After spending more than two decades in Congress vigorously standing up for liberty, peace, sound money, free markets, and the U.S. Constitution, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a hero to constitutionalists and libertarians all over the world, offered a stark warning about the dark future facing the United States and the American people without dramatic changes. However, the message was not all gloom and doom. In fact, there was also a sense of hope evident in his historic farewell speech.
Still, the immediate future will be turbulent and filled with peril, Rep. Paul warned, saying we live in a “dangerous period.” Economic implosion and widespread poverty resulting from central monetary planning, never-ending wars and widespread government intervention in the market will lead to a tragedy of epic proportions, he explained. Tyranny may reign as the final vestiges of individual liberty are stripped away.
In its latest 14-page report on the impact the “fiscal cliff” would have on the economy in 2013 and beyond, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided enough ammunition to both sides of the debate to guarantee a standoff in Washington. It would have simplified matters greatly if Doug Elmendorf, the CBO’s director, had simply said: “Pay me now or pay me later. You decide.”
Opponents of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) should be encouraged by the outcome of Tuesday’s Senate elections, according to Patrick Goodenough of CNSNews.com.
As of last summer, 34 Republican senators, led by Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.), had gone on the record opposing ratification of the treaty. Although Democrats gained two seats in the election, giving them an eight-seat edge over Republicans (10 if one includes the two seats that will be held by independents caucusing with Democrats), the number of LOST opponents has probably increased by two, Goodenough calculates.
But many LOST opponents suspect Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will try to ram the treaty through during the lame-duck session before the end of the year — seemingly more probable now that the number of anti-LOST senators is certain to grow when the Senate convenes in January.
Although the Treasury warned that government borrowing would hit the debt ceiling before the end of the year, it also said it would use "extraordinary measures" to push off the debt ceiling conversation until the 113th Congress is seated, where it's more likely to be raised without a fuss.
According to Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, there are indications that a federal program is being used to bolster President Obama’s election chances by hiding the negative impacts of ObamaCare. Issa has issued a subpoena to receive documents on that program to prove his case.
Private congressional conversations about how to keep the country from racing off the fiscal cliff in January are already taking place in Washington, but few are willing to give many details. With the promise of anonymity, congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle are working feverishly to come up with solutions to the onrushing fiscal train wreck.
With all the hoopla and media attention now being devoted presidential politics, it would be easy to overlook the importance of Congress, which possesses more powers than the president. Yet how much do you know about your congressmen. To learn about how they actually vote based on the U.S. Constitution, check out The New American's "Freedom Index"!
For each of the past three years, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has published his annual Wastebook, and each year the press has had a field day digging into the 200-page report to expose the most outrageous, wasteful, and annoying projects Congress is funding with taxpayer monies. In 2010, for instance, Coburn’s report noted that $200,000 went to research that studied why political candidates “make vague statements,” while his 2011 report exposed squandering of $700,000 to study cow burps, robot dragons, and “bridges to nowhere.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is trying to get Congress, after the November elections, to pass into law language that would preempt from the states the right to regulate Internet gambling and would instead provide for federal regulation of this activity — benefiting his home state.
Those concerned about U.S. sovereignty have worried that Democrats would try to ram certain UN agreements — the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) — through the Senate during the lame-duck session following the November elections. What they may not have anticipated, however, is that they would try to sneak those treaties past their colleagues by other means.
The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute says that’s what Sen. Richard Durbin attempted during a sparsely attended session on the evening of Sept. 20. C-FAM reports: “With just a few people on the Senate floor, [Durbin] tried to pass the Disability treaty by unanimous consent.” Had he succeeded, the treaty would have been ratified with no recorded vote. Fortunately, Sen. Mike Lee was there when Durbin tried to pull this stunt — and put a stop to it.