Question of the week: Do you believe the Prevent IRS Overreach Act is a necessary step in ensuring protection for the American people?Posted by Randy | May 17, 2013
Last Friday, Lois Lerner, Director of the Exempt Organizations Division at the IRS, apologized for the Agency requiring certain conservative groups to submit excessive paperwork regarding their 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
Her apology was issued just days before the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was scheduled to release its oversight report of IRS activities. This report not only confirmed that the IRS was in fact targeting conservative organizations, but that this has been going on since 2010.
Groups with the word “patriot” in their names, and those with the mission of “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” have been subjected to enhanced scrutiny in their applications for tax exempt status. The TIGTA report indicated that 160 applications were open from 206 to 1,138 days, some more than three years and crossing two election cycles.
The Department of Justice launched an investigation in conjunction with the FBI, and the House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing today to further investigate this matter and bring to light why these groups were targeted.
While these investigations are pending, and Americans are calling into question the integrity of what should be a non-partisan, non-political government agency, I have introduced the Prevent IRS Overreach Act, H.R.1993, to prohibit the IRS from hiring any personnel for the purpose of implementing the healthcare law. Read more about this bill here.
Question of the week: Do you believe the Prevent IRS Overreach Act is a necessary step in ensuring protection for the American people?
( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).
Take the instaPoll here.
Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 16, 2013
I wanted to share a recent article from AEIdeas, the American Enterprise Institute blog, further highlighting the destructive nature of the health care law. The article notes that, according to a recent Gallup poll, 48% of small business owners believe that the law will be bad for their business.
Posted by Randy | May 15, 2013
Today, I questioned Attorney General Eric Holder before the House Judiciary Committee in regards to the lack of personal accountability of members of this Administration. A pattern has emerged of senior Administration officials "accepting responsibility," but failing to suffer any personal repercussions for actions which have resulted in the murder of Americans and the degradation of our Constitution.
Watch the exchange here:
These senior officials have one thing in common – they all have said there’s nothing they could have done to prevent these things from happening.
Now, the IRS is preparing to implement over 30 tax related provisions of the President's healthcare law. I have introduced legislation - "The Prevent IRS Overreach Act"- to get the IRS out of healthcare. Read more about the bill and weigh in with your thoughts below.
Posted by Randy | July 12, 2012
Yesterday, I joined 243 of my colleagues in voting to repeal the President’s 2010 health care law, and demonstrating our resolve to undo what the Supreme Court decided by a 5-4 vote was a massive health care tax on the American people.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the President’s health care law will cost Americans 800,000 jobs, increasing costs for employers and leaving some small businesses with the choice between laying off employees or paying the penalty associated with failure to purchase health insurance.
This administration has watched for 41 straight months with over 8% unemployment and their policies have already delivered us a net loss of more than 473,000 jobs.
The House has now voted over 30 times to repeal all or parts of the health care law, reaffirming opposition to the health care law and underscoring the importance of electing officials who support individual freedoms and a more limited vision of government.
Posted by Randy | March 26, 2012
The health care law hits the Supreme Court today. The Court will hear arguments for three days and a ruling is expected in late June.
As the Supreme Court hears arguments on the law’s constitutionality, I want to share with you the following news articles that provide information on the legal process over the next few weeks and the specific issues surrounding the health care law.
Schedule of Proceedings
Audio recordings will be posted on the Court’s website within two hours of the end of each argument.
Monday, March 26, 10 a.m.- Anti-Injunction Act (90 minutes)
Issue: Does the Anti-Injunction Act prohibit challenges to the individual mandate until the first penalty is collected in 2015?
Tuesday, March 27, 10 a.m. - Individual mandate (2 hours)
Issue: Can Congress require individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance or else pay a penalty? (I joined my colleagues in signing an amicus brief for this case stating my opinion that the individual mandate is not authorized by the Constitution)
Wednesday, March 28, 10 a.m. - Severability (90 minutes)
Issue: Can the individual mandate be severed from the rest of the law when considering its constitutionality? (I joined my colleagues in signing an amicus brief for this case stating that the unconstitutional individual mandate cannot be severed from the rest of the health care law, and therefore the entire health care law should be ruled invalid.)
Wednesday, March 28, 1 p.m. - Medicaid (1 hour)
Issue: Can Congress condition federal Medicaid assistance to the states on their adoption of new eligibility and coverage thresholds?
Health Law Heads to Court – Wall Street Journal
More than two dozen people were snaked along the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court by Sunday afternoon to secure seats to Monday's arguments, which will focus on whether the case can even be heard before 2014, when most of the law takes effect. Tuesday's session will take up the central question of whether Congress holds the constitutional power to require Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. This mandate, the government maintains, is the essential innovation of the two-year-old Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and promotes near-universal coverage by including younger and healthier people who might otherwise avoid paying premiums. Wednesday will see two sessions of arguments, including on how much of the overhaul law should remain in effect should the individual mandate be struck down. The final session will be Wednesday afternoon.
Timeline: Chronology of Obama healthcare law legal battle – Reuters
The heart of the arguments will turn on whether Congress exceeded its powers in requiring that Americans obtain insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, the centerpiece provision in the law revamping the healthcare market, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of the nation's economy.
Here is a chronology of the key events in the legal battle over the law that seeks to provide health insurance to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans: Continue reading…
A Primer on the Issues, Likely Outcomes – WSJ
With the Supreme Court set to hear arguments Monday on the 2010 health-overhaul law, here is a primer on some of the legal issues.
Q: What will the Supreme Court try to determine when it reviews the health law starting Monday?
A: There are multiple issues in the case, but the main one is whether the law's requirement that most people carry insurance or pay a fee, known as the "individual mandate," violates the Constitution.
Q: What happens if the court decides that part is unconstitutional? Will the law disappear?
A: Not necessarily. There are several possible outcomes, including:
• The court removes that requirement from the law but leaves the rest of the overhaul—which includes hundreds of provisions to rework the health system—in place.
• The court removes that requirement and also removes the pieces of the law closely linked to it. Most likely, those would include coming rules that insurance companies stop denying policies to customers who have a pre-existing health condition, and that insurers can no longer charge older customers significantly more than younger ones.
• The court removes the individual mandate and eliminates the entire law.
Posted by Randy | March 23, 2012
As we mark the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s health care legislation being signed into law, we are reminded of the promises that were made about the law – that it would make health care affordable, that it would increase access to care, that it would create jobs, and that it would lower costs.
On the two year anniversary of the health care law, share with us - do you think the health care law should be repealed?
Posted by Randy | March 15, 2012
According to a USA Today article, a new report found that half of Americans say the health care law is unconstitutional as it heads to the Supreme Court this month.
Read the full article here.
As you probably know, I have voted to repeal and replace the job-destroying health care law and I’ve taken actions over the past several months to curtail massive spending related to implementing the health care law. You can read about that work here.
I want to know what you think. Do you agree that the health care law is unconstitutional?
Posted by Randy | February 16, 2012
A new poll by Gallup shows that 85% of small business owners surveyed are not hiring. Of those individuals, most cite the following reasons: do not need additional employees; worries about weak business conditions, including revenues; cash flow; and the overall U.S. economy.
According to the latest Chamber of Commerce quarterly Small Business Outlook Survey, 78% of small businesses surveyed report the taxation, regulation, and legislation from Washington make it harder for their business to hire more employees.
Posted by Randy | January 03, 2012
What is the price of the new health care law? Jobs for Americans, according to Andrew Pudzer, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which operates Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr restaurants. In this op-ed for Bloomberg News, Pudzer shares how the new health care law will impact their company: “we will have to cut spending on new restaurant construction, one of our largest discretionary spending areas…[and the way] we create jobs.”
Editorial: Job Creation Is Price for New U.S. Health Law
By Andrew Puzder - Dec 26, 2011
[Andrew Puzder is the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc. The hyperlinks below are included in the original editorial.]
I am not an expert on health-care policy, but I do know something about job creation. So when a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee asked me to testify about the effect on employers of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as Obamacare, I thought I could offer some insights.
As I told the committee in a July 28 hearing, it is critical that Congress does a good job of balancing the benefits of new legislation against the costs of that legislation. That process begins with recognizing that laws like Obamacare come at a price.
Our company, CKE Restaurants Inc., employs about 21,000 people (our franchisees employ 49,000 more) in Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants. For months, we have been working with Mercer Health & Benefits LLC, our health-care consultant, to identify Obamacare’s potential financial impact on CKE. Mercer estimated that when the law is fully implemented our health-care costs will increase about $18 million a year. That would put our total health-care costs at $29.8 million, a 150 percent increase from the roughly $12 million we spent last year.
The money to cover our increased expenses will have to come from somewhere. We are a profitable company and, after paying our obligations, we reinvest our earnings in the business. Reinvesting in the business is how we grow, create jobs and opportunity. This is true for most U.S. businesses.
To offset higher health-care expenses, we will have to cut spending on new restaurant construction, one of our largest discretionary spending areas. But building new restaurants is how we create jobs. An $18 million increase in our costs would more than consume the $8.8 million we spent on new restaurant construction last year, leaving nothing for growth. We will also need to reduce our general capital spending, which also creates jobs and allows us to improve our infrastructure and maintain our business. In summary, our ability to create new jobs could vanish.
To reduce the financial impact of Obamacare, many businesses, including ours, will have to consider increasing the number of part-time employees (those who work less than 30 hours a week as defined under the health-care law) and reducing the number of full-time employees. So, some individuals seeking full-time work will need to find two jobs.
Automation will also become more appealing. For example, although we value the personal touch, electronic ordering kiosks will become more economically desirable. Nationwide, 63 percent of our employees are minorities and 62 percent are female. Unfortunately, these cuts will affect them the most.
The complexity of this legislation makes it hard to anticipate costs in the future. Our investments pay off -- when they are successful -- over the long term. Because we don’t know what our health-care expenses will be in two or three years, we are unable to determine with any certainty how much our investments will have to return for us to be profitable. All of that counsels in favor of holding off on new investments and saving our funds. We want to grow. But we are unable to do so knowing that large and undetermined liabilities will absorb funds we otherwise would invest for expansion.
My testimony was followed by that of Grady Payne, chief executive officer of Connor Industries Inc., a supplier of cut lumber and assembled wood products for shipping and crating needs. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, it has plants and employees in eight states and employs 450 people. He laid out the options open to his company under the health-care law, each of which would cost $1 million or more. According to Payne, that amount is “more than the company makes.” He concluded that his company’s goals have turned “from ‘hire-and-grow’ to ‘cut-and- survive.’”
Victoria Braden, the president and CEO of Braden Benefits Strategies Inc., a corporate employee-benefits adviser based in Johns Creek, Georgia, also testified. She said adoption of the law led to immediate job cuts at her company as she scaled back an expansion into a new line of business. Obamacare “is devastating to my business, expensive for me and my clients to administer, and works against our goals of helping businesses to expand, and putting people back to work,” she said.
I understand that many members of Congress believe providing everyone with health insurance is a top priority. Several committee members said so at the hearing, and I respect them for caring about the uninsured. My point to them was this: Everyone has a stake in job creation. As far as I am aware, no one in Washington -- Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative -- can achieve their goals unless our economy prospers and creates jobs. Washington needs to understand that legislation like the health-care law has costs as well as benefits, that the costs suppress job growth, and that when too much legislation kills too many jobs, everyone suffers.
Chief executives have responsibilities to their existing employees, customers and shareholders. We simply cannot risk their jobs and their money by investing when we know that legislation like Obamacare will make it so much harder to earn a profit. The sooner both parties in Washington understand this, the sooner we can all begin looking for ways to strengthen the social safety net without hurting the economy.
Posted by Randy | December 30, 2011
In November, the Supreme Court announced it will review the constitutionality of the new health care law. The primary question the justices will consider is whether in requiring most Americans to buy health insurance the law oversteps its power to regulate interstate commerce.
As you may know, earlier this year, I introduced a resolution, H.Res.74, calling for an expedited resolution to lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the health care law. The resolution recognizes the national importance of prompt resolution in order to provide certainty for employers, individuals, healthcare providers, and state and local governments.
In addition to that legislation, I have recently cosponsored another resolution, H.Res. 475, that expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
You can read about my continued work to repeal, replace, and defund the healthcare law here.
RECENT POSTS05/17/2013 - Question of the week: Do you believe the Prevent IRS Overreach Act is a necessary step in ensuring protection for the American people?
05/16/2013 - The Unaffordable Care Act
05/15/2013 - Questioning Eric Holder on Benghazi, IRS, and Fast and Furious
05/14/2013 - IRS Targets American Taxpayers Over Politics
05/09/2013 - Is Paying Down the Debt a Step in the Right Direction?
05/09/2013 - Question of the week: Do you believe that states should have the authority to require online sellers to collect sales tax from individuals living outside their borders?