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Fri Mar 23, 2018, 08:48 PM

4 Winners, 4 Losers in the new $1.3 TRILLION spending bill


(Note: I put these items in my own words, except where I indicate quotation marks or excerpt blocking. If I missed something or accidentally used the same terminology, that is a mistake and was not my intention. I deleted a lot of detail, and wrote a gist of what was passed, so hopefully it's just a rundown that is easier to read than the article.)

Loser: Trump’s immigration agenda

1. No funding for going after sanctuary cities.
2. Repubs wanted funds for 1,000 more ICE agents & 500 border officers, & more detention beds. What they got: May have to reduce detention beds, $ for about 325 more agents & border officers combined.
3. $1.6B border wall funding (W.H. asked for $25B), most of which goes for repairing existing fencing or double fencing where fencing already exists. (Funding with restrictions.)

Winner: the Republican tax bill

1. Democrats did a deal with the Repubs to amend language to fix an error made in spending bill passed end of 2017 (about agricultural tax breaks), in exchange for expanding the low-income housing tax credit that goes toward building more affordable housing.
2. IRS gets $196M budget boost.

Loser: Betsy DeVos

DeVos wanted $1B for big plans to cut budgets for public schools & after-school programs and spend instead on vouchers & such.

What she got: None of it.
1. Educ. Dept gets $3.9B increase in budget.
2. DeVos wanted to cut $1.7M from Office of Civil Rights (a bureau in Education). Office of Civil Rights budget was INCREASED by $8.5M.
3. DeVos wanted to freeze Pell Grant awards for low-income students at $5,920. The bill INCREASED them to $6,095.
4. DeVos wanted to cut mental health programs. The bill has more funding for school-based mental health programs.
5. DeVos wanted to cut programs to help low-income students with college. The bill INCREASES those programs.

I'd say that's a resounding rejection of DeVos' leadership.

Winner: government data

1. The Census Bureau will get another $1.34B in funding, double what the Trump admin. proposed. This was a Democratic priority.
2. For the first time ever, the bill requires the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan agency that produces reports on a wide variety of procedural and policy topics, to post all of its reports online.
3. The bill also includes a proposal that will reinforce the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the system gun sellers use to verify if someone is eligible to buy a gun. This bill increases enforcement, steps up requirements for federal and state agencies to update records, gives states financial incentives to report to NICS, and penalizes agencies that don’t upload their records.

Loser: Susan Collins

In December, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was promised a vote on two Obamacare stabilization bills in exchange for her vote on the GOP tax bill. She voted for the tax cuts, which also repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, the tax on individuals for not having health insurance, whose repeal is projected expected to increase premiums by 10 percent.

But she didn’t see a vote on the health care bills in return.

She co-sponsored a bill to fund the Obamacare subsidies.

1. The spending bill does not include Collins' bill to fund the subsidies.

Winner: federally funded research

1. The National Institutes of Health got a $3 billion funding increase for medical research.
2. The spending bill clarifies that current law doesn’t prevent any federal agency from using taxpayer money on public health research about firearms. (a result of a larger debate Congress has been having about gun control after the tragic school shooting in Parkland, FL).

Loser: conservatives

The Freedom Caucus has come out against the bill. They called it an “insult to America’s taxpayers, as well as their many rank-and-file representatives who had no say in the omnibus negotiations.” The Heritage Foundation tweeted that the omnibus was an “embarrassing rundown of broken promises.” Sen. Bob Corker called it “grotesque.”

It's a $1.3 TRILLION spending bill, one of the largest ever...far from the conservative "small government" meme. And it doesn't fund going after sanctuary cities or defunding Planned Parenthood.

Winner: tipped workers

During the Obama admin., a regulation was passed that gave workers sole propriety over the tips they earned.

1. The spending bill repeals the regulation, and gives employers control over the tips. But it adds a worker protection (an amendment by Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA) that will bar employers from taking their workers’ tips.

(Note: I'm not convinced this worker protection is enough, but we'll see.)


All in all, it's not as bad as it could have been. What is missing in this article is the BIG WIN for the military. Why isn't that listed?

And I confess it gives me pleasure that the alt-right and apparently some Trumpers are not happy with this bill....not happy at all. I've seen some comments in another forum by Trumpers, asking..."Well, if you're a liberal, are you happy NOW???" As if, "Look what you've done." Another one posted that he was sorry he had been taken by this guy (Trump) because of funding the murderous Planned Parenthood.

We tried to tell them. He LIES. He's unreliable. He's mental. All they have to do is wait until tomorrow...he'll probably be tweeting at how horrible the bill is, and how it's so-and-so's fault for misleading him about what was in the bill. We know how it goes. The buck always stops...over there somewhere.

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