From NC Senator Chuck Edwards

There is much more to the repeal of HB2 than is seen on the surface. When you elected me it was because you trusted my moral character and intelligence to be able to look at many moving parts then help us achieve prosperity through conservative principals. I am confident through HB142 that I and the others that voted for it have done just that. This issue is complex and here are some of the headlines.

– The bathrooms are in fact protected. It is ILLEGAL in NC for a man to go into a women’s bathrooms or locker room. There is no provision or exception to that for any gender or group.

– I don’t really care what the NCAA, ACC, and NBA think. In fact, the General Assembly has filed complaints that they have severed their nonprofit status by taking a political position.

– We had a small window of opportunity due to a tactical mistake made by Gov. Cooper to alienate him from LGBT and extremists that were keeping him well funded, so we seized the moment and did exactly that. They have since been protesting his mansion.

– The 4th circuit court of appeals was scheduled to hear our HB2 case on May 10th. This is an Obama handpicked court that has ruled against conservatives on numerous occasions and we had reason to believe HB2 might be over ruled. Had that taken place we would have NO bathroom protection in place and municipalities could pass whatever bathroom policy they wanted. This risk was too high and HB142 plainly states that they and others cannot implement such policy.

– Some that have no clear vision for the next steps would say that the repeal was only kicking the can down the road. I have a clear vision for the next steps and the confidence to get it done.

I’m not sure if you’ve seen it, but the message below was issued by our state chairman.
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=f3100bc5464cbba2f472ddf2c&id=a526f32964&e=176429e6f6

Chuck Edwards

There’s Good News About Civil Asset Forfeiture

FEE – Some types of theft are legal in America.

But there’s a catch. You can only legally steal if you work for the government. It’s a process called “civil asset forfeiture” and it enables government officials to confiscate your property even if you have not been convicted of a crime. Or even charged with a crime.

I’m not joking. This isn’t a snarky reference to the tax system. Nor am I implying that bureaucrats can figuratively steal your property. We’re talking about literal theft by the state.

And it can happen if some government official decides – without any legal proceeding – that the property somehow may have been involved in criminal activity. Or maybe just because you have the wrong skin color.

What Happened to Due Process?

A column in the Wall Street Journal explains this grotesque injustice.

…thousands of Americans have had their assets taken without ever being charged with a crime, let alone convicted. Russ Caswell almost lost his Massachusetts motel, which had been run by his family for more than 50 years, because of 15 “drug-related incidents” there from 1994-2008, a period through which he rented out nearly 200,000 rooms. Maryland dairy farmer Randy Sowers had his entire bank account—roughly $60,000—seized by the IRS, which accused him of running afoul of reporting requirements for cash deposits. …A manager of a Christian rock band had $53,000 in cash—profits from concerts and donations intended for an orphanage in Thailand—seized in Oklahoma after being stopped for a broken taillight. All of the property in these outrageous cases was eventually returned, but only after an arduous process.”

These abuses happen in large part because cops are given bad incentives.

Any property they steal from citizens can be used to pad the budgets of police bureaucracies.

Today more than 40 states and the federal government permit law-enforcement agencies to retain anywhere from 45% to 100% of forfeiture proceeds. As a result, forfeiture has practically become an industry.”

And real money is involved.

…data on asset forfeiture across 14 states, including California, Texas and New York. Between 2002 and 2013, the revenue from forfeiture more than doubled, from $107 million to $250 million. Federal confiscations have risen even faster. In 1986 the Justice Department’s Assets Forfeiture Fund collected $93.7 million. In 2014 the number was $4.5 billion.”

In other words, there’s a huge incentive for cops to misbehave. It’s called “policing for profit.”

Click here to read more and click here for the TTP’s page on “Forfeiture & Policing for Profit.

Feds and UN Dumping “Unvetted, Diseased Refugee Men” on Taxpayer

The New American – A Missouri woman who has attended official meetings on resettling migrants is blowing the whistle on United Nations and federal schemes that she says are quietly flying in huge numbers of unvetted, diseased “refugees” from across Africa and the Middle East — many of whom do not even have a known name — and immediately handing them passports, Social Security numbers, and a vast array of tax-funded benefits. Noting that the overwhelming majority of the migrants she observed were men, she suggested the schemes were an “intentional device” to “invade the United States of America.”

Adding insult to injury, said the woman with knowledge of the program, is the fact that state officials and those involved with processing the new arrivals are being encouraged at official meetings to classify as many of the newcomers as possible as being permanently disabled — especially as having chronic headaches and lower back pain. The purpose of this, she was told, was so the “refugees” could qualify for Social Security long-term disability, allowing them to collect taxpayer money for the rest of their lives despite never having contributed to the already-strained system on its way to bankruptcy.

“Much to my shock, they wanted us to try to identify them in such a way that they would qualify for long-term Social Security disability,” she explained, adding that the designation was for life and would cost taxpayers a fortune. “So if they get identified as qualifying for long-term Social Security disability, they are as good as set up for life…. It is insanity.” Indeed, one of the first things workers are supposed to do is sign up the new migrants for Social Security, she said. They also receive cash upon arrival.

Click here to read more.

The Hill’s Overnight Regulation

THE BIG STORIES

US Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has denied a request to put a lawsuit over the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule on hold while the Trump administration decides whether to roll back the rule.

As The Hill’s Devin Henry reports, the decision Monday came from the court without any explanation.

The White House opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ rule and asked the court to hold off on the case while the agencies formally consider repealing it.

The rule asserted federal power over small waterways such as streams and wetlands to protect them from pollution. It remains on hold after a federal appeals court in 2015 put a judicial stay on the measure while it is litigated.

The Supreme Court case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, does not concern the merits of the highly controversial regulation.
Instead, the industry groups opposed to the rule want the high court to overturn the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit’s opinion that it has the primary jurisdiction over the case.

Read the full story here.

Prison hiring freeze:

Elsewhere on the Hill, lawmakers are pushing the Department of Justice to exempt the Bureau of Prisons from the federal hiring freeze President Trump initiated shortly after he took office.

In a letter Monday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) told Attorney General Jeff Sessions the freeze puts prison security officers and communities at risk.

Citing agency guidance implementing the order, the lawmakers claim the Justice Department fully exempted the FBI from the hiring freeze but only issued a limited exemption for the Bureau of Prisons.

Under the guidance, the Bureau of Prisons is barred from increasing staff above the level that existed on Jan. 22, meaning any vacant positions that had not been filled by Jan. 22 cannot be filled now.

The guidance allows post-Jan. 22 vacancies to be filled externally through a limited public safety exception. But the lawmakers added that even those hires are not allowed until the Office of Personnel Management first provides data on Jan. 22 staffing levels.

To the best of their knowledge, Durbin, Bustos and McKinley claim that has not yet happened, so all hiring is effectively blocked.

To read that story cick here.

Lawsuit over energy rule delays:

Environmentalists and Democratic attorneys general are suing the Trump administration over its decision to suspend implementation of several energy efficiency rules.

As The Hill’s Devin Henry reports, earlier this month, the administration proposed delaying six rules setting high energy efficiency standards for products such as ceiling fans, walking-in coolers and freezers, and others.

Manufacturers and industry groups had worried the standards — first proposed by the Obama administration’s Department of Energy last year — would carry high compliance costs.

But the rules’ supporters said the effort would end up saving consumers up to $23 billion through lower energy bills, while also cutting power-sector greenhouse gas emissions.

Ten states, as well as New York City, announced Monday that they had sued over the decision to delay the rules. They were joined by four environmental and consumer groups.

To read that story click here.

To read more click here.

A GOOD IDEA – WHAT TO TAKE TO BED WITH YOU.

Pretty neat idea. Never thought of it before. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr’s office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car.The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most every where inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won’t want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can’t reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn’t hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she’ll know there’s a problem….

Source an email that was forwarded to me.

House Freedom Caucus and their determination to help President Trump keep his promises

Atlanta, GA – Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin released the following statement today regarding the House Freedom Caucus and their determination to help President Trump keep his promises to repeal Obamacare fully and drain the swamp in Washington, DC.

“Tea Party Patriots and our network of activists worked hard through our Super PAC in critical battleground states to bring people to the polls to vote for Donald Trump for President. Among other actions, our nationwide network made two million volunteer phone calls into Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, and Florida and sent over 100,000 personal voter-to-voter letters to voters in Pennsylvania. Like President Trump, we are tired of business as usual in the nation’s capital, and we want to help him succeed in draining the swamp.

“We have fought many of the biggest policy battles over the last eight years – including health care, immigration, and judicial appointments, to name a few – and have worked closely with the House Freedom Caucus. We appreciate their determination to keep their word and stand up for their constituents and the American people. Over the last few weeks, the Freedom Caucus and its members have worked with the grassroots to try to help President Trump and the Republican Congress keep their promises to repeal Obamacare fully. Unfortunately, the bill pushed by Speaker Ryan and House leadership would have left intact the heart and soul of Obamacare – the insurance mandates – which are the core elements that are currently driving the cost of insurance policies higher and higher, and would only continue to do so under the House leadership bill.

“We hope President Trump will realize the patriots of the House Freedom Caucus are simply trying to help him keep the promise they all made to the American people to repeal Obamacare fully and restore freedom to our health care system. We — and the members of the House Freedom Caucus — are the people who stood by President Trump in the fall, when many in the House GOP leadership abandoned him. If President Trump wants to drain the swamp of Washington, DC, he should aim his frustration at those who have been in the swamp the longest, not the ones who are trying to change business as usual in DC. He should aim his frustration at those who care more about committee assignments and the special interests on K Street, rather than the people who stand for their constituents first and focus on keeping their promises.”

Saving for Dummies Like Me

FEE – I used to be terrible at saving.

Although my parents were frugal – they bought their first house with cash (no mortgage), and paid for every cent of my and my siblings’ educations – I didn’t exactly live fiscally responsibly during the first few years of my 20s.

I suppose it’s a lot to ask a 20-something just out of college to retain much of what they earn in what’s likely, these days, to be their first paying job. In our 20s we’re finally free to choose where to live, to come and go as we please, and what and when to eat. It’s absolutely liberating.

In our 20s we’re finally free to make our own financial decisions, to live the way we want. But it costs a lot to do it. A plan is necessary.

But it costs a lot to do it, and the cost of retirement is a mere vague notion in some distant future.

When I was 26, I left a well-paying job in Chicago at a group I loved to “follow my passion” and begin a business. I was encouraged by friends to take advantage of this rare time in my life to start something new, and that I would regret it if I didn’t do it.

Click here to read more.

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches

Thousands of Muslims participate in a public outdoor prayer service in Birmingham, England, on July 6, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

Gatestone Institute – “London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together”, according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of the Islamic preachers who now lead “Londonistan”, as the journalist Melanie Phillips has called the English capital. No, Rizvi is not a right-wing extremist. Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, was less generous; he called the UK “a cesspit for Islamists”.

“Terrorists can not stand London multiculturalism”, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said after the recent deadly terror attack at Westminster. The opposite is true: British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, Londonistan, with its new 423 mosques, is built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.

The Hyatt United Church was bought by the Egyptian community to be converted to a mosque. St Peter’s Church has been converted into the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque was built on a former Methodist church. Not only buildings are converted, but also people. The number of converts to Islam has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.

Click here to read more.

From Team Trump-Pence

President Trump spent another week making strides and putting America First!

Announcing more jobs for Americans, honoring the brave people protecting Americans, and addressing the problems of every day Americans were just some of the things accomplished on the President’s to-do-list this week.

President Trump is out there working for all of us. Your support keeps him energized and we wouldn’t be here without you.

Read about the President’s week below.

THIS WEEK

Make America Great Again

Honoring The People Who Serve Our Country

President Trump welcomed 25 Medal of Honor recipients to the White House. Each of them has risen above and beyond the call of duty in defense of our country, our people, and our flag. They have selflessly gave their all for the United States of America. They are the soul of our Nation, and our grateful republic salutes you.

Make America Great Again

20,000 More Jobs For The American People

President Trump was thrilled to announce that Charter Communications has committed to investing $25 billion dollars in the United States, and has committed to hiring 20,000 American workers over the next four years. Charter will also end its offshore call centers, now basing 100% of them here in the United States. This is great for their workers and customers, but especially great for the United States.
Make America Great Again

Ending Drug Abuse In America

Drug abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in our country and opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999. This is a total epidemic. President Trump is committed to working directly with representatives from state and local governments, law enforcement, medical professionals, and victims to find solutions to combat this issue. He held a round table this week, dedicated to solving the drug crisis through cooperation across government and across society, including early intervention to keep America’s youth off this destructive path.
Make America Great Again

Harnessing The American Spirit

Consumer confidence in March soared to the highest level in more than 16 years, according to data released Tuesday. Consumer confidence has taken off since the election of President Donald Trump, on the prospect of lower taxes and more infrastructure spending. We’re 10 weeks into President Trump’s presidency and it’s clear the American people are harnessing this new American Spirit!

Make America Great Again

Ending The War On Coal

President Trump took action that will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom, and allow our companies and our workers to thrive, compete, and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time. President Trump is doing that by putting an end to the war on coal. With his executive action this week, President Trump took historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations.

Make America Great Again

Empowering And Promoting Women In Business

Empowering and promoting women in business is critical to President Trump because he knows how crucial women are as job creators, role models, and leaders throughout all of our communities. As we conclude Women’s History Month, President Trump met with women small business owners to discuss how we can continue this important mission. President Trump made it clear that we must ensure that our economic environment is a place where women can work and thrive. President Trump will continue to address the barriers faced by women professionals and entrepreneurs.

Identifying all the issues facing our country is an overwhelming task, but President Trump is listening to all the key stakeholders. He’s learning about the troubles facing our people and seeking solutions.

We’re only 10 weeks into his presidency and already he’s Making America Safe Again, Making America Work Again, and he’s Making America Great Again!

Thanks for joining us for another week,

Team Trump-Pence

NC Senator Chuck Edwards on NC General Assembly Votes to Repeal HB2

PRESS RELEASE


Senator Chuck Edwards
(919) 733-5745
16 W. Jones St
Raleigh, NC 27601-5925
Contacts: Danielle Plourd, (919) 733-5745
March 30, 2017
NC General Assembly Votes To Repeal HB 2

Raleigh, N.C. – The General Assembly elected today to repeal House Bill 2 and ensure our bathroom safety and privacy are FULLY protected.

I have a wife, a daughter, and a granddaughter. I would never license men to go where they don’t belong. Today’s HB 142 will maintain control of NC bathrooms. It will remain ILLEGAL for men to go into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. I ask that everyone be willing to read and comprehend BEYOND simply the headlines.

The bill does the following:

Repeals HB2

Protects privacy in bathrooms and shower facilities by leaving regulation of multi-occupancy facilities to the state, not municipalities. Returning to the status quo prior to passage of Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance

Implements a moratorium on local ordinances similar to Charlotte’s until December 1, 2020 to allow federal litigation to play out. We will then be afforded a 3.5 year opportunity to adjust our laws accordingly.

Click here to read the bill.

– Senator Chuck Edwards

North Carolina lawmakers announce plan to repeal ‘bathroom bill’

Fox News – North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill” may soon be flushed away.

At a late-night press conference Wednesday, Republican lawmakers announced an agreement with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on legislation to repeal the law known as House Bill 2, which was enacted last year.

The law limits LGBT nondiscrimination protections and requires transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.

The new proposal would repeal House Bill 2, but it would still leave state legislators in charge of policy on public restrooms. Local governments would be forbidden to pass nondiscrimination ordinances covering sexual orientation and gender identity until December 2020.

The announcement came after the NCAA said North Carolina sites won’t be considered for championship events from 2018 to 2022 “absent any change” in House Bill 2, which it views as discrimination.

Click here to read more.

How Utah Keeps the American Dream Alive

BloombergView – There’s no getting around it: For a girl raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Salt Lake City is a very weird place.

I went to Utah precisely because it’s weird. More specifically, because economic data suggest that modest Salt Lake City, population 192,672, does something that the rest of us seem to be struggling with: It helps people move upward from poverty. I went to Utah in search of the American Dream.

Columnists don’t talk as much as they used to about the American Dream. They’re more likely to talk about things like income mobility, income inequality, the Gini coefficient — sanitary, clinical terms. These are easier to quantify than a dream, but also less satisfying. We want money, yes, but we hunger even more deeply for something else: for possibility. It matters to Americans that someone born poor can retire rich. That possibility increasingly seems slimmer and slimmer in most of the nation, but in Utah, it’s still achievable.

Click here to read more.

Center for Medical Progress Video Investigation — Planned Parenthood Abortionist: ‘Pay Attention to Who’s in the Room’ When Verifying Signs of Life

Breitbart – A new video released by Center for Medical Progress (CMP) reveals a former Planned Parenthood abortionist allegedly discussing how she performs elective abortions on healthy unborn babies up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and the situation she encounters if a baby is aborted showing some signs of life.

Click here to read more and watch video.

Overnight Regulation

The Hill – THE BIG STORY

President Trump is doubling down on his promise to end the “war on coal.”

One day after Trump signed an executive order rolling back a handful of Obama-era climate regulations, the administration announced it is lifting coal-leasing restrictions.

The Hill’s Devin Henry has the story:

The Interior Department on Wednesday officially rolled back a major Obama administration coal initiative.

Secretary Ryan Zinke formally lifted the ban on new coal leasing on federal land, a policy shift that was one of the cornerstones of the climate and energy executive order that President Trump signed on Tuesday.

Interior also suspended a review of federal coal-leasing rates that the Obama administration and environmental activists had touted as a win-win for the climate and for taxpayers.

Throughout his campaign, Trump vowed to help coal miners by lifting Obama regulations on fossil fuel production.

For industry supporters, the coal moratorium was among the most egregious examples of Obama administration overreach.

The Interior Department, then led by Sally Jewell, paused the sale of new coal leases on federal land in 2016 and launched a review of the coal program.

Lifting the moratorium, industry supporters say, will help miners in Western states where there are large tracts of recoverable coal on public land.

Opponents of Zinke’s action say lifting the moratorium undermines the goals of Obama’s review by allowing the payment of royalty rates that are decades out of date.

The order, while fulfilling a key campaign promise from Trump, generated swift opposition from environmentalists and public lands supporters, who immediately sued over the order lifting the coal-leasing moratorium.

The groups say the in-depth study of the coal program was justified by science and by simple economic facts.

“Those facts caused the Obama administration to believe that reforms to the federal coal leasing program were warranted, and in fact they should consider whether to continue federal coal leasing altogether,” said Jenny Harbine, a staff attorney at Earthjustice, representing the groups. The plaintiffs on the suit include national organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity and local groups like the Montana Environmental Information Center.

“Secretary Zinke has to confront those same facts. Rather than confront them with science and reason, the Trump administration is confronting those facts with politics.”

Click here to read more.

NC House votes to allow guns in schools – but only during church services

News & Observer – Gun owners could bring weapons to church services held at school buildings under a bill that passed the N.C. House Monday night.

House Bill 174 would allow guns at K-12 schools used for church services – but only when no school-related activities are being held, and only for people with concealed handgun permits.
Rep. Rena Turner

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Rena Turner of Iredell County, successfully added an amendment to the bill Monday saying guns still wouldn’t be allowed at public school facilities “owned by a local board of education or county commission,” even if they were rented for a church service. Turner did not respond to an inquiry about the amendment Tuesday. She explained Monday her amendment would “clarify that if a school has posted that they don’t want guns on their property, they would follow that.”

Click here to read more.

North Carolina Bill Would Terminate Common Core Standards

The Tenth Amendment Center – A North Carolina House bill would withdraw the state from Common Core standards, an important step toward nullifying the program in the state.

A coalition of eight Representatives introduced House Bill 417 (H417), the Actually Get Rid of Common Core Act. The legislation would void Common Core standards and create a framework to establish state standards to replace them.

Under H417, Common Core standards would be replaced with proven educational standards that ranked near the top of the nation when they were originally in place. This will prevent any efforts to re-brand the standards after they are repealed. H417 reads, in part:

The State Board of Education…shall adopt a mathematics standard course of study that is consistent with the Minnesota K‑12 Academic Standards in Mathematics (2007) with any necessary revisions to meet the needs of North Carolina…

The State Board of Education…shall adopt the English language arts standard course of study that is set forth in An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework for American Public Schools: A Model (for use by any state or school district without charge), Professor Sandra Stotsky at the University of Arkansas, February 2013. The State Board may make the minimal revisions necessary to ensure the standards meet the needs of North Carolina.

Click here to read more.

National Poll: HB2 Does Not Deter Americans From Moving to North Carolina

RALEIGH – A national poll of U.S. voters conducted on behalf of the Civitas Institute finds 69 percent would consider moving or would definitely move to North Carolina. The poll also found that 70 percent said HB2 either would not factor into their decision or makes them more likely to move to North Carolina.

The full text of the relevant questions is below: Click here to read more.

Cash-only Medical Care Benefits From IRS Non-enforcement of ObamaCare Mandate

The New American – Following the issuance of President Trump’s executive order in January in which he ordered the Health and Human Services Department to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of [ObamaCare, or ACA] that would impose a financial burden on any State, or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families…” the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) responded last month:

The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden[s]. Consistent with that, the IRS has decided to make changes that would continue to allow electronic and paper returns to be accepted for processing in instances where a taxpayer doesn’t indicate their [health insurance] coverage status. [Emphasis added.]

This unheralded non-enforcement of the ObamaCare mandate not only spells the end of the government healthcare nightmare but is adding impetus to free market efforts to fill the void. The mandate was part of the “three-legged stool” upon which the failing government program was based. It forced individuals either to purchase health insurance, whether they wanted to or not, or else pay a penalty to the IRS. The IRS was the enforcement arm for ObamaCare.

Click here to read more.

No Government belongs in the Health Insurance business. Health Insurance should be a TRUE free market, meaning the only government involvement is a State Insurance Commissioner to make sure the customer gets what they pay for – nothing more or less, and make sure that the Insurance Companies offer policies and do business in our state based upon their solvency and ability to pay claims. Only a true open free market otherwise known as competition will lower the cost of Health Insurance and Care. – Fremont V Brown III

Lawmaker resurrects legislation with the goal of growing state’s business climate

Carolina Journal – Rep. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance, has resurrected legislation to create a task force to identify and eliminate regulations harming the state’s economic climate and stunting business growth.

The new legislation, House Bill 379, got unanimous approval vote in the House Regulatory Reform Committee on Tuesday morning. It passed with no debate, other than a technical amendment clarifying who would be co-chairmen of the Joint Legislative Task Force on Regulatory Reform.

Riddell said the previous bill passed in the House, and went to the Senate to die. That previous legislation, House Bill 760, never made it out of the Senate Commerce Committee after passing the House, 77-32, on a mostly party-line vote, with seven Democratic defections.

Other primary sponsors of the new bill are Reps. Chris Millis, R-Pender; John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg; and Brenden Jones, R-Columbus.

The task force would seek to eliminate ineffective or burdensome regulation, Riddell told committee members. The measure would streamline implementation, and reduce the cost of regulations, as well as add mechanisms to identify and review regulations that draw a high number of challenges or are misinterpreted more than others.

Click here to read more.

Certificate of need may be on the chopping block, again

Ralph Hise, Candidate for N.C. Senate 47
Carolina Journal – Hise bill would end regulations blocking new health facilities altogether; two other measures would phase out specific categories. Sen. Ralph Hise doesn’t take no for an answer.

The Mitchell County Republican was close last year but unsuccessful pushing a bill to eliminate the state’s archaic certificate-of-need system, which limits competition in health care through tight restrictions. He vowed to take another whack at the sweeping reform. Last week he introduced Senate Bill 324 to do just that.

“This should end all CON as it exists effective on passage,” said Hise, co-chairman of both the Senate committees on health care, and appropriations for health and human services.

“I definitely have more support for it than I did last year,” Hise said.

In conversations with House counterparts and medical provider stakeholders, “I have yet to find any that tell me the future of health care is government agencies determining the amount of health care services we can receive,” Hise said. Even the state Department of Health and Human Services, which administers CON oversight, has cut 86 CON rules.

But longstanding foes of reform are resisting.

Click here to read more.

Overnight Regulation: Trump signs order to undo Obama’s climate actions

The Hill – THE BIG STORIES

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to start rolling back President Obama’s climate change agenda.

As The Hill’s Timothy Cama reports, the most significant piece of the order instructs the EPA to formally consider repealing the Clean Power Plan, which orders a 32 percent cut in the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

The administration claims the order will increase the nation’s energy independence and create jobs in affected sectors and related industries.

“The President strongly believes that protecting the environment and promoting our economy are not mutually exclusive goals,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday. “This executive order will help to ensure that we have clean air and clean water without sacrificing economic growth and job creation.”

Environmental and public health groups, however, have challenged the claim that rolling back Obama policies will benefit energy independence or jobs.

“Right now, clean energy jobs already overwhelm dirty fuels in nearly every state across America, and that growth is only going to continue as clean energy keeps getting more affordable and accessible by the day,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said.

The American Lung Association has also vowed to oppose the order, citing its health effects.

“Implementing the Clean Power Plan alone would prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and 3,600 premature deaths every year once fully in place,” Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the organization said in a statement.

“Our nation needs these lifesaving protections. Ignoring climate change puts the health of millions of Americans at risk, and the longer our leaders delay climate action, the more the public will suffer the consequences.”

Click here to read more.

Lt. Governor Dan Forest Releases Statement on Recent Associated Press (AP) Analysis

Lt. Governor Dan Forest – “The recent economic forecast reported by the Associated Press has no basis in fact and is another attempt to mislead and confuse the public through a bogus headline. The AP’s figures are based off one person’s guess over a 12 year period. Over this same time period, according to all economic forecasts, our state will have a GDP of over $6 trillion. If even using the AP’s numbers as fact, the total “loss” would equate to 0.06%, meaning on overall impact of approximately one half of 1/10 of one 1%. And the percentage of GDP loss would only be that high if we had no more economic growth from now until 2029, which is absurd to say the least.

The economic arguments being propagated by media reports (like the AP) and pushed by outside groups are inflated, manipulated and contrary to any empirical evidence. For instance, in 2016 North Carolina ranked 4th in the nation for attracting and expanding businesses, ranked first in the South Atlantic region for drawing corporate facilities. The State’s hotel and motel occupancy went up 3.4% last year. Average hotel and motel room rates went up 3.6%. Tourism is up over 5.6% in 2016. NC is currently creating nearly 6,000 jobs per month.

It is a sad commentary on our media that outlets are willing to report on potential losses 12 years out, that are not based in fact but rather opinion, all while refusing to highlight the economic successes our state continues to experience.”

Explaining the healthcare bill situation.

From Congressman Dave Brat, a conservative and Vice-chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, but he is also a highly principled conservative and has a Ph.D. in economics.

The GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill was pulled by Speaker Ryan before it came up for a vote on Friday. No doubt, this is a disappointing setback in our goal to repeal the collapsing health care law. By now you have heard the radio pundits and read the press reports on the politics and the personalities that led to Friday’s outcome. When the focus shifts to politics instead of policy, it is important to go back to the fundamentals and revisit the facts at the center of the debate. I also want to reassure you that I remain committed to repealing Obamacare, and to making real (not false) progress toward that goal.

First, the politics. Much of the finger pointing has been directed at the House Freedom Caucus, with rhetoric like this: Its members are not willing to compromise, and cannot get to “yes” on anything. The response to this is very simple and true. Prior to this year, the House voted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times —when it was clear that President Obama would veto the bill. The problem we are facing is that some of the people who voted for repeal 50 times will not vote for repeal when it counts, when it is “our moment in time,” with Republicans in control of Congress and the presidency. It would stand to reason that if we truly want to pass a bill, to make good on our promise of the past 7 1/2 years to repeal and replace the broken law, we would put the same bill forward that already passed with near unanimous GOP support. That right there is the problem, that some are ducking for cover when the vote matters most, and so the blame game misses its mark.

Second, on the process issue, the Senate made it clear they would not take up this bill for another month. So, why the rush? The House leadership unveiled the plan to the full membership just three weeks ago, after releasing it in bullet points, and the plan itself had little resemblance to the bullet points. One of the earliest criticisms of Obamacare was that it was rushed into signing, with no transparency, memorialized by Nancy Pelosi’s famous line that “we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.” We do not need to recreate the mistakes of Obamacare. When you are dealing with a bill that impacts the lives of every American, and represents 1/6th of our economy, we need to take the time to get it right. And we’ve all seen what happens to bills in the US Senate; we are virtually guaranteed that after all of the deal-making the bill will be even weaker than it is currently. Several senators let me know that they expected that their chamber would actually gut the entire bill and send it back to the House for passage.

Third, on the policy. The GOP leadership’s bill included premium increases of 15 to 20% until 2020. That is not progress. While some were led to believe we were getting a repeal of Obamacare, this bill left in place the worst planks of Obamacare, the parts that drive up the cost of insurance. If you want to be able to shop for your health insurance, like you used to be able to, that was not in this bill. If you want your premiums to go down to where they used to be, that was not in this bill. If you are a young person who just wants to go out and buy a bare bones insurance plan that fits your life and needs, that was not in this bill. In fact, the federal bureaucracy would still be in charge of telling insurance companies how to do insurance, and that is the major problem. The federal government is doing insurance just like we had the federal government doing mortgages right before the financial collapse.

Last year I put forward a bill that expanded Health Savings Accounts that would give patients (consumers) more control over how they spend their healthcare dollars. Large HSAs are a positive piece to healthcare reform, when combined with a market-based system where people shop and compare prices for policies in a competitive market. The key point here is a competitive, transparently priced market where insurers compete for a customer base with plans for different needs. Instead, the GOP healthcare plan maintained a federally mandated product that is very expensive with huge deductibles. While people were no longer mandated to buy insurance, everyone who does purchase insurance would end up paying just as much as they are now, and prices would continue to rise.

That brings us to where we were on Friday. Members in various groups both moderate and conservative, were making very good progress negotiating with President Trump, who as a businessman understands the issues at play. We were on the verge of getting rid of the most price-inflating regulations but we ran out of time because an artificial deadline was imposed.

The artificial deadline was imposed because polling data showed only 17% approval for the bill from the American people as the replacement bill headed to the House floor. The day before the vote the calls into my office were 700 against and 100 calls for the bill.

My constituents are understandably confused as to how this could happen after they elected Republican majorities who campaigned on the promise to repeal Obamacare. It happened because this bill emerged the way DC has worked for years; the bill was crafted under cover in committee, with no discussion or input from groups with different ideas. There was no debate of competing bills anywhere along the process. Bottom line, the conservative members were left out of the drafting of the bill. In fact, the leadership team went so far as to say that “there is not a place for them to survive in this world”. I want to reiterate that point, it is a quote coming from our leadership team about the Conservative members in a Conservative conference in the Conservative party.

Truth of the matter is that far more moderates than conservatives were breaking away and voting no on this bill, yet somehow this point is never reported. It is always a blame game toward the conservatives in the conservative conference by leadership.

In summary, President Trump was left with legislation that was deeply flawed and would have hurt many Americans, especially senior citizens. I have said repeatedly through this process that, like you, I want President Trump and his agenda to succeed. If this bill that essentially embraced and replicated Obamacare would have passed, it would have weakened our president tremendously as the facts emerged about this bill both in policy terms and in political terms. And, it would have failed to bring real relief to Americans who deserve better. That is not progress.

Finally, when it comes to compromise, I will conclude where I started. Over the past seven years, Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare over 50 times and that should have been our baseline starting point; instead, we started from the basis of Obamcare-lite and then we were promised a couple of concessions. But free markets were nowhere to be found. In the end we were compromising beyond comprehension with President Trump on a bill that included the entire structure and architecture of Obamacare, with even my Democrat colleagues agreeing on that point. At present, Obamacare is in a death spiral because prices are increasing and revenues are going away. I am afraid that the logic of our own bill would replicate exactly that outcome in about two years. Under our own logic we would be heading for another death spiral and we could not allow that to happen to our president and to our party and to the people of this country.

When it is campaign season, everyone speaks like a conservative, but the truth becomes clear when it comes time to vote. The easiest way to sort out who really wants to repeal Obamacare is to put the 2015 bill up for a vote this week. If our party does what it says it wants to do, and follows through on the promises we have made to the American people, we can be done with Obamacare once and for all. And then we can get back to work on truly improving the health-care system, getting the federal government out of the insurance business, and making it possible for people to once again buy the low-premium coverage they prefer.

That would be real progress.

Sincerely,
Dave