Issue: H.R. 133, More FY 2021 Appropriations and Coronavirus “Relief.” Vehicle: United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act. Question: On Concurring in Senate Amdt with Portion of Amdt (Except Divisions B, C, E, and F).
Result: Passed, 359 to 53, 17 not voting. Subsequently passed in Senate (Senate Vote 289, 12-21-20). Became Public Law 116-260 (signed by the President, 12-27-20). GOP and Democrats scored.
Freedom First Society: This second piece of the House amendments to H.R. 133 consisted of the other eight spending bills plus the $900 billion coronavirus “relief” deal and some other legislation slipped in.
This giant package approved enormous amounts of wasteful and unconstitutional spending for which the government didn’t have the money. Accordingly, the spending would add to the national debt through foreign borrowing and/or forcing the federal reserve to create new money. (See House Roll Call 250 for the first portion of the House amendments to H.R 133 and our comments on abandoning “regular order” and on “dividing the question.”)
We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)
Bill Summary: This second piece of the House’s divided H.R 133 bill consisted of the remaining eight FY 2021 appropriations bills — Agriculture, Energy-Water, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, State -Foreign Operations, Transportation-HUD — plus the $900 billion coronavirus “relief” bill.
Analysis: The procedure driving H.R. 133 is alone sufficient justification for a “nay” vote. Yet the content of both pieces provided further justification. And this second division, comprised of the remaining appropriations as well as the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, is most easily shown to advance out-of-control Big-brother government.
This division continues all of the unconstitutional “Great Society” programs and departments (such as Housing and Urban Development) instituted under President Johnson, the unconstitutional Department of Education working to enforce political correctness, while creating new monsters to eat out our substance and weaken resistance to Big Brother.
Indeed, this division of H.R 1333 increases non-defense spending by $12.5 billion over budget caps.
The Coronavirus “Relief” Deal
But let’s take a close look at the spending in the $900 billion coronavirus “relief” part of the package. One section would provide $600 stimulus checks to millions of American who earned less than $75,000 in 2019, regardless of need. (Declining amounts would be paid to those with incomes above $75,000 and zero above $87,000).
Politicians from both parties are retailing the shallow but popular deception that the federal government has unlimited wealth to dispense. The Hill (12-21) reports this example: “We will do some good with this legislation” Pelosi said on the House floor. “But we must recognize that more needs to be done to crush the virus, to put more money in the pockets of the American people.” [Emphasis added.]
Why doesn’t Congress just have the federal government fund our lives completely? We wouldn’t even have to work. Most would recognize this as an absurdity. But even in lesser amounts government must get wealth from somewhere— it may create money, but only the people generate wealth. See our post “The Money Tree.” It’s a sad commentary on today’s voters that this vote-buying scam of “government should give us more” plays well in so many districts.
During Senate consideration (12-21-20), Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) echoed this criticism on the floor of the Senate. At the same timed he blasted members of both parties, his own in particular, for supporting the reckless spending of money the federal government doesn’t have. Here is an excerpt:
Republicans like to mock modern monetary theory, the idea that government can print money with impunity, that government can spend whatever it wants without the need to tax. Modern monetary theory is basically the Dick Cheney deficits don’t matter crowd, trumped up with a new fancy title. Most Republicans rightly lampoon this quackery. That is, when they are not practicing the quackery themselves. Today, many of these same Republicans will vote for a bill that makes modern monetary theory look like child’s play in comparison. The monstrous spending bill presented today is not just a deficits don’t matter disaster. It is everything Republicans say they don’t believe in.
This bill is free money for everyone. Proponents don’t care if you are fully employed or own your own house or own your own business…. Maybe these new free money Republicans should join the “everybody gets a guaranteed income” caucus. Why not $20,000 a year for everybody, why not $30,000? If we can print up money with impunity, why not do it? The Treasury can just keep printing the money, that is, until someone points out that the emperor has no clothes and that the dollar no longer has value. To so-called conservatives who are quick to identify the socialism of Democrats, if you vote for this spending monstrosity you are no better. When you vote to pass out free money, you lose your soul and you abandon forever any semblance of moral or fiscal integrity. [Only Paul and five more of his Republican Senate colleagues vote “nay.”] …
There is another alternative that won’t be debated and that alternative is: “Open the economy.”
Here is a link to a 12½ minute YouTube video of Senator Paul’s entire “Free Money for Everyone!” floor speech.