This Week in Congress

The House is in session Monday through Thursday. The big event this week is the vote on tax reform which is expected to happen on Thursday. The tax reform bill is generally good, but it still retains Chained CPI, which will eliminate many of he benefits via the hidden inflation tax. For more on Chained CPI see here and here.

The Senate will be considering nominations this week, including the nomination of Steven Bradbury as counsel for the Department of Transportation. This nomination has proved controversial all because when Bradbury was acting attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, he helped write a series of memos justifying the use of torture.

In addition to the tax bill, the House considered  H.R. 599, which basically endorsed the President’s undeclared war on Yemen. The House leadership blocked consideration of a stronger resolution condemning the actions in Yemen and invoking the War Powers Act to assert Congress’s role in foreign policy.

Campaign for Liberty co-signed the following statement in opposition to leadership’s actions:

On November 1, the House leadership removed the "privileged" status of H.Con.Res.81, the Khanna-Massie-Pocan-Jones resolution invoking the War Powers Resolution to end unauthorized U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. That privileged status, as mandated by the War Powers Resolution, would have guaranteed H.Con.Res.81 a floor vote. It is now expected that this resolution will not get a vote on the House floor this month.

Groups which led the campaign for a House floor vote on H.Con.Res.81 released the following statement in response to this action:

"We are deeply disappointed that House leadership has again prevented a debate and vote on ending U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, which is largely responsible for the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. We remind the House leadership that under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, ‘introduction of United States Armed Forces' includes the assignment of member of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged….’ U.S. refueling of Saudi and UAE planes bombing Houthi targets in Yemen meets that definition, therefore by law H.Con.Res.81 should have been privileged.

We thank Reps. Ro Khanna, Thomas Massie, Mark Pocan, Walter Jones, and the other co-sponsors for their leadership in diligently seeking a debate and vote on the U.S. role in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. We applaud their effort for bringing unprecedented and long-overdue discussion and attention to this matter and we continue to urge Democratic and Republican Representatives to co-sponsor H.Con.Res.81.

We call for the introduction of companion legislation to H.Con.Res.81 in the Senate. We will not rest until unauthorized U.S. participation in the famine-inducing war in Yemen has ended."

Yemen Peace Project
Win Without War
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Peace Action
CREDO Action
Just Foreign Policy
Campaign for Liberty
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ)

The House will also consider the Conference Report to the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, as well as H.R. 2874, legislation “reforming” and extending flood insurance programs. You can read Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul’s thoughts on the flood insurance here.

The House will also consider H.R. 4174, which is under suspension of the rules. This bill is designed to improve federal evidence gathering and assuming procedures.

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