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Norman Singleton

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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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Thank You Thomas Massie

On Tuesday the House passed HR 1567, the "Global Food Security Act." As I wrote earlier this week, HR 1567 "....requires the President to coordinate the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to accomplish the objectives of promoting global food security, resilience, and nutrition consistent with national food security investment plans."

It also authorized the federal government to spend one billion dollars — which is chump change in D.C. but as Senator Evert Dirksen once said, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money” — on foreign aid programs. This is on top of the billions the US Government currently spends on overseas programs.
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This Week in Congress: Foreign Aid and Tyranny

This week the House returns from "spring break." Today and Wednesday the House will consider "suspensions."

One of the suspension bills of particular interest is HR 4509. This legislation requires  states or "high-risk urban areas" receiving Homeland Security funds to establish a state planning committee or an urban area working group, in order to develop and revise homeland security plans and work on threat and hazard identification.

Readers will be interested to know that the committees must have representatives of fusion centers -- the wonderful people that consider you and I terrorists -- on their board.
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Does the House Leadership Really Want to Rein In Obama?

The House GOP leadership talks a lot about "reining in" President Obama's abuse of executive powers; yet last week they blocked two amendments to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have rolled back President Obama's power to violate our civil liberties and unilaterally keep US troops involved in overseas military actions.
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God Save the Queen (of the Hill)?

Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. As is custom, there will be a series of votes on various substitute budgets, including substitutes offered by the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, the Democratic Leadership, and the conservative Republican Study Committee.

There will also be two official Republican budgets....why two? Because the budget passed out of the House budget committee "only" spends $613 billion on defense in FY2016 and "only" increases defense spending by $387 billion over ten years.  So Republicans on the House Millitary-Industrial Complex  (oops...I mean Armed Services) Committee threatened to vote against the rule unless the House leadership increased defense spending.
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