On the night of the last Republican Party presidential debate of 2015, the Legislative Branch of the government pulled a fast one and released the text of a $1.1 trillion tax and spend deal that is loaded with the sort of compromise that makes conservative Americans of all levels want to rip out their hair by the roots.
First, the good news, which is better than nothing, but only just.
- The bill lifts the 40-year moratorium on American oil exports that were put in place during the oil shortage years of the 1970s.
- Bailout provisions for the ObamaCare “risk corridors” are eliminated, furthering Senator Marco Rubio’s undermining the Affordable Care Act by making the whole thing unaffordable for the insurance companies.
- The visa waiver program will be reformed, and those traveling from allied countries who were previously in Islamic State related nations such as Syria and Iraq will not be allowed into the country on a free pass.
- Further tax breaks for families and businesses are part of the compromise.
And now for the bad news.
- Planned Parenthood is not defunded at the federal level.
- The Syrian refugee program is not stopped, and tougher screening provisions for “refugees” coming into the country were not part of the bill.
- Illegal executive orders were not addressed.
- Wind and solar power subsidies in the form of tax breaks were extended for five years, a provision that is bowing to Democratic blackmail as reported in this space months ago.
Granted, this is a SPENDING bill, not really legislation on policy, but still, it is exactly the “crap sandwich” that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan described upon assuming the job at the end of October. Republicans simply do not have the votes to pull off the miracle of ramming the more conservative agenda through Congress the way Nancy Pelosi was able to do in the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency.
There is a vote on Wednesday to find out how the congresscritters will side if this was the bill going to the floor for a final vote. Given the reality that the 2200 plus pages of the bill were negotiated behind closed doors and released at two in the morning, there’s a good chance it needs more work before getting any sort of majority. In the meantime, Congress still has to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded until December 22. Nothing like waiting for the last minute to do all of this.
Heritage Action promises a thorough review. Stay tuned. There’s bound to be more crap in that sandwich than we know.
SOURCE – The Daily Signal