Raul Labrador

House Republicans need a conservative leader, not another milquetoast squish like Kevin McCarthy

Raul Labrador

It appears that the House Republican Conference has learned nothing from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) stunning defeat on Tuesday. Roll Call reports today that Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may have enough support to replace Cantor, who will step down on July 31.

McCarthy isn’t an improvement over Cantor. If a majority of the House Republican Conference pick him, it will be an endorsement of the status quo — unprincipled, milquetoast leadership that, more often than not, ignores the grassroots.

Sure, Republicans talk a good game on the campaign trail. They say they believe in limited government and freedom on the stump. But when they get back to Washington, they kowtow to K Street. Suddenly, as Stephen Slivinski once said, they no longer look at the nation’s capital as a cesspool, but treat it like a jacuzzi.

There is, however, an alternative to McCarthy, who, as explained yesterday, has a terrible record on fiscal and constitutional issues.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a liberty-minded Republican, announced just moments ago that he will challenge McCarthy for the top leadership post when the House Republican Conference holds its leadership election Thursday, June 19. Which, by the way, will be conducted by secret ballot.

“I was stunned when Eric Cantor lost his primary election earlier this week. Eric is a good friend and I have tremendous respect for him,” Labrador said in a press release. “But the message from Tuesday is clear – Americans are looking for a change in the status quo.”

Here are the 3 reasons why it’s time to end mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenders

There has been a big, bipartisan push in Congress to right a wrong in the United States’ approach to the drug policy. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410), a measure that would end mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) has introduced companion legislation in the House.

Unfortunately, this much-needed, fiscally responsible reform has been stalled in both chambers thanks to leaders from both parties who haven’t accepted that the War on Drugs has been an abject failure.

Criminal law professor Alex Kreit explains why Congress should wise up, giving three reasons that mandatory minimum prison sentences are bad policy in the latest video from Learn Liberty, a project of the Institute for Human Studies.

Kreit’s first reason is that relative to other crimes, drug-related sentences are proportionally too long. For example, someone who has sold marijuana a couple of times and is reported to have had a gun will receive twice as much time as someone who hijacks an airplane or is convicted of second-degree murder.

JUST IN: House Republicans select McCarthy for Majority Leader, Scalise for Majority Whip

House Republican Leadership

(Story updated at the bottom with results.)

House Republicans are filing into a conference room in the Longworth House Office Building to select a new Majority Leader and Majority Whip in the wake of Eric Cantor’s shocking primary defeat and decision to step down as Majority Leader at the end of July.

The vote is scheduled to take place between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

The two candidates for Majority Leader are current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador. McCarthy is the odds-on favorite to win and has the backing of outgoing Majority Leader Cantor, but Labrador “is working hard to earn people’s votes,” according to Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, who supports Labrador and has produced a spreadsheet of Republicans who have publicly committed to voting for McCarthy, Labrador, or are undecided.

In recent days, Labrador has mustered the support of conservatives like RedState’s Erick Erickson and FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe, who sent an email to Freedomworks members asking them to call their Representative to encourage them to vote for Labrador.

Sources on the Hill say Republican offices were flooded with calls from constituents yesterday asking their Members to support Labrador over McCarthy.

The winner needs 117 votes if all 233 members of the House Republican Conference are present. Voting will take place by secret ballot.

Today in Liberty: House Republican Leadership elections are today, terrible bipartisan idea to hike the gas tax on the horizon

“The more the state ‘plans,’ the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.” — F.A. Hayek

— Raul Labrador makes his case for Majority Leader: Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) pitched his candidacy on Wednesday for House Majority Leader to his fellow Republicans. “If you have an idea, I want to empower you to take it through committee. You will not always succeed, but I want you to feel like you had a fair shot. I want members of Congress to be more relevant than the staff. Why are we even here if the leadership staff is going to make all decisions any way?” Labrador asked, according to prepared remarks. “I want the process to work. If bills pass, they must pass on their merits. I don’t want any more SGR bills passing on voice votes, Transportation/Postal Reform deals that nobody has heard of, NSA reform bills that pass a committee unanimously and are changed and watered down in the Rules committee.” He also said that he wants bill text posted online for at least 72 hours before the House votes and for the Republicans to keep their pledge to “reform Congress and restore trust,” asking his colleagues if they believed that they’d followed through on that promise. “If you vote for the status quo [on Thursday], you will prove that we are still not listening,” said Labrador. “We will break our pledge and with that we may lose the ability to regain control of the Senate and eventually win the Presidency.” The vote is schedule for today. We’ll have the results posted as soon as they’re available. Courtsey of Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), you can get an idea of how some House Republicans plan to vote.

Conservative-backed Raúl Labrador continues to upset the Republican establishment’s apple cart with his bid for Majority Leader

Raul Labrador for Majority Leader

Conservatives face an uphill battle within the House Republican Conference on Thursday. Republican Members of Congress are voting — by secret ballot — to select outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s replacement. The odds-on Establishment favorite to win is California Congressman and current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, but conservatives aren’t simply going to allow a McCarthy “coronation” without running a principled conservative in the race.

Just a few days ago, Jason Pye here at UL highlighted seven of McCarthy’s worst votes. From support for the PATRIOT Act and opposition to Amash’s NSA Amendment to voting for unrestrained spending and debt, McCarthy’s record is not conservative.

As reported in this morning’s “Today in Liberty,” Michigan Congressman Justin Amash is keeping a count of those who are supporting McCarthy and Labrador, while The Hill has its own count.

But it’s important to note that, if Establishment Republicans had their way, Labrador may not have even made it to Congress in the first place. Then-State Representative Raul Labrador ran in the Republican primary in 2010 against an Iraq War veteran who was labeled by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) as one of their “Young Guns.”

Today in Liberty: Labrador says coronating McCarthy sends the “wrong response,” Army begins Bowe Bergdahl investigation

“The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.” — H. L. Mencken

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul endorses Raul Labrador’s leadership bid, Lindsey Graham is so amazingly wrong about everything

“The government holds a monopoly on violence.” — Dave Brat

— How the House leadership races will go down: Politico has a primer on the two House Republican leadership races that will take place on Thursday, June 19. “Republicans will gather in the Longworth House Office Building for two as-long-as-it-takes votes,” Lauren French notes. “Before voting begins, each of the candidates will have an opportunity to make a final pitch to the 233-member caucus.” A candidate needs 117 votes to win. Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Raul Labrador (R-ID) are the two candidates for House Majority Leader. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) are up for Majority Whip. The elections will be conducted by secret ballot.

Today in Liberty: Liberty Republican Raul Labrador considering a run for House Majority Leader, Obamacare heads back to court

“We must have government, but we must watch them like a hawk.” — Millicent Fenwick

— House Republican leadership race update: It looks like Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is close to sealing up the nod for House Majority Leader. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) decided not to run for the post. Rep. Jeff Sessions (R-TX) also bowed out. Word is that Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), who is part of the libertarian-conservative faction in the chamber, is considering a run against McCarthy. “Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) said in a brief interview Thursday night that he is considering running for majority leader and hopes to make a decision on Friday,” the Washington Post reports. “Labrador said many of his colleagues were urging him to run on Thursday and that he is doing his due diligence to weigh the pros and cons of a bid challenging McCarthy.” Labrador would be the better choice, from a limited government perspective, but he faces an uphill battle.

Conservatives are leading on criminal justice reform to bring Americans together and solve the problem of prison overcrowding

Criminal Justice Reform

Did you know you probably break the law every day, most likely without even realizing it?

James Duane, a Regent Law School professor and former defense attorney, said in a 2008 lecture titled Don’t Talk to Police: “[T]he Congressional Research Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes. These laws are scattered in over 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages.”

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, dissenting in Robert Rubin v. United States, writes:

[T]he complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some such investigation.

With countless thousands of laws on the books that could land anyone of us in jail at virtually any time, reasonable voices on both sides of the aisle are looking toward criminal justice reform as a way to bring Americans together and solve the problem of prison overpopulation.

Grover Norquist, usually a champion against tax hikes, has strayed into this debate. Writing at the Huffington Post:

Today in Liberty: Remembering D-Day, 4 million uninsured Americans will pay Obamacare tax

“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 6, 1944

— Remembering D-Day: Seventy years ago today, Allied forces led by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower stormed the beaches of Normandy, beginning Operation Overlord, a two-plus month campaign to drive the Nazis out of France. As many as 5,000 Allied soldiers were killed on D-Day, including 2,000 Americans. You can check out more D-Day photos herehere, and here. And if you’re a history buff, you may want to watch The World Wars. It’s the cliff notes version and leaves a lot out, but it’s worth seeing.

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