After a day of political theater by Senate Democrats, who voted to hike taxes on our nation’s small businesses, the Senate did something surprisingly bipartisan. The Senate passed the House Sequester Transparency Act, working with the House to require President Obama to provide Congress and the American people with his plan for implementing the devastating cuts in the sequester. This achievement marks an important step in the right direction, but as Leader Cantor has said,” the real goal remains reaching a bipartisan solution to replace these cuts with other common sense savings.” We look forward to the President signing this bill into law. We hope the President will join Congress to stave off the sequester to ensure a strong national defense and save millions of jobs.
This Day In History: In 1947, President Truman signed into law the National Security Act, creating the National Military Establishment (renamed the Department of Defense two years later), the National Security Council, the U.S. Air Force, and the CIA.
Birthdays: Rep. Martha Roby, Sandra Bullock, Mick Jagger, Kevin Spacey, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Helen Mirren, and Dorothy Hamill
Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:
1. State Of Play: Chairman Hensarling: House Republicans Will Vote To Stop The Tax Hikes. “House Republicans are going to stop the tax hikes…When we have an economy that's basically at stall speed – the weakest, most tepid recovery in the post-war era – why you would want to raise taxes on anybody is beyond me…This not only doesn't help, it hurts. According to Ernst & Young, we’re looking at 710,000 jobs are going to be lost by the president’s tax increase plan. It’s going to impact almost a million small businesses. Why you would want to try to precipitate a double-dip recession is beyond me…It’s borderline economic insanity at this point in our nation's economy…It doesn't even solve the debt problem. It's all about the politics of diversion, division, and envy. That's what this is about.” CNBC
2. Energy Focus: Bipartisan House Bill Secures Our Energy Future, Creates Jobs In Virginia And Across the Country. The House bill… provides for 29 lease sales over the same five-year period, and includes areas of the Atlantic coast from Maine to Virginia, and areas off the southern coast of California as well as Alaskan and Gulf areas. Hastings said the administration's plan proposed fewer leases than any administration since the Jimmy Carter presidency. Singling out an election swing state, he said "Virginia will be left out in the cold" until 2017 at the earliest, cheating the commonwealth of thousands of jobs. The Obama plan, he said, keeps 85 percent of America's offshore areas off-limits to energy production. He and other Republicans said the Bush administration, responding to $4 gas prices in the summer of 2008, had newly opened nearly all offshore areas to energy production, but that Obama tossed that decision aside when he took office in 2009. The Obama administration, he said, has spent the past 3 1/2 years on a plan "that effectively re-imposes the drilling moratoria lifted in 2008." Hastings said the GOP plan would generate $600 million in additional revenue and create tens of thousands of new jobs. AP
3. Red Tape: House Passes Bill To Empower Businesses That Are Drowning In Red Tape. Why is America’s economy hogtied? For one answer, consider the excellent chart released Tuesday by the Republican staff of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC)…Onerous regulations erupt from Washington like flaming rocks from a volcano. The National Labor Relations Board regularly coughs up such projectiles…Representative Vicky Hartzler (R., Missouri) noted yesterday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration approached a factory in her district and “is demanding that they paint a yellow line on their flat roof ten feet from the edge, just in case an employee goes up there, so they know where the edge of the roof is.” Every dollar spent on that paint job is a dollar that no longer can pay a summer intern or purchase a help-wanted ad. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Battered Business Bureau reports, the federal government promulgated 1,283 pages of brand-new regulations via the Federal Register just last week. On July 20 alone, 25 new rules sprang to life. Between New Year’s Day 2012 and last Friday, American business people have grappled with 2,127 new regulations…Representative Hensarling yesterday recalled his conversation with the owner of a Texas cabinetry shop with 17 workers. “The guy just finally threw in the keys and shut it down,” Hensarling stated. “I asked him why, and he said, ‘You know what? It got to the point where I thought my federal government didn’t want me to succeed.’” National Review
4. Obamanomics: Storytime With President Obama, “We Tried Our Plan – And It Worked.” Discussing his economic policies at a fundraiser in Oakland, California, last night, President Obama, told supporters that “we tried our plan — and it worked.” …Obama made these comments in Oakland, where the unemployment rate was 13.7 percent in May 2012. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent — up from 8.1 percent in May — for the second straight month. To prove that his economic plans have “worked,” Obama cited the auto industry bailouts. “I refused to turn my back on a great industry and American workers,” he said. “Three years later, the American auto industry has come roaring back.” Obama’s auto bailouts aren’t the unalloyed success he describes. “President Obama’s auto task force pressed General Motors and Chrysler to close scores of dealerships without adequately considering the jobs that would be lost or having a firm idea of the cost savings that would be achieved, an audit of the process has concluded,” The New York Times reported in 2010, based on an audit. “The report … estimated that tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a result.” Washington Examiner
5. ObamaCare Update: House Republicans Did The Right Thing By Repealing ObamaCare. Republicans in the House of Representatives have taken considerable heat for their vote to repeal ObamaCare. They know the health care package will not be repealed this year, but they still did the right thing. The roll call reminded the citizenry that House Republicans mean what they say. Many of them campaigned against ObamaCare; the Supreme Court's recent decision in favor of the law's constitutionality gave the GOP an opportunity to reassert its policy objections. The nation remains divided over health care. The House vote will please many voters and will anger others. The court implicitly said that elections make a difference. Critics accuse Congress of not standing up for principles. The vote against ObamaCare suggests that in this instance the allegation is not true. Richmond Times-Dispatch
6. Shedding Light: House Votes To Audit The Fed. The House voted Wednesday to give Congress greater scrutiny over the monetary policy decisions of the Federal Reserve, approving legislation sponsored by longtime Fed nemesis Rep. Ron Paul. The 76-year-old Texas Republican, who is retiring at end of this session, has made a career of trying to do away with the Fed, which he blames for the growth of government and the rising federal deficit. Failing to accomplish that, he has pushed to make the independent central bank’s operations more transparent. “I know when people talk about independence and having this privacy of the central bank, it means they want secrecy, and secrecy is not good,” Paul said. AP
7. Keeping Tabs: House Energy Committee Advances No More Solyndras Act. The plan, approved in a party-line vote, would curtain the Energy Department's embattled loan-guarantee program. A House Energy and Commerce Committee panel, in a largely party-line vote, approved a GOP plan Wednesday that would curtail the Energy Department’s embattled loan-guarantee program…The bill would prevent the Energy Department from issuing loan guarantees on applications received after the end of 2011, and also sets new restrictions on existing applications and loans…“Instead of handing out billions in loan guarantees to selected companies, we can do much more good by removing billions in unnecessary regulatory compliance costs,” said Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), the chairman of the subcommittee, ahead of the vote. Republicans bashing the program have pointed to Solyndra, which won a $535 million loan guarantee in 2009, and the bankruptcies and headwinds facing some other federally backed green energy companies. The Hill
8. Recent Polls: Obama’s Record Ranks Him Among Least Effective President’s. The San Diego Union-Tribune, the 3rd-largest paper in California, offers a scathing, point-by-point indictment of President Obama's presidency—focusing particularly on Obamacare—and asks whether we've ever had a worse president. The Union-Tribune writes of Obama: “in December 2011 – at a time in which one-quarter of American adults who wanted full-time work couldn’t find it, after a year in which the federal deficit was a staggering $1.3 trillion – here was what Barack Obama had to say for himself in a CBS interview: 'I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president, with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR and Lincoln.' "Unbelievable. If self-reverence were a crime, our current president would be facing a life sentence." A recent Newsweek/Daily Beast poll shows that likely voters rank Obama as the 2nd-worst president in American history, behind Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter. Weekly Standard
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