On Friday, March 23, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Omnibus bill.
Trump supporters’ heads exploded. The online comments from these fair-weather patriots were astounding.
Since then, they have calmed down now that Trump loyalists have done a bit of digging into what signing the bill actually means.
First, this is not a budget. This is how Obama operated. Although it’s not a good thing to imitate him, as Trump tweeted:
As a matter of National Security I’ve signed the Omnibus Spending Bill. I say to Congress: I will NEVER sign another bill like this again …
Secondly, there is no obligation to spend money allocated to organisations such as Planned Parenthood. In fact, last December, Sleepy Sessions woke up long enough to ask his Department of Justice to investigate their sale of fetal tissue. Therefore, Planned Parenthood might not get anything.
Thirdly, the wall will be built by the Army Corps of Engineers with military — Department of Defense — funding. Trump tweeted:
Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich. Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!
In the meantime, the funds specifically allocated in the Omnibus Bill to the current border barriers will go towards repairs and completion. Trump tweeted:
Much can be done with the $1.6 Billion given to building and fixing the border wall. It is just a down payment. Work will start immediately. The rest of the money will come – and remember DACA, the Democrats abandoned you (but we will not)!
The Left will object, but this has been in the works since last year. On July 19, US News took issue with the Pentagon funding the wall:
On the House floor, the vote on the full rule passed. And at the end of a long and exhausting day (and story), that means Pentagon money can be used to construct a border wall. Talk about governing under the cover of darkness.
This is wrong. The Department of Homeland Security, and its budget, exists to cover these and other expenses. If we keep putting non-defense requirements into the Pentagon budget, we are defeating the purpose of individual federal departments and budgets.
However, at present, the United States is dealing with a border emergency: gangs, cartels, human trafficking, drugs and more. As such, Trump wrote to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) telling him that under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, he will allocate funding as necessary.
A Twitter user, John Salisbury, has a worthwhile thread on this bill and how the money can be spent. An excerpt follows:
3. Once the President is given the money with the instructions to spend it, he has a number of choices to make in spending it. There are some rules he has to follow & some of the money is fungible and some isn’t.
4. However there are some other factors that are in play here. One of them is that the President has declared a Human Rights Emergency AND has notified Congress that he’s invoking the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
5. This opens up new options.
6. By making these two declarations President Trump has just communicated that he has the authority to NOT spend any funds he doesn’t deem necessary and will return them to the US Treasury. So, funds for Planned Parenthood? He can simply not allocate the funds.
7. Also, these declarations make some funds fungible. For instance if he determines that building a Wall on the Southern Border is a defense against Human Trafficking? He can move funds from anywhere else in the Defense Dept Allocation & simply build the Wall.
8. Congress is powerless to stop cash reallocations on an omnibus bill AND cannot stop the DOD from taking measures under a declared Emergency.
The Omnibus bill allocates an extra $61bn to the DoD.
The Army Corps of Engineers said in February that construction of the wall would start in Alamo, Texas. KRGV.com reported:
In a notice released to contractors Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to build three miles of levee wall on a system along the Rio Grande Valley …
The notice says the plans are contingent on funding in the 2018 budget cycle.
If funded, the Army Corps says the work could start as soon as May 6.
That was then. This is now. On March 23, the Washington Examiner reported that work on the wall is expected to start on Monday, March 26:
“We’re going to be starting work literally on Monday,” Trump said during an event Friday at the White House. “We have a lot of money coming to the border.”
Q followers might have seen this message:
With regard to the long-awaited Storm, it looks as if the Omnibus bill allocates $304 million dollars for the safe houses, uparmoured convoys, and secure communications for witnesses.
The-Fringe has a great take on this bill:
Congress actually stepped on their crank by NOT giving him a “legal” BUDGET ~ those have to be spent as written into law, because BUDGETS ARE LAW.
‘Omnibus’ bills have suggested instructions, but the discretion is up to the President. Obama NEVER had a budget, it was always ‘omnibus’ ~ and is why he could play fast and loose with bux nobuddy knew where it was coming from/going…uh, like cash to Iran.
Congress was so used to the omnibus thing they just rolled it up ~ been doing it for the last 8 years! BUT some high-power Dems knew and voted NAY!
THEY KNEW they were giving Donnie the keys to the kingdom for 6 months until the fiscal year runs out in September. DONNIE ALSO KNOWS. (But, in six months it prolly won’t matter as TSHTF by then ~ new ballgame.)
Wait for media heads to explode as this unfolds.
Most importantly, this bill is a gift to the US military, which has been suffering since 2004 under Bush II.
Obama cared even less. In February 2015, the Washington Times reported:
The U.S. military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation and falls short of the Obama administration’s national security strategy, according to a new report by The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.
“The U.S. military itself is aging. It’s shrinking in size,” said Dakota Wood, a Heritage analyst. “And it’s quickly becoming problematic in terms of being able to address more than one major conflict.”
Trump needs a strong military with new materiel as he and Mike Pompeo talk with North Korea and deal with Iran. As we know, totalitarian regimes only respect strength:
If America is not strong militarily, there will be no negotiating leverage with North Korea, China, Russia, you name it. Only the strong are taken seriously on the world stage.
America’s armed forces and their supporters are relieved:
Our military has suffered from years upon years of cutbacks & base closures. No new equipment, average base pay is horrific for the freedoms they provide for us. We HAVE to keep our military supplied with advance equipment to combat all enemies foreign & domestic.
This is how the money is likely to be spent:
Trump gets briefed daily on our threats. Who did he want to hear this?
$654B for defense
$23.8B for Navy Ships
$10.2B for 90 F35 Aircrafts
$2.9B for 15 Tanker Aircrafts
$1.8B for 24 Super Hornet Aircrafts
$1.1B for 56 Blackhawk Helicopters
$1.1B for upgrade of 85 Tanks
It is highly probable that there are imminent, serious threats to the United States.
Today, the furore from some Trump supporters over the Omnibus bill has quietened down. Most now see that the sky is not falling. Those who were — or are still — angry will eventually see the bigger picture, especially with his ongoing cabinet reshuffle.
HR McMaster is out, and John Bolton will replace him on April 9. I’m not a Bolton fan, but the general consensus is that he will do Trump’s bidding. He also has well over three decades of diplomatic and State Department experience that will benefit Trump. More on that anon.