This Week in Congress

Well the longest shutdown in history is over . . . for now.

Last Friday, the Senate and House passed legislation ending the government shutdown until February 15. The Senate passed it by unanimous consent so there is no roll-call vote.

Here is the roll-call vote from the House. The bill passed by a vote of 231-180, with 179 Republicans voting no. New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the only Democrat to vote no. She voted no because she refuses to vote for any bill that funds the Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on Attorney General nominee William Barr. However, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham has delayed the vote until February 7.

This delay gives Campaign for Liberty more time to mobilize opposition to the vote. As detailed here, Barr is an enemy of the Second and Fourth Amendment, and a friend of expansive presidential powers.

Campaign for Liberty members should call their Senators and tell them to oppose William Barr.

James Bovard exposes Barr’s role in the infamous Ruby Ridge incident here.

The Senate will finally begin debate on S.1, the bill imposing new sanctions on Syria, reauthorizing aid to Israel and Jordan, and allowing states to refuse to do business with companies that support the ”Boycott, digest, and sanction” movement aimed at pressuring Israel to change its treatment of the Palestinians.

The anti-BDS language has made the bill controversial, as some believe that being denied opportunities to work for or do business with state government because of ones poltocal views violates the first amendment.

No anti-BDS language is the only controversial provision of the bill, as there is no real position on sanctions and foreign aide.

The BDS language was the reason 22 Democrats voted against the motion to proceed. Previously almost all Democrats voted against proceeding with the bill because they did not want to take up any legislation not directly related to the government shutdown.

You can see the roll- call vote here.

The House is in session Monday through Wednesday. The only rule bill currently on the floor is H.R. 790, which provides a pay increase for federal employees.

The House will also consider a number of bills under suspension, including:

  1. H. Res. 77– Expresses the Sense of Congress that financial institutions should work with federal employees who are not getting paid because of a government shutdown to make sure the employees’ credit is not affected.

  1. H.R. 502 – Sets the stage for federal regulation of cryptocurrency by requiring the Comptroller of the currency to study the use of crypto currencies in human trafficking and drug dealing.

  1. .R. 56 – Establishes a Financial Technology Task Force to combat terrorism and drug dealing by developing legislation to stop the use of digital currencies in crime and terrorism. The bill also authorizes the government to pay rewards for information regarding the use of digital currencies in illegal activities or terrorism.

  1. H.R. 495 – Requires the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of State and Local Law Enforcement to prepare an annual report on their activities.

  1. H.R. 428 – Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to prepare an assessment of the use of digital currencies by terrorists.

  1. .R. 449 – Requires the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of State and Local Law Enforcement to prepare a publication listing all the services available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, thus making it easier for these agencies to get federal “help” in exchange for federal control.

  2. H.R. 504 – Requires the Department of Homeland Security to develop an “Engagement strategy” with fusion centers, so the federal government can label more liberty activists as potential terrorists.

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