Representative Walter Jones
Republican of North Carolina District 3

Phone: 225-3415
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Progressive Action Score: 33

A score of 33 means that Rep. Jones has acted to support 33% of a slate of progressive policies in the 110th Congress.
Productive and forward-looking actions Representative Jones has taken to merit a Progressive Action Score of 33:
  • Rep. Walter Jones cast a vote against the ironically named Protect America Act. The Protect America Act is a law now passed by both houses of Congress which replaces judicial warrants with executive prerogative and substitutes blank checks for reasons. The Protect America Act gives the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence the power to spy on your emails, your web surfing, your telephone calls and other electronic communications. All this is carried out without a warrant, which is required by the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    There is no supervision of the spy programs put in place by Gonzales and McConnell, except by Gonzales and McConnell. No one has the power to stop them any more. They can search your records, sift through your private messages, watch you go from web page to web page, on the pretext of protecting America from terrorists, all without a search warrant. No one has the power to tell them no.

    Gonzales and McConnell have the power under the Protect America Act to order any American to help them conduct their electronic spying against other Americans. Under the new law, if they order you to take part in their spying operations, and you say no, they can throw you in prison. If you do not keep their spying on other Americans a secret, even from your family, they can throw you in prison.

    The Protect America Act institutes Big Brother government in the United States. It betrays American liberty. It is a shame that the Act passed. But at least we can thank Representative Jones for voting against it.

  • World Water Day, celebrated on March 22, has a simple point: People ought to have sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation. This means that water pollution, through poor infrastructure as well as through disgusting policies like the Bush White Houseďż˝s promotion of blending undertreated sewage into sources of drinking water, needs to brought under control.

    It has been 14 years since World Water Day was begun, but sadly, the environmentalist holiday is not yet being widely observed. In all the United States, there are only eight officially scheduled World Water Day events. Canada beats us, with eleven events.

    H.Res. 196 tries to turn this trajectory of indifference around, declaring support for the goals and ideals of World Water Day. Representative Jones has added one more measure of personal momentum to the movement by voting for this legislation.

  • Rep. Walter Jones voted YES for H.R. 2, a bill to increase the minimum wage, which is currently at its lowest point since the 1950s. The bill was not dedicated to raising the the minimum wage to new highs. It would only have returned the minimum wage to a level comparable to that of the 1980s, which is in turn much lower than the minimum wage level of the late 1960s. Thanks to Representative Jones for at least giving America's workers the respect that they deserved 20 years ago.

  • There are valid disagreements reasonable people might have about the moral and mental status of living things. Some vegans, on the one hand, might argue against harming any animal. Others of us do not feel much bother about slipping a hook into a worm for a bit of fishing. But it is clear that birds have a high degree of awareness and can feel great pain. You might argue that some pain among birds is necessary for the generation of food. But when that pain is wholly unnecessary, who can support its continuation?

    H.R. 137 was a bill put before the Congress which declared it "unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, buy, transport, or deliver in interstate or foreign commerce a knife, a gaff, or any other sharp instrument attached, or designed or intended to be attached, to the leg of a bird for use in an animal fighting venture." In more brief terms, it outlawed the tools used solely for cockfighting, the ritual mutilation of birds for sport.

    H.R. 137 passed on a 368-39 vote, with the vast majority of members of Congress recognizing the needlessness of this particular brand of animal torture. Walter Jones cast a YES vote, making a reasonable stand on the side of mercy.

  • Some bills really are no-brainers. In April 2006, the U.S. Senate ratified the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which requires the emissions of some ozone-depleting greenhouse gases from oceangoing ships to be limited through regulation. H.R. 802 is a bill that would simply enact the changes necessary for the United States to live up to this treaty and reduce maritime pollution. What could be simpler and more sensible? Representative Jones agreed and cast a responsible YES vote on this bill.

  • H.R. 1255, a bill that passed the house on a vote of 333-93 in the House of Representatives, was the work of a large congressional majority which believes that White House records belong ultimately to the people of the United States. When he entered office, George W. Bush issued an edict which assigned past presidents and their heirs the right to do with presidential records what they personally saw fit. This is a recipe for historically disastrous revisionism. H.R. 1255 reverses the Bush edict, returning the ownership of presidential records to the people of the United States and making them available (after a period of time) for complete and accurate, not gauzily redacted, historical research. Representative Jones voted for this bill, prioritizing the historical value of accuracy and the political value of openness above the prerogatives of those in power.

  • H.R. 1309, a bill that has passed the House on a vote of 308-117, removes the authoritarian stain placed on the government of the United States shortly after George W. Bush took office -- well, at least one of them. It used to be that citizens could access government documents through the Freedom of Information Act unless the government could affirmatively demonstrate the need for the document to remain private. George W. Bush changed that with an executive order in 2001, mandating that unless a citizen affirmatively demonstrated a lack of national security reasons for the disclosure of a document, the government could keep its documents off-limits. This is another authoritarian step in a nation founded on principles of openness and liberty. Walter Jones cast a YES vote for this bill, helping to return America from Orwellian darkness back to the light.

The record of Walter Jones is hardly perfect. Instances in which Rep. Jones failed to live up to progressive standards in politics include the following:
  • On June 20 2008, Representative Walter Jones broke faith with the Congressional Oath of Office, in which every member of Congress solemnly swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Rep. Jones swore to do this, and yet failed to vote against H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act. The FISA Amendments Act not only makes the misnamed Protect America Act permanent, but even expands upon it in its gutting of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. H.R. 6304 sets up a system:

    * For the federal government to spy on you electronically
    * Reading your email
    * Listening to your telephone calls
    * Watching what web pages you visit
    * Following your financial transactions
    * More than that, for the federal government to engage in physical searches
    * Of your home
    * Of your office
    * Of your car
    * Without any explanation of why they are doing it
    * Without the ability of a judge to even stop it
    * Without oversight by Congress
    * Letting the government use information it obtains illegally
    * Giving telecommunications companies retroactive immunity for helping the government do this, even when it was expressly against the law to do so

    When a President of the United States has this kind of power at his disposal, she or he cannot be stopped. The power of the president becomes total and the president becomes a totalitarian. By failing to oppose this bill, Representative Walter Jones aided and abetted the advent of American totalitarianism.

  • When the Head Start program of early childhood education came up for reauthorization in May of 2007, Rep. Howard McKeon tried to offer an amendment that would provide special permission for religious organizations to engage in employment discrimination when using government-provided funds to hire Head Start Workers. That sounds complicated, but what it boils down to is that the McKeon amendment would have let churches take government money to hire workers for the government-funded Head Start program, and yet refuse to hire particular workers because they were from the "wrong" religion.

    The Head Start program is not a religious program in its content, so there is no substantive reason for this discrimination to occur. If churches want to run a preschool and discriminate on the basis of religion, they can already do so -- they just have to pay for it themselves. If churches want to grab government money to run a government program, on the other hand, then the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is perfectly clear -- government resources can't be used to establish advantages for a religion or its adherents.

    The McKeon amendment would have let government resources be used to discriminate against people who were not religiously correct. It fortunately was rejected in a roll-call vote. But Rep. Walter Jones didn't help in that regard. By failing to vote against the McKeon amendment, Rep. Jones showed a disregard for the constitutional basis of American government.

  • For more than three decades, the United States has been a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, better known as the Non-Proliferation treaty. This treaty requires the United States to "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." George W. Bush has been fond of using images of mushroom clouds and nuclear proliferation to push the country into war. Yet under George W. Bush, the United States has failed to pursue negotiations in good, middling or even bad faith on nuclear arms or nuclear disarmament, marking a violation of this treaty which is essential to international peace.

    H.Res. 68 is a bill that calls on President Bush to issue a report indicating the means by which the United States will meet its numerous, legally-binding treaty obligations. Asking the president to obey the law seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, not according to Representative Jones, who has failed to cosponsor this bill. When you get the chance, please contract Rep. Jones and ask what gives.

  • We are surrounded... surrounded! There is no way to escape. I am not talking about terrorists here. I am talking about the oceans. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans together provide our longest borders, and what happens to them rains down on us sooner or later. But despite our dependence on the good nature of our oceans, our nation is by action or lack of action allowing great disturbances to be wreaked upon them. Fisheries are being depleted. Algal blooms from our national runoff result in huge dead zones. And we remain trapped in impotent hope, year after year, as we wait to see which of our overpopulated floodplains will be battered by ocean storms next. In the face of these threats, our ocean policy remains fragmented and uncoordinated. That is what real Homeland Insecurity looks like, and that is what H.R. 21 attempts to ameliorate, by increasing coordination of agencies on policy issues related to our oceans and initiating research and action programs to learn more about our most porous border regions and reduce our collective vulnerability to biological, meteorological and military threats from them. Walter Jones is not yet on board, apparently failing to recognize the looming threats to our well-being based in oceanic neglect. Read H.R. 21 for yourself, then contact Rep. Jones with a call to cosponsorship of this real national security legislation.

  • Any reasonable person who believes that trust in America's democratic institutions is important can see the value in being able to determine with assurance how a person has voted. It should be a matter of common sense, for instance, that when an electronic voting machine malfunctions and loses votes (as has happened in the past), a backup paper record of the actions of the machine would help elections officials set things right and make sure that every person's vote has been counted. Yet today, despite a history of malfunctioning electronic voting machines, there is no requirement for a backup paper trail. It's as easy as attaching a printer to a voting machine. It's a matter of simple common sense for those who are interested in reliable verifiable, democracy. So why has Congressperson Jones failed to lend formal support to H.R. 811, a bill which would require the establishment of such a paper trail? It's a mystery to me. Ask Congressperson Jones to leave a verifiable paper trail of support for H.R. 811 -- in the Congress, that's called cosponsorship.

  • H.R. 897 is a bill before the House of Representatives that would "require the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to provide to Congress copies and descriptions of contracts and task orders in excess of $5,000,000 for work to be performed in Iraq and Afghanistan." When Republicans controlled the Congress, they killed efforts to uncover corporate corruption and war profiteering. If there is really nothing going on with the contracts, then why is there a problem with looking at those contracts? Only those who think there is a problem and want to hide the problem could be opposed to Congressional oversight. Walter Jones apparently is comfortable with something being hidden, since the name of Rep. Jones does not currently appear in cosponsorship of this legislation. Contact Rep. Jones and ask why.

  • H.R. 2620, The Child Soldier Prevention Act, prohibits the government of the United States of America from providing military aid to any foreign government that uses child soldiers in its military, paramilitary forces, or other official or sanctioned armed groups. The Child Soldier Prevention Act also requires the Executive Branch to research and publish reports on the use of child soldiers around the world, providing important information that can be used to more effectively counter the use child soldiers.

    There are some clauses that make the bill less strong than it could be. One gives the President of the United States to issue a waiver to the law when he decides that giving military aid to a government that uses child soldiers is in the interest of the United States. However, the President is required to register every such waiver, and report on the justifications for each waiver to the Senate and to the House of Representatives. Another clause permits support for armies that recruit volunteer child soldiers as young as 16 -- because that's what the U.S. Military currently does.

    These clauses make the Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007 an imperfect piece of legislation, but it's pretty darned good, and it's the only legislation to even address the issue. It is therefore a piece of legislation that all decent Americans ought to be willing to support, regardless of political party affiliation.

    So why hasn't Representative Jones offered cosponsorship of even this mild, unobjectionable bill? Something seems askew with Representative Jones's priorities.

  • Back in February, Congressman Tom Lantos introduced a bill to the US House of Representatives called the Advance Democracy Act of 2007. It is registered by the Library of Congress as H.R. 982. The legislation would:
    1. Establish a Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor within the Department of State
    2. Create positions for Democracy Liaison Officers in the Department of State
    3. Require the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Directory of National Intelligence to monitor and document the flow of money within the United States from foreign nondemocratic governments
    4. Establish a Democracy Fellowship Program to encourage coordination between Congress and the Department of State on matters related to the promotion of democratic institutions around the world
    5. Create two studies by the Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion to evaluate the ways in which organizations are working around the world to promote democracy, and understand how the Department of State can better help these organizations
    6. Create a government web site dedicated to global democracy and human rights
    7. Develop pro-democratic programs by the United States missions in nondemocratic nations and nations transitioning to democracy
    8. Provide funds for an International Center for Democratic Transition, dedicated to helping nations move from dictatorship to democracy. The center has already been proposed by the government of Hungary, and has the support of other European nations
    9. Strengthen the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, already in place
    10. Give new energy to the effort to create a Democracy Caucus within the General Assembly of the United Nations
    11. Require the White House to use the Department of State and the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by the leaders of other nations

    Promoting democracy around the world without dropping bombs on anybody. What a radical idea.

    The Advance Democracy Act of 2007 has a number of co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, but unfortunately Walter Jones is not among them. Please make a call and ask Representative Jones to co-sponsor of the Advance Democracy Act of 2007.

  • H.R. 1257 is a bill that, if signed into law, would simply permit shareholders in a public corporation -- aka the owners -- to cast an advisory, non-binding vote approving or disapproving of executive pay packages. H.R. 1257 would also allow shareholders to vote their non-binding approval or disapproval of Golden Parachutes, the gigantic pay packages corporate executives often give themselves as a condition of being fired for poor performance. Who would not support the idea of the owners of a corporation being able to publicly express their position on executive pay and severance packages? Only those who have an interest in keeping executive pay and severance packages hushed up. Walter Jones failed to vote for this bill when it came up for a roll call vote. Why is Representative Jones interested in hushing up executive pay and severance packages? Ask Representative Jones.

  • H.R. 1415 is a bill before the House to repeal many of the most onerous features of the Military Commissions Act. If passed, some of its main acts would be to:
    • Restore the right of habeas corpus for people detained by the U.S.
    • Narrow the definition of the MCA term "unlawful enemy combatant" to individuals who directly participate in attacks against the United States.
    • Let United States detainees invoke the ethical codes of the Geneva Conventions again.
    • Let U.S. detainees obtain a civilian lawyer for their defense.
    • Prohibit the use of evidence garnered through torture.
    • Prohibit the use of hearsay, upon the discretion of a judge.
    • Let juries know how statements were obtained from detainees.
    • Permit federal appeals courts to review the decisions of military commissions.

    In short, H.R. 1415 would restore respect for the Constitution and a modicum of humanity to the government of the United States. Sadly, Walter Jones has failed to recognize how important the restoration of constitutional standards are to our country. Perhaps Rep. Jones ought to review the congressional oath of office again.

  • In late March of 2007, Representative James McGovern of Massachussets introduced H.R. 1755, the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2007, to the United States Senate. The law forbids the United States government from spending money to use, sell or transfer cluster bombs unless the following requirements are met:

    1. The cluster bombs are proven to have a 1 percent or lower rate of malfunction

    2. The cluster bombs will not be used against anything but a clearly defined military target, in an area where there are no civilians and in places where civilians do not ordinarily live

    3. A plan is submitted, with the costs included, for cleaning up all the undetonated explosives that come from cluster bombs, whether they are used by the US military, or by other countries to whom the United States has supplied the cluster bombs

    There is a waiver in the law for the first requirement (for the malfunctioning rate of 1 percent or lower), in cases in which it is "vital" to use cluster bombs in order to protect the security of the United States. However, even in such cases, the President is required to submit a report to Congress which explains how civilians will be protected from the cluster bombs, and revealing the failure rate of the cluster bombs, as well as whether the cluster bombs are equipped with self-destruct functions.

    The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act is not a perfect law. We are not too fond of that waiver. However, the law is a big improvement over the status quo. Right now, there's nothing to stop the United States from using cluster bombs, as it did during the invasion of Iraq, or selling them for other countries to use, as was done last year with the cluster bombs that Israel used against the civilian population of Lebanon.

    The thing that makes cluster bombs so much worse than ordinary bombs is that they have a high failure rate, combined with a high number of small bombs that are spread over large areas of land by the larger bombs in which they are originally obtained. Cluster bombs are designed to kill people, not to damage buildings or roads. Like land mines, they continue to kill people long after the battle in which they were used. It is typical for a large number of these smaller bombs to remain undetonated, waiting to explode, after their initial deployment. The Federation of American Scientists reports: "Studies that show 40 percent of the duds on the ground are hazardous and for each encounter with an unexploded submunition there is a 13 percent probability of detonation. Thus, even though an unexploded submunition is run over, kicked, stepped on, or otherwise disturbed, and did not detonate, it is not safe. Handling the unexploded submunition may eventually result in arming and subsequent detonation."

    Cluster bombs kill civilians when they are used. Our government knows this, and yet our government continues to manufacture, use and sell cluster bombs to foreign countries.

    Representative McGovern deserves our thanks for introducing the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act to the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, Rep. Walter Jones has failed to date to support this bill and the effort behind it. Who could stand for the continuation of cluster bomb civilian death? We cannot say, but we do know that through inaction Rep. Jones has decided to passively sit for it.

  • One of the historic firsts of the United States was the rejection of taxation without representation. Indeed, that is one of the reasons why the USA is independent of Great Britain today. H.R. 1905, a bill that has passed on a vote of 241-177 in the House of Representatives, fits in that historical context. If signed by George W. Bush, the bill will provide for congressional representation to the residents of the District of Columbia, who pay taxes just like you and me but who have no voting voice in Congress. Walter Jones failed to vote for this bill. According Rep. Jones, these citizens should not have a voice in government.

  • A bedrock principle of American progressivism is the right of the individual to self-determination. A person should be able to choose how to govern their own body, not some Big Daddy government. H.R. 1964 defends individual autonomy with the declaration that "It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman," and with the institution of a variety of policies to ensure this policy is enacted. Walter Jones has to date failed to support this bill through cosponsorship. If you believe Congress ought to defend the individual against patronizing government intrusion, please contact Rep Jones and ask when cosponsorship of H.R. 1964 is going to happen.

Right Wing Index Score: 57

A score of 57 means that Representative Jones has acted to support 57% of a slate of conservative, wrongheaded policies in the 110th Congress.
Regressive, destructive, and downright unAmerican actions Representative Jones has taken that contribute to a Right Wing Index Score of 57:
  • This year, there are not one but two pieces of legislation that aim to establish and enforce a new official nationalist religion of the United States of America. Both House Joint Resolution 9 and House Joint Resolution 12 would amend the United States Constitution to prohibit the physical "desecration" of the flag of the United States.

    The amendment would transform the American flag from a symbol of liberty into a nationalist idol to be worshipped in the cult of the Homeland. Just consider the language used in the amendment. The amendment proposes to "prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." That is not an exaggeration: to desecrate something means to demean its sacred status.

    Sacred status? In traditional American democracy, the American flag is not sacred. The sacred is the realm of religion, and we do not have a national religion. There is no official doctrine granting the American flag supernatural powers. There is no official idolatrous cult of flag worship. Flag worshipping cults, like the Boy Scouts, have been private organizations. However, this amendment would elevate a physical object, the American flag, into a special religious realm of untouchability and spiritual transcendence. The amendment would insert the notion of sacred idols into the United States Constitution for the first time.

    In supporting H.J.Res 12., Representative Jones stands against good sense and with the nationalist mob. We need fewer, not more, demagogues like Walter Jones in the Congress.

  • Two bills, H.R. 769 and H.R. 997 stand ready to declare English the official language of the nation. Although they differ from each other in some specifics, both bills mandate that government business be carried out in English, and that the government presume citizens are fluent in English when engaging with them. This is a change from an inclusive government to an exclusive one, and it is a violation of the principle of equal protection under the law -- a principle explicitly contained in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Representative Jones has given support to H.R. 997.,

    Just because Rep. Jones seems to have some kind of personal problem with funny-looking "ethnic" people who speak a different language than English does not mean that such prejudice should be pushed on the rest of the country. The United States of America has always been a nation of multiple origins, multiple cultures and multiple languages. Legislating diversity away will not make it disappear. On the contrary, this legislation will only divide the nation into a privileged English-speaking clique and an untouchable caste of non-English speakers who are denied access to government, to civic participation, and even to the private workplace. This is not what America stands for. Shame on you, Walter Jones, for ignoring the principles of the U.S. Constitution and demeaning the standard of openness that has made this country great.

  • The way that U.S. citizenship works is pretty simple when you get down to it: if you are born in this country, you are a citizen. Leave it to Representative Walter Jones to come up with a way to change that. Representative Jones has decided to support H.R. 1940, which would deny citizenship to American-born babies if their parents are not themselves citizens. Such a change would move us toward the German model of citizenship, in which families who have lived in Germany for generations were denied citizenship because they lacked the so-called "virtue" of a German bloodline.

  • When the Head Start program of early childhood education came up for reauthorization in May of 2007, Rep. Howard McKeon tried to offer an amendment that would provide special permission for religious organizations to engage in employment discrimination when using government-provided funds to hire Head Start Workers. That sounds complicated, but what it boils down to is that the McKeon amendment would have let churches take government money to hire workers for the government-funded Head Start program, and yet refuse to hire particular workers because they were from the "wrong" religion.

    The Head Start program is not a religious program in its content, so there is no substantive reason for this discrimination to occur. If churches want to run a preschool and discriminate on the basis of religion, they can already do so -- they just have to pay for it themselves. If churches want to grab government money to run a government program, on the other hand, then the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is perfectly clear -- government resources can't be used to establish advantages for a religion or its adherents.

    The McKeon amendment would have let government resources be used to discriminate against people who were not religiously correct. It fortunately was rejected in a roll-call vote. But Rep. Walter Jones didn't help in that regard. By voting YES for the McKeon amendment, Rep. Jones showed an active disregard for the constitutional basis of American government.