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Paul Schmehl @PaulSchmehl
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I fear I may have confused some of my followers. This will be my attempt to clarify my positions. I stridently argued with those who were claiming that an omnibus bill was not a budget bill and therefore POTUS could do whatever he wanted with the money.
That is clearly and unequivocally false. An omnibus bill is merely an amalgamation of all 12 individual budget bills. If Trump were to ignore the bill’s instructions and do what he wanted with the money, he would be immediately impeached, and rightfully so.
So, when people said he was going to take DoD funds to build the wall using the Army Corps of Engineers, I argued against that and tried to show that it would be illegal and unconstitutional. However, late last night there was a new development.
The inimitable @ThomasWictor found a little noticed article from last year that discussed an arcane use of the House Rules Committee that did in fact allow Trump to use DoD funds. This does not mean that those arguing that omnibus bills can be ignored were right.
Instead, what it means is that Paul Ryan has managed to use a little known rule of the House to open the door for Trump to use DoD funds to build his wall. The beauty of this approach is that Congress approved it and Trump signed it, so it’s legal.
Congress can kick and scream all the want (and I have no doubt that the Dems will scream bloody murder), but they have no leg to stand on. They can scream impeachment, but they have no grounds. Trump would be following Congress’ instructions in using those funds.
Now, Congress could scramble to close the hole by legislation, but what do you think the chances are that the legislation would ever make it past the Rules Committee? The same committee that created the hole in the first place? Not a chance.
So, the door is open. Trump can legally use DoD funds to build the wall. But, it didn’t come from the much-maligned recently-passed omnibus bill. It came from a DoD funding bill passed in December of last year.
This is a most delightful use of perfectly legal means to circumvent the obstructionist Dems and further POTUS’ agenda. And Paul Ryan did it. I have no doubt he did it with the full knowledge and approval of POTUS.
Since this is rather complex, I can understand why some of you might be even more confused now than you originally were. So, I’m going to give you all the links so you can read the threads, follow the links and educate yourselves.
But, before I do that, I have to comment on this entire mess. Far too many on the right are willing to throw away the Constitution to get what they want. This is EXACTLY what the left does, and you should question why you are so willing to throw it away.
Process matters. The law matters. The Constitution matters most of all. Trump is NOT going to do something illegal simply because Obama did. He would be no better that Obama if he did. That is why the indictments you so fervently wish for are taking so long.
He’s going to do it right. It’s going to be legal. And it’s going to stick, because he followed the law. So, let’s try to do better in the future, OK? Let’s try sticking to facts and the law. Let the left do what the left does. That’s not us. And that is definitely not Trump.
OK. Now for the links. This is @LarrySchweikart’s thread on the way funding bills work: threadreaderapp.com/thread/9773128… @unseen1_unseen’s thread on budget bills: threadreaderapp.com/thread/9767515…
’s thread last night where he uncovered the hole: threadreaderapp.com/thread/9777959… My thread where I took down the claims about the WH letter: threadreaderapp.com/thread/9777508…
I hope this helps clarify things. The omnibus bill is not a license for Trump to do whatever he wants. It did not make DoD funds available to build the wall. The DoD funding bill of 2017 did that. And it did it in a most surreptitious way that is perfectly legal.
Facts matter. The law matters. I can’t promise you that I’ll be right 100% of the time. I can promise you that I will never intentionally mislead you. And I can promise you that I work hard to make sure what I tell you is factual and accurate.
In a weird sort of way, I was both right and wrong. I was right on the info about the omnibus bill, but I was wrong that Trump couldn’t use DoD funds to build the wall. When I read Thomas’ thread last night I was stunned. I can only describe what Ryan did as a master stroke.
To her credit, the recently deceased Louise Slaughter tried to stop it. But, because the GOP has the majority, she failed. And now there’s nothing Congress can do to stop Trump from building the wall except to pass a bill preventing it. And that will never happen.
You may, if you’re so inclined, want to read my thread on what’s in the omnibus bill. There’s been a lot of bs flying around about that bill that is plainly false. You can find that here:
One of the falsehoods is this: Planned Parenthood did NOT get funding in the omnibus bill. Almost 90% of PP’s funding is through entitlements like Medicaid and CHIPS. Appropriate bills don’t even touch entitlements. They are on autopilot.
So, to stop funding for Planned Parenthood, Congress would have to pass a bill amending the entitlements to explicitly prohibit funds going to PP. That is never going to happen unless you get out there and elect #MAGA candidates in 2018.
2018 will be a clear indication of how much power #MAGA has. Either we get out and work our tails off to elect good candidates, or the status quo will rule the day. So, people need to stop whining and complaining about how much Congress sucks and REMOVE the suck.
We can do this, but only if we’re laser focused on the goal and refuse to let obstacles get in our way. Restoring the rule of law won’t be easy. It won’t be fast. But it can be done, IF you’re willing to commit to it. Trump is showing us the way. Do everything right.
Do everything legal. By the book. But take advantage of every legal authority you have to get the job done. And never let the bastards get you down. Right now, it LOOKS like gun control is winning. It’s not. 56% of the population is in favor of armed citizens.
Don’t let the lying media convince you we’re losing. ignore them. Ignore the screaming banshees of the left. Just keep chugging away, steady and strong, determined and relentless. We WILL win. We ARE winning. We WILL #MAGA. And we will do it the right way.
For far too long, the left has used our laws against us. And we have let them. No more. Now, we go on the offensive. We use the law to win. We follow the Constitution, and we smash them.
If you’re not aware, the omnibus bill gave the DoD more money than they asked for. When is the last time you saw that happen? Gee, I wonder what that extra money will be used for? Do you think Trump might have just given us a hint?
This is a great thread on DACA.
Addendum. This is the kind of craziness I’m talking about. The omnibus is not law? In what universe?
Addendum 2: I’ve been poring over the NDAA to see if I can find any money that might be used for the wall. After all, Trump can’t just take money willy-nilly from wherever he likes. It has to be authorized by Congress.
Turns out there are 159 items under Military Construction labeled “Unspecified Worldwide locations”. I haven’t totaled them up yet, but I suspect that money may be available. It will take me a while to get a total.
Total Worldwide Military Construction is just under $10 billion, but much of that is for specific projects. I can see where Trump could use some of the unspecified money, but I don’t see how he gets to the $25 billion he claims he needs. Still looking.
Well, I give up. The NDAA is literally page after page after page of very detailed expenditure authorizations. It’s a PITA going through it line by line. I can see some money that Trump can use, but I don’t see him getting $25 billion. We’ll have to wait to see what happens.
Unless someone else wants to take on that monumental task. I’m taking care of my granddaughter right now, and just don’t have the time to do it.
You’d have to ask Trump that. The authority is there. I’ve shown that. Whether he chooses to use it or not is a matter of tactics and strategy, and I don’t address those things, because I have no insight into them.
with another must read thread, this one on the meaning of the Stormy Daniels brouhaha
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