All new legislation offered by members of the House of Representatives since January 3, 2011 is required to include, under House Rule XII, a reference to the constitutional authority under which the bill is presented. Most of the bills offered since then show either the members’ lack of understanding of, or blatant disregard for, the purpose of Rule XII: to tie the proposed legislation to the enumerated powers under the Constitution.
How high can America’s astronomical debt reach? The level is set to increase once more in late January as Congress, in effect, rubber stamps President Obama’s request to raise the limit on the nation’s debt beyond its current $15 trillion.
Rhode Island Representative Daniel Gordon has drafted a resolution to express his opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “that suspended habeas corpus and civil liberties” under Section 1021. In an interview with World Net Daily, Gordon explained that that section of the act, signed into law by President Obama on New Year's Eve, "provides for the indefinite detention of American citizens by the military on American soil, without charge, and without right to legal counsel and [the] right to trial."
How did your U.S. Representative and Senators vote on last summer's debt deal that raised the national debt limit while promising to reduce future spending and deficit projections? How did your Representative vote on a measure that would have repealed the federal phaseout of the ubiquitous incandescent light bulb? And how did your Senators vote on an amendment to prohibit U.S. citizens from being held indefinitely in the ongoing war against terrorism without being given a trial?
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced his annual report, "2011 Wastebook,” noting, “This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative, or just plain stupid projects spread throughout the federal government and paid for with your tax dollars this year.” He added, "Over the past 12 months, Washington politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign [sic] in the federal government’s out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not need, like the $6.9 billion worth of examples provided in this report."
Congressmen long ago granted themselves the privilege of mailing items to constituents at taxpayers’ expense, a process called “franking.” Usually such a mailing amounts to a barely disguised plea for reelection, bragging about how much pork the congressman has brought home and listing services he offers to his constituents.
Debate over the payroll tax cut remains heated as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio, left) demanded from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a year-long tax cut. The challenge threw another wrench into the negotiations on the deal, which, if not reached by the New Year, will result in an increase in payroll taxes as the present payroll tax reduction expires.
Pro-life Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill that would prohibit abortionists from killing babies based on their sex or race. Under the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PreNDA), individuals convicted of coercing a woman into getting an abortion because of her baby’s sex or race could face up to five years in jail for the crime. Additionally, the abortionist facilitating the coerced killing could be prosecuted.
As the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal continues to grow, Congress is now investigating a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program that was laundering money for Mexican cartels. Meanwhile, multiple cartel leaders and reports continue to suggest that the federal government is deeply involved in the narcotics and arms trades.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill (H.R. 10) to prevent the President from imposing major regulations on the country without the approval of Congress . Entitled the REINS Act — Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny — the bill is intended to rein in the executive branch's usurpation of legislative power via issuing rules by executive fiat.
Congress will soon be consummating its most underactive session in recent decades, as both chambers of the legislature will have passed a meager number of bills compared with other non-election years. As debates over tax policy and government spending heat up Congress, Washington’s seemingly hyperactive legislative hearings are in fact rather fruitless, and many critics have taken the small amount of legislation as indicative of the federal government's waning degree of power.