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Congress Alert

Praise for Rep. Walter Jones after His Republican Primary Victory

On Tuesday, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), who is seeking reelection for what he has indicated will be his final term in the United States House of Representatives, won his Republican Party primary. Jones defeated two other candidates — a Washington, DC lobbyist who holds elective office in the district and one of Jones’ primary opponents from 2016.
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Why 55 US Senators Voted for Genocide in Yemen

That's the headline of a blog. It’s a good question. There are six factors involved: Iran, sales of arms, Israel, the CIA, indifferent cruelty, and the system of empire. These are all bad reasons that shouldn’t persuade right-thinking and honorable U.S. senators, but votes for genocide do not come from right-thinking and honorable senators.

Iran. The idea is that Saudi Arabia is thwarting Iran in Yemen. The evidence for this is very, very thin, but even if the Saudis want to thwart Iran somehow in Yemen, that doesn’t justify either a war initiated by Saudi Arabia, a war of the type and scale being waged by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and a U.S. presence in that war.
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Reps. Barbara Lee and Justin Amash Lay Out a Case for Terminating the 2001 AUMF

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In the days following the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed into law a 60-word sentence that set the stage for perpetual war. This 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) contains no time limits, no geographic constraints, and no exit strategy. It has effectively become a blank check for any president, at any time, to wage war without congressional consent or oversight.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the 2001 AUMF has been cited as statutory authority for unclassified military or related actions at least 41 times in 18 countries. Both President George W. Bush and President Obama used it, and now President Trump is following the same path.
That is a portion of the cogent analysis Reps Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) offer in their Wednesday The Hill editorial explaining why they support repealing the AUMF that has facilitated members of the United States Congress abdicating their authority over US wars and three presidents exercising unrestrained use of military force abroad. The editorial came the day after Lee and Amash hosted a joint hearing of the United States House of Representatives Progressive Caucus and Liberty Caucus focused on exploring repealing the AUMF.
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Breaking: Congressional Progressive Caucus, Liberty Caucus to Meet on War Authorization


In a very encouraging sign, the US House Progressive Caucus and Liberty Caucus will hold a joint meeting today (Feb. 27th) at 2:30 Eastern time to discuss strategies to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Force (AUMF) against forces that attacked the US on Sept. 11, 2001. 

According to an email sent out by the office of US Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the "overly broad and outdated AUMF represents a critical deterioration of congressional oversight of military operations."
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Democratic Member Seeks New Impeachment Vote Based On Trump’s Alleged 'Sh*thole' Comment


I have previously written about the endless calls for impeachment from Democratic members for everything from Trump criticizing NFL players to comments made about protesters. The Framers saw the great abuses caused not only by tyranny of nobility, but tyranny of the majority. They sought to insulate our government from the transient impulses of politics. The danger has been repeatedly shown by members who see virtually any act or comment by Donald Trump as a case for impeachment. The latest such example comes from Texas Representative Al Green, who declared that Trump’s alleged reference to “sh*thole countries” is sufficient grounds for impeachment. The last time I checked, pottymouth was not included in Article II with “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
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Walking Down the Legislative Path to Overthrowing the Iran Government

On Tuesday, there was a United States House of Representatives floor vote on H.Res 676, a resolution praising recent protests in Iran and condemning the Iran government. The resolution includes language stating the House “stands with” the protestors who are termed “the people of Iran” suggesting in obvious contradiction to reality that all or most people in the country are taking part in the protests or even just supporting the protests; condemning the Iran government (called a “regime” to make clear it is viewed as illegitimate and worthy of overthrow as were “regimes” in Iraq and Libya) for “serious human rights abuses against the Iranian people, significant corruption, and destabilizing activities abroad;” encouraging the Trump administration to aid Iran government opponents through expediting the licensing of communications technology in Iran...
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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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