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When someone proposes an 1,800 page bill...

When someone proposes a 1,800-page bill that 1️⃣ was negotiated in secret 2️⃣ will cost more than $3 trillion dollars, before we even understand the impact of earlier expenditures 3️⃣ has more than 70 appropriations in excess of a billion dollars each 4️⃣ contains countless partisan measures that are completely unrelated to the bill’s stated purpose 5️⃣ has no chance of ever becoming law… Congress this is known as a “messaging bill.” It allows the sponsors to stand on their soapbox claiming they’re “working for the American people” when in reality, the legislation is entirely about trying to advance a political agenda rather than addressing the issues at hand.

That’s exactly what happened Tuesday when a select group of liberals in the House proposed the much-anticipated 5th piece of COVID-19 legislation. This bill, H.R. 6800, should have been a bi-partisan effort to refine and improve upon the popular CARES Act, which passed overwhelmingly in late March.

Instead, what the House will vote on this Friday is literally a 1,815-page bill packed with unsustainable spending and blatant attempts to further the left’s agenda. Just thumbing through the legislation, we see numerous gems like these:

❌ It would enable illegal immigrants to receive $1,200 in economic stimulus payments by removing the requirement to have a Social Security Number, and replacing it with only an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

❌ It would impose federal mandates on how states must run their elections, particularly related to mail-in voting and voter ID.

❌ It would authorize additional multimillion-dollar grants for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

❌ It would provide an extension of the enhanced unemployment insurance payments that have made it very difficult for many employers to recall furloughed workers.

❌ It would send over $900 billion in unrestricted aid to states and local governments. This is not the federal government’s role! It’s a horrible idea, as it would be used to support & sustain decades of fiscal mismanagement by many states.

❌ It would provide a major break to millionaires and billionaires by removing the cap on the amount of state & local taxes that can be deducted from their federal tax returns.

I’m just getting started here, but the point is many of these provisions are completely unrelated to our COVID-19 response. Instead, they’re an effort to exploit this pandemic to advance an agenda.

Of course, “messaging bills” always includes some worthy elements, and this is no exception. After all, there HAVE to be a few good things in the bill – that’s what enables proponents to claim you’re “anti-something” if you dare question the legitimacy of their extraneous items. (Anti-children, anti-workers, anti-healthcare, anti-seniors, anti-law enforcement, anti-veterans, etc.)

Such will be the mis-characterizations you’ll likely hear when conservatives vote against this proposal on Friday. It’s all so predictable and played out.

Yes, there are some elements in this bill that I believe are worthy of consideration. However, the bad far outweighs the good, and H.R. 6800 is not something I can support. Let’s hope the Senate will do a better job (A) understanding the impact of what we’ve spent so far; (B) understanding where the real needs are right now, and then (C) crafting a better piece of legislation that speaks to the crisis we’re in, not to a political agenda.

While we have urgent and important things Congress must address related to COVID-19 and our economy, those who see this pandemic as “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit [their] vision” are NOT helping matters right now.

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