Washington Watch - 2/1/16
Last week, 26 states, including Georgia, asked the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court to make an emergency ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plant rule. The rule is expected to significantly increase electricity rates for Americans, including an annual price increase of 17% for Georgians once the rule is fully implemented, according to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy. That’s because Georgia gets about one-third of its total electricity from coal power, and any regulation that is meant to make coal more expensive – even to the point of making coal economically unviable – will harm Georgia’s consumers and American workers across the country.
You might remember that Congress passed a resolution late last year specifically disapproving of this EPA action, but the President vetoed S.J.Res. 24 earlier this month. When the majority of the states work together with a majority in Congress, I know that this is not the end of the battle against this senseless, job-killing, price-hiking regulation that will take money out of your wallet and subject you to higher electricity prices. We will continue to work to defeat this rule.
- LA Times. Supreme Court is urged to halt Obama’s climate change rules
- Huffington Post. 26 states fight to block Obama’s carbon emissions plan to curb global warming
- E&E Publishing. Supreme Court urged to halt rule or risk irrelevance
This coming week the House is expected to vote to override President Obama’s veto of H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015,” which rolls back the more egregious and expensive parts of Obamacare. Though we do not yet have enough votes in the House to override the veto, last week’s headlines detailing rising Obamacare costs and increased reluctance from insurers to offer Obamacare policies, should change some votes and should be a sign to President Obama that his veto was ill-advised. The President's health care "solution" is going to cost the American taxpayer more than anyone expected it would, cover fewer people than they predicted it would, and raise costs for American's rather than cut them by thousands, as was promised it would. That’s why I’m so happy that Republicans in the House are continuing to offer a patient-centered health care alternative that will put doctors and patients in the driver’s seat – not bureaucrats or politicians.
- Chicago Tribune. Health law insurance will probably cost more in 2017, top insurer says
- Forbes. Anthem profits tumble on higher Obamacare costs
As you probably know, the U.S. has lifted many of our economic sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear deal that President Obama joined with France, Russia, China, Germany, and Great Britain in signing with Iran last year. The implementation of this nuclear agreement is highly controversial, with the President arguing that it will make the world safer, and opponents, including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, doubting that Iran will change its disruptive policies in the Middle East. I tend to agree with Secretary Gates, and while I hope that the Iranian regime will change its behavior in the region and eschew developing nuclear weapons, I fear that the lifting of sanctions will only provide Iran with more money and opportunity to develop those weapons and further entangle itself with anti-Western factions – like the Assad government in Syria.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently held an important hearing addressing the situation in the Middle East in a post-Iran nuclear deal era. While all Americans are happy to have five illegally held American hostages back home and out of the clutches of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, nobody is so naïve as to believe that Iran will stop its anti-Israel and anti-American tendencies. After all, Iran has already flouted U.N. resolutions against ballistic missile tests. That is why I’m proud of the bipartisan nature of this Senate hearing and am confident that Congress will continue to be laser focused on ensuring that we hold Iran accountable for its actions.
In fact, I expect the House to vote on H.R. 3662, the "Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act," this coming week. This bill prohibits President Obama from lifting economic sanctions on Iranian individuals or financial institutions until the President certifies that they haven't been involved in supporting terrorists organizations, the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, or any development of weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles.
- The Hill. Kerry: Some Iran sanctions relief will go to terrorists
- U.S. News and World Report. A bad deal off to a worse start
- CNN. After nuclear deal, what to do about Iran?
- BBC News. Iran nuclear deal: Five effects of lifting sanctions
- New York Times. With Iran nuclear deal implemented, what happens next?
This week the House is expected to vote on a series of important bills coming from the House Financial Services Committee aimed at growing jobs and strengthening America's middle class: H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015,” H.R. 1675, the “Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015,” and H.R. 766, the “Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015.” In addition, the House will vote to override President Obama’s veto of H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.”
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