Happy lunch time.
I will have additional thoughts later this afternoon on an amendment I have with the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, but in the meantime, I wanted to download just a touch from the budget hearing I just stepped out of with the new head of the Congressional Budget Office, Director Keith Hall.
For those of you who watch C-SPAN, you may have noticed Senator Rand Paul speaking on the Senate floor for over ten hours yesterday about the USA FREEDOM ACT and how it violates our 4th Amen
Today the House passed H.R. 2353, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015 by a vote of 387 to 35, which authorizes a short-term extension of federal highway funding through July 31st of this year. There is no new spending associated with this legislation since the Highway Trust Fund that pays for these spending projects will not run dry until the end of July.
Tonight’s votes were not controversial, so can I instead let you know about a small but meaningful bill I signed onto at the request of Darrell Issa of California?
A little known part of the way Washington debate is set is tied to what is called the Rules committee. The rule is the mechanism by which the majority party controls debate on the House floor and so members of Congress in most instances testify before the committee first for the ability to later speak on the House floor.
Last week a federal appeals court declared that the NSA’s bulk data collection on American citizens over the past 14 years was illegal. So why is Congress considering a bill that would legalize a program already deemed illegal? Unfortunately, that is what the USA FREEDOM Act does, and I believe codifies a program that violates the Constitution.
Mr. Geoffrey L. Wikel:
I would like to support this bill. I believe in energy independence, as do the people I represent at home, and accordingly am supportive of opening up these offshore areas– but I do not think this should occur without the concurrence and input of coastal states that might be affected were something to go wrong.