Minnesota Dem Supports Another Gas Tax

Category: AR PAC

Career politician Bob Casey’s years in Washington have put him out of with touch with the everyday challenges facing the middle class in Pennsylvania, particularly skyrocketing gas prices. Back when Casey began his political career over 15 years ago, the national average price of gasoline was $1.23. Pennsylvanians now battle an average price of gasoline at a staggering $3.57 per gallon – nearly three times what it was when Casey first took office.

Unable to relate to climbing gas prices, Casey has supported energy proposals that would actually make matters worse. Under the reckless cap-and-trade energy tax agenda that Casey supported, Pennsylvanians would pay nearly $300 more a year for gasoline in 2025. Does Casey really understand the struggles of Pennsylvanians? It’s clear from the numbers that Casey is just another career politician that has championed an irresponsible Washington energy agenda which has done little to protect the interests of hard-working Pennsylvanians.

Casey Was Elected To Serve Two Terms As Pennsylvania Auditor General From 1997 to 2005. (Bob Casey For Senate, www.bobcasey.com, Accessed 7/26/11)

Casey Won The 2006 Senate Race With 2,392,984 (58.7%) Votes Against Incumbent Republican Rick Santorum Who Received 1,684,778 (41.3%) Votes. (Pennsylvania Department Of State, www.dos.state.pa.us, Accessed 7/26/11

In 1997, The National Average Price Of Unleaded Regular Motor Gasoline Was $1.234. (U.S. Energy Information Administration Website, www.eia.gov, Accessed 4/18/12)

In February 2012, The National Average Price Of Unleaded Regular Motor Gasoline Was $3.572. (U.S. Energy Information Administration Website, www.eia.gov, Accessed 4/18/12)

Casey Voted For Cloture On A Lieberman-Warner Amendment That Would Set Up A Nationwide Cap-And-Trade System.  “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Boxer, D-Calif., substitute amendment no. 4825 that would cap greenhouse gas emissions nationwide and set up a trading system for companies to buy and sell emissions allowances.” (S. 3036, CQ Vote #145: Rejected 48-36: R 7-32; D 39-4; I 2-0, 6/6/08, Casey Voted Yea)

  • Under Lieberman-Warner, Pennsylvanians Would Pay An Additional $293 For Gasoline By 2025. (William Beach, David Kreutzer, Ben Lieberman, and Nicolas Loris, “How Pennsylvania Would Be Affected By The Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Legislation,” The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org, 5/20/08)

While Mitt Romney continues to try and rebrand himself with voters, President Obama has his hands full with scandals at the Secret Service and GSA.  Get the latest campaign updates on both candidates.

Romney may soften stance on immigration (ABC News)

Romney picks up more endorsements, poll shows voters more favorable towards him now (CNN)

Romney plans visit to Northeast Ohio (The Plain Dealer)

Romney supporters protest Obama’s Ohio visit (The Plain Dealer)

Poll shows Romney, Obama in dead heat (NY Times)

Boehner accuses Obama of abandoning job for campaigning (Washington Post)

Obama deals with dual scandals (USA Today)


Looking for a swing: President Obama heads to Ohio on Wednesday, more than two years after he started, what proved to be his successful, White House to Main Street tour.

He will focus on jobs, specifically his administration’s job-training initiatives that are designed to help shrink the skills gap and pick of the pace of hiring.

Obama will deliver remarks about the initiatives at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, where he also will meet with a group of unemployed students in the college’s job-training program.

Some congressional Republicans have called for the elimination of job-training programs amid burgeoning federal debt while employment experts have called the programs vital to help fill openings, especially in rapidly growing sectors.

Jobs are a major focus for the president as he campaigns for a second term, especially in Ohio, a state he won in 2008 but could be a challenge to capture.


Ohio Gov. John Kasich said recently that his state has rocketed to the top of the job-creating list in the past year after floundering near the bottom through the recession. He has suggested that Washington take a big hint from Ohio, and other states, that have bolstered their economies.

Meanwhile, the economy has been churning out job gains during the past several months, but that growth slowed in March to 120,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent.

Republican leaders in Congress have peppered the White House with criticism over its lack of job-creation policies and inability to bring down the jobless rate as much as was promised under the 2009 economic stimulus.

The stop comes after a busy Tuesday, in which Obama tried to stem the tide of the political fallout from high gasoline prices, challenging Congress to pass legislation to ensure speculators aren’t manipulating energy markets.

“We can’t afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage and driving prices higher, only to flip the oil for a quick profit,” Obama said during a Rose Garden speech Tuesday.

“We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions, while millions of American families get the short end of the stick.”

Before Obama takes off for Ohio, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will make remarks at the Brookings Institution on the state of the global economy.

For Mike DeWine, this trip to Washington has taken 14 months.

“When I ran for Attorney General, I made a commitment to take Ohio into the lawsuit against Obamacare.”

DeWine is in Washington DC for the three days of arguments before the high court, which will then decide the case that Ohio and 25 states have filed against the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile on the first day of arguments, advocates for the law will be demonstrating in favor of it. Col Owens is the co-chair of Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage.

“Almost all people insured in Ohio have received benefits from the elimination of the lifetime limit on their coverage under insurance, and under protections that do not allow insurance to be stopped when they become ill.”

Owens ticks off a list of what he says the federal law has done in Ohio – it’s allowed 2,6000 Ohioans who are uninsurable because of serious health conditions to join a high risk pool till the federal law is fully in effect in 2014. He says 83,000 Ohioans under 26 are now allowed to stay on their parents’ policies. And he says the way the law deals with the so-called donut hole in the Medicare prescription drug program has saved 185,000 Ohio senior citizens $95 million.

“And when the health care exchange is put into place, and something like almost a million and a half uninsured people in Ohio will begin to receive coverage through the exchange.”

But while DeWine admits some parts of the plan have been received well, that’s not enough to save what he feels is unconstitutional public policy.

“The people of Ohio understand it. When they think about Obamacare, I think there are some things about the bill that they like, but by a 2-1 vote, Ohioans have said no to this individual mandate.”

DeWine refers to last fall’s Issue 3, the amendment to the Ohio Constitution that states that no federal or state law will require any person, company or health care provider to participate in a health care system. Critics have said there’s no way a state constitutional amendment can trump the federal law if it’s upheld, but its supporters say they may take legal action if the state sets up exchanges, the marketplaces dictated in the law where uninsured people would buy health insurance.

State officials have said some of the intricacies of the Affordable Care Act that have them resisting the requirement on setting up exchanges for now. Greg Moody is the head of Gov. John Kasich’s Office of Health Transformation – and he was asked in testimony about the governor’s budget update bill what was happening with the state-run exchange.

“We’re in a situation where that is one part of the Affordable Care Act that guidance from the federal government came later. Where we had guidance earlier, there are things related to federal reform that have already been acted on. Health insurance exchanges are different because the federal guidance has been slow in coming.”

The US Supreme Court’s decision may settle the question – or not, if the justices uphold or toss out parts of the law. Democratic US Sen. Sherrod Brown is a strong supporter of the law, but he isn’t especially confident.

“This is a very activist court that writes new laws. And the new laws they’ve written have clearly biased government towards Wall Street, towards the insurance companies, towards the oil industry, and I have no idea what they’re going to do.”

A decision from the court isn’t likely until the end of June.

By Jackie Borchardt

Columbus Bureau

COLUMBUS — As gas prices near $4 a gallon in Ohio, President Barack Obama used his second trip to Ohio in 10 days to call for less reliance on oil and more clean and renewable energy options to fulfill the nation’s needs.

Obama challenged presidential candidates who promise lower gas prices with increased drilling, saying better alternative fuels and more fuel-efficient cars reduce American reliance on foreign oil.

“We can’t simply drill our way out of the problem,” Obama said before a crowd of about 2,600 at the Ohio State University’s Recreation and Physical Activity Center.

“Even if we drilled every square inch of this country right now, we’re going to be relying on other countries for oil.”

The president’s stop in Columbus was the last in a four-state, two-day tour touting his administration’s “all of the above” energy plan, which encourages renewable energy while also expanding oil and gas development. Earlier this week, Obama praised solar energy at a Nevada plant, visited oil rigs in New Mexico and announced his support to build the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in Oklahoma.

Republicans have criticized the effort as weak. GOP chairman Reince Priebus called Obama’s energy strategy “a complete disaster” in a statement released before the president’s speech.

“As families and small businesses struggle because of rising gas prices, Barack Obama and his administration are nowhere to be found,” Priebus wrote.

Obama said his plan looks forward while his Republican presidential opponents prefer to subsidize oil companies like they did 100 years ago.

“I will not accept an energy strategy that traps us in the past,” Obama said. “Yes, we’ll develop as much oil and gas as we can, in a safe way, but we’re also going to develop wind power and solar power and advanced biofuels.”

Obama said U.S. production of oil has increased while imports of foreign oil have decreased since he took office. The White House says reliance on foreign oil is now lower than 50 percent and lower than any year under President George W. Bush.

Republicans said that dependence has declined because of a healthy drilling industry. It takes several years for energy productions to get online once they start drilling, U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Columbus, told reporters Thursday.

“You can’t be just for drilling again in an election year — you have to be for it every year,” Stivers said.

During his brief visit, Obama toured OSU’s Center for Automotive Research, which studies fuel consumption, alternative fuel systems and vehicle safety among other issues. The school received nearly $1 million from the Energy Department last year and houses the Buckeye Bullet, the fastest electric car in the world.

Obama’s Ohio visit was not billed as a campaign stop, but he managed to hint at November’s election, repeating his 2008 motto, “Yes, we can,” to cheers and chants of “Four more years.”

Earlier in the day, Obama said his administration would fast-track permits submitted by TransCanada Corporation to construct the southern leg of the controversial Keystone pipeline from Oklahoma to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama delayed both legs of the project amid Republican efforts to push the project and objections from environmental groups.

The announcement didn’t staunch criticism from Republicans. Stivers said it was ironic that Obama was touting the benefits of completing part of the pipeline, which would relieve a bottleneck of oil from the Plains states, but provide no link to the abundant tar sand reserves in Alberta. Environmentalists have opposed the entire pipeline project, saying it would result in “dirty oil” being transported to the Gulf.

Stivers said building half the pipeline won’t bring in oil from Canada, “which is a secure trading partner that agrees with us on most foreign policies.”

Obama’s “all of the above” energy plan ignores research about clean coal and nuclear energy being conducted in Ohio, according to Stivers.

“Unfortunately, this administration has had a war on coal, and if you’re going to have an all-of-the-above energy policy, you need to focus on all of the above,” Stivers said. “That includes things like clean coal. And Ohio and, in fact, America, are the Saudi Arabia of coal.”

Contact this reporter at (614) 224-1608 or jborchardt@

TOLEDO — From here to Detroit to Cleveland to Youngstown, voters again and again over the next seven months will see President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden taking bows in auto plants and union halls for keeping them alive.

Obama was hailed as a job-savior by workers at Toledo’s sprawling Jeep plant on June 3, and yesterday, Biden was cheered by 500 at United Auto Workers Local 12’s hall not far from Jeep, this city’s venerable nameplate.

The $62 billion 2009 federal bailout of Chrysler and General Motors is roundly credited by workers here and in other industrial towns as having saved their jobs, and Team Obama hopes to cash in that good will for votes.

“If not for the bailout, it would be devastating, and not just for workers in the auto plants,” Ken Lortz, leader of 210,000 active and retired UAW members in Ohio and Indiana, said after Biden’s speech.

“Ohio is the No. 2 state for auto-parts suppliers. If (Chrysler or GM) would’ve gone down, the ripple effect through the supplier industry also would have been devastating.”

Biden, who describes himself as a blue-collar guy from Scranton, Pa., kicked off the Obama re-election campaign before a friendly Toledo audience, the first of four events over the next several weeks aimed at framing the pitch to middle-class voters. Biden’s next event, on Thursday in the Palm Beach, Fla., area, will focus on Social Security and Medicare, a campaign aide said.

Biden wasted no time finding the sweet spot in his 15-minute speech at the UAW hall, saying Obama “didn’t flinch” in deciding to bail out Chrysler and GM.

“He knew rescuing the industry wasn’t popular,” Biden said. “He knew he was taking a chance. But he believed. He said, ‘We are not going to give up on a million jobs, and the iconic industry America invented. Not without a fight.’  ”

As a result of the government aid and large-scale restructuring, Chrysler and GM emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009, invested more than $8 billion in their U.S. facilities, and added 217,000 jobs.

Nearly 120,000 Ohioans are employed in auto plants, and 848,000 workers in the state have jobs either directly or indirectly related to the auto industry.

All four of the Republican presidential candidates opposed the auto bailout, but the Obama campaign has zeroed in on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for advocating against it in a New York Times op-ed piece that was headlined, “Let Detroit go bankrupt.”

In a late February interview with The Dispatch, Romney didn’t back away from his criticism of the bailout, but he acknowledged that “there’s no question” that the headline, which he did not write, has hurt his campaign.

Romney said in the interview that Chrysler and GM “needed to go through a managed bankruptcy, and then, if government help was needed, it should be provided. I say loan guarantees and warranty guarantees could be provided after the companies went through a managed bankruptcy. And yet, no one wants to get into the facts; they just want to look at the headline, which is not what I wrote.”

Biden, pointing to today’s robust U.S. auto industry as vindication for “the tough call” Obama made, drew cheers from the UAW crowd when he said: “And the verdict is in: President Obama was right, and his critics were dead wrong.”

That sentiment was shared through the union hall. Marv Machinski, 68, who retired from Jeep after 38 years, credited Obama with saving jobs at the plant.

Brooks Hardison, 72, who retired 11 years ago from Jeep after working there for 32 years, said that both Chrysler and Jeep “would’ve gone belly up” without the bailout.

“What it did,” he said, “was put food on our tables and pay the mortgage and keep the heat on in the house — everything you need for a decent life.”

Republican National Committee regional press secretary Ryan Mahoney was critical of the Democrats.

“With broken promises mounting and food and gas prices soaring, President Obama and Vice President Biden know they’re in trouble in Ohio, and that’s why they continue to hide behind friendly union audiences,” Mahoney said, contending that “Ohioans remain worse off than they were when Barack Obama took office.”

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Earlier this week, in a desperate election-year gimmick, Senate Democrats forced a vote on the so-called “Buffet rule.” Named for investor Warren Buffet, the Buffet rule would increase taxes on wealthier Americans to decrease our national debt. While Democrats like Brown hope to highlight his vote on the Buffet rule in an election year, analysis of the Buffet rule has shown that it would do little to increase revenue at a time when the federal government is adding trillions of dollars to the national debt.

In fact, Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation found that the Buffet rule would increase federal revenue by $1.1 billion, or less than .01% of Obama’s expected $1.2 trillion deficit for this year. Although Brown claims to be working to improve the economy, the national debt has increased by more than $11.4 trillion under Brown’s watch! The Buffet rule is yet another excuse for Brown and his liberal pals in Washington to force their tax-and-spend agenda on hard-working Ohioans who deserve better economic solutions from their Senators.

Brown Voted For Cloture On The Bill That Would Instate “The Buffet Rule.” “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would require taxpayers with more than $2 million in income to pay an alternative minimum of 30 percent in federal taxes, with a phase-in of the higher rate starting at the $1 million level.” (S. 2230, CQ Vote #65: Motion Rejected 51-45: R 1-44; D 49-1; I 1-0, 4/16/12, Brown Voted Yea)

The Buffet Rule Would Tax Millionaires At A Higher 30 Percent Federal Rate. “The rule, names for billionaire investor Warren Buffet, calls for taxing millionaires at a higher 30 percent federal rate, and is based on the idea that Buffet shouldn’t pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.” (Scott Wong, “Dems: We’ll Push Buffet Rule ‘All Year Long,’” Politico, 4/5/12)

Congress’s Joint Committee On Taxation Found That The Buffet Rule Would Increase Federal Revenues By $1.1 Billion, Or Less Than .01 Percent Of Obama’s Scheduled $1.2 Trillion Deficit For 2012. “In one fell swoop on Wednesday, Congress’s tax scorekeeper punctured both phony claims. The analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation also showed less wealthy taxpayers why the Buffet ruse would eventually end up exposing them to higher taxes. … Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) quickly drafted legislation to turn this re-election posturing into law. Joint Tax dutifully studied the bill and has delivered the official score: This year, the Buffet rule would increase federal revenues by all of $1.1 billion. That’s less than one-tenth of one percent of the $1.2 trillion budget deficit Mr. Obama is scheduled to run this year.” (Editorial, “The Bottom 0.1%,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/22/12)

  • “Through 2022 Joint Tax Expects Less Than $47 Billion In Total New Revenues From The Buffet Rule While The Government Will Be Adding Trillions Of Dollars To The National Debt.” (Editorial, “The Bottom 0.1%,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/22/12)

The National Debt Has Increased By More Than $11.4 Trillion Since Brown Entered Congress:

  • When Brown Was Sworn In To Office On January 5, 1993, The Total Public Debt Outstanding Was $4,169,232,407,244. (Treasury Direct Website, www.treasurydirect.gov, Accessed 12/8/11)
  • As Of April 18, 2012, The Total Public Debt Outstanding Was $15,660,736,663,887. (Treasury Direct Website, www.treasurydirect.gov, Accessed 4/18/12)

 Shelley Berkley is on her “Prioritize Veterans Tour,” and as to be expected Berkley is making claims that have been debunked for months.  Since Berkley’s days back at the Sands when she told her boss to do favors for elected officials, she has been willing to say or do anything to get what she wants.  Playing politics with veteran’s issues that Factcheck.org said were false or scaring seniors with false statements that Republicans wanted to “kill” Medicare which was rated the “Lie of the Year” are just the latest examples of Berkley’s lackluster relationship with the truth.  While Berkley is running around the state distorting realities and telling blatant lies there is probably one hard fact she doesn’t want you to know.  Shelley Berkley is the only candidate in this race who is the subject of an ethics investigation. 



On The House Floor, Berkley Said The Ryan Budget Would “Kill” Medicare.  REP. SHELLEY BERKLEY: “I think the chairman for yielding, madam speaker I rise in strong opposition to both the Garrett substitute and the Ryan Budget.  Today’s debate is about one thing: priorities.  Should Nevada’s seniors be the priority for the united states congress or should wall street and big oil companies be the priority.  The republican budget proposals answers that question very clearly instead of tackling Nevada’s record unemployment and foreclosure rates Washington Republicans are instead advocating to kill Medicare by turning it over to profit hungry insurance companies.”  (YouTube, www.youtube.com, Accessed 4/16/12)


  • PolitiFact Rated The Democrat’s Medicare Attacks On The Ryan Budget As The 2011 “Lie Of The Year.” “Republicans muscled a budget through the House of Representatives in April that they said would take an important step toward reducing the federal deficit. Introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the plan kept Medicare intact for people 55 or older, but dramatically changed the program for everyone else by privatizing it and providing government subsidies. Democrats pounced…PolitiFact debunked the Medicare charge in nine separate fact-checks rated False or Pants on Fire, most often in attacks leveled against Republican House members.  Now, PolitiFact has chosen the Democrats’ claim as the 2011 Lie of the Year.” (Angie Drobnic Holan and Bill Adair, “PolitiFact’s 2011 Lie Of The Year Is Democrats’ Claim On Medicare,” PolitiFact.com, 12/20/11)


Berkley Claimed That Heller Voted Against Veterans Because He Voted For A Continuing Resolution That Cut Funding For Homeless Veterans.  “Although she never uttered the word, ‘Heller,’ Berkley said ‘yes’ when asked after her speech if Heller was among those in Washington, D.C., who votes against veterans issues.  When later prodded by a gaggle of TV reporters to mention a specific vote against veterans by Heller, Berkley said:  ‘I’ll give you a specific example — the homeless veteran housing voucher program. I fought very hard to make sure that was created and adequately funded. He voted to dismantle the program, to end the program.’ Berkley’s campaign said Heller voted for a Republican continuing resolution that cut $75 million for homeless veterans in 2011, including the elimination of housing vouchers.” (Ray Hagar, “Shelley Berkley Sticks To Her Message In Effort To Unseat Nevada Sen. Dean Heller,” Reno Gazette Journal, 4/12/12)


  • FactCheck.org Debunked This Claim Last April.  “‘In fact, Dean Heller has a consistent record fighting to provide veterans with the benefits they earned and deserve. Any claim otherwise is just another distraction from the seven-term congresswoman’s record on jobs and the economy. After all, this isn’t the first time an independent fact checker has proven one of Shelley Berkley’s statements false.’  FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, wrote in April 2011 that Democrats who were saying the cuts would deny housing to 10,000 homeless veterans were exaggerating the impact of the GOP vote.” (Ray Hagar, “Shelley Berkley Sticks To Her Message In Effort To Unseat Nevada Sen. Dean Heller,” Reno Gazette Journal, 4/12/12)


Berkley Defended Her Advice To Adelson, Saying That This Was The Reality Of Doing Business In Las Vegas. “A tape recording emerged that featured Berkley talking about giving Adelson political advice. If he wanted his hotel project approved, she told him, he should do favors for commissioners, like giving jobs to their relatives. In company memos, she urged him to contribute to judges’ campaigns in exchange for favors.  Berkley defended herself, saying she was just explaining the realities of doing business in Las Vegas and didn’t condone the way the system works.” (Molly Ball, “Calls Target Berkley, And She’s Pretty Sure Who’s Responsible,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/8/08)


Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (CREW) Listed Berkley Under Their 2011 “Dishonorable Mentions.” (Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington, www.crewsmostcorrupt.org, Accessed 3/27/12)


In March 2012 The House Ethics Committee Announced It Was Reviewing Alleged Ethics Violations Of Rep. Berkley.  “Reporting from Washington — The House Ethics Committee is conducting a review of a matter involving Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada, posing a potential challenge for the Las Vegas Democrat running for Senate this fall in a closely-watched race that could determine which party controls the chamber.  The Ethics Committee acknowledged its work in a brief statement Friday as it said it would extend its inquiry into the matter that had been transmitted in February from the Office of Congressional Ethics. The committee did not disclose details and said the probe does not amount to a violation of ethics rules. It will have until July 9 to make public its findings.” (Lisa Mascaro, “Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley Under Ethics Review,” Los Angeles Times, 3/23/12)

As millions of Americans prepare for April 17th or “Tax Day,” U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown should be reminded to pay his income taxes on time. As Ohioans may know, Brown is a serial tax delinquent who time and time again has failed to pay personal property taxes on his Washington, D.C. residence, which led to his property being placed on an auction list!

It’s clear that while Brown continues to advocate for increasing taxes on hard-working Ohioans in Washington, he has conveniently evaded taxes himself because he “misplaced the bill.” Brown’s failure to pay taxes on his Washington apartment illustrates how out of touch Brown is with the everyday responsibilities of Ohioans.

Sherrod Brown Was Late In Paying $892 In Property Taxes On His D.C. Apartment. “Sen. Sherrod Brown acknowledged yesterday that he was late paying an $892 property-tax bill for the second half of 2011 on an apartment that he has owned in Washington for two decades. Brown, D-Ohio, who stays in the apartment when the Senate is in session, told reporters on a conference call that he had ‘misplaced the bill’ in the apartment, and he ‘paid a penalty for being late. And it won’t happen again.’” (Jack Torry and Joe Hallet, “With Penalty, Interest; Brown Pays Property-Tax Bill In D.C.,” The Columbus Dispatch, 2/16/12)

Brown Also Failed To Pay Property Taxes On The D.C. Apartment In 2006, And His Apartment Was Placed On An Auction List. “According to District of Columbia tax records, it was the second time in six years that Brown was late in paying property taxes on the apartment. In 2006, he was assessed $459.89 in penalties and late fees for his property tax of $1,699.64. In early 2007, according to district records, the property had been placed on an auction list because Brown was late on the taxes.” (Jack Torry and Joe Hallet, “With Penalty, Interest; Brown Pays Property-Tax Bill In D.C.,” The Columbus Dispatch, 2/16/12)

In March, Shelley Berkley voted against a measure to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  The IPAB is a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats that was created by Obamacare to cut Medicare costs.  Even Obama’s own Health & Human Services secretary admitted the IPAB could threaten access to some healthcare. Additionally, the chief actuary of Medicare said some of the access problems could be very serious. 

 Berkley has opposed them in the past, but this time she voted to support her party and preserve the IPAB.  Maybe she thinks the IPAB is bad, maybe she thinks the IPAB is good, but what’s the difference when you only vote the way your party wants you to?



The IPAB Consists Of 15 Unelected “Experts.”  “So the IPAB – an unelected, 15-member board of health care ‘experts’ – will be mandated to cut Medicare spending to achieve targeted savings.” (Douglas Holtz-Eakin, “Repeal Dnd Replace IPAB,” Politico, 7/12/11)


The 15-Member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) Will Recommend Medicare Payment Cuts To Doctors. “If Congress has the will to tackle Medicare spending, it won’t have to worry about a controversial cost-cutting panel created by the healthcare reform law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday. Republicans charge that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will ‘ration’ seniors’ care, and it has been a top target in the GOP’s assault on President Obama’s healthcare law. The 15-member board will recommend cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, which will take effect automatically unless Congress votes to block them.” (Sam Baker, “Sebelius Tests Congress On Medicare Board,” The Hill, 7//13/11)


Doctors Have Refused New Medicare Patients Because Of Lower Reimbursement Rates. “The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program.  Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low.” (Richard Wolf, “Doctors Limit New Medicare Patients,” USA Today, 6/21/10)


  • 18 Percent Of Doctors In Illinois Restrict Their Number Of      Medicare Patients. “In Illinois, 18% of doctors restrict the number of      Medicare patients in their practice, according to a medical society      survey.” (Richard Wolf, “Doctors Limit New      Medicare Patients,” USA Today,      6/21/10)


HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Claims IPAB Will “Drive Down Costs Without Affecting Our Seniors’ Access To The Care And Treatment They Need.” “Given the long list of additional considerations the statute imposes on the Board, we expect the Board will focus on ways to find efficiencies in the payment systems and align provider incentives to drive down costs without affecting our seniors’ access to the care and treatment they need.” (HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Energy And Commerce Committee, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 7/13/11, p. 12)


  • SEBELIUS: “The Claims That The Board Will Ration Care Are Simply False.” (Kathleen Sebelius, Op-Ed, “IPAB Will Protect Medicare,” Politico, 6/23/11)


But Richard Foster, Medicare’s Chief Actuary Says Cuts To Medicare Could Leave Many Providers “Unwilling Or Unable To Continue Providing Services.” “If the cuts do go into effect, many providers would be ‘unwilling or unable to continue providing services,’ Foster said.” (Philip Klein, “Medicare’s Chief Actuary Says Obamacare’s Cuts To The Program Likely Unsustainable,” Washington Examiner, 7/13/11)

  • Foster Warns “Access Problems Could Be Serious.” “The potential access problems could be serious.” (Philip Klein, “Medicare’s Chief Actuary Says Obamacare’s Cuts To The Program Likely Unsustainable,” The Washington Examiner, 7/13/11)


Sebelius Eventually Conceded That IPAB Could Threaten Access To Certain Treatments Such As Dialysis. “‘If Congress accepted the recommendations and made the decision that cuts in dialysis were appropriate,’ Sebelius replied, ‘I assume there could be some providers who would decide that would not be a service they would any longer deliver…’” (HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, House Energy And Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, Testimony, 7/13/11; Access Video Here)


Payment Decisions Will Lead To “De Facto Rationing.” “The board’s payment decisions…will inevitably result in de facto rationing by cutting payments and therefore access to certain benefits.” (Grace Marie-Turner, Budget Committee, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 7/12/11, p. 4)


  • Doctors Will Turn Away More Patients “Once IPAB Ratchets Down Payments Further.” “…[D]octors are already turning away patients because of low reimbursements. Once IPAB ratchets down payments further, they’ll turn away even more patients.” (Jonathan Cohn, “Why IPAB Is Essential — A Timely Review,” Kaiser Health News,” 7/29/11)


Berkley Voted Against A Bill To Repeal The IPAB. “To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system.” (H.R. 5, CQ Vote #126: Adopted 223-181: R 216-10; D 7-171, 3/22/12, Berkley Voted Nay)


Berkley Has Been Opposed The IPAB In The Past. “Berkley also had been opposed to the board, contending it took away authority over Medicare rates that should remain with Congress.” (Steve Tetreault, “Nevadans Disagree On Medicare Board Repeal,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/23/12)