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Raleigh News Observer: Ellmers Takes Part in High Dollar Fundraiser [Raleigh News Observer, 12/26/11] Raleigh News Observer: Ellmers: Etheridge was politicking; I’m talking to citizens [Raleigh News Observer, 9/19/11] Raleigh News Observer: Taxpayer-funded mailings work for Ellmers [Raleigh News Observer, 9/20/11] Raleigh News Observer: Ellmers all over TV [Raleigh News Observer, 8/3/11] Politico: More House 'pay-per-view' events [Politico, 8/17/11]
“I plan on working, first of all, with or without a salary,” Ellmers said. “That’s honorable for those individuals who are doing that, but I need my paycheck.” [Daily Caller, 4/7/11] Ellmers Called the Payroll Tax A Gimmick. “Payroll tax holiday, yeah sure, that's okay. I think we can do that, but it's not the answer and that's what our President and that's what Harry Reid and the Senate keep pushing for, these tiny little feel good measures. We don't need more gimmicks. We need leadership.” [North Carolina News Network, 11/30/11]
Top Videos Editorials
Strong Editorial against Ellmers In August 2011, the News Observer published an editorial that explained that “Ellmers won election on a platform so cockeyed and counterproductive - especially in resisting President Obama's push for health care reform - that it was hard to imagine her doing much of anything right of any significance, much less if it involved splitting with her tea party base.” The editorial concluded by saying that “What's more certain is that so long as John Boehner remains House speaker, Ellmers is on track to rise as a leadership favorite with tea party ‘cred.’” [News Observer,
Strong Editorial Saying Ellmers Gave Up on Tea Party In August 2011, in an editorial published in the News Observer, the paper explained that “On the GOP side, especially notable was the Yes vote of Renee Ellmers of Dunn. Ellmers said the deal made
worthwhile gains for debt reduction, putting her at odds with many fellow tea partyers who held out for more. Instead, Ellmers lined up prominently with the House Republican leadership.” [News Observer,
Fort Bragg Will Lose Its “Experienced Congressmen Looking Out for It” with Renee Ellmers. “The remapping, if it stands up to likely challenges, will have a profound impact on Cumberland County […] The 2nd District, home of freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers, will expand to include about three-quarters of Cumberland County. If Cumberland County loses Reps. Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell, and Ellmers is re-elected next year, it will leave Cumberland County in the hands of a one-term representative just getting to know our issues, and two more who know little about us. Now let's add one more issue to that concern: Fort Bragg, the Army's leading post. The post is a key part of America's military, present and future, and it long has had experienced congressmen looking out for it […] If the General Assembly's political mappers want to make their work about politics, about strengthening the Republican majority and about steering more of our congressional delegation into the GOP, that's legitimate. But we wish they'd also steer Fort Bragg's interests into a district whose representative knows something about the military. What happens there shouldn't be left to beginners.” [Fayetteville Observer, 7/6/11]
Ellmers Voted for Automatic Debt Cuts States Could Lose Almost 9% of Their Federal Funding. “The failure of Congress to slash the national deficit threatens to cascade from Washington straight into North Carolina's schools, stores and doctor's offices […] North Carolina receives billions in federal funding each year. The exact amount that will be slashed in 2013 probably won't be known for months, but economic analysts with the Congressional Budget Office and National Governor's Association have recommended states estimate between a 7.8 percent and 8.8 percent cut of nonexempt programs [… ] Some of the most vulnerable programs are those designed to assist poor and low-income families. They include Head Start, special education grants, child welfare services, public housing grants.” [News and Observer, 1/9/11; CBO, 9/12/11] Duke University Could See a 9 Percent Cut. “An estimated 9 percent cut in the $417 million that Duke University gets from the National Institute of Health to research cures for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's, alternative energy and national security.” [News and Observer, 1/9/11] Title I School Districts Could Lose Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars. “The loss of federal funds for public schools with large populations of low-income students. In Cabarrus County, for example, that means the school system could lose money that pays for a series of federal programs, including $210,000 in Title 1 funding, which helps low-income schools hire teachers and assistants to reduce class sizes, improve computer labs, purchase supplies, and increase teacher training […] Marion Bish, director of federal programs at Cabarrus County Schools, said all 29,000 students in the district would be affected. More than 40 percent of the county's students receive free and reduced lunches. The system could lose funding for several programs, including Head Start, special education, and state testing. Bish is particularly concerned about the 5,500 students at the district's 10 Title 1 schools.” [News and Observer,
Mom-and-Pop Shops Would See the Effects of Military Cuts. Military towns like Fayetteville “could lose $351 million in defense contracts and tens of millions in civilian payroll […] The army base, which supports more than 60,000 soldiers and airmen, 14,000 civilians, and 5,400 contract employees, injects nearly $11 billion into the local economy. Seventy-five percent of Da Bootshop's business comes from military personnel and their families. Reyes said he's already fighting to stay open because of the bad economy, extended deployments, and damage from Hurricane Irene. Cutting defense contracts at Fort Bragg by even a small margin, he said, could be the breaking point for his business and others nearby.”
[News and Observer, 1/9/11]
Cuts Would Impact Military Personnel and Would “Tear a Seam in the Nation’s Defense.” “The $500 billion in defense spending cuts would be keenly felt in North Carolina, which has a large military footprint. The state has the third-largest number of active service men in the country. While pay for active-duty military is exempt, weapons programs, training, and civilian employees could be cut. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told Congress that Pentagon is already planning $450 billion in cuts in the next decade. He said the additional cuts, which would amount to about $1 trillion, would tear ‘a seam in the nation's defense’ and lead to the smallest ground force since 1940. Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and other bases in the state could see pay freezes or even layoffs for some of their 20,000-plus civilian employees.”
[News and Observer, 1/9/11]
Ellmers Blamed Obama for Supercommittee Failure In November 2011, Ellmers blamed Obama for supercommittee failure. “Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., is the latest to blame President Obama for the failure of a congressional bipartisan ‘supercommittee’ to cut $1.2 trillion from federal deficits. The lack of an agreement generated a new groundswell of bickering this week as members of Congress blamed the opposition's party for failing to come to terms on taxes, spending and Social Security. ‘President Obama and his party in Congress are acting like spoiled children,’ she said in a statement. ‘They take what they want and have a meltdown in the candy aisle when a responsible parent tells them 'no!’” [News and Observer, 11/22/11] Ellmers Urged Cutting Spending: “Today’s Budget Crisis is Dangerous” In February 2011, on the House floor, Ellmers stated “Today we come to terms with the fact that we cannot spend money on everything we want, regardless of the good intentions.— Today’s debt crisis is a very real threat to our liberty. Liberty allows people to work hard and achieve what they want, be responsible for their own actions and be free.— I believe that no one should be entitled to another’s hardearned provisions, and that government should support its citizens, not burden them with insurmountable debt and obligations they cannot fulfill.” [Ellmers Floor Remarks HR 1, 2/16/11] Ellmers Considered Voting to Raise the Nation’s Debt In January 2011, Ellmers stated that she would consider raising the nation’s debt if there were substantial budget cuts. She did not want to raise the debt ceiling but realized that Congress might need to increase how much the government can borrow. "We've got to be able to prove to the American people that we're just not arbitrarily raising the debt ceiling so that we can do some more big spending," Ellmers said. Her
starting point for budget cuts was $100 billion, the same amount Republicans vowed to remove. [The Charlotte Observer, 1/21/11] Ryan Medicare Plan “Will Work Much Better” and “Promote Competition” According to the Charlotte Observer, “The Republican plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and approved by the House would not affect current seniors, but would sharply change the program for people under 55. It would require future Medicare recipients to buy private insurance policies through the Medicare program. Ellmers and other Republican supporters say moving health insurance for seniors to private insurance companies will work much better and promote competition. [Charlotte Observer, 4/27/11] Compared Plan to Those Offered by Members of Congress According to the Charlotte Observer, “Ellmers said the Republican Medicare plan would be similar to the health plan offered to members of Congress, allowing people to choose a private insurer with the government under Medicare paying a set amount. Ellmers said having private companies provide insurance to the elderly would promote competition and lower prices. She said funding for Medicare would rise under the Republican budget. She said under the Democratic health care plan passed by Congress last year, $500 billion was cut out.” [Charlotte Observer, 4/27/11] Ellmers A “No” Vote on Debt Ceiling In May 2011, Renee Ellmers voted against raising the debt ceiling saying that "Over the past five years, our national debt has exploded to historic and dangerous proportions. But as the looming debt limit has approached, neither the Obama Administration, nor his allies in Congress have done anything to reign in the spending which is robbing our future. As today's vote shows, business as usual is over and substantial changes to our budget must take place. I, along with all my Republican colleagues voted against raising the debt limit and rejected the attempt to continue borrowing without substantially cutting the runaway spending that is crippling our nation.” [Renee Ellmers Press Release, 05/31/2011] Called for Trillions in Cuts In May 2011, in an interview with biggovernment.com, Ellmers expressed her concern that a deal regarding the debt ceiling might not get anywhere if significant spending cuts are not made. Ellmers stated that “This is where the debate will move from how many Billions we have cut to how many Trillions we must cut. I do not believe in going into negotiations with broad mandates but I will say that without significant cuts to the debt and government spending these talks will go nowhere.”
Claimed Republicans Have “So Many Programs” to Help The Economy In June 2011, Ellmers did an interview with the Bill LuMaye show, in which she chided Democrats for their inability to solve the economy and said that the Republicans “are so tired of playing politics up here with the back and forth and back and forth. We keep coming up with ideas about creating jobs and
improving the private sector. We have so many programs… that’s the way we are going to turn the economy around.” [Bill LuMaye Show, 06/02/2011] “Huge Proponent of the Ryan Plan” In June 2011, Ellmers did an interview with the Bill LuMaye show in which she expressed her full support for all aspects of the Paul Ryan Budget Plan, including the drastic changes to the Medicare program and lowering the tax rate to around 25%. Ellmers said that “I am a HUGE proponent of the Ryan Plan. I think it answers so many different issues. It’s not just about Medicare, it’s about Medicare it’s about entitlements but its about creating that future atmosphere in the business world where we’re creating jobs, we’re creating revenue…We will create jobs by keeping us at the same tax rate or actually decreasing our tax rate to about the 25% range and it’s about how we can all win. One person winning does not mean somebody else loses, we can all win in this situation and we can turn this economy around and it takes strong language like the Ryan budget, I was proud of him today and our meeting with the President today, the Republican caucus sitting down with the President and he was very strong, he laid the plan out to him. And again, I believe in the Ryan Plan.”
[Bill LuMaye Show, 06/02/2011]
Voted in Favor of final Budget Control Act of 2011 In August 2011, Ellmers voted in favor of the final debt ceiling compromise. Ellmers explained that “While this agreement is not perfect, it is a positive step forward and consistent with the principles we set forth from the beginning. It meets the 'cuts more than the debt hike' standard that Speaker Boehner laid out in a speech to Economic Club of New York in May and is also consistent with what I have emphasized since these negotiations first started: namely the cuts will be greater than the increase to the debt limit and there will be no new taxes under this deal. Since 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times without any conditions. But with this new deal, the limit will be raised alongside substantial spending cuts including $1 Trillion now and $1.2 Trillion more based on recommendations of a special Congressional committee. This deal, while not perfect, is a fiscally sound solution to put an end to this spending-driven debt crisis and is only the beginning of a long term battle on government spending to protect our families and their future." [Ellmers Press Release, 8/2/11] Ellmers Wrote Op-Ed in Support of Boehner Budget Control Act In July 2011, Ellmers wrote an op-ed proclaiming her support for the Boehner Bill. Ellmers explained that “We are engaged in a war on spending that started years before this crisis and will be waged for years to come. This current conflict over the national debt is the latest battle in the spending war that can and must be won. The Budget Control Act put forth by Speaker Boehner is not perfect, and as I have come to find throughout my life, few things are. This plan is the best step going forward and will keep our common sense, conservative principles at the table while keeping us engaged throughout these negotiations. I am proud to support Speaker Boehner and my Republican colleagues in this fight and will continue to fight each and every day to cut spending, protect job creators and give Americans the resources to make our economy prosperous again. I will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
[Daily Caller, 7/29/2011]
Voted In Favor of Final Debt Ceiling Package In August 2011, Ellmers voted for the final Budget Control Act of 2011. Ellmers explained her vote by saying that ““While this agreement is not perfect, it is a positive step forward and consistent with the principles we set forth from the beginning. It meets the ‘cuts more than the debt hike’ standard that Speaker Boehner laid out in a speech to Economic Club of New York in May and is also consistent with what I have emphasized since these negotiations first started: namely the cuts will be greater than the increase to the debt limit and there will be no new taxes under this deal... This deal, while not perfect, is a fiscally sound solution to put an end to this spending-driven debt crisis and is only the beginning of a long term battle on government spending to protect our families and their future.”
[Sanford Herald, 8/2/11]
Ellmers Wrote Op-Ed in Support of Final Budget Control Act of 2011 In August 2011, Ellmers wrote an op-ed showing her support for the final debt ceiling compromise. She explained that “This bill was nowhere near perfect - as few things in life are - but as I said last week, I will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” She continued, “It would have been easy to vote against this bill yesterday, as some of my Republican colleagues did, but I refused to take that easy way out. Our founding fathers made sure that in a democracy such as ours, with so many different views and wills of the people represented, dramatic change can only be possible through compromise.” Ellmers concluded by taking on President Obama, saying that “I will continue to fight each and every day for more cuts to our bloated spending and stop the job-killing policies that President Obama continues to force through. The battle continues, the mission remains, and the days of prosperity and economic growth are in our reach if we have the courage to do what is right.” [Ellmers op-ed, 8/3/11] Lauded Praise on Speaker Boehner In August 2011, Ellmers said that “the speaker has given the freshmen class everything we’ve asked for” in the debt ceiling negotiations. [Politico, 8/1/2011] All Over Television In August 2011, the News Observer proclaimed that Ellmers had been all over the television recently. According to the Observer, “Under the deal, the Pentagon is facing at least $350 billion in cuts over a decade. Ellmers said those cuts can be made without harming soldiers, their families or veterans.As the debt debate has raged in recent weeks, Ellmers has been a constant presence on national television. She was on ‘Fox & Friends’ on Monday morning and on ‘The Situation Room’ with Wolf Blitzer on CNN in the afternoon. She had to miss a scheduled appearance on ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight’ Monday because the House was voting.” [News Observer, 8/3/2011]
Voted In Favor of Boehner Budget Control Act In July 2011, Ellmers explained her vote in favor of the Boehner Budget Control Act. She said that "This evening, the House made history by successfully passing the Balanced Budget Act of 2011. This bill, which I am proud to support, is a fiscally sound solution to put an end to this spendingdriven debt crisis and will save the people who sent us here and their families from a bankrupt future.”
[Ellmers Press Release, 7/29/2011]
Ellmers Said She Would Continue to Fight For More Cuts to Our “Bloated Spending.” In August 2011, Ellmers said “Americans are fed up and disgusted with the way Washington has spent their money and caused this crisis […] I was elected by the people of the second district of North Carolina to represent their views and make the tough decisions […] I will continue to fight each and every day for more cuts to our bloated spending.” [Ellmers Press Release, 8/3/11]
Business and Consumer Issues
Voted to Support the REINS Act In Novebmer 2011, Ellmers supported the REINS Acts that would apply to all federal regulations. “I'm proud to announce the successful passage of the REINS Act today. Job creators and job seekers have been suffocated with unnecessary regulations that are harming our economic recovery […] [Small Businesses] are forced to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours navigating the confusing bureaucracy created by inefficient regulatory burdens. This is costing our economy billions of dollars while providing little relief to job seekers and employers.” [Ellmers Press Release, 12/7/11] Voted against Legislation to Prevent Oil Speculators from Driving up Gas Prices On May 4th, 2011 in the House Committee on Agriculture, Ellmers voted against an amendment to H.R. 1573 that would have prevented a Republican effort to slow the implementation of rules that could have helped rein in gas prices. H.R. 1573 would have delayed the regulation of derivatives markets overhaul set in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The amendment would have slowed the process at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) by limiting the influence of oil speculators who have driven up gas prices. The amendment would have exempted Section 737 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the CFTC to set position limits on commodity speculation, from the enactment date delays established by H.R. 1573. According to Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02), the amendment would have allowed the CFTC “to continue forward on their current schedule to rein in excessive speculating in commodity markets which has driven up the price of gas, food, and manufactured goods.”
The amendment, offered by Rep. Courtney, was narrowly defeated 22-23. It received support from two Republicans on the committee. [Courtney Amendment to HR 1573 in the House Agriculture Committee, 5/04/11;Rep. Joe Courtney Press Release, 5/04/11] Committee Passed a Bill to Delay Financial Regulatory Reform Measures On May 4th 2011 in the House Committee on Agriculture, the Committee passed by voice vote a bill to delay by 18 months the regulation of derivatives markets overhaul that had been put in place through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill, HR 1573, delayed the effective date of most derivatives market provisions from July 2011 to December 31, 2012. It also directed the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Securities Exchange Commission to first finish drafting definitions, such as those for swap dealers and securitybased swap agreements, thus excepting them from the deadline extension. Democrats on the committee accused Republicans of attempting to stall the regulatory measures outlined in the Dodd-Frank Act with the hopes of having a Republican administration in 2012 that could then either defund or repeal the law. The bill was passed by voice vote and reported favorably to the full House. [HR 1573 in the House Agriculture
Coordinated with Issa on Pro-Business Website In May 2011, Ellmers worked with House Oversight Committee Chairman Issa to create the website americanjobcreators.com. Elmers has said that “The website americanjobcreators.com gives business owners and managers the chance to submit their information and how government regulations are affecting their business and how eliminating them would allow them to hire people and create jobs.” [Biggovernment.com, 05/30/2011]
Ellmers Expected to Become Target of Anti-Incumbency Sentiment In October 2011, Ellmers said, “If you’re here [in office], you’re going be a target. […] I think you’re going to see a lot of challenges within our own party. I am assuming I will.” [NY Times, 11/1/11]
Campaign Finance Issues
Cantor and Boehner Raised Money for Ellmers In November 2011, Cantor and Boenher held fundraisers for Renee Ellmers. “Cantor, a Virginia Republican, is helping host a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers at Angus Barn, a Mecca for red meat - and not just the oratorical kind - in the capital city […] Cantor is the second
prominent GOP congressional leader to lend his name to an Ellmers fundraiser. House Speaker John Boehner was expected at a Nov. 16 fundraiser for the Dunn Republican in Washington. Ellmers' supporters see the moves as indication of her rising star power in Congress, while Democrats believe the big-name fundraisers suggest she'll need help in the next election.” [News and Observer, 11/22/11] Took $500 from Goldman Sachs In February 2011, Politico Reported that Ellmers had taken $500 from the Goldman Sachs Political Action Committee. [Politico – Huddle, 2/22/11] Ellmers’ First Fundraiser in DC Cost $80,000 In January 2011, Ellmers was part of a group of freshman republicans who held a swanky fundraiser at the W Hotel in Downtown Washington, DC. The fundraiser cost $80,000, which included $25,000 to have LeAnn Rimes perform, $22,000 for catering and lighting and $10,000 for “floral expense and event design.” [Politico, 1/31/11] Accepted $5,000 from SARAH PAC In June 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ellmers accepted a $5,000 donation from Sarah Palin’s political action committee. [Blog, Wall Street Journal, 7/18/2011] Ellmers Filed 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report In July 2011, Renee Ellmers for Congress filed its July 2011 Quarterly FEC Report. Ellmers raised $124,067.67 in the 2nd quarter of 2011 and has $263,658.23 cash on hand. She received $55,050.50 from PACs. Contributions of Note: Received $2500 from the Majority Committee PAC. In June 2011, Ellmers received $2500 from the Majority Committee PAC which is Kevin McCarthy’s leadership PAC. Her cycle total is $10,000. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11] Received $1,000 for Paul Ryan’s PAC. In June 2011, Ellmers received $1,000 from Prosperity PAC, Paul Ryan’s PAC. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11] Expenditures of Note: Spent $41,678 on Consultants. From April-June 2011, Ellmers spent $41,678 on consultants including Majority Connections LLC, Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, Malia Zaytoun, Frances Deck, Engage LLC and CM&Co. LLC. Spent $2352 at Capitol Hill Club. From April – June 2011, Ellmers Spent $$2353 at the Capitol Hill Club. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11] Spent $3654 at Johnny’s Half Shell. From April – June 2011, Ellmers spent $3654 at Johnny’s Half Shell. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11]
Contributed $11,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. In May 2011, Ellmers contributed $11,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11] Spent $407 on Blue Cross Blue Shield in North Carolina for Insurance. In April 2011, Ellmers spent $407 on Blue Cross Blue Shield in North Carolina for insurance. The one person on payroll, Sarah Barrington, received multiple reimbursements for “mileage/insurance/phone.” [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11] Other Items of Note: Ellmers Received $55050 from PACs. In his July 2011 Quarterly FEC report, Ellmers received $55,050 in PAC donations. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11]. Ellmers Struggled to Raise Campaign Funds While in office In October 2011, it was reported that House Republican freshmen, many of them political novices who rode to victory on an anti-Washington wave, discovered they were not very good at raising money while in office. Politico reported, “North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers, a former nurse, reported a paltry $97,000.” [Politico, 10/16/11] Ellmers Formed Leadership PAC In September 2011, Renee Ellmers began a leadership PAC, Conservatives Restoring Excellence. She did not filed an October Quarterly Report. [FEC Campaign Finance Reports for Conservatives Restoring Excellence PAC,
Ellmers Filed October 2011 Quarterly FEC Report In October 2011, Ellmers for Congress filed its October 2011 Quarterly FEC Report. Ellmers raised $97705.27 in the 3rd quarter of 2011, has $291,890.02 cash on hand and spent $69,473.48. Ellmers received $35,553.35 from PACs. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee, 10/15/11] Contributions of Note: Received $5,000 for Cantor’s Leadership PAC. In August 2011, Ellmers received $5,000 from Every Republican is Crucial (ERIC PAC) to bring her cumulative cycle total to $15,000 from ERIC PAC. In November 2011, Cantor contributed $5,000 to Ellmers for a recount 2010 fund. [Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee Post General 2010 Report, filed 11/22/10] Received a $300 In-Kind Contribution from Marsha Blackburn. In September 2011, Ellmers reported receiving an in-kind contribution for hotel and airfare from Marsha Blackburn. Received $1,000 from NRA Pac. In September 2011, Ellmers received $1000 from the NRA PAC.
Expenditures of Note: Spent $1,800 on Social Media Consultant. From July-September 2011, Ellmers spent $1800 on a social media consultant. Spent $14,773.62 on Direct Mail. From July—September, Ellmers spent $14,773.62 on direct mail. Spent $496.51 at Preston Wood County Club. In September 2011, Ellmers spent $496.51 at the Prestonwood Country Club. Contributed $5000 to the NRCC. In September 2011, Ellmers contributed $5000 to the NRCC.
Ellmers Has Moved into the Washington World In December 2011, the News and Observer noted that Ellmers “has easily moved into the Washington world” and although she criticized her opponent for holding high dollar fundraisers, she has become acclimated to holding them. “Freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers of Dunn has moved easily into the Washington world with appearances on TV and appearing at the side of key House GOP leaders in negotiations over the payroll tax cut extension. She has become acclimated to Washington in other ways as well. Last year when she was running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, she wrote on her blog that ‘no one - not even in Washington - is silly enough to pay $2,500 for a single plate’ of food and solicited her donors to ‘put an end to politics as usual in Washington.’ That was last year. Last month, Ellmers held a Washington fundraiser that cost $2,500 to co-host featuring House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The event was held Nov. 20 and was attended by much of the North Carolina delegation.” [News and Observer, 12/26/11] Ellmers One of the Least Wealthiest Members of Congress In December 2011, the Pilot reported that Ellmers was among the least wealthiest Members of Congress. “Congress-woman Renee Ellmers, of the 2nd District, is among the least wealthy members of Congress, according to information published by The New York Times and The Washington Post. The freshman Republican from Dunn was on the list of the 25 members of Congress with the least net worth. She was listed as 18th on the list with an average net worth of $91,497 in 2010.” [The Pilot, 12/29/11] Ellmers Charged for Town Hall Events In August 2011, Rep. Ellmers decided to charge his constituents for his town hall events. Politico reported, “Two more members of Congress are refusing to hold free, open town hall meetings for constituents during the August recess and instead appearing only at paid events, POLITICO has learned.
[…] Ellmers is scheduled to speak at a federal employees’ forum that is charging a $13 admission fee. […]Ellmers is due to appear before a National Active and Retired Federal Employees meeting at a local Holiday Inn Aug. 24. The entry fee is $13, the Fayetteville Observer wrote. A staffer at Ellmers’ office said she is not holding any free town hall meetings during the recess. Her spokesman did not immediately return a message left with her office.” [Politico 8/17/11] Ellmers and her husband took $8,200 Trip to Israel Courtesy of AIEF From August 13 to August 21 2011, Ellmers traveled with Brent Ellmers to Israel on a trip totaling $8,210.83 sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation. AIEF spent $5,849.06 on transportation, $1,380 on lodging, and $981.77 on meals. [Clerk of the House Travel Disclosure, 9/2/11] Close with Republican Leadership In June 2011, the Hill wrote an article about Ellmers in which it discussed her close relationship with Republican Leadership. According to the Hill, “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently chose Ellmers, along with two other freshman members, as the faces for “YouCut,” his online tool that allows users to vote on spending cuts. Ellmers says Cantor ‘in particular’ has been her ally.” Ellmers said that ““I get along very well with leadership here in Washington.” [The Hill, 06/13/2011] Ellmers One of Boehner’s Greatest Freshman Allies. In 2011, the New York Times said Ellmers was one of Boehner’s greatest allies. “Mrs. Ellmers’s willingness to promote Mr. Boehner’s agenda places her in direct contrast to some of her freshman colleagues, who prefer to repair to Fox News to verbally poke the Republican leadership in the eye […] Her loyalty, relentless cheer and folksy locution — a news conference complement to the laconic, cigarette-tinged pronouncements of Mr. Boehner — have combined to make her one of the Republican leadership’s greatest freshman allies.” [New York Times, 8/9/11] Ellmers Sees “Eye to Eye” with GOP Leadership “In just a few short months, Boehner and the rest of the leadership team have tapped Ellmers repeatedly to help carry their message […] ‘I see eye-to-eye with them (the GOP leadership) on many issues,’ Ellmers said. ‘I'm on board with everything we've done.’” [News and Observer, 7/3/11] Ellmers Was Not Assigned to Most Helpful Committees for her District In November 2011, Ellmers admitted that she was not serving on the most helpful committees for her district. “As a freshman Member of Congress, I was in a less senior position to have first call on all of the committees that would be helpful to our district. Since I was unable to secure a spot on the Committee on Armed Services, I chose to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee, a committee
with jurisdiction over many issues of concern to our military personnel and Fort Bragg.” [Lee
Ellmers On Loyalty In September 2011, Rep. Ellmers discussed her loyalty to the Republican Party. Politco reported, “Renee Ellmers […] explained freshman loyalty differently in an interview in her Capitol Hill office during the height of the debt-limit debate just before the August recess. Ellmers, who says she doesn’t ‘owe anybody anything,’ has nonetheless become a leading freshman spokeswoman for House Republicans on a variety of issues, including the debt-limit deal.‘The speaker has given the freshman class everything we’ve asked for,’ said Ellmers, […] ‘I have no reason to be indifferent.’”
Ellmers Said RSC is Not Willing to Compromise and May Quit Group, but Doesn’t Leave In July 2011, it was reported that Ellmers planned to quit the RSC, but during a mass exodus of Republican House members in October citing infighting as the reason for quitting, Ellmers was not listed as leaving. [Politico, 7/27/11; Politico, 10/11/11] POLITICO reported, “Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), an RSC member and one of those on the RSC ‘target list,’ said that leadership has given the RSC ‘everything that we have asked for.’ Ellmers said she may quit the group. ‘Yet when it comes time for a little bit of compromise on the RSC’s part, they’re not willing to compromise. And that’s just not the way to go about this,’ Ellmers said. Ellmers said there ‘seems to be a little bit more than a connection’ between the RSC and outside conservative groups.” [Politico, 7/27/11] Ellmers Sent Glossy Mailers Paid for by Taxpayers In June and August 2011, Ellmers issued two full page color glossy mailers and one constituent service post card. On one mailer, Ellmers claimed she was “fighting for seniors’ healthcare benefits” and “preserving Medicare.” In addition, Ellmers was approved for a color stationary postcard. According to the 2011 2nd Quarter Statement of Disbursements, Ellmers spent at least $18,997.75 on mass mailings by distributing 260,916 pieces of mail. [Commission on Mailing and Standards; 2011 112th Congress 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement 2985 , 7/5/11] Ellmers Previously Opposed to Taxpayer Mailings. While campaigning for Congress, Ellmers sent a letter to her opponent saying “you mailed (and emailed) letters and newsletters from your Congressional office to voters across the district. In every way these mailings resembled typical campaign ads, except they were paid for by taxpayers and not by your campaign. How can you explain writing taxpayers that you are ‘reducing the deficit’ when you are wasting thousands of dollars of their money on political mailings to help you get reelected? […] you have over a million dollars in your campaign account, much of it donated by unions and Wall Street special interests. Why didn’t you have your campaign pay for your political ads – instead of sticking the taxpayers with the bill?” [Renee Ellmers for Congress, 8/10/10]
Ellmers Spent $21,000 on Taxpayer Mailings in the 3rd Quarter of 2011 From July – September 2011, Ellmers spent $21,939 on taxpayer mailings. She spent an additional $18,899.00 on mass communications from July-September 2011. [2011 3nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement,
Crime & Public Safety Issues Economic and Financial Issues
Received “B” Grade From Americans for Prosperity In January 2011, Americans for Prosperity scored the most important economic votes of the first session of the 112th Congress. Representative Ellmers received a grade of B from Americans for Prosperity.
[Americans for Prosperity 112th Congress Mid Term Scorecard,1/2012]
AFP Founded In 2003 By David H. Koch. The New York Times wrote about David H. Koch, noting that “in 2003 he helped establish the nonprofit Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which supports free-market policies and promotes government spending limits. It split off from an earlier Koch-backed enterprise, now called FreedomWorks, which promotes similar goals.” [New York
Americans for Prosperity Funded, Run by Koch Industries Executives. Americans for Prosperity was founded by David H. Koch, one of the wealthiest men in America and the executive vice president and board member of Koch Industries, which was founded by his father. Recently, Koch gave $5 million to Americans for Prosperity. In 2009, AFP President Tim Phillips said Koch “launched our organization.” The executive Vice President of Koch Industries said, “What we have done is support the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which has been active in various forms for nearly 30 years.” [New York Times, 7/10/08; MSNBC, 3/31/10; Politico, 10/14/08,
Washington Examiner, 7/18/10; Washington Independent, 10/5/09]
Ellmers Expressed Concern about income Inequality In October 2011, Ellmers joined fellow Republicans, including Eric Cantor, in discussing income inequality. She said she was pleased Cantor had taken up the discussion. “Anytime we can take an issue that has become at the forefront and discuss it and discuss our position, that’s a good thing. […] It’s time for the Republican Party to bring these things forward and talk to the American people about it, because I think if there’s one hurdle that we have, it’s that we are completely misunderstood in what we’re trying to do. Anytime we can talk about these issues and lay out our philosophy in regard to it, I think it’s a good thing.” [Politico, 10/30/11] Ellmers Introduced Small Business Innovation Bill In November 2011, Ellmers said she had introduced a bill to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
“Through my seat on the Small Business Committee, I introduced the Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011, a bipartisan bill which was cosponsored by committee Chairman Sam Graves. Our bill simply reauthorizes the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program - the largest government-wide small business R&D initiative in the country. The objectives of the SBIR program are three-fold: (1) to increase stimulation of technological innovation in the small business sector; (2) to utilize this community to meet the diverse research and development needs of the federal government, and (3) to commercialize federally funded results. SBIR is recognized as one of the country’s most important engines of innovation.” [Lee
Ellmers Worked to Provide “Strong Safety Net” to Farmers In November 2011, Ellmers said she wanted to support the strong agriculture industry in her district by providing a “strong safety net” to protect farmers against severe losses. “Farming is an integral component to life in the 2nd district of North Carolina. Crops such as tobacco, soybeans, and sweet potatoes team up with livestock operations such as poultry, turkeys, and hogs to make North Carolina a powerhouse of agriculture. This industry brings millions of dollars in revenue to the state and is the primary source of income for many families in our district. Farmers are under constant stress due to worries over weather, pests, disease, and prices, so it is essential that we maintain a strong safety net of crop insurance, direct and countercyclical payments, and strong commodity markets. I am pleased that I can use my position on the Agriculture Committee to assist farmers in the district while protecting their livelihoods and their future.” [Lee Dispatch, 11/5/11] Ellmers said Repealing ObamaCare would Improve Economy In November 2011, Ellmers said repealing ObamaCare would be one way to turn the economy around because of the many new regulations it carries. “It has been devastating to our businesses. […] Our businesses are seeing that they are probably not going to be able to provide health care in about two years.” [Fay Observer, 11/10/11] Ellmers Opposed Obama’s Jobs Bill In November 2011, Ellmers opposed Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill. [Fay Observer, 11/10/11] Said Obama’s Job’s Bill Only Put’s Bandaids on Problems. In 2011, Ellmers commented on President Obama’s jobs’ bill. “I believe that what [President Obama] has done is put forward a jobs bill that puts Band-Aids on the situation and temporary measures to create jobs . . . this is not the answer.” [YouTube, 11/2/11]
Defended Oil Subsidies In May 2011, Ellmers defended oil companies subsidies. In her interview with WPTF, Ellmers said that “The Democrats are talking about looking at the oil companies. We’ve done this. We’ve done this over and over and over again. And it always proves the same thing. There’s not the inadequacies in there that we can point to.” [WPTF, 5/9/11] Voted In Favor of Cut, Cap, and Balance Act In July 2011, Renee Ellmers voted in support of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which mandated a cut in spending in FY2012, a federal cap on spending as a percentage of GDP, and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. In a press release, Ellmers said that "Today I joined House Republican leaders to call on President Obama and Senate Democrats to get serious about dealing with our national debt. Since President Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the national debt has increased by $3.7 trillion. Today we are two weeks away from the August 2nd deadline to raise the national debt and pay for expenses we have already incurred. But instead of doing anything to stop this runaway spending spree and come up with a plan, the President has punted and refused to lead." "The Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which the House will vote on today, is a constitutional, permanent solution to put an end to the spending-driven debt crisis and save our children and grandchildren from a bankrupt future. We must get our financial house in order and this bill will require Washington to balance its budget, just as families across the country do each and every day." [Renee Ellmers Press Release, 7/19/2011] Ellmers Calls American Jobs Act “More Gimmicks” In September 2011, Ellmers called Obama’s American Jobs Act “more gimmicks.” " Two and a half years after his inauguration we hear another speech and more excuses for why our economy is not responding to his treatment. The message stays the same and the proposals never change, they just get new names such as 'stimulus' 'shovel ready' and recently 'fixing our infrastructure.’ Now the president is calling for more spending, more gimmicks and more of the same policies that have failed to create jobs since he was sworn in two and a half years ago. The president just doesn't get it. Running up the debt and deficit to "invest" in these stimulus programs does not sustain lasting growth or job creation.”
[Ellmers’ Press Release, 9/8/11]
Sought to Increase Government Support for Golf Courses while Fighting to Cut “Wasteful Spending in Washington”
In September 2011, Ellmers sought to include golf courses in legislation aimed at helping private businesses recovery from natural disasters, namely the Disaster Tax Act of 2011 (H.R. 2718). Ellmers “recently co-sponsored a bill to protect small business owners damaged by recent natural disasters.
One aspect of the bill will be of interest to golfers and golf course owners. The Disaster Tax Act of 2011 (H.R. 2718) would provide tax relief for businesses damaged by tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.”
“‘This bill will extend this tax relief to golf courses whereas the previous legislation wrongly excluded golf courses and placed them in the same category as massage parlors, casinos and liquor stores,' she said. 'I am working hard to protect our state’s job creators and give them the tools to grow and survive when natural disasters threaten their livelihood. This is only one of the many pieces of legislation that I am fighting for here in Washington while keeping wasteful spending in check.'"[The Pilot, 9/17/11; We Are
Ellmers Not Sold on Free Trade In September 2011, Rep. Ellmers and other GOP members were not yet sold on free trade. The Hill reported, “House Republican leaders face a tough task of finding enough votes to pass the three long-stalled free trade agreements. Organized labor and some Tea-Party lawmakers are poised to rally against the pacts, which President Obama is expected to send to Congress this fall.[…]Meanwhile, a fair amount of House GOP lawmakers from the Midwest, Northeast and southern regions are not sold yet – some of them from the historic class of 2010. (Rep. Ellmers is one of them).” [The Hill, 9/10/11] Ellmers Criticized Obama’s American Jobs Act In September 2011, Rep. Ellmers joined fellow Republicans in criticizing President Obama’s American Jobs Act. The North Carolina News Network reported, “Ellmers joined North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes and National GOP Chair Reince Priebus to denounce President Obama's American Jobs Act. Congresswoman Ellmers called the administration's handling of the employment front ‘a dog and pony show.’‘His administration, his czars, advisors have built a house of cards with no foundation what so ever and we as Republicans continue to build that foundation that will really put forward a change in this economy,’ said Ellmers.” [NCNN, 9/14/11] Ellmers Criticized The Senate for Not Passing a Budget In October 2011, Ellmers criticized the Democratic-controlled Senate for not passing a budget in 888 days, and stated, “The Senate has neglected one of its most fundamental legislative responsibilities for more than 2 years now and the consequences continue to be felt by millions of Americans.” Republicans, on the other hand, according to Ellmers, have “passed numerous bills over the past nine months to promote job creation and economic growth.” [Ellmers Newsletter, 10/4/11] Congress Still has “$1 trillion-plus pile of unfinished budget work.” “The House has passed a short-term spending bill that keeps the government running for six weeks and buys time for future budget negotiations. The 352-66 vote sends the measure to President Barack Obama in time to avert a government shutdown at midnight. The legislation gives Congress and the White House more time to iron out their differences on a $1 trillion-plus pile of unfinished budget work […] The vote would give lawmakers additional time for what is sure to be an onerous task: passing the 12 annual spending bills that lay out the day-to-day operating budgets for Cabinet agencies and departments [ …] After passing half of the
12 appropriations bills, House GOP leaders have pulled the plug on floor debates on the rest, apparently because of divisions within the party.” [Associated Press, 10/4/11] Three Steps to the Federal Process. According to the Washington Post, there are three steps to the budget process. First, the President submits a budget to Congress. Second, the House and senate propose and vote on a budget. Third, the House and Senate appropriate funds set forth in the budget resolution. “All of the appropriations bills are supposed to be signed by the President by Oct. 1.” [Washington Post Guide to
Federal Budget Process, accessed 9/16/11]
Education Issues Election Issues
Ellmers Has No Regrets About Inflammatory Ad Against Ground Zero Islamic Cultural Center In June 2011, the Hill discussed how “Ellmers gained notoriety in late September after her campaign released an ad comparing the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan with a ‘victory mosque’ from the Middle Ages.” In the ad, Ellmers remarked that “The terrorists haven’t won, and we should tell them in plain English: No. There will never be a mosque at Ground Zero.” According to the Hill, Ellmers still stands by the ad, saying that “I really don’t have any regrets about it. I’m glad we did it.” [The Hill, 06/13/2011] Editorial Expressed Concerns Regarding Ellmers Representing Fort Bragg In July 2011, the Fayetteville Observer published an op-ed critical of any plan that expands Ellmers district into Cumberland County. The op-ed explained that “If Cumberland County loses Reps. Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell, and Ellmers is re-elected next year, it will leave Cumberland County in the hands of a one-term representative just getting to know our issues, and two more who know little about us.” “Now let's add one more issue to that concern: Fort Bragg, the Army's leading post. The post is a key part of America's military, present and future, and it long has had experienced congressmen looking out for it. But none of the post's likely future representatives sits on a defense-related committee.” [Fayetteville
Observer, editorial, 7/6/11]
May Quit Republican Study Committee In July 2011, Ellmers expressed frustration with the RSC.
According to Politico, “Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), an RSC member and one of those on the RSC ‘target list,’ said that leadership has given the RSC ‘everything that we have asked for.’ Ellmers said she may quit the group.” “Yet when it comes time for a little bit of compromise on the RSC’s part, they’re not willing to compromise. And that’s just not the way to go about this,” Ellmers said. [Politico, 7/27/2011]
Believes All Energy Options on the Table In May 2011, in an interview with biggovernment.com, Ellmers stated that she subscribes to a “all of the above” approach current energy issues like rising gas prices. Ellmers said that this “all of the above” approach “includes nuclear, oil and natural gas, solar, wind…anything that will allow us move in a responsible manner while keeping costs low.” [Biggovernment.com, 05/30/2011]
Suggested that the Army Corps of Engineers Ignore the Endangered Species Act In March 2011, Ellmers criticized the Army Corps of Engineers for considering building a highway in Garner, North Carolina that avoids building in wetlands that are home to the federally-listed endangered Dwarf Wedgemussel. She suggested that the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts be ignored in order to “preserve the business community of Garner, North Carolina, and all the good folks there who are potentially going to lose their homes,” to a highway she claimed will never actually be built. [Ellmers
Congressional Record Remarks, 3/9/11]
Hired Former Lobbyist to Work on Official Staff In March 2011, the Center for Responsive Politics released a database that showed Ellmers hired Elaine Acevedo to be her legislative director. According to the CRP, Acevedo had previously lobbied for Birch Horton et al, Downey McGrath Group, and Evans Capitol Group. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed
Foreign Policy and Defense Issues
Ellmers Voted for Supercommittee Which Would Have Devastating Effects of Region Supercommittee Cuts “Will Be Painful in Fayetteville.” “Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said earlier this month that potential cuts caused by the sequester would be devastating. Panetta said they would lead to ‘a paper tiger, an Army of barracks, buildings and bombs without enough trained soldiers able to accomplish the mission.’ Some estimates show the Army reducing its strength from 569,000 soldiers to 426,000. The cuts could affect military programs large and small, from elimination of the F-35
fighter jet to higher prices at the commissary [… ] Retired Gen. Dan McNeill, a former commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division and 18th Airborne Corps, said large cuts to the Army's ground forces could mean cuts to some Fort Bragg units. Even if Fort Bragg were spared large cuts, the reduced funding would place higher demands on the units here, he said […] McLenaghan, the policy analyst, said the cuts could be painful in Fayetteville and across North Carolina and could undermine efforts to recover from the recession.” [Fayetteville Observer, 11/20/11] Fort Bragg Has a $9.5 Billion Impact on The Region. “Currently, the population of Fort Bragg for fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2011 ranges between 144,666 and 151,312. These figures include active duty military, training military, reserve component military, civilian employees, contract employees and military family members. On an average day, the garrison command supports more than 263,000 personnel on Fort Bragg […] [Col. Stephen Sicinski, garrison commander of Fort Bragg] stated that on a daily basis, Fort Bragg has an economic impact of $26 million per day, or $9.5 billion annually, on the region.” [The Pilot, 4/13/11] Automatic Cuts Could Have a Big Impact on Military in Eastern North Carolina. “Automatic cuts to defense spending could leave the Pentagon with its lowest share of the federal budget since before World War II, shrinking the Army and Marine Corps by some 150,000 troops and leaving fewer warships and combat aircraft to project U.S. power around the world, according to the website Politico […]The military has a big presence in Eastern North Carolina, including Seymour Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro; Fort Bragg and Pope Army Air Field in Fayetteville; Camp Lejeune and New River air station in Jacksonville; and Cherry Point air station and FRC-East in Havelock. FRC-East is the largest employer in North Carolina east of I-95. Politico reported that the analysis, distributed as part of House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon’s efforts to lobby against deeper defense cuts by the deficitreduction supercommittee, paints a dire picture of a ‘hollow force’ unable to meet national security needs and forced to return to a draft to fill its ranks.” [Eastern North Carolina News, 9/30/11] Civilian Jobs Expected to Be Lost If Supercommittee Fails. “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned House Republicans that the supercommittee potential automatic cuts in defense spending ‘could pose a significant risk to national security’ and require a cutback in weapons buying […] [Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob] Lew warned that the Defense Department ‘would almost certainly be forced to furlough large numbers of its civilian workers, training would have to be curtailed, the force reduced and purchases of weapons would have to be cut dramatically.’” [Politico, 9/22/11]
Gay and Lesbian Issues
Ellmers Supported Civil Unions for Sam-Sex Couples In October 2011, Ellmers said she would not vote for a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage as well as civil unions. A spokesman for Ellmers said she “finds nothing wrong with people being granted [civil unions] but at the same time, it is currently a state issue and up to the voters to decide.” [News Observer, 10/2/11]
Ellmers Planed to Carry Gun During Public Appearances Following Arizona Shootings After the Arizona shooting, Ellmers said she planned to carry a gun to public events. “We have to protect ourselves. We know that. That is something we have always been cognizant of,” Ellmers said in January 2011. She received a concealed -carry permit after passing the state-certified firearms training course and background check in February 2010. Ellmers said the Arizona shooting was what concreted her belief that it is necessary to be armed. [WRAL.com, 1/20/11]
Health Care Issues
Ellmers Received Award From RetireSafe Ellmers “was awarded their ‘2011 Standing Up for America's Seniors Award.’ RetireSafe represents over 400,000 older Americans nationwide and believe ‘the opportunity to retire rests primarily on three distinct cornerstones of a pyramid of security -- health security, financial security and national and personal security’ with personal freedom at the top of the pyramid overseeing all three forms of security.” [Renee
Ellmers Facebook, 11/8/11]
Retiresafe.org Supported Privatizing Social Security. Retirsafe.org has claimed “Personal retirement accounts (PRAs) are good for individuals and good for the economy […] PRA is an account you own and control made up of a portion of your existing payroll taxes invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or simple government T-bills.” [Human Events, 5/15/03] RetireSafe Created “Artificial Grassroots Campaign” in Support of Republican Backed Medicare Policy. Faced with an unenthusiastic response to the Republican Prescription Drug Law, RetireSafe attempted to manufacture paid, artificial praise for the program. RetireSafe paid “healthcare consultants $3,750 plus expenses over six weeks to generate positive news stories about the drug card and offer support to Congress for voting for the Medicare drug law.” This effort was widely recognized as a right-wing organized sham to create the appearance of public support for what in reality, was little more than a handout to drug companies. Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, noted that this “artificial grassroots campaign” was to end a couple of days before the election. He described the initiative as “particularly underhanded.” [The Hill, 9/22/04] Renee Ellmers Actually Supported: A House Republican budget that would “essentially end Medicare,” cost millions of seniors more for prescription drugs and would increase seniors’ out-of-pocket health care costs by $6,154. · Voted to End Medicare. Renee Ellmers supported the House Republican budget. [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11] · Wall Street Journal: The House Republican Budget Would “Essentially End Medicare.” “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]
· House Republican Plan Would Increase the Cost to Current Seniors. “The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care. Further, Medicare costs could rise over time if healthier seniors choose to abandon the traditional benefit program.” [National Journal, 6/2/11] · House Republican Budget Would Cost Seniors More Than $6,000. “The Republican plan will significantly increase the out-of-pocket costs of health care for Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, out‐of‐pocket health care costs will more than double under the Republican plan. Based on estimates from the non‐partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the typical 65-year-old’s out-of-pocket health care costs will increase from $6,154 to $12,513 in 2022—or an extra $6,359.” [Congressional Joint Economic Committee, 5/20/11] · Republican Budget Would Almost Double Healthcare Costs For Seniors. “The Republican congressman's proposal to privatize Medicare would mean a dramatic hike in U.S. healthcare costs for the elderly, an independent analysis finds. Seniors would pay almost double — more than $12,510 a year.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/7/11] · CBO: Elderly People Would Pay More for Health Care Under the Republican Plan.According to the CBO, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.” [CBO, 4/5/11] 60 Plus Aired Ads Promoting Ellmers. Earlier this year, the 60 Plus launched ad thanking House Republicans for voting in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, lauding it as one that “protects and preserves Medicare, ensuring it will be available to current and future seniors.” The group was spending over $800,000 on radio ads, direct mail and automated calls in 39 congressional districts including Representative Renee Ellmer’s district. [The Hill, 4/21/11] 60 Plus Supports Privatizing Social Security. “Using the 62nd anniversary of Social Security as a backdrop, the 60 Plus Association Aug. 14 became the first national senior citizens group to endorse publicly privatization of the Social Security program.” [60 Plus Association’s Release, 8/15/97]
60 Plus Has Long Supported the Privatization of Medicare, Turning Program into Vouchers. The 60 Plus plan from the late 1990s would have privatized Medicare, turning the program into a voucher program that cut benefits and forced seniors to purchase coverage from big insurance. [Washington Times, 6/15/99; Citizens for a Sound Economy/60 Plus Press Release, 2/24/99]
Questioned the Effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act In a March 2011 letter to the editor of the Fayetteville Observer, Ellmers questioned the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act claiming that it “has done nothing to improve the quality of health care in our country and has already done significant damage to the economy.” [Fayetteville Observer, LTE, 3/24/11]
Claimed the Act Hurt Job Growth In March 2011, Ellmers claimed that the Affordable Care Act “created uncertainty with its job crushing provisions”. “The more than $500 billion in tax increases, IRS 1099 reporting requirements and other employer mandates associated with the bill threaten an already struggling economy, creating uncertainty with its job-crushing provisions. [Fayetteville Observer, LTE, 3/24/11] Vowed to “Repeal Dismantle the Ill-Conceived Act” In March 2011, Ellmers vowed to “slush funds and pursue other de-funding and repeal bills to dismantle this ill-conceived law that increases the size and control of government, raises taxes and results in devastating regulations on small-business owners.” [Fayetteville Observer, LTE, 3/24/11] Opposed Regulations on Health Care In February 2011, on the House floor, Ellmers said, “He (a small business owner from my district) said working through a recession is tough, but adding to the burden with cumbersome and confusing new laws and regulations makes a recovery twice as hard. The uncertainty being created by Washington is stifling his small business recovery. We must remove burdensome regulations so that businesses can grow and entrepreneurs can start new businesses.” [Ellmers Floor Remarks on H.Res 72, 2/10/11] Ellmers: “Obamacare Devastating to Health Care and the Economy” In 2011, Ellmers, who is a nurse, described the healthcare reform legislation passed in 2010 as “devastating to health care and the economy.” She went on to say that not until health care legislation is defunded “can get to work providing real health care reforms.” [Ellmers Floor Remarks on Price Amendment to HR1, 2/17/11] Criticizes Medicaid for Not Having Cost Sharing from Patients In 2011, Ellmers criticized “ObamaCare” and the effects that Medicaid have on states budgets. She went on to criticize the lack of cost sharing from patients on the Medicaid program. “As we’ve seen…the undue costs to our States’ budgets to provide Medicaid at no cost sharing from the patients. I think that this is a key issue. It’s basically free health care for those individuals at taxpayer expense,” said Ellmers. [Ellmers Floor Remarks, 3/1/11] Ellmers: Individuals Not Receiving Health Care is a “Misnomer” Ellmers said, “I think that everyone should be able to have health care. As we know, if you pull up to an emergency room in any hospital across the country, you will receive health care. So the
misnomer that there are those individuals who are not receiving health care is really an untrue statement.” Mammograms and Colonoscopies without Copay is “Too Much of a Burden” In 2011, Ellmers said that while she supports preventative medicine that to have preventive medicine without deductibles and copays is an “undue cost to our States at taxpayer expense.” “It’s just too much of a burden,” said Ellmers. [Ellmers Floor Remarks, 3/1/11] Ellmers: If the Government Mandates Health Insurance, Prices Will Rise In February 2011, Ellmers said in an interview that “If the government comes and dictates what is to be done, that is where the costs start to increase. Anytime the government has taken over anything, it has gotten astronomically expensive and a huge bureaucratic system.” She said that Americans don’t want President Obama making decisions for themselves or their families. [Kaiser Health News, 2/28/11] Ellmers Accepted Congressional Health Care Although Ellmers campaigned against health care reform, in January 2011, she admitted accepting the government-run health care plan offered to members of Congress. Appearing on a WPTF radio call-in show, Ellmers was asked by a caller whether she intended to participate in “that luxury plan” offered to members of Congress. Ellmers responded that she signed up for a Blue Cross, Blue Shield federal employees plan, one of the options offered to members of Congress. “Unfortunately, being here in Washington is very expensive,” said Ellmers. “Yes we do have a salary and we do have benefits. It costs a lot of money to be here. I've signed on to the private plan, just like so many in America are on. The benefit is available to me. People need to understand out there it costs a lot money to be here in Congress.” [News Observer, 1/24/11] Elmers: I Pay for the Blue Cross Insurance In February 2011, Ellmers said she did not understand why her taking government subsidies health insurance had become an issue. She Said: To me, what it says is they're questioning a woman who is employed. Yes, it is the federal government that I am being paid by. The taxpayers ... are paying me, but I pay for the Blue Cross insurance; it comes out of my check. It is a benefit of this job. I knew I was going to get a paycheck. I'm not going to do it for free. I can't. [Fayetteville Observer, 2/13/11] Ellmers Defends Vote to Cut Medicare
In April 2011, Ellmers said, "The Path to Prosperity (The Republican Plan) takes it back and uses it to strengthen Medicare," Ellmers said. "This budget does not cut Medicare funding. It makes no changes to Medicare for anyone 55 or older. For those 54 or younger it offers options to plans like those that are currently available to those in Congress and other federal employees, resulting in savings to turn a currently unsustainable program into one that will be there for future generations." [The News & Observer, 4/18/2011] He fails to mention that the Republican Plan Would cost millions of seniors $2.2 billion in benefits next year (2012) alone. [Senate Democrats Press Release, 4/21/2011] DCCC Hit on Medicare Hypocrisy In April 2011, the DCCC hit House Republicans on their “hypocrisy” for “voting to end Medicare” after campaigning on protecting the seniors’ program. The congressional campaign committee contended that a budget resolution that passed the House of Representatives on April 15, 2010 amounted to a vote to “end Medicare.” The organization also noted that during the 2010 election Democrats came under fire for eliminating roughly $500 billion from future funding to Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Renee Ellmers Opposed Cutting Medicare to Pay for Health Care Reform. According to the News & Observer, “During last fall's campaign Republican congressional candidate Renee Ellmers hammered Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge for voting to cut Medicare. One of her TV ads attacked Etheridge for backing the Democrats' health care plan, which makes some future cuts in Medicare.‘Should Congress have cut Medicare a half trillion dollars - to pay for Obamacare?'’ the ad asked. ‘Renee Ellmers says no. She says cutting Medicare hurts senior citizens. Bob Etheridge voted yes. He voted with President Obama and cut Medicare half a trillion dollars. As long as Obama's in the White House, we can't let a Democrat represent us in Congress.’” [News & Observer, 4/18/11] 60 Plus Association Begin Airing Ads in District In April 21, the 60 Plus Association launched a new campaign in the district thanking the Member for “protecting Medicare” during the recent budget debates. [60 Plus Association Press Release, 4/27/11] 60 Plus is “a controversial and conservative special interest group that has long fought to privatize Medicare and Social Security”. [DCCC Press Release, 4/21/11] Ellmers Supports Ryan Budget While on ABC’s This Week, Ellmers says that the Ryan budget “is not a voucher system” and it is actually “allowing seniors to be able to make the choices for their health care, the same that we in Congress are doing…. It saves money in Medicare over time and it actually increases the coverage, but at the same time, it also increases coverage for those in the low income areas as well. And so that is why I am very much for the Ryan budget. [ABC News, 4/17/11] Voted to “Privatize Medicare”
In May 2011, according to an editorial in the News & Observer, “voted to privatize Medicare for those under 55 years of age. Seniors would shop among private companies for coverage, with the government paying the first $15,000 a year in premiums.” The News & Observer also asked “what happens if the $15,000 limit on government subsidies for premiums isn't enough? That's the point where seniors start raiding their savings, if they have any… Medicare and Medicaid are examples of the literally life-saving things that good government can do. Changing them, or eliminating them and calling it change, to satisfy a partisan agenda is justifiably frightening to the people of this country.” [News and Observer, Editorial, 05/06/2011] Revived Death Panel Lie In July 2011, NC Policy Watch reported that Ellmers revived the death panel lie in a recent speech. Ellmers said that “The physician will see that patient and then have to submit a request to that 15 person panel to see whether or not that surgery can be done… And they’re going to be the deciding factor. There is no appeal process. Once the decision is made this decision goes down. There is no oversight. They are an independent panel working amongst themselves deciding your health care if you have Medicare.” Ellmers also signed a letter to President Obama to end “mediscare” tactics that said that “we are committed to having a fact-based conversation immediately.” [NC Policy Watch, 7/19/11, YouTube, uploaded 6/30/11] Health Panel Claim Deemed A Lie In July 2011, the News Observer fact checked Ellmer’s statement about health panels and deemed them to be not true. The paper explains that “Is it true? No. Ellmers was referring to the 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). And by law, it specifically may not ‘include any recommendation to ration health care ... or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.’" They conclude saying that “There are legitimate pros and cons to the Affordable Care Act. But Ellmers' arguments go beyond the facts.” [News Observer, 7/18/2011] DCCC Launched Robocalls Against Ellmers In June 2011, the DCCC launched an automated call campaign against Ellmers criticizing her on Social Security. The ad says, “Hi, this is Clare calling on behalf of the DCCC. What does Congresswoman Renee Ellmers have against seniors. First Ellmers voted with his Republican leadership to end Medicare while protecting subsidies for Big Oil and tax breaks for billionaires. Now, they are trying to privatize Social Security. Republican leaders' scheme to gamble the Social Security that seniors worked a lifetime to earn on Wall Street is way too dangerous. One bad market could wipe out years of savings, putting generations of retirees at risk. Call Congresswoman Renee Ellmers at 910-230-1910 and tell him not to gamble Social Security on Wall Street.” [News Observer, 06/30/2011]
Immigration and Border Issues Israel Labor and Working Family Issues
Ellmers Did Not Support Extending Unemployment Insurance In January 2012, Ellmers did not support extending unemployment insurance. “With Congress back in Washington, D.C., a conference committee will be tasked with negotiating another extension of unemployment benefits. When the current economic crisis first began in 2008, Congress voted to extend federally backed unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 99 weeks. This has continued as each deadline comes and goes with little to show for it. But as the economy continues to remain stagnant, we are left with the responsibility of asking, ‘where does this end?’ and ‘what sort of precedents are we creating?’” [Roll Call, 1/23/12] Ellmers Did Not Support Extending Unemployment Insurance In January 2012, Ellmers supported adding in a provision to the payroll tax extension that allows states to require drug screening. “American taxpayers deserve to know their tax dollars are being spent wisely and appropriately, which is why we are incorporating provisions to ensure people who are receiving unemployment benefits are complying with the law […] That is why we have incorporated a provision that allows the states to require drug screening for people receiving unemployment benefits.” [Roll Call, 1/23/12] Ellmers Targeted by Activists Over Jobless In December 2011, Ellmers was targeted by activists over unemployment insurance. “Labor organizers, students, and community activists are hoping to add to the increasing heat on Congress to extend unemployment insurance before the end of the month […]activists plan to highlight their demands with protests outside U.S. Rep. Howard Coble's district office in Greensboro and a state unemployment office in Clayton, which is in the district of Rep. Renee Ellmers.” [News and Observer,
National Security and Defense
Supercommittee Cuts “Will Be Painful in Fayetteville” In 2011, Ellmers voted for the final debt deal which created the supercommittee.
“Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said earlier this month that potential cuts caused by the sequester would be devastating. Panetta said they would lead to ‘a paper tiger, an Army of barracks, buildings and bombs without enough trained soldiers able to accomplish the mission.’ Some estimates show the Army reducing its strength from 569,000 soldiers to 426,000. The cuts could affect military programs large and small, from elimination of the F-35 fighter jet to higher prices at the commissary [… ] Retired Gen. Dan McNeill, a former commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division and 18th Airborne Corps, said large cuts to the Army's ground forces could mean cuts to some Fort Bragg units. Even if Fort Bragg were spared large cuts, the reduced funding would place higher demands on the units here, he said […] McLenaghan, the policy analyst, said the cuts could be painful in Fayetteville and across North Carolina and could undermine efforts to recover from the recession.” [Fayetteville Observer, 11/20/11] Fort Bragg Has a $9.5 Billion Impact on The Region. “Currently, the population of Fort Bragg for fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2011 ranges between 144,666 and 151,312. These figures include active duty military, training military, reserve component military, civilian employees, contract employees and military family members. On an average day, the garrison command supports more than 263,000 personnel on Fort Bragg […] [Col. Stephen Sicinski, garrison commander of Fort Bragg] stated that on a daily basis, Fort Bragg has an economic impact of $26 million per day, or $9.5 billion annually, on the region.” [The Pilot, 4/13/11] Automatic Cuts Could Have a Big Impact on Military in Eastern North Carolina. “Automatic cuts to defense spending could leave the Pentagon with its lowest share of the federal budget since before World War II, shrinking the Army and Marine Corps by some 150,000 troops and leaving fewer warships and combat aircraft to project U.S. power around the world, according to the website Politico […]The military has a big presence in Eastern North Carolina, including Seymour Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro; Fort Bragg and Pope Army Air Field in Fayetteville; Camp Lejeune and New River air station in Jacksonville; and Cherry Point air station and FRC-East in Havelock. FRC-East is the largest employer in North Carolina east of I-95. Politico reported that the analysis, distributed as part of House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon’s efforts to lobby against deeper defense cuts by the deficit-reduction supercommittee, paints a dire picture of a ‘hollow force’ unable to meet national security needs and forced to return to a draft to fill its ranks.” [Eastern North Carolina News, 9/30/11] Civilian Jobs Expected to Be Lost If Supercommittee Fails. “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned House Republicans that the supercommittee potential automatic cuts in defense spending ‘could pose a significant risk to national security’ and require a cutback in weapons buying […] [Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob] Lew warned that the Defense Department ‘would almost certainly be forced to furlough large numbers of its civilian workers, training would have to be curtailed, the force reduced and purchases of weapons would have to be cut dramatically.’” [Politico, 9/22/11] Fort Bragg Will Lose Its “Experienced Congressmen Looking Out for It” with Renee Ellmers. “The remapping, if it stands up to likely challenges, will have a profound impact on Cumberland County […] The 2nd District, home of freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers, will expand to include about three-quarters of Cumberland County. If Cumberland County loses Reps. Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell, and Ellmers is re-elected next year, it will leave Cumberland County in the hands of a one-term representative just getting to know our issues, and two more who know
little about us. Now let's add one more issue to that concern: Fort Bragg, the Army's leading post. The post is a key part of America's military, present and future, and it long has had experienced congressmen looking out for it […] If the General Assembly's political mappers want to make their work about politics, about strengthening the Republican majority and about steering more of our congressional delegation into the GOP, that's legitimate. But we wish they'd also steer Fort Bragg's interests into a district whose representative knows something about the military. What happens there shouldn't be left to beginners.” [Fayetteville Observer, 7/6/11]
Other Social Issues Personal Finance
Ellmers Filed PFD In 2011, Ellmers reported earnings of at least $15,231 for calendar year 2010. Ellmers and her husband held assets valued at between $162,000 and $480,000. Ellmers reported $280,000 - $545,000 in liabilities. In 2010, Ellmers received $15,231 for calendar year 2010 from her husband’s practice, Brent R. Ellmers, M.D. Her husband also received an undisclosed salary from his practice. Under unearned income, Ellmers reported that the majority of his assets come from a number of different investments and her husband’s medical practice located in Dunn, North Carolina. In 2010, Ellmers assets were valued at $162,000 and $480,000. Ellmers reported three credit card liabilities incurred in December 2010 from Capitol One, Bank of America and Chase Card which range from $15,000 -$50,000. Additionally, Ellmers reported a bank loan on a lot ranging from $250,000- $500,000. Ellmers reported that she was a secretary at Brent R. Ellmers, MD, Clinical Director of Trinity Wound Care Center and Board Member of South River EMC Community Assistance Corporation Roundup.
[Renee Ellmers Financial Disclosure, Filed 7/13/11]
Stem Cells Tax Issues
Ellmers Called Extending the Payroll Tax A Gimmick. In November 2011, Senate Democrats unveiled legislation to extend the payroll tax through next year and expand it to 3.1 percent. Ellmers said a "payroll tax holiday, yeah sure, that's okay. I think we can do that, but it's not the answer and that's what our President and that's what Harry Reid and the Senate keep pushing for, these tiny little feel good measures. We don't need more gimmicks. [North Carolina News Network, 11/30/11]
Ellmers Supported Closing Tax Loopholes In September 2011, Ellmers did an interview in which she stated that she supported closing tax loopholes. Fox News reported, Ellmers said “Closing tax loopholes as many people say – these are all issues that we can agree upon.” [Ellmers on Fox News 3:32, 9/15/11] Ellmers Supported Closing Tax Loopholes In 2011, Ellmers held a press conference with Speaker Boenher to promote the Republicans’ legislation extending payroll tax releif. “We are fighting to get people working again. Today, the Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act goes before the House for a vote […] My colleagues and I in the House continue to work to turn around the Obama economy by protecting American workers and job creators from tax increases.” [Ellmers Press Release, 12/13/11] Ellmers Called the Payroll Tax A Gimmick. “Payroll tax holiday, yeah sure, that's okay. I think we can do that, but it's not the answer and that's what our President and that's what Harry Reid and the Senate keep pushing for, these tiny little feel good measures. We don't need more gimmicks. We need leadership.” [North Carolina News Network, 11/30/11]
Ellmers Will “Absolutely” be “Sticking to [Her] Tea Party Roots” In June 2011, Ellmers did an interview with the Bill LuMaye show in which she proclaimed that “To ignore the Tea Party would be political suicide,” and that she would be sticking to her tea party roots. [Bill
LuMaye Show, 06/02/2011]
Said Ideas Fall Right In Line with the Tea Party In August 2011, Ellmers explained that “You know I have had Tea Party support. Certainly I wouldn't be here right now if not for the Tea Party. And my principles go right in line with the Tea Party.” She also told Wolf Blitzer that she was a member of the Tea Party caucus. [CNN The Situation Room, 8/1/11]
Transportation Issues Women’s Issues
Ellmers Supported March for Life In January 2012, Ellmers expressed her support for the March for Life.
Ellmers said: “Protecting life is a mission that is very near and dear to my heart […] As thousands of Americans descend upon Washington today, they remind us all of our duty as children of God to protect life and be stewards of His creation. This year will mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and while I am thoroughly against this decision and believe it should be overturned, it is still the law of the land. That is why the March for Life is so important. It serves as a powerful reminder of the injustice taking place in our country and the millions of lives lost but not forgotten. I'm proud to join in this mission with you in Congress as we continue to promote and protect God's greatest gift - the gift of life.’ [Ellmers Press Release,
Ellmers: “Abortion is the Exploitation of Women” by Planned Parenthood In March 2011, Ellmers said that “abortion is the exploitation of women,” by groups like Planned Parenthood. She also claimed that the “original feminists were against abortion.” [Ellmers Floor Remarks,
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