Capitol Hill was abuzz yesterday morning as President Biden met with House Democrats to make an (unsuccessful) pitch for a legislative victory before leaving for meetings with European leaders.
I happened to be on the Hill, at the invitation of Dr. Michael Burgess, R-TX, to meet with members of the terrific Doctors Caucus to discuss the health provisions in the radical social engineering and entitlement bill that has Democrats twisted into a pretzel. The “framework” for their deal was released shortly afterward.
While you will hear from news reports that it is a shrunken version of the original $3.5 trillion monster that Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-VT, says is the minimum that can be spent to satisfy the nation’s social welfare needs, it will quickly expand far beyond the $1.75 trillion advertised cost.
The Wall Street Journal explains in its lead editorial today that it is a “A Jerry-Rigged Budget ‘Framework’. The $1.75 trillion cost is phony, but the social and fiscal damage are real.”
It contains huge tax policy changes that are being slapped together without a single hearing to assess implications for the U.S. and world economies. All they’re trying to do is to raise money for their social and climate change policies. This is destructive and irresponsible.
Some of the most damaging, and likely unconstitutional, taxes have been dropped for now, instead boosting existing taxes, sometimes into the stratosphere where some taxpayers will face a 60% rate, including federal, state and local taxes.
Many of the health spending provisions we have written about here are in the framework, with the notable improvement of dropping, for now, the price controls that would cripple pharmaceutical innovation.
The New York Times says the biggest part of the bill’s spending now is devoted to climate change.
That is likely one reason why Progressive Caucus leader Pramila Jayapal, D-WA, said later in the day the nearly 100 members of the progressive caucus would support the framework (but still want to see the legislation first).
“We wanted a $3.5 trillion package, but we understand the reality of the situation,” she said last night.
That means it’s not likely a question of if but when it passes the House.
I always try to keep our newsletters short, but this one is going to be VERY long to make a point. We’ve been telling you in this space how hard it so to capture the scope of this massive welfare entitlements bill.
Lo and behold, the Republican Study Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, produced a list of the most egregious provisions. While the new legislative language is not yet available, you can be sure that most of these provisions will be in a final bill, even with just doorstop language that progressives expect will give them a chance to later on throw the full doors open.
So here goes just to give you a sense of what they are trying to do:
- Perpetuates labor shortage: Continues welfare benefits without work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents at a time where there are 10.1 million job openings—more openings than there are people looking for work.
- Commissions a climate police: Democrats stuffed $8 billion into the bill to commission a cabal of federally funded climate police called the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) who will conduct progressive activism on taxpayers’ dime (pages 8, 21, and 926).
- Pushes Green New Deal in our public schools: Requires funding for school construction be used largely on enrollment diversity and Green New Deal agenda items (page 55).
- Pushes Green New Deal in our universities: Democrats include a $10 billion “environmental justice” higher education slush fund to indoctrinate college students and advance Green New Deal policies (page 1,935).
- Forces faith-based child care providers out: The bill blocks the ability of many faith-based providers from participating in the childcare system and will lead to many of their closures (page 280).
- Hurts small and in-home daycares: Requires pre-K staff to have a college degree. (page 303)
- Includes new incentives for illegal immigration: Illegal immigrants will be eligible to take advantage of Democrats’ new ‘free’ college entitlement (page 92) as well be eligible for additional student aid (page 147) and the enhanced child tax credit (page 1,946).
- Includes legislative hull for Biden’s vaccine mandate: Increases OSHA penalties on businesses that fail to implement the mandate up to $700,000 per violation and includes $2.6 billion in funding for the Department of Labor to increase enforcement of these penalties (page 168).
- Gives unions near-total control: The bill includes insane prohibitions that would bind employers’ hands in union disputes and dangerously tilt the balance of power, subjecting employers to penalties that exempt union bosses and officials…among otherthings this bill would prevent employers from permanently replacing striking workers (page 175). It coerces businesses to meet union boss demands by increasing Fair Labor Standards Act penalties by an astronomical 900% (page 168).
- Makes unions bigger and more powerful: The bill would subsidize union dues that would only serve to strengthen the influence of union bosses and not American workers (page 2323).
- Pushes Democrats’ wasteful and confusing school lunch agenda: $643 million for, among other things, “procuring…culturally appropriate foods” (page 333).
- Furthers radical abortion agenda: Does not include the Hyde amendment and would mandate taxpayers pay for abortions (page 198) & (page 336).
- Drives up costs on Americans’ utility bills: Issues a punitive methane tax (page 367) and includes a tax on natural gas up to $1,500 per ton that could cost the American economy up to $9.1 billion and cost 90,000 Americans their jobs (page 368).
- Includes dangerous & deadly green energy mandate: Effectively forces Americans to get 40% of their energy from wind, solar and other unreliable forms of energy within 8 years (page 392). Reliance on these energy sources has proven deadly.
- Includes kickbacks for the Left’s green energy special interest network: $5 billion for “environmental and climate justice block grants” (page 377) and another $100 billion in green energy special interest subsidies, loans and other carve outs.
- Gives wealthy Americans tax credits: $222 billion in “green energy” tax credits will be given to those who can afford expensive electric vehicles and other “green” innovative products (page 1832).
- Furthers Democrats’ social justice agenda: Includes “equity” initiatives throughout the bill and, in one instance, Democrats inserted “equity” language into a title which should have been focusing on the maintenance of the United States’ cyber security efforts (page 897).
- Grants amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants: House Democrats have included in their reconciliation bill a plan to grant amnesty to around 8 million illegal immigrants at a cost of around $100 billion over ten years that would largely be spent on welfare and other entitlements (page 901). Trillions more would be spent long term on their Social Security and Medicare.
- Opens border even wider: The bill would waive many grounds for immigration inadmissibility, including infection or lack of vaccination status during a Pandemic, failure to attend removal proceedings in previous immigration cases, and the previous renouncement of American citizenship. DHS may also waive previous convictions for human trafficking, narcotics violations, and illegal voting (page 903).
- Increases visa limit: At least 226,000 family-preference visas would be administered each year (page 905).
- Grants fast-tracked green cards for those seeking middle-class careers in America: Language included in the bill exempts certain aliens from the annual green card statutory limits and has been described as a “hidden pipeline for U.S. employers to flood more cheap foreign graduates into millions of middle-class careers needed by American graduates” (page 910).
- Includes pork for Nancy Pelosi: $200 million is earmarked for the Presidio Trust in Speaker Pelosi’s congressional district (page 933).
- Increases energy dependence on OPEC, Russia and China: The bill prohibits several mineral and energy withdrawals (page 979). It overturns provisions included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that authorized energy production in the Arctic that will result in 130,000 Americans losing their jobs and $440 billion in lost federal revenue (page 983) and the mineral withdrawals it prohibits would, ironically, include minerals necessary for renewable energy sources (pages 934, 940, 943).
- Exacerbates the chip shortage: The bill would mandate the conversion of the entire federal vehicle fleet from internal combustion engines to electric engines at a time when there is a global microchip shortage and crippled supply chains (page 1,043).
- Democrats’ feckless China bill is included: Concepts from the insanely weak Endless Frontier Act included, including $11 billion in research funding that will likely result in American intellectual property going to China (page 1079 – 1081).
- Chases green energy pipe dreams: $264 million to the EPA to conduct research with left-wing environmental justice groups on how to transition away from fossil fuels (page 1063).
- Fixes “racist” roads and bridges: Adds a nearly $4 billion slush fund that would help left-wing grassroots organizations that, among other things, want to tear down and rebuild or otherwise alter infrastructure deemed “racist” (page 1183).
- Punishes red states for failing to adopt Green New Deal provisions: Mandates “consequences” for conservative states that don’t meet the radical Left’s “green” climate standards while at the same time adding nearly $4 billion for “Community Climate Incentive Grants” for cooperating states (page 1179).
- Includes new massive, bankrupting entitlement: The new paid leave entitlement would mandate workers get 12 weeks of paid leave and would cost $500 billion over ten years according to the CBO (page 1245). It would apply to those making up to half a million dollars a year (page 1254).
- Advances a totalitarian and paternalistic view of the federal government: Includes grants for organizations to treat individuals suffering from “loneliness” and “social isolation.”
- Further detaches individuals from employment and more reliant on government handouts: The bill spends $835 billion on welfare through manipulating the tax code [not including the expansions of Obamacare subsidies] (page 1943).
- Tax benefits for the top 1%: The bill will possibly lift the SALT deduction cap meaning many of the top 1% wealthiest Americans would pay less in taxes.
- Tax credit for wealthy donors who give to woke universities: The bill creates a new tax credit program that gives tax credits worth 40% of cash contribution that are made to university research programs (page 2094).
- Expands worst parts of Obamacare: Obamacare’s job-killing employer mandate will become more severe by adjusting the definition of “affordable coverage” to mean coverage that costs no more than 8.5 percent of income rather than current law’s 9.5 percent of income (page 2041).
- Increases taxes on Americans at every income level: $2 trillion in tax hikes will fall on those making under $400,000 per year, contrary to what the White House says. Individuals at all income levels will be affected (Ways and Means GOP).
- Lowers wages for working families: The corporate tax rate will increase by 5.5%, meaning American companies will face one of the highest tax burdens in the world. According to analysis, two-thirds of this tax hike will fall on lower- and middle-income taxpayers (page 2110).
- Penalizes marriage: The bill would permanently double the EITC’s marriage penalty on childless worker benefits (page 2036).
- Imposes crushing taxes on small business: Guts the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act small business deductions that reduced pass-through entity taxes to keep them comparable to taxes imposed on corporations (page 2235) as well as hammer small businesses that file as individual tax earners with the 39.6% rate (page 2221) and Obamacare’s 3.8% tax on net investment income.
- Crushes family businesses and farms: The bill would impose a 25% capital gains rate (page 2226) and makes alterations to the Death Tax including cutting the Death Tax exemption in half (page 2240).
- Violates Americans’ financial privacy: $80 billion slush fund to hire an 87,000-IRS-agent army to carry out the Biden administration’s plan to review every account above a $600 balance or with more than $600 of transactions in a year. (page 2283).
- Increases out of pocket costs for those who rely on prescription drugs: The bill repeals the Trump-era Rebate Rule which passes through rebates directly to consumers at the point of sale (page 2465).
- Imports policies from countries with socialized medicine: The billincludeshealthcare policies imported from systems in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom—all countries that have government-run healthcare systems (page 2349).