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Thursday, 24 December 2020 13:55

OUR VIEW: Congress should slice pork from COVID relief bill

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President Donald Trump did the right thing Tuesday evening by asking Congress for a “more suitable” COVID-relief bill.

In a video, the president derided the massive spending bill —nearly 5,600 pages long — calling it “a disgrace.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Congressional leaders struck a devil’s bargain — as Congress often does — adding in more than a trillion dollars in spending that has nothing to do with the coronavirus. Spending that the federal government neither has in its coffers nor, in some cases, has any business in appropriating.

And, also as Congress often does, legislators passed the lengthy legislation with no time for it to be read thoroughly — which drew ire from lawmakers across the political spectrum, including Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (although she voted in favor), Republican Thomas Massie and the only Libertarian, Justin Amash.

Only six Republican Senators voted “Nay.” The House was also overwhelmingly in favor with mostly Republicans, like the 9th District’s Dan Bishop, joined by a handful of Democrats, including former presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, voting against.

So, what was in the bill?

Here are a just few items that were found by various media outlets:

  • At least $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan
  • $40 million for the Kennedy Center — which has been closed
  • A combined $2.278 billion in assistance to Cambodia, Nepal, Burma, Ukraine and Sudan.

Trump called on Congress to dump the pork and increase the relief payments to American families from $600 to $2,000 per qualifying adult.

Of course, anyone who opposes the bill on principle will be attacked for not wanting to help those in need.

It’s a common trick used by politicians: include something that the people want and talk about that, but don’t mention the other unrelated junk and rush it through a vote before it can be read and debated properly.

It’s a practice that needs to stop.

While we agree with opposing the bill, we have another solution for relief: just completely refund all federal personal income taxes. Give Americans their money back so they can use it as they need or want to.

Barring that, we could go along with the president’s proposal. Kudos to those who stood up to the pressure of “doing the right thing” with a wrong bill.

Let’s hope Congress guts the bill and keeps it simple and gets Americans the help they need.

Last modified on Saturday, 26 December 2020 15:06
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