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Is It Time for a New Patent Law? - A Debate

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

Israel and the United States: An Alliance Built on Shared Values and Interests

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

The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today

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

Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education

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

Alexander Hamilton: Proto-Progressive or Conservative Founding Father?

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

Defining and Defeating the Global Islamist Insurgency

May 5, 2015 Read more

What Are Venture Exchanges and How Should They Be Regulated

May 4, 2015 The attractiveness of an investment is heavily influenced by whether the investment can be easily sold at a reasonable price when the investor decides to sell that investment. Venture exchanges have been proposed to create a robust, liquid secondary market for the securities of small and medium-sized companies. Properly done, these exchanges would help these dynamic companies raise capital and help their investors achieve a better return. Venture exchanges would help promote innovation, economic growth and job creation. The issue of whether to create venture exchanges is particularly relevant given the recent release of the SEC’s new Regulation A+ final rule implementing Title IV of the JOBS Act. Venture exchanges could trade the securities issued by smaller public companies, and those issued under the JOBS Act Regulation A+ and crowdfunding provisions. Read more

The EPA’s and Corps’ ''Waters of the U.S.'' Rule: Separating Fact from Fiction

May 1, 2015 The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a controversial Clean Water Act rule that would seek to expand their regulatory power over almost any type of water in the nation. What types of waters would the proposed rule cover? Is it an expansion of existing law? The agencies argue that the rule is consistent with Supreme Court precedent—is this accurate? Is the rule consistent with the language and intent of the Clean Water Act? This panel will answer these questions, discuss practical implications for property owners, and provide the facts about the rule while dispelling the myths. In addition, there will be discussion as to what Congress should do to stop this major power grab. Recently, the agencies sent a final rule to the Office of Management and Budget for its approval. The final rule could soon become a reality. Read more

The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It

April 30, 2015 In today's world, terrorism commands our constant attention. Few people in North America and Europe have the capacity to study and analyze the wide scale number and kinds of threats facing us as a civilization. Even fewer can make constructive suggestions on how to meet and eliminate these threats in an effective way. Van Hipp is one of those few. He discusses the full range of threats. Not just the constant threats of suicide bombers, airplane hijackings, and odious beheadings, but the threats from military and cyber-attacks. He stresses the need to upgrade our missile defenses, protect ourselves from cyber-attacks, and eliminate the danger posed by our porous borders. He calls on our national leadership to rise to the challenge posed by these dangers, and to undertake the steps that will protect us all from these threats. Read more

Transparency in State Government

April 30, 2015 Conservatives achieved historic victories in the 2010 elections at the federal and state levels by riding a wave of discontent over federal overreach and fiscal profligacy. But undergirding these concerns was frustration over a deeper problem: the culture of secrecy maintained by public officials to ensure that their decisions be insulated from public scrutiny. Conservatives who took office in 2011 recognized quickly that no effort to rein in government overreach could be successful over the long term unless paired with a sustained focus on increasing transparency and accountability. Read more

Marriage at the Supreme Court: What We Heard at the Argument

April 30, 2015 Read more

Maintaining Focus on North Korea Human Rights Violations

April 29, 2015 A year ago, the UN Commission of Inquiry condemned the North Korea government for “systemic, widespread, and gross violations of human rights” of such a monumental scale as to constitute crimes against humanity. The commission report shocked and energized the international community to action on North Korean human rights abuses. Read more

Serving Veterans and The Families: The Vital Role In Civil Society of Veterans Service Organizations

April 28, 2015 Today’s all-volunteer military has served with distinction and honor. At war for over a decade, our fighting men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces make us proud. Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and scores of others have been wounded, both physically and psychologically. Those wounded personnel are entitled to superior government medical care and dignified service from the Veteran’s Administration. But wounded vets don’t want our pity or a handout---they fought for the blessings of this country to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for their fellow soldiers, their families, and their countrymen. As conservatives, we know that liberty depends on the “little platoons of society” as Edmund Burke said. Since 9/11, a unique brand of voluntary association has arisen---veteran service organizations. These non-profit little platoons of society help veterans or their family members in myriad of ways, from taking wounded veterans fly fishing, to college scholarships for surviving children, to counseling services and more. Join us as we highlight the work of three outstanding non-profit veterans services organizations, told through the eyes of those who run these little platoons of civil society. Read more

The Iran Hawks’ All-or-Nothing Mentality

April 28, 2015 Because Corker-Cardin doesn't give Iran hawks everything they want, most of them seem eager to accept nothing. Read more

St. Benedict or Dr. Berman?

April 28, 2015 Western civilization goes out with a technologically-enhanced bang Read more

Dante, Cacciaguida, and Truth-Tellling

April 28, 2015 Why the hunt for healing only succeeds with hard honesty Read more

The English Threat to the U.K.

April 28, 2015 It may not be that long before unionists find that most English voters will be happy to be rid of the union. Read more

No End to the War on Yemen in Sight

April 28, 2015 The U.S.-backed war on Yemen keeps going. Read more

Hillary Unleashed

April 28, 2015 Nanny Defarge clarifies the 2016 presidential choice Read more

Ebola Outbreak and Response: Assessment of Initial U.S. Actions

April 28, 2015 The 2013-2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa ravaged the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, shocked the international community and claimed over 10,000 lives. As an aggressive and extremely lethal disease, Ebola spread quickly and demonstrated that there is no such thing as “just in time preparedness,” once again reminding the international community vulnerable regions remain highly susceptible to pandemics and other various public health crises. Read more

The Continuing Cluelessness of Hard-liners

April 27, 2015 If they can tack on their amendments, the Iran hawks will be making it easier for Obama to veto Corker-Cardin. Read more

Bush’s Clueless RJC Speech

April 27, 2015 George W. Bush reminds us just how horrible his foreign policy judgment is. Read more

Bruce Jenner, Media, & Madmen

April 27, 2015 How far we will go to convince ourselves that sanity is truly madness Read more

Lincoln Chafee’s Clinton Critique Is Actually Compelling

April 27, 2015 He was the only Republican senator to vote against the Iraq War—and Hillary voted for it. Now he's thinking of challenging her for the Democratic nomination. Read more

Gay McCarthyism Watch

April 27, 2015 Christian law school prof withdraws to closet; gay hoteliers scalped for dining with Ted Cruz Read more

Foreign Policy Priorities and the Hawkish Desire to Be “Focused Everywhere”

April 27, 2015 To imagine that the U.S. could be "focused everywhere" is to admit that one has no clue how to conduct foreign policy. Read more

Lindsey Graham and the “Wrong Side of History”

April 27, 2015 Ideologues convinced that they are on the "right side" of history usually end up defeated and discredited because of their ideological excesses. Read more

Qadeeshat Aloho, He Sang

April 27, 2015 'Thoughts and prayers know no bounds nor barriers' Read more

The Comforts of Home

April 26, 2015 At the end of the best journey Read more

Rep. Flores, Sen. Lee Call for Congress to Repeal Obamacare by Reconciliation Process

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

Flores Statement on Resolution Challenging D.C. Anti-Religious Freedom Law

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

State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional: A Memo to the Supreme Court

April 21, 2015 On April 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges and three other cases concerning whether states will remain free to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage. The only way one can establish the unconstitutionality of male-female marriage laws is to adopt a genderless, adult-centric view of the institution – in other words, to establish that the vision of marriage our law has long applied is wrong and that the Constitution requires a different vision. Read more

Never Be Afraid of the Facts (Even If 'They' Hate You For It)

April 18, 2015 Never Be Afraid of the Facts (Even If 'They' Hate You For It) Read more

The Philippines: Enhancing Economic Freedom and Momentum for Growth

April 17, 2015 Demonstrating a high level of resilience and overcoming the devastating impact of the massive typhoon Haiyan that hit the country in 2013, the Philippine economy has made a notable turn-around and become one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. Wide-ranging reforms to address structural weaknesses and improve overall economic competitiveness in the country have put greater emphasis on improving regulatory efficiency, enhancing regional competitiveness, and liberalizing the banking sector. Reflecting progress in such reform areas, the Philippines has charted an upward trajectory of economic freedom and registered one of the 10 best score improvements in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. Read more

The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Critical Issues

April 17, 2015 The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5 plus 1 have entered a crucial phase ahead of the March 30 deadline for a framework agreement. A distinguished panel of experts will examine some of the key issues involved in the negotiations and assess some of the pitfalls that must be avoided if an acceptable agreement is to be reached by the June 30th deadline for a final agreement. Read more

Flores Statement on Passage of Death Tax Repeal Act

April 16, 2015

Today, Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, which was introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Chairman Flores:

“Repealing the death tax is one of the most important things we can do to preserve and strengthen America’s family-owned farms and small businesses for generations to come. For nearly a hundred years, this tax has cost families dearly after the loss of a loved one, and stunted America’s economic growth in the process. Thanks to Congressman Kevin Brady and my Republican Study Committee colleagues, we are close to finally abolishing this immoral federal policy. I applaud the House for acting today on a bipartisan basis to pass this necessary and long overdue legislation.”

Chairman Flores also penned a joint op-ed with Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on the need to repeal the death tax, which was published today in USA Today. According to the op-ed, which cites a report from the non-partisan Tax Foundation, death tax repeal would increase capital stock of the U.S. economy by 2.2 percent and create 139,000 American jobs.

Read more

Flores, Thune in USA Today: “Time for the estate tax to die”

April 16, 2015

USA Today

Time for the estate tax to die

Senator John Thune & Chairman Bill Flores

April 16, 2015

100 years later, the death tax has cost Americans more than $1 trillion.

Benjamin Franklin once famously said that nothing is certain in this world except death and taxes. Thankfully, the federal policy that combines the two by taxing estates when a loved one passes away is close to extinction. Enacted nearly 100 years ago, the death tax places a significant burden on families that want to achieve the American dream — securing a better future for their children — by passing down a small business or a family farm from one generation to the next. The policy is also widely unpopular, with nearly 70% of Americans saying they want to see it repealed permanently.

Repealing the death tax restores fairness for American families, and is a step toward a 21st century, pro-growth tax code. Now, with support growing in both the House and Senate, Congress has the opportunity to do just that. This week, the House will vote on a death tax repeal bill introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the conservative caucus of House Republicans. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. has led the repeal effort in the Senate by sponsoring the companion bill in the Senate, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, as well as an amendment to the budget supporting its repeal, which recently passed on a bipartisan vote of 54-46.

Proponents of the death tax often argue that it only impacts the wealthiest Americans, but this is simply not true. In practice, the death tax hits hardest those families that run small businesses or operate farms, with devastating results. A 2012 report from the Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) called the death tax "an overwhelming cause of the dissolution of family businesses" and "a significant hindrance to entrepreneurial activity." This is because families that have spent a lifetime working hard — and paying taxes — to build a successful business may lack the liquid assets to meet the federal government's steep death tax rate. The only way to satisfy the Internal Revenue Service is to break up the business or parcel off the family farm to pay the tax liability. The federal government should not be punishing families for their hard work. Instead, we should promote strong family businesses that contribute to our vibrant economy and withstand the test of time.

Ironically, by discouraging investment, the death tax hurts the U.S. economy and, according to some studies, actually decreases long-term tax revenue. Since its inception in 1916, the death tax has cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion in capital accumulation, or 3.2% of total capital stock, according to the Republican staff of the JEC. Less capital formation means slower economic growth, which results in decreased tax revenue for the federal government. The death tax gives us the ugly consequences of breaking up family businesses without any discernible benefit in terms of tax revenue. Repealing this senseless tax would allow family businesses to grow over multiple generations and improve the U.S. economy in the process. A recent study by the Tax Foundation found that repeal of the death tax would increase the U.S. capital stock by 2.2%, boost the economy, create 139,000 jobs and eventually increase federal revenue.

In fact, the tax hurts America at home and abroad. The U.S. death tax rate is the fourth highest among developed nations and puts American family businesses at a competitive disadvantage with competitors across the globe. The average death tax rate for counties in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) is 15%, but the U.S. rate is a much higher 40%. According to the Tax Foundation, since 2000, 11 countries have repealed their death tax entirely, including Sweden and Norway. While these countries turn toward encouraging economic investment, President Obama has proposed taking America in the exact opposite direction. The president's fiscal year 2016 budget included a second death tax that would effectively raise America's rate to nearly 60% — the second highest rate in the world.

This Congress is committed to sending a death tax repeal bill to the president's desk. We urge President Obama to listen to the American people, who overwhelmingly want to see this destructive tax abolished, and to work with Congress. By repealing this unpopular tax, we can help American families, protect our farms and family-owned businesses and grow our nation's economy.

Read more

The Case for the Lee-Rubio Tax Reform Plan

April 16, 2015 Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently released a tax reform plan. The business side of the plan would reduce marginal tax rates, permit full and immediate deduction of capital expenses, eliminate the double taxation of corporate income, make interest neither taxable nor deductible and move to a territorial tax system. This business tax reform would dramatically improve economic growth and the real incomes of most Americans. It is a valuable model for how Congress should approach business tax reform. The individual side of the plan would repeal most itemized deductions, moderately reduce tax rates for many taxpayers and substantially expand the child tax credit. Read more

FACT SHEET: 9 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Repeal the Death Tax

April 15, 2015

On Thursday, April 16th, the House will vote on the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, introduced by Republican Study Committee (RSC) Member Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and co-sponsored by RSC Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX). The Senate recently passed a similar measure, introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-SD), as an amendment to this year’s budget.

Here are the top 9 reasons why now is the time to repeal the death tax:

  • The death tax breaks up family businesses and farms. A 2012 Joint Economic Committee (JEC) report called the death tax the “an overwhelming cause of the dissolution of family businesses.” The death tax hurts family businesses and farms the most because they often do not have the liquid assets to meet the tax liability. Often the only option is to sell or break up the family business or farm to pay the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Americans overwhelmingly support repealing the death tax. A 2006 study surveying multiple public opinion polls found that Americans consistently and overwhelmingly support repealing the death tax, with 60, 70, or 80 percent of respondents in favor of repeal.
  • The death tax has cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion in lost economic activity. Since its inception in 1916, the death tax has cost the U.S. economy an estimated $1.1 trillion, or 3.2 percent of capital stock - the amount of resources in the economy - according to the JEC. Because the tax breaks up strong, multi-generational family businesses, it hinders overall economy growth while hurting families across the nation.
  • Repealing the death tax would create jobs and grow the economy. According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, repealing the death tax would create 139,000 jobs and increase U.S. capital stock by 2.2 percent.
  • Repealing the death tax protects America’s land for future generations. Many landowners are land-rich but don’t have liquid assets – e.g.. cash - with which to pay the Internal Revenue Service’s steep tax rate. Ending this unfair tax protects families from selling natural resources or subdividing land that they have stewarded for years, according to a study by the Reason Foundation.
  • Repealing the death tax would move us toward a pro-growth tax code that helps American families. Ending this harmful tax that hurts family farms and businesses would lead the way for a more common-sense, pro-growth tax code.
  • America’s death tax rate is the fourth highest among developed countries. Among developed countries in the Organization for Economy Cooperation and Development (OECD), American has the fourth highest death tax rate, with only Japan, South Korea and France boasting higher rates.
  • More countries have been moving toward abolishing the death tax altogether. Since 2000, 11 countries have repealed their inheritance tax, including Sweden and Norway. Fifteen OECD countries have no death tax at all.
  • Unless we act now, President Obama and his liberal allies will take America in the wrong direction. President Obama proposed a second death tax in his fiscal year 2016 budget that would effectively raise the U.S. death tax rate to nearly 60 percent – higher than any other developed nation.
Read more

How Modern Psychology Undermines Morality

April 15, 2015 Modern psychology is one of the most powerful intellectual authorities of our time. Its appeal derives in no small part from its ability to absolve us of responsibility for our misdeeds, vices, and failings. It’s never our fault. It’s the fault of our subconscious drives, our parents, or our genes. And the solution to our behavioral problems lies not in reforming our character, but in medicines and therapy that can cure the diseases and disorders diagnosed by psychology. Read more

Black, Flores, Meadows Introduce Resolution to Disagree with D.C. Anti-Religious Liberty Law

April 14, 2015

Republican Study Committee (RSC) leaders have introduced a resolution to disagree with the District of Columbia’s recent legislation that violates religious freedom by requiring employers to pay for health insurance that covers abortions and hire individuals who advocate for abortion. The resolution was introduced late Monday by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and co-sponsored by RSC Chairman Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

“The District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act will do just the opposite of what its name implies. This coercive measure would ban pro-life organizations in DC from even considering a job seeker’s views on abortion as a condition of employment. This is an affront to the conscience rights of every American who believes, as I do, in the cause of protecting the unborn. Congress must not remain silent while this injustice unfolds. That is why, with the help of Chairman Flores and Chairman Meadows, I have introduced a resolution expressing Congress’s ardent disapproval of this law. I hope both chambers of Congress will act swiftly to pass our resolution so that we can stop this ill-conceived law and restore needed protections for those in the pro-life community who call DC home,” said Rep. Black.

“It is unconscionable that employers should be forced to pay for policies that go against their deeply held religious beliefs, yet that is exactly what the District of Columbia’s legislation would do. Congress has an obligation to act and exercise its constitutional authority to prevent this flagrant violation of religious freedom. I commend Congressman Black and my colleagues in the Republican Study Committee for joining me in this important fight to preserve and protect our most sacred founding values,” said Chairman Flores.

“The Supreme Court has been very clear on the definition of ministerial exception. To not speak up for religious freedom and the free exercise thereof would not be in keeping with our founding principles and the traditions upon which our nation was built,” Rep. Meadows said.

Last week, 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

RSC Members Call for Defunding D.C. Anti-Religious Liberty Bills

March 27, 2015

Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) and 66 RSC members yesterday called for Congress to use its constitutional authority to block funding for two controversial measures passed by the D.C. City Council that would harm religious freedom.

In a letter to Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw, the lawmakers request funding be limited for D.C.’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment (RHNDAA) Act of 2014 and Human Rights Amendment (HRAA) Act of 2014.

“[The D.C. bills] contain provisions that would violate the religious liberty of employers and institutions located in the District and would undermine the long-standing religious protections contained in the Constitution, as well as federal law protecting the free-exercise of religion,” the letter states. “[RHNDAA] would force religious institutions and other pro-life employers to violate deeply held beliefs, values, and principles, and would amount to a government-mandated violation of the Constitution.  In fact, RHNDAA would substantially interfere with the foundational liberties established at our nation’s founding, including freedom of religion, speech, and free association.”

The second provision, HRAA, also raises concerns about religious liberty. “This legislation would eliminate current federal protections for institutions from being forced to act contrary to religious beliefs and tenants,” the lawmakers write.

“Fortunately, Congress has legislative power over the District’s law-making authority,” the letter continues. “It is my belief that Congress must wield its constitutional ‘power of the purse’ to prevent infringement of the fundamental constitutional protections for District-based employers and institutions.”

You can read the complete letter here.

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Rep. Flores, Rep. Stutzman Support RSC Budget on House Floor

March 25, 2015

Today, Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) spoke in support of the RSC’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal, titled “Blueprint for a Balanced Budget.” The RSC budget would balance the federal budget in six years, reform and reduce government spending by $7.1 trillion relative to current policy over 10 years and strengthen our safety-net programs for the long term.

“The RSC budget will balance the federal budget in just six years, providing a better future for our children and grandchildren,” Chairman Flores said. “It reduces rampant government overspending by $7.1 trillion compared to current policy and gets rid of redundant and unconstitutional government programs that waste billions of precious taxpayer dollars. Hardworking American families know the importance of prioritizing to live within their means; it is time the federal government learned that lesson, too.”

WATCH CHAIRMAN FLORES DEBATE THE RSC BUDGET 

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, Chairman of the RSC’s Budget and Spending Task Force, led the debate on the RSC budget and spoke strongly in support of the budget plan he helped craft.

“Let’s not let the solvable problems of today become the causes of decline tomorrow,” Rep. Stutzman said. “Let’s stand together and let’s pass a serious budget, with a serious conversation, that reforms the way Washington operates. Let’s pass a budget that will allow opportunities for middle-class families to flourish. Let’s pass a budget that will keep American strong for years to come, at home and abroad.”

WATCH REP. STUTZMAN DEBATE THE RSC BUDGET

You can read the RSC’s “Blueprint for a Balanced Budgethere.

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Republican Study Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal

March 23, 2015

Today, Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) and RSC Budget and Spending Task Force Chairman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) released the House conservative caucus’ budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The proposal, titled “Blueprint for a Balanced Budget,” balances the federal budget in six years, reforms and reduces government spending by $7.1 trillion relative to current policy over 10 years and repeals Obamacare through reconciliation. The budget also implements patient-centered health care reform modeled on the RSC’s American Health Care Reform Act.

“The Republican Study Committee’s Blueprint is a bold, conservative plan that will balance the budget, reign in rampant overspending and restore solvency to America’s safety-net programs,” Chairman Flores said. “This forward-looking document lays out a fresh, new vision for tackling some of Washington’s top fiscal challenges, while introducing policies that will grow our economy and create more jobs and better paychecks for hardworking American taxpayers. To truly restore America, we must first and foremost put an end to the Obama administration’s harmful tax-and-spend policies. Hardworking Americans know how important it is to live within your means; it is time the federal government learned that lesson, too. Thanks to Rep. Stutzman’s leadership, this budget reflects the RSC’s positive, ‘get it done’ agenda and will serve as an influential guide to getting this country back on track."

"I am very proud to have worked with Chairman Flores and his staff to produce a Blueprint for a Balanced Budget,Rep. Stutzman stated. “This is a serious plan to reinvent the way Washington does business. This budget cuts wasteful spending, reforms our tax code and our safety net programs, repeals and replaces Obamacare, and strengthens our national defense by ensuring our military has the resources they need to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Now is the time to tackle the serious problems we face as a nation, so that we can pass on to future generations an America that is strong both at home and abroad. This budget is a strong step towards achieving that goal."

To read the complete budget, click here.

Key Deliverables:

Produces a Balanced Budget. The Blueprint balances in six years, resulting in a balanced budget in FY 2021. This budget would bring spending down to 18.2 percent of GDP and limit revenues to 18.2 percent of GDP, close to the historical average.

Enacts Pro-Growth Tax Reform. The Blueprint puts forth pro-growth, pro-taxpayer reform that is simpler, fairer, more competitive, and budget neutral on a dynamic basis.

Reestablishes Our National Defense. The Blueprint strengthens our national defense by providing $570 billion in base defense spending in FY 2016 and $6.4 trillion for national security over the next decade.

Reforms and Reduces Washington’s Spending. The Blueprint cuts spending by $7.1 trillion relative to current policy over the 10 year budget window. The budget sets total FY 2016 discretionary spending at $975 billion, with non-defense discretionary reduced to $405 billion for the fiscal year and reduced by a total of $1.3 trillion by FY 2025. Unnecessary mandatory spending, outside of key safety net programs, will be reduced by $1.7 trillion between FY 2016 and FY 2025.

Repeals and Replaces Obamacare. The Blueprint fully repeals Obamacare through the reconciliation process. It replaces the president’s unpopular health care law with the RSC’s American Health Care Reform Act, a patient-centered solution that lowers costs, increases access to affordable health care and puts individuals back in charge of their healthcare decisions.

Strengthens America’s Safety Net Programs. The Blueprint offers common-sense reforms to strengthen America’s safety net programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Disability Insurance and Social Security. By making changes that will restore these programs to solvency, we can ensure that they are there not only for current recipients, but for future generations.

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Flores: House Conservatives Will Continue Effort to Stop President’s Unlawful Actions

February 27, 2015

Today, Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) released the following statement on H.R. 33, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through March 6, 2015:

“Today’s continuing resolution comes after the House passed a motion disagreeing with the Senate’s funding bill and establishing a House and Senate conference to force Democrats to do their job and come to the table. House conservatives will continue our effort to stop the president’s executive actions, protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.”

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