On April 30, the House Judiciary Committee approved the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 25-2. A description of the legislation on the Judiciary Committee website notes that it would prohibit bulk collection of all records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, prevent government overreach, and establish procedures for individual companies to challenge nondisclosure orders. The vote allows the bill, H.R. 2048, to go to the House floor for a vote, where passage is expected later this month.
Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced on April 30 that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. A self-described “Democratic socialist,” Sanders generally caucused with Democrats during his career in Congress, but sometimes took a stance on foreign policy and personal liberty issues that put him at odds with the party establishment. In making his announcement, Sanders said he would run as an “independent Democrat,” because of the difficulties in running as a third-party candidate.
Republican Senate leaders announced on April 21 that they had reached an agreement with Democrats to pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S. 178), which they insisted must be accomplished before voting on confirmation of President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.
In retrospect, ObamaCare just might be perceived as the high-water mark of liberalism in the United States, because since its passage, Americans faith in government has been falling dramatically.