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Sen. Cory Booker: Use War on Drugs Resources to Expand War on Guns
Be cautious, advocates for liberty who are cheering the apparent winding down of the United States government’s war on marijuana and that war’s replacement with a patchwork quilt of revised state and local laws more tolerant of marijuana growth, distribution, and use. This trend is good news, and it carries hope for similar results regarding the broader war on drugs. The bad news is that some politicians, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), want to move drug war resources into new government assaults on liberty.

26 February 2015read on...

Will Reading of George Washington’s Farewell Address Influence Senate Warmongers?
Per longstanding United States Senate tradition, on Monday afternoon a senator — this year Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) — will read President George Washington’s farewell address on the Senate floor. The Senate website declares that no Senate tradition “has been more steadfastly maintained,” noting the first reading of the speech on the Senate floor occurred in 1862 and that “[e]very year since 1896, the Senate has observed Washington's Birthday by selecting one of its members, alternating parties, to read the 7,641-word statement in legislative session.”

22 February 2015read on...

Rep. Walter Jones Challenges McConnell and Boehner on Giving Obama Fast Track Authority
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), while a guest last week on the Laura Ingraham Show, criticized United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for supporting giving President Barack Obama “fast track” authority for potential international agreements including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Jones says giving fast track authority — sometimes called trade promotion authority — to the president is “absolutely a threat on our Constitution, on our sovereignty.”

18 February 2015read on...

Don’t Trust Obama’s Rhetoric - His War Authorization Allows Fighting by US Ground Troops
The proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force that President Barack Obama submitted to Congress on Wednesday would allow United States ground troops to engage in battle around the world. No matter what aspirations Obama may declare regarding limiting the use of US ground troops, the proposed AUMF places little to no restraint on their use in the ISIS War.

13 February 2015read on...

Ron Paul Warns of Mandatory E-Verify Dangers
Ron Paul, who served in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican from Texas, submitted comments on Wednesday to the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee warning of many dangers that may arise from making E-Verify a mandatory component of hiring under US law. Mandatory E-Verify is one of the “tough on illegal immigration” proposals being considered in Congress.

6 February 2015read on...

Rep. Walter Jones: US Should End Afghanistan War For Real
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) delivered a powerful speech Wednesday on the floor of the United States House of Representatives advocating ending the US government’s ongoing war in Afghanistan. In the speech Jones challenges President Barack Obama’s claim that the Afghanistan War has ended. Jones supports the challenge by noting that thousands of US troops remain in Afghanistan, US taxpayers’ dollars continue to be spent in Afghanistan for military intervention, and the US and Afghanistan governments have recently entered into a bilateral security agreement purposed to keep US troops in Afghanistan.

25 January 2015read on...

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...

Speaker Vote Highlights US House’s Unchecked Procedural Corruption
It seems unlikely that the current members of the United States House of Representatives will effectively rise up against their Democrat and Republican leaders to require that the House be run in a fair and honest manner. Yet, the potential of more Republican members opposing on Tuesday the reelection of Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as speaker of the House than the 12 Republican representatives who chose not to vote for Boehner in 2013 is helping bring to light the crooked process by which “the people’s House” so frequently operates.

6 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...

Congress Alert

Did Sen. Reid Let Slip Secret Plan to Use Navy Yard Killings as Excuse for New Medical Privacy Violations?


There is reason for concern that the US Congress and the National Rifle Association may soon  work together to use the Washington, DC Navy Yard killings earlier this week as an excuse to expand a US government database of all Americans' private medical information.

The day after the Navy Yard killings, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was talking about bringing expanded gun transfer background checks to a vote in the Senate. Bloomberg reports:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he’ll schedule another vote to expand firearms background checks “as quickly as we can” when enough members support the bill. Reid said at the moment, the Senate lacks enough votes to pass the legislation.
The Bloomberg article then proceeds to discount the possibility of such legislation advancing, saying gun control legislation failed to pass in the Senate earlier this year and quoting one gun control writer who absolutely rejects the possibility:
“The chance of any movement on this issue now is zero,” said Robert Spitzer, author of four books on the history of gun control. “That wind blew itself out politically.”
But, an alternative, secret plan appears to be in the works. Roll Call reports:
The Nevada Democrat [Reid] said he might be willing to move a mental-illness gun bill without a background check expansion, but that comment was quickly walked back by an aide who sent around guidance that Reid does not, in fact, intend to pass a mental-illness gun bill without expanded background checks.
Reid's public comments seem to have gotten ahead of the public relations plan for a mental health database focused bill.

Reid will likely find it a much easier path pursuing gun control legislation focused on mental health instead of a broad gun control expansion such as was considered during the abandoned floor debate on the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act (S.649) in April.

A starting point may be the NICS Reporting Improvements Act (S.480), which was introduced in March by four Republican and Democrat senators — Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), and Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas). As these four senators make clear in their press release announcing the introduction of the legislation, the legislation is intended to prevent more people from being able to posses guns by expanding the mental health database used in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Taking a mental health database legislative approach, Sen. Reid can turn the National Rifle Association into an ally in his gun control efforts. The NRA is pursuing its ongoing lobbying effort with the US and state governments to expand the US government's mental health database and increase the flow of information into that database so more people may be prohibited from possessing guns. Indeed, in the first three months of this year, the NRA's record-breaking lobbying expenditures included spending both to defeat the background checks expansion Reid had backed and to support S.480. The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Chris W. Cox writes that S.480 "will improve the current national instant background check system (NICS) by improving the records within it."

Meanwhile, Begich, the lead Democrat cosponsor of S.480, has expressed his interest in using the Navy Yard killings to justify expanding the US government's mental health database as a means to further limit who may possess guns. In the Bloomberg article, Begich is quoted as claiming he has introduced legislation that would have included alleged Navy Yard killer Aaron Alexis in NICS:
“If I read the reports, he bought his guns legally and had a background check, so the issue that that gentlemen had was mental-health issues,” Begich told reporters yesterday at the Capitol, noting that he has introduced legislation that would have made sure Alexis “would have been in the background check system” when he sought to buy a gun.
If a mental health database expansion bill passes in the Senate, do not expect the House of Representatives leadership to stop its progress. The last major NRA-backed gun control bill focused on expanding the US government's mental health database—Rep. Carolyn McCarthy's NICS Improvement Amendments Act (H.R.2640)—passed in the House in a manner that minimized public knowledge and ensured neither a debate on the issue nor a recorded vote. On December 19, 2007, after all legislative business appeared to have been completed for the year and most representatives were on their way back to their districts for Christmas recess, a small group of Republican and Democrat representatives were sent to the House floor to quickly pass the bill by unanimous consent. The legislation was thus sent to President George W. Bush without any debate or recorded vote. Bush signed the bill into law on January 8, 2007—seven days before the House completed its Christmas recess.


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