House conservatives gather this morning to take your questions about taxes, sequestration and a range of other issues facing Congress in the coming weeks and months. It’s your opportunity to be heard on Capitol Hill. Submit a question in the comments below.
Conversations with Conservatives runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET today. You can watch it below and also follow the action on Twitter (hashtag #CWC112) or Facebook. I’ll have the privilege of moderating.
Today’s gathering comes as lawmakers grapple with the major challenges heading into the upcoming August recess and beyond. With the Bush-era tax cuts expiring, Medicare payments to doctors ending, sequestration looming and the debt-ceiling possibly rising, there’s a lot at stake in the next six months. Add to that unfinished appropriations bills, which might not be done by Election Day or later.
Lawmakers also face a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government. A trio of Republican senators called on the House GOP to remove the threat of a government shutdown during the lame-duck session of Congress. Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) want action before the August recess to fund the government through early next year. Otherwise, they warn of Democrat mischief during the lame-duck session:
During that time, under the gloomy cloud of yet another government shutdown, members of Congress who lose in the 2012 elections can freely vote to raise taxes, increase spending, pass international treaties, increase the debt limit and gut national defense. They will never have to answer to voters again.
These important issues should not be decided in panicked moments. And it would be a complete disservice to the public if we chose to let an old Congress, completely unaccountable to voters, determine the major issues of our day.
We cannot give Reid this chance. Let us repeat: House Republicans need to pass the plan to keep the government funded through 2013 before the August recess.
Conversations with Conservatives is chaired by Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Jeff Landry (R-LA). Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Steve King (R-IA) and Ted Poe (R-TX) are also expected to attend.
The monthly event launched in March with the goal of giving free-market and liberty-minded members of Congress a greater voice on Capitol Hill. Members field questions from journalists and bloggers on Capitol Hill as well as an online audience.
Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey