Today in Liberty: Treasury Department halts Ex-Im deals with Russia, federal court grants D.C. a stay on gun rights ruling

“I am a libertarian with a small ‘l’ and a Republican with a capital ‘R’. And I am a Republican with a capital ‘R’ on grounds of expediency, not on principle.” — Milton Friedman

— Boehner dismisses Democrats’ impeachment “scam”: Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says that the talk of impeachment is a “scam” being pushed by Democrats to boost their fundraising numbers and motivate their base. “This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff — and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and show up in this year’s election,” said Boehner, according to the Washington Examiner. “We have no plans to impeach the president; we have no future plans. Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.” Between Friday and Monday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out at least 19 fundraising emails (see them here and here) referencing either the lawsuit that Boehner plans to file against the White House or impeachment. The DCCC sent four more on Tuesday, including one with “ⓘⓜⓟⓔⓐⓒⓗⓜⓔⓝⓣ” in the subject line. The White House, however, says that it won’t discourage Democrats from fundraising off the completely unserious threat of impeachment.

— Lawsuit resolution will hit the House floor today: H.Res. 676 the resolution that authorizes Speaker Boehner to sue President Obama for his executive overreaches, was approved by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday in a 7 to 4 vote and will be brought up for consideration by the full chamber at some point later today. While the resolution is expected to pass, there are going to be at least a few Republican defections, most notably Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), who told The Hill that it doesn’t go far enough. Jones, one of a handful of House Republicans who support impeachment, called the resolution “theater” and “a show.” “Why not impeach instead of wasting $1 million to $2 million of the taxpayers’ money?” said Jones. “If you’re serious about this, use what the founders of the Constitution gave us.”

— Rand Paul plans an early 2015 book release: And probably a presidential campaign decision. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told The Courier-Journal that he’s working on a new book that’s slated to come out early next year. The book’s release will likely coincide with an announcement about his 2016 plans. “Just coincidence, probably just coincidence, yeah,” Paul said about the timing of the book release and the announcement about his political future. Paul indicated that the yet-to-be-titled book will revolve around the changing political paradigms in the United States as well as public policy. “[A] lot of it,” he told the paper, “is about policy and about my approach to a variety of issues, and maybe the uniqueness of that approach.” Paul has taken up several issues that are outside the usual Republican box, including civil liberties and criminal justice reform, frequently reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats. This will be Paul’s third book. He’s also authored The Tea Party Goes to Washington (2011) and Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds (2012).

— Federal judge orders 90-day stay on D.C. gun ruling: The same federal judge who invalidated the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns has ordered a 90-day stay of his ruling to give lawmakers and police time to come up with a new policy. “Plaintiffs in the case, who include three D.C. residents who own guns, agreed to a 90-day stay so the rulemaking could occur. The stay will be in effect until Oct. 22,” The Washington Times reports. “Judge [Frederick] Scullin wrote in the order that he granted the stay based on the agreement by the two parties that ‘an immediate 90-day stay is appropriate to provide the city council with an opportunity to enact appropriate legislation consistent with the Court’s.’” The District requested the stay on Monday, and also indicated that an appeal of the ruling was possible. Scullin pushed back against an argument made by D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan, who, along with other gun control advocates, claims that the ruling didn’t just apply to handguns. “The only issue before the Court was whether the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public was unconstitutional,” Scullin wrote, according to The Times. “Thus, the Court’s injunction clearly applied only to handguns and not any other type of deadly dangerous weapon.”

— Surprise! Federal court ruling didn’t turn D.C. into the Wild West: But you wouldn’t know that from the fearmongering from gun control activists. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) went to the floor on Tuesday to explain that the District was actually safer because law-abiding citizens were able to protect themselves from those who would do them harm. “Three days ago, a federal judge struck down D.C.’s unconstitutional ban on the right to bear arms. D.C. went from having the most restrictive gun laws in the country to having virtually no restrictions on carrying a handgun in public. Did gun-toting tourists commence to shoot-outs? Did residents cower in their homes? Did vigilante posses maraud about the city? Did politicians revert to dueling at ten paces? No, none of these things are happening! History will show that the streets are safer today as more law-abiding residents and visitors are armed. Contrary to apocryphal warnings from D.C.’s leaders, no one is panicked — except for the city’s leaders!” Massie declared during a 1-minute speech on the House floor. “But why are the city’s leaders apoplectic and why are they asking for an immediate stay from the judge’s ruling? Because the emperor has no clothes and all of the lies about gun control are being exposed right here in the District of Columbia on day three.”

— Don’t believe what you hear about Kansas: The Left is trashing the tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS), which, they say, has led to spending cuts due to falling revenue and, by extension, hurt the state’s economy. But the slams against Brownback, who is facing pushback from more moderate Kansas Republicans, are misleading. “The chief economist of the Heritage Foundation, Stephen Moore…had an article in the Kansas City Star quoting Governor Brownback explaining that when looking at the Kansas jobs numbers, you have to distinguish between government jobs and private sector ones: ‘We’ve cut public-sector jobs by making government more efficient.’ As for private-sector job growth, ‘we’re second in the region last year behind only Oklahoma, which has an energy boom,’” Ira Stoll writes at Reason. “And, Moore points out, ‘In Kansas City, the growth has been much faster on the Kansas side of the border than the Missouri side.’” Stoll also points to a blog post by ATR’s Will Upton, who offers some data points that refute much of the criticisms being hurled at Brownback. “A significant budget surplus this year will alleviate much of the concern with the lower than expected revenue collections,” Upton explains. “Opponents of tax reform and spending interests want to try and write an early obituary for the Kansas tax reform. Unfortunately for them, the tax cuts are working and will continue to improve the Kansas economy for years to come.”

— Treasury Department halts Ex-Im’s deals with Russia: Looks like White House took a Republican’s advice. President Obama announced tough new sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime yesterday afternoon, which apparently includes the suspension of deals between the Export-Import Bank and Russia. This comes just days after House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) urged President Obama to take a tougher stand against Russia by ending the flow of subsidies from Ex-Im. “The President made the right decision,” said Hensarling in a press release. “There is no justifiable reason why the Export-Import Bank should be allowed to continue financing deals that benefit Russian companies, so I’m pleased the President took this action today that I suggested.” Hensarling, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, was notified by the Treasury Department.

— Ex-Im official takes the Fifth: Johnny Gutierrez, a former Ex-Im official accused of taking money from a Florida in exchange for help with financing, invoked his Fifth Amendment rights yesterday at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing on corruption at the Bank. “[W]hen asked by the subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, to deliver an opening statement, Gutierrez invoked his constitutional right against giving evidence that might be self-incriminating,” Politico notes. “Gutierrez declined to answer three of Jordan’s subsequent questions and was then dismissed by the Ohio Republican.” The subcommittee did, however, hear from Ex-Im Bank President Fred Hochberg and Diane Katz, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

— Obamacare Origination Clause case tossed out of federal court: A little more than a week after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in Halbig, a case that could pose a huge headache for the Obama administration, the same court dismissed another Obamacare challenge, this one dealing with the Origination Clause of the Constitution. “The legislation includes tax provisions but it was fundamentally a health bill, not a revenue bill, the three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. ruled. That means it falls outside the scope of the constitution’s Origination Clause,” Politico reports. “The bill that became Obamacare got its start in the House as legislation relating to tax credits for homebuyers. Using a fairly common procedure, the Senate gutted that bill, and replaced it with the health care law’s unrelated language.” The Origination Clause requires that revenue raising bills begin in the House of Representatives. Of course, the main structural feature of the law is the individual mandate, which, as the Supreme Court ruled in 2012, is a tax.

— Oklahoma asks a federal court to consider Obamacare architect’s comments: Oklahoma’s solicitor general has filed a legal brief (PDF) asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to take Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s January 2012 comments into consideration. The case, Oklahoma v. Sebelius, is similar to Halbig. Oklahoma argues that Gruber undermined the Obama administration’s claim that Congress intended for subsidies to be made available through the federal Obamacare Exchange. Thanks to Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) for tweeting out this link.

— “Peer production” could be huge for the economy if left alone by bureaucrats: A new study from the R Street Institute explains that the emerging “peer production” economy — think Lyft and Airbnb — could “add trillions of dollars to the economy of the next several decades,” making it important for policymakers to back off. “[T]he development of these new modes of doing business has been threatened by legislators and regulators – particularly on the state and local level – who in too many cases attempt to apply regulatory models developed in an earlier era to the individuals and small firms that are innovating through peer production,” write Andrew Moylan and R.J. Lehmann in the study, Five Principles for Regulating the Peer Production Economy. “These actions do little to protect consumers, but rather they prevent innovative ideas from coming to market and keep potential service providers sidelined.” Moylan and Lehmann say that policymakers “should consider the risk of ‘government failure’” and regulate with a “light hand” to prevent suppressing this emerging part of the economy.

— GOP’s attitude on gay marriage is changing: The Hill has a solid story up this morning on the changing attitude in the Republican Party on the issue of gay marriage. In short, feelings on the issue aren’t as toxic as they once were, though there’s still a lot of work that has to be done.

The Hill’s “50 Most Beautiful”: So, The Hill released its annual “50 Most Beautiful” list. The list is mostly people who work on the Capitol Hill, D.C. politics, and the media. But we noticed that Rand Paul, commentator S.E. Cupp, RNC deputy communications director Raffi Williams, and Heather Murphy from Texas Republican Kevin Brady’s office made the list. Paul congratulated Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on also making the list and, then, this happened.

Other stories we’re reading this morning:

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