Monday, January 29, 2018

State of the Union Guests, Immigration Reform, Cadillac Tax Delay and more...

The Ponder News
January 29, 2018

Congresswoman Bustos announces her State of the Union Guest: Sarah Miller from Galesburg
Cheri Bustos (D-IL, 17th)
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos announced that her guest at tomorrow’s State of the Union address will be Sarah Miller from Galesburg, Illinois. In April 2016, when news broke that Galesburg had exceeded the federal “action level” in ongoing E.P.A. tests for lead content in water, Congresswoman Bustos strongly advised the city to apply for funding through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Over the next several weeks, working with city officials and the Illinois E.P.A., Bustos helped secure a $4 million forgivable loan through this program.

Julia Brownly (D-CA, 26th)
on Net Neutrality Congressional Review Act Resolution
“FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision in December to roll back net neutrality protections was incredibly concerning. I’m proud to sign on as an original co-sponsor supporting the Congressional resolution to reverse this action, so that the net neutrality protections put in place by President Obama are restored. Rather than ping ponging back and forth from one Administration to another, Congress should pass legislation to lay down permanent rules of the road for industry, while ensuring that net neutrality continues to inspire innovation, create jobs, protect free speech, and enable the advancement of civil rights.”
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Dave Brat (R-VA, 7th)
on White House Immigration Framework
“The White House amnesty plan may capture the wishes of the Washington establishment, but it does not represent the promises President Trump made to the American people. Giving amnesty beyond DACA recipients opens us up to fraud and corruption, as those who never signed up for the program attempt to become eligible. If you ask voters in states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania that swung to Donald Trump if this amnesty plan keeps his promises, they will tell you it does not.”

“House Republicans have been working to build support for Chairman Goodlatte’s bill. The legislation, while not perfect, represents a rational compromise that provides for DACA recipients but also reforms the underlying immigration system in a coherent way. We are interested in taking a common sense approach to ensure our immigration system works so we are not back here again in another 10 years dealing with millions more who came here illegally.”
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Brady Briefing: Building American Prosperity
Kevin Brady (R-TX, 8th)
President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Speech this week. My guest is Jim “Mac” McInvale, a successful businessman, founder of Gallery Furniture and world-class philanthropist who embodies the American Dream.

Bonamici Invites Oregon Dreamer to 2018 State of the Union
Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR, 1st)
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) announced that a Dreamer from NW Oregon will be joining her at the President’s State of the Union Address on January 30.

Bishop Calls for Congressional Investigation into US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics
Mike Bishop (R-MI, 8th)
Following the sentencing of former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar for sexual misconduct, Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) submitted a letter to Congressman Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for a Congressional Investigation into the United States Olympic Committee and its subsidiary, USA Gymnastics.

Rep. Black Signs on to Securing America’s Future Act
Diane Black (R-TN, 6th)
“With President Trump in the Oval Office, we have an opportunity to fix our broken immigration system and secure the border once and for all. Our current system makes our country less safe and fails to put the interests of the American people first. This is wrong and must be brought to an end,” said Congressman Black. “The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect its citizens – our Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to do so – and the Securing America’s Future Act does just that. By building the border wall, strictly enforcing our laws and ending chain migration, we are securing our nation for future generations and putting the safety and prosperity of the American people first.”

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN 7th)
On Section 201 Tariff Remedies
"While I support trade policies that strengthen American manufacturing and will put this nation on a fair playing field internationally, I am disappointed in the overly harsh ruling of Section 201 tariff remedies against imports of residential washing machines. Along with Secretary Ross, I attended the groundbreaking of LG Electronics’ $250 million home appliance manufacturing facility in Clarksville, TN last summer. As Secretary Ross said at the groundbreaking ceremony, “This is exactly the kind of job creation and investment that the administration is seeking for American workers […] I look forward to having LG’s high-quality home appliances made right here in the United States starting in early 2019.” This investment was expected to bring in 600 stable, high-paying jobs for Tennesseans. Unfortunately, these harsh tariffs will severely limit LG’s ability to scale up their operation, negatively affecting Tennessee jobs and American consumers. I look forward to working with the administration and other stakeholders to come up with remedies that reduce the economic impact of these tariffs."
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Nanette Barragan (D-CA, 44th)
Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán will attend President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday with Marco Chavez, a previously deported Marine Corps veteran, as her guest.
Read her statement

Jim Banks (R-IN, 3rd)
On Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
“One of the primary goals of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was to ensure our tax code helps American businesses compete in a global market, enabling job and paycheck growth here at home. As a result, we’ve seen numerous companies commit to investing billions in communities across America, including the latest announcement from FedEx. They plan to invest $1.5 billion to significantly expand their Indianapolis hub over the next seven years. This long-term investment by FedEx in the Hoosier state is great news and will support quality jobs and add to the robust Indiana economy.”
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Don Bacon (R-NE, 2nd)
Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) will be joined by Omaha Police Sergeant Jeff Kopietz at the State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. on January 30. Sgt. Kopietz is a 27-year veteran with the Omaha Police Department (OPD), where he has worked in the Uniform Patrol Bureau, Weed and Seed Squad, Narcotics and is currently assigned to the Fugitive Squad/Metro Fugitive Task Force. A 25-year veteran of OPD’s swat team, Sgt. Kopietz has served over 1,000 high risk search warrants during that time. He also is a deputized US Marshal.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe resigns
Washington Examiner
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe resigned effective immediately Monday.

A source familiar with the situation told the Washington Examinerthan McCabe is taking "terminal leave" for now until he can officially retire when his pension kicks in.

​NBC reported that his retirement would take effect mid-March. In December, the Washington Post first reported his retirement would come in the spring.

Brown on Trump Davos Speech: Take Action on Steel Imports Now
Senator Sherrod Brown (D - OH)
“President Trump is right that we must enforce the rules so American workers can compete on a level playing field, and he can start right now by taking strong action against China’s steel overcapacity,” said Brown. “China’s cheating is shuttering American factories and American steelworkers cannot afford to wait any longer for relief.”
Read it...

Veteran PEER Act will harness peer-to-peer relationships to more comprehensively treat veterans’ mental health conditions
Senator Roy Blunt (R - MO)
Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) to expand veterans’ access to peer counseling specialists passed the Senate Thursday night by unanimous consent. Peer specialists can be particularly effective in combating the risks of suicide and addressing other mental health needs amongst veterans.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D - CT)
About the Trump Administration's Immigration Proposal
“This proposal is immigration hostage taking. Hundreds of thousands of young people are being held hostage in the name of the far right’s repulsive and repugnant anti-immigrant fantasy. The party of so-called family values has revealed itself to care more for its nativist political base than the actual families that would be cruelly ripped or kept apart under this proposal. One of its most heartless provisions would send refugee children back to the countries they have fled without even a fig leaf of due process – a proposal almost certain to send children to their deaths,” Blumenthal said.

“This is not a serious proposal and it was not offered in a serious way – it was leaked Thursday night after close of business while Congress was out of session. Instead of playing political games with the lives of children while hobnobbing with billionaires overseas, the Trump Administration must come to the table and engage in real negotiations with Congress.”
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New CDC Study Shows State Tobacco Use Rates Remain High
American Lung Association
"Despite an overall decrease in use of tobacco products, not all states have seen meaningful reductions in tobacco use. Three states – Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky – have significantly higher tobacco use rates than most of the rest of the country, pointing to an urgent need for their state leaders to put in place proven effective policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, which remains the leading cause of death in the United States, killing 480,000 Americans each year.

Congress: Groups Oppose Using CRA to Overturn Restoring Internet Freedom Order
American Legislative Exchange Council
We, the undersigned organizations, representing millions of taxpayers and consumers nationwide, urge Congress to oppose usage of the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

An issue for infrastructure reform: Too much road salt
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Faced with budget shortfalls and a decreasing ability to raise revenue, state and local lawmakers are ever eager to divert “savings” to their favorite pet projects. But during cold and snowy snaps, officials have long realized that massive quantities of road salt can cut down on cleanup and emergency response costs.

This cheap solution, however, comes with quite a few additional problems. Road salt is increasingly being recognized as a detriment to human health, the environment, and infrastructure, as reports from federal and state agencies shed light on the mineral’s unintended consequences. Absent long-overdue reforms, local, state, and federal incentives undergirding the salting system will continue to cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Tell Senators to choose life and nuke filibuster on S. 2311
American Family Association
Next Monday, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S. 2311.
The bill bans abortion after 20 weeks. It is undeniable that unborn babies feel pain at this stage of life. Therefore, this bill simply protects babies from a gruesome and cruel act of barbarism.
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Two-year delay of “Cadillac Tax” a timely, important step on road to full repeal
American Benefits Council
“We applaud Congress for approving a critically important twoyear delay of the 40 percent ‘Cadillac Tax’ on employer-sponsored health coverage as part of the government funding bill,” Council President James A. Klein said.