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House Ignores Veto Threat, Passes Bill to Stop Student Loan Rates from Doubling
Posted by Press Office on April 27, 2012
Today the House “ignored a veto threat” and passed a measure to stop new student loan rates from doubling this summer.  The bill pays for extending current rates by cutting a slush fund the president himself proposed cutting from ObamaCare – a law that’s making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers, including recent college graduates.

Speaking on the House floor, Speaker John Boehner noted that nearly half of recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the president’s policies. Boehner also excoriated Democrats for exploiting the challenges facing young Americans and inventing a phony “war on women” for political gain. Watch Boehner here:

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New Survey: Small Businesses Confirm POTUS’ Policies are Hurting Job Growth; GOP Fighting for Solutions
Posted by Press Office on April 16, 2012
The Obama administration claims its policies have been “remarkably effective,” but according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s most recent Small Business Outlook Survey released today, America’s job creators disagree.  The vast majority of small business owners surveyed say that the Obama administration’s onslaught of excessive regulations and the president’s failure to address high gas prices are weighing heavily on their ability to plan ahead and hire new workers.  Here are a few key points from the survey, and a look at what House Republicans are doing to help small businesses put Americans back to work:

PROBLEM: High Gas Prices “Pose an Immediate Threat” to Small Businesses.  “Eight out of ten small business owners report that higher energy prices pose an immediate threat to the success of their business,” according to the survey.  While President Obama claims to support an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, his rhetoric is belied by the fact that gas prices have doubled on his watch, while he continues calling for tax hikes that will increases energy costs and blocking access to America’s resources. 

  • GOP SOLUTION:  Increase American Energy Production to Help Address High Gas Prices & Create Jobs.  With the American Energy Initiative, House Republicans have passed numerous bills that would remove barriers to American energy production and help create jobs (most of which have been blocked by Senate Democrats).  That effort will continue moving forward in the coming weeks with action on the Gasoline Regulations Act aimed at stopping the government red tape that drives up energy prices, and the Strategic Energy Production Act, legislation ensuring the Obama administration does not tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve without taking steps to increase American energy production.  The House will also continue fighting for approval of the widely-popular Keystone pipeline that President Obama has rejected and personally lobbied against, at the expense of 20,000 new American jobs. 

PROBLEM: Excessive Regulations One of the Greatest Threats to Small Business Success.  
More than half (52 percent) of the small business owners surveyed say that excessive government red tape is the “greatest threat to the success of their business, increasing 9 percent since last June.”  The Obama administration has more than 3,000 new regulations in the pipeline, and has already implemented more than 100 major regulations that have added $46 billion in new costs to the economy per year, according to a recent Heritage Foundation report.

  • GOP SOLUTION: A Jobs Plan that Stops the Onslaught of Burdensome Regulations.  The Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators includes several measures aimed at reducing the excessive regulatory burden on small businesses, including the Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 3010) that “requires agencies to assess the costs and benefits” of new regulations on small businesses, and the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act that would require an up-or-down vote on new rules that will have a major impact on jobs and the economy.  These bills – along with several others that remove regulatory obstacles to small business growth – also remain stalled in the Democratic-led Senate.

PROBLEM: ObamaCare “An Obstacle to Hiring More Employees.”  Nearly three out of four (73%)” of the small business owners surveyed say ObamaCare “is an obstacle to hiring more employees.”  Small businesses owners have repeatedly warned that Democrats’ government takeover of health care is holding back hiring, and more than two hundred economists agree that that the maze of mandates, penalties and regulations in ObamaCare constitutes a major “barrier to stronger job growth.”

  • GOP SOLUTION: Keeping the Pledge to America to Repeal ObamaCare & Protect Small Businesses.  House Republicans have voted more than 25 times to repeal, defund and dismantle ObamaCare, including a bill that saved small businesses from the job-crushing paperwork mandate.  The effort to fully repeal the law and replace it with better solutions will continue in the weeks and months ahead.  

This week, the House will continue working to create a better environment for small business job growth by passing the Small Business Tax Cut Act – Pledge to America legislation that will allow job creators to invest more of their resources in their businesses and hire new workers.  Learn more on the Republican Plan for America's Job Creatorswebsite at: www.jobs.gop.gov.

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ObamaCare Worsens “A Dire Federal Fiscal Outlook,” Adds $340 Billion to Deficit
Posted by Press Office on April 10, 2012
While President Obama is out touting a political tax hike (yet again), new evidence is bolstering Republicans’ case for fully repealing the president’s health care law. According to the Washington Post, new analysis shows ObamaCare will “add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade.” Read the full report for yourself here.

“Does the health-care act worsen the deficit? The answer, I think, is clearly that it does,” says Charles Blahous, Medicare trustee and economist at George Mason University. The Associated Press says Blahous’s report shows the health care law “will add at least $340 billion to the deficit, not reduce it”:

“Blahous, in his 52-page analysis released by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, said, ‘Taken as a whole, the enactment of the (health care law) has substantially worsened a dire federal fiscal outlook.

“‘The (law) both increases a federal commitment to health care spending that was already unsustainable under prior law and would exacerbate projected federal deficits relative to prior law,’ Blahous said.”

So not only is ObamaCare making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers, jeopardizing families’ coverage, and threatening seniors’ access to health care. It’s also, as suspected, adding to a debt that is already unsustainable and threatening long-term economic growth.

Click here to see a list of actions taken by the House to repeal and defund the health care law. And visit jobs.GOP.gov for more information on the GOP Plan for America’s Job Creators – which, unlike the president’s tax hikes or health care law, is focused on creating jobs and addressing high gas prices.

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Dem Disconnect: Americans Want Action on Jobs & Gas Prices, But President Obama Hellbent on Higher Taxes
Posted by Press Office on April 10, 2012
Even with the American people clamoring for bipartisan solutions to their struggles, President Obama today is pushing higher taxes that won’t create a single job, aren’t the answer to our debt crisis, obviously won’t lower gas prices, and oh, by the way, just happen to divide even Democrats.  There’s already evidence that it’s falling on deaf ears.

Families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, and what they want are more jobs, less debt, lower gas prices, and more affordable health care premiums.  Instead, their cost of living keeps rising while their incomes are not.  A White House that wasn’t so out of touch might focus on the issues that matter, like the following:

  • 38 Straight Months of 8+ Percent Unemployment.  The White House famously promised that its ‘stimulus’ plan would keep the unemployment rate below eight percent.  But three years of ‘stimulus’ spending have left our country with 38 consecutive months of unemployment above eight percent, where it remains today.

  • Another $5 Trillion in Debt.  The president has not only “failed to meet his pledge to cut the deficit in half,” his ‘stimulus’ spending spree has racked up more debt than any president in history, including “four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits.”  In total, the president has added nearly $5 trillion to the debt since he took office, according to the Treasury Department.

  • Gas Prices More than Doubled.  Gas prices have more than doubled – now at $3.94 per gallon nationally – on President Obama’s watch. The president’s budget fails to do “all of the above” as promised and continues the policy of blocking, delaying, and rejecting new energy production. He is also pushing for tax hikes that would make gasoline even more expensive.

  • Health Care Costs Continue to Rise.  Despite the president’s rhetoric, his own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that Obamacare will dramatically increase the near-term growth rate of health care costs, and the Kaiser Family Foundation says that “employers’ spending on health coverage for workers spiked abruptly.”  Even worse, the law is making it more difficult for small businesses to hire new workers and grow their business.

The economic policies of President Obama have not only not helped our economy but they have actually made it worse.  As Congressman Boehner said recently:

“Our country faces serious economic and fiscal challenges.  Americans continue to be disappointed that the president is shrinking from those challenges rather than displaying the courage needed to solve them.”

House Republicans are focused on the issues that matter, and have passed nearly 30 bills as part of the Plan for America’s Job Creators and American Energy Initiative that would unlock America’s resources to help address soaring gas prices and create American jobs.  Follow the progress of these bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills at jobs.gop.gov, and “like” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook to learn more about Republicans’ ongoing effort to help relieve the pain at the pump.
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ObamaCare Hits Colleges Students “With a Triple Whammy”
Posted by Press Office on March 30, 2012
If you or your children are in college, or higher education is on the horizon, be sure to read the op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal by Senators Alexander, Johanns, Hoeven, and Risch. The Senators – each a former state governor – outline how the “heavy burdens” imposed by the president’s health care law create a “triple whammy” that threatens families and college students with:

  • HIGHER TUITIONS: ObamaCare forces “an additional $118 billion in unfunded mandates onto the states through 2023.” And because it “restricts governors” from making adjustments that would lower their states’ health care costs, tuitions are increasing at public universities and colleges” because “higher education is one of the first places they can cut.”

  • MORE EXPENSIVE STUDENT LOANS: “College students are being hit again because the federal government took over the student-loan business in 2010, eliminating the competition,” and “a portion of the profits fromovercharging students will be used to help pay for ObamaCare.”

  • FEWER JOBS: And “the third blow comes as college students graduate and enter a depressed job market whereemployers are creating fewer jobs as a result of the high costs associated with ObamaCare.” Nearly half of small businesses recently surveyed by Gallup cited potential health care costs and excessive government regulations as key reasons they’re not hiring.

The House has voted 27 times to repeal, defund, or dismantle parts of the president’s health care law, and – as Congressman Boehner said last week – “there can be no letup until it’s fully repealed.”

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Americans Oppose Health Care Law, Fear Businesses “Will Be Forced to Cut Jobs”
Posted by Press Office on March 27, 2012
According to CBS NewsPresident Obama told lawmakers an individual mandate “was an essential part of improving the nation's health care system.” The mandate became central to the health care law rushed through the Democratic-controlled Congress. And now, in front of the Supreme Court, “the administration is arguing that without the mandate” other provisions of the law simply “won't work.”

Unfortunately for the president, ObamaCare and the individual mandate at its core are both wildly unpopular with the American people who fear the law will increase costs and destroy jobs:

  • Two-thirds of Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn some or all of the health care law ... [A] considerable majority agree with the Republicans’ contention that many businesses won’t be able to afford to provide coverage to employees and so will be forced to cut jobs.” (New York Times, 3/27/12)

  • Americans remain overwhelmingly against requiring individuals to purchase health insurance ... The poll found sweeping opposition to the so-called individual mandate… Even Democrats, by a 48 percent to 44 percent plurality, said they opposed a mandate. Two-thirds of independents rejected the idea…” (National Journal, 3/27/12)

  • [M]ost Americans say they worry that the law will increase their health expenses, and a steady majority say they are somewhat or very concerned that it will limit their access to treatment.” (New York Times, 3/27/12)

  • The public has never liked the idea that the health law will require Americans to buy insurance starting in 2014. Even Obama opposed the mandate during his presidential run.” (Politico, 3/27/12)

As Congressman John Boehner said today, excessive government regulations in bureaucratic laws “like ObamaCare are getting in the way of small business job creation.” Republicans made a pledge to scrap the health care law and create a better environment for private-sector job growth, and the House has voted repeatedly to repeal, defund, and dismantle parts of it.

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Anniversary? What Anniversary? President Obama Silent on ObamaCare at Two-Year Mark as Costs Soar, Small Businesses Suffer
Posted by Press Office on March 23, 2012
“With much fanfare, dozens of pens and members of Congress beaming at his side, President Obama signed a sweeping health care reform bill this morning. … The mood at the signing ceremony was nearly ecstatic and some members even wiped away happy tears.” (Talking Points Memo, 3/23/10)

Oh what a difference a couple of years makes.  President Obama, who spent more than a year relentlessly lobbying for the health care law – while the economy was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs – is keeping mum as the government takeover of healthcare turns two today.  For a president who at one time was ready and willing to put his future on the line to see his signature legislation enacted into law, his absence today is notable:  Here’s more:

  • “Missing From Obama Health-Care Anniversary: Obama. President Barack Obama’s health-care law turns two years old Friday…There’s just one thing missing: Mr. Obama. He isn’t making any public appearances to talk about the law…With the law still unpopular with many Americans, the White House has concluded that it is virtually impossible to change negative public opinions, particularly if Mr. Obama is front and center, a senior administration official said.” (The Wall Street Journal, 3/22/12)

  • “Obama Won’t Mark Anniversary of Health Care Law.  While Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the signing of President Obama's signature health care law, the president has no plans to celebrate the occasion.” (Politico, 3/21/12)

  • “Health Care Anniversary: Not Such a Big ‘Bleeping’ Deal?  It’s one big deal of an anniversary, but apparently President Obama will not be celebrating. Friday marks the second anniversary of Obama signing his health care reform bill into law, which Vice President Joe Biden was famously caught calling a ‘big (bleeping) deal’ at the ceremonial event that day. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday it’s unclear what will be on the president's schedule this Friday, but he’s looking beyond past battles.” (Fox News, 3/19/12)

  • “White House: Meh, No One Outside of DC Really Cares About Obamacare Anymore.  President Obama’s spokesman said today that he doubts the White House will commemorate the second anniversary of Obamacare, explaining that the commemoration of Obama's signature legislation is only important to ‘those who toil inside the Beltway.’” (Washington Examiner, 3/21/12)

As Congressman Boehner said yesterday, President Obama “has good reason to ignore this anniversary.”  According to a recent report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), ObamaCare will cost nearly $2 trillion - despite the president’s assurance that he would “not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits.”  In a separate report, the CBO said ObamaCare could force as many as 20 million Americans off their current coverage.  Small businesses are being especially hard hit by ObamaCare’s broken promises.  As one small business job creator put it, “I wish I could say that even better times are coming for What A Stitch but, unfortunately, the future still looks very uncertain. The new law weighs heavily on my mind every time I think about hiring new employees or how our business may grow and change over the next few years,” the House Small Business Committee reports.  As the number of ObamaCare broken promises continues to stack up, it’s no surprise that Americans remain as opposed to the government takeover of health care as ever. 

House Republicans are listening to Americans, and yesterday held their 26th vote to repeal, defund and dismantle ObamaCare, passing legislation to do away with the ObamaCare rationing board and curb junk lawsuits that drive up costs.  While Republicans remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will strike down ObamaCare’s individual mandate – the foundation of the government takeover of health care – House Republicans will continue moving forward with their effort to repeal the law in its entirety. As Congressman John Boehner has made clear, “There’s only one way to truly fix ObamaCare, and that’s by fully repealing it.”  Follow the ongoing effort to fully repeal ObamaCare and protect small businesses at: facebook.com/pledgetoamerica.

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Keeping the Pledge: House GOP Votes to Curb Junk Lawsuits, Lower Health Care Costs
Posted by Press Office on March 22, 2012
Today, the House continued fulfilling its Pledge to America with passage of the Preserving Access to Healthcare (PATH) Act (H.R. 5), legislation that would enact much-needed medical liability reforms to curb junk lawsuits and bring down health care costs.  While the price tag for President Obama’s government takeover of healthcare keeps growing, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the reforms included in H.R. 5 will help lower health care costs, particularly for job creators.  Here’s more:

“CBO expects that those changes would, on balance, lower costs for health care both directly and indirectly: directly, by lowering premiums for medical liability insurance; and indirectly, by reducing the use of health care services prescribed by providers when faced with less pressure from potential malpractice suits. Those reductions in costs would, in turn, lead to lower spending in federal health programs and to lower private health insurance premiums.

 “Because employers would pay less for health insurance for employees, more of their employees' compensation would be in the form of taxable wages and other fringe benefits. As discussed below, the bill also would increase revenues because it would result in lower subsidies for health insurance.”

“About 40 percent of the medical malpractice cases filed in the United States are groundless,” according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health.  The prevalence of junk lawsuits forces doctors to engage in “defensive medicine” – ordering tests and prescribing medicines that aren’t needed.  In fact, a Massachusetts Medical Society survey “found that 83% of the physicians…reported practicing defensive medicine, and that an average of 18% to 28% of tests, procedures, referrals, and consultations, and 13% of hospitalizations, were ordered for defensive reasons,” the House Energy & Commerce Committee reports, costing “up to $200 billion a year.” 

The impact of these junk lawsuits is particularly acute for high risk specialties, such as women’s health providers.  AsDr. Lisa M. Hollier, fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told the committee last year, “The costs of the current tort system are borne by all obstetric caregivers -- nurses, residents, attending MDs, CNMs, and even medical students -- and the hospitals where they work, through the escalation of medical liability premiums.  This contributes to a reduction in obstetric care by those currently practicing and in the number of American medical school graduates choosing to enter obstetric residency programs.  As a consequence, the quality and availability of care for future generations of women in this country is threatened.” 

The reforms passed by House Republicans today will help ensure access to care, and bring down skyrocketing costs.  According to the CBO, H.R. 5 will reduce the federal budget deficit by an estimated $45.5 billion over the next 10 years, and will lower premiums for medical malpractice insurance by “an average of 25 percent to 30 percent” compared to what they would be under current law. (House Judiciary Committee, 2/4/11).   

In his State of the Union Address last year, President Obama said “I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year -- medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”  ThePATH Act – which passed the House with bipartisan support – provides President Obama the opportunity to bridge the gap between his rhetorical support for medical liability reform, and his lack of action to help rein in junk lawsuits.   

Learn more about House Republicans’ Pledge to America on Facebook.

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Congressman Boehner: Only Way to Truly Fix ObamaCare Is to Fully Repeal It
Posted by Press Office on March 21, 2012
There’s only one way to truly fix ObamaCare, and that’s by fully repealing it, says Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) in a new video released today. Boehner notes that Republicans have voted 25 times to fully repeal, defund, or dismantle portions of the president’s unpopular health care law, which is “raising costs and making it harder to hire new workers” – but Senate Democrats keep blocking these actions. That’s why the House will vote this week to repeal ObamaCare’s rationing board. Watch Boehner here:

Recent surveys show Congressman Boehner is right when he says “[t]he American people still oppose this government takeover of health care…” For example:
  • Americans oppose the law overall by 52-41 percent,” according to an ABC News/Washington Post survey, and “67 percent believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the” individual mandate.

  • [F]ewer than three in 10 (28 percent) said they think the [individual] mandate is constitutional,” says the Washington Post. “More than four in 10 — 42 percent — want the high court to throw out the entire law…” Even a plurality of Democrats – 48 percent – wants the Supreme Court to throw out either the individual mandate or the law in its entirety.

  • Half of likely voters expect the Supreme Court to strike down President Obama’s signature healthcare law,” according to a survey by The Hill. Even a majority of independents (52 percent) believe the Supreme Court will strike down the health care law.

  • 56% at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law,” according to the latest Rasmussen survey, “including 46% who strongly favor” repeal.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin says the health care law is a “political nightmare” for the Democrats running Washington. More than that, the law is a nightmare for families, small businesses, and seniors that is raising costs, making it harder to hire new workers, and threatening to ration care and deny treatments. As Speaker Boehner said, “there can be no letup until it’s fully repealed.”

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White House Twisting Arms to Save ObamaCare Rationing Board Despite Bipartisan Opposition
Posted by Press Office on March 15, 2012
According to a report in Inside CMS, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius attended a meeting of House Democrats last week “to twist the arms” of those “who favor repealing” ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) - a group of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats given the authority to deny care to millions of American seniors under Democrats’ government takeover of health care.  The White House’s lobbying effort came as the House held its third bipartisan vote in support of the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act (H.R. 452), legislation repealing the ObamaCare rationing board that is supported by doctorsseniors, and advocates for the disabled.  

In an op-ed in Forbes this week, Grace-Marie Turner, President of the Galen Institute, highlights bipartisan opposition to the ObamaCare rationing board:

“The IPAB repeal bill, sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), received bi-partisan support as it made its way through House committees, showing that Democrats are equally worried about the power of the board to usurp the job of the people’s elected representatives.”

Broad support for repealing IPAB is just one of several major problems facing ObamaCare as it heads to the Supreme Court this month.  On Tuesday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report that “unravels how the Democrats used budget gimmicks to hide the true cost of the health care law,” “revealing a shocking new sticker price of $1.8 trillion,” the House Energy & Commerce Committee explains.  And today, in response to a request received from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), the CBO exposed another one of ObamaCare’s broken promises, “finding that three to five million Americans will be pushed out of their employer-provided health insurance each year from 2019 through 2022,” the Budget Committee reports.  Burgeoning costs and jeopardized coverage are just a few of the many broken ObamaCare promises that are hurting American families and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers (see more: here and here.) 

The Medicare Decisions Accountability Act represents another step forward in the House Republican majority’s commitment to dismantle the government takeover of health care plank by plank.  The House has already voted to fully repeal and defund ObamaCare, and will continue working to protect American families and small businesses from the fallout of its many broken promises in the weeks and months ahead.  Follow our progress by “liking” the Pledge to America on Facebook: facebook.com/pledgetoamerica.
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