Articles

Pending Legislation

by Ann Shibler, Research Associate

Legislative Preview of the 112th Congress

Everyone is wondering what kinds of legislation will be the focus of the 112th Congress. The shift of power from the Democrats to the Republicans in the House, with the tea parties still highly energized and engaged in the political process, is bound to have some effect.

At the end of the 111th Congress, all legislation that was sitting in the hopper and at various stages in the legislative process was discarded. But that doesn’t mean there will be any dearth of legislation. Congressmen are notoriously prolific in this area and will file for the 112th many old and new pieces of legislation. Any treaties that have already been transmitted to Congress, but not ratified yet, are not discarded, however.

The passage of the New START treaty in the lame duck will bring about the next step toward total disarmament, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban (CNTB) treaty. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) said last October that New START was a transition treaty that would allow the Senate to “sort of move on to other agendas that are also very important in arms control,” and the CNTB is it.

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) and the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) will see action at least in the Foreign Relations committee. LOST has a far better chance of passage in the full Senate, although it’s not great, and CEDAW very little, as only two senators even bothered to show up for the CEDAW hearing in late 2010. Foreign Relations committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry is said to be committed to furthering Middle East peace talks and brokering a deal between Israel and Pakistan, and Israel and Syria. Also in Kerry’s sights is the revaluing of China’s currency.

Constitutionalists and Federal Reserve opponents everywhere are eager to see what kind of legislation will be forthcoming to address the central bank’s economic powers and policies. In the euphoria of son Rand Paul’s Senate win, Congressman Ron Paul said publicly that he and his son might celebrate by introducing an “audit the Fed” or “end the Fed” measure immediately after inauguration just to “make a point.” In an interview on FoxNews he also related that it would take only one day to repeal the Federal Reserve Act, although that would be a “little more disruptive than I care to get.” He also plans on introducing legislation to force the Federal Reserve “to be accountable every time they print more money,” a very laudable first step.

Another burning political issue most Americans are anxious about is the 100 percent repeal of ObamaCare. Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) had already drafted and introduced legislation in the 111th Congress, H.R. 4972, that would do just that. The old bill serves as the basis for the repeal of ObamaCare in the 112th Congress as a stand alone measure. A spokesman for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said House Republicans “will pass a straight-up repeal of ObamaCare early on in the 112th Congress.” Rep. King also made mention of an effort to lay the groundwork for defunding any and all efforts to implement ObamaCare. King says Republicans in the House should “zero-out any Obamacare related item in the budget,” and protect those efforts from Democrats in the Senate “by including language in every appropriations bill we pass explicitly barring any money allocated therein from being spent on implementing or enforcing any part of Obamacare.” But don’t expect the Democratic-controlled Senate to repeal this draconian bill as the Dems are already digging in. Senators Reid of Nevada, Durbin of Illinois, Schumer of New York, Murry of Washington, and Stabenow of Michigan have vowed to block passage. This may force the Republicans to address this unconstitutional disaster in a rather half-hearted piecemeal approach, repealing just bits of the measure one at a time.

Republicans and Democrats alike have vowed to abolish the provision contained in ObamaCare which requires businesses to file a 1099 form with the IRS for every vendor they pay more than $600 to annually, as early as possible in 2011. If they hold true to their word this is something that all small businesses and taxpayers would support and would be a great relief both on the record-keeping side and financially. However, a repeal of the measure was offered twice in November, and rejected both times because many viewed it as a loss of government income that required an offsetting increase in income or decrease in spending.

President Obama has recently floated his objective to rewrite the tax code. Maryland’s Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) — tea parties are “poisonous to our future” — who will move from House Majority Leader to Minority Whip in the new Congress seconded the motion a week after Obama uttered it, saying it will attract at least some bipartisan support. But Hoyer — and Obama — have no intention of giving taxpayers a break; instead, the idea is to raise more money to reduce the debt. This supposed simplifying of the tax code will be labeled “tax reform.” It will most likely turn into a fair tax vs. flat tax pseudo debate.

The deficit and national debt are of great concern; the political rhetoric during the campaign was about developing guidelines for appropriating money in a more fiscally responsible manner. The deficit and debt simply cannot be ignored and will most certainly be addressed early in the year. What will ignite the debate will be the necessity of having to raise the debt ceiling early in the new year. Currently the government is funded through March 4 of 2011. The debt ceiling at $14.291 trillion must be raised in early spring to accommodate the increasing cost of big government — unless the newly elected hold true to their campaign promises of large-scale cuts in spending. Liberals are worried that the President will make a deal with the Republicans and get an increase in the debt ceiling in exchange for reforming Social Security. These reforms would be in the form of raising the retirement age to 68 and lowering benefits for people in higher income brackets. Medicare and Medicaid programs would probably remain untouched; it’s far easier to tinker with Social Security.

Certainly a balanced budget amendment will be in the forefront, whether proposed in the usual way by a two-thirds majority vote of both houses of Congress or attempted through the highly risky constitutional convention approach.

Many are saying cap-and-trade is dead due to the lack of enthusiasm for global warming and climate change by the general electorate. What will definitely see debate is the problem of EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases that began on January 2, 2011. Even John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) believes “the worst possible option is EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act.”

What is being discussed on both sides of the political spectrum is the probability of gridlock, which is not always a bad thing. Some even predict that the legislative focus will shift to the state legislatures, again not a bad thing. This is where activists, unions, and lobbyists are set to pour their money and invest their time. The Tenth Amendment protections and use, while not exactly mainstream yet, have already had a considerable impact on the political landscape.

Pending Legislation

by Larry Greenley, Director of Marketing

Congress, Please Break Out of Your 50-year Rut!

Since this "Pending Legislation" article is being written in mid-December during the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress, there is no officially introduced legislation for the new 112th Congress to discuss yet. Which means this is a good time for considering the ten predictions for the United States that Robert Welch made at the founding meeting of The John Birch Society in December 1958, almost exactly 52 years ago. Of course, these predictions are included in The Blue Book of The John Birch Society, the transcript of the two-day founding meeting.

A video version of these ten predictions has also "gone viral" on YouTube the past couple years under various titles. We had created this video for our 50th Anniversary celebration in Appleton in October 2008 as a way to pay tribute to Robert Welch. The video consists of nine minutes of excerpts from the JBS Council Dinner in Los Angeles in 1974. On that occasion Mr. Welch made two speeches. The first speech consisted of excerpts from his two-day speech at the founding meeting of The John Birch Society in 1958 as recorded in The Blue Book. In the second speech Robert Welch looked ahead fifteen years from 1974 and gave his recommendations for what should be done to preserve our freedom.

We originally posted the video online under the title "JBS Founder Robert Welch in 1974: Forerunner of Ron Paul?" Earlier this year we revised the title to "The John Birch Society in 1958, Forerunner of the Tea Party Movement?" Under these two titles our official JBS posting of this video on YouTube has received over 44,000 views.

However, many others have reposted this video under other titles, such as "Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America." Over 290,000 people have viewed just this one posting under the "Mind blowing speech...." title. Without bothering to look up all the various ways this video has been posted online, it is clear that many hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, have viewed it online so far.

Here are Robert Welch's ten predictions from 1958 (as can be seen in the nine-minute video):

Here are the ... aims for the United States.... (1) Greatly expanded government spending, for missiles, for so-called defense generally, for foreign aid, for every conceivable means of getting rid of ever larger sums of American money — as wastefully as possible. (2) Higher and then much higher taxes. (3) An increasingly unbalanced budget, despite the higher taxes.... (4) Wild inflation of our currency.... (5) Government controls of prices, wages, and materials, supposedly to combat inflation. (6) Greatly increased socialistic controls over every operation of our economy and every activity of our daily lives. This is to be accompanied, naturally and automatically, by a correspondingly huge increase in the size of our bureaucracy, and in both the cost and reach of our domestic government. (7) Far more centralization of power in Washington, and the practical elimination of our state lines. There is a many-faceted drive at work to have our state lines eventually mean no more within the nation than our county lines do now within the states. (8) The steady advance of Federal aid to and control over our educational system, leading to complete federalization of our public education. (9) A constant hammering into the American consciousness of the horror of "modern warfare, " the beauties and the absolute necessity of "peace" — peace always on Communist terms, of course. And (10) the consequent willingness of the American people to allow the steps of appeasement by our government which amount to a piecemeal surrender of the rest of the free world and of the United States itself....

The first thing that strikes people about these ten predictions is just how accurately they depict what's happening to us right now. For example, consider "greatly expanded government spending," "an increasingly unbalanced budget," "wild inflation of our currency" (the worst is still ahead, but we already have the Fed's "quantitative easing"), "government controls of prices, wages, and materials" (ObamaCare is part of this, but the worst of this is still ahead), "greatly increased socialistic controls over every operation of our economy and every activity of our daily lives" (of course, the bailouts, takeovers, financial regulatory legislation, food safety legislation, FCC regulation of the Internet, ObamaCare, etc., etc.), "far more centralization of power in Washington, and the practical elimination of our state lines" (thank goodness the Tenth Amendment and nullification movements have started reversing this trend), "the steady advance of Federal aid to and control over our educational system" (this has been a constant for the past five decades), and "the consequent willingness of the American people to allow ... a piecemeal surrender of the United States itself...." (fifty-two years later we're teetering on the edge of being submerged in the New World Order).

Overall, the most striking thing about Robert Welch's predictions in 1958 is how little Congress and the various Presidents have changed course during the past 52 years.

In his second speech at the 1974 JBS Council Dinner Robert Welch summarized what he hoped The John Birch Society would do to help the American people to accomplish during the next fifteen years. Here are his five main goals:

  1. "To restore the complete independence of the United States, which includes getting us out of the United Nations and the United Nations out of the United States."
  2. "We must once again make our money freely redeemable in gold at some realistic price. And we must take all practicable legislative steps to prevent a recurrence of the enormous thievery and other subversive crimes that have been perpetrated on the American people through a contrived inflation by every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon."
  3. "We should reduce the number of government bureaus, of government employees, and the whole quantity of government by at least 50 percent."
  4. "We should withdraw all American troops from every spot on earth that is not American soil, except when and where troops may be required, as decided by Congress, to protect American lives and property from criminal vandalism."
  5. "We should get government out of the areas and functions and activities where government does not belong."

These five goals have stood the test of time since 1974 and are still good goals for us to recommend to the 112th Congress.

Go to YouTube.com, find the nine-minute video of Robert Welch's ten predictions from 1958 and five goals from 1974 by searching for "John Birch Society Tea Party," then forward the link to those in your sphere of influence and recommend they view it.

 


 

Pending Legislation       
by Warren Mass,
Editor, The John Birch Society Bulletin

Priority Level: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low; O = Ongoing


JBS.org Legislative Action : You can find the our voterVOICE section on JBS.org by going to our JBS.org Freedom Campaign home page at http://JBS.org/freedom  and clicking on “Active Advocacy Issues” under the “JBS.org Legislative Action” heading. Or, you can go directly to our voterVOICE legislative alerts at http://www.votervoice.net/Core.aspx?AID=972&APP=GAC&.

Priority H: Oppose Obama's Government Takeover of Health Care!
The goal of President Obama and the congressional leaders has been to establish over time a single payer, government-run health care system, which would lead to healthcare rationing, decreased payments to doctors and hospitals, and shortages of doctors. The plan will be very expensive, costing at least $1 trillion over the next ten years. Furthermore, federal funding of and control over health care is not authorized in the U.S. Constitution. There is very little time left to mobilize opposition to this deceptive, “transformational” health care reform legislation. If Americans don’t rally quickly and defeat this initiative, then one more major segment of the American economy will be federalized. Contact your representative and senators in firm opposition to the health care “reform” legislation proposed by President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders.

Priority H: Defeat the 'Cap and Trade' Energy Tax Bill in the Senate! Oppose H.R. 2454 the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009!
H.R. 2454
(also known as the Waxman-Markey climate change bill), is an expensive new “energy tax” bill was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 219 to 212 on June 26. It provides for a “cap and trade” program, defined as “a system of greenhouse gas regulation under which a State or political subdivision issues a limited number of tradable instruments in the nature of emission allowances and requires that sources within its jurisdiction surrender such tradeable instruments for each unit of greenhouse gases emitted during a compliance period.” (It has been placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 97.) Urge your senators to reject this legislation, as well as any legislation in either house of Congress that would increase the cost of energy production by imposing unrealistic reductions in so-called greenhouse gases — and place a tax on carbon by creating a “cap-and-trade” system.

Priority: H Oppose the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child!
Madeleine Albright, then the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child on February 16, 1995, When it became apparent to many Americans that the convention would pose a serious threat to parental rights, opposition to it mounted and it was never submitted to the Senate for ratification. However, President Obama has already indicated he is a supporter of the convention. Contact your representative and senators in Congress, telling them to oppose ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. (However, caution them not to resort to a constitutional amendment to counter the dangers posed by the CRC, as proposed in H. J. Res. 42 and the Senate S. J. Res. 13.)

Priority: H Oppose the International Criminal Court (ICC)!
President Bill Clinton authorized a U.S. representative to sign the 1998 Rome Statute establishing an International Criminal Court (ICC) on December 31, 2000 —the last day countries could become parties to the treaty without ratifying it. However, Clinton, because of growing opposition to the ICC, knew that it could never secure the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senate, and never submitted it for ratification. On May 6, 2002, the Bush administration “unsigned” the ICC treaty but cited an argument that actually increased support for the UN: The “ICC undermines the role of the United Nations Security Council in maintaining international peace and security.” The ICC treaty may have been on a back burner all these years, but in a speech at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, on August 6, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was "a great regret" that the United States is not a member of the ICC, perhaps signaling its impending resurrection. Warn your senators to vote against ratification of the ICC treaty, should it be brought before the Senate,

Priority: H Oppose H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009!
H.R. 2749
was passed by the House on July 30 by a vote of 283-142. Much like the previously reported H.R. 875, or other legislation that would further federalize our food supply. Use The John Birch Society’s legislation alert system to contact your Senators and urge them to oppose H.R. 2749 and any other legislation that would centralize our food system.

Priority: H Support H.R. 1207 and S. 604, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009!
H.R. 1207/S. 604
, the “Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009,” would provide the first true audit of the Federal Reserve, to be provided to the congressional leadership and to any other member of Congress who asked for a copy. It would be a powerful tool for exposing exactly how the Fed controls our economy and our freedom through its creation of money out of thin air, and could play a decisive role in restoring sound money and phasing out the Federal Reserve! H.R. 1207 now has 282 cosponsors — more than a majority of the members of the House! Yet, it sits in the House Committee on Financial Services. Ask your representative to put pressure on the House leadership to bring H.R. 1207 out of committee for a vote! (S. 604 has 23 cosponsors; ask your senators to sign on.)

Priority M: Oppose H.R. 1409 and S. 560 the Employee Free Choice Act!
The so-called Employee Free Choice Act, a “card check” bill would take away the employer’s right to request a secret-ballot election on unionism. Without the protection of the secret ballot, employees could fall victim to unfair harassment by union organizers. H.R. 1409 has 226 cosponsors in the House and S. 560 has 40 in the Senate, making this legislation a formidable threat. Tell your representative and senators that the EFCA bill should be rejected.

Priority: M Oppose S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act!
S. 787
would redefine the government’s control over water. It would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (enacted in 1972) by striking the term “navigable waters” from the bill and replacing it with “waters of the United States.” It would federalize basically every body of water within the United States and place restrictions on landowners. Urge your senators to oppose this bill.

Priority H: Oppose H.R.1759, the Emission Migration Prevention with Long-term Output Yields Act!
H.R.1759
would “distribute emission allowances under a domestic cap-and-trade program to facilities in certain domestic energy-intensive industrial sectors and subsectors to prevent an increase in greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing facilities located in countries without commensurate greenhouse gas regulation.”  It defines the term “cap-and-trade program': as  “an economy-wide program enacted by Congress that distributes or auctions emission allowances for the control of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.” Urge your representative to reject this legislation, as well as any legislation in either house of Congress that would increase the cost of energy production by imposing unrealistic reductions in so-called greenhouse gases — and place a tax on carbon by creating a “cap-and-trade” system.

Priority: H Oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty!
The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) would be a huge step toward establishing a world government by giving regulatory jurisdiction over everything (e.g. military and commercial) concerning the world’s oceans and seas to a United Nations body, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Contact your senators and firmly tell them to reject the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Priority: H Oppose S.9 to Provide a Blank Check for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens!
S.9
may be called the “Stronger Economy, Stronger Borders Act of 2009,” but that is a misnomer. That it was introduced by Sen. Harry Reid and cosponsored by senators Boxer,  Kennedy, Kerry, and Schumer says much. Its vague provision calling for “reforming and rationalizing avenues for legal immigration” is virtual carte blanche to facilitate the legalization of so-called undocumented aliens, in the manner of the Kennedy-McCain bill in the last Congress.

Priority: H Oppose S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 !
S. 22
is a mammoth piece of legislation loaded with pork-barrel spending and harmful provisions, but the most objectionable features of the bill are those that would lock up millions of acres of our most promising areas for badly needed oil, natural gas, and mineral production. Among other harmful effects, it would take about 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil out of production in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Land Management. S. 22 passed the Senate on January 15 and is now awaiting action in the House of Representatives. Urge your representative to vote against  S. 22 and related bills such as H.R.316, H.R.608, and H.R.926.

Priority: O H.R. 1146, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2009!
H.R. 1146
would end membership of the United States in the United Nations. Urge your representative to support this important strike for U.S. sovereignty. Introduced by Rep. Ron Paul, it has been cosponsor ed by Rep. John Duncan (R.-Tenn.) Since recent polls show that three out of five Americans think the United Nations is doing a “poor job” in trying to solve international problems, there should be many more cosponsors of this bill. Urge your representative to be among them.

Priority O: Support H.R. 450, to specify the source of authority under the Constitution for the enactment of laws!
H.R. 450
states: “Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act.” Practicing what it preaches, H.R. 450 cites Article I, section 8, clause 18, and the power granted to each House of Congress under Article I, section 5, clause 2, of Constitution for its authority. Urge your representative to affirm his oath of office by cosponsoring this measure.

Priority: O Support the Abolition of the Federal Reserve System!
H.R. 833,
the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act, would abolish the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks and repeal the Federal Reserve Act, The Federal Reserve System was created in order to protect the power of the banking cartel and expand its wealth. The inflationary policies of the federal government and the central bank (Fed) are largely responsible for bringing the world to the brink of financial collapse. Please contact your representative and senators and ask them to support passage of H.R. 833, the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act.

Priority: M Oppose H. R. 873, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009!

On February 4, Rep, Diana DeGette (D.-Colo.), introduced H.R.873, “To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research.” Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa) has sponsored S. 487, the Senate version of DeGette’s legislation. Both measures seek to make President Obama’s executive order encouraging  human embryonic stem-cell research more permanent and more difficult for a future president to overturn. Urge your representative and senators to oppose these measures.

Priority O: Oppose H. R. 1666 the Safe Markets Development Act of 2009!
H. R. 1666
would “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to establish an auction and revenue collection mechanism for a carbon market that ensures price stability with environmental integrity.” The legislation states that “a market-based, national emissions cap and trade program for greenhouse gases shall help meet national mitigation goals…” Although cap-and-trade legislation has not yet been introduced , a draft climate and energy bill, the ‘‘American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,’’ containing cap-and-trade provisions has been drafted. H.R. 1666 anticipates the passage of such legislation by preparing to collect tax revenues on cap-and-trade auction sales. Urge your representative to reject this legislation, as well as any legislation in either house of Congress that would increase the cost of energy production by imposing unrealistic reductions in so-called greenhouse gases — and place a tax on carbon by creating a “cap-and-trade” system.

Priority: O Support Sound Money!
Urge your representative and senators to protect all the citizens of this nation from potential, unprecedented losses in the value of take-home pay, retirement income, insurance policies, and investments as a result of the Federal Reserve’s ongoing inflation of our unbacked paper money by introducing (and then passing) in the 111th Congress legislation  such as was introduced in the 100th Congress to repeal our nation’s legal tender laws and to help restore gold and silver money in accordance with the Constitution.

Priority: O Oppose Federal Funding and Control of Education!
Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) wasted no time in introducing S.7 to “expand educational opportunities for all Americans by increasing access to high-quality early childhood education and after school programs, advancing reform in elementary and secondary education,” and more. Such legislation would increase federal involvement in education and  also increase the amount of time federally controlled government educators have access to our children.  S.7 should be opposed.

Priority: O Support S.83 and S.101, Tax Breaks for Homeschoolers!
Homeschoolers will welcome S.83 and S.101 to amend the IRS Code to expand the Coverdell education savings accounts to allow home school education expenses, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.)

Priority: H Oppose H.R.45, to License Firearms!
H.R.45
would “provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms.” Naturally, any federal restriction on firearms should be opposed.

Priority: O Support H.R.17 to Protect the Right to Bear Arms!
H.R.17
would “protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.” Supporters of the 2nd amendment (which should include your representative) should agree and support this measure.

Priority: O  Support H.R. 539, to Limit Federal Courts’ Right to Rule on Abortion!
H. R. 539
, the “We the People Act “introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas) and initially cosponsored by Reps. Walter Jones (R.-N.C.) and Ted Poe (R.-Texas), would limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts, most notably on matters related to religious liberty, sexual orientation, family relations, education, and abortion. This legislation would implement the little-known power of Congress  provided for in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. This bill provides an “express lane” for pro-life people who have worked fruitlessly for years, pinning their hopes on some future Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade. Insist that your representative cosponsor and support it!

Pro-lifers will be glad that the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has not been introduced as we write, but that Rep. Paul C. Broun (R.-Ga.) introduced  H.R. 227 “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.” Furthermore, it already has 54 cosponsors!  Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.) also introduced  S.85 to amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions.

Priority: O  Oppose S.7, to Increase Federal Involvement in Education!
S.7
would “expand educational opportunities for all Americans by increasing access to high-quality early childhood education and after school programs, advancing reform in elementary and secondary education,” and more. Such legislation would increase federal involvement in education and  also increase the amount of time federally controlled government educators have access to our children.  S.7 should be opposed.

Priority: O  Support S.83 and S.101 to Give Tax Breaks to Homeschooling Parents!
Homeschoolers will welcome S.83 and S.101 to amend the IRS Code to expand the Coverdell education savings accounts to allow home school education expenses, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.)

Priority: O  Oppose H.R. 15 to Provide National Health Insurance!
When one looks at the colossal failure of the Social Security program, the idea of creating another federal program to mismanage something as critical as health insurance should scare off anyone. Urge your rep. to reject any such program.

Priority: O  Support H.R. 17 to Protect the Right to Obtain Firearms!
H.R. 17
would protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.” Supporters of the 2nd amendment (which should include your representative) should agree and support this measure.

Priority: O  Oppose H.R. 45 to Provide for Gun Licensing!
H.R. 45
would “provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms.” Naturally, any federal restriction on firearms should be opposed.

Priority: O Oppose H.R.121 to Give Homeland Security a Foot In the Door to Control Local first responders!
H.R. 121
would “authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to make grants to first responders, and for other purposes.” Remember the maxim that what the federal government subsidizes, it controls. We certainly do not want our local police, fire, and EMT forces to be beholden to (and dictated to) by Homeland Security. Such grants should be opposed.

Priority: O  Support Legislation to Restrict and Control Illegal Immigration!
Rep. Elton Gallegly  (R.-Cal.) has introduced several bills to  combat illegal immigration including H.R. 125 to eliminate the exceptions to the prohibition on adjustment of status of aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States; H.R. 126 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to limit citizenship at birth, merely by virtue of birth in the United States, to persons with citizen or legal resident mothers; H.R. 128 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the criminal consequences for certain violations; and H.R. 139 to prohibit a Federal agency from accepting a form of individual identification issued by a foreign government, except a passport that is accepted on the date of enactment. All seem worthy of support.

Priority: M Oppose S. 160 to Give D.C. Votes in Congress!
S.160
, to provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives passed the Senate by 61-37 on February 26. (The inclusion of Utah is basically a bribe to get Republican support. Utah’s representation will change in time with its population, while D.C.’s will remain a safe Democratic seat indefinitely.) It has now been sent to the House.  H.R.157, a similar bill introduced in the House, would treat the District of Columbia as a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states that members of the House shall be chosen by the people of “the several states.” Since the District of Columbia is not a state, it is not entitled to a representative Both bills should be opposed, particularly S. 160, which has already passed the Senate.

Priority: O Oppose H.R. 25 to Substitute a National Sales Tax for the Income Tax!
Don’t be fooled by measures such as H.R.25, which sound good because they would repeal  the income tax, but would establish a national sales tax in its place. While the goal of abolishing the federal income tax and IRS is a worthy one, establishing a national sales tax (such as the VAT tax found in Europe) would just shift the burden and do nothing to restrict the size of government.  Educate your representative to oppose such measures.

Priority: O  Support Overhauling the Internal Revenue Code (until the IRS is abolished)!
Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas) introduced several bills to amend the Intern al Revenue Code, including: H.R. 161 to repeal the 1993 increase in taxes on Social Security benefits; H.R. 162 to repeal the inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits; H.R. 163 to give tax benefits for retired individuals to purchase prescription drugs (and to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to facilitate the importation of prescription drugs and the sale of such drugs through Internet sites); and H.R. 164 to provide greater health care freedom for seniors. Until such time as the income tax can be repealed, these bills would ease the burden imposed by current federal laws.

Priority: O  Support Restoring Integrity to Social Security (until it can be privatized)!
Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas) introduced a pair of  bills to make Social Security sounder until it can be privatized.  H.R. 219 would ensure that surplus Social Security trust funds be invested in marketable interest-bearing obligations of the United States and certificates of deposit in financial institutions insured by the FDIC; H.R. 220 would protect the integrity and confidentiality of Social Security account numbers and also to prohibit the establishment of any Federal uniform national identifying number, and to prohibit Federal agencies from imposing standards for identification of individuals on other agencies or persons. Until such time as Social Security can be privatized, these bills would ease the burden imposed by current federal laws.

Priority O: Oppose S.21, the Prevention First Act!
S. 21
, and its companion House measure, H.R. 463, would appropriate $700,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 (along with such sums “as may be necessary” for each subsequent fiscal year), for “Family Planning Services.” To understand the magnitude of this legislation, consider that it states: “In 2006, 36,200,000 women, more than half of all women of reproductive age, were in need of contraceptive services and supplies to help prevent unintended pregnancy, and nearly half of those were in need of public support for such care.” (Emphasis added.) The bill also encourages so-called emergency contraception, which it defines as  a drug “used after sexual relations” and which “prevents pregnancy, by preventing ovulation, fertilization of an egg, or implantation of an egg in a uterus.” (Emphasis added. Note:  Those who believe that life begins at conception regard the prevention of implantation as an early abortion.)  Amazingly, the bill states that federal funds may not be provided to a hospital under any health-related program, unless the hospital certain requirements, including proving “the woman with medically and factually accurate and unbiased written and oral information about emergency contraception, including information explaining that …emergency contraception does not cause an abortion.” (Emphasis added.) Of course, organizations that perform abortions as well as “family planning,” such as Planned Parenthood, would be eligible for federal funding. Insist that your senators and representative oppose this measure.

Priority O: Oppose H.R.232 to Create a Federal Greenhouse Gas Registry!
H.R.232
to provide for the creation of a Federal greenhouse gas registry, was introduced by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D.-Wis.). Federal funds should not be allocated  to perpetuate global warming fear mongering.

Priority O: Support the First Amendment!

Champions of a true interpretation of the first amendment will welcome Rep. Walter Jones’ (R.-N.C.) introduction of H.R.268 to ensure that every military chaplain has the prerogative to close a prayer outside of a religious service according to the dictates of the chaplain's own conscience (e.g., “in Jesus’ name.”)

Priority: [None] Why We Cannot Support H. J. Res. 41
H. J. Res. 4
1, “proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit the President from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States,” sounds like a very good idea. In fact, the principle behind it is excellent; it is the method that is flawed. Any treaty that fits the definition of the legislation should be rejected by the U.S. Senate, and that is where our political focus should be. It is never a good idea to clutter up our Constitution with amendments to solve problems better addressed by the simpler legislative route.

Action Summary — Priority: Ongoing to High

Contact your representatives in Congress about one or more issues, during the lame duck session and when the 111th Congress is seated in January.



Priority Level: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low; O = Ongoing

From “Capwiz” to “voterVoice”
In February, we switched suppliers of our legislative contact services on our JBS.org website from Capitol Advantage (aka “Capwiz”) to voterVOICE. Since we had used the services of Capwiz for many years, many of you had become very familiar with its features and tools. However, since February, we have been using voterVOICE for providing legislative alerts and a means
for you to contact your representative and senators in Congress. One of the main reasons why we switched to voterVOICE was for its excellent coverage of state legislatures as well as Congress. So now you’ll notice we post legislative alerts for both federal and state legislation.

You can find the new voterVOICE section on JBS.org by going to our JBS.org Freedom Campaign home page at http://JBS.org/freedom and clicking on “Active Advocacy Issues” under the “JBS.org Legislative Action” heading. Or, you can go directly to our voterVOICE legislative alerts at http://www.votervoice.net/Core.aspx?AID=972&APP=GAC&.
We’ll be branding our legislative alert and legislator contact services as “JBS.org Legislative Action,” not voterVOICE,
so you’ll only notice “voterVOICE” showing up on various pages as you use the services.

Priority H: Oppose H.R.1759, the Emission Migration Prevention with Long-term Output Yields Act!
H.R.1759
would “distribute emission allowances under a domestic cap-and-trade program to facilities in certain domestic energy-intensive industrial sectors and subsectors to prevent an increase in greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing facilities located in countries without commensurate greenhouse gas regulation.”  It defines the term “cap-and-trade program': as  “an economy-wide program enacted by Congress that distributes or auctions emission allowances for the control of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.” Urge your representative to reject this legislation, as well as any legislation in either house of Congress that would increase the cost of energy production by imposing unrealistic reductions in so-called greenhouse gases — and place a tax on carbon by creating a “cap-and-trade” system.

Priority: H Oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty!
The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) would be a huge step toward establishing a world government by giving regulatory jurisdiction over everything (e.g. military and commercial) concerning the world’s oceans and seas to a United Nations body, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Contact your senators and firmly tell them to reject the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Priority: H Oppose S.9 to Provide a Blank Check for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens!
S.9 may be called the “Stronger Economy, Stronger Borders Act of 2009,” but that is a misnomer. That it was introduced by Sen. Harry Reid and cosponsored by senators Boxer,  Kennedy, Kerry, and Schumer says much. Its vague provision calling for “reforming and rationalizing avenues for legal immigration” is virtual carte blanche to facilitate the legalization of so-called undocumented aliens, in the manner of the Kennedy-McCain bill in the last Congress.

Priority: H Oppose S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 !
S. 22 is a mammoth piece of legislation loaded with pork-barrel spending and harmful provisions, but the most objectionable features of the bill are those that would lock up millions of acres of our most promising areas for badly needed oil, natural gas, and mineral production. Among other harmful effects, it would take about 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil out of production in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Land Management. S. 22 passed the Senate on January 15 and is now awaiting action in the House of Representatives. Urge your representative to vote against  S. 22 and related bills such as H.R.316, H.R.608, and H.R.926.

Priority: H Oppose H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009!
H.R. 875 would effectively transfer all state control over food regulation to the Food Safety Administration (FSA), a newly established federal bureaucracy to be created within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It would contribute to the eventual abandonment of all independent, family farms as well as all organic farming operations due to overbearing federal regulations arbitrarily determined by FSA in favor of corporate factory farms. It is also a clear violation of the tenth amendment. Urge your representative to oppose this assault on the family farm.

Priority: H Support H.R. 1207 the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009!
H.R. 1207, the “Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009,” would “amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported, and for other purposes." H.R. 1207 would provide the first true audit of the Federal Reserve, to be provided to the congressional leadership and to any other member of Congress who asked for a copy. It would be a powerful tool for exposing exactly how the Fed controls our economy and our freedom through its creation of money out of thin air, and could play a decisive role in restoring sound money and phasing out the Federal Reserve! Urge your representative and senators to support H.R. 1207. (Note: The major advantage of H.R. 1207 over H.R. 833 [below] is that it paves the way for abolition of the Fed — a move most members of Congress probably are not yet ready to support. H.R. 1207 already has 11 cosponsors while H.R. 833 has none. Both were introduced by Rep. Ron Paul [R.-Texas])

Priority: O H.R. 1146, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2009!
H.R. 1146
would end membership of the United States in the United Nations. Urge your representative to support this important strike for U.S. sovereignty. Introduced by Rep. Ron Paul, it has been cosponsor ed by Rep. John Duncan (R.-Tenn.) Since recent polls show that three out of five Americans think the United Nations is doing a “poor job” in trying to solve international problems, there should be many more cosponsors of this bill. Urge your representative to be among them.

Priority O: Oppose H.R. 1409 and S.560 the Employee Free Choice Act!
The so-called Employee Free Choice Act, a “card check” bill would take away the employer’s right to request a secret-ballot election on unionism. Without the protection of the secret ballot, employees could fall victim to unfair harassment by union organizers. Tell your representative and senators that the EFCA bill should be rejected.

Priority O: Support H.R. 450, to specify the source of authority under the Constitution for the enactment of laws!
H.R. 450
states: “Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act.” Practicing what it preaches, H.R. 450 cites Article I, section 8, clause 18, and the power granted to each House of Congress under Article I, section 5, clause 2, of Constitution for its authority. Urge your representative to affirm his oath of office by cosponsoring this measure.

Priority: O Support the Abolition of the Federal Reserve System!
H.R. 833, the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act, would abolish the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks and repeal the Federal Reserve Act, The Federal Reserve System was created in order to protect the power of the banking cartel and expand its wealth. The inflationary policies of the federal government and the central bank (Fed) are largely responsible for bringing the world to the brink of financial collapse. Please contact your representative and senators and ask them to support passage of H.R. 833, the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act.

Priority: M Oppose H. R. 873, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009!
On February 4, Rep, Diana DeGette (D.-Colo.), introduced H.R.873, “To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research.” Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa) has sponsored S. 487, the Senate version of DeGette’s legislation. Both measures seek to make President Obama’s executive order encouraging  human embryonic stem-cell research more permanent and more difficult for a future president to overturn. Urge your representative and senators to oppose these measures.

Priority O: Oppose H. R. 1666 the Safe Markets Development Act of 2009!
H. R. 1666
would “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to establish an auction and revenue collection mechanism for a carbon market that ensures price stability with environmental integrity.” The legislation states that “a market-based, national emissions cap and trade program for greenhouse gases shall help meet national mitigation goals…” Although cap-and-trade legislation has not yet been introduced , a draft climate and energy bill, the ‘‘American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,’’ containing cap-and-trade provisions has been drafted. H.R. 1666 anticipates the passage of such legislation by preparing to collect tax revenues on cap-and-trade auction sales. Urge your representative to reject this legislation, as well as any legislation in either house of Congress that would increase the cost of energy production by imposing unrealistic reductions in so-called greenhouse gases — and place a tax on carbon by creating a “cap-and-trade” system.

Priority O: Oppose H.R. 1409 and S.560 the Employee Free Choice Act!
The so-called Employee Free Choice Act, a “card check” bill would take away the employer’s right to request a secret-ballot election on unionism. Without the protection of the secret ballot, employees could fall victim to unfair harassment by union organizers. Tell your representative and senators that the EFCA bill should be rejected.

Priority: O Support Sound Money!

Urge your representative and senators to protect all the citizens of this nation from potential, unprecedented losses in the value of take-home pay, retirement income, insurance policies, and investments as a result of the Federal Reserve’s ongoing inflation of our unbacked paper money by introducing (and then passing) in the 111th Congress legislation  such as was introduced in the 100th Congress to repeal our nation’s legal tender laws and to help restore gold and silver money in accordance with the Constitution.

Priority: O Oppose Federal Funding and Control of Education!

Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) wasted no time in introducing S.7 to “expand educational opportunities for all Americans by increasing access to high-quality early childhood education and after school programs, advancing reform in elementary and secondary education,” and more. Such legislation would increase federal involvement in education and  also increase the amount of time federally controlled government educators have access to our children.  S.7 should be opposed.

Priority: O Support S.83 and S.101, Tax Breaks for Homeschoolers!
Homeschoolers will welcome S.83 and S.101 to amend the IRS Code to expand the Coverdell education savings accounts to allow home school education expenses, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.)

Priority: H Oppose H.R.45, to License Firearms!
H.R.45 would “provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms.” Naturally, any federal restriction on firearms should be opposed.

Priority: O Support H.R.17 to Protect the Right to Bear Arms!
H.R.17 would “protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.” Supporters of the 2nd amendment (which should include your representative) should agree and support this measure.

Priority: O  Support H.R. 539, to Limit Federal Courts’ Right to Rule on Abortion!
H. R. 539, the “We the People Act “introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas) and initially cosponsored by Reps. Walter Jones (R.-N.C.) and Ted Poe (R.-Texas), would limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts, most notably on matters related to religious liberty, sexual orientation, family relations, education, and abortion. This legislation would implement the little-known power of Congress  provided for in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. This bill provides an “express lane” for pro-life people who have worked fruitlessly for years, pinning their hopes on some future Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade. Insist that your representative cosponsor and support it!

Pro-lifers will be glad that the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has not been introduced as we write, but that Rep. Paul C. Broun (R.-Ga.) introduced  H.R. 227 “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.” Furthermore, it already has 54 cosponsors!  Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.) also introduced  S.85 to amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions.

Priority: O  Oppose S.7, to Increase Federal Involvement in Education!
S.7 would “expand educational opportunities for all Americans by increasing access to high-quality early childhood education and after school programs, advancing reform in elementary and secondary education,” and more. Such legislation would increase federal involvement in education and  also increase the amount of time federally controlled government educators have access to our children.  S.7 should be opposed.

Priority: O  Support S.83 and S.101 to Give Tax Breaks to Homeschooling Parents!
Homeschoolers will welcome S.83 and S.101 to amend the IRS Code to expand the Coverdell education savings accounts to allow home school education expenses, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.)

Priority: O  Oppose H.R. 15 to Provide National Health Insurance!

When one looks at the colossal failure of the Social Security program, the idea of creating another federal program to mismanage something as critical as health insurance should scare off anyone. Urge your rep. to reject any such program.

Priority: O  Support H.R. 17 to Protect the Right to Obtain Firearms!
H.R. 17 would protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.” Supporters of the 2nd amendment (which should include your representative) should agree and support this measure.

Priority: O  Oppose H.R. 45 to Provide for Gun Licensing!
H.R. 45 would “provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms.” Naturally, any federal restriction on firearms should be opposed.

Priority: O Oppose H.R.121 to Give Homeland Security a Foot In the Door to Control Local first responders!
H.R. 121 would “authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to make grants to first responders, and for other purposes.” Remember the maxim that what the federal government subsidizes, it controls. We certainly do not want our local police, fire, and EMT forces to be beholden to (and dictated to) by Homeland Security. Such grants should be opposed.

Priority: O  Support Legislation to Restrict and Control Illegal Immigration!
Rep. Elton Gallegly  (R.-Cal.) has introduced several bills to  combat illegal immigration including H.R. 125 to eliminate the exceptions to the prohibition on adjustment of status of aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States; H.R. 126 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to limit citizenship at birth, merely by virtue of birth in the United States, to persons with citizen or legal resident mothers; H.R. 128 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the criminal consequences for certain violations; and H.R. 139 to prohibit a Federal agency from accepting a form of individual identification issued by a foreign government, except a passport that is accepted on the date of enactment. All seem worthy of support.

Priority: M Oppose S. 160 to Give D.C. Votes in Congress!
S.160,
to provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives passed the Senate by 61-37 on February 26. (The inclusion of Utah is basically a bribe to get Republican support. Utah’s representation will change in time with its population, while D.C.’s will remain a safe Democratic seat indefinitely.) It has now been sent to the House.  H.R.157, a similar bill introduced in the House, would treat the District of Columbia as a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives. Article I, Section  2 of the Constitution states that members of the House shall be chosen by the people of “the several states.” Since the District of Columbia is not a state, it is not entitled to a representative Both bills should be opposed, particularly S. 160, which has already passed the Senate.

Priority: O Oppose H.R. 25 to Substitute a National Sales Tax for the Income Tax!
Don’t be fooled by measures such as H.R.25, which sound good because they would repeal  the income tax, but would establish a national sales tax in its place. While the goal of abolishing the federal income tax and IRS is a worthy one, establishing a national sales tax (such as the VAT tax found in Europe) would just shift the burden and do nothing to restrict the size of government.  Educate your representative to oppose such measures.

Priority: O  Support Overhauling the Internal Revenue Code (until the IRS is abolished)!

Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas) introduced several bills to amend the Intern al Revenue Code, including: H.R. 161 to repeal the 1993 increase in taxes on Social Security benefits; H.R. 162 to repeal the inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits; H.R. 163 to give tax benefits for retired individuals to purchase prescription drugs (and to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to facilitate the importation of prescription drugs and the sale of such drugs through Internet sites); and H.R. 164 to provide greater health care freedom for seniors. Until such time as the income tax can be repealed, these bills would ease the burden imposed by current federal laws.

Priority: O  Support Restoring Integrity to Social Security (until it can be privatized)!
Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas) introduced a pair of  bills to make Social Security sounder until it can be privatized.  H.R. 219 would ensure that surplus Social Security trust funds be invested in marketable interest-bearing obligations of the United States and certificates of deposit in financial institutions insured by the FDIC; H.R. 220 would protect the integrity and confidentiality of Social Security account numbers and also to prohibit the establishment of any Federal uniform national identifying number, and to prohibit Federal agencies from imposing standards for identification of individuals on other agencies or persons. Until such time as Social Security can be privatized, these bills would ease the burden imposed by current federal laws.

Priority O: Oppose S.21, the Prevention First Act!
S. 21, and its companion House measure, H.R. 463, would appropriate $700,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 (along with such sums “as may be necessary” for each subsequent fiscal year), for “Family Planning Services.” To understand the magnitude of this legislation, consider that it states: “In 2006, 36,200,000 women, more than half of all women of reproductive age, were in need of contraceptive services and supplies to help prevent unintended pregnancy, and nearly half of those were in need of public support for such care.” (Emphasis added.) The bill also encourages so-called emergency contraception, which it defines as  a drug “used after sexual relations” and which “prevents pregnancy, by preventing ovulation, fertilization of an egg, or implantation of an egg in a uterus.” (Emphasis added. Note:  Those who believe that life begins at conception regard the prevention of implantation as an early abortion.)  Amazingly, the bill states that federal funds may not be provided to a hospital under any health-related program, unless the hospital certain requirements, including proving “the woman with medically and factually accurate and unbiased written and oral information about emergency contraception, including information explaining that …emergency contraception does not cause an abortion.” (Emphasis added.) Of course, organizations that perform abortions as well as “family planning,” such as Planned Parenthood, would be eligible for federal funding. Insist that your senators and representative oppose this measure.

Priority O: Oppose H.R.232 to Create a Federal Greenhouse Gas Registry!
H.R.232 to provide for the creation of a Federal greenhouse gas registry, was introduced by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D.-Wis.). Federal funds should not be allocated  to perpetuate global warming fear mongering.

Priority O: Support the First Amendment!
Champions of a true interpretation of the first amendment will welcome Rep. Walter Jones’ (R.-N.C.) introduction of H.R.268 to ensure that every military chaplain has the prerogative to close a prayer outside of a religious service according to the dictates of the chaplain's own conscience (e.g., “in Jesus’ name.”)

Priority: [None] Why We Cannot Support H. J. Res. 41
H. J. Res. 41
, “proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit the President from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States,” sounds like a very good idea. In fact, the principle behind it is excellent; it is the method that is flawed. Any treaty that fits the definition of the legislation should be rejected by the U.S. Senate, and that is where our political focus should be. It is never a good idea to clutter up our Constitution with amendments to solve problems better addressed by the simpler legislative route.

Action Summary — Priority: Ongoing to High

Contact your representatives in Congress about one or more issues, during the lame duck session and when the 111th Congress is seated in January.



 

Priority Level: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low; O = Ongoing

Please visit JBS.org and read the recommendations found under "Action" for more current news. Be sure also to visit the JBS Legislative Action Center. Activists who want to engage their representatives should also make our Letters From Congress page a regular stop.  You can also search for any bill in the 111th Congress.

The 111th Congress
As relevant legislation is introduced in the new Congress, we will step up our emphasis on our ongoing campaigns, such as Block the North American Union (NAU), Repeal NAFTA, and Stop Illegal Immigration and Amnesty. In the meantime, let's see what Congress is up to. The new Congress was sworn in on January 6, and two days later we found that 287 bills had been introduced in the House and 156 in the Senate! Here's an early-bird summary of some of this legislation (good and bad) of interest to constitutionalists:

Update:  S. 181  / H.R. 12 (the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act), was passed by the House on January 27 by a vote of 250-177. A White House spokesman said President Obama is scheduled to sign the bill into law on January 29.

Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wasted no time in introducing S. 7 to "expand educational opportunities for all Americans by increasing access to high-quality early childhood education and after school programs, advancing reform in elementary and secondary education," and more. Such legislation would increase federal involvement in education and also increase the amount of time federally controlled government educators have access to our children. S. 7 should be opposed.

Homeschoolers will welcome S. 83 and S. 101 to amend the IRS Code to expand the Coverdell education savings accounts to allow home school education expenses, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).

H.R. 15 would provide a program of national health insurance. When one looks at the colossal failure of the Social Security program, the idea of creating another federal program to mismanage something as critical as health insurance should scare off anyone. Urge your rep. to reject any such program.

H.R. 17 would "protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right." Supporters of the Second Amendment (which should include your representative) should agree and support this measure.

H.R. 45, in contrast, would "provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms." Naturally, any federal restriction on firearms should be opposed.

Don't be fooled by measures such as H.R. 25: "To promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States." While the goal of abolishing the federal income tax and IRS is a worthy one, establishing a national sales tax (such as the VAT tax found in Europe) would just shift the burden and do nothing to restrict the size of government.  Educate your representative to oppose such measures.

H.R. 39 would "preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans." Gov. Sarah Palin and her fellow Alaskans seem capable of taking care of Alaska's resources without interference from Washington. Such federal intervention should be opposed.

H.R. 121 would "authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to make grants to first responders, and for other purposes." Remember the maxim that what the federal government subsidizes, it controls. We certainly do not want our local police, fire, and EMT forces to be beholden to (and dictated to) by Homeland Security. Such grants should be opposed.

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) has introduced several bills to combat illegal immigration including H.R. 125 to eliminate the exceptions to the prohibition on adjustment of status of aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States; H.R. 126 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to limit citizenship at birth, merely by virtue of birth in the United States, to persons with citizen or legal resident mothers; H.R. 128 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the criminal consequences for certain violations; and H.R. 139 to prohibit a Federal agency from accepting a form of individual identification issued by a foreign government, except a passport that is accepted on the date of enactment. All seem worthy of support.

H.R. 157 would treat the District of Columbia as a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives. Article I, Section  2 of the Constitution states that members of the House shall be chosen by the people of "the several states." Since the District of Columbia is not a state, it is not entitled to a representative. A similar bill introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.),  S. 160, would provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the state of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives. The inclusion of Utah is basically a bribe to get Republican support. Utah's representation will change in time with its population, while D.C.'s will remain a safe Democratic seat indefinitely. Both bills should be opposed.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced several bills to amend the Internal Revenue Code, including: H.R. 161 to repeal the 1993 increase in taxes on Social Security benefits; H.R. 162 to repeal the inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits; H.R. 163 to give tax benefits for retired individuals to purchase prescription drugs (and to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to facilitate the importation of prescription drugs and the sale of such drugs through Internet sites); and H.R. 164 to provide greater health care freedom for seniors. He also introduced H.R. 219 to ensure that surplus Social Security trust funds be invested in marketable interest-bearing obligations of the United States and certificates of deposit in financial institutions insured by the FDIC; H.R. 220 to protect the integrity and confidentiality of Social Security account numbers and also to prohibit the establishment of any federal uniform national identifying number, and to prohibit federal agencies from imposing standards for identification of individuals on other agencies or persons. Until such time as the income tax can be repealed and Social Security privatized, these bills would ease the burden imposed by current federal laws.

Pro-lifers will be glad that the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has not been introduced as we write, but that Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) introduced  H.R. 227 "To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization." Furthermore, it already has 47 cosponsors!  Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) also introduced  S. 85 to amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) introduced H.R. 232 to provide for the creation of a federal greenhouse gas registry. Federal funds should not be allocated to perpetuate global-warming fear mongering.

Champions of a true interpretation of the First Amendment will welcome Rep. Walter Jones' (R-N.C.) introduction of H.R. 268 to ensure that every military chaplain has the prerogative to close a prayer outside of a religious service according to the dictates of the chaplain's own conscience (e.g., "in Jesus' name").

Action Summary

Priority: Ongoing to High



Contact your representatives in Congress about one or more issues.

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