The Friday Faxline Issue 499
House bill would allow states to opt out of No Child Left Behind
On Thursday, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) introduced H.R. 1539, the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act, a bill that would allow states to opt out of the landmark No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). I am an original cosponsor of the A-PLUS Act. Having listened to feedback on NCLB from dozens of local educators, I believe that we must give state and local leaders more control over education policy. Under A-PLUS, states could still receive federal education funding, but without the burdensome regulations that are often tied to it. This would help ensure that decisions about education policy are made by those closest to the students, not by a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.
House members introduce Taxpayer Bill of Rights
On Wednesday, the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of Republican House Members committed to fiscal responsibility, introduced an initiative aimed at protecting the American taxpayer from fiscal recklessness in Congress. Called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the plan has four key points: 1) Taxpayers have the right to have a federal government that does not grow beyond the taxpayers' ability to pay for it. 2) Taxpayers have the right to receive back each dollar that they entrust to the government for their retirement. 3) Taxpayers have the right to expect the government to balance the budget without having their taxes raised. 4) Taxpayers have the right to a simple, fair tax code that they can understand. The current growth of spending in Washington is not sustainable. These principles would help put us on a more responsible course and protect America's long term fiscal strength. Congress should take the Taxpayer Bill of Rights seriously.
Committee approves House vote for D.C.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would expand the size of the U.S. House of Representatives to 437 seats, giving the District of Columbia a full House vote, and adding an at-large seat for Utah. Currently, D.C. has a delegate in the House who can vote in committee but not in the full House. During debate in Committee, proponents of the bill, who have been pushing to give D.C. a House vote for years, clashed with the bill's opponents who question its constitutionality. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has announced that he plans to bring the measure before the full House next week. Most agree that even if Congress approves the bill a court will most likely determine its ultimate fate by deciding whether or not it is Constitutional.
Energy and Commerce Committee approves bill to combat identity theft
The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation this week to fight the growing threat of identity theft. Called the Truth in Caller ID Act (H.R. 251), the bill makes it illegal to maliciously falsify caller ID information. It's aimed at stopping a practice known as "spoofing," where the callback information that appears on caller ID screens is intentionally falsified so that identity thieves can pose as bank or credit card representatives in order to obtain one's personal information. This is commonsense legislation that can help protect people's identity in an increasingly electronic age. It has bipartisan support, and deserves consideration in the full House and Senate.
Quote of the Week
"I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z."
- Al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, confessing his involvement in more than two dozen acts of terrorism, including the 9/11 attack that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.