An Insurance Policy Against Shenanigans

Breitbart posted an article today about one of the rules that will apply in the impeachment trial of President Trump in the Senate.

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is as of now including in the U.S. Senate impeachment trial rules a “kill switch” that effectively allows for the president’s legal team to seek an immediate verdict or dismissal of the case should Democrats engage in any shenanigans like they did in the House process.

The revelation comes after the House finally late last week formally sent the Articles of Impeachment it adopted before Christmas—after holding them for more than a month without transmission—to the U.S. Senate, thereby triggering the start of a Senate trial. The Senate will formally commence its trial procedures in votes this coming week, and while some Republicans want to outright dismiss the charges altogether from the outset, others believe a trial should take place.

The article explains:

In other words, the big picture here is that it seems as though the Senate will move forward with an actual trial—details on a number of fronts on that as of yet to be determined—but that there will be one thing that is clear: If Schiff or the Democrats try anything untoward like they did in the House, the president and the Senate have the option to shut the whole thing down and blow it all up on them. That means Republicans hold the upper hand, and should things get crazy—while there are not currently enough votes to dismiss the trial or outright off the bat acquit Trump—after Democrat partisan gamesmanship there likely would be enough votes to dismiss the whole thing. Bad behavior, in a partisan way, from people such as Schiff and Nadler and other Democrats could drive more Republicans toward the motion to dismiss—the kill switch—if that ever becomes necessary.

The article concludes:

A former White House official added that including this “kill switch” in the resolution gives Senate Republicans the tools they need to help McConnell keep the trial on the straight and narrow.

“McConnell has proven time and time again he is a more effective Leader than Pelosi is Speaker,” the former Trump White House official told Breitbart News. “This resolution ensures the President and his team has every tool at their disposal.”

The even bigger picture here is that when it comes to the Senate trial, GOP senators—in particular McConnell—are taking an active role in ensuring it will be fair. They are leading the way in framing this.

Vice President Mike Pence, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News late last week, made it clear that “when it comes to the Senate trial, it’ll be for the senators to decide [on witnesses and process], but I think the fact that you hear people talking about witnesses in the Senate just proves how weak the case underpinning the Articles of Impeachment really is.”

“The fact that we’ve heard they had an open-and-shut case, that despite the fact the American people can read the transcript, see the fact the president did nothing wrong, no quid pro quo, the military aid was released,” Pence added. “The American people have the facts. We heard that Congress did what the facts demanded, and now suddenly we hear Democrats saying they need more facts and they need more witnesses. My view on this is the American people see through all of this—the sham investigation followed by a partisan impeachment. They’re saying ‘enough is enough.’”

Hopefully the Senators will act with more decorum than the members of the House of Representatives.

Interesting Take

On Friday, The Daily Wire posted an article about Trey Gowdy’s recent comments concerning the purpose of impeaching President Trump. The article points out that there is very little hope that President Trump will be impeached in the Senate and that there is very little chance that President Trump will not be re-elected. So what is the goal?

The article notes:

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Thursday that Democrats are not trying to remove President Donald Trump with impeachment, but instead are focused on kneecapping his second term by flipping the Senate so he can’t get anything done.

“Let’s skip over the process,” Gowdy said. “The process, the three month long inquiry investigation was laughable. But they voted. That’s the House’s prerogative. They voted, not a single Republican went along with them. In fact, they didn’t even keep all the Democrats. But the House exercised its prerogative and they impeached the president.”

“There is no mathematical way he is ever going to be convicted and they know that,” Gowdy continued. “So their goal cannot be to remove Donald Trump from office, it is to neuter his second term. I think he is going to win in November. It’s to neuter that second term by targeting the Cory Gardners and the Martha McSallys and the Thom Tillises and the Susan Collins and Joni Ernst because if Trump wins and doesn’t have the Senate then he is not going to get any judicial vacancies filled and he’s not going to replace a Supreme Court Justice if he or she retires.”

One of the major accomplishments of the Trump administration is the reshaping of the judiciary. President Trump has appointed a record number of judges to serve in the federal appeal courts.

On December 19th, The National Review reported:

Let’s first put the confirmation results in some statistical perspective. From 1981 through last year, the Senate confirmed an average of 45 judges, or 5.5 percent of the judiciary, per year. This year’s total is more than twice the annual average and constitutes 11.9 percent of the judiciary. It’s the second-highest confirmation total in a single year in American history.

Those 102 confirmations include 20 to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the third-highest annual total in history. President Donald Trump has appointed 50 appeals court judges in his first three years, compared to 55 appointed by President Barack Obama — in eight years. And this is only the second time in American history that the Senate has confirmed double-digit appeals court nominations three years in a row. The only downside is that only one current appeals court vacancy exists anywhere in the country right now, the fewest in more than four decades.

The Democrats understand that the legacy of judges will be a lasting legacy. They desperately need to take the Senate in order to stop the continuing confirmations of judges. That strategy is much more logical than a futile effort to unseat a President who is popular with most Americans (although hated by the Washington establishment).

An Interesting Take On Impeachment

The American Thinker posted an article today about the next step in the impeachment process.

The article notes:

The latest reporting I’ve seen is that the Senate will take up President Trump’s impeachment trial this week.  What’s wrong with that, you ask?  I’ve already said what’s wrong: the Schiff-Nadler Star Chamber violated President Trump’s Fifth Amendment rights to procedural due process, rendering the resulting impeachment articles null and void as “poisoned fruit.”  The GOP leadership should do what the Founders would have done: challenge the legal legitimacy of the impeachment articles.  The logic blueprint I will present below — Mr. Jefferson knew logic — will help make the case in court.

As we know, protecting the rights of the accused is of fundamental importance in a just legal system and is a key motivation behind the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which asserts that “[no person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”  The Supreme Court has interpreted due process broadly to include:

    • procedural due process rights,
    • substantive due process rights, and
    • prohibition against vague laws
    • as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

Of concern here are only procedural due process rights (PDPRs), which include:

    1. An unbiased tribunal.
    2. Notice of the proposed action and the grounds asserted for it.
    3. The opportunity to present reasons for the proposed action not to be taken.
    4. The right to present evidence, including the right to call witnesses.
    5. The right to know the opposing evidence.
    6. The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
    7. A decision based only on the evidence presented.
    8. Opportunity to be represented by counsel.
    9. A requirement that the tribunal prepare a record of the evidence presented.
    10. A requirement that the tribunal prepare written findings of fact and the reasons for its decision.

I can sum this up with one question, “If you were on trial would you be happy to have the same rights as a defendant that President Trump was given by the House of Representatives?”

If the God-given rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution matter, the impeachment case put together by the House of Representatives needs to be thrown out for not respecting those rights.

A Proposed Resolution By Senator Josh Hawley

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday that Senator Josh Hawley has introduced a Resolution in the Senate regarding the delay of the House of Representative’s delay in forwarding the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

The Resolution states:

Title: Amending the Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeachment Trials.

Resolved, That rule I of the Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeachment Trials is amended to read as follows:

“I. Whensoever the Senate shall receive notice from the House of Representatives that managers are appointed on their part to conduct an impeachment against any person and are directed to carry articles of impeachment to the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate shall immediately inform the House of Representatives that the Senate is ready to receive the managers for the purpose of exhibiting such articles of impeachment, agreeably to such notice.

If, following adoption of such articles, the House of Representatives does not so notify the Senate or otherwise provide for such articles to be exhibited to the Senate within 25 calendar days from the date of adoption of such articles, as recorded in the Journal of the House of Representatives, such articles shall be deemed exhibited before the Senate and it shall be in order for any Senator to offer a motion to dismiss such articles with prejudice for failure by the House of Representatives to prosecute such articles. Such motion shall be adopted by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Senators, duly chosen and sworn, without debate by the yeas and nays, which shall be entered on the record.”.

The article provides background for the Resolution:

The Senate has adopted a set of 26 rules that govern all impeachment proceedings, known as the “Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeachment Trials.” Those Rules presume prompt delivery of the articles of impeachment to the Senate following their adoption by the House. Historically, the House delivered articles of impeachment to the Senate for action almost simultaneously with the vote to impeach. During the Clinton impeachment, for example, the articles were transmitted to the Senate the same day they were approved. Consequently, the current Senate rules have no mechanism to address Speaker Pelosi’s unprecedented attempt to prevent a Senate trial by withholding the articles after the President has been impeached.

Speaker Pelosi’s gambit raises grave constitutional concerns. Article 1, Section 3 gives the Senate the “sole” power to try impeachment cases. But if the Speaker refuses to transmit the articles after the President has been impeached, she could prevent the Senate from exercising its constitutional prerogative, perhaps indefinitely.

Senator Hawley’s resolution would amend the Senate’s impeachment rules to prevent this abuse of the Constitution and protect the Senate’s sole power to try impeachment. The resolution would allow the Senate to dismiss for lack of prosecution any articles of impeachment that the House of Representatives has delayed transmitting for 25 calendar days or more. Under this new rule, any Senator would be entitled to move to dismiss once the allotted time period had elapsed. Any motion to dismiss would be voted upon by the full Senate.

This should provide the impetus for Speaker Pelosi to forward the articles of impeachment and stop this endless delay.

Still Fishing…

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog about some recent comments by Senator Schumer.

The article notes:

Chuck Schumer’s moan that “the facts” need to “com[e] out” before a full impeachment trial can occur is an invitation to a motion to dismiss the House’s articles of impeachment, once they arrive. The House had its opportunity to develop the facts. If it didn’t develop facts sufficient to support removing the president, the Senate shouldn’t waste its time on the matter.

Mitch McConnell reportedly is considering a motion to dismiss. According to this report, he hinted that the Senate will move to dismiss the articles of impeachment after opening argument.

McConnell noted that in the 1999 trial of Bill Clinton, Schumer supported a motion to dismiss the case. He also recalled that Schumer opposed calling live witnesses. This time around, Schumer wants to call at least four witnesses who did not appear before the House.

Some Republicans, including President Trump apparently, also want to call witnesses during the impeachment trial. Joe and Hunter Biden have been mentioned, along with the whistleblower and even Adam Schiff. However, I agree with those who want to end the impeachment trial early. If Republicans want to hear from certain players, they can try to bring them in as part of the ordinary oversight process.

Why is Chuck Schumer still looking for the facts? It is the job of the House of Representatives to present the facts to the Senate for trial. If there are no facts, there is no reason for a trial. The Democrats have been looking for a crime for almost three years now. They have done little else. It is time for them to put their toys away and get to work. There will be an election in less than a year. Let the American people decide (or is that what they are afraid of?).

The New Standard–Expect A January Surprise

Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that previews what will happen when the impeachment trial moves to the Senate. It’s not a particularly optimistic article in terms of antics by the Democrats, although I think the eventual outcome will be the acquittal of President Trump.

The article reports:

With a House impeachment vote a foregone conclusion, the battle to remove President Trump from office has moved to the Senate. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer grabbed control of the debate Monday with demands for what he called “fairness” in the president’s trial.

I think Senator Schumer’s definition of fairness is, “Heads I win; tails you lose.”

The article continues:

Schumer wants the Senate to allow testimony from four witnesses the House did not interview: former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, key Mulvaney aide Robert Blair, and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey. House Democratic impeachers wanted the men to testify, but after the White House, claiming privilege, refused, House leaders chose not to try to force them to appear. Going to court to compel their testimony, Democrats said, would take too much time.

Now, Schumer wants the witnesses simply to forget about privilege questions and testify in the Senate trial.

“How, on such a weighty matter, could we avoid hearing this, could we go forward without hearing it?” Schumer asked at a news conference Monday. “I haven’t seen a single good argument about why these witnesses shouldn’t testify — unless the president has something to hide and his supporters want that information hidden.”

Republicans will respond that the Senate is not the place for fact-finding — that is, for senators to become investigators and do what the House declined to do. Some will also note that the House chose not to seek the appointment of an outside investigator, a special counsel, to establish what happened in the Trump-Ukraine matter, and the Senate is ill-equipped to play that role. Many will also argue that the facts of the case do not align with the Democratic accusation of bribery and more testimony will not change that. Others will argue that they don’t believe what the president did rises to the level of an impeachable offense.

The technique the Democrats will use is the one we saw in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. The Democrats needs four Republicans to sign on to the idea of calling new witnesses (a simple majority vote is needed). Then they can dig up all the imaginary dirt on the President they can manufacture and totally taint the hearing. The idea is to damage President Trump to the point where the Democrats win the Presidency in 2020 and none of their misdeeds like government abuses of surveillance or violations of citizen’s civil rights will ever be dealt with. I am not sure Americans are stupid enough to buy what they are selling.

On a final note, I would like to share my prediction that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat’s candidate for President in 2020.

A New Level Of Chutzpah

Breitbart posted an article today about some recent comments by Senator Schumer.

The article states:

Democrats have a new talking point in their attack on Senate Republicans, ahead of a House vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump later this week: the Senate is denying Trump a “fair trial.”

That is the line taken by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Monday, as he insisted that Republicans allow Democrats to call four witnesses who did not appear during the House inquiry.

Three of those witnesses were subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee, and declined to appear. Rather than wait for the courts to decide, Democrats passed an article of impeachment on “obstruction of Congress.”

One of the witnesses — former National Security Advisor John Bolton — was never even subpoenaed by the Intelligence Committee, for the same reason: Democrats decided that impeachment simply could not wait.

It would be odd to grant Democrats their requests for witnesses after they themselves decided to impeach Trump before the witnesses could be made available — or, in Bolton’s case, without having even called him in the House.

And Senate Republicans are unlikely to grant Schumer’s request — not after Democrats flouted precedent, due process, and basic fairness in the House, launching a closed-door inquiry in which Republicans were often silenced and were never permitted to call any public witnesses that had not already been called by the Democratic majority.

After the kangaroo court in the House of Representatives, Senator Schumer has reached a new level of chutzpah in complaining the the Senate rules may be unfair. What this dialog illustrates is that this impeachment is a totally partisan affair and because different political parties control each branch of Congress, the process is only going to get worse.

Accidental Honesty?

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that included a very telling quote from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article notes:

Pelosi admitted that the Mueller investigation was also about impeachment.

“The biggest criticism in this process has been the speed at which the House Democrats are moving,” a moderator from Politico’s “Women Rule” summit said to the Speaker this week.

Speed?” Pelosi said. “It’s been going on for 22 months, okay? Two and a half years actually.”

Pelosi continued, “But we’re not moving with speed. It was two and a half years ago that they initiated the Mueller investigation.”

When you consider the problems with the way the Mueller investigation was initiated, this is a very troubling statement. If you read the Inspector General’s Report and listen to the comments of Attorney General William Barr, you realize that the Mueller investigation did not start on solid ground. The entire Russian fiasco was based on illegal surveillance and baseless accusations. What Speaker Pelosi admitted is that the Democrats had planned to impeach President Trump as soon as he got elected. The text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were further proof of that. That behavior is more appropriate in a banana republic than a representative republic.

Let’s back up a  minute and look at where we are. The House Judiciary Committee has approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump. Next week the full House will vote on impeachment. At that point, it goes to the Senate for trial. There are a few options–it can be dismissed because of the civil rights violations in the House investigation, it can be voted on immediately and defeated (it is unlikely any Republicans will vote for impeachment, and it needs a two-thirds majority to pass), or the Senate can hold a full trial with witnesses. The third option is where the swamp comes into play. There are very few politicians in Washington with clean hands. If you pull the loose yarn on a sweater, are you in danger of unraveling the entire sweater? Joe Biden is not the only Congressman with family ties to Ukraine and other foreign nations. The full trial with witnesses is what needs to happen, but my guess is that much of the corruption in Washington will continue to be protected by those in charge, and a quick vote will be the choice of those in power.

Following The Spirit Of The Law As Well As The Letter Of The Law

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday about an aspect of the Trump presidency that I think has been largely ignored.

The article notes:

Ronald Reagan made nearly 250 recess appointments during his time in office. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush made dozens each. George W. Bush made 171, and Barack Obama notched 32.

President Trump, meanwhile, stands at a big zero.

No other president has gone this deep into an administration without making a recess appointment. In fact, he is poised to become the first president never to get one — save William Henry Harrison, who died just one month into office.

The article also reports:

The Constitution places the recess power in Article II, which lays out the role of the executive branch, assigning the president “power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.”

That was the key trade-off: The president could fill vacancies, but the appointees’ terms were limited unless the Senate voted to approve them.

In the early years of the republic, when Congress was frequently out of session for a majority of each year, it was standard for a president to begin his tenure with a slew of recess appointments for posts that opened during the transition.

Each new president would notify the Senate of his actions and ask the upper chamber to confirm the person once it was back in session. In nearly every case, the Senate did so.

In recent years, the political rancor between the parties has changed that and recess appointments are not always confirmed–John Bolton is one example of this and I am sure there are others. President Trump thinks like a businessman. The article notes that he has used the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to make ‘acting’ appointments that allow him to remove people or move them when he sees fit.

The article concludes:

Analysts debate whether the recess appointment has become a constitutional anachronism. But some are wondering whether Mr. Trump might try to use that power heading into the last year of his term.

Even if Congress never goes into a full recess anymore, it still divides each year into a separate session — and on Jan. 3, both chambers will gavel out the first session of the 116th Congress and gavel in the second session.

The Supreme Court was silent on that type of recess in its Noel Canning ruling.

There is precedent for using the intersession period to make recess appointments. Roosevelt used the tactic in his 1903 power play.

One of the biggest mistakes America ever made was to air condition Congress so that they could stay in session during the summer.

Playing Politics With Drug Prices

On Wednesday, The Epoch Times reported on a bill in the Senate that was designed to lower drug prices.

The article reports:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blocked a bill that would lower prescription drug costs, arguing that a measure that addresses other health care issues would be better.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wanted a bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to be passed unanimously on Nov. 13, but Schumer blocked the measure by objecting to Cornyn’s request for a unanimous vote.

Schumer said he didn’t oppose the bill’s substance, but accused Cornyn of playing a “little game” to try to get his bill passed when action on additional issues in health care was being blocked by Republicans, according to The Hill.

“We have a whole lot of legislative ideas, not just his,” Schumer said on the floor. “His party blocks everything that would have far larger consequence.”

Schumer said there were better legislative options than Cornyn’s bill, including one introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Cornyn responded by saying Schumer’s blocking of the measure was “what people hate about Washington.”

“My bill is not going to sink the prospects of that larger package of legislation,” Cornyn said.

“I’m not going to agree to price-fixing by the U.S. government,” he added about another measure Schumer cited, which would let Medicare negotiate drug prices.

The bill is noncontroversial and bipartisan. There is no reason to block it other than politics.

Crooks Thrive In Darkness

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Democrats are refusing to allow Republican lawmakers to view the transcripts from the impeachment proceedings. What manner of justice is this?

The article reports:

Democrats refuse to allow Republicans ANY CONSIDERATION in the entire process. They will not allow Republicans to call ANY witnesses. Democrats are only leaking tidbits that help them to the media.  And Democrats are NOT EVEN CALLING on their main witness — a partisan anti-Trump CIA officer who was spying on President Trump in the White House and who has NO DIRECT KNOWLEDGE of the president’s specific phone call to the Ukrainian leader. The leaker’s only evidence is hearsay that has already been debunked by the released transcript of the phone call.

And now this…
Democrats are already losing their battle with the truth and with the public.
Americans know they are hiding and lying.
Every top swing vote state, by wide margins, do not approve of this sham impeachment process of President Trump.

The article concludes:

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ): The reality is when you close the doors, you’re saying we don’t trust anybody but us to get to the truth. And they’re actually, the word came out tonight, they’re not even going to let these guys, members of the committee, get access to the transcripts anymore.

Laura Ingraham: What? What? Whoa-woah-woah… What is the, what are they doing that for? Why are they doing that?

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY): they want to be able to prepare their report. And they don’t want to let us to get the rest of the information out. So this is not a level playing field…

THESE PEOPLE ARE LAWLESS!

The Republicans in the Senate can call witnesses. Why haven’t they?

Will Massachusetts Have A New Senator Kennedy?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts. Representative Kennedy has confirmed reports that he is considering running for the Senate to replace current Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey.  It will be interesting to see if he actually runs. Senator Markey is well liked among Massachusetts Democrats, and Joe Kennedy running against him might not be well received by the Massachusetts Democrat party.

The article concludes:

Earlier this month, when a Markey spokesperson was asked about the possibility of Kennedy primarying the senator, Giselle Barry, said, “Senator Markey is running for reelection no matter who enters the race. He is crisscrossing the state and will run his campaign hard every day.”

The other senator from Massachusetts is 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren. In the event she wins the 2020 general election, she would be forced to vacate her seat in the Senate. She stuck by her previous endorsement of Markey a couple weeks ago, while also calling Kennedy “an amazing reports” amid reports that the congressman could enter the race.

Elizabeth Warren is not up for re-election until 2024. This could get interesting.

This Is How Sleight Of Hand Works

We have all heard that the border crisis is continuing because Congress and President Trump are not capable of working together to solve any problems. We have also heard that Republicans and Democrats are not capable of working together. Well, while the media was hyping Russia, Russia, Russia, those in Congress did pass a bill relating to immigration. It is bill that will hurt America’s high-skilled workers. The Democrats and the Chamber-of-Commerce Republicans (aka swamp dwellers) worked together to suspend the rules and pass the bill. Isn’t that special?

The Congressional website has the details (there is no direct link because the links expire):

H.R.1044 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

Passed House (07/10/2019)

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

This bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.

The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

This is the timeline on the bill:

Date Chamber All Actions
07/11/2019 Senate Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
07/10/2019-4:58pm House Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
07/10/2019-4:58pm House On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 365 – 65 (Roll no. 437). (text: CR H5323-5324)
07/10/2019-4:48pm House Considered as unfinished business. (consideration: CR H5336)
07/10/2019-3:24pm House At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
07/10/2019-2:51pm House DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1044.
07/10/2019-2:51pm House Considered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H5323-5328)
07/10/2019-2:51pm House Ms. Lofgren moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
06/18/2019 House Motion to place bill on Consensus Calendar filed by Ms. Lofgren.
03/22/2019 House Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
02/07/2019 House Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
02/07/2019 House Introduced in House

This is the vote:

Understand that the Chamber of Commerce supports many Republican candidates. Their members support lower wages because it keeps corporate expenses down. The Democrats like the bill because it increases chain migration and theoretically provides future Democrat voters. Republicans and Democrats can agree when it is to their benefit. Unfortunately this agreement works against working Americans.

All t his was going on while the media was screaming “Russia, Russia, Russia.”

 

Progress?

Yesterday Hot Air reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has agreed to pass the Senate border funding bill after the House bill was defeated in the Senate. The bill has now passed the House by a vote of 305-102. Some Democrats want to be re-elected in 2020.

The article reports:

“Behind the scenes,” noted CNN, “moderates were encouraging members of the Blue Dog and Problem Solvers caucuses to vote against a procedural vote that governed floor debate and force Pelosi to pass the bipartisan Senate bill, as the White House and Hill Republicans have been demanding.” Per Politico, 18 centrist Dems were prepared to tank her revised bill on the floor if she didn’t hurry up and pass the Senate bill instead. The reason Democrats hold the House majority right now is because a bunch of centrists knocked off a bunch of Republican incumbents last year in purple districts. Those centrists are frightened of perceptions back home that Democrats don’t want to do much of anything to ease the crisis at the border except complain about how immigrants are being treated, and they know how potent Trump’s messaging on this topic can be. In the end, if Pelosi wants to keep her majority, those members need to be protected even if it makes AOC cry. So Pelosi made a hard choice: Hand the centrists a win, even at the price of being steamrolled by Mitch McConnell, even knowing how lefties will caterwaul, and get immigration off the table for now.

That choice was made slightly easier for her by the fact that McConnell’s Senate bill wasn’t a party-line matter.

The Senate border bill passed the Senate by a vote of 84-8. It has bipartisan support.

According to UPI:

The Senate passed the bill Wednesday, setting aside nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid and increasing security measures at the border. The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the bill earlier this week with a stronger focus on protecting migrant children.

At some point we need to understand that the more liberal Democrats are not interested in increasing security  measures at the border.

Good News From France

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that over the weekend, the French Senate approved a bill paving the way forward for restoring Notre Dame cathedral, which nearly burned to the ground back in April in a construction fire. There’s one caveat, however: the cathedral must be returned to its “last known visual state.”

The article reports:

In other words, despite French president Emmanuel Macron’s desire to see parts of the cathedral rebuilt with an eye to more “contemporary architecture,” the French government wants to see Notre Dame returned to its former glory, according to The Local.

“French Senators have stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the devastating fire that tore through the Paris landmark,” the Parisian news outlet reported Tuesday.

The stipulation came in the form of an addendum to a bill authorizing French authorities to begin work on Notre Dame so that the cathedral is completely rebuilt in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024 — just five years from now. The French Parliament approved the measure earlier this month but did not comment on how the cathedral should look once restoration work was finished.

The bill is controversial already: it’s written so that the French government can bypass the traditional requirements of public and legislative approval before it can shuttle money from national coffers into the project. It’s also tied to what experts consider a “rush job,” allowing only five years for a refurbishment that could — or should — take decades.

The article cites some examples of suggested changes:

Part of the problem, the historians said, was that Macron and others wanted to incorporate contemporary modifications into the cathedral restoration. Proposed ideas included a new glass spire, a glass observation roof, and even a roof addition with a public swimming pool and community garden. Integrating those ideas into a centuries-old monument could prove almost impossible.

Sorry, I just can’t see a public swimming pool in the middle of Notre Dame. Notre Dame was a beautiful cathedral and needs to be restored to its former beauty. If you need a community garden and public swimming pool, please put them elsewhere.

J. Edgar Brennan

For those of you too young to remember some of the antics of J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI. Some of the actions of the FBI and intelligence community under President Obama are reminiscent of those actions.

The website biography includes the following about J. Edgar Hoover:

During the Cold War, Hoover intensified his personal anti-Communist, anti-subversive stance and increased the FBI’s surveillance activities. Frustrated over limitations placed on the Justice Department’s investigative capabilities, he created the Counter Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO. The group conducted a series of covert, and oftentimes illegal, investigations designed to discredit or disrupt radical political organizations. Initially, Hoover ordered background checks on government employees to prevent foreign agents from infiltrating the government. Later, COINTELPRO went after any organization Hoover considered subversive, including the Black Panthers, the Socialist Workers Party and the Ku Klux Klan.

Hoover also used COINTELPRO’s operations to conduct his own personal vendettas against political adversaries in the name of national security. Labeling Martin Luther King “the most dangerous Negro in the future of this nation,” Hoover ordered around-the-clock surveillance on King, hoping to find evidence of Communist influence or sexual deviance. Using illegal wiretaps and warrantless searches, Hoover gathered a large file of what he considered damning evidence against King. 

In 1971, COINTELPRO’s tactics were revealed to the public, showing that the agency’s methods included infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps, planted evidence and false rumors leaked on suspected groups and individuals. Despite the harsh criticism Hoover and the Bureau received, he remained its director until his death on May 2, 1972, at the age of 77.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In December 2014, The Atlantic posted an article titled, “A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate.” Under that title is written, “President Obama’s choice to lead the intelligence agency has undermined core checks and balances with impunity.” Those are not encouraging words.

Below are some excerpts from The Atlantic article:

Late last week, that internal “accountability board” announced the results of its review. If you’ve followed the impunity with which the CIA has broken U.S. laws throughout its history, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that no one is going to be “dealt with very harshly” after all. “A panel investigating the Central Intelligence Agency’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were looking into the C.I.A.’s use of torture will recommend against punishing anyone involved in the episode,” The New York Times reports. “The panel will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency’s inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were lawful and in some cases done at the behest of John O. Brennan.”

…Brennan and the CIA have behaved indefensibly. But substantial blame belongs to the overseers who’ve permitted them to do so with impunity, including figures in the Obama administration right up to the president and Senate intelligence committee members who, for all their bluster, have yet to react to CIA misbehavior in a way that actually disincentivizes similar malfeasance in the future. President Obama should fire John Brennan, as has previously been suggested by Senator Mark Udall, Trevor Timm, Dan Froomkin, and Andrew Sullivan. And the Senate intelligence committee should act toward the CIA like their predecessors on the Church Committee. Instead, the CIA is asked to investigate its own malfeasance and issue reports suggesting what, if anything, should be done.

The article includes a quote from The New York Times:

Mr. Brennan has enraged senators by refusing to answer questions posed by the Intelligence Committee about who at the C.I.A. authorized the computer intrusion. Doing so, he said, could compromise the accountability board’s investigation.

“What did he know? When did he know it? What did he order?” said Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is a member of the Intelligence Committee, said in an interview last week. “They haven’t answered those basic questions.”

The article concludes:

Senator Levin, you’re a member of a coequal branch. You’ve flagged outrageous behavior among those you’re charged with overseeing. What are you going to do about it?

Obviously nothing was done about it. John Brennan remained the head of the CIA until January 2017. He was not retained as the CIA Director when President Trump took power.

We are at a crossroads. This article indicates that the misuse of government spy agencies has been going on for a long time. The people responsible have never been held accountable. We have a choice–we can hold the people responsible for the misuse of spy agencies accountable or we can see the illegal spying on political enemies continue. What has been done to President Trump and some of the people around him could be done to any American if the people responsible are not held accountable. Was it really necessary to roust an unarmed senior citizen and his deaf wife out of bed with a S.W.A.T. team in the middle of the night when he was charged with lying? Unfortunately this could be the future of America.

Some Good News From The Senate

On Friday, The Washington Free Beacon reported that the Senate passed an amendment on Thursday renewing and codifying a Congressional ban on earmarking bills.

The article quotes Senator Ben Sasse who led the initiative to ban earmarks:

“The last thing taxpayers need is for the same politicians who racked up a $22 trillion national debt to go on an earmark binge,” Sasse said in a statement. “It’s pretty simple: Earmarks are a crummy way to govern and they have no business in Congress. Backroom deals, kickbacks, and earmarks feed a culture of constant incumbency and that’s poisonous to healthy self-government. This is an important fight and I’m glad that my Republican colleagues agreed with my rules change to make the earmark ban permanent.”

Earmarks have been banned before, but somehow keep cropping up again. In 2011 the Senate passed a temporary ban on earmarks. In 2017, the Senate voted to keep the ban in place. However, in the past, the ban has not necessarily accomplished much.

The article reports:

The Senate voted in 2017 to keep the ban in place, with a push led by former Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.). Flake launched an investigation in 2015 which found that, despite the 2011 ban, many earmarks had slipped through, with hundreds of millions spent on side projects, such as grape research and subsidies for a ballet theater in the wealthiest congressional district in America.

Similarly, a Citizens Against Government Waste report found that Congress had approved $5.1 billion in earmarks in 2016. In 2016, House Republicans attempted to undo earmark bans, but the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) rebuffed the effort, saying that it would inappropriate right after a “drain the swamp” election.

Earmarks are a tool to get bills passed that might not otherwise be passed. If a Senator is promised a new highway for his state in exchange for his vote, he might vote for whatever is being considered. However, earmarks make it possible to pass bills that are wasteful and would not otherwise pass. Banning earmarks is a really good idea.

No Wonder The Democrats Are Attempting To Storm The Castle

The hearings the Senate held for Attorney General Barr were a disgrace. He was attacked, slandered, and generally treated very badly. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are not allowed to call each other liars (that rule has its roots in British Parliamentary Law), but evidently the Senate thinks its okay to call a member of the Executive Branch a liar. That is so unhelpful–particularly if it is not true. Well, the Senate acted like animals backed into a corner for a reason–they are. An article posted at The Hill last night might explain a few things.

The article reports:

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said.

Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian-American activist and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.

“The Embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington D.C., and not in her DNC capacity. We’ve learned about her DNC involvement later,” Chaly said in a statement issued by his embassy. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause. The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.

The investigations are ongoing into illegal spying, working with foreign intelligence agencies, misusing government agencies, etc. During the 2016 campaign Hillary Clinton is reported to have emailed Donna Brazile the following:

“If that f***in’ bastard wins, we’re all going to hang from nooses! You better fix this sh*t!” – Hillary Clinton email to Donna Brazile, October 17 2016

I have heard similar statements from Hillary Clinton reported by various sources and have always wondered what she was talking about. I think we are about to find out.

The article at The Hill concludes:

Chaly over the years has tried to portray his role as Ukraine’s ambassador in Washington as one of neutrality during the 2016 election. But in August 2016 he raised eyebrows in some diplomatic circles when he wrote an op-ed in The Hill skewering Trump for some of his comments on Russia. “Trump’s comments send wrong message to world,” Chaly’s article blared in the headline.

In his statement to me, Chaly said he wrote the op-ed because he had been solicited for his views by The Hill’s opinion team.

Chaly’s office also acknowledged that a month after the op-ed, President Poroshenko met with then-candidate Clinton during a stop in New York. The office said the ambassador requested a similar meeting with Trump but it didn’t get organized.

Though Chaly and Telizhenko disagree on what Ukraine did after it got Chalupa’s request, they confirm that a paid contractor of the DNC solicited their government’s help to find dirt on Trump that could sway the 2016 election.

For a Democratic Party that spent more than two years building the now-disproven theory that Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election, the tale of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington feels just like a speeding political boomerang.

What Many Americans Believe

Last night during her show, Laura Ingraham ran a Twitter poll to see how many people in her audience disagreed with the Senate’s move to block President Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall on our southern border.

This is a screenshot of the poll results:

Her audience is conservative, but I still think the margin is very interesting. Senators might consider this poll when making their decisions this week.

Bias Is As Much About What Isn’t Reported As How News Is Slanted

Newsbusters posted an article yesterday about the report that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. You might think that after two years and millions of dollars spent on an investigation, that might be news. You might think that, but evidently the major news media disagrees with you.

The article reports:

It’s been two days since NBC’s exclusive reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as of yet none of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given it even a single second of coverage in their evening newscasts. Considering these networks have given the Russia probe a massive 2,202 minutes of airtime, their silence on this major development is deafening. 

MRC analysts examining all coverage on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and the NBC Nightly News found that those 2,202 minutes spent on the Russia investigation accounted for nearly 19 percent of all Trump-related reporting between January 21, 2017 and February 10, 2019. However none of those three shows have even mentioned the investigation since NBC’s report came out on February 12.

The situation has been much the same on those networks’ flagship morning shows. Neither CBS This Morning nor NBC’s Today have even acknowledged this new information from Senate investigators since the news broke on February 12. ABC’s Good Morning America briefly touched on it in a news brief totaling less than one minute on February 13. 

In that segment, ABC’s Mary Bruce focused only on the public disagreement between Republican Chairman Richard Burr and Democratic Ranking Member Mark Warner. She failed to acknowledge NBC’s reporting that other Democrats on the Committee had agreed with Burr’s finding that thus far, they had found no direct evidence of collusion.

The article concludes:

Over the past two years, broadcast evening news shows have spent more than 36 hours haranguing viewers about potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Given their keen interest in the subject, you might expect a bipartisan group of investigators finding “no material evidence” of collusion to be newsworthy. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

And there are still some people who wonder why most Americans do not trust the mainstream media.

Knowing Who Your Friends Are

There will be an attempt to impeach President Trump within the next few months. It will happen as soon as the Democrats can actually come up with some sort of charges. However, the ground work is currently being laid–in the Senate. Mitch McConnell has lined up the Senators he will need by undermining the President’s decision to pull many of our troops out of the Middle East. Pay attention to which Senators voted to undermine the President in taking troops out of the Middle East. Those are the Senators who will be called upon to vote for impeachment. Also, note that a lot of people make money when our troops are overseas. Those are the people making large campaign contributions to those opposing the President.

Below is a video of Rand Paul’s response to the bill:

Stellasplace1 posted the following this morning:

The Senate passed an amendment yesterday demanding that President Trump keep American troops actively engaged in war in the Middle East. The cloture vote in favor was 68-23, which includes 43 Republicans. Think of it. Most of our Republican Senators are in favor of continuing USA war presence in Afghanistan and Syria. Why?

It finally passed by a majority of 70 to 26 — opposed by only three of the 53 Senate Republicans. According to AFP/Yahoo News, the amendment will eventually be incorporated into a broader security law on the Middle East.

The Senate finally flexes their muscles and who do they attack? The President of their own party. It seems to me that if the Senate disagrees with President Trump and wants US forces to remain in Afghanistan and Syria, why don’t they just formally declare war?

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the deep state’s nuclear attempt to get President Trump out of office before America realizes that he is actually accomplishing things that are making their lives better.

Attempting To Move Toward A Solution

One America News Network posted an article today about the latest development in the government shutdown. The Republicans are making a sincere effort to reopen the government. The Democrats will join in that effort when their focus groups tell them they are losing the argument. The bill that will be introduced in the Senate this week includes things that the Democrats have voted for in the past. The difference is that we currently have a President who will actually do these things after they vote for them. In the past when Republicans agreed to Democrat terms and let a deal go through, the terms the Republicans were promised never happened. The unwillingness to give in without funding for the wall on the part of the Republicans is the result of lessons learned in the past.

The article reports:

Senate Republicans are releasing a bill to reopen the government. The legislation relates with the president’s proposal he unveiled in his address Saturday, which calls for $5.7 billion for a physical barrier at the southern border and funding for nine closed government agencies.

It also grants a three-year extension for DACA recipients and those under temporary protective status. A plan to ease the asylum process for Central American migrants is also included.

…Senate Republicans said they plan to vote on the bill this week, however, no Democrats have voiced their support for the legislation.

Meanwhile, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin remains on the fence about the president proposal to end the shutdown despite his initial optimism about the deal. On Monday, a spokesperson for the West Virginia lawmaker said Manchin is waiting to see the final draft of the proposal before making a decision.

This comes after Manchin tweeted on Saturday, saying he was looking forward to working with both sides to make the immigration reforms proposed by President Trump happen. However, Democrat leadership has since slammed the plan as a non-starter.

If this bill is blocked in the Senate or in the House of Representatives by the Democrats, they will have to take responsibility for the continuing shutdown. Their unwillingness to vote for things they have voted for in the past is becoming very obvious.

President Trump’s Saturday Speech

I watched the President’s speech on Saturday afternoon. I have a few observations. As the President pointed out, the proposals he is offering to the Democrats are things that they have voted for in the past (as is the fence, actually). He is also asking the Senate to introduce a bill on Monday based on his proposals. This is smart–the bill has a reasonable chance of passing in the Senate. If the bill passes in the Senate and fails in the House of Representatives, then the Democrats can be blamed for the shutdown, which is definitely lingering on. It also puts the Democrats in the position of keeping the government shut down by voting against things they have voted for in the past. That is not a good optic for them. Introducing the bill in the Senate first is a win-win for President Trump. There may be information that some Democrats in the House will support the President’s compromise. I don’t know that, but I wonder because of the speech today.

Mitch McConnell posted a press release following the President’s speech that included the following:

“I commend the President for his leadership in proposing this bold solution to reopen the government, secure the border, and take bipartisan steps toward addressing current immigration issues.

“Compromise in divided government means that everyone can’t get everything they want every time. The President’s proposal reflects that. It strikes a fair compromise by incorporating priorities from both sides of the aisle.

“This bill takes a bipartisan approach to re-opening the closed portions of the federal government. It pairs the border security investment that our nation needs with additional immigration measures that both Democrat and Republican members of Congress believe are necessary. Unlike the bills that have come from the House over the past few weeks, this proposal could actually resolve this impasse. It has the full support of the President and could be signed into law to quickly reopen the government.

“Everyone has made their point—now it’s time to make a law. I intend to move to this legislation this week. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well. The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the President’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly.”

Opening the government without fully funding the wall would be a mistake. Congress has proven in the past that they do not always get things done if the pressure is taken away. I can guarantee that if the government is opened before an agreement is reached, the wall will never be built and our border will remain unsecured.

Who Is James Wolfe?

Who is James Wolfe, and why does it matter? On Thursday, American Greatness posted an article about James Wolfe, a former staff employee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

The article reports:

Late Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Wolfe to two months in jail for one count of lying to the FBI; the prosecution had asked for 24 months. After a tearful apology to the judge, Wolfe essentially escaped with a slap on the wrist. Outrageous.

Wolfe, 58, was a key player in the leaking strategy employed by anti-Trump bureaucrats to seed bogus Trump-Russia collusion stories in the news media during the administration’s early months. Entrusted with safekeeping the committee’s most secret documents, Wolfe was caught passing off the information to four reporters. One of the journalists, Ali Watkins, was at least 30 years his junior; their three-year affair began when she was a college intern working for a Washington, D.C. news organization.

The first lesson here is don’t let your daughters be interns in Washington–there are a lot of older men walking around with evil intentions. The second lesson is more serious. James Wolfe was leaking classified information to newspapers with the intention of discrediting the Trump administration. He then lied about his actions when caught. He is looking at two months in jail. General Flynn has agreed to a plea of lying to investigators. He has lost his house, been financially ruined, etc. I realize that there is probably much more to that case than the public is aware of, but it seems to me that General Flynn’s actual crime was agreeing to be part of the Trump administration. His treatment by those in the ‘deep state’ was meant to send a message to anyone who was willing to be part of the Trump administration. The Mafia has been known to use similar tactics.

The article continues:

When confronted by the FBI about the affair and the disclosure of classified information to the other reporters, Wolfe repeatedly lied both during a personal interview and on a questionnaire. The investigation into Wolfe’s activities was so critical and risky that “the FBI’s executive leadership took the extraordinary step of limiting its notification to two individuals—the Chair and Vice Chair of the [committee]. Had this delicate balance not been achieved, this situation could easily have resulted in the possible disruption of information flow—an untenable degradation of national security oversight.”

Sounds a little bit more consequential than a phone conversation about Russian sanctions, right?

But here is the real injustice: While it was clear by both the original indictment and the sentencing memo that Wolfe was responsible for disclosing details about the FISA warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, he was not charged with that crime—a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The investigation into Wolfe began after the Washington Post published an explosive story in April 2017 confirming that the FBI had obtained a FISA order right before the election to spy on Page.

“There was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia,” the Post reported. “This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump associate was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.” The information was given to the reporters “on the condition of anonymity because [the sources] were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.”

James Wolfe belongs in prison for much longer than two months. Until we have equal justice under the law, we will not have our republic. The press is supposed to be holding elected officials and other bureaucrats accountable–not putting their thumb on the scales of justice.

When Congress Fails To Do Its Job, The Executive Branch Has To Do It

The Washington Times posted an article today about the Farm Bill that was recently passed. The House of Representatives added a more stringent work requirement to the Food Stamps Program, but the Senate eliminated the requirement. Thus the Farm Bill as it currently stands puts a 20-hour-per-week work requirement only on people between the ages of 18 and 49 who receive food stamps.

The article reports:

President Trump moved Thursday to tighten work requirements for people who receive food stamps, after Congress failed to include the proposal in a $400 billion farm bill that’s headed to the president’s desk.

The Agriculture Department said it is proposing a rule on Mr. Trump’s orders that would move “more able-bodied recipients” of food stamps back into working at least 20 hours per week.

“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”

…Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to keep their food-stamp benefits. The House measure would have raised the age of recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and required parents with children older than 6 to work or participate in job training.

The Labor Force Participation Rate currently stands at 52.9 percent. The Unemployment Rate currently stands at 3.7 percent. Wages at all levels have risen under President Trump. Inflation for 2018 is slightly over 2 percent. There is no reason anyone collecting food stamps cannot find a place to work for 20 hours a week or enter a job-training program that will help them find a job that pays enough for them to get off of food stamps. The Agriculture Department is doing the right thing in looking into strengthening the work requirements to collect food stamps.