Tag: blue wave 2018

New Bill Would Authorize Drug Tests for Congressmen

By Dane Larsen | @therealdanelars

Republican Congressman Clay Higgins represents the Third District of Louisiana in Washington. He claims to be defending his said morals of “smaller government, less bureaucracy, free markets, [and] a strong national defense”. This past week, Rep. Higgins composed H. Con. 135, better known as the “Exposing Congressional Drug Abuse Act”. If Congress passes it, the bill would establish randomized drug tests for United States legislators.

What Would the Drug Tests Look Like?

Applying to both the House and Senate, the bill describes the drug tests as concurrent to another resolution, which would make the tests mandatory for all members. However, neither bill has outlined punishments for those who test positive. The Committee of Ethics, on the other hand, would have the responsibility to deal with those who refuse to take the periodic tests. Possibly, they would also manage the penalties for those who fail them.

Much like the case of any other government drug tests, members will not receive advanced knowledge of them. They also will not, at least legally, occur on any grounds of “individualized suspicion”.

Political Implications

Rep. Higgins is not gaining vast support from Louisiana citizens. It appears that the idea has harmed his chances at re-election more than it has helped them. With the upcoming potential “blue wave” in the 2018 midterms, Higgins is up for reelection. His opponent, Mimi Methvin, is quickly gaining traction in the race. Methvin and administrators in the Louisiana Democratic Party, including Stephen Handwerk, the executive director, have criticized Higgins for creating this bill. They believe it to be merely a publicity stunt in order to garner some greater attention before the November election.

At this point, it is unclear whether good motive of personal gain back his intentions for drafting the bill. But regardless, it is not evident that it will have an overarching effect on the members of Congress. The finalization of this bill and open voting will occur later this month. The vote count currently is about even between Democrats and Republicans. Generally, it appears to be at least capable of garnering some bipartisan support.

“Elected officials in Washington D.C. should be subject to the same kind of random drug screenings that blue-collar, working-class Americans have to endure. Congress shouldn’t get to live by a different set of rules. This effort is about maintaining accountability and ensuring sober service to We, the People.” -Rep. Higgins

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The Democratic Party Doesn’t Care about America’s Youth

By John Keller | United States

In the current day, a critical midterm election is rapidly approaching. With this, a segment of the Democratic Party is claiming that only they care about the nation’s youth. This segment of the party is campaigning with their alleged care for the youth. But their promises of free college, free healthcare, and more only prove how little they really care.

Promises of billions, even trillions, in new spending for the youth beg a simple question. Just where will all of this money come from? Currently, the United States Treasury is bankrupt, with a debt of over $21 trillion. “Free” education and healthcare is only remotely possible in a stable economy, and holding a debt greater than our GDP is a guarantee at an economy that is too weak and too unstable for such programs.

Furthermore, the money for “free” programs must come from somewhere, meaning it comes from government revenue. Ultimately, this is a fancy term for the taxpayer’s back pocket. Currently, the United States has some of the highest tax rates in the world when factoring in city, county, state, and federal taxes.

In order for the Democratic Party’s “free” programs to work, the current entitlements, such as Medicare and Medicaid, require major revisions. As they hurtle towards bankruptcy, there is not much more room to tax people to fund them. In order to avoid this, it is necessary for the government to look at its wasted spending. Several members of Congress, such as Senator Rand Paul, have spoken out against it. In order to improve the United States Treasury and make any of the Democratic Party’s policies attainable, ending waste is a must.

However, the Democratic Party has no plan to lower the debt or rework spending in order to make their promises possible. Thus, any tangible Blue Wave will only put America’s treasury deeper in the red. A bigger debt with consistent votes for more spending simply pushes the issues down the road. This, of course, deepens the severity of issues that America’s youth must tackle. As taxes increase and services decay, America’s youth will take on the responsibility of this nation’s debt. But the cycle can end, in fact quite simply, by stopping this fall’s Blue Wave.

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LIVE COVERAGE: Washington 8th Congressional District Primary

By Kenneth Casey | United States

2:36 EST: Although a lot of time has passed, not much has changed since the last update. 68% of the vote is in with Dino Rossi sitting at 43% and the two Democrats who are completely amongst each other for the opportunity to face Rossi in the general election sit are still neck-neck, with Scrier at 18.8% and Rittereiser at 17.6%.

11:54 EST: At 64% of the vote in, all eyes are on the two Democrats. With Dino Rossi securing a spot in the general election, the race is now between Kim Scrier and Jim Rittereiser over who’ll be the Democrat to challenge him in the general election. So far, Scrier is sitting at 18.9% of the vote and Rittereiser is at 17.5%. Still too early to call.

11:25 EST: At 40% precincts reporting, Dino Rossi is safely at the top with 41% of the vote and will easily advance to the general election. It’s still too early to decide whether Democrat Kim Scrier (20% of the vote) or Jim Rittereiser (17% of the vote) will advance to the general election to take on Rossi. Stay tuned.

11:19 EST: More votes have come in. With 29% of precincts reporting, the top two candidates so far are Dino Rossi with 42.5% of the vote and Kim Schrier with 19.6% of the vote. Jason Rittereiser is slightly behind with 16.9%.

11:13 EST: The first results are in. With 22% precincts reporting, Republican Dino Rossi is leading the way with 40.8% of the vote with Democrat Kim Schrier placing 2nd so far with 20.5% of the vote. Democrats Jason Rittereiser and Shannon Hader trail behind with 17.6% and 13.6% of the vote, respectively.

10:43 EST: Results are scheduled to start coming in at 11:08 EST. Stay tuned for updates.

One of the most interesting House races in the country is the upcoming race in Washington’s 8th Congressional District. Although Dave Reichert, the Republican incumbent in the seat, won his election by 20 points in 2016, the Democratic nominee for President has carried the district in the past three presidential elections. With Reichert retiring, however, this race will likely be more competitive.

Washington has a Jungle Primary. Instead of separate Republican and Democratic Primaries, all of the candidates run in the same primary. Then, the top two candidates with the most votes move on to face each other in the general election.

Many expect Republican State Senator Dina Rossi to move on to the general election in November. However, the 2nd candidate is unclear. Democrats are running 3 valid candidates: Pediatrician Kim Schrier, Prosecutor Jason Rittereiser, and CDC Official Shannon Hader, and the Democratic Party of Washington have stayed out of the race. Results will likely start to come in around 11:00 EST.

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