This Week in Congress

The House is in Monday through Wednesday. Votes were canceled for Thursday so members may attend a memorial service for Representative Elijah Cummings, who passed away last week.

The most significant legislation the House will consider is H.R. 4617, the SHIELD Act. This bill imposes new reporting requirements on Internet ads dealing with candidates or political issues. The stated goal of the regulations is to identify and end foreign interference in American elections. But these regulations would actually burden groups like Campaign for Liberty by imposing onerous regulations on us when we run ads exposing politicians who appear to be caving or have voted wrong on legislation. These regulations would apply if we mentioned the name of candidates for political office and run them in the weeks before an election -- the time when most people are most interested in their elected officials and candidates’ positions.

The bill also applies stringent requirements on websites that run political ads, meaning some of the most popular websites in America may be unwilling to run ads dealing with issues like gun control, government service, or Audit the Fed.

Campaign for Liberty members should call their representative and tell them to oppose H.R. 4617.

The House is also scheduled to consider legislation condemning President Trump’s decision to hold the G-7 meeting at a Trump resort. However, given President Trump’s announcement that he will find another venue for the summit, this resolution seems to be moot.

The House will also consider H.R. 2513, which imposes new reporting requirements on corporations to identify the “beneficial owner.” The beneficial owner is someone who enjoys the benefits of ownership of a corporation even though the legal ownership is in someone else’s name. The goal of this is to identify foreign entities and persons that are controlling US corporations.

Yesterday, the House voted to table H.Res. 630, a resolution censuring House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff  (CA-28) for reading a fictional transcript of President Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian Prime Minister who is at the center of the impeachment inquiry. Every Democrat plus Independent Justin Amash voted to table, while every Republican voted against tabling the resolution.

The Senate is going to vote on cloture on the “omnibus” approbation bills, H.R. 3055, Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture and Military Construction and Veteran’s Administration and H.R. 2740, Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, Defense, State and Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water. If cloture is successful, the Senate will replace the House version with appropriations bills that the Senate appropriations committee has passed and use them as vehicles for negotiations with the House.

The Senate will also vote on whether to admit the Republic of Northern Macedonia to NATO.

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


  1. H.Con.Res. 32—Expresses the Sense of Congress that the Serbian government should investigate the murder of two American citizens of Albanian descent who were allegedly murdered while fighting in the Kosovo army against Serbia in the 1990s. It also calls on the US government to make Serbian action in this case a “significant factor” in U.S.-Serbian relations.

  2. H.Res. 552—Urges the Russian government to present evidence to justify the detention of Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen arrested in Moscow in 2017 and charged with espionage.

  3. H.R. 598—Requires the State Department to report to Congress on U.S. assistance to Georgia and threats to Georgia’s independence. It also imposes sanctions on individuals who have committed human rights violations in the Georgian region currently occupied by Russia.

  4. H.R. 724—Expands criminal penalties for involvement in producing “animal crushing” videos. Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul was one of three Representatives to vote against similar legislation while he was in Congress because it clearly falls within states’ jurisdiction and exceeds Congress’ constitutional authority.

  5. H.R. 4383—Authorizes the transfer of money recovered at airport security be transferred to a special fund devoted to funding border security.

  6. H.R. 4405—Establishes a Women’s Business Center program in the Small Business Association.

  7. H.R. 4387—Creates a Growth Accelerator Fund Commission in the Small Business Association to award prizes to entities that provide counseling and assist in various areas including capital formation.

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