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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 09:00:53 AM mt

John Cornyn Holding Up Key Trump Nominee



FreedomWorks Vice President of Advocacy Noah Wall released the following statement about the news that Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is holding up the confirmation of President Donald Trumps nominee Russell Vought.

A member of Sen. Mitch McConnells leadership team is blocking a key nominee of President Donald Trumps. Sen. John Cornyn is putting his earmarks before the fiscally conservative Trump nominee.

McConnell should whip Cornyn into line. Its not like the Senate has had a problem being too productive. They have no big legislative wins this year. We dont need Cornyns antics in mid-October.

Days are running out to enact conservative solutions that will get America back on track in time to keep Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Big donors, small donors, and grassroots activists need a win on tax reform.

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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 01:36:05 AM mt

Support the Mens Rea Reform Act S. 1902



On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to support the Mens Rea Reform Act, S. 1902, introduced by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), David Perdue (R-Ga.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The bill would address over-criminalization at the federal level, setting a default intent standard for all federal criminal laws and regulations currently lacking mens rea protections. The proposed default intent standard would require the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted willfully in order to obtain a conviction.

Having mens rea protections requiring that a person knows his or her action was wrong is an essential element in maintaining a free society. Only when a person acts with a guilty mind can he or she rightfully be called a criminal, and our justice system should reflect that principle.

There are estimated to be between 4,500 and 5,000 federal statutes carrying criminal penalties, and over 400,000 federal regulations that may be enforced criminally. With this many criminally-enforceable federal laws, what Professor John Baker once said is undoubtedly true: There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. While some of these laws do have existing mens rea protections, many do not. Even one without is one too many.

The Congressional Research Services response in 2013 when asked to account for the true number of these statutes and regulations was that it lack[ed] the manpower and resources to accomplish this task. If the CRS cannot even number every criminally-enforceable federal law, Americans certainly cannot be expected to know the details of each one. Sentencing someone as a criminal who acted without any semblance of a guilty mind in accidentally violating a federal law for example, having a pet on a leash longer than six feet in a federal park is not only unfair, but contributes to wasteful government spending on people who are not criminals.

The Mens Rea Reform Act offers a simple, common-sense solution, covering for those criminally-enforceable federal laws passed without mens rea protections. The bill would require the government to meet a default intent standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted willfully in order to obtain a conviction for offenses that do not already contain mens rea protections. It would not affect criminal statutes that have a strict liability standard. This effectively and necessarily defends the liberty of honest, innocent-minded Americans.

For these reasons, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to support the Mens Rea Reform Act, S. 1902.

Sincerely,

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 01:36:04 AM mt

FreedomWorks Encourages Passing the Budget to Get TaxReform Rolling



FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon made the following statement ahead of consideration of the FY 2018 budget resolution, which includes reconciliation instructions for fundamental tax reform:

This budget resolution is important for one reason, and one reason alone: it begins the work on fundamental tax reform. With more than 70,000 pages, our tax code has become far too complex, taking nearly 8.9 billion hours and $409 billion to comply with. The framework rolled out last week would simplify the tax code, consolidate and lower tax rates, and create more jobs, providing long overdue tax relief to small business owners.

We urge House conservatives to support the FY 2018 budget resolution. Time is of the essence since there is much work to be done on the Senate side before going to conference on the bill.

While there has to be serious conversation about federal spending and the long-term issues facing America, it has been more than 30 years since Congress passed significant tax reform, and the policies of the previous administration slowed economic growth. We need to get this done before the end of this year and give workers and families a pay raise, create fairness in the tax code, and boost the economy.

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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 01:36:02 AM mt

FreedomWorks' Noah Wall on GOP Fundraising Woes: We Should Get What We Paid For.



Washington, DC - FreedomWorks Vice President of Advocacy Noah Wall weighed in on the fundraising troubles the GOP is facing with major donors, as reported in Politico.

"We should get what we paid for, whether we supported these candidates with our votes, our grassroots activism, small donations, or big donations. Republicans have voted to elect people who promised to repeal ObamaCare and reform the tax code. We have supported people who said they would reduce federal spending and unleash our economy. They have the majorities in the House and Senate, and President Trump wants to sign these bills into law.

"There is just no excuse. Republican leadership has not gotten the job done. The House putzed around with ObamaCare repeal when there was a great bill that everyone supported 18 months before. Senate leadership did not twist the arms it needed to twist to get the senators who flipped their votes to vote as they did 18 months before.

"It's good that this anger from major donors is being publicized -- this anger perfectly mirrors the anger from the grassroots on-the-ground activists, by the way. It's productive because it will hopefully light a fire under members of Congress to get tax reform done this year. Their careers and the Republican majority in the House are on the line. This is their last chance before the 2018 elections to redeem themselves."

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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 01:36:01 AM mt

FreedomWorks Foundation Submits Comments Decrying Economic and Safety Consequences of Stringent Fuel Economy Mandates



FreedomWorks Foundation's Regulatory Action Center submitted comments to the EPA and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA) regarding the various unintended consequences of increasingly stringent federal fuel economy mandates via the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards program.

Of primary concern to FreedomWorks Foundation is the fact that CAFE standards reduce vehicle safety by forcing automakers to produce smaller and lighter vehicles. This goes against the recommendations of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Read our comments here or in the attached document below to learn more about the CAFE program, its impact on vehicle safety, and all the other unintended economic consequences of this government mandate.

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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 01:36:00 AM mt

Promote Accountability and Efficiency in the Federal Government



In the ongoing effort to hold the ever-growing federal bureaucracy accountable for its actions, FreedomWorks is urging members of Congress to sign onto an initiative started by Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.).

With overwhelmingly bipartisan agreement, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Act moved swiftly through the legislative process earlier this year, landing on the Presidents desk little over a month after its introduction in May. Since its enactment, VA Secretary Shulkin has used the authorities this act extended to effectively combat waste, fraud, and abuse in his agency.

Rep. Wenstrup and Rep. Loudermilks initiative is to send a letter to other secretaries, administrators, directors, and commissioners in the executive branch. The letter solicits their input on extending the same flexibility Sec. Shulkin enjoys to themselves, and on other potential reform ideas for their own departments and agencies. Their input would be incorporated into potential legislative solutions moving forward.

It is our belief that extending the opportunity for similar flexibility to these individuals in their departments and agencies is a unifying, common sense proposal. This initiative is a proactive approach to tackling executive branch reform that FreedomWorks supports.

We are asking for your support of Rep. Wenstrup and Rep. Loudermilks initiative as well. By signing onto the letter attached that his office has drafted to send to secretaries, administrators, directors, and commissioners in the executive branch, Congress can play a key role in streamlining government efficiency and fighting fraud in the federal bureaucracy.

Sincerely,

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 01:35:59 AM mt

Just Another Week... Almost a Year Later



With the majorities in the Senate and in the House, Republican constituents were looking forward to key issues finally being addressed in Congress. Healthcare repeal and tax reform were the two major promises made by legislators. Fast forward to October, though, and neither have been accomplished and senators are have gone home until October 16.

Senate recess is particularly frustrating as tax reform is the one thing that most people in the party can agree on, but we do not even have a tax reform bill yet. Regarding health care, repeal and replace has been the rallying cry of senators for years -- on the campaign trail, when they could not repeal it. When senators had the opportunity, they did not get Obamacare repealed or replaced.

This fraud on the American people is symptomatic of the fractures in the party. They were all on message: repeal ObamaCare! But some were lying. That makes it hard to execute on the promise.

Senators only work Monday evening to Thursday afternoon so their time spent actually working during the week is minimal. This combined with them leaving for an entire week when theres still much to be done is hard to stomach. On top of this, theres very little to guarantee progress upon their return.

Republicans are not only fighting against Democrats in Congress, but against themselves as various conservative senators have vastly different ideas about the direction of the Republican Party. This divide is making it difficult for constituents to believe that any progress will be made after the senators get back from recess.

This weeks vacation is coming at the end of a string of unsuccessful attempts to accomplish goals that have been around for a very long time. There is already difficulty getting major donors to continue giving the GOP their money. This will not help. It sends a message that time off is more important than passing tax reform.

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Freedom Works
Friday October 20, 2017 @ 01:35:57 AM mt

Time to Free Media from the Yoke of Cross-Ownership Rules



The media, for better or for worse, has garnered a lot of attention and criticism over the past year. Discussions and debates surrounding both televised and digital media illustrate just how important a role modern media plays in the lives of everyday Americans. Its how we stay up to date on all of the latest news, whether its sports, politics, or entertainment.

However, mass media has come under some scrutiny again recently, due to a proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media. The debate surrounding the merger highlights a larger issue. The Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) regulations surrounding media ownership are painfully out of date.

An FCC ban on cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast licenses from 1975 is still in effect today, and the marketplace is still hampered by TV station ownership rules that date all the way back to 1941. The modern age of media is being governed by regulation that was handed down before the Internet, and before smartphones. The landscape has changed drastically since then.

Print media has been especially hard hit during this digitalization. The NY Daily News was recently sold for just $1 in September. In broadcast news, local news stations are suffering, as advertising revenues have declined for both TV and radio.

Innovation is desperately needed for these entities to stay competitive in an ever-evolving marketplace. Being able to pool resources with other outlets would allow smaller, local entities to expand their coverage, and modernize their operations.

Critics bemoan these potential mergers by saying that overlaps in ownership and coverage will reduce the amount of variety, raise prices, and create fewer options for consumers. This alarmism is nothing more than a push for fiscal interventionism and could not be farther from the truth of the matter. Outlets that are cross-owned will have no desire to compete against themselves, so they will diversify their coverage options and, in actuality, produce more options for consumers. This will have a positive effect on the market, and have the added bonus of creating a more well-informed electorate.

The CEO of Sinclair, Chris Ripley, addressed critics by saying the overlap will create efficiencies that will benefit the marketplace. He says opponents are merely trying to reduce competition for their own personal gain and are living in a pre-cable, pre-Internet, pre-smartphone world.

Mergers like these will help bring the resources of a media giant, like Sinclair, to the local markets covered by Tribune. The FCC has received thousands of comments with regard to this potential acquisition. One can only hope that this review prompts them to also take a look at the antiquated regulation at the heart of it.

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Freedom Works
Thursday October 19, 2017 @ 09:34:05 PM mt

FreedomWorks Urges House to Pass Senate Budget Move to Tax Reform



Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye released the following statement on the Senates passage of their budget:

The passage of this budget is a step toward fundamental tax reform. We need to get tax reform done, and get it done fast, before the end of year. We shouldnt waste time with a conference committee. The House should pass the Senate budget quickly when it reconvenes next week.

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Freedom Works
Wednesday October 18, 2017 @ 04:11:33 PM mt

If You Don't Want to be Called FakeNews Don't Do This



CNN had some egregious 'reporting' recently. This time it is screaming, belligerently, about a meeting between EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Tom Collier, the CEO of the major mining company, Pebble Partnership.

The piece titled, EPA reversed salmon protection after CEO meeting makes it clear that Scott Pruitt has finalized his evil plan to destroy the Alaskan salmon population. So what vicious collusion did the two agree to in this meeting?

Scott Pruitt granted Pebble Partnership a fair opportunity to apply for the building of a mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. A fact CNN mentioned only after 6 minutes and 30 seconds of Drew Griffin ranting. The ranting was devoted to their fears of Pruitt withdrawing restrictions that would stop (Pebble Partnership) from building a massive mine.

Contrary to what CNN would like you to believe no one has been given permission to mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The decision was to stop blocking the proposal from even being submitted. The Obama administration wouldn't even let the company apply!

If no one has been given permission to mine in Bristol Bay, what is the claim that CNN is making? CNN keeps their core claim relatively covert. The claim is, however, that by just granting Pebble Partnership a fair opportunity to apply for a mine there will be undue damage to the Bristol Bay habitat. The conclusion here requires at least one glaring assumption -- that the EPA would, in fact, permit the Pebble Partnership mine if it would lead to undue damage to the Bristol Bay habitat.

Now, why on earth would the Environmental Protection Agency, allow a mine to be built that an Obama administration study found would result in complete loss of fish habitat"? Especially, since this fish habitat makes up roughly half of worlds sockeye salmon and accounts for 14,000 Alaskan jobs.

The simple answer is that it wouldnt. Mr. Pruitt specifically mentioned that he will not prejudge the outcome of the process, nor make any assurances about the final decision. He will, however, allow Tom Collier to submit an alternative scientific case for the mine - one that the Pebble Partnership CEO claims will prove it is a clean mine that will have no effect on anybodys habitat. Mr. Collier even granted that if the Obama administration study, predicting the degradation of the fish habitat as a result of the mine is correct, his permit would be denied.

This issue at hand is not whether we destroy the habitat and allow mining. Nobody, not even the Trump appointed EPA administrator would allow Pebble Partnership to mine at Bristol Bay if it meant the destruction of half of the worlds sockeye salmon. The actual issue at hand is whether we remove the neo-Marxist tyranny of the EPA's self-proclaimed consensus by allowing other scientific opinions, like those claiming the mine will be completely harmless and economically beneficial, to be considered.

A few notes of fact about the case as reported by John Stossel at Reason: - The proposed mine wouldnt even be on Alaskas Bristol Bay, it would be 100 miles away. - The Obama Administration EPA denied Pebble Partnerships mine before it even looked at an environmental impact statement. - The EPA study makes the claim that Pebble Mine could create a footprint bigger than Manhattan Island. In reality, the proposal is significantly smaller.

The true facts of this story are harder to pull out of CNNs reporting than the sought after gold copper in Bristol Bay.

If you're tired of baised anti-Trump reporting, you should tweet at Drew Griffin and tell him what you think.

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