Weak willed Republicans just never learn do they?
Weak willed Republicans just never learn do they?
Conservatives who had wanted to see language to block President Obama’s executive actions inserted into the massive, must-pass government funding bill are expressing frustration and anger at House Republican leadership’s lack of an appetite to fight amnesty now.
“The fix is in, which I’ve been saying all along,” Rep. Matt Salmon said after leaving the GOP’s conference meeting Wednesday morning.
Tuesday night the House Appropriations Committee posted its $1.1 trillion spending package. The measure is expected to receive a vote Thursday. If no funding bill is passed by that night, the government would shut down.
“Promises around here – regardless of who they are made by – don’t seem to mean anything,” Salmon told reporters.
He explained that lawmakers’ phones have been “lighting up” with constituents asking them “do what [they] were elected to do.”
The Arizona lawmaker is spearheading an amendment with other conservative lawmakers to attach an amendment to the funding bill that would prohibit funding for Obama’s executive amnesty. His spokesman estimated to Breitbart News that the amendment currently has 55 co-sponsors. The amendment is, however, unlikely to receive a vote.
Leadership’s spending package instead is designed to fund most of the government through September, but only fund the Department of Homeland Security into February, when Republicans will have more reinforcements in the Senate to pursue a fight against Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
“Without a threat of a government shutdown, this sets up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration when we have new majorities in both chambers of Congress,” House Speaker John Boehner explained to reporters.
Conservative lawmakers Wednesday not only expressed frustration with the short amount of time given to consider the 1,603 page bill and the fact that it does not defund executive amnesty immediately, but they also questioned whether leadership would actually give a full-fledged fight next year.
“What is there to suggest that a few months from now you will oppose the amnesty that you have today funded?” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), also a co-sponsor of the defund amendment, asked.
“My biggest concern is that there are a significant number of Republicans who support amnesty, they just don’t support the way in which the president did it. That is a big distinction,” the Alabama conservative said.
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), another of the defund amendment’s co-sponsors, told Breitbart News that his constituents have been calling him to support of defunding executive amnesty.
According to Fleming “an avalanche” of calls from constituents could move the needle to get more members to push for defunding amnesty now.
“That’s what it takes. Otherwise I think Republicans are at serious risk of going out there and supporting something the American people do not support,” Fleming said.
He anticipated that many of the co-sponsors of the defund amendment will vote no on the package.
“For every one of us they’re going to have to find one [Democrat],” Fleming said.
Some of the ability to fight Obama on executive amnesty will be lost if House Republicans go along with allowing it to be funded, if only for a short time, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) argues.
“My point is you either defend the Constitution when the president violates it or you lose some of your ability and traction to do so later,” King said. “I think its better to fight now than it is later. So therefore I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, that’s for this Congress and I expect to be standing on the floor January 6th taking another one. I don’t want to have voted to fund the lawless, unconstitutional act by the president and then I could take an oath and mean it.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), another defund amendment co-sponsor, said stopping amnesty is “the issue of the day,” saying the executive actions will already be implemented come next year when leadership hopes to have the fight against them.
“That’s probably impossible to undo it in late February. This idea we’re going to take it up next year, it’s too late if you’re going to wait until after the DACA has been implemented,” he argued.
The defund amendment will be presented to the House Rules Committee by another leader in the effort, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), later Wednesday according to Salmon’s spokesman.
While Salmon told reporters he “is sure [Rules] won’t” accept the amendment, he stressed that conservatives still have to try. He added that he still expected the overall funding measure to pass despite the opposition from conservatives frustrated over funding amnesty.
King told Breitbart News that he is not co-sponsoring the Salmon and Mulvaney effort but will instead try to get the House Rules Committee to take up an effort that that goes even further, to target not only Obama’s most recent executive amnesty but also DACA and the Morton Memos.
“Somebody’s got to preserve our constitutional argument and if I don’t bring my amendment there is a concession,” he explained.
Your tax dollars hard at work!
Via Capitol City Project:
The Department of Health and Human Services dished out over $182 million to one organization in order to house unaccompanied illegal alien children over the span of four months, according to documents released on December 3. The taxpayer funds ended up covering the likes of free laptops, big screen TVs, and pregnancy tests. In 2014 alone, the group was awarded well over $280 million in federal grant money and surpasses $460 million when factoring in 2013. This is just one group in a sprawling network of those sheltering illegal alien children.
The December 3 documents, obtained by Judicial Watch, show BCFS, formerly known as Baptist Children and Family Services, was paid $182,129,786 in order to provide “basic shelter care” for 2,400 “unaccompanied alien children” (UAC) during a four month span.The budget included charges of $104,215,608 for the 1,200 UAC’s at a Fort Sill, Oklahoma center and another $77,914,178 for the 1,200 UACs at the Lackland Air Force Base shelter located in San Antonio, Texas. From June 12 to October 18, these figures equate to $86,846.34 for every illegal alien child housed at Ft. Sill and $64,928 per illegal alien child from May 18 to September 18 at the Lackland Air Force Base location. On top of this, $2,648,800 was given as compensation to members of the BCFS “Incident Management Team” – or $88,293 per person.
The Internal Revenue Service paid out $14.5 billion in erroneous Earned Income Tax Credit payments and between $5.9 billion and $7.1 billion in improper Additional Child Tax Credit payments in Fiscal Year 2013, according to a new government watchdog report.
The EITC and ACTC are refundable tax credits intended for lower-income Americans. In Tax Year 2012, the IRS paid out $63 billion in EITCs and $26.6 billion in ACTC payments.
A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released Tuesday, however, reveals a high risk level for improper payments for both programs.
According to the report, TIGTA estimates that in Fiscal Year 2013, 24 percent or $14.5 billion EITC payments were made in error and between 25.2 percent and 30.5 percent or between $5.9 billion and $7.1 billion ACTC payments were made in error.
The report notes that since FY 2011, the IRS has rated the ACTC risk rate as low. However this most recent report shows that is not the case.
“The IRS has continually rated the risk of improper Additional Child Tax Credit payments as low; however, TIGTA’s assessment of the potential for improper payments in this program indicates that its improper payment rate is similar to that of the Earned Income Tax Credit,” J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, said in a statement in conjunction with the report’s release.
“It is imperative that the IRS take action to identify and address all of its programs that are at high risk for improper payments,” George added.
TIGTA reports that while the IRS has “not developed a strategy to identify the root causes of ACTC improper payments” TIGTA believes the causes to be similar to those they have identified for erroneous EITC payments, which include “authentification and verification” issues.
The watchdog made recommendations aimed at resolving some of the improper payment issues.
“TIGTA recommended that the IRS ensure that the results of the ACTC Improper Payment Risk Assessment accurately reflect the high risk associated with ACTC payments, identify the root causes of the improper ACTC payments, and establish a plan to reduce erroneous payments,” the report reads. “Furthermore, if correctable error authority is granted, the IRS should contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain the complete National Directory of New Hires database.”
It further recommend that the IRS should seek “expanded National Directory of New Hires database authority to systemically verify claims for other income-based refundable credits.”
While the IRS agreed with the recommendations dealing with the explained National Directory of New Hires database, it disagreed with the rest of the body’s recommendations.
“The IRS disagreed with TIGTA’s other recommendations, stating that it follows Departmental and Office of Management and Budget guidance in conducting the Improper Payment Risk Assessment for the ACTC,” TIGTA detailed in a release. “Further, OMB acknowledges that the IRS already conducts an analysis of the Tax Gap that incorporates those credits. Finally, the IRS stated that obtaining the complete NDNH database is not cost effective.”
President Obama has committed a mind-boggling $3 billion to a new United Nations Green Climate Fund run by officials from Communist nations, a country that appears on the State Department’s list of terrorism-sponsors and an Arab oil-industry chief.
As if it weren’t bad enough that our commander-in-chief is giving away money while the nation suffers through a colossal budget deficit, there are countless reasons why this is a lousy idea. First of all, the United Nations is a famously corrupt organization that is already largely funded by Uncle Sam to the tune of billions annually. The exact figure is tough to nail down because the U.S. cash flows, not just directly to U.N. coffers from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), but also from a number of other government agencies to the U.N. system.
The entire world body is well known as a pillar of fraud and mismanagement, but that hasn’t slowed the tide of American taxpayer dollars. Even the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, funded primarily by American taxpayers, is a huge joke. A few years ago Judicial Watch reported that the U.N. awarded a genocidal warlord indicted by an international court for crimes against humanity a seat on its laughable human rights council. His name is Omar Al-Bashir, a ruthless African dictator charged by the International Criminal Court of war crimes in Darfur for killing thousands of his own citizens.
The last thing we need is another global U.N. initiative looking for cash. The “urgency and seriousness of climate change” inspired the crooked world body to create the Green Climate Fund, which aims to help the international community combat global warming. Here’s the plan in a nutshell; the fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will be accomplished by following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international environmental treaty that aims to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations.
Predictably, this can’t be accomplished cheaply and President Obama stepped up to the plate with the astounding $3 billion allotment. He made the announcement this month during a speech in Australia. “Now, today, I’m announcing that the United States will take another important step,” Obama said “We are going to contribute $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund so we can help developing nations deal with climate change. So along with the other nations that have pledged support, this gives us the opportunity to help vulnerable communities with an early-warning system, with stronger defenses against storm surges, climate-resilient infrastructure.” The speech, delivered at University of Queensland in Brisbane, went on and on but the snippet is sufficient to relay its gist.
Now let’s take a look at who’s running this new Green Climate Fund that’s supposed to save the world from the ills of global warming. Among the board of directors is Yingming Yang, the Deputy Director General of Communist China’s Ministry of Finance and Jorge Ferrer Rodriguez, a minister in Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Communist island has for years appeared on the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Another interesting board member is Ayman Shasly, an official in Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
The selection of Shasly as a top dog of a conglomerate looking to halt climate change is peculiar since the oil industry contributes the most greenhouse gas and is well known to have a negative effect on the environment because it’s toxic to nearly all forms of life. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is a government body in a country that happens to be the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil. In fact, it has a quarter of the world’s known oil reserves. Shasly’s efforts as a global environmentalist may seem like a conflict of interest, especially since his government has announced plans to increase oil production from around 8 million barrels per day to 12.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kept employees on paid administrative leave for years, costing taxpayers more than $1 million.
An “Early Warning” report released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Wednesday revealed that eight employees racked up 20,926 hours of paid administrative leave, including some employees who were paid not to work for four years.
The eight employees cost taxpayers $1,096,868 alone. The report is in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis released last month that found government-wide paid administrative leave cost $3.1 billion from 2011 and 2013.
The GAO report detailed that the EPA paid 69 employees to not work for 4,711 days between 2011 and 2013, costing $17,550,100.
The OIG analyzed paid leave for this year, focusing on eight employees who took the most paid leave. Half of the employees were on paid administrative leave for more than a year, including one EPA employee who was paid from May 2010 until September 2014, costing taxpayers $351,300.
The amount of paid leave taken by these employees may be higher, the OIG said, since several were missing timesheets during their period of paid leave.
The OIG report was categorized as addressing the goal of “Embracing EPA as a high-performing organization.”
The EPA allows for paid administrative leave for voting, funerals, donating blood, and bad weather. However, all eight employees were on paid administrative leave for at least four months.
The EPA’s leave manual offers no determination for what is considered an “acceptable amount of administrative leave.”
The OIG pointed out that employees could be placed on long-term paid leave for disciplinary reasons.
“The leave manual also provides that one authorized use of administrative leave is when an employee’s removal or indefinite suspension is proposed, and the employee’s continued presence at the work site during the notice period would constitute a threat to public property or the health and safety of coworkers or the public.”
The EPA has had to deal with employees who have threatened the work environment for their fellow workers before.
The OIG presented its findings to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Oct. 30, and the agency is currently reviewing background information on the employees in question.