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Congress Alert

House Members Offered ‘Russian Hacking’ Briefing — Two Weeks After Obama Expelled Russian Diplomats

US House Member Justin Amash (R-MI) announced Wednesday on Twitter that the Obama administration has agreed to the request Amash and fellow House Member Walter Jones (R-NC) made to President Barack Obama on December 19 that a classified briefing be provided for all Congress members concerning evidence being used to support claims that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to help Donald Trump’s campaign.
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The 'Draft Women' Legislation Roller Coaster Ride

During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the spring, the proposal that women be required to sign up with Selective Service just as are men started on a roller coaster ride in the United States Congress. That ride had a couple more turns this week. On Tuesday, a United States Senate and House of Representatives conference committee, which was creating a compromise version of the NDAA because the two bodies had passed differing bills, released a final bill that leaves out such a requirement. Then, on Thursday, the Obama administration announced support for requiring women to register with Selective Service.
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Senate Extends Idiotic Iran Sanctions by 99-0 Vote!

Forget that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) agreed between Iran and the so-called P5+1 consisting of the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and the European Union has by all accounts been one of the few real foreign policy successes in the eight years of an otherwise war-dominated Obama Administration. Forget that the promise of normalizing trade relations with Iran would produce untold wealth -- and jobs -- for both the US and Iran. Forget that the Europeans are flocking in droves to resume lucrative trade with Iran, despite president-elect Trump's inexplicable Iranophobia. Forget that as the "Germany of the Middle East," Iran brings to the table "80 million people, an educated workforce, and a proud tradition of manufacturing"and a potential economic bonanza for its partners.
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Pelosi’s House Rival Denounced As Sexist For Opposing 'The Most Accomplished Woman in Congress'

We have previously discussed how Democrats have rallied around their leaders despite the failure to secure the White House or the Senate. Democratic leaders engineered the primary selection of Hillary Clinton despite polls showing that voters did not want an establishment figure and had deep seated misgivings about Clinton’s honestly and integrity. One of those leaders who has been most criticized over the years has been Nancy Pelosi. Nevertheless, many Democratic members have rallied to her side while younger members are calling for new leadership.
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Will Paul Ryan Be Booted from the House Speakership after the Election?

On October, 29, 2015, just over one year ago, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) became speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) had announced about a month earlier his resignation from the House after House members had become increasingly vocal in their disapproval of Boehner’s leadership and momentum had built significantly towards Boehner’s ouster from the speaker position.
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US Congressman to John Kerry: Are We Committing War Crimes in Yemen?


On Tuesday, US Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) wrote a remarkable letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. Citing the "civilian carnage caused by the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition in Yemen," Rep. Lieu expressed concern to Kerry that the US government might be "liable for war crimes in Yemen," based on continued US material support for the ongoing Saudi attack on its southern neighbor. 

According to Rep. Lieu, it seems clear that the Saudis are intentionally targeting civilians in Yemen and for the US to support Saudi Arabia in such an illegal and immoral war would mean Washington shares Riyadh's guilt.
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Senate Fails to Block Tank Sales to Saudi Arabia

In a disappointing 71-27 vote today, the Senate voted to kill a bill that would’ve blocked the US from carrying out $1.15 billion in tank sales to Saudi Arabia. The bill had bipartisan authorship, but was overwhelmingly opposed by the leadership.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D – CT), one of the authors, said he never expected to pass the resolution anyhow, but hoped to press Saudi Arabia on its large civilian death toll in Yemen, saying that the Saudis clearly don’t want to see debate on the US-Saudi alliance on the floor of Congress.

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GOP Stops Reps. Thomas Massie and Walter Jones From Cutting Spending

It's not a good idea to give the Rules Committee the power to block amendments to the appropriations bills. For example, consider last week when Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Walter Jones (R-NC) tried to offer an amendment to the legislative branch appropriations bill to stop the use of taxpayer funding for private offices of ex-speakers.

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Breaking: Women Draft Provision Removed from House NDAA


Rebecca Kheel reports in the Hill that the US House Rules Committee on Monday removed from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the House Armed Services Committee approved last month, a provision requiring women to register with the Selective Services System. The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor this week. The registration requirement would pave the way for conscripting women into the US military. Last week the Armed Services Committee also included the requirement in its version of the NDAA.
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Senate Committee Moves US One Step Closer to Drafting Women into Military

Last month the Armed Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives voted to require women to register with the Selective Service System, as men are currently required, to facilitate women being drafted into the US military. The women draft provision was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the committee. Thursday, the US< Senate Armed Services Committee joined in the call for making women subject to a potential draft when the Senate committee included such a Selective Service registration requirement in its version of the NDAA.
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