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    Democrats on Tuesday are aiming to spend $60 billion more taxpayer dollars during 40-year-high inflation. The Democrats’ plan to spend a massive amount of money after spending wildly in 2021. Last year’s spending included a $1.9 trillion coronavirus package and a $1 trillion infrastructure package, which many economists say fueled 40-year-high inflation in the same year. “A few center-left economists, as well as Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.), sounded the alarm that an oversized new injection of spending would overheat a growing economy and cause inflation,” Reason reported. “They were ignored, if not mocked. As a result, almost everyone from the Fed chairman to monetary experts spent most of 2021 explaining away inflation without mention of the roles played by fiscal and monetary policies.” Nearly one year later in May of 2022, Democrats are once again planning to spend massive sums of taxpayer dollars. Democrats look to splash nearly $40 billion dollars to protect Ukraine’s border from invasion, instead of the U.S. southern border. Democrats are additionally aiming to spend about $20 billion for more coronavirus funding. Punchbowl News reported on the details...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan package to provide fresh spending to combat COVID-19 may drop to $10 billion, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday, as the two parties remained deadlocked over how to pay for it. Negotiators have been trying for weeks to revive a $15.6 billion compromise they had agreed to earlier this month. That fell apart after House Democrats rejected cuts in pandemic aid to states to help pay for it, and the parties remain divided over how to find savings both sides can accept. “It’s still kind of a work in progress, but as of late last night, it appeared as if that would be skinnying down from 15 to 10,” McConnell, R-Ky., said in an interview with Punchbowl News. The money would be to purchase vaccines, treatments and tests, which the administration says are running low, even as a more transmissible omicron variant spreads quickly in the U.S. and abroad. Republicans have demanded that the measure be paid for by pulling back pandemic funds that were approved in earlier pandemic relief measures but...
    by Scott McClallen   Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will sign a $4.8 billion spending plan into law to focus on water, broadband internet, and housing. “The Building Michigan Together Plan makes bold, bipartisan investments in the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Michigan families, including clean water, smooth roads, fast internet, and beautiful parks,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I am so proud that the Michigan Legislature and I were able to come together to get this done. This bill will make a real difference in our communities, support tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and set up Michigan’s economy for decades of success. It is a testament to what is possible when we put Michiganders first.” However, she didn’t say when she would sign it. Her office hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment. Last week, The GOP-dominated Legislature struck a deal with Whitmer on the two bills. Senate Bill 565 and House Bill 5525 include $2 billion for water infrastructure, $382 million in COVID-19 emergency rental assistance, $250 million for broadband, and $316 million for road and bridge funding. A spending...
    (CNN)The failure to include a $15.6 billion pandemic aid package in the omnibus spending bill the House passed on Wednesday is a collective mistake that could come back to haunt us. Julian ZelizerWhile the spending package includes funding for pandemic-related programs like a $140 million increase for the Strategic National Stockpile, these sums are not nearly enough. The White House warned that without adequate funding, the production of at-home rapid tests could slow, while monoclonal antibody drugs would run out by May. And in a letter notifying fellow Democrats that the package would be dropped on Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the move "heartbreaking." The inability to rally support behind the package was the result of several factors. The White House initially requested $22.5 billion in pandemic aid. Facing resistance from Republicans, however, lawmakers agreed to trim the package down to $15.6 billion. Republicans had also demanded that the package be financed by redirecting existing funds set aside for states, and the Biden administration identified roughly $7 billion in unspent funds from the American Rescue Plan. But this didn't...
    The House of Representatives late Wednesday approved a $1.5 trillion government spending package that includes $782 billion in U.S. military funding, the largest portion of the must-pass omnibus legislation. "Military, weapons, and detention contractors are the biggest winners in this budget," the National Priorities Project (NPP) at the Institute for Policy Studies said in a statement. "In recent years, more than half of all military spending has gone to for-profit, private contractors. The new spending bill promises to continue this windfall, providing for even more expensive weapons system than the Pentagon requested, and promising to continue lucrative contracts for immigrant detention and surveillance." The House voted on the massive omnibus in two tranches: One focused on military-related spending and the other on non-military funds. A number of House progressives, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), voted no on the former and yes on the latter. The votes came after a long day of jostling behind the scenes as rank-and-file Democrats expressed outrage over how $15 billion in coronavirus aid was funded in the bipartisan measure: Namely, by...
    BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts lawmakers are voting on a $4 billion spending package this week that includes “premium pay” bonuses of up to $2,000 for essential employees who worked in-person during the COVID state of emergency. House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka announced that both chambers reached a compromise on plans to spend billions in federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act. The House voted to approve the spending on Thursday morning, the State House News Service reports, and the Senate is scheduled to vote Friday. “The proposal filed this evening will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to build housing that is affordable, transform our public and behavioral health systems, prepare us for the impacts of climate change, strengthen our education system, assist struggling hospitals, and support our frontline workers by providing half-a-billion dollars in direct payments,” they said in a statement. Lawmakers were unable to reach a deal before their recess, meaning a single legislator could halt the bill. The compromise plan calls for bonuses of between $500 and $2,000 for essential employees who...
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, scrambling to secure enough party votes to pass President Joe Biden’s two-part economic agenda, touted a new analysis to lawmakers late Thursday showing a proposed social welfare package would reduce the deficit by $36 billion over the next decade. The analysis from the White House estimates the tax increases in the measure would bring in enough revenue to cut the deficit by “at least” $2 trillion over the next 20 years. Pelosi sent out the memo to Democrats as she worked to convince holdout moderates that the social welfare package, called the Build Back Better Act, won’t contribute to the nation’s massive deficit and will be fully offset. “I hope you find this information useful as we work together to advance the President's Build Back Better Act,” Pelosi wrote to lawmakers. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER Democrats late Thursday were poised to take up the social welfare spending package in the House Rules Committee, which is the last stop before the bill is considered on the House...
    President Joe Biden and progressive Democrats have failed to get the votes for a proposed major overhaul of the tax code and are now being forced to cut the size and scope of their planned infrastructure and social welfare legislative package as well. Earlier this year, the Biden administration and congressional Democrats presented an ambitious agenda to claw back the 2017 GOP tax cuts and add new levies designed to help finance a planned $3.5 trillion partisan bill. Since the early summer, though, those plans have been pared back or discarded because of opposition from centrist senators who hold the keys to passing any form of reconciliation package. Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have been flexing their outsize power to reduce the tax burden imposed as part of the package. The party can’t afford to lose either senator’s support, given that the Senate is split 50-50 and that Vice President Kamala Harris would act as a tiebreaker on any legislation the GOP opposed as a whole. Sinema, in particular, has...
    The federal deficit for fiscal year 2021, which spanned from October 2020 through the end of this September, was $2.8 trillion, the Congressional Budget Office announced on Friday. The shortfall was $362 billion less than in fiscal year 2020, when the pandemic struck, leading to massive government aid spending. While spending rose by an estimated $265 billion in 2021, tax revenue rose by some $627 billion, or about 18%. Federal spending skyrocketed under President Donald Trump, who signed massive federal stimulus programs into law during the height of the pandemic. That spending continued under President Joe Biden, who passed a $1.9 trillion relief package earlier in the year. HOUSE WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK TO VOTE ON DEBT LIMIT EXTENSION Spending in fiscal year 2021 was about $2.4 trillion more than in 2019, an increase of more than 50%. Spending in 2020 was about on par with that figure. The budget deficit prior to the pandemic in fiscal year 2019 was less than $1 trillion. The news comes along the backdrop of a congressional fight...
    House Democrats are fighting hard to pass a multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package full of new spending and tax measures. While the exact scope and funding of the bill are not yet finalized, here are highlights of what Democrats have laid out in legislation at the committee level this week: SPENDING MEASURES Workplace leave Democrats hope to create the country’s first federal leave program. They are proposing up to 12 weeks of universal paid family and medical leave to workers nationwide. The program would be rolled out over the next decade and include 12 weeks' leave for those who suffer a personal illness. The program would expand upon requirements for employers under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Retirement The legislation would mandate certain employers, who don’t currently have workers enrolled in employer-sponsored retirement plans, automatically enroll them in individual retirement accounts or 401(k)-type plans. Democrats also want to make the retirement savings contribution credit for low-income Americans who don’t make enough to pay taxes, known as the “saver’s credit,” refundable. The current iteration...
    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday handed President Joe Biden a $1 trillion victory, passing the largest infrastructure bill in decades, promising years of investment in roads, bridges and internet access.  It passed on a vote of 69 to 30 as 19 Republicans joined Democratic senators in voting in favor of the bipartisan bill.  Vice President Kamala Harris, as presiding officer, announced the final tally.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said before the vote: 'There's been detours and everything else, but this will do a whole lot of good for America.'    Minority leader Mitch McConnell was among the Republicans who joined Democrats to get the bill over the finish line, as was Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said: 'This bill provides American infrastructure with a much-needed facelift.' But the moment of bipartisan agreement is likely to be brief as Democrats plan to push ahead immediately with their vast $3.5 trillion budget bill to address social care, education, climate change and a raft of Biden's key domestic policy priorities. Republicans have made clear their deep opposition to such a sweeping spending program.    Vice...
    The U.S. Senate was working toward another procedural vote late Sunday on a $1 trillion infrastructure package, pushing toward a final vote on the measure expected Tuesday.   There appears to be solid support for the spending deal that would help repair the country’s deteriorating roads and bridges, expand broadband internet service, modernize rail and public transit systems and replace dangerous lead-pipe drinking water infrastructure.   In a 67-27 vote Saturday, senators limited extended debate on the legislation, but a few Republican senators insisted on 30 hours of required public discussion.        “We can get this done the easy way or the hard way. In either case, the Senate will stay in session until we finish our work," Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech before the vote.  Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer arrives with his security detail as senators convene for a rare weekend session to continue work on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Aug. 8, 2021.The legislation calls for the largest investment in decades toward U.S. physical...
    More On: infrastructure GOP senator targets Cuomo in amendment to infrastructure bill Nancy Pelosi takes night off to see Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett perform in NYC Fox host tells GOP senator ‘you guys got played’ on infrastructure bill Republican Study group calls $1T infrastructure deal a ‘Trojan horse’ for Democrats The US Senate is getting closer to passing an infrastructure package that will cost taxpayers a cool $1 trillion — but that may be just the start of an orgy of new federal spending. The eight-year bipartisan spending plan provides $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit, $66 billion for rail and $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure. It allots another $25 billion for airports and $17.3 billion for ports. Most of that isn’t terrible; roads and bridges enable the country to function, and many around the nation need repairs and upgrades. Yet the congressional Republican Study Committee warns that the bill is a “Trojan horse” for Democratic social spending and Green New Deal initiatives. The bipartisan plan adds $550 billion in...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. senators have introduced a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure spending package to fix the country’s deteriorating roads and bridges and to expand broadband service nationwide.  It came in a rare Sunday session, and lawmakers will now have the opportunity to offer amendments to the 2,700-page bill.  The proposal emerged from weeks of negotiations involving Democratic and Republican senators, as well as the White House. It includes $550 million in new spending along with $450 billion in previously approved funds.  Included in the package are $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit and $66 billion for rail. Fifty-five billion dollars is allocated for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure as well as billions for airports, ports, broadband internet and electric vehicle charging stations.  “Given how bipartisan the bill is, and how much work has already been put in to get the details right, I believe the Senate can quickly process relevant amendments and pass this bill in a matter of days,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Sunday.  Republican Senator Rob Portman, one of the negotiators of the package, said it will be “great for the American people.” ...
    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate is meeting in a rare Sunday session in an attempt to advance legislation calling for about $1 trillion in infrastructure spending to fix the country’s deteriorating roads and bridges and construct broadband service nationwide. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate majority leader, hopes to have the text of the more than 2,500-page measure completed to present to lawmakers so they can begin to offer amendments and vote on a final bill in the coming days. The package, which also calls for more passenger rail and public transit funding in addition to replacement of lead-piped drinking water systems in the United States, was negotiated between the administration of President Joe Biden and a group of centrist Republican and Democratic senators. The collection of infrastructure spending, including $550 billion in new allocations, is something of a rarity in Washington -- a potential bipartisan deal in a fractious political environment where Republicans and Democrats remain divided on a host of other issues. One of the negotiators of the pact, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, told CNN’s “State...
    The House on Thursday passed a sprawling appropriations package to fund the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Veterans Affairs and other agencies and set a marker in negotiations to avoid a government shutdown when current funding expires this fall.  The package, which includes seven of the 12 annual appropriations bills to fund the government for the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, passed the lower chamber 219-208 along party lines.  Thursday’s vote follows the passage of two separate spending bills the House passed the day before that would boost funding for the Capitol Police and other legislative branch operations and provide funding for the State Department. The package passed on Thursday would increase funding for several federal agencies and policy areas President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE has outlined as key priorities for his legislative agenda, including in education, child care and public health.    “After decades of disinvestment...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to begin work on a nearly $1 trillion national infrastructure plan, acting with sudden speed after weeks of fits and starts once the White House and a bipartisan group of senators agreed on major provisions of the package that’s key to President Joe Biden’s agenda. Biden welcomed the accord as one that would show America can “do big things.” It includes the most significant long-term investments in nearly a century, he said, on par with building the transcontinental railroad or the Interstate highway system. “This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function,” Biden said ahead of the vote Wednesday night. “We will once again transform America and propel us into the future.” After weeks of stop-and-go negotiations, the rare bipartisan showing on a 67-32 vote to start formal Senate consideration showed the high interest among senators in the infrastructure package. But it’s unclear if enough Republicans will eventually join Democrats to support final passage. Senate rules require 60 votes in the evenly split 50-50 chamber to proceed for consideration and...
    Cryptocurrency tax enforcement is among several funding mechanisms agreed to by bipartisan lawmakers as part of their infrastructure package. The $1.2 trillion Senate infrastructure package is expected to have enough votes on Wednesday to pass after weeks of negotiations between Republican and Democratic senators. The spending is planned to be offset through several mechanisms, including an estimated $28 billion from applying information reporting requirements to cryptocurrencies, according to a fact sheet reviewed by the Washington Examiner. More than $200 billion is planned to be repurposed from certain unused COVID-19 relief funds, about $53 billion from states returning unused enhanced unemployment benefits, and $50 billion from recouping fraudulently paid benefits from the enhanced program. Negotiators agreed to save $49 billion by delaying a Medicare rebate rule. They also project that $56 billion in revenues will come in, thanks to the added economic growth spurred by the new infrastructure. SENATE PLANS WEDNESDAY VOTE ON BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE Included among the planned spending is $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges, and major projects, $66 billion in rail...
    As crime in the United States continues climbing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is looking to allocate $50 billion from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion spending package to fund more police officers in localities and states. On Tuesday, Cotton introduced the Fund the Police Act, obtained by Breitbart News, that would use about $50 billion in unspent funding from Biden’s American Rescue Plan to establish a “Law Enforcement Support Trust Fund” at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to continuously support federal grants to local and state police. Likewise, Cotton’s plan would give $1 billion each to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, known as Byrne JAG grants, and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office grants. Annually, the DOJ law enforcement trust created by Cotton’s legislation would be supplemented by $500 million to go toward Byrne JAG and COPS grant programs. “Democrats are eager to rewrite history and hide their advocacy for ‘defunding the police,’ but creating a bailout slush fund and funding law enforcement are not the same thing,” Cotton said in a statement. “My bill will immediately fund...
    The House on Thursday passed a $715 billion proposal to fund transportation and water projects that could serve as a marker in the negotiations over a bipartisan infrastructure package, a top priority of President Joe Biden's. The bill passed largely along party lines by a vote of 221-201 with just two Republicans voting for it.  Biden and a bipartisan group of senators have already agreed to a blueprint for a new infrastructure package, but it has not yet been turned into legislation.  House Democrats will be pushing to include many of their bill´s provisions when Congress negotiates the broader bipartisan product this summer. The House bill, which includes provisions from Biden's initial $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal, authorizes additional spending for roads, bridges, highway safety, electric vehicle charging stations, rail, transit, drinking and wastewater infrastructure.  House passed a $715 billion proposal to fund transportation and water projects It also funds programs that would provide money for major projects, including an $11.6 billion plan to connect New Jersey and New York's Penn Station in midtown Manhattan via four modern transportation tubes beneath...