Joe Manchin

Senators announce opposition to Obama-backed U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) faces a nearly impossible road to ratification after half of the United States Senate reiterated their opposition to the measure in a letter to President Barack Obama.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and signed by 50 senators, meticulously explained the reasons for opposition, including the lack of consensus at the U.N. and weak recognition of the lawful use of firearms.

“[T]he treaty was adopted by a procedure which violates a red line laid down by your own administration. In October 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the U.S. supported the negotiation of the treaty only by ‘the rule of consensus decision-making,’” noted the senators in the letter to President Obama.

“But in April 2013, after the treaty failed to achieve consensus, it was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly,” the senators wrote. “We fear that this reversal has done grave damage to the diplomatic credibility of the United States.”

President Obama supports the treaty, which was signed last month by Secretary of State John Kerry. Many Second Amendment supporters believe that the treaty will serve as a backdoor for gun control regulations, including gun registration, as a provision of the measure requires countries to track gun ownership of small arms to the “end user.”

The senators noted that the treaty’s lack recognition of lawful ownership and tracking requirements played a factor in their opposition.

Gun Control Push Could Hurt Senate Democrats in 2014

guns

Tom Knighton already touched on the new Washington Post/Pew Research poll showing that not even a majority of Americans express disappointment or anger for the Senate failing to enact the Manchin-Toomey amendment. In fact, the only group that is disappointed in failing to expand background checks is Democrats. A plurality of independents — 48%, to be exact — and 51% of Republicans describe themselves as “very happy” or “relieved” that the measure failed to pass.

As Chris Cillizza concludes, President Barack Obama “wound up losing the message fight over the gun legislation.” Of course, this is what happens when you waste political capital, as President Obama and the White House did, on an issue that only 4% of Americans really care about.

“Rather than a conversation centered on widely-popular measures supported by members of both parties,” he explained, “the debate — at least as people perceived it — became a wider referendum on the proper place for guns in society.”

WV Senate: Another questionable poll from Public Policy Polling

If you’ve been following the race for United States Senate in West Virginia between Gov. Joe Manchin and John Raese, you’ve probably heard about the latest poll from Public Policy Polling that shows:

  • Manchin: 50%
  • Raese: 44%
  • Undecided: 6%

The problem here is, once again, the details of the polling. Below is the party ID breakdown from the last four public polls for which the information is available.

As you can see, there is reason to take this poll with a grain of salt, much like the last poll that Public Policy Polling produced in this race. To believe this, you would have to believe that the Democratic Party’s base is motivated within the state to levels in hasn’t been within the last three cycles.

The debate over Ex-Im is a decisive moment for conservatives: Democrats are feverishly working to save the crony Bank

As usual, Washington is trying to play politics instead of looking at the long-term consequences of bad policies, putting what they see as the most appropriate short-term solution ahead of what would, in the long run, provide a more just scenario to business owners across the board, while relieving taxpayers in the process.

The debate surrounding the Export-Import Bank could represent a decisive moment for small-government Republicans who oppose corporate welfare, considering their anti-cronyism positions have been adamantly opposed to what the Democrats consider being “pro-business.”

The two parties have their own solutions to the Ex-Im Bank.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has introduced a proposal legislation that would keep the Export-Import Bank running for five more years. His bill, however, would increase the bank’s borrowing capacities, making it effectively capable of loaning more subsidies to major companies that, obviously, need absolutely no help to do their business abroad, especially if that help comes from hard working taxpayers. The transfer of subsidies, and favoritism games play extremely important roles in the process, and that does not seem to faze the Democrat – or his supporters.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for an instance, has come out in support of the bank.

Senate Democrat to IRS commissioner: “No taxes, no bonuses”

Responding to an internal watchdog report finding the IRS gave bonuses to workers who haven’t paid their taxes, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) fired off a letter to Commissioner John Koskinen demanding that the agency take immediate action to rescind the bonuses.

“I am appalled by the findings outlined in the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s recent report that exposes millions of dollars in bonuses and awards paid to Internal Revenue Service employees with conduct issues and federal tax compliance problems,” Manchin wrote to Koskinen. “This is completely unacceptable and must be remedied immediately.”

The TITGA report found that bonuses totaling $2.8 million were IRS employees with disciplinary issues between 2011 and 2012. This includes more than $1 million to workers with outstanding tax issues.

Koskinen was only recently appointed to serve as IRS commissioner. The bonuses came under Douglas Shulman, who served as the agency’s commissioner from March 2008 to November 2012. It was also on Shulman’s watch when the agency targeted conservative groups.

“The faith of the American people in the integrity of their government is corroded every time gross negligence and indecency of this sort comes to light,” said Manchin. “How can we expect the American people—many of whom are struggling to make ends meet—to trust their government when they learn that the very agency charged with collecting their tax dollars is rewarding employees who haven’t paid theirs?”

Senate Democrat blasts Reid’s anti-Koch brothers rhetoric

Joe Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) isn’t all that fond of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) vicious attacks against Charles and David Koch, billionaire brothers who donate to conservative and libertarian causes.

“It’s us in the middle that have to start making something happen here in Washington to move this country forward. People want jobs. You don’t beat up people,” Manchin said this morning on Fox and Friends. “I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but you know, they’re Americans who are paying their taxes. They’re not breaking the law. They’re providing jobs.”

Manchin, who hails from a red state, has frequently bucked from Democratic leadership on big issues, including further energy regulation and certain aspects of Obamacare. Reid, however, has tried to demonize the Koch brothers from the Senate floor, using them as part of the Democratic Party’s election year strategy to change the subject to anything other than the unpopular healthcare law and the still struggling economy.

Democratic Senator: Delay Obamacare until 2015

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is frustrated with the Obama administration because of its proclivity for delaying politically inconvenient parts of Obamacare, the latest of which is the delay of the employer mandate. He’s ready to delay the entire law until 2015, according to Betsy Woodruff of National Review:

As he was headed to the Democratic caucus lunch yesterday, Senator Joe Manchin had strong words about the president’s extension of the employer mandate deadline.

“You’re just picking and choosing,” the West Virginia Democrat said of the administration’s decision. “First it’s basically the large employers, then it’s medium groups, then it’s 50 to 100 — medium-sized. If there’s a problem, there’s a problem.”

He said there’s bipartisan support for legislation postponing the implementation of the entirety of the Affordable Care Act until 2015.

“We’re sure in a transition period and they keep changing the dates,” the senator said, frustrated. “So I wish everyone would come to grips.”

Manchin, a red state Democrat who frequently breaks with his party, had previously expressed support for a one-year delay of the individual mandate, on of Obamacare’s most unpopular provisions. The West Virginia Democrat, however, has voted against attempts to repeal or defund the law.

Today in Liberty: Senators want congressional approval of Afghan missions, gun rights could surface again at SCOTUS

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism….The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom, and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.” — Ronald Reagan

— Senators to rollout resolution on future Afghanistan missions: A bipartisan group of senators will hold a press conference today at 11 am in the Senate Radio/Television Gallery to discuss the introduction of a measure that would require congressional approval for military missions in Afghanistan after 2014. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) appears to be the primary sponsor of the resolution, but he will be joined at the presser by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Rand Paul (R-KY).

— House GOP backs down from debt ceiling demands: House Republican leaders don’t have enough support in their conference to try to get concessions from the White House in exchange for a debt ceiling increase. The admission comes a day after key House conservatives urged Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to avoid debt ceiling “theater” and pass a clean bill.

Ads promoting Obamacare don’t mention individual mandate

If you were watching television or listening to the radio, both before and after the launch of the state and federal Obamacare exchanges, you may have noticed the ads promoting the law. These 30-second ads featured positive imagery of families and people doing fun activities and placed heavy emphasis on getting covered.

What you won’t hear in these ads is any mention of the individual mandate, the provision in Obamacare that requires virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance coverage. That’s something The New York Times recently noticed:

The state and federal health insurance exchanges are using all manner of humor and happy talk to sell the Affordable Care Act’s products. But the one part of the new system that they are not quick to trumpet is the financial penalty that Americans will face if they fail to buy insurance.

On state exchange websites, mention of the penalty is typically tucked away under “frequently asked questions,” if it appears at all. Television and print ads usually skip the issue, and operators of exchange telephone banks are instructed to discuss it only if asked. The federal website, now infamous for its glitches, mentions the penalty but also calls it a fee, or an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment. …

70% of voters support individual mandate delay

The problems with the federal Obamacare exchange website have driven even more Americans to back a one year delay of the individual mandate, a controversial provision of the law that requires virtually all Americans to purchase health insurance coverage.


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