The U.S. Senate is set to vote on cloture on S. 2093, the not-so-new and definitely not improved version of S. 1. Hopefully, Republicans will stand firm against this bill and filibuster it. However, even if the bill does not get cloture, you and I are still not done with this issue.
West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin is putting forth a “compromise,” which modifies some of the provisions concerning election laws but still maintains some threats, including restrictions on groups like Campaign for Liberty telling our supporters (and the general public) the truth about their elected officials voting records and candidates’ positions on key legislative issues.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already denounced Manchin’s proposal, but you and I must be prepared to fight any effort to pass this so-called “compromise” legislation.
The other big news from the Senate is that it appears, after being delayed last week, David Chipman will get a vote in the Judiciary Committee on his nomination for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms this Thursday.
Campaign for Liberty supporters and others have put a lot of heat on senators over this nomination. So even if all Democrats are in attendance (which wasn’t the case last week), there is still a good chance Chipman will not have the votes to make it out of committee. This will force Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to use a parliamentary maneuver to bring the nomination to the Senate floor, where we will need to keep the pressure up to kill this nomination.
Last week, the House passed H.R. 256, which repealed the 2002 Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) for Iraq. The vote was 268-161. 49 Republicans joined 219 Democrats in voting for the bill. Representative Elaine Luria (VA-02) was the only Democrat to vote against the resolution.
It may seem disappointing that only 49 Republicans voted for the resolution, but consider that until recently, unquestioned support for military operations waged in the name of the “war on terrorism” was considered a litmus test to whether one was a “true” Republican.
Remember there were calls to ban Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul from the debate stage in the 2008 and 2012 Republican primaries because of his opposition to the Iraq and other wars.
The positive response among grassroots activists made it safe for Republicans to adopt an antiwar position. Then in 2016, Donald Trump won the Republican primary despite openly calling the Iraq war a disaster and won the presidency in part because he promised to chart a new course in foreign policy. So the non-intervention side is slowly but surely winning the debate over foreign policy in the GOP.
On the other hand, we should not take the Democrats’ support as a real indicator they are the “party of peace.” Voting to repeal the Iraq AUMF is an easy vote for Democrats since Iraq is no longer the focus of the U.S. regime-change wars. Democrats are still the party of regime change in Syria and Libya as well as intervention in Ukraine and other measures designed to incite Cold War 2.
The House also passed H.R. 1187 by a vote of 215-214. Every Republican and four Democrats voted against this bill. As I wrote last week, this bill requires businesses to report to their shareholders certain “... environmental, social, and governance metric and their connection to the long-term business strategy of the issuer.” It also creates a Sustainable Finance Advisory Committee to recommend policies the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can adopt to “facilitate the flow of capital to environmentally sustainable investments.” In other words, this is a way to implement the Green New Deal via SEC regulations by encouraging investors to put their money behind companies favored by the government because they have a positive environmental impact. Such policies will distort markets, thus reducing efficacy, raising prices, lowering our standard of living, and reducing our liberty.