Finally: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes in the House

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 19-11 to move concealed carry reciprocity ahead.

The House Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that House Resolution (H.R.) 38—the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017—was approved by a 19-11 vote.

What does this mean? If reconciliation in the Senate can occur and a bill is agreed upon by both chambers, all U.S. states can soon enjoy rights to concealed carry reciprocity — especially rights that have been denied to folks in high crime blue states and their crime-ridden cities.

Here is a statement from NRA’s Chris Cox on the House Judiciary Committee green lighting this move:

“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines without fear of unknowingly breaking the law. For years, the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority has been to pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, a much-needed solution to the confusing patchwork of state and local gun laws. The NRA and law-abiding gun owners across America are excited to see this important legislation headed for a vote in the House of Representatives. We thank Congressman Richard Hudson and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte for their leadership in moving H.R. 38 to the House floor.” Gun Owners of America similarly issued a statement and provided it to The Resurgent:

Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America’s Executive Director, issued the following statement to The Resurgent:

“GOA applauds the committee passage of the concealed carry reciprocity and encourages the House leadership to take up the bill right away. This legislation will allow decent Americans to carry in any state in the country, thereby countering the fascist gun laws of anti-gun states.

“GOA also sends special kudos to Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who shot down an attempt by Democrats to delete the Constitutional Carry protections in the bill. Gun Owners of America opposed the amendment that sought to limit concealed carry reciprocity to permit holders only and was happy to see it go down to an inglorious defeat.”

The Concealed Carry Act of 2017, if passed, would expand concealed carry rights for law-abiding gun owners. Here’s more of the bill’s text for your viewing pleasure:

Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof (except as provided in subsection (b)) and subject only to the requirements of this section, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and who is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm or is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides, may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State that—

“(1) has a statute under which residents of the State may apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm; or

“(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

“(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that—

“(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

“(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.

Earlier this year, Second Amendment Caucus chair Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced legislation— H.R 2909, or D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act — in wake of the Alexandria, Virginia, ballpark shooting that left Congressman Steve Scalise severely wounded. If passed, this bill would grant law-abiding gun owners with “valid concealed carry permits issued from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia.”

“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Congressman Massie said . “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”

Let’s hope the Senate can get its act together and pass an accompanying bill. Law-abiding gun owners in blue states and neighboring states shouldn’t be criminalized in the eyes of the law any longer.

From the Clowncar to the Profane: Ryan’s Challenger Goes Gutter

Most people challenge incumbents because of a disagreement in policy, or they doubt their integrity. But, one opponent is showing their campaign may not be all that serious, and could be more about getting attention than changing things. This year, it appears to be recent Wisconsin activist, Paul Nehlen. RightWisconsin, a popular regional journalistic site said it best: “It’s tempting to think of Paul Nehlen as a bad joke.”

Nehlen, a businessman and a-bunch-of-other-things-no-one-can-establish is running against sitting Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who is also serving as Speaker of the House. Nehlen ran an unsuccessful primary campaign against Ryan two years ago, losing by nearly 70% in a multi-million dollar challenge that briefly claimed the support of then-candidate Donald Trump. His campaign was backed by “scam PAC” aficionado Dan Backer. Before then, no one in the 1st district had ever heard of this Nehlen guy, or vouch for who he was.

After his big loss, he submitted his name for Speaker of the House (being a congressman is not a constitutional requirement).

For the record, he didn’t get any votes.

In the days following the election, he got himself entangled in a two-month police investigation by tweeting his marked ballot voting for himself (such ballot selfies are illegal in Wisconsin to avoid vote-selling), and eliminated the evidence before cooperating with local police.

While he’s claimed to be more conservative than Speaker Ryan, Nehlen has staked out a decidedly populist stance on most issues, and makes his support of President Trump a centerpiece of his effort. But, he may be showing more than just support for his favorite personality, and trying to sound like him as well.

No stranger to the profane, President Trump became known to his base as a man who “tells it like it is,” which usually included misogynistic insults, swearing, f-bombs, multiple threats, conspiratorial slander, childish rants against the media – pretty much any critic. Nehlen thinks it worked well for him, or perhaps in spite of him. So, Nehlen has decided to add this feature to his own campaign. He’s just a real hoot.

This week, he referred to the 800,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applicants as “mo-fos,” and fashioned his insult into a patriotic sing-song.

“Mo-fo” is shorthand for mother****er, for those who stick to PG movies.

This was not a retweet, a midnight “like” due to a staffer… they were his words.

His Twitter feed usually centers around the single issue of immigration (he’s a nationalist), endorsements for conspiracy theories like Pizzagate (no, really), and links to fake news websites and conservative tabloids even Breitbart won’t entertain. But, Twitter is not his only domain, as he has shown a propensity for immature spittle on Facebook as well, referring to the Speaker consistently as “Pablo Ryan,” and calling other political leaders degrading names.

As RightWisconsin observed, Nehlen may think his antics are funny, but there’s nothing humorous in using obscenities in public, and making racist appeals for votes.

I agree. I look forward to voting for my congressman, again, and sending this clown back to wherever he came from before 2015.

If someone wishes to primary incumbents, that’s their right and privilege in this great country. But, making a mockery of the system is a shameful act of self-aggrandizement none of us should entertain.


 

This column is the expressed opinion of the contributor, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or endorsement of the editor or The Resurgent.

 

The Conservative We Know: Vukmir Joins Wisconsin’s US Senate Race

It was mid-December, and my phone rang with a name familiar among Wisconsin Republicans. State Senator Leah Vukmir was calling because I had posted a picture of her capitol office door on Facebook granting permission to – nay, inviting – safe gun owners to enter her office.

Wisconsin is one of those “radical” states that allow law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional rights on every square inch of state property, unless otherwise requested;  some recalcitrant Democrats have posted the adorable “peace” signs banning defensive weapons. My caption: “suffice it to say, Vukmir’s office is the safest in the building.”

She’s also a trained registered nurse, and knows how to save my life. But her calling  since 2001 has been to serve the public in another way, fighting for conservative principles – before it was cool – first in the assembly, then the state senate. Her first race was to replace the seat vacated by then-assemblyman, and future conservative governor Scott Walker. There was no drop-off.

Now, she wants to take her ideas, our ideas, the ideas that work, to the US Senate. Her only other declared opponent in the primary is a recent Republican convert, Kevin Nicholson. The winner goes on to face incumbent Tammy Baldwin, a lonely liberal Democrat next November.

I’m no fool, nor gullible – no politician of any influence keeps my conscience warm at all times. Every election we send conservatives to higher offices just to watch them appear to change their modus operandi, occasionally opposing things we value, or supporting programs we dislike. Compromise is a necessary evil of governing by committee. Sen Vukmir is human, as I am, and has a mind of her own, as do I.  But in our representative republic, we don’t elect people based on their compatability scores. Or at least we shouldn’t. We select them based on their wisdom, their instincts, and their fortitude.

Leah Vukmir has all three, in conservative spades. And she’s a spitfire, a proud Greek woman who tells it like it is.

THE CONSERVATIVE WE KNOW

The best primary is where you have a clear choice that is conservative because they have 16 years worth of a resume to prove it, not just because they claim to be.

In 2011, Wisconsin took on public union reform with Act 10, looking to break the self-perpetuating machine state Democrats and public employees had built, mandating union membership, forced dues, unaccountable budgets and a political machine that disenfranchised regular voters.

Vukmir had just become the senator for her district, beating a Democrat incumbent. (See? She’s done it before.)

Most Americans remember the drama of the Wisconsin protests at that time, the Democrats who fled the state, tens of thousands of protesters for months, and tree-hugging “solidarity singers” that made life hell for Vukmir and her colleagues. But she stood firm. In the face of death threats, stalking activists and national political pressure, she never backed down.

Not only did she stand firm, but the freshman senator stood in her chamber and persuaded her colleagues, saying “We cannot back down. If we do, no other state will consider doing the reforms we are trying to do here.” And they didn’t. And other states followed.

That’s a conservative we can trust.

But she was no one-trick pony. Vukmir is a policy wonk. She led the fight against Obamacare expansion in the state, proposed reforms to national common core standards, supported concealed carry, castle doctrine (defending your home), veteran benefit reforms, statewide school choice, right-to-work, prevailing wage reform (mandated pricing for public works), holding the line on property taxes, freezing state tuition at state colleges, and dozens of other first-time conservative changes. As Wisconsin has slowly replaced the aging progressive legacy of our state with conservative polices that work, Vukmir has usually been on the front line.

Next year, Wisconsin Republicans will choose the most electable conservative to represent the Party in November. The progress of conservative ideas in Washington depends on winning Democrat seats, and Wisconsin’s senate race is ripe for the taking. Every conservative in the country needs to back one we have seen in action, and send the Democratic anomaly we have in Tammy Baldwin back home.

 

This column is the expressed opinion of the contributor, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or endorsement of the editor or The Resurgent.

 

Trump Strikes Deal With Dems, Supports Debt Ceiling Timebomb

Today, hours after Republicans rejected the Democrat plan for a four month debt ceiling  as “ridiculous,” and “irresponsible,” president Trump struck a deal with Democrats to do just that. Axios called it “the deal of a century,” with a Republican president bucking his own party to accept a deal with the opposition, to his own party’s surprise. The reported deal included an agreement to work together with Dems on immigration reform as it affects DACA applicants, the program designed to provide the children of undocumented immigrants a legal remedy if they meet certain qualifications.

The overall deal combines the debt ceiling, hurricane funding and budget resolution bills to keep the government running beyond this month.

Immediately, Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, declared, “The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump deal is bad.” The concern is that rather than solving the debt ceiling battle for another 18 months, the deal creates another unnecessary crisis at the end of the year. Some saw this as a Democrat play to roll Trump into a deal, knowing he’s desperate for a legislative victory. Even members of his cabinet disagreed with the short-term stop gap, feeling that a long-term measure would give more stability, and avoid another partisan fight during the holidays.

Debt ceiling battles are always contentious, with both parties attempting to use the must-pass legislation to attach wish list items, creating a fierce political battle in the days surrounding the deadline.

As usual, there’s a past tweet of the president’s that reflects an alternate view in the past:

Its unclear what changed his mind.

HELPING MODERATE DEMOCRATS

Following his September Surprise, the president got on a plane with Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp to speak in North Dakota. Heitkamp is trailing some potential GOP challengers in the senate next year, and this visit will no doubt serve to bolster her chances of holding onto her seat in a red state.

He went further than a plane ride, and verbalized praise for the vulnerable senator today, while discussing his tax reform efforts. “Sen. Heitkamp. Everyone’s saying, ‘What’s she doing up here?’ But I’ll tell you what — good woman, and I think we’ll have your support, I hope we’ll have your support. Thank you very much, senator.”

Trump won North Dakota by a 40 point margin last November.

Regarding the overall agreement, the president also expressed good feelings about reaching the deal on making DACA law in the next six months, after meeting with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).  “Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I,” Trump said.

Maybe this is what trump acolytes intended when they said they wanted to “shake up Washington” and shut down liberals. Now,  Trump is working actively to bolster moderate and Democrat Senators. That Obamacare repeal is looking more likely than ever. /sarc

At least one Trump supporter was miffed, however:

 

President Trump shown having a light moment with Senator Schumer (D-NY) after deal

Mitch McConnell’s Mediocre Expectations




If the 115th Congress of these here United States had a mascot, it would have to be shrugging emoji guy.  I mean, with the GOP firmly in control of both houses and a Republican in the White House to boot, how else can you explain their curious lack of progress on anything that resembles a conservative agenda?  Besides, the consultants are probably getting tired of coming up with new excuses for the same old failures anyway.  Perhaps it’s time to give them all a rest and try some honesty for a change.



Can’t strip funding for Planned Parenthood out of the federal budget?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Obamacare repeal falls flat on its face even though you’ve been campaigning on it for seven whole years?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How about funding for the border wall?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Um…tax reform?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Okey-dokey, then.

Until such time as that happens, though, it’s a good thing we have Mitch McConnell around to keep us from getting too excited.  Just the other day, the esteemed Senate majority leader and all-around congressional cabana boy was gave a speech to some Rotarians in his home state of Kentucky during which he offered yet another reason for the GOP’s seeming electoral dysfunction:

“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before,” said McConnell according to CNN affiliate WCPO which covered the event. “I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”

McConnell made the case that the Congress is working as it should and that voters should allow the process to play itself out before passing judgment.

“Part of the reason I think people think we’re under-performing is because of too many artificial deadlines unrelated to the reality of the legislature which may have not been understood.”

Yeah, I too remember the heat of the campaign season, when Republicans everywhere were promising to take a wrecking ball to the Obama agenda.  “Just vote for us,” they pleaded, whipping those voters into a frenzy, “and we’ll get everything fixed!  Just as soon as we can get around to it.”

Inspiring, Mitch.  Really inspiring.

But is that really the message you want to send?  I know you’ve been out of the private sector for a while, but out here in the real world you get judged by your results–and so far, you really don’t have much to show.  What’s worse, you don’t seem that ruffled about it, either.  That’s what makes a lot of us feel like you’re just dragging your feet, and not really all that interested in a conservative agenda.

Because when 2018 rolls around, and you’re wondering why GOP voters aren’t showing up, we just might be tempted to respond the way you taught us.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Nobody Wants to Own It




It’s been said that success has many fathers but failure is an orphan, but in the case of Obamacare repeal it appears as if failure has more daddies than Freddy Kruger, the bastard son of a hundred maniacs.  Ramesh Ponnuru from National Review has a pretty good roundup of how a signature GOP issue somehow couldn’t make it past a GOP-controlled Congress, placing some of the blame on the Democrats’ demagoguery of the issue.  The real problem, however, was the inability of Republicans to refute their specious claims.



Ponnuru writes:

In a well-run, coordinated campaign for a health-care bill, they would have challenged each and every news story that said Republicans were taking away insurance from 14 million-plus people, or that talked about coverage-change numbers while burying the role of voluntary decisions in driving them. They would have prodded reporters to do fact-checks when Democrats said Republicans would “kick tens of millions off insurance,” instead of just relaying Democrats’ misinformation. Republican press secretaries would have called the outlets that said they were rolling back the Medicaid expansion and walked the reporters through why they were wrong.

Nothing like that happened this time. A few Republicans made the point about voluntary departures from the insurance rolls — but only sporadically, rarely with numbers, never in a sustained way.

In other words, they just allowed the Democrats to control the narrative.  Granted, it’s very difficult to Republicans to break through when the news media are pushing the exact same narrative–but with the millions of dollars the GOP spends on consultants, you’d think at least one of them would have some ideas on how to get the message through.

Then there’s the White House.  The Trump administratition obviously wanted to claim victory on a campaign promise, with the president signaling that he had pen in hand and was ready to sign pretty much any repeal-and-replace bill that Congress sent him–even the “skinny” option that would leave Obamacare largely intact.  Still, when it came down to actually doing the hard sell on repeal–doing the work of actually getting out to the public and hammering every day on why it’s necessary to get rid of this horrible law that is already collapsing private health insurance–the White House has also been strangely absent.  Sure, the president let loose with a few tweets here and there, but it’s not like he was burning up the phone lines to pressure Congress and making speeches every day on the subject.

So what gives?

It’s simple.  Nobody wants to own repeal.

Congress doesn’t want to do it.  In fact, a lot of Republicans are perfectly happy with Obamacare in place.  They just never expected Donald Trump to win the election and bring the curtain down on their theater votes, where they could make it look as if they favored repeal knowing full well that any bill would be dead as soon as it hit President Hillary’s desk.  Meanwhile, the true conservatives who do want Obamacare gone can’t see themselves voting for repeal in name only, making an already dysfunctional system even worse–and putting a GOP label on it to boot.

The White House doesn’t want to own it either.  The mere fact that Donald Trump has said he’ll sign whatever Congress sends him signals  loud and clear that he doesn’t care about the substance of the legislation–but with that attitude comes a significant risk.  What if the bill that will inevitably become known as Trumpcare sucks?  Trump values his brand a lot more than that, and I seriously doubt he wants that kind of stink to follow him around for the rest of his presidency.  Maybe he figured out that Congress, divided as it is, was never going to pass anything anyway–which was good, because then he wouldn’t be put on the spot.  That would also mean that he could pretend to be acting on his campaign promises without having to taint himself with some half-assed repeal.

It would also serve another one of Trump’s managerial methods:  keeping his people in conflict with one another.  So far, most of his fights have been against the media–but a do-nothing Congress that wants to torpedo his agenda could also serve to consolidate support amongst his base.  He avoids signing a repeal that he never really wanted in the first place, while blaming Congress for its failure.  In Trump world, that’s a win-win.

It’s just too bad that the rest of the country has to lose.

BURN: Texas Senator Jokes Pelosi Should Stay Minority Leader Forever

Amid some calls by the Democrat Party to remove House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from her role, Republicans have rushed to defend her position. One such politician is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Cruz took it to Twitter to implore Democrats to keep Pelosi at the helm of their party in Congress.

(Don’t worry: Cruz and other Republicans believe her remaining in power will be key to more Republican victories across the country.)

The San Francisco representative says she ain’t going anywhere. During a press conference on Thursday, she reassured reporters her leadership role isn’t in jeopardy.

“I feel very confident in the support I have in the caucus,” Pelosi said on Thursday. “I’m a master legislator, I am a strategic, politically astute leader, my leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I’m able to attract the support that I do, which is essential to our election, sad to say.”

Below are the full remarks:

Despite garnering five “moral victories,” Democrats continue to lose “bigly” at the ballot box. Over 1,000 seats from across the country have slipped from Democrat control during the last eight years. All three branches are now dominated by Republicans.

Please Democrats, keep Nancy Pelosi in charge.

Paul Ryan on House Floor: “We Are All Being Tested Right Now.”

This morning, at 12:18pm ET, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered an emotional address on the House floor, at times showing a strained voice as he encouraged his colleagues to move beyond the partisan rancor in a surreal moment for all of them.

 

“My colleagues, there are very strong emotions in this house today.

“We are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and colleagues and those who serve and protect this capitol. We are all praying for those who were attacked and their families. Steve Scalise, Zachary Barth, Matt Mika, Special Agent David Bailey, Special Agent Crystal Griner… We are all giving our thoughts to those being treated for their injuries at this moment, and we are united. We are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish, and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.

*Standing ovation*

“I know we want to give our thanks to the first responders, and the Alexandria Police Department, who were on the scene in minutes. And I know this house wants to say unequivocally, that we are as ever awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol police.

“I spoke with Special Agent Bailey, and Special Agent Griner this morning. One of them was being treated, and the other one was about to go into surgery. I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on various eyewitness accounts, that without these two heroes, agent Bailey and agent Reiner, many lives would have been lost.

“I know that we all want to learn as much as we can about what happened. We all just received everything from the Sergeant-at-Arms. I have complete confidence in the investigation that is being conducted by the Capitol police, and the FBI, who are also working with local law enforcement.

“I know we want to extend our gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from throughout the capital and throughout the country. And now, knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely to be really frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play in the baseball game. I also know that Steve wants us all to commend the bravery of those who came to the aid of the wounded.

“In the coming days, we will hear their stories. We will have a chance to hold up their heroism. My colleagues, there are so many memories of this day that we will want to forget. And there are so many images that we will not want to see again. But there is one image in particular that this house should keep. And that is a photo I saw this morning of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning, after hearing the news.

“You know, every time we come here to test and challenge each other, we feel so deeply about the things that we fight for, and the things we believe in, that at times our emotions clearly get the best of us. We are all imperfect. But we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives. So, before this house returns to its business let’s just slow down and reflect. To think about how we are all being tested right now. Because, we are being tested right now.

“I ask each of you to join me to resolve to come together, to lift each other up, and to show the country and the world that we are one house, the People’s house, united in our humanity. It is that humanity which will win the day, and it always will. It always will.

God bless.”

 

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) followed Speaker Ryan’s remarks with some of her own, acknowledging the “distinguished Speaker,” and in a lighthearted moment said, “to my colleagues, you’re going to hear me say something you’ve never heard me say before: I identify myself with the remarks of the Speaker. They were beautiful remarks, Mr. Speaker, thank you so much for the sentiments they represent.”