CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY

Washington is once again gripped by the specter of a government shutdown, as Congress and President Trump negotiate an end-of-year spending deal. A main issue of contention is funding for President Trump’s border wall. Sadly, but not surprisingly, neither Congress nor the administration is fighting to cut, or at least not increase, spending. Federal spending has increased from 3.6 trillion dollars to 4.4 trillion dollars since Republicans gained control over both chambers of Congress in 2014. Some may try to defend congressional Republicans by pointing out that for two years the Republican Congress had to negotiate spending deals with President Obama. But federal spending has increased by 7.5 percent, or over 300 billion dollars, since Donald Trump become President. A big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree is the military-industrial complex. Republicans have increased the “defense” budget by eight percent in the past two years. President Trump and congressional Republicans claim the increases are necessary because sequestration “decimated” the military. But Congress, with the Obama administration’s full cooperation and support, suspended sequestration every year but one, so the planned cuts never went into full effect. Congress and Obama also “supplemented” the official military budget with generous appropriations for the Pentagon’s off-budget Overseas [...]
Mon, Dec 10, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
Remember when the House leadership squashed a vote on a resolution ending US involvement in Yemen by removing it’s privileged status? Well, the leaders of that resolution have reintroduced it as H.Con.Res.142 and I just heard from a friend on the Hill that the House leadership may pull the same trick and they may do it as early as Monday! So, Campaign for Liberty members should call their Representatives and tell them to vote NO on any legislation that removes H.Con.Res 142’s privileged status! [...]
Fri, Dec 07, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
If you’re still spooked by yesterday’s post on the horrors  of the UK’s socialized health care system then you may want to pass on today’s entry. Ryan McMaken of the Mises Institute looks at three ways that Bernie Sander’s “Medicare for All” plan is worse than Canada’a system of socialized medicine: One: It's Decentralized As many observers of the Canadian healthcare plan have noted, Canada doesn't have one government healthcare system. It has 13: one for each territory and province. Since the beginning, the Canada Health Act, including its subsequent revised versions, places much of the control over healthcare coverage at the provincial level. In other words, the "details of how each system operates, including what is covered and how, is determined provincially." The federal mandate means that provinces must cover "medically necessary" hospital services and services performed by a doctor. This may sound pretty comprehensive, but what is "medically necessary" is usually defined at the provincial level. Moreover, what is defined as medically necessary can be — and has been — changed to lessen the number of procedures covered by the state. This, in effect, puts that procedure or product into the realm of the private sector. And there are some big [...]
Thu, Dec 06, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
Writing about health care in the UK, Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute, writing in Forbes magazine, details some horror stories from the UK. What is terrifying is how many Americans want to bring this horror to our shores: Vacancies for doctor and nurse positions have reached all-time highs. Patients are facing interminable waits for care as a result. This August, a record number of Britons languished more than 12 hours in emergency rooms. In July, the share of cancer patients who waited more than two months to receive treatment soared.                             ….. The NHS has struggled to fully staff its hospitals and clinics since its inception in 1948. But today, the shortages are growing worse. Nine percent of physician posts are vacant. That’s a shortfall of nearly 11,500 doctors. The NHS is also short 42,000 nurses. In the second quarter alone, nurse vacancies increased by 17 percent. Meanwhile, in the United States, nearly all states will have a surplus of nurses by 2030. It’s unsurprising that people don’t want to work as nurses in Great Britain; it’s a stressful job, with long hours and terrible working conditions. Some NHS nurses are taking positions at supermarkets because stacking shelves comes with better hours, [...]
Wed, Dec 05, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
The House has canceled all votes for the week because of the funeral of President George H. W. Bush. They will be passing a one-week continuing resolution to keep the government open while they work on finalizing the spending bills for the year. The big sticking point is funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall. I doubt that whatever deal is voted on is likely to decrease spending. As of this writing, it is unclear when the Senate will debate and vote on S.Res. 54 which ends the U.S. involvement in Yemen. Campaign for Liberty members should call their Senators and tell them to vote for S.Res. 54. In addition to the spending bill and farm bill, the Senate will consider nominations. One nomination that will be up is Kathleen Kiraninger as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can read more about Krainiger  and efforts from the CFPB here and here. In addition to the spending bill, Congress is also expected to debate the farm bill conference report. The bill does not contain the SNAP (food stamps) work requirements but does contain the House version of the bill. It also increases  subsidies. It also allows nephews and nieces of farmers to [...]
Tue, Dec 04, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
After a week of insisting that a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina was going to happen, President Trump at the last minute sent out a Tweet explaining that due to a Russia/Ukraine dispute in the Sea of Azov he would no longer be willing to meet his Russian counterpart. According to Trump, the meeting had to be cancelled because the Russians seized three Ukrainian naval vessels in Russian waters that refused to follow instructions from the Russian military. But as Pat Buchanan wrote in a recent column: how is this little dispute thousands of miles away any of our business? Unfortunately it is “our business” because of President Obama’s foolish idea to overthrow a democratically-elected, pro-Russia government in Ukraine in favor of what his Administration believed would be a “pro-Western” and “pro-NATO” replacement. In short, the Obama Administration did openly to Ukraine what his Democratic Party claims without proof the Russians did to the United States: meddled in a vote. US interventionism in Ukraine led to the 2014 coup and many dead Ukrainians. Crimea’s majority-Russian population held a referendum and decided to re-join Russia rather than remain in a “pro-West” Ukraine that immediately began discriminating against [...]
Mon, Dec 03, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
Here are the 14 Republicans who took the politically dangerous step of voting against their own party on an issue of foreign policy by voting to discharge SJRes 1364, which ends U.S. military involvement in Yemen: Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Bill Cassidy (R-LA) Susan Collins (R-ME) Bob Corker (R-TN) Steve Daines (R-MT) Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) THIS IS NOT A TYPO Mike Lee (R-UT) Jerry Moran (R-KS) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Rand Paul (R-KY) Rob Portman (R-OH) Pat Toomey (R-PA) Todd Young (R-IN) According to the blog Moon Over Alabama, Lindsey Graham did not vote for the bill because he discovered antiwar principles: Even one of Trump's allies, Senator Lindsay Graham, is pushing for a strong punishment. But a private French intelligence outlet claims that Graham's motive is not as pure as it seems: Regarding Sen. Lindsay Graham and his constant rants against MBS. @Intel_Online explains that "he is Lockheed Martin's man in the Senate" and that the weapon supplier faces huge opposition from the "Salman clan" due to disagreement about technology transfer. The paper goes on in explaining that the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), launched by the PIF, is the state-owned military industrial company that has been refusing the US trade proposals for the past 2 years, because KSA wants technology transfer but the US [...]
Fri, Nov 30, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
Vote on Yemen, Campaign for Liberty Supports the Grassley Amendment to Farm Bill Flood Insurance: Today, the House will consider legislation extending the federal flood insurance program for one week. This could be a sign that Congress is close to a deal on flood insurance or that they simply intended to throw a longer-term extension into whatever type of Omnibus spending bill. Federal flood insurance is supposed to be funded by premiums paid by those in flood-prone areas. However, the program is currently over $28 billion in debt, and has already received an influx of $16 billion from the US Treasury in October of 2017. Yet Congress ignores the growing crisis and just keeps extending the program year after year . . . so add flood insurance to the long list of the federal government’s unfunded liabilities. Now some good news: Yesterday, the Senate voted to discharge S.J. Res. 54, which ends US involvement in Yemen. Earlier this month, the House blocked efforts to bring a similar bill to the floor, so it is good to see the Senate doing this. Here is the Senate discharge roll-call vote. Here is a look at the House vote to kill a similar resolution. The final Senate vote is scheduled [...]
Thu, Nov 29, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
House and Senate committees continue to work toward a resolution on a farm bill conference report. There is talk the bill may be added to the end-of-year Omnibus package in order to ensure majority support from Republican representatives who do not want their last act of the GOP-controlled House to be a pre-Christmas government shutdown. (Apparently, fighting for principle is a horrible way to go out.) One reason the bill may have to be attached to a larger “must-pass” spending bill is that the final bill may abandon the SNAP (food stamps) reforms included in the House bill -- based on the idea that able-bodied single people should work or receive job training to facilitate moving them off of welfare. In exchange for abandoning SNAP reforms, House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (TX—11) would get his sought-after expansion of “family members” who can qualify for subsidies if they have a relative who dies and if they ever “actively managed”farm land -- whether or not they ever set foot on the farm. So you could give your cousin-twice-removed some business advice and all of sudden qualify for farm subsidies! The deal would also allow “means testing” for farm partnerships and joint ventures, causing [...]
Wed, Nov 28, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY
The House is in session Tuesday through Friday. As of this writing, they are only considering bills under suspension of the rules, while the Senate works on nominations, but there may be other legislation this week as Congress figures out how to deal with the end-of-year appropriations bills and other expiring programs, such as the Violence Against Women Act, flood insurance, and the Farm Bill. If a spending bill is not passed and signed by December 8, the government “shuts down.” Right now the big question is -- will President Trump sign a bill that provides less than $5 billion for his border wall. Few in Congress are willing to fight -- much less shutdown the government -- to cut spending. The big drama of the week will be on Wednesday, when the House Democrats meet to select their new Speaker. A number of Democrats have said they will not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Representative Pelosi is building support by promising wavering members committee assignments and votes on issues ranging from a broad infrastructure package to expanding Medicare to people between the ages of 50-65. As of this writing, there is no announced challenger to Pelosi. The only representative who was considering [...]
Wed, Nov 28, 2018
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY

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