This Could Get Interesting

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that President Trump has signed the pork-laden coronavirus stimulus bill. However, that is evidently not the end of the story.

The article reports:

The president said Sunday that along with signing the bill, he will invoke the 1974 Impoundment Control Act to demand “rescissions” be made to the spending measures. Under the Act, if the president wants to spend less money than Congress provided for a particular program, he can seek congressional approval to rescind by sending a special message to Congress identifying the amount he proposes to rescind, reasons for it, and the economic effects of the rescission.

“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill,” he said.

The authority for controlling spending rests in the House of Representatives. The Democrats will still control the House of Representatives after the newly-elected Representatives are seated, but it will be a much smaller majority. Before the 2020 election, Democrats had won 232 seats to Republicans’ 197. After the election, the numbers were Democrats 222 seats to Republicans’ 212. By invoking the 1974 Impoundment Control Act, President Trump will reveal which Congressmen actually want to control spending and put an end to the spiraling national debt.

 

 

 

…And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt…

Many tourist destinations sell children’s t-shirts that say “My mommy and daddy went to (fill in the blank) and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” That’s about how American taxpayers should be feeling right now.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article detailing some of the spending in the almost 6,000-page coronavirus relief bill (which was combined with the omnibus budget bill). I suspect that the political theory behind combining the two was that the President wouldn’t veto the coronavirus relief bill. This may have actually been the reason the House of Representatives has refused to approve a relief package before now. This allowed the big spenders in Congress to create a Christmas tree of spending in the omnibus budget bill.

The article includes some of the highlights:

    • $169,739,000 to Vietnam, including $19 million to remediate dioxins (page 1476).
    • Unspecified funds to “continue support for not-for-profit institutions of higher education in Kabul, Afghanistan that are accessible to both women and men in a coeducational environment” (page 1477).
    • $198,323,000 to Bangladesh, including $23.5 million to support Burmese refugees and $23.3 million for “democracy programs” (page 1485).
    • $130,265,000 to Nepal for “development and democracy programs” (page 1485).
    • Pakistan: $15 million for “democracy programs” and $10 million for “gender programs” (page 1486).
    • Sri Lanka: Up to $15 million “for the refurbishing of a high endurance cutter,” which is a type of patrol boat (page 1489).
    • $505,925,000 to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to “address key factors that contribute to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the United States” (pages 1490-1491).
    • $461,375,000 to Colombia for programs related to counternarcotics and human rights (pages 1494-1496).
    • $74.8 million to the “Caribbean Basin Security Initiative” (page 1498).
    • $33 million “for democracy programs for Venezuela” (page 1498).
    • Unspecified amount to Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Curacao, and Trinidad and Tobago “for assistance for communities in countries supporting or otherwise impacted by refugees from Venezuela” (page 1499).
    • $132,025,000 “for assistance for Georgia” (page 1499).
    • $453 million “for assistance for Ukraine” (page 1500).

Most Americans can expect a check for $600 and extended unemployment benefits. Wow.

Exactly What Is In The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill?

ZeroHedge posted an article today with the breakdown of the coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress.

The article includes the following chart:

You can decide for yourself how much of this is related to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

Within hours, Congress is set to vote on (and pass) a $900 billion Covid-19 aid bill that includes assistance for households and businesses, as well as funding for vaccine distribution and more. As discussed previously, the bill excludes the Republican priority of liability protections for businesses and other entities, and left the key Democrat demand of state and local bailouts.

In a nutshell, the new package extends federal UI programs (e.g. PUA, PEUC) with an extra $300/week for all UI claimants for at least an additional 11 weeks.

The article concludes:

One final point: no more stimulus?

As we reported last week, Goldman’s economists believe that this is the last major COVID-focused fiscal package. Assuming that President-elect Biden is facing a divided Congress next year, this looks likely to be the last fiscal package that Congress passes worth several hundred billion dollars or more (as by 2021 covid vaccines will be widely distributed making the passage of another broad-based stimulus virtually impossible). That said, Goldman does expect another debate over fiscal support in Q1, ahead of the expiration of the extended unemployment provisions in March. However, since Congress left the most difficult issues out of the current package, it seems unlikely that lawmakers will be able to agree on those in subsequent legislation. Of course, this would likely change if Democrats win both Senate seats in Georgia on January 5 and reach 50 seats in the Senate. In that scenario, Goldman would expect at least another few hundred billion in additional fiscal measures, including aid to states.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. I explains much of what is in this bill.

This Should Make Every Small Business Owner In America Furious

On Friday, Townhall posted an article about some recent comments by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about the stimulus bill that has been held up in Congress for months.

The article reports:

When asked by CNN reporter Manu Raju if it was a “mistake” to wait months for a concerted effort to pass a clean COVID relief bill, Pelosi got defensive.

“I’m going to tell you something — don’t characterize what we did before as a mistake, as a preface to your question if you want an answer. That was not a mistake, it was a decision, and it’s taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don’t want. Now, that is it. Now the fact is, I’m very proud of where we are,” Pelosi said.

She went on to say the reason why she wants to pass a bill now is because Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the presidential election and a number of vaccines are being produced.

What sort of logic is this? Small business owners have been suffering for months, and she is holding up a bill until after the presidential election!

The good news here is that the Democrats have lost seats in the House in this past election, and hopefully some Democrats will be willing to work with Republicans to craft legislation that could actually pass the Senate. It is time for the Democrats to put away the ideas that their radical base loves and embrace ideas that everyday Americans love. If you want to see a shining example of a bill that will go nowhere in a sane Congress, just look at HR1, the first bill the Pelosi House passed when the Democrats took over the House. The bill sought to federalize elections, make it more difficult to remove voters from voter rolls after their status had changed. The bill would also limit the ability of states to find duplicate voter registrations.

It’s time to work on bi-partisan legislation that will actually be good for the American people.

 

So What Exactly Is Congress Doing?

Yesterday One America News posted an article about what Congress needs to accomplish in the next two weeks. There are a lot of things to be done. The question is whether or not they can work together successfully enough to get them done. Just for the record, calls for unity seem a little odd to me in a world where Congress can’t even find unity on things the American people need.

The article reports:

The biggest item on the legislative to-do list is an agreement on government funding. Congress faces a December 11 deadline to pass a government-funding bill and to avoid a shutdown.

Reports said negotiations over Thanksgiving ended with a deal on spending levels for the 12 2021 fiscal appropriation bills.

The chairs of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees said they would sit down to hammer out the final details. Committee staff and the White House would finalize each of the spending bills.

In early November, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the bills will fully fund several ‘crucial priorities,’ which includes securing the border to supporting public health.

…Negotiations also continue toward another coronavirus relief bill while both Democrats and Republicans remain at a stalemate over a dollar amount.

McConnell has pointed to several senators still backing a $500 billion proposal blocked by Democrats. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) continue to hold firm on a $2.2 trillion bill as a starting point for talks.

Congress is expected to work overtime in a push to come to an agreement on a proposal.

There is also some attempted silliness that may make compromise difficult:

Lawmakers also said they want to resolve a fight over a plan to rename military bases as part of a military policy bill.

President Trump has already threatened to veto a bill if it includes language that would force the Pentagon to rename “problematic” bases.

These issues are compounded by the fact that control of the Senate for Congress’s next session remains up in the air as Georgia’s runoff races won’t be concluded until after the new year.

The Pentagon does not need to waste its time renaming “problematic” bases. There are enough real threats to America around the world that need their attention.