ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Domestic Policy" Category

Abolish The Debt Ceiling

[ Posted Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 – 15:23 UTC ]

Here we are again. The Washington Kabuki theater is raging while all the media cheerfully go along for the ride. Will the United States reach its debt ceiling without Congress acting, and will the country then default on its debts for the first time in over 200 years? What will that do to the world's economy? What will it do to the American economy? Red flags are waved, warning beacons go off, fire alarms sound, signal flares are launched. It's all merry fun until a way is figured out (at the last minute!) to save us all from the "fiscal cliff" of defaulting on our obligations. It's all as regular as clockwork, now. But it just doesn't have to be this way.

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Delta Wave Crests

[ Posted Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 – 16:59 UTC ]

America may have just turned the corner in the fight against the Delta mutation of the COVID-19 viral pandemic. This is good news, obviously, if the trend continues. It could mean a return to at least the normalcy of the beginning of the summer, which would be a welcome relief to all. And it could signal that the next variant which hits us (whatever Greek letter it happens to have) will be less destructive. And that's really good news for all.

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Monday House Deadline Looking Shaky, At Best

[ Posted Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 – 16:22 UTC ]

In less than a week, congressional Democrats will face a deadline of their own making. Next Monday is the day Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised she would bring to the House floor the bipartisan infrastructure bill that the Senate has already passed. Because it has cleared the Senate, the next step for the bill (if the House passes it) is President Joe Biden's desk, for his signature. But unfortunately, it is increasingly looking like the companion budget reconciliation bill will not be ready for a vote -- perhaps not in either chamber. Since these two pieces of legislation are linked, this may mean neither one of them passes (at least, not next Monday). This would endanger the two bills which not only form the base of Biden's agenda, but also the basis for Democrats to run their campaigns on next year. Either both bills pass, Biden will be seen as a transformative president (on the order of L.B.J. or even F.D.R.), and the Democrats can run on a spectacular record of getting good things done in Washington -- or none of that will take place at all, which would pretty much doom the Democrats chances in the 2022 midterms. In other words, it's an important week -- one that may actually stretch into being an important month.

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Senate Parliamentarian Rejects Immigration Reform In Reconciliation Bill

[ Posted Monday, September 20th, 2021 – 16:17 UTC ]

Last night the Senate parliamentarian released the first in a series of opinions about the Democratic efforts to draft an enormous budget reconciliation bill. She said that, in her opinion, legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants should be seen as a policy proposal, not a budget proposal. If Democrats follow her advice, they'll have to remove the path to citizenship from the reconciliation bill. This would be a major blow to immigration reform, although not entirely unexpected.

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Policing Saturday's Pro-Insurrectionist Rally

[ Posted Thursday, September 16th, 2021 – 15:45 UTC ]

This Saturday, America will get to see whether the police responsible for the security of the United States Capitol have learned their lesson or not. After their abject failure to prepare adequately for the insurrectionist mob which took over the Capitol on January 6th (in an attempt to forcibly halt the final step in a presidential election), the police are going to face a crowd of sympathizers of the insurrectionist riot's participants. In other words, the insurrectionists' fellow travellers. One would like to assume that the police presence will be a lot bigger and a lot more proactive on Saturday than they were eight months ago.

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Some Recall Reflections

[ Posted Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 – 17:17 UTC ]

California Governor Gavin Newsom emerged victorious from his recall election last night, chalking up a rather stunning margin: with 71 percent of the vote counted, "No" on the recall was beating "Yes" by a whopping 28 points (64 percent to 36 percent). Not quite 2-to-1, but close. Since it was a special recall election held at an odd time, it garnered more than the normal amount of media and political interest nationwide -- especially after a poll a few months ago seemed to suggest that the race was somehow neck-and-neck. Obviously, it wasn't. Newsom may in fact beat the margin of victory he managed in his last election. Whatever the final numbers turn out to be, though, it's hard not to use the word "landslide" to describe the outcome.

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It's Not A Vaccine Mandate, It's A Testing Mandate

[ Posted Monday, September 13th, 2021 – 15:36 UTC ]

Republicans, as they are wont to do, have been falsely framing President Joe Biden's order to medium-to-large businesses last week as a "vaccine mandate" or "vaccination mandate." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even tweeted it out in all caps yesterday: "NO VACCINE MANDATES." On the Sunday morning political chat shows, this framing was presented by other Republicans with little or no pushback from either the hosts or even the Democratic guests. But it is false. It is highly misleading. What Biden ordered for the private sector was not a vaccine mandate. It was a testing mandate. Nobody's going to get fired for not getting vaccinated -- but people could get fired for refusing to submit to weekly testing. That's a big difference. Republicans are trying to obscure this reality by framing it as a "getting fired for refusing a vaccine" issue. And so far, at least on television, this seems to be working for them.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats Should Lean In To Biden's New Pandemic Mandates

[ Posted Friday, September 10th, 2021 – 17:04 UTC ]

This week, President Joe Biden picked a political fight. Or, more accurately, he got up off the sidelines and engaged in a political fight that had already begun, by strongly opposing Republican politicians fighting against basic public health safety measures under the fake guise of "freedom." Biden stood squarely for science and safety, while Republicans are left to fight for recklessness and death. That is precisely how the matter should be framed politically, and so far it looks like Biden is doing a fairly good job of presenting this dichotomy to the public. He's even taking the fight directly to all the GOP governors who are sounding increasingly unhinged about the basic concepts of public health and safety.

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Biden Rolls Out New Vaccine Plans

[ Posted Thursday, September 9th, 2021 – 16:16 UTC ]

President Joe Biden today gave a speech outlining the next steps the federal government will be taking to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of these steps do not go as far as some had been hoping, there were several which will be significant in upping the pressure on unvaccinated people to get their shots. Although Biden didn't explicitly say so, at this point the best way to convince more people to get vaccinated is to make life harder and harder for the unvaccinated. And Biden took several large steps which will do so.

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California About To Make Universal Mail-In Voting Permanent

[ Posted Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 – 14:26 UTC ]

As I write this, there is less than a week to go before the votes in California's gubernatorial recall election will be counted. But, just as I predicted a few weeks ago, it now seems like a sure bet that Governor Gavin Newsom is going to beat the recall pretty handily. As I wrote back then, a few odd outlier polls had caused somewhat of a frenzy in the chattering classes of the inside-the-Beltway punditocracy, who all concluded that Newsom was in trouble and a Republican could win the recall. I didn't buy it. Not for a minute.

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