Tag Archives: Mike Lee

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee go after Obama administration for intimidating pro-lifers

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee go to war against amnesty
Ted Cruz and Mike Lee

This is from Life News.

Excerpt:

Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah are accusing the Justice Department of pursuing “frivolous prosecutions” against the pro-life movement and having, according to the senators’ offices, “what appears to be an exceptionally heavy bias” in favor of abortion clinics over houses of worship in a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Tuesday.

The letter concerns the Justice Department’s enforcement of the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a law that prohibits any use or threat of force and physical obstruction outside abortion clinics and places of religious worship. The law, however, does not criminalize peaceful protests or other First Amendment-protected activities outside abortion facilities or places of worship.

In the letter, obtained by The Daily Signal, the Republican senators write:

The [Justice Department’s] brazen pursuit (and subsequent online promotion) of—at best—frivolous prosecutions in the abortion context, combined with its failure to list any prosecutions or enforcement activities in the religious worship context, gives the distinct impression of a warped and biased enforcement of FACE by the [Justice Department].

Cruz and Lee reference the Civil Rights Division’s web page, which cites “more than 15 FACE actions in more than a dozen states” that the Justice Department has filed. The website also notes “ongoing investigations in other states,” along with “several FACE cases and settlement agreements concerning abortion clinic workers or abortion facilities.”

“Interestingly, it does not list a single case concerning the freedom of religious exercise at houses of worship,” Cruz and Lee write.

To further investigate the alleged double standard, Cruz and Lee are demanding that Lynch hand over a broad range of documents pertaining to the FACE Act dating back to January 2009.

Cruz has a good long record on pro-life issues – lots of pro-life actions in the past to show that the pro-life words of today can be believed.

Charisma News talked about Cruz’s pro-life achievements.

Excerpt:

On Saturday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz received a ringing endorsement from Georgia’s largest pro-life organization. “Senator Cruz has an unblemished record of standing up for innocent life,” said Ricardo Davis, the director of Georgia Right to Life’s Political Action Committee (GRTL PAC).

And here are the pro-life achievements:

Senator Cruz’s pro-life record includes the following:

  • Leading the charge on behalf of 13 states in successfully defending the federal Partial Birth Abortion Act before the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • Joining 18 states in successfully defending New Hampshire’s Parental Notification Act before the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • Successfully defending a Texas law that prevents state funds from being sent to organizations that perform abortions; and
  • Calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood amid charges that the abortion giant sells aborted body parts.

That was Georgia Right to Life, but Wisconsin is the next GOP primary state. And in Wisconsin, Ted Cruz just picked up another pro-life endorsement.

Charisma News reports:

Wisconsin and its 42 delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday in a contest where the top vote getter wins all of the delegates in each congressional district, as well as statewide. Cruz already has the endorsement of Gov. Scott Walker, who dropped out of the GOP presidential race prior to the votes being cast in neighboring Iowa.

The Texas senator has picked up two more endorsements that could be critical to his winning the Badger State. The first was from Wisconsin Right to Life:

Wisconsin Right to Life’s Political Action Committee supports Ted Cruz as the only presidential candidate with a proven record on life who can win.

“There has never been an election more important than this election, and the stakes have never been higher when it comes to protecting the unborn,” stated Chelsea Shields, PAC Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “There is only one candidate for president who has always been pro-life, who has a 100-percent pro-life voting record with National Right to Life and Wisconsin Right to Life, and who can win the Republican nomination and defeat pro-abortion Hillary Clinton in November. And that candidate is Ted Cruz.”

[…]Cruz also picked up the personal endorsement of a key evangelical pro-family leader in Wisconsin. Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said Wednesday that Cruz is a man of integrity who has kept the promises he made when he ran for Senate.

[…]In addition to Appling’s personal support, Cruz also picked up Wisconsin Family Action PAC’s official endorsement. The organization has the ability to immediately reach out to hundreds of thousands of evangelicals in the Badger State.

He has a 100% pro-life voting record, and specific pro-life actions in his record. We don’t have to take his word for it, like we do with other candidates who say they are pro-life, but have a record of donations to pro-abortion Democrats, and a record of being “very pro-choice” and supporting partial birth abortion.

What about Donald Trump?

What about a person who has never thought about the pro-life view before, and who has no pro-life actions in his record? What happens when they are asked about abortion?

The Wall Street Journal reports on the latest Trump blunder:

The first-time candidate showed how little he understands about the politics of abortion by suggesting that “there has to be some kind of punishment” if abortion were made illegal.

“For the woman?” asked progressive partisan Chris Matthews of MSNBC. Mr. Trump: “Yeah, there has to be some form.” He added that men who impregnate women who have an abortion should not be punished.

[…]Not even the most fervent abortion opponent favors punishing a woman who has one. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, opponents would try to pass laws that punish abortion providers or the clinics where they take place. Mr. Trump’s remarks were thus a political gift to Democrats and the left, who would like nothing better than to stereotype abortion opponents as misogynists who want to put women in jail.

[…]Mr. Trump’s loyal GOP partisans have been willing to ignore his rhetorical mistakes and excesses, but Democrats will be merciless. So will the media if he secures the GOP nomination. His abortion blunder is doubly troubling because it will reinforce his growing unpopularity among women voters in both parties. Imagine his Wednesday remarks playing as part of a national advertising loop from June to November.

Anyone who has thought about the pro-life issue for more than 2 minutes knows the answer to the question: “who should be punished if abortion becomes illegal?” Answer: the person who provided the abortion, of course. That’s why pro-lifers want to regulate and defund abortion providers.

Bobby Jindal and Mike Lee on school choice / education reform

Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

This is an editorial from the Washington Examiner, authored by school choice champion Bobby Jindal.

What is school choice?

On the most basic level, school choice represents the freedom to choose — empowering parents to select the best educational options for their sons and daughters. That could be a charter school, a private school, a religious school, home schooling, or even online learning. Governments should provide parents with the personalized and individualized tools they need to help their children excel academically.

That freedom to choose in turn will provide children with the freedom to succeed. With the right educational environment, teachers and academic training; students from all locations, income brackets and demographic groups will have better tools to compete in the global economy. We need to develop the talents of every American — no matter where he or she is from, and no matter the color of his or her skin — to maximize our country’s potential.

School choice also serves another important purpose — freeing low-income children from failing schools. No child should see his God-given talents go to waste because he is stuck in a failing school — and no parent should face the disempowerment that comes from knowing her son or daughter remains trapped in a poor school, and she lacks the financial means to move that child elsewhere. We can do better — and, by allowing parents dissatisfied with their school to move with their feet, school choice gives both high-performing and low-performing schools more incentive and motivation to improve their offerings.

Finally, school choice provides parents with freedom from the status quo — an educational-industrial complex that thinks bureaucrats, not parents, can best make decisions about the lives and futures of America’s children. It’s about pushing back when the then-head of Louisiana’s largest teachers’ union said low-income parents had “no clue” how to choose the right school for their children. And it’s even about standing up to the Attorney General of the United States, when the Department of Justice asked a court to block Louisiana’s school scholarship program on civil rights grounds — even though 90 percent of the program’s participants come from racial minority groups.

I don’t like people who talk conservative but govern liberal. I want to see the achievements.

The numbers:

For here in Louisiana, we’ve put those principles to practice. Since we removed the cap on charters in 2009, we’ve authorized almost 200 charter schools throughout the state — that’s 70,000 kids who now have a choice about where they go to school. This last year, our Recovery School District became the nation’s first school district with 100 percent charter school enrollment. And the results are dramatic: The graduation rate in New Orleans has increased from 54.4 percent before Hurricane Katrina in 2004 to 72.8 percent; the percentage of New Orleans students scoring basic and above has increased from 35 percent to 63 percent; and the percentage of failing schools in New Orleans has dropped from 67 percent in 2005 to 17 percent.

We expanded our school choice scholarship program, which was initially confined to New Orleans, statewide. Parental satisfaction with the statewide scholarship program stands at a whopping 91.9 percent. We went even further though and created a dollar for dollar rebate for donations used to fund nonpublic school scholarships low-income students through our “school tuition organizations.” Between 2008 and 2013, the percentage of students in the scholarship program who are proficient in third grade English language arts has grown by 20 percentage points and in math by 28 percentage points. Again and again, we’ve proven that giving more choice to parents is not only vital, but it gets results.

We also expanded access to online and dual enrollment courses for students across the state. This year, we’ve had over 19,000 students take advantage of our Course Choice program enrolling in advanced placement courses and career and technical courses that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

He’s in my top 2 for the 2016 presidential race, along with Scott Walker.

I’d like to see school choice enacted at the federal level, and fortunately, Utah Senator Mike Lee has the same idea.

Utah Senator Mike Lee
Utah Senator Mike Lee

The Daily Signal reports:

I recently introduced in the Senate a bill that would empower the people most acutely committed to the quality of our education system: America’s moms and dads. My colleague on the other side of the Capitol, Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., has introduced a companion bill in the House.

By giving parents more power to invest in their child’s education and to choose what school best meets their needs, the Enhancing Educational Opportunities for All Act takes an important step toward restoring accountability to our public education system—something that has been missing for far too long.

Under our current system—which has remained essentially unchanged since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act—most parents are powerless to influence the quality of their child’s education.

What occurs in public school classrooms around the country—what teachers teach and how they teach it—is the result of a long, convoluted, bureaucratic chain of command that zigzags its way from Washington to local school districts, but never includes parents.

First, Congress passes legislation authorizing federal bureaucrats to establish rules, regulations, and standards with which states must comply in order to receive federal education funds.

Next, state officials refine—or in some cases distort—these Washington directives, writing narrower rules for their school districts, which then establish the specific policies for individual schools.

At no point in this decision-making process are parents consulted.

Instead, they are left with a “take it or leave it” choice: either accept the education offered at the local public school—no matter how bad it may be—or buy a better alternative, by moving closer to a better school or paying private school tuition.

For America’s most affluent families, this is no big deal—they can afford private schools and so have the power to choose the school that is best for their children. For everyone else, it precludes parents from making choices about their children’s education.

So our bill would expand school choice to all parents, regardless of socio-economic status or zip code, by allowing federal “Title I” K-12 support funds to follow low-income students to any public or private school of their choice.

It would also remove the contribution limits on Coverdell education savings accounts and allow “529” account funds to cover K-12 education expenses.

Our bill would give working parents more opportunities to invest in a variety of learning services and products outside the classroom, such as tutoring, online courses and textbooks.

The problem facing our public school system today is not about a lack of money—we have nearly tripled our investments in elementary and secondary students since 1970. The problem is dysfunctional government policy—however well intentioned—and a lack of accountability.

And that’s exactly what we should expect when Washington bureaucrats have more control than parents over a child’s education. We have a moral and economic obligation to flip this equation and put parents back in the driver’s seat.

For when we tolerate a system in which the quality of a child’s education depends on her parents’ zip code, we fail to live up to the ideals at the heart of American exceptionalism.

And when millions of children learn from a young age not to dream big, but to surrender to the hopelessness of low expectations, we will live in a society where upward mobility is no longer rule but the exception.

We can and we must do better.

If a school is failing – and they often are, especially in poorer areas – then shouldn’t parents have the ability to send their kids to a better school? When I want to buy something online, I know I can always do better by comparing prices and reviews. Competition between suppliers drives prices down, and raises quality up. The customer is king in the free market. It can work in education, too.

Related posts

Republican senator Mike Lee introduces bill to cut taxes on parents

National Review reports on a new tax cut plan from Republican senator Mike Lee.

Excerpt:

Today at AEI, Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced an idea that’s been missing in Congress for a long time: A conservative tax-reform plan that aims to improve opportunity and reduce the bias against families inherent in the U.S. tax code.

It would significantly simplify how individual income taxes work, and result in a large tax cut on families with children, especially married ones: The system would be reduced to just two brackets — 15 percent on all income below $87,850 (at which the rate currently jumps from 25 percent to 28 percent) and 35 percent on all income above that. Most interestingly, though, it would provide much more compensation in the tax code for raising children: “The centerpiece” of the plan, as Lee put it, is a $2,500 tax credit per child under the age of 16, which would reduce what parents owe in income taxes dollar-for-dollar, and if that’s reduced to zero, what they owe in payroll taxes, too. (The tax code currently provides a combination of a tax deduction for children, which only reduces the amount of one’s income that’s subject to the income tax and isn’t, for most couples, nearly as valuable per dollar, and a smaller tax credit.)

That represents a significant tax cut on a lot of middle-income earners, but a number of tax expenditures (deductions and credits) would be eliminated, and some would be smartly restricted — the mortgage-interest deduction, for instance, would be capped at $300,000 in principal, as Lee says, “focusing the deduction on the families and communities who need it the most.” He highlights a “new charitable deduction that would be available to all taxpayers,” which would be available to people who don’t currently itemize their deductions (lower-income Americans, for one). The “marriage penalty” would be eliminated, because the bracket sizes would now just be doubled for married couples (preserving a “marriage bonus” for many couples).

[…]The plan hasn’t been scored for its revenue effects, but it seems likely, overall, to reduce the receipts of the federal income tax slightly. Over the long term, though, while this isn’t the main intent, a rise in fertility and increased investment in raising children should go a ways to reducing America’s long-term fiscal gap (AEI’s Jim Pethokoukis likes to refer to such an idea as a “human-capital tax cut” — while, again, it’s about fixing a distortion in the tax code and not adding one, at the margins it’s a big tax cut for having children).

So often on this blog, I post articles critical of Democrats, but not much about what Republicans want to do. Here’s an example of what Republicans want to do.

Republicans rebuff Obama’s call to raise taxes on small business

First, an article explaining how the Obama administration wants to raise taxes on small businesses.

Excerpt:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday that the Obama administration believes taxes on small business must increase so the administration does not have to “shrink the overall size of government programs.”

The administration’s plan to raise the tax rate on small businesses is part of its plan to raise taxes on all Americans who make more than $250,000 per year—including businesses that file taxes the same way individuals and families do.

Geithner’s explanation of the administration’s small-business tax plan came in an exchange with first-term Rep. Renee Ellmers (R.-N.C.). Ellmers, a nurse, decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 after she became active in the grass-roots opposition to President Barack Obama’s proposed health-care reform plan in 2009.

“Overwhelmingly, the businesses back home and across the country continue to tell us that regulation, lack of access to capital, taxation, fear of taxation, and just the overwhelming uncertainties that our businesses face is keeping them from hiring,” Ellmers told Geithner. “They just simply cannot.”

[…]When Ellmers finally told Geithner that “the point is we need jobs,” he responded that the administration felt it had “no alternative” but to raise taxes on small businesses because otherwise “you have to shrink the overall size of government programs”—including federal education spending.

So what about the Republicans in the House? Are they going to cave in to the Democrat demands for more taxes on job creators?

CNS News reports that House Republicans categorically refuse to raise taxes during a recession.

Excerpt:

Two days after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) dodged the question of whether Republicans would insist that any increase in the debt limit in this fiscal year would be exceeded by spending cuts in this fiscal year, the congressman walked out of debt/budget talks with Vice President Joe Biden, stating he could not continue as long as the Democrats insisted that taxes be raised as part of a budget deal.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), meanwhile, maintained that tax increases were off the table and that spending cuts should exceed any increase in the federal debt limit.

“Each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases,” said Cantor in a statement released on Thursday.  “[T]he tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue. Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today’s meeting.”

Both Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have consistently said that any budget deal for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and a vote on raising the debt limit–from $14.29 trillion to potentially $16.79 trillion (a $2.5 trillion increase)–would not include raising taxes.

After Cantor left the talks with Biden, along with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Boehner held a press conference and said, “Listen, we’ve got to stop spending money that we don’t have and, since the beginning, the Majority Leader [Canotor] and myself, along with Sen. McConnell and Sen. Kyl have been clear: tax hikes are off the table.”

“First of all: raising taxes is going to destroy jobs,” said Boehner.  “If you raise taxes on the people that we need to grow our economy and to hire new workers, guess what? They’re not going to do it if they have to pay higher taxes to the federal government.”

“Second, a tax hike cannot pass the U.S. House of Representatives,” said the Speaker. “It’s not just a bad idea, it doesn’t have the votes and it can’t happen. And third, the American people don’t want us to raise taxes. They know that we’ve got a spending problem. That’s why Republicans passed a budget [drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin] that pays down debt over time without raising taxes.”

But what about the Republicans in the Senate? Aren’t they usually more liberal than the Republicans in the House?

CNS News reports that Republicans in the Senate are absolutely opposed to increasing taxes in a recession.

Excerpt:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told CNSNews.com that he would “absolutely not” support any tax increases as part of a deal to increase the debt limit.

Lee was asked if he agreed with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner that revenue increases should be part of a negotiation on the debt limit because spending cuts alone are “irresponsible.”

“I’m fine with revenue increases as long as they don’t involve tax increases. There are other ways of increasing revenue. They could expand their use of federal public land through extension of oil and gas leases and so forth. If they want that kind of revenue increase, I’m all for that,” said Lee after endorsing the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge” during a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Politicians who support the pledge vow to vote against raising the debt limit unless Congress adopts a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and implements budget cuts and caps on federal spending.

Lee was then asked if he would support any tax increases, specifically.

“No. Absolutely not. We can’t afford a double dip recession right now, and that’s exactly where that would take us,” said Lee.

“You take the same people whose investment dollars are needed to create jobs and you penalize them and you tell them you’re going to get to keep less of your, the rewards from your investment than you would otherwise take – that’s going to chill rather than promote investment. And if you do that, we’re going to have fewer jobs rather than more at a time when we can least afford to hemorrhage jobs.”

House and Senate Republicans understand that we need jobs, and that raising taxes will hurt job creation. Obama’s answer to everything is always more taxing and more spending and more borrowing. The Republicans have got to hold firm and take away his credit card. We need an intervention.