Earlier this week, right before Christmas, Congress passed a 5,600-page COVID-19 relief bill that no one could have the time to read in its entirety.
The bill, which the Senate Historical Office said appears to be the longest bill ever approved, was handed to Congress only a few short hours before a vote was scheduled to be held, forcing representatives to quickly scan the document and make a decision without knowing the ins and outs of the bill.
Some members of Congress even took to social media, calling the document a disservice to the American people and noting how their teams were going through the PDF using the “CTRL + F” function to find important information – ridiculous!
And let’s not forget that American citizens are supposed to be able to review the proposed bill as well, giving them time to go to their local representatives to share their thoughts.
Yet by the time it got released for review, we had less than four hours. I certainly can’t read almost 6,000 pages that quickly… Can you?
This is a clear loss of American civil liberties. I had the pleasure of talking with former congressman Dr. Ron Paul this week on the American Consequences podcast. We spoke about how this isn’t the first time Americans have lost their liberties due to the coronavirus, and it won’t be the last…
So far, we’ve lost the freedom to choose to go out when we want to, and the simple freedom to choose if we want to eat somewhere for dinner… We’ve lost the ability to see our friends and family for the holidays, risking potential repercussions for gathering in our own homes. Now, we’ve lost the right to read a bill before it passes.
How can American citizens stand up for their rights with a government that acts this way?
As the virus becomes more and more politicized, lawmakers can push through bills and demand regulation that actively hurts American citizens.
American citizens are being forced to close their businesses, sometimes permanently, while the very people passing these laws have not missed a paycheck since the quarantine began.
But at least $600 to every American citizen should help…
Oh, and let’s not forget $600 to non-American citizens in America as well. Because this new bill, unlike the first relief bill, allows for mixed-status households to also receive the stimulus checks. That’s just one of the many small changes that were pushed through in this fast-vote bill.
President Trump ripped apart the relief package, arguing the legislation includes measures that have nothing to do with COVID-19 and the stimulus checks are far too small to actually help struggling Americans.
Now that the bill has been voted on and the people have had a chance to really dissect it, a few other important pieces of information have come to light.
Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, also joined me on my podcast this week to discuss the interesting, and somewhat frightening, laws that have made their way into this bill. Here are just a few highlights:
- $1.3 billion for the Egyptian military, which will fund the purchase of Russian military equipment.
- A block of President Trump’s plan to merge functions of the Office of Personnel into the General Services Administration.
- $40 million to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (which is currently closed!).
- Illegal streaming is now a federal crime instead of a misdemeanor.
- $33 million to Democracy efforts in Venezuela.
I am the first person to agree with aid toward Venezuela after all that country has been through as it’s moving toward democracy. But is right now the best time to be spending $33 million of taxpayer money?
Victor and I both agree – now is the time to focus on assisting our own citizens… The stability of our national economy depends on it.
Victor even outlined the potentially disastrous effects of moving forward with so much fiscal stimulus.
“We can’t lower interest any more,” he says, commenting on the fact that it’s hard to borrow any more money while we’re already approaching an enormous amount of national debt.
Instead of locking down businesses and taking away our civil liberties, now is the time to open up the economy. And rather than send so much money to foreign efforts, we should be focusing on reinvesting in the American economy.
But at least now, thanks to the impending stimulus checks, people living in the U.S. can afford to pay for Netflix to avoid federal jail time…
Trish Regan, American Consequences
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