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June 23, 2007

How to Pass Gun Control

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch…

Quotes of the Day

“There are two things you don’t want to see being made – sausage and legislation.” – Otto von Bismarck

“A sausage factory in a third world country with no running water has nothing on today’s U.S. Congress.” – Gun Owners of America

IN THIS ISSUE

* How to Pass Gun Control
* New RTBA Coalition Members

How to Pass Gun Control

In the week of June 11 – 18, the House passed 8 bills totaling 183 pages. The Senate was preoccupied in an Energy Bill debate and passed just two bills totaling three pages. One bill the House passed is worth special mention, and underscores why we need the Read the Bills Act.

On Wednesday, June 13, the House passed the first gun control legislation in nearly a decade, the 29-page H.R. 2640. They had to do it in a rush, in secret, so no one would know about it in advance. They had to do it by a voice vote, not a roll call, so no member of Congress would be held accountable.

This new legislation will allow the federal government to acquire, from the states, information about gun owners. It will federalize background checks. It will make it harder for law abiding citizens to acquire guns to protect themselves from criminals, but it will have no affect at all on the criminals themselves, because criminals do not obey the law.

This new gun control legislation was passed in a secret, underhanded, unaccountable way. As Gun Owners of America puts it,

“At 8:30 in the morning an email went out to House Republicans indicating that a gun control bill, recently introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), was on the Suspension Calendar (normally reserved for “non-controversial” bills). Many Representatives didn’t see that email until it was too late. Less than three hours later, the bill passed by a voice vote. The bill in question, H.R. 2640, is a massive expansion of the Brady Gun Control law, the subject of many previous alerts by Gun Owners of America.” See the GOA’s full release here.

The way H.R. 2640 was passed is just further evidence that we need the Read the Bills Act. Please remind your Representative and Senators that it is up to them to introduce the Read the Bills Act to Congress. In your remarks, we suggest you tell them you don’t like how this gun bill was handled, and that the Read the Bills Act would have prevented this from happening. You may do so here.

The list of bills Congress passed last week, including links to the roll-call votes, are listed after the signature below. We appreciate your comments!

Read the Bill Act Coalition

DownsizeDC.org welcomes the latest additions to the Read the Bills Act Coalition:

T.S. Thomas
War Against Federal Tyranny and the Misapplication of Income Tax

If you have a website or blog, you too can be a part of the Coalition and be linked to from the DownsizeDC.org blog. You can read the instructions for joining the Read the Bills Act Coalition here

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

The following are the bills the House and Senate passed last week. The bills were passed by voice vote except where indicated. For roll call votes, you can click the link to see how individual members of Congress voted. The descriptions of bills are essentially verbatim from the Congressional Record Daily Digest. Page numbers of bills are based on the pdf display of the latest version from the Government Printing Office.

HOUSE

S. 676 – to provide that the Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank or the Alternate Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank may serve on the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation, by a 2/3 yea-and-nay vote of 386 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 449–clearing the measure for the President; 1 page

Stop Arming Iran Act: H.R. 1441, amended, to prohibit the sale by the Department of Defense of parts for F-14 fighter aircraft. 4 pages

Native American $1 Coin Act: H.R. 2358 –  9 pages

H.R. 2637, to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act, with respect to civil penalties for child labor violations; 5 pages

Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007: H.R. 251, to amend the Communications Act of D8091934 to prohibit manipulation of caller identification information. 5 pages

Improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System: H.R. 2640, to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 29 pages

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008: The House passed H.R. 2638, making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, by a yea-and-nay vote of 268 yeas to 150 nays, Roll No. 491. 78 pages

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2008: The House passed H.R. 2642, making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, by a yea-and-nay vote of 409 yeas to 2 nays, Roll No. 498. 51 pages

SENATE

Virgin Islands:  Senate passed H.R. 57, to repeal certain sections of the Act of May 26, 1936, pertaining to the Virgin Islands, clearing the measure for the President. 1 page

Army Specialist Joseph P. Micks Federal Flag Code Amendment Act:  Senate passed H.R. 692, to amend title 4, United States Code, to authorize the Governor of a State, territory, or possession of the United States to order that the National flag be flown at half-staff in that State, territory, or possession in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces from that State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, clearing the measure for the President. 2 pages

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