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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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Breaking: Women Draft Provision Removed from House NDAA


Rebecca Kheel reports in the Hill that the US House Rules Committee on Monday removed from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the House Armed Services Committee approved last month, a provision requiring women to register with the Selective Services System. The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor this week. The registration requirement would pave the way for conscripting women into the US military. Last week the Armed Services Committee also included the requirement in its version of the NDAA.
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Senate Committee Moves US One Step Closer to Drafting Women into Military

Last month the Armed Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives voted to require women to register with the Selective Service System, as men are currently required, to facilitate women being drafted into the US military. The women draft provision was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the committee. Thursday, the US< Senate Armed Services Committee joined in the call for making women subject to a potential draft when the Senate committee included such a Selective Service registration requirement in its version of the NDAA.
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House Armed Services Committee Approves Requiring Women to Register for Military Draft

Wednesday night the US House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment to require women to register for a potential military draft via the Selective Service system. The requirement already applies to men. The amendment is part the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed in the committee early this morning.

Richard Lardner of the Associated Press recounts of the amendments’ consideration, reporting that committee member Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) proposed the amendment to start a debate about the recent move in the military to expand women troops’ involvement in combat, with which Hunter has disagreement. Hunter voted against his own amendment, but the amendment still passed by a vote of 32 to 30.
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Congressman Says His Local Politicians Would be in Jail if They Did What US House Members Do

Last week Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) demanded on the House floor a roll-call vote on a billion-dollar foreign aid bill. Only due to this action are people able to see how House members voted on the legislation. Otherwise, the bill would have been passed by a voice vote of around twelve representatives who happened to be on the floor.

Interviewed by host Brian Thomas at KRC-Radio in Cincinnati, Ohio the morning after the vote on what Massie calls in the interview “a one billion dollars slush fund for the president,” Massie reveals that that same day four bills he had not been given an opportunity to read were passed by voice vote. This is among the issues Massie addresses in the interview that cause him to conclude that members of the House are moving legislation in a way that would lead to Massie’s county-level politicians being jailed if they acted similarly.
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Thank You Thomas Massie


On Tuesday the House passed HR 1567, the "Global Food Security Act." As I wrote earlier this week, HR 1567 "....requires the President to coordinate the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to accomplish the objectives of promoting global food security, resilience, and nutrition consistent with national food security investment plans."

It also authorized the federal government to spend one billion dollars — which is chump change in D.C. but as Senator Evert Dirksen once said, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money” — on foreign aid programs. This is on top of the billions the US Government currently spends on overseas programs.
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This Week in Congress: Foreign Aid and Tyranny

This week the House returns from "spring break." Today and Wednesday the House will consider "suspensions."

One of the suspension bills of particular interest is HR 4509. This legislation requires  states or "high-risk urban areas" receiving Homeland Security funds to establish a state planning committee or an urban area working group, in order to develop and revise homeland security plans and work on threat and hazard identification.

Readers will be interested to know that the committees must have representatives of fusion centers -- the wonderful people that consider you and I terrorists -- on their board.
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Lawrence Wilkerson: Sen. Richard Burr is ’Ultimate Protector’ of CIA Torture Criminals

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) is “the ultimate protector” of United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture criminals, writes College of William & Marry Professor Lawrence Wilkerson in a powerful Thursday editorial in The Charlotte Observer.

Wilkerson, an Academic Board member of the Ron Paul Institute and a retired US Army colonel, discusses in the editorial how Burr has sought to keep the US government’s torture activities hidden from public view. Instead of ensuring oversight and accountability as the committee chairman, Burr has, Wilkerson concludes, been aiding a cover-up that even encourages US presidential candidates to depict torture as desirable instead of as a despicable criminal activity.
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CIA's Brennan to Senate: I'm Not Sorry I Spied on You

CIA director John Brennan lost his cool at Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) in a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee today when the Oregon Senator suggested the spy chief should apologize for spying on the Senate. 

It was back in 2014 with the Senate was investigating CIA torture activities that Brennan's agency, as his own CIA Inspector General concluded, gained "improper" access to Senate computers with the intent of snooping on the investigation.
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