November 13, 2014
This month’s election was a historic one for the GOP, which realized its largest majority in the House since 1928 and captured the Senate for the first time since 2006. When the 114th Congress convenes in January, Republicans in the House and Senate have an opportunity to show how they are able to govern. A significant majority in the House means Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his leadership team have more leeway in finding support for legislative priorities. In the Senate, Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will still have to contend with overcoming the 60 person cloture vote required to end debate on an issue. This means McConnell will have to approach legislation with an eye towards attracting Democratic support.
July 14, 2014
Last year, Congress opened an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) approval process for tax-exempt organizations ahead of the 2012 election. Following several Congressional hearings across multiple committees, it came to light late last month that officials inside the IRS had been slow walking conservative organization’s applications in hopes of keeping them on the sidelines ahead of the pivotal presidential election. Throughout the hearings, senior IRS officials refused to testify, or admit any wrongdoing. This later led to a transition in many leadership positions at the tax collection agency. No one person has been held legally accountable for the discriminatory practices of the agency because we have yet to learn just how far the campaign to stifle conservative political organizations had spread. Was it directed by rogue officials, the IRS Commissioner’s office, or even out of the White House itself?
May 12, 2014
According to the latest annual report on the state of regulatory compliance issued by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the cost of federal regulations is now bigger than the entire economies of all but nine countries in the world, including Canada. This is thanks to unchecked growth under the presidency of Barack Obama. The report is a compilation of compliance costs from government agencies and outside sources. CEI found that the "regulation tax" imposed on the economy is now greater than $1.86 trillion.
April 07, 2014
This past week the White House announced another Obamacare delay. This time they are unilaterally granting extra time to those who say they are unable to enroll in healthcare coverage via the federal exchange by the March 31, 2014 deadline. Everyone who has begun to apply for coverage on Healthcare.gov, but who do not complete their applications by this coming Monday, will have until mid-April to ask for the extension.
January 30, 2014
From lackluster registration rates, to knowing how many people have even paid for the government run insurance, the problems facing Obamacare aren’t letting up anytime soon.
January 13, 2014
A Colorado U.S. Senator’s office is under fire for pressuring employees at the state Division of Insurance to “trash” their statistics related to health insurance cancellations due to Obamacare. Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-CO) staff apparently didn’t like the state’s figures showing that nearly 250,000 Coloradans received health insurance cancellation notices.
December 23, 2013
The Obamacare roll out continues to go less smoothly than when Americans were promised “it would be just like shopping on Amazon.com.” On Friday, the Obama administration unilaterally acted to allow hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. Insurance companies have stated that the latest in the series of exemptions undermines the insurance marketplace and will drive up costs. Something Democrat lawmakers and the administration had promised would not happen.
December 12, 2013
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration the 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales. Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s, and the 600,000 plus franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people. With statistics like that, you’d think the U.S. Government would be bending over backwards to keep that growth going. After all, its major businesses like Hewlett-Packard, Ben and Jerry’s, and Walmart that started out as small businesses. But that isn’t the case.
October 25, 2013
With three years to build healthcare.gov, Obamacare’s central location to enroll, the initial roll out has been nothing short of disastrous. Congressional testimony and real life anecdotes from Americans and the news media have revealed that the site is full of glitches and few have actually been able to sign up for Obamacare. With months left until the site went live, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services didn't give CGI, the website’s vendor, the final technical requirements until May of 2013. About a third of the work the vendor had previously performed had to be thrown out and started over as a result.
September 30, 2013
On October 1, 2013, the Federal Government begins its 2014 Fiscal Year. It also will run out of money to fund many functions and services. Congress has failed to pass its annual appropriations bills for several years, and the Government is currently funded under a continuing resolution which expires at midnight on September 30, 2013. Without an extension of that agreement, the enactment of a new one, or passage of appropriations bills, a shutdown is triggered.
September 30, 2013
As Obamacare comes officially online tomrorow, Federal Government employees and Congress have sought to exempt themselves from participating in the program which will affect the health insurance programs of nearly every American. CapitolWatch welcomes a proposal by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, would move Federal workers off their employer-sponsored health plan and onto the insurance exchanges being established by Obamacare.
September 19, 2013
Earlier this year the Obama Administration awarded a $41 million public relations contract to the firm Weber Shandwick to enlist Americans to participate in the massive new Government program. Now, the website POLITICO has found that the Administration is “readying a multimillion-dollar onslaught of ads in a dozen red states.”
August 05, 2013
Rich Galen over at Mullings.com has a great post on the failures of Detroit. On July 19th, the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy. As Rich points out, "It owes as much as $20 billion and there is no conceivable way that debt will ever be paid. The city offered its debtors 10 cents on the dollar but the debtors refused."
February 15, 2013
Throughout the debate on healthcare reform, the President and Congressional Democrats promised that the reforms they were seeking were being done in the name of lowering costs and increasing access to care. Now that Obamacare is finally being implemented, the opposite has become true – healthcare costs have risen, and the exchanges promised to expand access to millions.
July 09, 2012
In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court ruled to uphold President Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, also commonly known as “Obamacare.” The ruling means that unless significant gains are made by Republicans in the Senate, or a new President is elected, the law is likely to stay largely in effect.
March 23, 2012
This week Congress has taken the welcome step of approving the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act). The bill, if signed into law by President Obama, holds Members of Congress and many federal employees to the same insider trading rules citizens are held to.
February 27, 2012
Across the county, motorists were paying an average of $3.59 for a gallon of gas last week, an increase of 36 cents per gallon from this time one year ago. Oil Market Analysts have said they expect this year to be a record-breaking for gas prices. $4 per gallon gas could become the new normal by Memorial Day. Already we have seen a $0.035 jump in prices following the President’s unhelpful comments this week.
February 08, 2012
The acting inspector general for the U.S. Government's financial bailout announced this month that taxpayers are still owed a whopping $133 billion. The announcement came in a quarterly report to Congress. Following the 2008 financial crisis, Congress authorized $700 billion for the bailout of financial companies and automakers, called the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). About $413 billion was lent.
January 26, 2012
This month President Obama passed on development of Keystone XL, a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast. Proponents of the pipeline have stated that the project would create 20,000 jobs in the U.S., including 13,000 positions in construction and 7,000 in manufacturing. In addition the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims it could create 250,000 permanent U.S. jobs. At a time of high unemployment and increasing dependence on oil from hostile foreign nations like Venezuela, isn’t it time our nation undertake all efforts to develop oil here in North America?
January 09, 2012
On January 4, 2012, President Obama announced a recess appointment of Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Additionally, the President announced recess appointments to install Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and Terence Flynn as National Labor Relations Board members. Block and Griffin are Democrats, while Flynn is a Republican. Interestingly, the first of these series of appointments was announced at a campaign rally for the President’s reelection campaign in the swing state of Ohio. Cordray was a Democrat Attorney General of the State. What makes these appointments all the more noteworthy is that the Senate was not in recess, making the these appointments highly questionable.
August 29, 2011
During the 1980 Presidential debates, then candidate Ronald Reagan uttered the famous phrase “there you go again,” in response to President Jimmy Carter’s fictitious claims. The same phrase could be used on today’s White House. President Obama and his surrogates – including senior strategist David Axelrod love to blame anyone but themselves when it comes to our nation’s economic woes.
July 13, 2011
An old sang around the water cooler goes: “Are you working hard or hardly working?” Around the halls of Congress, the response would be “hardly working” according to a recent article by the LA Times. In a July 3rd report from Washington, D.C. the paper reported that: “The 112th Congress is on pace to be one of the least productive in memory – as measured by votes taken, bills made into laws, and nominees approved. By most of those metrics, this crowd is under performing even the “do-nothing-Congress” of 1948 as [President] Harry Truman dubbed it. The hot-temper era of Clinton impeachment in the 1990’s saw more bills become law.”
June 15, 2011
It's been over 770 days since the U.S. Senate has passed a budget. In fact, neither the House nor the Senate passed a budget last year while Democrats held the majorities in both chambers. That trend continues today, as only the Republican controlled House has passed a budget and our government operates on a continuing resolution which runs out on September 30th. The Democratic majority in the Senate still has yet to propose a 2012 budget. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said he intends to offer one, but not until the fiscal talks led by Vice President Biden conclude.
February 01, 2011
This week marks the continued march against the government overreach that is President Obama’s healthcare reform bill. As the waivers to the complicated bureaucratic system pile up, and business owners have to choose between laying off employees or complying with the requirements of the bill, there emerges a silver lining. 47 U.S. Senators and a federal Judge have taken action to halt this law from continuing to be implemented.
January 24, 2011
The House of Representatives has taken a historic step for every American citizen and has repealed the President's Healthcare Bill.
January 06, 2011
Yesterday, over 100 new Congressman and Senators are sworn in to the 112th Congress of the United States. It’s a day that sees the House flipped to Republican control, and an emboldened Republican minority in the Senate. When these members were running for reelection they certainly talked a good game about cutting taxes, paying down the national debt, and ridding us of policies like the heath care bill which are holding back job growth. With that in mind, it’s time for these members to start earning their paychecks.
October 26, 2010
Today, CapitolWatch, a non-profit grassroots organization with over 250,000 supporters nationwide, released the following statement regarding the 2010 Election.
August 15, 2010
Each year, Congress takes a recess from Washington and legislators head home to meet with their constituents. This being a campaign year, your legislators are more likely to be in your neck of the woods pressing the flesh and holding town hall meetings.
June 28, 2010
For years, members of the minority party in the Senate have log-jammed the appointment process by being able to place secret holds on candidates without ever having to justify their decisions.
May 19, 2010
We would like to congratulate both primary winners Joe Sestak (PA) and Rand Paul (KY) on their victories in what we hope is only the beginning of a changing of the guard in Washington, DC.
March 22, 2010
With the first hurdles cleared for passing a national health insurance program, there have been more defined issues raised against the legality and affect of the program by lawmakers, pundits, and even state attorneys alike.
February 15, 2010
Sen. Evan Bayh (IN) announced today that he will not seek re-election in what, many insiders say, would likely have been an easy contest due, in part, to the current atmosphere in Washington, DC.
January 21, 2010
With the special election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts to the seat of, for all intents and purposes, the architect of healthcare reform, a clear message has been sent to Washington about the will of the people and what they think about the current plan.
July 02, 2009
The Climate Change Bill that recently passed the House by a narrow margin is in danger of being defanged by the President and his opposition to trade tariffs against countries not also reducing global warming pollution.
March 19, 2009
The Senate has successfully passed legislation eliminating the automatic annual increases in member pay, and the bill now heads to the House where it has not received a warm reception by the leadership.
March 03, 2009
We applaud President Obama's continued record of picking persons with outstanding tax liabilities for cabinet-level positions; at this rate we should see a significant reduction in our nation's national debt before all the positions have been filled.
February 27, 2009
Since 1999, U.S. banks have had the opportunity to work on both sides of the financial fence: granting credit and using credit. However, as the nightly news reveals daily, this double dipping has been a significant cause of the economic crisis we as a nation find ourselves.
January 26, 2009
The U.S. Senate has passed legislation delaying the transition from analog to digital television broadcasts on February 17 of this year in order to accommodate households that have not made the necessary arrangements to receive the new broadcasts.
October 23, 2008
As many have probably seen in political ads by the McCain camp, Sen. Barack Obama was taped explaining to "Joe the Plumber" how he would "spread the wealth around", something that is contrary to the principles of our government and exactly what the founding fathers sought to dissuade.
September 16, 2008
It seems as though neither Senator McCain nor Obama has much to say about the state of the economy other than that the other person/ party must be to blame, highlighting the fact that neither understands what is happening or how to fix it.
June 19, 2008
The recent proposal by the president to open the continental shelf to oil and gas exploration was met with predictable opposition from weary coastal politicians and environmental advocacy groups, but when examined more closely, is a relatively safe and viable option that should receive more careful consideration.
November 30, 2007
The CapitolWatch.org website is being updated!
July 05, 2007
CapitolWatch has released a survey to help gauge viewers' interests and continue to provide relevant information.
November 08, 2006
CapitolWatch congratulates the winners of the 2006 midterm elections and looks forward to working with the new congress to promote and pass legislation affecting citizens of the U.S. such as immigration reform, net neutrality, and a reduction of wasteful spending -- the main cause of high taxes.