House GOP drafting Syria language

House Republicans want to keep the Obama administration on a short leash when it comes to arming and training Syrian rebels.

The legislation that the GOP is drafting to give the White House authority to provide military support to the Free Syria Army will also require the Obama administration to send a progress report to Congress every 90 days, according to senior Capitol Hill sources and a draft of the resolution obtained by POLITICO.

The legislation will also mandate that the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel send a report to Congress 15 days before arming or training the rebels. The resolution explicitly states that it does not give President Barack Obama authority to send U.S. forces into combat.

FULL STORY FROM POLITICO

Remembering 9/11: Statement of Sarah Chamberlain

Statement of Sarah Chamberlain – COO of Main Street

(Washington, D.C.) –   “On this morning 13 years ago, our world changed forever. Terrorists, committed to destroying our way of life, took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children. Today we remember the heroes and victims of the September 11th tragedy.”

“We can and should do more than just remember September 11th. Thirteen years later, we should not forget the painful lessons learned that day.”

“The world is still a dangerous place and there are forces of evil who are still hell bent on destroying our way of life. We must find a way to put partisan politics aside and work together to defend American interests and values at home and abroad. We should re-commit ourselves to fighting and winning the global war on terror and to ensuring that another September 11th style tragedy never again occurs on American soil.”

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Chairman Camp’s Statement on Tax Reform & Inversions

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement on the Administration’s comments on inversions and tax reform:

“Everyone agrees that tax reform is the only solution that will both keep companies from moving their headquarters out of the United States, and encourage more businesses to grow, hire and increase wages for American workers.  That is why I put forth an overhaul of our broken tax code, which would lower rates by simplifying the code and eliminating special interest loopholes.  The result: 1.8 million new private sector jobs, an increase in GDP up to $3.4 trillion and more than $1,300 extra per year in the pockets of hardworking middle class families.”

FULL PRESS RELEASE FROM WAYS & MEANS

Obama’s Immigration gamble: Will it work?

FULL STORY FROM POLITICO

Republicans had been licking their chops for weeks, hoping President Barack Obama would actually carry through on his immigration promise.

They had polled the issue in a handful of key races and come to a clear conclusion: If Obama circumvented Congress and acted alone this summer on immigration, conservative and independent voters would finally have an issue to rally behind and give the GOP a clear opportunity to nationalize the midterms in states where the president is deeply unpopular.

So Obama’s major reversal Saturday, announcing that he would not act alone on immigration until after the midterms, came as a huge sigh of relief for party operatives and candidates clinging to a tenuous Senate majority.

House GOP moves toward Export-Import Bank deal

FULL STORY FROM POLITICO

House Republican leaders will try to extend the Export-Import Bank’s authorization in the next few weeks, according to GOP sources.

Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas have a private agreement to act on a short-term reauthorization of the government-sponsored international finance bank, the sources said.

The length of that potential extension is still unclear. Hensarling wants to see the bank’s charter extended until early in 2015 — perhaps just until February. But some in Republican leadership think Hensarling might need more time to build support for a plan to reform the bank or wind it down entirely.

Only 4 anti-Obamacare House Dems left for fall elections

FULL STORY FROM POLITICO

Thirty-four House Democrats bucked their party to vote against Obamacare when it passed in 2010. Today, only four of those lawmakers are still in office and running for reelection this fall.

The dramatic downsize underscores not only how consequential the health care law vote was but how quickly moderate Democrats have been eliminated on Capitol Hill. Even those who opposed the law had trouble surviving the highly partisan atmosphere it helped to create.

 

Lawmakers scrutinize militarizing local police

FULL STORY FROM POLITICO

The practice of transferring military equipment to local police departments is coming under increasing scrutiny by lawmakers incensed over images emanating from Ferguson, Missouri.

The use of military-style weaponry in the St. Louis suburb, deployed in the wake of demonstrations over the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparked stern condemnations from lawmakers in both parties this week. Now lawmakers say they are going to do something about it.

POLITICO: The People’s Senate at 100

By LARRY J. SABATO

Americans love anniversaries. We commemorate the good ones—the Declaration of Independence and our triumphs in the 20th century’s two world wars, for example—and the bad ones, such as Pearl Harbor, JFK’s assassination and Sept. 11.

Yet there’s one anniversary that has recently been roundly ignored: the centennial of popular elections for the U.S. Senate. One of the great innovations of the Progressive movement, the 17th Amendment took the election of U.S. senators away from state legislatures in 1913, where it had resided since the Constitution became effective in 1789, and put power in the hands of the people—or rather, at the time, a slice of the people (mainly, white men age 21 and over).

The amendment, after ratification on April 8, 1913, went into countrywide effect with the midterm election of 1914, though the first Senate contest to take place under the new rules was a special election in Maryland in November 1913. (For you trivia buffs out there, the winner was Democrat Blair Lee.) Prior to the 17th Amendment, some states, such as Oregon, had actually begun to use some form of popular election—for instance, some mandated that their legislatures ratify the Senate choice made by voters at the polls—but only after 1914 did all states employ popular elections for senators. Of course, it took three election cycles—all the way to 1918—to make popular election universal, as only one-third of the Senate is elected in any given year.

Three New Congressional Members Join Main Street

Reps. Ellmers (R-NC), Benishek (R-MI) and Heck (R-NV) Join the Partnership

(Washington, DC) – This week, the Main Street Partnership – the largest organization of elected common-sense conservatives and centrists in the country – announced that Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) had joined the organization.

“We are honored to have these three incredibly distinguished public servants join Main Street,” said Sarah Chamberlain, COO and CFO of the organization. “At a time when opinion polls show how much faith Americans have lost in our institutions in Washington we need more leaders like this distinguished trio.”

“Main Street is dedicated to promoting and building a pragmatic, thoughtful, fiscally conservative, and inclusive ‘Governing Majority,’ where political debate is encouraged to promote solutions to improve the lives of all Americans,” continued Chamberlain.

“We look forward to continuing to fight for common-sense conservative solutions to the challenges we face as a country and look forward to continuing to grow this organization,” concluded Chamberlain.

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The Main Street Partnership is dedicated to promoting and building a pragmatic, thoughtful, fiscally conservative, and inclusive “Governing Majority,” where political debate is encouraged to promote solutions to improve the lives of all Americans. Embracing the full spectrum of center-right ideologies and values in order to build coalitions, the Main Street Partnership is the largest organization of elected leaders who are in the mold of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. For more information on the Main Street Partnership, visit our website at http://republicanmainstreet.org.

LaTourette in POLITICO: “The grifting wing vs. the governing wing”

While the Tea Party is busy lining its pockets, the rest of the Republicans are actually trying to get things done.

Vocabulary.com defines a grifter as: A grifter is a con artist—someone who swindles people out of money through fraud. If there’s one type of person you don’t want to trust, it’s a grifter: Someone who cheats someone out of money.

Historically, grifters have taken many shapes. They were the snake-oil salesmen who rolled into town promising a magical, cure-all elixir at a price. The grifter was long gone by the time people discovered the magical elixir was no more magical than water. They were the sideshow con men offering fantastic prizes in games that were rigged so that no one could actually win them. They were the Ponzi scheme operators who got rich promising fantastically high investment returns but returning nothing for those sorry investors at the bottom of the pyramid.

Over the last few years we have seen the rise of a new grifter—the political grifter. And the most important battle being waged today isn’t the one about which party controls the House or the Senate, it’s about who controls the Republican Party: the grifting wing or the governing wing.

Today’s political grifters are a lot like the grifters of old—lining their pockets with the hard-earned money of working men and women be promising things in return that they know they can’t deliver.

Political grifting is a lucrative business. Groups like the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Patriots are run by men and women who have made millions by playing on the fears and anger about the dysfunction in Washington. My former House colleague Chris Chocola is pocketing a half-million dollars a year heading the Club for Growth; same for Matt Kibbe heading up FreedomWorks (and I don’t think Kibbe’s salary includes the infamous craft beer bar that FreedomWorks donors ended up paying for). The Tea Party Patriots pay their head, Jenny Beth Martin, almost as much. These people have lined their pockets by promising that if you send them money, they will send men and women to Washington who can “fix it.” Of course, in the ultimate con, the always extreme and often amateurish candidates these groups back either end up losing to Democrats or they come to Washington and actually make the process even more dysfunctional.

Full Story: POLITICO