Are you on Team Senator Mitch McConnell or Team Senator Ted Cruz? – McConnell Senate Fails to Repeal Obamacare Yet Again

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.13.10 PM



You’ve been had, folks:

A procedural vote Sunday to repeal Obamacare couldn’t win over a majority of the GOP-led Senate, while a bid to revive an obscure exports agency succeeded, delivering twin blows to conservatives as they navigated a thorny path toward a highway bill that’s raised questions about civility and Republican discord in the august chamber.

Allies of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off a kooky weekend session by scolding Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, for flouting the Senate’s rules of comity. The 2016 presidential candidate accused Mr. McConnell on Friday of lying about whether he’d struck a deal to revive the federal Export-Import Bank, which faces a slow death after its charter expired June 30.

“We’re not here on some frolic or to pursue personal ambitions,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, said, adding he worries about the future of the institution.

As I wrote just before the last election, the ideal outcome for conservatives would have been a GOP retaking of the Senate and a loss of McConnell’s seat in Kentucky to Alison Lundergan Grimes. As for Orrin Hatch, I stand by what I wrote over at National Review back in 2012:

Most Republican eyes are on the upcoming Wisconsin June recall election and the fates of Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch, but two other races to watch carefully are the primaries of Senators Dick Lugar of Indiana and Orrin Hatch of Utah. Both men were born in the 1930s and have been in the Senate since 1976. If the GOP is to have a future as a conservative party, it’s time for them to go.

Hatch is the worst kind of Republican establishment figure, who feints to his right when he needs to placate the people he “hates” and then, once safely ensconced in the comfy chair for six more years, resumes pursuit of his first love: Senate “comity.”

Besides, who cares about the “future of the institution,” so aptly characterized by P.J. O’Rourke as a Parliament of Whores?  The Senate was changed irrevocably by the passage of the 17th Amendment, one of the disastrous “Progressive-Era” amendments that also gave us Prohibition and the income tax. Now the Senate is controlled by a bunch of time-serving, bum-kissing, arse-protective hacks determined to squelch any views that run afoul of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party.

As many predicted, the procedural vote to repeal Obamacare received only a 49-43 plurality, well shortof the 60-vote supermajority needed to limit debate and advance to an up-down vote. The Ex-Im vote easily surmounted that hurdle, 67 votes to 26, clearing the way for it to be added to the bill later on. Twenty-four Republicans and every Democrat who cast a vote Sunday backed the Export-Import Bank measure, while the Obamacare measure fell short on a party-line vote.

It was the first time the Senate voted on Obamacare repeal in this Congress, although its budgetassumed the law’s repeal. While the GOP holds the majority, eight lawmakers — five of them Republicans — missed the weekend vote.

The next time you’re tempted to vote Republican because the Democrats are even worse, stop and ask yourself this: in what way?

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GOP SENATE BLOCKS OBAMACARE REPEAL – Senate easily blocks Obamacare repeal, setting up Monday GOP showdown

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.40.49 AM


Senate Democrats easily blocked an amendment to repeal Obamacare in a vote that conservatives decried as a disingenuous move by the GOP leadership to appeal to its base.

The 49-43 defeat of the Obamacare-killing provision now sets up a showdown tomorrow between a group of Senate conservatives and their GOP leadership.

Republicans control only 54 votes, making it a foregone conclusion that Democrats would muster the 41 votes needed to kill the provision.

The amendment was offered by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as part of a bill to authorize highway projects for the next six years.

Conservatives are angry that they have not been allowed to offer other amendments that stood a chance of passage, including one that would strip taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, intends to offer the Obamacare amendment a second time, after debate ends on the highway bill, which under Senate rules would require only a 51-vote threshold for passage.

But first the amendment must be ruled germane to the highway bill, and that is something GOP leaders are likely to oppose.

Lee is planning to call for a vote to overturn the leadership’s ruling, and this will set up a potentially dangerous vote for Republican senators on the issue of repealing the law.

Conservative groups, including Heritage Action, are calling on lawmakers to back Lee when he offers his amendment.

Heritage announced that the vote for McConnell’s 60-vote Obamacare repeal would not be part of the conservative scorecard, but Lee’s provision would be counted.

“No Republican Senator will receive any public praise for their vote on the McConnell show vote,” Heritage Action announced.


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Judicial Watch documents prove the IRS used donor lists of tax exempt organizations to target them with audits


It’s been a rough week for the IRS. On Monday it was revealed that during the last tax season, the IRS phone system hung up on 8.8 million callers looking for help with their taxes, a massive increase from the half a million hangups that were experienced the year before. The IRS is also being criticized for levyingoutrageous fines on businesses that reimburse their employees for health insurance; fines that are 12 times higher than the statutory limit written in the Affordable Care Act.

But the latest news on a long running IRS scandal takes the cake. Judicial Watch announced earlier this week, that they had obtained documents that prove the IRS used donor lists of tax exempt organizations to target them with audits. These were largely conservative organizations opposed to the Obama administration. The IRS attempted to issue a “gift tax” of 35% on some of these donors, despite the fact that a gift tax on donations was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and hasn’t been used since 1982.

While many of these organizations are hardly saints, (the documents show that Crossroads GPS was targeted, an organizations that is associated with establishment heavyweight, Karl Rove) this scandal reveals the awful truth about our government. Our government agencies are not designed to execute laws, they exist to serve whoever manages to capture them. If an individual or organization publicly opposes the people running our government (which in this case is Obama, and the financial elite that own him) they will use their agencies to hurt them in any way they can.x

GOP Rep: Conservatives Have To Fight A Two-Front War In D.C.

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Republican congressman Ted Yoho — a veterinarian from Gainesville, Fla. — says he is fighting a two-front war for his constituents.

The first one, President Obama’s fundamental transformation and lawlessness, was why he risked everything and ran against an incumbent Republican three years ago, making national news with a surprise primary upset.

The second battle for those like Yoho is against hostile Republican elites who seem more inclined to accommodate, than stop, Obama’s radical policies. Yoho voted against House Speaker John Boehner twice because his constituents want stronger opposition to Obama’s transformation of America.

He says there were some 70 Republicans promising to vote no at one time. After the vote, other than being pulled off a fact-finding trip overseas by the speaker of the House, he expects no further blowback. “If I lived in Russia, I’d worry about that; I would expect that.”

He continued, “I am voicing the concerns of those who sent me up here.”

In this 27-minute exclusive video interview with The Daily Caller filmed in early June, Yoho discusses that to hold this or any president accountable, Congress has to have courage to “stand up and defend the powers that have been given to the Congress by the Constitution.”

To refuse to use its powers makes Congress irrelevant, in his opinion.

Serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee has given him a front row seat to Obama’s “failed foreign policy.” Many believe Congress was duped into giving its treaty power away on the Iran deal and some are calling Obama’s efforts to give aid and comfort to an enemy “treasonous.” Additionally, polls show the deal’s unpopularity is rising.
Discussing other ways in which Obama is transforming the nation, Yoho mentions our growing debt, broken immigration system, erosion of national sovereignty with Obamatrade, allowing Obama to invade Libya without congressional authorization and Obamacare.

He says, “over two-thirds of the Republicans came here since 2010 and 90-100 percent of them ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare,” yet no replacement is publicly discussed.

Out of frustration, in April, Yoho introduced H.R. 198 to lay the ground rules to define 11 “high crimes and misdemeanors” for any president who should abide by his or her oath to the Constitution. This bill would for any president “chalk the field the day of the game” like a referee would in a football game, he says.

However, “this is not a game; it’s for our country. Enough is enough.” The bill has only two cosponsors right now, as to even raise the concept of impeachment, much less introduce a bill establishing expectations about it, is to challenge the frightened, politically correct Washington culture.

Yoho married his wife when they were both 19. He and his wife once spent six months on food stamps after he was laid off. Yoho has worked as a veterinarian for some 30 years before running for Congress. He is willing to reach across the aisle to defend this nation’s founding principles. He defeated a leadership-friendly, Republican incumbent Cliff Stearns in 2012 while being outspent more than four to one.

Besides working hard to meet and listen to citizens, the Florida congressman credits his slogan of “Had Enough?” along with Obama’s extremism and Republican weakness as the factors that propelled him to office.

For more on Congressman Yoho, here is his website and you can follow him on Twitter at @RepTedYoho and Facebook.

Mrs. Thomas does not necessarily support or endorse the products, services or positions promoted in any advertisement contained herein, and does not have control over or receive compensation from any advertiser.

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Poll: Trump surges to big lead in GOP presidential race

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July 20 at 5:16 PM
Businessman Donald Trump surged into the lead for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with almost twice the support of his closest rival, just as he ignited a new controversy after making disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam War service, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.Support for Trump fell sharply on the one night that voters were surveyed following those comments. Telephone interviewing for the poll began Thursday, and most calls were completed before the news about the remarks was widely reported.

Although the sample size for the final day was small, the decline was statistically significant. Still, it is difficult to predict what could happen to Trump’s support in the coming days and weeks as the controversy plays out.

Even with the drop in support on the final night of the survey, Trump was the favorite of 24 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. That is the highest percentage and biggest lead recorded by any GOP candidate this year in Post-ABC News polls and marks a sixfold increase in his support since late May, shortly before he formally joined the race.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who announced his candidacy a week ago, is in second place, at 13 percent, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 12 percent. Walker’s support is strongest among those who describe themselves as “very conservative.”

The next seven, ranging in support from 8 percent to 3 percent, are: former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), former Texas governor Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The rankings are more important than early national surveys in previous campaigns because only the top 10 candidates, based on an average of the most recent national polls, will qualify for the first Republican debates. The first debate will be held Aug. 6 in Cleveland. Fox News Channel is the sponsor of that event and established the rules for eligibility.

The bottom six candidates in the Post-ABC News survey are Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who plans to announce his candidacy Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York governor George Pataki, former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). Their support ranges from 2 percent to less than 1 percent.

The Republican race remains highly fluid and continues to change with each survey. Four months ago, Bush was at 21 percent, and that support has dropped significantly. Others who have faced erosion include Cruz, who was at 12 percent shortly after he announced his candidacy this spring and is at 4 percent now. Paul was at 11 percent two months ago and is at 6 percent in the new survey. Christie also has dropped steadily, from 14 percent in January to 3 percent.

[Trump says John McCain is not a hero]

In the contest for the Democratic nomination, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton maintains a wide lead, with 68 percent of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying they would vote for her today in a caucus or primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is drawing big and enthusiastic crowds in many states, is in second, at 16 percent. Support for Sanders has grown with each Post-ABC News poll this year.

Trailing the top two candidates are former senator Jim Webb (Va.), at 5 percent, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, at 2 percent, and former Rhode Island governor Lincoln D. Chafee, at 1 percent.
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Donald Trump dominates the Republican conversation

When Vice President Biden is included as a choice, Clinton is at 63 percent, Sanders at 14 percent and Biden is at 12 percent. Biden is not a declared candidate but has not said definitively that he will not run.

Clinton, who has highlighted the possibility of becoming the first female president in U.S. history, is far more popular among Democratic women than men, by almost 20 points. About 9 in 10 of her supporters say they are enthusiastic about her candidacy.

Part of Clinton’s strength is that she is considered ideologically acceptable to a broad swath of the Democratic Party. Nearly 7 in 10 say she is “about right” ideologically. Only 40 percent say the same about Sanders, in part because nearly as many say they don’t know enough about him to have an opinion.

Sanders is more popular among liberal Democrats than those who are moderate or conservative. He is significantly more popular among college graduates than those without a college degree. Although his message attacks what he calls the “billionaire class” and focuses on wealth and income inequality, he has more support among Democrats earning more than $50,000 than among those who make less than that.

The poll also tested attitudes about President Obama, who has recorded a series of victories over the past six weeks. They include Supreme Court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage and upholding the Affordable Care Act, a hard-fought win in Congress on trade policy (with significant GOP support) and last week’s agreement with Iran designed to check that country’s path to developing a nuclear weapon.

Those successes have not changed Obama’s overall approval rating, however. The new survey shows that 45 percent approve of the way he is handling his job and 50 percent disapprove, almost identical to the poll in late May.

Just 35 percent say they approve of how he is handling the situation with Iran, while 52 percent disapprove. He receives better marks on the economy, with 47 percent saying they approve and 48 percent saying they disapprove. His ratings on the economy are unchanged from the last poll.

[McCain says Trump owes apology to military families]

Trump has dominated campaign news since he announced his candidacy. His comments about illegal immigrants have drawn strong responses, pro and con. He said that the Mexican government is sending across the U.S.-Mexican border criminals, drug dealers and rapists, but that some of the immigrants are “nice” people.

Through nonstop media interviews and some high-profile appearances, including a big rally in Phoenix on July 11, he has drowned out his opponents. His rivals were tentative in taking issue with his immigration comments but pounced over the weekend when he went after McCain (R-Ariz.), a former prisoner of war, who drew the ire of Trump when he said the Phoenix rally had drawn out the “crazies” in the GOP.

Trump has struck a chord with at least a part of the Republican electorate. He does far better among those who are not college graduates than among those who are.

His support among men and women is about the same, and he performs somewhat better among GOP moderates than among those who say they are “very conservative.”

His views on immigration are not widely shared. Just 16 percent of Americans say that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are mainly “undesirable people like criminals,” while 74 percent say they are mainly “honest people trying to get ahead.”

Even in the Republican Party, Trump’s characterizations reflect a minority view. Among Republicans, 66 percent say undocumented immigrants from Mexico are mainly honest, while 19 percent say they are mainly undesirable.

There is clear resistance to his candidacy within the party. A majority (54 percent) say his views do not reflect the core values of the Republican Party.

If Trump were to receive the GOP nomination, 62 percent of Americans say they definitely would not consider voting for him. In contrast, just over 4 in 10 say they would definitely not consider voting for Clinton, Bush or Sanders.

Trump, however, could become a factor if he were to leave the GOP race and run for president as an independent. The survey shows that in a hypothetical three-way race, Clinton is at 46 percent, Bush is at 30 percent and Trump is at 20 percent among registered voters.

Trump takes more support away from Bush than Clinton in such a contest. In a head-to-head matchup, Clinton tops Bush by 50 percent to 44 percent among registered voters.

At this point, big majorities in each party say they are satisfied with their choices in the presidential race, with Democrats slightly more so. But compared with this time four years ago, Republicans are noticeably more satisfied with their field of candidates today.

The Post-ABC News poll was conducted July 16-19 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, including landline and cellphone respondents. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Full results of the poll and detailed methodology are available here .