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House Passes Paul Ryan’s Omnibus Bill That Blocks Wall Funding, Includes Gun Control

This doesn’t look good for Trump supporters.

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With just twenty-four hours to review, the omnibus spending bill is expected to be voted on late in the evening on Thursday. Despite the fact that virtually nobody has had time to read the entire bill, it is poised to pass, especially with the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

But deep within the bill, a number of major issues have been found. Most alarmingly, the bill specifically blocks funding towards Trump’s wall. It orders that border security funding go towards “operationally effective designs” such as “currently deployed steel bollard designs.” That means that this bill does nothing more than provide funds to lay out more of the previous, and less effective border fencing.

(b) The amounts designated in subsection (a)(2)
15 through (a)(4) shall only be available for operationally ef
fective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated
17 Appropriations Act, 2017, (Public Law 115–31), such as
18 currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize
19 agent safety.

With the above language, it allows Democrats to correctly claim that they blocked Trump’s wall, but give Republicans the ability to claim that they supported increased border security while doing almost nothing. Either way, it’s a lose-lose for any American concerned about illegal immigration.

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Another controversial provision of the omnibus spending bill is funding for a proposal known as “Fix-NICS.” Instead of attempting to pass it on its own, which has failed on numerous occasions, it appears that Republicans in congress have plugged the bill, which has support from a number of high-profile Democrats, including Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) into the massive spending bill.

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SEC. 601. of the omnibus spending bill is titled the “FIX NICS ACT,” and is the same bill that anti-gun Republicans and Democrats have failed to pass in the past.

Fix-NICS provides massive funding to states to encourage them to input more people into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to bar them from firearm ownership.

The NICS system has already been massively abused, disproportionately targeting veterans. Over 257,000 veterans have already been barred from firearm ownership without any due process, and this funding only gives them the ammo they need to throw even more veterans into the NICS database.

If the omnibus bill makes its way to President Trump’s desk, it is unclear if he will sign it. Trump has already signaled that he may veto it if it does not include wall funding. Also, some  members of the House Freedom Caucus are opposing the measure, and encouraging Trump to veto it.

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Congress

House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April

It’s a aspiration, not a plan.

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House Republicans are considering plans that would help Americans get back to work by the end of the month. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters on a conference call that the caucus is preparing preliminary plans that phase the workforce back in at the end of April.

Our focus is on locking down the virus while we’re taking the steps now to prepare to reopen the economy by the end of the month if the virus permits.”

Brady was careful to qualify that there’s no guarantee the public health situation in the United States would allow such a development.

“I think we should all expect the jobs, the unemployment in the GDP numbers to feel brutal over the short term. It’s because they are. This economy is taking hits like we’ve not seen in most of our lifetimes. But it is just a short-term hit.

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Initial social distancing guidelines set forth by the White House in conjunction with the CDC were extended from two weeks to April 30th earlier in the week, suggesting the executive branch may be cautiously looking towards the end of April to begin phasing out the unprecedented disruptions to everyday American life.

It is worth noting that an early cease to social distancing and commonsense measures to deter the spread of the Chinese coronavirus could prove to be even more harmful than the negative impacts to the economy since the beginning of the virus-related recession. This can’t be rushed. But the consequences of the economic damage are real, and all Americans should look to get everyday economic life up and running against as soon as possible.

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