Laxalt Flies Across the Country for Trump Joint Session, Still Won’t Grace Nevada Legislators with His Presence

Attorney General Adam Laxalt (that same guy who potentially wants to be NV’s next governor) was busy today rubbing shoulders at the White House and just couldn’t miss an opportunity to see President Trump in person for his address to a joint session of Congress. Laxalt is attending tonight’s speech as the guest of Trump’s former Nevada campaign chairman, Congressman Mark Amodei. While Laxalt was flying all the way across the country for Trump’s big day, he still can’t be bothered to attend a hearing at the Nevada legislature down the road to answer questions from state lawmakers.

“While Adam Laxalt is off gallivanting in Washington, he still hasn’t shown up for a single committee presentation in Carson City. It’s becoming abundantly clear that Attorney General Laxalt cares more about shaking hands with Donald Trump and talking to die-hard Tea Party activists at CPAC than doing his actual job,” said Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange. “After suing the Obama administration for everything under the sun, it’s no wonder the most partisan Attorney General in Nevada’s history is turning a blind eye to the federal overreach and recklessness coming out of Donald Trump’s White House.”

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Ruben Kihuen’s statement on Hardy’s 6th vote to repeal ACA and 5th vote to defund Planned Parenthood

KihuenHdr

For Immediate Release
Janurary 6th, 2015
Contact: Dave Chase, (702) 350-2744

— Ruben Kihuen, State Senator and candidate for U.S. Congress (NV-04), released the following statement after Congressman Cresent Hardy voted for the 6th time to repeal the Affordabl Card Act and the 5th time to defund Planned Parenthood:

Kihuen said:
“Congressman Hardy and Congressional Republicans should be ashamed of their obsession with taking this country’s health care system backwards and attacking women’s health care. Americans deserve better.”

Background

2016: HR 3762, Vote#6 — Today, Rep. Hardy (CD4), along with Representatives Mark Amodei (CD2) and Joe Heck (CD3) voted to effectively gut the Affordable Care Act by repealing/defunding the bulk of provisions of this bill as well as prohibiting any/all funding for Planned Parenthood

2015: Hardy Voted Five Times To Defund Planned Parenthood. In 2015, Hardy voted five times to attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, in part or whole. [HR 3134, Vote #504, 9/18/15; Democratic Leader – Motions To Recommit, 9/18/15; HR 3134, Vote #505, 9/18/15; Washington Post, 9/18/15; HR 3495,Vote #524, 9/29/15; Duffy Press Release, 9/29/15; H Con Res 79, Vote #527, 9/30/15; CQ Floor Votes, 9/30/15; HR 3762, Vote #568, 10/23/15; Fox News,10/23/15]

Hardy Voted To Create Panel To Investigate Planned Parenthood. In October 2015, Hardy voted “to create a special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood and the handling of aborted fetal tissue, all but ensuring an already-fierce partisan battle will continue into 2016. In a nearly party-line vote, lawmakers voted 242 to 184 to establish a 13-member committee with broad power to investigate wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood amid allegations that it has tried to profit from the sale of aborted tissue.” [H Res 461, Vote #538, 10/07/15; The Hill, 10/07/15]

Hardy Voted To Repeal Or Dismantle The Affordable Care Act Six Times. In 2015, Hardy voted to repeal or dismantle the Affordable Care Act, in part or whole, six times. [HR 40, Vote #141/08/15; HR 596, Vote #582/03/15; S Con Res 11, Vote #1834/30/15; HR 160, Vote # 3756/18/15; HR 1190, Vote #376,6/23/15; HR 3762, Vote #56810/23/15]

Voted To Implement Nevada State Health Exchange. Hardy voted in favor of a bill that “creates the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange to provide services relating to the purchase and sale of health insurance by residents and certain employers in this State …, [which] is required to create and administer a state-based health insurance exchange, facilitate the purchase and sale of qualified health plans, provide for the establishment of a program to help certain small employers in Nevada in facilitating the enrollment of employees in qualified health plans, and perform all other duties that are required of it pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and any amendments to or regulations or guidance issued pursuant to those acts” The bill passed 38-0. [SB440, 6/04/11; Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/08/14]

Cited Nevada Health Link As Example Of Bipartisanship. In September 2014, the Desert Valley Times wrote, “Hardy touted his bipartisan work in getting legislation passed, which will allow him to go straight to Congress and get things done and he vowed to continue to do that. Hardy cited his vote for the state-run Nevada Health Link, the exchange for the health reform law, as an example. He said he voted for it to keep it as much in the state’s hands as possible and keep the federal government out of it. ‘Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out,’ he said.” [Desert Valley Times, 9/25/14]


State Senator Ruben Kihuen is running as a Democrat in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. Ruben has a proven record of real results for working families. Born in Mexico, Ruben and his family immigrated to the United States in search of a better life. He worked his way through college and after graduation was inspired to “pay it forward” by working with other students at College of Southern Nevada. In the legislature, Ruben helped craft landmark bi-partisan bills increasing funding for our schools and making college more affordable, and he beat back a reckless Republican agenda attempting to dismantle worker’s rights, restrict women’s health care and repeal LGBTQ protections. Ruben is running for Congress to ensure everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream.

To Learn more about Ruben Kihuen and his campaign for Congress, visit www.rubenforcongress.com or follow Ruben on Facebook or Twitter.

Amodei on the Minimum Wage

— submitted by Rich Dunn, RNDC 2nd Vice Chair

I’m old enough to remember when the minimum wage was raised from $1.40 to $1.60 in 1968, but I don’t remember anybody saying that the increase would cost jobs or drive small businesses into bankruptcy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, $1.60 in 1968 translates to $11 today, so the $7.25 minimum wage actually represents a 34% pay cut.

Even an $11 minimum wage would only bring purchasing power back to where it was in 1968, a year when GDP was $910 billion. That’s equivalent to $6.15 trillion now. The GDP is currently over $16 trillion, an increase of 180%. Had the rising tide actually lifted all boats, the minimum wage would have to be $30 an hour for workers on that wage to realize their fair share of the wealth.

When progressives call for the minimum wage to be adjusted for inflation, conservatives usually accuse them of engaging in “the politics of envy” and “class warfare.” They need to be reminded that the war on the poor has been raging non-stop since 1968, but in the absense of a  ceasefire in Washington, the living wage battles have moved to the state and local levels. That’s where we now hear about “radical” proposals for the wage floor to be raised to $15 an hour, which would only account for inflation plus half the increase in labor productivity. How radical can you get?

In 2013, Rep. Amodei voted against raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 over two years. Meanwhile back in Nevada, his lobby group has been advocating for repeal of the state’s $8.25 minimum wage. Apparently he thinks it’s just fine for low-wage workers to be paid a third less in real terms than they were in 1968, even as the economy has grown nearly three fold. I don’t think the average Nevadan would agree with him on that if they knew the facts. But they don’t.

If This is What it Means to be “Conservative” — I’m Proudly a Bleeding Heart Liberal

Clearly, members of the GOP in the House are all about looking for ways to handicap ANY organization tasked with performing regulatory actions that might impede their ideological plans for the future of the United States of Republica.  A case in point is this recent  press release from Representative Amodei’s office.  My comments are in blue italics at various points throughout his release.  Some original text has been highlight in RED for emphasis.

Amodei: Appropriations Financial Services bill reins in IRS, ACA and Dodd Frank

Wednesday June 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 Contact:    Brian Baluta, 202-225-6155

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee today passed its fiscal year 2015 bill, which would provide annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several other agencies.

The bill totals $21.3 billion in funding for these agencies, which is $566 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $2.3 billion below the president’s request for these programs.The legislation prioritizes programs critical to enforcing laws, maintaining an effective judiciary system and helping small businesses, while targeting lower-priority or poor-performing programs – such as the Internal Revenue Service – for reductions.

Well now, that makes just a ton of sense.  IRS is tasked with collecting revenue necessary for the operation of various government operations … so let’s under fund them so we can then make a scapegoat of them when they can no longer effectively perform their regulatory and tax-collecting functions.

“Every day, I am asked, ‘Why don’t you do something?’ This bill ‘does something’ by removing funding from executive agencies that have become political tools of the administration,” said Amodei.   

Bill highlights:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)– Included in the bill is $10.95 billion for the IRS – a cut of $341 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $1.5 billion below the President’s budget request. This will bring the agency’s budget below the sequester level and below the level that was in place in fiscal year 2008. This funding level is sufficient for the IRS to perform its core duties, including taxpayer services and the proper collection of funds, but will require the agency to streamline and make better use of its budget.

Interesting! They continually carp about the IRS not providing for an EMAIL BACKUP strategy as part of their business plan. Server BACKUPs are NOT FREE!  How much more will they stop BACKING UP because they no longer have sufficient funding to do their tax collection duties, let alone ancillary functions like BACKUPS, SYSTEM UPDATES, SOFTWARE IMPROVEMENTS, etc.?

In addition, due to the inappropriate actions by the IRS in targeting groups that hold certain political beliefs, as well as its previous improper use of taxpayer funds, the bill includes the following provisions:

Here we go again, perpetuating the falsehood that ONLY right-wing political groups were scrutinized, when it was actually liberal groups that were denied with some that had already been given tax-exempt status seeing that status revoked (e.g., EmergeAmerica affiliated groups).  NO politically-focused groups should be receiving TAX-EXEMPT 501(c)(4) status, PERIOD!

A prohibition on a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations. The proposed regulation could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of many non-profit organizations and inhibit citizens from exercising their right to freedom of speech, simply because they may be involved in political activity.

Sorry, but I don’t get to deduct my “freedom of speech” contributions to political endeavors.  Thus, NO politically-focused organizations should be able to have a free of tax right to free speech at the American Taxpayer’s expense!

A prohibition on funds for bonuses or awards unless employee conduct and tax compliance are given consideration.

A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs.

Congress passed a law that clearly states that to be considered 501(c)(4) organization, your activities must be EXCLUSIVELY-FOCUSED on “Social Welfare” activities.  Politically-focused activities are NOT social-welfare activities and thus, it IS the IRS’s responsibility to scrutinize and deny tax-exempt status to ANY organization (conservative, liberal or otherwise) not meeting that exclusivity provision.

A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.

More BS related to the previous proviso — the IRS is NOT prohibiting ANYONE from exercising their free speech.  The IRS is merely and rightfully determining whether a group is a group exclusively devoted to providing SOCIAL-WELFARE opportunities/activities and thus, whether that group is entitled to TAX-EXEMPT status!

A prohibition on funding for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences.

Really?  Oh, please, pray tell, what “inappropriate videos” might it be that the IRS is producing?

A prohibition on funding for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization.

Again, if you want to allow any organization wanting to conduct EXCLUSIVELY politically focused activities to never have to pay taxes, well then, you need to REPEAL the law that PROHIBITS them from being tax exempt!  You cannot have a LAW on the books that says one thing and then prohibit the IRS, which is responsible for administering that section of the law, from enforcing it!

A requirement for extensive reporting on IRS spending.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) –The bill also includes provisions to stop the IRS from further implementing ObamaCare, including a prohibition on any transfers of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to the IRS for ObamaCare uses, and a prohibition on funding for the IRS to implement an individual insurance mandate on the American people.

Well, let’s see.  We elected President Obama and a Democratic Congress to get health care reform. Then, the Republican propaganda machine bought a Republican House.  Despite their efforts to gerry-rig the system, we still re-elected President Obama. Health care reform is one of the hardest things we’ve ever worked on. But no matter, they just keep trying to either LIE ABOUT REPEAL or DEFUND access to healthcare for the American People despite its need or popularity.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)– Included in the bill is $1.4 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is $50 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $300 million below the President’s budget request. The increase in funds is targeted specifically toward critical information technology initiatives. The legislation also includes a prohibition on the SEC spending any money out of its “reserve fund” – essentially a slush fund for the SEC to use without any congressional oversight.

In addition, the legislation contains requirements for the Administration to report to Congress on the cost and regulatory burdens of the Dodd-Frank Act, and a prohibition on funding to require political donation information in SEC filings.

My my, lookie here — looks like an increase in funding.  But wait, isn’t this the organization that’s supposed to regulate Wall Street?  It’s a shame that the increase in funding is just for a bit of information technology so they can determine how their GOP-Donor base is affected by any sort of regulation.  It’s also despicable that they’ve included a proviso that PROHIBITS any reporting of information as to Corporate political donations.  If you and I donate, our freedom of speech is broadcast for all to see … but the Republican Donor-base has a special privileged secreted freedom of speech.  Apparently the Republicans believe their Donors are free to speak with their Dollars, but the general American public is underserving of being able to speak with their dollars in response.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)– The bill includes a provision to change the funding source for the CFPB from the Federal Reserve to the congressional appropriations process, starting in fiscal year 2016. Currently, funding for this agency is provided by mandatory spending and is not subject to annual congressional review. This change will allow for increased accountability and transparency of the agency’s activities and use of tax dollars. The legislation also requires extensive reporting on CFPB activities.

The Republicans have done EVERYTHING conceivably possible to handicap, repeal, defund and decapitate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  This is yet their latest attempt to defund and cripple any and all Consumer financial protection at the behest of their Donor-base.

Rep. Amodei and the GOP’s House of Cuts