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Senate Legislative Update for May 16, 2014

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#BringBackOurGirls: This week the Subcommittee on African Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the Boko Haram threat. Officials from the Pentagon testified on their current U.S. efforts to provide aid to the Nigerian military.

For more information, click here.

Reid’s Personal Vendetta: For months, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has been calling out Charles and David Koch, generally referred to as “the Koch brothers,” on the Senate floor. This week, he took his personal vendetta to the extreme. Reid voiced support for a constitutional amendment that would restrict the First Amendment.

In doing so, he sought to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which affirmed what many already assume to be part of their First Amendment rights — the right to engage in independent political speech and to give money to the candidates of your choice.

For more information, click here.

Early Education Bill in Committee: This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee marked up a bill that would create additional federal control over education, S.1697.

The bill specially looks at early education, creating additional grant programs to expand the already far-reaching control of the federal government. Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R- Tennessee) sought to offer a substitute amendment that would give states the option of using the funds as they see fit, instead of how the federal government instructs them to use it.

To read Sen. Alexander’s press statement on his proposal, click here.