Don’t Extend the Dead Hand of the FCC to the Internet

Reason –

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a proposal to regulate companies that provide Internet access as public utilities. Spearheaded by President Obama and reluctantly embraced by FCC chief Tom Wheeler, this plan is undoubtedly the U.S. government’s most brazen effort yet to police the Internet—which, until now, has thrived thanks to the absence heavy-handed federal mandates.

If the FCC’s Democratic majority approves Obama’s rules, Internet providers will invest less in their networks, hurting Americans who appreciate faster Internet speeds at lower prices. In turn, these providers won’t compete as vigorously, setting up the FCC to justify further encroaching on the Internet in years to come. This vicious cycle might not end until the government effectively controls the wires that connect Americans’ homes and mobile devices to the Internet.

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Roskam and Ryan Introduce Bill to Stop Political Targeting by IRS

WASHINGTON — Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) introduced H.R. 599, the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2015.

The bill would prohibit the IRS from changing the way it handles applications for 501(c)4 status. And it would require the IRS to apply the standard it used before the agency started targeting applicants because of their political beliefs. These requirements would expire at the end of 2017, so the IRS could make any necessary adjustments only after ongoing investigations were complete. Upon introduction, Roskam and Ryan released the following statements:

“Americans should never feel silenced or threatened by their own government,” said Chairman Roskam. “And yet the IRS regulations targeting tax-exempt organizations would clamp down on political engagement, impeding even non-partisan efforts like voter registration drives and candidate forums. This legislation will stop IRS abuse and protect the American people’s fundamental right to speak out on the issues they care about.”

“Everyone deserves a fair standard fairly applied,” said Chairman Ryan. “And for too long, the IRS has targeted people because of their political beliefs. This bill will send a clear message: We won’t tolerate the agency’s shenanigans. And I want to thank Chairman Roskam and Senators Flake and Roberts for their work on this issue.”

Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Pat Roberts (R-NE) have introduced the bill’s counterpart in the Senate, and the two offered the following statements:

“I’d put the IRS’s ability to preserve free speech on par with its ability to preserve emails,” said Senator Flake. “This bill would not only prevent this administration’s IRS from targeting nonprofits, it would protect those groups’ First Amendment right of free speech, regardless of ideology.”

“While the President is proposing more taxes on college savings, family farms, and middle class Americans, the Obama Administration’s tax collectors at the IRS remain mired in scandals,” said Senator Roberts. “As a result, our legislation is very simple – we halt further action on the IRS’ proposed targeting regulations until the Justice Department and congressional investigations into the IRS’ previous targeting are complete. We cannot allow the IRS to regulate constitutionally guaranteed free speech.”


Ways and Means Press Office

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Illinois Tea Party message to Illinois Republican Congressmen Schock, Kinzinger, Roskam, Davis, Shimkus and Hultgren

You were sent to DC by Republican voters to fight for limited government, begin reducing the debt, defund Obamacare, and stand up against the President’s over-reach with illegal Executive Actions and massive new legislation.

Year after year, you vote to bankrupt our children and grandchildren without even reading bills. This year the legislation actually funds President Obama’s unilateral, unlawful, unconstitutional Executive Action (as confirmed by each of YOU and the President himself!) that includes granting quasi-legal status, work permits, Social Security numbers, and access to virtually our entire social ‘safety net’ to those who are in the country illegally.

In a new position of strength, all Congress had to do was pass a short term CR and let the new Congress take a new direction towards fiscal sanity.

Instead, you voted for a massive omnibus bill filled with ‘Christmas goodies’ which will continue to bankrupt our nation, open the door for banks to repeat the same irresponsible mistakes of the past with derivatives, and fund Obamacare and the President’s Executive Action.

With a newly elected Republican Governor, THIS was your opportunity to stand united and show Illinois voters the benefits of conservative values!  You have failed Illinois, and your constituents again.

Will your new campaign finance rules for near-limitless donations from the Chamber of Congress and big business really be able to provide the votes each of you will need to be re-elected? All we asked you to do was defend the constitution, which you were sworn to do. 

Posted in National Debt/Deficit, Tea Party News | 6 Comments

Roskam Secures Key Watchdog Post on Ways and Means Committee

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) was named House Ways and Means Committee Oversight Chair for the 114th Congress.  The Oversight Subcommittee is a key watchdog over the spending and operations of programs within the tax-writing and healthcare jurisdiction of the full committee.

“In an era of big government, federal agencies have grown larger, gained more power and have become unaccountable to the taxpayers they are supposed to serve.  The long trail of IRS abuses–from targeting individuals for their political or religious beliefs– to the dozens of agencies involved in Obamacare implementation that’s placing bureaucrats in the middle of individual’s healthcare choices with little transparency or recourse for Americans requires diligent oversight and action from the people’s representatives in Congress.

“I am honored to be named to this key oversight role in the 114th Congress, where my focus will be vigilant, fact-based and fair investigations into the Administration and its sprawling bureaucracy.  These last few years have shown us the real dangers of agencies run amok, and frankly it’s become all too common for citizens to be in the cross-hairs of their own federal government.  But in this moment of both a Republican House and Senate, we have an incredible opportunity to shine a light into the dark corners, and restore the checks and balances that the founders intended.

“Chairman Paul Ryan has a big vision on how to move our country forward and I look forward to working alongside him and my fellow Ways and Means Members to advance bold, conservative solutions and work to uncover and fix what isn’t working in government to better serve the American people.”

Roskam already has a long track record of defending taxpayers from government overreach in his work as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, passing through the House a series of bills aimed at reining in an out of control IRS.

  • The Stop Playing on Citizens Cash (SPOCC) Act, stopped wasteful IRS spending on conferences in the wake of a series of lavish IRS conferences that featured spoof videos and costly employee gift bags.
  • The Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act requires the IRS to alert taxpayers when their information is shared with other federal agencies. The bill also puts the onus on the IRS to correspond with taxpayers substantively within 30 days, and complete audits within a one-year of their start date.
  • The Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act, cracked down on IRS targeting of individuals, baring the IRS from inquiring about a taxpayer’s religious, political or social beliefs.
  • Roskam’s push for a Taxpayer Bill of Rights was recently adopted by the IRS and now hangs in every agency office throughout the country.

Roskam has also led the effort to increase Obamacare transparency and accountability through the creation of a Special Inspector General for Monitoring the Affordable Care Act (SIGMA).  Currently at 103 cosponsors, Roskam’s SIGMA legislation would enable a non-partisan, independent watchdog to reach into the myriad agencies responsible for Obamacare implementation and submit quarterly reports and audits on every aspect of the law, from the impact on out-of-pocket costs, to shrinking provider networks, contracting, and’s data security in a way that no single oversight official currently can.



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Illinois state-run health exchange on hold

Washington Times –

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois lawmakers left nearly $300 million in federal money on the table by not moving to approve a state-run health insurance marketplace by the end of their fall veto session, and any remaining hopes to set up such an exchange are dimming.

Some House Democrats say they want to work with Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner’s administration on establishing an exchange in the new year, but it’s questionable if he would support such a program the way outgoing Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has.

Democratic state Rep. Robyn Gabel, a main proponent of setting up a state-run marketplace, said Friday she plans to halt her push until the U.S. Supreme Court rules whether health insurance subsidies are legal in states like Illinois that use the federal website to connect residents with insurance offered through President Barack Obama’s health care law. A ruling is expected next summer.

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Source: Obama to announce 10-point immigration plan via exec action as early as next week

Fox News –

President Obama is planning to unveil a 10-part plan for overhauling U.S. immigration policy via executive action — including suspending deportations for millions — as early as next Friday, a source close to the White House told Fox News.

The president’s plans were contained in a draft proposal from a U.S. government agency. The source said the plan could be announced as early as Nov. 21, though the date might slip a few days pending final White House approval.

Obama was briefed at the White House by Homeland Security officials before leaving on his Asia-Pacific trip last week, Fox News has learned.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama in Burma Thursday that the president had not made a final decision on any executive actions concerning immigration and would not announce any until he returned to Washington.

The draft plan, though, contains 10 initiatives that span everything from boosting border security to improving pay for immigration officers.

But the most controversial pertain to the millions who could get a deportation reprieve under what is known as “deferred action.”

The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates.

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Posted in Immigration Policy/Border Security | 1 Comment

“You Will Never Stop The Voice Of Liberty”: Steve Tucker Speaks Out On Truthy-gate

Red State 

Truthy, is a nearly million dollar taxpayer financed research project of Indiana University computer science professor, Filippo Menczer, that tracked, monitored, and recorded tweets from conservatives on Twitter.  In a 2012 book Menczer admitted to using his Truthy project to have the Twitter accounts of several conservatives suspended.

Menczer and his Truthy project are the subject of a growing controversy in Washington as the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and its chairman Texas congressman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) 69% investigate why the project was given nearly a million dollars by the National Science Foundation and the researchers obvious targeting of conservatives.

One of the people Menczer admits to having targeted is leading Obamacare critic, insurance broker, and Chicago Tea Party leader C. Steven Tucker.

As the Washington Free Beacon reports:

The database was used to identify “several Truthy memes, resulting in many of the accounts involved being suspended by Twitter,” the chapter said.

Truthy was able to suspend the account of C. Steven Tucker, a health insurance broker, who often used the hashtag “American Patriots,” or #ampat, from his two Twitter accounts.

“This activity generated traffic around this hashtag and gave the impression that more people were tweeting about it,” the chapter said. “These two accounts had generated a total of over 41,000 tweets.”

Speaking exclusively to Steve Tucker, who has also been targeted by the IRS, sounded off on professor Menczer and his Truthy project:

(There is)No reasoning. Just targeting. I was too effective so they shut me down. Pure, unadulterated, taxpayer funded Fascism.

I guess the first amendment doesn’t apply to us Conservatives aye “Fill”? Cowards like you always operate in the shadows. You should hang your head in shame but just like Barack Obama you’ll never admit you did anything wrong because the ends justify the means. Know this, no matter what program or algorithm you develop you will never stop the voice of Liberty. For this is America and America was founded on Conservative principles. Conservatives make America great. Not cowardly, taxpayer funded Fascists like you

Tucker says that as of Wednesday evening neither congressman Smith nor anyone from the House SST committee has gotten in touch with him about Truthy-gate.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Tea Party News | Leave a comment

Rauner declares victory — Quinn refuses to concede defeat

Politics Early & Often –

Multimillionaire Republican Bruce Rauner proclaimed victory and “a new direction” as Illinois’ next governor Tuesday night, even as Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn refused to concede defeat.

“This is a historic time in Illinois,” Rauner told cheering supporters. “The voters have spoken. The voters have asked for divided government for the first time in many years.”

But a defiant Quinn declared, “I don’t believe in throwing in the towel” with votes uncounted.

“We will never, ever yield to a result until all the votes are in,” Quinn said, suggesting a complete count could take days

It was a fitting end to an Election Night that capped an often-vicious contest that saw unprecedented amounts of money spent and much vitriol thrown around.

Speaking just minutes after Quinn, Rauner made no mention of the governor’s defiance.  Instead he focused on voters choosing a “divided government” — a Republican in the governor’s mansion and both Illinois houses controlled by Democrats.

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Breitbart –

The results of the actual elections are in — let’s see what we can learn from what voters told exit pollsters yesterday.

First, the American electorate is getting older. According to CNN’s exit polling data, two-thirds of voters were 45 or older. Those older voters skewed Republican: 53 percent of those 45-64 and 57 percent of those over 65 voted GOP.

One problem, of course, is that this makes entitlement reform less likely. The average 50-year-old is unlikely to favor Medicare reform, for example, when he’s just a few years away from being eligible.

An older electorate could also mean slower economic growth is ahead. In Europe and Japan, they’re struggling with aging workforces, and that’s making it more difficult to pay the social benefits that governments have promised. Our federal government could find itself in the same situation.

There are opportunities for change, though. Two-thirds of American say the country is on the wrong track. More than half think “government is doing too much,” and most — three-quarters — say they are worried about economic conditions.

Finally, it’s fair to say voters are simply unhappy.

More than half (55 percent) disapprove of President Obama’s job performance. Yet three-quarters disapprove of how Congress is doing. Voters are angry with the Obama administration (60 percent) and GOP leaders in Congress (70 percent). Exactly 54 percent have an “unfavorable opinion” of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

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Humana Aetna and BCBSTX are canceling plans but this year it’s MUCH different

C. Steven Tucker

On October 2nd President Obama touted an “improved, strong U.S. economy” and the “benefits of Obamacare” at Northwestern University. It all sounded great but this is what I’ve been dealing with today. I’m fielding angry calls from my HumanaOne, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas clients. All of their policies will be canceled  as of December 31, 2014. See the letters here and here. This is the second year I’ve had to deal with this but this year it’s much different.

Last year when more than 4 million cancellation notices went out, Americans were able to shop for prices as early as October 1st, granted the initial roll out left much to be desired. In fact, in my opinion it was an unmitigated disaster. Many of my clients spent hours on the phone with ‘navigators’ only to find out that their application had then mysteriously disappeared.

Worse yet, because our state’s “C.H.I.P” program was expanded long before Obamacare. The few members of my clientele who actually qualified for an APTC – “Advance Premium Tax Credit”  a.k.a. “subsidy” to artificially lower their premiums were unable to add their children to their subsidized policies. They were instead instructed to enroll their children in Medicaid. Or, they could pay full price for each of their children. The rates for a single child in my state are at least $100 a month for the cheapest “Bronze” plan which includes a $6,000 deductible per person. That’s not exactly ‘affordable care’ when you have three children.

This year, for the first time in 20 years I can not even quote a replacement product because Barack Obama has issued a GAG ORDER to the health insurance industry instructing them not to disclose their January 2015 health insurance rates until after the mid-term elections. This is unprecedented. Normally health insurance premiums are released for public viewing 60 daysbefore the January 1st effective date. Where are the reports on these cancellations and the gag order from NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN? The only news organization that I am aware of that has reported on any of this is the Fox News channel. I can guarantee you one thing, not one of my clients who received a cancellation notice is voting Democrat on Tuesday.

Republicans have outstanding alternatives to this disastrous health care law. The two most recent are the American Health Care Reform Act and the Universal Exchange Plan. Please read them, for it will be up to us to forge a new path forward for the American people and time is of the essence. The insurance company bail outs are temporary and they will expire in 2016. Without a bailout the health insurance industry will pull out of the individual and family health insurance market. Before that happens we need to be able to articulate intelligent, market based alternatives. It’s up to us.

Posted in Obamacare | 2 Comments