Allen West | Weekly Wrap Up on @Next_GenTV | 8/9/13

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What Norway Teaches Us About America –  Allen West reflects on our principles and past while abroad

Col. Allen West is still traveling this week as part of National Review’s annual cruise, but to keep his readers in the loop, he has been sending observations from his stops along the North Sea. Here are two dispatches from Norway:

Bergen (Aug. 3) – Bergen is a lovely city, the second largest in Norway behind the capital of Oslo. Bergen was once the capital of the country.

It is also the home of famous classical composer Edvard Grieg, known for his Peer Gynt suite. We visited the Kode Art Gallery and saw the works of Edvard Munch, who is known for the “Scream” series.

It rains an average 219 days a year in Bergen, and boy howdy were we caught in a deluge. But later in the afternoon, the clouds blew over and a beautiful day shone down on the City of the Seven Mountains.

I learned that Norway has a state-sponsored religion, Evangelical Lutheran, and that the head of the state is also head of the church as part of its constitution. However, Norwegians still have freedom of religion.

Our founding fathers did not want America to have a head of state who also leads a religion. This is what “separation of church and state” means.

Stavenger (Aug. 6) – What a beautiful, breathtaking scene this city offers. The port is right in the city center below the old city.

We took a nice cruise through Lysefjord, and the pristine simplicity was spellbinding. We went by a small island where, in 998 AD, King Olaf held a meeting to unify the separate kingdoms into the Norway we know today.

The greatness of America is that those who left Norway came to our shores and found a place to be free, share their culture and be part of the immense opportunities our republic offers, allowing their entrepreneurship and ethic to strengthen our country.

America is exceptional because as a young, inner-city black kid from Atlanta, I got to experience Norway and its history with my wife and our daughters, the next generation.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen

Libertarian Voices Of The House GOP
The libertarian wing of the Republican Party has spent a long time in the political wilderness but is now the future of the GOP, Rep. Mick Mulvaney said at a panel discussion with three of his fellow libertarian-leaning House colleagues.

“You are the swing voters, and you are the folks that move easily back and forth between the parties and have no natural party lines,” the South Carolina Republican said. He added that libertarianism is the growth area of the party, as it was when Ronald Reagan ran against “country club Republicans.”

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said the ascendancy of libertarian Republicans is evident in the reaction of House GOP leaders to young lawmakers like him. Their commitment to limited government and individual liberty frustrates the establishment’s desire to compromise, he said.

“The party is changing right in front of them,” Amash said, “and I think that’s why you get a lot of backlash from some of the more senior members who are set in their ways about what the Republican Party should stand for.”

That’s true in the Senate as well, he added, where Republicans like Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky take principled stands against the party’s leaders when necessary.

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, criticized Republicans like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Sen. John McCain of Arizona for their willingness to align themselves with Democrats. “What you’re looking at is people that are only interested in themselves and not interested in actually promoting the cause,” Labrador said.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., also spoke at the event. Click the video to hear what economist inspired him to become politically active. You’ll be surprised.

A Texas-sized Fight Over Voting Rights
Texas will need a big bankroll to fight the Obama administration’s push to reinstate strict federal scrutiny of the state’s voting laws but has a strong case, according to election law expert Hans von Spakovsky.

“They’re going to put up a pretty fierce battle to try to stop this,” he said of Texas officials, noting that South Carolina spent $3.5 million to win a similar battle against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Von Spakovsky discussed the genesis of the dispute, the history behind it and the legal dynamics at play in an interview with Michelle Fields of NextGeneration.TV.
Holder targeted Texas after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires Southern states to get federal approval before changing their voting laws, is no longer constitutional.
“The Supreme Court threw it out because the coverage formula … was based on 40-year-old data,” von Spakovsky said. “It had never been updated by Congress, and the conditions are a lot different today.”
But Holder refused to admit defeat. He sued the state under another section of the Voting Rights Act to try to reinstate federal pre-clearance of voting laws in Texas for another decade. The Justice Department is upset that Texas enacted a law requiring voters to present photo identification, von Spakovsky said.
He critiqued the federal government’s rationale for the lawsuit, including allegations of long voting lines for blacks and Hispanics in Texas. But he said Holder won’t stop fighting even if he loses in Texas.

Rep Allen West Votes to Fully Repeal the Patient Protection Unaffordable Tax Act (PPUTA)

West: “Congress and the President need a mulligan with regard to the tax law masquerading as a health care law”

“Democrats continue to play cynical political games by claiming a vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a vote against helping people with preexisting conditions, against keeping children under the age of 26 on their family health care program, and against helping small businesses.  Nothing can be further from the truth, as I have consistently supported these provisions and still do. My vote today to repeal the Obama Tax is a vote to reform our health care system and demand the United States Congress and President Barack Obama provide Americans with a plan focusing on patient-centered care, choice, flexibility, lower costs and on keeping doctors practicing and providing quality care. Congress and the President need a mulligan with regard to the tax law masquerading as a health care law.
(WASHINGTON)– Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement today as he prepares to vote to repeal the largest tax increase on the American people, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”:

My vote for repeal is further strengthened by the recent United States Supreme Court decision clarifying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as yet another enormous tax bill.  The framers of the United States Constitution never intended to use taxation authority to establish social policy and then penalize Americans for not complying. In the case of the Health Care Act, the federal government will have the authority to use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon to modify Americans’ social behavior, under the guise of misconceived benevolence.

Americans deserve to know all of the facts so they can fully understand the ramifications of this misguided, onerous monstrosity of 2,700 pages, resulting in 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies.  The sad truth is this law does little to improve health care, and is instead packed full of massive tax increases all Americans will be forced to bear.”

Included in the President’s health care law:

•    Individual Mandate Tax – defined by the Supreme Court decision.

•    3.8 percent Medicare Hospital Insurance payroll tax on investment income (capital gains and dividends) for Americans earning more than $200,000 a year or family households earning more than $250,000 a year.

•   40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans costing more than $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families.

•    Increased payroll tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent on combined employer/employee Medicare Hospital Insurance for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000 a year.

•    Taxes on health insurance providers based on a company’s share of the total market.

•    2.3 percent excise tax on U.S. manufactured and imported medical devices costing more than $100.

•    “Black liquor” bio-fuel tax increase.

•    Increased taxes on patients with more than 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income spent on medical expenses.

•    Taxes on manufacturers and importers of non-generic prescription medication.

•    A limit on the amount of pre-tax income individuals can set aside in Flexible Spending Accounts to pay for expected annual health care expenses to $2,500 (previously unlimited).

•    Increased tax collections from businesses by eliminating the deductibility of paying for their retirees’ prescription drug coverage.

•  Non-prescription medication and other health care products will no longer be allowed to be paid for using the pre-tax income Americans set aside using their Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts.

•  Businesses will not be able to reduce their tax liability using lawful tax deductions or business strategies.

•  Indoor tanning services taxes.

•  Increased penalty (tax) for withdrawing money from a Health Savings Account for non-medical early withdrawals.

•  A maximum compensation limit for health insurance executives.

Rep Allen West “I’ve pledged to lead the fight in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare” Join Me

Dear Friend,

This morning, the Supreme Court announced their decision to uphold Obamacare on the basis of Congress’s power to tax; Obamacare will end up being the largest tax increase and expansion of the federal government in American History. Electing strong Constitutional conservatives has never been more important.

I’ve pledged to lead the fight in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.

With the court upholding the law on the basis of the government’s power to tax, we know that despite President Obama’s claims, this law is a massive tax increase on all Americans, especially the middle class. We must work harder than ever to fight Obamacare’s out of control costs, array of new taxes, and assault on our individual liberty and sovereignty.

Barack Obama and liberals in Congress might be celebrating today, but this is just beginning—and it’s a battle we can and must win for the sake of future generations

I’m counting on you for a contribution to help me lead the fight against Obamacare and finish the fundraising quarter strong.

Stand strong. The fight has just begun!


Steadfast and Loyal,
LTC(R) Allen B. West
Member of Congress

P.S. Stand with me today for repealing and replacing Obamacare. Every contribution helps bring us closer to our goal. Donate here.

Rep. Allen West Statement on the United States Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling

(WASHINGTON)— Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement today after the United States Supreme Court announced it has ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

“The United States Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by extending the power of the United States Congress to tax Americans’ behavior.  This is a sad day for Americans, as they will be taxed to pay for benefits they may not need or want as part of the insurance they are forced to buy. With this decision, Congress has been granted infinite taxation power, and there are no longer any limits on what the federal government can tax its citizens to do.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will hit the middle class especially hard, as hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost as businesses try to avoid the penalties and costs created by the healthcare law. The healthcare law will cost trillions of dollars, raise costs for employers and create huge incentives for them to drop health insurance.

Benjamin Franklin did indeed state, ‘In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’However, Dr. Franklin never envisioned the federal government would use its power of taxation to punish people for not purchasing health care.  Today, individual sovereignty in America has been defeated.”

Rep Allen West “Will you join me in the next battle against big government?”

Dear Friend,

Received an interesting email from the Democratic Campaign Committee this morning. As we wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare tomorrow, the liberals in Congress are already pledging to redouble their efforts for nationalized health care if things don’t go their way.
If the Supreme Court upholds the law, we have even more work to do to ensure we elect conservatives that will repeal and replace Obamacare. Will you join me in the next battle against big government?

Donate $10 or more by clicking here.

Steadfast and Loyal,

LTC(R) Allen B. West
Member of Congress

From: Patrick Kennedy <dccc@dccc.org>
Date: Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM
Subject: The Supreme Court
To: Allen West <gowest@allenwestforcongress. com >
Allen —
As I write you, the Supreme Court of the United States is preparing to issue its decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law.

If the Court strikes down the law, Democrats will need to redouble our efforts, fighting to ensure universal health care that’s affordable and accessible to every American is a reality.

If the Court upholds the law, dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage. Backed by Super PAC’s and shadowy front groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, they’ll do everything in their power to defeat President Obama, demonize Democrats who fought for health care reform and, if they win the election, dismantle the law piece-by-piece.

Either way, Democrats are in for a tough fight. That’s why I’m counting on you to stand with me and rush your contribution of $3 or more to our Health Care Rapid Response Fund right now.

The Affordable Care Act represents a giant step forward for every American who lived in fear of bankruptcy because of illness.

My father, Ted Kennedy, spent his entire political career fighting tooth and nail for universal health care. Together, we fought for a holistic approach to health, and championed the Mental Health Parity Law to ensure safeguards and support for families in need across the nation. If he were here, he would be proud of what we were able to accomplish.

Donate $3 or more to our Health Care Rapid Response Fund right now >>

Thank you,

Patrick J. Kennedy

Rep Allen West “Stand with me today for repealing and replacing Obamacare”

Dear Friend,

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s pending decision on Obamacare, like you, I’m 100% committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare and I need your support to help me lead the fight. Stand with me today.

You and I know how important it is to defeat this legislation that:

  • Violates our individual rights.
  • Attacks religious freedom.
  • Contains half a billion dollars in cuts to Medicare.
  • Has resulted in higher health care costs.
  • Is full of massive tax increases that will devastate our economy.

On June 30th, our campaign faces an important fundraising deadline. We’ve set a goal of 1,000 contributors in the next 72 hours to send a message to President Obama and the liberals in Congress that we’re committed to defeating Obamacare. With your help, I know we can meet this goal.

Barack Obama and liberals in Congress are already planning their next steps if the court strikes down the individual mandate. We need to be prepared to fight their big government alternatives.

If the court upholds the law, we have even more work to do to fight the high costs and taxes and assault on our freedoms.

I’m counting on you for a contribution of $25 or more to stand with me against Obamacare and help me finish the fundraising quarter strong. Thanks again for your support.

Steadfast and Loyal,
LTC(R) Allen B. West
Member of Congress

P.S. Stand with me today for repealing and replacing Obamacare. Every contribution helps bring us closer to our goal.

SUPPORT THE ELECTION OF CONGRESSMAN ALLEN WEST TO FLORIDA DISTRICT 18 – DONATE/VOLUNTEER

AllenWestForCongress.Com

Rep Allen West – Weekly Wrap Up, Legislative Low Down and District Highlights 4/9/12

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is time again for my weekly report back.
Congratulations to the University of Kentucky for winning their eighth NCAA Men’s College Basketball championship — only three more to catch UCLA!

This weekend, I was finally able to get back out and enjoy the underwater world off the coast of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. About nine of us braved some 3-5 foot seas early to get in some really nice Easter weekend SCUBA diving. However, it was in driving back from the South Florida Dive Headquarters marina in Pompano Beach that I saw something disturbing.

There it was — a purple banner flying in the wind at a gas station just east from I-95, “Now accepting EBT cards and SNAP.” For those of you who do not know these abbreviations, the EBT is the Electronic Benefit Transfer card, which is a plastic means by which one can utilize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This is not something we should be proud to advertise! Truly it seems the safety net is slowly becoming a hammock.  This program has expanded well beyond its original intent and expanded to a far greater percentage of Americans.  Now we see a growing number of businesses in this country, including sit-down and fast food restaurants, standalone and gas station convenience markets, and even pharmacies eager to accept SNAP benefits.  The number of businesses certified in the SNAP program has gone from around 156,000 to more than 200,000 in five years, and food stamp benefits have ballooned from $28.5 billion to $64.7 billion.  This is a highly disturbing trend.  Food stamps were intended to provide a safety net for the small percentage of Americans who needed assistance. But since President Obama’s inauguration, the number of Americans receiving assistance has increased by 45 percent.

We continue to see polices coming out of the White House bent on dividing, not uniting America. The rhetoric of no blue and red states has now been replaced by divisive rhetoric and actions focusing on class, 1 percent vs. 99 percent, race, and gender. We are witnessing the degrading of the American individual citizen to being viewed as part of various collectives, and even referred to as units in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The real group waging a war on women are liberals. Their fiscal failures evidenced by the growing debt burden threaten the future of America’s children and grandchildren. Their ineptness in keeping gasoline prices in America at a reasonable cost is resulting in harming the many soccer, hockey, and lacrosse moms who are struggling to get their children to tournaments.

Let us not forget the constant foreign affairs missteps that are resulting in a diminishing global influence for our country, and subsequently the children who shall inherit this degraded state.  Think about the rockets and missiles that were launched from the Sinai desert into Eilat, which the media is not covering. Jewish mothers fret for the future of their children who now live under threat from a new front, now out of Egypt.  This is the same Egypt now clearly under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood, to whom President Obama sent almost $1.5 billion in foreign aid because of their threat to Israel, and paid $5 million worth of American taxpayer treasure to Egypt to release some 19 Americans held hostage.

I reject this divisive rhetoric by the Obama administration because my focus is on our economic, energy, and national security. What can be more beneficial to men, women, and children in America?

The President’s criticism of the House GOP budget is almost pathetic when you consider the “support” he received for his own budget. Let me refresh your memory. The President’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget failed 0-97 in the Senate and the Fiscal Year 2013 budget just failed 0-414 in the House. Furthermore, it has been some 1,074 days since Harry Reid and the Democrat-led Senate has passed a budget.

Bottom line, President Obama presents a budget and policy which raises taxes, and never ever balances –but it does result in more debt, $15.6 trillion today, $26 trillion in 10 years.

President Obama must come to a very clear realization that his economic policies have led to the longest streak of consecutive months of unemployment at eight percent or higher.  This is the longest “losing streak” in the history of America. I am glad that some 165,000 Americans were able to find a job in the last month. However, we still have close to 13 million Americans unemployed. There are around eight million Americans who fit the category of “underemployed.”  Don’t forget, one of the interesting reasons why unemployment dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent is because more Americans simply fell off the radar.

The question is, how many Americans have given up and are no longer being tracked by the Department of Labor? Some say this number is in the area of 1 to 1.2 million Americans.

Along the same lines, it seems that President Obama does not clearly understand the 1803 Marbury vs. Madison case, which established the premise of Judicial Review for the Supreme Court. It is the Supreme Court’s job, their raison d’être, to interpret laws against the supreme law of the land, the United States Constitution. Judicial activism, on the other hand, is legislating from the bench, creating laws, or over-turning the referendum of the electorate. In some 209 years, the Supreme Court has ruled approximately 150 laws as unconstitutional.

This was not a good week for the President’s administration, and  lets not overlook the news reports that the Obama administration leaked information about Israeli air base usage in Azerbaijan.

In closing, I offer a Bravo Zulu to the two Unites States  Navy fighter pilots aboard the F/A-18D on which they did their best to avoid creating a greater catastrophe. If this crash ends up being maintenance-related, perhaps this is a result of the excessive budget cuts to our Military, which are hitting our operating forces.

I am sad to see a Marine Sergeant may lose his career because he dared to criticize the President on a Facebook page. Should we have disciplined this young NCO? Yes. But to end this Warrior’s career with a less than honorable discharge is not the answer. This Marine had served nearly nine years in the Marine Corps and was planning to reenlist. Maybe if America had leadership that gained the respect of our military, instead of simply using them as stage props for speeches, this atmosphere would not exist.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Rep Allen West – Weekly Wrap Up, District Highlights, Legislative Low Down 4/2/12

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is Sunday, April 1st.  I’d like to give a shout out to Kansas University and the University of Kentucky for being the last two standing teams as we head towards the NCAA College basketball championship. March Madness truly reminds me of what is great about America. Sixty-five teams enter with equal opportunity to be the champion. It is not about anyone making the victory decision based upon equality of achievement.  Remember when Norfolk State upset Missouri or Lehigh defeated Duke? In America, just the same as in the tournament, we all have the same opportunity to win, and that is the exceptionalism of America.


However, today represents a different type of first place for America, because as of April 1st, we now have the highest corporate/business tax rate in the world. Yes, 39.2 percent is the world’s highest business tax rate since Japan lowered its rate. Unfortunately, this is not where it ends.  We must also consider the state corporate rates, now averaging anywhere between 4-7 percent depending on the state, all of which demonstrates the United States creating an anti-business environment in America.  The good news is the House-passed GOP budget lowers those rates to 25 percent, making America competitive again. In addition to lowering the corporate and business tax rates, I believe the trillions of dollars of capital sitting on the sidelines and outside America should be allowed a onetime repatriation in order to spur on America pro-growth economic ventures, production, and manufacturing.

President Barack Obama’s policies would lead to a completely different America. The President’s policies keep taxes high, tax the capital offshore, raise capital gains (15 percent to 35 percent), raise dividends (15 percent  to 44.1 percent), and raise death (estate) taxes. The president has set policies that will raise personal income tax rates on the upper bracket, including small business owners who operate as sub-chapter S-Corporations and LLCs who utilize personal income tax rates.

The president wishes to do all this to taxation while increasing the growth of the Federal Government by 53 percent and growing our debt from the current $15.6 trillion to $26 trillion over the next ten years.  The President’s vision put forth in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget is unsustainable.  I’m obviously not the only one who believes this, as this past week the President’s budget was rejected by the House of Representatives by a vote of 0-414. This comes a year after his Fiscal Year 2012 budget was rejected by the United States Senate by a vote of 0-97.

As always, the president falls back on his greatest asset, the ability to read a speech, which is what he did last week in the Rose Garden. Again, President Obama’s response to any crisis or issue is to blame someone else and not find a solution — and giving hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to more “green energy” endeavors is not a solution, a la Solyndra.  It seems the president believes the American people are giving taxpayer dollars to the oil and gas industry as subsidies. This is quite far from the truth.

The oil and gas industry receives several cost recovery mechanisms which are known in policy circles as “tax expenditures,”  not direct government spending. These expenditures include: intangible drilling costs (research and development); foreign tax credit; domestic manufacturer’s deduction; percentage depletion; LIFO accounting (Last In First Out – relating to inventory management); geological and geophysical costs; and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and marginal well credits. Only the last two are unique to the oil and gas industry.

The oil and gas industry supports 9.2 million American jobs and makes up 7.5 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. The industry pays $86 million daily in rents, royalties, bonuses, and income tax payments to the federal government. President Obama wants to increase their taxes?  Insidious, especially considering that the same day the president was demonizing our oil and gas industry, the Chinese government-owned Petroleum Company surpassed ExxonMobil in production.

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week on what is the seminal decision which will decide the path for this Republic. If the Supreme Court rules it is constitutional and in keeping with the Commerce Clause that the Federal Government can determine and mandate commerce in which the individual American citizen must participate or else face punitive charges, then our Republic and its fundamental premise of unalienable rights emanating from the Creator of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is in jeopardy.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a misnomer in its title. It does not protect the patient; it exposes him or her to 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies, to include a 15-member panel of unelected bureaucrats that will make the price control decisions on Medicare. It is not affordable because the Congressional Budget Office has now clarified the actual cost is $1.76 trillion and not the $940 billion lie told to the American people.

No doubt about it, the policies of President Obama, if they are allowed to continue, will amount to a diminished stature for the United States in the world.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

FCC Reform — Last Tuesday, the House approved H.R. 3309, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012, by a vote of 247-174, I VOTED YES.   According to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the bill would improve the way the FCC operates by increasing transparency, predictability, and consistency as part of House Republicans’ ongoing effort to ensure the commission’s work encourages job creation, investment, and innovation.

Fiscal Year 2013 Budget — On Thursday, the House approved H.Con.Res. 112, a concurrent resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, by a vote of 228-191, I VOTED YES.  The House Republican budget projects spending, revenues, and deficits over a ten-year budget window. The budget would provide for $3.53 trillion in spending outlays in Fiscal Year 2013 and assume revenues of $2.734 trillion, resulting in a deficit of $797 billion.  The resolution would provide $1.028 trillion in discretionary budget authority in Fiscal Year 2013, the same amount as called for in the last House-approved budget (H.Con.Res. 34).  The discretionary budget authority level for Fiscal Year 2013 is $19 billion below the spending ceiling established by the BCA.  Fiscal Year 2013 spending under H.Con.Res. 112 would be $187 billion lower than under the president’s budget and $55 billion below CBO’s current law baseline.  Over ten years, spending under H.Con.Res. 112 would total $40.13 trillion. Over ten years, H.Con.Res. 112 would reduce spending by $5.3 trillion compared to the president’s budget and by $4.15 trillion compared to CBO’s current law baseline.  Through a number of policy provisions the House Republican budget would also reform our broken tax code to make it simple, fair, and competitive, put the federal budget on path to balance, prevent deep and indiscriminate cuts to defense, and protect and strengthen Medicare for current retirees and future generations.  Since the president and Democrats in the Senate have refused to take responsibility for avoiding the debt-fueled crisis our nation faces, House Republicans are advancing a plan of action that will help lift our crushing burden of debt and spur job creation and economic opportunity while strengthening health and retirement security.  The budget also includes reconciliation instructions for six committees to replace the first year of the automatic sequester triggered under the Budget Control Act (BCA). For additional information and supplementary materials on the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution, including a detailed report on the budget, please see the House Budget Committee website.

Highway Funding — Also on Thursday, the House approved H.R. 4281, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, by a vote of 266-158, I VOTED YES.  The bill would extend the authority to appropriate funds from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for federal highway and surface transportation programs for 90 days, through June 30, 2012 (three-fourths of Fiscal Year 2012). Under current law, surface transportation spending authority is set to expire on March 31, 2012. The current highway program, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2009 and has since been authorized by a series of short-term extensions. The most recent extension (H.R. 2887) was approved in the House by voice vote in September 2011 and is set to expire on March 31, 2012. The Senate passed Highway Funding Bill is only for a two year period which will not provide the certainty necessary for our construction industry. The House is trying to do the responsible approach by providing businesses a five-year extension of this important funding bill.

Highlights of the Week:

Monday, March 26 – Attended and spoke at the 30th anniversary of the Groundbreaking of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Video of my speech here. Pictures here.

Tuesday, March 27 – Met with the President of Florida Atlantic University, Dr. M.J. Saunders regarding the FAU federal initiatives and projects, attended a HASC Full Committee briefing regarding mechanisms of sequestration and its effect on defense operations, spoke at the Americans for Prosperity “Hands off my Healthcare” Rally, attended a HASC Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee Hearing regarding understanding future irregular warfare challenges, met with Florida Beer Wholesalers Association members to discuss tax issues and state-based regulation of alcohol.

Wednesday, March 28 – Met with Admiral James Loy, USCG (Retired) and several others, with the US Global Leadership Coalition’s National Advisory Council to discuss the International Affairs budget; met with Dr. Kirk Schulz, President of Kansas State University and Dr. Sue Peterson, Director of Government Relations for Kansas State University; Attended a HASC Full Committee Hearing on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula; met with Ivy Greaner from Palm Beach, on behalf of the International Council of Shopping Centers to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act; attended a Small Business Full Committee Hearing regarding how partnerships can promote job growth; met with Ambassador Westmacott, British Ambassador; met with Ken Yancey, CEO of SCORE, and the St. Lucie County Board of Commissioners to discuss Fort Pierce Inlet dredging, water resources, and transportation issues.

Thursday, March 29 – Spoke at the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition and Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus Breakfast, received the United States Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award for my support of pro-business issues during my first session of Congress, pictures here, press release here. Met with students from Hobe Sound Christian Academy, met with the Executive Director of AMVETS, Stewart Hickey, to discuss the AMVETS Affirmative Action Initiative.

Friday, March 30th –  Joined with Florida Governor Rick Scott in observance of March 31, 2012 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, which also coincides with Friday’s 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War: More here.

Saturday, March 31st – attended the 7th Annual Police Memorial Ride in Palm Beach Gardens.  What a wonderful time! pictures here.

Sunday, April 1st – Church and family.

Rep Allen West – Recommended Reading for April 2, 2012

Already the disciples of Saul Alinsky are preparing their onslaught against the nation’s highest court, typical Chicago style…

by Congressman Allen West on Monday, April 2, 2012 (Facebook Page)
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Already the disciples of Saul Alinsky are preparing their onslaught against the nation’s highest court, typical Chicago style intimidation tactics. Whatever happened to the fundamental premise of co-equal branches of government?  good read:

Wall Street Journal Editorial – Assailing the Supreme Court

After last week’s Supreme Court argument on ObamaCare, the political left seems to be suffering a nervous breakdown. Only a week ago, the liberal consensus was that the federal mandate to buy insurance couldn’t possibly be overturned. Now as panic sets in, the left has taken to mau-mauing the Justices by saying that if they overturn the mandate they’ll be acting like political partisans. The High Court’s very “legitimacy” will be in question, as one editorial put it—a view repeated across the liberal commentariat.

This criticism is itself political lobbying, as is clear from the fact that it mostly spares Anthony Kennedy, the likeliest swing vote. Liberals still hope Justice Kennedy will uphold all of the law, even as they audition the mauling he’ll get if he joins Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas in the ninth level of judicial hell. Chief Justice John Roberts is also being lectured that the case will “define” his career, though in six years he has already established a record as a careful consensus builder on the Court.

Overturn any part of the law, the Justices are being told, and your reputations will be trashed. The invitations from Harvard and other precincts of the liberal establishment will dry up. And, by the way, you’ll show you hate sick people—as if the Court’s job is to determine health-care policy.

This is the left’s echo of Newt Gingrich’s threat earlier in the primary season to haul judges before Congress when it dislikes their rulings. Remember the political outrage over that one?

No doubt the Justices will ignore this transparent attempt at political intimidation, but someone should defend them against the claim that overturning the law would be “judicial activism.” It’s more accurate to say that failing to overturn the mandate would be dodging their duty to uphold core constitutional principles.

Judicial activism is not something that happens every time the Supreme Court overturns a statute. The Justices owe deference to Congress and the executive, but only to the extent that the political branches stay within the boundaries of the Constitution. Improper activism is when the Court itself strays beyond the founding document to find new rights or enhance its own authority without proper constitutional grounding.

The classic example, acknowledged by good liberals like Alexander Bickel and Archibald Cox at the time, is Roe v. Wade in 1973. The High Court discovered a right to abortion rooted in a right to privacy that it had invented in Griswold in 1965 from the Constitution’s “penumbras” and “emanations.” Roe overturned 50 state laws and pre-empted a healthy debate that would have reached a different abortion consensus in different states. Our cultural politics has been polarized ever since.

COMPLETE THIS ARTICLE: The Wall Street Journal

Article by Jerome Hudson for The Daily Caller – Why the liberal media is targeting Herman Cain

by Jerome Hudson for The Daily Caller

Thank you, Politico, for dragging our already divided and depressed nation back to the “high-tech lynching” days of Justice Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Sadly, Herman Cain is just the latest “uppity negro,” as Justice Thomas put it, to break the Eleventh Commandment: Cain dared to speak his mind, and because his message is anathema to the orthodoxy pervasive among liberal blacks, he is being bludgeoned.

However, the high-tech lynching of Herman Cain is not about Herman Cain. It is not about loosely detailed allegations of sexual harassment. Nor is it about how Cain’s campaign is handling the current conflagration.

No, Cain is merely a vehicle. And the liberal media war against him is a warning to blacks, Hispanics, women and any other member of the liberal minority victimhood class system that if they ever decide to escape the liberal plantation, they will be destroyed. Period.

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