Toxic Spending Bill Passes Senate: Good news for CNMI investors, bad news for our country

December 14, 2014

One of the worst spending bills in U.S. history passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 56- 40. How bad is it? It is a Christmas present to Wall Street and the rich. The spending bill had a provision that was written by Citicorp that repeals the Frank-Dodd bill so taxpayers will once again get to pay for any risky investments Wall Street and big banks make.  When banks make risky investments, the taxpayers will pay the bill.

The bill also increased the amount an individual can donate to a campaign 10 times, from $32,400 to $324,000. It's not like this country isn't already run by lobbyists and the rich. This bill gives them an even stronger voice.

But wait, there's more! Pell grants to college students will be cut. Who gets that money? Why, the private student loan contractors who have been screwing students.  The bill ends a 40 year old honorable agreement with workers. It will allow trustees to cut the pensions of the retired.

Our highways will be more unsafe. The bill allows truck drivers to work 82-hour weeks without a requirement for two days of rest, as safety advocates wanted.

But wait, there's more! The bill funds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only until February 27, 2015. Other agencies are funded through September 30, 2015. That was an attack on the recent executive order to provide immigration relief to a variety of categories of undocumented workers.

The bill blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing some clean water act regulations in agricultural areas. It excluded the sage grouse from the endangered species list. It blocks energy efficient standards that would have gotten rid of energy sucking incandescent bulbs.

The Women Infants and Children program now has a requirement for white potatoes. (Good job potato lobbyists.)

You won't read about any of these poison pill provisions if you live in the CNMI. You will be celebrating the fact that the E2-C visa holders, 261 foreign investors, can stay in the CNMI without any pathway to citizenship for another 5 years. You can toss confetti because the CNMI will be exempt from U.S. asylum laws for 5 more years and Guam and the CNMI will be exempt from the H visa cap allowing for more temporary foreign workers.

Voting against the bill were the following Democrats: Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jon Tester (D-MT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and  Ron Wyden (D-OR).


Anonymous said...

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