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Resolution Requiring US Military Withdrawal from Iraq on the Fast Track to US House Vote

A resolution requiring the removal from Iraq of all US military troops who are not protecting diplomatic facilities and personnel that was introduced Friday in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) is on the fast track to a debate and vote in the House.

House Concurrent Resolution 105, which is cosponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Advisory Board member, is closely modeled after a resolution former Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced on March 4, 2010 to require withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. Kucinich’s resolution obtained a full House debate and vote just six days after its introduction.
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House to Vote on 'Expedited and Dignified' TSA Screenings for Some People, Sometimes

The US House of Representatives is scheduled to consider on Tuesday the Honor Flight Act (HR 4812) that would require the Transportation Security Administration to work with a non-profit organization to establish a process for providing “expedited and dignified passenger screening services for veterans” who are traveling with the aid of certain non-profit organizations to visit certain war memorials. 

While enactment of this legislation may provide some relief for veterans traveling on these particular trips, the obvious question is why the same basic restraints are not placed on the TSA for its interactions with everyone and for all trips.
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Rep. Thomas Massie: 'Declassify 9/11 Report to Prevent the Next 9/11'

In a new discussion at the YouTube channel of Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), Jones, an RPI Advisory Board member, discusses with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) the effort to declassify 28 pages of a joint House of Representatives and Senate Intelligence Committees report. The redacted pages include information concerning foreign governments’ involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks in America. Jones and Massie both state that the information in those 28 pages is important for informing decisions regarding the Middle East and potential US government actions in Iraq, as well as for preventing another attack in America similar to the September 11 attacks.
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US House Rejects by 355 to 62 Vote Amendment to Limit Transfer of Military Weapons and Equipment to Local Police

By a vote of 355 “no” votes to 62 “yes” votes the United States House of Representatives voted down Thursday night an amendment offered by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (HR 4870) that would have curtailed the transfer of US military equipment to local police.

Grayson explained on the House floor that he offered his amendment “to address a growing problem throughout our country, which is the militarization of local law enforcement agencies.” In particular Grayson expressed concern about documentation in the New York Times of huge transfers of military weapons and equipment to local police and the overkill use of transferred items in ordinary law enforcement, even in raids to enforce barber and liquor license laws, instead of in response to nonexistent terrorism.
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Rep. John Duncan: 'Stop Trying to Take Care of the Whole World and Start Taking Care of Our Own Country'

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) brought one minute of hard-hitting reality to the United States House of Representatives on May 30, remarking that the United States government, with its over $17 trillion debt, is only escaping — for now — Detroit-style bankruptcy by printing money. The representative explains that, unless the US government becomes more fiscally responsible, the US will fail to satisfy fully obligations such as military pension and social security payments. Duncan, an RPI Advisory Board member concludes his speech by suggesting the US government “stop trying to take care of the whole world and start taking care of our own country and putting the American people first once again.”
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US House Votes to Respect States’ Medical Marijuana and Hemp Legalization

An appropriations bill passed Friday in the United States House of Representatives and on its way to the US Senate contains provisions calling for the United States government to stop treading on states’ efforts to legalize medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

The majority of House members voted on Friday to respect states’ legalization of medical marijuana and hemp in two amendments to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (HR 4660). First, the House approved by a vote of 237 to 170 an amendment introduced by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) regarding industrial hemp. Immediately following the hemp amendment vote, the House approved by a vote of 219 to 189 a similar amendment concerning medical marijuana introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).
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Sen. Ron Wyden: House-Passed USA FREEDOM Act is 'Reform in Name Only'

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), speaking Wednesday in his home state of Oregon, declared that the “Status Quo Caucus” including “intelligence leadership, their friends in the House of Representatives, [and] their allies in academia” had successfully transformed the USA FREEDOM Act (HR 3361) into “reform in name only” by the time it was debated and approved on the United States House of Representatives floor.

This development regarding legislation supposedly intended to restrain the US government’s mass spying program comes as little surprise to Wyden, who explains that “[w]hat has happened is what I predicted would happen last fall.”
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Rep. Zoe Lofgren: USA FREEDOM Act Secretly 'Altered in Worrisome Ways'

On Wednesday — the day before the United States House of Representatives voted to approve the USA FREEDOM Act (HR 3361) — Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) explained on the House floor that back room machinations changed the bill between the votes approving it in the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and the bill’s consideration on the House floor. These shenanigans outside the routine committee process, Lofgren explains, made meaningless some restraints on US government mass spying contained in the bill.
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US House Considers Gold Medal for Shimon Peres, Bill Touts US-Israel “Unbreakable Bond”

The United States House of Representatives is scheduled to consider today awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to Israel President Shimon Peres. Notably, the short bill, HR 2939, that authorizes the creation of the gold medal and its award to Peres touts Peres’ “pivotal role in forging the strong and unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel” and states that “[b]y presenting the Congressional Gold Medal … Congress proclaims its unbreakable bond with Israel and reaffirms its continual support for Israel.” Peres also previously served as prime minister of Israel, as well as in other high-level positions in the Israel government.

It would be appropriate today for members of the House to reflect on the words of the first person awarded a Congressional Gold Medal—President George Washington. In particular, they may read Washington’s farewell address, in which Washington encouraged the United States government to follow a noninterventionist foreign policy. You cannot square Washington’s recommendation with having an “unbreakable bond” with any foreign government. Unlike House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who twists Washington into a champion of a world-wide interventionist agenda, some House members may find wisdom in the reading.
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Rep. John Fleming’s Marijuana and Libertarians Disinformation Campaign

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) presented his absurd and deceptive campaign against all marijuana use in his opening statement for a hearing regarding marijuana laws held by a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the morning of May 9. In the process, Fleming also made a preposterous mischaracterization of libertarianism.

Fleming’s subcommittee statement followed his similarly misleading speech on the House floor in April in opposition to veterans using medical marijuana. And the statement occurred the same day Fleming said he may introduce legislation to block the implementation of a local Washington, DC law that decriminalizes the possession and transfer without payment of an ounce or less of marijuana on private property.
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