A handy guide to all Congress happenings on both sides of the aisle. Thank goodness for this political body that keeps Presidential power in check.
The FDA Wants to Ban Flavored E-Juice, Endangering Millions of Americans
Imagine this. The government or some other higher authority banned something that you enjoyed; whether it be sweets, television, video games, etc. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “That could never happen, right? We live in the land of the free, the United States of America. Surely they couldn’t take away something we enjoy on a daily basis cause that would just be evil. It could never happen.”
Steil Watch: Feb-Mar
Steil Watch: February-March Edition. Congress wasn’t up to all that much the last two months, so I had to wait until there was enough to fill a report. But here is what Congressman Bryan Steil (Wisconsin’s newest representative) has been up to the last two months. For the most part, he has been voting like a pretty standard freshman Republican.
The 12th Amendment
The 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution was first developed on December 9th, 1803, and was thereafter ratified on June 15th, 1804, because it provided new legislation for electing the President and Vice President. Currently, the Electoral College is being reevaluated as a useful part of our government since before the Electoral College was put together, each member cast a single vote. The amendment states that the Electors shall meet in their respective states so as to vote by ballot for President and Vice-President. There is a new consideration given to the fact that the Electoral College must vote a president into office by having 270 votes.
The 11th Amendment
The 11th Amendment reads as follows: the judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state. (Cornell: 11th Amendment) This means that states do not have to hear lawsuits based on federal law. States deal with state law, but individuals can sue states if they want to. Anti-Federalists were opposed to the Constitution itself as well as individual rights to sue a state in federal court. In opposition, the Federalists favored the Constitution, while being eager to see it passed.
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution
The 10th Amendment reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Constitution wanted to be specific about the power the Federal government has over the people, as in, the State versus the Feds. The original Constitution that was ratified in 1788 contained few restrictions about the way the Federal government could use its power against the people or for the people since sometimes, major decisions are left to the States even to this day.
The 9th Amendment
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” this is the text of the 9th Amendment. On September 17, 1787 the Anti-Federalists demanded a Bill of Rights be added to the final draft of the Constitution. Federalists felt that a Bill of Rights would give the government too much power. The Anti-Federalists had to be contrarian and were against ratification of the Bill of Rights. Fascism means that the government has the right to do whatever they wanted, so the Anti-Federalists were paranoid that having too many rights would lead to this.
The 8th Amendment
The 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution is about not having excessive bail to get you out of trouble. Excessive bail is not supposed to be a thing, especially heavy fines, or cruel punishments inflicted. Cruel and unusual punishments are not directly specified in this Amendment. It means to measure a punishment’s cruelty or unusualness. In 1689, England adopted their Bill of Rights that prohibited “cruel and unusual punishments,” well before the 8th Amendment cropped up 100 years later in 1791. The first version of the Constitution, however, when ratified didn’t have a prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, which was not added until the Constitution was ratified.
Bryan Watch (Pt. 2)
Bryan Watch—Jan 14-18 The House of Representatives cast 14 votes the week of January 14-17. Eight were party line and six were non-party line. Steil voted with the Republican line every time this week.
Bryan Watch: January Weeks 1 and 2 Back in the early 2000's, I kept a close watch on Congressman Paul Ryan’s voting record under the label “Ryan Watch.” It fell by the wayside once he became speaker. But now that Wisconsin’s First Congressional District has a new congressman, Bryan Steil, it seems like a good time to begin looking at Congress again.
Tricia Gives It to Her Congressman!
TNP co-host, Tricia Smith, asks her Congressman, Blaine Luetkemeyer, seemingly difficult questions in response to his newsletter lauding his and his party’s “accomplishments.” Read below and judge for yourself. Do YOU see that anything was accomplished? If not, there is one way to fix it. VOTE!
Writing to a Government Official
Do you feel strongly about something going on in politics right now? (I'm sure your answer is, "Yes," like many other of the millions of Americans). Do you express your political beliefs/feelings to friends and family members? (I'm sure the answer is also, "Yes"). Instead of ranting to others, how about you write the politician him/her self? I'm sure you're thinking, "No, they already have enough stuff going on, they don't have time for me." I thought the same thing before I wrote to Illinois Senator, Tammy Duckworth. I've written to her twice and she has personally responded both times! I wrote about issues regarding human trafficking, a topic I feel very strongly about. The fact that she answered back, heard my voice, and promised to do something about it made my day. If you truly want to make a difference about something you really care about, I strongly encourage you to do the same!
Could the "Blue Wave" Be Starting to Break Far from Shore?
The Democratic party is being plagued by multiple issues that could easily keep them from retaking the Congress. The "Blue Wave" which Democrats had been hoping for (taking many congressional seats and most importantly, the majority) is starting to look more and more like it's going to break short of the shore.