Legislative Lowdown

Cut, Cap and Balance 2013

Cut, Cap and Balance 2013

Cut, Cap and Balance 2013

The House Republican Study Committee (RSC) has put out a budget for Fiscal Year 2013 as a supplement to the Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) budget. The RSC budget, (H. Con. Res. 113), cuts discretionary spending to $931 billion next year and freezes all discretionary spending until the budget balances in five years.

This budget was crafted by RSC Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) as a way to keep defense spending strong while cutting waste in the non-defense discretionary portion of the budget. There are other strong elements in the RSC plan. It flattens the tax code, transitions Medicare to a premium support system and raises the retirement age for Social Security.

Armed pilots

Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) is circulating a letter to double the funding for the armed pilots program, also known as the Federal Flight Deck Officer program (FFDO), to $50.5 million next year. This higher level of funding will accommodate the current backlog in applications to enter the program. The Obama administration is intent on killing off the program, both because of a gun-grabbing mentality and an institutional hostility to the idea of deputizing pilots to protect the cockpit from a 9/11-style terrorist attack.

Rep. Cravaack increases funding in a fiscally responsible way by offsetting new spending with cuts in Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) bloated Screening Technology Maintenance and Screener accounts.

Cravaack writes in a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that “the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program serves as the last line of defense in the event of a terrorist attack on the cockpit of an airplane.” This cost-effective program, an estimated $15 per flight, needs to be preserved against the wishes of Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. We need to secure our commercial airlines against the use of an aircraft as a weapon of mass destruction.

Farewell to HUMAN EVENTS

Over the last four years, I have enjoyed writing a weekly column for a publication that has been defending conservatism since 1944: HUMAN EVENTS.

It has been a pleasure to write for President Reagan’s favorite conservative paper and the granddaddy of journalistic conservatism. And it has been an honor to have President and Editor-in-Chief Tom Winter and Editor-at-Large Allan Ryskind as mentors. They have helped me to become a better writer and a thoughtful conservative.

I will forever treasure my time writing for the paper named after the opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of HUMAN EVENTS, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I have had some great experiences while representing HUMAN EVENTS in media interviews. I appeared with Editor-at-Large Jason Mattera on conservative Eric Bolling’s “Follow the Money” show for a few months on Fox Business. Jason is a future conservative star.

I am proud of my column “Conservatives stalk Congress,” that discussed the leadership of Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) a few weeks ago. I wrote about “Obama’s Secret Plan to Pass ObamaCare” and how he had a complicated plan to ram it though Congress. Rush Limbaugh read a version of this column on his show.

In September 2009, I wrote “Thank You, President Obama,” professing my love for President Obama as the “best organizer of conservatives since Ronald Reagan.” Thanks, buddy. You helped create the Tea Party that you hate so much.

I also hit Republicans when they went squishy. In “Republican Socialism,” I praised Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) for pledging to block the Bush administration’s proposal to grant Treasury and the Fed vast powers to bail out the mistakes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I quoted Bunning as saying at a hearing, “When I picked up my newspaper yesterday, I thought I woke up in France. But no, it turns out socialism is alive and well in America.” A month later the TARP bailout of Wall Street was supported by both parties.

Thank you to HUMAN EVENTS for hosting my fulminations over the past few years.

Editor’s Note: Thanks so much, Brian, for all your much-appreciated regular contributions over the past four years and we look forward to future essays from you for HUMAN EVENTS.

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