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Congress Alert

Sen. McCain Explodes: 'Rand Paul is Working for Putin!'

"Putin derangement syndrome" may have finally jumped the shark. Just minutes ago on the US Senate Floor, Sen. Rand Paul did the sensible thing and blocked NATO accession for tiny, corrupt Montenegro. The inconsequential Balkan country brings absolutely nothing to the NATO alliance, with its army of approximately 1,950 active duty military, a population the size of the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a history political repression and corruption.
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House Votes to Override Regulations That Would Dump Individuals into ‘No Guns List’

On Thursday, the United States House of Representatives approved H.J.Res. 40. The legislation prohibits the imposition of regulations published in December that define a process for placing individuals, who the Social Security Administration unilaterally determines have sufficient mental health problems, into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database so the government may restrain them from purchasing and possessing guns. The regulations, which had been in the works for years, would breach the privacy of affected individuals, while also denying respect for their due process rights and their constitutionally protected right to bear arms.
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House Members Offered ‘Russian Hacking’ Briefing — Two Weeks After Obama Expelled Russian Diplomats

US House Member Justin Amash (R-MI) announced Wednesday on Twitter that the Obama administration has agreed to the request Amash and fellow House Member Walter Jones (R-NC) made to President Barack Obama on December 19 that a classified briefing be provided for all Congress members concerning evidence being used to support claims that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to help Donald Trump’s campaign.
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The 'Draft Women' Legislation Roller Coaster Ride

During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the spring, the proposal that women be required to sign up with Selective Service just as are men started on a roller coaster ride in the United States Congress. That ride had a couple more turns this week. On Tuesday, a United States Senate and House of Representatives conference committee, which was creating a compromise version of the NDAA because the two bodies had passed differing bills, released a final bill that leaves out such a requirement. Then, on Thursday, the Obama administration announced support for requiring women to register with Selective Service.
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Senate Extends Idiotic Iran Sanctions by 99-0 Vote!

Forget that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) agreed between Iran and the so-called P5+1 consisting of the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and the European Union has by all accounts been one of the few real foreign policy successes in the eight years of an otherwise war-dominated Obama Administration. Forget that the promise of normalizing trade relations with Iran would produce untold wealth -- and jobs -- for both the US and Iran. Forget that the Europeans are flocking in droves to resume lucrative trade with Iran, despite president-elect Trump's inexplicable Iranophobia. Forget that as the "Germany of the Middle East," Iran brings to the table "80 million people, an educated workforce, and a proud tradition of manufacturing"and a potential economic bonanza for its partners.
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Pelosi’s House Rival Denounced As Sexist For Opposing 'The Most Accomplished Woman in Congress'

We have previously discussed how Democrats have rallied around their leaders despite the failure to secure the White House or the Senate. Democratic leaders engineered the primary selection of Hillary Clinton despite polls showing that voters did not want an establishment figure and had deep seated misgivings about Clinton’s honestly and integrity. One of those leaders who has been most criticized over the years has been Nancy Pelosi. Nevertheless, many Democratic members have rallied to her side while younger members are calling for new leadership.
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Will Paul Ryan Be Booted from the House Speakership after the Election?

On October, 29, 2015, just over one year ago, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) became speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) had announced about a month earlier his resignation from the House after House members had become increasingly vocal in their disapproval of Boehner’s leadership and momentum had built significantly towards Boehner’s ouster from the speaker position.
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US Congressman to John Kerry: Are We Committing War Crimes in Yemen?


On Tuesday, US Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) wrote a remarkable letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. Citing the "civilian carnage caused by the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition in Yemen," Rep. Lieu expressed concern to Kerry that the US government might be "liable for war crimes in Yemen," based on continued US material support for the ongoing Saudi attack on its southern neighbor. 

According to Rep. Lieu, it seems clear that the Saudis are intentionally targeting civilians in Yemen and for the US to support Saudi Arabia in such an illegal and immoral war would mean Washington shares Riyadh's guilt.
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Senate Fails to Block Tank Sales to Saudi Arabia

In a disappointing 71-27 vote today, the Senate voted to kill a bill that would’ve blocked the US from carrying out $1.15 billion in tank sales to Saudi Arabia. The bill had bipartisan authorship, but was overwhelmingly opposed by the leadership.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D – CT), one of the authors, said he never expected to pass the resolution anyhow, but hoped to press Saudi Arabia on its large civilian death toll in Yemen, saying that the Saudis clearly don’t want to see debate on the US-Saudi alliance on the floor of Congress.

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GOP Stops Reps. Thomas Massie and Walter Jones From Cutting Spending

It's not a good idea to give the Rules Committee the power to block amendments to the appropriations bills. For example, consider last week when Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Walter Jones (R-NC) tried to offer an amendment to the legislative branch appropriations bill to stop the use of taxpayer funding for private offices of ex-speakers.

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