Both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, former rivals in the White House, spent an hour together in the Oval Office. They were negotiating a compromise they could both live with.
As the senator spoke, the centrist president listened. Sanders passionately argued that Biden should make even more infrastructure investments and include his long-held goal of Medicare seniors receiving vision, hearing, and dental benefits. According to a White House senior aide and another person who was familiar with the private session, Sanders gave his full support.
The deal was a result of mutual trust and shared interest — notably to assist the working class but also to demonstrate that government can work and maybe to restore faith in democracy following the Trump turbulent times.
“We are making progress in moving forward with the most consequential piece of legislation passed for working people since the 1930s,” Sanders told The Associated Press a few days later, as Biden made his way to Capitol Hill to rally senators on the plan.
It is an unlikely but understandable partnership. A president who won American voters with a calmly reassuring nod towards traditional governing and a democratic socialist senator that twice came within striking distance of winning the nomination for President with what was once considered a highly idealistic agenda. The Senate Budget Committee is now headed by Sanders.
Together, they are trying to unite the political factions of progressives and centrists in the sprawling Democratic Party, which controls Congress by only the narrowest of margins in the House and a 50-50 Senate, with no votes to spare around the president’s $3.5 trillion national rebuilding proposal.
In their sights is a legislative feat on par with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal or Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. For two political leaders in the twilight of decades-long careers, it is the chance of a lifetime and the stuff of legacies.
“We’re going to get this done,” Biden said Wednesday as he entered the private lunch room at the Capitol.
Biden encouraged senators to consider the good they can do for Americans, including investing in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was born in this area and feels that the party isn’t in touch with the pain of working people.
The president gave a nod to Sanders, who noted their past rivalry and yet spoke with similar urgency about the moment before them — how the future of democracy rests with how well they can connect with people who feel the government has forgotten them.
When it came time for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to call on senators who had raised their hands to speak, there were no pointed questions or objections, only enthusiasm, according to a person in the room who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.
Senators emerged enthralled by the possibility of doing something big for the country.
“Truly transformative,” Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., said, using a word both Biden and Sanders now share.
The relationship between Biden and Sanders goes back years, the president having already spent decades in the Senate by the time the Vermont lawmaker was elected in 2006.
While Biden was the ultimate senator’s senator, Sanders has always been an outsider on Capitol Hill, a declared independent, rather than member of the Democratic Party, with his rumpled suits, gruff demeanor and unrelenting focus on liberal causes.
Ask Sanders any question, on almost any topic, and his answers are almost always the same — it’s time for the government to stop catering to the rich and powerful and instead focus on the working people of this country.
Once seen as outlandish, Sanders’ views have captivated millions of Americans who filled arenas to hear him speak, particularly after the Great Recession and amid a growing awareness of the nation’s gaping inequality. He almost won the party’s presidential nomination in 2016, but was defeated by Hillary Clinton, and again in 2020, before he lost to Biden.
In returning to the Senate, Sanders quickly became a focal point of Republicans opposed to Biden’s agenda. The president intends to finance his plan with tax hikes on corporations and Americans making more than $400,000 a year. Republicans see Sanders as an influencer, alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other prominent progressives, pushing the president to liberal extremes.
“The president may have won the nomination, but Bernie Sanders won the argument,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said recently back home in Kentucky, on the same day he said he was ”100% focused” on stopping Biden’s agenda.
But in developing the investment package with the president, Sanders showed another side of his skill set: that of a pragmatic legislator.
Word circulated Monday that the two were huddled in the Oval Office, a key moment as Democrats were struggling to build consensus. Biden’s jobs and families plans total more than $4 trillion in traditional public works and human infrastructure investments. Sanders had presented a bolder $6 trillion proposal.
Sanders had been imploring his colleagues not to focus on price tags but rather on priorities — helping the middle class, fighting climate change, aiding older adults. He had also been insisting that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. It is the same argument inside the rooms as it is in the arenas, senators say.
“The meeting was substantive, warm, and friendly — which also describes the nature of their relationship going back years,” said White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates. The president values his skilled leadership, he said.
A bipartisan group of senators is compiling a slimmer $1 trillion package of roads and other public works spending.
But with Republicans opposed in lockstep to Biden’s broader proposal, Democrats are pressing ahead on the more robust package they could pass on their own, under special budget rules of 51 votes for passage rather than the 60 typically needed to overcome objections from a filibuster.
If Biden, Sanders and Schumer can keep all 50 Democratic senators united, Vice President Kamala Harris can cast a tiebreaking vote. Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a similarly slim margin in the House.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, a centrist Montana farmer, is not yet supporting the president’s broader plan, but said Sanders often advocates for things that are “common sense.”
While acknowledging that Sanders sometimes pushes the envelope further than he’s comfortable with, Tester said, “He’s trying to make it so the little guy’s got a shot, which is, you know, what Democrats are for — at least that’s what I’m for. I want to make sure the little guy has a shot.”
Religious liberty is one of America’s most important freedoms
Religious liberty, the freedom to practice one’s faith, is a vital component of American society. Our founding fathers ensured generations to come that our great nation will always respect every individual’s right to adhere to a certain belief.
“Although no one in America is forced to go to church, we have had more churchgoers in our history than any nation in the world. Religious liberty – meaning we can chose any faith or none – was a wild concept when the Founders decided to try it 250 years ago,” Eric Metaxas, author of the new book, “Is Atheism Dead?” wrote in his recent opinion piece.
“So it was America’s founders who uniquely understood that religious liberty was the key to all other liberties. Liberty – or self-government – required a virtuous people, which was usually the result of freely held faith. Those who answered to a “higher power” didn’t need government to coerce them into doing the right thing. They did it on their own,” Metaxas added.
We are said to be more fortunate than those who are living under extreme Sharia Law in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where other faiths are totally outlawed. One would be hard pressed to find a single catholic church in the city of Riyadh as the only accepted religion there is Islam. Even though the prophet Muhammad taught cultural and religious tolerance, some of his followers have become too austere in their interpretation of the Holy Quran and mandates that only one religion be allowed in their respective domains.
The United States constitution however is vastly different from the authoritarian laws and principles of other countries as it grants total freedom to exercise one’s belief, as long as it corresponds with the basic tenets of morality.
On the other hand, Muslims and Buddhists in China are suffering under the repressive atheist communist regime, as the people continue to face the assault on their religious liberties. Non-believers should understand that embracing atheism or agnosticism is in itself, a personal freedom that can only thrive under a legitimate democracy.
“And while a free nation cannot and should not try to coerce atheists toward belief, people of faith, while we still have a voice, have an urgent duty to alert our fellow citizens that, although religious freedom protects atheists, atheism itself nonetheless has an inherent and – alas – well-established tendency to work not only against religious freedom, but against all freedoms,” Metaxas said.
Rep. Drew Ferguson blasts the Dems for bank account surveillance plan
In a recent press conference held by House Republicans, Georgia congressman and chief deputy whip Drew Ferguson lambasted the Biden administration for their ineffective economic and financial policies.
Ferguson, who is a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, put a spotlight on the government’s proposal to grant the IRS unlimited power to conduct surveillance on bank accounts with at least $600 worth of annual deposits.
“Probably the most egregious provision in the Democrats tax and spend plan, the largest in American history, is a provision that would allow the IRS to spy on your bank accounts. To put that in perspective, if you spent $28 a day, you would get caught up in the IRS drag net. $28 a day, and this is wrong,” Ferguson stated.
“Americans do not want the IRS looking in their bank account and the federal government has no business looking at your private bank accounts and your money,” Ferguson stressed.
The draconian proposal sparked widespread outrage among the public as the topic went viral on social media and various community forum boards. Republican politicians strongly resisted and swiftly introduced the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act in an attempt to block the repressive agenda that is being put in motion by the Biden administration.
“So we introduced a bill to prevent this treasury secretary from implementing rules that would allow the IRS to tap local banks, credit unions, and other entities to spy on your bank accounts,” Ferguson said.
“I can’t imagine a single American, Republican, Democrat, independent, rich, poor that wants the IRS looking into their bank account and for good reason. If you look at the recent history of the organization, they have failed to gain the trust of the American people,” he added.
The Democratic Party’s plan to violate the people’s privacies, clearly resembles the laws that are being enforced by some of the world’s most oppressive totalitarian governments. There is no logical explanation behind their proposal, save for the glaring fact that liberals are simply hungry for more power.
“The Democrats want control. They want control of your life. They want control of your finances. They want control of everything. And we’re here to stand up against that, to push back, and we’re going to continue to raise awareness about this. It is wrong, we think it’s unconstitutional,” Ferguson said.
“It is your private business. It is not the business of the IRS. So with that, we stand committed to blocking this horrible provision and to make sure that we maintain freedom in America’s lives,” he reiterated.
Rand Paul thinks crypto could become the reserve currency of the world
When one of the most severe global economic meltdowns hit the world more than a decade ago, the United States was at the forefront of the uphill struggle. The 2007-2008 financial crisis was often compared by experts to the Great Depression in terms of the magnitude of damage.
The catastrophe subsequently put world governments – including America – on the hot seat. Financial experts and the entire populace started to question the capability of our leaders to handle the fate of our economies. After all, we are the ones who put these public servants in power, giving us every right to demand what’s best for the future of our families.
Fuelled by the frustrating financial system, Bitcoin was developed in 2008 by a certain Satoshi Nakamoto, as a solution for the problems created by unreliable governments and untrustworthy central banks. “Satoshi Nakamoto” is an alias used by a person or possibly a group of people involved in the creation of the world’s first cryptocurrency. The secretive nature of Bitcoin’s origins is a reflection of the decentralized financial system that it wants to promulgate.
Today, America is at the cusp of autocracy as Biden and his cohorts continue to propose harsh policies that mirror the ones that Xi Jinping and the communist party has put in place in China. While the Democratic Party constantly attempts to utilize the “tax the rich” card, the Federal Reserve just keeps on printing cash like there’s no tomorrow. Soon we will all be caught in a tough financial predicament with the continued devaluation of our hard-earned cash. For some, a hedge such as a digital asset, is the only viable option to protect one’s wealth from further depreciation.
Recently, GOP Sen. Rand Paul expressed his bewilderment towards the vigorous growth of cryptocurrencies. The Kentucky senator believes that virtual coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum can become global reserve currencies.
“I’ve started to question now whether or not cryptocurrency could actually become the reserve currency of the world as more and more people lose confidence in government,” Paul said in a recent interview on HBO.
“I’ve been amazed at the growth of it and I’ve always been, you know, more a person who believed that our currency should be backed by something of real value like gold or silver or commodities, and always was wondering well crypto is not backed by anything either,” Paul continued.
“But here’s what I’ve started to believe now is that the government currencies are so unreliable, they’re also fiat currencies, they’re not backed by anything. The dollar has been more stable than most other countries and so it is the reserve currency,” he added.
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- Religious liberty is one of America’s most important freedoms
- Rep. Drew Ferguson blasts the Dems for bank account surveillance plan
- Rand Paul thinks crypto could become the reserve currency of the world
- Supply chain problems will be harsh on consumers and small businesses alike
- NBA center Enes Kanter blasts China for its inhumane treatment of Uyghur minorities
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