Ukraine/Israel Jammed into Domestic Spending Bill
President Biden pledges to help allies win two wars abroad, and deter a third over Taiwan, “yet he wants to continue spending on everything as if nothing in the world has changed,” writes the WSJ.
He won’t be able to do both. It is hard to imagine $11.6 billion in non-defense spending in Joe Biuden’s first two years in the White House wasn’t enough. But it wasn’t.
Mr. Biden has asked Congress for $106 billion for arms to Ukraine and Israel, plus money for the U.S. southern border and the Pacific theater.
These are urgent priorities as two wars rage and the U.S. military isn’t remotely prepared to meet the growing threat of a Russia-Iran-China axis. Border security is the price of entry for GOP votes.
Social Pork, Not Emergency Money
Joe Biden wants $56 billion in “emergency” domestic spending.
$144 million to “expand substance use and mental health prevention and treatment services in areas affected by the Maui fires.”
$16 billion already appropriated for disaster relief.
$68 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “build capacity for laboratory testing and biomonitoring.”
$8 billion for “long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, economic revitalization, and mitigation” for California, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Illinois. (Much of this will flow to politically connected contractors. the WSJ reminds readers.)
An ongoing project by definition is not an emergency, the WSJ reminds readers:
$310 million to “address the need for additional water infrastructure to prevent and reduce sewage flows and contamination in Southern California through support for ongoing design and construction at the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant.”
$1.5 billion to “support additional resources for State Opioid Response.” (States and localities haven’t even spent the tens of billions of dollars that they have extracted from drug makers and pharmacies in legal settlements. Federal opioid funding will let them divert settlement cash to general government spending.)
$1.6 billion to cover heating oil costs this year for lower-income folks in the region. (How about pushing Gov.Kathy Hochul to let a natural gas pipeline be built through New York so Northeasterners don’t have to burn higher-cost oil to heat their homes?)
$6 billion to extend pandemic broadband subsidies for some 20 million lower-income households through December 2024 and another $16 billion to continue Covid child-care subsidies from the March 2021 American Rescue Plan Act that expired on Sept. 30.
Say It Ain’t So, Joe
There’s much at stake here for Joe Biden, writes the WSJ: the President’s sincerity and his obligations as Commander in Chief.
(President Biden) is asking Republicans to take a difficult vote for the good of the country at what he says is an “inflection point” in history.
Does he mean it? If he does, then he should be willing to compromise by ditching more welfare spending. Wasn’t the $11.6 trillion in non-defense spending in his first two years enough?
(Joe Biden) should also be willing to make compromises on GOP priorities such as reforming the “credible fear” asylum standard that has become an essentially open door to anyone who claims it.
There are two wars going on, Mr. President.
Does Joe Biden want the money to help our allies win them, or does he want to sacrifice Ukraine and U.S. defenses for broadband subsidies?