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Trump Budget Tag

President Donald Trump signed the massive $900 billion COVID relief bill and $1.4 trillion spending package, which Congress tied together for expediency, to keep the government funded through September.

The House of Representatives had less than 24 hours to review spending bills, totaling 2,000+ pages and worth $1.4 trillion, to keep the government fund through the next fiscal year. Despite the small time frame, the representatives passed the bill in order to avert a shutdown, which would have happened on Friday.

Remember that awful omnibus bill the government passed last month? The backlash was swift and strong. Apparently, lawmakers listened because reports suggest Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have started to look at ways to slash spending from the $1.3 trillion bill.

President Donald Trump has rolled out the budget for 2019, written by budget director Mick Mulvaney. While it demands cuts to federal spending, it avoids balancing the budget within 10 years. Infrastructure received the main point of the budget for $1.5 trillion and cutting red tape. Trump tweeted out that after the country spent $7 trillion in the Middle East, it's time to start investing in America.

On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul succeeded in blocking a vote on the so-called Budget Deal (which we discussed thusly Wednesday). In so doing, the federal government shut down at 12:01 AM. An hour and a half later, the Senate invoked cloture, voted on the huge spending deal reached by both parties Wednesday evening, passing the bill with a vote of 71-28 (without bothering to debate it). Just before dawn it passed the House and heads to Trump for signature.

Wednesday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Schumer announced the Senate had come to a budget agreement. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the deal “a significant bipartisan step forward.” The agreement keeps the government open for six weeks and provides two years of massive spending hikes.

While everyone is gushing over Oprah Winfrey, the Democrats in D.C. can hide the fact that they're holding the spending bill hostage over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. Before Christmas, Congress passed a short term spending bill to keep the government running until January 19. The Democrats have made it clear they want full legalization of DACA recipients while Republicans have mentioned a wall and actual reforms to our immigration system.

I've been keeping an eye on tax reform and ideas to make changes to 401(k) retirement funds have caught my eye. At first, tax writers wanted to tax your earnings before you place money in the fund. Then over the weekend they floated the idea of changing the pre-tax limit to $2,400 instead of $18,000. Of course this has caused an uproar, which led President Donald Trump to tweet out on Monday that tax reform will not include changes to your 401(k). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has said not so fast and the option remains on the table.

Last month, I blogged how Congress floated around making changes to 401(k) retirement plans in order to make up for lost "revenue" due to tax cuts. That change was taxing the earnings before a person places money into the fund. Another idea has come up and it's even worse. Now they are thinking about changing the pre-tax limit to $2,400 instead of $18,000. That's an 87% change and could force people to put even less into their retirement. It also adds fuel to Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) opposition to the Senate budget bill that passed, which allows a clearer path to tax reform, but didn't cut spending enough. Common sense tells us that he is correct.

The rush to promote the idea of sanctuary cities was one of the left's first reactions to Trump's election victory last fall. Democrats, who pushed the expansion of executive power for eight years under Obama, suddenly liked the idea of local control. Trump's new budget takes aim at sanctuary cities and would put them in a tricky spot. Andrea Noble reports at the Washington Times:
Trump budget would force sanctuary cities to comply with immigration laws A day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued guidance that narrowly defined a “sanctuary city,” the Justice Department is attempting to broaden its authority to compel such jurisdictions to cooperate with immigration authorities.