The Senate will be considering the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senator Rand Paul is trying to offer a series of amendments to the bill. His amendments include the repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and the prohibition of indefinite detention. As of this writing, it is unclear if Senator Paul will get votes on his amendments. The House is in session Monday through Thursday. The House will complete work on H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2020. The House will also consider H.R. 3351. This bill provides funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Executive Branch agencies, and “independent agencies” such as the Small Business Administration. The bill spends $24.55 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion over FY 2019 and $355.5 million more than the president’s request. The House will also consider H.R. 3401, which allocates $4.5 billion in emergency spending for humanitarian assistance and refugee services for those crossing the border. The bill does not provide funds for President Trump’s proposed border wall and adds to the federal deficit. The House will consider H.R. 2722, which provides federal grants to state and local governments to protect against [...]
Tue, Jun 25, 2019
President Trump did the smart thing last week by calling off a US airstrike on Iran over the downing of an American spy drone near or within Iranian territorial waters. According to press reports, the president over-ruled virtually all his top advisors – Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel – who all wanted another undeclared and unauthorized US war in the Middle East. Is Iran really the aggressive one? When you unilaterally pull out of an agreement that was reducing tensions and boosting trade; when you begin applying sanctions designed to completely destroy another country’s economy; when you position military assets right offshore of that country; when you threaten to destroy that country on a regular basis, calling it a campaign of “maximum pressure,” to me it seems a stretch to play the victim when that country retaliates by shooting a spy plane that is likely looking for the best way to attack. Even if the US spy plane was not in Iranian airspace – but it increasingly looks like it was – it was just another part of an already-existing US war on Iran. Yes, sanctions are a form of war, not a substitute for war. The media are also a big part of [...]
Mon, Jun 24, 2019
The Amash-Lundgren amendment limiting warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance was defeated by a vote of 175-253. The good news is 65 Republicans voted for the bill, up from 39 the last time this was voted on. The bad news is 126 Democrats voted against stopping the surveillance state from using Section 702 of the FISA Act to justify warrantless surveillance of American citizens. Here is the roll-call vote. H.R. 2740, the combined Defense, Labor-Education and Human Services, Energy and Water, and State and Foreign Operations bill, passed by a vote of 226-203. Seven Democrats joined every Republican in voting against the bill. Keep in mind many Republicans voted no because the bill did not spend enough on militarism. Here is the roll-call vote. Speaking of which, one of the few good things about the bill is it repeals the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. Intended to authorize actions to go after those behind the 9-11 attacks, it continues to be used to justify military actions having nothing to do with the attacks. Here is a good article on the politics of this issue. [...]
Fri, Jun 21, 2019
Campaign for Liberty is supporting a bipartisan Amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations bill (part of the 5-bill omnibus H.R. 3055) by Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Republican Representative Tom McClintock (CA-04) to prevent the use of funds from being used to prosecute individuals who are using marijuana in compliance with their state laws. This amendment does not repeal federal marijuana laws, it simply forces the federal government to respect state laws. Campaign for Liberty members who support marijuana federalism should contact their Representatives and tell them to support the Blumenauer-McClintock amendment to H.R. 3055. You can find your Representatives number here. Here is the coalition letter in support of the amendment: Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Representative McCarthy, and Chairman Serrano: On behalf of the many of Americans whose views and values our organizations represent, we respectfully urge you to support the bipartisan amendment to the CJS Appropriations Act offered by Reps. Blumenauer (D-OR) and McClintock (R-CA). While the amendment may appear to simply prohibit the use of taxpayers’ money by federal authorities to prosecute marijuana providers and users in compliance with state-based marijuana laws, at its heart it protects our nation’s fragile principle of federalism. The right of states [...]
Thu, Jun 20, 2019
The Senate will consider nominations and begin work on the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House is in session Tuesday through Friday. The major piece of legislation is finishing work on H.R. 2740, the Labor-HHS-Education, Energy and Water and State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. For more on the bill see here. The Republicans are insisting on roll-call votes on the 221 amendments to the bill, so it will take awhile. Following completion of this bill, the House will move on to H.R. 3055, another “omnibus” appropriations bill. I’ll be preparing summaries of the appropriations bills, as well as looking at some key amendments over the next few weeks. The House only considered one suspension bill this week, H.R. 3253, which deals with certain parts of the Medicaid program. The bill passed by a vote of 371-46. You can see the roll-call here. [...]
Wed, Jun 19, 2019
The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as today on an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, stopping federal agents from using the surveillance states' crown jewel. Specifically, the amendment forbids the use of taxpayer money for warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance, allegedly authorized by Section 702 of the FISA Act. Passing this amendment would be a major step forward in our efforts to end unconstitutional surveillance of Americans and restore the Fourth Amendment! So please call your U.S. Representative at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote for the Lofgren-Amash Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill defunding Section 702 of the FISA Act. Then, please forward this message to your pro-liberty friends and family and ask them to take action as well. Since the vote could come as early as this afternoon, we do not have a moment to lose -- so please call as soon as possible! Intended to be used against non-citizens on foreign soil, snoop state functionaries have created loopholes in Section 702 to justify warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of American citizens. These loopholes have enabled the National Security Agency (NSA) and other surveillance agencies to collect tens of thousands of private communications between American [...]
Tue, Jun 18, 2019
Last week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill amendment to repeal the prohibition on the use of federal funds to create a “unique patient identifier.” Unless this prohibition, which I originally sponsored in 1998, is reinstated, the federal government will have the authority to assign every American a medical ID. This ID will be used to store and track every American’s medical history. A unique patient identifier would allow federal bureaucrats and government-favored special interests to access health information simply by entering an individual’s unique patient ID into a database. This system would also facilitate the collection of health information without a warrant by surveillance state operatives. The health records database could easily be linked to other similar databases, such as those containing gun purchase records or education records. If mandatory E-Verify becomes law, the health records database could even be linked to it, allowing employers to examine a potential employee’s medical history. The possibility that the unique patient identifier system may be linked to a database containing information regarding gun ownership is especially disturbing given the bipartisan support for “red flag” laws. These laws allow the government to deny respect [...]
Mon, Jun 17, 2019
Here is the vote to allow debate on Senator Rand Paul’s legislation blocking arm sales to Qatar. The vote was 42-57. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz were the only Republicans to join Senator Paul in voting to block the arm sales. Here is the roll-call vote to allow debate on Senator Paul’s bill to block arms sales to Bahrain. The vote was the same as the Qatar vote, other than Ted Cruz voting no and Republican Senator Jerry Moran voting yes. Here is a link to Senator Paul’s speech on the bills. The House removed the Legislative Branch from the “omnibus” appropriations bill because of objections over language removing the ban on member’s getting a cost of living increase. The House did not complete the bill so they will wrap it up next week. I will have more detailed summaries of the remaining operations bills in the next few weeks. Here are some of the issues of interest that Congress considered under suspension this week (unless otherwise noted all passed by voice vote): H.R. 3151— New version of legislation that reforms IRS practices without the provision codifying the IRS’s free file program. For more on the legislation see here and here. H.R. 2476—Creates a new grant program [...]
Fri, Jun 14, 2019
But Dr. Paul is counting on your help to keep them running. . . Our biggest concern is we may not be able to fully implement Phase One of this “Banner Bomb” program without an immediate influx of support from liberty-minded patriots like you. Will you pitch in right away to help keep these ads running and get more plastered across the Internet in our targeted districts? We’re running these ads for a simple reason: To expose and end all the harm and chaos the banksters at the Federal Reserve wreak on our economy. The good news is, our Audit the Fed “Banner Bomb” will drive that message home LOUD and CLEAR. These ads are designed to get the type of mass mobilization campaign rolling to gather cosponsors and FORCE Nancy Pelosi to bring up Audit the Fed, by creating a massive and IMMEDIATE tidal wave of petitions, phone calls, and emails demanding action. But to really show Speaker Pelosi we mean business, we need you with us now more than ever. The fact is, these days, politicians -- and those who influence their decisions, not to mention those impacted by them -- pay significant attention to what’s happening online in the Internet world. That’s why Campaign for [...]
Thu, Jun 13, 2019
This Thursday, the Senate will vote on Senator Rand Paul’s resolution  blocking President Trump’s arms sales to Qatar — more on that here. The Senate will also vote on nominations. The House is in session Monday through Thursday. The vote that no doubt will get the most media attention is H.Res.430, which authorizes the Judiciary Committee to intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce congressional subpoenas. Of more significance is H.R. 2740, which combines five appropriations  bills. The bills are Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, State and Foreign Operations, Energy and Water, and Legislative Branch. The summaries of the appropriations bills are admittedly long, but they give you a good detailed look at how Congress spends your money. You will also find examples of wasteful spending to use to counter arguments that we can not afford any more cuts. Defense—Provides $690.2 billion, an increase of $15.8 billion over Fiscal Year 2019 and $8 billion below the president’s request. The spending is divided between $622.1 billion in base funding ($15.2 billion above the FY 2019 level and $88.2 billion above the president’s request) and $58.1 billion in “Overseas Contingency Operations” funds, which is an increase of $165 million over the FY 2019 levels and $96.2 [...]
Tue, Jun 11, 2019


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