On Thursday, Democrats in the Senate blocked an attempt by Republicans to enforce a provision of a 1980s law requiring all contractors doing business with the federal government to send out notices of potential layoffs four days before the presidential election in November. 

By a vote of 17-13 the Senate Appropriations Committee voted against an amendment offered by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would have overridden a policy directive issued earlier this week by the Labor Department informing federal contractors that they may ignore the law and not send out preemptive pink slips to their employees.

 

By a bipartisan vote, the House joined the Senate in passing a bill that removes the "advice and consent" requirement from many presidential appointments.

On Thursday, the United States Senate voted to move forward on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, clearing the way for amendments to be proposed. To the dismay of Second Amendment advocates, New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer proposed an amendment that introduces new gun control.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve Bank easily passed the House of Representatives July 25 by a vote of 327-98. Every House Republican voted for the bill except freshman Rep. Bob Turner of New York, while Democrats were about evenly split. 

As the “Fast and Furious” federal gun-running scandal continues to grow, top Republican lawmakers and concerned analysts are crying foul after Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) boss B. Todd Jones was caught making statements perceived as a threat against agents who blow the whistle. Trying to stop or retaliate against whistleblowers who expose unlawful actions, of course, violates federal law.

The controversial statements by ATF Acting Director Jones were made in a video recording for agents posted online earlier this month. "Choices and consequences means simply that if you make poor choices, … if you don't find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences, because we cannot tolerate — we cannot tolerate — an undisciplined organization," Jones warned agency officials, ordering agents to “respect the chain of command” or suffer the consequences.