Morning Action: President Obama Would Love Congress to Forget About Obamacare

OBAMACARE.  President Obama and his Administration are eager for Americans to sign up for Obamacare, even though it’s a failure.  But the law is already impacting Americans negatively across the country:

Americans are already feeling the impact of Obamacare. Some are being forced to find new insurance plans and new doctors, or can’t afford the higher premium costs.Others are losing hours at work because employers can’t afford to provide the government-approved health care.

Despite the evidence, President Obama has chosen to ignore the American people and their concerns.

But we know these problems are real and we’re listening. It’s crucial every American understands the future of health care under Obamacare. That’s why we continue to ask you to share how Obamacare has affected you.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled stories of people who have one unified message on Obamacare: it must be stopped.

SUPERCOMMITTEE.  There are reportedly low expectations for success coming out of a newly formed supercommittee in the House to work out a deal on the debt limit and government funding – in reality, it would likely only serve to distract from the issue of Obamacare:

With Democrats deriding the premise and some Republicans doubtful at the prospects for success, the House voted to create a new Bipartisan Working Group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth on Tuesday evening.

Just hours after GOP leaders floated the concept with rank-and-file Republicans at their weekly meeting, the House approved, 224-197, the bill to have 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans from both chambers hash out a litany of disagreements over government spending and debt.

Two Democrats voted with Republicans on the creation of the working group, while five Republicans broke party ranks to stand in opposition.

President Obama is not going along with the GOP’s idea of creating a supercommittee to deal with the budget because he does not want to make any concessions:

President Barack Obama dismissed the House GOP’s newest idea of creating a supercommittee to deal with budget, suggesting it was a ruse to force Democrats to agree to concessions in return for reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.

But he indicated he is open to signing short-term extensions of the debt limit and government spending.

Heritage Action’s Dan Holler explains:

The idea [of forming a super committee] has resurfaced because, after near-constant negotiations with Republicans over fiscal issues in 2011, President Obama has decided he will no longer negotiate.  According to an official read out, “The president called the speaker again today to reiterate that he won’t negotiate on a government funding bill or debt limit increase.”

Americans understand this is an unreasonable position, which is precisely why the process should not recede behind closed doors in the Capitol or the White House.  Doing so would hide the Obama administration’s obstinance and congressional Democrats’ obstruction, both of which are on full display right now.

Equally concerning, a backroom process would only serve to push Obamacare to the margins, an outcome the President and some in Congress would welcome.  But as Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham explained last week, President Obama’s “reckless behavior should not breathe life into misguided dreams for a grand bargain.”  The goal, Needham said, remains the same: “Congress should ensure not another dime of taxpayer money is spent on Obamacare.” 

OBAMA & HOUSE DEMS. The President is currently refusing to negotiate with Republicans, but he is taking to the time to talk to House Democrats:

President Barack Obama has invited House Democrats to the White House for a meeting to discuss the government shutdown and the debt limit today at 4:30 p.m., and he will invite other caucuses in the coming days, according to a White House official.

The meetings come as the president has refused to negotiate concessions with the GOP as long as the government is shut down and with the threat of default looming. The president has come under criticism for not talking more to members of Congress in recent days, however, even as he canceled his trip to Asia to deal with the crisis, and that appears to be starting to change.

WIND FARMS.  Federal wind production tax credits are set to expire on December 31; while conservatives understand there should not be a wind production tax credit at all, those who stand to benefit from them in the wind industry are concerned:

Several energy tax incentives — including the production-tax credit that has helped the wind power industry grow — are scheduled to expire on Dec. 31.

The production tax credit for renewable energy power production has its fair share of vocal boosters and detractors. In January, Congress changed how project developers can claim the credit, allowing them wiggle room to “begin construction” on their facilities by the end of the year, rather than requiring them to start delivering electricity to the grid by the expiration date.

The language change takes some of the pressure off lawmakers to ensure an extension before Jan. 1, though industry observers say a lapse would still curtail the number of wind farms — by far the biggest beneficiary of the production tax credit — built next year.

Heritage explains:

As the federal budget debate continues to heat up, one of the contentious energy policy battles is over the extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC), a 2.3-cents-per-kilowatt-hour handout that is awarded to wind producers and other qualifying sources and continues for a decade after initial production.

Proponents of the subsidy are yet again calling for an extension or a multi-year phase-out, but Congress should refrain from extending or phasing out the preferential treatment for wind and instead remove all targeted tax credits for all energy sources and technologies. And Congress should broadly lower tax rates to create a competitive environment that allows the best technologies to provide affordable, reliable energy for Americans.

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