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Recks

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Recks last won the day on November 14 2018

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  1. Congress is live. To get things jump-started, the AB will allow the SML to place half a docket (2 bills) up for debate. This is in keeping with previous reset-launch rules. Committees are also live, and going forward all bills must have passed a Committee in order to be docketed by the SML.
  2. Approved, sorry for the wait.
  3. Firstly, it is great to be a part of the AB! I look forward to serving as your Federal Affairs Administrator; my door is always open. I recently posted the Senate Standing Rules, the OOC Congressional Rules, and the Faction System. Please take this brief pre-game period to familiarize yourself with each of them. Specifically, for the Factions System - please reply to that thread with which faction you will affiliate closest with. This will come into play for the House version of the Congressional Vote Calculator (or "CVC;" formerly known as the IVS).
  4. Recks

    Factions

    Please indicate which faction you want to join by posting here below.
  5. Factions The factions mechanic functions primarily to send signals to the House Republican and Democratic caucuses. Each Senator has the option of joining a faction, and thereby influencing the outcomes of various House activities - including votes on legislation in the House of Representatives. Below you will find a brief description of each of the six factions along with how many seats they have in the House. Republican Factions - 229 Main Street Partnership - Considered to be the "moderate" Republicans, the Main Street Partnership is a group of legislators who seek bipartisan solutions to the problems facing the United States. Heirs to the Rockefeller Republicans, representatives affiliated with this group are largely concentrated in the Northeast. 59 The Establishment - Largely comprised of committee chairmen and other important legislators, the Establishment holds the middle ground between the two other Republican factions. They manage to maintain broad-based support by being a glue that holds the party together. 87 Study Committee - A movement of the most conservative representatives, members of the Republican Study Committee have been at the right-wing of American politics for many years now. They are prominent in the South and West and are the strongest embodiment of the three legs of the GOP. 83 Democratic Factions - 206 Blue Dog Coalition - More conservative than their Democratic peers, the Blue Dogs are pro-national security and identify as "fiscally responsible." Pragmatic and willing to buck partisan lines, the Blue Dogs tends to hail from the South. 48 New Democrat Coalition - Still prominent from the Clinton/Gore years, the New Democrats are members of the center of American politics, who believe in harnessing capitalism to benefit all Americans. This centrist bloc holds a good deal of power in Democratic politics due to its prominence in the Clinton era. 71 Progressive Caucus - The liberal and left-wing of the Democratic Party, this caucus is socially-liberal, fiscally-liberal, and favors a progressive future for the United States. Largely from urban centers along the coasts, the Progressive Caucus has a large number of members on the left of the Democratic Party. 87
  6. Congressional Rules General Rules There are two chambers of the United States Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate. As a Senate-based political simulation, the primary focus will be on United States Senators and their chamber. The Senate Standing Rules shall be the controlling document for the President pro tempore to follow, and any in-game amendments to the Rules are permissible - but political repercussions and ramifications will be factored into account based on Rules changes. For the sake of simplicity while maintaining realism, bills that traditionally or Constitutionally begin in the House of Representatives (such as spending and taxing bills) are allowed to be introduced to the Senate without prior House action. The exception to this rule is impeachment proceedings, which will be determined on an as-needed basis. The Federal Affairs Administrator shall serve as the Senate Parliamentarian, but the ultimate rulings are left up to the presiding officer (subject to appeal by the Senate itself). Legislative Process A bill begins its process by being introduced into the Senate Hopper. It should be formatted properly, and must contain a "Plain English Statement" if not already written in plain English. The Plain English Statement can be drawn from the Congressional Research Service bill summary, can be written from scratch, or can be written with consultation from the Federal Affairs Administrator. Any legislative text knowingly left out of the Plain English Summary or intentionally made misleadingly may result in a scandal. The Presiding Officer of the Senate shall assign bills to the hopper of either standing committee: the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Judiciary Committee or the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, pursuant to the Senate Standing Rules. The Committee Chairman may then, at his/her discretion and pursuant to the Standing Rules, hold a period of debate and voting on the bill in question. If the bill passes it's assigned Committee, it is eligible to be docketed by the Majority Leader, at which time it will go before the Senate floor until cloture (3/5 of all Senators voting) is attained. Once cloture is attained, the bill will undergo a final vote. All votes, including procedural votes and cloture, will be held using the Congressional Vote Calculator (CVC). For a final vote, the presiding officer shall copy and paste the results of the Senate vote in one post, and the House results in a second post. The Presiding Officer will then move the bill to the House legislative inbox. More often than not, the House vote results will be calculated by the CVC. However, in instances where the House Majority Party loses a vote based off of the CVC, it might be possible to influence Representatives to change their minds on a motion to reconsider. These cases will be determined by the Federal Affairs Administrator, in conjunction with the Chief Administrator and the Administrative Board. Once a bill has passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives, it will be delivered to the Oval Office, for the President's signature or veto. If the President signs a bill, it becomes law and is moved to the Library of Congress. If the President vetoes a bill, it is returned to its chamber of origin (the Senate legislative inbox) and follows the Senate Standing Rules in any attempt to overturn the veto Any questions or special circumstances may be directed to the Federal Affairs Administrator. Notes Keep in mind decorum on the Senate floor. The Presiding Officer has every power to call a Senator to order, which will silence the Senator during debate. Your constituents (most likely) won't look favorably on this political stunt. Keep in mind civility and bipartisanship were much more en vogue during the early 2000s than they are in the 2010s. They are also more fashionable in the Senate than the House. Your constituents expect you to get things done, not just grandstand. Have fun (while trying to maintain realism)! That's why we're all here.
  7. Recks

    Docket

    The Senate Majority Leader may add bills (up to 4 at a time) to the docket here. From here, the President Pro Tempore will place the bills on the Senate Floor for debate until cloture is attained.
  8. Senate Standing Rules RULE I. CONVENTION, OFFICERS, AND ADJOURNMENT. 1. The Vice President shall convene the Senate at such time and date as session is scheduled, or at such time and date as the President demands in writing. 2. The Vice President shall upon convening the Senate receive from the Secretary of the Senate a report identifying the majority and minority party. The Vice President shall then formally identify the majority and minority parties. 3. The Vice President shall then adjourn the proceedings until that time at which the chief of staff of each party caucus transmits to the Secretary of the Senate the caucus' selection for floor leader and deputy floor leader. The chief of staff of the majority party caucus shall furthermore transmit to the Secretary of the Senate the caucus' selection for President pro tempore. 4. The Vice President shall upon reconvening the Senate receive from the Secretary of the Senate a copy of such transmissions, and announce the officers of the Senate. An officer of the Senate shall serve until death, resignation, replacement by his or her party, removal by the passage of a resolution by the senate, the conclusion of the Congress in which the officer was appointed, or a change in the Senate majority. The Vice President shall repeat the process in Paragraphs 2-4 of this Rule in the case of a change in the Senate majority. 5. The Vice President shall at such time as the Secretary of the Senate designates adjourn the Senate sin die. The Secretary of the Senate shall so designate on the last day of the Congress. RULE II. THE CHAIR. 1. The Vice President shall preside when present. In the absence of the Vice President, the President pro tempore shall preside. In the absence of the Vice President and the President pro tempore (or a Senator designated to act in his or her place), the Secretary of the Senate shall preside. 2. The President pro tempore shall have the right to name in open Senate or in writing a Senator to perform the duties of the Chair. The Senator so named shall have the right to name in open session or in writing a Senator to perform the duties of the Chair, but not to extend beyond an adjournment, except by unanimous consent. A Senator named to the chair under this Paragraph shall be known as the Acting President pro tempore. 3. The Chief Justice of the United States of America shall preside over debate on a resolution convicting the President or Vice President of the United States of America following impeachment of such official by the United States House of Representatives. RULE III. SUSPENSION AND AMENDMENT OF THE RULES. 1. The rules of the Senate shall continue from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided in this rule. 2. The Senate may amend these rules by the passage of a resolution. 3. A Senator may at any time move to suspend these rules, and such motion shall be decided without debate upon receiving a second. The Senator must specify the rule to be suspended and the purpose of the suspension, and a motion to suspend one or more of the following rules shall be ruled out of order without debate: (a) Rule V. (b) Rule VI(6). RULE IV. QUORUM. 1. The Senate may hold a vote only if a quorum exists. 2. Whenever a quorum is not present in the Senate, a Senator may move to direct the Sergeant at Arms to compel the presence of the Senators absent, and such motion shall be decided without debate upon receiving a second. RULE V. VOTING PROCEDURE. 1. The Presiding Officer shall hold a vote of at least seventy-two hours on a bill or resolution, and of at least twenty-four hours on a motion. The Presiding Officer shall upon receiving a vetoed bill or resolution from the President immediately hold a vote of at least seventy-two hours in length on the question of whether to overturn that veto. The Presiding Officer may determine the length of a vote at his or her discretion. 2. The Presiding Officer shall upon declaring voting concluded tally the yeas and nays, declare the outcome of the vote, and take the appropriate consequential action. 3. A bill, resolution, motion, or appeal shall pass if a majority of present Senators support it, except as provided in Paragraphs 4 and 5. 4. Each of the following requires the support of 2/3 of present Senators to pass: (a) A motion to suspend the rules. (b) A joint resolution amending the Constitution of the United States of America. (c) A question of whether to convict an officer of the United States of America impeached by the United States House of Representatives. (d) A resolution to ratify a treaty signed by the President of the United States of America. (e) A resolution to expel a member of the United States Senate. (f) A motion to pass a special order. (g) A question of whether to overturn the veto by the President of the United States of America of a bill or resolution. 5. A motion for cloture requires the support of 3/5 of present Senators to pass, except with regards to each of the following: (a) A bill or resolution that contains only tax or spending provisions, and that reduces the deficit over a ten-year period in the estimation of the Congressional Budget Office. (b) A resolution amending these Rules. RULE VI. DEBATE. 1. Except as provided in Paragraph 8, the Senate shall debate such bills and resolutions as the Majority Leader designates in writing to the Presiding Officer, provided that the Senate shall debate a maximum of four such bills and resolutions at any particular time. The Majority Leader shall not designate for debate a bill or resolution that has been rejected by a Committee. Except as provided in Paragraph 8, debate on a bill or resolution continues until the passage of a motion for cloture, at which time a vote commences on the bill or resolution, or until the Majority Leader who designated the bill or resolution for debate decides to withdraw the bill from the floor, at which time the bill is automatically laid on the table until returned to the floor by either leader. 2. When a Senator desires to speak during debate, he shall rise and address the Presiding Officer. No Senator shall interrupt another Senator in debate without his consent, except to make a motion for cloture. 3. No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator. 4. No Senator in debate shall refer offensively to any State of the Union. 5. If any Senator, in speaking or otherwise, in the opinion of the Presiding Officer transgress the rules of the Senate the Presiding Officer shall, either on his own motion or at the request of any other Senator, call that Senator to order; and when a Senator shall be called to order he shall take his seat, and may not proceed during such debate without leave of the Senate, which, if granted, shall be upon motion that he be allowed to proceed in order, which motion shall be determined without debate. Any Senator directed by the Presiding Officer to take his seat, and any Senator requesting the Presiding Officer to require a Senator to take his seat, may appeal from the ruling of the Chair, which shall be determined without debate. 6. Whenever confusion arises in the Chamber or the galleries, or demonstrations of approval or disapproval are indulged in by the occupants of the galleries, it shall be the duty of the Chair to enforce order on his own initiative and without any point of order being made by a Senator. 7. No Senator shall introduce to or bring to the attention of the Senate during its sessions any occupant in the galleries of the Senate. 8. The Senate shall immediately debate upon receiving notice of an impeachment by the House of Representatives debate for a period of ninety-six hours the question of whether to convict the impeached officer. Voting shall commence at the end of the debate period. RULE VII. QUESTIONS OF ORDER AND POINTS OF INQUIRY. 1. A question of order may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, except when the Senate is voting, and, unless submitted to the Senate, shall be decided by the Presiding Officer without debate, subject to an appeal to the Senate. When an appeal is taken, any subsequent question of order which may arise before the decision of such appeal shall be decided by the Presiding Officer without debate; and every appeal therefrom shall be decided at once, and without debate; and any appeal may be laid on the table without prejudice to the pending proposition, and thereupon shall be held as affirming the decision of the Presiding Officer. 2. The Presiding Officer may submit any question of order for the decision of the Senate. 3. A Senator may at any time except when the Senate is voting raise a point of parliamentary inquiry, so as to ask the Presiding Comment to comment on the procedure to be followed on a particular matter, how the Senate would go about transacting a particular piece of business, what would be the rules and procedure involving the disposition of a particular matter, or any question relating to the rules or procedure of the Senate. The Presiding Officer may answer the inquiry, refer the inquiry to the Senate Parliamentarian, or affirmatively decline to answer the inquiry. RULE VIII. MOTIONS. 1. A Senator may make each of the following motions, which shall be decided without debate upon receiving a second: (a) To conclude debate (and such motion may take the form of "for cloture"). (b) To lay on the table (and such motion may take the form of "to table"). (c) To amend. (d) To divide a bill or resolution that contains several propositions into separate bills or resolutions. (e) To remove from the table. (f) To commit (or refer) to committee. 2. The motions contained in Paragraph 1 of this Rule are listed in order of precedence. RULE IX. APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES. 1. Each of the following committees shall be appointed at the commencement of each Congress, and shall continue and have the power to act until their successors are appointed, with leave to report by bill or otherwise on matters within their respective jurisdictions: (a) The Committee on the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and the Judiciary, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation relating to the following subjects (except legislation already designated for debate by the Senate): Aeronautical and space activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations. Common defense. Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally. Maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone. Military research and development. National security aspects of nuclear energy. Naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska. Pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents. Selective service system. Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense. Coast Guard. Acquisition of land and buildings for embassies and legations in foreign countries. Boundaries of the United States. Diplomatic service. Foreign economic, military, technical, and humanitarian assistance. Foreign loans. International activities of the American National Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross. International aspects of nuclear energy, including nuclear transfer policy. International conferences and congresses. International law as it relates to foreign policy. International Monetary Fund and other international organizations established primarily for international monetary purposes (except that, at the request of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, any proposed legislation relating to such subjects reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations shall be referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs). Intervention abroad and declarations of war. Measures to foster commercial intercourse with foreign nations and to safeguard American business interests abroad. National security and international aspects of trusteeships of the United States. Oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs as they relate to foreign policy. Protection of United States citizens abroad and expatriation. Relations of the United States with foreign nations generally. Treaties and executive agreements, except reciprocal trade agreements. United Nations and its affiliated organizations. World Bank group, the regional development banks, and other international organizations established primarily for development assistance purposes. Apportionment of Representatives. Bankruptcy, mutiny, espionage, and counterfeiting. Civil liberties. Constitutional amendments. Federal courts and judges. Government information. Holidays and celebrations. Immigration and naturalization. Interstate compacts generally. Judicial proceedings, civil and criminal, generally. Local courts in the territories and possessions. Measures relating to claims against the United States. National penitentiaries. Patent Office. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Protection of trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies Revision and codification of the statutes of the United States. State and territorial boundary lines. (b) The Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation not referred to the Committee on the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and the Judiciary (except legislation already designated for debate by the Senate). 2. Each Committee shall be comprised of five Senators including a Chairperson. The Majority Leader shall appoint three Senators on each Committee, designating one as Chairperson and one as Ranking Majority Member. The Minority Leader shall appoint two Senators on each Committee, designating one as Ranking Minority Member. The Majority Leader and Minority Leader may respectively rescind Committee appointments, and make new Committee appointments, at any time. A Senator shall serve as chairperson on a maximum of one Committee. RULE X. COMMITTEE PROCEDURES. 1. Each standing committee is authorized to hold such hearings, to sit and act at such times and places during the sessions, recesses, and adjourned periods of the Senate, to require by subpoena or otherwise the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such correspondence, books, papers, and documents, to take such testimony and to make such expenditures out of the contingent fund of the Senate as may be authorized by resolutions of the Senate. Each such committee may make investigations into any matter within its jurisdiction, and may report such hearings as may be had by it. 2. The Chair of a Committee shall generally preside over that Committee, except that in the absence of the Chair, the Ranking Majority Member shall preside over the Committee. In the absence of the Chair and the Ranking Majority Member, the Ranking Minority Member shall preside over the Committee. In the absence of the Chair of the Committee and both Ranking Members, the designate of the Secretary of the Senate shall preside over the Committee. Absence for the purposes of this Rule means failure to appear for a period exceeding seventy-two hours. 3. Rules III(3), V, VI, VII, and VIII shall apply in Committee mutatis mutandis, except that: (a) The Chairperson of a Committee shall exercise the powers of the Majority Leader. (b) The Chairperson of a Committee shall only designate a bill or resolution for debate before the Committee if the Committee has been referred that bill or resolution. (c) The Chairperson of a Committee shall when designating a bill or resolution for debate specify a maximum time for debate of at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours, and debate on that bill or resolution will conclude, and a vote begin, at the end of such time. (d) Passage of a motion for cloture before a Committee shall require the support of only a majority of Committee members present. (e) A committee cannot suspend a rule of the senate in such a fashion as to assume more authority, or a greater jurisdiction, than has been granted by these Rules. RULE XI. REGULATIONS OF SECRETARY OF SENATE. 1. The Secretary of the Senate shall promulgate regulations, which shall hold the force of these rules, as to each of the following: (a) Presentation of credentials and questions of privilege. (b) Oaths. (c) Commencement of daily sessions. (d) Morning business and the order of business. (e) Messages. (f) Special orders. (g) Papers (including the withdrawal, printing, reading of, and reference to). (h) Executive sessions. (i) The Senate Chamber and Senate Wing of the Capitol Building. (j) Public financial disclosure. (k) Gifts. (l) Outside earned income. (m) Conflicts of interest. (n) Prohibition of unofficial office accounts. (o) Foreign travel. (p) Frankling privilege and radio and television studios. (q) Political fund activity. (r) Employment practices. (s) Representation by members (t) Appearances before the Senate by persons other than Senators including Senate staff. 2. A regulation promulgated under this Rule shall require Senate approval if it is substantially different from the Senate Standing Rules in place regarding these subjects prior to April 1, 2003. Special thanks to Terrus for these rules.
  9. Economic Review Quarter 2, 2003 Historical Overview The 1990s, particularly in the Clinton years, were generally considered to have been a period of strong domestic economic growth - indeed, the longest period of postwar economic growth to date took place in that decade. The advent of the Internet led to many new innovative websites and services that helped fuel the economic growth of this period, which led to a budget surplus for the first time in decades. However, all good things must eventually end, and the dot-com crash which began in 2000 saw a sharp decline in investor confidence. The dot-com crash was not the only catalyst of economic slowdown that led to the early 2000s recession, however. An inverted yield curve caused by the Federal Reserve raising interest rates and eventually the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center also had substantial negative effects on the economic stability of the United States. Other problems, such as the Enron/Arthur Andersen scandal and geopolitical instability, continued to contribute to economic troubles. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index fell from a peak over 4,000 to a low around 1,100 in late 2002. The broader Dow Jones Industrial Average didn't fare as poorly, but still fell roughly 4000 points (from a peak around 11,500). Now in 2003, the economy is beginning to look towards recovery but many fears remain. Domestic Economy As the United States enters the second quarter of 2003, first quarter GDP growth numbers have been released: the U.S. economy grew by an annualized 1.6%, as compared with 1.4% in Q4 2002. This is despite the fact consumer confidence took a serious hit, reaching a 9-year low in February 2003. Nonetheless, some signs of improvement are looming on the horizon with economic growth anticipated to pick up. Unemployment is at 5.9% in March 2003, and some economists anticipate that it may still increase by a few tenths of a percent before coming back down to reflect the increased GDP. Productivity gains from the Internet and computing powers are used to explain part of the increase in unemployment. One strong area for the domestic economy is the potential for a boom in exports. The dollar is experiencing a period of depreciation - especially against the Euro, but also against the Japanese yen - which will lead to heightened American exports. Global Economy Globally, the recession of the early 2000s has seen a set-back in the hopes of many development economists for enhanced prosperity around the globe. With major consumption-based economics in North America and Europe slowing, production-based economies in the developing world have born a large brunt of the economic slowdown. Two notable exceptions have been India and China. The latter's admission to the World Trade Organization in December 2001 has helped spur its export sector. Elsewhere in East Asia, Japan has experienced serious economic difficulties with its economy slowing down, deflationary fears, and the yen's appreciation against the dollar, dampening export potential. In 2002, Japan narrowly avoided entering negative territory with 0.2% GDP growth. Europe has experienced a downturn parallel to the United States, but appears to be following its large trade partner and close ally in terms of chronology. Germany entered a brief recession in 2002 and the 3% deficit cap imposed on Eurozone nations makes it difficult for nations to use traditional fiscal policy levers to recover. All told, the anticipated recovery of the United States is expected to help spur stimulus elsewhere around the world in the coming years. Economic Policy As is traditional, economic options for the government can be divided into fiscal and monetary policies. In the United States, the Federal Reserve (led by Chairman Alan Greenspan) controls monetary policy, and has engaged in a series of interest rate cuts which continue to this day. The effectiveness of these cuts, which are behind the depreciation of the dollar, is still to be fully revealed, but economists agree with the new consensus that the Fed can manage the economy effectively. In his Presidential Address to the American Economic Association in early January of this year, University of Chicago macroeconomist and Nobel Prize winner Robert Lucas Jr said, "macroeconomics [...] has succeeded: Its central problem of depression prevention has been solved, for all practical purposes, and has in fact been solved for many decades." Fiscal policy remains an important area, however, and remains in the purview of members of Congress. After a period of budget surpluses in fiscal years 1998-2001, the deficit has returned and is beginning to see rapid increases as American forces are deployed overseas, automatic stabilizers kick in amid increased jobless claims, and the tax cuts of 2001 (passed as the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act). The increasing national debt from the deficit spending has led to the need for the debt ceiling to be raised - for the second time in the George W. Bush administration. The debt ceiling increase is needed by the end of May, and will certainly consume congressional attention in the coming weeks to avoid pushback from Wall Street.
  10. The Nation's Premier Economic Coverage.
  11. Senate Majority Leader Luke Recks (R-AZ) Utah State University - Logan, UT Well, hello Utah State! It is a pleasure to be up here to take part in a national dialogue about the role of America in the Middle East, in particular with regards to our close friend and ally, the State of Israel. I came out here today to do two things: first, to express my support for Israel as our closest partner and ally in the region; and second, to reaffirm the fundamental American principle of freedom of speech - especially on college campuses. Interestingly enough, President Trump has played an important role in developing promoting both of these issues - and I believe they are issues where we can all find some common ground. As Senate Majority Leader, I speak for my caucus, and indeed, I hope for the entire Senate, in affirming the right of Israel's existence! America has long stood alongside Israel as a close friend and ally. Our shared heritage - from the Judeo-Christian faith to being born amid violence to doing good for the world - is important. But the fact that Israel has had our back, just as we have had theirs, makes our bond especially important. Israel, for all of its successes, still faces a hostile region with bad actors like Iran vowing to wipe it off the face of the globe. Even here are home, the BDS movement - led by radical anti-Semites - is antithetical to the principles upon which our nation was built, and the principles upon which we have developed as the world's beacon for democracy and liberty. That being said, we must defeat BDS in the battlefield of ideas. Because when we take steps to prohibit speech, when we limit allowable expression, we do two great disservices to our own cause. First, it leads to an echo chamber within anti-Semitic communities that could easily lead to radicalization and, though we pray it not come to it, violence. Lone wolfs, indoctrinated over the internet, are a serious threat to Israel and to our Jewish community here in the United States. By giving them grievances - real of imagined - such as kicking them off campus, we are only doing more harm than good. The second major disservice is the potential for a slippery slope. I believe this is what President Trump recognized when he issued a free speech executive order not too long ago. A famous expression on the classically liberal defense of free speech is worth bearing in mind: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This is what our brave men and women do everyday when they don the uniform of the United States and salute our flag. They don't care whether you are a Jew or a Christian, a Muslim or agnostic. They will defend your rights as an American citizen no matter what. I believe the case for banning BDS for Utah State is wrong-headed and weak. We must allow these ideas to be directly confronted, to promote discourse rather than allow violence. I firmly support the State of Israel - from the Golan Heights in the north to Eliat in the south - but I also have pledged myself to our sacred Constitution. We can support both - and that is the path urge the student government to undertake! Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America!
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