This Week in Congress
This Week In Congress: News for ERA! Republicans Scold Trump on War Powers. Investment Takeaway: Renewable Packaging. More!
February 26, 2020 • by DailyClout
This Week In Congress: Diversity on Boards, Money for Vets, Foster Teens, End of Impeachment Hearings
December 6, 2019 • by DailyClout
The Week In Congress: H Res 660 the “Impeachment Resolution” Changes the Rules of Impeachment in a Partisan Way, and Hides Information from the Public
November 14, 2019 • by DailyClout
H Res 660 the “Impeachment Resolution” changes the rules of impeachment in a partisan way, and hides information from the public. It was passed recently and raises major red flags.
We are not partisan, but there is no way to escape the conclusion that this Resolution is written to give vast powers to the Chair of the Committee that is overseeing the impeachment hearings. It takes information away from the people, and it is written in an obvious way to disadvantage the outcome of impeachment hearings for the President whose name appears specifically in the description of its intention: Pres. Donald Trump.
The Chair has broad powers to ask for witnesses and to demand memos, records, books, notes, phone conversation transcriptions and so on. But if the ranking minority member of the same committee wants to call a witness, or ask for books, memos, etc. — he or she has to submit a detailed written request IN ADVANCE in order to do so.
But how can you know what a witness will say in advance of examining them? These bulky and discriminatory rules also make it difficult for the ranking minority member to react to negative testimony that may emerge on a given day, from a witness that the Chair has summoned.
The Chair, though, is given no such burdens; so this Resolution really skews the results of what Americans will hear in impeachment hearings, and which witnesses will be called, and what evidence will be shown – in favor of the political party of the Chair of the Committee.
There’s been a lot of debate about the purported secrecy of impeachment hearings. This bill CLEARLY states that an electronic transcript has to be made of the hearings and that that must be made public. That section was, no doubt, inserted in response to complaints about the secrecy of hearings previously.
However, these seemingly transparent transcripts may be redacted for classified information — which many would consider reasonable; but additionally, they may be redacted for “sensitive” material.
That option to redact “sensitive” material clearly gives the party of the Chair of the committee, powers to keep anything embarrassing to one party, but it does not give the two parties powers equally.
This permission to redact “sensitive” material is also a stunning violation of the First Amendment and a new benchmark for the US Legislative branch in demanding powers to keep secrets from the American people even though records created by the Legislative Branch are all supposed to be public, if they are not classified. Whatever party is in power after this impeachment hearing process, the American Legislature will have grave new powers over future executives, and new powers over the American people themselves.
Lastly, this Resolution brings the Judiciary Committee into the structure of the hearings — presuming in advance that the issue will move to the Judiciary Committee, a very serious situation for the President. In an open and fair impeachment hearing process, you would not construct the rules for the Judiciary Committee at the same time that you create rules for the initial hearings themselves.
The final point is how alarming it is that this Resolution, with its biased set of rules, exists at all. As those of you who follow DailyClout know, we already did a video on the process of impeachment. The Founders already left us all the tools and rules we need to impeach Presidents and other elected officials.
The fact that NEW RULES have now been created, rules that allow Congress to HIDE information from the American people at its own subjective whim – is as disturbing as a possible Resolution might be that changes the rules of how Presidents are elected or how bills become laws in our system.
We at DailyClout.io are not partisan: but we must note that this is the second Resolution that is a huge land grab for power, that changes the rules of democracy in a new and serious way and that gives vast new powers to members of Committees, that the Democrats have passed.
A Resolution is simply supposed to express the sentiment of Congress — not to completely transform some aspect of how our democracy functions.
The last Resolution to have a similar structure of vastly empowering committee, while bypassing the usual rules of our system, was the Green New Deal.
The Week In Congress: Is Gov’t Getting in Bed with Facebook?
November 2, 2019 • by DailyClout
A number of small business bills, a law against videos about crushing animals (for real)—but also, alarmingly, a bill to get foreign influence out of social media ads (yay) but one that sneaks also in new ways for government to manage speech online and to make sure that only established candidates or leaders get heard from. Was the face-off between AOC and Zuckerberg theatre?
The Week In Congress: Congress “Suspended the Rules” Again
October 19, 2019 • by DailyClout
Bills to help Hong Kong—great bills, some of them, supportive of the protesters and of human rights; but slated to be passed without voting or debate. The “suspension of the rules” loophole is the biggest under-reported story in America right now, we believe here at DailyClout. This loophole allows bills to be passed the way they are in an oligarchy.
And a bill that is a real eyebrow-raiser—to force corporations to disclose how many of their workers are immigrants and how many are native-born; how many are in the US, how many are overseas. This bill will definitely chill the hiring of immigrants, documented or not. As one commentator noted—it’s a way to build a wall without building a physical wall. That’s not a partisan observation—some will like this focus on “American first” workers, some won’t; but it does let this administration appeal to the same group that elected this President to act on immigration.
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Another stunning week in democracyland—or, when did we say it was okay not to debate or vote on our bills?
The Week In Congress: Red Flags and Background Checks, Keeping Troops In Afghanistan, and the Budget
September 1, 2019 • by DailyClout
First up we cover bipartisan support for red-flag laws, which allow judges to remove guns from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. Then, we discuss partisan tension around expanded background check bill HB-8—pressures are high from democrats to pass the bill in the senate, but pressure from the White House not to pass the bill may be higher.
Next, we talk about why Senator Lindsey Graham wants to keep troops in Afghanistan while President Trump is eager to get them out.
Lastly, we cover rescission bills and how they can undermine Congress’s most fundamental constitutional power: the power of the purse.
The Week In Congress: Dreamers, Declaring War, and Reuniting Korean-American Families
June 28, 2019 • by DailyClout
Published June 4, 2019
Here’s a video recap of the happenings in Congress last week (May 27-31, 2019).
First up, two bills, The American Promise Act of 2019 and The Dream Act of 2019 introduced by Rep. Velasquez (D-NY) and Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-CA) respectively, were designed to carve a path to citizenship for dreamers and those with temporary protected status. Below, we analyze these two new bills and some changes they make to previous versions.
Next, we break down H.Res.411, which clears up some ambiguities in the Declare War Clause and the War Powers Resolution, making violations more concrete and therefore, actionable. These violations are considered “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and are IMPEACHABLE offenses.
Lastly, H.Res.410 offers some good news, where the U.S. and North Korea are called upon to set aside their differences to reunite Korean-American families.
Thanks for tuning in and have a wonderful rest of your week,
The DailyClout Team‘
H.R.2821 – American Promise Act of 2019 Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7] (Introduced 05/17/2019)
H.R.2820 – Dream Act of 2019 Rep. Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA-40] (Introduced 05/17/2019)
H.Res.411 – Defining Presidential wars not declared by Congress under…[the] Declare War Clause as impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors”… and defining the meanings of war and cobelligerency for purposes of the Declare War Clause and Impeachment provisions. Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2] (Introduced 05/30/2019)
H.Res.410 – Encouraging reunions of divided Korean-American families. Rep. Bass, Karen [D-CA-37] (Introduced 05/30/2019)
This Week in Congress
The Week In Congress: May 20-24, 2019
May 28, 2019 • by DailyClout
First up, Congress introduced 9 bills designed to support our vets in suicide prevention, better compensation for vets with disabilities, and make the transition home smoother. Here are all nine bills:
- H.R. 2359 – Whole Veteran Act (Rep. Lamb – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 1947 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to exempt transfers of funds from Federal agencies to the Department of Veterans Affairs for nonprofit corporations established under subchapter IV of chapter 73 of such title from certain provisions of the Economy Act, as amended (Rep. Roe – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 1812 – Vet Center Eligibility Expansion Act
- H.R. 2326 – Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer William “Bill” Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act of 2019 (Rep. Levin (CA) – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 2333 – Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act (Rep. Brindisi – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 2340 – FIGHT Veteran Suicide Act (Rep. Rose (NY) – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 1200 – Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-living Adjustment Act of 2019 (Rep. Luria – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 2372 – Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act (Rep. Underwood – Veterans’ Affairs)
- H.R. 2045 – Veterans’ Education, Transition, and Opportunity Prioritization Plan Act of 2019 (Rep. Wenstrup – Veterans’ Affairs)
Next, new bill HR 3027 addresses the failure of public service student loan forgiveness programs. We share some of our 2020 candidates proposals too.
Lastly, Congress modified the tax code, making minor changes to your savings accounts and retirement savings plans. Watch our recap of Congress’s actions to see how!
Did You Know Pharmacy Gag Clauses Hide Drug Prices? | This Week in Congress
September 30, 2018 • by DailyClout
In 2016, Americans spent nearly $330 billion on retail prescription drugs. $45 billion of those expenses were out of pocket. A bipartisan group of Senators led by Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have introduced two bills to make sure that patients actually have the opportunity to choose the lowest prices for their prescription drugs.
The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know the Lowest Price Act would keep health insurance companies and pharmacies from using what are called “Pharmacy Gag Clauses.” Iziah breaks down Pharmacy Gag Clauses in This Week in Congress.
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