REPS. Tlaib, AOC Want Treasury to Deny Tax-Exempt Status to Groups Aiding Israel’s ‘Illegal Settlement Enterprise’

BY ROBERT SPENCER

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2021/08/05/tlaib-aoc-want-treasury-to-deny-tax-exempt-status-to-groups-aiding-israels-illegal-settlement-enterprise-n1467251;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Ever-vigilant for the integrity of our government, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Anti-Semitic Dog Whistles) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Socialist Swag), and five of their henchmen have written to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, demanding that the Treasury Department stop granting tax-exempt status to American charities that work in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Because they’re aiding and abetting Israel’s “illegal settlement enterprise,” you see. True to form, however, the Squad duo has clearly not done its homework and betrays ignorance of the basic facts of the case.

The group, which also included the forgotten Muslim member of the House, Rep. André Carson of Indiana, and the forgotten member of the Squad, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, declared its “extreme concern that US charities are funding and providing direct support to Israeli organizations that are working to expand and perpetuate Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in violation of international law, including supporting the dispossession and forced displacement of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods.”

The letter added: “We are concerned that these policies violate US obligations under international law, as well as federal tax law.” It claimed that the tax-exempt status of the groups concerned (which include Central Fund of Israel (CFI) and American Friends of Beit El) was essentially a “subsidy” from the U.S. government that was being used to pay for “serious breaches of international law and violations of internationally recognized human rights related to the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise.” These groups were, said the Leftist legislators, “fueling the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians.”

Nor was its call limited to those two groups. The letter demands that Yellen provide a list of U.S. charities that are “operating directly or indirectly in any occupied territory.”

As is characteristic of the Left, this appeal is long on propagandistic plays on the emotions and short on facts. The falsehoods and distortions begin with the letter’s reference to “Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.” The underlying assumption here is that Israel is illegally building homes for Israelis on land that doesn’t belong to Israel, but is “occupied.” Hordes of Leftists in America and elsewhere take this for granted as axiomatically true, but it isn’t. As The Palestinian Delusion explains, Israel did indeed take control of the “occupied” territory in question after the Six-Day War of 1967, during which the Muslim Arab states neighboring Israel launched an unprovoked attack upon it; Israel followed the practice of winners of defensive wars throughout world history in taking territory from the defeated aggressors to ensure there would be no repetition of the aggression.

Nor was the “occupied” territory previously part of a state of Palestine. There was no Palestinian state, then or ever. From 1948 to 1967, the West Bank was occupied by Jordan and Gaza by Egypt, yet nary a word was heard in those days about “occupation,” despite the fact that neither Jordan nor Egypt had any claim on the occupied territory. In fact, there is only one nation in the world that has any legal claim to that territory, and that nation is none other than Israel. The last nation before Israel to own the territory involved was the Ottoman Empire. As that empire was dissolving, it ceded these lands to the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, which granted them to Britain for the express purpose of encouraging Jewish settlement for a Jewish national home. That national home is Israel; consequently, the land that Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, and the rest claim is “occupied” and now covered with “illegal settlements,” belongs—by the international law about which they make so much—to Israel, and Israel alone.

The claim that the groups Tlaib and AOC are targeting are “fueling the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians” is likewise false and misleading. The letter to Yellen is no doubt referring to the roiling controversy over the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where there are ongoing eviction proceedings against a group of Muslim Arab residents. Are they being illegally thrown out of their homes by rapacious apartheid-minded Israelis? No. Here is a summary of the legal issues involved, and the status of the disputed properties. It shows that the land in question has been owned by Jews since 1875, when it was lawfully purchased, and that two Israeli organizations registered ownership of this land in 1973. The Muslim Arabs living there do not own the land and have consistently refused to pay rent. Tlaib and AOC are demanding that the United States come to the aid of illegal squatters, which is consistent with their war on landlords in this country, but isn’t just in either one.

The letter to Yellen is yet another example of the Left’s utter indifference to truth. If reality doesn’t fit their agenda, so much the worse for reality. And Tlaib and AOC can count on the fact that no one in the establishment media is going to challenge them. After all, today’s “journalists” believe all the same nonsense. So what do our winsome Israel-hating congresswomen have to lose?

Biden Ended Use of Defense Funds for Border Wall. Here’s Where The Money’s Going Instead.

Biden Halts Use of Defense Funds for Border Wall. Here’s Where the Money Is Going Instead

BY LUIS MIGUEL

SEE: https://thenewamerican.com/biden-halts-use-of-defense-funds-for-border-wall-heres-where-the-money-is-going-instead/;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

The fate of America’s border wall is uncertain as the Biden administration pursues a markedly different course on immigration than that of former president Donald Trump.

Biden is reportedly giving back more than $2 billion that had been redirected from Defense Department projects in order to fund the border wall long sought by President Trump. Furthermore, the Biden White House is asking Congress to cancel other remaining border wall funds.

On the campaign trail, Biden vowed not to build “another foot” of the wall along the southern U.S. border. One of the president’s first actions in the Oval Office was to pause the wall’s construction. He also called for a plan for use of the wall funds to be submitted within 60 days, a deadline that lapsed in March.

“Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of Federal funds,” read a release from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The Department of Defense (DoD) has already started ending border wall construction projects that used diverted funds. The Biden administration has said they are halting expansion of the wall wherever legally possible.

The monies that had been allocated for the wall will now go to 66 different defense projects, including for military housing, on-base schools, and training facilities.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reviewing land that was acquired by eminent domain over the past year for the border wall. If DHS deems tracts of land not to be needed, it “will work to return the land to its prior owners.”

Yet the administration is required to use an estimated $1.9 billion in funds on border barriers because they were directed to do so by Congress. For this reason, the White House is “reiterating its call for Congress to cancel funds it previously appropriated for border barrier projects so that these resources can instead be used for modern, effective border management measures to improve safety and security.”

The Biden DHS seeks to use those funds to prioritize “urgent life, safety, and environmental issues resulting from the previous Administration’s wall construction,” as well as for clean-up of DoD-funded construction sites.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration said it would resume construction of a flood wall in the Rio Grande Valley area of south Texas and address soil erosion on the U.S. border along San Diego, California.

Under President Trump, the federal government built 52 miles of new slatted structures where no barrier had previously existed and added hundreds of miles of replacement fencing. 

Supporters of the wall argue that using defense funds for the wall is not “diverting” at all because a border barrier that repels foreign invasion is a core national defense activity.

In the absence of presidential initiative on border security, some Republicans are seeking to stop illegal immigration at the state level.

Texas Governor Greg Abbot, a Republican, has announced that he will build a wall along the southern border.

“Long term, only Congress and the president can fix our broken border,” Abbott said in Del Rio. “But in the meantime, Texas is going to do everything possible, including beginning to make arrests, to keep our community safe, to keep the cartels and smugglers out, and to keep your community safe.”

Earlier this month, Abbot moved to close more than 50 shelters in Texas that house approximately 4,000 migrant children, arguing that the federal government cannot legally force the state to continue issuing licenses in reaction to a federal problem. The Biden administration has threatened to sue unless that order is rescinded.

Even Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency whose purpose it is to enforce federal immigration law, has taken a softer approach under Biden. The agency has terminated a Trump-era office that focused on victims of crimes linked to illegal immigration.

Notably, Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Biden’s pick to lead ICE, opposed ICE raids to deport illegal aliens during the Trump administration.

“I do not support #ICERaids that threaten to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom do not represent a threat to the U.S.,” Gonzalez tweeted in July of 2019. “The focus should always be on clear & immediate safety threats. Not others who are not threats.”

Blinken to ask Congress for $75,000,000 to help Palestinians in Gaza

BY CHRISTINE DOUGLASS-WILLIAMS

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/05/blinken-to-ask-congress-for-75000000-to-help-palestinians-in-gaza;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

That’s $75,000,000 of American taxpayer money to repair damage that was caused by Hamas in its jihad war against Israel. The White House announced a couple of days ago that Blinken was leaving for the Middle East to “rebuild ties” with the Palestinians; that is exactly what he is doing, lavishly. Meanwhile, Hamas is gloating, knowing full well that the next time it launches rockets at Israel and Israel defends itself, the Palestinians will suffer as nothing more than tools to utilize in its war against the state of Israel. Then America will come to the rescue.

Hamas has faced no consequences; instead, it has been rewarded for its rocket attacks against Israeli citizens, and for the fine job it has done in purveying propaganda.

“Blinken Announces New US Disaster Relief for Gaza,” by Nike Ching, VOA News, May 25, 2021:

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he will ask Congress for $75 million in assistance for Palestinians in Gaza following the recent cease-fire that brought an end to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Blinken made the announcement after talks in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday.

“We know that the last round of violence is symptomatic of a larger set of issues that we have to address if we’re going to prevent its recurrence and that’s what we talked about today,” Blinken said. “We welcome the cease-fire that continues to hold but that’s not enough, we have to build on the cease-fire and try to move things in a genuinely positive direction.”

Blinken also reiterated Tuesday that the Biden administration’s belief that a two-state solution “is the only way to truly assure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state. And, of course, to give the Palestinians the state that they’re entitled to.”

The top U.S. diplomat said the U.S. would reopen its consulate in Jerusalem after the Trump administration closed it in 2019, provide $5.5 million in immediate disaster assistance and more than $32 million for a United Nations emergency humanitarian relief campaign.

Blinken said the consulate’s reopening is “an important way for our country to engage with and provide support to the Palestinian people.”

Of the U.S.-designated terror group that controls Gaza, Blinken said “We will work to ensure that Hamas doesn’t benefit from these reconstruction efforts.”

Earlier in the day, the secretary of state underscored Israel’s right to defend itself as he visited Jerusalem on Tuesday as part of an effort to build on a cease-fire.

Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blinken said both Israel and the Palestinians experienced “profound” losses during the fighting, and that there is a lot of work ahead to restore hope, respect and trust.

“Casualties are often reduced to numbers, but behind every number is an individual human being — a daughter, a son, a father, a mother, a grandparent, a best friend,” said Blinken. “And as the Talmud teaches, to lose a life is to lose the whole world, whether that life is Palestinian or Israeli.”…

_______________________________________________________

SEE ALSO: 

Secretary of State Blinken Meets with Supporter of Third Intifada

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/05/secretary-of-state-blinken-meets-with-supporter-of-third-intifada

Biden vows to ‘provide rapid humanitarian assistance for the Gaza reconstruction efforts’ with US taxpayer money

BY ROBERT SPENCER

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/05/biden-vows-to-provide-rapid-humanitarian-assistance-for-the-gaza-reconstruction-efforts-with-us-taxpayer-money;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes: 

This will free up more cash for Hamas to use to replenish its rocket supply and enable it to resume its jihad more quickly.

“Biden hails ceasefire, vows to rebuild Gaza and restock Israel’s Iron Dome,” by Steven Nelson, New York Post, May 20, 2021 (thanks to the Geller Report):

President Biden on Thursday endorsed an Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — while vowing the US would help rebuild Gaza and restock Israel’s missile defense system.

Biden condemned the militant group Hamas and said he spoke six times during the two-week conflict with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — two times more than was publicly known.

“We remain committed to work with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and to marshal international support for the people of Gaza and the Gaza reconstruction efforts,” Biden said in a speech from the White House.

“We will do this in full partnership with the Palestinian Authority — not Hamas, the Authority — in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal.”

Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has governed Gaza since winning a 2007 Palestinian civil war against the less-radical leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

Biden also said the US would help replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which shot down many rockets fired from Gaza.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to President el-Sisi and the senior Egyptian officials who plays such a critical role in this diplomacy,” Biden said.

“These hostilities have resulted in a tragic test of so many civilians, including children, and I send my sincere condolences to all the families, Israeli and Palestinian, who have lost loved ones and my hope for a full recovery for the wounded.”…

Fund the Police and Build the Wall: House Democrats Pass $1.9 Billion Capitol Security Bill

Fund the Police and Build the Wall: House Democrats Pass $1.9 Billion Capitol Security Bill

BY

SEE: https://thenewamerican.com/fund-the-police-and-build-the-wall-house-democrats-pass-1-9-billion-capitol-security-bill/;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

While many Democrats running America’s cities have been defunding their police departments, the Beltway Democrats are trying to militarize the Capitol. Nearly all House Democrats — the same people who supported the “Defund the Police” movement and opposed Trump’s border wall and called it a waste of money — want more police, more fencing, and other enhanced security measures to protect them. On Thursday, they passed a $1.9 billion spending bill to upgrade Capitol security in the wake of the January 6 Capitol protests.

A tight 213-212 vote came after an 11-hour scramble on the floor, with the far-left Representatives known as “the Squad” nearly tanking the legislation. All Republicans present voted against it, and three Democrats crossed party lines to oppose the security bill, namely, Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Cori Bush of Missouri. Fellow “Squad” members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan voted “present,” as did Jamaal Bowman of New York. 

Though “the Squad” members are vehemently anti-Trump, they have opposed expanding “domestic terror laws” in the wake of the January riot. However, their stated concern was less for the well-being of Donald Trump’s supporters, but for the “black, brown, indigenous, people of color and leftist groups” Tlaib claimed would be targeted by any such laws.

Unexpected Republican allies Bush, Omar, and Pressley said in a joint statement that “We cannot support this increased funding while many of our communities continue to face police brutality while marching in the streets, and while questions about the disparate response between insurrectionists and those protesting in defense of Black lives go unanswered.” They also complained the bill “does far too little to address the unspeakable trauma of the countless officers, staff, and support workers who were on-site that day.”

The bill would, indeed, dramatically expand security around the Capitol. $730 million would be used to pay “reimbursement” to the Capitol Police, the D.C. police, the National Guard, and other federal agencies that responded on the day of the riot and that were present in the city afterward, until May 23. $520.9 million would pay for the National Guard deployment, $66.8 million would go to the District of Columbia, and $43.9 million to the U.S. Capitol Police. Nearly $40 million is directed for the prosecution of the rioters already arrested. 

The bill directs more than $950 million to harden the Capitol and install new security measures for members of Congress, a sharp increase from $585.8 million allocated in 2020. The lion’s share of the funds — $529.7 million — would be used to upgrade the architecture of the Capitol building, including $250 million to ramp up physical security of the Capitol complex infrastructure, and potentially install retractable security fencing to replace the steel boundary in place around the Capitol since January. 

Among other provisions, $200 million would be used to set up a “quick reaction force” to back up Capitol Police in any future emergencies, and $21.5 million to the House sergeant-at-arms to ramp up protection details for members. So just like that, responsible people carrying guns are welcomed by anti-gun Democrats.

The bill also includes $500,800 for new trauma counselors and support for the Office of Employee Assistance.

Democrat legislators thoughtfully provided $155 million for miscellaneous issues “related to COVID-19,” such as enhanced cleaning, personal protective equipment, telework equipment, and overtime pay for the members of the Congress; and hotel rooms for officers and staff unable to return home due to positive cases of the coronavirus.

While the bill squeaked through the House, it faces an even more uncertain fate in the Senate, where the Democrats hold a single-vote majority and will need to win over 10 Republicans to ensure its passage.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) raised concerns during talks and more recently issued a statement, saying that even though he is “committed to moving a bill in the Senate to address these important needs … we must make sure we are making smart investments in our security based on lessons learned. It is important to me that the Capitol, a potent symbol of our democracy, remains open and accessible to the public and does not feel like a militarized zone.”

Republican opposition centered around the bill’s cost, but also around its potential to permanently militarize the Capitol. Allocating $200 million for a quick reaction force “raises serious concerns about the role of our military on American soil,” Representative Kelly Granger (R-Texas) said during debate on the bill. House and Senate Armed Services Committee ranking members Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said in a statement Wednesday, “We cannot and should not militarize the security of the Capitol Complex.”

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said Congress should study the spending methodically rather than “rush to judgment and throw a lot of money at something.”

“I think we are pushing the pause button here,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday, suggesting that no money be spent until Congressional hearings into the riot are concluded.

 

Biden Spends Billions Convincing Christians & Conservatives on COVID Shots

Rumble — In this episode of Behind the Deep State, host Alex Newman explores the Biden administration's $3 billion scheme to convince white conservatives and evangelical Christians to take the controversial and experimental COVID19 shots. Perhaps most alarming is the targeting of "faith-based" groups and leaders for the propaganda campaign, which defies the U.S. Constitution and represents an outrageous intrusion into the church by the federal government. Also on the list is partnering with NASCAR and other companies. This is dangerous and illegal.

 

UNRWA again teaching jihad terror and Jew-hatred as Biden’s handlers resume taxpayer funding with no conditions

BY ROBERT SPENCER

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/04/unrwa-again-teaching-jihad-terror-and-jew-hatred-as-bidens-handlers-resume-taxpayer-funding-with-no-conditions;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Already the most anti-Israel administration since the founding of the modern state of Israel, and Biden’s handlers are just getting started in their betrayal of our only reliable ally in the Middle East, a nation that stands on the front lines of the global jihad.

“UNRWA Caught Teaching Terrorism, Jew-Hatred as Biden Admin Resumes Taxpayer Funding,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, April 16, 2021 (thanks to Henry):

The United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency is promoting violence against Israel and using educational materials that call for the Jewish state’s destruction, according to video evidence and copies of lesson plans being taught to children before and during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is in charge of providing education to scores of Palestinian children, has done little to root out anti-Semitism and the glorification of terrorism from its official lesson plans, although it has repeatedly pledged to do so.

The Biden administration moved almost immediately to restart U.S. funding for UNRWA despite underlying concerns about the agency’s radical educational materials—fears that have been raised by U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in recent years. After aid was resumed earlier this month, UNRWA promised the Biden administration it will root out violence and anti-Semitism, though officials could not explain precisely how the agency would do this after decades of using anti-Israel materials.

A State Department spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon that UNRWA uses the Palestinian Authority’s curriculum and works “to address the problematic content and provides instructions for its staff to educate students about why the content is problematic.” UNRWA, the official said, “must respect neutrality, exclude anti-Semitism, and oppose violence.”

“The United States is completely committed to working with UNRWA to ensure that any inappropriate material is identified and removed,” the spokesman said. ”Our resumption of assistance will allow us to serve as a partner to UNRWA to uphold the highest level of neutrality and commitment to tolerance in its educational materials.”

The State Department spokesman did not address UNRWA’s decades-long failure to better police its content despite the organization’s repeated promises to do so.

Undercover videos taken at several UNRWA facilities during the past year show children participating in militant displays and calling for Israel’s destruction. Teachers have also been documented over Zoom, which replaced in-classroom learning in the wake of the pandemic, using lesson plans that deem Israel illegitimate and brand Jews as “foreign settlers” who must be violently removed from the region.

The latest evidence, unearthed by the Center for Near East Policy Research, an Israeli watchdog group that has investigated UNRWA for years, was presented late last month to a bipartisan group of congressional staffers just before the Biden administration moved forward with a controversial plan to send $150 million in U.S. aid to UNRWA. Funding to the organization had been frozen since 2018 after the Trump administration determined UNRWA’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda was too toxic to support….

The latest UNRWA curriculums are “based on Jihad, martyrdom and the ‘right of return by force of arms,’” said David Bedein, the Center for Near East Policy Research’s director. The U.S. government, he said, must demand the aid agency “cease paramilitary training in all UNRWA schools” and “insist that UNRWA dismiss employees affiliated with Hamas”—calls that have been ignored for years as UNRWA continues to take U.S. and European funding….

The Biden administration’s decision to resume UNRWA funding without any strings attached drew a scathing and rare public rebuke from the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., and Jewish groups typically aligned with the Democratic White House.

“Israel is strongly opposed to the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity happening in UNRWA’s facilities,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United States. “In conversations with the U.S. State Department, I have expressed my disappointment and objection to the decision to renew UNRWA’s funding without first ensuring that certain reforms, including stopping the incitement and removing anti-Semitic content from its educational curriculum, are carried out.”…

UN applauds Biden administration gift of $250,000,000 in ‘aid’ to Palestinians

BY CHRISTINE DOUGLASS-WILLIAMS

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/04/un-applauds-biden-administration-gift-of-250000000-in-aid-to-palestinians;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Joe Biden has become the most renowned useful idiot, and now his administration gets a gold star from the United Nations.

Australia and even Canada announced in February that they would investigate UNRWA funding because of Palestinian schoolbooks inciting jihad violence:

In January, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), an Israeli watchdog that analyzes Palestinian textbooks, found that the new textbooks produced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were “rife with problematic content that contradicts stated UN values.”

Back in August, “Palestinians” said that UNRWA was planning to rename its schools after jihad terrorists, but UNRWA issued a denial. Given the reputation of the UNRWA and the fact Biden is rewarding the Palestinians while they remain on a one-state mission (i.e., the total annihilation of Israel), Americans should be in an uproar over how their tax money is being spent. Add that to Biden’s disastrous immigration policy.

For more reference:

Hamas sleeper cell and Islamic Jihad discovered working together inside UNRWA June 25, 2019

UNRWA inciting jihad violence against Israel in its Jerusalem schools January 31, 2019

UNRWA schoolbooks in Gaza stress jihad, martyrdom, denial of Israel, and return of “refugees” by force of arms October 30, 2014

UNRWA gives Hamas rockets found in Gaza school back to Hamas July 20, 2014

Why there are civilian casualties in Gaza: Islamic jihadists place rockets in Gaza UNRWA school July 17, 2014

“U.N. Applauds Biden Admin for $250 Million Aid Gift to Palestinians,” by Simon Kent, Breitbart, April 8, 2021:

The Biden administration was applauded Thursday by the U.N. agency for so-called Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, after it offered $250 million in funding while sidestepping a 2018 law that prevents U.S. taxpayer dollars from supporting the Palestinian Authority.

“UNRWA could not be more pleased that once again we will partner with the United States to provide critical assistance to some of the most vulnerable refugees across the Middle East,” the agency’s commissioner general, Philippe Lazzarini, said in a statement seen by AFP.

“The U.S. contribution comes at a critical moment, as we continue to adjust to the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic presents.”

As Breitbart News reported, the State Department’s announcement of the funding flow confirmed weeks of speculation about a “quiet” effort to restart finance for the Palestinians — even as the American public struggles during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. plans included $75m in economic and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza, $10m for peacebuilding programs through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAid), and $150m in humanitarian assistance for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The direct Palestinian aid – with no concessions asked for or offered in return – is in direct contrast to the position taken by former U.S. President Donald Trump.

In 2018 he signed the Taylor Force Act into law, which prevents the U.S. from providing economic support and other funding to the Palestinian Authority while it continues to offer stipends for the families of deceased terrorists, or to pay terrorists in Israeli prisons — a policy referred to by critics as “pay-for-slay.”

The Palestinian leadership, having refused to end the payments, as a consequence lost U.S. funding.

Trump also cut funding to the UNRWA because of concerns that it has supported terror. The Taylor Force Act allows for a limited set of humanitarian exemptions, such as funding for vaccination programs.

The Biden decision to earmark millions in Palestinian support drew particular anger from Israel, which argues the agency serves to perpetuate the idea of a Palestinian refugee problem in a way that undermines the Jewish state.

Palestinians never concealed their contempt for Trump or his support of Israel….

NY lawmaker: Biden infrastructure bill an ‘authoritarian takeover’ of US~Democrats Could Pass Massive ‘Infrastructure’ Bill Without 1 GOP Vote

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., on the Democrat spending bill and the New York State budget.

Democrats Could Pass Massive 'Infrastructure' Bill Without 1 GOP Vote

BY ANDREW TRUNSKY

SEE: https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/04/06/democrats-could-pass-massive-infrastructure-bill-without-1-gop-vote;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

The Senate’s parliamentarian has ruled that Democrats can use budget reconciliation for a second time in the same fiscal year, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Senate Democrats’ ability to use the legislative tool means that, hypothetically, they could pass President Joe Biden’s disputed infrastructure bill with a simple majority vote instead of the 60 votes required to override a filibuster.

If reconciliation proceeds, then Democrats would have enough votes to pass Biden’s infrastructure and tax packages with Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote if every senator in the party votes in favor.

“The parliamentarian has advised that a revised budget resolution may contain budget reconciliation instructions,” Schumer’s spokesman said in a formal statement, referring to Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s Monday evening ruling.

Schumer, D-N.Y., also could pass a third budget resolution in fiscal year 2022, when Democrats still will have full control of Washington. His office previously lobbied MacDonough that the majority could revise the 2021 resolution under Section 304 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

“This [ruling] confirms the Leader’s interpretation of the Budget Act and allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues,” the written statement by Schumer’s spokesman said.

Democrats previously used reconciliation to pass Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package March 11 over unanimous Republican objections.

Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan would be funded largely by tax increases on wealthy Americans and corporations, which Republicans have labeled as a non-starter.

Some Democrats also objected to the bill as written, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who came out against the bill Monday.

“As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed,” Manchin said. “It’s more than just me. There are six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive, and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind.”

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Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email [email protected] and we will consider publishing your remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. 

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ALSO SEE: https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/04/07/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-bidens-infrastructure-spending-plan

Biden Infrastructure Bill Includes $20 BILLION To DESTROY Highways For Being Racist

Administration claims "long-standing and persistent racial injustice" in infrastructure

BY STEVE WATSON

SEE: https://www.infowars.com/posts/biden-infrastructure-bill-includes-20-billion-to-destroy-highways-for-being-racist/;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Joe Biden’s $2.5 trillion infrastructure spending spree will include $20 billion earmarked for actually destroying highways because they have been deemed to be racist.

The administration pointed to the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans and Interstate 81 in Syracuse, New York as two examples of “long-standing and persistent racial injustice,” in infrastructure.

The plan set forth by Biden would see billions spent on an effort to “reconnect neighborhoods” by destroying current highways and making sure that new projects “advance racial equity and environmental justice.”

A whopping $621 billion has been touted for ‘transportation infrastructure and resilience,’ with the administration promising it will address “historic inequities.”

“Structural racism and persistent economic inequities have undermined opportunity for millions of workers,” the administration has also claimed.

Last year, Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg proclaimed that “Black and brown neighborhoods have been disproportionately divided by highway projects or left isolated by the lack of adequate transit and transportation resources.”

During a Senate confirmation hearing in January, Buttigieg declared “At their worst, misguided policies and missed opportunities in transportation can reinforce racial and economic inequality by dividing or isolating neighborhoods and undermining government’s basic role of empowering Americans to thrive.”

The Infrastructure plan has been widely criticized for including non-infrastructure related components:

Tucker Carlson warned Thursday that the Biden Administration is “looting America” and that the infrastructure outline is as much about tearing down highways than it is building them.

“Expect a lot more highways to meet this fate. People who believe highways are racist will get tens of billions of dollars as part of this plan, as long as they’re in what the Biden administration calls ‘underserved communities,'” Carlson noted.

“Is this really about infrastructure? Bridges? Roads? Airports? Things we could actually use? Or is it yet another weird climate scheme/power grab/race-based redistribution plan?” the host asked, going on to cite multiple examples of non-infrastructure wokeness in the bill.

Despite the vast investment plan, the woke ‘Green Deal’ crowd is all not happy with it, saying it isn’t enough.

Illegal Immigrants With Envelopes Of Cash Seen At Airport Flying Around US Illegally

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SEE: https://www.infowars.com/posts/exclusive-illegal-immigrants-with-envelopes-of-cash-seen-at-airport-flying-around-us/

EXCERPTS:

Illegal immigrants who can’t speak English with envelopes full of what appears to be cash are flying around the U.S. in yet another shocking indictment of basic border security.

Joe Biden appears to have just waived immigration law without even waiting to sign an executive order to formally dissolve the U.S. border.

This is a clear violation of state and federal law and it needs to be brought to the attention of judges in order to put an immediate stop to this illegal activity.

In breathtaking fashion, Owen and the crew uncover that migrants are indeed being flown out of McAllen Airport to locations all over the nation, with border patrol stickers emblazoned and travel information and supplies all packed up for convenience to their next destination.

US Announces $15,000,000 in Aid to Palestinians~Did the Taylor Force Act Mean Nothing?

BY HUGH FITZGERALD

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/03/us-announces-15000000-in-aid-to-palestinians-did-the-taylor-force-act-mean-nothing?;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

The Biden Administration’s U.N. ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on March 24 announced at a meeting of the Security Council that the Biden Administration was giving $15 million dollars to the PA for “humanitarian aid.” A report on this development, both expected and deplorable, is here: “In first under Biden, US announces $15 million in aid for Palestinians,” by Jacob Magid, Times of Israel, March 25, 2021:

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced Thursday that Washington will send $15 million in COVID-related humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

The package will be the first such funds transferred under the Biden administration, which has vowed to restore financial assistance to the Palestinians that was cut almost entirely by former president Donald Trump.

With this assistance, the US Agency for International Development is supporting Catholic Relief Services’ COVID-19 response efforts in healthcare facilities and for vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza,” Thomas-Greenfield said in an address to the UN Security Council’s monthly briefing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, her first as envoy.

In addition, this assistance will support emergency food assistance programming to communities facing food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This urgent, necessary aid is one piece of our renewed commitment to the Palestinian people. The aid will help Palestinians in dire need, which will bring more stability and security to both Israelis and Palestinians alike. That’s consistent with our interests and our values, and it aligns with our efforts to stamp out the pandemic and food insecurity worldwide,” she added.

A separate State Department statement also noted that the US has already donated $2 billion to the UN-backed COVAX initiative that works to vaccinate populations in developing countries. The Palestinians received their first shipment of inoculations from the program earlier this month.

It all sounds so admirable. COVID-19 aid? Who could object? And the aid would be going through Catholic Relief Services, which for many people signifies as good-samaritan an organization as one can find. What kind of person would want to prevent American aid from going to that group, so that it might give succor to suffering Palestinians? Who would wish to deny money for the vaccine, for “healthcare facilities” and for “emergency food assistance” to “vulnerable families”? Well, it’s the PA itself that has for years refused to spend money on health facilities, it’s the PA that has done little to remedy food insecurity, it’s the PA that, even after the pandemic had begun, failed to act, failed to buy a single dose of vaccine.

It’s the PA that has consistently denied its people the food and vaccines they needed; it’s the PA that chooses to spend so much of its money, about $350 million annually, on the “Pay-for-Slay” Program, that rewards past, and incentivizes future, acts of terrorism. It’s the PA that chose to build Mahmoud Abbas a $13 million mansion and buy him his $50 million jet. It’s Mahmoud Abbas who during his entire tenure as President has managed to skim, along with his crooked cronies, hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money. Abbas himself has amassed a personal fortune of $400 million; his cronies count theirs in the millions. Shouldn’t we be asking Abbas and the PA to spend more aid money on health care, and food, and vaccines, and end the mismanagement and colossal corruption that makes life so difficult for ordinary Palestinians, instead of continuing to overlook all that?

Plans to send the $15 million aid package were first reported earlier this month by The National, which retrieved an internal Biden administration memo that outlined its initial policy approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Taylor Force Act passed by the US Congress in 2018 bars Washington from sending aid that will directly benefit the Palestinian Authority as long as Ramallah continues sending regular stipends to those convicted of acts of terrorism. However, the humanitarian aid announced by Thomas-Greenfield would not violate the legislation, which the Biden administration has vowed to uphold.

How can the Biden administration maintain that giving this money to the PA does not violate the Taylor Force Act? Does it hope no one will be so hard-hearted as to demand the application of the provisions of the TFA, and deny the Palestinians COVID-19 aid? Of course, no one is denying the PA the possibility of buying vaccines. All the PA has to do is take just part of the money it now spends on its Pay-For-Slay program – about $350 million a year — and use it to buy vaccines. It’s the PA’s choice. The Taylor Force Act does not contain a special exemption for aid that the Biden people describe as “humanitarian.” The TFA text is quite clear: all American economic aid to the PA, whatever its stated purpose, is prohibited as long as the PA’s “Pay-For-Slay” program is in place.

The Biden Administration has “vowed to uphold” the Taylor Force Act, and in the same breath announces it will give $15 million to the PA even though its Pay-For-Slay program continues. Perhaps what the Biden people want us to believe is that “humanitarian” aid is different from “economic” aid. This is Jesuitical casuistry. Money given that is called “humanitarian” aid is not distinguishable from, but merely a subset of, “economic” aid.

The $15 million package also mirrors the COVID-related assistance sent to the West Bank and Gaza in the Trump administration’s final months.

The Trump Administration, when the pandemic had begun, sent $5 million to the PA. In doing so, it did indeed violate the Taylor Force Act. but it was such a small, symbolic amount, that one might excuse it with the rationale of de minimis non-curat lex. The Trump people may have wanted, as the pandemic loomed, to nudge the PA into rethinking its Pay-for-Slay program, but the PA refused, and there were no follow-up payments. That one-time payment should not now be invoked to justify a much larger transfer of American aid, which begins with this first installment of $15 million, amidst promises of much more aid to come, including renewal of by the Americans of annual payments of hundreds of millions of dollars to UNRWA.

The Taylor Force Act is now being violated by the Biden Administration. There is no other way to look at it. And more aid to the PA will mean ever more violations of TFA. Does anyone care? Yes, of course. You do. And I do. But what about Congress? Will the Democrats who now control both houses of Congress demand that the Democratic President enforce the TFA that a previous Congress had approved? Or will they overlook the violation of the TFA by Biden?  Will calling this renewal of American funds to the PA “humanitarian aid” be enough of a fig leaf to prevent the application of the provisions of the Taylor Force Act? It certainly looks that way.

Before the Trump administration began tightening the screws on the PA in 2018 for refusing to engage with its peace efforts, the United States was the single largest donor country to the PA.

The US paid hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the PA’s creditors, such as the Israeli state utility companies from which the Palestinians purchase water and electricity. It also paid for training for the PA’s security forces and numerous infrastructure projects.

Washington also gave hundreds of millions a year in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — known as UNRWA — which is in charge of administering the daily needs of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants across the Middle East. The Biden administration has stated that it plans to restart funding to UNWRA as well.

The UN envoy [Linda Thomas-Greenfield] used the opportunity to address what she viewed as the Security Council’s disproportionate focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “There are other issues in the region that are threats to international peace and security and deserve more of this council’s attention,” she said.

Her remark about “other issues in the region” to which insufficient attention is paid at the U.N. is both obvious and sure to go largely unheeded at the Security Council. Here are some of those insufficiently addressed issues: Civil wars in Yemen, Syria, and Libya. A collapsed economy in Hezbollah-ruled Lebanon. An aggressive Iran working simultaneously to build a nuclear weapon and to create, through proxies and allies – the Houthis in Yemen, the Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq, the Syrian army in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, a “Shi’a crescent” from the Gulf to the Mediterranean. Those are some of the “other issues in the region” that are given less attention while the focus remains, always, on Israel and its many malefactions.

The monstrous regiment of Israel-haters at the U.N., and those countries that simply go along with those haters because it’s diplomatically the path of least resistance, will continue to ensure that more critical attention is given to, and calumny heaped upon, the mighty empire of Israel than to any other country, at the General Assembly, at the Security Council, and especially, at the U.N. Human Rights Council. The UNHRC has passed more resolutions (90) denouncing Israel in the last few years, than similar resolutions passed (70) about all the 191 other countries put together.

“Let me be clear,” Thomas-Greenfield added, going on to reiterate a sentiment she conveyed at her Senate confirmation hearing earlier this year. “Not all criticism of Israel is illegitimate. But too often, that criticism veers dangerously into anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism, as with all forms of hate, works directly against the cause of peace. So, we will vigorously oppose one-sided efforts.”

In the rest of her speech, Thomas-Greenfield repeated some of the Biden administration’s already announced policies on the conflict. She said the US would continue to support Israel while also advancing a two-state solution that would allow Palestinians to fulfill their right to self-determination.

Would it be churlish to remind Thomas-Greenfield, and all the peace-processors in the Biden Administration, that as part of their “right to self-determination” the Palestinians include their right to undermine, and ultimately to dominate and destroy, the Jewish state? Hamas and Fatah differ on timing and tactics, but not on the ultimate goal.

She urged both sides to avoid unilateral steps that would make a two-state solution more difficult to achieve. This, she said, included settlement expansion, home demolitions, incitement to violence, providing compensation for individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism and all acts of violence.

“Settlement expansion” by Israel is deplored as a threat to a “two-state solution.” But those settlements are to be actively encouraged, according to the Mandate for Palestine, which the Biden Administration seems to have trouble remembering or, which is more likely, and even worse, perhaps doesn’t know its contents or understand its continuing relevance. According to Article 6 of the Mandate, the Mandatory authority, Great Britain, was obligated to “facilitate Jewish immigration” and “encourage close settlement by Jews on the land.” What land? The land set out in the Mandate maps, the land that was to become the future Jewish National Home. To wit: the land from the Golan in the north to the Red Sea in the south, and from the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean in the west. That meant that Judea and Samaria – renamed the “West Bank” by Jordan in 1950 — was to be open to Jewish settlement. In 1967, Israel was able to exercise its pre-existing right to create those settlements throughout the “West Bank.” Inexplicably, almost everyone wants to forget about the Palestine Mandate, and to pretend that some sort of legal significance ought to be given to the 1949 armistice lines, though these were never recognized borders, and only reflected where the armies of Israel and the Arabs stood when the guns fell silent on a certain day in 1949.

Thomas-Greenfield and the Administration of which she is a part are hoping that Congress will not object to what they are calling “humanitarian aid” being given to the PA; they are starting small, with a $15 million payment, to see if that amount passes muster, and if so, then will proceed with their tactic of “first a little, thence to more,” until hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called “humanitarian aid” are again given to the Palestinians, who will still have their Pay-For-Slay program in place. Taylor Force will have been undermined, even as the Administration preposterously claims to be “upholding” it. And Joe Biden, as he lies abed a’nights thinking of all the poor Palestinians his massive renewal of aid will have helped, can complacently think to himself “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Don’t talk to him about the Taylor Force Act; he”ll cover his ears.

And the spectacle of terrorists and their families continuing to be so hugely rewarded for their murderous attacks on Israelis will continue to inspire other Palestinians to go and do likewise. The Israelis will thus pay, in lives destroyed or ended, for the naivete and fatuity of the Biden Administration.

 

American Thought Leaders: Rep. Brian Babin on Biden’s Border Policy-‘It Is a Catastrophe’

Rumble — “Our sovereignty, our solvency, our national security are all on the line,” says. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), who criticized the Biden administration’s rhetoric on the border and said it has fueled a mounting humanitarian and security crisis.

In recent days, the numbers of children and families caught trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico has grown to magnitudes unseen since before the pandemic. Customs and Border Protection has noted a more than 100 percent month-over-month increase in February in two categories of illegal aliens—family units and unaccompanied minors.

“Human trafficking, drugs, crime, [and] the draining of our public coffers for education and healthcare” are the consequences of a poor border policy, in Rep. Babin’s view. He is the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Border Security Caucus.

Biden to ‘reset’ US-Palestinian ties, including hundreds of millions in ‘economic and humanitarian assistance’

BY CHRISTINE DOUGLASS-WILLIAMS

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/03/biden-to-reset-us-palestinian-ties-including-hundreds-of-millions-in-economic-and-humanitarian-assistance;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

It is no secret that the Palestinian Authority earmarks funds for jihad terror against Israel, not the least of which in its abhorrent “pay for slay” program. This is why in 2018, the Trump administration cut over $200 million in U.S. aid to Palestinians until they ended “stipends to terrorists and the families of slain attackers.” Biden has made no such demand. Israel also faces tough challenges under the Biden administration, which is also emboldening Iran in pursuit of a nuclear deal — a deal that Iran openly admitted it violated, and intends to continue to do so.

“Biden administration crafting plan to reset US-Palestinian ties,” Al Jazeera, March 18, 2021:

The Biden administration is crafting a plan aimed at resetting US ties with the Palestinians, which all but collapsed under former President Donald Trump, according to an internal draft memo seen by Reuters.

Two people familiar with the State Department document, which was first reported by the United Arab Emirates-based newspaper The National, said it was still in an early “working stage” but could eventually form the basis for rolling back parts of Trump’s approach that Palestinians denounced as heavily biased in favour of Israel.

Since President Joe Biden took office on January 20, his aides have said they intend to repair relations with the Palestinians. His administration has pledged to resume hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and humanitarian assistance and work towards reopening the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission in Washington, DC.

Biden’s aides have also made clear they want to re-establish the goal of a negotiated two-state solution as a priority in US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But they have moved cautiously with Israel’s March 23 elections looming, followed by Palestinian elections scheduled in coming months.

A portion of the draft memo quoted by The National said the US vision is “to advance freedom, security, and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians in the immediate term.”

The document was cited as saying $15m in COVID-19 pandemic aid to the Palestinians could be announced by the end of March. It is also reported to take a tougher stance on Israeli settlement activities and mentions efforts “to obtain a Palestinian commitment to end payments to individuals imprisoned (by Israel) for acts of terrorism”.

One source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the document was a preliminary draft subject to revision and any final version would require inter-agency review.

“We don’t have any comments on that specific memo,” US State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters at a daily briefing….

Biden Executive Order Forces Taxpayers To Cover Cost Of Military Transgender Surgeries

"All medically-necessary transition-related care authorized by law is available to all Service members" the Secretary of Defense wrote.

BY KELEN MCBREEN

SEE: https://www.infowars.com/posts/biden-executive-order-forces-taxpayers-to-cover-cost-of-military-transgender-surgeries/

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

A January executive order from the Biden administration set the stage for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to force taxpayers to foot the bill for transgender soldier treatments.

Hidden within the “Executive Order on Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform” was a section repealing an Obama rule prohibiting taxpayer money from covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery.

After the Biden executive order rescinded the Obama-era policy, Austin and McDonough published memos specifying surgery is now a benefit.

“This revised policy will also ensure all medically-necessary transition-related care authorized by law is available to all Service members,” Secretary of Defense Austin wrote.

Transgender surgeries for both biological males and females can cost from $100,000-$200,000.

The military news comes just days after Joe Biden told the world America is “designing body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits,” and “updating requirements for their hairstyles.”

On Monday, which was International Women’s Day, Chairman Biden virtue signaled about how the US military is ready to “open up all positions in the military to anyone qualified to serve in them.”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson mocked Biden’s “maternity flight suit” comment on Wednesday night and was subsequently attacked by left-wing media and the Pentagon.

“Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the U.S. military,” Carlson said. “While China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, ‘more feminine,’ whatever ‘feminine’ means anymore since men and women no longer exist.”

“The bottom line is, it’s out of control, and the Pentagon’s going along with this. This is a mockery of the U.S. military and its core mission, which is winning wars,” Carlson added.

Defense Department spokesman John Kirby responded to Carlson’s remark, saying, “What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk-show host or the Chinese military.” 

See the Tucker Carlson Tonight segment below:


BIDEN’S BRAIN FRY: “DEVOUT CATHOLIC” PAPAL AGENT SUCCUMBS TO COGNITIVE DEGENERATION, SENILITY, DEMENTIA~PROPPED UP BY RADICAL LEFTIST, COMMUNIST HANDLERS, RAIDING OUR WEALTH

More Money in Stimulus Bill for Pension Bailouts ‘Than All the Money Combined’ for Vaccines, Congressman Says

BY STACEY LENNOX

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/stacey-lennox/2021/03/08/more-money-in-stimulus-bill-for-pension-bailouts-than-all-the-money-combined-for-vaccines-congressman-says-n1430731;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Unions are getting a free pass after mismanaging their multi-employer pensions for decades. In a provision not well-publicized before the stimulus bill narrowly passed by the Senate with only Democrat support, $86 billion dollars will be directed to at least185 multi-employer union pension plans that are close to collapse. According to the New York Times:

Both the House and Senate stimulus measures would give the weakest plans enough money to pay hundreds of thousands of retirees — a number that will grow in the future — their full pensions for the next 30 years. The provision does not require the plans to pay back the bailout, freeze accruals or to end the practices that led to their current distress, which means their troubles could recur. Nor does it explain what will happen when the taxpayer money runs out 30 years from now.

The pension crisis is not new and fixing it has long been a Democrat priority. Congress passed legislation in 2014 to allow insolvent pensions to pare benefits within limits to prevent bailouts by the taxpayer. However, President Obama’s Treasury Department blocked the Central States Pension Fund’s plan to use the law in 2016. The media framed this denial as an attempt to force a straight bailout, and here we are.

At the time, the responsibility to cover the fund’s projected insolvency would have fallen to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which had its own insolvency issues. The Central States fund was paying $3.46 in benefits for every dollar it took in due to an aging former workforce and employer withdrawals:

Legislators thought they fixed this problem late in 2014 when they attached bipartisan legislation to the so-called “cromnibus” spending bill. The pensions amendment allowed trustees for financially troubled multiemployer pension plans to cut vested benefits, provided they could demonstrate to Treasury that doing so would prevent the plan from going bust. The idea was that the cuts would prevent a far worse fate — a Central States bailout by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which would pay only pennies on the dollar (and which had solvency problems of its own). According to a recent PBGC report, “it is more likely than not that PBGC’s multiemployer fund will be exhausted by 2025.”

Joshua Gotbaum, former director of the PBGC, called the Treasury Department’s decision an “act of political cowardice” that will result in “more and deeper benefit cuts” to Central States beneficiaries.

The PBGC board of directors consists of the secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Treasury, with the secretary of Labor as chair. It is not supposed to be funded by taxpayers and covers payments to failed employer pensions. From their website:

In fiscal year 2020, PBGC paid for monthly retirement benefits, up to a guaranteed maximum, for more than 984,000 retirees in more than 5,000 single-employer plans that cannot pay promised benefits. Including those who have not yet retired and participants in multiemployer plans receiving financial assistance, PBGC is responsible for the current and future pensions of more than 1.5 million people.

The PBGC handles multi-employer and single-employer plans through separate programs. The current legislation will provide $86 billion from general funds to be kept separate from the funds it uses for general operations. Perhaps the most disturbing facet of this is that there are no conditions placed on the pensions that will fix the underlying problem.

The legislation requires the troubled plans to keep their grant money in investment-grade bonds, and bars them from commingling it with their other resources. But beyond that, the bill would not change the funds’ investment strategies, which are widely seen as a cause of their trouble.

A proposal for structural reforms failed:

On Friday, Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, introduced his own legislative proposal for the failing pension plans, which he said would bring structural reforms to make them solvent over the long term. He called the measure put forth by Democrats “a blank check” and tried to have it sent back to the Senate Finance Committee for retooling.

“Not only is their plan totally unrelated to the pandemic, but it also does nothing to address the root cause of the problem,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement. His motion failed in a vote of 49 to 50.

To illustrate how large this segment of the funds provided for is, Senator Bill Haggerty (R-Tenn.) said: “Just to show you how bad this bill is, there’s more money in this to bail out union pension funds than all the money combined for vaccine distribution and testing,”

Democrats are trying to say the pandemic made the pension shortfalls worse, but that would seem to be an overstatement because stock market performance has not suffered dramatically during that time. The 10-year inflation-adjusted return for 2020 was 11.96%. The S&P 500 increased 16% in 2020 alone.

This bailout appears to be just another giveback long in the making. According to Time magazine, the coordinated plan to influence to 2020 election originated in the national office of the AFL-CIO. Multi-employer unions, such as the Teamsters and United Autoworkers, are powerful constituencies for the union leadership. One huge Teamster plan that expected to go broke in 2025 just got rescued. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka now has a material win to offset the devastation that has already started and will likely continue in the energy industry.

Taxpayer funding of pensions was unheard of up to this point. Even those who have saved appropriately in defined contribution plans like 401(k)s will also fund their fellow citizens’ pensions through their tax dollars. This taxpayer bailout may be the first time, but given that the bill requires almost no reforms, it increases the likelihood it will not be the last.

Senator Cotton Decries Death-Row Murderers Getting Stimulus Checks

Sen. Cotton Decries Death-Row Murderers Getting Stimulus Checks

BY ERIC MACK

SEE: https://www.newsmax.com/politics/tomcotton-stimulus-impactpayments-murderers/2021/03/07/id/1012826/;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Death-row murderers and terrorists are getting $1,400 stimulus checks from the package passed by the Senate on Saturday, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted in condemnation.

Cotton wrote:

"Dylann Roof murdered nine people. He's on federal death row. He'll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check as part of the Democrats' 'COVID relief' bill."

In a subsequent tweet, Cotton added:

"Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Bomber, murdered three people and terrorized a city. He'll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check as part of the Democrats' 'COVID relief' bill."

And in a third rebuke, Cotton tweeted:

"Aaron Shamo was sentenced to life in prison for selling '1 million fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills to unsuspecting buyers.' He'll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check while in prison from the Democrats' 'COVID relief' bill."

Cotton's rebuke came after Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., proposed an amendment that the checks should not go to inmates, but Senate Democrats voted it down 50-49.

Cotton also rejected the provisions that permit a $1,400-per-week check to federal employees who refuse to send their kids to school.

"They're going to give a lot of Americans a $1,400 check," Cotton told Fox News last week. "Federal employees are going to get that same check. They're also going to get $1,400 a week, every single week if their kids aren't in school.

"So if you're working in the middle of the country hard to make a living, you get one $1,400 payment once. If you're a federal bureaucrat in Washington where your schools are still closed, you get one every single week. Talk about the swamp looking out for itself."

Related Stories:

CITIZENS’ COUNCIL FOR HEALTH FREEDOM: Where’s the COVID in COVID Relief Legislation?

President Biden's American Rescue Plan Features more

Pork than Lean-Meat Solutions

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

The Democrats’ “American Rescue Plan” is an economic endangerment plan. This $1.9 trillion heavily-earmarked bill is a spending bill, pure and simple. Covid-19 is just an excuse to dole out dollars to their favorite causes.  (630-page text of H.R. 1319). 

Despite claims otherwise, this bill has little to do with COVID-19. Some say only nine percent of the funds will be for COVID-19 vaccine and vaccinations. Nine percent. If true, that would mean 91% of the dollars will be with other “goodies,” all funded by taxpayers, many of whom are no longer working because of the pandemic restrictions. For example, beyond COVID-19 funding, H.R. 1319 includes changes to the law and funding related to topics such as:

  • Agriculture
  • Nutrition
  • Minimum wage mandate
  • Child care
  • Funding for the arts
  • Head start
  • Data modernization
  • Family planning
  • Native American health
  • Water assistance
  • Pollution
  • Airports
  • Environmental justice
  • Bridge construction to Canada

America’s debt is already more than $27 trillion. When President Reagan left office, our debt was only $2.1 trillion. Debt is making the U.S. poor. “Over the past decade, the U.S. has spent more on interest than it has on programs such as veterans benefits and education,” writes Marcus Lu.

Yet, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Majority Leader in the U.S. House, is pushing to add another nearly $2 trillion in financial obligations for current and future taxpayers, including the children, grandchildren, and maybe even the great-grandchildren of today’s American families:
 

“Five hundred thousand Americans have died. Thousands and thousands of businesses have either shut down or gone away. People are in food lines that never expected in their wildest dreams that they would need to be in a food line. I don't want this to sound corny, but I think the best politics for us… is to do the right thing.” (3/2/21 Hoyer press release)

The $1,400 checks some Americans will receive if this Democrat bill becomes law are small pennies compared to the large taxes, lower incomes, and fewer jobs Americans will experience when the federal government returns to taxpayers to seek payment of its escalating debts. An indebted nation is not a strong nation.  Foreign investors, including China, hold roughly 40% of our debt

The U.S. House passed H.R. 1319 early Saturday morning. Talk to your U.S. Senators now. Take time now to do your part to rescue the American economy. 

In Case You Missed It
  

MS and TX Reverse Mask Mandates, Lift Restrictions

With the dramatic fall in recorded COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, the governors of the states of Mississippi and Texas announced on Tuesday they would be ending their states’ mask mandates.  In Texas, effective March 10, business will also be allowed to reopen “100 percent,” according to Gov. Abbott’s order. In Mississippi, where most businesses remained open during the pandemic, Gov. Reeves said it was time for government to get “out of the business of telling people what they can and cannot do.”

Changes in End-of-Life Care

More people are choosing to stay home for their final days rather than face the isolation in hospitals and nursing homes. In Carroll Hospital in Westminster Maryland, there has been a spike in home-based care, where roughly 30-40% are staying home. According to the executive director of Carroll Hospital, Regina Bodnar, the spike is directly related to the risks of coronavirus. Similar decisions are being made across the country. Typically, there are logistical complications for individuals to receive hospice care at home. With at-home care increasing, many are choosing this route as a better option for their final days.

South Dakota's Executive Order LegislationSouth Dakota has introduced legislation in the House that would allow the state to determine if President Biden’s executive orders are unconstitutional, and, if so, nullify them. The legislation allows for the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council to review any executive order that is issued by the President if it has not been affirmed by a vote of the Congress and signed into law. The attorney general would then seek an exemption from the order or have it declared as unconstitutional. As South Dakota has stood against many of the coronavirus enforcements, it is no surprise they are seeking to stand in defense against government overreach.

 

   

    This week’s “In Case You Missed It 
    is written by Ashley Smothers,
    CCHF Legislative and Policy Manager

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