Podcast Episodes

CD017: VAWA & Funding Defense

We take a close look at the Violence Against Women Act re-authorization as the President signs it into law. We also look at the continuing resolution passed by the House, which funds defense while leaving the rest of the government in chaos. S. 47: Violence Against Women Re-Authorization Act of 2013... Was signed by the President! This one is law. Definition Changes Adds stalking and date rape to the list of offenses. Includes cyber stalking in the definition of stalking. Replaces "spouses" with "parties' Indian Affairs Adds "sex trafficking" and "stalking" to eligible grant programs for Indian women Allows Indian tribes to have jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes unless neither the victim or defendant are Indians. Includes D.C., Indian tribes, and Puerto Rico in the grant...

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H.R. 592: Taxpayer Money to Tax-Exempt Churches Act

The House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow direct cash grants of taxpayer money to go to religious institutions (that don't pay taxes) for disaster relief, despite the fact that the First Amendment doesn't allow taxpayer money to go to religions. H.R. 592: Taxpayer Money to Tax-Exempt Churches Act Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act  SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Houses of worship sustained damage during Hurricane Sandy SEC. 3. INCLUSION OF HOUSES OF WORSHIP AS PRIVATE NONPROFIT FACILITIES ELIGIBLE FOR DISASTER RELIEF. (a) DEFINITION OF PRIVATE NONPROFIT FACILITY "The term ‘private nonprofit facility' includes any private nonprofit facility that provides essential services of a governmental nature to the general public (including museums, zoos, performing arts...

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H.R. 444: Require a Plan Act

The "Require a Plan Act" was such a waste of time, I can't even believe I have to write about it. It requires President Obama to submit a second budget if his first one for 2014 isn't balanced, even though the budget is 100% Congress' job. H.R. 444: Require a Plan Act SEC. 2. PURPOSE AND FINDINGS. (a) PURPOSE: to require the President to submit to Congress another budget if the President's budget for fiscal year 2014 is not balanced. (b) FINDINGS The President has submitted his budget on-time once since taking office. SEC. 3. SUBMISSION OF A SUPPLEMENTAL UNIFIED BUDGET. (a) IN GENERAL.—If the President's budget for fiscal year 2014, results in a projected deficit in every fiscal year for which estimates are provided then the President has to submit an additional budget that is...

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H.R. 225: Surveillance Hidden in Pediatric Research Bill

H.R. 225: National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013 The House overwhelmingly passed a bill that looks like it would fund pediatric research but, according to CBO, would expand surveillance. Of what? Don't know. The Director of the National Institutes of Health (a gov't agency) can create a network of up to 20 groups of public or private non-profits to work together to do pediatric research. As a condition of accepting an award, the groups need to agree to help the Centers for Disease Control with the establishing patient registries and "other surveillance systems as appropriate and upon request by the Director of the Centers." Establishes a "Data Coordinating Center" to... 1. Distribute scientific findings 2. Help design and conduct research projects and to manage the resulting...

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H.R. 325: “No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013”

On Wednesday, January 23, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 325: The "No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013". The big lie is in the title; if the members of Congress don't pass a budget, they will still get paid every penny, they'll just be paid later. Regardless, the bill temporarily suspends the debt ceiling so that the United States can pay the bills that Congress racked up until May 18th; because of this part, the bill became law. H.R. 325: NO BUDGET, NO PAY ACT OF 2013 SEC. 2. TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DEBT CEILING. The debt ceiling will be suspended from the day the President signs this bill until May 18, 2013. SEC. 3. HOLDING SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN ESCROW UPON FAILURE TO AGREE TO BUDGET RESOLUTION. By April 15, 2013, the House and Senate need to each pass their own...

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H.R. 307: Bio-hazards Preparedness Act (Reauthorization)

On Tuesday, January 22, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 307, a bill that prepares for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. It passed overwhelmingly with only the Tea Party crowd voting 'No'. Overall, the bill cuts funding in certain areas, orders special disaster preparedness plans be created to account for children and "at-risk individuals" (it's not clear who "at-risk individuals" are), and allows unapproved, unlicensed medical products to be sold in case of an emergency. Oh yeah, it also loosens the definition of "emergency". The bill now moves into the Senate. H.R. 307- PANDEMIC AND ALL-HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2013 TITLE I—STRENGTHENING NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES SEC. 102. ASSISTANT SECRETARY...

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