Three minutes after midnight Friday leading into Saturday morning, the Senate rejected by a vote of 81 to 10 a proposal offered by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to hold aid to the governments of Egypt, Libya and Pakistan pending the surrender to U.S. authorities of those suspected of carrying out the attack on U.S. diplomatic offices in Egypt and Libya. Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered in the attack on the Libyan consulate.
Senator Paul’s bill also contained a clause requiring the release of Dr. Shakil Afridi, currently imprisoned by the Pakistani government, before any more money would be sent to Islamabad.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have added another bill to this week’s legislative agenda, which is already cumbersome. The addition is entitled the Market Transparency and Taxpayer Protection Act and would force government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to close their non-critical assets. The bill is intended to reduce the size of the two mortgage companies.
Longtime Ron Paul for President campaign aide Jesse Benton announced September 13 that he would take a job working on the reelection campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Benton's choice of McConnell drew criticism from many libertarian-leaning activists who had supported the Ron Paul campaign, as McConnell had been the major force behind trying (unsuccessfully) to stop Ron Paul's son Rand from being elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010.
Lawmakers are investigating the Obama administration’s controversial decision to purchase over 100 advertisements touting so-called “green jobs” on the far-left MSNBC cable television outlet using “stimulus” funds, raising serious questions among analysts about misappropriation of taxpayer money to reward allies of the president who parrot White House talking points. No other TV media channels received similar contracts and no jobs were “created.”
The dubious Obama-friendly commercials touting “green” stimulus schemes ran about 100 times on MSNBC, costing taxpayers about half of a million dollars. But after the administration’s decision became a public scandal in the wake of watchdogs and media reports exposing it, criticism of the plot is growing. And now, members of Congress want answers.
Twenty-nine years ago, on September 1, 1983, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (KAL 007) was shot down by the Soviet Union carrying 269 innocent passengers including 60 Americans and a sitting U.S. congressman, Democrat Rep. Larry McDonald of Georgia. It was widely reported, and much of the world believes, that everyone on board was killed. But family members of the victims and experts who spent years researching the matter are convinced that many survived and are still alive somewhere in Russia. Now, they want a new official investigation.
There have been various efforts to create a cyber-security measure that could garner enough bipartisan support to pass both chambers of Congress, but all have failed. Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California is now urging the president to implement cyber-security measures without congressional approval, by way of an executive order. Feinstein implores Obama to use his powerful position to circumvent Congress altogether and prepare an executive order that would protect the critical infrastructure.
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.