tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News September 21, 2013 11:00am-11:31am PDT
and some superheroes need complete and balanced meals with 23 vitamins and minerals. purina dog chow. help keep him strong. dog chow strong. this week on "the journal," house republicans decide that defunding obama care is the price of keeping the government open, setting the stage for a showdown in the senate. is it a smart strategy for the gop? plus, a newly uncovered list of targeted groups shows how and why the irs singled them out for scrutiny. and two years after scott walker's reforms, a look at what's happened to wisconsin's unions now that public workers have a choice. welcome to "the journal" editorial report, i'm paul gigot. house republicans decided this
week to strip funding for obama care from a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running past september 30th, setting the stage for a showdown in the senate next week as a shutdown looms. some in his own party have called the move political suicide. but house speaker john boehner had this message for his critics and his senate colleagues. >> obama care's driving up the cost of health care, it's destroying millions of american jobs, it is a train wreck. it'll have to go. we've done everything humanly possible over the last 2 1/2 years to make our point and we'll continue to make our point. it's time for them to pick up the mantle and get the job done. >> joining the panel this week, dan henninger, and editorial board member, joe rago. so, kim, does this mean the ted cruz republican, senator from texas, pushing this strategy, does this mean the house is now
on board the cruz train? >> well, senator cruz has one tough battle, although what he wins we don't yet know. i mean, here's the reality, john boehner had no option but to go ahead with this. guys like ted cruz suggested this was a matter of principle that republicans vote for them. this now goes to the senate, but yet already, we've had senator cruz and everyone acknowledge what everyone should've known from the start. they don't have the votes to pass this in the senate. so harry reid is going to pass it out and send it back to the house and we're looking at potential shutdown. >> and we don't know what the house will do there. is there a strategy here that you can detect to achieve some kind of outcome? and what is that outcome? >> well, the outcome presumably is to repeal or somehow overturn -- >> i know, i've talked to these people privately, dan.
they don't -- even ted cruz and these guys, they say, well, we're not going to be able to defund obama care. >> well, ted cruz has said he thought he was going to generate grass roots uprising the way people were molded against going to war in syria and going to do something slaer here. obama care, whatever feelings are out there, it was not going to produce a grass roots uprising. now my understanding is that heir harry reid is going to do is hold a series of votes and allow republicans to vote for the measure that deletes funding for obama care. but after the second procedural vote, he's only going to need 54 votes to pass more amendments. and that is when they will vote to simply strip it out, send it back to the house, the house is, i think, going to vote for the clean continuing resolution and move on having made this quote, unquote point. >> i'm not so sure -- that might
be true, but are you sure they can get a clean resolution through? or are we back to the place where they're going to send another bill with the de-fund obama care thing over to the senate and go to a possible shutdown? >> right, well, they're transferring leverage where the main democratic goal is to delete the sequester, increase -- >> these are the automatic spending cuts that have been taking place. democrats want to get rid of that. >> right and they will if the house can't get 218 votes for a bill. >> what do you think's going to happen. >> we're headed towards a shutdown. everything's getting folded into the increase in the debt ceiling where it's a hostage republicans can't shoot, so they're losing their leverage. and the guys who are pushing this plan just do not have a rational end game here. they're going to lose everything on health care and they're going
to lose on domestic spending. >> so you're not very optimistic about this. kim, the best case scenario the republicans say, look, if it goes to a shutdown, the voters will blame the president for doing it because he's so insistent on keeping obama care. force some kind of concessions on the democrats, maybe a delay for a year on obama care. is that the best-case scenario you can see here? >> it's the best-case scenario but also wishful thinking, paul. there's not one shred of evidence out there in polls that if a shutdown comes, the president is going to take the blame for it. he'll have the media on his side, the bully pulpit, he will put this on republicans' shoulders and the best-case scenario, republicans will share the blame which ought to be the last thing they're looking for as they go into this next election hoping to take back the senate and keep the house. >> what's the worst case scenario, dan? >> the worst case is the
shutdown and then this tsunami of bad publicity washes over the republicans. they have no strategy for dealing with that. i kind of doubt it's going to happen. senator of utah associated with cruz on this has said shutdowns are bad, it's not worth shutting down the government over this bill. i think they're going to step back from the brink. >> from the brink. but if they don't and some republicans insist on that kind of a showdown, could they put the house majority in jeopardy? >> i think they could put the house majority at risk. >> is that a possibility, joe? >> i think so. and i think that's what president obama wants to happen here. i think it's the only kind of disruptive event that could change the status quo. >> go ahead, kim, yeah? >> you know, there is one more possibility here. there is now talk about when senator reid sends us back to the house, stepping back from de-fund and instead putting something in this bill that might indeed give republicans some leverage over democrats. for instance, a provision that strips this special subsidy that the white house just decided to
keep dispensing for congressional staff for their own health care. democrats are very scared of something like that. they don't want to see that subsidy go away. perhaps if you put that in a bill, it might increase republicans' negotiating leverage in upcoming fights like, for instance, over the debt ceiling to get changes in obama care. >> interesting twist, kim. and we'll be watching to see if that happens. all right. when we come back, new evidence in the irs targeting scandal. a just released list reveals what groups were singled out by the tax agency and why. ville an. ...amelia... neil and buzz: for teaching us that you can't create the future... by clinging to the past. and with that: you're history. instead of looking behind... delta is looking beyond. 80 thousand of us investing billions... in everything from the best experiences below... to the finest comforts above. we're not simply saluting history... we're making it.
fresh evidence this week in the irs targeting scandal as newly uncovered documents showed the tax agency flagged political groups. the vast majority conservative based on the political views represented in their literature raising concerns about so-called anti-obama rhetoric, inflammatory language and
emotional statements made by the nonprofits seeking tax exempt status. collin leavy joins us with more. this has been percolating behind the scenes as we've been all talking about syria and the shutdowns and everything else. what are we learning about -- that we didn't know before? >> paul, i think what we got this week was a much fuller account of exactly which groups were targeted and why. and i think we're also getting a very good sense now of what the irs internal process was. this document that you're referring to is basically a list that washington irs officials were keeping in 2011 that looked specifically at tea party groups and a lot of other conservative groups and made specific notes about whether or not those groups were engaged on quote unquote propaganda, what kind of status they were seeking, other areas of concern, you mentioned the emotional statements, also
issues of specific comments about whether or not their websites had comments about president obama. by the way, none of those made any reference to comments about conservative candidates. there is a sense they were looking for rhetoric. >> and this was reported by "usa today," correct? >> correct. >> and we don't know who the source was for this. but presumably somehow got there through the investigators. so, collin, what's your sense of what this means? does this really show once and for all that the washington headquarters knew about this from the beginning? >> i think it's absolutely clear that's what was going on here. and when you look at it, too, you see the numbers, some of the numbers that were out of the house ways and means committee. they showed that 83% of these groups overall that were targeted were republican or conservative leaning groups. only 10% or less leaning groups.
and of those, the actual approval rate for the tax exempt status was much different for the conservative groups. the conservative groups were seeing approval rates less than half, about 45%, the left-leaning groups seeing approval rates of about 70%. that's a big difference. >> yeah. that's a pretty shocking statistic. the government oversight committee house committee came out with the interim report on this in the investigation this week. any good information in there? >> the big point of that report, paul, was the idea that after a number of interviews with irs employees and documents about what this shows is that irs officials we now know were highly aware of the political environment that was going on in 2010 when all of this started. aware that the president was out there every day, talking about shadowy or shady conservative groups, suggesting these groups somehow were walking on the wrong side of the law and that these employees not only knew
there was -- they heard that call and clearly were answering it but in addition they -- they were looking for cases that they felt would get media attention. and there were several references to this in documents. clearly know that political environment was influencing the irs. >> so even if there wasn't a direct order from anybody in the white house or treasury that said do this to these groups, the implication of what we know so far is that these employees at the irs heard this political environment, heard what the president and the democrats were saying and said, you know what, yeah, we'll do that, we'll look into this on our own. >> yeah, look, when the president of the united states is out there suggesting that there is an entire group of organizations that potentially are violating the law, people listen. and in this case, the irs was listening. >> implications, dan? >> well, look, the president in his state of the union speech in 2010 denounced the citizens united decision which allowed corporations to participate in political campaigns while the
supreme court was sitting in front of them. we now know from the lady at the center of this lois lerner said they were concerned these tea party groups were going to challenge the irs on citizens united and then in turn allow them to start accepting political money. they were absolutely obsessed with the idea that citizens united was going to be challenged by the tea party groups and looking for a reason to keep them at bay. and i think that's what has driven this entire process. >> speaking of lois lerner, you came up we mails between lerner and her staff also illuminated an angle here. >> yeah, they basically showed she was very closely watching this in february 2011. and also that, you know, she actually made offhand comments about the role the sec might
play in aiding in. >> the federal election commission is the fec. >> of course, yes. >> the one other thing that happened this week too that was interesting was that we also learned that in addition to the targeting that happened on the front end that after a lot of these groups were approved by the irs, a lot of conservative groups were then flagged for follow-on sort of surveillance to make sure that they were, you know, they were actually being watched by an examinations unit in dallas that was making sure that they were comporting with the tax exempt status that they had sought. so there was actually a second layer to this. >> all right. this is all fascinating stuff and we should point out that lois lerner declined to testify in front of congress. but she's not speaking about this at this time. when we come back, is big labor in trouble? wisconsin sees a sharp drop in union membership following governor scott walker's reforms and the aflcio votes on a
controversial new plan to boost its sagging membership. we'll have both stories next. [ male announcer ] this is pam. her busy saturday begins with back pain, when... hey pam, you should take advil. why? you can take four advil for all day relief. so i should give up my two aleve for more pills with advil? you're joking right? for my back pain, i want my aleve. how can i be a more fun mom? hmmm. can you dance? ♪ bum ba bum ba bum ♪ bum ba bum ba bum no. no? can you make campbell's chicken noodle soup? yes! [ wisest kid ] every can has 32 feet of slurpable noodles. now that's fun. mom, you're awesome. oh yeah! ♪ bum ba bum ba bum gong ] [ wisest kid ] m'm! m'm! good!
some new signs of trouble for big labor as membership woes plague unions across the country. in wisconsin, state unions have lost tens of thousands of members since republican governor scott walker's reforms became law in 2011 as public workers opt out of representation. and at its annual convention in los angeles this month, the aflcio voted to invite nonunion workers to join the ranks in an effort to bolster sagging membership roles. so what's been going on in wisconsin here two years after these reforms took effect?
>> yeah, it's no question the unions are taking a big hit here, paul. the news recently was that the teachers union was desecertifie. and that's something that's been going on across the state. you've seen the wisconsin education association union has lost about half of its members since 2010, ask me has also seen its members fall. the milwaukee journal sentinel reported it has seen the members fall from 9,000 in 2010 to 3,500 in 2012. that's just a huge blow. this the affecting union finances and morale for sure. >> ask me is the association of county municipal and state workers. what's behind this? the fact that the union now no longer has a monopoly on bargaining power? >> yes, for sure.
scott walker's act basically gave all -- it basically required workers to recertify their union with a majority vote every year. so the union now has to basically earn its members' respect. >> i can see, kim, this is why the unions fought walker's reform so dramatically because they were worried that if they no longer had government putting them in the cat bird seat in negotiating authority that when union members get a choice, pay dues, don't pay dues, they often say, you know what, i think i won't pay dues. >> well, and that's why you see, for instance, such a ferocious protest among unions for the movement in recent times some of the states that have been attempting to move to right to work states which also give workers a lot more freedom to not pay dues to a union, for instance. and some of this also gets to what we were talking about this aflcio vote if it happened
recently at convention to open up its doors to nonunion members. part of this is a reflection of the fact that all across the country, union membership is dwindling. as recently as 20 years ago, about 20% of americans were unionized. today that number is closer to 11%. so now they're opening up their doors to other groups, alliances of groups like the naacp and the sierra club in an attempt to keep their strength. >> right. i want to talk about that. but the nature is also changing. the private sector membership down 6.6%. now that's even down from 37% a couple of years ago. now the power within the union movement has shifted to public workers not to the old manufacturing industries. >> well, there's no question about it. and that's what the democratic party has now aligned itself with. i argue that's why the democrats simply vote for more public spending because their support comes from the people who are going to spend that money. these public employees.
but to kim's point, what you've got to keep in p mind here is a union is ultimately about a bargaining unit, right? you bargain for higher wages. >> better paid, better benefits, manier job security. that's their pitch. >> but these people being invited into the aflcio, the sierra club, women's clubs, student clubs. >> you're anointed. >> i'm invited. >> but they have no relationship to a workplace. the idea is the union will become a political force in american politics. a lot of members of traditional unions are not happy with -- >> why not? >> because it moves -- it undermines the central idea of a union which is to bargain for higher wages. and they don't like the idea they're going to be associated to this progressive club. some of them politically don't want to be associated with that. >> well, if you're with environmentalists and they kill the keystone pipeline, that kills thousands of union jobs. >> the labor union international
time now for hits and misses of the week. first you today. >> paul, this is a hit to the fourth circuit court of appeals which ruled this week that liking a political candidate on facebook is constitutionally protected free speech under the first amendment. willi william traxler wrote a like is a political equivalent of putting a yard sign on your front yard. so this may mean your news feed on face book is going to get clogged up with political commentary, but it's good news for the constitution. >> great. can't wait for that. joe? the census bureau put out new data this week.
on average, 6.6% decline through the country, 11% in ohio, florida, michigan, but there was one economic bright spot, washington, d.c. which saw 23% increase beating out all other states. .o a miss for america's >> 2011 that was? >> this is over the 2000s. >> okay. all right. >> well, paul, obama care starts october 1st. and in preparation, cleveland's biggest employer, the renowned cleveland clinic announced it's going to have to cut $300 million out of its budget. it's going to offer early retirement to quite a few of its employees, and then that may be followed with layoffs. now clinics like the cleveland clinic medical centers are the same in pennsylvania and other states. and if they start getting hammered like this, i think people are going to greet obama care with a lot of raspberries. >> dan, thank you. remember, you have if your own hit or miss, send it to us at
foxnews.com and follow us on twitter at jer@fnc. hope to see you right here next week. fox news alert, a bloody attack rocking the capital city of kenya. new video in of adults and children running for their lives. look at this. we're learning that several gunmen stormed an upscale shopping center firing ak-47s, throwing grenades, allegedly targeting non-muslims. and the state department says that americans may be among the injured. so we're going to keep close tabs on that. hello, everybody. >> welcome to a brand new "america's news headquarters." the red cross says nearly two dozen people are dead and that number is expected to rise. right now the