Monday, July 31, 2017

Rep. Black Statement on North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Launch

Washington, D.C. - July 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) responded to North Korea’s ballistic missile launch with the following statement:

“It is our responsibility in Congress to protect our citizens and hold North Korea accountable for their actions. This latest ballistic missile launch continues North Korea’s alarming escalation of aggressive acts, and we will not tolerate it,” said Congressman Black. “Just this week, the House passed H.R. 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act, in a bipartisan vote sending the message that continued missile development and nuclear activity by North Korea is unacceptable. I urge President Trump to sign this legislation into law as quickly as possible.”

Beyer, Conyers, House Democrats Introduce Security Clearance Review Act

Washington, D.C. - July 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and John Conyers (D-MI), Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, today introduced the Security Clearance Review Act. The bill would authorize the Director of the FBI to revoke the security clearance of an employee of the Executive Office of the President if the Director deems such actions necessary to national security. Their legislation was cosponsored by 19 additional Representatives.

“Donald Trump’s refusal to hold his senior staff accountable for their deceptions on Russia have sadly made this legislation necessary,” said Rep. Beyer. “Despite all we have learned about his secret meetings with Russians, Jared Kushner apparently continues to hold his clearance. Jared Kushner’s case and that of disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn make it clear that we need further protections when it comes to security clearances for the President’s family and closest advisers. I thank my colleague, Ranking Member Conyers, for working with me to craft legislation to protect our national security.”

“The Trump Administration has a very poor track record when it comes to their handling of classified information—and those are only incidents we know about,” said Rep. Conyers. “Given that several senior officials appear to have failed to disclose their contacts with foreign governments on their applications for a security clearance, given that President Trump is related by marriage to at least one of these officials, and given that the President himself appears to have played fast and loose with sensitive intelligence, it is imperative that the authority to revoke these clearances extend beyond the President, to include the Director of the FBI.”
The cosponsors of the bill are Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Norma Torres (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Peter Welch (D-VT), David Cicilline (D-RI), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

Rep. Beyer has led congressional attempts to hold Jared Kushner accountable for “omitted” meetings with Russian officials from his SF-86 form since Kushner’s failure to disclose those meetings was revealed. In April, Beyer and four other Representatives asked the Administration to suspend Jared Kushner’s security clearance.

The FBI’s response to that letter alerted the Representatives to the surprising fact that the President alone holds final authority to suspend or revoke employees of the Executive Office of the President.

Beyer subsequently led over 50 Members of Congress in calling for immediate revocation of Kushner’s security clearance following revelations that the Special Prosecutor was investigating Kushner’s meetings with Russian officials.

Earlier this month, Beyer led nearly two dozen Representatives seeking FBI scrutiny of White House adviser Ivanka Trump over possible omissions on her SF-86.


Washington, D.C. - July 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-San Pedro) has co-sponsored legislation that would resolve the immigration status of 800,000 young Americans enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The American Hope Act of 2017 offers a pathway to citizenship to DREAMers—the young people who are studying, working and contributing to our society and who have greatly benefited from DACA.

“In my district, there’s a young woman named Diana Medel who has been able to attend college and become a passionate community leader because of DACA.

Separating her from her life in Wilmington by deporting her to Mexico, a country she hasn’t lived in since age seven, would be an act of extraordinary cruelty. She and the hundreds of thousands of people like her are why my colleagues and I are fighting hard to protect DACA.

Earlier this month I urged then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to stand with me and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in supporting a DREAMer law.

Mr. Kelly said he supports the DACA program. He has stood by Speaker Ryan’s side to publicly support anti-immigration legislation. Especially now that he’s at the White House, he should come back to Capitol Hill to take a stand with us to say that people like Diana Medel are Americans, and that they’re here to stay.”


Washington, D.C. - July 28, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- This week, Congressman Don Bacon (NE02) along with 22 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to exclude tinplate steel and aluminum for food packaging in any import restrictions initiated under, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This investigation was launched to determine whether steel and aluminum imports threaten or impair our national security.

“As a retired brigadier general who served nearly 30 years in the Air Force, I share the President’s strong commitment to ensuring both America’s security and a level playing field for American manufacturing” said Congressman Bacon. “However, if the investigation does not exclude tinplate steel and aluminum, primary components used in the domestic manufacturing of food packaging, we are concerned it could negatively affect U.S. food processers and increase food prices for consumers.”

Given that tinplate steel makes up approximately 60 percent of the cost of the can, even a tariff as low as 5 percent on imported tinplate steel would increase the cost of goods by $0.042 each. This cost would inevitably get passed on to consumers who in many cases are the most economically vulnerable. This would be unacceptable. Additionally, Congressman Bacon is concerned that the broad scope of the Section 232 investigations may impact aluminum as well.

“The domestic canned food supply chain and flexible packaging industry generates more than $100 billion in total economic activity in the U.S. and employs tens of thousands of American workers,” added Congressman Bacon. “This industry provides some of the safest, most affordable food available to consumers today. We will continue to keep pressing for what we believe is right for America and our constituents.”