By Andy Blom, TES Contributor
While we wait for the chaos of the first Democratic Presidential Debate and watch the increasingly insane socialist, high tax social engineering and environmental doomsday proposals being put forth, free market conservatives are working every day on legislation, policy initiatives and practical approaches. Here’s a roundup of this week’s activity in Washington…
- Competitive Enterprise Institute Exposes Climate Change Falsehoods. CEI tells us that Climate Change is not a hoax, but a political matter, “a perpetual pretext for expanding government control over the economy, redistributing wealth and empowering elites at the expense of voters…” In a policy paper released this week, https://cei.org/content/citizens-guide-climate-change, they propose prudent opposition to these policies and use of the scientific method to assess the costs and risks of climate change and climate “solutions”. A rare moment of rational thinking and reasoned proposals in the climate hysteria.
- VAWA in the News, But Not in the News. In April the House Democrats increased the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act H.R.1585) by $341 million, and approved a waiver to keep it hush-hush. In increasing VAWA from $500,000,000 to $841,000,000 the House Rules Committee approved a Waiver that allowed the Committee Report to circumvent normal House procedures requiring the inclusion of a committee cost estimate in a committee report. Domestic violence rates have fallen dramatically in the last ten years, and the Conservative Action Project characterized the bill’s increase as “an act of immense political overreach”, setting “a leftist marker on economic policy, on social policy, and on gun policy, all in one bill.” Should domestic violence continue to decrease, will Democrats continue to increase VAWA funding with your tax dollars? Stay tuned.
- Hern Amendment Moves to Restrict Government Collection of Carbon Tax Revenues. Carbon taxes are again on the table in the Democrat controlled Congress. Opponents view Carbon taxes as dangerous because (1) they are regressive and particularly damaging to the poor and poor communities; (2) lead to virtually no climate or health benefits unless there is international binding control (China and India dominate global carbon emissions); (3) hamper the American economy as they will drive American industry and capital to flee the country. Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) has introduced an amendment to the first Appropriation Minibus for FY 2020 which would abolish any use of federal government funds to collect Carbon Tax Revenues.
- Call for Approval of “Free to Choose Medicine”. The Heartland Institute has authored a coalition letter to President Trump calling for the Administration to adopt Free to Choose Medicine (FTCM), a parallel approval track to the FDA drug certification process that would allow accelerated access to developing drugs for patients with serious ailments. Currently it takes on average 12 years and $2.9 billion to bring a drug from lab to market. On the Free to Choose Medicine track treatments that have passed FDA Phase I safety tests and at least one Phase II efficacy trial could be made available to patients. FTCM would also allow start-ups and small businesses, which can’t afford billions in costs and decades in delays, an opportunity to offer innovative treatments. Learn more (and sign the coalition letter) at email@example.com.
- More Medical News: Does S.1416 Threaten Medical Innovation? James Edwards, writing for property-rts.org says Senate Bill S.1416, the misleadingly named “Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act” would tie any improvements to existing pharmaceuticals already under patent to lengthy, costly harsh antitrust scrutiny. The bill labels normal, constructive modifications and improvements to existing pharmaceuticals as anticompetitive. This prevents the natural evolution that would make a drug easier to take, more effective, less costly, etc. Read more at www.property-rts,org/blog/an-antitrust-threat-to-innovation.
- Saving Our Kids by Countering the Culture – with a Game? How do you counter the un-American attitudes your children learn from the education system, the media, and the culture? How do you teach them to care about freedom, the history of our country, the Constitution, the importance of free enterprise, low taxes and developing good character? Reagan Prep says: with a game. Reagan Prep (www.reaganprep.com) is a family driven, game based learning platform that will do all that is just 30 minutes a day without classroom or teacher. Check the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Competitive Enterprise Institute 35th Anniversary Dinner and Reception, June 20, Marriott Marquis, Washington, DC. Keynote Speaker: Writer Dave Barry. www.cei.org.
- THE TAKE CARE ACT: Removing Restrictions from the President’s Removal Power, Keynote Address: Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). Tuesday, June 18, 12:00 PM, Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium. Info and RSVP: heritage.org/events.
- June Events at the Hoover Institution in Washington, DC. – All events at 1399 New York Ave NW, Suite 500 unless otherwise noted.
- Regulation and Rule of Law Conference, Friday, June 21, 8:30 AM – 4:15 PM
- Fouad Ajami Memorial lecture: A Conversation with Former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Wednesday, June 26
- Ready for Tomorrow: Seven Strategies for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure, Thursday, June 27, Capital Hill – TBD
- Austrian Economics Center, Hayek Institut, and Fundacion Internacional Bases,Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century, November 13-14, Vienna, Austria. Web site.
Andy Blom is a senior policy and political writer, strategist, analyst and activist.