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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,748

Journal Archives

Manchin says his spending limit is $1.5 trillion

Source: The Hill

Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced on Thursday that his top-line spending number for the budget reconciliation package is $1.5 trillion, far below the $3.5 trillion spending goal set by the budget resolution that he and every other Senate Democrat voted for last month.

Manchin confirmed that he signed a memorandum of understanding with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the end of July setting $1.5 trillion as his spending limit for President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and explained he did so as a precondition for voting for the Senate budget resolution in August.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/574715-manchin-says-his-spending-limit-is-15-trillion

Not mentioned in the article, but was mentioned at his presser was that he won't support any legislation that does not include the Hyde Amendment language.

Manchin Statement on Infrastructure and Reconciliation Negotiations

Source: Senate.gov

“Every Member of Congress has a solemn duty to vote for what they believe is best for the country and the American people, not their party. Respectfully, as I have said for months, I can’t support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March. At some point, all of us, regardless of party must ask the simple question – how much is enough?

What I have made clear to the President and Democratic leaders is that spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs, when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity. Suggesting that spending trillions more will not have an impact on inflation ignores the everyday reality that America’s families continue pay an unavoidable inflation tax. Proposing a historic expansion of social programs while ignoring the fact we are not in a recession and that millions of jobs remain open will only feed a dysfunction that could weaken our economic recovery. This is the shared reality we all now face, and it is this reality that must shape the future decisions that we, as elected leaders, must make.

Since the beginning of this reconciliation debate, I have been consistent in my belief that any expansion of social programs must be targeted to those in need, not expanded beyond what is fiscally possible. Our tax code should be reformed to fix the flaws of the 2017 tax bill and ensure everyone pays their fair share but it should not weaken our global competitiveness or the ability of millions of small businesses to compete with the Amazons of the world. Overall, the amount we spend now must be balanced with what we need and can afford – not designed to reengineer the social and economic fabric of this nation or vengefully tax for the sake of wishful spending.

In August, I recommended we take a strategic pause to provide time to develop the right policies and to continue to monitor how the pandemic and economic factors are affecting our nation’s fiscal situation before we spend more. Throughout September, I have made it clear to all those who would listen the need to means test any new social programs so that we are helping those who need it the most, not spend for the sake of spending.

Read more: https://www.manchin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/manchin-statement-on-infrastructure-and-reconcilliation-negotiations

Looks like it’s over.

Fed Chair Powell to warn Congress that inflation pressures could last longer than expected

Source: CNBC

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in remarks to be delivered Tuesday, cautioned Washington legislators that the causes of the recent rise in inflation may last longer than anticipated.

In a speech that he will deliver to the Senate Banking Committee, the central bank chair said economic growth has “continued to strengthen” but has been met with upward price pressures caused by supply chain bottlenecks and other factors.

“Inflation is elevated and will likely remain so in coming months before moderating,” Powell said. “As the economy continues to reopen and spending rebounds, we are seeing upward pressure on prices, particularly due to supply bottlenecks in some sectors. These effects have been larger and longer lasting than anticipated, but they will abate, and as they do, inflation is expected to drop back toward our longer-run 2 percent goal.”

The remarks are part of mandated testimony Powell must give to Congress regarding the Fed’s economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He will speak Thursday to the House Financial Services Committee.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/27/fed-chair-powell-to-warn-congress-that-inflation-pressures-could-last-longer-than-expected.html

Inflation poses more risk to Biden and Dems than anything else out there.

FBI data show surge in murders in 2020

Source: NBC News

Murders rose by nearly 30 percent in 2020, with more than 21,500 reported last year, according to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report.

The total was up from 16,669 in 2019, according to the FBI, one of the sharpest increases in murders in several years. The national homicide rate, 6.5 per 100,000 people, is still lower than it was during much of the 1990s.

"That's an unprecedented one-year rise," said Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


Reports of violent crime, which includes homicide, rape, aggravated assault and other crimes, also were up last year. The rate of violent crime spiked by about 5 percent, to 398.5 reported incidents per 100,000 people, according to FBI data.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-data-shows-surge-murders-2020-n1280195

Scoop: Sinema issues ultimatum to Biden

Source: Politico

Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) delivered a tough message to President JOE BIDEN at a private meeting Wednesday, we’re told: If the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won’t be backing a reconciliation bill.

Sinema is not the only moderate taking this stand. Rep. KURT SCHRADER (D-Ore.) — one of approximately 10 moderate Democratic House members playing hardball with leadership — said he and several members of their group are on the same page. Some of the lawmakers have conveyed that message up the chain to leadership and the White House. A senior Democratic aide confirmed the warnings.

“If they delay the vote — or it goes down — then I think you can kiss reconciliation goodbye,” Schrader told Playbook. “Reconciliation would be dead.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/09/20/scoop-sinema-issues-ultimatum-to-biden-494397

Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan

Source: The Hill

Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on Sunday ruled against Democrats' plan to provide 8 million greencards as part of their $3.5 trillion spending bill, dealing a significant blow to Democrats' immigration reform chances.

MacDonough's guidance, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, all but closes the door to Democrats using the spending bill to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

MacDonough, in her guidance, warned that the Democratic plan doesn't meet the strict rules on what can be in the spending bill, calling the plan "by any standard a broad, new immigration policy."

"The policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation," she wrote in the ruling obtained by The Hill, referring to the budget process Democrats are using to avoid the Senate filibuster.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/572956-senate-parliamentarian-deals-blow-to-democrats-immigration-reform-plan

Clarence Thomas says Supreme Court could be "most dangerous" branch

Source: Axios

Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday, during rare public remarks at the University of Notre Dame, warned against politicizing the Supreme Court.

Driving the news: Thomas, the court's longest-serving member, said that the justices do not rule based on "personal preferences" and that politicians should not "allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome that we like," per the Washington Post.

Thomas, 73, also criticized some of his colleagues, without naming names, for veering into the role of politicians, saying that "[w]hen we begin to venture into the legislative or executive branch lanes, those of us, particularly in the federal judiciary with lifetime appointments, are asking for trouble."

"The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous," he added. What he's saying: "It is not about winning or losing at the court, it is about the entire country and the idea of this country," Thomas said.

"I think we should be careful destroying our institutions because they don't give us what we want, when we want it."

Read more: https://www.axios.com/clarence-thomas-supreme-court-dangerous-aeee0246-bd95-4349-af0f-9d3bdb351acd.html

Taliban leaders had a massive brawl after disagreeing over which of them did the most to boot the US

Source: Business Insider

title was clipped:
Taliban leaders had a massive brawl after disagreeing over which of them did the most to boot the US out of Afghanistan, report says

Top members of the Taliban had a massive brawl after falling out over who did the most to secure victory in Afghanistan, the BBC reported, citing senior officials of the militant group.

The fight between two factions in the Taliban leadership took place inside the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul late last week and came after a debate over who had most to drive the US military out of their country, the BBC reported.

The parties also clashed over who should get which cabinet roles in their new government, the BBC reported.


Leading one side of the fight was Taliban cofounder and interim deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the BBC said, while the other was led by Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani, the minister for refugees.

Taliban sources told the BBC that the argument broke out because Baradar was unhappy about the makeup of the interim government.

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/taliban-leaders-brawl-who-did-most-us-afghanistan-departure-report-2021-9

I feel bad, but this made me laugh.

Vindman calls for Milley's resignation: 'He usurped civilian authority'

Source: The Hill

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against former President Trump during Trump's first impeachment trial, is calling for the resignation of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, according to a forthcoming book, moved to limit Trump's ability to call for a military strike after the Capitol riot.

"If this is true GEN Milley must resign. He usurped civilian authority, broke Chain of Command, and violated the sacrosanct principle of civilian control over the military," Vindman tweeted on Tuesday. "It’s an extremely dangerous precedent. You can’t simply walk away from that."

The retired Army intelligence officer was responding to new reporting in an upcoming book about the end of Trump's presidency written by veteran journalist Bob Woodward and The Washington Post's Robert Costa.

In the book, Woodward and Costa report Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley moved to limit Trump's ability to call for a military strike or launch nuclear weapons following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/572330-vindman-calls-for-milleys-resignation-he-usurped-civilian-authority

While I sort of agree with what Milley did, what he did was absolutely against the rules. If it happened to anyone but Trump, the entire country would be up in arms, and Milley would already be indicted.

House Democrats promise 'meaningful' relief for state and local tax deduction cap

Source: CNBC

House Democrats have said they will pursue “meaningful” change to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT.

The controversial measure is part of former President Donald Trump’s signature 2017 tax overhaul and has been a pain point for Americans in high tax states.


However, the proposed repeal has received pushback from lawmakers who argue the tax cut may primarily benefit the wealthy.

The top 20% of taxpayers may receive more than 96% of the benefit of a SALT cap repeal, according to a Tax Policy Center report, and only 9% of American households may be affected.

Moreover, the top 1% of households may receive 54% of the benefit, with an average tax break of $34,000.

The cap on the SALT deduction brought in $77.4 billion the first year it was instated, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Removing the limit for 2021 may cost $88.7 billion, and more in future years.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/15/democrats-vow-meaningful-relief-for-state-and-local-tax-deduction-.html
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