|"Our nation's air traffic control system is long overdue for an influx of ideas and innovation from outside the government bureaucracy. For decades, the federal government has tried to upgrade our air traffic control system, but what once started as a $40 billion modernization project back in the 1980s is now projected to cost $120 billion following a long record of federal mismanagement and inefficiency. Still, the technology coordinating today's flights dates back to WWII.
Accordingly, I applaud President Trump's announcement declaring his support for the creation of a stakeholder-managed organization to oversee our air traffic control system. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Bill Shuster, has taken a leadership role in this effort here in Congress. Accordingly, I am pleased to be working with the Chairman and the Administration to move air traffic control into the 21st century."
Cell phones and privacy: Did you know that police can demand cell phone companies hand over your location information without first getting a warrant?
Yet the Founding Fathers were consistent in laying out their belief that civil liberties - and the privacies that are contained in it - were fundamental components of the larger issue of freedom that they believed in.
One really can’t have liberty living in George Orwell’s world in "1984." In this book, he talked about a Big Brother government wherein government literally watches everything we do. It’s for this reason that we consistently have to watch the issue of civil liberty. In many cases, this form of liberty falls as a casualty to the current war on terrorism. Law enforcement can always do more in tracking people, but it’s got to be limited to what the Founding Fathers prescribed in their belief that there had to be a warrant or a reason and probable cause for the infringement of our rights on this front.
All of this is relevant because a federal court in Ohio decided last year that police could demand cell phone location data (cell phone tower pings) from your cell carrier without a warrant.
This issue will now go to the Supreme Court. For the sake of Fourth Amendment privacy protections, I hope the Supreme Court does create a warrant requirement in such instances.
Regardless of what the courts decide, Congress can take a stand and actually create law requiring warrants in this instances. Congressman Jason Chaffetz has done just that in introducing a bill that would add such a warrant requirement. Today, I cosponsored his bill.
To read more about this issue, check out the Reuters article below.
Click above to read article
Senate hearing w/ former FBI Director Comey: While today’s vote on the Financial CHOICE Act probably represented the most significant legislative action over the last year by the House, all eyes were instead glued to television screens across the Capitol. The Comey hearing was certainly the center of the political universe today.
I would just make three observations.
One, it’s important that Congress do the basics of what Congress has to do. A legislative body can be sidetracked, and if we don’t watch out, this one will be. I talked to a friend back home who expressed dismay with the way in which Washington was seemingly fixated on the sensational that seems to be driving aside changes on things like spending and tax policy that really impact people’s lives. I would in no way diminish the significance of truth in the White House. Nor would I set aside questions with regard to what some would consider an attempt to obstruct an investigation. But as real as those issues are, it is paramount that the work of Congress go on. We have representative government for a reason, and those differing viewpoints are to be infused into legislative ideas that bring about remedy and changes that matter in people’s lives. Click here to read more...