An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
There was a great deal happening in Washington this week, so I’m going to jump right in and share with you the many conservative victories we had. We are in the middle of appropriations season. At every turn, I’m continuing my fight to cut the budget of each federal agency. It is a moral failure that men and women are cutting back each month to make their budgets work, only to send money to Washington to a government that refuses to live within theirs.
This week, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services Appropriations Bill. I’m happy to let you know I secured several provisions to this legislation that will protect your money from government waste and mismanagement. I offered several amendments and want to take a few minutes to share these victories with you. (I’ve linked to each of my remarks on the House floor- I hope you’ll take a minute and watch.)
Cities such as Detroit and Chicago, and other places in our country where big labor has forced unsustainable retirement benefits upon city taxpayers, are going to have to find their own way out of the mess they have created. My passed amendment will prevent the federal government from bailing out public pensioners. I refuse to stand by and watch hard-working taxpayers be left on the hook for the irresponsible decisions of liberal big labor groups.
The House also accepted my amendment to cut $2 million in funding from the Internal Revenue Service. President Reagan always said he’d come for half the loaf of bread today and would be back for the other half tomorrow. I’m not done cutting from the IRS budget.
My third amendment passed the House and will prohibit funds used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission from moving forward with a rule that would cripple the highly successful voluntary recall program currently in place. The public would ultimately be more at risk through a hostile process involving more time, lawyers and greater costs.
I offered a fourth amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations Bill that I’ve offered on every appropriations bill since I’ve had the honor of representing the Seventh District. I offered this amendment during my days as State Senator in Tennessee. Many of you have heard me talk about my 1,2, and 5% across-the-board spending cut amendments. I offered a 1% across-the-board spending cut that would have saved more than $228 million. I am disappointed it did not pass, but I am not giving up the fight. Each agency can handle a 1% haircut and I’m on a mission to rein in this outlandish federal government.
This week was also a win for states rights. I firmly believe that it is the role of state legislatures, not unelected bureaucrats in Washington, to legislate the affairs of each city within the state. The House approved my amendment to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from trampling on the rights of the state. Washington has zero right to tell states what they can and can’t do with respect to protecting their limited taxpayer dollars and private enterprises. The state is sovereign and I am happy to continue my fight to protect each state’s sovereign rights.
I believe all life is precious and sacred, and from conception to death needs to be protected. Earlier this week, I went to the Senate to testify against the “Women’s Health Protection Act.” This horrible legislation would have overridden state laws limiting abortions: including third-trimester bans on abortion, limits on abortion after 5 months of pregnancy, and laws against sex-selection abortion. One of the most basic precepts of our Constitution is the right to life. I will continue to fight to protect that right.
Well now, that tells you a great deal about this non-representative Senator from Tennessee. Is he so arrogant that he believes he doesn’t need to fight for his seat? He is not FOR Tennessee. He is for the Democrats. He votes with the Dems more often than with his own party. He is not a conservative. He’s forgotten his oath, as so many who have made a career in politics. It’s time for Lamar Alexander to be sent home.
We were all appalled this week with the release of the VA OIG interim report regarding the treatment of our nation’s veterans at the Phoenix VA. It is beyond comprehension that Phoenix VA senior hospital employees would intentionally cook the books so that they could be financially rewarded at the expense of our nation’s veterans. That is why I called for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Our veterans deserve better and General Shinseki did the right thing by apologizing and stepping down today from his leadership post at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Now, we owe it to our veterans to do everything possible to get to the bottom of the VA mismanagement.
As you all know, I have been a strong supporter of cutting spending throughout my career in Congress and in the Tennessee State Senate. I continued my fight this week to protect your tax dollars by offering my one-percent across the board cut amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act. While my amendment may not have received the votes needed to pass, I can assure you that I’ll continue fighting for this common sense proposal to rein in out-of-control spending.
APRIL 25-27th – WAYNESBORO, TN
The Mr and I will, I hope, be there tomorrow afternoon. There will be speakers, some I know, some I know of, and a few I’ve no clue, but ought to be good. There will be entertainment including Bryan White and Lisa Mei. There will be vendors. There will be food. There will be patriots!
I want to jump right in and let you know the House passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Resolution- The Path to Prosperity – yesterday. I went to the House floor to speak in support of this common sense budget resolution. As a member of the Budget Committee, strong conservative, mom and a grandmother, and American citizen worried about our future, it is important to me to present a budget that makes Washington live within its means.
The Ryan Budget will put America back on a path to prosperity by making $5.1 trillion in actual spending cuts, balancing the budget within ten years, strengthening programs such as Medicare, simplifying the tax code, and replacing Obamacare with common sense, patient centered health care reform. This week I joined on C-SPAN and Varney & Company to talk about this issue. It’s time for an intellectually honest conversation about the economy, the budget, and our $17 trillion debt.
Many of you saw yesterday’s news of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius’ resignation. This has been a long time coming after a litany of failures and total mismanagement. The American people deserve better and I’m not going to ease up on fighting on your behalf.
I want to share another Conservative victory with you. This week, Energy and Commerce’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee passed the DOTCOM Act. Many of you know I’ve been working on this with Representative Shimkus to protect the United States oversight role of the Domain Name System. I went to the House floor to continue this fight. This might not seem like a fight worth having, but the control of the Internet is up for grabs and I think it’s vital to America’s interest to make sure we do not cede that control. I look forward to the DOTCOM Act coming to full Committee then to the House floor. Keep up to date through Facebook and Twitter.
Representing the Tennessee 7th Congressional District is a great honor for many reasons. This week I had the privilege of testifying before the House Armed Services Committee and talk about the brave men and women of Ft. Campbell. I asked the Committee to once again pay close attention to restoring the ArmyFlying Hours Program to its full capacity in Fiscal Year 2015. For aviation units like the 101st Airborne, this training is not only vital to mission success but to the safety of our soldiers.
Finally, I want to tell you about today. Today was a terrific day; one my staff and I have worked on for months. It was a great honor to welcome 150 high school student leaders to Columbia State Community College for the inaugural Congressional Leadership Summit. It’s important to me to recognize these outstanding young leaders and help give them the skills to continue to grow in their leadership potential. Rudy Kalis and Cordia Harrington joined us and charged these young leaders to excellence. See the conversation on social media by following #LEADTN7.
We’ve had a busy week in Washington. Our legislative week was cut short due to the impending snowstorm, so I got home early and got to work in the District. I’ve spent the past two days out and about meeting with constituents in Hickman, Humphreys, Benton, Henderson, Chester, McNairy, Hardin, Wayne, and Lawrence Counties. You can keep up with the travel through the District on Twitter. Be sure to follow and retweet!
Dating back to my Tennessee State Senate days, I’ve always fought for smaller and more responsible government. That’s still my charge today. Since coming to Congress, I’ve been leading the fight to reduce out-of-control spending and making sure your hard-earned tax dollars are protected from waste, fraud, and abuse. I’m happy to report this week the Budget Committee approved two key pieces of legislation that will bring accountability to the budget process and hold bureaucrats responsible for every one of our tax dollars they spend. As a member of the Budget Committee, I gladly give H.R. 1869, the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act, and H.R. 1872, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act my support and look forward to voting for them on the House Floor.
It’s with reducing our spending in mind that I voted against increasing the debt ceiling. Raising the debt ceiling without any guarantee of cutting spending is irresponsible. It only makes our fiscal problems worse. I’ve been working and fighting to get our economy back on the path to fiscal health, and I’m going to keep fighting. We have a spending problem in Washington and it won’t get fixed by spending more money. Here’s my interview with C-SPAN with more on the debt ceiling vote.
I’ve heard from many of you regarding your frustration that President Obama delayed another piece of his health care law. Once again, President Obama is providing relief for businesses while ignoring the millions of individuals who are suffering under this failed law. I certainly join you in your frustration. While I am continuing to hold accountable both President Obama and his administration, I am fighting for health care reform that is fiscally sound and makes sense. While President Obama is delaying relief, I’m going to keep working for conservative solutions. I hope you’ll consider becoming a citizen co-sponsor of the conservative American Health Care Reform Act and fighting with me.
Finally, I wanted to make sure you knew about this year’s Congressional Art Competition. Started in 1982, the Congressional Art Competition recognizes award-winning art from high school students across the country. Each spring, artists submit their art to the Franklin District Office. One winner is selected and their art is displayed in the United States Capitol for a full year. More details are on the website. Please share with high school students that you know. It’s a great program and I love the talent that comes out of the Tennessee Seventh Congressional District!
Last year alone the House conducted over 1,300 oversight hearings across all of our committees.2014 will be no different. I wanted to share with you an overview of what we did in Congress this past week to hold President Obama’s administration accountable. You can read about our work HERE.
As Vice Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I have been leading the effort to ensure your personal information is protected from the threat of cyber attacks. On Wednesday, we examined the issue at a Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee hearing with Target and Neiman Marcus to discuss next steps in giving you the tools to protect your virtual presence.
This week brought us another disappointing jobs report that further shows the uncertainty being created due to this administration’s over-reaching policies and the negative effect these policies are having on the job market. Neither the Senate or White House has an understanding of how the free market works and what real job solutions look like. I continue to lead on legislative efforts to get regulation out of the way and people back to work.
In addition, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed this week what we have been saying for years, that Obamacare is devastating for the economy. According to a report released by CBO, the President’s health care law will cost $2 trillion over the next 10 years, add $1 trillion to the deficit, and leave the workforce with 2.5 million fewer people working full time by 2024.
This report follows months of reports about the health care law’s rate shock, sticker shock, and the President’s broken promises. This law is a disaster and the White House is clearly in damage control mode. Sadly, whatever nuanced talking points they can produce cannot change the sad state of this law. That is why I have worked with my Republican colleagues to craft an alternative to address this failure. You can read more about our proposal here: H.R. 3121, The American Health Care Reform Act.
Finally, as a strong advocate of our men and women serving in uniform, I was pleased this week to support legislation approved by the House to provide certainty and the guarantee to all of our nation’s veterans that they will have the ability to access the educational opportunities they deserve. H.R. 357, the G.I. Bill Tuition Fairness Act, would allow veterans to attend the state-run higher-education institution of their choice at the in-state tuition rate. This would ensure that our veterans can attend an institution of higher learning that meets their specific needs without worrying about the inflated costs which out-of-state-residents often must pay. Both our active duty and our National Guardsmen serve willingly to protect our nation’s freedom. This is one more way we can appropriately recognize their service.
A Nashville Democrat proposes raising Tennessee’s tax on cigarettes to fund expansion of TennCare, a plan he says answers Republican claims that the state cannot afford to offer coverage.
State Rep. Gary Odom is filing a measure that would increase Tennessee’s cigarette tax, currently among the lowest in the nation, by 44 cents a pack. Odom says the tax increase would raise about $175 million a year, more than enough to offset the state’s eventual share of TennCare expansion, while also taking aim at the harmful effects of smoking.
Tennessee now collects 62 cents a pack on cigarettes, the 13th-lowest rate in the nation.
Once again, the Dems want to cut off their noses to spite their face. When the tax goes up, people will either quit smoking, go to other states, or make their own. The state loses money through such stupidity. It’s not hard to figure out, if only they’d use what God gave them, called a brain! They want to increase revenue by increasing a ‘sin tax’, but what they really end up doing is making ‘criminals’ out of law abiding citizens, and the state loses money!
TennCare is a failure. Why can’t they figure this one out? Even across the state line, in Mississippi, they won’t take it anymore! Poorly run government programs should be handed over to a private company, and allow the system to actually work for what it was intended. Taking money away from people who don’t use the system, as with all government programs, is theft! Plain and simple.
Since we have a Republican run Assembly, I’m praying that those in charge will use their God given brains, and shoot down this absurd proposal. Do you want companies and individuals coming to the state, or do you want to run people OUT of the state, where they’ll spend THEIR hard earned money elsewhere? I’ve come to the conclusion that Democrats are nothing more than thieves. They lie, they cheat, and they steal! They want YOUR money to spend on THEIR stupidity!
Tennessee has a great deal to offer, but please, if you come here, don’t bring your northeastern political mindset with you!
FYI, the whole letter will be below the ‘fold’.
Now, there are several things I noticed about this newsletter from my state rep, Vance Dennis. I like Vance, he’s a good guy. I like his wife, and consider her a friend. But I gotta say, I honestly think he could do more to encourage some job growth in our county. There are a lot of folks here who aren’t working, and bringing even a small factory to the area would be a boon. You wouldn’t believe how many small businesses open and close within six months around here. Why? Because people just don’t have the money to spend. Why are the bigger counties the ones who get the good stuff? Just wondering.
But hey….Tennessee being name ’2013 State of the Year” for economic development is quite an honor. It’s a good state, with good folks, and guess what! We have indoor plumbing, and ‘lectric lights, and even some folks can read and write! To top it off, there are even some who gradgamacte from college. Ok, I’m being a bit sarcastic here for the benefit of those folks in the northeast who believe that just because we speak slow, we’re all a bunch of ignorant hicks! Southerners are friendly and welcoming. If they aren’t, it’s a sure bet they moved down here and brought their Yankee hostility with them. Just sayin’.
Now, there’s that last item of the newsletter that gives me pause. Ethics training? Seriously, these people need to be trained to be ethical? If that’s the case, then they are in the wrong place!! These are people we depend on to do the right things for the state. If they aren’t ethical, then they ought to pimps, or drug dealers, or some other ‘career’ where ethics aren’t an issue. Sheesh!
It’s not bad enough we have major RINO in the Senate, supposedly representing the folks in the state of Tennessee? He now blocks his constituents? Seriously?
Sam Hatt, a self-described constitutional conservative and Sparta,Tennessee resident , tells us that Alexander blocked him shortly after Representative Carr announced he would challenge him for the Senate seat. “I asked Alexander how many pieces of silver Washington was paying him to vote liberal. I was no longer allowed to comment or contact the Senator,” says Hatt.
Phil Dedrick, another self-described constitutional conservative and legislative activist living in Waynesborro,Tennessee, has voted for Alexander every time he has run for office since 1978. “Things are different now,” says Dedrick. ”He votes Liberal and we Tennesseans sent him to DC to vote as a conservative, and only as a conservative. If Lamar is going to vote the way he has been, then he should run as a Democrat.”
Dedrick was blocked after posting Lamar’s voting record on a post where the senator had lied to voters about his vote. “I was simply trying to show voters the truth,” says Dedrick.
I guess the ‘gentleman from Tennessee’ has a VERY thin skin! If he can’t take criticism from his constituents, then perhaps he needs to find another line of work. Oh…that’s right! We’re trying to help him do JUST THAT!
Read the whole column. Quite an eye opener on the hopefully EX TN Senator!!
Isn’t it funny. I have contacted Alexander on a number of issues since we moved to Tennessee, and of all the many emails I’ve sent, I’ve received perhaps 2, maybe 3 responses…form letters of course, that never answers any questions. I get the impression he doesn’t like me very much. Shoot, I get the impression he doesn’t like conservatives! Hmmm… Not a good idea to shaft the folks who vote you in, or out, as the case may be. In your case, we are hoping for OUT in the not too distant future!
The ALL have my address!
On 16 June 2013, I posted the Heritage’s rankings of Tennessee’s so called representative, that you can see here. I was disappointed that my Rep had dropped in the rankings, so you can imagine my distress when I learned that not only Marsha had dropped, but my two Senators dropped….significantly!
Votes. A drop of 3% in Heritage’s ‘conservative rankings.
Votes. A drop of 6%.
Votes. And last, we have Corker, with quite a significant change of 13%.
Now, I’m not saying that Heritage is the final voice in conservatism, but they ARE a voice that addresses a great many issues that concern the majority of conservatives today. When I see my so called representatives voting against issues that are important to me and mine, I just have to wonder….who, exactly, are they representing?
See how your reps stack up here. Funny how Sen Ted Cruz of Texas, and Sen Mike Lee of Utah have a 100% ranking, isn’t it. The guys the libs love to hate! :D They really should get a new hobby….like basket weaving or some such, don’cha know.
This does NOT make me very happy, or confident! She’s dropped.
Honestly, I have no idea why these two still call themselves Republicans, much less TRY to pretend to be conservative. Dudes! It ain’t workin’! We’ve got your number!! And it’s LOW!! Y’all can either snap out of your stupidity, or find another line of work!
The whole state is here, and you can find yours, if in another state, here. You can find the bestest of the whole lot is here, then it goes downhill! Needless to say, all the ZEROES are Ds, but what’s more disappointing is how many R’s that are below 50%. Shoot, there is even a D or two that rank HIGHER than some Rs. *shakes head* We have GOT to fix this problem!!! What is best for the country is not a bunch of self serving yahoos, spending OUR money on crap that does NOTHING to improve the nation, or her citizens!
Donnie Harwood, Tn Tea Teams Coordinator led his team into battle yesterday (Tuesday) in a huge community meeting about the push for Sharia law compliance in Tennessee. Donnie estimates that there were over 1500 people in attendance along with FBI agents, Islamic Imams and elected officials.
This was a perfect opportunity for a Tea Teams “Pledge of Allegiance” mission and Donnie and his crew did it right. They brought a large American flag with them and spontaneously launched into the pledge of allegiance…..joined by the majority they “shouted” ONE NATION UNDER GOD! The rafters shook with the enthusiasm of American patriotism.
Tennessee got its first glimpse of the new Tea Teams USA. Our roaring lion logo was on display and Donnie received many positive comments from the citizens.
Tea Teams is now in demand for other events in Tennessee and Donnie and his team are gearing up to take on all comers.
When Tea Teams roar, the American heart listens.
Score one for the GOOD guys!
(newer stuff below)
Calling all Tennesseans…or anyone else who is the vicinity!! We need warm bodies! We are AMERICANS! We do NOT follow sharia! We do NOT bow to Mecca! We do NOT kowtow to muslim infiltrators!!
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd., Manchester, TN
Sponsor of the event is the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee. Special speakers for the event will be Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division.
Naturally, I gave my buck and a quarter’s worth here.
We’re #3? Well, I reckon that’s not so bad, however….
Tennessee is one of the freest states in the country, placing just behind the Dakotas at the top of the rankings. Like the Dakotas, it fares better on economic freedom than personal freedom.
Contrary to what my state rep thinks, when the government tells a privately owned business what they can and cannot do, that’s an infringement on person liberty. They might want to rethink some of those far reaching policies, that is NOT that job. K?
Mark Levin asked a question yesterday, that I find highly telling. “What’s MORE important? Liberty of equality?” I can give my answer without hesitation. Can you? Without liberty, there can be no equality!