President: Rae Chornenky

Editor: Maria Jeffrey

RNC Chairman Calls Out NBC and CNN

                

        Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has written to the chairman of NBC Entertainment and the president of CNN Worldwide calling on them to cancel their programs promoting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. NBC has announced plans to air a miniseries and CNN is producing a documentary. The programs are likely intended to promote Secretary Clinton ahead of her potential 2016 presidential candidacy.

                

        The appearance of impropriety on the part of these companies is heightened where Chairman Priebus noted in his letter to NBC that "your company has expressly stated your choice to air the miniseries in the near future would avoid concerns of running afoul of equal time election laws."

                

         If the partisan actions of the two companies and programs are not canceled prior to the start of the RNC's summer meeting on August 14, Chairman Priebus has informed both companies he will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with them in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor. 

 

         Click here to read Chairman Priebus' letter to NBC, and click here to read Chairman Priebus' letter to CNN. Watch Chairman Priebus talk about NBC and CNN's decision to highlight Secretary Clinton on Bloomberg's "Street Smart": 

Democrat Leo Hindery: CNN & NBC Clinton Programs Inappropriate And Will Not Be Negative
Democrat Leo Hindery: CNN & NBC Clinton Programs Inappropriate And Will Not Be Negative

Congressional Budget Fight

                

           There is much consternation in Congress over how members will manage to keep the government open past September and resolve a broader conflict over the rising national debt. A bill in the House would have continued Obama's sequester and made deep automatic budget cuts to the federal government. A Senate bill would have ended the sequester, restoring billions for housing, roads, and bridges.               
            Both approaches were rejected and now, as Congress has left town for a five-week summer break, the endless Washington budget war looms on. If the status quo remains, the government is set to shut down on October 1st. A few weeks after that, the Washington Post reports, "the Treasury will face the risk of default unless Congress can agree to raise the [current] $16.7 trillion federal debt limit."                

         

            President Obama has called for pairing more tax revenue - favored by Democrats - with cuts to federal health and retirement benefits - favored by Republicans.  Obama has also called for an end to the sequester and new funding for infrastructure and jobs.

                

            Many Republicans have resisted that approach, arguing that ending the sequester, part of a bipartisan deal to raise the federal debt limit in 2011, would end their only victory in the fight to shrink big government.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated any vote to ignore the sequester "will be widely viewed throughout the country [as if] we're walking away from a bipartisan commitment ... to reduce $2.1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years." 

                

            Some Republicans, on the other hand, such as House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY), have demanded an end to the sequester as being "unrealistic and ill-conceived."

 

            One group of GOP lawmakers, dubbed "the Diners Club," (eight Senate Republicans from the 24 who had dinner with Obama earlier this year) has met regularly with White House chief ofstaff Denis McDonough.  McDonough also has met several times with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in what has been called Obama's attempt to open the lines of communication in an effort to break the deadlock at the top.

 

            The Diners Club is made up of Sens. John McCain (AZ), Lindsey O. Graham (SC), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Bob Corker (TN), Johnny Isakson (GA), Daniel Coats (IN), Ronald H. Johnson (WI), and John Hoeven (ND). Opinions vary on whether the Diners Club will be successful in averting another fiscal cliff.

Boehner's Strategy Against Health Care Law

                

         The president's health care law is hurting our economy, raising costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire.  At last week's meeting of the House Republican Conference, according to a memo from the Coalitions Director of the Office of the House Majority Whip, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) presented a strategy for building on successful votes in the House to further delay Obamacare.

                

         The strategy outlined by the Speaker would build on earlier successful House votes against portions of the health care law with a series of well-placed, targeted strikes that will ultimately dissolve the president's "train wreck" of a law. 

                  

         Speaker Boehner noted first that the president has already signed no fewer than seven bills repealing or delaying parts of the law, exposing serious cracks in the legislative apparatus the president has relied upon to keep Obamacare in place.  In July alone, the U.S. House passed bills delaying both the law's employer mandate and the individual mandate - core portions of the law. Thirty-five Democrats defied the president and voted for the employer mandate delay and 22 Democrats defied the president by voting for delay of the individual mandate.

                

          Boehner's strategy seeks to build on both mandate delay votes with an upcoming vote to get the IRS out of the president's health care law.  The House will also vote on a bill to protect taxpayers by requiring verification of requests for Obamacare subsidies which, currently, the president intends to enforce with only the "honor system."  Legislation to stop the IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or the administration's health care rationing board - which even former DNC Chairman Howard Dean says is a major problem - will be considered along with legislation to end the slush funds the president is using to implement the law.

                

          Focusing on these and other pieces of targeted legislation, while continuing ongoing House oversight activities and communications regarding the law's implementation, will be central to the House Republican strategy to fracture the law's last vestiges of support.

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