Good little boys and girls must wait until Christmas morning to see what Santa brings them for Christmas. Likewise, good little taxpayers are expected to wait until Christmas to see what they get from Congress in the way of a year-end spending package.
You can expect to be surprised, not delighted, with your gift from the scoundrels we elected to represent us. That’s how it goes with this grand old game of kick the spending can down the road into the holidays when we are much too busy shopping for presents and decorating our homes to notice. Sadly, it happens every year.
To add insult to injury, the seven remaining bills were put off another two weeks due to the death of George H.W. Bush. Seriously, we had a national day of mourning, which was befitting a head of state. So what did they do for the other 13 days besides twiddle their thumbs? Oh, yes, they went to pay their respects in the Capitol Rotunda, which took all of 15 minutes.
The new budget deadline is Dec. 23, the day before Christmas Eve. Scrooge, himself, couldn’t have devised anything this sinister!
In case you are keeping score, the outstanding spending bills are for Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Services & General Government; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment; State, Foreign Operations; and Transportation, HUD.
I’d love to tell you what’s in these mammoth bills, but no one knows for sure as they are being cobbled together behind closed doors into one giant omnibus. To revise a quote used by the former (and perhaps next) speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, before the vote on Obamacare, “We have to pass it before you can find out what’s in it.” Please! No!
In addition to these spending bills that expire on the 23rd of December, there are the authorization bills for farm programs, flood insurance and the Violence Against Women’s Act. None of these bills should be signed in their present form.
The one thing at the top of the wish-list of the voters who elected Trump president is the border wall. Yes, we are just like little kids, hoping for that prize possession on Christmas. We voters got a lump of coal last year, and we likely will get the same this year – unless Trump keeps his word and actually shuts down the government!
Democrats keep the uniformed misinformed by saying they will vote for border security, but not a border wall. How has all that border security worked out so far? What kind of additional security would that entail? Nerf guns perhaps? On second thought, those, too, would be considered too menacing in this current climate. Let’s be clear: Democrats need thousands more poor, uneducated dependents in order to regain their power.
But don’t expect any help from the GOP. Most Republicans in Congress fall into one of two categories: wimps and fakers. The wimps are unwilling to stand up for anything. The fakers, led by outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, try to fool us into believing they want to do something about our immigration problems. However, they are in the hip pockets of the corporations demanding cheap labor.
Sadly, Republicans in the administration and Congress have added yet a few more lumps of coal to our Christmas stockings this year. One is the new regulations on the H-1B visas.
These are the visas that allow companies to replace their highly skilled, well-paid American workers with foreigners who will work for less. These visas are supposed to go to companies that cannot find qualified American workers. It’s a joke. Many Americans are required to train their foreign replacements before being booted out the door.
Another big lump of coal is the push to double the number of H-2B visas (unskilled nonagricultural workers).
It’s a one-two punch in the gut to America workers at all levels. Make no mistake, all of this will become a reality unless you ask President Trump to stop it.
We need funding for the border wall now, and we don’t need to double the number of foreign workers in order to get it. Also, we don’t need a new budget that smells of pork. What’s so terrible about a government shutdown? It doesn’t affect entitlements or essential workers.
If something is important, it is rarely urgent! That should be your Christmas message to Congress and the White House.