Government Priorities

I admit to having been stunned and overwhelmed by the last presidential campaign, election, and year of the new administration. I applaud those of you, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), who have stood up for democratic norms and policies to help people, and oppose those that benefit corporations instead.

Even before that, Republicans in Congress opposed President Obama’s efforts. It is especially disheartening that one of the main ways they did so was to demand any increases in funding be offset by decreases somewhere else.  And then to turn around and pass a tax plan that inflates the Federal budget by $1.5 trillion dollars! And to have done so to justify plans to cut social security and medicare.  In addition, Iowa’s Senator Grassley, as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, refused to fulfill the Senate’s obligation to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

It is also disturbing that we are not seeing efforts to prevent Russian interference in future elections.

The extent to which the Republican party has put party over people was embarrassingly on display with the support of Roy Moore in the Senate election in Alabama.

We are all too aware of the current Republican administration’s multiple assaults on democratic norms, environmental and other regulations, and abuse of power to benefit the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the rest of us.

As the Special Counsel’s investigation continues, it is increasingly important that we raise our voices to demand those in power are not protected from the investigations or the charges.  For instance, Senator Grassley should stop blocking the release of testimonies.

As Congress returns, a good post on FCNL’s website, “Congress Left Priorities Unfinished and Went Home”, includes the following:

  1. Passage of the Dream Act
  2. Reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).
  3. Disaster assistance for those impacted by hurricanes last year
  4. Budget deal

FCNL also lists these additional priorities:

  • Preventing war with North Korea
  • Ending US military support that fuels the humanitarian crisis in Yemen
  • Blocking efforts to pay for the most recent tax bill by cutting essential services for struggling families, such as SNAP (formerly food stamps), Medicaid, and Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Opposing further resources going towards militarizing our border, escalating deportation and detention, and increasing immigration enforcement
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