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This Week in Congress

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The U.S. House is in session Tuesday through next week. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has advised representatives to expect votes over the weekend and early next week. Congress “needs” to pass either an Omnibus spending bill or a continuing resolution by December 11 to avoid a government shutdown. Congress also “needs” to pass the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. There is also still a possibility that Congress could pass another coronavirus/stimulus spending bill before adjourning for the year. The Senate will be considering nominations. Among the nominations the Senate may consider is a revote on the nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board. On November 17, Dr. Shelton’s nomination failed to achieve cloture. The vote was 47-50. Republicans Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R- ME) joined every Democrat in opposing Shelton. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voted no only so he could call for a revote. You can see the vote here. Dr. Shelton has drawn some criticism for her past advocacy for a gold standard, although she has recently been supporting President Trump’s call for lower interest rates. Following the lead of Dr. Ron Paul, Campaign for Liberty does not take a position on any Federal Reserve nominees because the problems with the Fed cannot be fixed by nominating “good people” to the board. Instead, Congress should focus on auditing the Fed as a first step toward restoring a free-market monetary system. The House will also consider legislation under suspension of the rules, including: 1. H.R. 7995—Authorizes the US Mint to change composition of the coins if the change can be made without altering the size of current coins and will reduce costs incurred by the taxpayers. The necessity for this bill is a result of the Federal Reserve’s devaluation of the currency, which has resulted in the bizarre situation where its costs more than one cent to make a penny. You can get more information on the costs of making coins here. 2. H.R. 8199— To amend the Small Business Act to enhance the Office of Credit Risk Management, to require the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to issue rules relating to environmental obligations of certified development companies, and for other purposes. (Expect ramped up efforts to use regulatory power to force businesses to comply with the “green” agenda.) 3. H.R. 1049—Authorizes creation of “National Heritage Areas,” which are areas of historical or cultural significance. (This is an excuse for the federal government to seize more land.) 4. The House will also consider H.R. 3884, which removes marijuana from the list of controlled substances, essentially legalizing it at the federal level. It also creates a process to expunge federal marijuana convictions. H.R. 3884 creates a new tax on marijuana to fund drug addiction programs and makes marijuana businesses eligible for small business loans.


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