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  • Morning Bell: Conservatives Stand Their Ground

    “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

    President Ronald Reagan’s sound advice rang true yesterday. Grassroots activists and conservative groups, led by Heritage Action for America, derailed a plan to raise taxes on some Americans and small businesses.

    Lacking votes from his own party, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called off consideration of “Plan B” last night, sending lawmakers home for Christmas instead. When the dust settled, conservatives stuck to their principles: to cut spending without raising taxes.

    When they return to work, all eyes will be on President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Their failure to act has left the nation on the brink of the fiscal cliff.

    It didn’t have to come to this. Nearly five months ago, on August 1, the House of Representatives voted to prevent a tax hike on all Americans. The measure passed on a 256-to-171 vote, winning the support of 19 Democrats.

    Meanwhile, as Obama divided the country with his class-warfare campaign, Reid sat idle.

    Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen, the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs, wrote last month about the Senate’s failure to act:

    Although the House passed legislation this year replacing the across-the-board cuts with specific policy changes, the Senate refused to act, forcing any resolution to wait until after this year’s election. Now this large problem joins with other unresolved issues, such as the “doc fix” (extending Medicare physicians’ payment rates) and extended unemployment benefits—and another debt-ceiling increase looms early next year as well.

    Now there are just 11 days left before Americans face a massive slate of tax hikes and reckless defense cuts. The fiscal cliff will affect all American taxpayers, with an average increase of more than $4,100 in taxes.

    This is unacceptable.

    Reid could have brought the House-passed measure to the Senate for an open debate and vote. He could have instructed Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) to produce a budget. Instead, Reid did neither. The Senate has now gone 3 years, 7 months, and 22 days without a budget.

    Boehner, who oversaw passage of Republican-drafted budgets in 2011 and 2012, was right to place blame on the Senate for failing to act:

    Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation’s crippling debt. The Senate must now act.

    Heritage Action, our sister organization, has urged lawmakers to remain true to their principles. Earlier this week at a Capitol Hill press conference, Heritage Action chief executive Michael Needham led a group of conservative leaders, including Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), to voice opposition to a tax increase.

    >>> VIDEO: Conservative Leaders on the Fiscal Cliff

    In a statement last night, Needham commended the House for acting months ago and urged Obama and Reid to “reject the political gimmicks and demonstrate that same level of seriousness.”

    Throughout the fiscal cliff negotiations, Obama has demonstrated a lack of seriousness. Heritage’s Alison Acosta Fraser recounted earlier this week that Obama initially wanted an $800 billion tax increase, only to later double that demand to $1.5 trillion. His plan lacks any substantive spending cuts, insisting on tax hikes first. And to top it off, the more concessions Republicans have made, the more Obama wants to take from the American people.

    Enough is enough.

    Conservatives stood their ground last night and sent a powerful message. Now it’s time for lawmakers to take the “least repugnant remaining resolution to the fiscal cliff,” as Heritage’s J.D. Foster wrote earlier this week, and pass a temporary measure that extends all tax rates and all spending policy without sequestration cuts through March 31, 2013.

    That’s the best possible outcome in this unfortunate situation.

    Quick Hits:

    • The world didn’t end today.
    • Representative Duncan Hunter, a Marine combat veteran, is calling for a boycott of Mexico until the country releases former U.S. Marine Jon Hammar from prison.
    • Jake Tapper, known for his tough questions at White House press briefings, is moving from ABC News to CNN to become chief Washington correspondent and an anchor.
    • Heavy snow and high winds in the Midwest are complicating holiday travel plans for Americans.
    • The Office of Congressional Ethics could cease operations in January if House leaders fail to appoint four members, reports Heritage’s Lachlan Markay.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Morning Bell: Conservatives Stand Their Ground

    1. jbird says:

      Where is compromise? The Republican party is doomed doomed doomed!

    2. Jules Guidry says:

      Accolades to the conservatives for standing their ground. Although my taxes will go up because of this stand, I applaud them. Time for conservatives of this nation to get behind the conservatives in congress and support them in blocking this prez from destroying this nation, without consequence. Boehner does need to replaced with someone who has the guts to face off in the future against the liberals and the "O". "No quarter given" should be the battle cry when negotiating with the dems.

    3. Sharon Stupp says:

      I just received a message that Jon Hammer is to be released today! Not sure who posted that but am praying it is the real truth!

    4. PaulE says:

      It's time to stop compromising our principles for the sake of an agreement with the Democrat Party, whose goals are diametrically opposed to ours. I think it's a good thing that Plan B failed. It would have accomplished nothing, but allow Obama and the Democrats to say that Republicans and Conservatives were wrong about tax cuts and pro-growth economic policies. In what universe is capitulating to the failed policies of the Democrat Party a good thing for the country?

      Yes, we will now have some pain, but it is a necessary pain that is long over due. We cannot continue to spend well beyond our means, accept no real cuts in any areas of spending and expect no fallout. This may finally lead to the discussion America really needs to have. Do we want to get this country back on track, at least from an economic perspective, or do we simply want to adopt the failed European socialist model of welfare for everyone and economic growth for no one. If it turns out to be the latter, at least that will tell the rest of us what our next course of action needs to be with respective to our futures.

    5. MJF in CT says:

      It's time to step back. Put the bill through the House, and tell Mr. Obama "This is our offer, the ball's in your court now." and make sure to make the bill public. Get it in the news everyday that Conservatives are trying to keep taxes down but the Mr. Obama and his Democrats want to continue class warfare and punish the very people who can't afford it anymore!

    6. Al Connellyl says:

      There is not surprise that this administration failed to take actions needed to reduce spending. The Democrats are apparently so dedicated to changing our country to a Secular Socialistic entity that there is little hope we will see any meaningful or honest effort on their part to regain control over runaway spending. It is very concerning the Administration and Senate are more intent on covering up lies and poor decisions than they are about our country as evidenced in the cover up of illegal guns the DOJ sent to Mexico, the death of our Ambassador to Lybia, and the refusal to assist a Marine imprisoned in Mexico.

    7. Sue01 says:

      Your article is spot on….correct, detailed and truthful…but with the 95-98% of media, by their own admission, extreme progressives aka democrat nee marxist….the people who are takers and/or rabid ideological will never see it or believe it even if they did. They are, in my opinion, incapable of seeing, hearing or understanding the truth of anything~~

    8. toledofan says:

      Finally some good news. I think that the cliff is something the Democrats want to go over and will try, along with the mainstream media, to make the Republicans the bad guys. At least now there is a reasonable argument against the Democrats who have stonewalled for the past year to do anything. Lets face it, the Senate, and this is their job, hasn't developed a budget in four years. Starting in January, they, the Democrats, will kick and scream, and good old Harry will whine and denagrate the Republicans but at the end of the day they now own the problem and if it doesn't get fixed, they are to blame.

    9. Al Connellyl says:

      A negotiation is when two or more parties comprimise to arrive at a workable solution. Harry and his henchmen are unwilling to consider the real issue of over spending and consequently there is no resolution in sight. Although the "cliff" will cause disastrous consequences immediately for American taxpayers, it may be a better solution than continuing on a path that could make the problems in Greece appear small. We have to pay the piper sooner or later and continuing on the present course will only bring disaster to our nation. Al

    10. ZPhe says:

      How can Conservatives get their message out, in plain, clear language, so that people will hear it; so as to be able to make the real, tough changes to spending that are needed? When will sanity prevail? Thank God Boenher was not allowed to sell us down the river…(so to speak).

    11. Scott Lyons says:

      I respectively believe your position relative to the "House Plan B" represents that of an ideologue and is out of step with 70% plus of Americans. I believe the Plan represented an excellent starting point for discussion and put the Republican House in a solid position with their constituents. Increased taxes on higher incomes will be part of the final solution and to deny that now and concede it later is denying reality and will only result in the continued loss of creditability of conservatives. I support the plan and believe the vast majority of non-elected conservatives do as well. I am beginning to question who you represent?

    12. Arnonerik says:

      Worse than the tax increases Obama and Reid are hoping for is the drastic cuts to our defense budget. While we are being directly challenged by the Chinese, who are strongly "suggesting" we disarm, Obama is capitulating world leadership by allowing drastic cuts to our military. For years they have mockingly called us a "paper tiger" and Obama is making their dream come true.

    13. boberic says:

      I know that this is not on today's subject, but I think it is necessary in light of all the gun control talk I keep hearing. With regard to not allowing the the sale of assault weapons, all guns can be considered as assault weapons. The sale of weapons corrently sold "assault weapons" are lookalike military style automatic weapons. They are immitations. They are not automatic. Automatic weapons are currently not for sale legally in the US. They are in fact semi-automatic. That means 1 squeeze of the trigger, one shot. Many hand guns are semi-auto. Just because a gun looks like a "machine gun" does not mean that it is. By the current definition of an assault weapon a baseball bat is an automatic assault weapon. You don' even have to squeeze the trigger and you can hit as many people as fast as you can. Furthermore you never run out of ammo, there are no clips or magazines to buy. I am going to start a movement to end the sale of assault baseball bats. It will ba called NABBBA. No Baseball bats allowed.

    14. It is pretty straight forward. The people elected and sent to Washington, their representatives with orders to “stop the outrageous spending.” The “People’s House” pasted budgets and in fact pasted a tax bill to retain all the current tax rates for everyone. Yet the public appears ready to blame the Republicans. What is the plan to get the public on board?

    15. Gitfiddle says:

      Finally you are beginning to see that you have to STAND for something. You cannot BE nothing and simply react and you cannot be self gratifying. You have to STAND for something .. and you finally DID it. It may be painful. It may be a battle. But you did it. Imagine how difficult it was to STAND against the British and their army and Navy. They were powerful and they had muscle. But the STAND was taken. Blood was spilled. Pain was suffered. But finally it came to new nation, a Constitution (1787) and even a Northwest Ordinance of 1787! Even then .. the struggle went on. The STOOD fo something.

    16. wayne meucci says:

      It appears to my that, regardless of the cheering about last nights' decision, Obama wins either way since his avowed goal is to "fundamentally transform America," meaning bring it down to socialist European policies ala Greece and thereby punish America for it's disdainful founding. With a sound solution the economy could have improved and Obama could do his usual infintile spiking of the football and the lickspittle, worhtless main street media would continue to glorify him. On the other hand, going over the cliff and bringing the US economy to it's sinful knees accompolishes his ends- he wins either way. Incidentally, the same win/win secenario is playing out with Obamacare and the exchanges. He will get his single payer if things don't work and if things do work he gets this version of Obamacare. Either way America looses- just what he wants!! Don't blame the politicians, blame the ill-informed electorate.

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