Posted Dec 14, 2014 by Martin Armstrong
The continuing resolution to fund the gov’t $1.1 trillion, the sum of the entire national debt under President Reagan in 1980, narrowly passed the House late Thursday by a 219-206 vote, with support from 57 Democrats. This was after a much turmoil amid fierce lobbying from the White House and Congressional leaders. That’s right. Obama supported the repeal of Dodd Frank. Why, lift the rug and you will see. Donations to political parties was raised from $32,400 to $324,000. They think some of us are stupid and do not pay attention to where the hide the decimal points.
There were some Democrats who refused to follow Obama. The House extended the time the Senate has to vote by two days, and this actually opened the door for some changes they might make. But Obama is on board with the Republicans on this, After all, the bankers were the biggest contributor to him as well and so there is no objection from Obama to the bill’s inclusion of a rollback of financial reforms. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, famed as a thorn in Wall Street’s side, branded those changes a “bailout” for big banks at taxpayers’ expense. She is correct on this one. Nevertheless, Harry Reid supported the bill and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said on the House floor it was “better to pass it than to defeat it.” Yet House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi opposed the inclusion of the banking changes calling it a loosening of financial regulations that amount to “a ransom and a blackmail”.
This is the way politics functions. If you want to get something passed corruptly, stuff it inside a bill they have to pass. This is totally unethical and such practices are most likely unconstitutional. But Congress created these rules to allow for such provisions to be included that would never stand on their own. This is how democracy died in the USA.
White House officials – including Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama – worked the phones to push passage of the bill along with Jamie Diamond of J.P.Morgan.. The White House chief of staff Denis McDonough went to Capitol Hill late Thursday to personally lobby Democrats to support the measure in a closed-door meeting.
They needed Democratic votes in order to offset defections on the Republican side from conservative Tea Party. This lays the seeds for a split and this rollback of Dodd Frank may be the key to dividing the Republican Party. As for the Senate, in the coming days in order to avert a shutdown, they have to vote fast. That could be procedurally accomplished only if no member objects to its passage. If even a single senator holds up the process, it could drag on for several days, yet it is ultimately expected to pass.
The third bombshell has gotten almost no press. Hidden inside you will also find a haircut for pensions. This provision would allow the promised pension benefits of up to 1.5 million workers and retirees to be cut. It would affect the pooled pension plans — called multiemployer plans — of mostly union workers across a bunch of companies, where it looks like the plans won’t be able to cover full benefits in coming decades. That’s right. I have been warning there will be no hyperinflation – try deflation. These people will default rather than print. We are headed toward BIG BANK on such a grand scale, it might be time to start looking for some island to hide and wait until the warm orange glow of the financial mushroom cloud to subside.
Here are the key points:
- Funding until September 2015 for 11 of 12 federal agencies. The Department of Homeland Security is only funded until early next year, setting up another spending fight over immigration in just a few weeks
- No new funding for the Affordable Care Act, but funding for the health care law is also not cut
- $5.4 million to fight Ebola abroad and prepare for potential outbreaks at home
- Changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking reform bill concerning derivatives trading – lobbied for heavily by the banking industry
- Language prohibiting the District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana, which city residents greenlighted in a November ballot initiative by a wide margin
- Language raising donation limits to the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee from $32,400 per donor to $324,000
- About $8 billion in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, a substantial cut from last year’s funding that will likely force a hefty reduction in staffing
- $5 billion to fight the Islamic militant group known as ISIS
- A ban on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States
- Funding to aid the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Service and local school districts in immigration-related programs
- A cut of almost $350 million to the budget of the IRS
- Cuts to multi-employer pension plans
- Language allowing school districts more flexibility in instituting the nutrition standards championed by Michelle Obama