This week in Congress

The House is in session Tuesday through Friday this week. The legislation of most interest to liberty activists the House will consider this week is actually something on the suspension calendar.

The bill in question, H.R. 2169, is designed to improve "information sharing" among the Department of Homeland Security and "fusion centers." Campaign for Liberty members who do not wish to make it easier for Homeland Security to receive "confirmation" that may falsely identify them as potential terrorists should call their Representatives and tell them to oppose H.R. 2169.

The House will also consider the following bills under suspension:

1. H.R. 1677 -- Imposes new sanctions on Syria and "certain people complicit in Syrian human rights abuses."

2. H.R. 672 -- Amends the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to require the Department of State's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom to include, for each European country in which threats or attacks against Jewish persons, schools, and religious institutions are particularly significant, a description of:

  • the security challenges and needs of European Jewish communities and European law enforcement agencies;
  • U.S. efforts to partner with European law enforcement agencies and civil society groups to combat anti-Semitic incidents;
  • educational programming and public awareness initiatives that impart values of pluralism and tolerance, showcase the positive contributions of Jews, and pay special attention to population segments that exhibit a high degree of anti-Semitic animus; and
  • efforts by European governments to adopt and apply a working definition of anti-Semitism.

3. H.Res. 145 -- Express the Sense of the House of Representatives that Governments of South America must continue to fight corruption.

4. H.R. 2266 -- Authorizes the appointment of additional bankruptcy judges.

5. H.R. 984 -- Extends federal recognition (and federal benefits) to six Indian tribes in Virginia.

6. H.R. 194 -- Requires the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide guidance and assistance to federal agencies for effective mail processing.

The bill also provides authority for the GSA to set goals for the establishment and maintenance of federal records management systems or technique.

All good things that should have been done long ago, but does anyone believe the government is capable of promoting efficiency in anything?

7. H.R. 195 -- Good bill that "bars the Government Publishing Office from furnishing a printed copy of the Federal Register without charge to any Member of Congress or any other office of the United States during a year unless:

  • the Member or office requests a printed copy of a specific issue of the Federal Register; or
  • during that year or the previous year, the Member or office requested a subscription to printed copies of the Federal Register for that year."

8. H.R. 653 -- Extends job discrimination laws to cover unpaid federal interns.

9. H.R. 2277 -- Creates a new "information technology system modernization and working capital fund" and establishes a board to oversee the fund in order to help the government update their technology -- because that's how they do it in the private sector.

10. H.R. 510 -- Amends the DNA Identification Act of 1994 to require the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to issue standards and procedures for using Rapid DNA instruments to analyze DNA samples of criminal offenders.

Why is this a federal function?

11. H.R. 1428 -- Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to specify that hiring and training additional career law enforcement officers, as an allowable use of grant funds under the Community Oriented Policing Services program, includes prioritizing the hiring and training of veterans.

12. HR 1616 -- Creates a ". . . National Computer Forensics Institute, to be operated by the United States Secret Service. The Institute shall disseminate homeland security 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."

In other words, it expands federal involvement in local law enforcement in the name of fighting cyber crime.

The House will also consider H.R. 115, which makes killing a police officer, firefighter, or first respondent a death penalty offenses. This bill violates the Tenth Amendment by usurping state authority over the death penalty.

The House will consider H.R. 1039, which gives federal parole officers the ability to arrest someone caught committing a crime.

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