Legislative Lowdown: Will Holder be held in contempt?

Violence Against Women Act-Lite

House Republicans are expected to pass a trimmed version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), H.R. 4970, next week. A beefed-up version of VAWA, S. 1925, passed the Senate on a 68 to 31 vote, including controversial protections for same-sex couples and expanded jurisdiction for tribal courts.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) argues that the idea behind the VAWA “oversteps the Constitution’s rightful limits on federal power.” Our Founders believed that the powers delegated to the federal government are “few and defined.” The federal government is not the proper instrument to conduct police powers better left to state and local governments.

Both parties might want to take a step back, read the Constitution and rethink the unwise idea of having the federal government combating the problem of violence against individuals in relationships.

Undoing cuts to national security

Next week the House Budget Committee will vote to repeal automatic defense spending cuts scheduled to gut our national defense in January. The Sequester Replacement Act, H.R. 4966, would prevent billions in defense cuts and replace those cuts with reductions in discretionary spending and mandatory spending.

Included in the proposal is a cut to the fourth-largest entitlement program, food stamps. Spending on the food stamp program has exploded under the Obama administration and many of the payments are duplicates of other aid programs to the poor and payments to individuals who are not eligible for the program.

Brian Darling is Senior Fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).