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Republicans Abroad Hong Kong provides news feeds and links to other websites as a service to our users. This does not imply Republicans Abroad Hong Kong's endorsement of these news feeds and websites, and Republicans Abroad Hong Kong is not responsible for the content or availability of these news feeds and websites.June 9, 2015 Tens of millions of Americans are between the ages of 18 and 30. These Americans, known as millennials, are, or soon will be, entering the workforce. For them, achieving success will be more difficult than it was for young people in the past. This is because Washington made decisions that render their lives more difficult than those of their parents or grandparents. Too many public primary and secondary schools are failing their students, college graduates are saddled with heavy debt burdens, and labor market restrictions keep young Americans from building their careers. Meanwhile, Washington expects millennials to pay higher taxes for government entitlement and healthcare programs that benefit middle-aged and older Americans, many of whom have better jobs and more assets. It is time to address the crisis facing America’s young. The future of America can be saved, but only if Washington’s betrayal comes to an end. Read more June 5, 2015 From Oscar-nominated filmmaker and best-selling author Sebastian Junger comes The Last Patrol, a film dedicated to exploring how combat veterans deal with the loss of friends and relearn how to acclimate to domestic life in America after returning home from war. Read more June 4, 2015 With all the discussion about global poverty, inequality, and the billions of people living with almost nothing, why can’t governments, development banks, think-tanks, academics, NGOs and many others just fix the problem? Why is it that seemingly obvious reforms never happen? Why are prosperity and equity so elusive? Read more May 29, 2015 The U.S. should be finding a way to disentangle itself from a conflict in which it should never have been involved. Read more May 29, 2015 The cultural revolution now underway is destroying even liberal religion Read more May 29, 2015 Today, there are over 22 million veterans living in America. Thirty percent of veterans live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They make up one fifth of the homeless population. And an estimated 18 veterans commit suicide every day. Never has there been such a great need to serve our military veterans. Read more May 29, 2015 Symbolism, diabolism, and the chaotic fever dream of modernity Read more May 29, 2015 A bat mitzvah girl and her mom seek relevance Read more May 28, 2015 More old white guys talking only with each other. Read more May 28, 2015 Opponents of the Libyan war were right about almost everything from the start. Read more May 28, 2015 The recent Conservative Party victory in the United Kingdom’s General Election could have major implications for economic policy across the Atlantic. No longer in coalition, how will the Tories change their legislative economic program? Which policy priorities will expand and which will be scrapped? What does the future hold for UK-EU relations? Has austerity helped or hurt Britain’s economic recovery? Is London’s financial industry waxing or waning? Read more May 28, 2015 Amidst controversial methodologies and methods, many parents are seeking to simplify Read more May 28, 2015 Laughing away communism's very real historical threats allows today's dangerous extremisms to escape cultural notice. Read more May 28, 2015 The famed critic's penultimate book personally exults in the New World's openness to the literary "daemon." Read more May 28, 2015 Cruz plays the demagogue no matter which position he happens to take at any given moment. Read more May 28, 2015 The U.S. has bombed and/or invaded another country at least once every year for the past twenty-one years straight. Read more May 28, 2015 Social conservatism in retreat on all fronts, says Gallup poll Read more May 28, 2015 The annoying thing about blind optimism Read more May 28, 2015 Cooking, Dostoevsky, and Crunchy Cons Read more May 28, 2015 Ralph C. Wood reviews 'How Dante' for Christianity Today Read more
The Ebola Response: The Department of Defense’s Medical Research and Development Role in a Global Health Security CrisisMay 27, 2015 The 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak was an unprecedented global health security crisis that underscored the importance of the Department of Defense (DoD) medical research and development mission. Although the Ebola outbreak occurred naturally, it reminded the nation that a biological attack could behave in much the same way: A deadly viral agent is released and rapidly spreads from one person to the next. Read more May 22, 2015 For those who give the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, a commitment is made in return. That commitment is a promise well-understood both inside and outside of the military, regardless of service. That promise is “dead or alive, no one is left behind.” Read more May 21, 2015
Today, Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) released the following statement on the conservative caucus’s position on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im):
“The Republican Study Committee will not support the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and believes that the bank should begin an orderly wind down when its charter expires on June 30th. Federal bureaucrats should not be picking business’ winners and losers. Instead, we know American businesses are capable of competing in a free and open market, without government interfering. Ex-Im boasts a disturbing culture of corruption and misconduct that has led to numerous criminal indictments in the last six years. Their lending standards often lack transparency and consistency. Yet rather than address these mounting problems, bank officials have repeatedly ignored required reforms from Congress and recommendations from the Government Accountability Office and the bank’s own Inspector General. We need to end Ex-Im before it becomes another Enron at the expense of American taxpayers.”
Chairman Flores today published a joint op-ed in the Washington Examiner with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) calling on Congress to allow Ex-Im’s authorization to expire. The RSC discussed Ex-Im’s reauthorization at length, both at Member meetings and Steering Committee meetings, before taking a formal position. The RSC takes an official position on an issue when two-thirds or more of Steering Committee Members, the RSC’s governing board, vote in favor of it.
Chairman Flores believes the best thing Washington can do for America’s economy is enact tax reform, regulatory reform, free trade agreements – including Trade Promotion Authority - and litigation reform.Read more May 21, 2015 A wave of data breaches at American companies has once again highlighted just how insecure consumer data is. Apple, Target, Sony, and recently Anthem (a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company) are some high profile examples. In response, various consumer advocates and regulatory agencies have begun to explore ways to encourage data-sharing between businesses, as well as with the government, and to encourage the development of data security standards. Can and should industry self-regulate? Is there a government agency equipped to regulate? What should data security standards look like, and could those standards open the door to unscrupulous tort litigation? Join us as our panelists discuss the competing risks of cyber-attack and overregulation. Read more May 19, 2015 The major regulations imposed by the Obama Administration now cost Americans more than $80 billion a year – twice as much as the rules issued by the Bush Administration at the six-year mark, according to The Heritage Foundation’s latest Red Tape Rising report. The actual cost of these rules is obscured by the failure of agencies to fully quantify regulatory impacts, which represents major dysfunction in the administrative process. Read more May 16, 2015 Four years after passing a major patent law overhaul, Congress is considering a new law that would affect patent lawsuit procedures, make the losing party bear its opponent’s legal costs, and target “patent troll” abuses. Supporters of legislation claim that it would reduce costly legal burdens, rein in patent abuses, and promote innovation. Opponents of legislation argue to the contrary that it would devalue patent rights and slow innovation. The outcome of this debate will have major significance for the American patent system and the economy. Join us as four experts on patent law and policy debate this important topic. Read more
Is this Empowerment? - Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, Micro-aggressions, and other Fruits of Campus FeminismMay 15, 2015 A Conservative Women's Network event. Read more May 14, 2015 Join us as Ambassador Ron Dermer discusses the common values that serve as the foundation of the longstanding relationship between Israel and the United States and why they must remain steadfast allies if they are to overcome the serious challenges threatening both nations in today’s world. Read more May 14, 2015 With a growing threat of Islamist terrorists, continued unrest in the Middle East, an increasingly assertive North Korea, and challenging relations in the Asia-Pacific, General Mattis will examine the current state of the world, how it has come to be, where it is going, and what role the U.S. has to play. General Mattis served as the 11th Commander of the United States Central Command, having previously served as Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command as well as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander. The Heritage Foundation is honored that General Mattis will deliver the annual Colonel James D. McGinley Lecture as part of Heritage’s 2015 Protect America Month programming. Read more May 14, 2015 By mid-2015, the Obama presidency will be entering its final stages, and the race among the successors in both parties will be well underway. And while experts have already formed a provisional understanding of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals, the shape of the "Obama Doctrine" is finally coming into full view. It has been consistently cautious since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, but recent events in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Far East have led an increasingly large number of foreign policy experts to conclude that caution has transformed into weakness. The Obama Doctrine not only provides a sharp appraisal of foreign policy in the Obama era; it lays out an alternative approach to marshaling American power that will help shape the foreign policy debate in the run-up to the 2016 elections. Read more May 13, 2015
Today, Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) released the following statement praising the House for passing H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:
“At five months old, an unborn child can feel pain and could survive if born prematurely, as countless heartwarming and inspiring stories of survival reminded us this week. As a father and grandfather, I find it unconscionable that current law does not protect these lives, which need protecting the most. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will give a voice the vulnerable, who cannot speak for themselves. I commend my Republican Study Committee colleagues for leading the way on this worthy and moral cause, and I thank them for their unflagging commitment to protecting each and every life.”
The bill was introduced by RSC Member Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and co-sponsored by Chairman Flores. In January, Chairman Flores wrote a joint op-ed with Susan B. Anthony List’s vice president, former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, calling for Congress to pass this widely supported measure.Read more May 13, 2015 Legislative gridlock has blocked right-to-work laws in half of American states, including Kentucky. Twelve Kentucky counties recently bypassed that opposition. Using the powers the Kentucky Legislature delegated them under a “Home Rule” law they passed local right-to-work ordinances. These ordinances protect over a half-million Kentucky residents. Read more May 13, 2015 How would an entrepreneur reform education? In Every School, Don Nielsen draws on his business career and two decades as a school activist to offer innovative solutions to the educational challenges facing our country. Lasting change, he argues, will not come mainly through local school boards, but rather through state legislative action that empowers school administrators to make choices in the interests of their students. His recommendations provide parents, policymakers, and citizens with the ideas needed to address the deficiencies in our current system and achieve the highest potential in our children. Read more May 11, 2015 May 11 marks the start of the fourth annual “Imports Work Week.” U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner recently observed: “I don't think those who are involved in trade have done a very good job of helping the American people understand the benefits of trade and why in fact it's good for America.” This is especially true when it comes to the benefits imports bring to U.S. families and workers. Our panelists will discuss an idea that is controversial on Capitol Hill, but unites nearly all economists: Imports are good for America. Read more May 6, 2015 How should conservatives understand the legacy of Alexander Hamilton? On the one hand, Hamilton, more than any other founder, was responsible for placing the newly established government of the United States on a sound financial footing and laying the groundwork for America’s thriving capitalist economy. These are accomplishments that most conservatives will admire. On the other hand, in his own day, Hamilton was known as a strong proponent of an energetic national government and a broad interpretation of the national government’s powers. These are positions many conservatives may well suspect. Was Hamilton a proto-progressive, a founding-era forerunner of the contemporary left’s thirst for big government? Or was Hamilton within the mainstream of American constitutional conservatism, championing a vision of both active but also limited government? Join us for a program featuring three scholars of the American Founding as they discuss the political thought and statesmanship of this celebrated but controversial founder. Read more May 5, 2015 Read more May 4, 2015
Last week, Republican Study Committee members submitted several important, conservative amendments to H.R. 2029, Fiscal Year 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations that will cut waste and abuse at Department of Veterans Affairs. The reforms will improve agency efficiency and rightly hold officials accountable to American taxpayers.
Here are the top appropriation amendments from RSC members:
- Cut Waste at the VA: Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced an amendment that would prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from carrying out the Appraised Value Offer program, which spends thousands of taxpayer dollars to relocate VA officials. According to an Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation, the VA provided an almost $300,000 relocation package to “incentivize” a highly paid senior VA employee to move just 140 miles, from the Washington, D.C. office to the Philadelphia office. The amendment was adopted by a voice vote.
- Stop Rewarding Poor Results: Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) introduced an amendment to prohibit bonuses to VA Senior Executive Service employees. Despite the high profile failures at the VA, the VA has provided cash bonuses of up to $63,000. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
- Reign in Overspending: Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced an amendment to reduce the budget of the VA’s congressional affairs office, which has grown by 36 percent since 2009. The amendment reduces funding for the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs (OCLA) by $1.5 million. Despite budget increases in recent years, OCLA continues to withhold information from Congress, including 78 outstanding requests from the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
- Hold Government Accountable: Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced an amendment to prohibit funding bonuses for officials in the VA’s Office of Construction and Facility Management (OALC), which has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars over the last 15 years. The OALC oversees VA construction projects over $10 million, but at least four projects were delayed and mismanaged, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The amendment as adopted by voice vote.
- Stop Falsifying Records: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced an amendment to increase transparency and stop officials from falsifying records. The amendment blocks any funding for record systems not approved by VA headquarters and stops the implementation of the “Fast Letter 13-10” memo. Some VA employees allegedly used the memos to change dates on claims so it will appear they were reducing the claims backlog. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) released the following statement on the passage of the fiscal year 2016 budget conference agreement:
“I applaud the work of House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price and the House conferees, many of whom are Republican Study Committee members, for their work in crafting this budget framework. We have a responsibility to America’s hardworking taxpayers and families to do everything we can to fix Washington’s fiscal mess. This budget balances in less than 10 years, bolsters our national security and strengthens our social safety nets. I am particularly pleased that House and Senate negotiators listened to calls from conservatives and will use reconciliation to repeal the president’s harmful health care law. Repealing Obamacare is a top RSC priority and will finally pave the way for truly patient-centered health care.”
In March, the RSC introduced its own budget proposal, titled “Blueprint for a Balanced Budget.”Read more April 30, 2015
Today, the House passed H.J. Res. 43, a resolution to disapprove of the District of Columbia’s recently passed anti-religious freedom legislation, on a bipartisan vote. Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) spoke on the floor in support of H.J. Res. 43, calling it a reaffirmation of “Congress’ commitment to protecting our First Amendment rights.”
“Despite its name, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act does, in fact, discriminate against those who exercise their right to live according to their religious beliefs,” Chairman Flores stated. “The D.C. measure tells values-based organizations that they may no longer live and work according to the very principles that they advocate. A Christian school would be required to pay for health insurance policies that violate the beliefs they teach their students. A pro-life organization would be forced to hire individuals regardless of their commitment to pro-life values.
Chairman Flores continued, “Simply put, the D.C. Council measure compels Americans to act in clear violation of their conscience. In doing so, they ignore the opinion of most Americans, Supreme Court precedent, and the First Amendment of our Constitution.”
H.J. Res. 43 is a response to the District’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA), which requires employers to provide health insurance covering the termination of unborn children and to hire individuals who may advocate for those practices, even if that goes against the employer’s religious beliefs. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and co-sponsored by Chairman Flores and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).Read more April 29, 2015
Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) released the following statement on the proposed budget reconciliation framework announced today:
“I am glad the House and Senate negotiators listened to conservatives and will use reconciliation as a way to repeal Obamacare. The Republican Study Committee has repeatedly pushed for Obamacare repeal language that reflects the plan laid out in our budget, released earlier this year. Today’s budget reconciliation framework reflects many of the RSC’s priorities and is good news for Americans who want to see an end to the President’s disastrous health care law. The problems with Obamacare are not going away, and our members are united in their commitment to see this law repealed once and for all. This brings us one step closer to that goal.”
The Republican Study Committee’s “The Blueprint for a Balanced Budget” and the passed Senate budget both instructed Congress to use reconciliation to repeal Obamacare. Last week, Chairman Flores and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, released a joint-statement pressing budget conferees to use the RSC and Senate language on reconciliation.
The RSC Blueprint outlined conservative priorities in three key areas: providing for our national security, restoring fiscal responsibility and using reconciliation to repeal Obamacare. The agreement announced by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) is the result of negotiations between Chairman Price and the House Budget conferees, and the Senate conferees. The House conferees included RSC members Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI).Read more April 29, 2015
WASHINGTON – The House will vote this Friday, May 1st on a resolution to disapprove of the District of Columbia’s recent legislation which violates First Amendment religious liberties. A preceding debate on the resolution is scheduled for Thursday, April 30th. The Republican Study Committee is leading the fight against D.C.’s controversial measure, with RSC member Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) and other RSC members pushing the House to act by the impending May 2nd deadline.
“The upcoming House vote on the resolution to disapprove of the D.C. Council’s encroachment on religious liberty is a direct result of the persistent efforts of Republican Study Committee members,” Chairman Flores said. “We first flagged this issue when the D.C. Council passed the law and have been resolute in our belief that Congress has the right and the responsibility to act in defense of our constitutional freedom of belief. This is not about one city, but rather about preserving the First Amendment right to religious liberty for all Americans.”
The resolution, H.J. Res. 43, disapproves of the District’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), which requires employers to provide health insurance covering the termination of unborn children and to hire individuals who may advocate for those practices, even if that goes against the employer’s religious beliefs. It was introduced by RSC member Rep. Black and co-sponsored by Chairman Flores and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed the resolution out of committee on Wednesday, April 22nd. Last month, RSC members spurred the congressional effort to block the D.C. law by sending a letter the Appropriations Committee calling for Congress to address the D.C. Council’s actions through the appropriations process.
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Today, Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) spoke at the steps of the Supreme Court in support of allowing states to uphold the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
“Today we ask ourselves, ‘Should the Supreme Court determine how we define marriage? Or should we be the ones to determine that – Americans across this great country who have the right to make their voices heard?’” Chairman Flores stated.
Chairman Flores Speaking at the Supreme Court
“The majority of Americans – 61% - agree that states should be able to uphold this definition without the federal government or courts interfering. Yet today we are at the steps of the Supreme Court, where that core belief is being challenged. Fifty million Americans have voted for traditional marriage; the courts should not ignore them,” Chairman Flores continued.
“We live in a vibrant and diverse country, with many differing viewpoints. Massachusetts is different from Indiana, which is going to different from California, which is different from my home state of Texas. That is exactly why each state should be allowed to determine their own path on this – as the Constitution allows them.
“With all of the passion shown here today, it is easy to forget why we define marriage the way we do. Marriage exists to ensure that children in this country have the very best opportunity to be raised in a loving, two-parent home with a Mom and a Dad. We know that this is how children thrive and how we can give them their best chance in the world.“In this way, marriage is special from any other relationship. That is why we must work to protect it. That is why we are here today. And that is why I am committed to supporting this important cause.” Read more April 23, 2015
Today, Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Senate Steering Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement on the House and Senate budget negotiations and the use of reconciliation:
“As the congressional budget is debated, we cannot forget that passing a budget will allow the House and Senate to achieve a larger policy goal through reconciliation. Though there are many important reforms to be addressed by Congress, reconciliation is a tool that works best when it is focused and precise. The Republican Study Committee and Mike Lee, Chairman of Senate Steering, both support using narrow reconciliation language which is focused on the full repeal of Obamacare. We urge the budget conferees to consider the concerns of the American people who want to see this unpopular and detrimental law repealed once and for all.”
The Republican Study Committee’s “The Blueprint for a Balanced Budget” and the passed Senate budget both instructed Congress to use reconciliation to repeal Obamacare.Read more April 22, 2015
Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed a resolution disapproving of the District of Columbia’s recent anti-religious freedom legislation. The legislation in question was passed by the District’s city council and would force employers to provide health insurance that covers abortions and to hire individuals who advocate for abortion. The resolution to disapprove of the law was introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and co-sponsored by Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
“This resolution is about protecting Americans’ sacred right to exercise their freedom of conscience,” Chairman Flores said in a statement. “The District of Columbia’s law not only ignores the Supreme Court’s clear ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, it violates the religious freedom enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution. The District’s law serves as a reminder that while religious freedom may be one of our nation’s oldest founding values, it is one we must continually protect and reaffirm.”
Last month, members of the RSC called on the House Appropriation Committee to defund two D.C. mandates that violate religious freedom, including the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment (RHNDAA) Act of 2015.Read more