House Approves Debt Ceiling Increase, Temporarily Delaying Nationwide Default

The House on Tuesday voted to lift the debt ceiling by $480 billion, temporarily averting widespread economic calamity after weeks of partisan gridlock and sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.

The House briefly interrupted its weeklong recess to pass a rule governing debate for three separate bills to which the ceiling raise was attached. It passed on a party-line vote given Republicans continuing opposition to lifting the ceiling.

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Democrats Push to Make Child Tax Credit Permanent Despite a Lack of Taxpayer Support

Democrats are pushing to permanently expand monthly child tax credits in their spending package, but a new poll shows that just 35% of Americans support extending the payments beyond July 2022.

The expanded payments began in July as a part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package signed in March. While the Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday found that 50% of Americans supported the increase in payments, 12 points higher than those who opposed them, 52% of Americans said the payments should not be extended beyond their set expiration.

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Third-Party Candidate Princess Blanding Interrupts McAuliffe, Youngkin Moderate-Focused Debate

In the last of only two gubernatorial debates GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin and Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe made their pitches to Virginia moderates on issues including vaccinations, abortion, qualified immunity, business climate, and Afghan refugees in the Commonwealth. But Liberation Party candidate Princess Blanding provided the most interesting moment of the debate by interrupting from the audience.

Moderators had asked McAuliffe about a statistic the Youngkin campaign cites showing that murder rates rose during McAuliffe’s first term. McAuliffe responded by citing his past investment in law enforcement and sheriffs. He also called for gun control.

“Terry, why am I not allowed on the stage? As governor I will defund the police,” Blanding said before being drowned out by moderators and producers cut away from the live feed.

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Michigan’s $70B 2022 Budget Stuffed with $146 Million in ‘Pork’

Michigan’s $70 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 increases government spending by 11.5% from last year’s $62.8 billion budget. The increased spending includes one-time funds from federal stimulus packages, raising concerns Michigan can’t sustain current spending without hiking taxes or slashing services.

Once government federal stimulus money runs dry, the government must either raise taxes or reduce services to continue paying for programs that were once considered not essential.

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26 Governors Seek Meeting with Biden over Border Surge

More than half of the country’s governors would like a moment of the president’s time – and soon: Twenty-six Republican governors are urging Joe Biden to do more to address the deteriorating situation along the southern U.S. border.

“As chief executives of our states,” they write in a letter postmarked for Monday and first obtained by RealClearPolitics, “we request a meeting with you at The White House to bring an end to the national security crisis created by eight months of unenforced borders.”

The GOP chief executives are requesting an audience “within 15 days” given that the “the crisis that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens.”

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Pelosi Floats Passing Infrastructure and Budget Simultaneously as Moderates and Progressives Feud

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday floated the idea of passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill and Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget simultaneously in an attempt to balance moderates and progressives’ mutually exclusive demands.

Pelosi asked the House Rules Committee to look into the possibility after nine centrist Democrats vowed to block the budget if it came up for consideration before the infrastructure bill passed.

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All Seven of Arizona’s Democratic Members of Congress Push for Earmarks, Republicans Don’t

Now that a 10-year ban on Congressional earmarks has ended, all seven Democrats in Arizona’s congressional delegation are requesting them. None of the four Republican members are. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07) wants to beautify light poles and several of the members want to expand public transit. Many of them are getting their requests approved as part of the $2.1 trillion infrastructure bill, which is expected to pass into law soon.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) told The Arizona Sun Times Friday that the earmarks aren’t necessary, since they are for the types of projects local and state governments generally cover.

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Outlines Why the U.S. Senate Is the Most ‘Absurd’ Body in the World

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to detail the passing of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

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Senate Passes the Largest Infrastructure Package in Decades, over a Dozen Republicans Vote in Favor

The Senate on Tuesday passed its bipartisan infrastructure bill, moving what would be the largest public works package in decades one step closer to becoming law months after negotiations first began.

The bill, which advocates praised as the largest investment in America’s infrastructure since the construction of the interstate highway system in the 1950s, passed 69-30. Nineteen Republicans joined every Democrat in voting for the package.

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Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by the Bipartisan, ‘Paid For’ Infrastructure Bill

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

Over the course of the pandemic, federal overspending has exploded even by Congress’s lofty standards. While trillion-dollar deficits were a cause for concern before 2020, spending over just the last two years is set to increase the national debt by over $6 trillion. It’s bizarre, then, that the only thing that members of opposing parties in Congress can seem to work together on is fooling the budgetary scorekeepers with phantom offsets for even more spending.

In total, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes around $550 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to take place over five years. Advocates of the legislation claim that it is paid for, but they are relying on gimmicks and quirks of the budget scoring process to make that claim.

Take the single biggest offset claimed — repurposing unused COVID relief funds, which the bill’s authors say would “raise” $210 billion (particularly considering that at least $160 billion have already been accounted for in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline). Only in the minds of Washington legislators does this represent funds ready to be used when the national debt stands at over $28 trillion.

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Senator Bill Hagerty Explains Why He Put the Brakes on the Democrats Social Debt Bomb

Bill Hagerty

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Senator Bill Hagerty to the newsmakers line to discuss his reasons for holding firm against passing the Greed New Deal disguised as an infrastructure bill.

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Federal Infrastructure Bill Could Pump $7.8 Billion into Michigan Roads, Bridges, Internet

aerial shot of Michigan highways

Michigan could be on the receiving end of $7.8 billion in federal dollars if the U.S. Senate’s $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill becomes law.

The estimated total is derived from $7.3 billion for Michigan highways and an additional $563 million to fix an estimated 1,200 bridges currently deemed in disrepair.

The monies earmarked from the bill would be in addition to the $3.5 billion in bonds issued by the Michigan Department of Transportation to fix the state’s roads and bridges, which is in addition to the $1.8 billion increase in the state’s transportation spending since 2012.

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U.S. Economy Added Whopping 943,000 Jobs in July as Recovery Accelerates

Group of people gathered, talking next to an office desk

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 850,000 in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 8.7 million. Economists projected 845,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The jobs recovery is continuing, but it’s different in character to any we’ve seen before,” payroll software firm ADP economist Nela Richardson told the WSJ. “I had been looking at September as a point when we could gain momentum—with schools back in session and vaccines widely available. But with the delta variant, we need to rethink that.”

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Senate Fails to Wrap Up Infrastructure Bill After Talks to Expedite Process Collapse

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a critical vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Saturday after talks to expedite the process fell apart late Thursday.

Both Republicans and Democrats engaged in marathon talks Thursday in a bid to vote on a package of amendments and to advance the sweeping public works package. Doing so, however, required approval from all 100 senators, and Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Haggerty refused to go along even as his Republican colleagues urged him to do so.

In a statement, Hagerty attributed his objection to  the Congressional Budget Office’s estimation that the bill would add $256 billion to the national debt over 10 years.

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Crom Carmichael: Defining Infrastructure and the Systemic Crushing of the Middle Class

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to clarify the definition of infrastructure and the systemic crushing of the middle class.

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Portman Sponsored Digital Equity Act of 2021, Slipped Into Infrastructure Bill

Rob Portman

Outgoing Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), reached across the aisle to cosponsor the Digital Equity Act of 2021, which was later passed and slipped into the more than 2700 page, $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill agreed upon by the U.S. Senate last week. 

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), announced the introduction of the bill on her website on June 1:

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe and the Factors of Chuck Schumer’s Invisible Infrastructure Bill

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to discuss Chuck Schumer and the invisible infrastructure bill.

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Commentary: Pandemic Lockdowns Were a Public Health Mistake

More evidence to confirm what many Republican lawmakers and free-market advocates such as Americans for Limited Government were saying from the start of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns would be one of the most tragic mistakes in American history.

The Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California have released a new study examining the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states.

“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. In the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect.

And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.

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Florida Legislature Passes Toll Road Repeal Bill

The Florida House passed SB 100 yesterday, a repeal bill of the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program. The program was a priority of former Senate President Bill Galvano to build new toll roads as part of an infrastructure plan connecting Florida’s metro areas.

The bill will cancel the Heartland Parkway, connecting Polk and Collier counties.

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Washington Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on Democratic Spending and the 2022 Red Wave

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Washington Correspondent for the Star News Network Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line to weigh in on democratic overspending in infrastructure and tax bills, the oncoming red wave of 2022, and Republican candidates for the House and Senate.

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Crom Carmichael Explains Infrastructure Spending, Billionaire Special Interests and the Redistribution of Income

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to weigh in on the special interest-driven infrastructure bill and the redistribution of income.

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Transportation Sec. Buttigieg Says Mileage Tax Won’t Be Part of Biden’s Infrastructure Bill

Highway Traffic

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Monday that a mileage tax won’t be included in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal.

Buttigieg told CNN anchor Jake Tapper the tax is “not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill,” despite floating the idea of taxing people based on how far they drive last week.

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