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Funding Deal? – PolicySphere Morning Briefing – March 19, 2024

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#FundingBillPunchbowl News has the scoop: there is apparently a deal on the table on the funding bill, at least between Speaker Johnson and the White House. Though of course these things are always rocky. Quote: “It’s now up to the House leadership, legislative counsel and Appropriations Committee staffers to put the text of this agreement together quickly. Every bill besides the Homeland CR has essentially been done now for days. Yet Johnson is going to have a difficult week. The House GOP leadership has promised to give lawmakers 72 hours to read the funding legislation before a vote. At this point, it seems as if the DHS legislation will be ready for review on Wednesday. This would peg a House vote on the six-bill package at some point on Saturday, which is after the shutdown deadline.” We do know conservatives in the Senate intend to fight this, and will keep you updated on the policy side as the situation develops.

#FundingBill – The deal apparently continues to fund PEPFAR, which was touted as a great life-saving success of the Bush Administration but is now disliked by some conservatives as “foreign aid”. NB: criticisms of foreign aid are important, but our understanding is that unlike the vast majority of foreign aid PEPFAR is targeted and has shown return on investment.

#FundingBill #Spending – Speaking of! Right on time, Cato has launched a fun new website: Spending Madness 2024. “Thirty‐​two unaffordable federal spending programs are going head‐​to‐​head in a classic, single‐​elimination tournament format. And you get to decide the worst of the bunch.” Everyone agrees the Federal government wastes a lot of money, the problem is nobody can disagree on which bit is the waste…

#Immigration #AmericanManufacturingU.S. workers face new reality of stagnating wages amid economic uncertainty (Washington Times)

#ImmigrationIllegal migrant from Lebanon caught at border admitted he’s a Hezbollah terrorist hoping ‘to make a bomb’ — and was headed for NY (NY Post)

#Agriculture – Who is buying up all the U.S. farmland, and why? WSJ: “Every day we are deluged with pamphlets for farmland that is selling for triple the price of the land 10 to 15 years ago. These inflated prices can’t be cash flowed by corn and soybean production by any stretch of the imagination.” (Link)

#ClimateChange #Science #Tech #EnvironmentHarvard has halted its long-planned atmospheric geoengineering experiment (MIT Technology Review) The goal of the project was to see if, by scattering small particles in the upper atmosphere of Earth and thereby reflecting more sunlight, we could cool the planet and counteract global warming. Harvard gave up on it following “public criticism”. “Critics argue that even studying the possibility of solar geoengineering eases the societal pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions.” One right-of-center response to various left-wing quasi-communist environmental proposals is that technology, science, and innovation can solve environmental problems. But what if left-wing activists stop that too?

#DEI #AmericanManufacturing – “DEI killed the CHIPS Act

#DEI – Josh Hammer and Max Eden at City Journal: “Across two consecutive administrations, Democrats have weaponized the Department of Ed.’s Office for Civil Rights. A second Trump term should push back by having OCR fully defund a left-wing college: Middlebury.” One of the important and lively debates on the right today is shrinking government vs. using the government for conservative ends. This would be an example of the latter: using the civil rights bureaucracy to end DEI.

#EnergySaudi Aramco CEO says energy transition is failing, world should abandon ‘fantasy’ of phasing out oil (CNBC)

#BigTech #ElectionIntegrity – “Google has been putting its thumb on the scale to help Democratic candidates win the presidency in the last four election cycles during which it censored Republicans,” according to the Media Research Center. (NY Post)

Chart of the Day: U.S. debt officially hits $34.5 trillion


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