• Terry McAuliffe: Foreign Donations? No Problem!

    Hillary Clinton is in hot water for opening up the Clinton Foundation, the family “charity” to donations from foreign governments. Of course, the move has been roundly criticized for the apparently conflicts it can create… National Journal called it “stupid and sleazy.”

    How far out of line is this practice? Even that hotbed of conservative activism known as the New York Times Editorial Board said Clinton should cut it out.

    “But it does make it important that Mrs. Clinton, in defending the family’s efforts on behalf of the world’s needy, reassure the public that the foundation will not become a vehicle for insiders’ favoritism, should she run for and win the White House.”

    “Restoring the restrictions on foreign donors would be a good way to make this point as Mrs. Clinton’s widely expected campaign moves forward.”

    You know who’s got no problem with Hillary’s foreign donations at all? Terry McAuliffe.

    The Hill: McAuliffe defends Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign funds

    Of course, Terry McAuliffe’s incredibly lax views on fundraising (and influence peddling) should come as no surprise to anyone remotely familiar with Virginia politics.

    McAuliffe said himself that it’s easier to raise money for people who have something to give out… like Governors.

    Last year he vetoed a bill that would have stopped him from accepting donations or gifts from those seeking grants from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. Nope, nothing sketchy there…

    And let’s not forget that Terry has his own problems with foreign influence. Remember GreenTech, the car company that Terry McAuliffe walked away from without telling anyone?

    Politico: “Report: DHS Probes Firm With Ties To Terry McAuliffe.”(Alexander Burns, “Report: DHS Probes Firm With Ties To Terry McAuliffe,” Politico , 7/23/13)

    The Washington Examiner: “Mayorkas Is Accused Of Securing EB-5 Visas For Individuals Who Wanted To Invest In McAuliffe’s Electric Car Company…” (Steve Contorno, “Nominee For Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Denies Wrongdoing,”  The Washington Examiner, 7/25/13)

    The Washington Times: “McAuliffe Is Tied To Executive Of Chinese Firm Accused Of Spying; Senator Demands Answers On Visas.”(David Sherfinski, “McAuliffe Is Tied To Executive Of Chinese Firm Accused Of Spying; Senator Demands Answers On Visas,” The Washington Times, 7/24/13)

     Statement of RPV Chairman John Whitbeck:

    “Ralph Nader said it very well – Terry McAuliffe is ‘slipperier than an eel in olive oil.’ If I were Hillary Clinton, and the only person defending this decision were Terry McAuliffe, I’d take that as very clear sign that I had done something terribly wrong and reverse course immediately. Voters need to know that if the 3 a.m. call comes, it won’t be a foreign power collecting on a debt.”

  • Virginia Reps Urge Senators Warner and Kaine to Stop Blocking House-passed DHS Funding Bill

    Today Reps. Rob Wittman, R-1st, Scott Rigell R-2nd, J. Randy Forbes R-4 Robert Hurt, R-5th, Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, Dave Brat, R-7th, H. Morgan Griffith, R-9th, and Barbara Comstock, R-10th, joined together in sending a letter to Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine urging them to stop blocking debate on the House-passed Department of Homeland Security funding bill.

    Recently, these eight representatives were among 170 Members of the House of Representatives who sent a letter to Senator Harry Reid asking him to allow debate on this legislation. The Senate is scheduled to vote on whether to proceed with consideration of H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, at 5:30 p.m. today.

    The full text of the letter is below:

    Dear Senator Warner and Senator Kaine:

    On behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we urge you to reconsider your votes to protect President Obama’s unlawful executive action by blocking debate on H.R. 240, the House-passed bill which would fully fund the Department of Homeland Security.

               We agree with Senator Warner’s assertion last September: on “a big issue like immigration the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process.” We agree with the 22 occasions in which President Obama said to take such action unilaterally would be illegal, unconstitutional and imperial. We also agree with the 170 members of the House of Representatives who signed the attached letter urging Leader Reid to allow the Senate to take immediate action on the appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security and stop the unlawful actions by the President.

                As representatives of a state whose rich history is intrinsically entwined with our nation’s founding, we regard the President’s recent action as an affront on our power as legislators, and, by extension, the representation promised to our constituents by our founding fathers. To that end, we believe that to  filibuster a funding bill to protect such action is wrong and profoundly undemocratic.

                This vote transcends policy. There are times when we must reach across the aisle in defense of something greater, when party lines dissolve, disagreements fade, and what is right must triumph. The true threat is that any future President will take this precedent and choose which laws they wish to enforce and ignore the will of Congress and the American people. We have reached a moment of constitutional crisis. We implore you not to give up the power with which our constituents have entrusted us. Exercise your authority, which the President’s recent action seeks to nullify.

     

  • Sen. Bryce Reeves Delivers Weekly Virginia GOP Address

     

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “I’m Senator Bryce Reeves and I represent the 17th Senate District, including parts of Albemarle, Culpeper, Louisa, and Spotsylvania counties, as well as Orange County and the City of Fredericksburg.”

    “During this legislative session, Republicans in both the House and the Senate this session have been focused on issues that matter: Jobs, the economy, education, energy, and our vets and active duty military.”

    “But I want to talk to you  about a problem facing our Commonwealth today that we can’t fix with a new bill or a resolution – it’s the growing concern that many in Virginia have that our best days are behind us, and the future will be less prosperous.”

    “That our children will have to settle for less.Whether it’s our neighbors who can’t find anything more than a part time job after years of looking, or our family members who can’t afford their health insurance anymore, we can all see that things aren’t headed in the right direction.”

    “Virginians are by their very nature optimistic people, but now far too many of us are being told that the ‘new normal’ is as good as we can hope to have.As Ronald Reagan said when he announced his second Presidential campaign, I don’t believe that. And I don’t think you do, either.”

    “A new birth of freedom and prosperity can be just around the corner, if we remain focused on the things that make us great. We must renew our faith in the fact that through hard work, self-reliance, self-discipline, freedom, and opportunity we insure the right of every Virginian to choose their own destiny.”

    “And those in elected office must remember its people, not government, who creates wealth, foster growth, and insure prosperity.Government programs consume wealth, they do not create it.”

    “There’s a lot at stake for our Commonwealth in the coming campaign.”

    “We can either stand by and accept the economic mediocrity and failure delivered by President Obama’s policies, or we can unite and build a better future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.”

    “And we will not fail if we unite as Republicans – unite as Virginians – and demand better. That’s what Republicans in Richmond have been doing this session – demanding better schools, better jobs, and a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

    “Republicans are convinced Virginia’s best days lie ahead. Working together, we can and will make that a reality.”

    “I’m Senator Bryce Reeves. Thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”

  • Del. Rob Bell Delivers Weekly Virginia GOP Address

     

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Delegate Rob Bell l and I represent the 58th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Rockingham Counties. ”

    “We’ve reached crossover, which is when the House’s bills cross over to the Senate, and theirs crossover to us.  Since this is the halfway point of the 2015 General Assembly, and I want to give you an update on where things stand.”

    “First, I’m glad to report that the House of Delegates passed a responsible budget that spends nearly one point one billion dollars less in general fund dollars than last year’s original budget. ”

    “The House eliminated 10.2 million dollars in fees and forty-three million dollars in debt that had been proposed by the Governor.  We also aside 99.5 million dollars for the rainy day fund.  We also rejected Governor McAuliffe’s latest proposal for an Obamacare Medicaid expansion.”

    “The House also made significant progress on expanding school choice in Virginia. ”

    “We joined the Senate in passing a constitutional amendment that will clear the way for more public charter schools. This would help provide options for parents whose kids are having trouble with traditional public schools.”

    “We also passed Delegate David LaRock’s bill to create ‘Education Savings Accounts.’ This was inspired by a successful program in Arizona that allows special needs students to receive up to 90 percent of the state funding for their education to be placed in a private savings account that they can use for education needs not provided by the public schools. ”

    “We also passed legislation to create a full-time virtual school in Virginia, so students in every part of the Commonwealth have an opportunity to take online classes. ”

    “As we wrapped up work on our bills, the House stood strong for the Second Amendment and against tax increases.  We also continued to promote public safety by passing a human trafficking law to catch and punish those who recruit children into the sex trade.”

    “And we continue to lead and govern. We’ve passed legislation to strengthen our public schools, make college more affordable and make government work better. We passed ethics reform to promote greater trust in government. ”

    “It’s been a busy year in Richmond so far, but I am proud to report that the House of Delegates is standing up for conservative principles, governing and leading.”

    “Again, I’m Delegate Rob Bell. Thanks for watching – and I hope you have a great weekend.”

     

  • Comstock Votes To Help Small Businesses

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, issued the following statement on the passage of H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 272 to 142.

    “Small businesses are at the heart of a healthy economy and we need to make sure more can grow right here in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District,” said Congresswoman Comstock.  “I supported today’s tax legislation that we passed in the House because it will help give small business owners more certainty when it comes to the tax code.  This legislation will let them access capital and reinvest and grow their businesses.  It is estimated by the NFIB that the legislation passed today has the potential to create 200,000 jobs.  Now the Senate needs to pass this job-creating bipartisan piece of legislation, so we can get it on President Obama’s desk and get small businesses and people back on their feet to build a healthy economy.”

  • Congressman Wittman Statement on AUMF

    Congressman Rob Wittman, R-1st, Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, released the following statement on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) proposed by President Obama:

    “ISIS’ campaign of violence has horrified the world, and this terrible organization must be rooted out and destroyed. Congress has a constitutional obligation to act on this, and I am glad that the president has now requested an AUMF. However, an intrinsic part of Congress’ obligation involves pressing the administration for specific details of its plan and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the administration’s strategy before we grant the president this authority. The president’s proposed AUMF also includes a variety of restrictions and limitations, and I will press for an explanation of how these limitations factor into a broad strategy to degrade and defeat ISIS.”

  • Comstock Votes For Final Passage Of Keystone XL Pipeline

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, issued the following statement on the final passage of The Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.  This legislation passed the House today by a bipartisan vote of 270-152 and is now headed to President Obama’s desk:

    “Both the House and Senate have united in a bipartisan way to bring this commonsense jobs-creating legislation to President Obama’s desk for his signature. The Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act has the support of a broad coalition including unions such as the Teamsters and LIUNA, the Tea Party, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington Post.  It has been six years overdue, but President Obama should sign this legislation so we can create jobs for hard-working Americans and ensure America’s energy security for future generations.”

  • Chairman Whitbeck: Washington Post Editorial is Tacit Admission Liberals Have Lost the Argument

    By John Whitbeck, Chairman

    The Washington Post’s editorial of Sunday on “massive resistance” is one of the most intellectually bankrupt, morally repugnant things I’ve read in a long time.

    Once again, rather than entertain the possibility that opponents hold principled policy differences, the Post’s Editorial Board has decided to take the low road and compare all Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion as just the product of racism. Six years into the Obama era, this trope is wearing a bit thin. But then again, no one ever reads the Washington Post’s Editorial section for new ideas.

    Massive resistance was the indefensible policy of racial discrimination put into place by Virginia Democrats in a desperate attempt to preserve Jim Crow.  This policy is a stain on our Commonwealth that will never be removed. It should not be invoked lightly. To compare our Party’s elected officials to those who are responsible for massive resistance is beyond the pale.

    Since the Washington Post is unable to fathom any rational reason for opposing Medicaid expansion, I will gladly take the time to explain it to them.   To steal a phrase from President Obama, let me be clear: Republicans want quality, affordable health care for all Virginians.

    Where we differ from President Obama, Governor McAuliffe, and General Assembly Democrats is the best way to connect Virginians with that health care. Virginia’s Medicaid system is badly broken. Plagued with inefficiency, waste, fraud, and abuse, Medicaid was groaning under its own weight long before Obamacare. The program continues to consume more and more of Virginia’s budget, even with Federal matching funds.

    As many who have purchased Obamacare plans have discovered, health insurance does not equal health care. As paperwork grows and reimbursements drop, a number of doctors have declined to accept Medicaid as a form of payment. The Federal government recently cut payments to Medicaid providers yet again.

    What happens with that system finally becomes unsustainable? One need look no further than Tennessee’s failed experiment with Medicaid expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s to find that answer. By the time Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen ended the program, “TennCare” had begun to devour larger and larger chunks of the state budget. Cost control measures were challenged in Federal court, and Tennessee lost, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the ever-growing bill.

    In the end, Tennessee finally ran out of other people’s money, and the TennCare experiment came to a painful, abrupt end.

    When — not if — the costs of an expanded Medicaid program in Virginia balloon beyond expectation, taxpayers will wind up on the hook. Unlike the Federal government, Virginia can neither run a deficit nor print money, leaving the Commonwealth with unpleasant choices. Raise taxes perpetually to pay for the ever-growing program, sacrifice priorities like education and transportation, or pull the health care rug out from under Virginians who have now come to depend on the program.

    Republicans want to craft patient centered, free market solutions to meet the needs of our fellow Virginians. What shape those solutions take should be the subject of robust public debate, but they will all have one thing in common — they will not share the top-down, government-mandate heavy approach that is Obamacare.

    Patients, rather than bureaucrats, should decide what kind of coverage they want to buy and Republicans are leading the way in finding these types of workable, market-based solutions.  The most recent example came from Ed Gillespie, who put forward a thoughtful, workable plan in 2014 and nearly defeated Mark Warner in what almost everyone said was an unwinnable race.

    But you’ll never learn any of that reading the pages of the Washington Post Editorial Board. No, in these once well-reasoned pages all opposition to President Obama is born of racism, and any concern about the sustainability of government spending is the fruit of ill will, and nothing more.

    Sunday’s editorial is nothing more than a tacit admission that liberals like the Post’s Editorial Board have lost the argument, but lack the good grace to concede.

  • Sen. Frank Wagner Delivers Weekly Virginia GOP Address

    Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, delivered this week’s Virginia GOP Address.

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Senator Frank Wagner and I represent the 7th Senate District which includes western Virginia Beach and a small portion of Norfolk.

    “Republican legislators are working on behalf of our fellow Virginians to keep taxes low on families and businesses, to reform our public schools for high quality education for our kids and we are responsibly addressing veterans health care issues.”

    “I’m here to talk to you about another prominent issue being debated during this legislative session.”

    “Sometime this summer the Obama Administration will adopt a new environmental rule requiring the States to dramatically decrease the amount of carbon being produced by their electric power producers.

    “Virginia is being treated very unfairly in this new rule. Our state’s electricity regulator, the State Corporation Commission, or SCC, calls the EPA rules “arbitrary, capricious and unlawful.”

    “The SCC also predicts that the new regulations will raise electricity rates in Virginia by 22 percent. Other experts say the increase is likely closer to 30 percent! 12 states have sued the EPA over the legality of these draconian environmental rules.”

    “Incredibly – but to many Republican, not surprisingly – Virginia’s Attorney General, Democrat Mark Herring, is sitting on the sidelines with no plan whatsoever to protect Virginia consumers from skyrocketing electricity bills.”

    “I have been following this matter closely for months. And based on what I’ve learned about the horrible impact this EPA rule will have on Virginia, I decided that I’m not going to stand by and allow an unnecessary 22 percent rate increase in our electricity bills to go unchallenged.”

    “When signed into law, my bill, Senate Bill 1349, will decrease electric bills for residential customers by 5 percent and commercial customers by 10 percent.

    The bill freezes base rates charged by Dominion and Appalachian Power to their customers for 5 years while the new EPA rule is challenged in federal courts across the country.”

    “The bill requires Dominion and APCO to assume the costs of clean up from natural disasters, such as hurricanes, and the bill provides new powers to the State Corporation Commission to regulate Dominion.”

    “Virginia’s electric rates have gone up just 2 percent since 2008. Not 2 percent per year, 2 percent overall. Our health insurance bills – and our cable bills – have certainly gone up far more than that since 2008. Our regulatory regime in Virginia has produced very stable – and low – electric rates for consumers.”

    “My legislation will keep Virginia’s electric rates among the lowest in the nation and the lowest in the mid-Atlantic region. It will also ensure that no existing power generation facilities will be closed while lawsuits filed against the EPA wind their way through the courts. This provision protects thousands of high paying Virginia jobs.”

    “The bill is supported by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Manufacturing Association, the American Red Cross of Virginia, the Virginia NAACP, the Partnership for Housing Affordability, groups representing low and fixed income Virginians and many other groups.”

    “Building an attractive business climate is critical to our efforts to help create new jobs and diversify our economy here in Virginia. Republicans in the General Assembly are working to keep Virginia open for business and this legislation will keep Virginia among the most attractive places in the world to build or locate a business.”

    “I’m Senator Frank Wagner. Thank you for watching, and have a great weekend.”

  • Robert Hurt Votes to Protect Small Businesses

    Congressman Robert Hurt, R-5th, released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 527, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which would strengthen and modernize the Regulatory Flexibility Act to ensure agencies adequately analyze proposed rules for their potential impacts on small businesses:

    “Our Main Street businesses are the backbone of our local economies and are essential to providing the jobs and economic growth the Fifth District needs.  In recent years, small businesses have generated almost two-thirds of new jobs, but they labor under the increasing burden of federal regulations which impede their ability to invest in their communities and create jobs.  The federal government far too often forces these harmful rules and regulations on Main Street businesses without adequately considering the negative impact they will have on our most dynamic job creators.  While the country has begun to experience modest economic growth, unemployment remains too high in Virginia’s Fifth District, and we must do all we can to remove unnecessary federal regulations as a barrier to job creation.

    “This commonsense legislation would modernize our regulatory process by increasing transparency and giving small businesses the ability to ensure that the government better understands the impact of new rules.  I was pleased to see this bill pass the House with bipartisan support, and I urge our colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill and continue working with us to advance policies that will spur job creation and economic recovery.”

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