Here's the latest from Capitol Hill, for week of April 8-12.
- House/Senate Schedule: The House and Senate are both back in this week, and will both remain in session for three weeks.
- Legislative Highlight of the Week: Next week will be “Cyber Week” in the House, which will consider a number of bills having to do with internet regulation and cybersecurity. Of particular concern is an as-yet-unnamed bill which would expand the government’s power to prosecute individuals under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The CFAA is already written so broadly that individuals can be prosecuted for crimes that they have no idea they committed (like violating a website’s terms of service). CFAA needs to be made more specific so that the lines are clear between criminal activity on the internet and simple users who may not even be aware they are committing a crime. Instead, the current bill makes it even easier to prosecute people under CFAA and makes its penalties more severe. FreedomWorks has signed a coalition letter opposing the current draft of this bill, which can be found HERE.
- House/Cybersecurity: Also next week, the House will be considering a revised version of the infamous CISPA (The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). FreedomWorks and nearly every other liberty-minded group opposed CISPA last year because it allowed the government and companies to share personal information attached to information regarding cyber threats. We will watch this year’s version to see if it addresses the individual privacy concerns.
- House/Energy: On Wednesday, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce will be holding a hearing on H.R. 3, a bill that would allow the approval for the Keystone XL pipeline to bypass both the President’s executive orders and potential litigation delaying it.
- House/Labor: This week, the House will vote on H.R. 1120, the “Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act”. Sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (TN-1), this bill would address the unconstitutional appointments President Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). These appointments, which bypassed the Senate even though the chamber was still in session, were struck down by a federal court. Yet, the newly appointed members and the NLRB have continued to operate as if the ruling never occurred. This bill would simply freeze any new regulations from the NLRB and suspend any that have occurred since the illegal appointments.
- House/Spending: Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-4) has introduced the Full Faith and Credit Act, H.R. 807. This bill would force the Treasury to prioritize our payments on the debt first in the event that the debt ceiling is reached. This would eliminate the argument that hitting the debt ceiling would force the U.S. to default on its debt (something that could only occur if the administration chooses to let it happen).
Also, if you haven't already, be sure to check out www.NFDrsvp.com to learn more about our big event on Tax Day, April 15th, here in D.C. FreedomWorks will be launching our exciting new initiative, the New Fair Deal. If you can't make it in person, the entire event will be streamed live at live.freedomworks.org, with guest speakers to include Reps. Mick Mulvaney, Tom Price, Mike Pompeo, and Justin Amash.