Former Obama Adviser Outlined How Dangerous Democrats’ Proposed Stimulus Could Be For Our Economy

17 Feb

Yesterday, President Obama’s former “car czar” Steve Rattner appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the Democrats’ massive stimulus bill and even he expressed concerns about the size and scope of their package.

After Joe Scarborough explained that the CBO expects our economy to grow 3.7% this year even without Democrats’ legislation, Rattner pointed out that we are beginning to see some concern about inflation due to the amount of stimulus that has already been enacted. He noted that during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the U.S. government put around $2 trillion into the U.S. economy, while we have already authorized about $4 trillion in spending for the same type of rescue today. Check out the interview below:

STEVE RATTNER“There are beginning to be some concerns about inflation…The package is huge. And just to put it into some kind of context, in 2008-2009 we put about $2 trillion into the economy to rescue ourselves from the great financial crisis. We have already authorize $4 trillion for the same type of resuce, and this bill would about roughly, as you say, $1.9 trillion or $2 trillion on top of that. So a package that’s roughly three times the size of what we did during the great financial crisis. We also, by the way, still have about $1 trillion from the $4 trillion that’s already been authorized that hasn’t been spent yet. So, it’s a huge amount of money and it does run the risk of putting more money into the economy than it needs at the moment…But all in all, the more you look at this, the bigger and a little bit scarier it starts to get.” 

It’s also important to note that while the previous legislation that pumped $4 trillion into the economy to respond this crisis was bipartisan, Democrats are now working to ram this legislation through unilaterally. They have not accepted commonsense amendments from Republicans and have opted to focus more on their partisan priorities – like advancing a job-destroying minimum wage hike – instead of working to craft this bill in a responsible way.

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Democrats’ Push To Abandon Fossil Fuels Runs Into Reality

17 Feb

While we’re thinking about the people of Texas and those across the country who are suffering from record-low temperatures and power outages, what’s unfolding has revealed why Democrats’ push to abolish fossil fuels would be so damaging:

  • The Wall Street Journal (Editorial): “The Political Making of a Texas Power Outage”
    • The problem is Texas’s overreliance on wind power that has left the grid more vulnerable to bad weather. Half of wind turbines froze last week, causing wind’s share of electricity to plunge to 8% from 42%. Power prices in the wholesale market spiked, and grid regulators on Friday warned of rolling blackouts. Natural gas and coal generators ramped up to cover the supply gap but couldn’t meet the surging demand for electricity—which half of households rely on for heating—even as many families powered up their gas furnaces. Then some gas wells and pipelines froze. In short, there wasn’t sufficient baseload power from coal and nuclear to support the grid.
  • Dallas Morning News (Editorial): “Rolling power outages show why Texas needs renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels”
    • We need all of our fuel resources to keep our grid agile and reliable. Each fuel type, nuclear, coal, natural gas, solar and wind, offers benefits and drawbacks. So until something better comes along, we are going to need nuclear and fossil fuels.
  • Forbes (Gilbertie): “Texas Outages Put Reliability Of Renewable Energy In The Spotlight”
    • This is the problem with renewable energy; it isn’t always there when the going gets tough. The ramifications of changing our current electric grid from carbon and nuclear based sources to wind, solar and other more environmentally and politically correct sources are not esoteric; they are real, consequential, and life threatening.

Representative Dan Crenshaw explained how what’s taking place in his state is demonstrating the unreliability of renewable energy sources, and pointed out how fossil fuels have provided a lifeline:

  • The Blaze: “‘Fossil fuels are the only thing that saved us’: Dan Crenshaw replies to leftists mocking massive electric grid failure in Texas”

As the Biden Administration and Democrats work to appease their far-left base and ban the use of oil, coal, and natural gas, the reality of what’s happening this week shows why these resources are so crucial for our country.

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President Biden Failed To Justify His Administration’s Failed Approach To Reopening Schools

17 Feb

During a televised town hall last night with CNN, President Joe Biden claimed that it was, “a mistake in communications,” for his Administration to say that their goal was to have more than 50% of schools open at least once a week after their first 100 days:

The problem with that assertion is not only did his Administration double-down on that goal after they initially spelled it out, but the White House has not demonstrated any serious effort to actually reopen schools. Instead, they have sided with the teachers unions out of political convenience, and the new guidance issued late last week puts nearly 90% of schools in “red zones,” despite the fact that data from the CDC has shown that schools can be reopened safely.

In another sign that they are not serious about actually reopening schools, Leader McCarthy’s office pointed out yesterday that more than two-thirds of the education money in Democrats’ massive stimulus bill won’t be spent until 2023 or later.

  • The Washington Examiner (Editorial): “The lie at the center of Biden’s school funding proposal”
    • Biden and other Democrats have repeatedly claimed that schools cannot reopen without an immediate fiscal shot to the arm in order to ensure student and teacher safety. This is not an unreasonable ask, and indeed, at first glance, the bill appears to deliver a huge dose of help. It would appropriate $128.6 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which Biden’s rescue plan demands in order “to support schools in safely reopening.” However, there is a catch. The bill would spend only $6.4 billion of that money in fiscal 2021 — less than 5% of the total…It is evident that 95% of the money being programmed for “reopening” is not going to be used for that purpose unless Biden doesn’t intend for schools to reopen until November or even next January. And the vast majority of the money still won’t be spent for another year after that. The “reopening” money in this bill is so heavily backloaded that $90 billion of it, nearly three-fourths, will, in fact, be spent between fiscal years 2023 and 2028. So either Biden is lying about the urgent need and is just using the taxpayer to pay a ransom to the teachers unions that are holding children’s education hostage, or he thinks the pandemic will have gone on for eight years.

We already know that Congress appropriated $68 billion in Covid relief for K-12 schools last year, and only a fraction of that has been spent. Still, multiple members of the Biden Administration have claimed that additional resources that are a part of Democrats’ bill are needed so schools can reopen, but the above report makes clear that this is an empty talking point since the bulk of the money for K-12 schools in their legislation won’t be spent for years.

As the White House demonstrates that they do not have a plan on this important issue, the media has predictably started to blame Republicans for criticizing the Administration’s lack of a response:

  • Fox News: “New York Times, Politico slammed for ‘Republicans pounce’ framework on stories about reopening schools”

A widely-panned Politico story yesterday actually claimed that Republicans have made, “no commitment to meaningfully engage on policy proposals” to reopen schools, ignoring the fact that Democrats have repeatedly blocked efforts to pass legislation that would allow students to safely return to the classroom sooner:

  • Fox News: “House blocks immediate consideration of GOP school reopening legislation”

The President may be trying to course-correct his Administration’s bungled messaging on reopening schools, but the policy is what matters. It’s critical for the White House to follow the science and take steps to allow students to safely return to the classroom.

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Reality Check From One House Dem To His Colleagues

12 Feb

While the media focus is on the Senate this week, it can’t be lost what House Democrats have done over the past few days. They are ramming their partisan reconciliation bill through committees, rejecting commonsenseamendments offered by Republicans and focusing more on their timeline than actually crafting a responsible bill.

Even members of their own party are raising serious concerns about this process. Here was Rep. Kurt Schrader earlier today during E&C’s markup:

REP. KURT SCHRADER: Instead, right now, we’re in this very non-unified, partisan process that’s going to take time to get through the House and the Senate. You know, it’s the exact opposite of what I heard the President articulate at the inauguration. Because the $900 billion relief package that the Problem Solvers Caucus, that I’m a member of, helped drive is only now rolling out. We have some time, colleagues, we have some time to do our job, which is represent this very diverse country and deliberate on what elements of these packages are probably better than others, and maybe should get our support – both Republicans and Democrats. That’s the essence of representative government. I don’t know of any legislation that can’t be improved, and yet, none of the committees of jurisdiction are probably going to be allowing amendments. I just don’t agree with that. I just don’t agree with that. It’s just not the way we’re supposed to be operating. That’s not the reason I got elected.

His full remarks can be seen here. Do his fellow Democrats agree with him? Do they have any interest in getting this right instead of doing it fast? Will they give the $3.5T in COVID relief that has already passed – and was agreed to in a bipartisan fashion – time to work before voting on a partisan basis to spend $2T more?

As Congress gets back to legislating, these questions are only going to grow louder if Democrats stay on this course.

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Democrats’ Radical Agenda On Display During Education & Labor Markup

10 Feb

As Democrats race to pass their massive stimulus bill that advances their partisan interests instead of providing the targeted assistance that the American people need, they will be marking up the relevant portions of the legislation in House committees of jurisdiction this week.

In a marathon session in the Education & Labor Committee that concluded this morning, their radical agenda was on full display as the majority advanced bad policies like a federally-mandated minimum wage hike that will destroy jobs and also voted against common sense Republican amendments that would protect life, counter China’s malign activity, disincentivize illegal immigration, and more.

Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement after Democrats advanced their left wing partisan COVID-19 budget reconciliation scheme along party lines:

“Once again, Democrats are ignoring vulnerable, hardworking Americans, choosing instead to favor left wing special interests and those who support their radical agenda. Forcing children to miss out on a high-quality, in-person education while cherry picking the schools that receive relief and championing a job-destroying $15 national minimum wage hike is hardly ‘bold relief.’

“Republicans offered commonsense amendments to help all schools safely reopen, help small businesses stay afloat, and help workers reenter the workforce, all of which were voted down by Committee Democrats. Preaching that you want schools to reopen safely and then voting against measures to do so is the definition of hypocrisy. By advancing this partisan wish list disguised as COVID-19 relief using a sham process, Democrats are using Americans’ struggles to score cheap political points and prop up their failed liberal policies.”

Specifically, the Democrats’ legislation will:

  • Kill 1.4 million jobs by raising the national minimum wage by 107 percent;
  • Undermine the integrity of workers’ compensation programs and force taxpayers to cover many non-employment-related claims; and
  • Endanger unborn children by allowing COBRA funds to go towards abortion services.

Committee Republicans offered commonsense proposals, but:

  • Democrats refused to support school reopenings even after teachers are offered the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Democrats denied in-person learning to high-risk students.
  • Democrats failed to provide American workers with much needed workforce skills and development education.
  • Democrats give money to institutions of higher education who partner with Communist China.
  • Democrats refused to protect small businesses who will be decimated by a $15 national minimum wage.
  • Democrats favor student aid for illegal aliens at the expense of U.S. students.

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Promises Made…Promises Broken

10 Feb

President Biden stressed a few things on the campaign trail and during the initial days of his Administration:

  1. His Administration would follow the science
  2. He would work to open schools within his first 100 days as President

He appears to now have abandoned both of those benchmarks. Despite the fact that the CDC has said it’s safe for students to go back into the classroom and President Biden’s own CDC Director has said that it’s safe for schools to reopen even if all teachers have not been vaccinated, the Administration has continued to oppose the science and side with their political allies in the teachers unions in keeping schools closed.

Yesterday, we saw that the Administration’s “promise” is entirely unserious. When asked about the specifics behind the goal they outlined for the first 100 days of the Biden presidency, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that they considered success having “over 50 percent” of schools open “at least one day per week.”:

This is more proof that the new Administration cares more about politics and their political priorities than they do about the best interest of the nation. The science indicates that schools can reopen now if proper precautions are taken. Instead of working to achieve this goal, President Biden is catering to the whims of the teachers unions, who are serving as the roadblock for getting students back into the classroom.

From promising to unify the nation and then signing divisive executive orders that will cause economic pain, to vowing to reopen schools in 100 days only to go back on that because their political allies are not on board, the American people are learning early on that President Biden and his Administration cannot be trusted.

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Congressional Gold Medal For Dr. Li Wenliang

9 Feb

A number of House Republicans have sponsored a new bill that would posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest civilian honor that Congress can bestow – to Dr. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who blew the whistle about the initial spread of COVID-19 and the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to cover it up:

  • The Washington Examiner: “House Republicans say Chinese doctor and coronavirus whistleblower deserves Congressional Gold Medal”

Dr. Li is unquestionably a hero who died trying to warn the world of the coming health crisis. While the Chinese Communist Party attempted to silence him, the United States should recognize his bravery. For months, we have seen Speaker Pelosi refuse to hold China accountable for their culpability in allowing this virus to become a pandemic. If she refuses to bring a commonsense bill like this to the floor, despite how deserving Dr. Li is of this honor, it’s just more evidence that she has no interest in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable.

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Biden’s Immigration Policies Jeopardize Security

9 Feb

In addition to destroying jobs, the Biden Administration’s focus during their first three weeks on weakening our country’s borders and making us less secure has been a priority of theirs as well. From undermining the ability of ICE to deport dangerous criminals, to signing executive orders that lay the groundwork for potential amnesty, his initial approach has been more about pleasing the radical left than keeping our country safe.

The Administration has made clear that they want to work with Congressional Democrats to continue to advance these bad policies legislatively. A new report from Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee warns that if the Biden Administration continues to pursue this radical agenda, it will result in less security at the border, reduced interior enforcement, and an increased risk from criminal and other aliens who want to do us harm.

Key arguments from the report:

  • Administration Amnesty – President Trump sought to reign in the out-of-control use of administrative amnesty in U.S. immigration policy. President Biden has reversed course and signaled his intention to return to the radical administrative amnesty policies of the Obama-Biden Administration, which will damage the integrity of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Border Security – President Trump delivered on his campaign promise by completing 450 miles of border wall, implementing policies aimed at reducing frivolous asylum claims, and instituting a program to make those border crossers who claim asylum wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration court proceedings, among other things. Some of President Biden’s first actions in office were to reverse these policy successes.
  • Interior Security – President Trump’s interior security policies were aimed at cracking down on sanctuary jurisdictions, ending the Obama-Biden policy of catch and release, and increasing the arrest and removal of deportable aliens. President Biden’s continued reversal of President Trump’s policies will make America less safe and encourage more illegal immigration.
  • National Security and Rule of Law – President Trump took bold and decisive action to prevent bad actors from entering our country. These actions were in line with the fact that America’s immigration law and policy must be created and implemented with a focus on national security. President Biden’s reversal of the President Trump’s travel ban, for example, shows he is not prioritizing the safety and security of the American people.

The full report can be read here or below:

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Reality Check: 1,400,000 Americans Would Suffer If Federal Gov’t Tries To Artificially Increase The Minimum Wage

9 Feb

It’s hard to argue that the focus of the first three weeks of the Biden Administration has been anything but going after American workers are eliminating job opportunities. That’s what he has done with his executive orders cancelling the construction of the Keystone Pipeline and banning energy leasing and permitting on federal land, which will destroy thousands of jobs and hurt families at a time when we should be focusing on economic recovery efforts and job creation.

Now, the CBO indicates that his latest policy push will do the same thing. In a report issued yesterday, the non-partisan agency found that legislation that would artificially increase the minimum wage to $15/hour would eliminate jobs for 1.4 million Americans, while increasing the deficit by $54 billion.

This is an important reality check for Democrats.

While they claim they want to help the country recover from the challenges we have seen because of the pandemic, it’s clear that this policy would only cause economic pain. Cutting off a source of income for 1.4 million Americans would be devastating for them, and they’d have fewer opportunities to find a new job after that. We all want to see wages rise, but this report makes clear that government intervention would actually offer more consequences than benefits since it would result in lower and middle-income Americans losing out entirely on sources of revenue that they need.

Editorial boards across the country were quick to note the significance of this report and why it makes clear that Democrats’ legislation is nothing more than bad policy:

  • The Wall Street Journal (Editorial): “Reality Check for a $15 Minimum Wage”
    • President Biden says his priority is creating new jobs and he wants “to grow the economy for all Americans.” But look at how the Congressional Budget Office sizes up his proposal for a $15 federal minimum wage. Phasing in this mandatory wage floor by 2025, according to the CBO’s new average estimate, would result in a loss of 1.4 million jobs. 
    • Low-wage employees lucky enough to keep their jobs would get a raise. CBO says 17 million workers would be “directly affected” by the $15 minimum, and poverty “would be reduced by 0.9 million.” This is not a free lunch, no matter how often Mr. Biden and Bernie Sanders say so. Those gains would come at a high cost for the young and unskilled who will have a harder time grabbing the first rung of the economic ladder.
    • Even those figures are a guess, since setting the minimum wage at a high of $15 would essentially put the country through an economic experiment. This would mean imposing the urban labor costs of San Francisco and Manhattan on every out-of-the-way gas station in rural America. The U.S. economy is made up of local and regional labor markets with prevailing wage rates that depend on varying standards of living, the kinds of employers, and the availability and skill of the workforce. Some 20 states have a minimum wage no higher than the current national minimum of $7.25.
  • The Washington Examiner (Editorial): “CBO offers minimum wage reality check”
    • As President Biden and Democrats kept pushing the absurd idea of increasing the minimum wage during a pandemic that has already adversely affected the service industry, the Congressional Budget Office on Monday delivered a needed reality check. Democrats led by Biden would more than double the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour between now and 2025.
    • Conceptually, allowing politicians to determine the floor at which individuals must be paid, rather than the fair value determined by market forces, is a bad idea. But at a time when so many people are already out of work, it is a catastrophe. Such a dramatic increase would lead to massive job losses and higher costs to consumers. The CBO has provided some sobering estimates to support this view. Were Democrats to succeed in passing their minimum wage hike, which would likely require an extraordinary expansion of the Senate budget reconciliation power, it would reduce employment by an average estimate of 1.4 million workers, or as high as 2.7 million under some scenarios.
    • Doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour was always a bad idea. The CBO has now helped quantify how destructive it would be.
  • The New York Post (Editorial): “Putting ‘heroes’ out of work with a mandatory wage hike”
    • Meanwhile, a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that President Biden’s plan to implement a $15 federal minimum wage would kill 1.4 million jobs and almost double the federal deficit.
    • Consider just grocery stores in the 21 states covered by the current federal minimum wage of $7.25: They’re looking at hourly pay doubling under the Raise the Wage Act. Kroger, for one, is already looking to replace too-costly workers with technology: It’s opening an all-self-checkout pilot store in Dallas later this month, employing cashiers only as backup.
    • Instead of helping low-wage workers, an exorbitant minimum wage will only keep them from working at all — robbing them of the chance to earn promotions to well-paying jobs. It’s a mandate for never earning a living wage at all.

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Democrats Making Good On Their Promise To Abolish ICE

8 Feb

While the far-left clamored to completely abolish ICE, a number of Democrats claimed that this wasn’t a serious policy proposal of theirs and they wouldn’t do it if they had the opportunity. Like much of the rhetoric coming from President Biden and his Administration, this too appears to be false.

The Washington Post published a story yesterday revealing that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “is preparing to issue new guidelines to agents this week that could sharply curb arrests and deportations.”:

  • The Washington Post: “New Biden rules for ICE point to fewer arrests and deportations, and a more restrained agency”

This will prevent the federal government from taking action to enforce the law and secure our borders. It will only encourage more illegal immigration and move away from the successful border security policies of the previous Administration. Depriving ICE of the tools and ability to effectively do their job may not be abolishing them in theory, but it is in practice, and it will make our country less safe as a result.

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