This Week in Congress

The big item this week is passage of a two week government funding bill to give Congress more time to work on a longer term funding bill. This bill is not expected to contain any policy “riders” like an extension of Section702 of the FISA Act. However those riders will be in the longer term bill.

The short-term bill is expected to pass without controversy although there is some talk the Democrats might oppose it to force a government shutdown, which they believe will give them a stronger hand in negotiating on the final bill. Some conservatives may also oppose it because they think having the deadline so close to Christmas gives the upper hand to the bipartisan spending caucus— and history shows these concerns are well-founded.

The House will also consider H.R. 38. This bill allows anyone with a legal concealed carry permit to carry a firearm anywhere in the country. This may seem like a win for gun rights, but it does violate the 10th amendment and could open the door to future federal “regulations" of gun ownership. In fact, the bill requires anyone carrying a firearm to own a gun under federal as well as state law and carry a valid ID at all times. Anything requiring us to carry an ID is not pro-liberty.

The bill may also be amended to require states to report criminal violations to the federal database used to determine if someone is legally eligible to buy a gun— of course this database is completely unconstitutional and a threat to our liberties.

The House will also consider several bills under suspension of the rules including:

  1. S. 1266- Authorizes the Veterans Administration to contract with private accrediting agencies to investigate VA medical centers.

  1. H.R. 259– Expresses concerns over the situation in Venezuela and encourages the President to act to resolve the crisis, including by imposing sanctions “against individuals in the Venezuelan government responsible for the deterioration of democratic institutions and the rule of law.” In other words it encourages the President to wage war on the government of Venezuela.

  1. H.R. 2658– directs State Department to intervene in Venezuela under the guise of providing “humanitarian” aide. The bill also supports U.N. involvement in Venezuela but does not specify how to pay for all this intervention.

  1. H.Con.Res. 99– Condemns attacks in Burma and calls for sanctions and other interventions in the area.

The Senate will also consider nominations, including the nomination of Kristen Nielsen as Secretary of Homeland Security.

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