This week, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed a Joint Session of Congress, the House fought back against the President’s unilateral action on immigration, and three committee chairmen laid out an alternative to ObamaCare.
“I just don’t like it when either side plays games with the rule of the law — because it is the most unifying, equalizing force we have in our culture. And when you begin to erode or use it for political expediency, you’re damaging the Republic.”
Rep. Mia Love (R-UT)
“The House did exactly what the American people wanted the House to do.”
Fox News, The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson
“We have to do the work of the American people. As far as I’m concerned, the House did exactly what the American people wanted the House to do. It’s time for the Senate and President to just step up.”
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)
“Brooks To Senate: Protect Americans Rather Than Illegal Conduct”
MSNBC, All In With Chris Hayes
“The principle here is one of the biggest principles we are ever going to face in Washington, D.C. What do you do when a United States President violates federal law and disregards the United States’ Constitution?”
“There’s nothing wrong with a Conference, that’s how we work out our differences… The President started this fight by doing something Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell asked him not to do. He said it would poison the well, and it has.”
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
“Garrett Joins Squawk Box To Discuss Partisanship At The Fed”
CNBC, Squawk Box
“There is an evidence of partisan interplay with regard to the Fed… All we want the Fed is to be open, and provide some form of certainty that we see from any other federal agency as far as openness and transparency.”
“It’s not easy for the average family to ensure that their child receives a quality education. And the federal government is not making it any easier… America needs education reform on all levels to expand quality schools, build on past successes, and lower college debt.
“To improve access to high-quality education before college, the Student Success Act, authored by Chairman John Kline (R., Minn.) of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, takes control away from the federal government and puts it back in the hands of the states and local schools.
“To reduce the college debt burden and promote a culture of saving, the House also passed a bill by Representative Lynn Jenkins (R., Kan.) to improve and expand tax-free 529 college savings plans.
Real education reform starts with taking power out of Washington’s hands and giving it back to the people. That means school choice. That means local control. That means more college savings and less college debt. To get that done, we just need President Obama to get on board.”
“At this critical time in world history, our alliance with Israel is more important than ever. Israel is our ally in efforts to defeat ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups. Israel is our partner in efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran.
“Yet, as the March 31 deadline on the P5+1 talks looms, negotiators seem to be letting hollow words from Iran give them a false sense of security. Many in Congress are concerned that the new deal emerging over Iran’s nuclear program could lead to catastrophic consequences for the U.S. and our allies. Mr. Netanyahu is rightfully concerned as well.
“Let’s listen together to what Mr. Netanyahu has to say. America’s security and the security of the region depends on an unwavering resolve to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, defeat ISIS, and maintain a strong and continued partnership with our most trusted friend in the Middle East, Israel.”
“On Wednesday the Supreme Court will take on yet another legal challenge to the president’s health-care law, when the justices hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell… Americans should have an off-ramp from ObamaCare—a legislative alternative that leads them away from an expensive health-care wreck and toward a patient-centered system.
“Not one to worry over the large print, the Internal Revenue Service handed out subsidies to people on both the federal and state exchanges. This blatant disregard for the law has put millions on the hook—because if you received a subsidy and lose it because of the administration’s illegal actions, you’ll face big insurance bills you can’t afford.
“What we will propose is an off-ramp out of ObamaCare toward patient-centered health care. It has two parts: First, make insurance more affordable by ending Washington mandates and giving choice back to states, individuals and families. And second, support Americans in purchasing the coverage of their choosing.
“We look forward to building upon these ideas and working with our colleagues in the House and Senate, health-care experts and, most important, the American people, to put high-quality, affordable coverage within closer reach for all. And we’ll do it by putting Americans, not Washington, in the driver’s seat.”
House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX)
“We Must Not Play Politics With Our National Security”
“Islamist terror groups are spreading like wildfire and want nothing less than destruction of our way of life. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently noted that last year was “the most lethal year for global terrorism” in recorded history. This year is likely to be worse.
“DHS plays a lead role in combating these threats. Created after 9/11, it is charged with stopping terrorist from coming into the United States by using transportation security screening, border checks, and terrorist watch listing.
“Shutting down DHS will not shut down the president’s unlawful executive actions because the implementation of his actions is not appropriated by Congress but rather run by applicant fees. As such, the office in DHS tasked with carrying out the president’s executive actions would remain open, even if the department was shut down.
“I’ve taken an oath to defend this country and its institutions against all enemies. We can – and must – reverse the president’s immigration actions, but we cannot put this country at risk in the process.”
“The criteria that federal education officials would use to create a ratings system – ‘access, affordability and outcomes’ – illustrate the problems they will face. All of these benchmarks are certainly important considerations, but there will be enormous and unavoidable difficulties in comparing institutions based on these criteria. Perhaps more importantly, where are the benchmarks that consider an individual’s personal determinations of value? One size certainly will not fit all.
“Our nation boasts a rich history of student-choice in higher education. For some individuals, a city school is preferred over a rural school, for others extracurricular offerings such as music or sports may be important… No one can place an arbitrary value on an individual’s experience at an institution, tie federal funding to that value, and expect to have accomplished some measure of accountability.
“Such a divisive and subjective ratings system, with too many unintended consequences, will threaten the special characteristics and diversity that make our postsecondary system the best in the world today.”
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
“We Can’t Protect Free, Open Internet By Dusting Off Old Regulations”
“In the early days of the Internet, Congress and regulators intentionally left the Internet free from burdensome regulation. This bipartisan decision to keep government’s hands off the Internet has been responsible for leaps in innovation and investment – making America a global leader in broadband development.
“Over the last six years, however, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tried to assert more control over this valuable American resource. The courts have already overturned two sets of FCC rules, but this so-called ‘independent agency’ is poised to vote this week on its most aggressive rules yet.
“No one disagrees that the Internet should be free and open. The president’s plan just does not accomplish that goal.
“The information age we enjoy today is truly unprecedented, and it has changed the world in amazing and unimaginable ways. We owe it to all Americans to ensure a free and open Internet. Congress is working to get this done. It’s time for the president and Chairman Wheeler agree to put partisanship aside and join us.”
“At a time when the American people are rightly concerned about global instability, anemic economic growth and a lack of good-paying jobs, trade agreements like TPP are more important than ever.
“I do not want to see the United States miss an opportunity to expand and sell more American products in new and emerging markets in Asia because the work is too hard or politically difficult.
“Bipartisan trade agreements could serve as an excellent example of what Washington can accomplish when both parties come together to help create jobs and increase America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.”
Reps. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL)
“Supercomputing: The Key To America’s Innovation Edge”
“Today, America’s leadership in supercomputing technology is being challenged by several sovereign nations. These countries have seen firsthand that funding research in advanced computing contributes to the growth of their domestic industries and their influence on the global stage.
“Congress has a fundamental responsibility to support the kinds of research and development necessary for the next generation of machines that allow us to respect international commitments for the maintenance of our nuclear stockpile with co-benefits that our nation’s economic and scientific leadership will depend on.
“Congressional support is critical to sustaining America’s leading role in solving humanity’s greatest challenges. Now, with big data holding the potential of untold breakthroughs, we cannot afford to fall behind other nations in the race to innovate. In the supercomputing race, America cannot afford to come in second.”
“As demonstrated by the prime minister’s address, the House of Representatives is now, and forever must be, the crucible for our nation’s public policy discourse. Through floor debate, the President’s State of the Union Address and the opportunity for world leaders to be heard on the globe’s most pressing issues, Congress is where solutions are proposed, crafted, amended and authorized.
“The prime minister and those of us in the Congress do not oppose any agreement. We oppose a bad agreement. We oppose any deal that needlessly surrenders valuable leverage in the name of taking Iran’s word. Sanctions brought Iran to the table and sanctions will keep them there.
“Congress is the ultimate arbiter on sanctions. For any changes even to be considered, we must first be convinced that an agreement bars any pathway to a nuclear weapon and that the United States and Israel see serious Iranian attempts to reengage in world affairs including promoting peace, advancing of human rights and supporting equality for women.”
“Those with deteriorating brain disease, incapable of making informed choices as a result of their illness, are told they will not receive help or treatment until the patient attempts suicide or homicide.
“First, we must accept that mental illness is a brain disease. It is not an attitude or a lifestyle choice… When we accept that behaviors are symptomatic of what is occurring in the brain, we can address them without judgment, just like other medical diseases, and offer life-saving treatment before tragedy strikes.
“I hope now is the moment when Congress and the Obama administration join together to pass the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act for the sake of the thousands of Americans who’ve written, emailed and called my office about how the broken mental health system has torn their family apart. Together, we can take mental illness out of the shadows and place it in the bright light of hope.”
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT)
“In What Way Is Iran A Reliable Negotiating Partner?”
Wall Street Journal
“For an international agreement to hold, both parties must be viewed as reliable partners who want the agreement to succeed. And any nation can and will cheat on an agreement if it determines that doing so is in its national interest.
“Compliance with the terms of a nuclear-weapons treaty cannot be based on trust alone. Verification requires, among other things, complete access to every suspect nuclear site at any time and upon a moment’s notice. Yet even with the most rigorous verification agreement, if one party wants to circumvent inspections or international treaties, it is always possible.
“Iranian leaders have covertly waged war on the West for many years. They certainly consider us their enemies. For the sake of our national security, I hope the president realizes this is true as he continues his negotiations.”