Furloughs at Fort Bragg reduced

The first day of the work week will see thousands of Fort Bragg civilian workers returning to their jobs after being furloughed last week as a result of the Federal budget shutdown.

Fort Bragg Patch reported on the announcement Sunday evening:

The majority of Fort Bragg’s furloughed civilian employees will return to work starting Monday, Oct. 7, according to Fort Bragg spokesman Ben Abel.

As directed by the Department of the Army, all civilian employees in support of Soldiers are to return to work at their next scheduled shift.  For the majority of Fort Bragg’s employees this means 8 a.m.

All U.S. Army Garrison Fort Bragg employees are to report to work at their regularly scheduled shift.

Approximately 400,000 defense civilian workers will return to their jobs on Monday, following an order made by Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel.

“I commend Secretary Hagel for acting on the urgent requests made by myself and my colleagues to end the unjustified furloughs of civilian defense employees,” said Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) in a prepared statement. “Fort Bragg employees across my district have been suffering due to the political games being played in Washington and I am grateful to the Defense Department for taking my letter seriously and acting immediately to allow employees to return to work on Monday.”

“As I have said throughout this crisis, I came to Washington to shutdown Obamacare, not the federal government. Here in the House, we passed a bill nearly a week ago to provide payment to our troops AND civilian defense employees prior to the government shutdown when it was becoming evident that Senator Harry Reid was not going to work with us.This was signed into law by President Obama and has been in effect since Monday. Yet until this afternoon, the administration refused to enforce it.”

Ellmers, Jones vote against, Butterfield votes for tax hikes

Local members of the House of Representatives voted along ideological lines Tuesday night when faced with an “up-or-down” vote on legislation that passed the Senate early Tuesday morning in an attempt to avoid policy changes referred to as the “fiscal cliff.”

Republicans Renee Ellmers (2nd District, Dunn) and Walter Jones (3rd District, Farmville) both voted against the bill, while Democrat G.K. Butterfield (1st District, Wilson) voted for it. The bill passed the House by a 257-167 vote, with 85 Republicans voting for the plan.

Early Tuesday morning, the Senate pass the plan by an 89-8 vote, with both North Carolina Senators Richard Burr (R) and Kay Hagan (D) voting in the affirmative.

Both Ellmers and Jones expressed deep concerns about the plan, which will raise more than $620 billion in tax revenues over the next ten years, primarily through increases to top marginal tax rates.

Exemptions and deductions were capped for households making more than $250,000 per year, and the top marginal income tax and capital gains tax rates were increased to 39.6% for income and 20% for capital gains for households earning more than $450,000 per year.

While some supporters argued that these new rates are below what would have happened had the “fiscal cliff” been taken effect following expiration of tax rate reductions instituted during the administration of President George W. Bush, the financial impact of the new tax rates still results in an actual tax increase compared to 2012.

From Congresswoman Ellmers:

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers

“Last night, I voted against the Senate’s compromise bill. This was supposed to be a deficit reduction bill, not a deficit increase that adds trillions to our deficit while increasing taxes. I could not support a measure that adds trillions to our deficits while increasing taxes by $41 for every $1 in spending cuts. Additionally, this deal continues to give tax advantages to big businesses while small businesses – the real lifeblood of our economy – are left to shoulder the burden and pay the bills.”

“We must get serious about addressing the true driver of the fiscal mess that our nation is in. Our out-of-control spending does nothing to help American families and only exacerbates the problems facing our country. I look forward to working with my colleagues to address the real sources of this crisis and continuing the fight against government waste in the 113th Congress.”

From Congressman Jones:

Congressman Walter Jones

“I’m tired of seeing Congress and the White House rob our children and grandchildren,” said Congressman Jones.  “America is nearly broke financially because its political leadership keeps passing bills like this that simply kick the can down the road.  $40 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts?  Adding $4 trillion to the debt?  Are you kidding?”

“The way this deal went down reinforces what America hates about the way Washington is being run,” continued Congressman Jones.  “Backroom deals done in the middle of the night at the zero hour are never good for the American people.  This will be no exception.  We’re already hearing that millions in special corporate welfare subsidies were included for Hollywood, algae producers, electric motorcycles and many others.”

Congressman Butterfield did not release a statement regarding his vote in support of the plan and its tax increases.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center reported that their analysis concludes 77% of American households will see a tax increase as a result of the plan, which was signed into law today by President Obama. The main impact on most families is the expiration of a temporary 2% reduction in payroll taxes, which was not extended.

The bill, which only included $1 in budget cuts for every $41 of increased taxes, also did not address increasing the Federal debt limit, which was maxed out at the end of 2012 according to the Treasury Department. The bill also did not include additional disaster assistance for those affected by Superstorm Sandy late last October, prompting significant anger by politicians from the worst hit areas of New York and New Jersey.


Ellmers joins House demand for Senate vote on Obamacare Repeal

Eastern North Carolina Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R) joined more than 100 of her colleagues in the House of Representatives this week asking that the Senate hold a vote on legislation passed by the House Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Members of both parties voted in support of this repeal,” Congresswoman Ellmers said, “and it is incumbent on us, as elected Representatives and Senators, to make a decision on issues that affect all Americans and future generations.”

Ellmers, a Registered Nurse and experience healthcare manager from Dunn, has been an ardent critic of the Affordable Care Act, and spoke in favor of its repeal during House debate on Tuesday.

The repeal passed in the House with a 240-182 vote, gaining the support of 5 Democrat Congressman. The Democrat-
controlled Senate, according to its Majority Leader, Harry Reid (NV), does not plan to allow for the bill to come to
their floor for a vote.

Apparently, Ellmers believes their unwillingness to vote on the bill is a sign of cowardice.

 “If Senator Reid is confident in his party’s majority in the Senate, and proud of the historic increase in taxes brought on by Obamacare, then there is no reason to deny each Senator their right to make their position known. This law was not presented to the American people as a tax, but now that it has been ruled one by the Supreme Court, the Senate has an obligation, as elected officials, to let the hardworking American taxpayers know where their Senator stands.”

“Great leaders rise in support of what they believe in because they are emboldened by the courage to defend their principles. The failure to do so only diminishes the worthiness of their cause.”

Click here for Congresswoman Ellmers’ formal statements on the repeal vote and request for Senate action.

House to vote on Obamacare repeal July 11th

The leadership of the United States House of Representatives will hold a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) on Wednesday, July 11th, following their return to Washington after the Independence Day holiday recess.

The vote is a follow-up to the Supreme Court ruling last Thursday establishing the constitutionality of Obamacare, including its establishing of a “mandate” requiring all Americans to own qualifying health insurance policy or pay a defined penalty.

Eastern North Carolina Congresswoman Renee Ellmers discussed the verdict and the decision by the leadership to hold the repeal vote in a release late Thursday:

“Today the Supreme Court verified that Obamacare is a tax – one that increases the financial burdens on every American by $500 billion and will go down in history as the most significant expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. This law has and continues to be bad policy for all Americans and future generations.”

“I respect our judicial system and the legislative process by which our nation is governed but am deeply concerned in what this means for the future of our country. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court sends a direct message to Congress and policy makers that we have to get back to work to repeal this law and replace it with effective, efficient reforms.”

“This decision verifies that President Obama has officially passed the biggest tax increase in modern history. Furthermore, a board of 15 unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats will now remain in place to determine your healthcare while $500 billion is raided from Medicare and our seniors. I will not rest until the entire law has been repealed and patient-centered reforms are put in place.”

“The American people now have a very clear choice. They can either support historic tax and spending increases, fiscal uncertainty, and unprecedented government overreach into nearly all aspects of their lives or join us in fighting to repeal this Obamacare tax and work for real solutions while taking healthcare decisions out of the hands of government bureaucrats and putting them back into the control of doctors, patients, and their families.”

Ellmers was elected to Congress in 2010 and has more than 20 years professional experience in medical care as a nurse and practice manager.

Wilson Chamber issues Resolution opposing I-95 Tolls

The Wilson Chamber of Commerce adopted a formal resolution Wednesday opposing the NC Department of Transportation plan to implement tolls along Interstate 95 to fund expansion and improvements to the major highway.

Click here to view the Resolution

Wilson Chamber Transportation Committee Chair Clyde Harris indicated in an email to media that the Resolution requests NCDOT to study the full impact to businesses and residents of the toll road proposal, as well as identifying alternate revenue sources for improvements to the Interstate.

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering legislation in both chambers, sponsored by local Representative Jeff Collins (R-Rocky Mount) and Senator Buck Newton (R-Wilson) that reflects similar interests.

Similar legislation was introduced this spring in Washington by North Carolina Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-Dunn) to stop approval of the I-95 toll road plan by the Federal Highway Administration.