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House Passes Farm Bill With Partial Hemp Legalization

The US House of Representatives passed a new farm bill (H.R.2642) Thursday afternoon that would remove the US government prohibition on colleges and universities growing industrial hemp for research purposes in compliance with state laws. The partial removal of the US government prohibition on growing hemp included in H.R.2642 is the same as in Rep. Jared Polis's amendment that won a majority floor vote for inclusion in a previous House farm bill (H.R.1947) before that farm bill was voted down on the House floor.
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McCain: 'Vote For Berlin Wall!'

Sen. John McCain is promoting the so-called immigration bill (S.744) in the United States Senate by emphasizing it will create "the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall." Apparently, McCain believes this argument will convince other senators to vote for the legislation. The "border-industrial complex" we have been warned about is out in the open.
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Breaking! Rep. Massie to Introduce Bill Blocking Syria Rebel Military Aid

House sources tell RPI that Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) is preparing to introduce legislation to forbid the president from providing military assistance to any of the combatant groups in the current Syrian conflict. Absent a Congressional declaration of war, the legislation asserts, the president may not expend money appropriated by Congress for the purposes of arming any side in Syria.
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Major Drug War Expansion on Senate Agenda This Week

The so-called immigration bill the United States Senate is considering this week (S.744) is about much more than immigration laws. As Ted Hesson explains at ABC News, the bill would significantly expand the US Border Patrol's already large role in the US government's war on drugs. Putting the legislation in context, San Antonio Express-News columnist O. Ricardo Pimental advises that the legislation advances what he calls the "growing border-industrial complex," which operates much like the military-industrial complex and yields profits for many of the same companies.
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Farm Freedom: US House Votes for Pro-Hemp Amendment

The United States House of Representatives voted 225-220 on Thursday to remove the US government prohibition on colleges and universities growing industrial hemp for research purposes in compliance with state laws. The vote was taken on an amendment offered by Rep. Jared Polis and cosponsors Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Thomas Massie during consideration of the farm bill (HR 1947). While the farm bill failed to pass in the House, the amendment vote has established majority support in the House for some rollback of US government restrictions on growing hemp.
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House Intel Committee's Sham Hearing on Mass Spying

Today the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the United States House of Representatives is holding a hearing designed to cheer the US government's secret mass spying programs. The committee leadership's one-sided agenda is highlighted by the title of this morning's hearing—How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries—and the hearing's witness list, composed entirely of high-level managers and lawyers in government entities administering the programs:
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Potential US House Amendment Would Help Edward Snowden

Roll Call reports that Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie are considering introducing an amendment in the United States House of Representatives as early as this week that would protect National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden from prosecution. Snowden may need such legislative help. Over at Fox Business, RPI Advisory Board Member Judge Andrew Napolitano calls Snowden a hero and explains why Snowden may face serious legal consequences.
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Bipartisan Agreement: Anti-TSA Amendment Disqualifies Rep. Broun from Winning Senate Race

United States Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who is running for US Senate, struck a nerve when he offered an amendment to eliminate funding for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) during consideration of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act in the House of Representatives last week. At Roll Call, this amendment is characterized as the latest example of Broun's "penchant for pushing amendments that are viewed as extreme, even by many in his own party." The article includes quotes from Republican and Democrat pundits piling on Rep. Broun, saying that his offering of the amendment is one of the reasons Broun can win neither the Republican primary nor the general election.
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No Hemp Legalization Vote in US Senate

The United States Senate is preparing to end consideration of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act (S. 954) without any vote on Sen. Ron Wyden's amendment that would eliminate the Controlled Substances Act prohibition on growing hemp. Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post presents a behind-the-scenes story of the lack of a vote on the amendment. Sen. Wyden made the following statement regarding the resolution of the amendment in this year's farm bill:
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New 3 June: Industrial Hemp Bill This Week?

The United States Senate may vote this week on an amendment that would eliminate the Controlled Substances Act prohibition on growing industrial hemp. Sen. Ron Wyden has introduced in the Senate his Industrial Hemp Farming Act as Amendment 952 to the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act (S. 954).
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