Thursday, April 30, 2009

Isakson Criticizes Elimination of Expanded Tax Credit for Homebuyers

Votes Against $3.56 Trillion Budget Resolution

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today criticized House-Senate conference negotiators for the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Resolution for removing language authored by Isakson that would have provided for a $15,000 tax credit to individuals who purchase a home in the next year. Isakson voted against final passage of the $3.56 trillion Budget Resolution, which passed by a vote of 53 to 43.

It was the second time this year that a House-Senate conference committee has deleted Isakson’s expanded $15,000 homebuyer tax credit after it had won overwhelming approval by the Senate.

“I would like to thank the Senate for its wisdom in adopting the $15,000 credit, express my deep disappointment in the conference committee for dropping it and encourage our president and the leadership of our country to give a second thought to what this credit could do,” Isakson said. “The greatest stimulus in the world is not a gift of money. It is an incentive for American families to invest and restore confidence in the United States economy.”

On April 1, the Senate unanimously passed Isakson’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Resolution that would have created a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide for a $15,000 nonrefundable federal income tax credit for the purchase of a principal residence during a one-year period. It would also have ensured that there was room available in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget for a homebuyer tax credit to be passed at a later date.

On Feb. 4, 2009, the Senate unanimously approved an amendment by Isakson to the economic stimulus bill would have provided a direct tax credit to any homebuyer who purchases any home. The amount of the tax credit would be $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less. During conference negotiations between the House and Senate on the final version of that bill, Isakson’s $15,000 tax credit for all purchasers of any home was removed. Instead, House and Senate negotiators made only small modifications to the first-time homebuyer tax credit that was enacted in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Isakson has pushed hard for a non-repayable tax credit for homebuyers because he knows that it will work. In the mid-1970s, America faced a similar housing crisis when a period of easy credit and loose underwriting flooded the market with new construction. Interest rates rose, the economy slowed and America was left with a three-year supply of vacant homes. Congress responded by passing a $2,000 tax credit for anyone purchasing a new home for their principal residence. Isakson, who was in the real estate industry in Atlanta at the time, says the results were clear and swift as home values stabilized, housing inventory dropped and the market recovered.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Boehner: Savings Recovery Act Will Help Americans Rebuild Their Retirement, College, and Personal Savings

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the Savings Recovery Act, legislation he and House Republicans are introducing today to help Americans rebuild their retirement, college, and personal savings:

“The American people are hurting, as their job security weakens and their confidence in our economy is shaken. In fact, loss of retirement, college, and personal savings ranks as the American people’s top concern during this recession, according to a recent NPR poll. Yet Washington Democrats continue to advocate proposals that weaken our economy and make building a nest egg even more difficult. Some are even proposing that the federal government wipe out 401(k)s entirely and replace them with accounts run by bureaucrats in Washington. Workers, seniors, students, and their families deserve far better than this.

“Republicans have been saying all year long that we will not be the party of opposition, but the party of better solutions. Today, we’re demonstrating our commitment to better solutions once again by introducing legislation to help restore Americans’ retirement, college, and personal savings. Washington must abandon its destructive economic agenda, which is racking up more debt to be paid by our children and grandchildren, eroding Americans savings, and destroying good-paying jobs. It’s time for the Administration and congressional Democrats to work with Republicans on bold, better solutions to the problems facing the American people.”

NOTE: The Savings Recovery Act, crafted by Boehner and Members of the House GOP’s Savings Solutions Group, will:

Make it easier for Americans to save more for their retirement by increasing the contribution and catch-up limits for individuals and families.

Restore college savings by extending the existing SAVERs Credit to contributions made to 529 college savings accounts, effectively reducing by up to half the cost of a family’s contribution to the plan.

Increase retirement income by doubling the Social Security earnings limit from $14,160 to $28,320 and allowing more Americans to increase their income without being hit by the Social Security earnings penalty.

Provide tax relief for investors and seniors by immediately suspending the capital gains tax on newly acquired assets for the next two years, raise and index to inflation the amount of capital losses allowed against ordinary income to $10,000, and suspend taxes on dividend income through 2011.

Stabilize worker pensions and helping employers invest in the future by temporarily providing an increased glide path for recognizing losses and two additional years to resolve pension funding shortfalls.

Preserve employee-controlled 401(k)s by blocking efforts to wipe out 401(k)s entirely and replace them with government-run accounts.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Boehner: Administration’s Promise to Cut Waste “Just Doesn’t Square with Its Reckless Record on Borrowing and Spending”

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today released the following statement on the Administration’s plan to trim .0025 percent from the $4 trillion federal budget after spending trillions in taxpayer dollars since the beginning of the year:

“The Administration’s new talk of trimming a meager .0025 percent from the $4 trillion federal budget just doesn’t square with its reckless record on borrowing and spending. Washington Democrats have spent the past three months doling out more taxpayer dollars than every previous President combined, and the Administration is clearly feeling the heat. If the Administration wants to get serious about cutting waste, it should start by taking a closer look at how millions in ‘stimulus’ dollars are being wasted on a skateboard park in Rhode Island, bike racks in Washington, D.C., highway studies instead of construction projects in Ohio, and programs led by housing agencies that routinely fail audits.

“Last week, hundreds of thousands of Americans participated in Taxpayer Tea Parties to say they’ve had enough of Washington piling more debt on our children and grandchildren, and House Republicans share their frustration. That’s why we have proposed a better budget solution that curbs spending, creates jobs by cutting taxes, and controls the debt. I hope the President and his Democratic colleagues in Congress back up their promises to control government waste by working with Republicans on better solutions that restore some fiscal sanity in Washington.”

NOTE: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the federal government will spend $4 trillion in Fiscal Year 2009. $100 million only represents a .0025 percent cut from this budget.

Over the weekend, House Republicans unveiled a new website – “Washington Watch Report” – highlighting government waste uncovered by the House GOP. The website is available at

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

John Oxendine Statement on Casey Cagle‏

A statement from John Oxendine:

As I said when Casey initially entered the race, I consider the Lieutenant Governor
to be a friend and leader in the Republican Party. I have always acknowledged that
Casey Cagle and I share the same general, conservative philosophy and he was an
honorable opponent. I wish Casey and his family the very best.

I would consider it an honor to earn the support of my fellow Republicans who had
initially chosen to support Casey Cagle. I am at their service to answer any questions
they have about my race, and where I stand on the issues, and help move this party
forward with a conservative nominee.

John Oxendine

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

RNC Weekly Trunk

Welcome to The Weekly Trunk -- The Republican National Committee’s new weekly email update on all the latest news and political happenings. The goal of The Weekly Trunk is to inform and arm you with the facts you need to spread our conservative message and refute the misstatements of the Democrats.This week's issue features...

Obama Strains Economy, Foreign Relations
According to one European leader, the Obama Administration is following the same playbook that FDR used during the Great Depression -- and only made things worse.(Tony Barber & Edward Luce, “EU Leader Condemns US ‘Road to Hell’,” Financial Times, 3/25/09)

Pelosi Plan to Sabotage Private Health Policies
The liberal Speaker of the House is pushing for government-run health programs which will undercut private insurers in another step towards a single payer healthcare system. (Laura Litvan, “House Health Plan to Include Government-Run Option,”, 3/26/09)

He Gives Us No Choice
President Obama speaks as if vibrant free markets unhindered by the bloated, plodding government he is creating are an actual option, but one he has no intention of pursuing.(Mark Steyn, “Obama’s False Choice,” NationalReviewOnline, 3/28/09)

Senator Chris “AIG” Dodd
More has come to light on the political contributions Democrat Sen. Chris Dodd received from AIG executives -- whose bonuses he ensured even after the company received $170 billion of taxpayers’ money. (Jennifer Haberkorn and Jerry Seper, “AIG Chiefs Pressed To Donate To Dodd,” The Washington Times, 3/30/09)

Seizing Private Businesses “Not Radical?”
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner again proposes sweeping expansion of government power over private enterprise, without, again, offering any details… (Frank Ahrens, “Rep. Manzullo to Geithner: Your Plan Is 'Radical',” The Washington Post, 3/26/09)

Liberal Special Interest Groups Flexing Muscles and other leftist special interest groups are stepping up their attacks in support of passing radical Obama agenda. (Patrick O'Connor & Manu Raju, “Democrats vs. Democrats,” Politico, 3/26/09)

Obama Dishonest on Massive Debt As a candidate, Barack Obama said he wouldn’t “pass on our problems to the next generation.” But that’s precisely what he’s doing. (Editorial, “Candor, Please: Obama Not Forthright on Vast Debt He Seeks,” The San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/26/09)

“Sea of Red Ink”
Yet another national newspaper adds its voice to the growing condemnation of Barack Obama’s unsustainable statist spending and borrowing agenda. (Editorial, “Huge Deficits Put Nation on Unsustainable Course,” USA Today, 3/26/09)

Pravda on the Potomac?
Democrats’ plan to aid struggling mainstream media outlets, already sympathetic to their liberal agenda, invites partisan erosion of the First Amendment. (Joseph Abrams, “Critics Say Senate Bill to Rescue Newspapers May Invite Government Control of News,”, 3/26/09)

Democrats’ Pork Barrel Gravy Train Leads to More Corruption and Fraud
If we left money in the hands of the people who earned it with tax cuts, instead of confiscating it and doling it out based on politicians’ whims, we’d avoid the corruption that ensues. (Editorial, “Stimulus Spending Remains Ripe for Fraud,” The Washington Times, 3/26/09)

Obama’s Chief of Staff’s Freddie Mac Payday
Rahm Emanuel made $320,000 for very little effort at Freddie Mac during the Democrats’ mortgage-manipulation boom. Unfortunately, the unsustainable policies championed by Democrats led to a big bust for the rest of us. (Bob Secter and Andrew Zajac, “Rahm Emanuel's Profitable Stint at Mortgage Giant,” Chicago Tribune, 3/26/09)

Obama Job Growth Numbers Don’t Add Up
The President promises he’ll save or create 3.5 million jobs in the next two years, but many economists are skeptical that “stimulus” spending will actually help. (Calvin Woodward, “Bold Claims of Stimulus Jobs Can't Be Measured,” Associated Press, 3/26/09)

Watch Republican Senator Judd Gregg’s response to President Obama’s weekly YouTube address here:

Obama’s budget a bill we can’t repay

By Lynn Westmoreland

A few years back, Republicans controlled all branches of government and Democrats howled about the GOP’s budget gimmicks and spendthrift ways.

I admit there was some truth to their charges. I fought my fellow Republicans at the time to cut spending and shrink the size of government just like we’d promised our constituents we would do.

But now that Democrats control every branch of government, I can’t help but look back on Republican deficits as mere child’s play compared to what President Obama and his fellow travelers have in store for us: trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see and no plausible plan for ever paying it back.

What has become of America when the leaders of Communist China and socialist Europe can legitimately preach to us about spending too much? The president of the European Union – an organization hardly known for its fiscal conservatism or aversion to big government – recently called Obama’s spending plans a “road to hell.”

I can’t remember ever agreeing with a leader of the EU on economic policy, but I guess there’s a first for everything.

The Democrat budget, set for a vote this week in the House, spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.

President Obama promised his legions of young supporters on the campaign trail that he would restore fiscal sanity to Washington and kick all those money-grubbing special interests to the curb. Blue Dog Democrats swore they’d stand up to ultraliberal Speaker Nancy Pelosi and impose “paygo” – which means that every dollar of new spending is balanced out with cuts elsewhere or new revenue.

Ha! Jokes on us, I guess. They pulled a fast one.

Instead of balancing budgets and reforming entitlement spending and “making tough choices” (Remember that Obama phrase?), the Democrats’ plan is quite simple: Just spend, spend, spend. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obama’s plan will expand the debt by $9.3 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s more than all the debt accumulated by the nation from George Washington to George W. Bush.

There’s a whack to fiscal sanity.

The CBO further predicts that federal spending will average 23 percent of gross domestic product while federal revenue will equal about 19 percent of GDP. That’s government expansion of 3 percent of GDP.

Double whack!

The Democrats’ $3.6 trillion budget raises taxes on all Americans by $1.3 trillion. Hey, reader, that’s you. Whether you’re a parent struggling to pay the bills, a small business person trying to avoid layoffs or worse, or an employee at a plant worried about keeping your job, the Democrats’ taxes are going to hit you. They promised a “middle class tax cut” but now they’ve dropped that idea. It was merely a sleight of hand to distract attention away from the global warming taxes that will hike costs for every American who turns on a light switch.

Triple whack! Still standing?

The Congressional Budget Office’s budget analysis paints a much more realistic and, hence, much worse scenario for our nation’s future than Obama’s numbers. That’s because Obama’s rosier predictions are based on the assumption that we’ll experience year after year of economic expansion greater than any in American history. How dumb do they think we are?

The Democrats are now scurrying to cover their big-spending ways by adopting the exact same budget gimmicks they deplored the past eight years. These include keeping “emergency” spending items that you know are coming out of the budget, budgeting tens of billions in revenue from the alternative minimum tax which Congress never implements and reducing the budget window from 10 years to five years to hide the exploding deficits in the out years.

That’s hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is a mere misdemeanor compared with the felonious theft from future generations with the trillions in IOUs we’ll be handing them.

Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville) represents Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District.
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Isakson, Chambliss Vote Against $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution

Voice Dismay at Senate’s Refusal to Control Federal Spending, Keep Taxes Low

Expressing dismay over a budget plan that spends, borrows and taxes too much, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., last night voted against final passage of the $3.5 trillion Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Resolution, which passed by a vote of 55 to 43.

This year’s Budget Resolution, which serves as a nonbinding blueprint for Congress when it decides how to appropriate federal dollars later in the year, was drafted by Senate Democrats who packed it with heavy spending and tax increases.

“The American people are facing difficult times. We are confronting difficult economic circumstances, and this Congress thinks the solution to our economic struggles is to dramatically increase government spending, raise taxes on American families and businesses, and put our nation deeper in debt,” Isakson said. “That’s absolutely the wrong answer. We must alleviate the tax burden placed on our citizens, not increase it. We must stop the reckless spending.”

“In this time of economic volatility, Americans are worried. They are concerned about their jobs, their mortgages and their mounting debts, and where our country is headed financially,” said Chambliss. “This freewheeling budget that borrows too much and includes the largest tax increase in history will do little to quell those worries. I have four grandchildren – two of them are newborns. They are the ones that will be charged with paying this debt. With this budget, we are making no sacrifices. We are doing ourselves and future generations no favors.”The Budget Resolution increases discretionary spending by $490 billion over the next five years and adds $4.96 trillion to the gross national debt. It also raises taxes by $361 billion and allows for $1.3 trillion in additional tax increases.

The Senate rejected a number of amendments supported by Isakson and Chambliss, including measures to:

· Establish a bipartisan commission to examine the long-term fiscal imbalances in the federal budget;
· Ensure millions of middle-income families do not face an alternative minimum tax increase in 2013 and 2014;
· Create a new a 60-vote point of order on earmarks for private for profit entities that are not competitively bid, earmarks that have not been the subject of public hearings where the sponsor has testified on behalf of the earmark, earmarks that have not been posted on a member’s website for at least 72 hours before consideration of the legislation and earmarks that are traded for political favors;
· Create a 60-vote point of order on any budget resolution that projects a ratio of debt-to-GDP for any fiscal year in excess of 90 percent to ensure the continued viability of the U.S. dollar and prevent doubling or tripling the debt burden on future generations;
· Encourage exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf by setting up a revenue sharing mechanism for states;
· Ensure full funding for construction of the Southwest border fence by creating a 60-vote point of order against any appropriations bill that fails to fully fund the construction of the Southwest border fence;
· Protect the freedom of conscience for patients and the right of health care providers to serve patients without violating their moral and religious convictions; and
· Protect the health of all Americans by ensuring that the government does not use comparative effectiveness research as a tool to ration or deny health care, allowing doctors and patients to decide what care is appropriate rather than the government.

Unlike the House Budget Resolution, the Senate Budget Resolution does not include any reconciliation instructions, which could allow major, controversial legislative measures to bypass the committee process and pass the Senate by a simple majority vote. Isakson and Chambliss believe including reconciliation instructions in the budget would allow the Democrats to pass their legislative agenda without debate or bipartisanship. Isakson and Chambliss joined with a majority of the Senate in passing an amendment to the Budget Resolution to prohibit using the reconciliation process to pass the Democrats’ energy tax in the form of a "cap-and-trade" plan to combat global warming.

The Senate unanimously passed an amendment by Isakson to create a deficit-neutral reserve fund for providing a nonrefundable federal income tax credit for the purchase of a principal residence during a one-year period. The amendment would ensure that there is room available in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget levels for a homebuyer credit to be passed at a later date. Isakson plans to introduce his $15,000 tax credit as a stand-alone bill in the next few weeks in an effort to quickly revive the U.S. housing market.
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