Friday, October 27, 2017

California WaterFix Project Not Supported by Trump Administration

Source: Jerry McNerney (D-CA, 9th)

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Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- In response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it would not support the California WaterFix Project, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) issued the following statement:

“Long before this administration weighed in, the controversial tunnels proposal has been based on flawed science and funding assumptions without even achieving water sustainability for the state. Most recently, support has shifted away from the project due to its excessive cost that comes with no assurance of prolonged results. For these reasons, opposition to the tunnels continues to grow.

“There are many viable alternatives and forward-thinking approaches that will modernize our water system. My new legislation, the WEST Act, focuses on these tangible, commonsense solutions, including conservation, efficiency, recycling, and water capture.

“It’s time to change the narrative. The WEST Act is the product of extensive engagement and consultation with a diverse group of stakeholders – including farmers, technology innovators, industry and community leaders – and provides proactive, long-term solutions to California’s water challenges. This legislation offers a path forward for Californians, and I will continue to work with state leaders to find sustainable and achievable water solutions for California.”

Related News:

Interior Department clarifies, says it will continue to work on delta tunnels project

Global Development Lab Act Introduced in the House

Source: Michael T. McCaul (R-TX, 10th)

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Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Congressmen Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Joaquin Castro (TX-20), both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced legislation aiming to make the United States’ international development efforts more impactful and cost-efficient. The Global Development Lab Act authorizes and augments the capabilities of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) U.S. Global Development Lab, an entity that applies science, technology, innovation, and partnerships to accelerate development impact and solve the world’s most pressing development issues. The House of Representatives previously passed the Global Development Lab Act in the 114th Congress.

“At a time when our nation continues to face some of the most challenging global crises in recent history, we must continue to make smart investments in effective solutions,” said Rep. McCaul. “Through the use of scientific and technical innovations in collaboration with the private sector, the Global Development Lab has played a critical role in mitigating the effects of outbreaks, such as Ebola, and reducing global poverty. That is why I am proud to introduce the Global Development Lab Act with my Texas colleague Congressman Castro, which will further enhance the important work of the lab and sharpen a critical tool used to improve the lives of millions of people and American foreign policy abroad.”

Specifically, the Global Development Lab Act formally authorizes the Global Development Lab within USAID and would allow the Lab to:

  • Utilize innovation incentive awards, a pay-for-success model, allowing the Lab to tap into good ideas, no matter the source;
  • Bring in term-limited technical experts in a more cost-effective manner; and
  • Have greater flexibility to use program income more effectively.

    “If the United States hopes to meaningfully address the numerous intractable challenges confronting the world, we must expand the universe of problem solvers we engage. The Global Development Lab does just that, essentially crowd sourcing solutions to big problems like hunger, illiteracy, and disease,” said Rep. Castro. “The Lab is a worthwhile investment in the future of humankind – in fact, it’s designed to save the government more money than it costs. Convening the expertise of academia, the private sector, and non-profits, we will be able to draw on a range of specialized knowledge and bypass hurdles that have held back innovation in the past.”

    The U.S. Global Development Lab seeks to spur revolutionary development innovations by sourcing, testing, and scaling proven solutions to help hundreds of millions of people lift themselves out of poverty. The Lab aims to accelerate the evolution of the development enterprise by seeking input from people everywhere who have promising ideas; expanding existing and encouraging new partnerships; putting data and evidence to use; and capitalizing on technological and scientific advances.
  • Mobile Mammography Promotion Act Introduced in the House

    Source: Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MI, 3rd)


    Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) introduced legislation that would allow mobile mammography units to purchase fuel without the federal excise tax.

    Luetkemeyer’s legislation, the Mobile Mammography Promotion Act, would increase access to breast cancer screening by providing relief from the federal fuel excise tax for “mammovans.” Mammovans are vehicles designed exclusively to travel to underserved, and often rural, areas to provide mammograms and other services that help detect and treat the medical challenges facing many individuals.

    “The majority of us have a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, or a friend who has fought breast cancer,” Luetkemeyer said. “ We must ensure regular mammography screenings are available to all Americans regardless of location because early detection and treatment is critical to defeating breast cancer.”

    Luetkemeyer has introduced the Mobile Mammography Promotion Act in previous congresses. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced this legislation in the Senate.

    Opioid Epidemic

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    President Trump recently gave a speech on the Opioid Crisis in the United States:

    Below are some of the reactions to the speech:

    Nita Lowey (D-NY, 17th)
    Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT, 3rd)

    “As the top Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Education, we are concerned that President Trump’s announcement today is a weak half-measure and insufficient to meet the scale of the opioid emergency. We have a moral duty to address this crisis and save as many lives as possible.”

    “While the steps outlined by the President may be helpful in some instances, without robust and dedicated funding, health care providers, treatment facilities, and others working on this multi-faceted crisis will be hamstrung in their efforts to protect American communities from the scourge of opioid addiction. Further, mere shifting of already insufficient resources threatens to hamper critical investments in other forms of health research and treatment.”

    “To that end, in his next disaster supplemental request, President Trump should request emergency funding through the Public Health Emergency Fund. This Fund was established to address exactly this sort of crisis yet it has not been funded. Congresswoman DeLauro introduced the Public Health Emergency Fund Act (H.R. 3579) in July, which would provide $5 billion to the Fund.”

    “Existing mandatory funding for Opioid State Grants, provided through the CURES Act, expires at the end of fiscal year 2018. This mandatory funding should be expanded and extended. Emergency funding should also supplement existing efforts at NIH, CDC, and SAMHSA, as well as programs authorized through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).”

    “If we are to defeat this crisis, weak half-measures will not suffice. We must act aggressively and responsibly to help those who are currently addicted and protect others from this deadly affliction.”

    Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MI, 3rd)

    “Today’s emergency declaration by the President may bring more awareness to the issue, but it does not solve the problem nor fully address the challenges faced by millions of Americans impacted by the opioid crisis. This declaration provides no new funding and no new treatment or prevention strategies.

    If the President were truly serious about making a difference in this fight, he would not be pushing a budget that cuts nearly a trillion dollars from Medicaid or slashing the budgets of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and other health services that are essential in helping people fight and treat addiction.”

    Tom Marino (R-PA, 10th)

    “The abuse of opioids has descended well beyond a crisis. It is a sustained epidemic. This is a true emergency and the President’s decision to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency is a powerful step in the right direction. Decisive action like this will further enable all the available resources at the federal government’s disposal to be mobilized and optimized to best serve each community’s unique needs. That means allowing more flexibility in allocating prevention efforts, law enforcement, addiction treatments and recovery programs.

    “The president’s actions not only strengthen legislation like the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act, a measure I supported and which was signed into law last year, but also forces a greater sense of urgency to more aggressively work to reverse this epidemic.

    “There is still much more work to be done in terms of implementing solutions, but this declaration paves the way for expanded coordination, at all levels, and ensures that we are able to effectively manage all the complexities and nuances that come with addressing this issue.”

    David McKinley (R-WV, 1st)

    “West Virginia is at the epicenter of this crisis. We are experiencing the highest rate of opioid deaths in the nation. Yet when West Virginia applied for the grant to help babies with opioid dependency, they were denied. When HHS released an additional $144 million in funding, we received none of it. As ground zero for this public health crisis, it is time West Virginia received the funding it deserves.”

    Martha McSally (R-AZ, 2nd)

    “Opioid addiction is a nationwide epidemic that’s tearing our communities apart. Prescription painkillers, the very ones sitting in home medicine cabinets and on home bathroom counters, are killing thousands of Americans each year. Although their use often starts out harmless, these powerfully addictive substances are abused by 6.5 millions of Americans each year and cause more deaths than car accidents. We have felt this acutely in my district in Southern Arizona—Pima County had an overdose rate almost twice as high as any other county in Arizona. When the prescriptions run out or can’t be found, these addicts then turn to illegal drugs. Over 80% of heroin users started out on prescription opioids.

    I applaud the Administration for calling our nationwide opioid epidemic what it really is: a public health emergency. Today’s announcement is a necessary step—but it cannot be the final one. Congress and the President must work together to combat this emergency from all sides. I have and will continue to find legislative solutions to interrupt this deadly cycle and halt its spread.”

    Congresswoman McSally spearheaded legislation included in the 21st Century Cures Act, which, paired with the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act she supported, will provide grants, gives treatment and prevention, and supports law enforcement in communities around the nation to combat this crisis. In May 2017, she voted for an increase of $781 million for fighting the opioid epidemic.

    Continue Reading on Page 2 by clicking HERE

    Congressman Lowenthal Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Require Online Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Pollution from Energy Production on Public Lands

    Source: Alan Lowenthal (D-CA, 47th)

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    Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), joined by members of the Safe Climate Caucus and bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, has introduced legislation to promote greater transparency in federal energy leasing programs by requiring the Department of the Interior (DOI) to publicly disclose the amounts and sources of greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel development on public lands.

    Although the exact number is uncertain, numerous studies estimate that nearly 25 percent of the U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are from fossil fuel production on U.S. federal lands and waters.

    The Transparency in Energy Production Act of 2017 would require the DOI to create an online database of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels extracted from public lands, including all vented, flared, and leaked natural gas and all fossil fuels used on-site. The bill would also mandate an annual DOI report on the amounts of energy produced by renewable energy projects on public lands. The DOI would also be required to submit an annual report to Congress on the department’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel development on public lands.

    “The foundation of any successful plan to reduce emissions is to first quantify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions being emitted and where are they coming from,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Increasing the transparency around energy production programs on federal lands and waters, especially when it comes to methane emissions, would go a long way toward eliminating what has often been called the “blind spot” of our federal energy program.“

    In a 2016 report entitled Oil and Gas: Interior could do more to account for and manage natural gas emissions, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the DOI does not collect the necessary information to understand and limit emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This lack of information keeps the American public from learning the amount of climate-damaging greenhouse gas pollution originating from their public lands.

    This legislation is even more critical since the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management today officially rescinded its Obama-era instructions to consider climate change and to weigh the potential for increasing greenhouse gas emissions before approving energy projects.

    “My legislation would direct the Department of the Interior to develop an online database that collects and centralizes the production and emissions data from fossil fuel development on public lands. The American people deserve transparency and have the absolute right to know how their government is impacting the environment,” Congressman Lowenthal said.

    “This bipartisan legislation will increase the transparency of federal management of taxpayer-owned energy resources by requiring agencies disclose production and emissions information. No responsible manager would hide this information from the asset owners,” Senior Director of The Wilderness Society’s Energy and Climate Program Chase Huntley said.

    Congressman Lowenthal’s Transparency in Energy Production Act of 2017 is cosponsored by Congress Members Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Niki Tsongas (D-MA).

    House Passes Senate Budget Resolution

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    Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- The House agreed to the Senate Amendment to H. Con. Res. 71, a concurrent resolution establishing the congressional budget for fiscal year 2018.

    The FY18 Budget, H.Con.Res.71:
  • Contains up to $640 billion in defense discretionary spending
  • A significant increase to give our military the equipment and training they need to do their jobs effectively
  • Achieves $5.1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years and produces a $79 billion surplus by Fiscal Year 2026
  • Calls for increased accountability at the VA to ensure our veterans get the care they deserve
  • Promotes job creation
  • Provides for lowering tax rates on individuals and small businesses in future legislation
    See the House GOP plan for tax relief HERE
  • Helps reform and improve the sustainability of Medicare and Medicaid to preserve these programs for future generations
  • Delivers significant resources for border security
  • Balances in 10 years, and puts our country on track to pay down our current $20 trillion debt

    Below are a few statements about the vote:

    Barry Loudermilk (R-GA, 11th)

    “Today, the House of Representatives today took a critical step in paving the way to achieve major tax reform. Although the Senate stripped key provisions from the 2018 budget the House previously passed, they kept in much of the overall framework to cut taxes for millions of hardworking Americans.

    “While I am extremely disappointed with the Senate removing conservative provisions that required Congress to ensure that tax reform does not add to the deficit, reduce mandatory spending by at least $203 billion, and repeal Obama Care, I voted to move forward with this budget because Americans are counting on us reduce their taxes and simplify the tax-filing process.

    “I believe that our best days are ahead of us and, by allowing Americans to keep more of their hard earned dollars, they will, in-turn, boost America’s economy. A strong and growing economy, coupled with serious government reforms that restore freedom and reduce the burden on America’s businesses, may once again resurrect the American dream for our children and grandchildren.”

    Mia Love (R-UT, 4th)

    "Today, the House passed a budget that paves the way for Tax Reform. The Utah Chamber thanked me for this vote, because it's time to update our outdated, complex and onerous tax code. I'm working for a tax code that's pro-economic growth, pro-family and which will allow Utah's middle class to thrive again."

    Ben R. Lujan (D-NM, 3rd)

    “This is an extreme budget plan that would devastate New Mexico’s economy. It decimates education programs like Pell Grants; slashes food nutrition programs; cuts investments in our infrastructure; and kicks off millions from health care by undermining the ACA, cutting Medicare by$473 billion from Medicare and $1 trillion from Medicaid.

    “Even worse, it paves the way for tax cuts that will add up to $1.5 trillion to the national debt to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires. The Republican tax plan will actually raise taxes on about 104,000 middle class New Mexicans. In short, it prioritizes the rich and powerful at the expense of everybody else.

    “We need a truly bi-partisan tax reform process to lower rates for the middle class, simplify the tax code, and ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share.”

    Kenny Marchant (R-TX, 24th)

    “The key to creating jobs, improving wages and growing salaries at every level of our economy is overhauling our outdated and uncompetitive tax code. Passing this budget clears the way for once-in-a-generation tax relief that touches every sector of our economy.

    “We are one step closer to reforming a crippling tax code that hurts American workers and hinders American businesses. Tax reform that impacts everyone unleashes economic growth that leaves no one behind.”

    Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY, 18th)

    “This budget is just a Trojan horse to pass a terrible tax bill that’s going to raise taxes on middle class families in the Hudson Valley by eliminating state and local deductions so we can give a big cut to the GOP’s donors and wealthy friends. I can’t vote for a budget that’s going to make it easier to jam through a bad tax bill that’s going to hurt the people I represent.”

    Carolyn Maloney (D-NY, 12th)

    “Today, House Republicans took the first step toward raising taxes on millions of New York families by passing a budget that allows them to eventually eliminate the deductibility of state and local taxes. According to the Rockefeller Institute, New York sent $48 billion more in taxes to the federal government than it received back in 2015, making us the largest donor state in the nation. If the SALT deduction is eliminated, New Yorkers will be sending even more to the federal government than we get back and we will be double-taxed. That is a slap in the face and punch to the gut that we can’t allow to happen.

    “The SALT deduction is the most widely used benefit in the tax code in New York and getting rid of it means New Yorkers will pay an average of $5,300 more in federal income tax. For those that live in the city, taxpayers will see an average increase of $7,100.

    “If the SALT deduction is eliminated, it will create tremendous pressure on state and local governments to cut back funding for schools, infrastructure, health, local law enforcement, and first responders and that is simply unacceptable. New Yorkers take care of their own, and we’re proud of it.

    “While some are proposing to cap the SALT deduction, that is still problematic because it will put a serious strain on our state’s finances.

    “Given the stakes, we’re going to be doing everything we can to make it as painful as possible for Republicans in New York and similar states to vote to end the State and Local Tax Deduction.”

    Tom McClintock (R-CA, 4th)

    Mr. Speaker:

    Unsustainable government spending drives both taxes and debt.

    The budget resolution sets the spending architecture for the fiscal year. The House version provided for $200 billion of enforceable mandatory spending reductions over ten years and balanced within the decade.

    The Senate amendments gut these provisions, squandering the one opportunity Congress has each year to bring mandatory spending under control -- taking us another year closer to a sovereign debt crisis. This is tragic and I condemn it in the strongest terms.

    The Senate has retained just one key provision from the House budget. It makes tax reform possible this year. Tax reform is essential to economic growth, and economic growth is essential to confront our debt.

    Many are alarmed that it provides for $1.5 trillion of additional debt – but this is solely due to the Senate’s rules that require tax cuts to be scored ONLY as revenue losses without taking into account economic expansion.

    During the Obama years, our economy grew at an average of 1 1/2 percent annually – about half the average rate since World War II. Reagan averaged 3 1/2 percent. Reagan did this by reducing the tax burdens that were crushing our economy. He slashed the top income tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent --- and income tax receipts nearly doubled because of the economic expansion he unleashed.

    Taxes driven by spending are the greatest threat to our economy today and debt driven by spending is the greatest threat to our future. Controlling spending is currently impossible in the Senate. So, it’s obvious that we can’t balance the budget and reduce our debt without significantly increasing economic growth; we can’t increase economic growth without tax relief; and we can’t get tax relief without the provisions in the Senate budget.

    Arthur Laffer, architect of the Reagan tax policy, forecasts that the corporate tax reform alone will increase GDP growth at a rate that should generate a temporary bump of 5 percent, settling down to an average of 2.6 percent over the decade. This alone will add $5 trillion to the American economy and directly increase revenues to all levels of government between 1.8 and two trillion dollars.

    We tried a static approach to tax policy during the Obama years. The economy stagnated and the debt doubled.

    I remember what it was like in the Reagan era. Wages were rising, opportunities for better jobs were everywhere, there was a sense of optimism that comes with prosperity and abundance. When we abandoned these policies, we lost that prosperity to a decade of despair. I want my kids to know what that sense of relief and optimism was like – what it feels like when morning dawns again in the America economy. This resolution starts that transformation.

    Betty McCollum (D-MN, 4th)

    “House Republicans’ budget reflects their priorities: it fast tracks lavish tax breaks for billionaires and big corporations, slashes health care for families, guts investments in America’s future, and forces working families to pay for it all.

    “Minnesotans should understand exactly what this budget vote means: it will allow expedited action on the Trump-Ryan-McConnell tax plan, which gives the top 1 percent of wealthy Americans 80 percent of the benefits. By eliminating the state and local tax deduction that helps middle class Minnesotans, it actually raises taxes on working families in our state.

    “Make no mistake: every Republican who voted for the budget today voted to raise taxes on working Minnesotans to fund a giveaway to the wealthiest Americans.”

    A. Donald McEachin (D VA, 4th)

    “Today, I reiterate my firm belief that legislative budgets are moral documents outlining our principles, values and goals. Congressional Republicans put forward a budget that slashes billions of dollars from the services that hardworking Americans depend on most. The budget heading to the President’s desk is one that values the wealthiest Americans over meeting the basic needs of hardworking families.

    “Republicans will follow this disgraceful bill with their so-called ‘tax reform’ plan that will once again demonstrate their priority of protecting and enhancing the already wealthy. This billionaires-first tax plan will be rammed through precipitously, adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Apparently, deficits don't matter anymore.

    “Rather, we should be prioritizing bills that will support children and working families such as CHIP reauthorization, or my Pollution Transparency Act. I urge my colleagues to take the time needed and to carefully consider legislation that gives the American people what they really want – better jobs, better wages, high-quality education, and affordable healthcare.”

    James McGovern (D-MA, 2nd)

    “Today, House Republicans are pushing a job-killing budget so they can use fast-track ‘reconciliation’ procedures to steamroll through their billionaires-first tax plan. We ought to have a budget that helps the millions of Americans who sent us here, not a budget that helps only the well-connected and the well-off.

    “What’s particularly astonishing is the blatant hypocrisy of Republican leaders pushing this deficit-busting budget. Republicans are always telling us how much they care about the deficit, but when it comes to giving their beloved tax cuts to their billionaire friends, they suddenly develop a convenient case of amnesia. They say, ‘what deficit?’ ‘Don’t worry, these tax breaks will pay for themselves’ This is absurd.

    “In this Republican-controlled Congress, we can now say with certainty that the deficit and debt no longer matter. All the talk by Republicans? They didn’t really mean it. If Republicans really cared about the deficit, they wouldn’t bring a budget as reckless as this to the floor. This shows what they truly believe. Where their values are.

    “How many times have Republicans talked about the importance of a balanced budget? Let me spell this out for my Republican friends: This is not a balanced budget. Clearly Republicans desperately need a refresher on basic arithmetic.

    “There is absolutely nothing balanced about hitting middle class families and millions of hardworking Americans with cuts while giving billionaires and corporations tax cuts they simply do not need. This is disgusting. This is shameful.

    “In all my time in Congress, I have never seen a budget and a tax plan that harms so many just to benefit so few.

    Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5th)

    “We are unlocking our historic opportunity to unleash everyone’s potential through comprehensive tax reform,” said McMorris Rodgers. “A fair, simple tax code is how we help lift up those who are left behind. America was built on freedom, opportunity, and hard work, and it’s time our tax code reflected those principles.”

    This page is continued on Page 2 by clicking HERE
  • Lofgren & Conyers: detention of 10-year-old disabled child unjust and inhumane

    Source: Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, 19th)

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    Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Following reports that a ten-year-old disabled child was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents immediately after emergency surgery at the Driscoll’s Children hospital in Corpus Christi, U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) wrote to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke today raising concerns that the child’s detention is unjust, inhumane, and will create community-wide fear resulting in immigrants not seeking medical care, even for their children.

    According to news reports, Rosamaria Hernandez was brought to the United States as a three-month-old baby. She suffers from cerebral palsy, and was detained after her ambulance crossed a Border Patrol checkpoint traveling from Laredo to Corpus Chirsti. Border Patrol agents followed her to the hospital and waited outside her hospital room.

    The letter reads:

    “The Trump Administration has repeatedly told the American people that DHS enforcement efforts regarding immigration detention and deportation would focus on the “bad hombres” and the “gang members.” Rosamaria Hernandez is neither. She is a vulnerable, disabled child who recently underwent a surgical operation. She needs to be with her family and not in immigration custody.

    “This is yet another example of the Trump Administration failing to follow DHS Sensitive Locations guidelines. The DHS Sensitive Location memo states that enforcement actions shall not occur at hospitals unless there are exigent circumstances. These exigent circumstances include national security, terrorism, an imminent risk of death, violence or physical harm, or an imminent danger to public safety.

    “In this case, this vulnerable child presented no risk of terrorism, danger to the community, nor to the public safety. On the contrary, DHS’s decision to detain a 10-year-old child with cerebral palsy who just received emergency surgery only risks the child’s life and her well-being. It increases her risk of post-operative infection and medical complications.”

    A link to the full letter is here.

    Zoe Lofgren is the Senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. John Conyers Jr. is the Senior Democrat on the full House Judiciary Committee.

    No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act of 2017 Introduced in the House

    If this bill is passed, it will weaken our efficiency in dealing with national threats in a timely manner.
    Call your congressman and tell him to vote NO on this bill!

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    Washington, D.C. - October 26, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) helped lead more than 60 members of Congress in introducing bipartisan, bicameral legislation ensuring President Donald Trump seeks Congressional approval before attacking North Korea. The “No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act of 2017” requires the President to receive Congressional authorization to use funds for such a strike. Senator Markey introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

    Upon introduction of the bill, Mr. Lieu said:

    “Our Founders gave the greatest power they knew at the time – the power to declare war – solely and exclusively to Congress. Today, Congress is sending a crystal clear message to President Trump that no matter how many incendiary tweets he sends, we have not authorized the use of force against North Korea.

    There are no good military options for North Korea. Before President Trump leads America down the uncertain and grisly path towards war, we owe it to our service members, the American people and our allies in Asia to have a thoughtful, deliberate plan of action for North Korea. As a Veteran, I am proud to join dozens of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to ensure that the American people have a voice in whether we make the sobering decision to take military action. “

    The introduction of this bill builds upon the Congressman’s efforts to stop the President from authorizing an unconstitutional strike against North Korea. Previously, the Congressman introduced “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2016”, which would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.