House Republicans elected Luke Messer to serve as GOP Policy Committee chairman. The Indiana lawmaker beat out Republicans Tom Reed of New York and Rob Woodall of Georgia. Messer won the chairmanship by a vote of 137 to 90 and will begin work as chairman when Congress reconvenes in January. Messer won the three-man race over Rep. Tom Reed on the second ballot. Woodall lost out in the first round. Woodall’s last-place finish eliminated him, and most of his 61 supporters swung to Messer to give him the second-ballot win. The position is the fifth-ranking majority leadership post, and gives Messer a seat in meetings of the House GOP’s inner circle.
Messer, 45, has served as president of his GOP freshman class and had been the first of the three candidates to announce he was running for the policy job. He had emphasized that he wanted to use the position to help lawmakers produce and advance legislation. What kind of legislation? Reportedly, Messer said the bill lawmakers are voting on this week to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is a “great start” to advancing an agenda that will help working families. He also wants to make changes to the Affordable Care Act while working toward repeal.
Here are some bills Messer has sponsored:
H.R.668 : To amend section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, to require that annual budget submissions of the President to Congress provide an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit, and for other purposes. This bill reflects the mistaken notion that every citizen has a personal share of the national debt–patent nonsense. an idea also promoted by Rep. Tom Reed.
H.R.1013 : Discretionary Spending Reduction Act. CRS Summary: Discretionary Spending Reduction Act – Makes 1% across-the-board rescissions in discretionary spending for FY2013-FY2014. This bill would cut spending without regard for the consequences reflecting the false idea that government spending is necessarily harmful.
H.R.2443 : Safeguarding Children Harmed by Obamacare’s Onerous Levies Act. Safeguarding Children Harmed by Obamacare’s Onerous Levies Act – CRS Summary: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from the definition of “applicable large employer” for purposes of the employer mandate to provide health care coverage for employees: (1) any elementary or secondary school, (2) any for-profit school which would be an elementary or secondary school if it were nonprofit, (3) any state or local educational agency, and (4) any institution of higher education (other than institutions outside of the United States). Would chip away at the Affordable Health Care act by excluding schools, including private, for profit, schools–sweet.
H.AMDT.658 to H.R.10 Amendment requires State entities applying for Charter School Program grant funds to explain how they will work with eligible applicants within the State to encourage the opening, replication, and expansion of secondary charter schools. Agreed to by voice vote. So much for leaving education to the states, a notion the GOP supports only when it suits them.
Reportedly, Messer says with Republicans now controlling both houses of Congress, it‘s essential that the party offer a positive agenda, and says the Republican Policy Committee will be a key part of that effort. Yet there is a little hope of a positive agenda from the backward branch of the GOP.
© William Hungerford – November 2014