August 17, 2013
Video: “Mark Levin ‘The Liberty Amendements’ – (COMPLETE) Sean Hannity Special – Fox News – 8-16-13”
July 30, 2013
|Recent Senate Votes|
|Student Loan Interest Rates Passage – Vote Passed (81-18, 1 Not Voting)
Senators moved to end a months-long partisan standoff over federal student loan interest rates by passing a bill July 24 that would tie rates to the governments cost of borrowing. Sixteen Senate Democrats opposed the plan over concerns that the move to a variable rate would burden students with more debt in a couple of years. The bill would link student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note. Senators adopted a substitute amendment by voice vote that would add 2.05 percentage points to the note rate for both the subsidized and unsubsidized portions of undergraduate loans, 3.6 points for graduate loans and 4.6 points for PLUS loans. As amended, the bill would cap the rates for undergraduate loans at 8.25 percent, graduate loans at 9.5 percent and PLUS loans at 10.5 percent. The current bill differs only slightly from the original version, which also set the interest rates on the 10-year Treasury note and passed the House, 221-198, in May. The House is expected to clear the measure this week. The White House, which threatened to veto the original House bill, backs the Senate compromise.
Sen. Mark Udall voted YES
|Recent House Votes|
|Defense Appropriations NSA Phone Record Collection Amendment – Vote Failed (205-217, 12 Not Voting)
An unlikely pair of Michiganders, Republican Justin Amash and Democrat John Conyers Jr. united to ensure a House floor vote on the Amash sponsored amendment to the fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill that would restrict collection of telephone records through Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders to only data involving people under investigation. 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats supported the bill; however, a group of 134 Republicans and 83 Democrats voted to kill the amendment. Republican John A. Boehner of Ohio voted no, a rare vote from the House Speaker that showed how close the vote was. The White House opposed the amendment.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted YES
Defense AppropriationsFinal Passage – Vote Passed (315-109, 9 Not Voting)
After clearing numerous amendments, the House passed the C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla. sponsored legislation funding the Defense department for fiscal year 2014. After a split on the NSA amendment, 220 Republicans were joined by 95 Democrats in support of the bill with only 8 Republicans in opposition. It would provide $512.5 billion in non-war discretionary funding and $82.3 billion in contingency funds to support operations in Afghanistan and the general war on terrorism. The bill also includes a 1.8 percent pay raise for military personnel. The White House has already threatened to veto the legislation over provisions intended to limit executive branch budgetary and policy options, including effectively barring civilian furloughs in the next fiscal year, forbidding cuts in the strategic weapons arsenal and preventing spending to implement reductions required by the New START nuclear-arms agreement. The Senate likely wont take up the legislation until after the August recess.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted NO
Coal Ash Regulations Passage – Vote Passed (265-155, 13 Not Voting)
In the last vote of the week, the House passed a bill that would allow states to create and implement their own permit programs for coal combustion residuals, removing that authority from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA would still be able to review state permit programs in a limited manner. The Senate is unlikely to consider the legislation.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted YES
|Transportation & HUD Appropriations – S.1243
The Senate is scheduled to debate legislation that would fund the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments.
Transportation & HUD Appropriations – H.R.2610
The House is schedule to consider its version of the legislation that funds the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments.
May 18, 2013
March 30, 2013
Video: “[Mike Lee:] Constitution Wasn’t Written to Maximize the Convenience of the Federal Government”
December 1, 2012
In Part II of Nullification: How To Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2010), Thomas E. Woods, Jr., includes eleven historical documents explaining and supporting the concept of nullification.
I found these documents online (some more or less abridged than in the book), and I bookmarked and annotated them in my Diigo account:
IX. An Exposition of the Virginia Resolutions of 1798
November 11, 2012
I’m currently reading The Constitution Made Easy (New York: Sterling, 2012) by Michael Holler. This morning I read the section on “Limited Government” in the introduction. Holler leads into the section with this quote from Federalist No. 33: “If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”
I thought this passage was particularly timely because of recent events.
If it’s up to us, the people, to “redress the injury done to the Constitution,” we have to answer the following questions:
- What constitutes “tyrannical use” of the federal government’s powers?
- What standard have we formed?
- What measures do “exigency . . . suggest and prudence justify”?
May 3, 2012
After readying The Founders’ Key (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012), I’m still not sure what Larry Arnn is referring to in the title. The connection between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is obvious. The Declaration of Independence presents the principles upon which our government is founded, and the Constitution lays out the specific method and limits for the U.S. government.
In his “Conclusion,” Arnn correctly points out that
Article I, section 8, of the Constitution lists in seventeen paragraphs the things about which Congress may legislate. Half of them concern national defense. The rest mainly concern the guarantee of an unimpeded national system of commerce and property rights and the ability of the federal government to operate on the territory it possesses. There is no word about education, health, retirement, welfare, or any of the hundreds or perhaps thousands of areas of policy in which the Federal government now operates. (118-19)
In the following paragraph, he admits that we won’t “soon have a government that operates entirely within the confines of the Constitution. That will take a work of restoration and recovery of many years” (119).
I’ve thought the same thing recently in relation to the current presidential campaign. I believe Mitt Romney is a conservative, though he may not talk like one since he’s not a politician or a pundit. I believe he understands and supports the Constitution and will do what he can to restore it. He may not make the abrupt changes some people prefer, but he will set us on the right path.
As Arnn pointed out, the Constitution does not allow the federal government to get involved in “education, health, retirement,” etc., but we can’t just cut off student loans, Medicare and Medicaid, and Social Security. Promises need to be kept, and the programs need to be phased out gradually or relegated to the states.