This Week in Congress

The House is adjourned and will not be back until after the elections. Before adjourning last week, the House passed H.R. 6, the huge bill drastically expanding government in the name of fighting opioid addiction. Only eight members voted no:

Justin Amash (MI-03)

Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

Matt Gaetz (FL-01)

Tom Garrett (VA-05)

Paul Gossar (AZ-04)

Thomas Massie  (KY-04)

Tom McClintock (CA-04)

Mark Sanford (SC-01)

For more on this bill, see here and here.

The House also passed the three tax bills collectively known as tax reform 2.0.

All three bills passed on a party-line vote, although ten Republicans voted against one of the bills (H.R. 6760) because it extended last year’s limitation on state and local tax deductions (SALT), and these members come from high tax states. You can see the the votes on tax reform here, here, and here.

For more on the tax reform see here.

The Senate is in session this week, mostly considering nominations, the most notable being that of Brett Kavanaugh.

The Senate is also considering legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and other items. Here is what I wrote about it last week:

Finally, the House passed H.Res 1082, a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Authority by a vote of 398-23.

One provision of the bill requires a study before the increased use of biometric identifiers.

The bill also contains a provision giving the Homeland Security Department power to spy on Americans on their property without due process in the name of protecting us from drones.

The bill also reauthorizes the TSA for three years.

It also creates a Syria study group, provides $16 billion to the Community Block Grant disaster program, and creates a new International Finance Corporation to make loans to private sector businesses so they will invest in developing countries.

The Senate may also consider a resolution condemning Russia’s annexation of Crimea and calls for additional sanctions against Russia. This resolution is another step toward a new Cold War. For a more reasonable view on the situation in Crimea and the United States’ role in the region, see here.

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