Freedom advocates breathed sigh of relief when a coalition of Senate Republicans and a few Democrats opposed the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414). Unfortunately, the recent setback of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 has all the earmarks a false sense of security. The timing has created a false impression that Internet regulation legislation has failed for this session of Congress, but the 112th Congress is virtually certain to convene a lame duck session after the election.
The House Oversight Committee investigating the Obama administration’s deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal is seeking enforcement of formal charges against disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder in U.S. Court, demanding access to crucial documents that are being unlawfully withheld as part of what investigators say amounts to a cover up. The announcement of the widely anticipated legal maneuver was welcomed by activists seeking truth and accountability, but more must still be done.
Meanwhile, pressure is building on the whole Department of Justice as a new book claims “team Obama” launched its vicious federal war on California’s lawful medical-marijuana industry to distract from the exploding weapons-trafficking scandal. The alleged strategy to deflect attention, however, appears to have backfired, leading to a separate bipartisan backlash and declining support even among some of the administration’s most ardent supporters.
Although it was passed in May by an overwhelming majority by the House of Representatives, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 is stalled in the Senate. During 45 minutes of partisan debate late last month, Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) verbally sparred with his Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid (Nev.), the one accusing the other of dragging his feet on bills each sponsored.
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.
In his last public opportunity to quiz Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who appeared before the House Financial Services Committee on July 18, Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul took the time to put things into perspective.
The Obama administration’s push for Senate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) in 2012 appears to have been stymied by Republican opposition. According to the Daily Caller, 34 Republican Senators have now stated that they will not vote to ratify the treaty, which gives the United Nations control over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Therefore, if the treaty is brought up for a vote before the full Senate and all those now opposing it remain steadfast, it will be defeated.
"With 34 senators against the misguided treaty, LOST will not be ratified by the Senate this year," wrote Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who has been leading the charge against LOST.