Jackson, Mississippi - On Wednesday March 14, about 20 local activists representing FreedomWorks and the Mississippi Tea Party held a press conference in the State Capitol building to call on Gov. Phil Bryant to appoint Chris McDaniel as a successor to Sen. Thad Cochran in the U.S. Senate.
Referring to the behind-the-scenes politics that sabotaged McDaniel in his 2014 primary runoff against Cochran, FreedomWorks senior fellow Rev. C.L. Bryant told The Clarion-Ledger:
"The people of Mississippi have already spoken as far as Chris McDaniel is concerned, and we do believe the logical choice for the replacement of Thad Cochran is the person the people of Mississippi have already voted for."
Chairwoman of the Mississippi Tea Party, Laura Van Overschelde, told The Clarion-Ledger:
"We are simply suggesting -strongly- that the governor do what we see as the right thing to do."
Highlights from the press conference can be viewed here:
Washington, DC – FreedomWorks, joined by the Pelican Institute, will participate in a tele-press conference to discuss net neutrality and Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) on March 16.
FreedomWorks strongly encourages Senator Kennedy to continue representing the will of his constituents by fighting net neutrality and rejecting the Democrat’s sneaky Congressional Review Act strategy.
The press conference will address the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) reversal of onerous Title II utility regulation of the internet, efforts by Senate Democrats to reinstate those regulations through a Congressional Review Act (CRA), and Sen. John Kennedy’s evolving position on the issue.
WHAT: Net Neutrality Tele-Press Conference
SPEAKERS: Adam Brandon, President of FreedomWorks, Daniel Erspamer, CEO of the Pelican Institute
WHEN: Friday, March 16, 2018 at 11:00 AM CT, 12 noon ET.
ACCESS: This event is open to the press but requires an RSVP. For access, please contact Jason Pye at email@example.com.
ABOUT FREEDOMWORKS: FreedomWorks aims to educate, build, and mobilize the largest network of activists advocating the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty and the rule of law.
For more information, please visit www.freedomworks.org or contact Brad Williamson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-398-1137.
On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Global Trade Accountability Act, H.R. 5281, introduced by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio). In January 2017, FreedomWorks released a letter of support for Senate version of the Global Trade Accountability Act, S. 177, introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The bill would require congressional approval for any unilateral trade measures, including tariffs, carried out by the executive branch.
The concept behind the Global Trade Accountability Act is not too different from that of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. At the heart of both of these legislative initiatives is the need for Congress to reclaim its proper role under Article I of the Constitution. Under the REINS Act, this would mean taking back lawmaking authority surrendered to bureaucrats in the executive branch. Under the Global Trade Accountability Act, it means ensuring that there is a check on executive actions related to tariffs or other trade actions.
A tariff is just another form of taxation, the costs of which are passed along to consumers at the point of sale. The ramifications of tariffs don’t end at higher costs to consumers; such measures can also lead to retaliatory trade measures, potentially leading to a trade war, and other unintended consequences, including job losses. In 2002, for example, then-President George W. Bush imposed tariffs on steel imports that led to retaliatory tariffs put in place by other countries and the loss of some 200,000 jobs.
The Global Trade Accountability Act would require Congress to review and approve any unilateral trade action carried out by the executive branch, including a prohibition of an import and the imposition of a tariff. If Congress doesn’t approve a trade action, it cannot take effect.
Although the bill would make an exception for a national emergency or national security, such an exception may take effect for only 90 calendar days, without an option for renewal.
The Global Trade Accountability Act is necessary to put control of trade back in the hands of Congress, as obligated under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Because such actions can result in negative consequences for businesses and consumers, as well as damage foreign relations, this bill is a necessary step to ensure that there is a proper check on the power of the executive branch. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Global Trade Accountability Act, H.R. 5281.
Washington, DC- Following reports that President Trump will name former Reagan economist Larry Kudlow as White House chief economic adviser, FreedomWorks president Adam Brandon commented:
“The White House has made an excellent choice in Larry Kudlow. This week, hundreds of FreedomWorks activists made their voices heard on social media to encourage the White House to hire Larry Kudlow, and we are all celebrating today.”
“Larry Kudlow will be a strong promoter of free-market and pro-growth economic policies. On behalf of our millions of members nationwide, I’d like to officially welcome Larry Kudlow to Washington.”
FreedomWorks has been vocal in its support for Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn, and encouraged activists nationwide to urge the President on Twitter to hire Kudlow in the days leading up to the announcement.
FreedomWorks aims to educate, build, and mobilize the largest network of activists advocating the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty and the rule of law.
For more information, please visit www.FreedomWorks.org or contact Brad Williamson at: email@example.com or 703-398-1137.
WHAT: Local activists representing FreedomWorks and the Mississippi Tea Party are holding a press conference to urge Governor Phil Bryant to appoint conservative State Senator Chris McDaniel as a successor to Sen. Thad Cochran in the U.S. Senate.
Speakers will include:
* Rev. CL Bryant, senior fellow, FreedomWorks
* Laura Van Overschelde, chairman, Mississippi Tea Party
* Mike Bostic, vice chairman, Tate County Republican Club
* Other conservative leaders from across the state
WHEN: Wednesday March 14, 1 p.m. CT
WHERE: Mississippi State Capitol, second floor rotunda
WHY: Local activists want to show the Governor there is a strong grassroots demand for a true conservative to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. State Senator Chris McDaniel has a proven record of advancing limited-government values and would be a leader in the fight to drain the swamp.
ABOUT FREEDOMWORKS: FreedomWorks aims to educate, build, and mobilize the largest network of activists advocating the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty and the rule of law. For more information on the press conference, please contact Laura Van Overschelde at 601-832-0906.
On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her vote YES on the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. The bill would allow certain patients with a terminal illness or life-threatening condition to have access to potentially lifesaving drugs when no other alternatives exist.
A similar bill was originally introduced in the Senate over a year ago and was titled the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act. Trickett was a wife and mother who succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” and was prohibited by federal law from seeking experimental drugs that could have saved her life. Since then, its name grew to include three other individuals who are still fighting for their lives, and whose lives might be saved by access to experimental drugs that the bill would allow. This remains the full name of the bill now in the House, honoring those who will be positively impacted by this legislation.
Frank Mongiello is a father of six in Pennsylvania fighting ALS. Jordan McLinn is an eight-year-old boy in Indiana fighting muscular dystrophy. Matthew Belina is a U.S. Navy veteran, husband, and father of two fighting ALS. Although it is too late for Trickett Wendler, her family hopes that right to try will give others one last shot at saving their own lives, the lives of family members, and the lives of friends.
“We don't have time and we don't have years to wait,” Wendler’s daughter, Tealyn, told a Green Bay-based television station last year. “It feels like you're stuck, like the government is in charge of your life, and they haven't been in your shoes either.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process is long and costly, and patients like Frank, Jordan, and Matthew who need access to experimental drugs now don’t have time to wait on the federal bureaucracy.
The Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act amends federal law that currently prohibits the production and prescription of potentially lifesaving drugs that have already cleared the initial phase of the FDA’s approval process to allow certain patients with a terminal illness or a life-threatening condition access to these drugs. It also provides protection for manufacturers and prescribers from liability.
As Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the sponsor of related bill H.R. 878 who had fought for the passage of a federal right to try law, said in a press release, “All Americans have the right and freedom to try to save their lives. The Right to Try Act is a significant bipartisan endeavor, having become law in 38 states. In 2014, Arizona voters passed this law with almost 80 percent of the vote. I am pleased that, after years in the making, this policy is being considered on the House floor tomorrow. Our bill will give some relief to terminally-ill patients who have no further options left to extend their lives, including Jordan McLinn, Trickett Wendler, Bertrand Might, Matt Bellina, and Diego Morris. These individuals – and countless others – deserve this hope.”
FreedomWorks calls on Congress to honor Trickett Wendler and her family and give hope to Americans like Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina who may be running out of options by voting for right to try. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her vote YES on the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. FreedomWorks will count the vote our 2018 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
While the Republican House Rules Committee moratorium on earmarks implemented in 2010 is still in place (despite the potential for bringing back earmarks rearing its ugly head not more than a few months ago), $900 million for one special project -- the Gateway Project -- was included in a House appropriations bill, H.R. 3354, just last year. Gateway is a $29.5 billion project for an Amtrak bridge and tunnel upgrade between Newark and New York City, that both states want federal dollars to pay for.
Federal funding for the project is a priority for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), as well as for New Jersey Republican Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen and Leonard Lance, the former of whom is the current chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. In itself, support from both the minority leader alongside representatives from the state that Gateway would especially benefit, should indicate where the the ill motivations for its funding lie.
Last fall, Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) offered an amendment to the House appropriations bill to strip the bill of the language that would provide for the $900 million earmarked for Gateway. He said, correctly, that funding the special local project with federal dollars would violate the House ban against earmarks, and that “[i]f this earmark stands, then we send a clear message to the states: Neglect your infrastructure and Washington will bail you out.”
His amendment failed by a vote of 159-260. However, due to Congress’ perpetual inability to fully fund the federal government, the funds included have not yet been appropriated. This year, though, Rep. Frelinghuysen is pushing for the appropriation of funds for Gateway to be included in the omnibus spending bill that is a must-pass for Congress before the current continuing resolution funding the government expires on March 23rd. The bill is expected this week or next.
Upon hearing this, the same coalition of lawmakers and outside groups vehemently opposed to the earmark’s inclusion in the House-passed bill last fall called attention to the issue -- this time, however, joined by President Trump and the administration.
Last Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao confirmed that President Trump is personally intervening with the Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to withhold the funding for Gateway. Chao said, “The president is concerned about the viability of this project and the fact that New York and New Jersey hane no skin in the game.” President Trump has even threatened to veto the omnibus package in its entirety if it includes Gateway funding.
In the second release, Rep. Budd says, “President Trump is absolutely right to threaten to veto the Gateway Giveaway. The states involved are putting up zero percent of the money, and demanding the federal taxpayer pay for the entire $30 billion project… [T]axpayers around the country shouldn’t be forced to write a blank check because of irresponsible state officials.”
Outside groups including FreedomWorks, Citizens Against Government Waste, Heritage Action for America, and other fiscal watchdogs backed Rep. Budd’s efforts last year to gut federal funding for this earmark-in-disguise. This year, we are hopeful that with the aid of President Trump’s efforts, opposition to the measure will result in a successful campaign to stop this pork-barrel spending in its tracks, and keep funds for the Gateway project out of the upcoming omnibus.
The House is scheduled to take up a total of ten bills under the suspension of the rules. Five of the six suspension bills on the slate for Tuesday come from the Natural Resources Committee and deal with issues ranging from the naming of a bridge (H.R. 3469) to modifying the boundaries of a national park (H.R. 1350). The sixth is a bill from the Senate, S. 324, sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that deals with Veterans’ healthcare. A modified version of the Senate-passed Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act, S. 204, is supposed to be on the suspension calendar in the House for Tuesday as well.
On Wednesday, the House will take up 4 other bills under suspension of the rules, and one bill, H.R. 1116, the TAILOR Act, which will be subject to a rule. The TAILOR Act directs financial agencies to tailor government regulations so that they minimize the effect on the institutions in question. It applies to all future regulations, as well as those passed in the last seven years.
Later in the week, the House is supposed to take up two bills, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, H.R. 4545, and the Regulation A+ Improvement Act, H.R. 4263. Final votes are expected to take place around 3:00 PM on Friday afternoon.
The House was expected to consider the omnibus spending bill this week, however it is not currently on their calendar. The deadline for funding, as stipulated in the continuing resolution in the Bipartisan Budget Act, is March 23rd, and it also has to pass in the Senate.
The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.
The Senate will convene at 4:00 pm on Monday to resume consideration of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, S. 2155, a bipartisan bill that would offer targeted relief from stiff Dodd-Frank regulations. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the sponsor of the bill, is the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. The bill does not provide the scope of regulatory relief offered in the House-passed Financial CHOICE Act, but nevertheless FreedomWorks has issued a key vote for the bill.
Last week, several amendments were filed on S. 2155, including a Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) amendment that is the text of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act and would require an audit the Federal Reserve, as well as a Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) amendment that is the text of the REINS Act and would require active congressional approval of economically significant banking rules promulgated by federal regulatory agencies. Should these amendments receive votes, FreedomWorks will include the roll call votes for both on our scorecard for 2018.
This week, the Senate will also likely vote on the Yemen War Powers Resolution, S.J.Res. 54, introduced by an unlikely bipartisan duo, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). From its date of introduction, February 28th, the privileged resolution has ten calendar days in committee where it cannot be killed against the will of the sponsors, after which it must be reported out, or it may be discharged to the floor, where it will get some kind of full-chamber vote. The resolution is binding, requires only 51 votes for passage, and would reassert Article I congressional authority over war-making, ensuring that the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution is maintained.
By identifying clearly unauthorized United States involvement in the civil war in Yemen, the resolution, which invokes both the War Powers Act and the International Security and Arms Export Control Act, would require such unauthorized activities to cease within 30 days, “unless and until a declaration of war or specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces has been enacted.” FreedomWorks has a letter of support out for the Yemen War Powers Resolution and hopes that senators across the ideological spectrum realize the importance of exercising Congress’ sole power to declare war and authorize military action.
The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.
Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s fifth regulatory review! Our Regulatory Action Center proudly updates you with our favorite tidbits from the swamp. We want to smash barriers between bureaucracy and the American people by delivering regulatory news straight to FreedomWorks activists. Check back in on Friday, March 23rd, for the next edition.
Here’s what we're highlighting this week:
1) Video of the Week: This video Prager U video wonderfully explains how the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hurts small businesses with needless regulations. It shows how the NLRB is seeking to change the relationship between franchisors and franchisees, and the negative impact those changes will have on everyday Americans and local communities.
How Regulations Hurt Small Businesses - YouTube
2) Statistic of the Week: Bush steel tariff killed 200,000 US jobs before its repeal. When President Bush issued steel tariffs in 2002, the results were catastrophic. Yes, the steel industry gained 16,000 jobs, but 200,000 jobs were lost in industries that consume steel as an input, such as metals manufacturing. President Trump constantly touts his strong support for manufacturers and manufacturing is at its best conditions in years, yet steel tariffs will slam the industry and stall progress. This tariff was smaller than President Trump’s proposal and didn’t include aluminum.
3) Trump administration approves Arkansas Medicaid work requirements: Medicaid recipients will need enroll in school or work 80 hours per month to keep their benefits starting in June. This plan will help reduce government dependency among welfare recipients. Arkansans who are pregnant, disabled, have dependent children, or are over age 50 will not be subject to this change.
5) Trump administration moves to repeal the Volcker Rule: Banking Regulatory czar Ryan Quarless, a Trump appointee, says the Volcker Rule is a “complex regulation that is not working well.” The rule limits banks’ ability to offer liquidity and likely prevents some financial activities that weren’t supposed to be banned.
6) Short term health insurance could soon be expanded: HHS is accepting public comments on expanding the legal duration of short term health insurance from 3 months to one year. Short term insurance helps individuals maintain coverage while transitioning between jobs. It’s especially consumed by young people. Short term plans are exempted from Obamacare regulations such as essential health benefits, which drive up costs. These plans’ monthly premiums cost about 33% of the typical Obamacare option at only $109 per month.
7) Hydro-power plots a comeback in the Trump era: While other renewable energy sources have been prioritized in recent years, regulators can boost American energy by reforming the hydroelectric permitting process. This is especially important as aging dams need permit renewals, which come at historically slow rates.