Weekly Summary for October 13, 2017

TheWeekinCongress.com Summary

For the week ending October 13, 2017

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Maneuverings –

A relatively uneventful week just passed. Uneventful in the sense that no action was taken on repealing Obamacare, the tax reform proposals, Dreamer immigration reform, and other highly partisan legislation but the lull in the political storm is soon to pass when the Senate returns to work next week and is due to produce its idea of the FY 2018 budget resolution.

But then we see House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) back with his mysterious maneuverings regarding the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. More about that below under ‘Those Investigations’.

Disaster Relief –

With nothing but disasters popping up almost weekly the Senate and House have amended HR 2266 as the vehicle provide funding for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires.

The package provides $36 billion as the next installment on the natural disasters including $16 billion in debt forgiveness for the National Flood Insurance Program pressed to make claims as a result of the hurricanes.

Most goes to FEMA that is still active in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico gets $4.9 billion in low-interest and $1.27 billion for food stamps.

Those Investigations –

We remember that House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) recused himself from his committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Nunes took his time about it but after he had a midnight meeting at the White House and was given information he thought exonerated Trump from any wrong doing he then went back to the White House to share the information with Trump and then finally shared the information with the Democrats on his committee. Nunes’ actions were suspect and even though he recused himself he later inquired with Justice to release documents related to any relationship between former FBI Director James Comey and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. When Justice ignored the request he threatened to hold the Justice Department in contempt of Congress.

His latest mysterious act is to subpoena the ‘dossier’ written by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele that was requested by a campaign rival of Trump and produced by Fusion GPS, a firm that does opposition research. The dossier has been in circulation and is said to contain unsubstantiated conclusions about Trump activities in Russia and elsewhere and suggesting that Russia may well have damning information on Trump. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) recently said that while the information has not been substantiated none of the allegations have been disproven and some have been proven to be true.

Special Counsel Mueller has reviewed the document and has interviewed Steele in the course of his investigation.

Budget Deficit up.

The Congressional Budget Office reports ‘a budget deficit of $668 billion in fiscal year 2017, CBO estimates—$82 billion greater than the shortfall recorded in fiscal year 2016.’ Individual income taxes and payroll taxes are up, corporate taxes are down. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security account for most of the spending increase.

EDITORIAL

How to Dismantle the Affordable Care Act

Hamilton on Congress

Election Reform

Magic Mondays (Video)

Political ‘Education’ Immigration (Video)

The House is adjourning and will return to work on Monday, October 23rd. The Senate is adjourned and will return on Monday, October 16th. The next edition of TheWeekinCongress.com will be published on Thursday evening, October 26th.

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