House Republicans are heaping pressure on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to become their next Speaker after the strong favorite for the position stunned Washington by exiting the race.Now that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has bowed out, a growing number of House Republicans are arguing that the Ways and Means chairman is the only person capable of uniting a GOP conference that has been badly fractured for years.“Paul Ryan is the only eligible candidate,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a frequent critic of the House’s conservative wing who had backed McCarthy for Speaker.The push to draft Ryan is coming from the top. McCarthy told National Review that he wanted Ryan to run the House, and the Washington Post has reported that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has called on the Wisconsin Republican to be his replacement.
President Barack Obama is considering using an executive order to impose new background-check requirements on people buying guns from high-volume dealers, The Washington Post reports.The change would require dealers who go over a certain number of sales per year to have a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and do background checks people attempting to buy guns from them.Obama has been unsuccessful with his efforts to toughen gun laws as he deals with a Republican Congress. He signed 23 executive orders in 2013, months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. He plans the new effort in the wake of the Umpqua Community College killings last week in Oregon.
After House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suddenly dropped out of the race to replace John Boehner as House speaker, speculation immediately began on who would now emerge.Here are 7 potential candidates on the radar as Speakers-in-waiting or future candidates for the top job.1. REP. TOM PRICE, R-Ga.Price was one of the two Republicans vying to succeed McCarthy as majority leader. He had gotten a major boost toward that opening with the endorsements of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas. A physician and former state legislator from Georgia, Price is considered one of his party’s best spokesmen on health care. He earned high marks on the right as chairman of House GOP Study Committee and Policy Committee and now as Budget Committee chairman. More than a few conservatives privately say that they could have lived with McCarthy as speaker if swashbuckling conservative and tea party favorite Price is next in line in the GOP hierarchy. Could that mean Price slides right to the top?
Dear Mr. Masters:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the federal budget and efforts to reduce the size of government. I appreciate your comments and share your frustration with Washington’s inability to restrain spending.
As you may know, following its adoption by the House of Representatives on April 30, 2015, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res. 11) by a 51-48 vote on May 5, 2015. This budget provides the necessary framework to curtail spending by $5.2 trillion over 10 years, does not call for higher taxes and also balances the federal budget. It instills fiscal discipline in federal spending and provides Congress an opportunity to send a bill repealing Obamacare to the President’s desk. Passing a budget is one of our fundamental duties as elected public officials and I am glad that, for the first time in six years, the House of Representative and the Senate were able to agree on a budget.
Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked numerous attempts to consider appropriation bills and forced Congress to pass another short-term funding measure. In order to avert a government shutdown, which would have created further uncertainty and instability in the economy, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Continuing Appropriations bill (H.R. 719) that funds the discretionary operations of the federal government through December 11, 2015. H.R. 719 passed the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Obama on September 30, 2015. I am dedicated to returning the Senate to regular order and will continue to support consideration of appropriation bills before the current funding authority expires.
Like you, I am worried about how excessive government spending and regulations dampen job creation, and I am determined to implement the spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms needed to secure the long-term fiscal integrity of our country. With record deficits and more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities hanging over us, our toughest fiscal decisions cannot be postponed any longer. Our national debt exceeds $18 trillion—making it larger than our entire economy—and it has increased by more than 70 percent since the beginning of the Obama Administration. In 2014, the federal government spent more than $28,800 per household and borrowed almost 14 cents of every dollar we spent. Every dollar borrowed today means higher taxes tomorrow. At a time when Texans are tightening their belts, Congress must reign in Washington’s runaway spending.
I recognize the importance of funding programs that support our national defense, protect our borders, and care for our veterans. But if we do not reduce spending and reform Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security we will strangle economic growth, destroy jobs, and reduce our standard of living.
To remedy our government’s spending problems, I support adding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution. I am a cosponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 6 (S.J. Res. 6) that would require the federal government to balance its budget each year. In addition, S.J. Res. 6 would require a supermajority vote to increase taxes and the debt limit. Last Congress, I also cosponsored the Dollar-for-Dollar Deficit Reduction Act (S. 43), which would have required any debt limit increase to include an equal amount of spending cuts. Families across Texas have to balance their budgets and make tough choices to live within their means. There is no reason Washington should operate any differently. The American people want fiscal discipline, and the Balanced Budget Amendment and the Dollar-for-Dollar Deficit Reduction Act would deliver it. You may be certain that I will keep hardworking taxpayers in mind as I fight to curb excessive government spending in the 114th Congress.
I am honored to represent Texas in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
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Something about the gun debate brings out the worst in politicians. On both sides.Last week, President Obama, exuding his usual certainty, put forth this definitive declaration: “We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths.”No, Mr. President we do not know that at all. Some states with almost no gun restrictions, places like New Hampshire and Utah, have very few gun murders. Meanwhile, Maryland and the District of Columbia, with ultra-tough gun laws, are killing fields.The same is true with nations as a whole. In Switzerland, where guns are plentiful, killings are rare. There is essentially no correlation between gun laws and violence. Statisticians have tried mightily to find correlation and causation, but simply can not.Of course, there is one undeniable correlation: Demanding ‘common sense’ gun legislation leads directly to a corresponding increase in self-righteousness. Or is it the other way around?
We all knew this was coming. Hillary Clinton unveiling her new gun control policies, which included the holy grail of liberal proposals–expanding background checks. Yet, she isn’t just going to throw policies out there for progressives to munch on; she’s threatening to use executive action to get some of them enacted (via AP): Her campaign rolled out a robust set of proposals Monday, including using executive action as president to expand background check requirements. Under current federal law, such checks are not required for sales made at gun shows or over the Internet. Clinton pledged to require anyone “attempting to sell a significant number of guns” to be considered a firearms dealer, and therefore need a federal license. She did not say how many gun sales would constitute a “significant” number. Efforts to require such comprehensive background checks have failed several times in recent years in Congress, where Republican leaders have shown no willingness to even hold votes on efforts to curb access to guns. Clinton’s attempt to circumvent staunch opposition would likely spark legal challenges from gun advocates, as well as from Republicans sure to question whether a president has the authority to act directly. Clinton also said she would support a law to expand the definition of domestic abusers barred from buying guns. She also wants to prohibit retailers from selling guns to people with incomplete background checks, as happened in the June case of a man accused of killing nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Clinton proposed repealing legislation that shields gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers of firearms from most liability suits, including in cases of mass shootings.
Is anyone in the Republican party paying any attention to the pitch-forked anger and contempt that voters are expressing toward Washington? The Donald Trump phenomenon is nothing if not a voice of protest by conservatives against the broken promises by the GOP leadership and their unwillingness to stand up to Obama’s imperial presidency. Here we go again. While all of the attention in Washington is on a potential showdown between Barack Obama and the congressional Republicans on Planned Parenthood funding, what’s gone unnoticed is a scheme to bust through the budget caps. This would be the third time Congress has busted through the spending ceilings in four years and to do so again would be another capitulation to the White House on the budget. Those budget caps, and the enforcement mechanism of across the board spending cuts called “sequestration,” were enacted as part of the Budget Control Act. This was the deal between Obama and the Speaker John Boehner to get the budget deficit down from its towering height of $1.5 trillion.
Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, two key nominating states and general election battlegrounds, have had quite a lot of exposure to Hillary Clinton through campaign rallies, meet-and-greets, and millions of dollars in television advertising. Democrat-leaners in the two early states have’t been impressed; self-described Socialist Bernie Sanders has inexorably gained on her on Iowa, and has led in every major New Hampshire survey since August. NBC News is out with fresh polling data from the Hawkeye and Granite States that may stir additional consternation in Democratic circles. Iowa:
Oregon Shooting: Umpqua Community College Gunman Talked Religion,” NBC News claims in the headline for a story about Thursday’s shooting in Roseburg, Oregon. Of course the headline is misleading, to say the least. The gunman, 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer, didn’t bring a Bible to Umpqua Community College; he brought three handguns and a semi-automatic rifle. He didn’t talk about his religious beliefs; he asked who was Christian and shot in the head those who said they were while shooting others in the legs. Yet, if the only thing we knew about the tragic event was the NBC News headline, we could be forgiven for concluding that the gunman was a religous zealot as opposed to an anti-Christian hater.As reported by numerous survivors of the murderous rampage, Harper-Mercer sought out Christians in order to murder them. Bodhi Looney, the grandson of a woman who escaped injury in the mayhem but who witnessed the shooter barking orders to his unarmed victims, relayed what she saw on his Twitter account:The shooter was lining up people and asking if they were Christian. If they said yes, then there were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs.
Andrew Kehoe was a farmer living in Bath, Michigan. A member of the school board and the town clerk, on May 18, 1927 he orchestrated a plot to dynamite the Bath Consolidated School, killing thirty-seven children. He killed himself in a second explosion aimed at the school’s superintendent. Kehoe’s act was one of the largest school-related mass murders in US history.
Edgar Allan Poe Elementary School
Priscilla Joyce Ford (February 10, 1929 – January 29, 2005) was a mass murderer who was sentenced to death for killing six people, and injuring 23 more, driving down a Reno sidewalk on Thanksgiving Day in 1980. She had schizophrenia. Ford launched numerous appeals against her death sentence, all of which failed. A heavy smoker, she died at the age of 75 after suffering from emphysema.
On March 13, 2014, a drunk driver, Rashad Charjuan Owens, drove his car into a crowd of festival attendees while trying to evade a traffic stop. Two people were killed immediately, another two died later from their injuries and another 21 were injured but survived. Owens was charged with capital murder and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. He was tried on May 8, 2015.
A Rialto man accused of killing two tourists and injuring 12 others on the Las Vegas Strip told police he steered his car into the crowd on the sidewalk because they were staring at him like demons.
Stephen Michael Ressa, 27, told police he saw people with their hands in their pockets and thought they might be armed with guns, according to an arrest report obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
The Hartford circus fire, which occurred on July 6, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, was one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States. The fire occurred during an afternoon performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that was attended by 6,000 to 8,000 people. More than 165 people died  and more than 700 were injured.
A fire broke out at Our Lady of the Angels School shortly before classes were to be dismissed on Monday, December 1, 1958, in the basement near the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, Illinois. The elementary school was operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and had an enrollment of approximately 1600 students. A total of 92 pupils and 3 nuns ultimately died when smoke, heat, fire, and toxic gasses cut off their normal means of escape through corridors and stairways. Many more were injured when they jumped from second-floor windows which, because the building had an English basement, were nearly as high as a third floor would be on level ground (c. 25 ft.).
The disaster was the lead headline story in American, Canadian, and European newspapers. Pope John XXIII sent his condolences from the Vatican in Rome. The severity of the fire shocked the nation and surprised educational administrators of both public and private schools. The disaster led to major improvements in standards for school design and fire safety codes.
The Happy Land fire was an arson fire that killed 87 people trapped in an unlicensed social club named “Happy Land”, at 1959 Southern Boulevard in the West Farms section of the Bronx in New York City on March 25, 1990. Most of the victims were young Hondurans celebrating Carnival. Unemployed Cuban refugee Julio González, whose former girlfriend was employed at the club, was arrested soon afterward and ultimately convicted of arson and murder.
John “Jack” Gilbert Graham (January 23, 1932 – January 11, 1957) was a mass murderer who killed his mother and 43 other people by planting a dynamite bomb in his mother’s suitcase that was traveling with her aboard United Airlines Flight 629. Graham’s apparent motive for the bombing was to claim $37,500 worth of life insurance money from policies he purchased in the airport terminal just before the aircraft’s departure.
Continental Airlines Flight 11, registration N70775, was a Boeing 707 aircraft which exploded in the vicinity of Centerville, Iowa, while en route from O’Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois, to Kansas City, Missouri, on May 22, 1962. The aircraft crashed in a clover field near Unionville, in Putnam County, Missouri, killing all 45 crew and passengers on board. The investigation determined the cause of the crash was a suicide bombing committed as insurance fraud.
National Airlines Flight 2511 was a domestic passenger flight from New York City, New York to Miami, Florida that exploded in midair on January 6, 1960. The National Airlines Douglas DC-6 was carrying five crew and 29 passengers, all of whom perished. The Civil Aeronautics Board investigation concluded that the plane was brought down by a dynamite bomb. No criminal charges were ever filed, nor was the blame for the bombing ever determined, though a suicide bombing is suspected. The investigation remains open today.
On January 26, 2005, Álvarez parked his gasoline-soaked sport-utility vehicle on the tracks and waited for a southbound Metrolink commuter train. At the approach of the train, allegedly unable to move his vehicle from the tracks, he exited, apparently abandoning a suicide attempt, and observed the train colliding with his SUV (causing the train to derail) from a safe distance. The derailed train then hit a Union Pacific Railroad freight train parked on a siding, as well as a northbound Metrolink train on the third track. The collision left 11 people dead and nearly 200 injured.