Press Release on the Highway Bill

Andrew Roth - July 29th, 2005

Since 2004, the White House has been explicit that a veto was all but guaranteed if Congress sent the President a Highway Bill that exceeded certain spending levels. Congress is now preparing to send the President a Highway Bill that exceeds the White House’s proposed spending level of $284 billion and the Administration appears to be backing away from two years worth of veto threats.”It’s ironic that the White House would let Congress get away with directly defying a Presidential veto threat by overspending after the Administration just finished citing spending restraint as a reason for improvement in the deficit forecast,” said Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth.Toomey added, “If the President fails to follow through on his Administration’s veto threats over excessive spending in the Highway Bill, what hope is there of forcing Congress to control other Federal spending?”BELOW IS PAST EVIDENCE OF THE WHITE HOUSE’S COMMENTS ON THE HIGHWAY BILL.

Highway Bill ’05“Under the final version of the surface transportation bill, total obligation limitations for surface-transportation programs (combined with contract authority that is exempt from obligation limitations and general fund appropriations for public transportation) must not exceed $283.9 billion over the period 2004 through 2009. Likewise, the net authorization level must not exceed $283.9 billion over the six years. (To the extent the gross authorization level exceeds $283.9 billion, an offsetting rescission should be included in the legislation.) Should the obligation or net authorization levels that would result from the final bill exceed these limits, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” (emphasis in the original)– STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY: H.R. 3 –Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, April 26, 2005“The President has clearly stated that we need to have legislation that meets our transportation needs but that also keeps us on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. The President put forward a responsible budget and a responsible plan for meeting our transportation needs. We have made it very clear, and we reiterated here today, that the President’s senior advisor would recommend a veto if that legislation exceeded the $283.9 billion that we have proposed.” (emphasis added)– Scott McClellan, White House Briefing, May 17, 2005“But our view is very clear that if it exceeds that limit, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto that legislation.” (emphasis added)– Scott McClellan, White House Briefing, May 17, 2005“Now Bush is threatening to veto this one [highway bill] over an $11 billion difference. ‘Our position is real and strong,’ White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says.”– USA Today, May 27, 2005“‘Our position [veto threat] hasn’t changed, because the president’s number is 284,’ said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, referring to the amount in billions of dollars that the House approved and the Bush administration has been requesting for authorized federal transportation spending between FY04-09.” (emphasis added)– CongressDaily, June 7, 2005“We’ve continued to reach out and work with members of Congress so that we can move forward on this legislation. It’s an important piece of legislation. We want to get it done and get it passed. And our commitment continues to be to the level of $284 billion.”– Scott McClellan, White House Briefing, June 21, 2005“The President’s position is well known…And I don’t believe that Congress is going to send us a piece of legislation that the President would need to veto.” (emphasis added)– Scott McClellan, White House Briefing, June 21, 2005Highway Bill ’04“And our views are very well-known in terms of the President being prepared to veto legislation if it goes beyond his — or if it does not meet his principles and goes beyond the resources that he outlined in the legislation.” (emphasis added)– Scott McClellan, White House Briefing, March 31, 2004“In total, the House bill authorizes $284 billion in spending on highways, highway safety, and mass transit over the next six years, a full $28 billion above the President’s request for the same period. Accordingly, if this legislation were presented to the President in its current form, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” (emphasis in the original)– STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY — H.R. 3550 – Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, March 30, 2004

Club Issues Press Release on NV-02 Race

Andrew Roth - July 19th, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Club for Growth PAC has set a new organizational record for House candidate support with over $178,800 in contributions by Club members as of July 14 following its June endorsement of NV-02 congressional candidate, Assemblywoman Sharron Angle.Donations from Club for Growth members helped establish Mrs. Angle, after only one month as a declared candidate, as the top fundraiser in the race in the second quarter according to FEC filings that became available over the weekend.”These numbers should be a loud wake-up call for tax-and-spend candidates across the country,” said Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth. “The Club for Growth PAC’s increasingly massive fundraising power will be at work early this cycle to help candidates with a demonstrated commitment to pro-growth policies gather the support and resources they need to win primaries, and ultimately, general elections.”Because of strong competition from establishment politicians whose bigger-government track record helps them raise money from interest groups, principled economic conservatives need solid help when it counts most – early in the primary season. So beginning with the 2006 cycle, the Club for Growth PAC for the first time will get involved at the earliest stage in the election process. The Club for Growth PAC first implemented this strategy last month by endorsing Assemblywoman Sharron Angle in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district. Mrs. Angle raised $158,888 in the second quarter. The Club for Growth PAC’s endorsement helped Mrs. Angle raise more second quarter money than the other two candidates and amass the second highest amount of cash on hand.”This record-breaking outpouring of financial support so early in the election process demonstrates that the Club for Growth is continuing to expand its membership and influence,” concluded Toomey. “It is a new Club PAC record for a single solicitation for a House race more than two months from an election. We look forward to having the Club’s PAC put this kind of financial firepower into action throughout the entire 2006 cycle to help Sharron Angle and other true economic conservatives campaign and win.”

Club Announces New TV Ad Campaign

Andrew Roth - July 14th, 2005

TV Spot Urges Support For Permanent Repeal Of Death Tax In Upcoming Senate Vote
deathtax-video-image.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C. – Noting that the Death Tax can rob Americans of up to 55% of the money they save to pass on to their family, the Club for Growth is launching a new television ad campaign which will initially urge four key U.S. Senators to vote for permanent repeal of the Death Tax when the issue comes before the U.S. Senate later this month.”No one works hard their whole life to be able to leave a nice nest egg for the Federal government,” said Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for free-market, pro-growth economic policies. “This ad campaign is designed to urge Senators Chafee, Landrieu, Pryor and Lincoln to respect the hard work of their constituents and protect the fruits of their labor for their families rather than for government coffers.”The pro-growth tax cuts proposed by President Bush in 2001 included a phase-out of the estate tax by 2010. But under current law the tax will be reinstated in 2011 when the 2001 tax law expires. The U.S. Senate is expected to hold a vote on permanent repeal of the Death Tax before adjourning for recess at the end of July.The Club for Growth ad will begin running on Monday, July 18, in the following states: Rhode Island, Louisiana, and Arkansas.”The upcoming Senate vote will be a choice between supporting families, small businesses, and economic freedom versus economy-stifling tax policy,” concluded Toomey. “This ad urges Senators Chafee, Landrieu, Pryor and Lincoln to make the right choice. The more than 30,000 members of the Club for Growth across the country will be watching closely.”Watch the Ad: Windows | Real Player | Quicktime

Club Issues Press Statement on Budget Forecasts

Andrew Roth - July 13th, 2005

Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth, issued the following statement about projections in the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Mid-Session Review that the federal budget deficit for FY05 would be $94 billion less than previously forecasted.”These new numbers offer ninety-four billion examples of tax cuts at work, supporting economic growth and deficit reduction. Once again we are seeing the proof that supply-side economics works. It works because it is based on the simple truth that incentives matter. The 2003 pro-growth reductions, particularly in marginal income tax rates, capital gains and dividend taxes, have spurred robust economic growth and consequently, accelerating federal tax revenue.”The only way to continue driving down the deficit is to make permanent the pro-growth tax relief responsible for our progress so far and to begin reducing federal spending. The President can send a strong signal to Congress that he’s committed to this approach by vetoing the highway bill if it exceeds his spending limit of $284 billion.”While these numbers are great news in the short-term, unless meaningful Social Security reform is passed our future deficit situation will quickly become catastrophic. Congress needs to pass Social Security reform with the ownership of personal retirement accounts now before we are faced with economy-busting debt and tax increases.”

Club Announces New Congressional Scorecard

Andrew Roth - July 12th, 2005

WASHINGTON (07/12/05) – The nation’s leading advocacy organization for free-market, pro-growth economic policies announced that it is implementing a new key vote scoring system to hold members of Congress accountable for their actions once elected to office. The first votes scored will be votes on spending provisions and the CAFTA-DR agreement.”Clearly it’s not enough to elect candidates to Congress who talk a good game about pro-growth policy,” said Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth. “We have to hold them accountable for their votes once in office and this key voting system will help us do that.”To provide accountability, for the first time in its history the Club for Growth will designate key votes on economic issues that maximize growth like expanding trade, reducing government spending, lowering taxes and reforming Social Security. Members of Congress will be given a score based on their actions and votes on whether they favored policies that would boost economic growth and opposed policies that would hurt growth. Those scores will help in understanding the true policies of members of Congress and will guide selection of congressional candidates to receive support from the Club for Growth PAC’s massive resources. Equally important, the scorecard will help determine which incumbents could face Club for Growth PAC endorsed challengers in a primary or general election.”Too many politicians campaign as pro-growth candidates and then vote for higher spending, higher taxes, corporate welfare and protectionism once in office,” continued Toomey. “With the vote on CAFTA coming up, we’re saying to members that we’re keeping track of the important votes and there will be consequences to campaigning one way and voting another.”During the last election cycle, the Club for Growth members and the Club’s PAC raised $9 million for candidates. The Club for Growth PAC will also be putting that power to work earlier this cycle than ever before to help candidates with a demonstrated commitment to pro-growth policies gather the support and resources they need to win primaries and ultimately general elections.The first key vote identified was the Blumenauer/Flake amendment on the Agriculture appropriations bill in the House. The Club for Growth supported a “yea” vote on the amendment. The next anticipated key vote will be on CAFTA-DR in the House.