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Build High-Speed Rail Now

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Travelers easily whisk from city to city on high-speed trains in many parts of South America, Asia and Europe. Since the first high-speed lines began operating more than 50 years ago in Japan, they have become an essential part of transportation worldwide. Yet the U.S. has never built a single mile of high-speed rail, which is generally defined as accommodating trains that go at least 200 mph. And proposals to do so have been thwarted for decades. Among the factors holding America back: a much larger land mass, longer distances between major cities and the high cost of construction, efficient ...

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Chaffetz does the right thing and reinstates banished conservative

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Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican punished by party leaders last week for siding against them on a procedural trade vote, has been reinstated as a subcommittee chairman. “It is in the best interest of this committee to move forward together,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, announcing that Meadows will resume his role as a chairman of that panel’s government operations subcommittee. In a statement, Meadows said he appreciated Chaffetz’s decision, while adding, “I will continue to vote and conduct myself in accordance with my conscience, what my constituents want me to do, ...

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Obamacare Is Trampling On States Rights

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Ten Republican state attorneys general are asking Republican lawmakers to prevent the Obama administration from taking what they call “coercive efforts” to compel them into expanding their state Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. In a letter to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Texas, South Carolina and Utah say they’re concerned the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may threaten to withhold federal funds if they don’t expand Medicaid. “We welcome assistance from Congress in reigning-in CMS, an agency insistent upon trampling the rights of our sovereign states to ...

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Blue States Don`t Care How High Taxes Go

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Tax and revenue and public policy can either reward citizens and businesses or punish them A swath of liberal pundits recently have been delighting over news that conservative Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax cuts have resulted in state budget shortfalls, and that Brownback and the Republican-dominated state Legislature wound up proposing, and passing, historic sales tax increases in order to close a yawning gap. See, they all seem to be saying, we told you: More taxes, not less, is the “right way” to govern. Russell Berman’s critique at The Atlantic was typical of the panning: All that new revenue, ...

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Cruz: Kill Ex-Im Before Voting for Trade Promotion Authority

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The effort to get “fast-track” trade authority for President Barack Obama has lost the support of one of the Republicans who could benefit from the powers if he became president in 2017. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday the process by which the Trade Promotion Authority measure advanced through the House meant he could not support it without new assurances about winding down the authorization for the Export-Import Bank, claiming Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, must have made some kind of backroom deal with Democrats about the bank. “Enough is enough. I cannot vote for TPA unless McConnell and Boehner both commit publicly to allow ...

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Rapid Withdrawal from Iraq Would Be Catastrophic Incompetence

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House lawmakers Wednesday strongly rejected a proposal to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, a move supporters say was designed to force public debate on America’s 10 months of unauthorized military operations against Islamic militants in the region. Critics called the move a blunt and potentially dangerous military reversal for the 3,500-plus U.S. troops now working alongside Iraqi security forces in the region. It would have required the removal of all personnel within 30 days, with caveats for a potential six-month delay in that deadline to ensure their safety. The measure failed, 193 to 288, with only 19 Republicans ...

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The Fate of Trans-Pacific Partnership Lies in Republican Hands

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Days after President Obama’s trade agenda was scuttled by members of his own party, the White House and congressional Republicans have found no clear path forward, raising doubts about what was supposed to be one of the administration’s final legislative accomplishments. Republican leaders vowed Monday to press ahead in their rare alliance with the Obama administration against Democratic leaders and organized labor over a trade measure that the White House says is crucial to securing an ambitious 12-nation Pacific Rim pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But in a sign of the challenges still ahead, tentative plans to vote again ...

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