President Trump, tells terror-supporting Qatar it can kiss our U.S. air base goodbye

“Rather than using the base as an excuse for inaction against Qatar, we should be using it to leverage changes in Qatari behavior. The Trump administration needs to make clear to Qatar that its current conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the United States.”

Bard is right. Trump has already set a different tone to U.S. foreign policy by cutting money to the “Palestinians” in light of their obvious lack of interest in pursuing peace. Now he should do the same thing regarding Qatar: tell them that if they continue to support jihad terror, they will lose the U.S. air base and everything that goes with it. Enough is enough. Nations that support jihad terror are no friends of the United States, whatever short-term benefits they may provide, and they need to be put on notice. Time is short. President Trump is the one to do this.

“President Trump, tell terror-supporting Qatar it can kiss our US air base goodbye,” by Mitchell Bard, Fox News, March 5, 2018 (thanks to Mark):

The tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar – one of the wealthiest countries in the world on a per capita basis, thanks to enormous oil and natural gas reserves – has become one of the most harmful influences in the Middle East and a key supporter of terrorist groups.

No one expects Qatar to launch a military attack of its own on any country. Located on a peninsula jutting out of Saudi Arabia, it is slightly smaller than Connecticut and has a population of only about 2.3 million.

But Qatar is endangering America’s Arab allies and our ally Israel by bankrolling terrorists, inciting violence and hatred through its state-funded Al Jazeera TV network, and collaborating with the far more powerful and virulently anti-American Islamic Republic of Iran.

Because Qatar poses such a danger to the region, Saudi Araba [sic] and its Persian Gulf allies have blockaded the country since June. They have closed Qatar’s border with Saudi Arabia and prevented many planes and cargo ships from landing and docking in Qatar.

Bizarrely, the United States maintains a military base in Qatar so we can fight against Muslim extremists. But at the same time, the Qataris are providing support to Muslim extremists fighting against America’s allies in the region.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration, like the Obama administration, prefers to look the other way at Qatar’s dangerous behavior. This is because the U.S. Central Command operates the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. The base houses some 10,000 U.S., British and other allied troops. It plays a key role in American air operations in war-torn Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Rather than using the base as an excuse for inaction against Qatar, we should be using it to leverage changes in Qatari behavior. The Trump administration needs to make clear to Qatar that its current conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the United States.

President Trump previously expressed support for the Saudi position that Qatar end its support for terrorists, shut down Al Jazeera and sever ties with Iran. To protect our interests and the security of our allies, he should now threaten to move our military base if the Qataris do not do these things.

Moving our base would be costly, but we did it before when the Saudis asked us to leave. Now that we’re on better terms with the Saudis, they might even welcome us back. Better still, the Qataris could accede to our demands and benefit from ending their isolation and allying with those opposing terrorism and the Iranian menace.

Qatar wants to present itself as moderate and helpful to the U.S. Yet the government and individual Qataris have given financial and political support to two terrorist groups – the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas.

Qatar’s support for the Brotherhood stems from its need to demonstrate its commitment to Islam to avoid becoming a target of extremists, especially given its Western orientation and willingness to host the U.S. military. But in siding with the Brotherhood, Qatar is at odds with other countries – particularly Egypt – that see the group as a threat to their regimes.

In addition to supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar is the principal financier of Hamas, which wants to eliminate the Jewish state of Israel and replace it with an Arab state of Palestine. Qatar claims it only supports economic projects in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas. But even if that were true, the money Qatar funnels to Hamas frees up money that the terrorist group can use to build rockets and terrorist tunnels to threaten Israel.

Moreover, individual Qataris may be providing direct assistance to Hamas. Qatar also has served as a haven for Hamas terrorists such as Khaled Mashaal.

On top of this, Qatar has made no secret of its hostile feelings toward Israel. Its leaders have called on the world to shun Israel, condemned Israel for destroying terrorist tunnels, and accused Israel during its military operations in Gaza of “war crimes.”

Al Jazeera is the propaganda arm of the Qatari government and regularly broadcasts reports critical of Qatar’s neighbors and Israel. The TV network is also used to demonstrate Qatar’s loyalty to radical Islamists.

In addition, Qatar promotes terrorism through its broadcasts of sermons by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He has a history of defending suicide bombings in Israel, condoning violence against U.S. troops and agitating against other Arab states. Al-Qaradawi was recently sentenced in absentia to life in prison in Egypt after being convicted of incitement to murder and other charges. He lives in exile in Qatar.

Al Jazeera has also targeted American Jews by sending a spy to infiltrate pro-Israel organizations to try to gather dirt on them. The goal of Al Jazeera is to present viewers with anti-Semitic propaganda falsely claiming there is evidence of an all-powerful Jewish cabal controlling U.S. policy.

Finally, at a time when the Trump administration seeks to isolate Iran, Qatar has strengthened its ties with the Islamic Republic. Qatar claims it has no choice but to deal with Iran given the blockade, but one of the main reasons the Saudis imposed the blockade was Qatar’s refusal to sever ties with Iran….

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

VIDEO: A Streetcar Named Disaster

There are few more illustrative examples of government dysfunction and waste than the DC Streetcar.

At a hearing last week, the Washington, D.C., City Council reportedly discussed replacing its fleet of streetcars, just two years after the DC Streetcar went into service, even though the Federal Transit Administration generally sets a streetcar’s lifespan at around three decades.

Acquiring the new streetcars will cost the city at least $25 million.

This would be just the latest unexpected problem for a public transport system plagued by delayscost overruns, and failure. It has become a monument to government waste.

Currently, the streetcar operates on a 2-mile stretch on H Street, a mere fraction of the 40 miles of track originally promised.

The Daily Signal went to H Street and spoke to Michael Sargent, a Heritage Foundation expert on transportation and infrastructure, and Lyndsey Fifield, who is the social media director for the Heritage Foundation and a resident of the District of Columbia.

They discussed why this project has had so many problems and what it has cost taxpayers.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

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U.S. Funded UN Commissioner in D.C. to Promote Leftwing Agenda in Guatemala

The head of a U.S.-funded global commission operating under the famously corrupt United Nations (UN) is in Washington D.C. today to promote his leftist agenda in Central America. The Colombian attorney and former judge, Ivan Velásquez, runs the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a controversial body known to utilize measures that threaten the impoverished Central American nation’s sovereignty. Officially, the CICIG claims to strengthen the rule of law. Like many leftwing global organizations, its stated purpose is to protect “the right to life and to personal integrity” of citizens from vigilante groups that “commit illegal acts” — those linked to “agents of the State or [with] the capacity to generate impunity for their illegal actions.”

The reality is that Velásquez appears to be part of a broader effort launched under Barack Obama—and apparently supported by the Trump administration—to destabilize moderate and conservative governments abroad. Judicial Watch uncovered details of a similar initiative in Macedonia, where the Obama administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros. In Guatemala, the Obama administration meddled to protect guerrillas backed by communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped oust an attorney general that was replaced by a sympathizer of the guerrillas, Claudia Paz y Paz.

Obama’s ambassador to Guatemala, Todd Robinson, and CICIG Commissioner Velásquez, notorious for his powerful leftist alliances, collaborated to illegally promote changes to the Guatemalan constitution. One news report accuses Velásquez of seeking to illegitimately neutralize certain legislators the Guatemalan people elected. Under his leadership, CICIG probes have infringed on Guatemalan sovereignty while conveniently ignoring crimes committed by leftwing allies. As a lawyer in Colombia, Velásquez aligned with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), the violent Marxist guerrilla formed by communist farmers in the country’s central region. Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe says that as a judge in Colombia Velásquez launched a crusade to absolve the country’s leftist narcoterrorism. During eight years as Colombia’s president Uribe’s hardline security stance transformed the country from a notoriously violent narcoterrorism state to a thriving democracy. Velásquez abuses the justice system to persecute his political enemies, according to Uribe, who currently serves in Colombia’s senate.

Incredibly, the Tillerson State Department has not wavered in its support for both Velásquez and CICIG, which receives millions of dollars annually from Uncle Sam. When Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales tried to bar Velásquez from the country last year, the U.S. State Department quickly issued a statement defending Velásquez and expressing “deep concern” over his attempted ouster. “Mr. Velásquez has been an effective leader of CICIG in its fight against corruption in Guatemala,” the State Department release said. “CICIG has played and should continue to play an important role in strengthening Guatemalan institutions and tackling the corruption that undermines security and prosperity in Guatemala.” During a visit last week to Guatemala, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley reiterated the Tillerson Swamp’s support for CICIG and its commissioner. Haley told Guatemalan President Morales that it was in his best interest to back CICIG, according to a newswire story that reveals the U.S. has given CICIG $44.5 million since it was established a decade ago.

During today’s 3 pm. appearance at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C., Velásquez will be praised as a key figure in Guatemala’s fight against corruption and impunity despite his controversial history. The purpose of his U.S. visit is to discuss the process of choosing Guatemala’s next attorney general and other related anti-corruption efforts involving the rule of law. Besides giving Guatemala boatloads of tax dollars, Americans should be concerned because the country is a renowned gateway into the United States for narcotics and illegal aliens worldwide, including the Middle East. Guatemala shares a 595-mile border and many porous crossing points into Mexico, creating a clear path north. In fact, many of the thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that entered the U.S. in the last few years came from Central America.

Trump Administration wrongly blamed for closure of refugee offices

I told you about it herebut I’ve noticed over the last 24 hours that the story about Trump’s refugee policies being blamed for closure of NON-PROFIT GROUP offices is all over the media.

Let me be clear!

The blame rests squarely on the design of the US Refugee Admissions Program (and Congress) which has shoveled so much federal money to NON-PROFITS that they long ago gave up any idea of seriously attempting to raise private money to TAKE CARE OF THE REFUGEES THEY CLAIM THEY WANTED!

The program has essentially become a ponzi-scheme built on US Treasury payments to NON-PROFIT groups on a refugee per head basis.  Refugee (paying client) numbers decline, and thus so does the NON-PROFIT groups’ taxpayer support.

For ten years I have been hammering this point—nothing has stopped NON-PROFIT refugee agencies from raising PRIVATE money in the old fashioned way! They could have held more fundraisers, sought out grants from businesses AND from religious groups to tide them over through the ups and downs of the refugee admissions flow.

(If, at this point, they say there isn’t enough private money for this, then that means the public doesn’t want it!)

So instead they got lazy on the federal dole.  It isn’t the Trump State Department’s fault if refugees brought in previous months and years are now left without local support. The State Department can’t legally shutter NON-PROFIT groups.

It is the management at the top of the nine federal contractors (below) who were careless and lazy (all the while collecting exorbitant salaries themselves!) who are to blame if refugees are left in the lurch now, or staff at the lowest levels is dismissed.

Where the h*** is Congress! It is way past time to either dump or completely reform the Refugee Act of 1980!

The nine contractors….

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Politico says Trump refugee slowdown is the result of “engineered chaos”

World Relief (Evangelicals) defends its reliance on millions of dollars in federal grants/contracts

Hungarian Prime Minister calls for global alliance against migration

U.S. Refugee program is a kind of Ponzi-scheme that is failing

President Donald J. Trump’s Plan to ‘Make America Bourgeois Again’

President Trump ran on an America first platform. His mantra was MAGA – Make America Great Again. President Trump in his inaugural address said:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

When President Trump attends a rally, speaks at a press conference or Tweets, he is talking directly to America’s “bourgeois class.” Bourgeois is defined as “a member of the middle class.”

Who will make America great, again?

In an August 9th, 2017 Philadelphia Inquirer article titled Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture Amy Wax and Larry Alexander defined America’s bourgeois culture. Wax and Alexander wrote,

That [bourgeois] culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow:

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Supporters of Barack Obama at a rally.

Politicians have wooed the bourgeois class as did former President Barack Obama. Once elected, however, the bourgeois class have been either ignored or suffered under various administrations.

In a April 22nd, 2014 New York Times column titled Losing the Lead: The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy reported:

The American middle [bourgeois] class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The bourgeois class is President Trump’s base and the bedrock of people who will make America great again.

What are the challenges to making America bourgeois again?

Wax and Alexander pointed out in their article:

Did everyone abide by those [bourgeois culture] precepts? Of course not. There are always rebels — and hypocrites, those who publicly endorse the norms but transgress them. But as the saying goes, hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. Even the deviants rarely disavowed or openly disparaged the prevailing expectations.

Today there are many “deviants” who openly disavow and disparage the most basic bourgeois cultural norms.

Who are the bourgeois culture deviants? Who are the hypocrites? Who are the transgressors? Here is a short list:

  1. Those who labled the $1,000 bonuses given to workers as “crumbs.”
  2. Hollywood which no longer makes films about the bourgeois class.
  3. Those who do not serve their country and are openly unpatriotic.
  4.  Those who would rather be idle rather than work
  5. Those politicians who subsidize idleness and sloth.
  6. Those who create sanctuaries for those who abuse drugs and other addictive substances.
  7. Those who on radio, television, in music and during the day use course language.
  8. Those who are not respectful of the duly elected President of these United States.

Wax and Alexander noted:

[T]hose adults with influence over the [bourgeois] culture, for a variety of reasons, abandoned their role as advocates for respectability, civility, and adult values. As a consequence, the counterculture made great headway, particularly among the chattering classes — academics, writers, artists, actors, and journalists — who relished liberation from conventional constraints and turned condemning America and reviewing its crimes into a class marker of virtue and sophistication.

Making America Bourgeois Again!

President Trump and his administration have made it their sole mission to restore America’s bourgeois class. Washington, D.C. does not want to empower the bourgeois class because as President Trump pointed out during his inaugural address,

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

Today there is much to celebrate, especially for the bourgeois class. Make America Bourgeois Again!

RELATED VIDEO: Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) staying tax cuts are unpatriotic.

Why 14 GOP Senators Voted Against President Trump’s Immigration Framework

President Donald Trump’s plan to control borders — as outlined in his State of the Union speech — was put into legislation and carried by Sen. Charles Grassley. But it went down in flames, and 14 Republicans are in part to blame for its failure.

Now the country’s back where it started, facing a budget fight this March, round-the-robin talks on immigration, and a Democratic-controlled process, despite the fact Republicans hold the majority in both houses of Congress.

Whom to blame?

Well, for starters, the 14 Republican senators who jumped ship on Trump’s plan.

From the Hill:

President Trump’s immigration framework faced an unexpected opponent this week as it crashed on the Senate floor: Republicans.

The opposition from more than a fourth of the GOP conference came despite an intense pressure campaign by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which shot down back-to-back bipartisan offers.

In the end, 14 GOP senators rejected Trump’s proposal, helping make it the least popular of the Senate’s competing measures.

Here’s a look at the GOP senators who bucked Trump.

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.)

Barrasso, who is up for reelection in 2018, was one of two members of GOP leadership to oppose Trump’s plan. His vote came roughly a day after he called the White House framework “very generous.”

“I want to make sure that we have a secure border. I want to make sure that the laws are enforced and I want to make sure our citizens are safe,” he told Fox News this week.

A spokeswoman for Barrasso didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the conservative senator has said he believes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was illegal.

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)

Collins was at the center of a bipartisan group that negotiated for months to come up with a rival plan to Trump’s. Hours before the votes, DHS warned that the proposal would undermine the rule of law and the White House threatened to veto the Common Sense Coalition’s plan.

“I’m personally very disappointed in the administration’s response,” Collins said.

The bipartisan group’s amendment has serious policy differences from the White House plan.

It doesn’t touch the State Department’s diversity visa lottery program and included narrow changes to family-based immigration that would have been limited to DACA recipients.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)

Cruz, who is up for reelection in 2018, repeatedly took shots at the framework because it included a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants, which he considers “amnesty.”

The opposition from more than a fourth of the GOP conference came despite an intense pressure campaign by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which shot down back-to-back bipartisan offers.

In the end, 14 GOP senators rejected Trump’s proposal, helping make it the least popular of the Senate’s competing measures.

Here’s a look at the GOP senators who bucked Trump.

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.)

Barrasso, who is up for reelection in 2018, was one of two members of GOP leadership to oppose Trump’s plan. His vote came roughly a day after he called the White House framework “very generous.”

“I want to make sure that we have a secure border. I want to make sure that the laws are enforced and I want to make sure our citizens are safe,” he told Fox News this week.

A spokeswoman for Barrasso didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the conservative senator has said he believes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was illegal.

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)

Collins was at the center of a bipartisan group that negotiated for months to come up with a rival plan to Trump’s. Hours before the votes, DHS warned that the proposal would undermine the rule of law and the White House threatened to veto the Common Sense Coalition’s plan.

“I’m personally very disappointed in the administration’s response,” Collins said.

The bipartisan group’s amendment has serious policy differences from the White House plan.

It doesn’t touch the State Department’s diversity visa lottery program and included narrow changes to family-based immigration that would have been limited to DACA recipients.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)

Cruz, who is up for reelection in 2018, repeatedly took shots at the framework because it included a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants, which he considers “amnesty.”

“I find myself flabbergasted at where my own party is in this debate because every proposal that has Republican support that has been submitted begins from a place markedly to the left of President Obama,” Cruz said ahead of the Senate’s votes.

Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.)

Daines doesn’t support the DACA program and has said he doesn’t want to see it extended.

“I don’t support extending the DACA program. This was an unconstitutional act that President Obama [did] via executive order when he was president and I hope that we can find a solution going forward here that is broader than just the issue on DACA,” he told Montana Public Radio earlier this year.

Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.)

A spokesman for Enzi said he opposed the immigration amendments offered “because he felt they did not properly address” illegal immigration.

“He has said that Congress needs to ensure that our immigration laws are compassionate, especially to children, but also fair to American citizens. He believes there are lawful ways for individuals to earn citizenship and that people who want to come to this country need to follow them,” the spokesman said.

Enzi, who previously called DACA “unconstitutional,” also thinks immigration reform is “best dealt with in small pieces, instead of comprehensive legislation,” his aide said.

Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)

Flake was heavily involved with the bipartisan immigration negotiations and has been one of the loudest critics of the White House’s framework over concerns about its restrictions on legal immigration.

He told reporters this week that while the White House’s framework should be part of the “discussion,” the Senate needed to work out its own plan.

And he’s doubling down on his short-term patch following the Senate’s failed votes, which would pair a three-year DACA extension with border security funding.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (Okla.)

Inhofe opposed each of the Senate’s three immigration plans, while backing a push to limit federal funding to “sanctuary cities.” He said the White House plan “made a number of important reforms” including boosting security at the border and limiting family-based immigration.

“[But] I’ve consistently stated that I could not support an immigration bill that puts illegal immigrants ahead of the men and women who have followed our laws and have applied for citizenship legally,” he said.

The White House framework, spearheaded in the Senate by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), created a 10-12 year path to citizenship for roughly 1.8 million immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

Sen. John Kennedy (La.)

Kennedy said on Twitter that he opposed the Senate’s immigration proposals “because none of them prioritized border security.”

Both the White House framework and the bipartisan coalition’s plan included $25 billion in border security.

Kennedy supported Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-Pa.) amendment to limit funding to jurisdictions that don’t follow federal immigration law.

He also offered several of his own amendments, which didn’t get a vote, including requiring the census to include questions about nationality and immigration status.

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah)

Lee said after the Senate’s votes that Congress needs a “balanced approach to the DACA program.”

“One that discourages future illegal immigration while also offering a compassionate solution to current DACA recipients. None of the plans that addressed DACA today achieved that balance,” he added.

Many conservative lawmakers, as well as their allies off Capitol Hill, balked over the administration’s decision to extend citizenship to DACA recipients and expand the total number of immigrants potentially covered from roughly 700,000 to 1.8 million.

Sen. Jerry Moran (Kansas)

Asked why Moran didn’t back the president’s plan, a spokesman noted the GOP senator supports a fallback option he is working on with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and John Thune (R-S.D.).

Their plan is significantly narrower than the White House framework. It provides a permanent extension of legal status, but not citizenship, only for current DACA recipients. It is tied to a $25 billion border security trust fund.

Moran noted in a statement announcing the immigration plan that the measures “must not inadvertently encourage further illegal immigration.”

He didn’t directly address the White House framework, but some conservatives argue that extending legal protections to the broader 1.8 million population encourages more illegal immigration.

The Moran-Thune-Portman proposal, by comparison, would limit legal protections to current DACA recipients, or roughly 700,000 immigrants.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Murkowski, one of the Senate’s most moderate Republicans, was part of the Common Sense Coalition and supported the group’s plan to pair a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants to $25 billion in border security and limited changes to family-based immigration.

She added after the plan failed that it would have offered a “path forward.” “I am extremely disappointed that the Senate failed to advance our bipartisan proposal that provided both certainty for the Dreamers and critical improvements to border security,” she said.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)

Paul voted against each of the Senate’s immigration proposals, including the White House plan.

His votes came after he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham this week that he was debating offering a conservative House plan crafted by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) as an amendment.

“We’re discussing that in our office, whether or not we ought to put that forward as an alternative,” he said.

Goodlatte’s plan would provide DACA recipients with a temporary, renewable legal status — rather than citizenship — in exchange for authorizing funding for Trump’s border wall, ending family-based migration and scrapping the diversity visa lottery program.

It would also crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, boost penalties for deported criminals who try to re-enter the U.S. and require that employers use an electronic verification system known as E-Verify to make sure they hire legal workers.

Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.)

Sasse told the Lincoln Journal Star that he opposed “left-of-center proposals” taken up by the Senate on Thursday.

“I ran as a conservative and I’ll vote as a conservative,” he said.

Sasse added there could still be a path toward a “much simpler legislative package” that pairs protections for DACA recipients and secures the border.

Sen. John Thune (S.D.)

Thune is the highest ranking GOP senator to vote against the White House’s immigration proposal.

The No. 3 GOP senator has endorsed a narrower solution for weeks. On Thursday afternoon he announced that he, Moran and Portman had filed an amendment that would extend the legal protections of current DACA recipients while giving the White House money for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“Immigration policy is not easy, as this week has shown, but I’m confident that with a bill like the one we’ve just put forward, we’ll be able to find consensus among Republicans and Democrats,” he said in a statement.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

U.S. State Department not yet concerned about sexual harassment allegations involving refugee agency it funds

That is what Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy is reporting about his efforts to get an answer from the major funding source for the nine federal contractors*** hired by State for the US Refugee Admissions Program.  Leahy’s story is entitled:

U.S. Government Continues to Fund Refugee Resettlement NGO Whose Funding Has Been Frozen by the U.K.

(We reported on the mess the International Refugee Committee is in with its British funding, here.)

miliband and soros 2 (2) close

Miliband and Soros in 2013.

Here is some of what Leahy is reporting after attempting to get something definitive from the State Department:

The government of the United Kingdom has frozen all payments to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), one of the largest non-profit refugee resettlement agencies in the world, pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of “sexual harassment and fraud” in the organization.

As one of the nine voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) that have for decades received about $1 billion annually from the U.S. federal government, the IRC is also heavily funded by American taxpayers.

The IRC is the third VOLAG in the last six months to come under scrutiny for questions surrounding its leadership and management.

[….]

The management and leadership of former U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who has served as CEO of the IRC since 2013 and receives an annual salary of $671,000, is now under serious question, and his ability to maintain his current job is uncertain.

The State Department offered no indication that it intends to stop funding the IRC, despite the actions of the U.K government when asked specifically by Breitbart News if the U.S. government currently has plans to immediately stop making payments to the IRC to conduct refugee resettlement operations in the United States.

“The Department of State takes very seriously the prevention and response of all accusations of sexual exploitation and abuse,” a State Department spokesperson told Breitbart News when asked if the U.S. government intends to follow the lead of the U.K. government in suspending payments to the IRC pending the results of an investigation.

[….]

The State Department has not responded to this follow up question from Breitbart News: Now that the allegations of abuse against the IRC have been brought to the State Department’s attention, what specifically is the State Department doing to ensure the IRC is taking the necessary steps to address the issue appropriately?

Continue reading here.

Quick, someone tell the IRC’s new partner—Sesame Street!

See my David Miliband archive by clicking here.

If the IRC does have any government funds frozen, even temporarily, it will be a blow to their subcontractors (working in cities below) that are wholly dependent on the IRC mothership in Manhattan. (IRC website):

IRC offices

*** These are the nine federally funded refugee agencies operating in the US.

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The IRC is one of the charities closely-linked to George Soros’ push to drive aliens into European Union (EU) nations.

Bipartisan efforts underway to support Samaritan’s Purse exec for top UN refugee job

Brave Israeli journalist disguised as Syrian ‘refugee’ enters German belly of the beast

Congress Blew Through the Budget Caps, Again. Here’s What Needs to Change.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 signed into law last week really should be renamed the Bipartisan Budget Crash Act.

This spending spree takes a Mack Truck and rams through the hard-fought budget caps under the 2011 Budget Control Act to the tune of at least $300 billion.

When all is said and done, the fiscal wreckage could be worse than that. With a federal debt already at $20.5 trillion, we have just lurched closer to fiscal insolvency.

Republicans touted that they got $1 of new military spending for every $1 of domestic social programs, but even that is wishful thinking at best. This calculation doesn’t include emergency disaster spending for hurricanes and fires, which was close to $90 billion. At least $21 billion of “defense” spending goes to the State Department instead, which does not fight wars.

In the end, the domestic agencies may wind up with $2 of added funding for every $1 for national security, which is hardly a good deal for taxpayers.

It also isn’t clear why the recovery efforts to pay for disaster relief should be paid for by the federal government.

In the wake of some of the worst disasters in American history—the hurricane that wiped out Galveston, Texas, the Great Chicago Fire, and the San Francisco earthquake, for example—the rebuilding of these cities happened swiftly and was almost all funded by private businesses, private charities, and state and local initiatives, not by Washington writing a big check.

And when, alas, the feds do write big checks for disasters, the money should come from across-the-board cuts of 2 or 3 percent from all the other federal agencies—not by running up the debt.

The Budget Control Act caps are now a victim of their own success. From 2011-2016, the spending caps held discretionary spending increases below the 2 percent level of inflation. For three years, federal spending actually fell, in no small part because of those caps.

But now those tight caps have been evaded four times in six years, and each time the overspending has been larger. The cork has been pulled off the champagne bottle.

The lack of spending restraint and the inability of Congress to keep its past legislative promises not only erodes trust in the political class, but shows a frightening and complete indifference by Washington toward our nation’s growing fiscal crisis.

The big question is, where do we go from here on the budget?

With neither party at all committed to reducing debt and deficits, our worry is that the budget caps are, for all intents and purposes, gone forever.

The caps after 2020 are still technically in place, but the 2019 levels of spending are going to come in at as much as $200 billion above the 2020 caps. So either we see a massive cut in government spending in the election year of 2020, which would be a wonderful thing to behold—but is as likely as President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dancing a tango together—or, Congress throws the caps into the dustbin of history.

That’s a scary prospect, because it would mean that Congress would be budgeting without any fiscal guard rails or speed limits at all. This will only invite further bipartisan spending sprees that are against the interests of the American people.

The indefensible budget behavior of Congress over the last several weeks reinforces the case for Congress to extend the Budget Control Act caps into 2022 and beyond, since the caps expire at the end of 2021.

These future caps should be based on the 2011 Budget Control Act’s average annual spending growth rate, not the new budget’s enormous spending growth rate. Failure to extend the caps would be a total surrender and a green light to the already out-of-control Mack Truck.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore, who formerly wrote on the economy and public policy for The Wall Street Journal, is a distinguished visiting fellow for the Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation. He was also a senior economic advisor to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Read his research. Twitter: .

Christian Andzel

Christian Andzel is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by erick4x4/Getty Images.

Conservative, Pro-American Policies Are Winning

President Trump’s approval ratings are at their highest level ever, and Republicans have totally erased the 15-point lead in the generic congressional ballot Democrats held just two months ago.

This is telling on a couple of levels, and I hope Republicans are paying attention. Democrats may continue on their merry intersectional way.

First, polls taken on immediate issues are almost always driven by the media coverage. So the tax reform that passed in December was “deeply unpopular” with Americans. All the polls showed it. But what they really showed was how the media was covering the tax package — big tax cuts for the rich and corporations, regular Americans losing deductions — a big giveaway to “others.”

Of course that’s not what it was. That was a total misrepresentation driven by Democrats’ talking points. Americans are now seeing what the tax reform package is actually doing — real news as opposed to you-know-what news — and they are liking what they see. It’s not surprising, as many middle income Americans are taking home a couple thousand dollars more per year — what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi infamously called crumbs in her ever so out-of-touch way.

Priorities USA, the most influential Democratic super PAC, recently released a memo noting the rise in popularity of the tax law. It urged Democrats to message more consistently against the tax law by taking the big picture class warfare tactic of the rich getting more tax money and the irresponsibility of increasing the national debt — a laughably untenable position for people who supported President Obama’s doubling the national debt in just eight years.

“It’s tougher to win when people are seeing more money,” said Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, of Kentucky, the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee. “That’s big money for a lot of people.”

Well, yes. So why are Democrats fighting that? They are literally saying the government should have that money — not working, middle-income Americans. Totally out of touch.

But good for Republicans and Trump.

The second lesson is that conservative issues are winners with the American people. Republicans must stop listening to the mainstream media, and listen to the American people. This is a lesson that apparently requires relearning every few years. The problem is that they are too influenced by the cultural elites. But the national media and celebrity class are as out of touch with Americans as the Democratic leadership.

But despite the overwhelming, negative public onslaught by the media and celebrities, the American people eventually see through the cultural nonsense to the real issue. But this is only beneficial when Republicans actually pursue and implement conservative policies with a pro-American attitude.

And the policies of President Trump and the GOP Congress have been overwhelmingly conservative (with the exception of the two-year spending agreement, in part because of the requirement for 60 votes and in part because of desire for re-election first.)

So Trump has been deeply unpopular in his first year, but of course, given the hysterically negative onslaught of media coverage, that is not too surprising. However, his approval ratings have been rising steadily since the tax reform package and the strengthening economy. In fact, his approvals are now equal or better than President Obama’s at the same time in his presidency at 48 percent approval, according to the most recent Rasmussen tracking poll.

What’s truly shocking is that Trump has received close to 90 percent negative media reporting in his first year and Obama had about 20 percent negative media coverage. Again, the American people eventually see through the smokescreen of old media coverage to the actual policies and their effectiveness. And conservative policies are effective and popular.

And the GOP has caught and maybe passed Democrats in the generic congressional ballot polls. Politico reports:

“Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance.

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.”

What has changed? Certainly not the media reporting.

Largely, it has been the tax reform package, ongoing deregulation helping the broad economy, a breakthrough in the logjam blocking originalist judges, winning the government shutdown issues by not caving in and standing firm on building the wall and ending chain migration. There may also be a side help as more and more revelations show that there isn’t much to the whole Trump-Russia story, but there may be something to the FBI-DNC-Clinton-Russia story.

The bottom line remains the bottom line. If Trump and Republicans will stick to conservative principles, voice them confidently and expose liberal nonsense, they will win.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.

Trump Budget Proposal Projects Deficit Spending for Next Decade

President Donald Trump is proposing a 10-year spending plan that never produces a balanced budget, and increases deficit spending by $7.2 trillion over the next decade.

The White House unveiled the $4.4 trillion fiscal year 2019 budget plan on Monday.

“The first message [is] you don’t have to spend it all, but if you do, this is how you spend it,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Monday.

“The second message is: We are not condemned to trillion deficits forever. There is a way out of this.”

Trump’s first budget proposal balanced the budget over 10 years. The current Trump proposal doesn’t come near to doing so.

The White House budget director noted that last year he said the longer Congress waits to make spending reforms proposed in the president’s fiscal year 2018 proposal, the more difficult it will be to balance the budget.

“We didn’t make hardly any of the reforms. We sent up $54 billion worth of savings to the Hill last year, [and] they took about $5 billion worth of it,” Mulvaney said.

“They didn’t make any of the large structural changes we proposed. I probably could have made it balanced, but you all would have rightly excoriated us for using funny numbers, because it would have taken funny numbers to do it. These are real numbers.”

The proposal does attempt to bend the trajectory to lower deficits over 10 years by $3 trillion, according to the White House.

The White House calls the proposal “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget.”

Presidential budget proposals are rarely passed by Congress. Last week, Congress approved a two-year deal to hike spending caps by $300 billion over two years, upsetting many fiscal conservatives, as it also increases spending by $153 billion more than the previous two budget deals combined.

“It’s certainly alarming to us that the budget is not balanced at any point,” Justin Bogie, senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “The budget may not matter as a policy matter, but it demonstrates the direction the White House is striving for.”

Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute at The Heritage Foundation, called the budget a “mixed bag.”

“The president’s budget makes progress by investing in the military, eliminating numerous ineffective agencies and programs, and beginning the process of welfare and entitlement reform. However, the budget fails to balance, ever, and does not sufficiently move the country away from its currently unsustainable fiscal path,” she said.

The budget proposal fully funds the national defense strategy with $716 billion. This includes a 2.6 percent pay hike for troops.

Trump’s signature campaign issue, immigration and border security, gets a boost in the proposal at a time when Congress has started to debate how to address illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors.

Mulvaney said he anticipates having a deal on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and the wall.

The budget proposal asks Congress for $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement. Of that, $18 billion goes for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Also, $782 million would go to to hire 2,750 additional officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Another $2.7 billion would go to pay for an average daily detention capacity of 52,000 illegal immigrants.

Trump is asking for $17 billion to fight the opioid abuse epidemic.

The Trump administration wants Congress to dedicate $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs for medical care.

Having already done away with the individual mandate, the chief financing mechanism of Obamacare, in the tax reform package that passed in late 2017, the Trump budget seeks to take another step on health care. The proposal includes the idea of $1.6 trillion in health care block grants to states, which was part of the bill sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The budget proposal also calls for numerous civil service reforms to ensure the federal government can “hire the best and fire the worst.” The proposal largely deals with reforming the hiring system, moving to a more merit-based pay system for federal workers, and making it easier to fire bad employees. Trump already signed a similar reform in place during his first year, but it only affected the Department of Veterans Affairs. This reform is aimed across government.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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New White House Budget Would Bail Out Obamacare

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A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaking during a news briefing Monday at the White House about President Donald Trump’s budget propsal for fiscal year 2019. (Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom)

Are Our Roads and Bridges Actually Crumbling? It Depends on Where You Live!

During his State of the Union Address President Trump said:

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.  We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit. [Emphasis added]

According to data from Transportation.gov the “crumbling infrastructure” that President Trump referred to depends on where you live. The states in which over 70% of roads are in “poor/mediocre condition are Colorado (70%), Oklahoma (70%), Wisconsin (71%), Illinois (73%) and Connecticut (73%). The top two states with the highest percentage of “structurally deficient/functionally obsolete bridges are Massachusetts (52.5%) and Hawaii (43.9%). See the chart below for a state by state breakdown of the status of bridges and roads and the cost to repair them.

Why is infrastructure important?

In a Motor Trend magazine article titled “Tapping the Brakes: Autonomous-car Society is Still Decades Away” Mark Rechtin reports:

Pull out any issue of Popular Science from the past 50 years, and you’ll likely find a story predicting that we would be living in a world of self-driving cars any decade now. (You can add in recent long-form pieces by other national media that push that Jetsons-tinged future even harder.)

[ … ]

But the truth is we are still a long way from a fully self-driving society, for several very key reasons that have nothing to do with our ability to create the technology. Here is the cocktail party checklist of the interrelated barriers we face:

Infrastructure: Autonomous vehicles need roadways that are well-marked and in good shape. There are 4.12 million miles of road in America, according to the Federal Highway Administration, of which 2.68 million miles are paved. How bad are our roads? According to the FHA, 42.1 percent of Connecticut’s federal-aid highway miles are in “poor or mediocre condition.” Traffic-choked California is close behind, with 35.1 percent in terrible shape.

Read more.

Rechtin concludes, “The ability to create autonomous vehicles is not at issue. At issue is how to incorporate 21st century technology into a world that is still mired in the 20th. And that will take time.”

Why are our roads mired in the 20th century?

According to Transportation.gov:

The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire on July 31. Without action from Congress, federal funding for transportation will come to a screeching halt — and with it, so will traffic in many places. Over the last six years, Congress has passed 33 short-term measures rather than funding transportation for the long term. And our transportation system — our roads and bridges, especially — is in a dire state of disrepair because of it. The attached fact sheet shows us this.

Experts agree:  The only way to prepare our transportation system for the next generation is to stop this cycle of short-term measures and pass a long-term transportation bill. [Emphasis added]

So there you have it. Taxes are paid to Congress every-time you fill your tank but Congress can’t get its act together and pass a single year transportation bill let alone a long-term bill.

It’s the Congress stupid!

RELATED ARTICLES:

Trump Releases Infrastructure Plan Focused on Deregulation and New Funding

Our Roads and Bridges Are Not Actually Crumbling

Hawaii Highways Rank 47th in Cost-Effectiveness

Road and Bridge Data by State
State Structurally Deficient / Functionally Obsolete Bridges* Annual Total Extra Vehicle Repairs / Operating Costs Due to Driving on Roads in Need of Fixing** Percentage of Roads in Poor / Mediocre Condition**
ALABAMA 3,608 of the 16,078 (22.4%) $530 million ($141 per motorist) 25%
ALASKA 290 of the 1,196 (24.2%) $181 million ($359 per motorist) 49%
ARIZONA 954 of the 7,862 (12.1%) $887 million ($205 per motorist) 52%
ARKANSAS 2,894 of the 12,748 (22.7%) $634 million ($308 per motorist) 39%
CALIFORNIA 6,953 of the 24,955 (27.9%) $13.892 billion ($586 per motorist) 68%
COLORADO 1,438 of the 8,612 (16.7%) $1.034 billion ($287 per motorist) 70%
CONNECTICUT 1,472 of the 4,218 (34.9%) $847 million ($294 per motorist) 73%
DELAWARE 177 of the 864 (20.5%) $168 million ($257 per motorist. 36%
FLORIDA 2,044 of the 12,070 (16.9%) $1.792 billion ($128 per motorist) 26%
GEORGIA 2,600 of the 14,769 (17.6%) $374 million ($60 per motorist) 19%
HAWAII 494 of the 1,125 (43.9%) $456 million ($515 per motorist) 49%
IDAHO 859 of the 4,232 (20.3%) $316 million ($305 per motorist) 45%
ILLINOIS 4,246 of the 26,621 (15.9%) $2.4 billion ($292 per motorist) 73%
INDIANA 4,168 of the 18,953 (22%) $1.249 billion ($225 per motorist) 17%
IOWA 6,271 of the 24,398 (25.7%) $756 million ($381 per motorist) 46%
KANSAS 4,465 of the 25,171 (17.7%) $646 million ($319 per motorist) 62%
KENTUCKY 4,436 of the 14,116 (31.4%) $543 million ($185 per motorist) 34%
LOUISIANA 3,790 of the 13,050 (29%) $1.2 billion ($408 per motorist) 62%
MAINE 791 of the 2,402 (32.9%) $246 million ($245 per motorist) 53%
MARYLAND 1,418 of the 5,291 (26.8%) $1.598 billion ($422 per motorist) 55%
MASSACHUSETTS 2,694 of the 5,136 (52.5%) $1.461 billion ($313 per motorist) 42%
MICHIGAN 3,018 of the 11,022 (27.4%) $2.534 billion ($357 per motorist) 38%
MINNESOTA 1,513 of the 13,137 (11.5%) $797 million ($250 per motorist) 52%
MISSISSIPPI 3,636 of the 17,044 (21.3%) $811 million ($419 per motorist) 51%
MISSOURI 6,633 of the 24,350 (27.2%) $1.6 billion ($380 per motorist) 31%
MONTANA 882 of the 5,126 (17.2%) $136 million ($184 per motorist) 52%
NEBRASKA 3,765 of the 15,370 (24.5%) $380 million ($282 per motorist) 59%
NEVADA 253 of the 1,853 (13.7%) $391 million ($233 per motorist) 20%
NEW HAMPSHIRE 790 of the 2,438 (32.4%) $267 million ($259 per motorist) 54%
NEW JERSEY 2,334 of the 6,566 (35.5%) $3.476 billion ($601 per motorist) 66%
NEW MEXICO 654 of the 3,935 (16.6%) $397 million ($291 per motorist) 44%
NEW YORK 6,775 of the 17,442 (38.8%) $4.551 billion ($403 per motorist) 60%
NORTH CAROLINA 5,534 of the 18,168 (30.5%) $1.555 billion ($241 per motorist) 45%
NORTH DAKOTA 966 of the 4,439 (21.8%) $112 million ($237 per motorist) 44%
OHIO 6,647 of the 27,015 (24.6%) $1.685 billion ($212 per motorist) 42%
OKLAHOMA 5,828 of the 22,912 (25.4%) $978 million ($425 per motorist) 70%
OREGON 1,754 of the 7,656 (22.9%) $495 million ($173 per motorist) 65%
PENNSYLVANIA 9,561 of the 22,660 (42.2%) $2.947 billion ($341 per motorist) 57%
RHODE ISLAND 433 of the 766 (56.5%) $350 million ($467 per motorist) 70%
SOUTH CAROLINA 1,920 of the 9,275 (20.7%) $811 million ($255 per motorist) 40%
SOUTH DAKOTA 1,459 of the 5,875 (24.8%) $194 million ($324 per motorist) 61%
TENNESSEE 3,802 of the 20,058 (19%) $809 million ($182 per motorist) 38%
TEXAS 9,998 of the 52,561 (19%) $5.27 billion ($343 per motorist) 38%
UTAH 437 of the 2,974 (14.7%) $332 million ($197 per motorist) 25%
VERMONT 903 of the 2,731 (33.1%) $230 million ($424 per motorist) 45%
VIRGINIA 3,588 of the 13,765 (26.1%) $1.344 billion ($254 per motorist) 47%
WASHINGTON 2,066 of the 7,902 (26.1%) $1.349 billion ($272 per motorist) 67%
WEST VIRGINIA 2,514 of the 7,125 (35.3%) $372 million ($273 per motorist) 47%
WISCONSIN 1,970 of the 14,088 (14%) $1.147 billion ($281 per motorist) 71%
WYOMING 723 of the 3,099 (23.3%) $96 million ($236 per motorist) 47%

*According to 2013 data from the Federal Highway Administration
**According to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of a highway at dusk is courtesy of The Daily Signal. Photo: MarioGuti/Getty Images.

The Dawn of a New Budget

It was over almost as soon as it began, but this morning’s government shutdown still happened. While most Americans were counting Zzzs, congressional Republicans were counting votes. And, in a tense debate over the new budget, they didn’t have them. The midnight deadline came and went, with members doing everything they could to jumpstart the government before rush hour. The internal battle between defense hawks and fiscal conservatives lasted until dawn, when the House and Senate’s compromise finally passed in enough time to take a 5:00 a.m. trip to the White House for the president’s signature.

Although the agreement keeps the government running through March 23, neither side was thrilled with the $320 billion package. The deal is particularly significant because it sets the spending caps for military and nondefense spending over the next two years. Conservatives, most vocally the House Freedom Caucus, were frustrated by the GOP’s refusal to cut costs. “We support funding our troops but growing the size of government by 13 percent is not what the voters sent us here to do,” the group tweeted.

Leaders like Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) struggled to come to grips with the steep costs. Like a lot of Republicans, he thought conservatives could do better.

“This budget deal shows the American people exactly how broken our budget and appropriations process is,” he said. “It does not address our runaway deficits and actually takes major steps backwards in the fight to reign in Washington’s overspending appetite. Our budget process has only worked correctly four times since 1974. We desperately need budget reform. I’m ashamed that we have passed five continuing resolutions since the end of last Fiscal Year in September. This is no way to govern.”

“While I strongly support the budgetary certainty and increased military funding that this bill provides, the long-term negative consequences of the bill are too many. The prevailing theme of debt ceiling negotiations is usually avoiding default, but lost in the conversation is how we got here in the first place, and how we can get out of the cycle of deficit spending.”

Good, solid conservatives voted both ways on the bill. Many of our friends probably found themselves on the opposite sides of the roll call for the first time in a long time. As difficult as the details were to swallow, President Trump and others did cheer the $165 billion bump for our troops, which finally ended the long, painful days of sequestration. “Without more Republicans in Congress,” he tweeted, “we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!”

As for other silver linings, FRC was pleased to see the religious liberty protections for FEMA disaster assistance included, as well as a big boost in sexual risk avoidance (abstinence) dollars ($75 million a year for two years), an extension of the funding for community health centers that don’t perform abortions, a repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board death panels, and major cuts to the Obamacare slush fund.

I would agree with President Trump with one caveat: we need to elect more conservative Republicans. We need leaders who are willing to go toe-to-toe with the liberals who have pushed America to the verge of fiscal and moral bankruptcy until we prevail.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Eight Billion Reasons to Like Trump’s Agenda

Anyone wondering what Donald Trump would do to fill the pro-life promises of his campaign didn’t have to wait long to find out! In his first weekday on the job, the new White House started turning the page on eight deadly years of the Obama administration. After two terms of shipping American dollars to overseas groups like International Planned Parenthood, this president wasted no time pulling the plug, flipping the script on the pro-life Mexico City policy that Obama suspended.In a policy dating back to every Republican administration since Ronald Reagan’s, Donald Trump continued the tradition of blocking even a single U.S. cent from going to foreign groups that perform or promote abortion in other countries. But the administration wasn’t done. To the cheers of pro-lifers, this White House took a giant leap forward from even Presidents Bush and Reagan. For the first time ever, the administration didn’t just bring $600 million in taxpayer funding under the authority of the pro-life rule, but $8.8 billion from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Defense. That’s almost 15 times more money flowing through the abortion ban than President Bush’s policy!

Liberals were apoplectic. The U.S. is ending its global health outreach, they cried! People are going to die without America’s help. As usual, it was fake news. President Trump didn’t zero out international aid — he expanded it. For once, hurting, sick people don’t have to compete with the abortion lobby to get real care. Dollars that would have been spent propping up the culture of death are finally going to projects that improve lives – not take them. But don’t take our word for it. Take the State Department’s.

A year into the Left’s sky-is-falling predictions, this new approach to foreign aid is working. And well. In a report just released by Secretary Rex Tillerson’s agency, the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance is having the desired effect. Not only is it helping to tear down the financial stronghold that groups like Planned Parenthood have on other nations, but it’s sending a message to the world that America recognizes that all human beings have inherent worth and dignity. If President Trump wanted to discourage international abortion, liberals say he has. A former member of USAID’s population fund, lamented the “huge, huge chilling effect” the White House’s policy is having on abortion activism. “I would say, yeah, unfortunately, it does work.”

If there’s one thing both sides can support, it’s that the Trump administration has managed all of this without any disruption to our aid — one of the Left’s biggest (and unfounded) complaints. Liberals were sure that organizations all around the world would end their partnership with the U.S. government if they had to abide by the new pro-life rules. Hardly. Out of the 733 groups that provide foreign aid, only four refused to comply – including (not so surprisingly) abortion giants Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International. So far, they’re the only ones more interested in destroying humans than helping the ones in need.

Meanwhile, if anyone’s opinion matters, isn’t it the people we’re trying to serve? After two terms of hitting other countries over the head with abortion propaganda, a lot of nations are relieved by the change. From the Philippians to Latin America, our neighbors have cheered the move. Carmel Nisha Pius Franco, director of a pro-life organization in India, pointed out:

“Indian women need life, dignity, education and empowerment, not abortion. We have been exploited through decades-long population control propaganda which has resulted in at least 300 million abortions (16 million abortions being performed in India in just one year) and dangerous sub-replacement fertility rate. Americans do not want their hands in the blood of innocent children killed in India. Yes, we need to deal with development issues, but not by killing our children. Thanks to President Trump for setting things right …”

The message from this White House is simple: promoting health means protecting life. And years from now, who knows how many children will be alive to prove us right?


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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The Constitutional Amendment That Would Rein in Spending

Some people have called for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as a means of reining in a big-spending Congress.

That’s a misguided vision, for the simple reason that in any real economic sense, as opposed to an accounting sense, the federal budget is always balanced.

The value of what we produced in 2017—our gross domestic product—totaled about $19 trillion. If the Congress spent $4 trillion of the $19 trillion that we produced, unless you believe in Santa Claus, you know that Congress must force us to spend $4 trillion less privately.

Taxing us is one way that Congress can do that. But federal revenue estimates for 2017 are about $3.5 trillion, leaving an accounting deficit of about $500 billion. So taxes are not enough to cover Congress’ spending.

Another way Congress can get us to spend less privately is to enter the bond market. It can borrow. Borrowing forces us to spend less privately, and it drives up interest rates and crowds out private investment.

Finally, the most dishonest way to get us to spend less is to inflate our currency. Higher prices for goods and services reduce our real spending.

The bottom line is the federal budget is always balanced in any real economic sense.

For those enamored of a balanced budget amendment, think about the following. Would we have greater personal liberty under a balanced federal budget with Congress spending $4 trillion and taxing us $4 trillion, or would we be freer under an unbalanced federal budget with Congress spending $2 trillion and taxing us $1 trillion?

I’d prefer the unbalanced budget.

The true measure of government’s impact on our lives is government spending, not government taxing.

Tax revenue is not our problem. The federal government has collected nearly 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product almost every year since 1960. Federal spending has exceeded 20 percent of the GDP for most of that period.

Because federal spending is the problem, that’s where our focus should be.

Cutting spending is politically challenging. Every spending constituency sees what it gets from government as vital, whether it be Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients or farmers, poor people, educators, or the military.

It’s easy for members of Congress to say yes to these spending constituencies, because whether it’s Democrats or Republicans in control, they don’t face a hard-and-fast bottom line.

The nation needs a constitutional amendment that limits congressional spending to a fixed fraction, say 20 percent, of the GDP. It might stipulate that the limit could be exceeded only if the president declared a state of emergency and two-thirds of both houses of Congress voted to approve the spending.

By the way, the Founding Fathers would be horrified by today’s congressional spending. From 1787 to the 1920s, except in wartime, federal government spending never exceeded 4 percent of our GDP.

During the early 1980s, I was a member of the National Tax Limitation Committee. Our distinguished blue-ribbon drafting committee included its founder, Lew Uhler, plus notables such as Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, Paul McCracken, Bill Niskanen, Craig Stubblebine, Robert Bork, Aaron Wildavsky, Robert Nisbet, and Robert Carleson.

The Senate passed our proposed balanced budget/spending limitation amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 4, 1982, by a bipartisan vote of 69-31, surpassing the two-thirds requirement by two votes.

In the House of Representatives, the amendment was approved by a bipartisan majority (236-187), but it did not meet the two-thirds vote required by Article 5 of the Constitution.

The amendment can be found in Milton and Rose Friedman’s “Tyranny of the Status Quo” or the appendix of their “Free to Choose.”

During an interview about the proposed amendment, a reporter asked why I disagreed with the committee and called for a limit of 10 percent of GDP on federal spending. I told him that if 10 percent is good enough for the Baptist church, it ought to be good enough for Congress.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

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FAIR: Refugee Resettlement Costs Taxpayers Billions — Welfare Biggest Chunk

I’m happy to see that more national immigration control groups are addressing the costly UN/US Refugee Admissions Program!  Where are you Heritage?

muslim-welfare chart

Graphic (using ORR data) is not FAIR’s or Breitbart’s, but is from a 2015 report by then Senator Sessions Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.

John Binder writing at Breitbart tells the latest story here:

Over a five year period, American taxpayers are billed more than $8 billion for the resettlement of thousands of foreign refugees every year, a new study finds.

In research conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), analysts concluded that annual refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers about $1.8 billion a year, and over five years, about $8.8 billion.

FAIR’s research found that of the $1.8 billion annual cost of resettling refugees in the U.S., about $867 million was spent on welfare.

Continue reading here.

And, go here, for FAIR’s report.

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