Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bill to increase tuition at UF, FSU vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have allowed the University of Florida and Florida State University to increase tuition by virtually unlimited amounts.

Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

After saying for months he does not believe in tuition increases, Gov. Rick Scott stuck to his word Friday and vetoed a bill that would have allowed unlimited tuition hikes at top Florida universities.
Instead, he’s now calling on higher education leaders to review how each of the state’s 11 (soon to be 12) public universities fits into the system as a whole, and how each spends its money.
Scott said next week he’ll initiate a further review of the universities, with the goal of understanding “the return on an increased investment.”
The veto comes at a tense time, with universities bracing for a painful state budget cut for the fifth year in a row. This year, the total cut to the system is $300 million.
Had Scott signed HB 7129, universities that met 11 of 14 performance-based benchmarks would have been allowed to ask the Florida Board of Governors for hikes beyond a current 15 percent cap. The criteria included high GPAs of incoming freshmen and a high amount of research activity, for example. Only the University of Florida and Florida State University would have qualified.
UF and FSU were hoping to use additional revenues to enhance academic programs. They lobbied the governor hard on that point, putting on a town-hall meeting of sorts in Tallahassee a couple weeks ago to lay out their arguments.
UF President Bernie Machen said he wanted to raise his tuition to the national average, starting with freshmen admitted for fall 2013. UF’s tuition is currently about $5,700 a year. The national average is closer to $8,000. Machen said he would’ve used the money to hire more faculty.
FSU President Eric Barron wanted to use the money to bolster FSU’s programs in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Both expressed disappointment in statements released Friday afternoon.
Machen said he was “saddened,” and that “this legislation presented the University of Florida with a pathway toward excellence.”
Barron said “there is no doubt that this will slow our plans, given that the Legislature continues to take away resources.”
The Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system, had a similar reaction.
“Hopefully, someday soon, the state will decide to provide our universities with the tools they need to compete on a national stage,” said board chair Dean Colson.
State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan said regardless of the veto, the board would continue to advocate for increased investment in Florida’s universities.
The board already expects to hear from each university about their missions, goals and achievements at its next meeting in June — part of the annual “work plans” universities are required to present before asking for tuition differential increases. Those go along with the board’s recently released 2012-2025 strategic plan and annual accountability report, which include a host of new goals, like increased enrollment and a renewed focus on STEM fields.
The governor, who campaigned as an efficiency-minded businessman, has long been vocal about universities needing to use their resources to ensure that graduates can get jobs. Last year he asked the schools to provide data on everything from job descriptions of their highest-paid employees, costs and revenues for each of their programs and academic requirements for undergraduates.
He also has criticized universities raising tuition, which they’ve done for the past several years, saying that in the private sector, that kind of continual price hike would not allow any company to stay in business.
Under a program called “tuition differential,” universities’ boards of trustees are allowed to ask the Board of Governors for tuition hikes beyond whatever the Legislature adds to base tuition, so long as the total does not exceed 15 percent per year.
This year’s state budget does not include any base tuition hikes, instead assuming that universities will seek the full 15 percent on their own.
The universities say those increases, originally intended to enhance undergraduate education when the program began in 2008, have done nothing but offset state budget cuts — and even then, only partially.

Interview with Former Vice President Dick Cheney

Apr 23, 2012

Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave his first interview since undergoing heart transplant surgery. He also took questions from student interns at the Washington Center. In his comments he said he feels very fortunate and is doing well. Other topics included his political legacy, his experiences in the White House, and life after a heart transplant.

S.1925 Violence Against Women Act

Senate Session

Apr 26, 2012

U.S. Senate
VAWA  final vote 68 -31 through 2016 cuts authorization by 17%

Boehner: Obama Creating ‘Fake Fight’ Over Student Loan Rates

Thursday, 26 Apr 2012 03:53 PM

House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama of concocting a “fake fight” over student-loan interest rates as Democrats said the Republican plan to freeze the rate robs money from women’s health programs.

The partisan bickering broke out as the House prepared to debate legislation that Republican leaders rushed to the floor to try to seize the initiative on the issue and blunt Obama’s re-election pitch for the youth vote.

House Republicans’ legislation, to be voted on tomorrow, would extend for another year the 3.4 percent interest rate on college student loans. Unless Congress acts by July 1, the rate will rise to 6.8 percent. Senate Democrats and Republicans are offering competing plans for freezing the interest rate.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters today that she would urge fellow Democrats to vote against the Republican measure because it would be financed by eliminating child immunizations, cervical-cancer screenings and other disease prevention programs.

Republicans would pay for freezing the interest rate by waging “another assault on women’s health,” said Pelosi of California.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters today he was “very disappointed” with the House proposal. Reducing funds for preventive health care “doesn’t sound like a good deal to me,” the Nevada Democrat said.

Obama and Mitt Romney, who declared himself the Republican presidential nominee after sweeping five primary contests on April 24, are vying for the youth vote in a race that pollsters project will be close.

The former Massachusetts governor joined Obama in urging lawmakers to freeze interest rates students pay for the government loans while blaming him for an economy in which “50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.”

Senate Democrats and the White House are seeking to pay the $6 billion cost of a one-year interest-rate freeze by limiting a tax provision that allows some owners of so-called S- corporations to avoid paying Medicare payroll taxes on their earnings.

“We believe there’s an easy solution,” Reid said. “We can pay for this with a tax that people who make a lot of money have been avoiding for a long time.”

Obama, 50, told students in Iowa City, Iowa, yesterday that he and first lady Michelle Obama were paying off student loans as recently as eight years ago. “We’ve been in your shoes,” he said at the University of Iowa. “We can’t price the middle class out of an education.”

A Senate plan modeled on Obama’s rate-freeze proposal will come up for a vote in May after the Senate returns from next week’s recess, a Senate Democratic leadership aide said.
“We and the president are going to keep up the pressure on this issue,” Charles Schumer of New York, the Senate’s third- ranking Democrat, told reporters today. He said Republicans are “still battling this student loan bill. They’re just doing it in a stealthy way.”

Boehner said the $6 billion cost of preserving the 3.4 percent rate for an additional year would be financed under his proposal from a disease prevention and public-health fund in the health-care overhaul law Congress passed in 2010 when Democrats were in the majority.

Boehner derided that source as one of the “slush funds” in the health-care measure. 

The Republican bill would rescind the remaining $11.9 billion from the fund and use $5.9 billion to freeze loan interest rates for a year. The rest would be used for deficit reduction.

Boehner rejected a reporter’s suggestion that he was joining Obama to try to get the youth vote. “Please, this issue is not a partisan issue” because “no one here expected that interest rates were going to go up in July,” he said.

The House bill is H.R. 4628.

Speaker Boehner Blasts Obama During House Speech: ‘Do We Have To Fight About Everything?’

“How in the world did we get here,” Boehner began. “A fight being picked over an issue that everyone knew was going to be resolved. A fight being picked over an issue that there is no fight over.”
“Democrats, five years ago, put this clip in the law that would require interest rates to more than double on July first. I don’t know why they did it, but they did it,” Boehner continued. He said that no one wants to see those rates go up, and there is broad bipartisan agreement that low rates should be extended.
“Why do people insist that we have to have a political fight on something where there is no fight,” Boehner continued. “My god, do we have to fight about everything?”
“Now, we’re going to have a fight about women’s health. Give me a break,” Boehner said to applause.
This the latest plank in the so-called “war on women,” entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain. Let’s review the facts: The President, in his budget, called for reductions in spending in this slush fund that’s given to the Secretary of HHS. The President called for reductions in spending. He may have already forgotten that several months ago you all voted to cut $4 billion out of this slush fund when they passed the payroll tax credit bill. So to accuse us of wanting to gut women’s health is absolutely not true. Ladies and gentlemen, this is beneath us. This is beneath the dignity of this House and dignity of our constituents. They expect us to come here and to be honest with each other. To work out these issues. And to pick this big political fight where there is no fight is just silly. Give me a break.
Boehner received a standing ovation from his colleagues in the House Republican caucuses after his impassioned speech.

H. R. 4628 College loan interest rate bill

Apr 27, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives

 Final vote 215 - 195 for one year

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democratic women

Violence Against Women Act

Apr 27, 2012

U.S. Capitol
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democratic women held a press briefing to focus on the House Republican proposal to pay for student loan interest rate, which would cut women's health programs. They also called on House representatives to take up the Violence Against Women Act, which passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis.

H.R.3523 Cyber Security Bill

Apr 26, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives
One Minute Speeches (15 per side)
Begin Consideration of H.R. 3523 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, Rules Committee Print (Structured Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (MI) / Permanent Select Intelligence Committee)


The rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendments: (10 minutes of debate each)
Reps. Langevin / Daniel Lungren Amendment
Rep. Conyers Amendment
Rep. Pompeo Amendment #36
Reps. Rogers (MI)/Ruppersberger/Issa/Langevin Amendment
Rep. Jackson Lee Amendment
Reps. Quayle / Eshoo / Thompson (CA) Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Reps. Amash / Labrador / Paul / Nadler / Polis Amendment (
Reps. Mulvaney/Dicks Amendment
Rep. Flake Amendment
Rep. Richardson Amendment
Rep. Pompeo Amendment #37
Rep. Robert Woodall Amendment
Rep. Goodlatte Amendment
Rep. Michael Turner Amendment
Rep. Mulvaney Amendment
Rep. Paulsen Amendment
H.R. 4257 - Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012 (Suspension, 40 minutes of debate)

Constitutionality of Arizona's Immigration Law

Apr 24, 2012 

Senate Committee Judiciary | Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
Current and former Arizona state officials testified on the constitutionality of their state's immigration law and its impact on the state's Latino community.

Following the end of the hearing, one of the witnesses, Russell Pearce, who was one of the chief author's of the law, spoke with reporters.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals on U.S. v. Arizona (11/1/2010)(video and transcript with opinion)

9th Circuit Court of Appeals on U.S. v. Arizona (11/1/2010)

Case Name:USA v. State of Arizona
Case Number:10-16645EB
Hearing Location:San Francisco, CA

Arizona v. United States (Oral Argument and transcript)

Sorry late with this, had to wait for the courst to add the audio, which was late friday.  if I can get it on C-span I will add that here. 

Docket Number: 11-182
Date Argued: 04/25/12
Play Audio:

Media Formats:
mp3  MP3 Download Play
Windows Media  Windows Media Download Play
RealAudio  RealAudio 10 Download
PDF Transcript (PDF) View
11-182 Us vs Arizona

Is Immigration Good for America?(articles/Magazine)

Current Issue(Cato Institute)

Volume 32 Number 1, Winter 2012

James A. Dorn
Editor's Note
(PDF, 2 pp., 33Kb)
Daniel T. Griswold
Introduction: Is Immigration Good for America?
(PDF, 4 pp., 49Kb)
Bryan Caplan
Why Should We Restrict Immigration?
(PDF, 20 pp., 177Kb)
Gordon H. Hanson
Immigration and Economic Growth
(PDF, 10 pp., 95Kb)
Giovanni Peri
Immigration, Labor Markets, and Productivity
(PDF, 20 pp., 175Kb)
Joel Kotkin and Erika Ozuna
America's Demographic Future
(PDF, 16 pp., 140Kb)
Stuart Anderson
America's Incoherent Immigration System
(PDF, 14 pp., 126Kb)
Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny
The Economic Consequences of Amnesty for Unauthorized Immigrants
(PDF, 22 pp., 196Kb)
Edward Alden
Immigration and Border Control
(PDF, 18 pp., 151Kb)
Jim Harper
Internal Enforcement, E-Verify, and the Road to a National ID
(PDF, 14 pp., 117Kb)
Margaret D. Stock
Is Birthright Citizenship Good for America?
(PDF, 20 pp., 164Kb)
Daniel T. Griswold
Immigration and the Welfare State
(PDF, 16 pp., 147Kb)
Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda
The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
(PDF, 26 pp., 219Kb)
Joshua C. Hall, Benjamin J. VanMetre, and Richard K. Vedder
U.S. Immigration Policy in the 21st Century: A Market-Based Approach

Is Immigration Good for America?

Cato Conference
Thursday, April 26, 2012
9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Featuring: Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement; Tamar Jacoby, ImmigrationWorks USA; Pia Orrenius, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Ali Noorani, National Immigration Forum; Barry Chiswick, George Washington University; Jim Harper, Cato Institute; Madeline Zavodny, Agnes Scott College; Stuart Anderson, National Foundation for American Policy; Ted Alden, Council on Foreign Relations; Bryan Caplan, George Mason University; Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute. Moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Sallie James, and Dan Ikenson of the Cato Institute.
The Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

The Winter 2012 issue of Cato Journal was devoted to the critical question of "Is Immigration Good for America?" In conjunction with its publication, we are pleased to present this special Conference, featuring presentations by many of the national experts who contributed to the publication, along with addresses by other key figures in the immigration debate.
We are a nation peopled almost exclusively by immigrants or those who are descended from immigrants. More than any other major nation, we are defined by our immigrant past, present, and future. Yet there are significant incongruities between the immigration system we currently have and the one that would best serve our economic interests and our ideals as a free society.
This conference will address a number of key questions, including:
  • What are the arguments for immigration restriction?
  • What are the economic benefits and costs of immigration?
  • What are the economic effects of an "amnesty" for unauthorized workers in the U.S.?
  • What is the demographic impact of immigration in an era of declining birthrates?
  • How easy or difficult is it to immigrate legally to the United States?
  • What is the effect of immigration enforcement on the border and in the workplace?
  • Should we retain the doctrine of birthright citizenship as it has been interpreted in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution?
  • Is immigration incompatible with a welfare state?
  • What kind of reforms of current immigration policy would be most beneficial, and can market incentives be utilized to allocate immigration visas?
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m - 9:05 a.m. Opening Remarks

Dan Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute
9:05 a.m. - 9:25 a.m. Keynote Address

123Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO, ImmigrationWorks USA

9:25 a.m - 10:35 a.m. Panel 1: The Economics and Demographics of U.S. Immigration

Moderator: Sallie James, Cato Institute

Pia Orrenius, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Ali Noorani, National Immigration Forum
Barry Chiswick, George Washington University
10:35 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. Coffee Break

10:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Panel 2: Assessments of the Current U.S. Immigration System

Moderator: Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute

Jim Harper, Cato Institute
Madeline Zavodny, Agnes Scott College
Stuart Anderson, National Foundation for American Policy
12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement
12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Panel 3: Immigration Solutions

Moderator: Dan Ikenson, Cato Institute

Ted Alden, Council on Foreign Relations
Bryan Caplan, George Mason University
Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute