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American pastor freed; ‘tenacious’ Trump team thanked


Reported by Jody Brown (OneNewsNow.com) | Friday, October 12, 2018

Andrew Brunson released (Oct 2018)An American pastor who has been held in prison by the Turkish government for two years should be on his way home to the U.S. by the end of the day.

The bottom line: Pastor Andrew Brunson, a North Carolina native, is free to leave Turkey and return home. In his own words today: “This is the day our family has been praying for – I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States. My entire family thanks the president, the administration, and Congress for their unwavering support.” (Image shows Brunson arriving at home on Friday after his release.)

Brunson, 50, had suffered for his faith in prison and then house arrest at the hands of Turkey, America’s NATO ally, since October 2016. During a hearing today, a Turkish court convicted him on an alleged “terror charge” before releasing him; a charge of espionage against him was dropped. He had faced charges that could have resulted in 35 years in prison.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins attended today’s hearing this morning.

“The prayers of thousands were answered today when Pastor Brunson was released by the Turkish government and told he could go home to the United States. Those prayers – combined with the unwavering resolve of President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Brownback – brought tangible help to Pastor Brunson and hope to those around the globe who are being persecuted because of their faith.

“Pastor Brunson was also well represented legally by our friends at the American Center for Law and Justice,” Perkins adds, “and we commend them and their attorneys for the outstanding work they did on behalf of Pastor Brunson.”

The American Center for Law and Justice had been working in the U.S. and abroad to secure Brunson’s release. “President Trump and his team have been tenacious in seeking the release of Pastor Brunson,” says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.

“We’re grateful to the President, members of Congress and diplomatic leaders who continued to put pressure on Turkey to secure the freedom of Pastor Brunson. The fact that he is now on a plane to the United States can only be viewed as a significant victory for Pastor Brunson and his family.”

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, also is crediting the Trump administration for its role in obtaining the pastor’s release. He singles out the president, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Ambassador Sam Brownback, and Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina). “[They] refused to take ‘no’ for an answer for this man’s release,” says Johnson. “This administration stayed true to its citizen.”

“May the Lord strengthen Pastor Brunson and his family as they work to turn the page on this difficult chapter in their lives,” Johnson adds. “And may God protect and give peace to our other brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure hardships and severe persecution around the world because of their faith in Him. Let us never forget them!”

Dede Laugesen, director of Save the Persecuted Christians, strikes a similar tone in her remarks today.

“This has been a long road of persecution for Pastor Andrew Brunson,” says Laugesen. “We are joyful and so thankful for Pastor Brunson’s long-awaited freedom. We praise God for this wonderful turn of events and thank the many people who worked on his behalf, including high-ranking officials within the Trump administration and influential and committed attorneys.

“Despite the joy we feel today, we must never forget there are millions of Christians who are not free to believe in Christ. Many remain jailed, persecuted in their own communities or even shunned in their own homes. We pray all will someday experience the freedom Andrew Brunson is savoring today.”

Background

Today’s was the fourth hearing of the case against Brunson. The evangelical pastor had been accused of terror-related charges and espionage, facing up to 35 years in jail if convicted. Brunson, who had lived in Turkey for more than two decades, rejected the charges and strongly maintained his innocence. He was one of thousands caught up in a wide-scale government crackdown that followed a failed coup against the Turkish government in July 2016.

Prosecutors accused Brunson of committing crimes on behalf of terror groups, linking him to outlawed Kurdish militants and a network led by a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who is accused of orchestrating the coup attempt. The U.S. maintained he was being held unjustly and had repeatedly called for his release.

Brunson told the court he is “an innocent man. I love Jesus. I love Turkey.” He again denied accusations that his church – a small congregation in the Izmir Resurrection Church – aided Kurdish militants, saying he had handed over a list of Syrian refugees whom the congregation had helped and adding that Turkish authorities would have identified any terrorists.

“We helped everyone, Kurds, Arabs, without showing any discrimination,” he said.

William Devlin, an evangelical pastor from New York spoke to reporters outside the Turkish prison, saying hundreds of thousands of Christians were praying for Brunson’s release.


Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pompeo Smacks Acosta for Having Facts Wrong Then Asking ‘Ludicrous’ Question


Reported By Ben Marquis | September 25, 2018 at

1:46pm

The liberal media was all abuzz recently over an anonymous report published by The New York Times which alleged that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had once suggested to other administration officials — perhaps jokingly — that he wear a wire when meeting with President Donald Trump in order to gather evidence of his alleged mental instability to support invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from power.

The Daily Caller reported that this rather ridiculous story was brought up in the form of a question about the alleged 25th Amendment discussions posed to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a news conference at the U.N. on Monday, where Trump was scheduled to address the General Assembly on Tuesday.

The reporter who brought up the story was none other than CNN’s Jim Acosta, and both Haley and Pompeo let him know how “absurd” and “ludicrous” both his question and the allegation in general were, while also calling him out for getting the basic facts and premise of his question wrong.

First addressing Haley, Acosta said, “You are the one person here who has been with this administration from the beginning,” and then mentioned the story about Rosenstein and invoking the 25th Amendment. “Were you ever involved in any of those discussions? Were you aware of any of those discussions?”

“I said yesterday on the Sunday shows that, literally, I have never once been in the White House where that conversation has happened,” Haley replied.

“I’m not aware of any cabinet members that are even talking about that. It is completely and totally absurd. No one is questioning the president at all. If anything, we’re trying to keep up the pace with him, in the fact that he has a lot he wants to accomplish very quickly and we’re going to continue to support him in the way that he does that,” she added.

Acosta then attempted to ask Pompeo a follow-up question regarding North Korea — particularly about not having details of a deal ironed out prior to high-level summit meetings — but the secretary felt the need to first address Acosta’s initial line of questioning, snarkily fact-checking him in the process.

“Two things: Fact check, I’ve been with the administration since the beginning, too. That’s relevant,” said Pompeo, who first served in the administration as CIA director prior to transferring to the State Department.

“I’ll add, no discussion with me about the 25th Amendment in any way either, so you can now report that there are two senior leaders who’ve said that your question was ludicrous,” Pompeo added.

Pompeo attempted to move on to the North Korea part of Acosta’s questions, but the reporter interrupted to apologize for forgetting Pompeo’s role as the former CIA director and to wonder why Rosenstein would be talking behind the scenes about the 25th Amendment, if it were so “ludicrous.”

“I find the question ludicrous,” Pompeo replied. “I’ve been involved, I’ve been at the center of this administration, along with lots of other folks, from virtually Day One — I think it was actually day three or four — I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, whisper about it, joke about it in any way.”

“I’ve been in a lot of meetings with a lot of senior officials from this government,” he added, prior to transitioning to Acosta’s question about North Korea.

In that regard, Pompeo noted that “we went at this the other way for decades,” to no avail, and said “we’re coming at this from a different direction” by bringing together the two most senior leaders from North Korea and the U.S. in an effort to make actual progress toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

Acosta, like many other “journalists” in the liberal media, accepted the report from The Times about Rosenstein’s wearing a wire and invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump as if it were the gospel truth, largely because it fit into their preconceived notions and narratives about the mental state of the president.

But Acosta’s “ludicrous” focus on a story that may not even be true, at the expense of more focus on far more pressing international matters, serves to fit snugly with the growing perception that the “fake news” media care only about hurting, smearing and ultimately getting rid of Trump. That’s why it was so it was nice to see Haley and Pompeo verbally smack him back into place.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Writer and researcher. Constitutional conservatarian with a strong focus on protecting the Second and First Amendments.

OPINION COMMENTARY: NYT Credibility Shot: Senior Official Turned Out To Be Intern in Past Hit Piece


Commentary By Ben Marquis | September 6, 2018 at 3:05pm

The New York Times published an opinionated hit piece against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, but what else is new?

The anonymously written op-ed article, titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” was purportedly penned by a “senior official” in Trump’s administration. It asserted that a collection of other “senior officials” are part of a broader, right-leaning “resistance” inside the administration that is “thwarting” the president’s “misguided impulses” to save the country from Trump’s petty recklessness.

This, even as the supposed “senior official” author admitted that many of Trump’s policies “have already made America safer and more prosperous,” though the author insisted that was the case in spite of, and not because of, Trump himself.

Unsurprisingly, the op-ed sparked plenty of controversy and outrage on all sides and provoked conspiratorial conversations about exactly who this anonymous “senior official” is.

Using clues such as linguistic mannerisms and specific words contained within the article, guesses have ranged from Vice President Mike Pence to a number of different cabinet-level officials to other truly “senior” officials in the top tier of the administration’s several agencies and departments.

But if Trump’s White House has engaged in a “witch hunt” of its own to identify the anonymous author of The Times’ hit piece, an op-ed in Townhall suggested the hunters avert their gaze from the cabinet and top tier of the administration and search a little bit lower on the totem pole to find the potentially seditious insider.

That Townhall piece noted that The Times has a history of inflating and over-exaggerating the stature or seniority of its anonymous sources from within the government, and pointed to a rather glaring example of the practice that occurred in 2011.

At that time, the explosive growth in natural gas energy production was gaining steam in large part because of technological progress in a new method of drilling known as hydraulic fracturing. Better known as “fracking,” it was widely opposed by the left, to include the Obama administration and its liberal mouthpieces at The Times.

A writer for The Times published a series of anti-fracking articles in the paper, one of which anonymously cited emails from three “senior” insiders — an energy industry analyst, a federal analyst and a senior administration official — who were all opposed to the shale energy boom and the industry’s methods used to extract it.

A Senate investigation into the matter determined that the emails had all originated in the federal government’s Energy Information Agency, and even better than that, all the emails from the three “different” sources had actually come from just one person employed by the EIA.

On top of that, the one EIA employee was nowhere close to truly being a “senior” official of any sort. At the time he wrote the first email quoted by The Times, he was actually an intern with the EIA. He had been promoted one rung on the ladder to be an entry-level analyst when he wrote the others.

A deeper dive into that particular scandal was well documented in a 2011 article published by Energy In Depth, including a look at how harshly The Times’ own ombudsman judged the newspaper’s product.

There’s no way of knowing who The Times’ source is in this case, but history suggests the possibility that The Times has similarly exaggerated or inflated the seniority of this anti-Trump “senior official” who is part of a resistance movement inside Trump’s own administration.

The Times editors — who stated in an introduction to the op-ed that they know who the author is — have refused to reveal that individual’s identity, ostensibly to protect the writer from potential blowback or career-ending punishment.

Perhaps just as likely is that they are protecting that person’s identity because it will be quite embarrassing for them if it is revealed that the “senior” official is in actuality some Trump-hating mid-level bureaucrat or low-level intern.

That’s if the op-ed was even written by a member of the administration at all, and wasn’t just some piece of fiction cooked up by The Times itself to smear Trump. (Hard as that might be to believe, it can’t be completely ruled out, given how fake some of the media’s “fake news” stories have been proven to be.)

Keep this in mind the next time somebody tries to assert how credible The New York Times is, when in reality it’s staffed by narrative-driven, leftist hacks who care more about pushing an agenda than actually reporting the news.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Writer and researcher. Constitutional conservatarian with a strong focus on protecting the Second and First Amendments.

4 Key Points Nobody’s Addressing About Trump’s Federal Pay Decision


Reported By Fred Lucas | September 1, 2018 at

12:52pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/4-key-points-nobodys-addressing-trumps-federal-pay-decision/

President Donald Trump makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Thursday.

President Donald Trump makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Thursday. (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced he’s not granting the usual 2.1 percent pay hike for federal employees, prompting staunch opposition from many Democratic lawmakers. It’s the latest move by the Trump administration to try to rein in excessive compensation packages for federal employees, after the president signed three executive orders in May.

“Specifically, I have determined that for 2019, both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero,” Trump’s letter notifying Congress said Thursday. “These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well-qualified federal workforce.”

Here’s a look at what the pay freeze could mean.

1. Fiscal Impact

In his letter to Congress Thursday, Trump asserted the pay hikes would not be responsible at this time:

“I view the increases that would otherwise take effect as inappropriate.

“Under current law, locality pay increases averaging 25.70 percent, costing $25 billion, would go into effect in January 2019, in addition to a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for the base general schedule. We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.”

However, the impact may be negligible, said Rachel Greszler, a research fellow in economics, budget and entitlements with the Heritage Foundation.

“Basically, it’s not the most efficient reduction in spending or excessive pay, but it’s all the administration can do on their own,” Greszler told The Daily Signal. “And pay increases shouldn’t be automatic.”

2. Current Federal Compensation

In recent years, the Congressional Budget Office and conservative think tanks the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute all produced reports finding federal compensation packages far outpace the private sector.

Further, the government watchdog group OpenTheBooks.com found that one in five of employees at the 78 largest federal agencies has a salary that is six figures. Another 30,000 rank-and-file career government employees earn more than any governor.

A 2017 CBO report estimated taxpayers compensate federal workers with 17 percent more than what similar employees – with comparable education, skills and experience – earn in the private sector.

The Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration estimated the federal government would spend $337 billion in 2017 on the civilian federal workforce.

Also, with seniority comes at least two pay hikes for some years under the current system. All federal employees generally get a cost-of-living adjustment that is not based on performance. Second, federal employees are paid for each “step increase” they move up in the system based on seniority, which provides a 3 percent hike.

Federal employees get a retirement contribution of between 15 and 18 percent of their pay, while private sector employees average 3 to 5 percent, according to a 2016 Heritage Foundation study. Federal employees also contribute significantly less to their retirement, as taxpayers fund the bulk of the pensions.

3. Performance Pay

Greszler co-authored a 2016 Heritage Foundation study that estimated a performance-based system would reduce federal personnel costs by $26.7 billion.

In his letter to Congress on Thursday, Trump made what seemed to be a long-term point.

“In light of our nation’s fiscal situation, federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing federal employees and those with critical skill sets,” Trump said. “Across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases, in particular, have long-term fixed costs, yet fail to address existing pay disparities or target mission critical recruitment and retention goals.”

Simply holding off on raises won’t accomplish anything without broader civil service reform, said Robert Moffit, senior fellow in domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation.

“The federal pay system does not effectively reward the most talented and productive because the system is highly standardized,” Moffit told The Daily Signal. “Federal employees in many cases should be paid more and many should be paid less. We need more employees in some areas and less in others.”

4. What Trump Has Done So Far

In keeping with the president’s “drain the swamp” reform efforts, the Trump administration has pushed for civil service reforms in budget proposals to Congress with little action.

However, Congress did pass and the president signed a law to make it easier to fire bad employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs following the VA waiting list scandal in which employees had doctored lists, leaving some veterans to wait excessively long times for care.

Congress has left most of the rest of the federal bureaucracy untouched. However, on May 25, Trump issued an executive order to move the ball on civil service reform.

One order holds nonproductive workers more accountable by speeding up the disciplinary and appeals process. In many cases, it takes more than a year to remove an employee. The order also limits the grace period to shore up their performance from 120 days to 30 days. The order also limits the ability of federal managers from simply moving employees that engaged in poor performance or illegal activity from one agency to another.

Federal agencies would share performance reviews, and also consider performance in making layoff decisions. Previously, layoffs were based on the amount of time employed by an agency.

A separate executive order limits the amount of time a federal employees can spend on union activity during work hours to no more than one-quarter of their workday. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found more than 12,500 federal workers took “official time” to work on union activities in 2017. Of them, 470 worked in the VA.

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast.

A version of this article previously appeared on The Daily Signal website under the headline “4 Key Points to Consider About Trump’s Federal Pay Decision.”

Source: ‘Hell List’ Circulating DC, Dem’s Plans To Cause Chaos in Nation


Reported By Lisa Payne-Naeger | August 27, 2018 at

11:07am

Democrats with an eye on winning the midterm elections are already planning a multi-pronged assault aimed at taking down the Trump administration with a strategy of offensive techniques that seek to create chaos. Democrats likely believe going on the offensive by creating so many crises they will destabilize the Trump administration. And with the aim of returning Washington to the arrogant mess it was during the Barack Obama presidency, they are loaded for bear.

According to Axios, Republicans on Capitol Hill are preparing for a pitched battle with Democrats if the current opposition party wins the majority in November and implements a a laundry list of crises they’re just waiting to dump on Republicans, turning “the Trump White House into a 24/7 legal defense operation.”

“Axios has obtained a spreadsheet that’s circulated through Republican circles on and off Capitol Hill — including at least one leadership office — that meticulously previews the investigations Democrats will likely launch if they flip the House,” the website reported.

That list includes:

  • “President Trump’s tax returns; Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization; Trump’s dealings with Russia, including the president’s preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin; The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels;
  • “James Comey’s firing; Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys; Trump’s proposed transgender ban for the military; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s business dealings; White House staff’s personal email use; Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks;
  • “Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago; Jared Kushner’s ethics law compliance; Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors; The “travel ban”; Family separation policy; Hurricane response in Puerto Rico; Election security and hacking attempts; White House security clearances.”
  • The list also includes more than 100 formal requests for members of the administration to go before committee staff in hearings to obtain sworn testimony, to seize communication relating to policies and personnel decisions deemed controversial, as well as threats of subpoenas.

As these requests span nearly every committee, the result would be a near gridlock of the Trump administration and would be considered a great threat to the Trump presidency. Many of the items on the current list are already floating around Capitol Hill, but Republicans have blocked requests for investigation. The fear is if Democrats take control of the House, the GOP will lose the power to control and block investigative calls in the future. And if special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation looks bad now, it might look like nothing compared to what a Democrat majority could do in the House.

The Hill reports: “Republican lawmakers have sought to downplay Democrats’ chances of taking the House in the upcoming elections, claiming reports of a ‘blue wave’ are overblown.”

However, Axios also reports that unnamed lawyers “close to the White House” have said the administration isn’t fully prepared for the Democrat offensive that’s going to break if the midterms hand control of the House or Senate — or both — to Democrats. Clearly, the list of chaos provides ample grounds for Republicans to worry.

The idea of the Trump administration being mired in an even more aggressive swamp in its second two years as it was in the first does not bode well for an agenda aimed at continuing the economic boom fostered by Trump’s deregulation strategies or rebalancing American trade relations with its international partners.

Perhaps they wouldn’t have to worry quite so much if they had their own “Hell List” of inquiry on matters such as the Hillary email investigation, Strzok-Page texts, possible perjury by James Comey and more. What has come out so far should have Republicans in Congress on the warpath, but virtually nothing is changing.

The American people might possibly elect, in a landslide, a party they thought was really serious about draining that Washington swamp.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An enthusiastic grassroots Tea Party activist, Lisa Payne-Naeger has spent the better part of the last decade lobbying for educational and family issues in her state legislature, and as a keyboard warrior hoping to help along the revolution that empowers the people to retake control of their, out-of-control, government.

Conservatism Works: Trump Economy Offers Most Jobs in History, Enough for Everyone


disclaimerReported By Benjamin Arie | May 9, 2018 at 2:22pm

When Donald Trump won the presidential election, the doomsayers came out in droves. “Experts” predicted the worst: A crashing economy. Skyrocketing unemployment. Years of joblessness. Instead, the exact opposite is now happening.

On Tuesday, an astonishing record was set that shows just how wrong those critics were: The U.S. now has the highest number of available jobs in recorded history. For the first time, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced that the number of job openings matches the number of unemployed people. This means that at least on paper, there is a job available for every single American worker — a situation that has never occurred since these statistics began being tracked.

“The Labor Department reported Tuesday there were 6.6 million job openings in March, a record high — and enough for the 6.6 million Americans who were actively looking for a job that month,” The Post continued.

Even more promising, the trend appears set to continue. As unemployment keeps on falling, there will likely be more jobs available than the number of workers looking for employment in just a few months’ time.

“The jobless rate for African Americans and Hispanic Americans is at an all-time low,” The Post explained. 

That also means more opportunities for everyone, even those who have had past difficulty finding work.

“Companies are revising their hiring practices to ensure that they do not rule out any potential good workers, especially those who might not have a college degree or people who have criminal histories and have served time in jail,” the newspaper reported.

Of course, just because the number of job openings now matches the number of job seekers doesn’t automatically mean that everyone will find the position they want. There will always be some mismatch between the types of job openings and the qualifications and desires of candidates.

“The people looking for work don’t always have the right skills or live in a place where there are a lot of opportunities to get hired,” summarized The Post.

There’s also the fact that some people choose to leave a job for personal reasons and do not immediately enter a new workplace. “In a nation as big as the United States, there will always be people who quit their jobs and take time to find new employment,” the newspaper said. “More than 3 million people voluntarily left their jobs in March, according to the Labor Department.”economy up under trump

The major takeaway is that critics dramatically underestimated the Trump economy, and the president’s conservative agenda appears to be working. This record-setting economic boom is happening even as Trump’s opponents do everything they can to undermine him.

If just a year and a half of conservatives cutting taxes and red-tape regulations can trigger these results, imagine for a moment what three more years — or a whole second term — could bring.

You can’t argue with results. The Trump presidency is working, and Americans of all colors and backgrounds are benefiting from it.

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Trump Poised to Use Trick Reagan Loved to Gut Parts of Omnibus Bill


Reported By Ben Marquis | April 11, 2018 at 10:59am

URL of the original posting site: https://conservativetribune.com/trump-trick-gut-parts-omnibus-bill/

When Congress recently passed — without having read — a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that was more than 2,200 pages, fiscal conservatives were outraged by the gluttonous and wasteful spending it contained. President Donald Trump, who reluctantly signed the bill despite an initial threat to veto, expressed a similar sentiment when he made clear he would never sign another bloated spending bill like that again. And now it looks like he may be taking steps to undo some of that terrible bill.

Perhaps feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse or simply heat from their base, Trump and congressional Republican leaders recently held talks to find a way to trim some of the fat from the omnibus bill, according to Politico. The most likely way to do that would be through a process known as rescission, and Trump’s White House is reportedly working closely with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to put a package together that could cut billions of dollars from the recently passed spending bill, if approved by a simple majority in Congress.

In analysis for The Washington Times, Trump campaign economic adviser Steven Moore and Trump transition tax policy adviser James Carter explained some of the history and process behind the rescission budgetary maneuver, a rarely-used anti-spending tool that last saw favor under President Ronald Reagan.

Up until former President Richard Nixon, presidents had the power to “impound” and refuse to spend federal funds for projects they viewed as wasteful or unnecessary, something Nixon reportedly did with roughly 20 percent of the funds appropriated by Congress each year of his presidency until 1974.

That is when Congress passed the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, which blocked a president’s sole authority to impound funds and offered up the congressionally-approved rescission tool to stop funding for wasteful programs in its place. The process works by a president submitting a rescission proposal to the House of Representatives, which must then be approved by simple majorities in both chambers of Congress within 45 days. If the proposal is ignored or fails to achieve majorities, the spending remains unchanged.

Reagan proposed some 596 rescissions totaling $43 billion during his two terms, though Congress only approved 213 of those rescissions totaling only $16 billion in saved funds. Unfortunately, only about $6 billion in rescission proposals have been approved since Reagan left office, the last of which occurred in 1999.

It is worth noting that the Democrats’ chief obstructionist to Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, can do little to stop a rescission proposal from receiving a vote as debate on such measures are limited to only 10 hours and can’t be filibustered. However, given the slim majority held by Republicans in the Senate and the tendency of the more moderate establishment members to break away from their party and join the opposition to Trump, nothing is guaranteed.

That said, while some Republicans may not want to risk the wrath of the liberal media by revisiting and cutting some of the bloated budget deal, such a vote would really make the handful of Democrats running for reelection in red states — who are trying to convince voters they’re actually fiscal conservatives — particularly nervous, as where they come down on the issue would certainly be a hot topic during the campaign season.

Hopefully, Trump and his team of budget and economic advisers, working in conjunction with Congressional Republicans, can find a way to make use of the rescission tool to get rid of at least some of the wasteful spending that was stuffed into the omnibus bill to garner bipartisan support. If so, and if it is to be a worthwhile effort, they will need to do more than merely tinker around the edges with modest proposals and actually put forward some significant cuts. It would then be interesting to see how various members of Congress either accede to the cuts or defend the wasteful projects they have agreed to appropriate taxpayer funds.

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