H.R. 4194 — the We Don’t Wanna’ Know Anything, and You Shouldn’t Either Act — passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a ‘voice vote’ yesterday. [Thomas] So, since this was not a roll call vote we’ll not know how Nevada’s Representatives voted on this measure. It might be time for someone to ask. Expect proponents to assert that the bill would ‘clean up unnecessary reports,’ or ‘cut government spending on reporting requirements,’ or some such gobble and gush. However, please remember that one of those reports concerned the impact of privatization on the delivery of Veterans’ Administration services! That’s a subject in which the public should have more than passing interest. And then there was the report on in-kind royalties for the gas and oil industry. Don’t we want that information readily available?
The companion bill (S. 2109) sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (R-VA) currently sits in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — and it should stay there. Here we have one more reason to make sure the Democrats retain control of the Senate after the mid-term elections. Willful ignorance is not a pillar of a free nation.
As if the news hasn’t been sufficiently depressing, there’s H.R. 1565 Gun Purchase Background Check [NVProg]:
“Amends the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 to: (1) establish a four-year implementation plan to ensure maximum coordination and automation of reporting of records or making records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; (2) direct the Attorney General to make grants to states, Indian tribal governments, and state court systems to improve the automation and transmittal of mental health records and criminal history dispositions; (3) provide for reductions in grant funding to states that have not implemented a relief from disabilities program; (4) make federal court information available for inclusion in the System; and (5) allow the submission to the System of mental health records that would otherwise be protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).”
The bill is languishing in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations. It will likely stay there since the subcommittee is chaired by Republican Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TeaGovia) While the background check bill is stifled in the Sensenbrenner-Gohmert files, we’re hearing about the latest miserable news from Kennesaw, GA. Another six victims of senseless gun violence.
Little wonder the polling from ABC reported: “General anti-incumbency results: Just 22 percent of Americans say they’re inclined to re-elect their representative in Congress, unchanged from last month as the fewest in ABC/Post polls dating back 25 years.”