RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN
ADVANCING THE CONSERVATIVE CAUSE
Vol. 3 – No. 8 October 2019
RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Bitsy Gryder – Chairman Gary Drinkard – Vice Chairman
Laura Travis – Secretary Larry Pendergrass – Treasurer
Linda Pendergrass – Vice Treasurer
MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes from our August meeting were not provided.
NEXT MEETING OF THE RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY
The Rhea County Republican Party will be held on 3 October, at 7:00 PM, at the Rhea County Sheriff’s Training Center, 711 Eagle Drive, Evensville, TN. (Bring a friend.)
OK, I’ll own it, I am a fiscal hawk. I don’t believe in wasting money and I don’t believe I should spend more than I earn. I wasn’t always that way. Like many people, back in my younger days, I couldn’t wait to spend half my salary on a Friday night. The older I get the more I find I don’t like being in debt. Who does? Wait! Let me rephrase that: Who in their right mind likes being in debt? I’ll tell you who, it’s our government!
The people running this country seem to have a fetish for wasting money and running up our country’s debt. Their bad habits are only getting worse. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the projected deficits – that is, the amounts of money spent that exceed revenues – for the years 2020 through 2029 are expected to average $1.2 trillion per year! https://www.cbo.gov/publication/55551
The annual “Pig Book,” published and compiled by Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Citizens Against Government Waste https://www.cagw.org/reporting/pig-book, barely scratches the surface on the wasteful earmarks that are included in practically every piece of legislation passed by Congress. A few examples of what one will read in the Pig Book include:
- $214.5 million (21 earmarks) for the “Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund”
- $23.9 million (129 earmarks) for “Abstinence Education”
- $984.6 million (39 earmarks) to correct design flaws in the M-1 Abrams tank
- $102.1 million (3 earmarks) for Screwworm research.
It would require much more time to discover and report on all the wasteful spending that our representatives engage in, but wasteful spending is one matter, while making improper payments is quite another. Wasteful spending is an act of stupidity, while making improper payments is, in at least some cases, a crime!
The following examples of how various government entities overpay and make improper payments is a matter that should shock everyone who ever considered themselves to be a “conservative.”
Since 2004, twenty large federal agencies admit to having paid out $1.2 trillion in improper payments. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/r45257.pdf That amounts to more than one-quarter of President Trump’s proposed $4.7 trillion budget for 2020. Last year, these improper payments https://paymentaccuracy.gov/high-priority-programs/ totaled about $140 billion, or approximately $406.7 million every single day!
As I noted above, under numerous Titles of the US Code, it is a violation of Federal law for a Federal employee (some employee in Federal government has to give their OK for every dollar they spend) to improperly use taxpayers’ dollars.
The crime for doing so is generally known as “waste, fraud, and abuse.” The following publication clearly spells this out: https://paymentaccuracy.gov/faq/. The terminology used is “payments made by the government to the wrong person, in the wrong amount, or for the wrong reason.”
It would be impossible for a government bureaucrat to claim ignorance of the law as an excuse for their illegal behavior; laws against the misappropriation of taxpayer dollars are among the oldest Federal laws on the books. The oldest example I could find goes all the way back to 1863 (updated in 1982), and that was “The Federal Civil False Claims Act” found under Title 31 US Code, subsection 3729, et seq. The text of this law (and the numerous other related laws at the following link) are clear: Those who mishandle taxpayer dollars are criminals! https://mnscha.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/compliance/Deficit-Reduction-Act-Information.pdf
Government employees destroy our trust in our government when they make improper payments to people or companies, and when those who represent us fail to apply appropriate checks and balances to stop waste and fraudulent spending, it erodes our trust in them, too!
In an article published in Forbes Magazine (written by Adam Andrzejewski), improper payments in healthcare have recently become as egregious as the improper payments that the Pentagon have long been known for. As you may recall, back in 2011, when President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, Congress promised to help pay for it by rooting out waste, fraud, corruption and taxpayer abuse from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. https://www.carper.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/the-affordable-care-act-q-a#0319CF76-8FD7-4782-8502-0001CE33504
I hope no one was holding their breath because, as you know, it never happened! In fact, improper payments within these programs skyrocketed from $64 billion in 2012 to $85 billion today.
Right now, you might want to take something to lower your blood pressure because it only gets worse!
Mr. Andrzejewski went on to inform us of the following: The biggest offenders across government include: Health & Human Services (HHS); Internal Revenue Service (IRS); Social Security Administration (SSA); and the departments of Defense (DOD), Labor (DOL), and Education (ED). So, what were some the ways these agencies wasted our tax dollars last year?
- Dead people received $1 billion in benefits. Medicare, Medicaid, social security payments and also the federal retirement annuity payouts (pensions) kept flowing to dead recipients.
- College students were overpaid by nearly $6 billion in Pell Grants and student loans. Approximately four percent of all payments were improper, and ED forecasts a worse figure in FY2019.
- Social Security recipients were overpaid by $10 billion. Six million active Social Security numbers belong to people aged 112 and older. Here’s the problem: there are only 40 people in the entire world aged 112 and over. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/03/10/392112708/6.5-million-social-security-numbers-linked-to-those-112-or-older
- There was $18.4 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit overpayments. Millions of low-income families whom Congress designated as qualified recipients were overpaid billions of dollars. The program is rife with errors: the government overpaid $1 in every $4 to beneficiaries.
- Medicare & Medicaid improperly paid $85 billion in benefits with overpayments amounting to $67 billion. Administered by HHS, Medicaid admits to overpaying recipients $36 billion. Medicare admits to $31 billion in overpayments.
Shockingly, we learned that our government has no interest in recapturing these improper payments; the Office of Management and Budget claims that recapture audits don’t make financial sense! They argue that it costs too much to recoup the improper payments. https://paymentaccuracy.gov/faq/
Before I wrap this editorial up, I’d like for you to have a look at the following link. https://www.usdebtclock.org/. Looking in the upper left hand corner you will see our country is more than $22,529,221,596,841 in debt. However, if you look farther down, you will see the US Total Debt is more than $74,052,847,353,766. The higher number represents our debt PLUS some of the unfunded mandates (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) that the US Taxpayer is on the hook for. If interest rates are increased, the debt will increase proportionally, because it will cost more to service the debt – which means paying the interest on it. There’s more than a fair chance that interest rates will most certainly will increase.
Various economists have predicted numerous scenarios of what will happen to our economy – and our country – if we fail to pay down this debt and none of those scenarios are pleasant to consider. In fact, all of them paint a picture that depicts the end of the United States of America. I find all of these scenarios to be totally unacceptable. At this point, there is only one thing we can do.
In the past, the American people have asked, pleaded, and begged our elected representatives to stop wasteful spending and prosecute waste, fraud, and abuse. They have ignored us. We must, therefore, raise our voices in unison to demand that they honor our demands and their oath of office by acting fiscally responsible and by making criminal referrals to the Department of Justice for all those who break the law.
At first, they will likely ignore us thinking that our demands are the “hot-button” issue of the moment, so we must continue making our demands until our voices are heard and meaningful action begins. Then, we must never let up until our country is out of debt and those who have broken our laws are justly punished.
It CAN be done! Andrew Jackson proved it could be done way back in 1835 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt, and it can be done again. It must be done again. NOW!
So, to wrap this up, there are three steps in achieving our essential goal:
- Demand that our elected representatives construct and operate effective safeguards to stop wasting money through misappropriations and uphold our laws by exacting quick and meaningful punishment for any Federal employee engaging in such waste, fraud, and abuse, and, to the extent possible, recover all improper payments.
- End all domestic programs that do not provide a necessary and meaningful benefit to US Citizens, in general.
- Contract an independent auditing firm to perform an audit on every governmental department, agency, bureau, and office (entity) to ensure that its mission is:
- Constitutionally necessary
- That it fully meets and succeeds in its mission statement
- That its mission is not duplicated by any other government entity. If a government entity is discovered to be failing in any of these criterion, we must demand that that entity be defunded and dissolved.
[Next month, I will provide more information on the enormity of our debt but, in the meantime, if you are unsure as to how to contact your elected representatives, please read the “LAGNIAPPE” column in this issue. Remember, your representatives cannot read your mind, if you want things to change, you must ACT! – Editor]
COMMENTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES
Jay Dean Reedy, Tennessee State Representative – District 74, shared the following statement, which was co-signed by forty-six of his colleagues:
“Last year, the Tennessee Legislature approved House Bill 2315, now Public Chapter 973, which requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to fully cooperate with federal immigration officials in compliance with federal and state laws.
“The explicit aim of HB 2315 was to prohibit formal or de facto sanctuary policies, under which local governments or law enforcement departments in Tennessee shield illegal aliens from detection, or refuse to honor lawful requests by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to remand individuals who are in their custody for removal. The law was enacted to protect the welfare and safety of all citizens of Tennessee, and is consistent with a federal statute that prohibits so-called sanctuary policies.
“Nashville, the state’s capital and largest city, continues to flout both federal and state law and provide sanctuary to illegal aliens, including criminal aliens. Recently, Mayor David Briley asserted his refusal to ‘use our local resources to enforce ICE orders,’ and to ensure that ‘resources are available for undocumented immigrants should the need arise.’
“In addition to obstructing the enforcement of federal immigration laws by duly authorized federal authorities, Nashville officials are further compromising the public interest by failing to comply with Public Chapter 973. Under the law, recalcitrant city officials are jeopardizing much needed funding from the state. The law states clearly that local government entities that do not comply are potentially ‘ineligible to enter into any grant contract with the department of economic and community development.’
“We strongly urge Nashville officials to act in the best interests of law-abiding citizens of the city. Nashville is subject to the laws of the State of Tennessee and the United States of America, and the laws of both are clear: Sanctuary policies that shield illegal aliens are themselves illegal.”
Mark Greene (R-TN 7th District) offered the following comment:
“In July, Congress passed an irresponsible budget deal that suspended the debt limit until July 2021. Congress now has until the end of September to pass bills to fund the government for the new fiscal year. However, Democrats remain committed to defunding the border wall, and are even willing to risk a shutdown to appease their radical base.
“In addition, despite the Special Counsel’s report clearing President Trump of any collusion, House Democrats remain committed to impeaching the President. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted to formalize procedures for an impeachment investigation. Democrats seem ignorant of the fact that the vast majority of Americans don’t want President Trump to be impeached.”
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) responded to a letter I wrote to him expressing my concern that a label showing the country of origin often does not appear on packaging of products and food items. Following is a copy of his letter.
Thanks very much for getting in touch with me and letting me know what’s on your mind regarding food safety and Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements.
COOL required retailers to provide their customers with information about the origin of various food products, including fruits, vegetables, fish and shellfish, and meats. These mandatory requirements were intended to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions about the food they buy.
In June 2012, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) upheld an earlier WTO Panel decision that the United States’ COOL requirements for beef, pork, and poultry discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock imports and thus were inconsistent with the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
After the WTO ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico, the U.S. revised the COOL requirements. However, the WTO again ruled against the U.S. saying that the revised requirements still violated U.S. trade obligations and imposed a disproportionate burden in record-keeping and verification requirements on meat producers and processors. In December 2015, the WTO ruled that Canada and Mexico could legally retaliate against American-made exported goods in the form of over $1 billion in tariffs on various U.S. products.
On December 18, 2015, in an effort to avoid over $1 billion in tariffs that would have negatively hurt businesses in Tennessee and across the nation, Congress approved and the president signed into law the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which repealed mandatory COOL requirements. While I think consumers have a right to know what’s in their food, the tariffs Canada and Mexico could have imposed would severely impact several Tennessee companies.
I’m grateful you took the time to let me know where you stand, and I’ll be sure to keep your comments in mind as this issue is discussed and debated in Washington and in Tennessee.
[I thought Senator Alexander’s letter was informative, but the topic of my letter to him concerned country of origin labels on manufactured goods. – Editor]
Scott DesJarlais (R-TN, 4th District) offered the following remarks in response to the latest attempt by the Democrats to harm President Trump . . . and the United States!
“Before and after last year’s midterm elections, a few of us predicted Democrat leadership would fall prey to their most strident members and move to impeach President Trump. Sadly, having accomplished nothing but fruitless investigations in this Congress, Speaker Pelosi has allowed this radical element to dictate another partisan investigation.
“An overwhelming majority of the American public rejects impeachment. However, some individuals, who still cannot accept that their candidate lost the 2016 presidential election, are pursuing a purely political agenda. Congress must reject it.”
Randy Weber (R-TX, 14th District) offered the following response to the latest coup attempt by the Democrats:
“Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry announcement is just another attempt by Democrats to delegitimize the President in an attempt to overturn the will of the people as stated in the 2016 election. Instead of fighting this Administration at every turn, Democrats should remember what the American people sent us here to do – come together and legislate, not investigate.
“There are House and Senate committees already doing their jobs by investigating the ‘whistleblower’s’ allegations. The progressive left-wing’s obsession with impeachment is overshadowing any respect for due process, and the more important business of legislating for the needs of the American people, like passing an actual budget. Let’s get the facts — actually read the call transcript for a start — before wasting taxpayer dollars on an impeachment hearing.”
You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty. -Jessica Mitford, author, journalist, and civil rights activist (11 Sep 1917-1996)
COMMENTS FROM READERS
John Droz, a reader from Morehead City, NC offered the following comment:
I read your commentary about China and thought you did a fine job with that.
My only beef is that you never once mentioned the word “Communism.” The concern with China is not just because they are a large competitor, but rather that they are a large competitor that is advancing a completely different world view: Communism.
Without exaggeration, the very survival of our Country is at stake.
[Indeed, the threat of Communism is too often ignored by Americans. I highly recommend viewing these short clips. To do so, press “Control” and then left click on the links. – Editor]
Arkady Polishchuk, a reader currently living in St. Petersburg Russia writes:
Thank you very much for your high opinion about my memoir “Dancing on Thin Ice.” Time is running fast. I am not anymore with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. After being expelled from Russia, for the first time in more that forty years my wife and I are back to Russia [we] have been trying to prolong in St. Petersburg the life of her ill mother. My ability to communicate with my Western friends and readers is limited and this is the reason for me to be repetitive.
My memoir “Dancing on Thin Ice,” published last year in the USA, is about a Russian journalist who knew too many Soviet spies working as foreign correspondents but dared to turn into anti-Soviet human rights activist, attended anti-Semitic trials and gathered information on the persecution of Evangelicals. It was submitted for the annual award given by the American Library Association for achievement in Jewish Literature. The gold medal did not go to me, but the very fact of the nomination pleased me as it was my first book in English. For me, this memoir was more about human rights than of being Jewish.
In March, my wife traveled to neighboring Estonia to send to America safely a contract for another memoir. “As I Was Burying Comrade Stalin” explains how and why a child, in my case, a Jewish child, becomes secular and brainwashed. I just found the Amazon.com ad saying that it will be published in January 2020.
Have no doubt, here in St. Petersburg Stalin’s fans from certain state services were first to read this manuscript on my computer. They would be puzzled to learn that Marxism and communism are fashionable in some American universities and we have a member of the Democratic Socialist Party in Congress and even sympathizers of Muslim Brotherhood.
Lisa Schiffren, a reader from the Bronx, NY shared her observation:
It has to end. And there is no good end in sight. The fact that we, the US, are negotiating to give the Taliban power, is deeply shameful. The Taliban should not exist twenty years on. The Saudis created them, and should have been asked to get rid of them. The fact that the Afghan government remains weak and incapable of defending its own interests, is also shameful. And that is on them. Yes, the US facilitated corruption by handing out money and stuff. But worse, Afghan leaders and strongmen everywhere, including in the heart of Kabul, demanded that baksheesh to play ball. So, yeah, lots of stuff we paid for didn’t get built.
One reason we all loved the Afghans back in the day, was that they were the most exuberantly proto “Live free or die,” “Don’t tread on me,” people. They rose against the world’s strongest totalitarian power, at great cost, and fought till the Soviets left, and dissolved. No one expects one of the planet’s most backward third world nations to move from monarchy to Soviet occupation, to New England town meeting style Democracy in a generation. But 18 years on, it would be nice if the government we backed, and the military we trained, could hold on to the nation. The Afghans have traditionally preserved many of their freedoms and local control by guaranteeing that the king, in Kabul, was weak. It should not be a surprise that when a more vehement, vicious form of their ancestral religion showed up, and had no problem consolidating and exercising power, Taliban leaders had an easy time taking power from the weak central government. It is clear enough that the Afghan men, and, especially, women, who fear what the Taliban will do to their new rights to education and some self-determination, if the US is not present, have good reason for that fear.
No one who ever thought hard about it would have suggested that the U.S. would be good, or even competent, at running a traditional empire. We lack the tenacity and conviction for colonialism. Our two party system makes consistency impossible. Especially in a place like Afghanistan, where the inherent nature of the people forces them to resist, even if what they are resisting, is precisely what they need and want. Which is to say that our failure, and that is what it is, was both knowable in advance, and inevitable.
Joni Bryan, a reader from Nashville and Executive Director and Founder of the Tennessee Chapter of the 917 Society provided the following press release:
The 917 Society Announces Free Program Available to Teachers
NASHVILLE- The 917 Society is excited to announce the 3rd annual distribution of free pocket constitutions to 8th grade social studies teachers to give to students in Tennessee this school year. For Constitution Day, September 17th, The 917 Society distributed free pocket Constitutions to 90,000 8th grade students across the state with the help of Founders Club Members led by President Dr. Ming Wang, Vice President Lee Beaman and many other 917 Society Members. “Dr. Wang grew up in China and knows firsthand what it means to live in a communist ruled country. He is passionate to share his American Citizenship and love of our Constitution with our youth,” said 917 Society Founder and Executive Director Joni Bryan.
The 917 Society relies on individuals, community leaders, elected officials and private businesses to provide the program each year. “Our elected officials take an oath to uphold our Constitution and it is important as citizens to know their oath and hold them accountable to it. We are thrilled to have so many of our community leaders and elected officials helping with this project to ensure our youth are equipped with their very own copy of the Constitution. We feel it is a great way to show support for our educators by providing this free resource for the classroom. This year, Kris Bancroft joined our effort to provide the 917 Society pocket Constitutions to 8th grade students in Rhea County.
“We are excited to help teachers commemorate student’s ‘citizenship’ and supply them with their very own long-lasting pocket U.S. Constitution.” Ms. Bryan said, “We want every year for all 8th grade students to receive their Constitution as a “rite of passage” into citizenship. We appreciate all our 917 Society volunteers and Professional Educators of Tennessee for helping with orders and deliveries.”
Tennessee is the first state making this program available statewide each year- including public, private and home schooled students. According to Ms. Bryan, schools in several other states have requested the program and the organization plans to expand nationally this coming year.
The 917 Society is a non-partisan non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization providing free constitutions and programs to 8th grade educators to celebrate Constitution Day, September 17. This upcoming September 17 will mark the 232th anniversary of the signing of our U.S. Constitution. The 917 Society welcomes all who support and uphold the Constitution to participate. You may contribute to or volunteer for The 917 Society by visiting www.917society.org, or visit us at www.givingmatters.org.
Jim Clarkson, President of RSM Energy, Columbia, SC, published this satire in his newsletter:
“How do you plead?”
“I’m innocent, your honor. I did nothing wrong.”
“Whaddaya mean ‘nothing wrong’? The cops caught you coming out of a bank wearing a Bernie Sanders mask, with a gun and a sack of money!”
“But that money came from only business and institutional accounts, and I’m going to use it to help poor people pay their power and gas bills. I’m a caring compassionate person.”
“A crook is what you are. Do you give any of your own money to poor people? Did it occur to you to ask these businesses if they would donate money to your cause?”
“No, but I don’t spend much of the money on myself. Besides I’m a Public Service Commissioner. We are constantly taking money from one group and giving it to another group with more political clout. Our policy is to give away other people’s money to deserving voters and campaign-contributing lobbyists.”
“You may be guilty of greater crimes than I thought.”
Nicholas LaMorte, from Long Island, NY, and President of CSEA (Long Island Region) shared the following: “According to Long Island Weekly (3-01-19), roughly 71% of young adults are determined to move off Long Island. And, Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen isn’t helping matters…she proposed hiking town taxes by millions, voted “NO” on a bipartisan tax cut and even voted against cutting town spending by $11 million. Maybe it’s time to move High-Tax Laura Gillen out of Hempstead Town Hall.”
David Flint, a reader from Elkhart, IN offers the following:
Nancy Pelosi’s authority is being constantly challenged by the radical leftists in her party. She realizes there is a genuine threat to her position as Speaker if she doesn’t offer something in the way of “red meat” to those radical Democrats if she doesn’t at least appear to be on board with those who are demanding the impeachment of President Trump. That’s why she has called for an inquiry to impeach the President. An inquiry does not mean that she’s ready to move ahead on an impeachment process, in fact, she’s just trying to buy time. She knows there are no grounds for impeachment because President Trump has not committed any impeachable offenses. Meanwhile, most Americans know that the radical leftists are destroying their party’s credibility, and she’s merely hoping the semantics of her empty and baseless threats will calm the whackos down for a while.
The death of the 4th Amendment is at hand; one of many symptoms is diagnosed below:
In an article published by Forbes Magazine we learned the government wants Apple and Google to hand over names, phone numbers and other identifying data of at least 10,000 users of a single gun scope app, Forbes has discovered. It’s an unprecedented move: Never before has a case been disclosed in which American investigators demanded personal data of users of a single app from Apple and Google. And never has an order been made public where the feds have asked the Silicon Valley giants for info on so many thousands of people in one go.
HR 3717 Dollars for the Wall Act (Green, R-TN). This bill has some interesting history and takes a clever and innovative turn to enable taxpayers to donate money to a political campaign on their income tax form. Here’s the story:
After the Watergate scandal, which revealed the influence of large political donors on the President, Congress changed the campaign finance laws so that taxpayers could mark a box on their tax form to donate money to a publicly-funded presidential campaign fund. The thought was that millions of taxpayers, each making small contributions, would outweigh the influence of large donors. At this time, taxpayers filing singly may donate $3.00 and those filing jointly may donate $6.00. See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/campfin/intro3.htm
Given that Congress has repeatedly failed to allocate funding that would enable President Trump to keep his pledge to “build the wall” along the U.S. and Mexico border, Representative Green’s bill would change the tax forms by providing an option that would empower the citizens to fund the wall if only they would check the box on their tax form!
HR 3776 Changing Hurtful and Alienating Names in Government Expression (CHANGE) Act (Castro, D-TX). Following the lead of the City of San Francisco, whose Commissioners recently changed their Charter to replace language that might be offensive to convicted felons, drug addicts, and illegal aliens with more “politically correct” language (see https://www.foxnews.com/politics/san-francisco-board-adopts-new-language-for-criminals-turning-convicted-felon-into-justice-involved-person ), Mr. Castro has introduced a bill that would, in effect, remove and replace such terminology in all Federal documents.
The Heritage Foundation (Hans A. von Spakovsky) noted “’Undocumented immigrant’ is a politically correct, made-up term adopted by pro-illegal alien advocacy groups and liberal media outlets to obscure the fact that such aliens have violated U.S. immigration law and are in the country illegally. Precision in the law is a vital principle, since the exact words used in statutes, regulations, contracts, guidance documents, and policy statements can significantly affect how they are applied and interpreted. If we are going to discuss and debate the issue of immigration and what our public policy should be, we should at least use accurate, precise terms, and talk about, for example, legal aliens vs. illegal aliens.”
[Our language is slowly being corrupted by the “Newspeak” advocates. We are living in Orwell’s “1984,” and the trend must be reversed if our country is to survive. To wit: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr4238 – Editor]
HR 1941 Coastal and Marine Properties Protection Act (Cunningham, D-SC, 4 pages). The Democrat’s war on fossil fuels continues; this bill would prohibit offshore oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic coast.
HR 3620 Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019 (Clay, D-MO, 14 pages). This bill claims its intent is to provide rental assistance to low-income tenants in certain multifamily rural housing projects financed by the Rural Housing Service of the Department of Agriculture, and to develop and implement a plan for preserving the affordability of rural rental housing, and for other purposes. This bill would amend Title V of the Housing Act of 1949 (under Title 42, US Code 1471) by adding a new section which includes the following language in Section 545: “Notice under this paragraph shall be provided in plain English and shall be translated to other languages in the case of any property located in an area in which a significant number of residents speak such other languages.” Clearly, this language implies that at least some of the residents will include illegal aliens.
[This bill was passed in the House of Representatives and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration. – Editor]
HR 1690 Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019 (Garcia, D-IL, 5 pages). This bill would require the installation of carbon monoxide sensors in public housing. There is no provision within the bill to ensure such sensors are installed in a way that would make it difficult or impossible for them to be removed and then sold on the black market.
[This bill was passed in the House of Representatives and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration. – Editor]
HR 281 Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019 (Beatty, OH-D, 14 pages). This bill amends the Federal Reserve Act to require Federal Reserve banks to interview at least one individual reflective of gender diversity and one individual reflective of racial or ethnic diversity when appointing Federal Reserve Bank presidents, and for other purposes. In other words, Ms. Beatty’s bill expands quota hiring practices to include the Federal Reserve banks.
[This bill was passed in the House of Representatives and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration. – Editor]
HR 1146 Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act (Huffman, CA-D, 6 pages).
This bill would amend Public Law 115-97 (commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) to repeal the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas program, and for other purposes has passed in the House of Representatives and has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
In other words, Mr. Huffman’s bill would halt oil and gas production in the ANWR region – a field that has been instrumental in the United States becoming energy independent and has produced more than 5400 new jobs in ANWR alone.
[Note: A companion bill HR 205, which would, in effect shut down oil and gas exploration off the Florida coastline was recently passed in the House of Representatives. These bills would severely limit the United States’ ability to remain energy independent. – Editor]
HR 2567 and S 1353 Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act (Wild, D-PA and Casey D-PA, respectively). This bill ties a state’s federal child abuse funding to whether the state adopts the federal standard about who should report suspected child abuse. The federal standard would include ~10 special categories of adults, including teachers, foster parents, camp counselors, most clergy or religious officials, daycare or childcare practitioners, school administrators, doctors, and law enforcement officials. Since most child abuse occurs within the home, unfortunately, parents are not included.
HR 3979 and S 2435 BASIC Act (Meuser, R-PA and Daines, R-MT, respectively). The House and Senate versions of this legislation would require governmental budget and spending estimates that are provided by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), to include interest added to the national debt.
It was noted by Representative Meuser and Senator Daines that, in ten years, the interest on the deficit alone will be higher than the entire deficit was last year. Thus, their bill would require that the impact made by added interest obligations should be reflected in all government spending and budget estimates.
Senator Daines stated on the Senate floor (and, as such, his remarks were archived in the Federal Register): “What this bill does, it will finally allow the American people to understand the true cost of the irresponsible spending that’s going on here by Congress. It’s going to face Congress, and force Congress to deal with the reality of our debt. So, we can make decisions that need to be made going forward – knowing the true impact they will have on our children and grandchildren.
“The way we’re calculating budgetary costs now, it actually deflates the true cost [of the legislation passed.] So, it’s painting a rosier picture for the public than what actually exists. If I go back home, chatting with a Montanan, and tell the Congress allows gimmicks that shields how much it spends, they’d be furious – and they should be furious.”
HR 1186 Keep America Safe Act (Deutch, D-FL, 7 pages). This bill serves as yet another example of the liberal meme to “never let a good crisis go to waste, and would limit magazines and other ammunition feeding mechanisms to 10 rounds. [Most magazines for 9mm semi-automatic pistols – the most common firearms used for home defense purposes – hold 15 rounds. – Editor]
HR 1236 Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019 (Carbajal, D-CA, 14 pages). This bill is, in essence, everything the proponents of “Red Flag” laws have in mind to arbitrarily and capriciously usurp the citizen’s rights under the 2nd Amendment, in that any individual may, without bona fides, petition a court to name another individual as an individual who poses an “extreme risk.” Once an individual has been cited as an “extreme risk,” that individual must petition the court to regain their right to keep and bear arms and, in doing so, must provide proof that the claim made against them was unfounded.
HR 2708 Disarm Hate Act (Ciciline, D-RI, 7 pages). This bill would modify Title 18, US Code – Section 921(a), so as to prevent a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime, or received an enhanced sentence for a misdemeanor because of hate or bias in its commission, from obtaining a firearm. Examples of a “hate crime” in this bill is defined as being “motivated by hate or bias because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity.” Further, the proposed addition enumerated as Paragraph 36(b)(ii)(II) states “the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights does not expressly provide that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.”
Never let a crisis go to waste. – Rahm Emmanuel.
S 2474 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2020 (Shelby, R-AL, 160 pages). This bill makes appropriations for the Department of Defense for the Fiscal Year ending on 30 September 2020, and for other purposes. The total allocation will not be available until it is reviewed by GAO.
HR 4337 Property Rights for Patriots Act (DesJarlais, R-TN, 3 pages). This bill amends the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to prohibit the enforcement of certain policies of homeowners associations regarding real property of servicemembers.
[Hurrah! – Editor]
Socialism is found at the intersection of Evil and Laziness. – Kenny White, Host of the “Southside Unicorn Show.”
Lately, I have received quite a few requests from readers who expresses a desire to contact their representatives and express their views on a bill posted in the LEGISLATIVE REPORT but they are reluctant to do so because they simply don’t know how. This month, I will share with you my approach for contacting representatives and some other relevant information on this topic.
First of all, it is essential that each citizen contact their representatives to express their ideas, opinions, and concerns because they are, after all, hired by We the People to do what we ask of them – they are our voice. Secondly, it is important to realize our representatives cannot read our minds; they won’t know the specifics of our expectations unless we tell them. They (well, most of them), really do want to know what we think and they really do want to keep us happy because, by serving their constituents, they can get reelected. Thirdly, when you contact the offices of your elected representatives BE POLITE! It’s OK to disagree with your representatives and it’s OK to offer criticisms but ALWAYS BE POLITE!
Generally speaking, our representatives will receive four types of communications, these include: requests that they support a bill or program; requests that they vote against a bill or against a program; requests for assistance with a matter of concern to their constituents or an individual, and; requests to appear at an event or function.
There are three principal methods for contacting a representative: phone, email, and written communication handled by the USPS or a privately owned delivery service e.g. UPS or FedEx. While many elected representatives currently have Facebook or Twitter accounts, these are not truly an effective means of communication because the representative may or may not see a post. If one has something meaningful to say it makes sense that one should do all that is possible to ensure the representative sees and responds to one’s communication.
Many people like to phone their representative’s offices. Their phone numbers are generally listed in the Blue Pages of the phone directory – both local office numbers and in the State Capitol or Washington, DC – but, while this is expedient, it is not the most effective means of communication because the representative’s staffers field the call and often do not capture the full purpose of the call.
A more effective means of communication is via email. Although emails are received by a staff member, one’s complete thoughts are contained therein and the representative (or their delegated communications officer), receives the full context of what is communicated when the representative or their delegated individual meets with their staff. In these staff meetings, the representative or delegated individual instructs the staff on the response. There are several ways one can locate their representative’s email address. The easiest way is to phone their local office and ask a staffer to provide it to you. Another way is to type the following into your search box at the top of your home page on your email service, e.g.: “Contact Senator _______” NOTE: Once you reach the representative’s home page you will likely see several tabs and one of them will likely be “Contact” or “Email Me.” Simply click on the appropriate tab and type your message.
The most effective means of communication is made by putting words on paper and sending them to the representative but there is a problem in that all physical materials must pass through security apparatus that ensures the message does not contain harmful objects or materials – since terrorists have sent harmful agents through the mail in the past it is only reasonable that extraordinary security measures must be taken. This is, unfortunately, the world we live in, and if one’s communication is time-sensitive, one should opt for sending communications via email or via telephone.
Responses to communications are customarily made in the same fashion in which they are received; if we communicate by phone it is likely that our response would be by phone, etc.
Formulating one’s communication requires thought and planning. Responses to one’s communications are more effective if they are focused on one – and only one – topic and, while a complete thought with all essential background information or reasoning will help yield the desired action, stating one’s message as briefly as possible is essential to achieving the desired end. If you have chosen to express your thoughts by phone, take time to write out what you want to say and make certain what you will say actually makes sense and covers all the salient points. If you have decided to write your message, start with a draft and refine it until it fulfills your purpose. Here is an example:
Dear Representative _______:
I am writing to ask that you please vote against H.R. (Bill Number), “(Title of the Bill)” because it will not (state your reasons e.g. that it will not achieve the desired results, wastes too much money, etc.).
Name & Contact Information
Expect a response and, by all means, track your representative’s vote if you are writing about a bill. Sometimes you will receive a form letter in the way of a response. If this happens, write again to restate your topic and express your disappointment with a request for a more definitive answer. However, if your representative takes action of which you approve, by all means write back with a message of thanks!
If you have a specific concern in your District or State, formulate your communication to address your concern and provide the solution to that issue. Here is an example:
Dear Representative _________:
The stretch of interstate highway between ________ and ________ has been getting worse for the past five years yet nothing has been done to improve this road. These conditions attribute not only to numerous accidents but also cause damage to our cars. The people who travel this stretch of highway would greatly appreciate your efforts to secure more funding to repair these problems. Please keep us posted on your efforts to help us.
Name & Contact Information
If you need further assistance, please send me an email and I’ll be happy to help.
“The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.” – Adolph Hitler
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