Trump supporter Byron Donalds defends the First Amendment on House floor

Rep. Byron Donalds took to the House floor Monday afternoon to defend the First Amendment and American energy producers, noting his ‘disappointment and dismay’ with the Liberal activists who last week attacked a fraternity…

Trump supporter Byron Donalds defends the First Amendment on House floor

Rep. Byron Donalds took to the House floor Monday afternoon to defend the First Amendment and American energy producers, noting his ‘disappointment and dismay’ with the Liberal activists who last week attacked a fraternity house associated with oil and gas production.

Republican Donalds, from Corning, New York, gave an impassioned defense to the First Amendment, calling it ‘the most important constitutional right,’ as he invoked the ‘history of radical, almost fanatical’ groups that have defended the right to speak out and protested in U.S. history.

‘It was radicals who stood up against the limitation of speech that was so common to the First Amendment; the abolitionists, the unionists, the women’s suffragists; the anti-fascists; the civil rights activists. It was every American who stood up for freedom to speak out,’ he said.

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Rep. Byron Donalds took to the House floor Monday afternoon to defend the First Amendment and American energy producers, noting his ‘disappointment and dismay’ with the Liberal activists who last week attacked a fraternity house associated with oil and gas production

‘Disappointment and dismay’… Donalds’ speech will prove a controversial move for House Democrats. His speech came a day after House Democrats unveiled a document calling for oil and gas drillers to be subject to ‘prospective exploration and development standards’ and made the severance tax a ‘possible option’ for oil and gas producers

Donalds’ speech will prove a controversial move for House Democrats. His speech came a day after House Democrats unveiled a document calling for oil and gas drillers to be subject to ‘prospective exploration and development standards’ and made the severance tax a ‘possible option’ for oil and gas producers.

He pointed to numerous examples that underline the importance of the First Amendment, including the Wall Street crash of 1907, the strike against the U.S. Navy in 1871 and the Women’s Suffrage Movement of the 1920s.

The Native American tribes, labor groups and often Democrats, ‘stood up and demanded the right to protest and speak freely,’ he said.

‘It wasn’t just extremists in our country who sought to restrict speech, but left-leaning groups and groups on the political left. By going on the attack against any oil and gas industry they can find that are on the receiving end of the First Amendment, they’re trampling upon the rights of the American people,’ he said.

‘The fact that the argument is being made by liberal and even Democrat groups says a lot about what is going on with our politics these days,’ Donalds added.

Just one week ago, President Trump announced a proposed executive order lifting the so-called ‘three-rig rule,’ which had only affected shale drilling companies since 2011.

That order, coupled with tax and environmental incentives would give shale drillers a greater incentive to advance U.S. energy production and development.

Trump criticized those who claim the order would somehow ‘encourage’ hydraulic fracturing, which has the energy potential to harness the nation’s vast shale reserves, throwing the right to First Amendment rights in the mix with the job creation opportunity that could result from the decision.

Drillers, however, say the rules burden them with more stringent regulations, cost them an unnecessary amount of capital, ultimately killing their production prospects and increasing their energy costs by billions of dollars.

Trump said any company expanding production would soon know the results of lifting the restrictions.

‘Our number one goal is to unleash American energy and promote American jobs,’ he said.

‘The very poor are going to be able to buy a car and the very rich are going to be able to own a new boat and take it somewhere,’ he added.

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