Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Impeachment, USCMA, Nominations, and Teachers

New Boston, TX - December 24, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH, 3rd) voted to impeach Trump. She said, "We are a nation of laws, based on the principle that no one is above the law, but this president believes he can do anything he wants. As the record shows and the irrefutable testimonies by Trump Administration officials make crystal clear, President Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2020 Election, abused the power of the presidency, and tried to cover it all up."

Don Beyer (D-VA, 8th) also voted to impeach on those grounds.

Yet, no proof of this exists. Tax dollars have been spent trying to prove this, and other accusations against him, and through it all, the Democrats have found NOTHING except that he is hated enough to want impeached.

Thank God for some Republicans who stand up and call a spade a spade:

Congressman Vern Buchanan spoke on the House floor Wednesday against the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

“Madam Speaker, I will vote today against both articles of impeachment because they are without merit and set a dangerous precedent for our country. This political vendetta is an abuse of the impeachment process and would subvert the votes of 63 million Americans. Just because the President’s opponents are afraid he will win reelection is no excuse for weaponizing impeachment. No president in history has ever been impeached 10 months before an election. Elections are the heart of our democracy. Our founding fathers devised a simple way to remove a president that you disagree with — it’s called an election — and we have one coming up in less than a year. Let the people decide.”

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL, 5th) and 8 conservative House colleagues sent a letter to United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urging them to adopt the Federal Rules of Evidence for the Senate’s President Trump impeachment trial.

Also on Thursday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed in a bipartisan manner the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). that vote follows months of negotiations by House Democrats to secure improvements to the original USMCA negotiated by the Trump Administration.

“I’m pleased to see that House Democrats were able to secure important changes to the original USMCA draft,” said Ami Bera (D-CA, 7th). “The version of USMCA that passed (today) includes strong protections for American workers, important enforcement mechanisms to ensure all countries are compliant, and key environmental protections.

The revised version of USMCA is a win for the U.S. economy and American families, and will bring important jobs to California.”

I wonder if she will admit that the idea came from Trump?

Rob Bishop (R-UT, 1st) noted the irony of this in his statement:

“It is about time!

Despite USMCA’s bipartisan and bicameral support, Speaker Pelosi has refused to bring it to the floor in what can only be described as an attempt to deny President Trump any victories until she could impeach him.

I am pleased the House passed the trade deal with Canada and Mexico. This is a vast improvement over NAFTA. This bill is good for Utah and the country. It is just too bad it took so long for Democrat leadership to do the right thing.”

Passage of the USMCA is a win for every sector of our economy, including:

  • Agriculture: The USMCA reduces Canadian and Mexican tariffs on American agricultural goods and eliminates other unfair trading practices – helping our farmers and ranchers sell more of their goods abroad.
  • Autoworkers and Manufacturers: The USMCA creates new requirements for producing auto parts in North America and ensuring those parts are made in high-wage areas – supporting U.S. autoworkers and giving U.S. automakers an edge over foreign competitors.
  • Digital Trade: The agreement creates the strongest standard for digital trade in any international agreement to date. This chapter will provide certainty for our tech sector, protect our privacy, and encourage cross-border growth of digital transactions and e-commerce.
  • Small Businesses and Consumers: Both Canada and Mexico are increasing their de minimis thresholds, or the maximum value of a good shipped across the border before tariffs are applied. This will make it easier for consumers and small businesses to participate in cross-border trade.
  • Intellectual Property: The USMCA modernizes NAFTA’s IP chapter and creates new enforcement mechanisms to protect American innovators and investors.

    “Due to the efforts of House Democrats in the House Trade Working Group, we were able to negotiate with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer a revised USMCA agreement. The revisions make enforcement more effective and fair by fixing loopholes that would have allowed Mexico and Canada to avoid accountability with regards to their trade obligations. This revised USMCA strengthens standards on protecting workers’ rights and introduces penalties on goods and services that are not produced in compliance with key labor standards," said Sanford D. Bishop, Jr (D-GA, 2nd).

    “This was an unprecedented vote for an unprecedented trade agreement. This agreement got more Democratic votes than Republican votes, and we were able to thwart the efforts of big drug companies for the first time ever in a trade agreement. This should be a sign that the days of giving big pharma sweetheart deals are over. Protecting our workers and environment, addressing climate change, and putting people ahead of profit will be at the center of all new trade agreements as long as Democrats are in charge,” said Earl Blumenauer (D-OR, 3rd).

    “With today’s vote, The House is delivering much-needed certainty to the nearly 70,000 Illinoisans whose jobs depend on fair and free trade with Canada and Mexico,” said Mike Bost (R-IL, 12th). “USMCA will strengthen exports for farmers across my district and is a bright spot in what has been one of the worst years in decades for agriculture. Despite a year of unnecessary delays, I’m glad that we are finally moving forward on this historic agreement.”

    “Illinois Farm Bureau greatly appreciates Representative Bost’s vocal leadership for USCMA and for recognizing the value of expanded trade between the U.S. and its neighbors,” said Illinois Farm Bureau president Richard Guebert, Jr., who farms in the 12th District. “The largest export market for Illinois corn is Mexico. This modernized trade agreement maintains our tariff free access to that vital market and opens up the Canadian market for more sales of dairy and wheat from the 12th District. Thanks to Rep. Bost’s leadership Illinois farmers can begin to reap the benefits of expanded trade under USMCA.”

    “While we did not achieve all the environmental standards we had hoped for, we did successfully include language that will allow the Paris Climate agreement and other future international environmental agreements to be added by the parties at a later date. As a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I will continue to work to address this issue,” said Julia Brownley (D-CA, 26th).

    Now we know why the Democrats so overwhelmingly supported a Trump idea.

    Once enacted, USMCA is expected to help create over 176,000 American jobs, $68 billion in new economic activity, and $2.2 billion in annual agriculture exports.

    Also on Thursday, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Arizona State University Professor Sethuraman Panchanathan to serve as the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    “President Trump has made an inspired choice with his nomination of Dr. Panchanathan—or “Panch,” as we all know him—to head the NSF. During his time at ASU, Panch was instrumental in turning Arizona’s largest institution of higher learning into one of the most innovative universities in the country. His passion for new and exciting ideas is infectious, and I am confident that he will bring this rejuvenating spirit to an organization that could benefit from fresh direction. As a Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I look forward to working with him on future projects,” said Andy Biggs (R-AZ, 5th).

    On Friday, December 20, 2019, Congressman Anthony Brown (D-MD, 4th) celebrated the inclusion of language from his standalone legislation, the “Educators Expense Deduction Modernization Act,” in the “Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act.” The legislation passed the House of Representatives. The original provision doubled the teachers’ tax deduction for classroom expenses from $250 to $500. The deduction was increased to $1,000 on the floor.

    Reportedly, more than 9 in 10 public-school teachers are not reimbursed for classroom expenses which can include everything from pens to books, crafts and science materials. Teachers in high-poverty schools spent nearly 40 percent more than their peers elsewhere, with one in 10 spending $1,000 or more. In Maryland, nearly 80,000 educators benefit from this deduction.