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Rusty Russ

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Everything posted by Rusty Russ

  1. Mr. President, I second the motion. I yield
  2. Kessler Fundraiser - Pennsylvania (2 hours) Purchase Tier 1 PI HQ - Wyoming = $1,000,000 (2 hours)
  3. Mr. President, The gentleman from Indiana misunderstands my words, though I do not believe its deliberate. I merely believe he is naive as to this. I'll put it this way, if his party continues to scream and howl for policies that no one outside of a small clique of conmen really believe work (which by the way is proved by polls), why would college students, who are supposed to be intellectuals and thinkers, ever be receptive to them? And if in response to that dislike and opposition, the gentleman from Indiana seeks this ridiculously punitive measure, who there will be left to listen to him other than those paid to stir up trouble? I do not believe that the gentleman is malicious or evil or on a quest to create an uneducated population, I honestly do not. And I, like him, believe that the importance of debate is key to being at college. I even agree with him that college students are perhaps too unwilling to have their viewpoints challenged. But I think that he and his party are acting impulsively and foolishly to solve this problem in the worst possible way. There is no legislative nor judicial nor even any governmental solution to the problem of campus speech. There cannot be because government is supposed to play no role in how they are run. I urge him to withdraw his bill and work towards a real solution. I yield.
  4. @SenMadisonIN, as per usual, misses the forest for the trees with his ill conceived "free speech" bill. His side's message isn't failing on college campuses because of "censorship." Its failing because his side continues to bunt about anti-intellectual messages and unfounded and nonscientific policies AKA the kind of things that intellectuals/college educated people of every size and age can't stand. I say with great certainty the one thing he will ensure with this bill is that his side's message, whatever that really is, will be received even more negatively by college students and other young people. Thanks for the free votes though, Senator. I'll definitely owe it to you when I'm reelected in 2024. #TurningPABluer #That'sNotReallyFreeSpeech #UnintentionallyHelpful #ProtectTheCampus
  5. Senator Kessler, with thanks to Ms. DeLauro, introduces A BILL To prevent the changing of regulations governing the provision of waivers under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the “Protect SNAP Act”. SEC. 2. PREVENTING THE CHANGING OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING WAIVERS UNDER THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. No rule, regulation, proposed rule, policy directive, or guideline may be issued or enforced by the Secretary of Agriculture, by the head of any entity within the Department of Agriculture (including the Food and Nutrition Service), or by any other person or entity that— (1) supersedes subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), or (f) of section 273.24 of title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations as in effect on December 1, 2018; or (2) modifies the effect or operation of any such subsection as so in effect.
  6. Senator Kessler, with thanks to Ms. Spier, introduces A BILL To reform certain ethics rules of the Federal Government, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the “Restoring Integrity, Governance, Honesty, and Transparency Act of 2019” or the “RIGHT Act of 2019”. SEC. 2. AMENDMENTS TO THE ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT ACT OF 1978. (a) References.—Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this section an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App 101 et seq.). (b) Disclosure Of Tax Returns Of Candidates For The Office Of President And Vice President.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Section 102 is amended by adding at the end the following: “(j) (1) Any report filed pursuant to section 101(c) by an individual who is a candidate for the office of President or Vice President shall include the individual’s return of Federal income tax for the taxable year ending in or with the applicable calendar year covered by such report and such returns for the previous nineteen taxable years. “(2) If any person covered by paragraph (1) files the return for such taxable year with the Internal Revenue Service after the due date for such report, such return shall be submitted (in the same manner as such a report) not later than 30 days after such return was so filed. “(3) (A) The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, may issue regulations authorizing the redaction of personal information as the Secretary deems necessary to prevent identity theft or physical danger from disclosure of tax returns required under subsection (a). “(B) Any redaction made in accordance with the regulations issued under subparagraph (A) shall be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the individual who filed the return, except that the Director may order the filer to remove any redaction the Director determines to be unauthorized.”. (2) DISCLOSURE PERMITTED.—Section 6103(i) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: “(9) DISCLOSURE OF TAX RETURNS UNDER THE ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT ACT OF 1978.—The Director of the Office of Government Ethics may publically disclose returns described in section 102(j) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Public Law 95–521; 5 U.S.C. App. 102(j)) to the extent such returns are required to be made available pursuant to such section.”. (3) APPLICATION.—The amendment made by— (A) paragraph (1) shall apply to any individual who becomes a candidate for the office, or assumes the office, of President or Vice President, after the date of enactment of this Act; and (B) paragraph (2) shall apply to disclosures made after the date of the enactment of this Act. (c) Disclosure Of Donations To Legal Defense Funds.—Section 102 is further amended by adding at the end the following: “(k) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), each report filed pursuant to section 101 (d) and (e) shall include the following information regarding each contribution or reimbursement made, during the preceding calendar year, by any source for the purpose of paying on behalf of the reporting individual, or for the purpose of reimbursing the reporting individual or any other person for the payment of, a fee for legal services or a related expense incurred at the time when the reporting individual was an officer or employee of the Federal Government: “(A) The identity of the source of the contribution or reimbursement, including: “(i) a trust or other financial arrangement; “(ii) a person who made the contribution or reimbursement on behalf of another; or “(iii) any other source. “(B) The identity of each person who provided the source with cash or a thing of value to be applied in support of the contribution or reimbursement. “(C) The value of the contribution or reimbursement. “(D) The date of the contribution or reimbursement. “(E) If the contribution or reimbursement was a thing of value other than cash, a brief description of the thing of value. “(2) The disclosure requirement pursuant to paragraph (1) shall apply only to contributions and reimbursements aggregating more than the minimal value as established by section 7342(a)(5) of title 5, United States Code, or $250, whichever is greater, made during the preceding calendar year. “(3) The disclosure requirement pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not apply to— “(A) a contribution or reimbursement from a relative of the reporting individual, unless the relative received, or has an arrangement to receive, cash or a thing of value to be applied in support of the contribution or reimbursement; “(B) a contribution or reimbursement made in connection with a fee for legal services or an expense that is unrelated to the reporting individual’s employment; or “(C) a reduction or waiver of a fee for legal services by the provider of the services, unless the provider has received, or has an arrangement to receive, cash or a thing of value to be applied in support of the reduction or waiver. “(4) Nothing in paragraph (3) shall be construed to relieve a reporting individual of the disclosure requirement set forth at subsection (a)(2).”. (d) Increase In Penalty For Failure To File Or Filing False Reports.—Section 104(a)(1) is amended by striking “$50,000” and inserting “$200,000”. (e) Clarification Of Application To Entire Executive Branch.—Title IV is amended— (1) in section 401, by adding at the end the following: “(d) In this title, the term ‘executive agency’ has the meaning given that term in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and includes the United States Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Executive Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President, and the White House.”; and (2) in section 402(a), by striking “, as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code.”. (f) Responsibility Of The Director Regarding Gifts.—Section 402(b) is amended— (1) in paragraph (14), by striking “and” at the end; (2) in paragraph (15), by striking the period and inserting “; and”; and (3) by adding at the end the following: “(16) make rules, after consultation with the Attorney General, for the requirements pertaining to acceptance of gifts by executive branch employees and procedures for compliance with such requirements.”. (g) Authority Regarding Regulations.—Section 402 is amended— (1) in subsection (a), by striking “, in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management,”; and (2) in subsection (b)— (A) in paragraphs (1), (2), and (12), by striking “and the Office of Personnel Management” in each instance; and (B) in paragraph (15), by striking “in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management,”. (h) Limitation On Legal Defense Funds.— (1) LEGAL DEFENSE FUNDS.— (A) Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Government Ethics shall issue final regulations regarding the acceptance by any officer or employee of the executive branch (not including the President or Vice President) of reimbursement for, or payment of, legal fees incurred in connection with the employee’s service in the executive branch or in connection with the employee’s participation in, assistance to, or association with, a presidential campaign or president-elect transition team. (B) Such regulations shall prohibit any executive branch officer or employee covered by subparagraph (A) from receiving any reimbursement or payment of fees as described in such subparagraph, except that the regulations may authorize, to the extent otherwise permitted by applicable law and regulation (including regulations under paragraph (16) of section 402(b) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as added by subsection (f)(3)), such a reimbursement or payment by a relative of the officer or employee or by a legal expense fund approved (in writing) by the Director that— (i) exists solely to reimburse or pay the legal fees of one individual and owes that individual an exclusive fiduciary duty, with all unused funds going to charity; (ii) makes comprehensive disclosure, as defined by the Director and including the disclosures required under section 102(f) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (as added by subsection (c)), of all receipts and distributions by the fund; and (iii) complies with all procedural and substantive requirements the Director deems necessary for the protection of the public’s trust in Government and to prevent the appearance of impropriety. SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE. (a) Assessment Of Penalties For Violating Anti-Nepotism Statute.—Section 3110 of title 5, United States Code, is amended as follows: (1) In subsection (a)(1)(A), by inserting before the semicolon the following: “, including the White House and the Executive Office of the President”. (2) By adding at the end the following: “(f) (1) Any individual who knowingly is appointed or employed in violation of this section, and the public official who is a relative of such individual and who appoints, employs, or advocated for appointment or employment (as the case may be) of such individual, shall each be subject to a fine of $1,000 for each day the individual is so appointed or employed, except that— “(A) in the case of a career employee, the maximum penalty shall not exceed the employee’s pay for the period of the violation; and “(B) in the case of a noncareer employee, there shall be no limit on the liability under this subsection. “(2) Any individual who is employed in violation of this section shall not be eligible for access to classified information.”. (b) Hatch Act Amendments.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Section 7326 of title 5, United States Code, is amended— (A) by striking “An employee” and inserting “(a) An employee”; and (B) by adding at the end the following: “(b) (1) If the Office of Special Counsel determines that an employee of the White House or the Executive Office of the President has violated section 7323 or 7324, the Special Counsel shall submit a report to the President. The report shall include the recommended disciplinary action to be taken against the employee. “(2) (A) On the date a report is received under paragraph (1), the President shall— “(i) carry out the proposed disciplinary action contained in that report against the applicable employee; or “(ii) decline to carry out the proposed action. “(B) If the President declines to carry out the proposed action pursuant to subparagraph (A)(ii), not later than 30 days after receiving the report the President shall submit (in writing) notification to the Special Counsel and the chair and ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, including a detailed explanation of why the action was not taken. “(C) The Special Counsel shall publish the notification received under subparagraph (B) on the Office’s public Internet website”. (2) APPLICATION.—The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall apply to any violation of section 7323 or 7324 of title 5, United States Code, by an employee of the White House or the Executive Office of the President occurring after the date of enactment of this Act. SEC. 4. DISCLOSURE OF TRAVEL BY SENIOR FEDERAL OFFICIALS. (a) Regulations.—Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of General Services shall promulgate regulations to modify the requirements of section 301–70.907 of title 41, Code of Federal Regulations, to require that the report required under such section— (1) be submitted on a quarterly basis; and (2) include, with respect to any instance of travel of a senior Federal official or non-Federal traveler— (A) an explanation of the decision to use a Government aircraft and the type of aircraft used; and (B) the estimated cost to the Government. (b) Publication.—The Administrator shall publish any report submitted under such section on the General Services Administration’s public Internet website. SEC. 5. LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR EXPENSES INCURRED AT PROPERTY OWNED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. (a) In General.—In fiscal year 2018 and each fiscal year thereafter, no Federal funds may be obligated or expended to pay for an expense incurred at a property owned or operated by any covered individual or an immediate family member of such individual if the payment of the expense would result in a net financial benefit for such individual or an immediate family member of such individual, or any trust or organization in which the individual or the immediate family member has a financial interest. (b) Definitions.—In this section— (1) the term “covered individual” means— (A) the President; (B) the Vice President; and (C) any Federal employee; (2) the term “Federal employee” has the meaning given the term “employee” in section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, and includes any officer or employee of the United States Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Executive Office of the President, or the White House; and (3) the term “immediate family member”, with respect to a covered individual, means— (A) the spouse of such individual; or (B) any adult or minor child of such individual. SEC. 6. PROHIBITION ON DONATIONS BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS TO INAUGURAL COMMITTEES. Section 317 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30119) is amended— (1) by amending the heading to read as follows: “CONTRIBUTIONS AND OTHER DONATIONS BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS”; (2) in subsection (a)— (A) in paragraph (1), by inserting “, or directly or indirectly to make a donation of money or other thing of value, or to promise expressly or impliedly to make any such donation to an Inaugural Committee” after “political purpose or use”; and (B) in paragraph (2), by inserting “or donation” after “contribution”; and (3) by adding at the end the following new subsection: “(d) For purposes of this section, the term ‘Inaugural Committee’ has the meaning given it by section 501 of title 36, United States Code.”. SEC. 7. DISCLOSURE OF AND PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN DONATIONS TO INAUGURAL COMMITTEE. Section 510(c) of title 36, United States Code is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting “or from a government contractor (as described in section 317(a)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30119(a)(1)).”.
  7. Senator Kessler, with thanks to Mr. Garamendi and Mr. LaMalfa, introduces A BILL To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require a school food authority to make publicly available any waiver of the Buy American requirement, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the “American Food for American Schools Act of 2019”. SEC. 2. WAIVER TO PURCHASE FOREIGN COMMODITIES OR PRODUCTS. (a) In General.—Section 12(n)(2) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1760(n)(2)) is amended— (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking “subparagraph (B)” and inserting “subparagraphs (B) and (C)”; and (2) by adding at the end the following: “(C) WAIVER.— “(i) WAIVER REQUEST.—Except as provided in clause (ii), a school food authority shall request from the Secretary a waiver of subparagraph (A) to purchase foreign commodities or products. “(ii) EXCEPTION.—A school food authority may purchase foreign commodities or products without a waiver under clause (i) if such commodities or products are not— “(I) produced domestically; or “(II) available domestically. “(iii) REQUIREMENTS.—The Secretary may not provide a waiver to purchase foreign commodities or products under clause (i) unless— “(I) such commodities or products— “(aa) are not produced domestically in sufficient amounts or of satisfactory quality; and “(bb) if purchased domestically, would be significantly higher in price than such foreign commodities or products; and “(II) the school enters into an agreement under clause (iv). “(iv) AGREEMENT.—The Secretary may not provide a waiver under clause (i) unless the school food authority requesting such waiver agrees to— “(I) not later than 30 days after receiving such a waiver, make the waiver publicly available on the website of the school food authority; and “(II) not less than once each school year, email a notification of all waivers to parents or guardians of students who will be served the foreign commodity or product purchased pursuant to any such waivers.”. (b) Definition Of Foreign Commodity.—Section 12(n)(1) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1760(n)(1)) is amended to read as follows: “(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection: “(A) DOMESTIC COMMODITY OR PRODUCT.—The term ‘domestic commodity or product’ means— “(i) an agricultural commodity that is produced in the United States; and “(ii) a food product that is processed in the United States substantially using agricultural commodities that are produced in the United States. “(B) FOREIGN COMMODITY OR PRODUCT.—The term ‘foreign commodity or product’ means a commodity or product other than a domestic commodity or product.”. (c) Conforming Amendments.—Section 12(n) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1760(n)) is amended— (1) in paragraph (3), by striking “Paragraph (2)(A)” and inserting “Subparagraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (2)”; and (2) in paragraph (4), by striking “Paragraph (2)(A)” and inserting “Subparagraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (2)”. (d) Rule Of Construction.—Nothing in this Act or the amendments by this Act shall effect the requirements under section 4207 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–334).
  8. I have no idea how you'd do this, but maybe there should be a scale for the amount of influence characters have with the party so that the less influential ones don't necessarily exert an unrealistic amount of force over how a vote turns out. If I had a choice, I'd absolutely tie it to how long we as members have been here. That would ding the newer arrivals hard but politics is arguably about moving up in through a party's ranks. However, I understand why that wouldn't be popular and not just that we have a really small player base so that's probably not a good solution. Allowing people to set their own levels is a terrible idea because everyone will just give themselves roided out influence and thus break the game that way. Now, you could counteract that by giving players with less influence an advantage. For example, they may not hold as much sway over how the party votes but they have more flexibility in how far they deviate from the party line. Honestly, though, I think this is the part that has to stay broken because I fundamentally agree with Jelly that the maverick label is a way to force lockstep in this game.
  9. Eliminating the FICA cap is important so that Social Security remains solvent. Thanks President Vang for realizing this.
  10. Kessler Fundraiser - Pennsylvania (2 hours) Purchase Tier 1 PI HQ - DC = $1,200,000 (2 hours)
  11. Mr. President, I will say something similar to what I said regarding the Internet Bill proposed by the gentleman from Texas. The reason why a campus seems to lean against right-wing views is because campuses contain a left-wing population and an overwhelming one at that. By voting for this current bill, our Republican colleagues are opening their side up to even more censorship and criticism. I would ask them, do they think that removing any possible place for safe spaces, as their bill does, or threatening campuses with funding cuts will help their side gain ground? I and most of my colleagues would say no, it wouldn't. I yield.
  12. Mr. President, I believe I can clear up much of the confusion displayed by our Republican colleagues. They may allege "censorship" at the hands of tech companies. While I agree with them that there is a need to have an honest debate, even through the internet, I warn them here that their bill will do far more harm than good. Let me just explain the end results of this bill because whatever the gentleman from Texas' good intentions may be, his bill will do far more harm than good for his side. For a start, the gentleman from Texas should understand that the reason why the Internet may appear to lean against his side is simply because its users, generally speaking, lean against his side. Its just a fact that the Internet's user base is left leaning: not merely is the US left leaning, the areas with ready access to broadband AKA urban areas are left-leaning. By passing this bill, our Republican colleagues will leave their base vulnerable to the merciless nature of the left-wing internet majority. If they think there will be less censorship, they are mistaken. The opposite will in fact be true. I'm not a regular internet user, but I know many of the people on there are even more intolerant than any Third World dictator and even less fond of deviating view points. Individually, they may have little power but collectively, they will drown out any opposition. Our Republican friends should probably be thanking the tech giant CEOs for allowing their views to even reach a broader audience. If this bill is passed, there will be no hope for their opinions of ever getting through. In an instant, views to the right of Franklin Roosevelt will be virtually extinct on the internet. Mr. President, I believe strongly that the First Amendment permits every American to express their opinion, regardless of how repulsive or idiotic I may find it, and for that reason, I oppose this bill. I yield.
  13. Paul Kessler is ready to give his speech: "Hello Seattle! How are you all doing? First, I'd just like to stress how humbled I am to be invited here to speak to all of you and I'd like to thank Vice President Gore for inviting me here. I will be entirely honest, when I first served in the House of Representatives, climate change was never something I had any idea about. But I am internally grateful for my service in government. Otherwise, I might not have learned more about this issue." "As this country's self proclaimed King of Labor, many people have asked me how I, a Senator who counts many of this country's coal miners amongst his constituents, could possibly support environmental causes, let alone advocate for them. For me, the answer is not even remotely difficult: where there is an industry, there is always a place to organize the workers and yet another front in the grand struggle to fight for the American people." " Today, the renewable sector of our economy is a vast new untapped frontier, not just for new jobs and technologies, but also for union recruitment." "Over the next few years, we will be in for many battles. And I will be leading the charge in the new frontier of renewable energy. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, GOOD NIGHT, AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!"
  14. Mr. Chairman, I agree that the prospect of our military adopting lasers is an exciting new development. However, I must question the wisdom of investing in a technology that we are not certain will be effective let alone a game changer. I urge the Committee to consider postponing talk on this bill until more research is presented. I yield.
  15. Mr. Chair, I agree with my colleague from New York. Separation of powers is critical to our republic and removing that check would be to abrogate our responsibility. I yield.
  16. Yes folks, you heard it right. The GOP want another tax cut. After the $1 trillion hole they blew in your budget. Using your tax dollars. This is a demonstration of what that looks like.
  17. Motion to Suspend and Debate bills: Opioid Action Act - Yea Tornado Relief Act - Yea Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act - Yea
  18. Confirmation of President Vang's Cabinet: Confirmation of Jace Kadar - Nay Confirmation of Johnathan Grant - Nay Confirmation of Jack Swanner - Nay Confirmation of Dean Heller - Yea Confirmation of Jim Webb - Yea
  19. PPT spends more time tweeting than working. Meanwhile, I have a bill waiting that would protect workers' sacred right to organize.
  20. Give away to the wealthy? MUST GET IT DONE!!! Deny workers the right to organize? RIGHT AWAY SIR!!! Allow corporations to pollute that river? NO PROBLEM, RIGHT AWAY!!! Provide disaster victims with relief? Let's wait and not get there fast. Nice to see PPT has his priorities together. /s
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