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Your Taxes at Work
Author: BobR    Date: 2018-03-22 11:00:00

Last night the House passed a $1.3T (that's Trillion - with a "T") spending bill to keep the lights on in government until September (the end of the fiscal year, and just over a month before mid-term elections). It has something in it for everyone to love, and something to hate. The Dems were able to get a few concessions, but not the ones we'd hoped for. Referenced from links here, here, here, here, here, and here:

  • The CDC will no longer be barred from conducting gun violence research. This is a clarification to the 1996 "Dickey Amendment" (which prevents any funding to be used to promote or advocate for gun control) that gets renewed every year.

  • Just over $1B for the border wall. This is way less than the $25B tRumpy was asking for. No word on whether the money was being provided by Mexico.

  • Up to $541M for the New Jersey tunnel project. This is less than the $900M originally promised, but it means work can get restarted on it.

  • A background check bill (Fix NICS). It provides funding for states and agencies to comply with the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check system and penalties for those that don’t comply..

  • An additional $4B to fight the opioid crisis.

  • An update to tax law to fix a provision that was detrimental to grain farmers. They must have pretty good lobbyists.

  • An expansion of the low income housing tax credit

  • An additional $80B for the military, including a 2.4% pay raise for the troops

  • Nothing was included to protect the Dreamers.

  • No funds were provided to subsidize health insurers, which should guarantee premiums go up again in the fall, just before the elections

  • An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act that prevent employers from stealing workers tips via tip "pooling"

  • Cuts $4.3B from the State Department. That's a reduction of $1.8B for operations, and the rest mostly in the form of reduction in aid to foreign countries.

  • Maintains the EPA's budget the same as last year, despite requests from tRumpy to cut the EPA's budget

There may be other gems (or poisons) in the bill - it's hard to say because it is being rushed through the House in an attempt to prevent a 3rd (yes, that's right - a 3rd) government shutdown less than 3 full months into 2018. Republicans and Democrats alike are not too happy with that:
Conservatives complained bitterly about the rushed schedule and lack of transparency, lamenting that GOP leadership gave rank-and-file members little time to read and study what’s in the 2,232-page bill.

“This process looks really bad; it looks swampy,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for the outside conservative group Heritage Action.

"Swampy" is an understatement when referring to Republicans and the current administration. Everything they do smells, and is murky as hell. Drain the swamp? Looking at you, voters in Nov 2018.

 
 

39 comments (Latest Comment: 03/22/2018 22:37:14 by livingonli)
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