Rep. Messer Appointed to Task Force on Reigning in Federal Government, Empowering States

Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) was recently appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan to serve on the recently created bipartisan Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs, which is charged with working to restore the proper balance of power between federal, state and local governments.

Messer is among seven Republican House members appointed to the 13-member task force.

“Indiana has proven time and again that the best government is closest to the people it serves,” Messer said. “Our states, cities and counties are the true engine for innovation in government. I’m excited to work on this task force to combat federal overreach and return power to states.”

The task force will partner with state and local governments to determine where the federal government has overstepped and come up with solutions to return control to states and local entities. The task force will also provide a forum for states, cities and counties to showcase innovation and creativity in solving public policy problems.

“Federalism is not a Republican or Democrat principle, but an American principle – and one that is integral to a thriving culture and economy,” Speaker Ryan said. “But in recent years, the principle of federalism has been slowly chipped away at by an overzealous federal government. Under Chairman Rob Bishop’s leadership, the Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs will study ways to restore the proper balance of power between the federal government and states, tribal and local governments, and eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens facing communities across the nation.”


Speaker’s Designee Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)

Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN)
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL)
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Rep. Jenniffer Gonzáles-Colón (R-PR)

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)
Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD)
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)

National Association of Counties (NACo)
National Governors Association (NGA)
Council of State Governments (CSG)
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
National League of Cities (NLC)
U.S. Conference of Mayors
International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

Elephant Race: Analyst Ranks ’16 GOP Candidates

AGreg Valliere of the Potomac Research Group recently ranked the likelihood of 10 Republican hopefuls for the 2016 candidacy for President. Business Insider offers a summary for each candidate, but here’s the list. (And you’ll notice our governor made the list — and some in the media speculate he has a much better shot than that.):

10. Mike Pence
9. Scott Walker
8. Rick Santorum
7. Paul Ryan
6. Chris Christie
5. Mitt Romney
4. Ted Cruz
3. Rand Paul
2. Marco Rubio
1. Jeb Bush

New Woodward Book Chronicles Obama/Boehner Budget Battle

Bob Woodward, set to speak with Carl Bernstein at our Nov. 1 Annual Dinner, has a new book coming out next week that seems to document the cantankerous relationship between President Obama and House Majority Leader Boehner — at least as it pertains to the budget negotiations of 2011. ABC News reports (read the full article as it also includes excerpts about Mitt Romney’s VP choice Paul Ryan):

An explosive mix of dysfunction, miscommunication, and misunderstandings inside and outside the White House led to the collapse of a historic spending and debt deal that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were on the verge of reaching last summer, according to revelations in author Bob Woodward’s latest book. The book, "The Price of Politics," on sale Sept. 11, 2012, shows how close the president and the House speaker were to defying Washington odds and establishing a spending framework that included both new revenues and major changes to long-sacred entitlement programs. But at a critical juncture, with an agreement tantalizingly close, Obama pressed Boehner for additional taxes as part of a final deal — a miscalculation, in retrospect, given how far the House speaker felt he’d already gone. The president called three times to speak with Boehner about his latest offer, according to Woodward. But the speaker didn’t return the president’s phone call for most of an agonizing day, in what Woodward calls a "monumental communications lapse" between two of the most powerful men in the country. When Boehner finally did call back, he jettisoned the entire deal. Obama lost his famous cool, according to Woodward, with a "flash of pure fury" coming from the president; one staffer in the room said Obama gripped the phone so tightly he thought he would break it.

A Few Good Men… in Politics?

Politics is a brutal game. Personal insults. Name-calling. Misrepresenting opponents’ positions. Watching this banter is about the only thing negative about the fall season for many Hoosiers. But a new magazine, The Good Men Project, takes a less cynical stance, recognizing the Top 10 Good Men in American politics. And wouldn’t you know it — two Hoosiers made the list.

"While we don’t expect our list to restore your faith in America’s political system, we do hope to bring your attention to elected officials worth respecting for their integrity, their passion and their ideas," the editors added. "As our political landscape grows ever more polarized — and ordinary Americans feel increasingly alienated from the political process — the conventional wisdom seems to be that when it comes to elected officials, a good man is hard to find. As legendary humorist Kin Hubbard once put it, ‘We’d all love to vote for the best man, but he’s never a candidate."

The proprietors of the Good Men Project Magazine beg to disagree — and they placed two of Kin Hubbard’s fellow Hoosiers on their list to bolster their case. Citing a "need" to believe that there are still good men in public life, they spent months looking for them. Their list is bipartisan, and has its share of surprises. The criteria cited by the magazine in its accompanying article included integrity, intellectual honesty, respect for their political opponents – as well as their constituents – a belief in open government and a willingness to work in a bipartisan fashion. At a premium were men with compelling ideas, along with the political skill to help advance those ideas.

Here is the full list:

1. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan
2. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin
3. Mayor Cory Booker, Newark Democrat
4. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-Louisiana
5. Sen. Al Franken. D-Minnesota
6. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona
7. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana
8. Rep. Mark Strama, D-Tex.
9. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont
10. Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana Republican

Working our way up the list, the fiscally prudent Mitch Daniels — a former White House budget director who is sometimes mentioned as future GOP presidential material — was cited for his sheer competence in cutting a huge state budget deficit in Indiana, and for doing so humanely and without stirring up much animosity among Democrats — his job approval rating tops 70 percent.

Hat tip to the Chamber’s Ashton Eller for the story.