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House Passes Resolution Using Paris Killings to Justify Global War on Terror
A handful of bipartisan members of the US House of Representatives, in a short Tuesday afternoon session preceding the State of the Union speech, passed by voice vote a resolution (H.Res. 37) using the killings in Paris on January 7-9 to justify war. In particular, the resolution reaffirms the US government’s commitment to fighting the Global War on Terror, praises France for its foreign interventions in the Middle East and Africa, and calls on the governments of all nations “to join a global effort to combat violent extremist ideologies and terrorist groups.”

21 January 2015read on...

House Majority Leader: Charlie Hebdo Killings Justify US Intervention Worldwide
If the statement issued Wednesday by US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is an indication of how the US House and Senate — both now under Republican leadership — will respond legislatively to the killings in Paris last week, expect expanded authorization and funding for US military action and other intervention the world over.

13 January 2015read on...

US House to Vote on Imposing National ID Cards Worldwide ‘For the Children’
The US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on HR 3398, legislation stating that it is the policy of the United States government to encourage other nations to require all citizens to have national identity cards. HR 3398 also directs the US government to work with multinational organizations and private entities on imposing registration, identification, and documentation laws on people around the world. As is often the case with legislation intended to increase government power and expand foreign intervention, HR 3398 presents as its justification helping the children—girls in particular this time.

18 November 2014read on...

Rep. Walter Jones Challenges Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on ISIS War
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), at a Thursday hearing of the United States House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, challenged Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel regarding the ongoing US war on ISIS. In particular, Jones complains that the US is engaged in the war despite the lack of a constitutionally required congressional declaration of war.

14 November 2014read on...

Speaker John Boehner Says House Should Vote on ISIS War but Refuses to Allow Vote While the United States Constitution says authority over declaring and funding war resides in the Congress, US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner refuses to allow a House vote regarding congressional authorization of the war on ISIS. Boehner says he disagrees with how President Barack Obama is pursuing the war. Boehner also says the House should vote on the war. But instead of calling a vote on the war — something Boehner could have done any time during the war’s escalation — Boehner just waits for the president to present him with a resolution that Boehner, like a diligent servant, promises to promptly put on the House floor for a vote.

30 September 2014read on...

Dennis Kucinich Drops In On Hemp Activists at US Capitol
Industrial hemp activists from around the country visited United States Representatives’ and Senators’ offices in Washington, DC this week to make the case for repealing decades-old US government restrictions related to the plant. When the activists were meeting together after their congressional office visits, RPI Advisory Board Member and former US Rep. Dennis Kucinich dropped in and offered some comments regarding hemp.

25 September 2014read on...

Rep. Walter Jones: Don't Arm 'Moderates' in Syria!
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) has just released a statement strongly opposing the McKeon Amendment to the Continuing Resolution (HJ Res 124) scheduled for a vote today. The amendment would grant Congressional approval for the president's plan to arm and train "moderate" rebels fighting in Syria to overthrow the Assad government. Repeating the words of a former US Marine Commandant, Rep. Jones asks, "are we arming another Taliban?"

17 September 2014read on...

Prof. Peter Kraska’s Police Militarization Testimony for the US Senate Homeland Security Committee
The following is the informative and thought-provoking written testimony of Eastern Kentucky University Professor Peter B. Kraska for the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Tuesday hearing “Oversight of Federal Programs for Equipping State and Local Law Enforcement”...

10 September 2014read on...

Congress Alert

House Leadership's Iron Fist on Defense Appropriations Bill


When the "People's Branch" of government takes up the Defense Appropriations bill later this week they will abandon a long-held tradition of debating the bill under an "open rule," which would allow any amendment to be brought to the floor that does not seek to change the language of the underlying bill.

Traditionally, any amendment limiting or striking funds for any particular program was allowed to the floor under the "five minute rule," i.e. the Member had five minutes to introduce and make the case for the amendment. It was the one way for Members who were not in leadership or doing the bidding of leadership to get their voices and priorities heard. Congressman Paul and several of his close colleagues on the Hill often made use of the appropriations bills and their open rule to introduce amendments striking funds for war on Libya, Syria, Iraq, etc.

This week, House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) announced that he was ending that practice. He would be sending the bill to the floor under a rule allowing only "limited" amendments.

The reason for Sessions' extremely unusual decision to crush open debate about the funding the Defense apparatus next year?

As reported in Defense News today, House leadership’s "fears of fights over NSA surveillance and aid to Egypt."

The website explained further:
"An influx of amendment and debate over controversial amendments that might place restrictions on the controversial NSA surveillance programs made public and former Booz Allen Hamilton employee Edward Snowden, U.S. military aid to Egypt, or the White House’s ability to intervene in Syria could bring the chamber to a slow crawl."
What this means is that House Leadership refuses to allow Members of Congress to perform their individual responsibilities to exercise oversight over any potentially controversial aspect of US foreign policy. In other words, Congress must forbid debate. Foreign aid to Egypt must not only continue, but continue without debate. The president's policy of arming radical jihadists in Syria could not be debated. NSA spying on Americans must not be debated.

Chairman Sessions explains in a "Dear Colleague" letter, that:
The Committee on Rules may meet during the week of July 15, 2013 to consider a rule that may limit the amendment process for H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014. While this is not the traditional process for this bill, there are a number of sensitive and ongoing issues related to national security that are more appropriately handled through an orderly amendment process ensuring timely consideration of this important measure.
Not since the time of the Soviet Union has a rubber stamp been wielded so nonchalantly by an iron fist.
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