Capitol Connection Newsletter
Using Reconciliation to Pass Health Care is a Historic Abuse:
In a speech on health care this week, President Obama endorsed the passage of government-run health care legislation through a parliamentary process known as reconciliation. This tactic, which is supposed to be limited to provisions that directly affect taxes, spending, and to control the size of government, allows passage by 51 votes in the 100-member Senate. Reconciliation also forbids procedural roadblocks, which take 60 votes to clear in the Senate. While the President may attempt to portray his approach as a fair process, the facts show this process to be a partisan attempt to pass a health plan that grows the size and scope of the federal government. In an analysis of 22 reconciliation measures passed since 1980, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that most reconciliation bills have followed a bipartisan path. In fact, the 19 reconciliation bills enacted into law were passed by an overwhelming majority in both the House and Senate and were related to reducing the size of government. Simply put, the President and Democrat Congressional Leadership plan to abuse the reconciliation process because they do not have the votes to pass government-run health care otherwise. As Congress and the Administration continue to debate the future of our nation's health care, Congressman Miller will continue listening to the American people and will oppose the abuse of parliamentary procedures to shove the President's government-run health care bill through Congress.
As Unemployment Remains High, Administration Slashes Worksite Enforcement:
Today, the Department of Labor released its unemployment report for February, finding the national unemployment rate continues to stand at 9.7 percent and 36,000 Americans have lost their job in the past month. Since the "stimulus" was passed last February, the economy has shed 3.3 million jobs and the unemployment rate is almost 30 percent higher than President Obama promised it would be. Adding insult to injury, 15 million Americans are unemployed while an estimated eight million illegals are employed. In fact, in many states there are almost as many illegal immigrants in the labor force as there are unemployed workers. In California alone, there are 2.3 million people unemployed while an estimated 1.9 million illegals are employed. Despite these harrowing numbers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has slashed worksite enforcement efforts in the past year. During these times of economic hardship, Congressman Miller believes firmly that we must reclaim the estimated 8 million jobs that illegals have stolen and give unemployed Americans and legal workers an opportunity to go back to work. To this end, he will fight to make E-Verify mandatory, support increased worksite enforcement activities, and oppose amnesty legislation.
House Republicans Introduce Resolution to Halt Backdoor National Energy Tax:
Congressman Miller this week joined nearly 100 of his colleagues in supporting a resolution to put a stop to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) attempt to establish a backdoor national energy tax. The resolution of disapproval would prevent the implementation of job-killing regulations posed by the Obama administration. These regulations are premised on the EPA's recent endangerment finding and would make carbon dioxide--something that is necessary to sustain life on earth--a regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Under the endangerment finding, and the regulatory and legal red tape that flow from this expansion of government into our economic lives, the pace of U.S. economic growth will be stifled by the EPA and its controversial enforcement of environmental laws. In time, the new permitting and pollution control rules for these entities would potentially affect millions of very small sources of greenhouse gas emissions such as office buildings, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, churches, farms and other small businesses. Congressman Miller is deeply opposed to this new regulation because it will kill American jobs and harm our economic competitiveness.
Another So-Called "Jobs' Package Clears the House of Representatives:
On Thursday, the House passed a so-called "jobs' package in an attempt to alleviate and stimulate our ailing economy. While only 22 percent of the $787 stimulus has been spent, the bill passed on Thursday spends another $17.6 billion over ten years for items that will have a marginal effect on job creation. Among its provisions, the bill contains a payroll tax exemption and retention credit. Since payroll taxes are a deductible business expense, employers claiming the tax credit under this legislation would lose that deduction, limiting the value of the credit. For example, an employer that hires a $50,000 a year worker could receive as little as $2,000 as an incentive under the bill. Because this bill does not contain substantial job-creating provisions, Congressman Miller opposed the bill. Rather, Congressman Miller believes job creation efforts should begin by removing the uncertainty which pending legislation and regulation, such as cap-and-tax and government-run health care, place on small businesses and American families and focus on policies that will foster long-term economic growth and job creation.
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