Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. It is time again for my weekly update report to you all.
The issue on the top of my mind as I write this, is the position reversal of President Barack Obama on gay marriage. There is no doubt in my mind that this was a political move by the President because it bodes well for him to shift the conversation away from the economy. It worked. In the last 72-hour news cycle we have heard very little about debt, deficit, failed stimulus, horrific healthcare law, or Dodd-Frank banking regulations. When economic policies are failing, the issues are deflected to those topics that separate us as Americans: socioeconomic, gender, racial, and now sexuality.
America does not agree with the President on this issue. This is evidenced by the fact that 41 states have laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman. North Carolina, just last week, passed a ballot initiative affirming marriage between one man and one woman, with an overwhelming 69 percent. Even the African-American community, which tends to overhwhelmingly support the President on most issues, is not in support of his comments on gay marriage. In 2008, when droves of first-time African-American voters came to the polls, two gay marriage initiatives were on the ballot in both California and Florida. They both failed. Many people do not recognize the black community is extremely socially conservative. The President's reversal of position on gay marriage will be a topic in black churches on Sundays for months to come. This issue could be significant in turning many African-American voters away from President Obama.
What the President should be addressing, not just to the black community, but to all Americans, is the crisis of unemployment, which is actually 14.5 percent when you take into account the unemployed, underemployed, those who are distressed and disenfranchised, and therefore are not counted. Unemployment in the black community is also unacceptable at 13 percent overall and more than 20 percent for black adult males.
Since most in the mainstream media, as well as the President, continue to ignore talking about the "real problems" in America, I will now do so as a reminder of how imperative it is that we do everything we can to take our country back from the disastourous policies destroying the country we love.
Here is just a sample of the absurdity:
- SNAP Program Overpaid Recipients: “Of the total $2.19 billion in payment errors in fiscal year 2009, $1.8 billion, or about 82 percent, were overpayments. Overpayments occur when eligible persons are provided more than they are entitled to receive or when ineligible persons are provided benefits.”
(Kay E. Brown, Congressional Testimony
- Receiving A Brochure Qualifies You For Food Stamps:
35 States Have No Limit On Amount Of Assets A Food-Stamp Recipient Can Possess. “According to a mid-2010 report from the Government Accountability Office, 35 states have no limit on the amount of assets a food-stamp recipient can possess. More and more states are providing categorical eligibility for food stamps to anyone who receives welfare services. Merely getting an informational brochure from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program counts as receiving a service."
(Ramesh Ponnuru, “Why Gingrich Is Right About Food-Stamp Program,” Bloomberg News,
- City Of Boston And US Health & Human Services Department Pay Boston Residents $1 Million In Federal Funds To Start Vegetable Gardens: “Mayor Thomas M. Menino showcased Boston’s efforts to bolster urban gardening in underserved communities during a visit today with US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to The Food Project’s Urban Farm in Roxbury. He said the $1 million in federal funding that Boston will spend on gardening” initiatives over the next two years will dramatically increase affordability and access to fresh, healthy food in neighborhoods with the least access to it.”
(Mayor Thomas M. Menino & Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Press Release,
- ObamaCare Slush Fund Money Being Use To Spay Stray Dogs And Cats – Counts As An Anti-Obesity Campaign: “A controversial anti-obesity “slush fund” under Obamacare was used in Nashville, Tennessee to spay dogs and cats. The reasoning: stray dogs scare people from exercising outdoors. The Nashville health department issued a press release last year that told residents in one neighborhood that they could get free pet spaying, neutering, rabies shots and other services as part of $7.5 million grant from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which is part of the Public Health and Prevention Fund that will soar to $2 billion in 2015 under Obamacare. The program was initially funded by the Obama stimulus initiative.
(Paul Bedard, “Obama Anti-Obesity “Slush Fund” Paid For Pet Spaying,” The Washington Examiner, 5/1/12)
- Non-US Citizens Qualify For Child Refundable Tax Credit -- $1,000 Per Child: “Each spring, at tax preparation offices all across the nation, many illegal immigrants are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of a tax loophole, using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds from the IRS. The loophole is called the Additional Child Tax Credit. It's a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it's meant to help working families who have children living at home.”
(Bob Segall, “Tax Loophole Costs Billions,” NBC-13 Indianapolis
- Treasury Inspector General Blasts Administration In Audit Of The $75 Billion Program: “The Obama administration's program to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure has posted "disappointing results" in part because its definition of success is "essentially meaningless," a watchdog said today in a new report obtained by ABC News. In his audit on the administration's $75 billion Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), bailout watchdog Neil Barofsky blasted the Treasury Department for he said were the shortcomings of the program.” (Matthew Jaffe, “Mortgage Modification Program's Definition of Success Called 'Essentially Meaningless,” ABC News,
Even with all of the above, we continue to hear from many who say we are cutting deeply into social welfare programs. They would much rather see the growth of the economically-dependent class instead of protecting the men and women in uniform who serve, sacrifice, and commit themselves to being guardians of our nation’s honor. We have made the decision to cut the United States Military by $487 billion over the next ten years. However, the failure of the super committee means our men and women are facing an additional $500-$600 billion in cuts. Please see more information and my response here.
This means we will have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915, and the smallest Air Force ever in our history. Our Military and their families, as well as our veterans, cannot be the bill payers for the fiscal irresponsibility of Washington D.C. Click on the image below to see how federal programs have ballooned over the last ten years:
Clearly, we are hardly decimating the social welfare program safety net. We are, however, about to destroy the military capability of these United States of America. My liberal progressive colleagues who voted against reconciliation this past week and therefore support sequestration against the Military have indeed shown our men and women in uniform who means the most to them, and it appears it is not those who safeguard our liberties and freedoms.
I pray that all American Mothers had an awesome Mother’s Day and know that I am committed to ensuring the future and legacy of liberty and freedom for your children and grandchildren.
Steadfast and Loyal,
- FY2013 Appropriations — Last Thursday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5326, the Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, by a vote of 247-163, I VOTED YES. The bill would provide $51.131 billion in discretionary appropriations for agencies and programs funded through the Commerce/Justice/Science appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013. Funding provided under the legislation would be $1.61 billion or 3 percent below the amount of funding provided for Fiscal Year 2012. The amount of funding provided is $731 million or 1.4 percent below the amount requested by the President for Fiscal Year 2013. The Commerce/Justice/Science appropriations bill provides funding for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, and Federal science agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and related agencies. Appropriations for Justice programs in the bill provides money for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Federal Prison System and the U.S. Marshals Service.
- Replacing the Sequester — Also on Thursday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, by a vote of 218-199, I VOTED YES. The bill would provide mandatory spending reductions in order to replace automatic cuts to discretionary spending (primarily from defense accounts) in 2013 under the Budget Control Act and to reduce the deficit. The savings generated from these reforms to mandatory programs would first be used to offset the approximately $78 billion cost of replacing the automatic across-the-board discretionary spending cuts that are scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013, under what is known as sequestration. The amount of $78 billion reflects the remainder of the Fiscal Year 2013 discretionary sequester after accounting for lowering the Fiscal Year 2013 discretionary cap from $1.047 to $1.028 as provided for in the House of Representatives-approved Budget Resolution. The additional savings achieved through reconciliation beyond the $78 billion (over $180 billion in the next ten years) would further reduce the deficit. Savings contained in the legislation were produced by six House of Representatives committees under reconciliation instructions contained in the House Concurrent Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 112). The Committees on (1) Agriculture, (2) Energy & Commerce, (3) Financial Services, (4) the Judiciary, (5) Oversight & Government Reform, and (6) Ways & Means each produced deficit reduction legislation pursuant to the reconciliation instructions in section 201 of the House of Representatives-approved budget resolution. Legislation produced by these committees and contained in this package would produce savings of $18.3 billion in the first year, $116.3 billion over five years, and $261.4 billion over ten years.
- National Defense — The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013. The bill would provide valuable funding for the Armed Forces, while proposing significant savings that do not compromise the needs of our nation’s war fighters by authorizing $554 billion for National Defense and $88 billion for Overseas Contingency Operation Funds. Among other items, the bill would provide funds to modernize three guided missile cruisers scheduled to be retired before the end of their service life; would preserve tactical airlift critical to the ability of the United States to project power, such as C-130 Hercules and C-27J Spartan aircraft proposed for early retirement; and would ease strain on the heavily stressed military by slowing the pace of the Obama administration’s end-strength reductions.
- Protecting Women — Also this week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The bill would provide for a five-year reauthorization of VAWA, which expired on September 30, 2011, and would set total program funding levels at $682.5 million per year. The House of Representatives bill would streamline and consolidate some grants for maximum benefit, increase resources for sexual assault investigations, prosecutions, and victim services, protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, promote educational awareness to prevent violence and improve services for young victims, improve emergency and transitional housing services for victims, and enhance immigration laws to protect victims of violence.