The Pronk Pops Show 1029, February 8, 2018, Story 1: Count Down To Shutdown and Defeat of Bipartisan Budget Busters Bill — Reactivate The Tea Party Movement Now — March On Washington — Form New Independence Party To Replace Big Government Budget Busting Democrats and Republicans — Fiscal Responsibility: Balanced Budgets — No More Deficits — Permanently Shutdown 8 Federal Departments — Videos — Story 2: FBI Informant On Uranium Deal Disclosures To Congress: Russians Attempted To Buy Influence With Bill and Hillary Clinton For Approval of Sale of Uranium One Deal To Russians — Videos

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Rand Paul’s Epic Speech on Government Spending, $20.6 Trillion Debt, and fiscal responsibility

Friedman on Reagan

Ronald Reagan Describes Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman on his Ideal Society

Milton Friedman – Enemies of the Free Market

Milton Friedman – The Seen Vs The Unseen

Milton Friedman – The Proper Role of Government

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Milton Friedman – Spending and not “the debt”

Milton Friedman – Deficits and Government Spending

How to Reduce Debt and Grow the Economy: Milton Friedman on Budget Reconciliation Legislation (1993)

BREAKING: White House ‘preparing for the worst’ as second US government SHUTDOWN expected

Shutdown likely as Rand Paul holds up key vote

Rep. Brat Says Budget Deal a ‘Non-Starter’

Will the House follow the Senate on a budget deal?

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Paul on Holding Up ‘Rotten’ Budget Deal: ‘We’re Going to Bring Back Obama-Era Deficits’

Congress Scrambles Towards Budget Deal

Congress to Vote on Long Term Spending Bill

Why Congress’ budget solution might not avert a shutdown

PBS is a publicly funded American broadcaster

Shutdown ends after Trump signs budget deal

After Rand Paul’s blockade concluded, the Senate and House passed a sweeping budget deal.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is pictured. | AP Photo
“This is a great victory for our men and women in uniform. Republicans and Democrats joined together to finally give our troops the resources and our generals the certainty to plan for the future,” said Speaker Paul Ryan. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

After five and a half hours of a government shutdown, Congress passed a sweeping budget deal early Friday morning that will keep the doors open at federal agencies and lift stiff spending caps — giving Republicans another legislative victory, although it came at a high price.

At about 8:40 a.m. Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he “just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”

The measure faced opposition from the right and left, but lawmakers were loath to force a protracted shutdown fight. And many lawmakers were eager to see higher spending on defense and domestic programs.

The House vote, around 5:30 a.m., was 240-186. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) had urged her members to oppose the bill over the GOP’s failure to resolve the standoff over 700,000 Dreamers, but her efforts ultimately fell short. Seventy-three Democrats ended up backing the bipartisan package, which came after months of closed-door talks.

The defeat was a bitter one for Pelosi and other top Democrats, who have sought for months to tie a resolution of the fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the budget caps negotiations.

“She didn’t have a cohesive message… and at the end of the day, her team broke,” crowed Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) following the House vote. “It’s a fascinating display of a bipartisan win and at the same time, Democrats ripping themselves apart about a bipartisan agreement. It doesn’t make any damn sense.”

The Senate had earlier passed the measure on a 71-28 vote shortly before 2 a.m.

In addition to tens of billions of dollars in new funding for both the Pentagon and domestic programs, the budget package will keep federal agencies open until March 23. This will give time for the House and Senate Appropriations panels to craft a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund federal agencies until Sept. 30.

The bipartisan agreement includes nearly $90 billion in disaster aid for Texas, Florida, California, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal government’s debt limit will also be extended until March 2019.

“This is a great victory for our men and women in uniform. Republicans and Democrats joined together to finally give our troops the resources and our generals the certainty to plan for the future,” said Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Senate Democrats also claimed victory, especially Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who helped craft the deal along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and House leaders.

“What makes Democrats proudest of this bill is that after a decade of cuts to programs that help the middle class, we have a dramatic reversal,” added Schumer. “Funding for education, infrastructure, fighting drug abuse, and medical research will all, for the first time in years, get very significant increases, and we have placed Washington on a path to deliver more help to the middle class in the future.”

Yet the Senate vote came only after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) refused to allow any action on the measure before the midnight funding deadline, triggering the second government shutdown in three weeks and an embarrassing outcome for the GOP-controlled Congress.

Paul blocked consideration of the measure because he didn’t get a vote on an amendment to keep Congress under strict budget caps, as well as stripping the debt limit from the package. GOP and Democratic leaders in the Senate feared if they let Paul proceed with his proposal, other senators would seek to amend the underlying deal as well. So they refused to allow a vote on Paul’s proposal.

Paul countered by delaying Senate consideration of the bill as long as possible, a move that angered McConnell and other top Republicans. Paul didn’t seem to care.

“There’s only so much I can do. This is a silly thing about it. I can keep them here until 3 a.m. I will make them listen to me,” Paul said on Fox News.

With a shutdown only hours away, McConnell tried to set up a vote on the budget deal beginning at 6 p.m. But Paul objected.

McConnell then pleaded with senators to accept a procedural vote and allow the Senate to move a deal that Trump backs.

“The president of the United States supports the bill and is waiting to sign it into law. I understand my friend and colleague from Kentucky does not join the president in supporting the bill,” McConnell said. “It’s his right, of course, to vote against the bill. But I would argue that it’s time to vote.”

Paul told POLITICO on Thursday evening that he would not consent to congressional leaders’ plan without a vote on his amendment. He ended up never getting that vote.

Asked if he’s worried about singlehandedly inheriting the blame for a shutdown, Paul replied: “No. I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over.”

At midnight, the federal shutdown began, and the Office of Personnel Management emailed federal employees to make it official.

“Due to a lapse in appropriations, Federal government operations vary by agency,” the agency said. “Employees should refer to their home agency for guidance on reporting for duty.”

Even after all the Senate drama, passage in the House was not a sure bet either.

Opposition from GOP conservatives required Republican leaders to lean on Democrats for votes even as Pelosi took a hard line on DreamersIn the end, dozens of her rank-and-file rejected Pelosi’s plea and supported the package.

During a two-hour Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, Pelosi and party leaders made the case for why members should vote no but weren’t twisting arms.

“We have a moment. They don’t have the votes,” Pelosi declared inside the meeting according to two sources. Pelosi said Democrats needed to use their leverage on the budget deal to extract concessions from Ryan on resolving the standoff over Dreamers.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) warned his Democratic colleagues that donors would not support them if they don’t stand up and fight.

“Right now, I would say that I don’t believe that the Republicans are going to get enough votes from the Democrats to pass this, Gallego said. “They’re going to have to rely very heavily on enough of their votes.”

However, Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.), top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said he would back the budget accord. Yarmuth said he believed Ryan wants a deal on the Dreamers. He also worried Democrats would get blamed for a shutdown.

“That’s my concern,” Yarmuth said. “If Republicans had 70 votes and needed 140 from us, then there’s no pressure on us. If they have 170 and we can’t put up 40 to support a bipartisan bill coming from the Senate, then we get blamed for a shutdown.”

After teasing details of the deal earlier in the day, congressional leaders unveiled the more than 650-page bill just before midnight Wednesday, proposing expansive policy changes and funding bumps for specific programs in every corner of the federal government.

“This is not the kind of deal you celebrate,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who explained Wednesday that he had concerns he would be voicing to leadership before divulging whether he will vote for the bill.

Ryan played up the big boost in defense spending in order to placate Republicans, while also trying to reassure Pelosi and wavering Democrats that he is resolved to coming up with a solution for Dreamers.

“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday. “If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign.”

Trump canceled the DACA program last year and called on Congress to come up with a legislative fix he can support. Despite months of bipartisan talks, congressional leaders have failed to do so, leading to last month’s government shutdown and questions over whether Congress can pass a budget caps deal.

Ryan had hoped his last statement — a different version of what he has already promised — would provide enough Democrats the political cover they needed to vote for the budget deal. But it wasn’t enough for Pelosi.

A group of about 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including its chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), were seen in an intense debate about the bill on the first floor of the Capitol Thursday morning. And members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were debating whether they should support the plan during their weekly lunch huddle later that day. A number of Democrats from those groups ended up voting for the budget agreement.

For a number of House Democrats, the budget caps deals means billions of dollars more in federal spending for their districts , funds they desperately want.

“I cannot in good conscience go home and say to my [hospitals that serve low-income patients] that I didn’t vote for this because of DACA,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a member of the CBC.

“Or I can’t go home and say to health centers that have already been handing out pink slips, ‘I didn’t vote for this and they gave me money for a permanent fix for your problem.’ I can’t go home and say to union people, ‘Look, they’re going to try to take care of your pension problem, but I didn’t vote for it.'”

Burgess Everett, Matthew Nussbaum and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/08/congress-massive-budget-deal-2018-398189

 

Sen. Paul cites jittery markets and rising rates as reasons to block spending bill

  • As the Senate tries to pass a massive spending bill, Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul raises alarm about jittery markets and rising interest rates.
  • The deadline for the spending bill looms, threatening a government shutdown.
  • Paul also razzes colleagues for being against deficits during the Obama administration but embracing them now.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Joshua Roberts | Reuters
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was threatening to derail the Senate’s massive budget deal, pointing to the stock market plunge this week and arguing the bill spends too much money.

Paul said financial markets are “jittery” and demonstrate an “undercurrent of unease” because investors are worried about government debt and inflation. On Thursday the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 1,000 points for the second time this week, also marking the second-worst point drop in its history.

Frenzied selling in the market has come with a surge in the widely watched volatility index, with things going haywire last Friday after a report showed wages were growing. While good news for workers, the report sparked fears of inflation, sending stocks into their initial tailspin. The selling continued into this week.

But the government has also scrambled to pass a spending bill that will keep it in business and extend its ability to borrow beyond current limits. A shutdown deadline looms overnight. In the Senate on Thursday, Paul said he was elected to fight reckless government spending regardless of the funding deadline.

“You wonder why the stock market is jittery, one of the reasons is we don’t have the capacity to continue funding” the government like this, he said. “We’ve been funding it with phony interest rates.”

Rates have been near historic lows since the financial crisis forced the Federal Reserve to slash them and aggressively buy bonds to support the economy. The Fed is backing off that easy money policy, aiming to raise rates very gradually to more normal levels and reduce the amount of its bond holdings over time. But the Fed’s ability to raise rates and the timing of those increases could cool down a growing economy.

“What if rates become real again?” Paul asked in the Senate. “Already, interest rates are ticking up. Stock market is jittery. If you ask the question why, maybe it has something to do with the irresponsibility of Congress spending money we don’t have.”

He also razzed his colleagues for supporting the spending bill, which will raise the cap on government spending $300 million over two years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would cost about $320 billion, much of it in the first year.

“If you were against [President] Obama’s deficits and now you’re for Republican deficits, isn’t that very definition of hypocrisy?”

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/rand-cites-jittery-markets-and-rising-rates-to-block-spending-bill.html

What you need to know about the Senate budget deal

Senate to vote on two-year budget Thursday

Senate leaders have agreed to the biggest budget deal of Donald Trump’s presidency, ending a months-long partisan standoff that briefly shuttered the federal government in January.

Both chambers are expected to vote on the package Thursday ahead of a midnight deadline for keeping the government open.

Passage in the Senate is a certainty given support from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who have hailed it as a major breakthrough.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also praised the deal, but conservative Republicans are rejecting it.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) says she’ll vote against the bill because it does not include language to protect from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the country illegally as children. But she isn’t whipping her members to oppose the legislation.

Here’s what’s in the deal:

Spending cap increases

The measure raises the cap on defense discretionary spending by $80 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $85 billion in fiscal year 2019.

It also provides $71 billion in emergency or overseas contingency funding for 2018 and $69 billion for 2019, bringing total defense spending for those two years to $700 billion and $716 billion, respectively.

It raises the cap on nondefense domestic discretionary spending by $63 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $68 billion in fiscal year 2019.

It fully repeals the automatic spending caps known as sequestration for nondefense programs. Counting the repeal of the sequester cut and $57 billion in new spending, it represents a $131 billion increase for nondefense programs.

The big jump in defense spending has earned plaudits from Pentagon chief James Mattis and defense hawks in both chambers, though some have questioned whether it’s too much money for the military.

“Military spending and defense spending is far above the president’s request,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), an outspoken budget hawk who said Thursday he’d be voting on the bill. “I’m all for supporting our military, and I want to make sure they’re funded properly. It’s very difficult to have that big an increase in one year and then be able to use it wisely.”

It includes $23.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s fund for recovery repairs and future mitigation and $28 billion in community development block grants for housing and infrastructure.

It also has $2 billion to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands rebuild their electric grids and $2.4 billion to help citrus growers in Florida and farmers in other areas recover from hurricanes and wildfires.

It spends $4.9 billion in Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Debt ceiling

The measure suspends the debt ceiling until March 1, 2019, sidestepping a fight with House conservatives who have demanded attaching spending reforms to any expansion of federal borrowing authority.

There’s growing sentiment on both sides of the aisle that the debt limit should be abolished, as it only authorizes the Treasury Department to pay obligations that Congress has already authorized.

Budget hawks, however, are unhappy with the fiscal impact of the deal. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget warns it would “set the stage for more than $1.5 trillion of new debt over the next decade.”

Opioid addiction

The agreement allocates $6 billion over two years to fight opioid addiction, a major priority of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has spearheaded the Senate push to address what he says is a nationwide crisis.

It would fund prevention programs and law enforcement operations.

Infrastructure

The bill provides $20 billion in new infrastructure investment, reflecting demands from Republicans who wanted a portion of the nondefense spending hikes to go to infrastructure.

This reflects a priority for Trump, who has called on Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

The $20 billion falls far short of the amount of federal money needed to leverage an infrastructure overhaul of the magnitude that Trump envisions, but it’s a start.

Veterans

The bill provides funding to reduce the backlog of more than 400,000 claims at Department of Veterans Affairs health centers.

One of Trump’s top priorities during the 2016 campaign was to improve care for military veterans. He signed an executive order expanding health care services for veterans leaving active duty.

The measure would provide $4 billion — $2 billion in 2018 and $2 billion in 2019 — to address the backlog.
Health care

Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would be extended by four years under the bill. The program was previously authorized for six years as part of a funding deal late last month that ended the January shutdown.

Democrats had called for a 10-year reauthorization of CHIP, but Schumer characterized the funding as a victory.

“American families with children who benefit with CHIP will now be able to rest easy for the next decade,” Schumer said Wednesday.

The deal OKs a two-year reauthorization of community health centers with more than $7 billion in total funding, another priority Democrats demanded during the January shutdown.

It closes the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” for seniors.

And it gives $620 million over two years to the National Health Service Corps and $253 million over the same period to teaching health centers.

The bill also includes structural reforms to Medicare that a senior Democratic aide described as a routine way to offset the cost of the bill.

It would repeal ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, a controversial part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that never got off the ground as critics warned it would take medical decisions away from doctors.

Budget, appropriations and pension reform

The bill establishes special committees to work on budget and appropriations reform and pensions reform.

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a leading proponent of budgetary reform, applauded the development Wednesday.

“There may be some new energy behind working on process reform. That could be an encouraging sign,” he said.

Democrats say the creation of a joint select committee to address what they call the multiemployer pension crisis will help millions of pensioners, including miners who are faced with cuts to their benefits.

Helping retired miners is a top priority of Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) who are running for reelection this year in states that voted for Trump.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/372932-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-senate-budget-deal

RAND PAUL: Government spending is out of control

Rand Paul
US Sen. Rand Paul.Reuters/John Sommers II

US Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is a 2016 presidential candidate.

Last year, when the Republican Party gained control of both houses of Congress, the American people were promised that things would change. The American people were promised that the economy would improve — that President Obama and his reckless spending habits would be pinned down once and for all. One year later, however, things do not appear to have changed at all.

Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that the deficit for this fiscal year will hit $544 billion — $130 billion more than expected — while the 10-year deficit is projected to climb over $1 trillion higher than previously forecast.

That’s right: We are already over $18 trillion in debt — we already have a debt that is equal to our GDP — and yet our Republican-controlled Congress is still ready to continue spending more of our money at every turn.

Throughout my time in Washington, I have worked tirelessly to wake up Republicans and Democrats to the dangers of their reckless spending habits, but neither side is willing to face fiscal reality.

In the last decade, we have added nearly $10 trillion in new debt and the results have been far from stellar. Our labor force participation rate is sitting at a near-40-year low. Wage growth has remained stagnant, while real median household income has declined by over 7%.

What frustrates me the most about Washington’s penchant for spending $7 million a minute is that there is clearly hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of pork barrel spending that should be removed from our list of expenditures. For example, we recently spent taxpayer money on everything from a $104 million subsidy for millionaires to live in public housing to $850,000 on a foreign made-for-T.V. cricket league in Afghanistan. I cannot imagine that anyone living outside the beltway would support such wasteful expenditures.

Although there is clearly plenty of waste within our budget, my Republican colleagues — including fellow presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — refuse to cut even a penny.

This March, Cruz and Rubio wanted to increase military spending by $190 billion over the next two years. I proposed raising defense spending by exactly the same amount, but also proposed offsetting the hike with cuts to wasteful spending. Cruz, Rubio, and nearly every other Republican in the Senate voted against my amendment. Fiscal conservatism is apparently much easier to preach than to do.

The problem in Washington is that there is an unholy alliance between right and left. They come together to spend more of your money at every turn. Conservatives want more military spending and liberals want more domestic spending. As a result, they shake hands and agree to spend more on everything.

Last October, this secret alliance came together to introduce the Bipartisan Budget Act, a statute which aimed to suspend the debt limit until the end of President Obama’s tenure and increase spending by $85 billion in just three years. It also proposed taking $150 billion from the Social Security trust fund — the trust fund that is projected to reach insolvency within 20 years — to fund other areas of the budget.

The U.S. Capitol is pictured on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress in Washington, January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Jim BourgThe US Capitol.Thomson Reuters

When it came time to vote on the Bipartisan Budget Act, I was not shy in expressing my disapproval. In hopes of convincing my colleagues of the negative impacts that this legislation would have on our economy, I voiced my objections on the Senate floor until the wee hours of the morning.

Instead of thanking me for fighting for conservative principles until the bitter end, however, many of my colleagues cursed and yelled at me for wasting their time. In the end, only 34 of my Republican colleagues stood with me to restore fiscal sanity.

It is disappointing that Republicans would agree to any new spending, especially since there is plenty of pork barrel spending that can and should be cut. Unfortunately, however, wasteful spending is the common ground that the unholy alliance never ceases to agree upon.

The truth is, Republicans are just as fiscally irresponsible as Democrats. Conservatives may support lowering your taxes, but they are still willing to spend more of your money at every turn. Cutting taxes while increasing spending simply means that American workers will be taxed in a more discrete and worse way. It means that our borrowing will increase, which will lead to more debt, higher inflation, and less money in all of our pockets.

Unfortunately, both parties will continue to spend us into oblivion until we restrain them from doing so. That’s why I have consistently advocated for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. We need to make every Congressional representative swear an oath to balance the budget and ensure that it gets done.

Throughout my time in the Senate, I have also proven that I am serious about balancing the budget by laying out precisely what programs, departments, and expenditures I would cut in order to bring fiscal stability back to our nation’s checkbook. Every conservative that pays lip service to reining in the debt should follow my lead. We can’t afford for politicians to be “all talk.” We need action, and we need it now.

http://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-government-spending-is-out-of-control-2016-1

Congress stumbles toward second shutdown

Resistance from Rand Paul and House Democrats may push the government over the brink.

The Capitol is pictured. | Getty Images
In contrast to the House leaders’ battle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have repeatedly praised the deal — and each other — as a compromise that dozens of senators from each party can support. | Saul Loeb/Getty Images

The White House urged federal agencies on Thursday evening to prepare for a government shutdown at midnight, as a budget deal stalled on Capitol Hill amid resistance from a cantankerous GOP senator and unhappy House Democrats.

“The Office of Management and Budget is currently preparing for a lapse in appropriations,” said an OMB official.

A senior Trump administration official said if a shutdown does happen, it would be over “within a few hours.” The official expressed confidence that the House would pass the bill once it ultimately comes over from the Senate.

The House and Senate were expected to vote earlier Thursday on the bipartisan budget package, which would jack up federal spending by about $300 billion over two years. The agreement also calls for raising the debt ceiling until March 2019, as well as nearly $90 billion in disaster aid.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is blocking consideration of the measure until he gets a vote on an amendment to keep Congress under strict budget caps, as well as stripping the debt limit from the package. Senate GOP leaders had believed they could work out an agreement with Paul, but the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican has not relented yet.

That could lead to a shutdown on Friday unless some action is taken to head it off. GOP leaders have already begun discussing a one- or two-day continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown, said Republican aides. Such a proposal could quickly pass both chambers if no lawmakers objected. Paul, however, may object.

“There’s only so much I can do. This is a silly thing about it. I can keep them here until 3 a.m. I will make them listen to me and they will have to have me to listen to me,” Paul said on Fox News. “It is too important for the country not to have a debate.”

Paul added: “I’m not advocating for shutting down the government. I’m also not advocating for keeping the damn thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute. This is reckless spending that is out of control.”

With a shutdown only hours away, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to set up a vote on the budget deal beginning at 6 p.m. But Paul objected.

McConnell pleaded with senators to accept a procedural vote and allow the Senate to move a deal that President Donald Trump backs.

“The president of the United States supports the bill and is waiting to sign it into law. I understand my friend and colleague from Kentucky does not join the president in supporting the bill,” McConnell said. “It’s his right, of course, to vote against the bill. But I would argue that it’s time to vote.”

But Paul told POLITICO on Thursday evening that he will not consent to congressional leaders’ plan without a vote on his amendment.

Asked if he’s worried about singlehandedly inheriting the blame for a shutdown, Paul replied: “No. I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over.”

The Kentucky Republican’s move could lead to a shutdown starting at midnight. Unless he agrees to back off, the Senate couldn’t vote before 1 a.m. Even then, the House will need several hours to complete its work.

And passage in the House isn’t a sure bet either.

Opposition from GOP conservatives is forcing Republican leaders to lean on Democrats for votes even as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) digs in with immigration demands.

“Part of it depends on the Democrats,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday morning on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show. “This is a bipartisan bill. It’s going to need bipartisan support.”

Right now it’s unclear how many Democrats will support the bill and the debate is sharply dividing the caucus.

During a two-hour Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, Pelosi and party leaders made the case for why members should vote no but weren’t twisting arms.

“We have a moment. They don’t have the vote,” Pelosi declared inside the meeting according to two sources. Pelosi said Democrats needed to use their leverage on the budget deal to extract concessions from Ryan on resolving the standoff over Dreamers.

A number of Democrats estimated that between 40 to 60 of their colleagues would support the budget agreement, although Republicans still believe more Democrats will vote for it in the end rather than allow a shutdown to happen.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) warned his Democratic colleagues that donors would not support them if they don’t stand up and fight.

“Right now, I would say that I don’t believe that the Republicans are going to get enough votes from the Democrats to pass this, Gallego said. They’re going to have to rely very heavily on enough of their votes.”

But Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.), top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said he would back the budget accord. Yarmuth said he believed Ryan wants a deal on the Dreamers. He also worried Democrats would get blamed for a shutdown.

“That’s my concern,” Yarmuth said. “If Republicans had 70 votes and needed 140 from us, then there’s no pressure on us. If they have 170 and we can’t put up 40 to support a bipartisan bill coming from the Senate, then we get blamed for a shutdown.”

Top House Republicans believe they will get a “majority of the majority” to support the measure, although the House Freedom Caucus and other deficit hawks are against the proposal. Republicans are hoping for 70-plus Democratic votes. There are 238 House Republicans.

“This is not the kind of deal you celebrate,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who explained Wednesday that he had concerns he would be voicing to leadership before divulging whether he will vote for the bill.

Ryan is playing up the big boost in defense spending in order to placate Republicans, while also trying to reassure Pelosi and wavering Democrats that he is resolved to coming up with a solution for Dreamers.

“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problems and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign.”

President Donald Trump canceled the program last year and called on Congress to come up with a legislative fix he can support. Despite months of bipartisan talks, congressional leaders have failed to do so, leading to last month’s government shutdown and questions over whether Congress can pass a budget caps deal.

Ryan had hoped his latest statement — a different version of what he has already promised — will give enough Democrats cover to vote for the budget deal. But it wasn’t enough to assuage Pelosi.

While a legal fight is being waged in federal court over the Dreamers’ fate, Pelosi has been seeking Ryan’s assurance that the House will vote to protect the 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

Despite Pelosi’s position, and the threat of losing on the budget agreement vote, Ryan has refused to commit to anything more than the House would consider a bill that Trump can endorse. Yet without those assurances, there may not be enough House support to pass the budget deal.

A trio of House Democrats — Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) — are whipping their colleagues to oppose the budget deal, according to multiple sources.

The budget deal is also threatening to divide the minority groups — the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus — which have banded together during the immigration debate over the past several months. The three groups along with the Congressional Progressive Caucus were supposed to put out a statement Wednesday opposing the budget deal. But deep divisions within the CBC and CHC have delayed the unified show of opposition, and it’s unclear if the statement will come out at this point.

A group of about 10 members of the CBC, including its chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), were seen in an intense debate about the bill on the first floor of the Capitol late Thursday morning. And members of the CHC were debating whether they could and should support the plan during their weekly lunch huddle later that day.

For a number of House Democrats, the budget caps deals means billions of dollars more in domestic spending, funds they desperately want. So they will back the agreement despite their concerns over the Dreamers.

“I cannot in good conscience go home and say to my [hospitals that serve low-income patients] that I didn’t vote for this because of DACA,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a member of the CBC.

“Or I can’t go home and say to health centers that have already been handing out pink slips, ‘I didn’t vote for this and they gave me money for a permanent fix for your problem.’ I can’t go home and say to union people, ‘Look, they’re going to try to take care of your pension problem, but I didn’t vote for it.'”

In contrast to Pelosi and Ryan’s battle, McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have repeatedly praised the deal — and each other — as a compromise that contains billions of dollars that dozens of senators from each party can support.

The massive package includes $89 billion in disaster aid, surpassing the $81 billion allocation the House approved in December for regions hit by wildfires and last year’s trio of catastrophic hurricanes.

As the Treasury Department reaches the upper limits of its borrowing authority this month, the measure would lift the debt ceiling until March 2019, giving lawmakers more than a year without the worry of default.

Burgess Everett, Matthew Nussbaum and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/08/congress-massive-budget-deal-2018-398189

Speaker Paul D. Ryan arriving to vote on Friday. He expressed support for bringing a debate on immigration to the House floor. CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday morning signed into law a far-reaching budget deal that will boost spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and allow the federal government to reopen after a brief shutdown.

In an early morning tweet, Mr. Trump said he had signed the bill, adding: “Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more.”

Mr. Trump’s signature came quickly after the House gave final approval early Friday to the deal, hours after a one-man blockade by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky delayed the votes and forced the government to briefly close.

House Democrats, after threatening to bring the bill down because it did nothing to protect young undocumented immigrants, gave Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin the votes he did not have in his own party and ensured passage. In the end, 73 House Democrats voted yes to more than offset the 67 Republicans who voted no.

Just before the vote, Mr. Ryan voiced support for bringing a debate on immigration to the House floor — though he did not make a concrete promise, as Democratic leaders had wanted.

With Mr. Trump’s signature, the government will reopen before many Americans were aware it had closed, with a deal that includes about $300 billion in additional funds over two years for military and nonmilitary programs, almost $90 billion in disaster relief in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires, and a higher statutory debt ceiling.

It should pave the way for a measure of stability through September 2019 after months of lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. Mr. Trump will get to boast of a huge increase in military spending, long promised, but his desire to more broadly reorder the government with deep cuts to programs like environmental protection, health research and foreign aid are dead for now — as is any semblance of fiscal austerity.

Mr. Paul, a Republican, made that final point. Angered at the huge spending increases at the center of the accord, he delayed passage for hours with a demand to vote on an amendment that would have kept in place the strict caps on spending that the deal raises.

 

How Rand Paul Exposed a Republican Reversal

It wasn’t long ago that fiscal responsibility was a mainstream Republican rallying cry. This was not lost on Senator Rand Paul who briefly shut the government down Friday morning over spending increases.

By CHRIS CIRILLO and SARAH STEIN KERR on Publish DateFebruary 9, 2018. Photo by Erin Schaff for The New York Times

“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Mr. Paul said Thursday night. “I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?’”

The shutdown came on the heels of a three-day closure brought about by Senate Democrats last month. As midnight approached, Mr. Paul did not relent, bemoaning from the Senate floor what he saw as out-of-control government spending and repeatedly rebuffing attempts by his fellow senators to move ahead with a vote.

“I think the country’s worth a debate until 3 in the morning, frankly,” he said.

Senate leaders were left helpless.

“I think it’s irresponsible,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, lamenting what he described as “the act of a single senator who just is trying to make a point but doesn’t really care too much about who he inconveniences.”

Mr. Paul’s ideological opponents were not buying his fiscal rectitude either. Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, posted on Twitter: “Rand Paul voted for a tax bill that blew a $1.5 trillion hole in the budget. Now he is shutting the government down for three hours because of the debt. The chance to demonstrate fiscal discipline was on the tax vote. Delaying a vote isn’t a profile in courage, it’s a cleanup.”

The Senate finally passed the measure, 71 to 28, shortly before 2 a.m. The House followed suit around 5:30 a.m., voting 240 to 186 for the bill.

Before Mr. Paul waged his assault on the budget deal, trouble was already brewing in the House, where angry opposition from the Republicans’ most ardent conservative members, coupled with Democratic dissenters dismayed that the deal did nothing for young undocumented immigrants, created new tension as the clock ticked toward midnight.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, told a closed-door meeting of House Democrats that she would oppose the deal, and said that Democrats would have leverage if they held together to demand a debate on immigration legislation. But she suggested that she would not stand in the way of lawmakers who wanted to vote their conscience.

Pressing the issue further, Ms. Pelosi and the next two highest-ranking House Democrats sent a letter to Mr. Ryan noting their desire for the government to remain open and imploring him to make a public statement about the scheduling of a vote on legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants who are now shielded from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Senator Rand Paul on Thursday ahead of a budget vote in Washington. He held up the vote in a protest of government spending. CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

“Most of our members believe the budget agreement is a reasonable compromise to address America’s military strength and critical domestic priorities, like fighting the opioid crisis, boosting N.I.H., moving forward to resolve the pension crisis, caring for our veterans, making college more affordable and investing in child care for working families,” they wrote. “We are writing to again reiterate our request that you make a public statement regarding the scheduling of a vote on a DACA bill.”

The run-up to the House vote, when passage was no foregone conclusion, highlighted the divisions within the Democratic caucus over how hard to push on the issue of immigration as Congress prepares to turn its focus to that politically volatile subject.

The text of the deal, stretching more than 600 pages, was released late Wednesday night, revealing provisions large and small that would go far beyond the basic budget numbers. The accord would raise strict spending caps on domestic and military spending in this fiscal year and the next one by about $300 billion in total. It would also lift the federal debt limit until March 2019.

Critically, it would also keep the government funded for another six weeks, giving lawmakers time to put together a long-term spending bill that would stretch through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The previous temporary funding measure, which was passed to end the last shutdown, expired at midnight on Thursday.

The deal had been expected to sail through the Senate, and the House had planned to vote on it later Thursday, until Mr. Paul took his stand.

The White House Office of Management and Budget instructed federal agencies to prepare for a possible lapse in funding, a spokeswoman said Thursday night. Even with a technical lapse in government funding, the effect of the shutdown was limited because lawmakers gave final approval to the deal only hours after funding expired.

As the midnight deadline approached, Senate leaders from both parties nudged Mr. Paul to stop holding up the vote. And his colleagues had little to do but wait.

“It’s just further example of the dysfunction of this place,” said Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin. “It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?”

Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, offered a succinct account of his evening: “Living the dream.”

GRAPHIC

Budget Deficits Are Projected to Balloon Under the Bipartisan Spending Deal

The two-year budget agreement reached by Senate leaders would contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to federal deficits.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Among the Democratic ranks in the House, the objections were also strenuous, but for reasons very different from Mr. Paul’s.

With the monthslong budget impasse appearing to be on the cusp of a resolution, lawmakers were girding for a fight over the fate of young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers, as well as Mr. Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico and other possible immigration policy changes.

The uncertain outlook for immigration legislation, and the disagreements on the best strategy to move forward, was starkly apparent as Ms. Pelosi commanded the House floor for more than eight hours on Wednesday in an effort to help the young immigrants. She said she would oppose the budget deal unless Mr. Ryan offered a commitment to hold a vote on legislation in the House that would address the fate of the Dreamers.

On Thursday, Ms. Pelosi herself displayed the conflicting pressures on Democrats. She simultaneously hailed the budget deal while proclaiming she would vote against it. In a letter to colleagues, she explained her opposition to the deal, but also nodded to its virtues and held back from pressuring other Democrats to vote against it.

“I’m pleased with the product,” she told reporters. “I’m not pleased with the process.”

In his own comments to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Ryan stressed his desire to address the fate of the young immigrants. But he did not offer the kind of open-ended commitment that might assuage Ms. Pelosi. Instead, he signaled that whatever bill the House considers would be one that Mr. Trump supports.

“To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not,” he said. “We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign.”

Just before the vote on Friday morning, Mr. Ryan offered a further reassurance about his commitment to addressing DACA. Once the budget deal has been approved, he said, “we will focus on bringing that debate to this floor and finding a solution.”

The fate of the Dreamers has been in question since Mr. Trump moved in September to end DACA. The president gave Congress six months to come up with a solution to resolve their fate.

In recent months, Democrats have tried to make use of the leverage they have in fiscal negotiations, and the issue of immigration played a central role in last month’s shutdown. But Democrats have struggled to determine how hard they should push.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, voted against the budget deal, but she did not pressure other Democrats to do so. CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

In last month’s closure, the vast majority of Senate Democrats voted to block a bill that would have kept the government open, only to retreat a few days later and agree to end the closure after Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, promised a Senate debate on immigration.

This time, House Democrats were clearly split in their calculations about the best way to exert influence over immigration.

Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois, demanded that Ms. Pelosi use her muscle to “stop the Democrats from folding.”

“Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers,” he said. “It is as simple as that.”

Democrats also ran the risk of angering liberal activists who want to see them take a stand. Ben Wikler, the Washington director for MoveOn.org, said House Democrats would be making a strategic mistake by voting for the budget deal.

“If you’re looking at a boulder and you have a choice between a lever or your bare hands, you should use the lever,” he said.

But Democrats secured important victories in the budget pact, obtaining big increases in funding for domestic programs. Voting against those wins to take a stand on DACA — and possibly prolonging the shutdown — carried its own political risks.

Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, noted that the budget deal “meets nearly every one of our priorities.”

“If Democrats cannot support this kind of compromise, Congress will never function,” he said.

The spotlight was on House Democrats in part because it had become apparent that Republican leaders would most likely lack the votes to push the budget deal through the House with only votes from their own party.

A sizable number of House Republicans rebelled against the deal because of its huge increase in spending. The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has roughly three dozen members, formally opposed the deal.

“It was pretty much a smorgasbord of spending and policy that got added to this,” said Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Freedom Caucus. “Normally, people who eat at smorgasbords all the time are not the healthiest.”

Amount Added to the Debt for Each Fiscal Year Since 1960:

Barack Obama:Added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of George W. Bush’s last budget, FY 2009.

  • FY 2016 – $1.423 trillion.
  • FY 2015 – $327 billion.
  • FY 2014 – $1.086 trillion.
  • FY 2013 – $672 billion.
  • FY 2012 – $1.276 trillion.
  • FY 2011 – $1.229 trillion.
  • FY 2010 – $1.652 trillion.
  • FY 2009 – $253 billion. (Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion in FY 2009. This rare occurrence should be added to President Obama’s contribution to the debt.)

George W. Bush:Added $5.849 trillion, a 101 percent increase from the $5.8 trillion debt at the end of Clinton’s last budget, FY 2001.

  • FY 2009 – $1.632 trillion. (Bush’s deficit without the impact of the Economic Stimulus Act).
  • FY 2008 – $1.017 trillion.
  • FY 2007 – $501 billion.
  • FY 2006 – $574 billion.
  • FY 2005 – $554 billion.
  • FY 2004 – $596 billion.
  • FY 2003 – $555 billion.
  • FY 2002 – $421 billion.

Bill Clinton: Added $1.396 trillion, a 32 percent increase from the $4.4 trillion debt at the end of George H.W. Bush’s last budget, FY 1993.

  • FY 2001 – $133 billion.
  • FY 2000 – $18 billion.
  • FY 1999 – $130 billion.
  • FY 1998 – $113 billion.
  • FY 1997 – $188 billion.
  • FY 1996 – $251 billion.
  • FY 1995 – $281 billion.
  • FY 1994 – $281 billion.

George H.W. Bush: Added $1.554 trillion, a 54 percent increase from the $2.8 trillion debt at the end of Reagan’s last budget, FY 1989.

  • FY 1993 – $347 billion.
  • FY 1992 – $399 billion.
  • FY 1991 – $432 billion.
  • FY 1990 – $376 billion.

Ronald Reagan: Added $1.86 trillion, a 186 percent increase from the $998 billion debt at the end of Carter’s last budget, FY 1981. Reaganomics didn’t work to grow the economy enough to offset tax cuts.

  • FY 1989 – $255 billion.
  • FY 1988 – $252 billion.
  • FY 1987 – $225 billion.
  • FY 1986 – $297 billion.
  • FY 1985 – $256 billion.
  • FY 1984 – $195 billion.
  • FY 1983 – $235 billion.
  • FY 1982 – $144 billion.

Jimmy Carter: Added $299 billion, a 43 percent increase from the $699 billion debt at the end of  Ford’s last budget, FY 1977.

  • FY 1981 – $90 billion.
  • FY 1980 – $81 billion.
  • FY 1979 – $55 billion.
  • FY 1978 – $73 billion.

Gerald Ford: Added $224 billion, a 47 percent increase from the $475 billion debt at the end of Nixon’s last budget, FY 1974.

  • FY 1977 – $78 billion.
  • FY 1976 – $87 billion.
  • FY 1975 – $58 billion.

Richard Nixon: Added $121 billion, a 34 percent increase from the $354 billion debt at the end of LBJ’s last budget, FY 1969.

  • FY 1974 – $17 billion.
  • FY 1973 – $31 billion.
  • FY 1972 – $29 billion.
  • FY 1971 – $27 billion.
  • FY 1970 – $17 billion.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Added $42 billion, a 13 percent increase from the $312 billion debt at the end of JFK’s last budget, FY 1964.

  • FY 1969 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1968 – $21 billion.
  • FY 1967 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1966 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1965 – $6 billion.

John F. Kennedy: Added $23 billion, an 8 percent increase from the $289 billion debt at the end of Eisenhower’s last budget, FY 1961.

  • FY 1964 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1963 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1962 – $10 billion.

Dwight Eisenhower: Added $23 billion, a 9 percent increase from the $266 billion debt at the end of Truman’s last budget, FY 1953.

  • FY 1961 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1960 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1959 – $8 billion.
  • FY 1958 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1957 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1956 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1955 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1954 – $5 billion.

Harry Truman: Added $7 billion, a 3 percent increase from the $259 billion debt at the end of FDR’s last budget, FY 1945.

  • FY 1953 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1952 – $4 billion.
  • FY 1951 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1950 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1949 – slight surplus.
  • FY 1948 – $6 billion surplus.
  • FY 1947 – $11 billion surplus.
  • FY 1946 – $11 billion.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Added $236 billion, a 1,048 percent increase from the $23 billion debt at the end of Hoover’s last budget, FY 1933.

  • FY 1945 – $58 billion.
  • FY 1944 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1943 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1942 – $23 billion.
  • FY 1941 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1940 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1939 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1938 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1937 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1936 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1935 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1934 – $5 billion.

Herbert Hoover: Added $6 billion, a 33 percent increase from the $17 billion debt at the end of Coolidge’s last budget, FY 1929.

  • FY 1933 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1932 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1931 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1930 – $1 billion surplus.

Calvin Coolidge: Subtracted $5 billion from the debt, a 26 percent decrease from the $21 billion debt at the end of Harding’s last budget, FY 1923.

  • FY 1929 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1928 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1927 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1926 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1925 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1924 – $1 billion surplus.

Warren G. Harding: Subtracted $2 billion from the debt, a 7 percent decrease from the $24 billion debt at the end of Wilson’s last budget, FY 1921.

  • FY 1923 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1922 – $1 billion surplus.

Woodrow Wilson: Added $21 billion to the debt, a 727 percent increase from the $2.9 billion debt at the end of Taft’s last budget, FY 1913.

  • FY 1921 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1920 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1919 – $13 billion.
  • FY 1918 – $9 billion.
  • FY 1917 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1916 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1915 – $0 billion (slight surplus).
  • FY 1914 – $0 billion.

FY 1789 – FY 1913: $2.9 billion debt created. (Source: Historical Tables, U.S. Treasury Department.)

https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296

 

The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases

The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel

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New Uranium One Revelations from FBI Informant and His Attorney

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Tucker – Russia Uranium One deal – Is it a real scandal? Guy Benson answers

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Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

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FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Approved Uranium One Deal, Netting Clintons Millions

Clinton – Russia – Uranium One deal – Clear simple version of the facts

CLINTON CASH – Full Documentary

Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress

n FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton‘s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the statement obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.

Democrats have cast doubt on Campbell’s credibility, setting the stage for a battle with Republicans over his testimony.

Campbell added in the testimony that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.”“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”

APCO officials told The Hill that its support for the Clinton Global Initiative and its work with Russia were not connected in any way, and in fact involved different divisions of the firm. They added their lobbying for Russia did not involve Uranium One but rather focused on regulatory issues aimed at helping Russia better compete for nuclear fuel contracts inside the United States.

“APCO Worldwide’s activities involving client work on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way,” APCO told The Hill in a statement. “All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law. Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.”

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, said Campbell’s account is simply being used to distract from the investigations into President Trump and Russian election meddling.

“Just yesterday the committee made clear that this secret informant charade was just that, a charade. Along with the widely debunked text-message-gate and Nunes’ embarrassing memo episode, we have a trifecta of GOP-manufactured scandals designed to distract from their own President’s problems and the threat to democracy he poses,” Merrill said.

In addition to his written statement, Campbell on Wednesday was interviewed for several hours behind closed doors by staff from both parties on the Senate Judiciary, the House Intelligence and the House Oversight and Government Reform committees.

Democrats have asked that a transcript of the interview be released to the public, but a court reporter was not present for the interview and Campbell was not sworn in.

Republicans are seeking to use Campbell’s account to expand their investigations beyond the 2016 election and Trump to possible questions about Russian graft during the Obama administration.

They note that the FBI found Campbell’s undercover work valuable enough to reward him with a $50,000 check in 2016.

Democrats, in turn, have accused Republicans of making “wild claims” about Campbell and Uranium One.

In a letter sent this week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, asserted that Justice Department officials told both parties during a briefing in December that they ultimately found they “could not trust” Campbell when he was working as an FBI informant.

Justice officials also said that Campbell had at no point made “any allegations of corruption, illegality, or impropriety on Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, President Clinton, the Uranium One deal, or [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States],” according to the Democrats.

Campbell painted a different picture in his written statement.

He accused Obama administration officials of making decisions that ended up benefitting the Russian nuclear industry, which he said was seeking to build a monopoly in the global uranium market to help President Vladimir Putin seek a geopolitical advantage over the United States.

The United States already imports more than 90 percent of the uranium it uses in nuclear reactors, according to U.S. government figures from 2016.

Campbell wrote that Russian nuclear executives “boasted” during vodka-fueled meetings monitored by the FBI about “how weak the U.S. government was in giving away uranium business and were confident that Russia would secure the strategic advantage it was seeking in the U.S. uranium market.”

He also said he asked his FBI handlers why the U.S. was not more aggressive.

“I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that politics was somehow involved,” he stated.

Much of the GOP’s interest in Campbell’s story centers on the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal. That deal at the time gave the Russian mining giant Rosatom control of roughly 20 percent of America’s capacity to mine uranium.

The deal was approved unanimously in 2010 by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a multi-agency board that includes the State Department, the Defense Department and the Justice Department, among other agencies. The board has the power to block deals that threaten national security.

Campbell, whose work as an informant was first disclosed in a series of stories published last fall by The Hill, helped the FBI gather evidence as early as 2009 that the Russian nuclear industry was engaged in a kickback, bribery and racketeering scheme on U.S. soil. The criminal scheme, among other things, compromised the U.S. trucking firm that had the sensitive job of transporting uranium around America, Campbell testified.

Campbell says he provided the FBI the evidence of wrongdoing months before the Obama administration approved a series of favorable decisions that enriched Rosatom, including the CFIUS decision.

The Hill’s stories last fall prompted the Justice Department to take the rare step of freeing Campbell from his nondisclosure agreement as an intelligence asset so he could testify to Congress about what he witnessed inside Russia’s nuclear industry.

Campbell gave the congressional committees documents he said he provided to his FBI handlers in 2010 showing that the Russian and American executives implicated in the Tenex bribery scheme specifically asked him to try to help get the Uranium One deal approved by the Obama administration.

“In 2010, officials inside Tenex became interested in helping another Rosatom subsidiary, ARMZ, win Obama administration approval to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive Kazakh and large U.S. uranium assets,” Campbell said.  “Although Tenex and ARMZ are separate subsidiaries, Tenex had its own interest in Uranium One. Tenex would become responsible for finding commercial markets and revenue for those uranium assets once they were mined.”

“The emails and documents I intercepted during 2010 made clear that Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One — for both its Kazakh and American assets — was part of Russia’s geopolitical strategy to gain leverage in global energy markets,” he testified. “I obtained documentary proof that Tenex was helping Rosatom win CFIUS approval, including an October 6, 2010 email … asking me specifically to help overcome opposition to the Uranium One deal.”

Campbell told lawmakers the purchase of the Uranium One assets and the securing of billions of new uranium sales contracts inside the United States during the Obama years were part of the “Russian uranium dominance strategy.”

“The importance of the Uranium One decision to Tenex was made clear by the fact that the Russian government directed Mikerin to open a new U.S. office for Tenex and to create a new American entity called Tenam in early October 2010, just weeks before Rosatom and ARMZ won the Obama administration approval to buy Uranium One,” he said.

“Rosatom/Tenex threw a party to celebrate, which was widely attended by American nuclear industry officials. At the request of the FBI, I attended and recorded video footage of Tenam’s new offices,” he added.

Campbell’s written statement covered a wide array of activities he conducted under the FBI’s direction, ranging from a failed sting effort to lure Putin to the United States to gathering evidence that Russia was “helping Iran build its nuclear capability.”

Campbell provided Congress an April 16, 2010, memo he said he wrote and gave to the FBI that spelled out in detail the Russian efforts to aid Iran.

“Tenex continues to supply Iran fuel through their Russian company,” Campbell wrote in that 2010 document obtained by The Hill, naming the specific company that was being used to help. “They continue to assist with construction consult [sic] and fabricated assemblies to supply the reactor. Fabricated assemblies require sophisticated engineering and are arranged inside the reactor with the help and consult” of Russians.

“The final fabricators to Iran are being flown by Russian air transport due to the sensitive nature of the equipment,” his 2010 memo to the FBI added.

Campbell told lawmakers he also gave the FBI “documentary proof that officials in Moscow were obtaining restricted copies of IAEA compliance reports on Iranian nuclear inspections, a discovery that appeared to deeply concern my handlers.”

While most of his account involved intelligence matters, Campbell also briefly described the toll years of undercover work took on him personally. He continued informing through a bout with brain cancer, a case of leukemia and battles with excessive drinking, he told lawmakers.

He also was never reimbursed for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he used of his own money to make bribe payments under the FBI’s direction to the Russians to facilitate his cover.

But Campbell said he was gratified when the FBI in 2016 gave him a $50,000 reward check celebrating his undercover work, directly answering Democrats criticisms that federal prosecutors didn’t trust him as a witness.

“My FBI handlers praised my work. They told me on various occasions that details from the undercover probe had been briefed directly to FBI top officials. On two occasions my handlers were particularly excited, claiming that my undercover work had been briefed to President Obama as part of his daily presidential briefing,” he said.

In the end, though, he told lawmakers he remains disturbed that the Obama administration made so many favorable decisions benefiting the Russian nuclear industry when the evidence of wrongdoing and ill intent was so extensive.

“I was frustrated watching the U.S. government make numerous decisions benefiting Rosatom and Tenex while those entities were engaged in serious criminal conduct on U.S. soil,” he wrote. “Tenex and Rosatom were raking in billions of U.S. dollars by signing contracts with American nuclear utility clients at the same time they were indulging in extortion by using threats to get bribes and kickbacks, with a portion going to Russia for high ranking officials.” 

He said he never got a satisfactory answer from the FBI.

“I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct.  His answer: ‘Ask your politics,’ ” Campbell said.

This article was corrected on Feb. 8 to reflect that Campbell gave an interview to lawmakers.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372861-uranium-one-informant-makes-clinton-allegations-in-testimony

An FBI informant connected to the “Uranium One” scandal said that Russian nuclear executives sent money to the United States in hopes it would influence the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a report Wednesday.

In written testimony obtained by the Hill, the informant, Douglas Campbell, told Congress that Russian nuclear officials told him that Moscow hired American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide with a $3 million annual lobbying fee in hopes of influencing Clinton to “reset” U.S.-Russia relations while supporting former President Bill Clinton’s charity efforts.

“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months,” Campbell explained. “APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for APCO said that their work with the Clinton Foundation and Russia are not connected in any way and their work with Russia did not involve Uranium One.

A spokesperson for Clinton said that Campbell’s testimony is a distraction from the Trump-Russia investigation.

Campbell testified before staff from the Senate Judiciary, House Intelligence and House Oversight, and Government Reform committees for several hours on Wednesday and Democrats are now pushing for a transcript from that testimony to be publicly released.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fbi-informant-says-russians-wired-money-in-hopes-of-influencing-hillary-clinton-in-uranium-one-ploy-report/article/2648478

Analysis: As Liberals Cheer Shepard Smith’s Fact Check, is ‘Uranium One’ a Real Story, or Not?

|
Posted: Nov 15, 2017 1:05 PM

Liberals online are giddily sharing a segment that aired on Fox News yesterday afternoon, in which anchor Shepard Smith addresses the ‘Uranium One’ deal that many conservatives have cited as evidence of “collusion” between the Russian government and the Clintons.  One blogger from the left-wing attack site Media Matters cheers on Smith for ‘annihilating‘ the anti-Clinton storyline that characterized some of the story’s coverage elsewhere on the network.  A liberal journalism professor also tweeted out the video, applauding Smith for ‘shaming’ Fox News by exposing the controversy as a “nothing” story.  Watch:

Watch Shep Smith of Fox shame his own network by explaining what the ‘Uranium One’ controversy amounts to: nothing.

This is strong, concise journalism by Smith, who helps knock down a number of the misconceptions about the Uranium One deal.  I think some conservatives have been lazy in their understanding and framing of the issue, allowing embellishments and exaggerations to proliferate.  For instance, the general notion is widely shared in certain quarters that Hillary Clinton personally green-lit the deal, which lined the pockets of rich Clinton Foundation donors — while selling out US national security by shipping our uranium to the Russians.  The truth is much more nuanced and complicated than that, major elements of which Smith explains in the clip.  A few additional points:

(1) Smith notes that questions about the Uranium One deal were first seriously raised by Peter Schweizer, whom he identifies as a Breitbart editor.  Someone’s professional connection to that website can be discrediting in many circles, but it’s worth pointing out that Schweizer’s investigative journalism in Clinton Cash was seen as credible by mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post, which forged formal agreements to access and build off of his research.

(2) The New York Times published a major piece about the Uranium One deal in 2015, noting that it helped fulfill Vladimir Putin’s goal of amassing more control over the global uranium supply.  The key excerpt from that story:

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One. Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.

Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.Other people with ties to the company made donations as well. And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock. At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

So a big element of this story — which played out over five years, during which time key players in the transaction poured lots of money into the Clintons’ personal and “charitable” bank accounts — is the non-disclosure of interested donors, as was required.  Smith mentions this in his monologue.  Also at issue were the “repeatedly broken” pledges meant to mitigate national security concerns about Russia’s acquisition of significant American uranium interests.  And yes, it’s a fact that one of several agencies that ultimately had to sign off on the agreement was the State Department, which was headed at the time by Hillary Clinton.  She was not the sole approver of the deal, nor could she have single-handedly stopped it from going through; also, it’s unclear how personally involved she was in the process (given her track record, it’s reasonable to treat denials from her and her underlings with great skepticism).  Regardless, her agency’s thumbs-up did help pave the way for the plan to become reality.

(3) The biggest piece of the Clinton puzzle as it relates to Uranium One is Bill Clinton, and the gobs of money he hauled in from interested parties over the years — in exchange for the extraordinary access and political legitimatization that accompanies the blessing of a former US president.  Back to the Times story:

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side. The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator. Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007. Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States…several months [after the fruitful 2005 trip], Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

At a later stage in this process, a crucial Uranium One business deal was in serious jeopardy; the company asked the US State Department to intervene on its behalf, as a means of reassuring the government of Kazakhstan. “What the company needed, [a Uranium One official] said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid,” the Times reported.  “The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it…What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.”  Three days later, the endangered deal went through.

The Times separately reported that Bill Clinton lied about a related meeting he hosted at his home with Kazakh officials in 2008, only telling the truth when he was informed that there was photographic evidence of the event.  Recent revelations that the FBI had investigated how “Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States” reignited this issue, and refocused attention on Russia’s efforts to influence US power-brokers and policy.  The Clintons were central to that story.

(4) Smith accurately tells viewers that the Uranium One deal “stipulated that no uranium produced may be exported.”  He added that without special permission, the company was required to sell “the uranium that it mines in the United States to civilian power reactors in the United States.” These are important facts, but the top concern wasn’t that the US would export its uranium to Russia, or that Russia would gain an upper hand on nuclear weapons.  According to the Times, “the national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation…Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves.”  The story quotes Republican Senator John Barrasso expressing the worry that the agreement “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”  And so it did.

In summary, Smith’s segment clarified some important details about Uranium One that have too often been lost, overlooked, or intentionally ignored in the partisan shuffle.  Facts and truth ought to matter, and conservatives shouldn’t cut corners or make things up in order to deflect from unhelpful Russia-related issues in an effort to implicate “the other side” (though there are certainly some questions that Democratsand the Left should answer on that front).  It’s understandable why liberals would high-five each other over Smith’s report, but by pretending that Uranium One was an above-board, total non-issue for the Clintons all along, they’re making the same mistake some on the Right have made by mischaracterizing the string of transactions.  The facts suggest that one side has blown the process leading up to Uranium One deal’s approval out of proportion, while the other side has dismissed it entirely as a phony scandal (a reflexive impulse).  Echo chambers are powerful vortexes.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/11/15/is-uranium-one-a-real-story-or-not-n2409862

Uranium One

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uranium One Inc.
Industry Mining
Founded 2005
Headquarters Toronto, OntarioCanada
Key people
Chris Sattler (CEO)
Vadim Zhivov (President)
Products Uranium
Gold
Number of employees
Rosatom2,220[1]
Parent
Website www.uranium1.com

Uranium One is a Canadian uranium mining company with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. It has operations in AustraliaCanadaKazakhstanSouth Africa and the United States. In January 2013 Rosatom, the Russian state-owned uranium monopoly, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased the company at a value of $1.3 billion.[2] The purchase of the company by Russian interests is, as of October 2017, under investigation by the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

History

On July 5, 2005, Southern Cross Resources Inc. and Aflease Gold and Uranium Resources Ltd announced that they would be merging under the name SXR Uranium One Inc.[3]

In 2007 Uranium One acquired a controlling interest in UrAsia Energy,[4] a Canadian firm with headquarters in Vancouver from Frank Giustra.[5] UrAsia has interests in rich uranium operations in Kazakhstan,[6] and UrAsia Energy’s acquisition of its Kazakhstan uranium interests from Kazatomprom followed a trip to Almaty in 2005 by Giustra and former U.S. President Bill Clinton where they met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan. Substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation by Giustra followed,[5][7] with Clinton, Giustra, and Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2007 establishing the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat poverty in the developing world.[8] In addition to his initial contribution of $100 million Giustra pledged to contribute half of his future earnings from mining to the initiative.[8]

In June 2009, the Russian uranium mining company ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (ARMZ), a part of Rosatom, acquired 16.6% of shares in Uranium One in exchange for a 50% interest in the Karatau uranium mining project, a joint venture with Kazatomprom.[9] In June 2010, Uranium One acquired 50% and 49% respective interests in southern Kazakhstan-based Akbastau and Zarechnoye uranium mines from ARMZ. In exchange, ARMZ increased its stake in Uranium One to 51%. The acquisition was expected to result in a 60% annual production increase at Uranium One, from approximately 10 million to 16 million pounds.[10][11] The deal was subject to anti-trust and other conditions and was not finalized until the companies received Kazakh regulatory approvals, approval under Canadian investment law, clearance by the US Committee on Foreign Investments, and approvals from both the Toronto and Johannesburg stock exchanges. The deal was finalized by the end of 2010.[11] Uranium One’s extraction rights in the U.S. amounted to 0.2% of the world’s uranium production.[12] Uranium One paid its minority shareholders a dividend of 1.06 US Dollars per share at the end of 2010.[citation needed]

ARMZ took complete control of Uranium One in January 2013 by buying all shares it did not already own.[2] In October 2013, Uranium One Inc. became a private company and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Rosatom.[3][13] From 2012 to 2014, an unspecified amount of Uranium was reportedly exported to Canada via a Kentucky-based trucking firm with an existing export license; most of the processed uranium was returned to the U.S., with approximately 25% going to Western Europe and Japan.[14][15]

Congressional investigation

Since uranium is considered a strategic asset with national security implications, the acquisition of Uranium One by Rosatom was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a committee of nine government agencies including the United States Department of State, which was then headed by Hillary Clinton.[16][17][18] The voting members of the committee can object to such a foreign transaction, but the final decision then rests with the president.[19]

In April 2015, The New York Times wrote that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. The donations were legal but not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, despite an agreement with the White House to disclose all contributors.[20] In addition, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow shortly after the acquisition was announced.[17][18] Several members of Clinton’s State Department staff and officials from the Obama-era Department of Justice have said that CFIUS reviews are handled by civil servants and that it would be unlikely that Clinton would have had more than nominal involvement in her department’s signing off on the acquisition.[21] According to Snopes, the timing of donations might have been questionable if Hillary Clinton had played a key role in approving the deal, but all evidence suggests that she did not and may in fact have had no role in approving the deal at all.[22]

In October 2017, following a report by John F. Solomon and Alison Spann published in The Hill and citing anonymous sources,[23][24] the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sale of Uranium One.[21]

FactCheck.org reported that there was “no evidence” connecting the Uranium One–Rosatom merger deal with a money laundering and bribery case involving a different Rosatom subsidiary which resulted in the conviction of a Russian individual in 2015, contrary to what is implied in the Solomon-Spann story.[20][25]Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post wrote that the problem with some of the accusations that Republican commentators levied against Clinton is that she “by all accounts, did not participate in any discussions regarding the Uranium One sale”.[26]

In October 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to lift a “gag order” it had placed on a former FBI informant involved the investigation. The DOJ released the informant from his nondisclosure agreement on October 25, 2017,[27][28][29]authorizing him to provide the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market” involving Rosatom, its subsidiaries Tenex and Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.[30] The informant’s laywer said that the informant “can tell what all the Russians were talking about during the time that all these bribery payments were made”.[31] During a C-SPAN interview, Hillary Clinton said that any allegations that she was bribed to approve the Uranium One deal were “baloney”.[32]

In November 2017, Shepard Smith of Fox News has described President Trump’s accusations against Clinton regarding Uranium One “inaccurate in a number of ways”. Smith said that the sale of Uranium One was “not a Hillary Clinton approval” but instead a unanimous decision by the nine cabinet-level department heads of CFIUS, approved by the president and with permits issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Smith added that “most of the Clinton Foundation donations” came from Frank Giustra, who said he “sold his stake in the company” three years before it was sold to Russia. Lastly, Smith noted that “none of the uranium was exported for use by the U.S. to Russia”.[33][34][35]

On November 16, 2017, William D. Campbell identified himself as the FBI informant. He is a former lobbyist for Tenex, the US-based arm of Russia’s Rosatom.[36][37]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_One

Rosatom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rosatom
Native name
Государственная корпорация по атомной энергии «Росатом»
State corporation
Industry Nuclear energy
Predecessor Federal Agency on Atomic Energy
Founded 2007
Founder Mehsin Nseir
Headquarters MoscowRussia
Revenue Increase821.2 billion[1] (2015)
Total assets Increase2,029 billion[1] (2015)
Website rosatom.ru

The State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (RussianРосатомtr. RosatomIPA: [rɐsˈatəm] stylized as ROSATOM, also known as Rosatom State Corporation) is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow and specializes in nuclear energy. Established in 2007, the organization comprises more than 360 enterprises, including scientific research organizations, the nuclear weapons complex, and the nuclear icebreakerfleet.

The state corporation is one of the leaders in the world’s nuclear energy industry. The organization is the world’s second largest uranium producer and the fifth largest in terms of production, the world’s fourth largest producer of nuclear energy, controls 40% of the world market of uranium enrichment services and 17% of the nuclear fuel market.[2]

“Rosatom” is a nonprofit organization, and while its tasks include the development of nuclear energy, the growth of enterprises of the nuclear fuel cycle, and the fulfillment of the functions assigned to it by the state, it also ensures national security (nuclear deterrence), nuclear and radiation safety, as well as development of applied and fundamental science. In addition, the state corporation is authorized on behalf of the state to fulfill Russia’s international obligations in the field of the use of nuclear energy and of non-proliferation of nuclear materials.

History

The history of the Rosatom is linked with the history of the nuclear industry in Russia and its predecessor, the Soviet Union. On June 26, 1953, by the decision of the Council of Ministers, the First Main Directorate under the Council of Ministers supervising the nuclear industry was transformed into the Ministry of Medium Machine Building (Minsredmash). In addition to developing and testing nuclear weapons, the ministry also dealt with production of nuclear power. In 1954, the world’s first grid-connected nuclear power plantObninsk, was opened and put under operation under the direction of Igor Kurchatov, a Soviet nuclear physicist in ObninskKaluga Oblast. As the Soviet nuclear industry grew, so did the ministry, and from the 1970s to the 1980s, more than 1.5 million people worked in the ministry’s organizations and enterprises. In 1989, Minsredmash and the Ministry of Atomic Energy merged to form the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR.[3][4]

The Ministry for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation [(RussianМинистерство по атомной энергии Российской Федерации, also known as Minatom (Russian: Минaтом)] was established as a successor to the Russian part of the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR on January 29, 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The newly created ministry received about 80% of the enterprises of the union department, including 9 nuclear power plants with 28 power units. Under this name, the ministry existed until March 9, 2004, when it was transformed into the Federal Agency on Atomic Energy, also known as Rosatom, in accordance to presidential decree. Physicist and academician of the Russian Academy of SciencesUSSR State Prize winner laureate, and former Minister for Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev was appointed head of the agency. On November 15, 2005, he was replaced by Sergey Kiriyenko. In 2006, the agency adopted target program “Development of the Russian Nuclear Energy Complex for 2007-2010 and for the Future to 2015” which 26 nuclear power units were to be launched in Russia before 2020.[3][4]

On December 1, 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law adopted by the Federal Assembly under which the Federal Atomic Energy Agency were to be abolished, and its powers and assets were to be transferred to the newly created “State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.” On December 12 of the same year, the agency transformed into a state corporation with Sergey Kiriyenko appointed general director. In July 2008, Rosatom adopted an activity program designed to last till 2023. Rosatom’s positions were further strengthened by the transfer of the nuclear civil icebreaking fleet FSUE Atomflot under Rosatom’s jurisdiction.[3][5]

In 2009, nuclear technologies is assigned as one of the priorities for developing Russia’s economy. By 2011, Rosatom’s investments in research and development work have grown seven-fold compared to 2006. Another important direction of the development of the corporation was an increase in its influence on foreign markets, since the number of contracts for the construction of nuclear power plants abroad was almost doubled in 2011. According to Sergey Kiriyenko, the ten-year portfolio of orders of Rosatom State Corporation abroad was estimated at more than $100 billion at the end of 2014.[3][6]

In 2017, Rosatom decided to invest in wind power, believing that rapid cost reductions in the renewable industry will become a competitive threat to nuclear power, and has started to build wind turbines. Rosatom was also concerned that nuclear export opportunities were becoming exhausted. In October, Rosatom was reported to be considering postponing commissioning new nuclear plants in Russia due to excess generation capacity and that new nuclear electricity prices are higher than for existing plant. The Russian government is considering reducing support for new nuclear under its support contracts, called Dogovor Postavki Moshnosti (DPM), which guarantee developers a return on investment through increased payments from consumers for 20 years.[7][8][9]

Operations

The Russian government has set three major goals for Rosatom: ensure sustainable development of the nuclear weapons complex, increase nuclear contribution in electricity generation (to 25%-30% by 2030) with continued safety improvements, and to strengthen the country’s position on the global market of nuclear technology, by expanding traditional markets and acquiring new ones.

Rosatom holds first place in the world in terms of uranium deposits ownership, fourth in terms of nuclear energy production, produces 60% of the world’s enriched uranium and 45% of the world’s nuclear fuel. Rosatom is the only vendor in the world able to offer the nuclear industry’s entire range of products and services, starting from specialized materials and equipment and all the way through to finished products such as nuclear power plants or nuclear powered icebreakers.[10]

Rosatom controls nuclear power holding company Atomenergoprom, nuclear weapons companies, research institutes, and nuclear and radiation safety agencies. It also represents Russia in the world in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy and protection of the non-proliferation regime.[5]

Nuclear power plants

The management company Rosenergoatom operates all of Russia’s nuclear power plants and represents the electric power division of the state corporation Rosatom. As of July 2017, ten nuclear power plants (35 power units) operated in Russia with a total capacity of 27.9 GW, producing about 18% of all electricity produced in Russia.

In operation

Name Image Location Units operated
Balakovo
BalakovoNPP1.jpg
BalakovoSaratov Oblast
Beloyarsk
Beloyarsk NNP-3.jpg
Bilibino
Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant.JPG
Kalinin
Udomlya Kalinin AES.jpg
UdomlyaTver Oblast
Kola
Мурманская обл. Кольская АЭС Сбросной кананал.2008-22.jpg
Kursk
RIAN archive 341199 Kursk Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Leningrad
RIAN archive 305005 Leningrad nuclear power plant.jpg
Novovoronezh
Novovoronezhskaya Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Rostov
RIAN archive 155730 The first unit of the Volgodonsk NPP.jpg
Smolensk
Smolensk NPP 2013-05-07.jpg

Rosatom manages the Russian fleet of nuclear icebreakers through Atomflot.

OKB Gidropress, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station range VVER, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.[11] OKBM Afrikantov, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station BN-series such as BN-800 and BN-1200, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.

Projects

Rosatom is currently building 37% of nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, generally of the OKB Gidropress VVER type.[12] Fennovoima, an electricity company in Finland, announced in September 2013 that it had chosen the OKB Gidropress VVER AES-2006 pressurized water reactor for a proposed power-generating station in PyhäjokiFinland. The construction contract is estimated to be worth 6.4 billion euros.[13]

On 11 November 2014 head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko and head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi have signed a Protocol to Russian-Iranian Intergovernmental Agreement of 1992, according to which the sides will cooperate in construction of eight power generating units with VVER reactors. Four of these reactors are planned to be constructed for the second construction phase of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and four of them will be constructed on another site.[14]

Rosatom received $66.5 billion of foreign orders in 2012, including $28.9bn for nuclear plant construction, $24.7bn for uranium products and $12.9bn for nuclear fuel exports and associated activities.[15]

Rosatom also involves on large-scale projects such as ITER | ITER-Russia and FAIR | FAIR-Russia.

As of Jan 2017, the total portfolio orders of Rosatom reached US$300 billion.[16]

Management

The highest executive body of Rosatom is the Board of Trustees. The board is headed since 2005 by Sergei Kiriyenko. The other Board members are[17]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosatom

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The Pronk Pops Show 181, December 13, 2013, Segment 0: Republican Senators Oppose House Budget Deal — Republicans Voting For Deal Will Be Targeted By Tea Party and Conservative Movement Voters — Videos

Posted on December 14, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Budgetary Policy, Business, College, Communications, Consitutional Law, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Media, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Public Sector Unions, Regulation, Resources, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 181: December 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 177: December 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 176: November 27, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 168: November 15, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 167: November 14, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

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Segment 0: Republican Senators Oppose House Budget Deal — Republicans Voting For Deal Will Be Targeted By Tea Party and Conservative Movement Voters — Videos

.

IP_BUDGETDEAL7

house_deal

ryan_murray

Breakthrough budget passed in US House of Representatives

“Embrace The Suck”: House Easily Passes Budget Deal

Rep. Paul Ryan on GOP groups budget criticism: “We were a little caught off-guard”

Budget deal passes, what’s next?

Sen. Rand Paul on state of GOP, new budget deal

Senator Rubio React To Compromise Budget Deal Approved By House America’s Newsroom

Wicker to Oppose House-Senate Budget Deal

JEFF SESSIONS: SENATE GOP TO FILIBUSTER PAUL RYAN’S BUDGET DEAL

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking GOP member of the Senate Budget Committee, said Thursday that Senate Republicans plan to filibuster the budget deal that House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) cut with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

The deal passed the House 332-94, with 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats voting against it. The bill is expected to come up for votes in the Senate early next week, either Monday or Tuesday.

The type of filibuster Sessions spoke of is not the traditional “talking filibuster” like the one Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) launched earlier this year to protest Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama’s drone policies. It is a procedural filibuster, The Hill reports, that would require Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to at least twice obtain 60 votes to pass the bill.

“They’ll need 60 votes on cloture and 60 votes on the budget point of order,” Sessions said, according to The Hill.

Since there are only 55 Democrats in the U.S. Senate, Reid will twice need at least five Republicans to break from their party and support the budget deal. Reid may need more Republicans if liberals like Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) or Bernie Sanders (I-VT) oppose the deal because it does not extend unemployment benefits. Considering 32 Democrats voted against the deal in the House, it seems plausible Reid may lose at least one, maybe two Democrats in the Senate.

Senate Republicans largely seem unified against the bill. As of late Thursday, not one Senate Republican confirmed suppot of the plan.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will vote against it, and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn and GOP conference chairman John Thune have indicated their opposition to it as well. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) has said he opposes it. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Sessions each oppose it too.

Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Roger Wicker (R-MS), who usually support similar measures, have each announced their opposition.

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) is undecided as of this point, and while Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)—easily the Senate’s most liberal Republican—has said he is leaning “yes,” he has not yet committed to voting for the deal, citing concerns with military pension cuts in it.

Appropriators like Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have not committed either, according to Roll Call.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Majority Whip in the Senate, confirmed to reporters on Thursday that the Democrats need GOP votes to make this happen.

“We need Republican votes to pass the budget agreement, period,” Durbin said. “We need at least five, and I’m hoping that there’ll be more than that. There are not five who Republicans have announced they’re for it, I mean to my knowledge, and I hope there are many more than that, and they’re just holding back for any number of reasons.”

While the deal is more likely to pass the Senate than not, the question becomes about which Republicans — if any — Reid will be able to attract to support the Ryan budget deal.

It’s war! Senate gears up for epic battle as ZERO Republicans line up to support budget agreement (and Democrats need to find at least five)

  • Congress needs to pass a new budget by January 15 to avoid another government shutdown
  • Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray negotiated a framework and tried to sell it to their respective majorities
  • The GOP-led House passed the plan Thursday night despite complaints from tea partiers and other budget hawks
  • But objections from Senate Republicans, including a claim that the plan restores spending cuts by shortchanging veterans’ pensions, could kill it

By DAVID MARTOSKO

A landmark budget agreement that passed in the U.S. House on Thursday faces certain death in the Senate unless at least five Republicans step up to support it – but so far there are no takers at all.

The GOP’s Senate leaders plan to launch a procedural effort to kill the plan over a laundry list of objections – including a claim that it short-changes military veterans and other government retirees.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin conceded that he needs to find Republicans who will vote for the measure after Republicans announced their intention Thursday night to block the deal.

‘We need Republican votes to pass the budget agreement, period,’ Durbin told reporters on Thursday. ‘We need at least five. And I’m hoping that there will be more than that.’

Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and the third-most powerful Senate leader, acknowledged that ‘there are not five Republicans who have announced they’re for it.’

In fact, no Republican senators have publicly said that they will vote in favor of the agreement that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray unveiled Tuesday evening.

Their plan would roll back $63 billion in mandatory cuts from the so-called budget sequester that took effect in March. Some of that restored spending would be offset by cuts to military and civilian government pensions.

Annual cost-of-living increases in most military veterans’ retirement benefits would be cut by 1 per cent, an amount that the Military Officers Association of America says could cost a typical former soldier or sailor $80,000 over a 20-year period.

The GOP’s three most senior senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have announced that they will vote ‘no.’

Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, all considered top-tier presidential contenders in 2016, are all lined up against the measure.

The proposal ‘spends more, taxes more, and allows continued funding for Obamacare,’ Cruz said Thursday. ‘I cannot support it.’

Rubio emailed supporters on Wednesday, saying that the agreement Ryan and Murray negotiated over a six-week period ‘continues Washington’s irresponsible budgeting decisions by spending more money than the government takes in and placing additional financial burdens on everyday Americans.’

House Speaker John Boehner fanned the flames of a civil war inside the GOP by slamming conservative groups that opposed the budget deal -- but it could all be for nought if his Senate colleagues decide to kill itHouse Speaker John Boehner fanned the flames of a civil war inside the GOP by slamming conservative groups that opposed the budget deal — but it could all be for nought if his Senate colleagues decide to kill it

And Paul said in a statement that the March sequester cuts ‘were not nearly enough to address our deficit problem. Undoing tens of billions of this modest spending restraint is shameful and must be opposed.’

Other Republicans who face primary challenges from tea party-backed candidates are also vowing to cast ‘no’ votes.

‘After careful review of the agreement, I believe it will do disproportionate harm to our military retirees,’ South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a statement.

‘Our men and women in uniform have served admirably during some of our nation’s most troubling times. They deserve more from us in their retirement than this agreement provides.’

Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, echoed Graham’s complaint.

‘I do not support paying for increased federal spending on the backs of our retired and active duty troops,’ Wicker’s Thursday statement read. ‘Congress should not change the rules in the middle of the game for those who have chosen to serve our nation in the military. … The plan should be rejected.’

Other Republicans object to what one GOP Senate staffer told MailOnline is the agreement’s ‘pixie dust approach to budgeting.’

‘We’re doing what we always do,’ said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ‘We set out a ten-year plan while knowing full well that we have a decade to undo it and shift gears again.’

Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions explained that Democrats will need 60 ‘yes’ votes – on two separate procedural ballots – in order to pass it.

The GOP’s parliamentary roadblocks will have the same effect as a traditional filibuster without consuming countless hours of Senate time when the measure is considered early next week.

Even if Senate Democrats manage to find enough Republican support to pass the agreement, it won’t have the force of law.

What Ryan and Murray proposed Wednesday is merely a framework for a budget that has yet to be written. Members of Congress who sit on appropriation committees will still be required to craft – and pass in both houses – a final budget bill by January 15.

Unless they can pull it off, the federal government will be headed for its second shutdown in three months.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523120/ZERO-Senate-Republicans-support-budget-agreement-Democrats-five.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 140, September 30, 2013: Segment 0: Obamacare’s Metal Health Insurance Plans And Congress’ Continuing Resolution (CR) — Videos

Posted on October 1, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Disasters, Drugs, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Medicine, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Regulation, Social Science, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 140: September 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 130: September 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 129: September 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 128: September 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 127: September 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 126: September 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 125: September 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 124: September 6, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-140

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

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Segment 0: Obamacare’s Metal Health Insurance Plans And Congress’ Continuing Resolution (CR) — Videos

ACA-graph-of-plan-tiers-copy

metal_plans

rate-table

Tea Party Forces Government Shutdown With Obamacare Revolt; How Will it Impact Ordinary Americans?

Government shutdown 2013 – First Government shutdown in 17 years! 10/1/2013

Republicans GOP News Conference on Government Shutdown 2013! #Obamacare #GovernmentShutdown

New Update: President Obama Speaks On Government Shutdown 2013 & Obamacare at white house

Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk 9/30/13: A Grand Bargain for Liberty?

Obamacare In 3 Minutes

Am I eligible for Obamacare?

Health Insurance Exchanges

Health Reform Plans and Coverage

The New Health Insurance Marketplace

Obamacare Metal Plans

Platinum Plans

Gold Plans

How do Obamacare subsidies work?

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The Pronk Pops Show 139, September 27, 2013: Segment 0: People Paladin Pronk Pops The Week’s Top News Stories: September 23-27, 2013 — Videos

Posted on October 1, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Consitutional Law, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Law, Media, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Pro Life, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Regulation, Religion, Social Science, Success, Tax Policy, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 129: September 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 128: September 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 127: September 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 126: September 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 125: September 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 124: September 6, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-139

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Related Posts On Pronk Pops

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The Pronk Pops Show 136, September 24, 2013, Segment 0: Cruz Filibuster, Senate Rule XXII — The Cloture Rule Requires 60 Votes To End Debate — Stands Against Obamacare and For Defunding Obamacare — Make D.C. Listen! — Videos

The Pronk Pops Show 137, September 25, 2013, Segment 0: Part 2, Senator Ted Cruz Ends Filibuster — Time For Americans To Call Their Senators and Representatives and Tell Them To Defund Obamacare and Vote Against Cloture! — Stop Obamacare Now! — Videos

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