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by Bill Sloat 01.04.2013
Posted In: News, Congress, Gun Violence at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
tom massie

Northern Kentucky Congressman Wants Guns In School Zones

Massie's first bill would repeal federal safety buffer enacted in 1990

U.S. Rep. Tom Massie, the congressman who represents the Kentucky side of the Cincinnati metropolitan area, used his first day in Congress to file a bill that would erase a 23-year-old federal ban that makes it a crime to carry guns near schools.

At the moment, Massie does not have any co-sponsors signed up. Details are sparse because the government printing office says it does not yet have the full text of the measure to put online.

The existing Gun-Free School Act of 1990, which was adopted when former president George H.W. Bush, a Republican, was in the White House is viewable here. The bill was amended in 1995. As late as 1999, the National Rifle Association (NRA) was testifying in support of the measure, a position it seems to have dropped after the Sandy Hook massacre.

Under the existing law, so-called “school zones” include but are not limited to parks, sidewalks, roads and highways within 1,000 feet of the property line of a public or private elementary, middle or high school. The law makes it practically impossible to travel in populated areas without entering a "gun-free school zone." People with state-issued licenses or permits to carry guns are exempted by the federal law, but the exemption is only good in the state that issued the permit.

The law doesn’t exempt out-of-state travelers who have permits, nor does it allow off-duty police officers to pack a weapon in a school. And it is a violation for anyone other than an on-duty police officer or a school security guard to discharge a firearm in a school zone for any reason. A state permit does not exempt a person from the discharge prohibition. 

Here is a copy of the bill that retired U.S. Rep. Ron Paul introduced while the Texan was campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. He called his repeal measure the Citizen Protection Act, and he got no support from co-sponsors. Paul’s bill died when the new Congress was sworn in yesterday, but Massie is now resurrecting it.

Massie is a tea party adherent — elected last fall to replace Geoff Davis — who largely shares the political philosophies of Paul and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, who is also from Kentucky. Massie voted against John Boehner for speaker on the opening day of the 113th Congress, an act of open defiance against the Republican House leadership.

 
 
by 03.20.2010
Posted In: Healthcare Reform, Congress, 2010 Election at 06:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Expert: Driehaus' Abortion Fears Unfounded

With Congress preparing for a long-awaited vote on a healthcare reform bill Sunday, some Democrats are calling the concerns of U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill) about abortion-related wording misplaced and just plain wrong.

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by 09.01.2009
Posted In: Healthcare Reform, Congress, Public Policy at 05:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 

Greed Hampers Health Care

They can yell all they want, but protestors at recent town hall meetings organized by members of Congress cannot escape the facts: The U.S. health care system is horrible compared to other democracies — and it’s largely because of the profit motive.

An excellent article by author and ex-reporter T.R. Reid appeared Aug. 23 in The Washington Post. The piece clearly and succinctly outlines how our health care system compares to others around the world and, in the process, dispels myths being propagated by the Fox News-watching, Tea Party-loving crowd.

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by 08.05.2011
Posted In: Ethics, Congress, Republicans, Courts at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Jean Schmidt: Shady or Just Stupid?

So, just who did Jean Schmidt think was paying her mounting legal bills, anyhow?

That's the lingering question after the House Ethics Committee ruled today that Schmidt, a Republican congresswoman from Miami Township, did receive an “impermissible gift” by accepting about $500,000 in free legal help since spring 2009, but somehow didn't “knowingly” violate the law.

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by 08.26.2009
Posted In: Congress, 2010 Election, Courts at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
 
 

Schmidt Gets Taped in Election Suit

U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) just doesn’t fare so well in unscripted situations. In the latest example of that political truism, Schmidt testified Monday for nearly five hours in a deposition taken by attorneys for David Krikorian.

The deposition was taken in preparation for a Sept. 3 hearing before the Ohio Elections Commission. Schmidt filed a complaint with the commission alleging that Krikorian knowingly made a false statement about Schmidt in a piece of campaign literature last year.

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by 07.16.2010
 
 

Boehner Fails Fact Check Test

Nearly two years after the economic meltdown in fall 2008, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to approve a sweeping financial reform bill aimed at the reckless Wall Street investors who caused the crisis.

The Senate voted 60-39 to pass the reforms sought by President Obama. Three Republicans — Scott Brown of Massachusetts, along with Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine — joined Democrats in supporting the bill.

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by Jason Gargano 12.13.2010
Posted In: Republicans, Congress at 09:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 
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John Boehner: The Town Crier

John Boehner, the much-publicized next Speaker of the House from just up the road in West Chester, was on 60 Minutes last night. Leslie Stahl interviewed the noticeably less colorful House Rep. — he still insists he’s never set foot inside a tanning salon nor used any sort of tanning product — from his father’s bar in Reading, where Boehner says he used to mop the floor, among other tasks.

It wasn’t long before the waterworks started, apparently triggered when Stahl asked him why he gets so emotional when he talks about certain things.

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by Andy Brownfield 07.10.2012
Posted In: News, President Obama, Streetcar, Mayor, Congress at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
mallory

Mallory Calls Chabot’s Streetcar Amendment ‘Political Stunt’

Mayor plans to reach out to Washington to remove funding restriction

Mayor Mark Mallory is working to thwart an effort by Cincinnati’s own U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) to prevent federal funding from being used to construct a streetcar in the city. Chabot offered an amendment on June 27 to the 2013 Transportation and Housing Urban Development spending bill that would bar federal transportation money from being used to design, construct or operate a “fixed guideway” project in Cincinnati.

Mallory called Chabot’s move “nothing but a political stunt.” Mallory today said in a press release that he is reaching out to legislative leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate to remove the amendment. Mallory said he’s also making calls to the White House.

“Steve Chabot seems determined to stop progress in Cincinnati,” Mallory said in the release. “He seems determined to make sure that other parts of the country thrive, while Cincinnati is left in the past. That is not the kind of leadership that we need in Washington, D.C..”

The city has procured a $25 million federal Urban Circulator Grant. That funding would not be jeopardized, as the Chabot amendment would only apply to federal funding for fiscal year 2013. 

The U.S. House approved the amendment on a voice vote. To become law, it would have to be passed by the Senate and signed by the president.

“Far from a necessity, the Cincinnati streetcar is a luxury project that our nation and our region simply cannot afford,” Chabot said during testimony on the House floor.

Some opponents of the amendment worry that it could prevent funding for other transportation as well.


According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, fixed guideway refers to any transit service that uses exclusive or controlled rights-of-way. That means the ban on federal funding to those modes of transportation could apply to ferryboats, designated bus or carpool lanes and aerial tramways in addition to streetcars.
Chabot’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. (Andy Brownfield)

 
 
by 01.10.2011
Posted In: Congress, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party at 05:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 

Violence and False Equivalencies

After the tragic shootings Saturday in Arizona involving a U.S. congresswoman and a federal judge, some progressive commentators were quick to note the heated rhetoric and provocative imagery used by Sarah Palin's political action committee (PAC), with many blaming it for helping incite violence.

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by 08.17.2009
Posted In: Healthcare Reform, Congress, President Obama at 05:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
 
 

How the Rest of the World Views Us

A political firestorm has erupted about the Obama Administration’s mixed signals over the weekend on its willingness to eliminate the so-called “public option” from proposed health care reform legislation in Congress.

Once some administration officials began giving indications on the Sunday political chat shows that Obama might discard his calls for a public insurance system to compete with the private sector in order to win Republican votes, many progressive Democrats and grassroots groups began a revolt.

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