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Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Dean Heller On Tax Breaks For Oil Companies

Heller Voted To Keep Oil And Gas Subsidies While Not Voting To Renew Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Heller voted to keep billions in tax breaks for oil and gas while voting against the renewable energy loan guarantee program that funded projects such as the Crescent Dunes plant in Tonopah, NV. Ian Rogoff, the executive chairman of Heliopower, an integrated energy develop company, commented that the federal government favored oil and gas companies over renewable energy, “Oil and gas tax benefits have been renewed, which means government support for those industries has been renewed ... for the most part, these incentives [such as loan guarantees] are just in place to allow these new technologies and new industries to compete effectively, and compete against incumbents.” [Las Vegas Sun, 5/25/11; Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/25/11, Las Vegas Sun, 5/20/11] Heller Voted to Protect Oil Company Tax Breaks Over Middle Class. In 2008, Heller voted to kill a one-year adjustment for the Alternative Minimum Tax with instructions that it be reported back promptly with language that would eliminate tax increases providing offsets in the bill, and provide that deductions in mileage rates for vehicles used for charitable purposes are treated the same as medical travel and moving rates. Democrats put revenue-raising offsets into the bill, arguing that the $62 billion in revenue that would be lost through the patch must be made up. The revenue increases targeted private-equity managers, the oil and gas industry, certain foreign-owned corporations and merchants who underreport their income. Republicans contended that offsets were unnecessary because the patch would simply maintain the tax status quo. They also said a temporary tax reprieve should not require permanent revenue increases and argued that the budget deficit should be closed by spending cuts, not revenue increases. Rep. McCrery, the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, offered the motion to recommit that would have removed the offsets and increased the tax deduction for miles driven for charitable purposes. McCrery warned about the proposal’s economic effects, saying “that change in our tax code would discourage, at the margin, that capital from coming to this country, being invested in this country and creating jobs in this country,” he said. The motion failed, 199-222. [Vote #454, 6/25/2008; CQ Today, 6/25/08]

Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Taxes

In September, 2011 Mitt Romney Said He Would Keep The Bush Tax Cuts In Place. The Washington Post reported that “Romney said he would keep the Bush-era income tax cuts unchanged.” [The Washington Post, 9/6/11] CBO: One-Third of The Bush Tax Cuts Went To People With the Top 1% of Income, Who Earn On Average $1.2 Million. “Fully one-third of President Bush’s tax cuts in the last three years have gone to people with the top 1 percent of income, who have earned an average of $1.2 million annually, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to be published Friday… The new estimates confirm what independent tax analysts have long said: that Mr. Bush’s tax cuts have been heavily skewed to the very wealthiest taxpayers.” [Washington Post, 8/13/04]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Dean Heller On Wall Street Reform

Dean Heller Voted To Weaken Financial Derivatives Regulations. Dean Heller voted for a motion to recommit the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill that would instruct conferees to insist on Senate language to expand the exemption for commercial businesses using financial derivatives to hedge their business risks from the margin requirements in the bill. The motion to recommit also would instruct conferees to insist on House language to give the GAO other expanded audit authority over the Federal Reserve, including the ability to monitor some of its most sensitive monetary policy deliberations. The original legislation authorized a one-time audit of the Fed’s emergency lending during the financial crisis. [Vote #412, 6/30/2010] Heller Voted Against Regulating Wall Street After Financial Crisis. On June 30, 2010, Heller voted against the conference report of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In an attempt to avoid a future financial crisis, the bill would establish a procedure for dissolving financial institutions that pose systematic risk to the economy, create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, establish a national standard for mortgages, and authorize $4 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds for housing relief. It also creates a clearinghouse for the previously unregulated financial derivatives market, requires registration of all credit rating firms, and creates a registry of private capital investment advisers. [Vote #413, 6/30/2010] Dean Heller Started His Career As A Stock Broker. According to CQ, “At the University of Southern California, Heller studied business administration, specializing in finance and securities analysis. He put himself through college by working on the Pacific Stock Exchange. After graduation, he worked as a stockbroker and trader in Los Angeles.” [CQ Member Profiles, 5/9/2011]

Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Immigration

2008 Romney: 12 Million Undocumented Immigrants Should Not Be Allowed to Stay Permanently. At the ABC GOP Debate on January 5, 2008, Romney said: “I disagree fundamentally that the 12 million people who come here illegally, should be allowed to stay here permanently. I think that is a form of amnesty and that it’s not appropriate.” [NH ABC Debate, 1/5/08] 2006: Romney Supported Immigration Reform, Saying “I Don’t Believe In Rounding Up 11 Million People And Forcing Them At Gunpoint From Our Country.” “Romney expressed support for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship, but criticized any form of “amnesty.” Romney said, ‘I don’t believe in amnesty.’ But at the same time, Romney said illegal immigrants should have a chance to obtain citizenship. ‘I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country,’ Romney said. ‘With these 11 million people, let’s have them registered, know who they are. Those who’ve been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn’t be here; those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.’” [Lowell Sun, 3/30/06]

Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney's Health Care Plan: The Foundation Of Obama's Plan

Club For Growth: Romney’s Health Care Plan And “ObamaCare” Are Similar In Three Significant Ways: Mandate, Health Exchanges And Low-Income Subsidies. According to the Club for Growth, Romney’s health care plan and Obama’s health care law “are similar in at least three significant ways.” Club for Growth wrote, “Both have an individual mandate that requires people to purchase a private good – in this case, health insurance – and levies a financial penalty against those who don’t. Both implement a new government bureaucracy called an “exchange” through which all insurance policies are approved, sold, and heavily regulated. Both have sizeable subsidies for low-income people to purchase the mandated coverage.” [Club for Growth, 2012 Presidential White Paper #5, 6/7/11] National Review Editorial: Romney’s Signature Health Care Legislation Looks Like A Pilot Program For Obamacare. In an editorial for the National Review, contributor Mark Steyn wrote, “Unfortunately for [Romney], his signature legislation in Massachusetts looks awfully like a pilot program for Obamacare. So in recent days, he’s been out yet again defending his record: If I understand him correctly, his argument is that the salient point about Romneycare and Obamacare is not that they’re both disasters, but that one’s local and the other’s national, and that Obama has a one-disaster-fits-all approach to health care whereas Romney believes in letting a thousand disasters bloom. Celebrate diversity!” [National Review, 5/14/11 ]

Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Social Security

Mitt Romney Wrote That Individual Accounts, Paid By The Borrowing Of Treasuries Sales, Was An Option To Solve Social Security. In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote “Individual retirement accounts offer a fourth option, one that would allow today’s wage earners to direct a portion of their Social Security tax to a private account rather than go entirely to pay the benefits of current retirees, as is the case today. The federal government would make up for its lost Social Security revenue by borrowing that amount through the sale of treasuries, just as it currently does for the rest of its deficits. Owners of these individual accounts would invest in a combination of stocks and bonds and—presuming these investments paid a higher rate of return than the new treasuries—the return on these investments would boost the payments to seniors. I also like the fact the individual retirement accounts would encourage more Americans to invest in the private sector that powers our economy. [“No Apology” 2011 Pg. 175-176]

Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Medicare

Mitt Romney Supports Ending Medicare As We Know It

Romney Praised Replacing Medicare With Credits To Buy Private Insurance. According to the National Journal, “Most of Romney’s thinking hugs the conservative mainstream. On foreign policy, he closely follows George W. Bush’s tracks. At home, he passionately accuses unions, especially teachers unions, of impeding innovation and productivity. He wants to retrench Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor, by converting it from an entitlement into a block grant. He praises the House Republican proposal to replace Medicare as it now exists with a credit for seniors to buy private insurance.” [National Journal, 3/6/10] Romney Wanted To Replace Medicare With Private Insurance. According to a transcript of the Republican presidential debate in Dearborn, Mich. obtained via Political Transcript Wire, Romney said, “And number three, instead of having the federal government give you government insurance, Medicare and federal employee insurance, let’s have private insurance.” [Political Transcript Wire, 10/9/07] Read full research after the jump.

Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Dean Heller On Medicare

Heller Says He Is Proud To Be The Only Member Of Congress Who Would Get To Vote For GOP Medicare Plan Twice. Before Dean Heller was sworn in as a Senator, the Associated Press noted that he would likely have to vote again on the Paul Ryan budget plan. “Once Heller joins the Senate, Reid could call up for a vote the House budget blueprint that the chamber passed last month. The nonbinding plan would cut $6.2 trillion from yearly federal deficits over the coming decade. The plan makes changes to Medicare and Medicaid that some Democrats say would prove unpopular in next year’s elections. ‘I’m not worried about it. I voted for it once. I’m not going to come over here and vote against it,’ Heller said. ‘I’m proud to be the only member of Congress who will get to vote for it twice.’” [Associated Press, 5/3/11 (emphasis added)]

Heller Voted In The House for the Ryan Plan To End Medicare As We Know It And Double Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Seniors. Heller voted for adoption of House Concurrent Resolution 34, the House GOP-proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 authored by Paul Ryan. The GOP budget included proposals to convert the federal share of Medicaid to a block grant to states. It also called for converting Medicare for persons currently younger than 55 into a “premium support system” through which the government would pay private insurance companies directly for each enrollee. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that “The Ryan budget plan would cut federal spending on Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor, and begin distributing money by block grant to states. The plan would do away with Medicare’s direct payment for health care for seniors, replacing it with a voucher system in which recipients choose private insurers. The Congressional Budget Office found that part of the plan, which would take effect in 2022, could nearly double out-of-pocket costs for seniors.” In an April 7th, 2011 editorial, the Newark Star-Ledger warned that Paul Ryan’s plan would “end Medicare as we know it.” [Vote 277, 4/15/2011; Ft Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 4/16/2011; Newark Star-Ledger Editorial, 4/7/2011]

Heller Voted In The Senate For The Paul Ryan Budget Plan That Includes Privatizing Medicare.  Heller for a motion to proceed on House Concurrent Resolution 34, the House GOP-passed budget for fiscal year 2012 authored by Paul Ryan. [Vote 77, 5/25/2011]

Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Jon Bruning On Medicare And Social Security

Bruning Proposed Raising Social Security Retirement Age To 70, Capping Medicaid. "'Fixing this will involve serious conversations about entitlements,' Bruning continued. 'Nelson continues to vote toward layering on the entitlements. The problem is that we can’t get to the point where the government is involved in every point of people’s lives. We just keep spending whatever it takes and borrow it from the Chinese. We need to make Medicaid and Social Security stronger for the future — they are great programs but it can’t continue the way it’s being done.' Bruning suggests raising the retirement age to 70 and putting a cap on Medicaid allowances." [York News-Times, 9/9/11]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

George Allen On Banking And Mortgage Reform

Allen Voted Against Requiring Financial Companies To Provide Truth-In-Lending Information To Homeowners. Allen voted against the Torres amendment requiring financial institutions to provide homeowners with truth-in-lending information within three days of applying to refinance a mortgage. [Vote 364, H.AMDT 789 to H.R. 5334, 8/5/92, Failed 153-268, D: 147-109, R: 5-159, I: 1-0]

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