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Press Release: Sali says Micron Job Losses, Stock Market Plunge Require Immediate Attention by Congress

October 9th, 2008 by Halli

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Congressman Bill Sali today said Congress should return to work right away and pass legislation that will really help the economy and restore confidence in the credit and stock markets.

“Idaho and the rest of our country are in the middle of very rough economic times. The announcement by Micron that it will cut its workforce is evidence of that. The stock market freefall is evidence of that. My staff has already been in touch with Micron officials to discuss what we can do to help the company and its employees to weather the storm.

“Clearly the Micron job losses and today’s continued global stock sell-off are evidence that the $700 billion bailout passed by Congress is not the right medicine to solve our economic problems. What I want is for Congress to reconvene right away and take up legislation that will actually help solve the problem. There are plenty of good ideas that Congress refused to look at before leaving town last week. Those ideas deserve a full consideration as soon as possible. The time for action is now,” said Sali.

Sali is the author and co-sponsor of bills pending in Congress that would provide new solutions to our current economic crisis. Sali introduced HR 7269, which would shield investors who buy troubled assets from paying taxes on those assets. The bill says those assets would have to be purchased before Jan. 1, 2009, encouraging investors buy those mortgages and mortgage-related securities and to hold onto those investments to for at least a year.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Family Matters, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Press Release: Sali Votes Against Bailout II

October 3rd, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the second time this week, Congressman Bill Sali cast a vote against a $700 billion taxpayer-funded economic bailout.

H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, passed by a vote of 263-171 and is now headed to President Bush, who is expected to sign the bill into law. Sali released this statement after the vote:

“These are urgent times that demand wise and decisive action. The notion that Congress must do ‘something’ cannot be substituted for the obligation for Congress to do the right thing. This bill was not the right prescription to fix our current credit crisis and I could not support this landmark and terribly mistaken legislation.

“Today, Congress told taxpayers that their own, their children’s and their grandchildren’s future would be mortgaged for perhaps $700 billion because some businesses made bad investment decisions. Even if this bailout works, it will fundamentally and forever change the relationship between government and the private sector and will open the door to more and riskier financial decisions. Unfortunately it seems much more certain that this bailout will not work and generations of Americans will pay for this colossal mistake.

“The notion that the final price tag will be less than $700 billion assumes that our economy will grow and that the bundled mortgaged backed securities contain way more good than bad. The truth is no one has an answer to either of those questions. We just don’t have any idea what the final cost will be. Congress does need to take action to stabilize the financial markets, but this bill is not the right action.

“Unfortunately, the credit crunch being felt by businesses and individuals- if it does get solved by this plan- will almost certainly take months or years to work through under this legislation. It does not appear that it will provide the quick injection of capital needed by our banks today. They need more help and faster than this bill will provide.

“While I have supported and voted for many of the tax breaks and the aid to rural counties that were tacked onto the bailout package, that action did not ‘sweeten’ the bill. The fact that ‘sweeteners’ had to be added is a tacit admission that this bill is not the right remedy for our financial problems. This bill provides more evidence that Congress needs to reform the way it does business and stop combining bills that won’t pass with those certain to pass to get a desired result. Those tax breaks and support for rural counties are necessary and should have passed a long time ago. Instead they were used as political bargaining chips to help win the passage of bad public policy. For that, shame on Congress.

“Other alternatives must be considered, and real market incentives need to be put in place. That is why I introduced legislation today to provide tax incentives to those who will purchase mortgages and mortgage backed securities. Providing real market driven solutions will not only help a shaky economic environment, but will stimulate our economy,” said the Congressman. “No matter how much bailout we provide, we must have a growing economy if we want a prosperous future.”

Sali also expressed deep disappointment that the bill was a step backwards for Idaho’s rural communities, stripping out permanent authorization for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT). PILT payments are made to rural counties that contain nontaxable federal lands and are used by those counties to provide vital local services such as transportation and public safety. Many Idaho communities consist largely of publicly managed lands and these Idaho communities received more than $16 million in fiscal year 2008. The bill language provides mandatory funding of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) through 2012, but amends prior law to permanently repeal the PILT program.

“Spending must be reined in and our national debt reduced, and today’s vote proves that the time for these things to begin is now. Prior to this financial crisis the federal debt stood at $10.1 trillion, including over $500 billion of deficit spending in the fiscal year that ended last Tuesday. Today Congress proposes to add another 700 billion to that already staggering amount,” said Sali.

“When the prior bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns and AIG are added, the price tag for taxpayers goes over $1 trillion. It is ill-conceived to suggest that a problem caused by irresponsible borrowing of money can be cured by more irresponsible borrowing from our children and grandchildren,” concluded Sali.

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Press Release: Sali Votes Against $700 Billion Bailout Plan

September 29th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After repeated meetings with White House and Treasury officials, financial experts and colleagues, Congressman Bill Sali joined a bipartisan majority of lawmakers to defeat a bill that would have used $700 billion in taxpayer money to bailout Wall Street investors who made bad investment choices.

“The American people have spoken loud and clear and, for a change, their voices were heard,” said Sali. “Now it’s up to Congress to come up with a real solution to our financial and economic problems. We need a solution that does not jeopardize taxpayers and doesn’t change the relationship of the government with businesses. I’m working with a bipartisan coalition of legislators to put that plan together, and I am confident that with we will be successful. Thankfully, advocates of today’s failed legislation were unsuccessful in convincing a majority of House members that a massive bail out is the only course of action to take.”

“This measure would have exploded our national debt by hundreds of billions of dollars and yet it fails to address the underlying problems that gave rise to our current financial woes,” said Sali.

The Congressman also noted that the defeated measure would have put the federal government in the unconstitutional position of being an investor in major financial firms. “Once we start down this road, we establish the precedent of putting Uncle Sam in the position of choosing winners and losers in the private sector, and that marks a complete departure from our incredibly productive private market-based economy,” said Sali. “We need to do the right thing for our kids and our grandkids. This plan didn’t get us there.”

Sali said he believes Congress needs to provide solutions to get the credit markets settled down and should work immediately to create a business climate that is conducive to long-term economic growth.

“If you look at the airlines, they’re not failing because of the credit crisis. They’re failing because of the energy crisis. We need to do some things to grow the economy. We need to get an energy plan that includes more American crude oil exploration and production. We need to lower taxes. And we need to eliminate cumbersome federal regulations,” Sali said.

Toi help solve the credit crisis, Sali has advocated reducing or eliminating certain taxes for private investors who buy troubled investments and is working with other Members of Congress to implement the recommendations of William Isaac, the former chairman of the FDIC, into legislation. Isaac’s proposals would stabilize the banking industry by solving the credit crunch that banks are feeling. That is something the Paulson plan failed to do.

Among Isaac’s suggestions:

* Congress should act quickly to give the FDIC authority to use “net worth certificates” similar to what was enacted in the 1980s for the savings and loan industry. This will give banks with troubled assets – that are otherwise sound – time to resolve these assets and will not require any subsidy or cash outlay by the taxpayers.
* The SEC should immidiately rescind its rules requiring use of mark-to-market rules for as long as there is no meaningful market for mortgage-backed securities. In the interim, fair value accounting should be used.
* The FDIC should use its existing authority to protect all general creditors in bank failures during the period of instability. This will help avaoid any runs on banks.

“Bill Isaac is on the right track, and in our rush to address this issue we are ignoring the wise counsel he and others are providing. We are moving too fast and in the wrong direction with this vote,” Sali concluded.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | 1 Comment »

Sali: President’s Speech Did Not Answer Key Questions

September 24th, 2008 by Halli

(Eds: Congressman Sali is scheduled to appear on the “Money for Breakfast” program on the Fox Business Network on Thursday morning.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Bill Sali released this statement after President Bush’s speech to the nation on the current financial crisis:

“Over the past eight years President Bush has succeeded in enacting substantial tax reduction policies that have helped generate tremendous economic growth. While there have been naysayers, our experience has proven him correct. Unfortunately, this time, the naysayers are not his political opponents, but a nearly unanimous American public. Their essential question is legitimate: If the ‘troubled investments’ are not good for the markets, how can they be good for taxpayers? I don’t believe the President said anything tonight that addressed that fundamental question.

“To complicate matters, Congress is deeply divided on what to do and perhaps even whether anything even needs to be done. Every member of Congress has received the full spectrum of opinion from banks, CEO’s and other experts. The President said nothing tonight that was different from – or any more persuasive than – what Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke have been saying for the last week. The President’s speech may have the unintended effect of actually further dividing Congress.

“What is now fairly the President’s plan would give unprecedented reach of the federal government into the private sector. It would cost the taxpayers untold hundreds of billions of dollars. As has been expressed by the Treasury department the $700 billion dollar figure is more conjectural than firm.

“At a time when our national debt is well over $9 trillion, Americans are right to resist encumbering their families and companies they work for with vast new debt. In my view the President had already lost this battle for public sentiment long before he went on the air tonight.

“If Chairman Bernanke, Secretary Paulson and now the President are ultimately proven right by the collapse of our financial markets, the public will hold them all to blame for their failure to lead in a manner and in a timeframe that could have headed off that collapse. May God spare us from that tragedy. In the mean time I will continue to work with other members of Congrees to find creative, market-oriented solutions that will stabilize our financial system and encourage investor confidence.”

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Guest Post: Left Beginning to Concede Sali Race?

September 23rd, 2008 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Polling data done for the uber-left Daily Kos website shows Rep. Bill Sali up over his challenger Walt Minnick by a 46%-35% margin. These are discouraging numbers for the left, for the poll was taken after Minnick had done extensive and expensive advertising and before Sali had aired his first television commercial. Sali’s advantage is well outside the poll’s margin of error (4.5%).

The Democrats realize that this election, Sali’s first re-election bid, likely represents their best and perhaps last chance to unseat the staunch conservative. If Sali wins this election, he likely can stay in Washington, D.C. as long as he wants to, a dismal prospect for the big government, higher taxes crowd.

Even the Kos is forced to admit sadly that the polling data “suggests Sali has the better odds” and that the race for Minnick “remains uphill.” The results, says the Kos, also may reflect the Palin effect, whose choice as Sen. McCain’s running mate “has the potential to reinvigorate” Sali’s supporters.

RealClearPolitics says the polling data suggests that “Idaho Rep. Bill Sali could be cruising toward a second” term. RealClear notes that party strategists in D.C. are giving Minnick an “inordinate amount of attention,” but suggests that their optimism about Minnick’s chances “may be a case of irrational exuberance.”

It goes without saying that both campaigns will run full tilt, as they both must and should, right up until Nov. 4. But the polling results will certainly energize Sali supporters for the remaining weeks of the campaign and be dispiriting to the Minnick camp.

Senate race

The senatorial race appears to be leaning decisively in Lt. Gov. Jim Risch’s direction. The Kos poll puts Risch at 56%, Democratic challenger Larry LaRocco at 33% and independent Rex Rammell at 3%. (An August poll conducted by Greg Smith and Associates showed Rammell’s support at 10%). Risch’s favorables are quite high, with 68% of Idahoans sharing a “favorable” or “very favorable” view of him, while LaRocco’s unfavorables are an alarmingly high 55%.

Presidential race

In the presidential race, McCain leads Obama by a huge 62%-33% margin, which the Kos says is an indication that “Palin has definitely fired up the wingnut base in Idaho.” The fact that the Kos calls 62% of Idahoans “wingnuts” when they in fact represent the view of mainstream Gem Staters is simply a reflection of how out of alignment the left is with ordinary American and Idaho values.

The bottom line analysis of Idaho races (including Sali’s) by the Kos: “Our guess is that the margins soften a little between here and November. But we don’t see at this point what would change them dramatically.”

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Press Release: Sali Votes for Second Amendment Bill – Measure Advances to Senate

September 18th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Idaho Congressman Bill Sali voted today in support of a bipartisan bill, containing language which he cosponsored, that reaffirms the Second Amendment rights of Washington, D.C. residents and, thereby, all Americans. The measure passed the House 266-152 and now moves to the Senate for further action.

“This is a victory not only for the law-abiding citizens of the nation’s capital but for all Americans,” Sali said. “An injustice for the residents of D.C. truly is an injustice for our whole country, and today’s vote sends a strong message that the Congress of the United States will take action to uphold the Second Amendment of our Constitution. And it is especially fitting that on Constitution Day, Congress has taken a step to defend the Constitution and the rights guaranteed by that great document 221 years ago.

“At the same time, it is a shame it literally takes an act of Congress to get the Washington, D.C. City Council to do the right thing and follow the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the clear meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The District of Columbia’s continued ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment and disregards the court’s ruling,” said Sali.

The House passed a rewritten version of H.R. 6842, the National Capital Security and Safety Act. The text of that bill was replaced with the text of H.R. 6691, the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, a bill Sali cosponsored.

Provisions in H.R. 6691 include:
Repeal D.C. ban on semiautomatic pistols
Restore right of self-defense at home by repealing the draconian trigger lock requirements
Reform registration requirements
Allow D.C. residents to purchase handguns

“After 30 years, it’s time for Washington, D.C. residents to have the same rights that Idahoans enjoy – the ability to protect their families, homes and property, as well to participate in hunting and other recreational shooting activities,” Sali concluded.

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Press Release: Sali – Rhetoric Won’t Relieve Idahoans Pain at the Pump

September 17th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Bill Sali today criticized House Democrats for passing sham energy legislation that does nothing to provide relief to Americans hit hard by high fuel prices.

Less than 24 hours after the nearly 300-page bill was filed, the House considered H.R. 6899, the inaccurately-named Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act.

“Under the guise of a comprehensive plan, the Democrats today offered no solutions to increase American production of oil. The Democrats claims they will open up the Offshore Continental Shelf to oil and natural gas production but they do exactly the opposite. This bill will lock up all but 2.7 percent of oil resources off the West Coast,” said Sali.

“One of the biggest issues for the folks back home is the price of gas at the pump and the cost of food whose production and distribution is energy-dependent. This phony energy bill does nothing to lower that price. Just like Grape Nuts cereal is neither grapes nor nuts, this legislation is neither comprehensive nor does it protect consumers.

“People in Idaho and across this country are tired of rhetoric and tired of Congress failing to get its job done. Gas to drive the kids to school and extracurricular activities doesn’t magically appear in gas pumps. We fuel our cars and trucks and heat our homes and businesses because hard working men and women take risks, drill for oil, refine it, store it, ship it and then sell it to individual consumers. We need more of it – a lot more – now.

“The Democrats ‘no-energy’ bill claims to help Americans but in reality, highlights of this bill include no expansion of nuclear power, no development of clean coal and coal-to-liquid technologies, no oil shale exploration, no new refineries and no lawsuit reforms,” Sali concluded.

Sali submitted three amendments to the Rules committee for consideration during debate today. But the Democrats decided that no amendments would be allowed during debate on their bill.

“We have been shut out of this process today and even with amendments piled a foot high the Democrats refused to take a vote on any of them,” said Sali.

Sali submitted the following three amendments:
The Family Energy Relief Act (FERA) of 2008 which will provide American taxpayers with a tax credit of $1,000 for couples, $500 for individuals and $250 per dependent.
Two year funding (2008 and 2009) of Secure Rural Schools, which Congress has yet to pass even though the funding is vital for Idaho’s rural schools, highway districts and counties.
Education funding for science and technology. As a policy we must maintain the human capital needed to preserve and foster the economic, energy, and mineral resources security of the United States. The Science and Technology programs that produce human capital needed for the energy and mineral resources security of the United States are national assets and shall be assisted with Federal funds to ensure their continued health and existence.
“It’s time to make things right with the American people. Congress got us into this mess and it’s high time we acted to address this energy crisis head on. We need all the energy we can get from every source possible. America demands a real energy solution and this bill is not that it,” concluded Sali.

H.R. 6899 passed by a vote of 236-189 and now awaits action in the Senate.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, National Sovereignty, Presidential Politics, Taxes | 1 Comment »

Press Release: 110th Congress in review – Sali Keeps Fiscal Responsibility Promises to Idahoans

September 16th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new report issued by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) says Congressman Bill Sali has voted against more than a trillion dollars in spending while still supporting the nation’s military and veterans.

Sali requested the CRS report as a way of evaluating the fiscal affect of House Appropriations legislation during the 110th Congress. The report says that Sali has voted against $1.16 trillion in federal appropriations spending, while voting for $835 billion in appropriations for defense, military construction and America’s veterans.

“Two years ago I pledged to my constituents that I would vote against bloated federal spending. I’ve taken each spending request one at a time, trying to vote based on what’s best for our kids and grandkids. I had no idea that, totaled up, those ‘no’ votes would be more than a trillion dollars,” said Sali. “If we’re ever going to end deficit spending and balance the budget, we’re going to have to make tough choices, and that means voting no on out-of-control spending by Congress.”

The first bill Sali co-sponsored after taking office in 2007 was H.J.Res 1, the Balanced Budget Amendment.

“The national debt is over nine trillion dollars an estimated increase of more than $600 billion this year. It is immoral to saddle our children and grandchildren with the kind of debt. They will have no real hope of paying it off in their lifetimes. What’s worse, the spending priorities in Congress are totally out of whack. Too much of that debt was wasted on bloated programs that just don’t deliver the kind of results we would want. Having seen first-hand the way Washington mismanages the taxpayers’ money, my commitment to reigning in federal spending is even stronger than it was when I took the oath of office in January 2007. My votes will continue to reflect Idaho values that oppose big government, wasteful spending and the higher taxes and deficit spending used to pay for it all,” said the Congressman.

“In truth, some of the appropriations bills I have opposed contain spending that I would support. But they include problem spending that are just waste and poorly managed and duplicative programs. We can’t just keep passing spending bills that reflect no serious effort to restrain spending and bring the budget into balance,” Sali concluded.

Sali’s fiscal leadership has been recognized by many groups. Sali has been named a Taxpayer Hero by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste in recognition for his votes against wasteful government programs and spending. This Congress Sali’s spending consciousness has also been praised by the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Taxpayers Union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Tax Reform.

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Press Release: House Leadership Tasks Sali with Leading Floor Debate on Energy

September 14th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Asked by House Republicans to lead the charge on energy today, Idaho Congressman Bill Sali called on his Democrat colleagues to address energy prices for the American people. Using a House procedural motion, Sali tried to get the House to vote on legislation that would help lower fuel prices. However, Democrats again turned from common-sense energy policies and rejected addressing the number one issue facing American families and companies.

“Though Democrats turned off the lights to the House floor for five weeks of recess, my efforts to provide Americans relief from intolerable gas prices will not cease. Today I again joined my Republican colleagues in offering an ‘all of the above’ plan that would enable us to access America’s incredible natural resources in an effective, environmentally responsible way,” said Sali.

“It is unbelievable the Democrats continue to block legislation that would increase production of badly needed American crude oil. Instead, they’re choosing to sit by while the crippling cost of gas overwhelms our constituents. This is unacceptable. Congress needs to get this work done.”

Sali tried to get the American Energy Act, H.R. 6566, added to another bill during floor debate today. The American Energy Act, authored by House Republican Leader John Boehner and co-sponsored by Sali, would increase the supply of American-made energy, improve conservation and efficiency, and promote new and expanding energy technologies to help lower the price of gas and reduce America’s increasingly costly and dangerous dependence on foreign sources of energy.

“Every family in American is affected by this crisis. Especially families with modest incomes have been hit hard by the downturn in the housing market and the increase in energy prices. That means higher prices for fuel and food. Higher prices for senior citizens on fixed incomes … single moms working two jobs … two-parent families striving to make ends meet. It is a shame we cannot take steps to provide them relief today,” Sali said.

“These are real people, not statistics or dots on someone’s graph. They need help now,” the Congressman concluded.

The Democrats voted against consideration of the Republican energy plan.

The American Energy Act was offered during debate on H.R. 3667, the Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic River Study Act. Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic River Study Act passed the House today 299 to 118. That legislation contains an amendment that Sali successfully added to the bill in committee . Sali’s amendment provides protection for private property rights. H.R. 3667 now awaits action in the Senate.

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Press Release: Sali Urges Passage of Bill to Protect Second Amendment Rights

September 9th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Idaho Republican Bill Sali said today, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, that Congress should pass a bipartisan bill that would protect the Second Amendment rights of Washington, D.C. residents.

Sali is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan H.R. 6691, The Second Amendment Enforcement Act. This bill is in direct response to the D.C. City Council passing emergency laws that disregard the Supreme Court’s ruling in the District of Columbia v. Heller case by creating other new restrictions on D.C. residents’ rights.

“The D.C City Council emergency laws blatantly disregard the Court’s ruling but this bill before us today is a bipartisan step to enforce not only the Court’s ruling but the intentions of our Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court did not waver in its June ruling that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment,” said Sali.

“Congress must be vigilant to safeguard the right to keep and bear arms, which is now indisputably an individual right for all law-abiding citizens. The D.C. emergency laws need to be swiftly repealed and The Second Amendment Enforcement Act does precisely this,” concluded Sali.

Provisions in H.R. 6691 include:
Repeal D.C. ban on semiautomatic pistols
Restore right of self-defense at home by repealing the draconian trigger lock requirements
Reform registration requirements
Allow D.C. residents to purchase handguns

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