This week in Congress

The Senate will be in session and considering nominations this week.

The House will be in from Monday through Friday. The major legislation the House will be considering is overturning the following Obama regulations:

1. The Steam Protection Rule-- This rule limits mining actions in streams, dumping waste in streams, or the generating of waste from coal. While this may seem like a good goal, the rule is redundant and imposes costly requirements on the coal industry with very little benefit.

2. Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers-- Rule enforces a part of the Dodd-Frank Act by requiring resource extraction issuers to include in an annual report on Form SD information relating to certain payments made to a foreign government or the Federal Government for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. This rule may force companies to violate confidentiality contracts as well as foreign confidentiality law.

3. Regulations implementing the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 --Adopted in 2007 following the Virginia Tech shooting, this requires federal agencies to provide relevant records for use in The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This is the unconstitutional background check system implemented by the Brady law.

The rule also would also provide financial "incentives" (bribes) for states to turn over information - including mental health records - to the NICS. States that refuse to turn over the citizens' records lose federal funding.

For a sample of Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul's writings on the dangers of "background checks" and gun control, see here.

4. A rule designed to make sure federal contractors comply with federal labor laws.

5. Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation-- Regulations designed to ensure that those drilling for natural gas on federal and Indian land waste less gas.

This seems like a good idea but because this is the government it is being implemented in a heavy-handed manner. Of course, the solution is to privatize federal lands and hold oil companies strictly liable for any damage they cause when drilling for oil.

Campaign for Liberty has co-signed a coalition letter in support of the use of the Congressional Review Act:

January 31, 2017

Dear Senators and Representatives:

On behalf of the millions of Americans that our organizations represent, we are encouraged to see you take advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The CRA is a powerful way for Congress to reassert its lawmaking authority and partner with the White House in bringing meaningful regulatory relief to millions of Americans across the country. Congress has an important duty to work with the Trump administration in rolling back the regulatory avalanche of the last eight years.

Processing resolutions of disapproval under the CRA is an essential tool for this because overturning regulations via the CRA creates a permanent bar against regulators imposing substantially similar rules in the future without seeking express authorization from Congress.

We therefore applaud your already announced resolutions of disapproval under the CRA, support their timely passage, and urge additional efforts to use the CRA to bring as much permanent regulatory relief to the American people as possible.


Brent Gardner, Chief Government Affairs Officer Americans for Prosperity

James L. Martin, Founder and Chairman 60 Plus Association Phil Kerpen, President American Commitment

Tim Doyle, Vice President of Policy and General Counsel American Council for Capital Formation

Sean Noble, President American Encore

Gary L. Bauer, President American Values

Coley Jackson, President Americans for Competitive Enterprise

Richard Manning, President Americans for Limited Government

Grover Norquist, President Americans for Tax Reform

Jim Waters, President Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions

David Stevenson, Director, Center for Energy Competitiveness

Norm Singleton, President Campaign For Liberty

Andrew F. Quinlan, President Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Jeffrey Mazzella, President Center for Individual Freedom

Kim Crockett, Vice President and General Counsel Center of the American Experiment Francis X. De Luca, President Civitas Institute

David McIntosh, President Club for Growth

Nick Dranias, President & Executive Director Compact for America Educational Foundation'

Kent Lassman, President Competitive Enterprise Institute

Mark Lucas, President Concerned Veterans for America

Thomas Schatz, President Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director Digital Liberty \

Craig Richardson, Executive Director Energy & Environment Legal Institute

David Christensen, VP of Government Affairs Family Research Council

Andy Koenig, Vice President of Policy Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Adam Brandon, President and CEO FreedomWorks

Andrew Clark, President Generation Opportunity

William A. Estrada, Esq., Director of Federal Relations Home School Legal Defense Association

Wayne Hoffman, President Idaho Freedom Foundation

Carrie Lukas, Managing Director Independent Women's Forum

Heather Higgens, President and CEO Independent Women’s Voice

Andrew Langer, President Institute for Liberty

Jon Sanders, Director of Regulatory Studies John Locke Foundation

Seton Motley, President Less Government

Brett Healy, President MacIver Institute for Public Policy

Dee Hodges, President Maryland Taxpayers Association

Forest Thigpen, President Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Brent Mead, CEO Montana Policy Institute

Harry C. Alford, President/CEO National Black Chamber of Commerce

Willes K. Lee, President National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Pete Sepp, President National Taxpayers Union

William Booher, Interim Executive Director Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Mike Stenhouse, CEO Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Paul J. Gessing, President Rio Grande Foundation

William Whipple III, President Secure America's Future Economy T

Cheri Christoph, Co-Founder Smart Girl Politics

David Williams, President Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips, Founder Tea Party Nation

Dr. Robert McClure, President and CEO The James Madison Institute

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO The Jeffersonian Project

Daniel Garza, President The LIBRE Initiative

Michael W. Thompson, Chairman and President Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Carl Bearden, Executive Director United for Missouri

Rose Bogaert, Chair Wayne County Taxpayers Association

Jonathan Downing, CEO Wyoming Liberty Group

The House will also consider the following bills under suspension of the rules, including two bills dealing with "fusion centers."

One, HR 642-, Requires the Department of Homeland Security to make support of fusion centers a priority in any guidance issued by the agency and ensure that information gathered by the fusion centers is shared with all other federal agencies and that the agencies share information with the fusion centers.

The second bill, "The Department of Homeland Security Support to Fusion Centers Act of 2015" (HR 678) requires the Department of Homeland Security to "assess" the current procedures for assigning personnel from the various components of Homeland Security personnel, including TSA, to the fusion censers.

Considering that fusion centers have been ineffective at identifying real threats, as opposed to targeting individuals and organizations based on their political beliefs, expanding their power seems like a case of sacrificing liberty without even gaining the illusion of security.

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

1. HR 339-- Lifts some permitting and other regulations on construction in the Mariana Islands.

2.  HR 46- Authorizes a study of whether to include Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York in the National Park system.

3. HR 374-- This bill makes permanent the authority of Washington, Oregon, and California to adopt and enforce state laws governing fishing and processing in the exclusive economic zone adjacent to their states in any Dungeness crab fishery for which there is no fishery management plan in effect under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

4. HR 58-- Directs GAO to study "select state and local programs and policies related to the preparedness and protection of first responders.

5. HR 666- Directs the Department of Homeland Security to establish a new "insider threat" program. How about studying how the Department of Homeland Security threatens the rights of Americans?

6. HR 665-- Requires risk assessments of airport security perimeters and development of security strategies. I am sure this will not be used to increase TSA harassment of travelers.

7. HR 584-- Establishes new authority for homeland security to help state and local governments, among the areas that department is required to provide assurance of the security of "....equipment and technology related to the electoral process."

8. HR 655- Creates a new "Securing our cities" program for the Department of Homeland Security to work with state and local governments to "...enhance the ability of the United States to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and other high consequence events utilizing nuclear or other radiological materials that pose a high risk to homeland security in high-risk urban areas, and for other purposes."

9. HR 5843-- Creates a new grant program for cooperation between the US and Israel aimed at enhancing "cybersecurity."


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