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Senate Vote: 26     Vote Date: Feb 14th, 2019

Issue: H.J.Res. 31, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019.  (Formerly titled: A joint resolution making further continuing appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2019, and for other purposes.)  Question:  On the House-Senate Conference Report.

Result:  Agreed to in Senate, 83 to 16, 1 not voting. Agreed to by House later that day (House Roll Call 87).  Became Public Law 116-6 (signed by the President, 2-15-16). GOP only scored.

Freedom First Society:  By consolidating the remaining seven regular appropriations bills (and roughly 25 percent of the budget) for FY 2019, the Senate and House perpetuated the norm of violating regular order as a means to obtain consensus.  Predictably, this “consensus” measure supported and increased unconstitutional spending.

Despite some money for border fencing in the Department of Homeland Security portion, the bill actually encouraged illegal immigration (see GOP Rep. Scott Perry’s objections in our analysis of the House vote – Roll Call 87).  We give blue check marks to the 11 GOP Senators who voted against this measure.

We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)

Bill Summary:  The House-Senate Conference Report set appropriations for the seven remaining appropriations bills through the end of the 2019 fiscal year (ending September 30, 2019), including Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Services and General Government; Homeland Security; Interior and Environment; State and Foreign Operations; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

Analysis:  Of primary concern  with this consolidated funding bill is the lack of any concern by leaders in either party over the lack of spending restraint.  And certainly there is no demand that unconstitutional federal programs and departments be phased out — the real route to making America great again. Instead, appropriators tout all of the great things, often unconstitutional, they are doing with our tax money.  For more spending detail, please see our analysis of the House vote – Roll Call 87.

Although most Democratic lawmakers claim to support border enforcement, many also insist that there is no real immigration or border problem other than inhumane treatment by the Trump administration of those seeking asylum. Their claims don’t withstand scrutiny.

There is a very real open borders movement, driven by the Establishment, dating back decades and supported by politicians from both parties.  Recall the July 2, 2001 Wall Street Journal editorial “Open NAFTA Borders? Why Not?”:

“Reformist Mexican President Vicente Fox raises eyebrows with his suggestion that over a decade or two NAFTA should evolve into something like the European Union, with open borders for not only goods and investment but also people. He can rest assured that there is one voice north of the Rio Grande that supports his vision. To wit, this newspaper.”

As Vicente Fox suggests, NAFTA was much more than a trade agreement. Following the pattern of their successful deception leading to the EU, Internationalists used trade promotion as a ploy to create the NAFTA steppingstone to regional government and open borders. And President Trump’s USMCA upgrade to NAFTA continues that agenda.   For more, please see our January 25, 2018 post, “Immigration Betrayal!”

Throughout the House and Senate “debates” on this bipartisan, bicameral compromise, congressmen repeatedly hammered the public with the theme that compromise (with socialists) is the American way (echoed also by the Establishment media).   But there are limits to acceptable compromise.

Although 16 senators voted against the resolution, none rose to voice their objection during the brief structured Senate “debate” on the measure.

From the Congressional Record (2-24-19) [Emphasis added]:

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vermont):  “Mr. President, as someone who has been here for some  period of time, I was glad to see Republicans and Democrats, both in  the House and the Senate, come together in the past few weeks, especially this week.  We ignored the distractions and tweetstorms coming from the White  House. We reached an agreement to fund our government and make responsible investments for the American people.  Not one of us — none of the final four who did the negotiations,  sitting in that room, felt that this was an agreement that any one of us would have individually written.   There are things in this bill that I support and things I disagree with, but that could be said by all four of us, Republicans and  Democrats. You try to find as much common ground as you can. Everybody had to give something, but we ended up with a bipartisan compromise. We  had to deal with facts that are based on reality, not rhetoric based on  political fantasy.

Democrats have always supported border security, but we support smart  border security, targeted strategies that address the real problems facing us at our southwest border. That is what we tried to accomplish here. We stood together. We rejected the toxic and hate-filled  immigration tweets coming from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.  The agreement does not fund President Trump’s wasteful wall….

“It does not fund President  Trump’s requested deportation force, and it rejects the unjustified and dramatic increase in the detention bed levels the President would have used to enforce his extreme immigration policy.

“But just as important as what this agreement rejects is what we were  able to accomplish.   We invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new technology to stop the flow of illegal drugs through our ports of entry. All Republicans and all Democrats supported that. We provide funds to hire more judges to address the immigration backlog in our country.

We provide more than  half a billion dollars to support Central American countries, addressing the root causes of undocumented migration. We included $400 million to improve medical care and address the humanitarian concerns  at the border. Every one of us has seen enough of what is going on there; we are trying to show that America — the greatest Nation on Earth, also the wealthiest and the most humanitarian — will address it.   This is what a compromise looks like. This is how the American people  expect our government to function — not by tweets but by reasonable, reality-based compromise.

“Unfortunately, often lost in this debate over border security were  the more than 800,000 public servants and their families who were held  hostage by the Trump shutdown for weeks. They once again lived in fear  and uncertainty that their next paycheck may not come because the President chose to use them as hostages. This agreement ensures that these public servants remain on the job doing the important work of the American people through the end of the fiscal year, and also all those who are not on a government payroll but support all our different Agencies that were involved in this. They weren’t paid either.

“This agreement funds nine Federal Departments. Keep in mind — it is  not just the borders; it is nine Federal Departments and their related Agencies. I will give a couple of examples. It increases funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. It supports our national parks. It rejects the anti-science know-nothingism of the administration by supporting research and our dedicated scientists.

“This is extremely important to me because Senator Crapo and I wrote the last Violence Against Women authorization. We wrote the expansion of that law. Our bill today provides the highest funding level ever for the Office on Violence Against Women to support programs that prevent domestic violence. It also provides more than half a billion dollars to  combat the opioid crisis. In my earlier career, I saw too many deaths  because of the violence against women. I saw too many deaths of young  people from drug overdoses, and the numbers have only dramatically  increased from the days when I was a prosecutor. Supporting the Violence Against Women Act brought Republicans and Democrats together.

“The agreement invests in rural America, secures our interests abroad,  rebuilds our highways, and supports public housing.”

Freedom First Society:  We single out here just three of our many objections to Senator Leahy’s comments:

• “Undocumented migration” is a dishonorable euphemism intended to make criminal acts seem acceptable. The real “root causes of undocumented migration” — damaging U.S. policies — are rarely discussed and never addressed: For example, the socialist welfare magnet has long encouraged illegal immigration, while more recent acceptance of radical court decisions have invited even more illegal immigration.  Also, Internationalists in our government have regularly supported socialist governments to the south and attacked those leaders, such as Pinochet of Chile and Anastosio Somoza of Nicaragua, who wished to follow the American way.  Even earlier, Internationalists helped Castro to power in Cuba, from which position he instigated socialist revolution throughout Latin America.  Thus, U.S. Internationalists have ensured that much of Latin America remained mired in poverty.

• “It rejects the anti-science know-nothingism of the administration.” Here we see at work the principle Adolf Hiltler presented in his 1925 Mein Kampf:  “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.”

The political parties don’t differ over their acceptance of honest science.  They differ to the extent they are willing to use a bogus alarm as a pretext for an Internationalist power grab.  That bogus alarm is the claim, based on computer models designed to support the claim, that man-made carbon dioxide is causing catastrophic global warming. Eminent climate scientists, such as Richard Lindzen, formerly of MIT, dispute the claim (see his lecture entitled “Global Warmng for the Two Cultures” and our post: “UN Climate-Change Hysteria”). But the arguments of these scientists receive scant media attention.

Many Democrats and some Republicans embrace the pretext. Unfortunately, very few congressmen are willing to stand up to the heavily financed propaganda re climate change and expose its subversive driving agenda.

• “Our bill today provides the highest funding level ever for the Office on Violence Against Women to support programs that prevent domestic violence.” The Constitution does not authorize the federal government to concern itself with domestic violence — an involvement that would have astonished the framers.  However, we also point out the liberal role in creating the poison and the antidote in the same laboratory.   Liberals have constantly sought to undermine our culture of traditional religion as the basis for morality with a predictable disintegration of civilized codes.  And FBI profilers have found that some of the worst perpetrators of violence against women developed their sickness while raised without the role models of a traditional family.

Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-New York), Minority Leader:  “The agreement will provide smart border security, increasing support  for technologies at our ports of entry. It will not fund the  President’s expensive, ineffective wall. It will provide desperately  needed humanitarian assistance — medical support, transportation, food, and clothing — for children and families in detention. It will provide funding to our neighbors in Central America to fight the actual root causes of migrationthe violent gangs and drug cartels.

“In short, it represents a fair compromise that includes priorities  from both sides of the aisle. I expect the legislation will pass this  Chamber with a significant bipartisan majority, pass the House, and be  sent to the President with plenty of time to avoid a government  shutdown tomorrow at midnight.

“There is word that the President will declare a national emergency. I hope he won’t. That would be a very wrong thing to do. Leader Pelosi and I will be responding to that in short order, but before that, I  just want to say that in order to reach this point, in order to attain  this bipartisan compromise, 800,000 public servants were forced to  suffer without pay for over a month as President Trump put the country  through a completely unnecessary shutdown that snarled airports, delayed loans for farmers and small businesses, trashed our national  parks, and took billions of dollars out of our economy.   We still need to address the plight of government contractors who still have not been made whole. Regrettably, we were unable to include that in the agreement, but we are going to keep working and fighting  for Senator Smith’s proposal to ensure our contractors are made whole again.

“The Senate was in the very same position just before Christmas, with  a deal in hand, when the President reversed himself and engineered the  longest shutdown in American history. After all of the pain of the shutdown caused by President Trump, we are basically right back where we started, with nearly the same parameters of a bipartisan agreement we were ready to pass around Christmas. Leader Pelosi and I, for  instance, offered the President $1.37 billion for border security with the same language that would have prohibited the wall then as is in the agreement now.

“Let this be a lesson. Government shutdowns don’t work. I hope President Trump has learned that lesson once and for all. I hope we never go down the road to shutdowns again. The American people suffer and very little is accomplished.  President Trump should sign this bill ASAP.   I yield the floor.”

Freedom First Society: Senator Schumer goes even further that Senator Leahy by claiming that “the actual root causes of migration” are “the violent gangs and drug cartels.”  He conveniently omits mentioning the two major causes, for which Congress and the Internationalists in our government are responsible, which we identified above.

Senator Schumer also has the audacity to place the entire blame for the shutdown on President Trump, while refusing to admit that political considerations were responsible for the Democrats’ refusal to compromise re a few measly billion for the border wall.

Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Alabama), Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations:  “Mr. President, I will be brief.   First of all, I thank Senator Leahy, the vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, who worked diligently for the past year to get to where we are today in a bipartisan way and also, recently, in the conference committee, which we thought last week had broken down. I also thank Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, and Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader. I thank everybody else who has contributed to get us to this point.  Nothing is perfect, but we think this is a good bill for the American  people. It opens up all of the government — the 25 percent that we had  not addressed.   The conference report includes a robust and comprehensive investment in border security, providing funding for personnel, technology, and  infrastructure that is critical to keeping our nation secure and our people safe. Critically, the bill provides nearly $1,400,000,000 to further construction of a barrier along the southwest border.