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The Leader's Ledger

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Good morning,

Last night, the House unanimously rejected President Obama's budget that piles more debt, spending and taxes on the American people and fails to address our nation's fiscal challenges. Today, we will vote on the House Republican budget that upholds our pledge to change the way Washington spends money and get our fiscal house in order. Change doesn't come easily, especially in divided Washington, but House Republicans are leading the way with real solutions that will put our nation back on the path to prosperity. Our budget prevents the nation from sinking further into debt by getting spending under control, implementing pro-growth tax reform to spur economic growth and job creation, and keeps our promise to our nation's seniors by strengthening the important safety net programs. We offer the American people a choice of two futures: the President's vision that will push our country further into a debt crisis, or the House Republican proposal that will create a brighter future for our country.

Today In History: In 1929, President Herbert Hoover had a phone installed at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House. Telephones and a telephone switchboard had been in use at the White House since 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes had the first one installed, but no phone had ever been installed at the president's desk until Hoover's administration.

Birthdays: President John Tyler, Amy Sedaris, Lucy Lawless, Elle Macpherson, Sam Walton, and Cy Young

Here is what's in today's Ledger …

State Of Play: House Unanimously Rejects President Obama's Budget

House Overwhelmingly Rejects President Obama's Unserious Budget. The Republican-run House has overwhelmingly rejected President Barack Obama's $3.6 trillion budget for next year after a vote forced by GOP lawmakers to embarrass Democrats. … Democrats have defended Obama's budget priorities but they largely voted "no" Wednesday night. Republicans said Democrats were afraid to vote for Obama's proposed tax increases and extra spending for energy and welfare. Democrats said Republicans had forced a vote on a version of Obama's budget that contained only its numbers, not the policies he would use to achieve them.The vote was 414-0. The vote came as the House debated a GOP budget that contains far more deficit reduction than Obama has proposed. The Associated Press

* Democrats Abandon President Obama's Budget In 0-414 Rout. The House on Wednesday night unanimously rejected an alternative budget proposal based on President Obama's 2013 budget plan, dispatching it in a 0-414 rout. … Mulvaney seemed to relish the idea of bringing up a proposal based on Obama's numbers, and openly wondered, tongue-in-cheek, why no Democrats sought to introduce it. He then criticized it by saying it does not foresee a balanced budget at any point in the future. "The budget that the President offered and that is contained in this amendment never balances," he said. "It is a balanced approach to reach a never-balancing budget." The Hill

Rep. Mick Mulvaney On Last Night's Vote: "It's the president's budget so you would think that maybe Congress would bring it up and vote on it, but evidently Democrats didn't think that so I'm doing them that favor," the South Carolina Republican said in an interview. Roll Call

* FLASHBACK: Last year, the Senate voted 97-0 against President Obama's 2012 budget. The Washington Examiner

Chairman Ryan: Democrats Are Choosing The Next Election Over The Next Generation. "They're choosing the next election over the next generation," Ryan said, deriding Democrats' plans as far too timid. He added, "If we don't tackle these fiscal problems soon, they're going to tackle us as a country." The Associated Press

* Reminder: Senate Democrats Are Refusing To Pass A Budget. Senate Democrats, who will not seek to move a budget resolution on the floor in 2012 The Hill

Committee Check

Ways and Means Update: Majority Leader Cantor's 20% Small Business Tax Cut For Small Business Passed Out Of Committee. "This deduction can free up resources so a small business can invest, hire another worker or provide a raise to an employee -- something too many employers haven't been able to do in this weak and slowly recovering economy," Camp said. The measure, a top priority of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), would let the millions of companies that had fewer than 500 employees in either 2010 or 2011 deduct 20 percent of their 2012 profits. Cantor has said that he hoped the full House would approve the $46 billion tax break by the time Americans' taxes are due next month. The measure would cap the tax cut's value at 50 percent of W-2 wages businesses pay to their employees. The Hill

ObamaCare: Fate Of ObamaCare To Be Decided By The Supreme Court

SCOTUS Ruling On ObamaCare Could Deal Dramatic Blow To Obama Presidency. The Supreme Court's skeptical consideration of President Obama's landmark health-care legislation this week has forced his supporters to contemplate the unthinkable: that the justices could throw out the law and destroy the most far-reaching accomplishment of the Obama presidency. … White House officials are refusing publicly to consider that the law might be struck down or to discuss contingency plans, insisting that they do not address hypothetical questions. … The court will effectively render judgment on the leadership of the president. It was Obama who, at every turn during the original health-care debate, pressed for a more ambitious package that required Americans to purchase insurance. A nullification would serve as a dramatic rebuke of that decision as well as the judgments Obama and his advisers made about the legality of the law. The Washington Post

Editorial: The ObamaCare Reckoning -- Overturning The Whole Law Would Be An Act Of Judicial Restraint. After the third and final day of Supreme Court scrutiny of the Affordable Care Act, the bravado of the legal establishment has turned to uncertainty and in some cases outright panic. Everyone who said the decision was an easy fait accompli has been proven wrong by a Court that has treated the constitutional questions that ObamaCare poses with the seriousness they deserve. This reckoning has also been a marvelous public education. The oral arguments have detailed the multiple ways in which the individual mandate upsets the careful equilibrium of the American political system. The Obama Administration's arguments in favor of the mandate to buy health insurance or pay a penalty stand exposed as a demand for unlimited federal power. Most of the Justices seem to be discomfited by this proposition, to one degree or another, and in Wednesday's session they grappled with the Court's options and the consequences if the mandate falls. The Wall Street Journal

The Economic Costs Of ObamaCare - How ObamaCare Discourages Hiring. It raises the costs of employment by requiring employers to offer qualifying insurance coverage or pay a penalty. Because this requirement will apply, starting in 2014, to firms with more than 49 full time employees, it will discourage the hiring of full-time workers, especially low-wage hands whose work can more easily be divided among part-timers. Firms with over 49 workers WILL have to pay $2,000 a year for each employee without qualifying coverage. Expanding to 50 workers would, in 2014, cost a firm $40,000 a year (the first 30 workers are exempt). This is one reason that the unemployment rate is still above 8 percent almost three years after the end of the recession. Employers aren't stupid, and they plan ahead. Real Clear Markets

* Digging Deeper: Take A Look At The Other Economic Costs Of ObamaCare HERE

The Road Ahead: House Republicans To Draw Attention To President Obama's Failed Energy Record

GOP Leader Cantor: President Obama's Energy Policies Have Hurt Jobs and Halted Exploration Off Virginia. "Developing Virginia's offshore energy resources will both create high-quality private sector jobs and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Despite President Obama's claims of an "all-of-the-above' energy approach, his policies have halted new energy exploration off the coast of Virginia. While today's announcement finally signals a step in the right direction, the Obama Administration previously delayed and then cancelled Virginia's Lease Sale 220. Meanwhile, the House has passed legislation that would allow us to move forward with deep ocean exploration and development and give Virginia a fair share of the revenues. Given the broad, bipartisan support among Virginians I will continue to work to ensure Virginia's energy resources are developed in a safe and responsible way that are equitable for the Commonwealth." Press Release

Whip McCarthy, House GOP To Hold President Obama Accountable For His Failed Energy Policies. Hoping to use the two-week Easter recess to ramp up the GOP's attacks on President Barack Obama's energy policies, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy laid out a messaging agenda today designed to highlight the differences between the two parties' energy development proposals. Kicking off the latest effort by his House Energy Action Team, a group of about 30 GOP lawmakers McCarthy has dubbed the HEAT Team, the California Republican laid into Senate Democrats and Obama over the administration's energy policies. We watch this energy crisis erupt, we see a Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer ask Saudi Arabia to produce more oil," McCarthy said at a news conference today. "Well, we believe in American jobs, and we believe in American oil from American soil. We listen to the president talk about all-of-the-above? Well we believe in all-of-the-above, but unfortunately the president believes in "none-from-below.'" Roll Call

Chairman Hastings: If President Obama Was Serious About Domestic Energy Production He Would Immediately Reinstate The Lease Sale That He Canceled. "The president's actions have closed an entire new area to drilling on his watch and cheats Virginians out of thousands of jobs," said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee. The announcement "continues the president's election-year political ploy of giving speeches and talking about drilling after having spent the first three years in office blocking, delaying and driving up the cost of producing energy in America," he said. "If President Obama truly wanted to support energy production in the Atlantic, he would immediately reinstate the lease sale that he canceled." House Republicans say approving drilling off the Virginia coast would create at least 2,000 jobs and produce 750 million barrels of oil. ABC News

Keeping Tabs

Senator Begich To Majority Leader Reid, Fellow Senate Democrats: Stop Playing Games, It's Time To Move On To Real Energy Legislation. Begich said in an interview, as the measure was debated on the Senate floor, that the bill is nothing but a political stunt by his fellow Democrats to dump on the oil companies at a time of high gasoline prices. "If we're going to do tax reform then everybody has to be at the table, not just selected groups because it polls well and you can beat up on them," Begich said. Begich said the Senate Democratic majority should "get on to real energy legislation and not these political games of going back and forth over legislation that everyone knows is not going to pass." There were reports the Senate would vote on the bill Thursday. But Begich said the bill is dead and is just going to just run out of time and expire after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved late Tuesday to block consideration of any possible amendments. McClatchy

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