Armstrong Williams Commentary: It’s Time to Talk About Recession

Is America in a recession? It’s an unpopular question to ask, but it has now been over 3 months since COVID-19 restrictions were initiated and it is time for us to get realistic about where we are economically so that we can take the proper steps to minimize further damage to our economy. At this point, the unfortunate reality is that regardless of what we do, it is likely that it will take at least several years to see a partial recovery of economic loss and the time that it will take for a complete recovery remains unknown at this point. 

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Minnesota Lawmakers Unveil $300M Plan to Rebuild from George Floyd Riots

Democrats who control the Minnesota House announced a $300 million economic aid proposal Monday for businesses that were damaged or destroyed during the civil unrest over the death of George Floyd.

The legislation is aimed at commercial corridors in lower income neighborhoods that were hardest hit as protests over Floyd’s May 25 death while in Minneapolis police custody turned violent. Many of the affected small businesses along Lake Street and Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis, and University Avenue in St. Paul, are owned by people of color and immigrants.

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Lawmakers Say Minnesotans Are ‘Overtaxed’ and ‘Fed Up’ After Release of Budget Forecast

An economic forecast released Thursday predicts Minnesota will have a budget surplus of $1.3 billion for the 2020-21 biennium, setting up debates between state lawmakers about what their budgeting priorities will be when they return for session in February.

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Minnesota Budget Talks Break Down as Shutdown Looms

  Budget negotiations broke down Monday night as a visibly frustrated Gov. Tim Walz emerged from a third round of meetings and blasted Republicans in the Senate. “I don’t have fair partners to work with right now,” Walz said during a 15-minute conversation with reporters. “They cannot stand in front…

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Lawmakers Eye a Huge Backdoor Spending Increase

US Capitol

by David Ditch   Members of Congress are promoting the concept of changing three programs from the discretionary category (requiring annual appropriations) into mandatory (auto-pilot) spending. Such changes would become a huge backdoor spending increase. Spending limits have come under relentless attack from both parties. In 2013, 2015, and 2018,…

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Walz’s Revised Budget Proposal Still Includes 20-Cent Gas-Tax Increase

Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) was forced to reexamine his budget proposal “line by line” after the state’s budget forecast came up $492 million short of November’s estimated $1.5 billion surplus. But his recently released revised budget recommendations still include a 20-cent gas-tax hike. “The governor recommends the state commit to…

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Walz Buried Gun Control Measures in His Budget Proposal

Gov. Tim Walz’s (D-MN) budget proposal calls for a one-time payment of $350,000 and $200,000 each year thereafter to implement gun control measures that are currently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature. As The Minnesota Sun reported Friday, both a “red flag” bill and a universal background checks bill cleared…

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Walz’s Budget Calls for $700,000 in Additional Funding for His Own Office

Gov. Tim Walz’s (D-MN) proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium calls for a $700,000 increase in funding for his own office to help with “outreach and engagement efforts.” “The Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan recommends a $700,000 FY 2020-2021 biennial General Fund increase to fund…

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Governor Walz’s $49 Billion Budget Proposal Will Make Minnesota a ‘Cold California’

Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) unveiled his highly anticipated budget proposal for the 2020-2021 biennium at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. When all is said and done, the two-year budget registers at $49.5 billion with no cuts to any existing spending. “I’ve often said that a budget is far more than…

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President Trump’s Executive Order Freezing Federal Pay Saves Taxpayers from Double-Digit Pay Increases

US Capitol

by Rachel Greszler   President Donald Trump issued an executive order effectively freezing federal pay for 2019 at current 2018 levels. Had the president not issued this executive order (and lacking congressional action on federal pay), federal workers would have received a 2.1 percent across-the-board pay increase, as well as a…

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Commentary: Only Two Weeks Left for Republicans to Get It

by Rachel Bovard   There’s only one area where bipartisanship still reigns in Washington: avoidance. Republican and Democrat leaders this week held hands and used the funeral events for President George H. W. Bush as an excuse to move their funding deadline—which previously expired on December 7—two weeks forward, to December…

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REPORT: EPA Paid $14.5 Million For Foreign Nationals, Not Americans, To Work In Government Labs

by Michael Bastach   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) paid $14.5 million to foreign nationals to work at agency laboratories over the past 11 years that could have been awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, according to federal investigators. EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found the agency’s cooperative…

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With the End of the Fiscal Year September 30, Congress Is Running Out of Time to Fund ‘The Wall’

Donald Trump, The Wall

By Robert Romano   The 2018 fiscal year will end on Sept. 30 but Congress is no closer to achieving key Trump administration priorities including fully funding the southern border wall, something President Donald Trump has been demanding since 2017 and campaigned on extensively in 2016. So far, both the House…

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Three Budget ‘Reforms’ That Would Make Matters Worse, Not Better

by Dody Eid and Romina Boccia   A congressional select committee on reforming the budget process recently held another public hearing, supposedly with the ultimate aim of designing a more transparent, accountable, and responsible budgetary process. Any such changes should also re-establish and enhance Congress’ power of the purse. But if those are…

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‘Pig Book’ Spotlights 232 Earmarks Amid Pork That Wastes Taxpayers’ Money

Ted Cruz

by Katherine Rohloff   All but a relative few farmers and other rural residents have had electricity and telephone service for a generation, but the U.S. government devoted $10 million in the current budget to a duplicative Rural Utilities Service program designed to help pay for energy costs. Taxpayers continue to finance the…

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Nashville Metro Council Asks Citizens to Critique Future Budgets

Nashville Budget

Nashville residents soon will have a voice in Metro Council’s spending habits. Metro Council voted 34-4 to create a “Blue Ribbon Commission” like a popular one in Atlanta in which private citizens may critique the budget, Nashville Public Radio WPLN reports. The commission will form by October. Councilman Fabian Bedne…

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Congress Can Cut Billions in Wasteful Spending by Following This Blueprint

Washington DC

by Romina Boccia   The Senate Budget Committee met May 23 to consider the Government Accountability Office’s annual report on Government Efficiency and Effectiveness, which identifies areas of unnecessary overlap, fragmentation, and duplication among federal programs. The Government Accountability Office supplements that identification of waste with recommendations of what to do about it, presenting…

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Trump’s ‘Rescission’ Package Would Save Unspent Tax Dollars

Trump-captial-spending-money

by Justin Bogie   President Donald Trump on Tuesday submitted a special message to Congress requesting that $15 billion in unspent funding be rescinded. That’s a good first step toward re-establishing fiscal responsibility. Congress should embrace it and quickly adopt the president’s rescission package. Still, the package does nothing to claw back the…

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