April 16, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

A Call to Action: Conservatives and Climate | Commentary

As Republicans, we know that our party’s foundation — built on fiscal conservatism, strong national security and family values — brings together Americans from diverse backgrounds. So it’s no surprise that we don’t always agree on every issue.

Intimidating the IRS and Protecting 'Dark Money' Groups | Commentary

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision so radically changed the rules of our country’s political process that updating the 50-year-old IRS regulations governing 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations has jumped from long overdue to critically important. The announcement that the IRS would finally launch a rule-making to update those regulations is welcome news. While the initial IRS proposal clearly needs work, the Campaign Legal Center is actively participating in the regulatory process to significantly improve it. But the efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, R-Mich., are way off base when they attempt to paint the process as a partisan witch hunt.

The President's Strained Argument for Privilege | Commentary

The long-standing dispute between Congress and the White House over the botched Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-running program called “Fast and Furious” has entered a new stage. Currently the matter is before the D.C. District Court where the House of Representatives and Department of Justice are at loggerheads over President Barack Obama’s executive privilege claim to conceal various documents from Congress.

A Bipartisan Solution to Improve American Innovation | Commentary

Contrary to popular belief, Congress could enact bipartisan legislation on behalf of American innovators and businesses — reforms to our patent system are one such example.

Bipartisan Road Map for Protecting and Encouraging American Innovation | Commentary

Throughout our nation’s history, great ideas have powered our economic prosperity and security, from the Industrial Revolution to the Internet age. Safeguarding those great ideas were so important to our Founding Fathers that they included patent protection in the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution charges Congress with overseeing a patent system to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.”

Reining in Nuke Spending the Smart Way | Commentary

Budget belt tightening seems to apply to everything but nuclear weapons. Basic necessities for United States citizens struggle to find funding, while the nuclear weapons budget is insulated from fiscal reality.

New House Chemicals Bill Angers Cancer Survivors | Commentary

I am an 18-year survivor of congenital pediatric brain cancer. I was given six months to live when I was a 21-year-old college senior. I lost most of my friends. I lost my career as a concert pianist. I lost my fertility. I lost my dignity. I lost my identity. And I struggled for almost a decade to find a place for myself in this world.

D.C. Vs. Hollywood — Our Washington Vs. Theirs | Commentary

Washington and Hollywood have had an uneven love affair over the years, but currently it’s enjoying a smoking hot revival! Capitol Hill staffers joined millions outside the Beltway in binge-watching the frothy “House of Cards.” But even as we collectively obsess over these fictional accounts of D.C., it’s worth considering how the show impacts or even drives our deepening cynicism about American politics. “House of Cards” lead actor Kevin Spacey further blurred the lines between perception and reality when he said in an interview, “Some people feel that 99 percent of the show is accurate.”

Maintaining Quality and Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act | Commentary

The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act provides Congress with an ideal opportunity to streamline and clarify the relationship between the federal government and accreditation, higher education’s primary means of assuring and improving quality.

Opposition to Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Is Clearly Bipartisan | Commentary

In their letter “It’s Time to Finish Ike’s Memorial,” retired Gen. P.X. Kelley and Frank Fahrenkopf assert that the Eisenhower Memorial controversy has become a “partisan and ideological sideshow.” Oddly, they never say which parties and ideologies are involved.

Congress Has Sufficient Legislative Tools to Defend Itself | Commentary

The House Judiciary Committee has held several hearings critical of President Barack Obama for acting in a manner that some members of Congress regard as a violation of his constitutional duty to see that the laws are faithfully carried out. One legislative remedy is HR 3857 (the Enforce the Take Care Clause Act). It would authorize either chamber of Congress, with a 60 percent majority, to file a lawsuit to compel the president to execute a law. The bill covers the promulgation of an agency regulation, issuance of an executive order and a presidential signing statement.

Allow a Vote on Iran Sanctions | Commentary

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine proved once again that the world is a very dangerous place. While the Obama administration continues to respond to this crisis, America cannot afford for the president to take his eye off the ball on a pressing issue of national security: Iran’s illicit nuclear program.

Obama's Actions Could Put HIV Patients at Risk | Commentary

The Affordable Care Act was heralded by many, including my organization, The AIDS Institute, as a major step in improving the U.S. health care system. While we remain firmly committed to it, two aspects of its implementation have fallen short of our high expectations. Recent actions by the Obama administration can potentially erode patients’ ability to obtain medications and limit access to health care for many of the nation’s sickest and most in-need, including people with HIV and AIDS.

Current Mental-Health Resources Fail Our Heroes | Commentary

Each day, nearly 22 former servicemen and servicewomen commit suicide.

Consider the Potential for Abuse | Commentary

In 1792, when charged with enforcing an unpopular tax on whiskey in the face of rebellion, President George Washington noted in a letter to Alexander Hamilton, “It is my duty to see the Laws executed: to permit them to be trampled upon with impunity would be repugnant to” that duty.

Don't Undercut Successful Medicare Advantage Program | Commentary

At a time of transition in health care coverage across our country, it is important that seniors and people with disabilities retain the health care coverage on which so many of them depend: Medicare Advantage.

Tackling the 2.5 Million Jobs Lost in the Affordable Care Act | Commentary

The best kind of problem is one you can solve before it’s too big to handle, and it’s not often Congress is afforded the ability to do just that. In this case, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, the Affordable Care Act will result in 2.5 million fewer full-time jobs by 2024. Fortunately, the CBO’s report also alludes to a possible change that would mitigate this problem — employer mandate relief by returning to the traditional definition of 40 hours a week for full-time work in the Affordable Care Act.

Moving Forward on E-Waste Management | Commentary

Three years ago, a dozen leading consumer electronics companies collaborated to create the “Billion Pound Challenge.” The goal: recycle one billion pounds of electronic devices annually, enough to fill an entire NFL stadium. As of last April, the industry was more than halfway to its original goal, with 585 million pounds responsibly recycled — up from 300 million pounds in 2010. But now a patchwork of state rules mandating recycling is inadvertently complicating this effort to reach our billion-pound stretch goal.

When Great Ideas Go Wrong: How the EPA's New Fuel Shipping Standard Hurts the Environment and Economy | Commentary

There’s at least one law that’s universally familiar in Washington: the law of unintended consequences. It describes how a proposed solution can end up creating new problems. And it perfectly explains how a new, well-intentioned but poorly designed EPA policy meant to improve coastal air quality actually achieves the opposite, meaning more pollution, more traffic congestion and higher transportation costs. Fortunately, it’s not too late to make some sensible changes to everyone’s benefit, and we’ll explain how in our Tuesday testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

The Time Is Now for Free-Trade Agreements | Commentary

Acrimony has become one of Washington’s defining characteristics. For almost the entirety of President Obama’s tenure, the legislative and executive branches have been at bitter odds, failing to seize big moments and enact legislation of great substance. Unfortunately, unless someone steps forward, another opportunity could soon be lost, this time, to pass free trade agreements with allies in Europe and Asia that will open markets with nearly one billion customers to American employees and employers.

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