THE RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN
ADVANCING THE CONSERVATIVE CAUSE
Vol. 3 – No. 1, March 2019
MARK YOUR CALENDAR – REAGAN DAY DINNER – APRIL 13, 2019
The Reagan Day Dinner for 2019 will be held at the Rhea County High School Gymnasium. Tennessee Speaker of the House, Glen Casada, will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are on sale for $50 each or $275 for a table of six.
RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Bitsy Gryder – Chairman Gary Drinkard – Vice Chairman
Laura Travis – Secretary Larry Pendergrass – Treasurer
Linda Pendergrass – Vice Treasurer
The March 2019 meeting of the Rhea County Republican Party will be held on March 14th, at the Sheriff’s Training Center, 711 Eagle Drive, Evensville, TN. We look forward to seeing you there! (Bring a friend.)
MINUTES FROM THE JANUARY MEETING
Chairman Keith Flatness called the January 3, 2019 meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Marvin Keener led the invocation and Joe Gryder led the pledge to our flag. Cindy Shipley was introduced as a guest.
The Secretary’s report was read by Donna Taylor. Joe Gryder moved to accept the report as read, second by Bitsy Gryder. The motion carried.
Laura Travis reported on the Reagan Day Dinner, coming up in April.
The Treasurer’s report was given by Larry Pendergrass.
The PAC report was given by Jim Murphy; there was no activity during the previous month.
A letter was received from Missy Blevins, thanking us for all we did to help her during her campaign for Judge.
Kris Bancroft reported a call from Liz Holloway, who expressed her regrets for not being able to attend this month’s meeting.
Laura Travis reported that: Glen Casada, State Chairman of the Republican Party, has endorsed closed primaries; the City of Dayton has applied for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield “Healthy Place” grant to be used at Pendergrass Park, and; a proposal was presented to the State of Tennessee, concerning repairs for the Rhea County Court House.
LEGISLATIVE REPORT –
Kris Bancroft reported on HB 1457 Tax Relief Act of 2018, HR 2 Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, and other legislation.
OLD BUSINESS –
The Reagan Day Dinner has been moved to April 13th. Joe Gryder is working to rearrange things that were already planned. Laura Travis will be in charge of ticket sales.
NEW BUSINESS –
A Property Reappraisal slide presentation was given by Debbie Byrd, Rhea County Property Assessor.
Joe Gryder moved that the February 12 meeting be set for the Rhea County Republican Party reorganization meeting should begin at 6:00 PM. Marvin Keener seconded, and the motion carried. A discussion was held to clarify understanding of all by-laws requirements relative to a reorganization meeting and tasks were delegated to various members.
Keith Flatness appointed Laura Travis to serve as Chairman of the Contest & Credentials Committee. Laura appointed the following members to the Committee: Gary Drinkard (Wolf Creek), Judy Bower (Spring City), Laura Travis (Garrison), Jim Murphy (Evensville), and Joe Gryder (Walden Ridge). Linda Pendergrass and Donna Taylor were appointed to serve as Attendants. A letter will be sent to the State Republican Party, announcing the date and time of the reorganization meeting. Tom Taylor and Larry Pendergrass were assigned to collect and count the ballots.
Marvin Keener moved (seconded by Bitsy Gryder), to pay $75 to the Rhea County Election Commission for a list of qualified Republican voters. The motion carried.
OPEN DISCUSSION –
Everyone enjoyed Keith’s “Joke of the Month” and the meeting was adjourned.
Donna Taylor, Secretary
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce you must obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you from them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded, and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. – Ayn Rand
BOOK OF THE MONTH
“The Road to Serfdom,” by Friedrich Hayek, is not a lengthy book, and it is written in a style that is easy to follow, but it fully informs the reader of the dangers of a large centralized government. Hayek illustrates how large and powerful governments eventually evolve into fascism or socialism. In such governments, individual rights and liberties are eroded to the point where the citizens become the servants of the government instead of the other way around. Although Hayek wrote this book back in the early 1940s, his observations at that time bear an uncanny resemblance to what you and I are witnessing in the United States today! Reading this short book illustrates to the reader the warning signs needed to be informed and prepares the reader to inform others. Your children will thank you for reading “The Road to Serfdom” and sharing what you learn with them.
I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens. – Donald John Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.
COMMENTS FROM OUR REPRESENTATIVES
Jay Dean Reedy, State Representative, (R-District 74).
Statewide Unemployment Rate Remains at 3.6 percent for Second Consecutive Month.
“New data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development shows Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rates remain near record low levels. The seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for December 2018 was 3.6 percent, which mirrored the rate from November.
“Since 2011, House Republicans have supported a business-friendly environment that has led to the creation of more than 400,000 new private sector jobs. Additionally, Tennessee’s median household income is growing at the second fastest rate in the entire southeast.
“Republican leaders will continue to focus on backing commonsense initiatives and eliminating burdensome regulations that hinder job growth. This will guarantee our state remains open for business.
Scott DesJarlais, Congressman, (R-TN, District 4), offered the following observation from President Trump’s SOTU address:
“More than 90% of the media coverage of President Trump is negative, despite our successful work to rejuvenate the economy, which has produced fantastic job reports recently. The State of the Union Address was an opportunity for him to address the American people directly, although millions, especially in Tennessee, are experiencing for themselves the power of conservative policies placing middle-class families and small businesses first. Lower taxes, lighter regulation, and energy independence have helped to create a surging manufacturing sector, rising wages, and economic growth, which the prior Administration claimed would never return.
“This one thing is also returning the U.S. military to its dominant status, necessary to defend the United States against foreign adversaries, including Mexican cartels. Along with Iran, Russia, and China, our weak border, permitting drug and human smuggling, is one of the primary national security threats of our time. Like President Trump, I am committed to solving it.”
Dr. Mark Green, Congressman, (R-TN, District 7) offered the following:
“House Resolution 1 should really be called the ‘Fill the Swamp Act.’ This crooked piece of legislation would mandate a colossal takeover of the state election process to empower big government liberals and corporate interests. So, of course, Democrats are trying to force it through.
“It seems every year that passes more and more power is shifted away from the people and into the hands of a wealthy, elite few in Washington. These politicians and bureaucrats love micromanaging more and more of our everyday lives. From our roads and bridges, our firearms, our relationships with our doctors, our elementary schools, our farms and even our toilets, these freedom and federalism hating politicians cannot help themselves from interfering with Americans’ choices.
“But now, on top of all that, they want to dictate how states run their elections? They want to tell Tennessee to enact same-day voter registration, with no time for verification? They want to tell Tennessee we cannot require IDs to be shown at the polls, increasing the likelihood of fraud? They want to tell Tennessee that some unaccountable commission must draw its districts? They want to tell Tennessee it must subsidize far-left candidates in other states with taxpayer money?
“How dare they try to strip Tennessee of its autonomy. H.R. 1 is nothing other than a power-grab designed to elect Democrats that will give the federal government even more power. This bill is wrong, and the American people deserve to know.
“Democrats are shopping it under the auspices of being concerned about voter fraud. Welcome to the party – Republicans have been raising concerns with deceased folks voting for years. If fraud is really a concern, then let’s allow states to require voter identification.”
Scott DesJarlais, Congressman (R-TN, District 4) offers his reasoning for supporting President Trump’s efforts to secure our southern border.
“Sophisticated international cartels, some of the most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations in the world, are operating just across the border from the United States in Mexico. They partner with foreign adversaries, including Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and China, and smuggle drugs as well as human beings into our neighborhoods, including in my home state of Tennessee. Constituents in my district are suffering from the opioid epidemic. Mexican cartels produce or distribute most heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine here, killing tens of thousands of Americans every year, not including victims of MS-13 and other violent gangs, which have infiltrated recent migrant caravans. However, the equivalent of a migrant caravan enters our country almost weekly. These forces are destabilizing and deadly to people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, but particularly for the less fortunate among us. While wealthy elites erect walls for protection, poor- and working-class citizens must live with the consequences of insecure borders and years of congressional inaction. Unfortunately, Congress has largely abdicated its responsibility, placing the onus on President Trump to fulfill the federal government’s most important constitutional duty: national security.
“Under legal authority Congress has granted the executive, which Barack Obama also used to combat Mexican cartels, the President has the power to declare a national emergency, in order to fund the construction of new border barriers at dangerous weak points. As a fiscal conservative, constitutionalist, and strong advocate for the military, I believe the need is clear and pressing, the law supports immediate action, and ample funding exists to address this crisis.”
“There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party; victory is winning for our country.” – Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, State of the Union Address, 5 February 2019.
READERS ANNOUNCEMENTS & COMMENTS
This section is provided for our readers to make announcements about activities in their area or offer commentary on current events; they do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. All comments are welcomed for so long as their substance can be opinions to email@example.com – Editor.
Michael Ruberton of Washington Township, NJ, offered the following about former President Obama’s legacy:
“[He] set up America for a final defeat and stealth conversion from a free market society to socialism/communism. As we get deeper into the Trump presidency, we learn more each day about how Obama politicized and compromised key government agencies, most prominently the FBI, the CIA and the IRS, thus thoroughly shaking the public’s confidence in the federal government to be fair and unbiased in its activities. He significantly set back race and other relations between Americans by stoking black grievances and pushing radical identity politics. Obama’s open support for the Iranian mullahs and his apologetic “lead from behind” foreign policy seriously weakened America abroad. His blatant attempt to interfere in Israel’s election trying to unseat Netanyahu is one of the most shameful things ever done by an American president.”
Rita Johnson, a reader from Wolfeboro, NH, offered the following excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal:
“The White House and Congress griped this year about the pain of automatic budget cuts, the federal government still managed to spend billions of dollars on seemingly frivolous projects – from a $384,989 grant for Yale University to study the duck penis to $1.9 million for “lifestyle” lessons for Senate staffers.
“Nearly $30 billion in questionable federal spending is detailed in the “Wastebook” that was released Tuesday by the Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who annually compiles the report.
“Washington has reversed the wisdom of the old cliché that less is needed when less is wasted,” Coburn wrote in the report. “Every branch of government bickered this year over the need to spend more (while continuing to misspend) with an attitude of ‘waste more, want more!’
“Near the top of the report’s list of 100 wasteful projects was $319 million initially spent building the defective ObamaCare Web site, coupled with a $684 million ad campaign to get Americans to visit it.
“Taxpayers also got stuck with the bills for:
- $10 million for National Guard advertising tie-ins with the “Soldier of Steel” movie, despite budget cuts reducing the Guard’s strength by 8,000 soldiers.
- $7 billion for the Pentagon to destroy vehicles and other military equipment used in wars in the Middle East rather than sell or ship the items home.
- $17.5 million for special tax exemptions for Nevada brothels, including tax deductions for groceries, wages for prostitutes, rent and utilities.
- Nearly $1 million since 2010 for the National Endowment of Humanities “Popular Romance Project,” which studies romance novels, films, comics and Internet fan fiction.
- $630,000 spent by the State Department to buy followers on its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- $325,525 for a National Institutes of Health study that found wives would be happier if they could calm down faster during arguments with their husbands.
- $150,000 to support the Puppets Take Long Island festival in Sag Harbor.
“”When it comes to spending your money, those in Washington tend to “see no waste, speak no waste, and cut no waste,’ said Coburn.”
Kathleen Marquardt, a reader from Knox County, TN, shared the following:
“A disproportionate number of minority students attend law schools whose graduates don’t pass the bar exam within two years. Rather than [to] ask why those law schools should keep their accreditation – along with the stream of borrowed money their unemployed graduates won’t repay – the American Bar Association has decided to continue its soft bigotry of low expectations.” [Readers are invited to learn more about this story by visiting the following link: https://www.thecollegefix.com/american-bar-association-rejects-higher-standards-for-law-schools-they-would-hurt-minority-students/?fbclid=IwAR2zy3e_AtM1Tvv5BFKf7_lCyWRHJDjwMgtFFwieJHqnyLgIa_vTj2wjXz0 – Editor]
Pam Whitson, a reader from Chicagoland, shared the following on the recent victories by workers who are not members of unions but are forced to pay union dues.
“In Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws obliging nonunion employees to pay fees to the unions that are their “exclusive bargaining representative’ are unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. The Decision applies to 5.9 million state and local public employees in 22 states, and has shaken up the public sector labor relations. Details of this most remarkable decision can be found at the following link:” https://www.manhattan-institute.org/public-sector-unions-after-janus?fbclid=IwAR2g0_Wa0o6pqDFPZCIvdsnJrdvRFSXKV8bozOkwHpw4UwtSCxxJCLVgvB0
“Capitalism has been called a system of greed, yet it is the system that has raised the standard of living of its poorest citizens to heights no collectivist system has ever begun to equal, and no tribal gang can conceive of.” – Ayn Rand
The problem with Socialism is that you can vote your way into it but you have to shoot your way out of it.
The purpose of the legislative report is to inform the reader about legislation that is currently under consideration that may have significant impact on our lives so the reader may analyze each bill’s content and become cognizant of what our representatives are proposing and (hopefully) become engaged in the process of offering their opinions – in support of or against – such legislation. They won’t know what you think unless you tell them! – Editor
Governor Lee Issues First Executive Order to Address Accelerated Transformation of Rural Areas (All executive departments required to assess rural impact and provide recommendations)
This week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued his first executive order, requiring all state executive departments to issue a statement of rural impact and provide recommendations for better serving rural Tennessee.
This executive order is the first step by the administration to accelerate plans to address 15 distressed counties in Tennessee — all rural. The order requires each executive department to submit a statement of rural impact explaining how the department serves rural Tennesseans no later than May 31, 2019 and recommendations for improving that service by June 30, 2019.
There are 22 executive departments that will engage in this review and recommendation process. Distressed counties rank among the 10 percent most economically distressed counties in the nation. Each year, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) prepares an index of county economic status for every county in the United States.
Thanks to Jay Dean Reedy, State Representative, District 74, for providing this information. – Editor]
HB 1049 & SB 943 – AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13, relative to Families Know First Act. (G. Johnson & Kyle, respectively, 19 Pages). As reported on (WZTV) -A Tennessee bill would allow law enforcement officers and courts to remove firearms or force the sale of firearms from persons deemed and extreme risk.
HB1049/SB0943, also known as the “Families Know First Act,” would allow for an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” to be presented by police then issued by a court for those deemed a risk to themselves or others if in possession of a firearm(s).
Under the bill, a law enforcement officer or agency could seek an extreme risk protection order if based on an investigation police find the individual poses an “immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to the subject or to another by having in the subject’s custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.”
The order would be requested if other “less-restrictive” alternatives have been tried and found to be ineffective. The request from law enforcement would then be presented to a judge who will be given the facts of the investigation and make a ruling whether or not to issue the order. If ordered, the subject would be prohibited from owning, purchasing or having in their control a firearm or ammunition.
Orders would expire in 21 days from the date issued and the subject of the order would be able submit one request to have the order lifted. The bill goes on to state orders can be renewed or more permanent orders can also be issued by the courts.
If ordered, subjects would have to surrender firearms and ammunition to law enforcement for safekeeping or sell the firearms and ammunition to a licensed dealer.
[This legislation is nothing less than a full-frontal assault on our rights under the 2nd Amendment; if enacted, this “Red Flag” legislation would be arbitrarily and capriciously applied to disarm citizens. Remember: “. . . shall NOT be infringed.” – Editor]
HB 409 – An act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 11, Part 6 and Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13, relative to civil and criminal immunity, was introduced by Rep. Bruce Griffey, (R-District 75). The bill clarifies a person who uses force in self-defense could not be criminally prosecuted for using force. This includes any detainment, arrest, charging, indicting, or any other “adverse” action against the person under local, state, or federal law. This bill also states anyone using force in self-defense is immune from civil action from the person committing the crime, one of their personal representatives, or heirs. The liability does not extend to use of force on a law enforcement officer whom has identified themselves, or if the person using self-defense should have reasonably known it was an officer.
HB 658 An act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 10, Chapter 7, Part 5; Title 38; Title 39 and Title 40, relative to law enforcement. Michael Curcio (R-District 69). As introduced, limits the authority of a community oversight board to the review and consideration of matters reported to it and the issuance of advisory reports and recommendations to agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice. – Amends TCA Title 10, Chapter 7, Part 5; Title 38; Title 39 and Title 40.
This legislation places statewide limitations on Community Oversight Boards (Boards) in three significant ways:
- It removes subpoena power
- Requires reporting of Boards to the General Assembly
- Limits Board membership to registered voters from within the jurisdiction which it serves.
The Boards may not restrict or limit membership based on demographics, economic status, or employment history. Any document provided to a Board by law enforcement agencies shall be treated as confidential information and shall not be released to the public. There are mechanisms currently in place to provide oversight of Tennessee law enforcement agencies, but this bill acknowledges support of Boards while implementing best practices.
HB 0562 An Act to impose a fee on money transferred from Tennessee to Mexico, was filed on 4 February 2019, by Bruce Griffey (R-District 75). Revenues collected from this imposed fee would be used to help build a wall on the southern border of the United States. [Several other states, including West Virginia, Arizona, and Montana, have passed similar bills in their state legislatures. Unfortunately, as of this date, none of our State Senators have signed on to cosponsor Representative Griffey’s bill!!! – Editor]
HB 0077 – SB 1236 AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 15, Part 2 and Title 68, 11, Part 2, Chapter relative to abortion. (Van Huss, R Jonesborough and Pody, R Lebanon, respectively, 4 pages), has been referred to as “The Heartbeat Bill,” and outlaws abortions of fetuses in which a heartbeat has been detected.
HB 0274 AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 38; Title 39; Title 40; Title 43; Title 53 and Section 67-4-2802, relative to cannabis. (Reedy, R-Dist. 75). Search & Seizure – As introduced, specifies that industrial hemp and products derived from industrial hemp, other than isolated THC, are not subject to scheduling as a controlled substance and are not subject to forfeiture based solely on their composition; applies that specification to hemp and hemp-derived products if the state obtains primacy to regulate hemp production under the 2018 Farm Bill; prohibits police searches based solely on the odor of cannabis. – Amends TCA Title 38; Title 39; Title 40; Title 43; Title 53 and Section 67-4-2802.
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is like saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say.” – Edward Snowden.
In Washington DC
On the Motion to Recommit with Instructions: House Joint Resolution 31: Making further continuing appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for Fiscal Year 2019. The Motion failed by a vote of 200/214, 11 Republicans did not vote. Scott DesJarlais voted “Yea.”
This was an attempt by House Republicans to kill House Democrats’ bill to reopen the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through February 28, 2019. This vote was to replace the date in the bill “February 28, 2019” with “January 24, 2019.” Since the vote was taken on January 24, 2019, DHS would not have been reopened but the delayed paychecks to furloughed and essential DHS employees could have been sent out.
An “aye” vote was a vote to kill the original bill and instead allow paychecks to furloughed and essential DHS employees to be sent out without reopening DHS. A “no” vote was a vote to proceed to a vote on the original bill to reopen DHS, and pay DHS employees, without funding for a southern border wall.
On December 22, 2018 the 115th Congress was unable to reach a deal to fund some federal agencies through fiscal year 2019 after President Trump demanded $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate had unanimously passed a bill to fund the government through 2019, without the border wall, the then Republican-controlled House amended the bill adding $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate neglected to vote on that bill leaving it to die in the previous Congress. When funding lapsed for the USDA, FDA, and Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, Environment, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, the partial government shutdown began. When the 116th Congress began in 2019, Democrats took control of the House. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made it clear that the House does not plan to approve funding for the border wall in any future appropriations bills. As of January 24, House Democrats have passed ten different bills that would completely or partially reopen the federal government. Only H.R. 268 has been considered by the Senate, where Republican and Democratic amendments to the bill both failed.
H.J. Res. 31: Making further continuing appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for Fiscal Year 2019, and for other purposes. The bill passed by a vote of 231/180, five Republicans voted “Yea,” and 14 Republicans did not vote. Scott DesJarlais voted “Nay.”
This was a bill to reopen the Department of Homeland Security through February 28, 2019. Democrats issued a press release on passage, touting that this was the tenth bill passed by the House to reopen the government. No funding for a southern border wall was included.
On December 22, 2018 the 115th Congress was unable to reach a deal to fund some federal agencies through fiscal year 2019 after President Trump demanded $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate had unanimously passed a bill to fund the government through 2019, without the border wall, the then Republican-controlled House amended the bill adding $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate neglected to vote on that bill leaving it to die in the previous Congress. When funding lapsed for the USDA, FDA, and Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, Environment, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, the partial government shutdown began. When the 116th Congress began in 2019, Democrats took control of the House. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made it clear that the House does not plan to approve funding for the border wall in any future appropriations bills. As of January 24, House Democrats have passed ten different bills that would have completely or partially reopen the federal government. Only H.R. 268 has been considered by the Senate, where Republican and Democratic amendments to the bill both failed.
HR 56: Financial Technology Protection Act. (Budd, R-NC, 11 pages). To establish an Independent Financial Technology Task Force to Combat Terrorism and Illicit Financing, to provide rewards for information leading to convictions related to terrorist use of digital currencies, to establish a Fintech Leadership in Innovation and Financial Intelligence Program to encourage the development of tools and programs to combat terrorist and illicit use of digital currencies, and for other purposes. Background: Sufficient evidence has been obtained to conclude that terrorist organizations (and likely some drug smuggling operations) have been using digital currencies to transfer money outside the United States. It is uncertain at this time how much money has been transferred by this means. This bill passed in the House of Representatives and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
HR 790: Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019. (Connolly, D-VA, 4 pages). This bill would provide a 2.6% cost of living adjustment to all employees in federal government. The bill has been forwarded to committee and will likely be sent to the Speaker of the House by mid-February.
HR 1322: Women’s Health Protection Act (Chu, D-CA), was introduced in March, 2017 and is predicted to soon be released by committees. This bill prohibits any government from imposing on abortion services:
- a requirement that a medical professional perform specific tests or medical procedures;
- a requirement that the same clinician who performs a patient’s abortion also perform additional tests, services or procedures;
- a limitation on an abortion provider’s ability to prescribe or dispense drugs or provide services via telemedicine;
- a requirement or limitation concerning the physical plant, equipment, staffing, or hospital transfer arrangements of facilities where abortions are performed, or the credentials, hospital privileges, or status of personnel at those facilities;
- a requirement that, prior to obtaining an abortion, a patient make medically unnecessary in-person visits to any individual or entity;
- a limitation on medical training for abortion procedures;
- a prohibition prior to fetal viability, including a prohibition on a particular abortion procedure;
- a prohibition after fetal viability when continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the woman’s life or health;
- a restriction on a woman’s ability to obtain an immediate abortion when a delay would pose a risk to the woman’s health; or
- a restriction on obtaining an abortion prior to fetal viability based on a woman’s reasons or perceived reasons or that requires her to state her reasons before obtaining an abortion.
A measure or action that is similar to a requirement or limitation listed above is prohibited if it singles out abortion services or makes abortion services more difficult to access and does not significantly advance women’s health or the safety of abortion services.
[This bill currently has 160 cosponsors in the House. – Editor]
S 340 CREATES (Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples) Act of 2019. (Leahy, D-VT, 24 pages). A bill to promote competition in the market for drugs and biological products by facilitating the timely entry of lower-cost generic and biosimilar versions of those drugs and biological products.
S 47 Natural Resources Management Act (Murkowski, R-AK, 662 pages), provides for the management of the natural resources of the United States, and for other purposes. [This bill imposes further federal government control over public lands and funds entities and organizations to exact such control, while in many cases, limits the public’s access and use of such public lands. – Editor]
HR 962 Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (Green, R-TN). As of 7 February 2019, Speaker Pelosi has blocked this legislation for the third time.
HR 1063 To Amend Title 44 of the United States Code, to require information on contributors to Presidential Library fundraising organizations, and for other purposes (Cummings, D-MD, 6 pages). Each Presidential library fundraising organization shall submit to the Archivist information for that quarter in an electronic searchable and sortable format with respect to every contributor who gave the organization a contribution or contributions (whether monetary or in-kind) totaling $200 or more for the quarterly period. The Archivist shall publish on the website of the National Archives and Records Administration, within 30 days after each quarterly filing, any information that is submitted under paragraph (1), without a fee or other access charge in a downloadable database. This bill passed in the House of Representatives on 11 February, and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration. [Given the spectrum of contributors, it is unlikely that former President 0bama will take kindly to Rep. Cummings proposed bill. – Editor]
HR 995 To amend Chapter 3 of Title 5, US Code, to require the publication of settlement agreements, and for other purposes. (Palmer, R-AL, 10 pages). This bill would add Section 307 to the existing law and require State and municipal governments to disclose to the public in a categorized and searchable format the nature of criminal or civil judicial actions, specifics on Federal charges placed against specific government subdivisions, the names of individual implicated in such charges that may be preferred, all attorney’s fees accumulated in all court proceedings, settlement amounts paid to plaintiffs, and other records that are required by the courts. [See information on TN HB 658, above. – Editor]
HR 1064 To amend Title 5, US Code, to allow whistle blowers to disclose information to certain recipients. (Hill, D-CA, 4 pages). This bill enables whistle blowers (those government workers who report questionable or illegal activities within government) to divulge information about their reports to certain entities (media), for so long as such information does not compromise classified data. The bill passed the House of Representatives on 11 February, and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
HR 1065 Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2019. (Lynch, D-MA, 4 pages). This bill enables government entities who are considering granting security clearances to employees and consultants to search entries on social media by those employees or consultants seeking security clearances as a condition for granting such clearances. This bill was passed in the House of Representatives on 11 February, and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
HR 1095 CASES Act of 2019 “Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services Act.” (Graves, R-LA, 6 pages). This bill requires the Director of Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance pursuant to changes made to Title 5, US Code, subsection 552a, to modify the methods by which the Bureau of Census may collect information in electronic format, the bill would reduce the numbers of Census Bureau workers who collect census data. Respondents would be able to submit information for so long as they are able to authenticate their identity via electronic means.
H Res 1 Electing Officers to the House of Representatives. (Jefferies, D-NY, 1 page). This Resolution decrees that: Karen L. Haas of the State of Maryland, is chosen to serve as Clerk of the House of Representatives; Paul D. Irving of the State of Florida is chosen to serve as Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives; Philip George Kiko of the State of Ohio is chosen to serve as Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives, and; that Father Patrick J. Conroy of the State of Oregon is chosen to serve as Chaplain of the House of Representatives. [See remarks submitted by Dr. Mark Green (R-TN), in “Comments from Our Representatives” Section (above) – Editor]
S Res 50 A resolution improving procedures for the considerations of nominees in the Senate. (Lankford, R-OK, 3 pages). This resolution covers only nominations for Judges in District Court of the United States or of the United States Court of Federal Claims; or executive branch positions that are not a position at level I of the Executive Schedule under section 5312 of title 5, United States Code, and Cabinet Members.
If cloture is invoked on a nomination described in paragraph (2), there shall be no more than 2 hours of post-cloture consideration equally divided between the majority leader and the minority leader, or their designees.
Division of time for discussion on all other nominations is also limited: If cloture is invoked on a nomination that is not described in subsection (a)(2), the period of post-cloture consideration shall be equally divided between the majority leader and the minority leader, or their designees.
S 464 Protecting Employees Security Clearance Act of 2019 (Cardin, D-MD, 1 page).
No head of an agency may revoke the national security eligibility of a covered employee because of a reduction in the credit score or negative information in a consumer credit file of the covered employee that is attributable to disrupted income payments as a result of a lapse in appropriations. [Persons having access to classified data who are under financial duress has been linked on numerous instances to their divulging classified information to foreign entities. – Editor]
H J Res 31 Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 (Roybal-Allard, D-CA, 465 pages).
This bill, in its final form, funded the parts of the federal government whose funding was to lapse on February 15, 2019.
On December 22, 2018 the 115th Congress was unable to reach a deal to fund some federal agencies through fiscal year 2019 after President Trump demanded $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate had unanimously passed a bill to fund the government through 2019, without the border wall, the then Republican-controlled House amended the bill adding $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate neglected to vote on that bill leaving it to die in the previous Congress. When funding lapsed for the USDA, FDA, and Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, Environment, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, the partial government shutdown began.
Through January 24, 2019, the House — newly controlled by Democrats — passed ten different bills that would have completely or partially reopened the federal government. This bill was originally introduced to reopen just the Department of Homeland Security through February 28, 2019 and passed the House on January 24. No funding for a southern border wall was included. But only H.R. 268 had been considered by the Senate, where Republican and Democratic amendments to the bill both failed.
On January 25, H.J.Res. 28 was enacted with temporary funding for the federal agencies through February 15, ending the government shutdown so long as lawmakers could reach a deal for funding beyond that date.
This bill was then amended to fund the agencies through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2019). It was enacted in that form on Feb. 15, 2019, after votes in the House and Senate on the previous day.
The funding included:
- $1.375 billion, less than the $5.7 billion the Trump administration requested, for approximately 55 miles of physical barrier along the southern border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
- $415 million for humanitarian relief for medical care, transportation, food and clothing at the southern border.
- $12 billion for disaster relief.
- $3.16 billion for agricultural research.
- $3.64 billion for rural development.
- $3.3 billion for highway and bridge rehabilitation and construction.
- Among hundreds of other provisions.
[This bill should be put in a museum to serve as a historic example of pork barrel spending. – Editor]
S J Res 8 A Joint Resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal. (McConnell, KY-R, 18 pages). This bill is the Republican response to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s bill that would, in essence, crush the U.S. economy while requiring an additional $3 trillion in increased national debt. Mitch McConnell has introduced this bill in order to make the Democrats cast a recorded vote on what amounts to establishing once and for all a socialist government in the United States. He is banking on the probability that the bill would struck down in a Republican-controlled Senate, and that the Republicans can use any consenting votes by the Democrats as political capital in future elections.
HR 8 Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. (Thompson, CA-D, 6 pages). This bill would force individuals who may wish to sell or transfer a firearms to someone who is not a blood relative to conduct such sale through an individual who possesses a Federal Firearms License (FFL). [The FFL holder will charge a fee for such a transaction. – Editor]
HR 1112 To amend Chapter 44 of Title 18, US Code, to strengthen the background check procedures to be followed before a Federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a person who is not such a licensee. (Clyburn, SC-D, 4 pages). In conjunction with HR 8 (Thompson, CA-D), Representative Clyburn’s bill will impose further restrictions on individuals who may wish to buy or sell a firearm.
If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools. – Plato
President Trump has declared a national emergency at our southern border. His reasons for doing so are related to the influx of illegal aliens, the additional crimes they commit after they arrive, the associated human trafficking, and the drug death crisis directly attributed to illegal drugs that are smuggled into our country.
The President’s declaration of a national emergency was, predictably, challenged by the Ninth Circuit, San Francisco, and in nine other states, but we can hope the Supreme Court will uphold our President’s decision. (Aren’t you glad that Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have been confirmed to the Supreme Court!?)
But, the question remains: Is President Trump right in making his claim? Here are some data that shed light onto his claim to help you decide for yourself.
In looking at the burden placed on the U.S. taxpayer to care for illegal aliens, the most recent data informs us that providing food, clothing, housing, transportation, healthcare, and education for illegal aliens costs American taxpayers $155 billion per year. https://www.fairus.org/sites/default/files/2017-09/Fiscal-Burden-of-Illegal-Immigration-2017.pdf
So, how many illegal aliens are there in the United States? Well, according to 2014 figures compiled by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), their best estimates inform us that 21.7 million illegal aliens are now residing within our borders. https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/693162.pdf
To add insult to injury, that $155 billion per year does not include the cost of incarcerating illegal aliens who have committed other crimes since illegally entering our country. Let’s have a look at some more numbers.
According to a study performed by Market Watch, the average cost for incarcerating a prisoner in a U.S. jail or prison costs the American taxpayer $31,000 per year. (That is, unless the prisoner demands gender reassignment as a part of his/her rehabilitation process!) https://www.marketplace.org/2017/05/15/world/how-much-does-it-cost-send-someone-prison
According to the same GAO report, during the years 2011–2016, there was an average of 165,700 illegal aliens incarcerated in our state jails and prisons (74% of whom are from Mexico and Central America). https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/693162.pdf
Doing some arithmetic, and basing our calculations on the data presented, we learn that over a five year period, the American taxpayer shelled out $5,136,700,000 per year to incarcerate illegal aliens.
That’s a LOT of money!
But there’s more to it than money. We must take a serious look at the impact of drug-related deaths in our country. According to the DEA’s “National Drug Threat Assessment for 2018,” the data tells us there were 63,632 deaths directly attributed to drug use in the United States, and those figures have been steadily increasing since 1999! To put this number of drug deaths in context, 63,632 deaths is a number that exceeds the total number of Americans who died in Vietnam. The same report tells us that the majority of these drugs come across our border with Mexico. There is no way to assign a cost to the grief experienced by Americans who have lost loved ones to crimes committed by illegal aliens and the drugs they’ve brought into our country!
Another matter outside the realm of monetary cost calculations is cast in terms of human trafficking. While precise numbers are not readily available, many sources tell us that thousands of young girls are brought into the U.S. and pressed into prostitution. Some of these girls are as young as eight years of age!
The Democrats are quick to remind us that the majority of illegal drugs intercepted at our southern border are discovered at Ports of Entry. Well, of course they are because that’s where the majority of inspections occur! Any smuggler would know that the best way to avoid these inspections would be to use “drug mules” to carry those drugs across the border where inspections don’t occur!
The Democrats are also threatening President Trump: Nancy Pelosi is reported to have warned that the next time a Democrat occupies the White House, that president will declare a new national emergency. She seemed to have insinuated that the next Democrat President will also include a declaration of Martial Law and the suspension of the Constitution, as a means to confiscate all firearms for the purpose of stopping gun violence. (Could there ever be a better reason to always vote for Republicans?) https://www.newsweek.com/nancy-pelosi-democratic-president-national-emergency-gun-violence-donald-1332074?fbclid=IwAR347OHjuan0FDZ6ANVm-IMATA6tnqZ-8I-HW8RxXVkYEmO6JixhWqEtlno
Declaring a national emergency is not the best way for a President to deal with a crisis. It can certainly be argued that, given the tenor of today’s Democrats, declaring a national emergency carries with it some potentially dangerous ramifications. But, given what we know today, if what our nation is facing is not a national emergency, I don’t know what is!
Here is some Tennessee history I thought you might find interesting.
On January 30, 1871, Governor Dewitt Clinton Senter signed into law Chapter LXVI (66) of the Third Session of the Thirty-sixth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. This Act created “a New County out of portions of the territories of Hamilton and Bradley Counties, to be called the County of James, in Honor of the late Jesse J. James.”
As the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture explains, Reverend Jesse J. James was a Methodist minister who moved his family to Chattanooga in the 1850s, where he “became prominently identified with the industrial and financial growth of the city.” His son, Representative Elbert James, introduced the bill which named the new county in honor of his father.
Today, of course, there is no James County in Tennessee. The era of this tiny Tennessee County covers an interesting time in Tennessee, being created only six years after the end of the Civil War. It was not the only county created that year; 1871 also saw the creation of Moore, Houston, and Crockett counties, giving Tennessee 93 counties within its borders. Unicoi County joined the State in 1875, followed by Pickett and Chester counties in 1879, giving Tennessee 96 counties.
The Tennessee Encyclopedia, in its entry for James County, gives a bit more information on the reason for this new county:
“Political motives played a role in the creation of the new 285-square-mile county. The citizens of James County were predominantly Republican and rural, while Chattanooga residents were largely Democratic and urban…. Although the creators of the county expected the overflow from Chattanooga’s flourishing economy to provide the tax base for building schools and roads for the rural area, the revenues never materialized.”
James County did not have a peaceful existence. Less than twenty years after its creation, Chapter 18 of the Forty-sixth General Assembly was “to abolish the county of James, and to restore the territory embraced in said county to the counties of Bradley and Hamilton, to which it belonged before the establishment of said county of James.” That Act was signed into law by Governor Robert L. Taylor on March 11, 1890.
In September of 1890, the Tennessee Supreme Court weighed in on this Act of the General Assembly:
“As we have seen, James County was regularly formed and organized. It had built its courthouse, jail, and other public buildings; had its officers in all respects as other counties. Now, must all these be swept from it without the consent of its people? Must the moneys expended in the nineteen years of its existence go for nothing? Of course these things must be if the Act is constitutional….
“If the Legislature may dissolve one county and divide it out amongst its neighbors, it may abolish all, and destroy the State. It may divide Davidson or Knox, and remove their county seats to any other county by its legislative partition….
“If desirable to abolish or change counties, the people interested ought to be consulted. Such are the spirit and policy of constitutional popular governments. They can and ought to be carried out….
“To abolish a county and give its territory to others, is to take from the one and add to the others without the consent of the people to be affected. A Constitution which prohibits a small taking off, or appropriation, certainly protects against entire destruction. The act is void.” (James County v. Hamilton County, 89 Tenn. 237, 14 S.W. 601).
With the overturning of the abolishing Act, James County continued its existence, but its fortunes did not improve. Less than thirty years later, the Sixty-first General Assembly passed 1919 Private Chapter 695, “An Act to provide for the abolishment and dissolution of the County of James, for the transfer to the County of Hamilton the territory embraced in said County of James, and for the repeal of  Chapter 66.”
The Act, which was signed into law on April 15, 1919, by Governor A. H. Roberts, declared:
“That within two years from the date of this Act… an election… shall be called and held for the purpose of ascertaining the question whether a constitutional majority of the qualified voters in said county are in favor of, or opposed to the abolishment and dissolution of said James County…”
The election was held on December 11, 1919; the official vote was 953 in favor and 78 against. (Remember that this election occurred before 1920 – women did not yet have the right to vote. Only the men of the county voted in this election.)
James County existed for 48 years of the state’s history. With its abolishment, Tennessee went from 96 counties to its present 95 counties.
[Thanks to Doug Kufner, firstname.lastname@example.org and Representative Jay Dean Reedy (R-District 74), for sharing this information. – Editor]
CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES
|President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C. 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461
|U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 40 – Suite 2
Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 244-4944
Fax: (202) 228-3398
|U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn
B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3344
Fax: (202) 228-0566
To contact visit website:
|U.S Representative Dr. Scott DesJarlais
2301 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6831
Fax: (202) 226-5172
|Governor Bill Lee
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-2001
Fax: (615) 532-9711
|Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
Link above provides all methods of contact.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
|State Representative Ron Travis
301 Sixth Avenue North
War Memorial Building
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-1450
|State Senator Ken Yager
301 Sixth Avenue North
War Memorial Building
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-1449
Fax: (615) 253-0237