Today’s “skinny repeal” plan for Obamacare was a big win for Senator Rand Paul, who had come up with this fallback strategy during discussions with President Donald Trump.
Senate Republicans will now move ahead with their Obamacare repeal debate, after a tie breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska went against their party and voted “no” along with the Democrats. Not a single Democrat voted yes.
The aim now will be to repeal three key parts of Obamacare, the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.
Senator Paul had opposed previous versions of replacement plans which he referred to as “Obamacare-lite,” and became a crucial voice in coming to an agreement that would work.
“Renaming and keeping parts of Obamacare, new entitlements and extending medicaid expansion are not the #FullRepeal we promised,” he tweeted in March.
In several conversations, in person and on the phone, sources tell Big League Politics that Senator Paul and President Trump discussed how the senator could get to a “yes” vote. On the one hand, there were many policy issues that could be fixed. But on the other hand, Senator Paul was willing to vote for a “skinny” or smaller version of a clean repeal, as long as it did not have the massive spending and insurance bailouts of the Senate leadership bill.
As discussions continued with the president, Paul brought this “skinny repeal” plan to Senate leadership multiple times. Today, he was given what he asked for.
In order for Paul to vote “yes,” Senate had to agree to a clean vote on the 2015 repeal (which they previously passed) along with the Senate leader bill (BCRA), which needed a 60-vote threshold to pass, which meant that it was surely unable to pass — as they did not have Democrat votes. If those failed, they would move to passing a repeal of as many mandates and taxes as they could agree on.
If we cannot pass full, clean 2015 repeal, I've also been told we will vote on whatever version of CLEAN repeal we can pass.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 25, 2017
While this isn’t the full repeal that Paul was after, it is clean and avoids the additional spending and bailouts.
Prior to the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Obamacare a “failed left-wing experiment.” He added that he was in agreement with President Trump, that “any senator who votes against starting a debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, and that it’s a “position even Democrats have found hard to defend.”
Democrat Black Farmers Bill Would Give Away $8 Billion of Land Yearly in Reparations Program
South Africa-style land redistribution?
Democrat Senators are touting new legislation that would purchase national farmland and give it away to Black Americans for free.
Democrats Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren are sponsoring the the Justice for Black Farmers Act, which seems likely to be the most wide-ranging affirmative action program ever enacted if it’s signed into law. It’s not inaccurate to call the bill a reparations program.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 24, 2020
The law establishes preferences for Black Americans within Department of Agriculture policy. Blacks would be granted free land purchased by the federal government, in total increments that appear to add up to $8 billion a year.
An undersecretary of a USDA “Equitable Land Access Service” would be entrusted with purchasing(using taxpayer funds) and redistributing land. The reparation bill appropriates for a massive 20,000 grants annually over ten years, adding up to a total redistribution package of $80 billion.
The under-secretary would be commissioned to “(1) purchase from willing sellers, at a price not greater than fair market value, available agricultural land in the United States; and (2) subject to section 205, convey grants of that land to eligible Black individuals at no cost to the eligible Black individuals.”
If the bill redistributes 160 acres per grant, it would ultimately end up transferring 1.6% of the total land in the continental United States for free.
Democrats cite a decline in the numbers of black farmers since the 1920’s as an impetus for the bill, pointing out that there were 1 million black farmers in 1920 and 50,000 today. Such logic ignores that the number of American farmers broadly has declined sharply as the United States transitioned to an industrial economy, and that millions of Black Americans who worked under poor conditions as sharecroppers in the American South have long since moved to northern cities.
The bill is somewhat similar to South African racial land redistribution policies, which differ primarily in that they forcibly nationalized land owned by Afrikaner farmers and redistributed them to South African Blacks. South Africa’s land reforms in the name of “equity” have proven to generally be a failure, with novel farmers unable to utilize the land they’ve been gifted in a manner beneficial to society. South Africa has transitioned from a bountiful agricultural society known as the “bread basket of Africa” to a net food importer, with experts pointing to arbitrary land redistribution as a factor in doing so.
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