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Congress Alert

Rep. John Duncan: No Conservative Should Support Staying in Afghanistan

"We're long past the time we should have gotten out of Afghanistan," US Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) told the Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security today. The Congressman, who sits on the Ron Paul Institute's Board of Advisors, brought in quotes from Georgie Anne Geyer, William F. Buckley, Jr., and even the New York Times, to make the case that our involvement in places like Afghanistan for years on end weaken the United States. "I cannot understand how any true fiscal conservative can be in favor of dragging this war on forever," he told the Committee. 
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The Congressman Who Has Sent Thousands of Letters to Families of US Troops Killed in Wars

"On a Sunday morning more than two weeks after four U.S. soldiers were ambushed and killed in Niger, Rep. Walter Jones sat at the desk in his North Carolina office, doing what he’s done more than 11,000 times in 14 years: signing letters to families of the dead troops."

That is how Martha Waggoner begins her Monday Associated Press article relating the regret United States House of Representatives Member Walter Jones (R-NC) feels for voting in 2002 for the US invasion of Iraq and how he has channeled that regret into actions Jones calls “penance” that include sending letters to families of troops killed in the Iraq War and other US military actions overseas.
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US House Passes INTERDICT Act, Plodding Forward with Destructive War on Drugs

The United States House of Representatives approved on Tuesday, by a vote of 412 to three, the INTERDICT Act (HR 2142) that ramps up US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) efforts to interdict fentanyl and other substances related to illegal drugs upon entry to America. While House members are sure to tell their constituents that they did something this week to reduce deaths from drug overdoses, in reality they have voted, as Congress members have for decades in the US government’s war on drugs, for yet another bill that spends millions to abuse individual rights and increase dangers for drug users.

The stated focus of the INTERDICT Act is on providing CBP with additional chemical screening devices to be used to “interdict fentanyl, other synthetic opioids, and other narcotics and psychoactive substances that are illegally imported into the United States, including such substances that are imported through the mail or by an express consignment operator or carrier” and ensuring that there are sufficient CBP employees available to interpret the testing results.


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House Members Make the Case for Ending US Participation in the War on Yemen

Three members of the United States House of Representatives wrote in a Tuesday editorial at the New York Times about their legislation (H.Con.Res. 81) that would use the authority of Congress under the War Powers Resolution to end US participation in the war in Yemen. In the editorial, the representatives — Ro Khanna (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Walter Jones (R-NC) — also describe key US participation in the war as well as the war’s devastating consequences.
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Rep. John Duncan: Shut Off the Afghanistan War Money Spigot

Speaking this month on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) sharply criticized the Afghanistan War, declaring that the war “has always been about money — increased appropriations for the Defense Department and huge profits for the contractors, which hire retired admirals and generals.”
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Ron Paul: More Work Ahead to Repeal Old War Authorizations

On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) amendment that would repeal authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs) from 2001 and 2002 that successive presidents have perversely used to justify just about any military action a president wants to pursue across the world was tabled in the United States Senate by a vote of 61 to 36. This procedural vote prevented a vote on the actual bill and thus is in line with the Congress’ year-after-year practice of deferring to the executive branch regarding war instead of fulfilling the legislative branch’s constitutional power regarding the matter.
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New Senate Intelligence Authorization Bill Includes Language Threatening WikiLeaks

The Senate Intelligence Authorization Act (SB 1761), introduced Friday by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and already approved by the committee, concludes with a one sentence section — Section 623 — that appears to threaten WikiLeaks with potential harsh actions. The section categorizes the news organization, which helps expose information obtained from whistleblowers, as resembling "a non-state hostile intelligence service."
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Rep. John Duncan, Conservative Peace Proponent, Will Not Seek Reelection to US House

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2018 to the United States House of Representatives. In addition to being one of the longest-serving Republican members of the House (representing the second district of Tennessee since 1988), Duncan, who argues that being antiwar is a conservative position, is also one of the House’s strongest proponents for peace.

In his April of 2015 editorial “A Return to The Peace Party,” Duncan lamented the Republican Party drifting toward being a war-supporting party and argued that it should revert to its past position as the peace party. “When I was a teenager,” Duncan wrote, “I remember reading a publication from the Republican National Committee that said, ‘Democrats start wars, Republicans end them.’” Duncan wrote in the editorial that he not only thought the party’s shift toward hawkishness is wrong but also declared, “I think it is a recipe for defeat if my Republican party becomes known as a party favoring permanent, forever wars—war without end.”
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