The Democrat controlled House is trying to force Trump to refuse to sign the budget deal by floating a budget that denies him his border funding.
The budget bill Congress has floated is a $1.4 trillion spending plan that they want accepted before next weekend when the latest budget runs out. If the new spending isn’t passed, it will force a partial shutdown.
The bill “denies President Donald Trump the full $5 billion he requested to help build his signature wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, keeping funding static at $1.37 billion for border barriers,” according to Reuters.
They have mostly rejected Trump’s calls for at least $24 billion over the long run to build his much-touted wall, which he originally said Mexico would finance. Mexico rejected that idea. The wall’s price tag could escalate as the federal government is forced to acquire private lands for construction.
The bill also forces all states to raise the age to buy tobacco to 21. It would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration six months to re-write the regulations and then gives the states three years to implement the changes.
The bill also calls for $738 billion for U.S. military spending for this year.
In addition, the Democrats included $425 million to aid the states to fund the 2020 elections, and stuck in another $25 million to waste on federal gun violence research.
There is also more money for the upcoming census: “Negotiators settled on $7.6 billion for conducting next year’s census, which is done once every 10 years. That would be $1.4 billion more than Trump proposed.”
As a sop to the GOP, the Democrats allowed a repeal of several Obamacare taxes, as well.
The biggest Obamacare tax repeal is the 40% tax on “Cadillac” healthcare plans. While the GOP never liked that tax, the let-wing unions also hated it because it affected their high-dollar healthcare plans.
Another ACU repeal is the 2.3% tax on the sale of medical devices.
But in the end, since Democrats nixed any spending on Trump’s border security measures, what they hope is that Trump will balk and refuse to sign the bill. And that would cause a budget showdown that would result in a partial government shutdown.
The Democrats would love to blame Trump for a government shutdown in the midst of impeachment AND just before Christmas.
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There is An Epidemic of Government Employees Watching Porn on Taxpayer Dime
An epidemic of federal employees watching porn on taxpayer time has reached a new low and it is costing the taxpayer millions.
An epidemic of federal employees watching porn on taxpayer time has reached a new low as a veteran staffer “viewed child pornography on a government computer on multiple occasions,” according to an audit.
According to Washington watchdog group, Judicial Watch, the problem is costing taxpayers millions in lost production time.
The unidentified employee worked at the Bureau of Land Management, which operates under the Department of the Interior (DOI) and admitted to investigators from the agency’s Inspector General’s office that he viewed adult pornography on multiple occasions though he knew DOI policy prohibits it.
A year ago, a separate DOI employee infected agency networks with Russian malware after visiting thousands of porn sites on his government computer. A forensic examination determined the employee, who was never identified, had an extensive history of visiting porn websites and saving material on an unauthorized drive.
In both cases the employees retired and faced no consequences.
The DOI is hardly alone in the ongoing porn scandal. Watching porn on government computers during work hours is so rampant that legislation (Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act) was introduced in Congress a few years ago to contain the embarrassing crisis. Porn has for years been part of the job at some government agencies and numerous federal audits have long documented the enraging details of how our tax dollars are being wasted.
Judicial Watch has also reported extensively on the topic, especially the porn crisis at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency charged with policing the nation’s financial industry.
While the economy crumbled, the SEC was preoccupied with pornography. In fact, high-ranking managers at the agency regularly spent work hours gawking at pornography web sites on their government computers while the country’s financial system collapsed. We’re talking dozens of SEC employees, including senior officers with lucrative six-figure salaries viewing explicit images on their agency computers during work hours.
Other agencies have also been embroiled in porn scandals evidently making legislation necessary. Among them is the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has been exposed by its inspector general for having employees spend significant portions of their workdays watching, downloading and e-mailing pornography on government computers without ever getting caught.
This workday porn surfing costs American taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to the agency watchdog.
In one case a senior NSF executive spent at least 331 days viewing porn on his government computer and chatting online with naked women without getting caught. A separate employee accessed hundreds of pornographic web sites during work hours in a three-week period and another was caught with hundreds of photos, videos and slide shows containing porn. None of the public employees was subject to criminal prosecution, civil court action or debarment, though some got suspended for short periods of time.
About a year ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was embroiled in a large-scale pornography scandal in which hundreds of websites were used by employees and contractors to watch porn on government computers during work hours. The problem was so widespread that the USDA IG issued agency leadership a management alert memo warning of a “significant increase” in the number of USDA employees and contractors viewing and sharing unlawful or otherwise inappropriate pornographic content using their government-issued computers and other communication devices.
Some of the content includes child pornography, according to the USDA OIG memo. “This employee misconduct is preventable, and it unnecessarily exposes USDA and its systems to significant risk,” the OIG memo states. USDA leadership took five months to address the problem even though the watchdog harped on the security risks of surfing the dicey websites on agency equipment. It didn’t even delve into the atrocity of public employees getting paid by taxpayers to enjoy porn.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.
New GOP Bill Aims to End $100 Billion Federal Agency Year-End Spending Sprees
A new GOP bill aims to finally make the common federal budget year-end spending sprees illegal.
One of the biggest problems with federal spending occurs near the end of every fiscal year when federal agencies go on wild spending sprees to use up their allotted budget for fear of losing budget money in the coming year. Now, a new GOP bill aims to finally make these spending sprees illegal.
The spending sprees are called “use it or lose it” sprees because traditionally a federal agency is given a budget based on its needs as governed by what it spent in the years previous.
This has caused federal agencies that have any surplus budget money to go on wasteful spending sprees before the end of a fiscal year so that they won’t get reassessed and find a lower budget given to them the next year.
As The Center Square recently reported:
Examples of end-of-year spending on federal contracts include a Wexford Leather club chair ($9,241), china tableware ($53,004), alcohol ($308,994), golf carts ($673,471), musical equipment including pianos, tubas and trombones ($1.7 million), lobster tail and crab ($4.6 million), iPhones and iPads ($7.7 million), and workout and recreation equipment ($9.8 million).
But what it also means is that they are simply wasting money merely to waste money! The stuff they are buying they simply don’t really need because if they did, they’d have bought it throughout the year, not in one manic spending spree in a few week’s time at the end of the budget period.
The site added:
Federal spending in fiscal year 2018 equated to a 16-percent increase from fiscal year 2017, and a 39-percent increase from fiscal year 2015, its most recent analysis found.
On average, the federal government spent $3.2 billion per day on contracts throughout the month of September, with spending on the final week days of Sept. 27 and 28 exceeding $10 billion per day.
Well, Republican Senator Joni Ernst is looking to put an end to these needless, wasteful spending sprees.
Ernst’s legislation, called the End of Year Fiscal Responsibility Act, would end agencies’ annual 11th-hour spending spree.
It seeks limit agency spending in the last two months of the fiscal year to no more than what it usually spends every month on average.
“This bill won’t end all wasteful spending, but it will force agencies to put more thought into long-term planning and curtail the bad habit of out-of-control impulsive spending,” Ernst said.
“With our national debt now surpassing $22 trillion, Washington should be looking for ways to save by canceling or delaying unnecessary expenses, rather than splurging on end-of-year wish lists,” Ernst said.
This adds up to another example of the Trump administration’s efforts to put an end to government waste.
Fingers crossed that this can become law.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.
Senators Hawley, Blackburn Introduce Bill to Move 90% of Jobs in 10 Federal Agencies Outside D.C.
Two GOP senators introduced a bill that would relocate 90% of the jobs across ten federal departments to locations outside of Washington D.C.
Republican Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee joined forces to introduce a bill that would relocate 90 percent of the jobs across ten federal departments to locations outside of Washington D.C.
The senators said that the purpose of the bill is to help bring some federal economic development “into the heart of economically distressed regions across the country.”
The pair titled the bill the Helping Infrastructure Restore the Economy (HIRE) Act.
The bill would affect agencies such as the departments of Agriculture, Education, and Energy, according to the Washington Times.
Hawley noted that the Agriculture Department has already implemented this concept and brought 600 new jobs to Kansas City.
“Every year Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars fund federal agencies that are mainly located in the D.C. bubble. That’s a big part of the problem with Washington: they’re too removed from the rest of America,” Hawley said in a press release.
He said the bill would also “move policymakers directly into the communities they serve, creating thousands of jobs for local communities and saving taxpayers billions of dollars along the way.”
The Times added:
The legislation calls for moving the Agriculture Department to Missouri and Education Department to Tennessee, the states represented by the bill’s sponsors, as well as moving the Commerce Department to Pennsylvania and Energy Department to Kentucky.
Under the bill, Health and Human Services would move to Indiana; Housing and Urban Development to Ohio; Interior to New Mexico; Labor to West Virginia; Transportation to Michigan, and Veterans Affairs to South Carolina.
“Moving agencies outside of Washington, D.C. both boosts local economies and lowers costs — that’s a winning combination,” Sen. Blackburn said. “This legislation would enable Americans across the country to have greater access to good jobs.”
Americans work too hard for Washington to waste their tax dollars.
Today, @HawleyMO & I introduced the HIRE Act to move 90% of federal jobs outside D.C.
It will help boost local economies and lower costs.
Now that’s a winning combination!https://t.co/o00ZPAfJrs
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) October 23, 2019
The liberal government employee unions heavily oppose these moves, naturally.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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