You would think that, in order to avoid worsening the border crisis by not properly preparing for what lies ahead, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would do its best to accurately gauge what it will be up against before setting its budget for next year, right?
Evidently not. In a budget report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, HHS admits it has no way of even guesstimating how many illegal immigrants will enter the country next year — but it’s still setting the budget, anyway:
The budget report says:
“Since FY 2011, the number of arriving UAC [unaccompanied alien children] has increased from 6,560 to an estimated 60.000 for FY 2014. AFC [Administration for Families and Children] has implemented strategies to reduce the cost per child, but total costs have risen dramatically as the number of UAC has increased.”
It continued, “Due to the volatile nature of this program, the Administration is not able to reliably predict the number of UAC who will arrive in FY 2015 at this time. The FY 2015 budget is therefore $868 million, the same as FY 2014.”
What? In what universe does it make sense for HHS to request the same amount of funding for FY 2015 as it had in FY 2014? Are they living under a rock? The number of UAC entering the country is expected to skyrocket next year, not to mention everyone and their mother on Capitol Hill has recognized that the border needs more funding; how much more funding is precisely what Congress is bickering about right now.
If Obamacare wasn’t proof enough, this is the nail in the coffin. HHS is incompetent, and it seems doubtful that it will be able to properly accommodate and deal with next year’s tidal wave of illegals.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of impeaching Barack Obama, calling the entire discussion “a scam started by Democrats”:
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Mr. Beohner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
Boehner’s argument could have some weight behind it, considering that Democrats have voraciously used talk of impeachment for their fundraising efforts. After White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer and press secretary Josh Earnest toked the flames of impending impeachment on Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent out a fundraising email:
A few hours later, Pelosi and the Democratic fundraising machine joined in. “Sorry to email you late on a Friday, but I need your urgent support,” Pelosi emailed. “Yesterday, for the first time in history, Congress voted to sue a sitting president. Today, the White House alerted us that they believe ‘Speaker [John] Boehner … has opened the door to impeachment …’”
“With everything happening right now, I’m a little disappointed to see that you haven’t had a chance to chip in to defend President Obama,” Pelosi continued. “We could use your support today. ALL GIFTS TODAY TRIPLE-MATCHED!”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also joined in on the fun:
“The White House just announced that they believe John Boehner’s lawsuit could lead to the impeachment of President Barack Obama,” the DCCC said. “We are now on full RED ALERT at Democratic Headquarters. We are scrambling to defend the President in every way we can at this critical moment.”
“According to our records, you haven’t chipped in to fight back,” the email continued. “Can we count on you at this critical moment? ALL GIFTS TODAY TRIPLE-MATCHED!”
Another couple of hours later — after 10pm in the East — the DCCC tried again. “If you’re wondering why you’re getting all this email on a Friday night, it’s simple,” the email read. “THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOW A REAL POSSIBILITY.”
Given all of Obama’s crimes, his impeachment was a “REAL POSSIBILITY” quite a while ago. But Republican leadership hasn’t made any attempt to remove Obama from office in the last year, so why would they start now with midterms right around the corner? There are undoubtedly a few Republicans who would like to see Obama impeached, but it seems pretty clear that the Dems keep circling back to the argument just so they can use it to line their coffers.
Don’t have much hope that Congress will pass the border bill before August recess? Neither do we. Here are four reasons we may not have new border legislation before the Hill goes quiet for a month.
1. The sides are too far apart. What’s the difference between the House and Senate bills? Oh, $2 billion. On Thursday the House will vote on a $659 million plan, including $197 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide humanitarian aid and housing. The Senate plan costs $2.7 billion, $1.2 billion of which will go to aid and housing. Oh, and then there’s that 2008 human trafficking law that the GOP wants to amend to make it easier to deport illegal minors from Central America, and which Democrats refuse to touch.
2. There’s not enough time. As stated previously, the House won’t take up its border bill until Thursday; they plan to adjourn on Sept. 8. The Senate, on the other hand, is leaving town on Friday. There simply isn’t any time for the two sides to negotiate.
3. The leaders have given up. Because it’s extremely likely that a bill won’t pass before the summer break, each side wants to protect itself from the inevitable public backlash. So Senate Dems and House Republicans are more focused on playing the blame game than actually accomplishing anything.
4. Obama is doing his own thing. Rather than work with Congress, Obama has spent his time cloistered behind closed-door meetings with immigrations rights groups as he prepares to use his pen and phone to solve the crisis on his own. He likely plans to grant millions of illegals amnesty and work permits.
Behold! The “do nothing” Congress at its finest.
Monday, House and Senate negotiators announced a $17 billion compromise to reform the corrupt and troubled Department of Veterans Affairs. Here are eight things you need to know about the deal.
1. $10 billion would go to providing faster medical care to vets who face long wait times or live 40 miles or further away from a VA medical facility. Vets would receive “choice cards” allowing them to seek care from doctors who accept Medicare or at Department of Defense medical facilities, military bases, and other qualified health care centers.
2. $5 billion would be used to hire additional doctors, nurses, and other medical providers.
3. $1.7 billion would be given to the VA to lease 27 new facilities in 18 states, including Arizona where 18 vets died while waiting for treatment.
4. The bill would give the secretary of the VA the power to fire senior executives who perform poorly or break the rules. Fired employees would be allowed a 21-day, unpaid appeal process.
5. $12 billion will be added to the nation’s deficit in “mandatory emergency money.”
6. The bill limits bonuses for senior VA staff, effectively helping to generate $5 billion in offsets.
7. The bill would create tuition assistance for vets and their spouses. A scholarship program would be created for spouses of military personnel who die on the job, and veterans would be given a residency exemption making them eligible for in-state tuition at all of the country’s state universities.
8. The bill would extend a program that provides housing for veterans suffering from brain injuries.
House Republican leaders are confident they will pass Speaker John Boehner’s border bill on Thursday, just before the month-long August recess:
Members of incoming House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s team of deputy whips said legislative language would be presented to rank-and-file GOP members Tuesday morning during a regularly scheduled closed-door conference meeting.
The legislation was not yet finalized Monday evening, but the bill was expected to cost less than $1 billion and include a collection of recommendations made by the House GOP border working group.
“I think it looks very positive,” said Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., after emerging from a meeting of senior House Republican leaders.
The bill would beef up border security, speed up the legal processing of unaccompanied minors, provide humanitarian assistance to children already here, and amend a 2008 human trafficking law to make it easier to deport illegal children from Central America. According to Republican sources, the legislation would cost $600 million, and be fully offset by using unspent funds from other programs.
Unfortunately, despite the likelihood that the bill will pass the House it’s just as likely that it won’t pass the Senate; Democrats in the upper chamber refuse to touch the 2008 law. Majority Leader Harry Reid has set up a vote on Wednesday for the Senate’s separate border legislation, which would provide $2.7 billion in emergency border funding. This bill isn’t expected to leave the Senate, as the GOP will likely keep it from winning the 60 votes necessary to move forward.
Remember when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it would spend $50 million to ensure establishment Republicans beat conservatives this fall? Well, it turns out the allegedly pro-business interest group is doing America one even worse: it will endorse Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in the Louisiana Senate race.
This move is far more sinister than run-of-the-mill waffling on the part of the Chamber. Landrieu is one of the most vulnerable red-state Democrats, and due to the unique circumstances of Louisiana’s election process, her re-election could ensure that the Left maintains control of the upper chamber:
Louisiana holds its primary election on the same day other states conduct their general election. The top two voter getters in Louisiana then proceed to a run-off election in December. It is not improbable that control of the Senate could hang on the outcome of the December run-off in Louisiana. Having endorsed Landrieu, the Chamber would find itself fighting to keep Democrats in control of the Senate.
Two of the Chamber’s current top legislative priorities are preserving the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes foreign sales of certain manufactured goods and comprehensive immigration reform. Both of the issues have put the Chamber on the opposite side of many conservatives.
So there you have it: the Chamber isn’t interested in supporting Republicans — it’s interested in supporting big government politicians who will uphold the priorities of corporate America over those of the American people.
Come November, Landrieu should be one of the easiest Democrats to oust from the Senate. She does not stand for the interests of the average American. She supports the crony capitalism of the Export-Import Bank, amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, and is a strong proponent of Obamacare. We cannot allow her to win and spoil the chances of a Republican Senate. If you live in Louisiana, please do everything you can to defeat Landrieu — and by extension, Harry Reid — and return Congress to the hands of true conservatives!
“Tired of media filters,” former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin launched her own member-supported online TV channel — the Sarah Palin Channel — Sunday evening:
“Tired of media filters? Well, so am I. So, let’s go rogue together and launch our own member-supported channel!” she wrote. ”This will be OUR channel, for you and for me, and we’ll all get to call it like it is.”
Palin linked to her channel and a video that welcomes Americans to her “new project” that will allow her to “talk directly” to Americans on her terms.
The channel, which is a part of the TAPP network, has videos, speeches and “Sarah Says” video commentary from Palin. She will also answer questions, chat with subscribers, and provide behind-the-scenes videos of “some of the fun in the Palin household” and “adventures in the great outdoors.” She will also invite and interview various guests as well.
Following the 2008 presidential election, Palin was on the forefront of using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to set the agenda and news cycle; something for which she was relentlessly mocked. Now, of course, everyone who mocked her is using social media themselves. By launching this online TV channel, it proves once again that Palin is leading the pack when it comes to the use of new media in the political realm.
According to a new CNN poll released Sunday, if the 2012 election were held today Republican Mitt Romney would win the popular vote over Barack Obama by nine whole points:
Romney, who lost the popular vote 47 percent to 51 percent in 2012, would win 53 percent of the popular vote if the election were held today, according to the CNN/ORC International survey, which was conducted from July 18-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
However, even more interesting is that the poll also found that 55 percent of respondents would prefer Hillary Clinton to Romney:
“Politically speaking, there is an interesting group of people who would not vote for Obama but would pick Clinton over Romney,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said in the new report. “It turns out that nearly seven in ten of them are women, and 56 percent are Independents.”
That doesn’t speak to Clinton’s declining approval amongst voters, however:
“The number who say that Clinton shares their values dropped from 56 percent in March to 51 percent now, and the number who say she cares about people edged down from 56 percent to 53 percent in the same time period,” CNN reported.
Clearly, if Republicans are going to take back the White House in 2016 the GOP needs to nominate a candidate who can eclipse Clinton’s popularity. We here at American Liberty PAC believe that candidate is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Click here to sign the American Liberty PAC petition to draft Rand Paul for president now!
In a long-awaited victory for Second Amendment rights, a federal judge on Saturday ruled that D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home is unconstitutional:
In a 19-page ruling made public Saturday, U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin concluded that the Second Amendment gives people the right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense.
Scullin, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush and is a former Army colonel, wrote that following those decisions, “there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”
Alan Gura, the lawyer who represents the group challenging the ban, said Sunday he was “very pleased with the decision.”
The lawsuit challenging the ban was filed in 2009 by three D.C. residents, a New Hampshire resident, and the Washington-state based Second Amendment Foundation. Sunday, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told D.C. police not to arrest people for carrying handguns on the street, so long as the guns are registered.
Leaders in the House and Senate have reached a deal on legislation to reform the troubled Veterans Affairs (VA) Department and are expected to reveal the terms Monday:
Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), told The Hill in an email that an agreement has been reached that will “deal with both the short-term and long-term needs of the VA.”
The VA bill appeared in doubt last week as Sanders and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) — the chairmen of the two Veterans Affairs’ committees — butted heads over rival proposals. But they kept talking over the weekend, and on Sunday suggested a deal was at hand.
“Miller and Sanders continued negotiations on a VA reform package this weekend and made significant progress toward an agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health care profession,” the lawmakers’ offices said in a joint statement.
Sanders and Miller will appear together at a joint press conference at the Capitol on Monday afternoon, and are likely to announce a final agreement at that time.
Sanders has proposed a $35 billion measure allowing some veterans without access to a VA facility to get care from non-VA doctors, while Miller has proposed to provide $10 billion in emergency funding for the VA.
Whatever their deal, Miller and Sanders better hope it passes before the August recess, as Americans will undoubtedly look (even more) poorly upon lawmakers if they fail to take action on this scandal before skipping town for an entire month. Then again, there’s always the possibility that Congress will ram through the bill just to get it over with, even if said bill isn’t the best solution.