Preview of the 112th Congress

The 112th Congress was sworn in on January 5, 2011. Much news was made about the Republican majority reading the Constitution & over the weekend the shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a federal judge and 17 others. These actions have overshadowed the bills introduced thus far in the new Congress. As of 8PM (Mountain Standard Time) on January 10th there have been 259 bills introduced in the House, none in the Senate.

Of those introduced in the House 9 are “reserved for the Speaker” & 10 are “reserved for the House Minority Leader.” Eric Cantor introduced H.R. 2 Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act (171 co-sponsors) is only 2 paragraphs long, surely to be among the shortest bills voted on by the 112th Congress.

The “Fair Tax” has again been introduced with the same bill number H.R. 25. Other bills of interest include H.R. 21 Reclaiming Individual Liberty Act which would repeal the individual mandate imposed by the legislation known as “ObamaCare.” H.R. 29 to withdraw from NAFTA; H.R. 32 will redefine “homeless person” – though the GPO (Government Printing Office) has yet to receive the text of this legislation; H.R. 34 the “Family Self-Sufficiency Act of 2011” will create a $10 million bureaucracy to work under HUD to collect data and “information on the performance of their family self-sufficiency programs.”

There are also bills to provide/reduce or extend various income tax credits; recognize “loyalty” and say “thank you” for actions during World War II; repeal various sections of the massive health care legislation singed into law last year; make various changes to federal immigration laws; create a commission to “Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans” – which would include 3 members appointed by the President; 3 by the Speaker of the House & 1 by the President pro tempore of the Senate & authorized to spend $8 million on their study. Other bills wish to reduce pollution; create energy independence; spend tax-payer funding to extend mass transit for various parts of the country; extend the PATRIOT Act; de-fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; rename various federal buildings; prohibit the FCC from further regulating the Internet; create a biennial federal budget instead of a yearly budget; expand “Do Not Call” to include political calls; to ensure legislative pay does not automatically increase; there is even a bill to decrease legislative pay.

There are also bills to establish a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties; require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws; put the National Guard on the Mexican border; cut federal spending; create a national commission to establish a timely, independent, and fair process for realigning or closing outdated, ineffective, or inefficient Executive agencies; amend or extend Social Security; repeal the “death” tax; repeal TARP; provide for the collection of data on traffic stops; and to lift the trade embargo on Cuba.

Of all the bills introduced so far in this Congress, few will increase individual liberty, many will increase government power and/or spending and many more will benefit a small portion of the population at the expense of the rest of the population. I encourage you to learn about the bills being introduced and contact your members of Congress letting it be known that you only want them to support bills that will increase your liberties.