While families across America are dealing with layoffs, mounting bills and uncertainty, politicians are loading the ‘stimulus’ bill with gobs and gobs of pork.
First up… here’s an update as to what’s going on with the National Guard.
As of Monday, more than 8,000 National Guard personnel have been activated across all 50 states.
The units have been tasked with mostly logistical support, including distributing food and critical medical supplies, assisting with mobile and drive-thru testing facilities, and helping to manage state Emergency Operations Centers.
With that being said, as more states, including those with minimal cases of coronavirus have ordered their citizens to shelter in place, people have become increasingly concerned about the Guard’s role in carrying out their governor’s demands.
With the activation of the National Guard being done at the same time President Trump has invoked several wartime powers, it has led to rumors about state and federal governments using military personnel to enforce social distancing measures, like statewide lockdowns, or in an extreme case, martial law.
Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel shot down any speculation that the National Guard will be used to enforce any statewide restrictions, nor have any discussions been had regarding nationalizing the Guard in order to enforce a nationwide lockdown.
Thank you, @CalGuard members, for doing your part. Today, #NationalGuard members are supporting our local, state and federal partners responding to COVID-19 all across America. https://t.co/Pc8eMbJXyh
— Gen. Joseph Lengyel (@ChiefNGB) March 23, 2020
Each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C. have all mobilized various components of their Army and Air National Guards to assist in their states response to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday night, Trump ordered Guard troops in New York, California and Washington be placed under Title 32 status, meaning states maintain control, however the federal government pays the bill.
Lengyel noted on Sunday that he believed additional governors would seek similar status, in order to speed up mobilization and provide better benefits for the troops.
“This COVID-19 pandemic is a historic event and it requires a historic response from the National Guard,” said Lengyel.
“My number one priority is taking care of our National Guard soldiers, Airmen and their families. The readiness of our force will be critical to the success of this nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.”
In spite of the increasing number of activated Guard components, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, in a Tuesday press conference, did not commit to federalizing the Guardsmen, opting instead to support governors in their individual responses.
“As we get requests in, we will look at activating, if we need to, at the federal level or using the Reserves, whatever the case may be. We want to be very supportive with regard to our prioritization in terms of supporting the American people and the governors,” Esper said.
“Right now, we are really focused on Guard and Reserve—in that order. There hasn’t been a need yet, a request for active duty. So, we will take these requests in due time.”
Let’s look at some of the most interesting cases of states that have mobilized the National Guard:
California: Last Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) placed the California National Guard “on alert” in preparation for state-wide mobilization. California is currently under a shelter in place order from Newsom. A press release announcing the mobilization said:
“The National Guard has been directed by the governor to be prepared to perform humanitarian missions across the state including food distribution, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, as well as supporting public safety as required.”
New Jersey: On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) activated the New Jersey National Guard to assist in the state response. Murphy said the role of the Guardsmen will likely focus on food delivery and manning drive-thru test locations in the intermediate—with the possibility of converting “a building for some self-quarantine reasons” if needed.
New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)-The New York National Guard has 1,800 personnel deployed across the state, including members of the New York Army and Air National Guard, the New York Guard (state defense force), and the New York Naval Militia.
There are joint task forces operating on Long Island, New York City, the Hudson Valley and Albany area in support of state, county, and local governments.
Oregon: The Oregon National Guard is providing support and guardsmen have coordinated with the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Military Department, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Corrections and other state local and non-governmental agencies.
In an interesting dichotomy, a majority of the states that have been completely shut down are primarily those run by Democrats.
States subject to shelter-in-place restrictions include all of the New England states with the exception of Maine, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida Louisiana, California, Washington State, Delaware, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
Republicans control the governor’s mansion in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia;
Democrats in Washington, California, Nevada, Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Keep an eye on restrictions imposed by states. So far, the ones with the most restrictive policies seem to be New York, New Jersey, California and Connecticut.
Now, let’s move on to the Democrat’s pork-laden “stimulus” bill. This part has to do with elections. Let us look at some of the “highlights:”
- Ballot Harvesting– a process where a political operative may come to a vendor’s home, collect their absentee ballot, and deliver it to a polling location
- Same-day Registration– Requires states to allow individuals to register to vote on election day
- Private Rights of Action- if states do not comply with the requirements of this bill by election day 2020, liberal groups would be empowered to sue the state. Due to the unrealistic timeline, it is likely many states would be at risk of costly litigation.
- Polling Locations– prescribes unrealistic, uniformed polling location requirements on states, mandating that polling locations are in areas within walking distance of public transportation, creates a vague standard for states to move their polling locations to “nondiscriminatory” areas.
- Provisional Ballots– Any provisional ballot must be counted no matter where it’s cast within the state.
Speaker Pelosi's #coronavirus bill includes:
-Provisions for a federal takeover of elections
-A climate change study on aviation
-Intrusive corporate diversity reporting burdens
Seriously? Now is the time to help struggling Americans, not play swamp politics with virus aid. pic.twitter.com/k2QDIcc8hP
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) March 23, 2020
Here’s some more information on the proposed Democrat bill, courtesy of Tucker Carlson of Fox News:
Here are some other “highlights”:
- “Not later than January 2, 2023, the Secretary of Transportation shall develop and implement, by regulation, a program to require air carriers that receive assistance under section 101 provide passengers with information regarding greenhouse gas emissions resulting from each individual flight…
- “Not later than 90 days after enactment of this act, the Secretary of Transportation shall seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (referred to in this section as the “National Academies”) to conduct a study on climate change mitigation efforts with respect to civil aviation and aerospace industries.”
- “The Congressional COVID-19 Aid Oversight Panel, in conjunction with the SIGTARP, shall collect diversity data from any corporation that receives Federal aid related to COVID-19, and issue a report that will be made publicly available no later than one year after the disbursement of funds.”
- The bill would eliminate debt held by the U.S. Postal Service
- The bill would pay of $10,000 in student debt per person
- The bill would mandate that airlines reduce their overall carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050; would implement emissions standards for airlines and require a full offset by 2025
- Would provide for automatic extension of non-immigrant visas and restrict colleges from providing information about citizenship status.
- Expansive new tax credits for solar and wind energy
- Increased collective bargaining and carve outs for Big Labor
- Retirement plans for community newspaper employees
- Publication of corporate pay statistics by race and race statistics for all corporate boards
- A requirement for companies receiving assistance to implement $15/hour minimum wage
- $1 billion “Cash for Clunkers”-style program to buy planes from airlines
- $1.5 million to study climate change mitigation efforts in civil aviation and aerospace industries.
- New burdensome OSHA requirements for hospitals
- $1 billion to build on a program established by Obama that provided discounted phone service for low-income consumers.
To help the American people through these trying times, Democrats are insisting the #coronavirus relief package includes increased emissions standards for airlines and wind and solar tax deductions. Wait…is help the right word? #No #LetsGetThisDone #StopThePoliticalGames
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) March 23, 2020
If you are noticing that NONE of these have ANYTHING to do with stimulating the economy and helping the American people while current travel restrictions are killing business, you are right.
Meanwhile, what they are holding up are the following:
- Direct payments to the American people, $1,200/person, $2,400/couple, $500/child
- $350 billion for small business
- $250 billion in unemployment insurance
- $100 billion for hospitals
- $4.5 billion for the CDC
- $11 billion for vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and other preparedness needs
- $5 billion for FEMA Disaster Relief Fund
- $1.7 billion for Strategic National Stockpile
- $12 billion for the military
- $ 20 billion for Veteran’s health care
- $ 12 Billion for K-12 education
- $ 6 billion for higher education
- $10 billion for airports
- $20 billion for Public Transportation Emergency Relief
This is an abomination that Democrats are holding up real aid to Americans who are hurting by trying to prop up their half-assed “Green New Deal” and trying to conduct a bunch of social-engineering bull crap, while holding the relief bill hostage.
This is why people hate politics.
“People are dying, and all Nancy Pelosi and Democrats can focus on is ripping off the American taxpayer to help pay for their liberal wish list of government handouts,” National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Michael McAdams said in a statement.
“As long as the White House keeps the checkbook open, Democrats will keep taking things,” a senior Senate GOP leadership source told Fox News late Monday.
“Today, 102 Americans died while the Democrats blocked consideration of this bill,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas said. “One Texan died while this chamber decided not to show up for work and do their job.”
Cruz also noted that while the Democrats are seeking to bail out the U.S. Postal Service, it has not suggested that it will terminate any employees.
One of the reasons the Democrats think they will get away with this is they expect the media to be utterly complicit,” Cruz added, while noting that the New York Times (as Law Enforcement Today reported earlier) changed its headline three times Sunday evening to describe how Democrats had killed the Republicans’ stimulus bill.
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 23, 2020
After 7 p.m. Monday evening, after hours of argument in the Senate chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced that, “We’ll not be having any votes tonight.” McConnell had earlier stormed the Senate floor, accusing the Democrats of “mindless obstruction” that could keep things dragging out for days, and said the Democrats list of demands keeps getting “longer and longer.”
Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said, “The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games. It is time to get this done. The American people expect us to act, they need action. We need to get this done for the American people.”
Plain and simple…Democrats are a joke.
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