Name: Darin LaHood
Congress: Illinois, District: 18, Republican
Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 61%
Status: Active Member of the House
70% (115th Congress: 2017-2018); 57% (114th Congress: 2015-2016)
|H R 1616: National Computer Forensics Institute Authorization|
|Vote Date: May 16, 2017||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|The Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 (H.R. 1616) would, according to the bill, authorize "within the United States Secret Service a National Computer Forensics Institute" for fiscal years 2017 through 2022. According to the bill, "The Institute shall disseminate information related to the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime and related threats, and educate, train, and equip State, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges." (Emphasis added.) In the name of combating cyber crime, this bill would further erode the distinction between local law enforcement and federal policing. |
The House passed H.R. 1616 on May 16, 2017 by a vote of 408 to 3 (Roll Call 258). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal equipment and training to state and local law-enforcement officers not only is unconstitutional, but also further federalizes the police system.
|H R 1628: ObamaCare Replacement|
|Vote Date: May 4, 2017||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Rather than voting to repeal ObamaCare, the House voted instead to retain much of ObamaCare under the guise of "repeal and replace." The legislation (H.R. 1628), known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), was strongly backed by President Trump and the Republican congressional leadership. Consequently most Republicans voted for the bill, but 20 voted against it. Liberty-minded Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) noted that the AHCA entailed "replacing mandates, subsidies and penalties with mandates, subsidies and penalties." Another Republican lawmaker, Representative Andy Biggs (Ariz.), while "applaud[ing] all the hard work of the House Freedom Caucus, which has made every effort ... to improve this legislation," nonetheless concluded that the "final bill ... does not meet the promises I made to my constituents." Biggs added, "I remain committed to a full repeal of ObamaCare."|
The House passed H.R. 1628 on May 4, 2017 by a vote 217 to 213 (Roll Call 256). We have assigned pluses to the nays because ObamaCare should be repealed, not replaced with a Republican variant of unconstitutional government healthcare that more liberty-minded lawmakers have referred to as "ObamaCare Lite" and "ObamaCare 2.0." Admittedly, the Democrats who voted against this GOP alternatives have gotten "pluses" on this for the wrong reasons (they do not want to move away from the ObamaCare brand and in many cases want even more socialized medicine), but the Republicans who voted against the bill based on principle as opposed to partisanship are to be applauded.
|H R 244: Omnibus Appropriations|
|Vote Date: May 3, 2017||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|The Consolidated Appropriations Act or omnibus bill (H.R. 244) would provide $1.16 trillion in discretionary appropriations through September 30, 2017 for the following federal departments and agencies: $20.9 billion for Agriculture, $56.6 billion for Commerce-Justice-Science, $593 billion for Defense, $37.8 billion for Energy-Water, $21.5 billion for Financial Services, $42.4 billion for Homeland Security, $32.2 billion for Interior-Environment, $161 billion for Labor-HHS-Education, $4.4 billion for Legislative, $53.1 billion for State-Foreign Operations, and $57.7 billion for Transportation-HUD. The measure would also authorize classified amounts of funding for various U.S. intelligence agencies.|
The House agreed to the omnibus appropriations bill on May 3, 2017 by a vote of 309 to 118 (Roll Call 249). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this fiscal 2017 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our nearly $20 trillion national debt.
|H R 1238: Homeland Security Defense of Agriculture|
|Vote Date: March 22, 2017||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|The Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act (H.R. 1238) would expand the War on Terror to the farm and dairy front in order to "share information and quickly respond to agro-terrorism threats," according to the bill's lead sponsor, Representative David Young (R-Iowa). Congressman Young cited the 2015 avian influenza that “wiped out millions of layer hens, turkeys, and backyard flocks" in Iowa to justify the need for his bill, despite the fact that the bird flu was not caused by terrorists. |
The House passed H.R. 1238 on March 22, 2017 by a vote of 406 to 6 (Roll Call 187). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill expands the "War on Terror" to include the fictitious and non-existent threat of "agro-terrorism" in the American homeland, thereby further interjecting the U.S. government into the agriculture sector, despite the absence of any constitutional power to manage this or any other sector of the American economy.
|H R 1181: Veteran Gun Purchases|
|Vote Date: March 16, 2017||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act (H.R. 1181) would prohibit a Veterans Affairs Department determination that an individual is mentally incompetent from being used as a basis for that individual's inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which would thereby prevent the individual from purchasing a gun. Under the measure, an individual could not be considered to be mentally defective without a judicial authority's finding that the individual poses a danger to himself or herself or others.|
The House passed H.R. 1181 on March 16, 2017 by a vote of 240 to 175 (Roll Call 169). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Veterans Affairs Department determination referenced above is a clear violation of the Second Amendment, which states that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
|H J RES 69: Predator Control|
|Vote Date: February 16, 2017||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This legislation (House Joint Resolution 69) would disapprove of and nullify a U.S. Department of Interior rule, "Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participating and Close Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska," which was released in final form on August 5, 2016. According to the bill's sponsor, Don Young (R-Alaska): "Not only does this [rule] undermine Alaska's authority to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government. I continue to fight to protect Alaska's sovereignty and management authority and will use every tool at my discretion to strike this rule."|
The House passed H. J. Res. 69 on February 16, 2017 by a vote of 225 to 193 (Roll Call 98). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because it reaffirms Alaska's sovereign power to manage its wildlife. Since the power of wildlife management was not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, it is reserved to Alaska and the other 49 states according to the 10th Amendment.
|H J RES 43: Federal Family Planning|
|Vote Date: February 16, 2017||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This legislation (House Joint Resolution 43) would disapprove of and nullify a Health and Human Services Department (HHS) rule that prevents states from restricting federal family planning funding to a health provider, such as denying funds to a center that provides abortions, for any basis other than its ability to provide health services. Under the current rule, HHS can withhold family planning grants to any state that restricts the participation of a health provider in the family planning services grant program.|
The House passed H. J. Res. 43 on February 16, 2017 by a vote of 230 to 188 (Roll Call 99). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill limits the power of an unconstitutional federal government agency. The U.S. Constitution does not authorize the federal government to get involved in healthcare, much less establish a Department of Health and Human Services, so any attempt to limit the power of an unconstitutional federal agency is a step in the right direction.
|H J RES 38: Stream Protection Rule|
|Vote Date: February 1, 2017||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This legislation (House Joint Resolution 38) would disapprove of and nullify the "Stream Protection Rule" issued by the Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement in 2016. This new rule would "jeopardize thousands of coal and coal-related jobs, devastate coal producing communities, and put a majority of the country's coal reserves off limits," according to the bill's lead sponsor, Representative Bill Johnson (R-Ohio).|
The House passed H. J. Res. 38 on February 1, 2017 by a vote of 228 to 194 (Roll Call 73). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because the federal government has no constitutional authority to issue environmental regulations, but also because environmental regulations such as the "Stream Protection Rule" destroy jobs and increase energy costs. Also, states already protect streamwater.
|H R 7: Federal Funding for Abortion|
|Vote Date: January 24, 2017||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (H.R. 7) would permanently prohibit federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services or health insurance plans that include abortion coverage, as well as prohibit the District of Columbia from using its own local funds to provide or pay for abortions. Additionally, the Office of Personnel Management would be required to ensure that qualified health plans under the state exchanges were not providing abortion coverage. There is a rape, incest, and life of the mother exemption.|
The House passed H.R. 7 on January 24, 2017 by a vote of 238 to 183 (Roll Call 65). We have assigned pluses to the yeas for two reasons. First, the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to fund any healthcare-related programs. Such issues should be left up to the states, or, ideally, left to the free market. Second, abortion is the taking of an innocent human life, period. It is unconscionable that American taxpayers' money should be used to subsidize such a practice.
|H R 26: Major Regulations|
|Vote Date: January 5, 2017||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Under the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (H.R. 26), regulations would require congressional approval before any "major rule" issued by an executive branch agency could go into effect. "Major rules" would include any regulation that would have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more. The intent of the legislation is to rein in the executive branch from usurping legislative powers.|
The House passed H.R. 26 on January 5, 2017 by a vote of 237 to 187 (Roll Call 23). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not simply because of the economic impact of the "major rules," but also because all legislative powers in the Constitution are vested in Congress, not the executive branch. Mandatory rules issued by the executive branch might not be called laws, but they have the same effect as laws, and what they are called does not change the reality.
|H R 2028: Continuing Appropriations|
|Vote Date: December 8, 2016||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 2028) perpetuates Congress’ growing habit of avoiding hard decisions about the level of federal spending by kicking the can down the road into the middle of the new fiscal year, with a continuing resolution that would provide funding for federal government operations at the fiscal year 2016 level through April 28, 2017 at an annualized “discretionary” rate of $1.07 trillion.|
The House passed the final version of H.R. 2028 on December 8, 2016 by a vote of 326 to 96 (Roll Call 620). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this Continuing Appropriations bill, Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our $20 trillion national debt.
|S 2943: National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)|
|Vote Date: December 2, 2016||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (S. 2943) authorizes $611.2 billion for military programs in fiscal year 2017, including $59.5 billion for foreign operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Among its many provisions, the massive bill creates a “Global Engagement Center” to counter “foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts.” Dubbed an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” by critics including THE NEW AMERICAN, this new government propaganda center is authorized to “provide financial support” to (among others) “media content providers,” including “local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.”|
The House passed the NDAA on December 2, 2016 by a vote of 375 to 34 (Roll Call 600). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the authorizations in this bill go way beyond providing for our national defense. Our foreign military interventions in the Middle East in particular have exacerbated terrorism and undermined U.S. security. The creation of the Orwellian “Global Engagement Center,” which was added to the NDAA without Congress being able to vote on it as a stand-alone bill, also falls outside the scope of legitimate national defense. Rather than agreeing to the version of NDAA they did, our lawmakers should have rejected it and passed instead a constitutionally sound version.
|H R 5538: Power Plant Emissions|
|Vote Date: July 12, 2016||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|During consideration of the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill (H.R. 5538), Representative Scott Peters (D-Calif.), on behalf of Representative Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), introduced an amendment that would remove provisions in the bill that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting the greenhouse gas emissions of new and existing power plants.|
The House rejected Peters’ amendment on July 12, 2016 by a vote of 182 to 244 (Roll Call 431). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to be making environmental regulations. Such regulations on power plants will likely do nothing to actually help the environment, but will hurt consumers via higher prices and will almost certainly cause job losses in the energy sector. The EPA is an unconstitutional federal agency created by executive order, and Congress really ought to abolish it. Any action to limit the EPA’s power is a good thing.
|H R 5485: Abortion|
|Vote Date: July 6, 2016||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|During consideration of the Financial Services Appropriations bill (H.R. 5485), Representative Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced an amendment that would strike section 613 of the bill, which prohibits Federal Employee Health Benefits Program funds from being used to pay for an abortion or abortion-related expenses. Essentially, Grayson’s amendment would allow federal employees to have abortions covered by their taxpayer-funded health insurance.|
The House rejected Grayson’s amendment on July 6, 2016 by a vote of 177 to 245 (Roll Call 364). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. government should not be subsidizing abortions. While it is certainly constitutional for the federal government to provide healthcare to federal employees, abortion is not healthcare. The federal government should not be using taxpayer money to pay for the taking of innocent life.
|H R 5293: Warrantless Surveillance|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment to bar the use of funds in the bill from being used to conduct warrantless searches of Americans’ digital communications that have crossed the U.S. border. Massie noted in a letter to his colleagues that “the Director of National Intelligence has confirmed that the government searches vast amounts of data — including the content of emails and telephone calls — without individualized suspicion or probable cause,” and that “the director of the FBI has also confirmed that it uses this information to build criminal cases” against Americans. Massie added that the National Intelligence and FBI directors “are not above the Fourth Amendment, and this practice should end.” Massie’s amendment would also prohibit funds from being used to pressure companies to build “backdoors” into their products for surveillance.|
The House rejected Massie’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 198 to 222 (Roll Call 321). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Massie’s amendment seeks to uphold the Constitution and its protection of privacy rights.
|H R 5293: Green-energy Mandates|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) introduced an amendment to bar the use of funds in the bill to carry out certain green-energy mandates that, McClintock said on the House floor, have forced the military “to squander billions of dollars.” Citing examples, McClintock noted: “These mandates have cost the Navy as much as $150 per gallon for jet fuel.... [They] forced the Air Force to pay $59 per gallon for 11,000 gallons of biofuel in 2012 — 10 times more than regular jet fuel cost.” Also, “At Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy spent $21 million to install a 10-acre solar array, which will supply a grand total of 2 percent of the base’s electricity … [and] pay for itself in only 447 years. Too bad solar panels only last 25 years.”|
The House passed McClintock’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 221 to 197 (Roll Call 322). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the so-called green-energy mandates squander military resources and undermine the purpose of having a military, which is to defend the United States and win our wars.
|H R 5293: Aid to Pakistan|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill to provide aid to Pakistan, a supposed U.S. ally in the “war on terror.” Rohrabacher noted on the House floor: “Since 9/11, we have given Pakistan well over $30 billion, the majority of which goes to military and security services of Pakistan. And Pakistan has used those services to murder and oppress their people.... It is a grotesque charade for us to suggest that our aid is buying Pakistani cooperation in the war on radical Islamic terrorism or in anything else.”|
The House rejected Rohrabacher’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 84 to 336 (Roll Call 325). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because U.S. foreign aid is unconstitutional, and aid sent to Pakistan has undermined rather than helped the cause of freedom.
|H R 5293: Aid to Syria|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill for the Syria Train and Equip Program. Through this program, the U.S. government has armed so-called moderate jihadists who are not fighting for freedom but for an Islamic State under Sharia law, not just in Syria but beyond — the same goal as ISIS. In her House speech advocating her amendment, Gabbard warned that “overthrowing Assad … would strengthen groups like ISIS and al Qaeda, allowing them to take over all of Syria, creating an even worse humanity crisis and an even greater threat to the world.”|
The House rejected Gabbard’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 135 to 283 (Roll Call 328). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because U.S. foreign aid is unconstitutional, and arming so-called moderate jihadists to fight Assad is both counterproductive and tantamount to going to war in Syria.
|H R 5293: Authorization for Use of Military Force|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill for the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Act. Enacted in the wake of 9/11, the AUMF authorized the president to “use all necessary and appropriate force” against the terrorists involved, as well as those who aided or harbored them. It was used as the authorization for U.S. military entry into Afghanistan in 2001, and over the years has also been invoked on other occasions by the executive branch to justify U.S. military intervention abroad.|
The House rejected Lee’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 146 to 274 (Roll Call 330). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because presidents have been able to claim broad authority to go to war whenever or wherever they choose under the AUMF, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers never intended for one man to make this decision, and under the Constitution only Congress may “declare war.”
|H R 5471: Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act|
|Vote Date: June 16, 2016||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 5471) would authorize the Homeland Security Department to train state and local law enforcement in methods for countering violent extremism and terrorism. This training would take place at fusion centers that have been established across the nation by the Homeland Security Department and the U.S. Department of Justice for promoting information sharing between agencies such as the CIA, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. military, and state- and local-level governments. It also would require the department to incorporate testimonials of former extremists and their friends and families into its efforts to combat terrorist recruitment and communications.|
The House passed H.R. 5471 on June 16 , 2016 by a vote of 402 to 15 (Roll Call 333). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal training to state and local law-enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but also further federalizes the police system.
|H R 4775: Ozone Standards|
|Vote Date: June 8, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This bill (H.R.4775) would delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone from 2017 to 2025. The new ozone standard, which was promulgated in 2015, would lower allowable ozone levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. The day of the vote, the National Association of Manufacturers stated that by lowering the standard “at a time when states and manufacturers are still trying to meet the existing requirements, the administration added another layer of red tape that will hold back job creation.”|
The House passed H.R. 4775 on June 8, 2016 by a vote of 234 to 177 (Roll Call 282). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government possesses no constitutional authority to set emission standards, ozone levels have been dropping anyway, and Americans need jobs.
|H R 5055: Energy|
|Vote Date: May 25, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|During consideration of the Energy-Water appropriations bill (H.R. 5055), Representative Ken Buck (R-Colo.) introduced an amendment that would eliminate funding for Energy Department energy efficiency and renewable energy activities, nuclear energy activities, and fossil energy research and development.The $3.5 billion in savings that would result from such cuts would be transferred to a spending reduction account.|
The House rejected Buck’s amendment on May 25, 2016 by a vote of 80 to 339 (Roll Call 244). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not be in the business of subsidizing energy production (which is unconstitutional), let alone picking “winners and losers” in the marketplace by propping up favored companies with grants and research money while others do not receive such help.
|H R 4909: Environmental Executive Orders|
|Vote Date: May 18, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909), Representative John Fleming (R-La.) introduced an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds for President Obama’s executive orders that require the Defense Department to meet “green” energy mandates and incorporate climate-change reviews in operations, acquisitions, and planning.Fleming noted in a statement the day after his amendment was voted on that the orders “require EPA bureaucrats and other political appointees to direct our military commanders on how to run their installations and to purchase inefficient and expensive ‘green’ technologies. This is despite readily available and often less expensive conventional fuels. Purchasing heavily subsidized Chevy Volts and prohibitive solar panels to satisfy the President’s climate change agenda represents the choice not to provide our soldiers with needed training and equipment.”|
The House adopted Fleming’s amendment on May 18, 2016 by a vote of 227 to 198 (Roll Call 209). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Obama’s “green” and climate-change mandates for the military harm the U.S. military’s readiness to defend the United States.
|H R 4909: Use of Military Force|
|Vote Date: May 18, 2016||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909), Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was enacted in 2001 for the purpose of authorizing U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. Since then, however, the AUMF has been invoked numerous times by the executive branch for U.S. military intervention not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere.|
The House rejected Lee’s amendment on May 18, 2016 by a vote of 138 to 285 (Roll Call 210). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because presidents have been able to claim broad authority to go to war whenever or wherever they choose under the AUMF, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers never intended for one man to make this decision, and under the Constitution only Congress may “declare war.”
|H R 2666: Broadband Rate Regulation|
|Vote Date: April 15, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 2666) would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the rates Internet service providers charge their customers for broadband Internet service access. By regulating broadband rates, the FCC would not only be regulating the cost of accessing the Internet but would also be discouraging service providers, which would no longer be able to set their own|
prices, from investing in the Internet market.Bill sponsor Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) explained regarding his bill, “All we’re doing is taking back a little bit of power from the FCC and saying, look, let’s keep the Internet free-market.”
The House passed H.R. 2666 on April 15, 2016 by a vote of 241 to 173 (Roll Call 152). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Internet sector, like the broader economy, should be a free market, and the federal government has no constitutional authority to intrude
|H R 1567: Global Food Security Strategy|
|Vote Date: April 12, 2016||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 1567) would require the president to coordinate development and implementation of a global food security strategy, and would authorize approximately $1 billion for fiscal 2017 to implement portions of the strategy that relate to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).|
The House passed H.R. 1567 on April 12, 2016 by a vote of 370 to 33 (Roll Call 139). We have assigned pluses to the nays because feeding the world is not a proper responsibility of the U.S. government. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any authorization for the federal government to feed the American people, let alone citizens of other countries. Furthermore, offering “aid” to impoverished countries is often a means to prop up dictators who will bend to the will of the wealthy country in exchange for money. Such corrupt rulers have little regard for the welfare of their people, so the “aid” rarely finds its way to the people who need it most.
|H RES 639: Executive Action on Immigration|
|Vote Date: March 17, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This measure (House Resolution 639) would authorize the speaker of the house to appear as an amicus curiae (aka “friend of the court”) in the case of United States, et al. v. Texas, et al., “and to file a brief in support of the position that the [Obama administration has] acted in a manner that is not consistent with [its] duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States.” This case was brought by 26 states against the Obama administration for its November 2014 executive actions that would defer deportation and provide work permits for illegal immigrants. Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) explained the essence of the case in a speech in the House of Representatives on March 17, 2016: “This unprecedented, unilateral action by the executive branch was a nullification of immigration law of the United States. And it was not done by Congress. It was done by administrative edict that came from the White House….So what value is the law or the Constitution if the executive, who is supposed to enforce the law — not make it, as we all learned in ninth grade civics — sends out a memo saying it will no longer enforce the law?”|
The House adopted H. Res. 639 on March 17, 2016 by a vote of 234 to 186(Roll Call 129). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because it is constitutionally exemplary for the House of Representatives to take legal action to uphold Congress’ sole authority to legislate regarding naturalization and to make the point that the executive branch has the duty to enforce the laws made by Congress.
|H R 3797: Refuse Coal Power Plant Emission Standards.|
|Vote Date: March 15, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This bill (H.R.3797) would ease emission requirements imposed on power plants that generate affordable energy from coal-mining refuse.Specifically, H.R. 3797 would provide additional sulfur dioxide emission allocations for refuse coal power plants under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, and it would also provide these plants with alternative means to comply with the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), said in a news release the day of the vote that this legislation would “allow for the continued viability of coal refuse-to-energy firms” that may not otherwise be able to comply with EPA regulations.|
The House passed H.R. 3797 on March 15, 2016 by a vote of 231 to 183 (Roll Call 123). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because H.R. 3797 would ease emissions regulations threatening the viability of refuse coal power plants, which benefit the environment by utilizing coal-mining byproduct as an energy source, but also because the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate plant emissions to begin with.
|H R 3762: ObamaCare|
|Vote Date: February 2, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This legislation (H.R. 3762) would repeal significant portions of the 2010 ObamaCare law and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. According to Representative Tom Cole (R-Okla.) in a speech in the House of Representatives, January 6, 2016, this bill “does [four] important things: it repeals the individual mandate, eliminates the employer mandates, eliminates the taxes on prescription drugs and medical devices, and it places a moratorium on taxpayer funding to abortion providers.”|
On February 2, 2016, the House voted 241 to 186 to override President Obama’s veto of this legislation (Roll Call 53). The override attempt failed since a two-thirds majority vote is required to override a veto. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to require individuals to purchase health insurance, to manage the healthcare industry, or to provide funds to organizations that terminate the lives of the preborn.
|S J RES 22: Waters of the United States|
|Vote Date: January 13, 2016||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 22) would provide for congressional disapproval of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the EPA. Under the proposed rule, former Representative Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) noted, “Federal agencies like the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers would see their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act drastically expanded, to the point of covering almost any body of water throughout America, from ditches to culverts to pipes to watersheds to farmland ponds.”|
The House passed S. J. Res. 22 on January 13, 2016 by a vote of 253 to 166 (Roll Call 45). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because both federal water regulations and the EPA are unconstitutional, and if the rule were to be allowed to go into effect, activities such as farming and real estate development would be greatly hampered, since farmers and developers would be subject to increased unconstitutional permit requirements and fines concerning their treatment of almost any “body of water,” no matter how small.
|H R 2029: Omnibus Appropriations|
|Vote Date: December 18, 2015||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|The omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) would provide $1.15 trillion in “discretionary” appropriations in fiscal 2016 for federal departments and agencies covered by the 12 unfinished fiscal 2016 spending bills. This represents an overall increase in discretionary spending of five percent over 2015 levels.|
The omnibus bill would continue funding for President Obama’s 2012 unconstitutional amnesty, which has already granted work permits to around 700,000 illegal aliens, as well as the ability to receive tax credits and federal entitlement programs. It also continues funding for all of President Obama’s refugee programs. Furthermore, the omnibus continues federal funding for Planned Parenthood despite the widespread demand from voters to stop these funds.
The House agreed to the omnibus appropriations bill on December 18, 2015 by a vote of 316 to 113 (Roll Call 705). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this omnibus bill members of Congress are failing to address their fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, as well as minimizing their accountability to the voters by combining all discretionary federal spending for fiscal 2016 into one gigantic “take it or leave it” bill.
|S 1177: Education|
|Vote Date: December 2, 2015||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (S. 1177), the Every Student Succeeds Act (first introduced as the Every Child Achieves Act), would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESAA) for four years, through fiscal 2020. The bill would replace the No Child Left Behind Act and continue the requirement for regular standardized testing in core subject areas such as math, reading, and science, with scores for the standardized tests to be separated by categories such as race and income to determine if any “subgroup” is lagging academically. The bill would also require states to develop plans to help low performing public schools.|
The House passed S. 1177 on December 2, 2015 by a vote of 359 to 64 (Roll Call 665). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved with education;nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is education listed as one of the government’s enumerated powers. K-12 education, if publicly funded, should be run primarily by parents coordinating with local school districts rather than by a centralized bureaucracy out of Washington, D.C.
|S J RES 24: Power Plant Emissions.|
|Vote Date: December 1, 2015||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 24) would disapprove of and nullify the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule relating to “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources:Electric Utility Generating Units,” published on October 23, 2015. According to Congressional Quarterly, the EPA rule “sets different emissions targets for 49 states based on their existing energy profile and requires each state to reduce emissions by a certain amount by 2030.” Upon passage of the bill by the House of Representatives, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the original Senate sponsor, said in a statement, “Hardworking families cannot afford these crushing regulations that threaten jobs and affordable energy while doing little to actually improve the environment.”|
The House adopted S. J. Res. 24 on December 1, 2015 by a vote of 242 to 180 (Roll Call 650). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not hinder existing power plants with regulations that stifle energy production and increase rates, there is no authorization in the Constitution for the federal government to interfere in the energy sector, and CO2 is not a pollutant.
|H R 1314: Raising the Spending Cap and Suspending the National Debt|
|Vote Date: October 28, 2015||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 1314) would suspend the national debt limit until March 15, 2017, at which time the ceiling on how much money the federal government is allowed to borrow would be reestablished at the size of the federal debt at that time.The bill would also raise caps intended to limit “discretionary” federal spending by $50 billion for fiscal 2016 and $30 billion for fiscal 2017.|
The House agreed to the legislation on October 28, 2015 by a vote of 266 to 167 (Roll Call 579). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should live within its means, suspending the debt limit is even worse than raising it,and most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.
|H R 597: Export-Import Bank|
|Vote Date: October 27, 2015||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 597), the Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015, would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter through fiscal 2019. Additionally,the bill would reduce the limit on the Ex-Im Bank’s outstanding loans, guarantees,and insurance from $140 billion to $135 billion, as well as prohibit the bank from issuing new loans if the default rate reaches two percent. Under the new charter,the Ex-Im Bank would be required to increase the amount of its financing dedicated to small businesses from 20 to 25 percent,and be subject to a Government Accountability Office audit every four years.|
The House passed H.R. 597 on October 27, 2015 by a vote of 313 to 118 (Roll Call 576). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Export-Import Bank is a poster boy for corporate cronyism. The government finances or insures foreign purchases from U.S. companies that commercial banks are unwilling or unable to finance owing to the political or commercial risks inherent in the deals, leaving taxpayers on the hook in the event of default. Constitutionally speaking, the U.S. government should not be underwriting private businesses at taxpayers’ expense, regardless of whether or not such businesses are small,“mom and pop” companies.
|H R 3134: Defunding Planned Parenthood|
|Vote Date: September 18, 2015||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|This bill (H.R. 3134) would cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood and its clinics and affiliates for one year, unless they certify that they will not perform abortions, and will not provide money to any entity that performs abortions, during the one-year moratorium. Overall funding would not be reduced, since the funding prohibited to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, would instead be redirected to community health centers that do not perform abortions. The legislation includes exceptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life is endangered.|
The House passed H.R. 3134 on September 18, 2015 by a vote of 241 to 187 (Roll Call 505). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not, and has no constitutional authority to, subsidize the killing of innocent human life.