This week in Congress: March 21, 2016

The US Senate is not in session until April 4th. The US House is in session Monday, Tuesday, and  Wednesday, following which the House will recess until April 12.

Monday and Tuesday the House will consider bills under "suspension of the rules." One of those bills is the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016 (HR 4314). These bill authorizes greater cooperation between the US and foreign governments to stop "terrorist travel." The bill also allows the Department of Homeland security to share equipment with foreign governments to prevent terrorist travel, prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and protect intellectual property.

On Tuesday, the House will consider HR 4742, a bill to encourage the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women. This is a well-intentioned bill but should the federal government be spending tax dollars to encourage entrepreneurial programs for anyone?

If Congress wants to improve opportunities for entrepreneurship they should remove the taxes and regulations that discourage women (and men) from starting their own businesses.

A similar bill is HR 4755, which instructs NASA to encourage women and girls to study science. Again, this is a worthy goal, but is it really an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars?

HR 4472, the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act authorizes spending federal money to "...develop a centralized electronic system to expedite the interstate placement of children in foster care, guardianship, or adoptive homes." Again this is a worthy goal, but isn't the best way to improve the foster care and adoption system to get the federal government out of it?

Tuesday and Wednesday the House will consider HR 2745, the SMARTER bill. This bill standardizes the rules by which the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice use to bring antitrust cases. This is all well and good, but if the Congressional leadership read the Austrian school they would understand there was no need for "antitrust" laws in the first place.



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