Saturday, July 20, 2013

Detroit Goes Bust


Gary L. Bauer

Almost every place where liberals have had free reign, we see disastrous economic results. For example, even as the economy shows signs of improvement, the places doing the best are the conservative "red" states. Nowhere is the failure of liberalism more obvious than in America's big cities, where populations are falling and debt is out of control.

We were all reminded about this with today's news that venerable Detroit, once hailed as the "Arsenal of Democracy," has just declared bankruptcy. The city is nearly $20 billion in debt. It has lost more than half its population from its peak in the 1950s. Nearly 80,000 buildings and homes are abandoned and 40% of its street lights don't work. Detroit's unemployment rate is twice the national average.

It is noteworthy that more cars are being made in America today than ever before. But most new plants are in southern or mid-western states, as the auto industry fled the anti-business regime that has dominated Detroit.

For decades the left has dominated Detroit, and the results speak for themselves. Chicago is not far behind. Liberalism's lies -- its failed cultural, economic and educational promises -- are coming home to roost.


VISIT AMERICAN VALUES


Rep. Forbes Condemns Furloughs on House Floor


July 18, 2013, Washington, D.C. - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, delivered the following speech on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding the furloughing of the Defense Department civilian workforce:

Mr. Speaker, last week more than 650,000 DoD civilians began the first of their 11 unpaid furlough days.  Our military, our men and woman in uniform, and the civilians who support our national security infrastructure simply cannot and should not have to bear this burden.                                                                          
 
Now, men and women across the country - the engineers, architects, welders, and manufacturers who have devoted their lives to our national security - find themselves losing pay and struggling to get by.

Although the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force have said they may be able to complete the fiscal year without furloughs, the Secretary of Defense would not allow the service secretaries to make their own decisions based on their individual budgetary constraints. The entire Department is now suffering as a result.
 
Mr. Speaker, this body has acted multiple times to end this process. I urge the Senate and the President to offer their real solutions to this problem so that we can relieve this costly burden on our defense civilian workforce. These men and women who devote their lives to this country's service deserve better from their Government.

                               
Click here for video of Congressman Forbes on the House floor.


Rep. Robert Hurt Statement Following Committee Hearing Examining Legislative Proposal To End Taxpayer Bailouts Of Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac And Create A Sustainable Housing Finance System


Thursday July 18, 2013, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the below statement following the Financial Services Committee hearing examining the Protecting American Taxpayers And Homeowners Act, a legislative proposal to create a sustainable housing system:

 

"The Financial Services Committee has held a series of hearings over the last six months examining how the actions taken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over many years contributed to the financial crisis in 2008, caused boom-bust cycles in the housing market, and forced American taxpayers to bail out the GSE's at a cost of nearly $200 billion. At a time when the federal government supports 90 percent of new mortgage originations and remains on the hook for $5.1 trillion in mortgage guarantees, it could not be clearer that our system is broken, unsustainable, and in need of serious reform.

 

"That is why House Republicans have introduced the Protecting American Taxpayers And Homeowners (PATH) Act, a plan designed to protect homeowners and taxpayers. This legislation ends the taxpayer-funded bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure that hardworking taxpayers never again have to foot the bill for the federal government's mistakes in housing finance. It will protect and refocus the Federal Housing Administration by clearly defining its mission to serve first-time and low to moderate income borrowers. Additionally, this plan will free America's housing markets from government distortion by implementing reforms to increase competition, enhance transparency, and maximize consumer choice. Finally, the PATH Act institutes reforms to ensure that community financial institutions, realtors, home builders, and others are not negatively affected by some of the most harmful provisions in Dodd-Frank.

 

"I thank Chairman Hensarling for his leadership on this important issue, and I look forward to working with our colleagues to fundamentally reform our nation's housing finance system to increase private investment and protect American homeowners and taxpayers."

 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Senate HELP Committee's Approval of ENDA Threatens Religious Liberty, Employers' Rights


July 10, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins expressed strong disagreement with the U.S. Senate HELP Committee's approval of S. 815, a bill that mandates special rights based on sexual preferences. Businesses would be forced to comply (or face penalties), regardless of the impact on their organization.

The legislation in its current form also requires employers at daycares, public schools, and Christian businesses to change their restroom and shower policies to accommodate men who dress like women and vice-versa.

FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to committee approval of the so-called "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA):

"In the midst of so many crises, many are left to wonder why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) are pushing legislation that mandates special rights based on sexual preferences.

"The law unfairly places burdens on employers to know about their employees' sexual lifestyles and to take that into consideration when making employment decisions. Businesses, including daycares and public schools, will be ordered to comply (or face penalties), regardless of the impact on their organization. Apart from the bill's obvious special interest problems, it would be a magnet for costly lawsuits that burden businesses in an already suffering economy.

"The gender identity provisions undermine the right of employers to impose reasonable dress and grooming standards by forbidding employers from using the most fundamental standard of all - that people be dressed in a way that is appropriate for their own biological sex. This legislation unfairly discriminates against men and women who oppose cross-dressing in the workplace. The current bill even goes so far as to require employers at daycares, public schools, and Christian businesses to change their restroom and shower policies to accommodate men who dress like women and vice-versa.

"Most importantly, the legislation violates employers' and employees' constitutional freedoms of religion, speech and association. One employee's sexual preference does not deserve greater protection than a business owner's exercise of religious liberty.

"We call on the full U.S. Senate to reject this unnecessary legislation that threatens the free market, undermines employers' rights, and violates the free exercise of religion," concluded Perkins.

Rep. Robert Hurt Opening Statement At Capital Markets Subcommittee Hearing


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today delivered the following statement during the House Committee on Financial Services Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee hearing:

 

 

[Watch Robert's opening statement by clicking above or HERE]

 

Robert Hurt Opening Statement Text

 

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for holding today's hearing – the second in the series exploring ideas for reducing barriers to capital formation and I thank each of the witnesses for being here today. One of the most important functions of this Committee is to promote initiatives to increase access to capital for our small businesses and startups. 

 

"It is appropriate that the Capital Markets subcommittee will again lead the way on initiatives to increase capital access and promote economic growth after it championed the enactment of the JOBS Act in the last Congress. While the JOBS Act was an important step forward, these hearings show that more still needs to be done to ensure that we remove costly and unnecessary regulatory impediments that are restricting companies from accessing capital in the public and private markets. 

 

"I especially look forward to testimony from our witnesses about the eXtensible Business Reporting Language, which was mandated by the SEC in 2009. Despite the SEC's intent of lowering the costs of capital for smaller companies and providing more efficient access to information for investors, this requirement has become another example of a regulation where the costs far outweigh any potential benefits. Companies expend tens of thousands of dollars or more complying with the regulation yet there is evidence that less than 10 percent of investors actually use XBRL, further diminishing its potential benefits.  

 

"This is another example of an unnecessary and costly requirement that disincentivizes innovative companies from accessing the public markets. We must look at solutions to this issue and others to create a regulatory environment that is more efficient and conducive for long-term economic growth.

 

"I appreciate this Committee's continued focus on ensuring that our small businesses and startups have the ability to access the necessary capital in order to innovate, expand, and create the jobs that our communities need. 

 

"I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses and thank you again for your appearance before the subcommittee today. 

 

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back the balance of my time." 


VIDEO: FRC Releases Report on Military Religious Freedom


VIDEO: FRC Releases Report on Military Religious Freedom
July 09, 2013

Congressmen, FRC, Allied Groups Hold Press Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC), a coalition of groups concerned about religious liberty, and Members of Congress participated in a Capitol Hill news conference earlier today urging support for Rep. John Fleming's (R-LA) military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Speakers included Reps. Fleming, Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX); FRC President Tony Perkins; and FRC Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin.

FRC released a new report at the press conference documenting incidents of hostility toward religious expression in the military. Additionally the coalition launched a new website, www.militaryfreedom.org, to support the religious liberties of America's men and women in uniform.

"The climate of intimidation that began in the Air Force is bleeding over into every branch - leading even military chaplains to wonder about their security in referencing the Bible," said FRC President Tony Perkins. "In a Pentagon where evangelical Christians are the 'extremists,' the pressure to impose a secular culture on our nation's military has intensified tremendously during President Obama's time as commander-in-chief. His administration, whose primary goal seems to be opposing Americans' conscience rights, is continuing that attack on a military culture defined by a long tradition of faith," added Perkins.

"FRC's special report documents the wave of hostility toward religious expression in the military. The report represents a small sample of the outrages that have been made public. Based on the calls and confidential information we've received, there's a much deeper threat at work," concluded Perkins.

Coalition members supporting this effort include the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, Center for Security Policy, Media Research Center, Judicial Watch, American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, American Values, Family-Pac Federal, Patriotic Veterans, Center for Military Readiness, American Civil Rights Union and International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers.

To read FRC's report, "A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military," click here: http://www.frc.org/clearpresentdanger


To watch the video of today's press conference, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VME0yJ_FcWA&hd=1


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Preserving Rural Resources Act: Reducing Regulatory Burdens On Our Farmers


Congressman Robert Hurt

Weekly Column 7/08/13


This past week, I traveled along Route 15 visiting individuals, farmers, and small businesses. Hearing the concerns of those living in Danville to Fauquier and Brunswick to Lawrenceville has been my greatest resource as I serve Virginia’s 5th District.

The legislation I have introduced throughout my time in the United States Congress has come straight from the concerns discussed during my travels throughout the 5th District with the people whom I represent. And the Preserving Rural Resources Act is no exception.

There are no greater stewards of the land than our farmers, foresters, and ranchers whose livelihoods depend upon preserving the Commonwealth’s abundant natural resources. The agricultural community, however, continues to suffer from unelected bureaucrats’ misinterpretation of current policy, which has led to the federal over-regulation of the natural resources on their property and has had a significant negative impact on their farms, their small businesses, and their families.

Washington does not know what is best for the people of Virginia’s 5th District, and it is time that the federal government is removed as a roadblock to job creation so that our farmers and small businesses can hire and grow.

That is why my colleague Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) and I have introduced the Preserving Rural Resources Act. This bipartisan legislation will clarify current law by codifying current exemptions for normal farming, forestry, and ranching activities and allow members of our agricultural and forestry community to utilize the resources in place on their private property in ways that will enhance their agricultural production and activity.

Additionally, this bill will allow our farmers to shift their time and resources from cutting through more government red tape to expanding production. It is critical that we enact commonsense reforms like the Preserving Rural Resources Act to encourage economic growth and get the people of Virginia’s 5th District back to work.

It is high time that Washington is removed as part of the problem, and I will continue to work to turn my constituents’ concerns into legislation that is part of the solution. 

If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

 




Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 13th: Grand Opening in Culpeper


 

We Cordially Invite You to the

Culpeper Office

Grand Opening

With Special Guest Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

 

July 13th

7 PM

401 South Main Street

Culpeper, Virginia

 

Please call Scott Nemeth at 540-314-1387 or
email him at snemeth@rpv.org to let us know you will be attending!



July 13th: Join E.W. Jackson At Edgewood Farm




Inspire And Unite!


Please Join Us For An Evening With Republican
Nominee for Lieutenant Governor

E.W. Jackson

With a special introduction by
Delegate Rob Bell

At Edgewood Farm
In Stanardsville, Virginia

 

On Saturday, July 13, 2013, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
 
Edgewood Farm
1017 Beazley Road
Stanardsville, VA 22973

$50 Individual/$100 Couple


 
Please RSVP information and requests to greenforew@gmail.com
Tickets are available online or can be purchased at the event. Please mail checks made payable to Jackson for Lt. Governor, P.O. Box 15003 Chesapeake, VA 23328, with "July 13 Fundraiser" in the memo line.

www.jacksonforlg.com

    

Paid for and authorized by Jackson for Lt. Governor

July 27th - Madison County Republican Committee Barbecue

E.W. Jackson, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Obenshain, Delegate Ed Scott (30th District,) and Congressman Robert Hurt (Invited, 5th District) will be the Guest Speakers at the 14th Annual Madison County Republican Barbecue, Saturday, July 27th,  1:00-4:00 PM at the Fire Hall in the Town of Madison. Delicious barbecue will be prepared for the event by Bill Heflin of B&K Catering. Everyone is invited to attend this gathering. For additional information please call (540) 948-6904.

 

July 19th: Reception for E.W. Jackson in Rappahannock


On Friday, July 19, at 6:30 PM, the Rappahannock County Republican Committee and the Friends of Liberty will be hosting a reception for E. W. Jackson, Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Ticket information is below, and we urge you to order early because space is limited.  Of course, E. W. Jackson will be there, but we will also have great wine, light hors d'oeuvres and great company.  Come meet the candidate who electrified the GOP Convention!

Please feel free to advance this invitation to your family and friends as well.

Event Details:

Friday, July 19, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Grey Ghost Winery
14706 Lee Highway
Amissville, VA 20106
     
Tickets are $50 each and include wine and hors d'oeuvres.

To purchase your tickets online, please click http://july19jackson.eventbrite.com


The Rappahannock County Republican Committee and the Friends of Liberty look forward to seeing you as we come together to support this outstanding candidate for Lieutenant Governor. 



Evelyn Kerr, Chair
Rappahannock County Republican Committee



Authorized and paid for by the Rappahannock County Republican Committee

Rep. Robert Hurt Statement On June Unemployment Report

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the below statement after the Department of Labor issued the June Unemployment Report: 

 

"While I am pleased to see that our economy has added jobs last month, today's unemployment report confirms what I heard during my visits with individuals, small businesses, and family farmers along Route 15 this week - too many in Virginia's Fifth District remain unemployed or underemployed. This is the direct result of years of this Administration's failed policies. More regulations and higher taxes are stifling our family farmers and our Main Street businesses, making it difficult for them to expand and create the jobs that we need.

 

"We in the House of Representatives, however, recognize the need to remove the government as a roadblock to job creation. This week, I introduced the Preserving Rural Resources Act, bipartisan legislation that would reduce regulatory burdens on our farmers so that they can get back to doing what they do best: creating jobs. Additionally, the House has acted to address high fuel prices, which have triggered higher prices across the board, making it more difficult for families to make ends meet. Last month, the House voted to expand energy development, which would lead to the creation of over one million new American jobs, including thousands of jobs in Virginia.

 

"We in the House remain committed to advancing solutions that will spur robust economic growth, and we stand ready to work with the President and the Senate to get Americans back to work."


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In ? We Trust


Tony Perkins
Family Research Council


How hard is it to lose $30,000 in government funding? Invoke God's name and find out! Louisiana Sheriff Julian Whittington had done so for 10 years as part of his local Young Marine's initiative. After a decade of voluntary prayers, the only complaint he's received is from the U.S. Justice Department -- which unfortunately happened to be funding the project.

Not anymore. The DOJ pulled its annual grant for uniforms and supplies when the Bossier Sheriff refused to remove "God" from the Young Marine's oath. After a random audit of the program, a Justice attorney fired off an email to Whittington objecting to the group's religious references. "They wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove 'God' from the Young Marine's oath," the Sheriff fumed. "I flat said, 'It's not going to happen. Enough is enough. This is the United States of America -- and the idea that there mere mention of God or voluntary prayer is prohibited is ridiculous."

He's right. DOJ may have federal funds, but they're allocated by a Congress that prays before every session! If the Justice Department has a problem with the word "God," then it had better start printing its own currency, because "In God We Trust" is on every bill. (A fact the DOJ didn't seem to mind when it accepted its $26 billion budget). To say that a successful program for at-risk kids needs to deny God to qualify for government funds is nothing but ideological extortion. It's the same tactic the Obama administration has used in the contraception-abortion mandate, the IRS tax exemption scandal, and other federal grant applications. Ignore your beliefs -- or else.

Can Bossier's program survive without DOJ's help? Absolutely. Sheriff Whittington says donations are pouring in from outside the parish. It's the administration's double standard that outrages people. The government is cutting off a character development program because of a voluntary prayer -- while at the same time sending billions of dollars to a Planned Parenthood organization that defrauds Medicaid, covers up statutory rape, botches abortions, accepts racist donations, encourages sex trafficking, falsifies medical facts, and endangers women's safety.

If you teach kids irresponsibility, the government rewards you. But try teaching them to avoid "anything that would bring disgrace on God and country" and you're suddenly ineligible for taxpayer funds. Of course, the irony is that the DOJ's $30,000 investment in Sheriff Whittington's youth program is a whole lot cheaper than spending millions of dollars cleaning up the mess Planned Parenthood's sex education leaves behind in the form of teen pregnancy, abortion, and disease. Under this President: break the law, win funding. Honor God, and lose it.

Unfortunately, this is just part of the broader effort by the Left to stamp out religious freedom and, more specifically, Christianity. Congressman John Fleming (R-La.) is just one of the incensed Louisianans. "[The Obama administration] is willing to throw the youth overboard and remove the funding just in the name of making this an atheist, agnostic, secular organization." More than 1,000 kids have graduated from the Bossier program, which is not "inherently religious" as the DOJ claims. Even if it were, the DOJ would be just as justified in funding the outreach as it would be in subsidizing any number of faith-based social services. If the government has money for taxpayer-funded dance lessons, pickle promotions, kazoos, and bathtub toys, surely it has plenty left over to help troubled kids.

In the meantime, Sheriff Whittington is moving forward -- with or without Washington's help. This Thursday at the Bossier Sheriff's Office Viking Drive Substation, he's even hosting an "In God We Trust" rally from 1-4 pm. Stop by to enjoy a cookout and sign the pledge in support of the Young Marines. For more on this story, click over to yesterday's edition of "Washington Watch" and hear from Sheriff Whittington himself.