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Oregon for Food and Shelter Newsletter 5/12/11

From Speaker John Boehner’s office:

From the Los Angles Times:


Boehner stands by GOP Medicare overhaul plan

By Lisa Mascaro
May 5, 2011

As congressional negotiators met with Vice President Biden to begin deficit-reduction talks Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner refused to back away from the Republican proposal to privatize Medicare and make other changes to the nation’s health entitlement programs.

Top Republican lawmakers have acknowledged that the party’s proposal to change Medicare for the next generation of seniors is unlikely to gain ground with President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate. But Boehner insisted Thursday that all options remained on the table as negotiations were underway on a budget strategy that could win bipartisan support alongside an increase in the nation’s $14.3-trillion debt limit.

“When it comes to increasing the debt limit and the need for reductions in spending, nothing is off the table -- except raising taxes,” Boehner told reporters.

Boehner acknowledged the “political realities we face” in trying to pass the GOP plan to privatize Medicare and shift Medicaid costs to the states, as proposed in the 2012 budget by Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee. That proposal passed the House last month on a party line vote.

But the speaker insisted Republicans have offered a starting point by passing the plan, and Democrats should do the same. “We’ve put our plan on the table,” Boehner said.

Democrats have said any deficit-reduction strategy must include changes to the tax code, ending lucrative tax loopholes that cost the government revenue.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the minority leader, said: “I don't see how you can possibly talk about serious deficit reduction without talking about three things: cuts in spending; waste, fraud and abuse, which we are always on the alert for; and a change in the revenue scheme.”

Negotiators were meeting with Biden on Thursday as Congress faced an Aug. 2 deadline to increase the nation’s legal debt limit.

Press Release from Boehner’s office:

Speaker Boehner Files Amicus Brief Supporting the Unconstitutionality of the Job-Crushing Health Care Law
May 11, 2011

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today filed an amicus brief in support of the U.S. District Court ruling that found the job-crushing health care law unconstitutional. Speaker Boehner’s brief, filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA, supports a lawsuit brought by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the nation’s largest small business association.

In the brief, Boehner argues that the Obama Administration, in its defense of the individual mandate, has distorted the “necessary and proper” clause of the Constitution to vastly increase congressional power, compromise the integrity of the legislative process, and undermine accountability to the American people. Speaker Boehner’s original brief in the case was cited by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson of Florida in his January 31, 2011 decision overturning the law.

“While we continue working to repeal the job-crushing health care law, I’m proud to stand with these states and job creators in their efforts to overturn this government takeover that is destroying jobs, increasing costs, and jeopardizing coverage for millions of Americans,” Speaker Boehner said.

Earlier this year, 200 economists and experts wrote to congressional leaders detailing how the health care law’s “expensive mandates and penalties ... create major barriers to stronger job growth.” The new House majority continues to pursue efforts to repeal and replace the law as part of the Pledge to America, a governing agenda built by listening to the people.

And from the blog on Speaker Boehner’s Website:

Panic: Democrats Fret Over Boehner’s Call for Cutting Spending & Preventing Tax Hikes
Posted by Don Seymour on May 11, 2011

In remarks to The Economic Club of New York on Monday, Speaker Boehner said “without significant appending cuts and changes to the way we spend the American people’s money, there will be no debt limit increase.” CNBC’s Larry Kudlow summed it up like this: “You want to raise the debt ceiling? Then we need an equal amount of spending cuts to go along with the higher borrowing authority.”

Boehner also said everything is on the table – except tax hikes, because “[t]he mere threat of tax hikes causes uncertainty for job creators -- uncertainty that results in less risk-taking and fewer jobs.”

Kudlow called Boehner’s speech “tough stuff” and “a good start.” The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin said the speech represents “determined but responsible leadership.” The Wall Street Journal applauded “Mr. Boehner's formula of a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar of new debt authority” as having promise. Red State called it “a monumental game changer for the GOP and puts them back on offense.”

The reaction from the Left and Democrats running Washington, on the other hand, can be summed up in one word: panic. Liberal columnist Ruth Marcus called Boehner’s remarks “alarming.” The New York Times called them “wrongheaded.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Boehner is “playing with fire.”

Their strong reaction is fueled by the knowledge that after two years of a failed “stimulus” spending binge, an epic onslaught of job-destroying mandates, tax hikes, and regulations, and a slew of anti-energy policies that have doubled the price of gasoline, the tide has turned against the Left's appetite for more spending, taxing, and borrowing – even amongst some in the Democratic Party. For example:

The White House is demanding an increase in the debt limit without spending cuts or reforms to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have.But a recent survey by Resurgent Republic found a plurality of voters only supports raising the debt limit “in exchange for substantial spending cuts and a commitment to reduce the deficit.”

The White House has proposed tying the debt limit to a tax hike trigger that would automatically raise taxes when politicians overspend. But both the Detroit News and the Wall Street Journal have slammed the proposal, with the Journal saying a “tax increase will hurt an economy that is still not growing nearly fast enough.” And in recent months, a Reuters/Ipsos survey found that “59 percent of Americans prefer to cut existing programs while 30 percent would rather raise taxes to reduce deficit spending.”

The White House and Democrats have accused Republicans of holding the debt limit “hostage” (among other colorful euphemisms). But “[t]he real story,” says CATO’s Michael Tanner, “is that a small group of extreme liberals wants to keep spending more in the face of bipartisan opposition.” Tanner says “a number of prominent Democrats are on record opposing a debt-limit increase without substantial reductions in spending” as well.

And as we pointed out yesterday, in the 27 times the debt limit has been increased since 1985, only 10 were so-called “clean” increases of the type being demanded by the president – one of which the president himself voted against. Republicans and Speaker Boehner are simply saying that for the sake of our economy and the sake of the future for our children and grandchildren, the spending binge must end

More on last week’s oversight hearing in Washington, D.C.

Some fear that EPA is going too far in regulating pesticides
By Halimah Abdullah and Rob Hotakainen
McClatchy Newspapers, May 6, 2011

Barry Bushue often uses pesticides on his 70-acre farm east of Portland, Oregon, where he raises strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and pumpkins.

"Managing for pests is constant and critical," Bushue, the president of the Oregon Farm Bureau, told Congress during a hearing this week.

Many farmers across the nation want to make sure that federal regulators don't make it more difficult to spread chemicals on their land.

On Capitol Hill, those farmers have found allies in Republicans and some Democrats who are working to ease the regulations and strip some power from the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the use of pesticides to control insects, diseases and weeds. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would negate the need for additional permits when spraying for pests near bodies of water.

For the full story, click here:  http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/06/2204920/some-fear-that-epa-is-going-too.html


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