There are few issues out there that generate as much political energy as guns do. On the one hand, I would argue the Second Amendment is the teeth behind every other right promised to us in the Bill of Rights. It’s something that I and many others feel strongly about when we talk about freedom and its sustainability.
I do hope that yours was a good one. Thanksgiving really is my favorite holiday...ours is a frenetic one with lots of outdoors, hunting, and more down at the farm. In whatever your tradition might be, I do hope that you were with family, friends, and loved ones….
This past week, the House passed Resolution 599, which expresses the need for a political solution in Yemen consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 or as otherwise agreed to by the parties. In short form, it expresses the sense of Congress in regards to our strategy in Yemen. The measure passed, but I was one of 30 who voted against the bill, and here’s why:
A few moments ago, the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It passed by a vote of 227 to 205, and with mixed feelings, I voted yes. In some measure, I did so as a vote to continue the process because many Republicans from Northeastern states want to keep the tax exemptions currently favorable to high tax states - and for the process to continue, my vote was needed.
Today, the House voted on the finalized version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and it passed 356 to 70. I voted yes.
This bill was the conference report, which is the negotiated version between the House and Senate bills.
Milton Friedman once observed that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there would be a shortage of sand.
His simple point was that by its very nature, our government was not designed for efficiency.
Today, the House voted in favor of a Senate amendment to H.Con.Res. 71, the House Budget Resolution for 2018. The amendment was actually a whole budget in itself, which replaced the original House-passed text entirely. In other words, the vote was really on the Senate’s budget.
Bad policy makes things worse. Once vibrant economies - like Venezuela’s - have been crushed under the weight of bad policy choices, and it’s a reminder to everyone of us how much government really does matter.
It’s kind of like oxygen. When you don’t need it, you don’t think about it...but try a few moments without it, and you’re gasping fast.
If I may return to a vote from last week...and a vote I took to reauthorize programs of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that help federal, state, and local law enforcement better coordinate and enhance their efforts to combat the online exploitation of children. Exploitation includes crimes like sex trafficking and child pornography.