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Columns

  • No bake sales for the Pentagon

        My political radar always picks up signals when I hear or read conservative Republicans saying they intend to “uphold the Constitution.”
        I read the story here recently about Fifth District Republican congressional contender Jim McKelvey, who seems to believe that his appreciation for the U.S. Constitution makes him rare.
        He said, according to the story, that about 90 percent of those elected to Congress swear an oath to uphold our founding document, but don’t.

  • Reforming COPN is one of the biggest issues of the 2016 session

    By Delegate Kathy Byron

        There was a lot of snow on the ground in Richmond this week, but there was not another snow day for the General Assembly.  Although the City of Richmond had great difficulty clearing its streets and sidewalks early in the week, Virginia’s legislature held sessions every day during the third week of its 2016 session.  Sunshine and warmer temperatures finally made Richmond’s streets passable by midweek.

  • Bill to allow judges to carry concealed handgun without permit passes Senate

    By Senator Steve Newman

        Every day this snowy week included legislative action, as both the House and Senate got down to business.  The process of reviewing, considering, and debating the 2,168 bills and over 500 resolutions filed by the 140 members of the General Assembly moved at a brisk pace.

  • Congressional intent cannot be ignored

    Listen carefully and you’ll hear the sound of bureaucrats scrambling to finalize a flood of new regulations before the end of the year. In fact, the White House chief of staff has promised that President Obama will “do audacious executive action” in his final year in office. This stream of costly, complex federal regulations has touched nearly every aspect of our lives, but regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been some of the most egregious, and at times they’ve ignored the intent of laws enacted by Congress.

  • Gun rights and gun safety take center stage

    By Delegate Terry L. Austin

        I respectfully offer the following brief report on activities in the Virginia General Assembly during the week ending January 30, 2016.

  • Budget report paints grim outlook

    By Congressman Robert Hurt

    Earlier this month in his State of the Union Address, the President painted a rosy picture of our nation’s economic future, claiming that we have created jobs while cutting deficits.  The President seems to believe that we have done enough to reduce our massive spending deficits, but I believe – and most Americans believe – that the future fiscal health of our nation remains one of the most serious problems facing our children and grandchildren.

     

  • Presidential contests full of surprises

        The presidential nominating process has been full of surprises this year and two of them have been especially interesting.
        One surprise is Donald Trump. Last summer, I was sure that Trump would gradually deflate as summer faded into autumn and Republicans started noticing that he is just an empty bag of wind. That didn’t happen and Trump continues to lead a still large pack of GOP hopefuls.
        How he will do in the Iowa caucuses and the Republican primaries that follow remains to be seen.

  • Trump reads a lot of Scripture, huh?

        Conservative Republicans are pretty quiet people on Martin Luther King Day, aren’t they? My feeling is that they lay low and wait for it to be over.
        Just look at the actions (or the lack thereof) of the GOP presidential candidates this Jan. 18. Only Ben Carson attended any event or made any public appearance at a rally, speech or any activity that recognized the day. (And, well, he has to, doesn’t he, given that he’s African-American?)

  • Bill would reverse attorney general action on concealed permit reciprocity

    By Senator Steve Newman

        The first full week of the 2016 General Assembly session featured committee hearings, the passage of an important piece of legislation related to healthcare premiums, and visitors galore.  Although the week was jam-packed and productive, one topic unrelated to the business of the General Assembly dominated the news and the casual conversations around Capitol Square: the weather.

  • Governor’s budget unrelistic

    By Delegate Terry Austin

        It is with a combination of pride and humility that I joined my legislative colleagues for the opening of the General Assembly on January 13.  The pride comes from the distinct honor of representing the wonderful people of the 19th House District.  The humility comes from the daunting privilege of carrying on the tradition of representative government put into place nearly four centuries ago by the Virginia House of Burgesses – the predecessor to today’s General Assembly.