Morning Action: House on the Verge of Voting for Flawed Water Bill
WATER BILL. The House will vote today on their water bill, which Heritage Action opposes because of its increased costs and failure to reduce bureaucracy:
With House consideration of the waterway projects conference report ( HR 3080 , H Rept 113-449 ) perhaps just hours away, and support for passage thought to be much like the steamroller its pre-conference version was in the House last year, now might seem a strange time to see critics organizing against it.
But that is just what has happened in recent days, as both the Heritage Foundation and Taxpayers for Common Sense took aim at the legislation.
EX-IM BANK. The Heritage Foundation explains how the Export-Import Bank uses small businesses to gain public support for their cause without actually existing to help small business:
Saying that something helps small businesses is a great way to gain public support for your cause. Except when it’s not true.
Take, for example, claims about the government-run Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes U.S. exports by providing discount loans to foreign governments and businesses to purchase American goods. According to bank Chairman Fred Hochberg: “Helping small businesses…grow and compete on the global stage is at the heart of the Bank’s mission.”
Boosting the fortunes of mom-and-pop businesses certainly sounds noble — and much more likely to win support from Congress. But the real beneficiaries aren’t exactly what most people would consider “small.”
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) 83% will discuss the need to end the Ex-Im Bank at the Heritage Foundation today at 3:30 p.m.
DEFENSE BILL. The White House has threatened to veto the defense bill over its provisions on detainees and budget choices (sub. req’d):
The Obama administration threatened Monday to veto the House defense authorization bill over provisions that would alter the Pentagon’s budget savings plans and restrict presidential decisions on handling detainees at Guantánamo Bay.
“In aggregate, the Committee’s changes to the President’s proposed defense program would eliminate more than $50 billion in savings over the next five years,” the Statement of Administration Policy said. The bill (HR 4435) is due on the House floor Tuesday.
The statement said the administration finds a “number of areas of agreement” in the bill, but has “serious concerns” about provisions that would constrain Pentagon plans to realign military capabilities and force structure and reduce unnecessary costs.
OBAMACARE. The GOP is demanding answers from the Obama administration on Obamacare subsidies:
Republicans are demanding follow-up from the Obama administration after a report that hundreds of thousands of people might be receiving incorrect insurance subsidies on ObamaCare’s exchanges.
Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters Monday to federal health officials and three private contractors involved in processing applications for the insurance marketplace.
The letters asked for briefings and documents on the problem, which was revealed Friday in a report by the Washington Post.
AMNESTY. The Obama Administration is looking to bypass Congress once again on immigration law:
President Barack Obama’s administration may allow military enlistment by thousands of immigrants living in the country illegally, a top U.S. Department of Defense official said Monday.
Jessica L. Wright, the department’s acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, described the immigrants, known as DREAMers, as “some of the best and brightest in America that we could capitalize on.”
Wright said the decision would come by summer’s end and involved the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the White House.