will probably get. The important point is not merely eliminating one of ObamaCare's worst abuses, but that the entitlement state might shrink for the first time in generations. Known by the acronym Class, the long-term care insurance program for nursing homes and the like was grafted onto the health-care bill mostly to hide that bill's true costs. … Thoughtful Democrats in Congress and the Obama Administration privately warned about this "budgetary time bomb," as one staffer put it, but the Pelosi-Obama majority plowed ahead anyway. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius felt obliged to shut down the program last fall because, by some miracle and unlike other entitlements, Class is legally required to be "actuarially sound." Ms. Sebelius conceded that this is impossible, as the critics claimed all along. The Wall Street Journal
The CLASS Act Is The “Poster Child” Of ObamaCare: Bad Policy, Deceptive Budgeting and Stealth Government Expansion. The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act is the poster child for President Barack Obama’s health care reform: bad policy, deceptive budgeting and stealth government expansion. It’s time to make it go away. … The budgetary danger was passed via deception. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the CLASS Act would reduce budget deficits by $81 billion over the next decade — an amount touted by the reform’s advocates. Alas, if it were only true. The CLASS Act, unfortunately, showed only the tax collections in the first decade. Its explosive spending growth was hidden beyond the budget window to stealthily swell deficits in the long run. … Obama and the Democrats continue to oppose repeal. What’s going on? Stealth government expansion, that’s what. One way to “save” the CLASS Act is to stop the financial death spiral by mandating that every American participate in long-term care insurance. Sound familiar? Politico
Leader Cantor On The STOCK Act: “There’s been a lot of talk about fairness over the last several months, certainly as the political campaign heats up, and I can tell you there is a sense among people in this country that they don’t have a fair shot when they see things that have transpired,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “It is unacceptable for anyone – any member of Congress, anybody affiliated with this level of government or any other, to profit from insider information, or from information that is not available to the public. Period.” ABC News
Why Doesn't The President Want STOCK Act Reporting and Disclosure Provisions To Apply Equally Across The Board? At a news conference, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also pushed the Senate to add the executive branch to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. “The bill does not adequately cover those connected with the federal government in the executive branch that are in positions with access and are privy to information that could be used to personally benefit those individuals,” the Virginia Republican said. … “Executive branch employees are already covered by the insider trading prohibitions,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “And Congress itself heard testimony in December that suggested some doubt about whether the [Securities and Exchange Commission] can enforce those existing laws against Members of Congress. The STOCK Act is needed to make absolutely clear that Members of Congress are banned from insider trading too.” Roll Call