The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday evening to pass the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” a package of gun control bills developed in response to the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.
The House voted on pieces of the legislation separately.
The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee Alvaro Bedoya to the empty fifth seat on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The 50-50 Senate vote was broken with a tie breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris, and gives Democrats a 3-2 advantage at the FTC. Bedoya, who is professor at Georgetown Law, was previously criticized by Senate Republicans for his past comments on social media and in other outlets opposing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after President Joe Biden announced his nomination.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday threw a wrench in the Senate’s plans to swiftly pass the $40 billion Ukraine package this week, delaying the vote until at least next week, and possibly beyond.
According to the Hill, Paul wanted to include language in the bill to expand the Afghanistan inspector general’s role to include oversight of the Ukraine funds. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered him a deal that would have set up votes Thursday afternoon on the funding bill and on an amendment from Paul.
It will cost Minnesota taxpayers $25 million in fiscal year 2023 to expand high-speed broadband access across the state if the governor signs a bill both legislative houses passed this week.
HF 4366, an omnibus agriculture and housing bill, includes increasing availability of grant funding for broadband from 50% to 75% of the total cost of a project, or up to $10 million, rather than a $5 million limit. Under the bill, the Office of Broadband Development must report to broadband policy and finance committees’ leaders by the end of 2022 how the bill changes the number and amounts of grants awarded.
As GOP senators seek to roll back former President Donald Trump’s tariffs on China now that he’s out of office, polling indicates Americans want to keep the harsh policies in place.
“For decades, Congress cut tariffs without much thought. But we cannot continue to do that when it comes to products made in China,” Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “We should do everything possible to move supply chains out of China, but this so-called ‘China bill’ is actually subsidizing manufacturing in Communist China. It’s ridiculous.”
The Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Supreme Court justice
The evenly-split, 100-member chamber voted 53-47, with three Republicans voting yes with all 50 Democrats.
An attorney for Missouri Republican primary candidate for US Senate Eric Greitens said Thursday he filed four subpoenas to obtain phone records to determine whether Greitens’ ex-wife had contacts with any political operatives prior to making abuse allegations earlier this month.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she’ll will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, guaranteeing President Biden’s judicial nominee at least a slim path toward confirmation.
Jackson will need 51 votes in final Senate vote – with the chamber evenly split among 50 Democrats and 50 Republican. With no GOP support, Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the decisive, tiebreaker vote.
A St. Paul-based corporation encouraged its employees to donate money to a nonprofit that has bailed out countless violent criminals.
In an email to Alpha News, a spokesperson with Ecolab confirmed that the Ecolab Foundation provided a 50% match for employee donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
Astudy of Maricopa County’s mail ballots in Arizona’s 2020 presidential election estimates that more than 200,000 ballots with mismatched signatures were counted without being reviewed, or “cured” — more than eight times the 25,000 signature mismatches requiring curing acknowledged by the county.
Commissioned by the Arizona State Senate, the signature verification pilot study was conducted by Shiva Ayyadurai’s Election Systems Integrity Institute, which released its final report to the public on Tuesday. Ayyadurai is an engineer and entrpreneur with four degrees from MIT who bills himself as the inventor of email, a claim which critics have alleged is exaggerated.
Of the 1,911,918 early voting mail ballots that Maricopa County received and counted in the 2020 presidential election, the county reported that 25,000, or 1.3%, had signature mismatches that required curing, but only 587 (2.3%) of those were confirmed mismatched signatures.
A bill to “fix” the troubled United States Post Office (USPS) is on the verge of passage in the Senate but does it solve more problems than it creates? The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, H.R. 3076 was scheduled for a vote earlier this month but was blocked by Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida) on a procedural technicality. “We can’t afford to add stress on our already enormous national debt with poor financial planning, which I think this bill absolutely does,” Scott said of the bill.
Now it’s back and on track for a vote in the Senate.
The biggest financial liability facing the USPS is the legal requirement to fund 75 years of retirement health benefits in advance for its workers. Congress has found a way around that by dumping the future postal workers on to Medicare.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report on Friday shifted its forecasts for two 2022 Senate races in the direction of Republicans.
The report moved the North Carolina Senate race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr moved from “toss-up” to “likely Republican.” And moved the Colorado Senate race, in which Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet is seeking a third term, from “solid Democrat” into the “likely Democrat” catagory.
The North Carolina GOP primary is now a competitive race between former President Trump-endorsed Rep. Ted Budd, former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker, with (with Budd and McCrory currently deadlocked).
Democrats and environmental groups were silent when asked about the importance of U.S. energy independence in light of the energy market volatility caused by the Ukraine crisis.
Several Democratic leaders in the House and Senate who hold leadership roles on committees or subcommittees tasked with overseeing energy policy ignored requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday about the importance of promoting U.S. energy independence. In addition, five major environmental groups chose not to address the issue or stayed silent when asked about the issue.
Thousands of Americans were left in Afghanistan after the Biden Administration’s botched withdrawal last summer, according to a stunning new report released by the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other Biden administration officials claimed that number of Americans left behind was only 100-150.
According to the report, published by Foreign Relations ranking member Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the Biden Administration “did not hold a senior-level interagency meeting to discuss an evacuation or formally task the State Department (State) to contact at risk populations, including Americans, until August 14, just hours before Kabul fell.”
Last week there was quite a lot of news media chatter about swapping Hillary Clinton for Joe Biden on the 2024 Democrat presidential ticket, a fascinating concept that pundits couldn’t stop talking about. It didn’t receive nearly the headlines, but whispers involving the impending retirement of Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and her eventual replacement — have also begun in earnest.
Of course, there’s been no formal announcement that she’s leaving — either from the Speaker herself or the poohbahs at Democrat National Committee headquarters. But like all worst kept secrets, everyone with a brain and some knowledge of American politics understands that Pelosi shares characteristics with a ticking time bomb set to go off later this year.
With the prospects for Democrats holding the majority after this year’s federal midterm elections growing dimmer by the day, folks have initiated a political death watch for the soon-to-be 82-year-old gavel bearer. A large number of veteran party incumbents have officially indicated they’re heading for the exits after this session concludes. Combined with redistricting changes (after the 2020 census) and a basketful of “moderate” (they’re really not balanced, but that’s how the media refers to them) Democrats facing fierce headwinds in their swing districts, and the numbers bloodbath could/should be scary.
More than 50,000 illegal immigrants released into the U.S. by Immigration and Customs Enforcement failed to report to their deportation proceedings during a five-month period analyzed last year, according to a report provided by the Department of Homeland Security to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin. The report also states that ICE doesn’t have court information on more than 40,000 individuals it’s supposed to prosecute.
“Between March and August 2021, as a result of the Biden Administration’s failed border policies, over 270,000 illegal aliens have been dispersed into the United States with little chance for removal,” Johnson said in an announcement accompanying the report, which didn’t include data from the other seven months of the year.
Over the same time period, “over 50,000 illegal aliens – more than half of the aliens released into the interior of the United States under a Notice to Report (NTR) – failed to appear to begin deportation proceedings,” the DHS report states.
A Republican and Democratic senator introduced legislation Friday that aims to end U.S. reliance on rare-earth metals sourced from and produced in China.
The Restoring Essential Energy and Security Holdings Onshore for Rare Earths (REEShore) Act would prevent supply disruptions and bolster domestic production of the minerals, according to Sens. Tom Cotton and Mark Kelly, the bill’s sponsors. They said the legislation is important for American national security and development of advanced technologies.
“The Chinese Communist Party has a chokehold on global rare-earth element supplies, which are used in everything from batteries to fighter jets,” Cotton said in a statement. “Ending America’s dependence on the CCP for extraction and processing of these elements is critical to winning the strategic competition against China and protecting our national security.”
Iowa Senate leaders have decided press will no longer have seating at the press bench at the front of the Senate chamber floor.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most state legislatures allowed access to the chamber floors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures April 2019 state-by-state report on media access and credentialing.
“Media access to the people who make laws is a critical component of representative government,” the Iowa Capitol Press Association said in a statement Friday. “Primarily for this reason, the Iowa Capitol Press Association is extremely disappointed in the Iowa Senate’s decision to move reporters out of the press work stations on the chamber floor and into the upstairs gallery.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly will continue on in her capacity as the chamber’s top Democrat after she turns 82 this year.
Pelosi will file and run for reelection in her northern California district next year (her 18th term) and is considering whether to stay in leadership, despite an initial promise to give up her role as top House Democrat, CNN reported over the weekend.
Pelosi will primarily spend the next year raising money for Democrats as they attempt to hold onto their narrow majority in the lower chamber.
A bill that would enable Democrats to raise the debt ceiling without overcoming a Senate filibuster passed the chamber Thursday afternoon with bipartisan support.
The debt ceiling provisions were attached to a bill that prevents automatic cuts to Medicare. Ironically, the legislation, which passed the House on near party lines Tuesday, required 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, and passed after 14 Republicans joined Democrats in advancing it.
The provision was the product of a deal struck Tuesday between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Under it, Congress would pass a law allowing the debt ceiling to be raised with a simple majority this one time, and the bill’s passage puts the limit on a glade path to be lifted by Democrats alone ahead of Dec. 15, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned a default could occur.
While there is agreement between large factions of both Republicans and Democrats that social media companies should be liable for certain third-party content hosted on their platforms, the parties differ on what that content should be, and why platforms should be liable in the first place.
Congress appeared no closer to finding common ground following a House Energy and Commerce hearing Wednesday, in which lawmakers considered several bills seeking to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
“Wednesday’s hearing made clear that Republicans and Democrats have drastically different solutions to hold Big Tech accountable,” Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who serves as Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Republicans are fighting for free speech, while Democrats continue to push for more censorship and control. Bipartisanship will not be possible until Democrats agree that we need less censorship, not more.”
Bob Dole, a son of the prairie from Russell, Kan., who survived grievous injuries during World War II to battle for decades as a Republican Senate leader and presidential candidate, died Sunday at the age of 98 after a battle with lung cancer.
His death was announced by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation founded by his wife and former North Carolina senator.
“Senator Robert J. Dole died early this morning in his sleep. At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years,” the statement said.
The family had announced in February he was diagnosed with lung cancer and was beginning treatments.
A Senate bill that ostensibly focuses on strengthening American competition with China includes a provision between the lines that would designate $5 million for funding of a new “chief diversity officer” position at the National Science Foundation (NSF), according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The bill is the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which is supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. The bill aims to address the ongoing economic rivalry and supply chain crisis between the United States and China, by increasing domestic manufacturing and tightening supply lines in the United States.
According to the bill, the duties of the NSF’s new “chief diversity officer” would include “establishing a strategic plan for diverse participation” in the foundation’s various programs, as well as collecting information on the demographics of the NSF’s staff and patent applicants, in order to know which demographics to hire to offset alleged “inequity.” The bill would direct states to close such “equity gaps” by giving subgrants to students in computer science education classes who face “systemic barriers.”
Senate Commerce Republicans are whipping opposition to the nomination of Gigi Sohn, one of President Joe Biden’s picks for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Biden nominated Sohn, former FCC counsel under Tom Wheeler and Ford Foundation alum, to an empty spot on the commission in late October, along with current acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel to the permanent position.
While Republicans have been quiet in their response to the nomination of Rosenworcel, many are pointing to Sohn’s public statements on conservatives as reasons to oppose her confirmation.
Jacob Anthony Chansley, who also goes by the name Jake Angeli, was one of the people who made their way into the chamber of the U.S. Senate in the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to protest the Senate’s impending certification of state electors who would install Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. His name may not register, but his image will: he was the fellow bizarrely attired in a coyote-fur hat sprouting black buffalo horns; shirtless, showing his muscular but heavily tattooed torso; sporting black gloves and a red knapsack; face painted in vertical red, white, and blue stripes; and carrying an American flag on a spear.
The disorderly intrusion of several hundred protesters into the Capitol was quickly characterized by the media, and by many politicians, as an “insurrection.” Moreover, the accusation of insurrection was applied to the many thousands of Trump supporters in Washington that day who had nothing to do with the intrusion into the Capitol. And that characterization became the basis for the House of Representatives to impeach President Trump for supposedly inciting the “insurrection” and the impetus for Joe Biden to order 26,000 National Guard troops to defend Washington during his inauguration on January 20.
As it happened, there was no insurrection.
Back in August, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait blessed the strategy of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to withhold their votes for the Senate’s bipartisan physical infrastructure plan until that bill was effectively linked to a bigger, broader, and surely partisan, measure investing in a range of items from climate protection to universal preschool. He argued that “ransoming the infrastructure bill” would turn the tables on the party’s moderates:
Historically, most partisan bills are shaped by the preferences of the members of Congress closest to the middle, and their colleagues on the political extreme simply have to go along with it. … This time, the left has real power. Progressives can credibly threaten to sink a priority that moderates care about more than they do.
Twice in the past two months, most recently last Thursday, the House progressives successfully executed this strategy, blocking attempts by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the bipartisan infrastructure legislation before an agreement is reached on the larger “Build Back Better” bill.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday faced a litany of hard-edged Senate questions about agreeing to allow federal law enforcement to investigate alleged incidents of outspoken parents at school board meetings.
Garland, in a memo, agreed to responded to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking that the FBI, Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate potential acts of domestic terrorism at the meetings. Parents across the nation have been voicing their concerns about the curricula being taught to their children, in addition to instances like the one currently playing out in northern Virginia, in which there was an apparent coverup of the sexual assault of a female student in a bathroom.
Over the objection of Joe Biden’s Justice Department, a lengthy video clip showing U.S. Capitol Police allowing hundreds of people into the building on the afternoon of January 6 has been released to the public.
In July, Ethan Nordean, an alleged Proud Boy member charged for various crimes now held in a Seattle jail awaiting trial, petitioned the court to remove the “highly sensitive” designation on surveillance video that recorded Nordean entering the building with permission by U.S. Capitol Police. A group called the Press Coalition, representing news organizations including CNN, the New York Times, and the three major broadcast news networks, filed a motion in September to intervene in Nordean’s case and make the video footage public.
The House on Tuesday voted to lift the debt ceiling by $480 billion, temporarily averting widespread economic calamity after weeks of partisan gridlock and sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.
The House briefly interrupted its weeklong recess to pass a rule governing debate for three separate bills to which the ceiling raise was attached. It passed on a party-line vote given Republicans continuing opposition to lifting the ceiling.
A government watchdog group demanded that the Department of the Interior Inspector General launch an investigation into whether President Joe Biden’s Senate-confirmed Bureau of Land Management director nominee violated the False Statement Act with statements she made to Congress about her involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism case during her confirmation process.
Tracy Stone-Manning was confirmed to lead the agency along a party-line vote on Sept. 30 amid strong opposition from Republicans who accused her of lying to the Senate Energy Committee about her involvement in an eco-terrorism case. Stone-Manning testified in federal court in 1993 that she sent an anonymous, threatening letter to the Forest Service in 1989 on behalf of her former roommate and friend which warned that a local forest in Idaho had been sabotaged with tree spikes to make the trees unsafe to log.
What was the purpose for the insane opposition of the Left between 2017 and 2021? To usher in a planned nihilism, an incompetent chaos, a honed anarchy to wreck the country in less than a year?
No sooner had Donald Trump entered office than scores of House Democrats filed motions for impeachment, apparently for thought crimes that he might, some day, in theory, could possibly commit.
Two conservative tech advocacy groups sent a letter to House lawmakers criticizing former national security officials for attempting to prevent the passage of antitrust bills targeting Big Tech.
The letter, sent by the Internet Accountability Project (IAP) and the American Principles Project (APP) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy along with lawmakers responsible for overseeing antitrust legislation, urged Congress to pass six bills targeting major tech companies advanced beyond the House Judiciary Committee in June. The letter also criticized twelve former intelligence officials who sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy arguing against the passage of antitrust bills in mid-September.
Following a catastrophic U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the highest inflation since 2008,pushing unpopular COVID vaccine mandates, rationing COVID treatments to red states and finally, watching his domestic legislative agenda falter in Congress, President Joe Biden is already upside down on his job approval ratings, according to the latest average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.com.
Reuters/Ipsos on Sept. 29-30 had Biden’s approval at 46 percent and disapproval at 50 percent.
Facebook knowingly chooses to prioritize its profits over the safety of its users, Frances Haugen, a whistleblower and former Facebook employee, said in an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen told Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. “And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”
Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, leaked thousands of internal company documents to The Wall Street Journal last month which detail the inner workings of the company. The leaked documents showed that Facebook employs a separate content review system for high-profile accounts, the company has conducted research into the harms its Instagram platform has on teen users, and it stokes controversy by boosting inflammatory content.
If the 2022 midterm elections had an official soundtrack, it would be the ominous music from the 1975 movie “Jaws.”
Although the election is 13 months away, mounting intensity feels like great white sharks are circling our national boat with a convergence of two powerful, never-before-seen political forces. Both forces are hangovers from the 2020 election with the potential to make the 2022 midterms the most tumultuous in modern American history.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan figures prominently in a grand jury investigation run by Special Counsel John Durham into an alleged 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign scheme to use both the FBI and CIA to tar Donald Trump as a colluder with Russia, according to people familiar with the criminal probe, which they say has broadened into a conspiracy case.
Sullivan is facing scrutiny, sources say, over potentially false statements he made about his involvement in the effort, which continued after the election and into 2017. As a senior foreign policy adviser to Clinton, Sullivan spearheaded what was known inside her campaign as a “confidential project” to link Trump to the Kremlin through dubious email-server records provided to the agencies, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“The graveyards are full of indispensable men,” goes the old saying, and who could argue? The sun rose this morning as it did yesterday and will again tomorrow. Life goes on, as always, for better and often for worse. But now it is a life bereft of the remarkable intellect and insight of Angelo Codevilla, a patriot who despised what he saw his country becoming and who sought to rouse and educate his fellow Americans to resist.
Truly, he was our indispensable man.
He was remarkable, too, for his energy. It isn’t quite correct to say he was indefatigable. At 78, he couldn’t help but slow down a bit. But this was a man who survived two heart transplants and a number of recent health challenges. Even when he was sick, he kept writing and working.
A bipartisan group of 32 state attorneys general sent a letter to leading lawmakers in the House and Senate on Monday urging the passage of a series of antitrust bills targeting major technology companies.
The letter, led by attorneys general Phil Weiser of Colorado, Douglas Peterson of Nebraska, Letitia James of New York, and Herbert H. Slatery III of Tennessee, was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The attorneys general urged Congress to modernize federal antitrust laws and enhance consumer protections by passing a series of bills introduced in the House Judiciary Committee in June that target big tech companies.
“A comprehensive update of federal antitrust laws has not occurred in decades,” the attorneys general wrote. “The sponsors of these bills should be commended for working to ensure that federal antitrust laws remain robust and keep pace with that of modern markets.”
Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly said in private that the “strategic pause” he has pushed for regarding his party’s budget should last through the end of the year.
Manchin’s remarks, first reported by Axios, would mean a sharp departure from Democrats’ long-stated goals, which include passing both the budget and the bipartisan infrastructure bills before the end of September.
His remarks align both with a Wall Street Journal op-ed he wrote earlier this month and recent comments he made calling for a “pause” on the budget as Congress addressed other priorities ranging from a messy Afghanistan withdrawal to multiple natural disasters.
The Senate Parliamentarian blocked Democrats’ effort to include a pathway to citizenship in their $3.5 trillion spending package Sunday, a major setback in the party’s bid to reform the nation’s immigration system.
Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough wrote in her decision that Democrats’ proposed legislation is “by any standard a broad, new immigration policy,” adding that it “substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change.”
The Pennsylvania Senate committee tasked with investigating instances of election malfeasance asked residents this week to submit their testimony for its review.
Intergovernmental Operations Committee Chairman Cris Dush, R-Wellsboro, said residents should only submit their stories if they are willing to sign an affidavit and potentially testify under oath, under penalty of perjury, before the panel during forthcoming hearings.
The North Carolina Senate has approved legislation that prohibits K-12 schools from promoting more than a dozen concepts about racism and discrimination.
The legislation bans school districts from pushing critical race theory, which is centered around the idea that race is a social construct used to oppress people of color. The theory, developed by legal scholars in the late 1970s and 1980s, concludes racism in America is systemic.
House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.
The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.
The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.
President Joe Biden’s average approval rating has dipped below 50% for the first time since taking office.
His approval stands at 49.8% in FiveThirtyEight’s tracker and 49.4% in RealClearPolitics’ average. While Biden’s approval rating still is higher than the 44% and 46.8% who disapprove in each average, it has steadily declined since May 25.
Biden has been plagued with multiple challenges since late May, including the resurgence of coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant and the sudden fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban. He has also been met with rising crime, growing concerns over inflation and a decades-high surge of migrants at the southern border.
The Senate early Wednesday unanimously approved an amendment to its proposed budget that opposed defunding the police.
The amendment, offered by Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville, came during the Senate’s overnight vote-a-rama, a marathon session during consideration of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget where members can offer unlimited amendments. While the votes are non-binding, they can sometimes be politically tricky for senators as their colleagues force on-the-record positions on contentious issues.
The Senate on Tuesday passed its bipartisan infrastructure bill, moving what would be the largest public works package in decades one step closer to becoming law months after negotiations first began.
The bill, which advocates praised as the largest investment in America’s infrastructure since the construction of the interstate highway system in the 1950s, passed 69-30. Nineteen Republicans joined every Democrat in voting for the package.
On Wednesday, a U.S. Senate panel was told by a former national security official that the Chinese government has amassed enough stolen data to be able to create a “dossier” on every American citizen, Fox News reports.
The startling report was made by Matther Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser from the Trump Administration, during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Assembling dossiers on people has always been a feature of Leninist regimes,” Pottinger explained. “But Beijing’s penetration of digital networks worldwide, including using 5G networks…has really taken this to a new level.”
“Beijing’s stolen sensitive data,” Pottinger continued, “is sufficient to build a dossier on every single American adult, and on many of our children too, who are fair game under Beijing’s rules of political warfare.” This information could subsequently be used by China to “influence, target, intimidate, reward, blackmail, flatter, humiliate, and ultimately divide and conquer” its enemies, including the United States itself.
Senate Democrats have publicly released their $3.5 trillion, filibuster-proof budget reconciliation resolution.
The draft of the legislation released on Monday includes new spending programs that the White House has labeled “human infrastructure,” such as universal pre-K, childcare support and tuition free community college.
The spending total is estimated over a 10-year period. Using budget reconciliation allows the Democrats to pass the measure without votes from Republicans in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats used the same process in March to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan Act.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a critical vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Saturday after talks to expedite the process fell apart late Thursday.
Both Republicans and Democrats engaged in marathon talks Thursday in a bid to vote on a package of amendments and to advance the sweeping public works package. Doing so, however, required approval from all 100 senators, and Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Haggerty refused to go along even as his Republican colleagues urged him to do so.
In a statement, Hagerty attributed his objection to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimation that the bill would add $256 billion to the national debt over 10 years.
The $3.5 trillion spending bill set up to follow the $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill (which has little to do with infrastructure) should be called what it really is: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act.
The Democrats would like you to believe it is only a reconciliation bill. This is vital to them because a reconciliation bill only takes 50 senators and the vice president to pass the U.S. Senate.
However, this additional $3.5 trillion comes after trillions of emergency spending prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider what the Congressional Budget Office has written about the fiscal situation before the $1.1 trillion and $3.5 trillion bills are passed:
Here is what the Congressional Budget Office forecasts (not counting Biden’s enormous spending plan):
“By the end of 2021, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 102 percent of GDP. Debt would reach 107 percent of GDP (surpassing its historical high) in 2031 and would almost double to 202 percent of GDP by 2051. Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad. A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”