The office of the speaker of the House released this list of members chosen for the Benghazi Select Committee:
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today named the seven Republican members of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. The Select Committee also provides for five Democratic members, and those names will be released when provided by the House Minority Leader. Boehner issued the following statement:
“This investigation is about getting answers for the families of the victims and for the American people. These members have each demonstrated a commitment to this goal, and I have confidence that they will lead a serious, fact-based inquiry. As I have expressed to each of them, I expect this committee to carry out an investigation worthy of the American lives lost in Benghazi. I also urge my Democratic colleagues to treat this tragedy with the proper respect and appoint members so that we can finally, on a bipartisan basis, get answers, provide accountability, and help deliver justice. It is critical that this committee do its work in a focused, timely manner, so that the House can continue to make the economy and job creation its priorities.”
The Republican members of the Select Committee will be:
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
John Boehner is the visible leader of the Republican Party. As Speaker of the House, the only Republican-led institution in Washington DC right now, it is his duty to press a Republican agenda.
His office should be, at all times, rallying the base of the party in order to create a groundswell of support for future electoral gains. Instead, he is personally, actively working to diminish, purge, and destroy those who do not fall in lock-step behind him.
Because of his growing and now public defiance of those wishing to adhere to the Constitution and the basic conservative principles that the Republican Party platform espouses, he has created a leadership vacuum that is being filled by Senate Conservatives.
While categorizing several conservative groups and think-tanks as misleading and interested only in profiteering from opposing viewpoints, Boehner has misjudged the purpose and focus of conservative groups who in general, are amenable to Republican ideals, and in doing so, truly damaged the effectiveness of a unified party.
Last year, after the election was over, Boehner said that he basically had no interest in fighting with President Obama on a host of issues, noting that, “The American people have spoken.” It was then that many conservatives began to have serious issues with a Speaker of the opposing party, unwilling to oppose. But this latest very public chastisement and outright mocking is a bit over the top, and one wonders if it is partnered with the focus on 2016. With the rise of the loud and brash New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie as the darling of the beltway establishment, perhaps Boehner is trying out a Christie-like YouTube sensation, attacking conservatives instead of teachers or boardwalk passersby.
The foolishness of attacking the conservative grassroots of the party is plain to see. Unfortunately for Boehner and those opposed to the grassroots of their own party, they are, through public admonishment, causing a strengthening rebellion that will topple them, if the rebels remain focused on taking control of the party.
The various Tea-Party-like groups that Boehner attacked will become more effective and get more followers because the momentum is on the side of those who are truly concerned about the future of the country. Those following Boehner are going to see lackluster support from the grassroots.
In the end, Boehner’s rant against conservative groups will weaken support for the Republican Party. Conservative Democrats, Independents and Conservative Republicans comprised the coalition that Reagan was able to inspire and mobilize with a campaign based upon core principles and bold conservative positions, and won the hearts and minds of the nation in two landslides. They now are coalescing around conservative principles and values and are creating a strong resurgence to fight for and maintain the freedoms that make America unique. These real people mean business, and the business is saving the nation from ruin. Those deemed unwilling to fight that fight will not be fought for, even if the stakes are two years of dictatorial control.
The Tea Party and all of its allies are not going away – they are getting stronger, and more effective.
Bold leadership displayed by the likes of Ted Cruz and other Senate Conservatives are winning the trust of the average, patriotic American, and Boehner has just made sure that the people he openly mocks receive the adrenaline that only enthusiastic support can give.
In short, if Boehner’s goal was to diminish the Tea Party, he has erred catastrophically.
House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Tuesday that he has hired a longtime advocate of legalizing illegal immigrants to be an adviser, signaling that the Republican is still intent on trying to pass an immigration bill during this congressional session.
Immigrant rights advocates cheered the move as a sign of Mr. Boehner’s dedication to action. Those who want a crackdown on illegal immigration said the top Republican in the House has moved closer to embracing amnesty by hiring Rebecca Tallent, a former staffer for Sen. John McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe.
“Tallent’s hiring suggests he really does still want to push an amnesty through the House, which to me suggests that the immigration hawks still have their work cut out for them,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “She is a professional amnesty advocate.”
Ms. Tallent is leaving a job as immigration policy director for the Bipartisan Policy Center and will join Mr. Boehner’s staff Wednesday, putting her in the center of one of the thorniest issues in Congress.
Mr. Boehner has become a key figure in the immigration debate. He faces immense pressure from immigrant rights activists who want legalization and from House Republicans who are warning him not to pursue legalization until the border is more secure.
Mr. Boehner has faced prayer vigils and protests from immigration rights activists at his home. In Congress, some Republicans have suggested that his speakership could be in jeopardy if he tries to pass legislation granting illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
The Ohio Republican has said he is committed to acting on the issue but has rejected Senate Democrats’ approach of a broad bill combining security, legalization and a rewrite of the immigration system.
“The speaker remains hopeful that we can enact step-by-step, common-sense immigration reforms – the kind of reforms the American people understand and support,” spokesman Michael Steel said. “Becky Tallent, a well-known expert in this field of public policy, is a great addition to our team and that effort.”
But in a city where personnel moves are watched as key policy signals, both sides saw Ms. Tallent’s hiring as an indication of where Mr. Boehner wants the immigration debate to go.
She has been involved in writing a number of broad legalization bills, including one for Mr. Kolbe and two for Mr. McCain in the past decade. She was also a senior policy adviser during Mr. McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign, which included traveling as a domestic policy adviser for vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Mr. Boehner appeared to have nailed the door shut on immigration last month when he said he wouldn’t enter into negotiations on the Senate bill.
But Democratic leaders and President Obama appeared to move in Mr. Boehner’s direction, saying they would be open to the speaker’s approach of dividing immigration reform into separate bills. It’s still unclear whether all of the bills would have to pass at about the same time or whether Republicans would win border security legislation first.
Mr. Krikorian said he still thinks the chances of a final bill reaching Mr. Obama’s desk next year are slim but that Mr. Boehner’s hiring decision is worrisome.
“Basically what that means is that the person who ran John McCain’s amnesty push last time is now running amnesty for Speaker Boehner,” he said.
Immigration rights activists warn Republicans that they must take action or face a political backlash, particularly in the 2016 presidential election.
“If Republicans want to broaden their appeal to diverse voters — really, any American who expects leaders to lead and solve problems — they need to talk less and do more,” said Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of America’s Voice.
House Democrats say passing immigration reform could rescue a year devoid of other major accomplishments.
Ms. Tallent didn’t return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
Ana Navarro, who worked with Ms. Tallent on the 2008 McCain presidential campaign and who has pushed Republicans to tackle immigration reform, said hiring Ms. Tallent was a smart move for Mr. Boehner.
“It tells me that he’s looking to find solutions to some of the complex issues,” she said. “You don’t hire Becky Tallent if you don’t want to get something done. If all you want to do is kick the can down the road and just talk about the issue, you don’t hire Becky Tallent. If you want to solve the issue, you hire Becky Tallent to work with you.”
Ms. Tallent is a native of Tucson, Ariz., and Ms. Navaro said her knowledge of border issues will help House Republicans as they try to craft legislation.
“She brings a particular sensitivity to the border issues, to the immigration issues. She’s pragmatic,” Ms. Navaro said.
Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet said Ms. Tallent’s experience will help her sift through the issues and find something that will work.
“The House is going to continue to chart its own course on immigration reform. Becky understands the issues — both those that should be on the table and those that have derailed past reform efforts,” Mr. Grumet said in a statement.
Time for the inevitable cave in.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will soon announce an agreement to reopen the government and avert default on U.S. debt, according to several sources familiar with the talks.
The House plans to move on the Senate’s bill first, sources say, a move that would clear a path to end the first government shutdown in 17 years and avoid the first potential economy-shaking default on U.S. debt. It remains unclear when a final vote would occur in the Senate.
If the House passes the bill first and sends it to the upper chamber, it would eliminate some burdensome procedural hurdles in the Senate and require just one procedural roll call with a 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill toward final passage in the Senate.
Update: Boehner sealing his fate as House speaker?
(Hot Air) – The endgame will arrive a little sooner than expected, thanks to a deal cut with John Boehner to take the first plunge on a bipartisan plan to end the budget standoff before the theoretical debt-ceiling limit gets breached. Instead of the Senate taking up the proposal from Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell first, Boehner will allow a vote – without amendments – and have it pass with Democrats making up the difference from expected opposition from conservatives
The problem with the GOP establishment Republicans is that they begin every fight believing that nothing is ever worth fighting for and then they immediately surrender the first time the fight gets tough to prove it. The problem with that kind of thinking is that if you’re not willing to fight for anything in politics, you never accomplish much of anything either.
Tim Huelskamp gets that. Do the GOP’s leaders in Congress get it, too?
Representative Tim Huelskamp (KS-1) issued the following statement, warning the GOP establishment that caving (on the shut down) would be a huge mistake:
“If true, such an abandonment of conservative principles would dispirit, dismay, and anger the entire conservative base of the Republican party – and for any of my colleagues pushing such a deal, it would seriously jeopardize their future chances of becoming elected leadership in the House. Now is the time to stand firm – not capitulate to the Left.
“It is my hope that Republican leadership will not abandon our principled opposition to ObamaCare. Claiming to oppose ObamaCare while simultaneously allowing 98% of it to move forward would be in direct contradiction to the Pledge to America and nearly every other campaign promise made by Republicans in the last three years.”
I can’t speak for anyone else, but my position is that if the GOP doesn’t have the courage and the skill to win a political shutdown battle when Obama is publicly saying he won’t compromise while he picks on kids with cancer and veterans while he kicks old people out of their homes, then they’re just not up to the job and it’s time to step aside. McConnell’s willingness to deliberately undercut the House in an effort to give in as fast as possible shows he’s not fit to lead, but Boehner for all his flaws, is still in the game. Conservatives are watching and his speakership is on the line. Whether he knuckles under or at least fights to get some concessions will prove whether he’s worthy to continue to lead.
In South Dakota, the federal government blockaded portions of a state highway during a devastating early season blizzard near Mt. Rushmore to prevent sightseers from snapping a picture of the storm-obscured landmark.
Priests have been threatened with arrest for, well, doing what priests do for parishioners on military bases.
Private businesses have been ordered closed down.
“Gestapo-like” rangers ordered tourists in Yellowstone, who had paid their admission, to get back on their bus and go to their hotel, where armed officers guarded the doors.
There even was an attempt to close an ocean.
This all would be preparation for a massive terror threat endangering millions?
Or maybe for a natural disaster?
All because the White House disagreed with Republicans over funding for a portion of the federal government.
The egregious federal government actions during the partial government shutdown, triggered when President Obama refused to even talk with Republicans about their compromise budget offers, have left Americans shaking their heads, from veterans at a World War II memorial in Washington that is open to the air but “barrycaded” by the Obama administration, to those wondering how a government could close an ocean.
One National Park Service worker quoted by the Washington Times said the orders from the Obama administration were to punish Americans.
“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting,” he said.
WND columnist Gina Loudon already has listed the “top 10 most insane moments” of the Obama-Reid shutdown.
1) “Not only did Obama include the National Institute of Health’s experimental treatments for children with terminal cancer in the shutdown, he has threatened to veto funding that Republicans have offered to reinstate. And all along we thought it was Republicans who wanted children to die.”
2) “Military suicides are at an all-time high. Obama’s answer to that? Remove their chaplains! The chaplains know the importance of their work for our service members during this tumultuous time in the throes of the Navy Yard shootings, Benghazi and the rest of it, so they offered their services for free. Obama’s response? He said chaplains can be arrested if they voluntarily serve our military.”
3) “The Library of Congress website was shut down until Oct. 4. Loc.gov was redirected to a notice that it was no longer available due to the shutdown. On Friday, one of the essential bureaucrats in Washington discovered that leaving the website up actually costs nothing. At last glance, the LOC website is back up and running. In related news, the FCC social media team announced they will not be tweeting due to the shutdown. What will we do without tweets from the FCC?”
4) “National Park Service employees descended onto the home of George Washington at Mt. Vernon to erect barricades after the government was shut down. But, just as Washington ran the British out of Boston after they barricaded the city, the staff at the estate turned the government employees away and removed the barricades. Mt. Vernon has been privately funded for 150 years, and the government had absolutely no authority to shut it down.”
5) “Although no funding exists to keep the World War II memorial open, somehow, funding was found to erect a barricade. Each day, as veterans in their eighties and nineties break through the barricades at the memorial like they did at Omaha Beach, federal employees are paid to come reconstruct them.”
6) “Just as Hitler posted troops at Normandy to keep the allied forces out, President Obama is now turning away those who wish to pay their respects at the Normandy American Cemetery. More than 9,000 patriots who gave their lives were laid to rest at the D-Day Memorial, and respecting their service and sacrifice is not allowed during the shutdown, thanks to the Barack Obama and Harry Reid.”
7) “The Armed Forces Network will not be broadcasting sports programming to our troops overseas. While our troops on the front line in the war on terror will have their MLB and NFL games blacked out, you can bet that President Obama will still be watching Sports Center in the White House every night as he is known to do.”
8) “Although an automated camera has been posting pictures of Old Faithful’s eruptions on the web around the clock for years, it has been shut off. Teams of rangers have been busy erecting and maintaining barricades around Yellowstone National Park and running off anyone trying to enjoy the natural beauty of the park, but they took a break from all of that work to pull the plug on the geyser’s webcams.”
9) “We know the president’s priorities, and golf is at the top of that list. Golf courses at military installations remain open and funded while grocery stores at those sites are shut down.”
10) “WJLA is reporting that scenic overlooks next to roadways have been barricaded and signs have been erected telling passersby that they are closed due to the shutdown. These areas where tourists may stop to enjoy a scenic view of the nation’s capital cost nothing to keep open, but the Obama administration is trying to create a scenic view of its own – a city that he has shut down and seeks to blame Republicans.”
But there are so many other examples.
Katie Pavlich at Townhall reported the National Park Service blocked the road leading to “the sacred ground near Shanksville, Pa., where 9/11 Flight 93 crashed 12 years ago.
“The petty and ghoulish Spite House strikes again,” she wrote. “Barrycades blocking WWII vets from their memorial, denying death benefits to military families and now this. The Flight 93 National Memorial is an open field for crying out loud.”
Loudon noted that Jeff Reed of American Family Radio put it like this: ‘The sad reality is … Obama sent more guards to keep WWII vets from entering their memorial than he sent to Benghazi.”
Here’s a representative list of the management of the federal government:
* The general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA said that contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases are not permitted even to volunteer. “They risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”
* Officials barricaded the open-air points from which to view the Lincoln Memorial and watched as a defiant visitor or two simply walked on up. Said John Ervin of Hermann, Mo.: “We should be allowed to see all these things… our national treasures, our national monuments.”
* About that ocean: It was the National Park Service that told charter boat captains in Florida that Florida Bay was now closed down. The Obama administration actually prohibited fishing boats from taking anglers into 1,100 square miles of open ocean.
* Two senior citizens who live in their private home on Lake Mead were ordered out. A park ranger told Joyce and Ralph Spencer, 77 and 80, they had 24 hours to vacate. Their home is privately owned but is inside federal land.
* Federal officials ordered the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a private business enterprise, to close down. The owner make headlines by defying the orders. “I’m questioning their authority to shut me,” said Bruce O’Connell.
* But a variety of other private marinas, restaurants and inns linked to federal attractions all were ordered closed, throwing thousands out of work.
* About Mt. Rushmore, Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said: “They won’t even let you pull off on the side of the road. I just don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.”
* Authorities used “Gestapo tactics” on senior citizens visiting Yellowstone National Park, locking them inside their hotel under “armed guard” during the Obama administration’s government shutdown, according to a guide. Officials even refused to allow the tourists to stop for bathroom breaks during the two-and-a-half hour drive out of the park, he said. Guide Gordon Hodgson said a ranger approached him while he was providing a tour to visitors and allowed them to stop and take photographs. “She told me you need to return to your hotel and stay there. This is just Gestapo tactics. We paid a lot to get in. All these people wanted to do was take some pictures.”
* CBS in Philadelphia reported a marathoner, John Bell, 56, was ticketed for running in Valley Forge National Historical Park.
* A dog therapy program, which arranges for dogs to visit patients in hospitals, including children with cancer, was suspended by the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health.
* NBC reported the federal government is withholding a $100,000 payment to the families of five soldiers killed over the weekend in fighting in Afghanistan.
There were some things considered essential, however:
* The exclusive gyms available only to members of Congress were staying open.
With 74 percent of White House staff furloughed, decisions had to be made about where to save money.
Apparently, the only part of whitehouse.gov that needed to be cut was the “We the People” petition page, which allowed Americans to create petitions and voice their opinions to the White House.
The feature’s landing page reads “due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, ‘We the People’ has been temporarily disabled.”
This means that Americans have not been able to create or sign petitions for “We the People” throughout the entire government shutdown debate.
The promise when the feature was unveiled was that if a petition received 100,000 signatures or more, it would garner a response from the Obama administration.
So much for that, though, curiously, every other part of whitehouse.gov works and has been updated as recently as Tuesday: Blog posts are still being written, photos are still uploaded, press secretary Jay Carney’s press briefings are still live-streamed, statements are still posted and all the information pages are still up and running.
Everything is accessible except for the one part of the website that allowed average citizens to connect with their president.
This morning Boehner told ABC that he absolutely trusts Obama, that there is no issue there:
How in the world could Boehner say something so idiotic. Obama is a pathological liar and has been for as long as we’ve known about him. Boehner himself has gotten burned from Obama lying to the American public over and over to force Boehner’s hand of compromise. Ugh. This is another reason Boehner needs to go.
But on the flip side of this interview, Boehner is getting a bad rap for his comments on the debt crisis. What Boehner said above is that we don’t have a debt crisis over us now, but we’ve got one coming that we must do something about. And he’s right. But he isn’t agreeing with Obama on the debt crisis. As he points out, Obama believes we don’t need to do anything to even avert a looming debt crisis. Boehner says that’s entirely wrong and we do need to reform our entitlements before this looming debt crisis hits us.
So to be fair to Boehner, while he is a terrible Speaker and needs to go, he’s not wrong in what he said on the debt crisis.
Even Paul Ryan agrees:
John Boehner could be in for a fight Thursday when the newly seated House votes for the next speaker, with conservatives grumbling about his leadership and a report surfacing about a supposed plan to challenge him.
The 11-term congressman, who’s endured his share of political turbulence, presumably enters the election with the upper hand. So far, a single viable Republican challenger has not emerged and the rules of the vote tend to work in Boehner’s favor.
But Boehner’s potential troubles were compounded by a late-night flare up with outraged northeast lawmakers over a decision by the speaker to postpone a vote on an aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims.
I am not sure if Boehner is out, or if the next Republican will be better, but I do not have much faith in the GOP to get it right if Boehner is replaced. Meanwhile, stories like this make me wonder if this country is even capable of righting the ship.
The fiscal deal cemented Tuesday night includes a one-year extension of tax credits for the wind-energy industry that will cost taxpayers an estimated $12.1 billion.
The extension was part of a tax-extender package that the Senate Finance Committee approved in August and was included in the final package that Congress approved before sending it to the president.
Congressional Republicans and other fiscal conservatives opposed the extension, arguing the deal between Congress and the White House was supposed to include cuts to federal spending, not additional subsidies for alternative-energy programs.
Prior to the vote, Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander cited several reasons to end the tax credit – including the cost to taxpayers, putting coal and nuclear energy at an economic disadvantage and wind companies producing just 3 percent of U.S. electricity despite receiving billions in subsidies over the past 20 years.
“A better idea is to reduce the debt and increase research for solar, batteries, carbon capture from coal plants, more energy-efficient buildings, advanced biofuels and the disposal of nuclear waste,” Alexander wrote in The National Journal. “Then let the marketplace decide which fuels can produce enough clean, cheap reliable energy.”
The Production Tax Credit was created in 1992 and has been extended for wind companies several times over the past several years at an estimated cost of $16 billion to taxpayers.
Using taxes to reward certain behaviors, or to punish others or using taxes to favor one business over another is a dreadful mistake. It goes against the founding principles of America, and against common sense. If an industry cannot survive on its own, let it die. Propping it up with tax dollars hurts everyone eventually. Not to mention that these types of subsidies are SPECIFICALLY what we out to be eliminating to cut spending. Seriously, folks, our fiscal troubles are bad, and getting worse because Congress has no ability to stop spending.