Heritage Action Call Notes August 2017

August 11, 2017 Heritage Call Notes

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Call notes for this week are below and can be found on the Sentinel Hub at this link: http://heritageactionsentinel.com/call/obamacare-repeal-tax-reform-and-debt-ceiling/

Sentinel Summit: Every year, Sentinels from across the country come together for our annual Sentinel Summit. We are excited to host our Fourth Annual Sentinel Summit this year in Orlando, Florida from September 14-16th. This two and a half day event will be packed with exclusive trainings, sessions with policy innovators and communication experts, appearances from Members of Congress, and of course, an opportunity to meet like-minded patriots from your area and across the country. It’s one event you won’t want to miss and registration is already open! Talk to your Regional Coordinator today, or visit sentinelsummit2017.com to register today.

 

Register Today: sentinelsummit2017.com

 

The House and Senate are on recess for the remainder of August, and return the day after Labor Day on September 5th. Several important “muss pass” deadlines occur in September, including the expiration of funding for fiscal year 2017 on September 30th. According to the Treasury Department, the debt limit must be raised by September 29th to avoid a default.

 

Obamacare Repeal: Early this month, the Senate voted 51-50 to proceed to the House-passed American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628). While this key procedural vote allowed Senate Republicans to begin debate on their seven-year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, the results of that debate yield little results when votes on amendment to H.R. 1628 occurred. At this moment, there is no agreement among Senate Republicans as to the final policy that may emerge with 50 votes. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee announced they will hold a hearing in early September, likely to consider cost-sharing subsidies and other ways to stabilize (bailout) the Obamacare marketplace.

 

The House Freedom Caucus is pushing for on vote on the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill. They are doing this through a discharge petition which is a legislative maneuver that allows a piece of legislation to bypass a committee vote and go straight to the full floor for a vote. In order to do this, a majority of the House or 218 members must sign a petition asking for the “discharge of the bill to the floor.” While this is one option to get Republicans back to the table to negotiate a repeal of Obamacare, it’s not the ideal path forward since the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill does not repeal the Obamacare insurance regulations responsible for the rising cost of health care premiums.

 

Sentinels must continue to keep the pressure up on their Republican Senators to take action to repeal Obamacare. Given that Senate Republicans are clearly not inclined to bridge the significant policy divide within the party, Heritage Action will 1) oppose any bipartisan efforts to bail out Obamacare and 2) urge the president to overturn the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)’s 2013-era guidance that authorized illegal insurance subsidies for lawmakers and congressional staff so they wouldn’t feel the full burden of Obamacare.

Resources:

Sentinel Brief on Obamacare exemption for Congress, click here.

Sentinel Brief on Obamacare bailouts, click here.

Heritage Action Activist Toolkit, click here.

Heritage Action statement: Senators Should Proceed to Health Care Debate, click here.

Heritage Action statement: Senate GOP Must Act to Repeal and Replace Obamacare, click here.

Heritage Action statement: No Mandate to Bail Out Obamacare, click here.

 

AHCA Recap: On May 4th, the House passed an amended version of the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) by a final vote of 217 to 213 after Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to pull the bill from the floor 18 days after it was first introduced. Most conservative organizations and health policy experts opposed the original version of the AHCA because it failed to repeal the regulatory architecture of Obamacare (Title I) that is responsible for the rising cost of health care premiums. During the Easter recess, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group, worked out a deal to allow states to easily opt-out of core elements of Obamacare’s Title I insurance regulations if they set up high-risk pools to assist those with pre-existing chronic conditions. This compromise convinced enough conservatives and some moderates to vote for the bill. Heritage Action withdrew its original key vote after House Republican leaders adopted the MacArthur-Meadows Amendment to move the ball forward in the Senate.

 

Resources:

Why the Revised Senate Health Care Bill is a major improvement over the status quo, click here. Heritage Foundation report: Better than the Status Quo, Senate Health Care Bill Still Misses Major Opportunities, click here.

Heritage Action statement on Freedom Option, click here.

Heritage Action statement on a bi-partisan Obamacare bailout, click here.

Heritage Action statement on the Obamacare repeal effort, click here.

Heritage Action fact sheet on Obamacare Title I regulations, click here.

Heritage Action key vote, click here.

Sentinel Brief on Obamacare regulations, click here.

Daily Signal blog on Freedom Option, click here.

 

Debt Ceiling: The White House has asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling by the end of July, but Treasury Secretary Mnuchin testified the administration can wait until the end of September, and Congressional Budget Office estimates suggest the timing could be mid-October. An increase for the remainder of the presidential term could approach $2.5 trillion. Heritage Action has consistently argued that any increase in the debt limit should be paired with reforms that begin addressing the structural nature of America’s annual deficits and deliver on candidate Trump’s promise to “start paying down our $19 trillion in debt.” However, the administration and congressional leadership are both trying to do a “clean” debt increase. That is fiscally irresponsible and should be opposed.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action press release, click here.

Heritage Foundation commentary on raising the debt ceiling, click here.

 

The Budget, Appropriations and Tax Reform: This month, the House passed a $790 billion security “minibus” before the August recess. That bill, which provides fiscal year 2018 appropriations for Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water, and Legislative Branch, also included $1.6 billion in funding for physical barriers along the southern border. However, these amount to only four of the twelve Appropriations bills Congress needs to pass by the end of September, and a short term spending package appears more likely. Regardless of the form, Heritage Action will evaluate this spending bill using three criteria – 1.) good policy riders, 2.) low spending levels, 3.) allowing conservative amendments on the House floor.

 

The House Budget Committee passed a FY2018 budget that sets $621.5 billion for base defense spending, $511 billion for discretionary spending and $203 billion in cuts to mandatory spending. There is no timeline for House floor consideration. However, with Congressional leaders on the Ways and Means Committee potentially scrapping the border adjustment tax (BAT), some have speculated chances are better to adopt a FY2018 budget resolution in the House in September. The Senate Budget Committee is meeting after recess to draft its own budget resolution. Any final agreement on a budget resolution is necessary to pass tax reform with a simple majority in the Senate.

 

The current U.S. tax code is a significant obstacle to economic growth, job creation and higher wages for Americans workers because it suppresses business creation and expansion, is far too complex for the average citizen, and is full of crony carve outs and exemptions for the well-connected. Congress should use budget reconciliation to pass pro-growth tax reform, without adding to the federal debt that lowers and simplifies the corporate and individual tax rate, allows businesses to fully expense capital investment, only taxes profit made here in the U.S., and eliminates cronyism. This kind of pro-growth tax reform has the potential to grow the economy by 10 percent over the next 10 years and increase the average American family’s wages by more than 7 percent or about $4,000 for someone earning $50,000 a year.

 

Resources:

Heritage Foundation report for pro-growth tax reform, expensing should be the focus, click here.

Heritage Action press release on budget process, click here.

Heritage Action press release on the BAT, click here.

Heritage Foundation report on deficit-neutral tax reform, click here.

Heritage Foundation report on tax reform without the BAT, click here.

Heritage Action press release on Trump’s budget, click here.

Heritage Foundation explains budget reconciliation, click here.

 

Work Requirements for Food Stamps: Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) recently introduced a work for welfare bill called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 2996). This legislation would help reduce poverty and government dependency, increase self-sufficiency, and restore families by strengthening the effective and popular work requirements for all able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS) who receive food stamps (SNAP). Welfare programs, including food stamps, should be temporary, limited in size and scope, and assist the truly needy. But over the past two decades the program has grown out-of-control both in cost and in the number of individuals receiving benefits. The number of food stamp recipients has increased from around 17 million in 2000 to over 45 million in 2015 while costs have risen from $20.7 billion to over $83 billion during that same time frame. Congress should pass Rep. Graves’ legislation to restore work requirements for food stamps and encourage millions of Americans to go back to work. Heritage Action endorses this bill, includes it as a key vote co-sponsorship, and urges Sentinels to contact their member of Congress to cosponsor this legislation.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action whiplist, click here.

Heritage Action legislative endorsement, click here.

Heritage Action Key Vote Co-Sponsorship, click here.

Sentinel brief, click here.

 

Labor Reform: Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) introduced the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723). This legislation would protect workers from union pressure by putting power back in the hands of employees and making union leaders more accountable to their members. It now has 33 co-sponsors, and more are expected this week. Heritage explains the legislation would guarantee employees the rights to vote privately in a secret ballot election before forming a union, opt out of having their personal contact information provided to a union during an organizing drive, hear from employers at least 40 days prior to voting in a union election, vote in a secret ballot election before accepting a contract or going on strike, vote regularly on re-electing their union, decide whether their union can spend their dues on matters unrelated to collective bargaining, and be free from union interference or extortion in exercising their legal rights. Heritage Action has endorsed the Employee Rights Act, includes it as a key vote co-sponsorship, and urges Sentinels to contact their members of Congress to cosponsor this legislation.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action whiplist, click here.

Heritage Action legislative endorsement, click here.

Heritage Action Key Vote Co-Sponsorship, click here.

Sentinel brief, click here.

 

Dodd-Frank Repeal: The House successfully passed Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s bill to repeal or replace some of the worst provisions contained in Dodd-Frank called the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and Entrepreneurs Act or Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10). Dodd-Frank codifies “too big to fail” policy, harms local community banks, restricts access to credit for investors and homebuyers, raises lending costs, reduces access to capital for small businesses, and created one of the most powerful and unaccountable federal agencies — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would reduce federal deficits by over $24 billion from 2017-2027. Heritage Action endorsed the Financial CHOICE Act and key voted YES. Conservatives should urge the Senate to bring H.R. 10 to the floor and/or advance key provisions through the FY2018 budget reconciliation process.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action legislative endorsement, click here.

Heritage Action Key Vote, click here.

Sentinel Brief, click here.

Congressional Budget Office report, click here.

Thank you for taking action on these important issues and also for letting me know right away if you would like to join us for the Sentinel Summit in Orlando, FL!

Sincerely,

Melody

Melody Himel Clarke

(202) 716-9738

Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator

Tell a Friend about our Sentinel Program!

Follow us on Twitter: @Heritage_Action and me, @TheRightMelody.  Our hashtag is #Haction.

melody.clarke@heritageaction.com

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August 7, 2017 Heritage Call Notes


In case you missed the Sentinel Strategy call, you can listen on the Sentinel Hub at this link: http://heritageactionsentinel.com/call/no-obamacare-bailouts-debt-ceiling-tax-reform/

Did you know we now also livestream the Strategy Call on our Facebook page?  Join the Facebook Group for access!

Sentinel Summit: Every year, Sentinels from across the country come together for our annual Sentinel Summit. We are excited to host our Fourth Annual Sentinel Summit this year in Orlando, Florida from September 14-16th. This two and a half day event will be packed with exclusive trainings, sessions with policy innovators and communication experts, appearances from Members of Congress, and of course, an opportunity to meet like-minded patriots from your area and across the country. It’s one event you won’t want to miss and early bird registration is about to end! The $90 early bird rate ends this Friday! Please let me know if you need to discuss a scholarship to attend, or visit sentinelsummit2017.com to register today.

Register Today: sentinelsummit2017.com

 

The House and Senate are on recess for the remainder of August, and return the day after Labor Day on September 5th. Several important “muss pass” deadlines occur in September, including the expiration of funding for fiscal year 2017 on September 30th. According to the Treasury Department, the debt limit must be raised by September 29th to avoid a default.

 

Obamacare Repeal Recap: Early this month, the Senate voted 51-50 to proceed to the House-passed American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628). While this key procedural vote allowed Senate Republicans to begin debate on their seven-year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, the results of that debate yield little results when votes on amendment to H.R. 1628 occurred. At this moment, there is no agreement among Senate Republicans as to the final policy that may emerge with 50 votes. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee announced they will hold a hearing in early September, likely to consider cost-sharing subsidies and other ways to stabilize (bailout) the Obamacare marketplace.

 

Sentinels must continue to keep the pressure up on their Republican Senators to take action to repeal Obamacare. Given that Senate Republicans are clearly not inclined to bridge the significant policy divide within the party, Heritage Action will 1)oppose any bipartisan efforts to bail out Obamacare and 2) urge the president to overturn the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)’s 2013-era guidance that authorized illegal insurance subsidies for lawmakers and congressional staff so they wouldn’t feel the full burden of Obamacare.

Resources:

Heritage Action Activist Toolkit, click here.

Heritage Action statement: Senators Should Proceed to Health Care Debate, click here.

Heritage Action statement: Senate GOP Must Act to Repeal and Replace Obamacare, click here.

Heritage Action statement: No Mandate to Bail Out Obamacare, click here.

 

AHCA Recap: On May 4th, the House passed an amended version of the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) by a final vote of 217 to 213 after Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to pull the bill from the floor 18 days after it was first introduced. Mostconservative organizations and health policy experts opposed the original version of the AHCA because it failed to repeal the regulatory architecture of Obamacare (Title I) that is responsible for the rising cost of health care premiums. During the Easter recess, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group, worked out a deal to allow states to easily opt-out of core elements of Obamacare’s Title I insurance regulations if they set up high-risk pools to assist those with pre-existing chronic conditions. This compromise convinced enough conservatives and some moderates to vote for the bill. Heritage Action withdrew its original key vote after House Republican leaders adopted the MacArthur-Meadows Amendment to move the ball forward in the Senate.

 

Resources:

Why the Revised Senate Health Care Bill is a major improvement over the status quo, click here. Heritage Foundation report: Better than the Status Quo, Senate Health Care Bill Still Misses Major Opportunities, click here.

Heritage Action statement on Freedom Option, click here.

Heritage Action statement on a bi-partisan Obamacare bailout, click here.

Heritage Action statement on the Obamacare repeal effort, click here.

Heritage Action fact sheet on Obamacare Title I regulations, click here.

Heritage Action key vote, click here.

Sentinel Brief, click here.

Daily Signal blog on Freedom Option, click here.

 

Debt Ceiling: The White House has asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling by the end of July, but Treasury Secretary Mnuchin testified the administration can wait until the end of September, and Congressional Budget Office estimates suggest the timing could be mid-October. An increase for the remainder of the presidential term could approach $2.5 trillion. Heritage Action has consistently argued that any increase in the debt limit should be paired with reforms that begin addressing the structural nature of America’s annual deficits and deliver on candidate Trump’s promise to “start paying down our $19 trillion in debt.” However, the administration and congressional leadership are both trying to do a “clean” debt increase. That is fiscally irresponsible and should be opposed.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action press release, click here.

 

The Budget, Appropriations and Tax Reform: This month, the House passed a $790 billion security “minibus” before the August recess. That bill, which provides fiscal year 2018 appropriations for Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water, and Legislative Branch, also included $1.6 billion in funding for physical barriers along the southern border. However, these amount to only four of the twelve Appropriations bills Congress needs to pass by the end of September, and a short term spending package appears more likely. Regardless of the form, Heritage Action will evaluate this spending bill using three criteria – 1.) good policy riders, 2.) low spending levels, 3.) allowing conservative amendments on the House floor.

 

The House Budget Committee passed a FY2018 budget that sets $621.5 billion for base defense spending, $511 billion for discretionary spending and $203 billion in cuts to mandatory spending. There is no timeline for House floor consideration. However, with Congressional leaders on the Ways and Means Committee potentially scrapping the border adjustment tax (BAT), some have speculated chances are better to adopt a FY2018 budget resolution in the House in September. The Senate Budget Committee is meeting after recess to draft its own budget resolution. Any final agreement on a budget resolution is necessary to pass tax reform with a simple majority in the Senate.

 

Revenue neutrality in any such proposal remains a priority, as well as offsetting tax cuts with spending cuts by passing deficit-neutral tax reform that includes full expensing for business investment, corporate tax rate reductions, and taxing profit only made in the U.S. Cutting taxes and spending together in this way will boost economic growth, increase job creation, and reduce the size and scope of government.

 

Resources:

Heritage Foundation report for pro-growth tax reform, expensing should be the focus, click here.

Heritage Action press release on budget process, click here.

Heritage Action press release on the BAT, click here.

Heritage Foundation report on deficit-neutral tax reform, click here.

Heritage Foundation report on tax reform without the BAT, click here.

Heritage Action press release on Trump’s budget, click here.

 

Work Requirements for Food Stamps: Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) recently introduced a work for welfare bill called theSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 2996). This legislation would help reduce poverty and government dependency, increase self-sufficiency, and restore families by strengthening the effective and popular work requirements for all able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS) who receive food stamps (SNAP). Welfare programs, including food stamps, should be temporary, limited in size and scope, and assist the truly needy. But over the past two decades the program has grown out-of-control both in cost and in the number of individuals receiving benefits. The number of food stamp recipients has increased from around 17 million in 2000 to over 45 million in 2015 while costs have risen from $20.7 billion to over $83 billion during that same time frame. Congress should pass Rep. Graves’ legislation to restore work requirements for food stamps and encourage millions of Americans to go back to work. Heritage Action endorses this bill, includes it as a key vote co-sponsorship, and urges Sentinels to contact their member of Congress to cosponsor this legislation.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action whiplist, click here.

Heritage Action legislative endorsement, click here.

Heritage Action Key Vote Co-Sponsorship, click here.

Sentinel brief, click here.

 

Labor Reform: Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) introduced the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723). This legislation would protect workers from union pressure by putting power back in the hands of employees and making union leaders more accountable to their members. It now has 33 co-sponsors, and more are expected this week. Heritage explains the legislation would guarantee employees the rights to vote privately in a secret ballot election before forming a union, opt out of having their personal contact information provided to a union during an organizing drive, hear from employers at least 40 days prior to voting in a union election, vote in a secret ballot election before accepting a contract or going on strike, vote regularly on re-electing their union, decide whether their union can spend their dues on matters unrelated to collective bargaining, and be free from union interference or extortion in exercising their legal rights. Heritage Action has endorsed the Employee Rights Act, includes it as a key vote co-sponsorship, and urges Sentinels to contact their members of Congress to cosponsor this legislation.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action whiplist, click here.

Heritage Action legislative endorsement, click here.

Heritage Action Key Vote Co-Sponsorship, click here.

Sentinel brief, click here.

 

Dodd-Frank Repeal: The House successfully passed Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s bill to repeal or replace some of the worst provisions contained in Dodd-Frank called the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers, and Entrepreneurs Actor Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10). Dodd-Frank codifies “too big to fail” policy, harms local community banks, restricts access to credit for investors and homebuyers, raises lending costs, reduces access to capital for small businesses, and created one of the most powerful and unaccountable federal agencies — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would reduce federal deficits by over $24 billion from 2017-2027. Heritage Action endorsed the Financial CHOICE Act and key voted YES. Conservatives should urge the Senate to bring H.R. 10 to the floor and/or advance key provisions through the FY2018 budget reconciliation process.

 

Resources:

Heritage Action legislative endorsement, click here.

Heritage Action Key Vote, click here.

Sentinel Brief, click here.

Congressional Budget Office report, click here.

Remember, this week is the perfect time to book your flight and get the best fare to Orlando for Sentinel Summit 2017! Our early bird discount ends Friday and so does the special rate on hotel rooms. We really want you to join us so be sure to let me know if I may help in any way!

Register Today: sentinelsummit2017.com

Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando!

Melody

(202) 716-9738

Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator

Tell a Friend about our Sentinel Program!

Follow us on Twitter: @Heritage_Action and me, @TheRightMelody.  Our hashtag is #Haction.

melody.clarke@heritageaction.com