DHS to House, Minus Immigration

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made his filth and final attempt this week to invoke cloture on HR 240 the bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that contained other content to derail President Obama’s proposed immigration plan.

McConnell removed the immigration language from the DHS bill, which passed the cloture vote 98 to 2, and promises a bill revising the immigration language that would still thwart the President’s immigration actions but would not impact DREAMERS, those illegals brought here as children and are now socially and economically integrated into the system.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson warns against letting DHS funding lapse.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson warns against letting DHS funding lapse.

McConnell could be seen as having taken the matter of HR 240 as far as it would go and then shifted the onus to the House where a significant number of Members are dug in on bill content blocking the Presidents immigration initiative. The House recently approved a rule, H.Res. 121, governing three bills of which HR 240, the DHS funding bill is one. Under the rule the House would take the bill up under suspension of the rules (requiring an up or down vote) by March 1st or earlier.

ABC quoted House Speaker John Boehner on the matter reporting that,  “Boehner’s office issued a statement that neither accepted nor rejected the proposal.” Look for updates here when the House complete the bill.

HR 240 bill report

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House Armed Services Committee recently held hearings regarding the President’s request for ‘Authority to Use Military Force’ against ISIS / ISIL. Here is a report on the hearings from John Grady of the US Naval Institute.

House Panel Raises Questions on U.S. Military Force Authorization to Fight ISIS

ISIS Fighters. Photo: Source unknown

ISIS Fighters. Photo: Source unknown

By: John Grady

February 13, 2015 4:18 PM

John Grady, USNI

John Grady, USNI

President Obama’s request for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force to defeat the Islamic State, and sharp questioning over the administration’s national security strategy dominated the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) hearing Friday on countering Islamic extremism.

But how to stop the spread of a fundamentalist ideology in the Middle East and across the wider Muslim world beyond using military force remained at issue.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the request for a congressional authorization, with its sunset timetable and limits on military operations, would not ultimately defeat the Islamic State or al Qaeda, two predominantly Sunni extremist groups.

“Give the commanders the authority to conduct the mission or replace them”—rather than have them turn back to the defense or national security bureaucracy on how to proceed, he said. He added that this was lacking from the current request before Congress to authorize military force.

“Don’t discount any option,” Flynn said. His warning to the panel was that the United States will “have to play a very smart card game” to defeat terrorists in the long run. More….

 

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Education Bills

Common Core Challenged

Rep John Kline (R-MN-2). Bill Sponsor

Rep John Kline (R-MN-2). Bill Sponsor

 The bill states it intends to support State and local accountability for public education, protect State and local authority, inform parents of the performance of their children’s schools, and for other purposes and in the process takes aim at Common Core State educational standards asserting “that through some procedural maneuvering the Federal Government, which has no authority to fund “the development, pilot testing, field testing, implementation, administration, or distribution of any federally sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject,”  and has “coerced States into accepting Common Core State Standards”

The five-year bill is funded at 2015 levels through 2020.

HR 5 bill report

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Ed Research Resources Expanded

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Bill Sponosor

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Bill Sponosor

The bill aims to “…strengthen the Federal education research system to make research and evaluations more timely and relevant to State and local needs in order to increase student achievement.” To achieve that goal the bill requires the establishment of several ‘institutes’, ‘Boards, ‘centers’. Scheduled. Not yet debated.

S 227 bill report and vote

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Take a trip back to 2009 as we search our archives for defining legislation and global events of that year. You may also look back through each year to 2004 as we look back over the ten years we have been writing about Congress.

 

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President Vetoes Senate XL Pipeline Bill

Stating, “Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest”

The bill, S.1 followed House-passed legislation assuming all permits and authorities have been accomplished and authorizing the construction of the project intended to move Canadian Sand oil and shale oil extracted in the US West to refineries on the US Gulf Coast.

S.1 bill report and vote

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Better Water

Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH-5th) Bill Sponsor

Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH-5th) Bill Sponsor

The bill would provide for the assessment and management of the risk of cyanotoxins in drinking water through the development of a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water provided by public water systems.

HR 212 bill report

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A Streamlined FCC

Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA-1st) Bill Sponsor

Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA-1st) Bill Sponsor

HR 734 would consolidate the reporting obligations of the Federal Communications Commission in order to improve congressional oversight and reduce reporting burdens through a  communications marketplace report.

HR 734 bill report

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Defining 529′s

The bill defines qualified higher education expenses and explains who is eligible for them.

HR 529 bill report

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 FCC Decides on Net Neutrality. Planned Legislation Tabled

Net Neutrality, a concept of keeping the Internet free and unobstructed, was decided on by the Federal Communications Commission that agreed to preserve the status quo and to bring telecommunications under Title II regulating them as a utility such as is done with telephone companies. An estimated 4 million individuals and a large gaggle of Internet Service Providers and those in related businesses contacted the FCC in support of Net Neutrality as the large telecoms, Comcast and Time Warner opposed the new status.
At issue was the idea that without Net Neutrality the telecoms could slow down or speed up traffic through its infrastructure and charge more for speeding up the connection. Senator John Thune (R-ND) introduced a bill that appeared to be all in favor of Net Neutrality but would have essentially killed the FCC position by prohibiting the FCC from using Section 708 of the Telecommunications Act, the section that gives it the authority to make such decisions. Various news sources report that Thune and his supporters have decided not to bring the bill to the floor for debate.#

 

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