A Republican and Democratic senator introduced legislation Friday that aims to end U.S. reliance on rare-earth metals sourced from and produced in China.
The Restoring Essential Energy and Security Holdings Onshore for Rare Earths (REEShore) Act would prevent supply disruptions and bolster domestic production of the minerals, according to Sens. Tom Cotton and Mark Kelly, the bill’s sponsors. They said the legislation is important for American national security and development of advanced technologies.
“The Chinese Communist Party has a chokehold on global rare-earth element supplies, which are used in everything from batteries to fighter jets,” Cotton said in a statement. “Ending America’s dependence on the CCP for extraction and processing of these elements is critical to winning the strategic competition against China and protecting our national security.”
In Pennsylvania, Republican members of the state legislature are drafting a bill that would forcibly relocate illegal aliens brought into the state by Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and instead move them to Biden’s home state of Delaware.
Fox News reports that the legislation was first mentioned in a memo by State Senator Mario Scavello (R-Penn.), who informed his colleagues of his intentions to introduce the bill.
“In the very near future, I intend to introduce legislation to address the influx of illegal immigrants being relocated into Pennsylvania,” Scavello stated. “How many illegal immigrants has the president relocated to his own home state of Delaware? If it is good enough for Pennsylvania, then why not redirect the relocation to Delaware?”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., declared Sunday he won’t vote for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, saying he feared the bill’s mass spending and climate provisions may worsen inflation.
“This is a no,” Manchin told Fox News Sunday, “I have tried everything I know to do.”
The West Virginia Democrat’s decision all but dooms Biden’s signature legislation in an evenly divided Senate.
Manchin said he was concerned about the continuing effects of the pandemic, inflation, and geopolitical unrest. His decision came after an intense lobbying campaign by the president and fellow Democrats failed to change his mind.
A Senate bill that ostensibly focuses on strengthening American competition with China includes a provision between the lines that would designate $5 million for funding of a new “chief diversity officer” position at the National Science Foundation (NSF), according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The bill is the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which is supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. The bill aims to address the ongoing economic rivalry and supply chain crisis between the United States and China, by increasing domestic manufacturing and tightening supply lines in the United States.
According to the bill, the duties of the NSF’s new “chief diversity officer” would include “establishing a strategic plan for diverse participation” in the foundation’s various programs, as well as collecting information on the demographics of the NSF’s staff and patent applicants, in order to know which demographics to hire to offset alleged “inequity.” The bill would direct states to close such “equity gaps” by giving subgrants to students in computer science education classes who face “systemic barriers.”
The Pennsylvania House has advanced legislation introduced by Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford, to expand educational offerings for home-school students.
House Bill 1041 amends the Public School Code of 1949 to permit home education students to take advantage of their local high school by attending up to four academic courses in a school day and participating in co-curricular activities. They also would have access to programs offered at career and technical education centers.
Pennsylvania home-school students currently are permitted to participate in extracurricular activities at the high school in their district.
The final $1.2 trillion INVEST in America Act passed the Democrat-led House in a late night vote on Friday. Tucked away inside the infrastructure bill are some controversial policies, including these five:
1. The cryptocurrency tax provision in the Senate version of the bill was the subject of scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans. The language was not amended in the final bill that passed the House. The legislation includes an IRS reporting requirement for brokers of cryptocurrency transactions.
2. Under the “national motor vehicle per-mile user fee pilot” section of the bill, there is a pilot program to create a vehicle miles traveled system for taxing drivers based on their annual vehicle mileage. During his confirmation process, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg floated the idea of taxing motorists based on the number of miles they travel each year as a way to partly fund the legislation. The Biden administration backed off of full-scale development of the controversial proposal, settling instead for a pilot program.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation that would prohibit the federal government and any entity at the federal, state and local level that receives federal funding, including school districts, from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for minors.
“Parents should have the right to decide what is best for their children in consultation with their family doctor,” he said. “My view on the COVID-19 vaccine has remained clear: no mandates of any kind.
“President [Joe] Biden and his administration have repeatedly ignored medical privacy rights and personal liberty by pushing unlawful and burdensome vaccine mandates on American businesses, and now they are preparing to push a mandate on kids by pressuring parents – all without taking into account relative risk or the benefits of natural immunity.”
Millions of illegal immigrants could have access to amnesty, assistance with college tuition, various tax credits and waived grounds for inadmissibility to the U.S. under the Democrats’ proposed reconciliation bill.
The reconciliation bill might allow illegal immigrants with expunged criminal offenses to enter the U.S. and give millions of others illegally living in the U.S. a chance at parole.
“It is outrageous that congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are trying to ram through a massive amnesty and significant increases of legal immigration during this historic and worsening border crisis,” Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies Robert Law told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.
Radical far-left activists publicly announced their plans to continue harassing Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) over her opposition to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, this time with plans to follow her around at the Boston Marathon, Fox News reports.
The Green New Deal Network, an alliance of 15 far-left groups, issued a press release declaring their intent to follow and harass Sinema at the annual event on Monday, in an act known in politics as “bird-dogging.” The pressure from radical activists stems from Sinema’s refusal to support the “Build Back Better Bill,” an effort to shove through many far-left agenda items through the legislative process known as reconciliation; reconciliation, which is often reserved exclusively for budgetary matters, cannot be filibustered and thus only requires a narrow majority of 51 votes in order to pass.
Sinema, along with Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), has repeatedly refused to support a bill that costs as much as $3.5 trillion, instead advocating for a reduction in the overall cost.
“Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority.”
That was Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion ruling in 2012 that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was unconstitutional under Congress’ Article I, Section 8 power to regulate interstate commerce.
And yet, the mandate was rescued in the very same decision by Roberts, ruling that penalty under the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’ Article I, Section 8 power to collect taxes.
Legislation to restrict the use of gas-powered landscaping equipment in California also would outlaw portable generators in a state only a year removed from rolling power outages amid deadly heat.
Lawmakers have sent Gov. Gavin Newsom Assembly Bill 1346. The bill’s sponsor, Assembly Member Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, said the legislation would phase out the sale of new gas-powered small off-road engines (SOREs) in California.
“Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and other equipment with small gas-powered engines emit staggering levels of air pollution,” Berman said in a statement. “These noisy machines are terribly disruptive to communities across California, and the workers who breathe in exhaust from this equipment day in and day out face disproportionate health risks, including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.”
The Texas state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that aims to curb perceived political censorship by social media companies.
The bill, introduced in the Texas Senate by state Sen. Bryan Hughes, would prohibit social media platforms from “censoring” users based on their viewpoints. “Censoring” includes actions such as removing content, banning users, demonetizing users, and suppressing posts, according to the bill.
House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.
The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.
The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill allowing illegal aliens to work as House staffers, while also increasing the budget for staffing by 21 percent, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
The bill, H.R. 4346, was introduced by Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who is currently running for the United States Senate in Ohio, and was supported by the most far-left members of Congress, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The bill spends a total of $4.8 billion on a wide range of Congressional expenses, including staffing increases and more Capitol Police funding.
The bill passed on a nearly party-line vote of 215 to 207. Every Democrat voted in favor, along with a single Republican: Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska). Every other Republican in the House voted against it. The bill has yet to pass the Senate.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would prohibit the federal government from creating and maintaining a federal database of every American who has received COVID-19 vaccines.
Cruz introduced the bill after White House officials announced a plan to use taxpayer dollars to pay individuals to go door-to-door in regions of the country where there are relatively low vaccination rates.
In response to statements made by President Joe Biden and White House press secretary Jen Psaki about the door-to-door outreach initiative, Cruz tweeted, “When the Biden admin calls for ‘targeted’ ‘door-to-door outreach’ to get people vaccinated, it comes across as a g-man saying: ‘We know you’re unvaccinated, let’s talk, comrade.’ My bill to ban federal vaccine passports prohibits the feds from maintaining a vaccine database.”
New laws that will cut income taxes for Georgians and increase tax incentives for businesses go into effect Thursday with the start of a new fiscal year.
Dubbed the Tax Relief Act of 2021, House Bill 593, raises the standard deduction on state income tax returns for a single taxpayer by $800 to $5,400 and by $1,100 to $7,100 for a married couple filing a joint return, starting in the 2022 tax year.
HB 593 created the second tax cut of its kind in three years. It will cut income taxes by more than $600 million collectively over the next five years. The Georgia Legislature doubled the state’s standard deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Georgia in 2018.
The House approved a resolution Wednesday to create a select committee into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol weeks after Senate Republicans killed a bipartisan commission into it.
The bill authorizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to select eight members and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to select five in consultation with her. It passed 222 to 190, with two Republicans joining all Democrats in voting in favor.
Though the bill passed with bipartisan support, it was significantly less than the 35 House Republicans who voted for the bipartisan commission in May. House Republican leadership came out against the bill Tuesday, urging its caucus to vote no on the grounds that it would “pursue a partisan agenda and politicize the Jan. 6 attack.”
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has upset the plans of his party leaders to jam though hyper-partisan legislation and tip the electoral balance in favor of Democrats for all future elections. Manchin, a secretary of state before he was elected governor, is refusing to end the filibuster, or to vote for H.R. 1, the cynically named “For the People Act.” Writing in the Charleston Gazette Mail, Manchin contends:
The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner. . . . I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy . . .
H.R. 1, which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to bring to the floor for a vote this week, proposes a near-complete takeover of elections by Congress; it would replace most state election laws, substituting new laws that in some instances are even worse than the “progressive” approach take in states like Minnesota and California. The proposed law also taps the people’s tax revenue for political campaigns and hijacks state rules on redistricting.
It turns out that the anti-malaria drug former president Trump famously touted in March of 2020 as a promising treatment for COVID-19, would indeed have been a “game changer” if only it had been widely used.
Use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus can increase survival rates by over 100 percent, according to a new study.
The Democrat-led Senate is poised to approve as early as Tuesday a China security bill that will earmark billions in taxpayer subsidies to the well-heeled computer chip-making industry, which saw record profits last year and doled out millions in lobbying fees and political donations.
The $54 billion in subsidies for chipmakers inside the 1,445-page U.S. Innovation and Competition Act has some seeing an unnecessary corporate welfare program that could benefit such iconic brands as Intel, Qualcomm and AMD and increase the government’s reach over free market business.
“This bill will increase government’s influence over the private sector while weakening America by increasing our debt,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), one of the legislation’s fiercest critics. “Democrats love spending other people’s money and growing government. I have no idea why any Republican would want to help them do that.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced a bill to stop the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from conducting espionage on American college campuses.
According to a press release from his office, Sen. Cotton re-introduced the “SECURE CAMPUS Act” on April 22. The bill would “prohibit Chinese nationals from receiving visas to the United States for graduate or post-graduate studies in STEM fields and would ban participants in China’s foreign talent recruitment programs and Chinese nationals from taking part in federally-funded STEM research.”
Sen. Cotton remarked that “Allowing China unfettered access to American research institutions is akin to granting Soviet scientists access to our critical laboratories during the Cold War.”
Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation Tuesday that bans hormone treatment for prepubescent minors.
SB0126 goes into effect immediately, making Tennessee the second state to ban trans procedures for minors, NBC reported. The Arkansas state legislature overrode Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill banning transgender surgeries and procedures for minors in April.
Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act, prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors before puberty. Transgender surgeries include vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, breast implants, and facial surgeries.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed a trio of bills Thursday to expand education options in Georgia.
Senate Bill 47 expands the state’s Special Needs Scholarship program to students with 504 Plans. The program offers scholarships for students with individualized education plans to attend a private school or a public school of their choice.
“COVID-19 has certainly highlighted the challenges that families face and finding the right education for their child, especially those with special needs,” Kemp said Thursday during a bill signing ceremony at the state Capitol. “This bill will give more parents greater options to ensure their child has every opportunity to achieve their dreams.”
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday scrapping all COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state and an accompanying bill that limits localities’ ability to enforce emergency precautions.
“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the executive order. “I think folks are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”
DeSantis signed SB 2006, which says that any emergency orders can last no longer than six weeks. It gives him the authority to overrule cities that adopt restrictions deemed too harsh or unnecessary, and gives city and county commissions the power to overrule mayors.
Rising Republican star U.S. Rep. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is sponsoring a new measure that would give unprecedented tax cuts to parents with children, and now he is saying his bill is on the front line of the nation’s “culture war.”
The plan in question would give a fully refundable tax credit of $12,000 for married parents and $6,000 for single parents who have children under the age of 13.
“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences. American families should be supported, no matter how they choose to care for their kids.”
The governor of Kansas has vetoed a bill that would have banned biological males from participating in women’s sports.
Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” Thursday, saying in a news release that the legislation “sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide,” according to local outlet KMBC.
“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.”
Arkansas became the latest state to pass a series of voting reforms this week, sending multiple bills to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.
The bills, overwhelmingly passed by the state’s Republican legislature, focus on in-person and absentee voting, while a third transfers additional authority to county election commissioners instead of local clerks. Hutchinson has not publicly said whether he plans to sign them.
The Arkansas Senate passed HB 1715 Tuesday, which prohibits clerks from sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters and requires them to report how many absentee ballot applications they receive each day. It also requires a voter’s signature to match their signature from when they first registered to vote, and forbids county clerks from providing a ballot if they do not match.
A bill that bans counties and municipalities in Georgia from reducing their police department budgets by more than 5% has passed the Georgia Senate and will be sent back to the House.
Sen. Randy Robertson, R-Cataula, a law enforcement veteran, said the legislation, House Bill 286, is a response to local efforts to “defund the police.”
“I think everyone sees the things that are going on around our country right now related to law enforcement, and what this does is just guarantee the citizens of any community that they’re not caught up in the politics that revolves around policing and offers protection,” said Robertson, who sponsored the bill.
A bill that would require local governments to approve extensions of public health emergency orders after 15 days is ready for adoption by the Missouri House.
House Bill 75, sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy, was perfected Wednesday in a floor debate and awaits only a floor vote to be transferred to the Senate, where a raft of similar bills are matriculating in committees.
HB 75, which has already passed through the House Special Committee on Small Business and Rules – Legislative Oversight committees, would allow local public health officials to order a closure for no more than 15 days.
Last summer, millions of dollars in taxpayer money were spent in response to protests that turned violent throughout Ohio. A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate looks to make sure those responsible will pay for it.
Senate Bill 41, currently being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for restitution from those who are convicted of property damage during riots, including vandalism. The restitution would pay the expenses of police and emergency crews who have to respond to riots. The bill also allows the government to take possession of any property left behind by those who end up convicted.
State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, is sponsoring the bill. Lou Tobin, the Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, offered his support before the committee recently.