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congress

News

Mulvaney Answers Congress’ Questions About Trump’s 2018 Budget

Former Congressman and House Budget Committee member Mick Mulvaney returns to the House Budget Committee today to testify on the details of Trump’s 2018 Budget. Mulvaney returned as the director of Office of Management and Budget. Before the hearing started, one could see Mulvaney casually talking to various members who he had served with just a few months ago. During the over three-hour hearing, Republican committee members praised the Trump budget for its vision to balance the budget within 10 years. Meanwhile, every Democratic member gave long grandstanding demonizing speeches as to why their pet government project (several of which Congress has not authorized in several years) was seeing a reduction or elimination of funds. If you were to listen to the Democrats, one would assume that without government assistance, most Americans would have no place to live and would starve to death. Even some Republicans could be seen whining about some special interest spending that was getting cut. Keep Reading

El Chapo Act
News

House Freedom Caucus Members Introduce El Chapo Act

On Thursday, several House Freedom Caucus members introduced the El Chapo Act, the House companion bill to Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal to fund Trump’s border wall without the use of taxpayer dollars. The El Chapo Act was introduced by Rep. Mo Brooks and cosponsored by Congressmen Tom Garrett, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert – all members of the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Kevin Brady, who is not a member of the House Freedom Caucus, also cosponsored the bill. The introduction of the El Chapo Act in the House comes in the midst of debate in Congress about whether to fund the construction of Trump’s border wall and how it could be done. Last week, Congressional leadership stripped the budget of funding for the border wall. Keep Reading

first one hundred days
Politics

The First One Hundred Days Is a Meaningless Metric

The first one hundred days of a new president’s presidency is a media gimmick created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933. I’ll skip right to the important part: It was a crock of shit then and it’s an even bigger crock of shit now. It’s an artifice meant to distract from more important things, such as the fact that the effects of policy-making often do not become evident until long after they are implemented. It took years for the deregulation of craft brewing to reap dividends and when it did Reagan’s economy took credit while Carter pounded sand. Like many (maybe most) bad ideas, NAFTA seemed like a good one at the time. The War on Drugs was supposed to usher in a utopia of peaceful streets and whole families; some forty years later it is an obvious failure built on lies. The point is, setting policy – good or bad – is a process, not an event. Roosevelt’s media gimmick is a snapshot of a bigger picture with… Keep Reading

Law/News

War Powers Debate: John Yoo Vs. Jonathan Turley

On March 29, 2017, the George Washington University Law School’s branch of the Federalist Society hosted a debate between Professor John Yoo of Berkeley Law and Professor Jonathan Turley of GW Law. The topic of the debate was the delegation of war powers under the United States Constitution. Yoo is best known for the now infamous memo he wrote as a member of the Justice Department in the early 2000s that argued in favor of the authority of the executive to use “advanced interrogation techniques” on enemy combatants. Turley is best known as a civil libertarian who has represented members of Congress in lawsuits attempting to stymie the power of the executive branch. As some Yoo protestors chanted outside, and others dressed as orange jump-suited and hooded detainees protested inside, the two prominent lawyers began their discussion. While the debate ranged along the lines of history, politics, and the law, there were three primary subject areas along which the participants battled: textual delegation, structural design, and modern functionality. Yoo… Keep Reading

Politics

Congress Wants To SCRUB Bad Regulations Off The Books

As most politically astute individuals know, President Trump has Doubled Down on Regulation Reform. First, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to remove two regulations for every regulation enacted. Trump then signed an Executive Order setting up a watchdog in each agency whose duty it is to make sure the federal agencies enact his regulatory reform. Not to be outdone by the President, this week Congress passed H.R. 998. This bill is called the SCRUB Act (Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome). This Act establishes a nine-member commission whose duty it is to hold hearings and find regulations that need to be removed. The commission is to be called The Retrospect Regulatory Review Commission. This commission is to be in existence for five years. Keep Reading

News/Politics

Trump Nails Speech To Congress

President Donald Trump had a strong performance Tuesday night during his speech to a joint session of congress. He began by going over many of his campaign talking points about taking care of veterans, rebuilding infrastructure, and bringing back jobs to U.S. shores. He laid out a strategy for immigration, saying: “We will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.” This is great. Building a border wall could be one of Trump’s most important and lasting achievements. As one of Trump’s keynote proposals, a wall will protect Americans and finally ensure that our border is secure. He continued on the topic of terrorism, saying: “It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.”… Keep Reading

News/Politics

New Leader For The House Freedom Caucus?

Welcome to American politics, where election season never really ends. By the time one election is close, the next year’s campaign is well underway. The battle for the soul of the House GOP is no exception. Republicans in the House of Representatives have been having it out internally since the day they took the speakership in 2011 after the 2010 Republican midterm gains. What makes this fight particularly interesting is that, unlike presidential nominations or the RNC, it gives us an insight into the Republican Party’s ability to govern. The speakership of the House of Representatives is the third highest office in the nation, and wields tremendous influence over national policy and spending, regardless of who is in the White House. It’s not just about what the GOP wants to do in theory, it tells us how they do govern in practice. That said, North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows’ recent announcement that he is seeking the most influential conservative position in the House is not too surprising. As a… Keep Reading

Politics

Term Limits: a Policy Proposal When The Barrel Is Empty, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series on term limits. See Part 1 here. 2. The people will naturally tend to vote for smarter choices for their representatives if given open elections free of incumbents. This is, again, just not true. The same people who send back an incumbent you don’t like will probably send in a freshman you don’t like. The reason for this: they like people you don’t like. Sorry, it’s a fact of politics. If you don’t like that, perhaps I suggest you try getting involved in campaigns to try to influence the choices you have rather than waiting for it to happen to you. Just a thought. The average open congressional seat sees about seven candidates jump in for the nomination contest of the predominant party in the district. In the jungle that is a seven-way primary or caucus election, you’ll realize that the same factors that favor the incumbents you didn’t like (money, media bias, the favor of the party establishment and political insiders)… Keep Reading

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