Dave Camp

IRS Re-Finalizes Regulations Forcing Obamacare Subsidies on Federal Exchanges

Seemingly in response to this letter from Chairmans Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Dave Camp (R-MI) on January 29 to the Treasury and IRS, on February 1, the IRS again finalized the Obamacare subsidy regulations that flagrantly deviate from the statutory authority.  This issue continues to simmer relatively under the radar since I last wrote about it in August. To refresh everyone’s memory, Obamacare’s core redistributionist provisions are its refundable premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies available for individuals to purchase coverage on state exchanges starting in 2014.  The credits will be available to anyone with annual income under 400% of the federal poverty line who isn’t covered under an employer-sponsored plan.  To put that in perspective, a family of four today earning up to $92,200 per year would be eligible for the credits.

Federal Exchanges Excluded
Here’s the kicker: Obamacare specifically limits these credits and subsidies to individuals who purchase coverage on an exchange established by the state.  Below is the actual, unambiguous provision from PPACA [emphasis added]:

“Super Committee” members named

All of the Members of Congress that will serve on the so-called “Super Committee,” the group created as part of the debt deal between the White House and Congress to find $1.5 trillion in “deficit reduction” in the coming months, have been made public:

The top Republicans in the House and the Senate appointed six more lawmakers on Wednesday to the bipartisan committee that is supposed to recommend steps to reduce federal budget deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

Speaker John A. Boehner chose three senior Republican House members: Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and Dave Camp and Fred Upton, both of Michigan.

Mr. Hensarling, who is chairman of the House Republican Conference, will be co-chairman of the new panel, along with Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington.

The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, chose Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona, Rob Portman of Ohio and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania for the 12-member panel.

As noted, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who hasn’t been one to restrain spending, was named by Senate Majority Harry Reid. She will serve with Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Max Baucus (D-MT). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named her picks today:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has selected Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) for the so-called “supercommittee” on Thursday.

Whoa: Disgraced ex-IRS official Lois Lerner really, really hates conservatives

The House Ways and Means Committee is out with a new bombshell revelation in its investigation of disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner. Turns out that she believes the “our own crazies” are worse than “alien teRrorists” (sic).

The Committee released email correspondence between Lerner and another IRS employee (PDF), whose name has been reacted. What started as a discussion about mundane stuff turned into a rant from the unnamed employee against the “wacko wing of the GOP,” “right wing radio shows” and their “rabid” callers. Lerner lamented that “[m]aybe we are through if there are that many assholes.”

“So we don’t need to worry about alien teRrorists (sic),” Lerner says in one of the emails. “It’s our own crazies that will take us down.”

Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) fired off a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder (PDF) urging that he “begin aggressively investigating” the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

“Despite the serious investigation and evidence this Committee has undertaken into the IRS’s targeting of individuals for their beliefs, there is no indication that DOJ is taking this matter seriously,” Camp said in a press release. “In light of this new information, I hope DOJ will aggressively pursue this case and finally appoint a special counsel, so the full truth can be revealed and justice is served.”

House committee to seek criminal charges against Lois Lerner

The House Ways and Means Committee will ask the Justice Department to pursue a criminal case against Lois Lerner, the disgraced ex-IRS official at the center of congressional inquiries into the agency’s targeting of conservative groups:

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says investigators have uncovered evidence that a former Internal Revenue Service official may have committed crimes as part of the agency’s tea party controversy.

 

Rep. Dave Camp set a committee vote for Wednesday on whether to refer Lois Lerner, who used to head the agency’s tax-exempt division, to the Justice Department “for possible criminal prosecution.”

Camp, R-Mich., did not specify which laws Lerner may have broken.
[…]
If the committee votes to refer Lerner to the Justice Department, the committee is expected to make the referral public.

This is separate from the contempt vote that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold on Thursday. That resolution was made available this morning by the Washington Post.

Today in Liberty: Neocons are gunning for Rand Paul, Big Labor protests Heritage Foundation

“I follow a set of principles. I follow the Constitution. And that’s what I base my votes on; limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty.” — Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)

— April Fools: Not to take away anybody’s fun, but be careful what you link to, retweet, and like on Facebook today. There’s a good chance that it’s a joke. Don’t be the guy with derp all over his face. That said, we’ve already seen one pretty funny fake news story this morning.

— Obama administration claims original enrollment target in sight: Officials are saying that the Obamacare enrollment could hit the 7 million target, the original projection made by the Congressional Budget Office and touted by the administration. “According to the report, the goal was ‘in sight’ after consumers flooded the federal website and phone system in the final hours of open enrollment,” The Hill notes. “Hitting seven million enrollments would be a major symbolic achievement for the White House after the opening months of the ObamaCare exchanges were plagued by technical glitches that prevented many consumers from completing an application.” We’ll have more on this later today, but the paid numbers matter more than sign-ups. So even if the administration hits the 7 million figure, immediately subtract 20%.

Kathleen Sebelius may have lied about paid Obamacare enrollments

Not only is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius under fire for yet another Obamacare delay — this time an extension of the open enrollment period — when she said there wouldn’t be anymore delays, she may have lied about her department’s ability to shine light on paid enrollees.

When she appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee last week, Sebelius told members that the administration could not produce the number of paid Obamacare enrollees. But Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) believe that she may have not been telling the truth:

Administration officials have repeatedly said they’re not able to break down enrollees by who has made a payment because they only have access to information about those selecting plans on the HealthCare.gov website, as consumers are expected to pay the insurers directly after enrolling.

Sebelius reiterated that claim in her March 12 testimony to the House panel.

But Camp (R-Mich.) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) say they have uncovered “new evidence” that “strongly suggests that the administration knows who has enrolled and paid their first month’s premium.”

Obama tacitly approves of proposed IRS regulations with veto threat

The White House has threatened to veto a measure that would temporarily delay proposed regulations under consideration by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that would ostensibly legitimatize and institutionalize its targeting of conservative groups.

The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865), proposed last month by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), would halt the IRS from implementing the guidance for one year. The measure has the support of more than 55 conservative groups — including Americans for Tax Reform, Campaign for Liberty, Heritage Action, and the National Taxpayers Union.

Through a policy statement released on Monday, the White House relied its threat to veto the measure, laying the path for the IRS to do as it pleases.

“The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3865, which would prohibit the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from clarifying the standards that organizations must satisfy to qualify for tax-exempt status,” the White House wrote in the statement. “Under current law, organizations qualify as tax-exempt organizations ‘operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare’ if they are primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people.”

Today in Liberty: Arizona governor vetoes SB 1062, GOP targets violent video games

“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” — Calvin Coolidge

— Arizona governor vetoes religious liberty bill: Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) vetoed the controversial SB 1062, a measure that would have allowed religious business owners to refuse to serve gay customers. “To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” Brewer said. “However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.” Brewer also said that she had “not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.” Measures similar to Arizona’s SB 1062 are currently being debated in several states, including Georgia, Kansas, and Missouri.

Former IRS Officer Drafted Secret Regulations Restricting Non-Profits in 2012

After President Barack Obama defended his administration’s handling of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservatives, an email sent from Treasury official Ruth Madrigal to then IRS official Lois Lerner obtained by the House Committee on Ways and Means, indicated the former official’s intentions to change 501(c)(4) regulations without disclosing the move.

The “off-plan” to which the email referred to was planned in 2012, while conservative groups were being directly targeted by the IRS. According to The Daily Caller, the rules thought out by Lerner restrict the political activity of conservative groups by keeping non-profit associations from being free to participate in several political activities.  The “off-plan” changed what the IRS sees as “candidate-related political activity,” placing previously acceptable activities like voter registration drives under the political activity category, thus not recommended for 501(c)(4)’s.

Ways and Means chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) had harsh words regarding Lois Lerner and her off-the-record plan during the House committee meeting that disclosed the contents of the email.

House Republican seeks to halt pending IRS guidance

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) has introduced legislation that would temporarily halt the Internal Revenue Service from finalizing proposed guidance that would legitimatize and institutionalize the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the issuance of proposed guidance for organizations seeking tax-exempt status. The proposed rules would define “candidate-related political activity” and exclude groups that engage in this activity from receiving non-profit status and require them to disclose donors.

Camp, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, questioned the motivation behind the rules, noting that a congressional inquiry into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups is not yet complete.

“Despite the Administration’s insistence that ‘there’s nothing to see here,’ the Committee has found evidence demonstrating that right-leaning groups were targeted to an extent far beyond what was reported by the Inspector General,” said Camp in a statement.

“Our investigation is still ongoing and the Committee has not received all the requested documents,” he said. “It is premature to publish new rules before getting all of the facts.

Camp said that the proposed guidance would target groups exercising their First Amendment rights.

“We cannot allow these draft regulations to go into effect. Congress must make sure every American’s right to participate and engage in civic debate is protected, and this legislation will provide some much-needed assurance that IRS targeting and surveillance will not continue,” he added.


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