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US War on Your Passport Continues

Just the other day we wrote about a US House "suspension" bill that would give the Secretary of State the authority to cancel your passport if he decided that you had "aided" an organization that he rules is terrorist. There is no definition of what "aided" means, no chance to dispute the Secretary's decision, no trial or presentation of evidence, and in fact any evidence the government has can be classified as secret so that you may not see it. In effect the Secretary of State can unilaterally consign you to internal exile and there is nothing you can do about it.

Because Members of the US House were too cowardly to go on record voting for such an anti-American piece of legislation, the bill passed by a voice vote

Today the US Senate plans to one-up its counterparts on the lowlier side of Capitol Hill. Buried inside the US highways funding bill is a provision to revoke or deny issuance of a US passport to anyone who has a large outstanding tax debt to the US Internal Revenue Service. 
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Today Congress Votes to Take Your Passport

Revolutions become horrific parodies as they inevitably turn inward on their own people. The suffering former subjects of Louis XVI soon understood liberté, égalité, fraternité to in fact mean the guillotine. In the name of fighting one's enemies, the regime takes to cannibalizing its own citizens, as the motion of the action requires ever more fodder to create energy for the machine.

Which brings us to the matter of HR 237, coming to the Floor of the US House today on, of all things, the "suspension calendar." This "suspension calendar" accommodates bills that should traditionally be uncontroversial in nature and thus not requiring the full daylight of a thorough Congressional debate.
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Rep John Duncan: ‘Permanent, Forever, Endless War in the Middle East’ is Not Conservative

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., in a speech Wednesday on the House of Representatives floor, quoted several prominent conservatives to help make the case that “there has been nothing conservative about our policy of permanent, forever, endless war in the Middle East.” In the speech, Duncan quotes, in turn, thought-provoking comments from Thomas Sowell, David Keene, Jon Utley, Peggy Noonan, and William F. Buckley, Jr.
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Reps. McGovern, Jones, and Lee to Force House Vote This Month on ISIS War Withdrawal

The days of the United States House of Representatives leadership blocking debate and a vote on the ISIS War appear to be coming to an end. On Thursday, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), along with Reps Walter Jones (R-NC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), introduced, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, a privileged resolution (H.Con.Res. 55) intended to force the House to debate and vote within 15 days on withdrawing US armed forces from Iraq and Syria.

Upon the resolution’s introduction, Reps. McGovern and Jones (a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member) spoke for 26 compelling and informative minutes on the House floor regarding the resolution they had introduced, as well as their frustration with the US war in Iraq and Syria and the failure of Congress to meet its responsibility to debate and vote on that war.
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Breaking: FREEDOM Act Passes Senate, Freedom Dies

By a vote of 67-32 the Senate today passed the USA FREEDOM Act, just days after the expiration of key elements of the USA PATRIOT Act. The FREEDOM Act is billed as a bill to reform the unconstitutional and recently-ruled illegal bulk collection of Americans' telecommunications, but in fact it is a whole new level of attack on civil liberties.
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Today in Congress: House to Pass Legislation Promoting National ID Cards Worldwide

The congressional push to promote national ID cards worldwide continues, and it looks like the legislative vehicle — the Girls Count Act (S 802) — will likely be sent this week to President Barack Obama to be signed into law without recorded votes in the US Senate or House of Representatives.

In November, the House of Representatives approved by a voice vote HR 3398, a previous version of the Girls Count Act. That 2014 bill would, as detailed in a Ron Paul Institute Congress Alert, define it as the policy of the US government to encourage other nations to require all citizens to have national identity cards, as well as direct the US government to work with multinational organizations and private entities on imposing registration, identification, and documentation laws on people around the world. But, then the 113th Congress ended without the Senate taking action on the bill.
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Does the House Leadership Really Want to Rein In Obama?

The House GOP leadership talks a lot about "reining in" President Obama's abuse of executive powers; yet last week they blocked two amendments to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have rolled back President Obama's power to violate our civil liberties and unilaterally keep US troops involved in overseas military actions.
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House Votes to Keep Paying for ISIS War It Neither Debated Nor Authorized

The US House of Representatives on Friday again voted to pay for war on the Islamic State (ISIS) without ever having a debate and vote on the authorization of the war. This result is par for the course given the House leadership is well practiced in manipulating House rules to scuttle efforts by Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and James McGovern (D-MA), as well as by other House members, to ensure that the legislative branch fulfills its constitutional responsibility to decide when the US government uses military force.

By barring war debates and votes, the House leadership ensures the continued legislative rubber-stamping of the wars the executive branch unilaterally pursues.

The authorization of funding for the ISIS War that the House approved Friday is included in the massive National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 (HR 1735) that covers funding authorization for the Department of Defense generally. This leaves any representative who voted for the legislation with the ability to deny responsibility for the ISIS War by saying he voted for the NDAA just to advance some combination on other provisions in the bill.
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Rep. Walter Jones: Congress Should Debate Nine More Years in Afghanistan

Speaking Tuesday on the United States House of Representatives floor, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) again urged Congress to exercise its constitutional responsibility by debating and voting on if the United States government will continue militarily intervening in Afghanistan for nine more years.

Referring to Afghanistan as “well known by historians as the graveyard of empires,” Jones, a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board member, details the high cost in thousands of US troops killed, tens of thousands more US troops wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the US government in the first 14 years of the Afghanistan War. Jones proceeds to note that a new bilateral security agreement President Barack Obama has entered into with Afghanistan “ties us — our nation — to a failed policy for another nine years.”
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