The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Megan Whittemore on

Good Morning,

Hope all of you in DC are bouncing back and cooling down from this weekend’s #Stormageddon. As we saw on Sunday, Former Speaker Pelosi is having some trouble dealing with the reality that ObamaCare is a massive tax. She did herself no favors in nearly calling a spade a spade, we mean a tax a tax; potato/potato. Pelosi said, "It's a ta—; it’s a penalty for free riders.” Regardless of what she'd like to call it, the Supreme Court made clear that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is a massive tax. The House will vote again on July 11th to repeal ObamaCare once and for all to make our position clear that this massive government intrusion was a mistake. Additionally, the Court’s decision underscores the importance of this election and the direction this country will take – four more years of bad policies that have led to anemic economic growth and millions of people out of work, or a better way.

This Day In History: In 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed major forms of discrimination against African-Americans and women, including racial segregation. Following the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, the ten years between the decision saw major gains in the civil-rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. King was on hand to witness the signing, and received one of the 75 pens used by Johnson to sign the bill, which ended both unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in the workplace, schools and other facilities that served the general public.

Birthdays: Katherine Lehr, Emily Stanitz, Kara Rowland, John H. Sununu, Thurgood Marshall, Alex Morgan, Lindsay Lohan, Larry David, Richard Petty, Jose Canseco, Dave Thomas, Medgar Evers and Luci Baines Johnson

Here Are The Top Stories We're Watching:

1. State Of Play: Speaker Boehner: President Obama’s Health Care Takeover & Tax Must Be Ripped Out By Its Roots. “This has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people do not want to go down this path. They do not want the government telling them what kind of insurance policy they have to buy, and how much they have to pay for it, and if you don’t like it we’re going to tax you. It has to be ripped out and we need to start over. One step at a time.” CBS News Face The Nation

2. Health Care Fallout: Leader McConnell: ObamaCare Is The Single Worst Piece Of Legislation In Modern Times. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans will insist that the Democrats who control the chamber hold a vote before the election on repealing the law. "If I'm the leader of the majority next year, I commit to the American people that the repeal of 'Obamacare' will be job one," he said on "Fox News Sunday." McConnell said he would use a process called "reconciliation" in the 100-member Senate to permit a simple majority to pass a repeal of the law rather than the customary 60 votes. McConnell had criticized Senate Democrats for using that same process in passing the bill in 2010. "Yes, that could be done with a simple 51 votes," he said. "This is the single worst piece of legislation that's been passed, certainly in modern times. And it will be an issue, a big issue, in the fall election," McConnell said. "We've got one last chance here to defeat Obamacare. We can do that in the November election," added McConnell. Reuters

3. Dems Dodge: White House Chief Of Staff Jack Lew Dodges Question, Still Tries To Claim ObamaCare Is Not A Tax. FOX’s Chris Wallace: “Question: Didn’t the president break that promise?” Lew: “Well Chris if you go back and you look at the laws that have been enacted since the president has taken office, we have cut taxes for those families. We have reduced their taxes.” Wallace: “But according to the Supreme Court, this is going to raise taxes for those families.” Lew: “No, that’s not what the Supreme Court said. What the Supreme Court said was this was constitutional, they said it didn’t matter what Congress called it. There’s a penalty for the one percent who choose not to buy insurance.” Wallace: “No, wait a minute sir. Mr. Lew, they called it a tax.” Lew: “No actually, technically what they said is that Congress has many powers. There’s a Commerce Clause, there’s taxing powers, and it was constitutional. That’s what they said. It doesn’t matter what you call it.” Wallace: “Wait, I can’t let you go there. It specifically said that it is not constitutional under the Commerce Clause, they said it is constitutional under the tax.” Fox News Sunday

4. Truth Test: Minority Leader Pelosi Concedes ObamaCare Is Constitutional Under Taxing Power. NBC’s David Gregory: “It was a matter of political discourse, you know that. The President was adamant, saying the individual mandate is not a tax. Well in fact, his own Solicitor General went into the Supreme Court and said this is constitutional under the taxing authority of Congress.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “That's right.” Gregory: “So that's not how it was sold to the American people.” Pelosi: “No, it's a penalty. It's a penalty that comes under the tax code for the 1% perhaps of the population who may decide that they're going to be free riders. But most people are not affected by that.” Gregory: “But it’s a new tax. It is a new tax on the American people.” Pelosi: “No, no.” NBC’s Meet The Press

5. Flashback: Pelosi’s Health Insurance Mandate ‘Myth Buster’ Busted. The health care section for the official website for Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi may need a little bit of an update. The website still includes a posting from 2009 — when the House was in the middle of the intense debate over President Obama’s health care plan — that calls any effort to call the penalty on those who fail to buy health insurance a tax. It was part of Pelosi’s “Daily Mythbuster” feature and it declared this: “MYTH: Mandating health insurance coverage is like a new tax.” Of course, the Supreme Court has now saved the health care law by declaring that the requirement to buy health insurance or pay a penalty is indeed a tax. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Pelosi acknowledged that President Obama’s solicitor general defended the constitutionality of the health care law by arguing that the insurance mandate is permissible under the government’s power to tax — in other words, that the penalty is a tax. But Pelosi is still not quite ready to call it a tax. “It’s a penalty,” Pelosi said. “It’s a penalty that comes under the tax code.” ABC News

6. Reality Check: ObamaCare Was The Last Thing We Needed In A Bad Economy. Reality could not have instructed President Obama more plainly: The last thing we needed, in a country staggering under deficits and debt, a sluggish economy and an unaffordable entitlement structure, was a new Rube Goldberg entitlement. The last thing we needed was ObamaCare. The nation and the times were asking Mr. Obama to reform health care, not to double-down on everything wrong with the current system. Even with this week's Court success, he failed—and it's not as if there wasn't a deep well of policy understanding in Washington that he could have drawn on to take the country in a better direction. Regardless of any Supreme Court ruling, reality will pass its own judgment on the Affordable Care Act and it won't be favorable. Wall Street Journal Opinion

7. Small Biz: Small Businesses Lower Hiring Expectations For Next 12 Months. Small businesses have lowered their hiring expectations as their confidence in the economy has fallen into another mid-year slump, a new survey showed on Monday. Vistage International, which represents small business owners, said its confidence index fell to 92.8 in the second quarter from 105.1 in the first three months of 2012, which had been its highest level in a year. For a third year running, the index showed confidence suffering a mid-year fall on the back of a weakening recovery and concern about economic policies. The proportion of executives who expected the economy to improve over the year fell sharply to 30 percent, down 19 percentage points. Views on the economy among small firms were more volatile than its underlying performance, Vistage said in a statement, reflecting uncertainty about growth and "the potential direction of economic and healthcare policies". The second-quarter survey was conducted before last week's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform. Exactly half of the CEOs surveyed still planned to hire over the next 12 months, down from 57 percent in the January-March period; 42 percent planned to keep the same level of staffing and 8 percent anticipated a net decline in the number of their employees, up from 5 percent in the first quarter. Reuters

8. Keeping Tabs: Bipartisan Bill Will Create Jobs and Restore The Gulf Coast. Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who shepherded the bill in the House, said that Majority Leader Eric Cantor was instrumental in ensuring that the Restore Act survived conference committee negotiations over the transportation bill. Sen. David Vitter, who was Louisiana's only member on the conference committee, played a vital role as well. During a time when Congress seems able to agree on very little, the success of the Restore Act is significant. Not only was this a bipartisan effort, but it shows what this region can accomplish when our leaders work together for a common cause. It is also significant that business leaders and environmentalists came together on the issue. The act "is a lifeline for the Gulf Coast. It will create jobs, and it'll restore the places wildlife need to thrive. This is an act of hope and faith in America ... and it's the biggest conservation funding victory Congress has ever delivered," David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society, said in a written statement. Times-Picayune Editorial


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