Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pelosi Press Release ON Omnibus Bill: First of all, they don’t want anybody to know what’s in the bill

You can read the massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill to search for what is hidden in it.
Here are a few highlights of what is (and is not) in the spending bill compiled from several sources including the Washington PostPolitico, and Vox.com.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD
The Bill continues the more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood receives each year.
The omnibus does retain existing language forbidding funds from being used on abortions (except in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergencies). However, pro-lifers have long noted that taxpayers' money Planned Parenthood receives for other purposes still indirectly aids the abortion business, by freeing more revenue from other sources to be spent on abortions. 
Sanctuary Cities
There is “nothing in the omnibus bill to stop funding for the sanctuary cities. “It will just be a continuation of the status quo” because Democrats threatened to torpedo the funding bill if it included new rules allowing administration officials to block federal funding to the cities which shield illegals from deportation.
IMMIGRATION/DACA
Congress again failed to come to any compromise agreement on legislation to protect the Dreamers from President Trump’s executive order ending DACA, and Dreamers remain in limbo.
The bill also does not defund “sanctuary cities” that attempt to protect unauthorized immigrant residents from federal immigration officials, despite Trump’s last-minute push to defund the cities as part of the omnibus.
BORDER WALL
President Trump wanted $25 billion of funding for his “big beautiful wall.” He only got $1.6 billion for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, but with some serious strings attached. The barriers authorized to be built under the act must be “operationally effective designs” already deployed as of last March, meaning none of President Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” can be built. The bill also does not include an increase in detention beds or federal deportation agents, a key priority for Democrats in the talks. Trump fail!
OPIOID ADDICTION
The bill increases funding to tackle the opioid epidemic, a boost that lawmakers from both parties hailed as a win. The legislation allocates more than $4.65 billion across agencies to help states and local governments on efforts toward prevention, treatment and law enforcement initiatives. That represents a $3 billion increase over 2017 spending levels.
GUN SAFETY
The bill includes the Fix NICS Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that is used to screen U.S. gun buyers. It provides for incentives and penalties to encourage federal agencies and states to send records to the federal database.
Language in the report accompanying the bill clarifying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can, in fact, conduct research into gun violence. A long-standing rider known as the Dickey Amendment, which states that no CDC funds “may be used to advocate or promote gun control,” has been interpreted in the past to bar such research.
The bipartisan STOP School Violence Act of 2018 would create a $50 million-a-year grant program for training to recognize signs of gun violence.
Democrats did not get raising the minimum age to buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21 years of age. Republicans did not get concealed-carry reciprocity, a top NRA priority.
TAXES
The so-called grain glitch, a provision in the new GOP tax law that favored farmer-owned cooperatives over traditional agriculture corporations by providing a significantly larger tax benefit for sales to cooperatives, is undone in the bill.
In exchange for the grain glitch fix, Democrats won provisions expanding a tax subsidy for affordable housing — designed to shore up the low-income housing tax credit in the wake of the GOP tax law.
‘TIP POOLING’
In December, the Trump Labor Department proposed a rule that would allow employers such as restaurant owners to “pool” their employees’ tips and redistribute them as they saw fit — including, potentially, to themselves. That generated a bipartisan outcry, and the bill spells out explicitly in law that tip pooling is not permitted.
IRS
Despite the administration’s attempts to slash its budget, lawmakers grant $11.431 billion to the nation’s tax collectors, a $196 million year-to-year increase and $456 million more than Trump requested.
The federal ban on tax-exempt churches engaging in political activity, known as the Johnson Amendment, will continue, despite attempts by Trump and GOP lawmakers to rescind it.
PUBLIC BROADCASTING
Big Bird lives! Lawmakers agreed not to cut funding for the nation’s public television and radio networks. Government funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will remain at $465 million — the same level as past years.
ARTS ENDOWMENTS
Federal funding for the arts goes up, despite GOP attempts to slash it. The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities will see funding climb to $152.8 million each, a $3 million increase over the last fiscal year. Trump proposed eliminating the endowments.
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE (CRS)
The Congressional Research Service now must publish online all the reports it prepares for lawmakers. Researchers rejoice! Hallelujah!
SECRET SERVICE
The Secret Service will be required to release an annual report on travel costs for people under their protection, specifically adult children of the president. This is designed to expose how much taxpayers are spending to safeguard Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump on their overseas business trips.
ELECTION SECURITY
The bill provides $380 million to the federal Election Assistance Commission to make payments to states to improve election security and technology, and the FBI is set to receive $300 million in counterintelligence funding to combat Russian hacking.



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