The Week in Congress: Will the Senate End the Draft? Will the House Bailout Puerto Rico?

The Senate comes back into session today. The main issue on the Senate agenda is continuing consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Senator Rand Paul has introduced an amendment to the NDAA to end the draft. He also introduced an amendments to allow military troops in states with concealed or constitutional carry laws to exercise their Second Amendments rights on military bases. Lastly, Senator Paul wants to declassify the 28 "hidden" pages of the 9/11 report.

The House comes into session on Tuesday. Among the items the House will deal with this week is H.R. 5278, which is legislation dealing with Puerto Rico's financial crisis. The bill "restructures" Puerto Rico's debt, ensuring that holders of that debt will either not be paid or paid less than they are owed. The bill does not deal with the ruinous economic polices that have created Puerto Rico's economic crisis. It thus practicality guarantees future crises and bailouts.

The House will also consider H.Con.Res. 112, which expresses Congressional opposition to President Obama's proposed $10 per barrel tax on oil, as well as H.Con.Res. 89, which expresses opposition to a carbon tax.

Campaign for Liberty has signed a coalition letter in support of H.Con.Res. 89:

The Honorable Roy Blunt
United States Senate
260 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
May 24, 2016

Dear Senator Blunt:
We write today in support of your resolution in the Senate expressing
that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.
While our organizations represent a diversity of interests and viewpoints,
we share the belief that the free market empowers American families to
achieve economic success, greater prosperity, and a higher quality of life.

Conversely, policies that inhibit or distort the marketplace – like a carbon
tax – act as an economic anchor, reducing prosperity and lowering the
standard of living that American families have worked hard to attain.

A carbon tax will inflict economic punishment on our nation’s families and
businesses by deliberately making the energy they rely on every day –
electricity, gasoline, diesel, and natural gas – more expensive. And not only
would consumers’ energy bills and prices at the pump be driven upwards, but
as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states, those higher
fuel prices “would raise production costs and ultimately drive up prices for
goods and services throughout the economy.”

An independent economic study conducted on behalf of the National
Association of Manufacturers found that a carbon tax would also “have a
net negative effect on consumption, investment and jobs, resulting in lower
federal revenues from taxes on capital and labor.” The same study further
found that “or workers, a carbon tax would lead to lower real wage rates
because companies would have higher costs and lower labor productivity.”
Furthermore, these negative impacts would be distributed regressively,
imposing the most economic harm on those who can afford it the least.
A carbon tax would disproportionately punish lower-income Americans
because, as CBO states, “low-income households spend a larger share of
their income on goods and services whose prices would increase the most,
such as electricity and transportation.”

In fact, the CBO found in its modeled case of a $28 per ton carbon tax that costs
would be more than 2 ½ times higher for the poorest one-fifth of American
households than for the wealthiest one-fifth.

At a time when many American families are trying desperately to get ahead,
the last thing we need is to see policies put in place that will take our entire
economy backwards. Thank you for your leadership on this important
issue, and we hope to see the full Senate act quickly to take up and pass your
resolution opposing a carbon tax.

Thomas Pyle, American Energy Alliance
Brent Garnder, Americans for Prosperity
Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks
Myron Ebell, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Harry Alford, The National Black Chamber of Commerce
Matthew Kandrach, 60 Plus Association
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment
David Williams, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Craig Rucker, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
Brett Healy, MacIver Institute
Joseph Bast, The Heartland Institute
Seton Motley, Less Government
Brent Mead, Montana Policy Institute
Thomas Schatz, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
David Stevenson, Caesar Rodney Institute
Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation
Tom Brinkman, COAST
Marita Noon, Energy Makes America Great
Amy Ridenour, National Center for Public Policy Research
Andresen Blom, Grassroot Hawaii Action, Inc.
Willes K. Lee, National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Charles Curley, Wyoming Liberty Group
Norm Singleton, Campaign for Liberty
Paul Gessing, Rio Grande Foundation
Matthew Anderson, Coalition for Self-Government in the West

The House will also consider H.R. 4775, legislation giving states more flexibility in complying with EPA's ozone standards (which is fine, but why not just get rid of the federal standards?) and the Legislative Branch Appropriations.

Today, the House will consider several bills under suspension of the rules, including:

1. H.R. 5338-- Checkpoint Optimization and Efficiency Act of 2016.  This act requires the Transportation Department to assess the staffing requirements of every "checkpoint" at every airport in the nation. It also requires the department to make sure that staff are being used in the most efficient manner. Hey Congress, how about just getting rid of TSA and letting the airlines decide how to best allocate resources for security?

2. H.R. 5273-- Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act. This act provides some relief for hospitals for the Medicare bureaucracy's coding rules.

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