Saturday, December 18, 2021

In Context: The Origin of Lawlessness

After diverting $120 million away from law enforcement last year, San Francisco has seen a rise in crime this year. People now leave their vehicles physically open so thieves have less reason smash the windows while looking for things to steal. The mayor's response calls for more surveillance and less street vending to suppress reselling of stolen goods.

Speaker Pelosi was asked about a federal response in support of local efforts, and she mentioned “legislation that would require those who were selling online, especially, to establish their legitimacy as to where these products came from, because what people do is they steal things and then sell them online. They have to establish their legitimacy if they're going to be sold online. … And it is, you know, absolutely out of the question that people should be able to think that they can just steal things, profit from them and not have any accountability on it.”

When further asked about crime and retailers leaving the city, Speaker Pelosi said, “What it is, it's absolutely outrageous. Obviously, it cannot continue. But the fact is that there is an attitude of lawlessness in our country that springs from I don't know where, maybe you do, and we cannot have that lawlessness become the norm.”

“I don't know … maybe you do”

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:

Congress Approves $2.5T Debt Ceiling Increasein Time for Treasury Dept. Deadline (S.J.Res. 33) • single largest increase ever • Punts Debt Default Furloughs to 2023

61 straight yearsCongress approves $770B defense bill that ups Pentagon funding, keeps women out of the draft (S. 1605) • $200 Million for Israel’s Missile Defense Needs

Congress passes ban on imports made with Uyghur forced labor (H.R. 6256) World’s First Legislation Banning Imports from Xinjiang Over Forced Labor Concerns • Pause Before You Give Congress Credit for Trying to Stop Slave Labor in China

US sets up commission on Afghanistan failures

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Senate Moves Jan. 6 Reforms as House Democrats Obsess on Trump Role

Senate Passes Legislation to Prevent Dishonorable Discharges for Unvaccinated Servicemembers

Rashad Hussain Confirmed as New International Religious Freedom Ambassador

Senate confirms Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan3 Senate Democrats vote against

Senate confirms big slate of Biden ambassadors, adjourns for Christmas break without BBB vote

House of Representatives — Bills • Actions passedsummarized

Republicans: If a Special Envoy Is to Monitor and Combat ‘Islamophobia’ It Needs to Be Defined • Pelosi Fast-Tracks ‘Anti-Islamophobia’ Bill To Appease Omar • House Democrats pass bill to combat Islamophobia — H.R. 5665

House votes to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress (H.Res. 851) • 'This is so wrong': Jim Jordan delivers fiery rebuke of effort to hold Mark Meadows in contempt

Congress passes bill allowing for easier National Guard defense of Capitol after Jan. 6 — S. 3377

Saturday, December 11, 2021

In Context: Tilting Toward Freedom

While it was expected, it was still remarkable: a Democratically-controlled Senate voted against the most significant domestic executive action in the latter half of 2021 by the Democratic Biden Administration.

52-48, Senate passed S.J.Res. 29; A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard”.

That's the get-the-shot-or-lose-your-job rule from the Biden Administration.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:

Senate — Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Legislative Session

Senate votes to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses • rebuke of Biden's workplace vaccine mandatefor private employers • secures Democratic support • Psaki: Biden Will Veto — S.J.Res. 29

Unanimous Consent

Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale — S.J.Res. 31

Senate Passes Legislation to Ban Pensions for Corrupt Members of Congress, Save Taxpayer Money — S. 693

Executive Session

Senate confirms FCC's Rosenworcel to another term — 68-31

Biden CBP pick Chris Magnus confirmed by Senate — 50-47 

House of Representatives — Bills • Actions passedsummarized

Considered Pursuant to a Rule

House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike • sets up Senate shutdown showdownWith Simple Majority Vote — S. 610

House passes $768B defense policy bill — S. 1605

House ‘democracy’ bill would cap executive power, expand disclosure • curb presidential abuses of power — H.R. 5314

Suspension of the Rules

Prior week: House passes bill to expedite financial disclosures from judges — H.R. 5720

House passes bill to fight valvular heart disease, honor GOP lawmaker's late wife — H.R. 1193

House passes bill to strengthen shipping supply chain — H.R. 4996

House passes bills to pressure China amid Olympic boycott — H.R. 1155H.Res. 837H.Res. 317

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Abortion in “Build Back Better”

The Build Back Better Act, H.R. 5376, has significant Hyde problems: it allows taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortion and subsidize plans that cover election abortion, and it creates funding streams that could be used for abortion facilities or abortion training.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) spoke for a minute on the House floor Thursday, 11/18/2021, in support of protecting life and in opposition to the Build Back Better Act:
Mr. Speaker, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it was completely unacceptable that the Build Back Better Act expands taxpayer funding of abortion in many new and expanding programs.

The National Right to Life Committee has pointed out that even ObamaCare contained a provision that specifically permitted States to ban elective abortions in their exchanges. The BBB, starting in 2024, would explicitly override the laws of those States.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Biden once said that those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them. This bill coerces us to pay for abortion on demand.

Mr. Speaker, unborn babies need the President of the United States and Members of Congress to be their friends and advocates, not powerful adversaries subsidizing their violent destruction.

Mr. Smith of New Jersey had additional remarks prepared for delivery:

Saturday, November 20, 2021

In Context: Understanding what fixes

Of the two tracks of the Biden/Schumer agenda, the bipartisan bill went to President Biden, and the partisan reconciliation bill goes to Senator Manchin.

Even from the bill that is now law, action is not imminent. Notice the absence of “shovel-ready” to describe any of these projects. The government faces the same workforce shortage as everyone else, a problem it is making worse through excessive overreaching mandates and penalties.

Senate Majority Leader Schumer illuminated Thursday how the legislation approaches issues. Take, for instance, the voter pain point of prescription drug costs, specifically insulin. The list price costs have been rising, so Democrats think “Build Back Better will make it so Americans with diabetes don't pay more than $35 per month on insulin” and since that amount is lower than what people have been paying, “people will have more money in their pocket.”

(1) It’s never that simple because problems are never that isolated. (2) Any time any government directly modifies prices previously agreed upon by sellers and buyers there are unintended consequences. Artificially pushing down prices both increases demand and decreases supply. (3) In this case, government isn’t just changing prices for patients, but is also shifting costs to insurance companies.

The party that prides itself on governing takes a similarly simplistic and isolated approach to other issues as well. If you want to solve “gun violence,” eliminate guns and there will, supposedly, be no more violence with guns. If employers aren’t paying enough, they just make them pay more. There’s very little understanding or consideration of how the diverse parts of the economy fit together and affect one another. The underlying assumption is that most everything man does is fine, and we just need laws to fix everything else.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Executive Session

Bill honoring 13 service members killed in Afghanistan heads to Biden's desk — H.R. 5142

Senate confirms first Native American to direct park service

NC's next federal prosecutors confirmed by US Senate

Senate confirms Google critic to lead DOJ antitrust division

Legislative Session

Senate advances defense bill after delay (Over US–China Competition Bill) • Sanders vows to oppose — H.R. 4350

House — Actions passedsummarized

Suspension of the Rules

House passes bill to expand veterans' access to COVID-19, flu vaccines — H.R. 5671

Considered Pursuant to a Rule

House votes to censure Gosar and boot him from committees (H.Res. 789) • Gosar censured and removed from committees over anime AOC video in mostly party-line vote • Boebert faces heavy criticism after Gosar floor speech (1-minute speech)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy bashes $1.75 trillion spending bill in marathon floor speech — Full speech: 3 hours before midnight5 hours after

US House votes to pass $1.9tn social spending plan (H.R. 5376) • Biden hails passage • Maine Rep. Jared Golden only Democrat to vote against • Bill has abortionHealth Care ProvisionsTemporary immigration protections

Saturday, November 6, 2021

In Context: After Elections

A year ago, who expected the Executive Branch of the U.S. Federal government to take a whole-of-government approach to censoring anything but words of praise for the coronavirus injection and to making everyone take said injection? When during the 2020 presidential campaign were we promised to be fired if we did not comply? Those were actions we learned to expect only after the new Administration assumed power.

In elections across the country this week, at least 10 percent of Americans voted for a different direction for the country than they did a year earlier. If we were able to reason together, the Administration would conclude the American people want less of what it is offering. However, we're not dealing with reason. We're dealing with Deuteronomy 28 madness in this country.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Report

Related Headlines:

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Executive Session

Schumer touts the “first openly gay woman to serve…in any Federal circuit court in the country” and a nominee who would be “the highest ranking Muslim in government

Legislative Session

Senate votes to block consideration of John Lewis Voting Rights Act — S. 4

House of Representatives — Actions passedsummarized

Suspension of the Rules

House passes bills to shore up small business cybersecurity

40 House Democrats vote against resolution supporting Cuban protesters — H.Res. 760 (Agreed to 382-40)

Considered Pursuant to a Rule

House holds longest vote in modern history as Democrats struggle for unity — 207-219

House passes infrastructure bill, sending it to Biden's desk • Lawmakers who bucked their parties • mayors praise passage — H.R. 3684

Saturday, October 30, 2021

In Context: No one to fear, Everyone to love

During the weekend prior to an election, a noticeable number of people turn their mind to other things like rental entertainment. A mental break can indeed be useful to take a step back and consider the larger context of our time.

Deuteronomy 28 offers two descriptions of life for a nation. One has blessings everywhere and enemies nowhere. The other has confusion, disease, fear, madness, want, untrustworthy defenses, and is besieged on all sides.

If it isn't already obvious, we've been shifting from one to the other. Collapse may soon be on our doorstep. Supply chains seizing up could soon become our most obvious symptom. Congress is right where it was at the beginning of the month. People are fearful and teaching fear of a virus that most people survive.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Executive Session

Senate Confirms Biden’s Occupational Safety and Health Nominee

Biden pick Elizabeth Prelogar confirmed by Senate to be US solicitor general

Unanimous Consent

Rubio, Markey Applaud Senate Passage of Secure Equipment Act — H.R. 3919

Opioid Abuse Prevention Bill Passes Senate, Heads to President — H.R. 1899

House — Actions passedsummarized

Suspension of the Rules

Congress to award Congressional Gold Medal to service members killed in attack at Kabul airportH.R. 5142

House Passes Wagner Legislation to Protect Seniors and Vulnerable Adults From Financial Exploitation — H.R. 2265

H.R. 5763 – Further Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2021
House extends highway funding to Dec. 3 amid delayed infrastructure vote

Considered Pursuant to a Rule

H.R. 2119 – Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

#ProLife implications of #HR2119, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2021

Today, October 26, 2021, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2119, the “Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2021,” by a vote of 228 – 200.

Background: The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), which was enacted as Title III of the Child Abuse Amendments of 1984 (P.L. 98-457), is one of two main pieces of legislation used to provide federal support for preventing and responding to domestic violence. H.R. 2119 would reauthorize FVSPA through fiscal year 2026. More information on the FVPSA is available in this report by the Congressional Research Service and in the attached resources from the Education and Labor Committee.

Because previous iterations of the law stated that the assistance provided did not allow “reimbursement for any health-care services,” it was clear that abortion would not be funded through this program.

H.R. 2119 removes that prohibition and fails to include Hyde protections to prevent the funding available through the FVPSA from paying for elective abortion.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

In Context: Progressive Learning

The pro-life movement has patiently worked for years to be in a position to overturn Roe v. Wade and enact pro-life legislation into law to punish the evil of taking human life through abortion. Along the way, they've learned that a party majority doesn't necessarily mean there is an ideological majority.

Some criticize Republicans for doing nothing to protect human life during the Bush 43 years when Republicans had control of the Legislative and Executive Branches of government. They never had, however, a 60-vote majority in the Senate to overcome the filibuster. Democrats had that briefly a few years later which is how we ended up with the Affordable Care Act.

Progressives have been ascendant in the Democratic party, and are beginning to wield sizeable clout within the Democratic party. Some have been disappointed to learn that a party majority doesn't necessarily mean there is an ideological majority.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

U.S. Senate confirms Gelpí and O’Hearn to federal judgeships

Senate Narrowly Confirms Due Process Foe Catherine Lhamon To Education Department

GOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill — S. 2747

House — Weekly Leader Colloquy • Actions passedsummarized

Jan. 6 Committee, House votes to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in contempt

House passes bill to expand workplace protections for nursing mothers — H.R. 3110

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