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Entries in US Senate (1025)

Friday
Mar042011

Frist Portrait Unveiled At U.S. Capitol

 

Wednesday Karyn and I were honored to have my official portrait as Majority Leader unveiled at the U.S. Capitol. On a beautiful day in Washington, surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues in the historic Old Senate Chamber, we unveiled the portrait painted by our personal friend and nationally recognized artist Shane Neal.

We were all particularly honored to have President George W. Bush make remarks, and to have former Vice President Cheney and former Secretary Don Rumsfeld and his wife Joyce with us. Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell offered generous and kind words to top off the ceremony.

I also spoke briefly, thanking family and friends. My short message centered on the foundational philosophy of the citizen legislator, an idea my mentor and friend Majority Leader Howard Baker both embodied and promoted. Leaving the Senate and the Majority Leader position voluntarily, I do believe having fewer career politicians in Washington is the way to go and I know it would improve the worsening partisan rancor that sacrifices civility in our national discussions.

I pointed out that during the 50-year period between 1810 until 1859, during which the Old Senate Chamber was in use, 17 doctors were elected to the Senate. Contrast that to the half century of 1950 until 2000 there was only one doctor elected to the Senate, and that was me!

I was also proud to have a distinguished and sixth-generation Tennessean, Michael Shane Neal, paint the portrait that will now hang alongside so many historic figures in the Capitol. Shane has also painted portraits of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Senators Arthur Vandenburg and Robert Byrd (both in the Capitol) and most importantly our three sons Bryan, Jonathan and Harrison.

Finally, if you are reading this email, then I thank you for your generous support over all these years, without which we would never have made it to Washington. I hope you will continue to support me as together we strive together to heal disease, division, and difficulty in our world and improve K-12 education.

To read more about this proud day visit my website here and to see pictures of the event, visit me at "Senator Bill Frist" on Facebook.

Sincerely,

Senator Bill Frist, M.D.

Friday
Mar042011

ALG: 'Senate still faces the hard work' of passing House spending cuts (radio actualities included) 

March 3nd, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement on the enactment of a two-week continuing resolution containing $4 billion in spending cuts:

"Because the House did its job to keep the government funded and yet reining in spending, even modestly by $4 billion over two weeks, it has bought the Senate time to do their job.  Now Senate Democrats need to join House Republicans, who have already demonstrated their commitment to avoid a government shutdown by passing the continuing resolution for the remainder of the fiscal year with $61 billion of spending cuts. 

"Senate Democrats now face a choice: Accept the cuts, or shut down the government.  If it shuts down, it will be wholly the responsibility of Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats.  The fact is, Congress will need to cut at least that much to help rein in the nation's fiscal house and reduce the $1.65 trillion budget deficit." 

Attachments:

Bill Wilson sound bite 1: www.getliberty.org/files/Bill Wilson sound bite1.mp3

 

Bill Wilson sound bite 2: www.getliberty.org/files/Bill Wilson sound bite2.mp3



Wednesday
Feb162011

CEI - Testimony for Senate hearing on "green jobs and trade" 

 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today is holding a hearing on "Green Jobs and Trade."  CEI Senior Fellow Christopher C. Horner has submitted written testimony warning that the real-world experience of "green energy" is far different from claims made by its proponents.  Now, the US has an opportunity to avoid repeating the mistakes made by Europe, as Chris explains in his testimony and below.


Reality and Obama's Big Green Budget Boondoggle
 
News reports indicate (even if they often try to bury) that President Obama's supposed austerity moves include massive increases over already-inflated spending levels for 'green energy' boondoggles. These are very economically harmful.
 
To support this move, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, via its subcommittee chaired by the politically candid Bernard Sanders, will hold a hearing Tuesday afternoon touting 'Green Jobs and Trade'.

After I was first contacted about testifying I prepared remarks which, though I am not appearing, I have submitted. Someone has to say these things before we triple- or quadruple-down on the ethanol debacle, a mess from which we are unlikely to extricate ourselves even after the harm becomes known. That's what creating then richly feeding constituencies will do.
 
Below is a truncated version of points made in the opening and first section, 'China Syndrome' (with citations omitted). The remarks include other sections -- Not 'New', Not of 'the Future'; Green 'Census' Jobs and the Green-Jobs Bubble; The German Model; The Broader European Experience; Spain; Expensive Waste; and an appendix of Recent Developments in Other EU "Green Economy" Programs -- all of which you can read here:

The Committee today is considering the idea that the United States might become a world leading exporter of politically selected technologies and that this path might be blazed by mandating or otherwise expanding government (taxpayer) support schemes for those goods.

[E]xperience shows that this is highly unlikely, if very likely to cause great harm.
 
‘Green jobs’ generally refers to a series of support schemes ensuring more man-hours per unit of energy produced. That is, ensuring more expensive, less efficient energy. This has obvious economic impacts, none of them positive. That makes the recently coined argument that these schemes are actually, somehow, the way out of the economic downturn more curious.

Congress should view ‘green jobs’ as the new ‘shovel-ready jobs’. It simply is not as advertised.
 
Even strong supporters of these programs nonetheless say things like Harvard economist Edward L. Glaeser recently wrote in the New York Times, that "it always was a mistake to think that clean energy was going to be a jobs bonanza," and "We shouldn't pretend that cheaper solar energy will end up employing millions of our less-skilled citizens."

Then there is “Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy [who said China has] ‘won manufacturing… Game over, exit the stadium’”.
 
But do not worry. “[H]e said there are U.S. jobs in installing and maintaining solar panels in the United States.” That acknowledges that the U.S. will not somehow become a world leading exporter of renewables by mandating their use here, and indeed it belies the public sales pitch for massive 'green jobs' schemes. It does, however, reaffirm what scrutiny of even those studies claiming net job gain from green jobs schemes reveals: not only will they not replace lost jobs in America, they won’t replace the additional jobs their support schemes cause to be lost.
 
China Syndrome

About China, it seems that “The White House calculates that there is enough public anxiety about the U.S. slipping in competition with China, India and other emerging nations that voters could rally behind calls for investing in future growth.”
 
... China is not making solar panels for domestic installation, but in fact refuse to adopt the kind of scheme called for here to allegedly make us competitors with the Chinese in making them. So by making many but hardly using the machines, China proves the obvious: one need not mandate or force the use of something to be a leader in making and exporting them.
 
China therefore is [making the contraptions...] to satisfy western governments’ near obsession with politically dictated energy sources; their crash program into wind is largely driven by the same reasons. If western governments abandon this emphasis you will see China’s wind and solar industries largely if not entirely re-purposed in near-record time.
 
As the Scientific Alliance (UK) wrote in a recent update:
 
...China is taking the lead in the sense of using its low-cost manufacturing base to produce photovoltaic cells and wind turbines for highly subsidised markets in the West. European taxpayers are helping to expand the China’s manufacturing sector at the expense of their own, while China itself continues to invest heavily in coal-fired and nuclear power stations."

In fact, experience indicates that mandating their use here is one more harmful move making it ever less likely they will end up being made here, because of the higher cost of energy 'renewables' necessitate.
 
But to follow this argument and believe that we will win the supposed great windmill race, or become the world leader in making them, is to believe that my buying a million copies of Windows will make me Bill Gates.
 
The answer to the rhetorical question proffered by certain policymakers -- "do we want to buy all of our windmills and solar panels from China?” -- is not to mandate their use here. We will always find ourselves buying from the low-cost producer, and just as the Germans have discovered with solar, that will rarely if ever be us. The answer is instead to decide against mandating or coercing their use here in the first place.
Friday
Feb042011

ALG Condemns Senate for Voting to Uphold ObamaCare 

February 2nd, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement condemning the U.S. Senate for voting against the repeal of the government takeover of health care, 51-47:

 

"It's unfortunate that Senate Democrats are so far out of touch with the American people that not one of them chose to vote to repeal ObamaCare, which has already been found to be unconstitutional.  They may be in the majority of the Senate, but they are against the majority of Americans who are demanding that this law not stand."

Attachments:

"ObamaCare's Lies," Bill Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government, January 19th, 2011.

"Repealing ObamaCare a Good Start to Entitlement Reform," Robert Romano, Senior Editor, Americans for Limited Government, January 5th, 2011.

"ObamaCare Repeal Could Save $2.6 Trillion," Robert Romano, Senior Editor, Americans for Limited Government, January 10th, 2011.

Wednesday
Feb022011

ALG Urges Senate to Repeal ObamaCare 

"The American people have already spoken, and now the courts are rendering their verdict: ObamaCare will not stand."—ALG President Bill Wilson.

February 2nd, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today urged the U.S. Senate to repeal the government takeover of health care, calling it "an opportunity to correct the egregious error that was made when the bill was passed."

"Now that ObamaCare has been deemed unconstitutional in the Florida suit by federal Judge Roger Vinson, it is up to the Senate to do its part and repeal this abomination," Wilson declared.  "The American people have already spoken, and now the courts are rendering their verdict: ObamaCare will not stand."

A bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives has already repealed the health care law by a vote of 245 to 189.  3 House Democrats supported the bill.  A vote is expected this evening in the Senate.

With all 47 Senate Republicans set to vote to repeal, they need four Senate Democrat votes to get a majority.  But that will not be enough for the amendment to pass and get the bill to Barack Obama's desk.  Instead, it will take 60 votes to pass, meaning Senate Republicans need 13 Senate Democrats to cross the aisle.

"This will be a good test of whether Senate Democrats have listened to the will of the American people expressed overwhelmingly in the November elections," Wilson said.  "Will Senate Democrats reflect the majority, or reject it?"

A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports shows that 58 percent of voters want ObamaCare repealed, with only 38 percent opposed

Wilson called repeal "essential to bringing the nation's fiscal house into order," Wilson said.  "Once fully implemented, federal health care spending will increase $200 billion every year under ObamaCare.   At a time when we need to cut spending, the bill will only increase the debt by over $2 trillion with its unsustainable requirements."

Under current law, this decade the federal government will spend $11 trillion on health care subsidies, rising to over $20 trillion the decade after that.  "And that's if ObamaCare is repealed or overturned by the courts. If 32 to 90 million people are added under ObamaCare, it will be even more," Wilson noted.

"We're going to go broke paying for this," Wilson warned, concluding, "The Senate has a duty and an obligation to follow the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who are demanding that ObamaCare be repealed.  The American people will be watching."

Attachments:

"ObamaCare's Lies," Bill Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government, January 19th, 2011.

"Repealing ObamaCare a Good Start to Entitlement Reform," Robert Romano, Senior Editor, Americans for Limited Government, January 5th, 2011.

"ObamaCare Repeal Could Save $2.6 Trillion," Robert Romano, Senior Editor, Americans for Limited Government, January 10th, 2011.