Friday, January 9, 2015

One tea party activist's case for re-electing Boehner

I’ve been meaning to make an attempt to write this whole thing down because a lot of people want more information on what we have been watching with the budget bill and the speaker’s vote. Here’s what I have so far and I’m sorry it’s so long but these issues are very connected and have a lot of moving parts. I hope this at least shows that things are not always what they appear at first glance. At least I hope this helps you begin to puzzle this together. Feel free to call if you have questions.

About the vote for House leadership:

The vote happened in November after the election. Each party elected their leadership teams. That’s why you didn’t see the Majority Leader and Whip elections on Tuesday – they already took place in their conference meeting back in November . It happens after every election when the new guys are back there at orientation getting their stuff squared away before the term begins. At that time with a clear Republican majority in the House ALL of the Republicans voted for John Boehner to lead as speaker in this term. It was an UNOPPOSED vote. He didn't just get 100%. No one else ran for the job!

For those who thought just 1 more vote would have changed everything you might want to read about the process. Here’s an article that isn’t too much detail but makes it clear that Boehner could have lost more votes and still won the seat. It is important to know that all members of the House know that you have to run for the speaker’s set – showing up at the last minute and raising your hand just doesn’t cut it. If you want the job then you have to let the rest of your colleagues know you are running with enough time for them to compare your battle plan to that of the others who are running. The only one who campaigned and had a plan to review was John Boehner. Think for a minute about this. Each one of them had just won a MAJOR campaign for federal office. Not one person who voted for John Boehner last November was confused about how to run a campaign and yet not one person stood up and challenged the speaker for his job. Public pressure doesn’t create a great replacement and it obviously didn’t move other members of congress to seriously take up the gauntlet.

A day or so prior to the official vote a few guys throw their hat in the ring? Really? Were they serious about the job? Of course not. If they were they would have told the others to vote for them sometime between November and the January 6th. The drama wasn't real and anyone who buys any of that is being played. The speaker's job isn't a popularity contest with the public. It's the leader of the House and they have to know what they are doing. No one else wanted the job and/or didn't know enough to actually run for it (making them unqualified at the very least) so Boehner was the only person most felt was qualified. That is why he won.

If they all voted for different people and got below the Dems threshold we would have Nancy Pelosi in the chair again. THAT'S why you don't mess around with the vote at the 11th hour. Even Trey Gowdy said if he wasn't stuck in a snow storm he would have voted for Boehner. Is he now a RINO? This is a high-stakes deal back there with Obama at the helm and now is not the time to elect someone who can't figure out how to even run for the position. If you can't campaign for speaker then how can you lead the House? I suppose the public can continue to fret about it and the media can continue to drive the wedge and in 2016 we can welcome Hillary back to the White House. There is no perfection written into our constitution. It’s checks and balances at every turn. This was a balance vote I guess. We can’t self-destruct a new majority because people want someone to be the speaker when nobody wanted the job. Remember, the media doesn’t have Nancy and Harry to pick on anymore so it’s going to be “nitpick who is not conservative enough” so the division is wide enough to ensure a swing back to the left. We can avoid that if choose not to play.

Regarding the Omnibus Spending Bill that passed December 11, 2014:

It was a compilation of 11 appropriations bills that went through House committees, passed the House and have been sitting in Harry Reid’s dusty desk drawer all year. The idea that no one read the bill when they had already voted on most of it in appropriations was not true.

Congressman LaMalfa ultimately voted against the bill because he felt on majority there were things he could not support. That said, the bill did pass. Since the bill is now a done deal it might be interesting to note that there was some good stuff in those appropriations bills. Here are some highlights of things you might like. The detailed version is attached to this email.

· There was NO new funding for Obamacare (So much for Congressman Gomert’s claims that Boehner gave away the farm and funded Obamacare)

· Prevented a taxpayer bailout of the Obamacare Risk Corridor program

· Required the Inspectors General at Health and Human Services and Treasury to report to Congress on improper payments of Obamacare tax subsidies


o Side note: This was a CUT to Obamacare. If the bill would have failed then Obamacare would have continued at the same level. This bill did not help Obamacare or give it more money as you’ve probably been told.

· Prevents Army Corps from regulating farm ponds and irrigation ditches under the Clean Water Act

· Stops Fish & Wildlife Service from issuing new rules placing sage-grouse on the Endangered Species List

· Maintains all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions plus three new provisions

· Prohibits implementation of an Arms Trade Treaty

· Prohibits funds from being used to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S.

· Prohibits construction or acquisition of a facility in the US to house detainees

· $554Billion for Defense (Dems wanted big cuts here) Check the many details on the attached document

· Prohibits funding to acquire, store, or monitor the electronic communications of a US person from a public service provider

· Restricts funds for Pakistan until stringent requirements and certifications are met

· Slashes funding for the IRS by $345 Million (below FY2014 and $1.5Billion below what the IRS requested)

· Cuts funding for EQP for the 5th consecutive year (they have been reduced 21% since FY2010)

· Rejects a White House proposal for $66Million in new expanded EPA regulatory programs

· Prohibits the EPA from regulating the lead content in ammunition or fishing tackle

Let’s also close the loop on the accusation that Boehner gave Obama the funding for his amnesty plan:

· Obama’s amnesty speech was November 20, 2014

· To my knowledge the executive order that Obama outlined in his speech was not published prior to the passage of the Omnibus budget bill. How do you defund an executive order that exists only in speech form?

· The Omnibus bill did include the passage of funding for DHS … but ONLY through February 27, 2015 (the rest of the bill funds the government through Sept 2015). This gives the Congress time to convene and put together a comprehensive appropriation for DHS in the first 2 months of the session and vote on it. Appropriation funding means that they can determine the spending level in addition to restricting the use of those funds. THAT is the power of the purse in action. It’s not all about the total a department gets but rather the limitations on how that money may be used. Had the Omnibus bill not passed it would have led to a showdown resulting in an all too familiar “CR” or Continuing Resolution which is just a giant blank check to fund the government with the details determined by the President.

The idea that the Omnibus funded “Obama’s Agenda” is sort of skewed. A bevy of taxes fund Obamacare every day. No speaker of the house could have stopped that funding. The Amnesty executive order wasn’t funded in the Omnibus either. DHS was given a very short leash and you can be sure with Republican majority in House and Senate the appropriation for them will be a lot smaller than it would have been under Harry Reid’s watch.

In the end, it’s a lot of mumbo jumbo for people and it’s easier to just go with the headlines or the emails from activist groups. The problem is that without getting the whole story you wind up knowing that the media lies to us and believing everything they say. Going forward I plan to “trust but verify” when I get information. Hopefully, this gives you a place to start verifying things. If you find I’ve misstated anything please let me know and if you have questions I’m always up for a call or an email. I do my best to learn as I go and get that information to as many people as possible so we can figure this out without losing our minds. Thank goodness for Excedrin!

[Erin Ryan was a coordinator of the Redding Tea Party and is a field representative for Rep. Doug LaMalfa. She is shown in the photo, seated third from left.]

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