By Andy Blom, TES Contributor
As Congress lurches towards their summer recess and Americans look forward to celebrating our freedom on the 4th of July, the Democrat Presidential Candidates gathered in Florida to compete in debate contests of bad ideas and foolish behavior. Meanwhile, free market conservatives continue to work on legislation, policy initiatives and practical approaches to reform and growing prosperity. Here’s a roundup of this week’s activity in Washington…
- One Year Later Janus is Having an Impact. The Freedom Foundation is Pushing for More! The landmark Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court freed workers from having to join Government unions. To date Freedom Foundation has freed 46,000 civil servants from their unions many in the deep blue states of California, Oregon and Washington. To date, Freedom Foundation efforts have cost the unions an estimated $36,000,000 in dues. As Janus begins to have impact nationally and impact state level politics, Freedom Foundation aims to get 100,000 people out of unions by year end. Learn more at www.freedomfoundation.com.
- The Green New Deal: Heartland Says Its ‘A Grave Threat to the American Economy, Environment and Freedom’. The Heartland Institute’s Aaron Stover has offered a cogent, realistic look at the Green New Deal, and issued a warning that, whether it is legislation or, as its supporters say ‘aspirational’, it will wreak havoc on the America economy and way of life. Get Heartland’s take at www.HEARTLAND.org.
- Texas Governor Uses Disaster Relief Powers to Create Disastrous Occupational Licensing. Greg Abbott, the usually reliably conservative Governor of Texas has invoked the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 to delay action by the legislature that would have unclogged the occupational licensing system for plumbers, increasing competition and decreasing prices in the industry. Abbott issued a ‘disaster proclamation’ that will delay the relaxed occupational licensing legislation until ‘disaster needs subside or the 87th legislature addresses the problem’. In all likelihood, relaxing occupational licensing would have improved the situation, but once again, over regulation wins the day. Trace Mitchell and Adam Thierer have defined the issue for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Learn more at https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/commentary/texas-reclogs-pipes-occupational-licensing.
- Auto Industry at Odds with the FCC on Car Connectivity. As our cars become more and more tech savvy a swath of the wireless spectrum that has long been set aside for the auto industry is being re-evaluated by the FCC for possible use by others, including the wireless industry. Although seldom used to date, automakers argue that as connected vehicle technology becomes more standard, the swath must be preserved to let vehicles exchange safety messages, helping to prevent car crashes and traffic deaths. The FCC questions that, concerned that this valuable midband swath has been allowed to lie fallow for almost two decades. Learn more about the dispute, and the possible direction it will take, at https://www.autonews.com/technolofy/industry-sees-threat-connected-car-plans.
- As the Supreme Court Rules on Gerrymandering, Capital Research Center Takes a Look at Redistricting Reform. CRC has released a new report that takes a look at “The Myth of Non-Partisan Districts’. Driven by H.R.1, the Democrats’ latest attempt at election rigging, the report examines the probable real world impact of the Democrats’ proposal, and gives validity to our tried and true methods of legislative apportioning. Look for Myth at www.capitalresearch.org.
- Freedom Works Launches Ad Campaign at “Medicare for All”. Freedom Works is spending $50,000 to alert Republican legislators to the dangers of a plan (S. 1895, Lower Health Care Costs Act) allowing Washington bureaucrats the power to set prices for healthcare across the country. Digital ads link to an action center to contact Congress. Take a look at www.freedomworks.org.
- Justice on Trial, A New Book Sets the Record Straight on the Kavanaugh Confirmation. Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino have used their unparalleled access and insider knowledge to reveal what really happened during the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation process. An important look at the future of the Supreme Court. Due out July 9th from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local bookstore.
- SUPREME COURT REVIEW OF THE 2018-2019 TERM. Tuesday, July 11, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium. Info and RSVP: heritage.org/events.
- NATIONAL FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN is holding their 40thBiennial Convention, September 26 – 29 in Indianapolis. The NFRW Convention will bring together nearly 1,300 women who are political and business leaders in their communities and states. For Exhibitor Opportunities and/or Program Advertising, contact Lucy Powers at email@example.com.
- 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.