Editor’s note: We started this blog as a window into our country that doesn’t always get opened amongst the nonstop noise in Washington. What’s most important is that it is an added value to your busy day — especially in the morning. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback and thank everyone for diving in. Today’s edition and subsequent editions will broaden out in focus a bit to fully encapsulate how we can better serve our constituents.
Good morning, today is Tuesday, March 2 and it is World Teen Mental Wellness Day. Team McCarthy will have more on that later this morning (look out for a blog at 10 AM), but last night Republicans continued to demand more relief to support the mental health of our kids who are still out of school, away from their friends, and shut out from meaningful groups and organizations.
On the House floor, Stephanie Bice offered another chance for Democrats to do the right thing and make edits to a bill riddled with errors by striking funding in the underlying bill for the Pelosi subway tunnel in Silicon Valley, and instead direct that $140 million to support mental health and suicide prevention services in States where children do not have the option of in-person instruction at school.
But 220 House Democrats blocked this commonsense idea by advancing the Previous Question.
.@RepBice offered a resolution to redirect $140 million from Speaker Pelosi's Silicon Valley tunnel to mental health and suicide prevention for kids.
But Democrats blocked it. pic.twitter.com/bZrujGUL28
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) March 2, 2021
“My resolution would ensure that mental health and suicide prevention services are provided in states where children to not have the option for in-person instruction in school … Children across this nation have been disproportionately affected by the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic … In areas of the country where re-openings are not happening, my resolution would provide $140 million to bolster mental health care for these affected children. I think we can all agree that the mental health impacts on our children should be swiftly addressed on a bipartisan basis.”
This is now the second time in less than a week that House Democrats have decided to stand with Speaker Pelosi and the Silicon Valley tunnel instead of helping support kids’ mental health.
House Republicans successfully exposed the Democrat spending bill as payoff to Speaker Pelosi and Democrat allies across the country. With less than 9 percent going to defeat the virus, it’s obvious this is a liberal wish list, not a relief bill.
To further illustrate that point we look no further than the New York Times story yesterday: “Virus did not being financial rout many state feared.”
The piece reads:
Throughout the debate over stimulus, one question has produced repeated deadlock in Washington: Should the states get no-strings federal aid?
Republicans have mostly said no, casting it as a bailout for spendthrift blue states. Democrats have argued the opposite, saying that states face dire fiscal consequences without aid, and included $350 billion in relief for state and local governments in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill, which narrowly passed the House this past weekend. It faces a much tougher fight in the Senate.
A researcher at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, found that total state revenues from April through December were down just 1.8 percent from the same period in 2019. Moody’s Analytics used a different method and found that 31 states now had enough cash to fully absorb the economic stress of the pandemic recession on their own.
In April, the National Governors Association called on Congress to appropriate $500 billion “to meet the states’ budgetary shortfalls.” But the $500 billion of no-strings budget relief did not materialize. Most state lawmakers finished their budgets by the end of June and went home — and were not on hand to see the wave of income-tax revenue that arrived in mid-July.
By the end of July, revenue had recovered to 2019 levels and stayed there, said Ms. Sheiner, the policy director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. Ms. Sheiner said she and her colleagues had been pointing out the signs of a recovery since September, but state officials remain guarded.
The Democrat spending bill is the opposite of timely and it is simply costly, corrupt, and liberal.
This failure from congressional Democrats is an ominous start to their governing majority. And it is occurring amongst a backdrop of a crisis at our southern border in which the Biden administration is burying its head in the sand.
The Democrat party is weak on border security. But at least the Obama administration recognized that 1,000 illegal border crossings a day constituted a crisis.
The Biden administration? Not so much. At the White House press briefing yesterday DHS Secretary Mayorkas was asked: “Do you believe that right now there is a crisis at the border?”
His response: “The answer is no.”
Reporter: "Do you believe that right now there is a crisis at the border?"
Biden's DHS Secretary Mayorkas: "The answer is no." pic.twitter.com/iDfPdmUVO5
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) March 1, 2021
The reporter then reminded Secretary Mayorkas:
“One of your predecessors, Jeh Johnson, he said that 1,000 illegal border crossings a day constitutes a crisis – that it overwhelms the system. We’re at between 3,000 and 4,000 now, according to CBP officials. How is that not a crisis?”
“Obama’s DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson: ‘We are truly in a crisis’ at southern border.” (Washington Examiner, 3/29/2019)
NOTE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s January 2021 Report showed that, “Since early 2020, CBP has faced a growing number of individuals attempting to cross the southwest border, averaging about 3,000 arrests per day in January 2021.”
The American people deserve to know if Democrats acknowledge the border crisis or if they’ll ignore it – just as the Biden Administration has chosen to do.
While Democrats ignore the crises that strain the fabric of our communities, Republicans are putting the American worker and family first.
At CPAC on Saturday, Leader McCarthy said: “We want people back to work, back to school, and back to health. Pelosi wants to put more tunnels, more waste, and the Democrats voted for it. It’s a clear place of contrast. Who’s standing for the American public? And who’s standing for corporations? It’s the Republican Party today, and it’s what we’re going to be tomorrow, and in the future. And that’s why America is going to be stronger, because we’ll put America first.”
Over the past couple weeks, we have spoken with some of the hardworking men and women that we are fighting for. Here are pieces of their stories:
Laurie invested in the Stroppel Hotel because she loved the community of Midland, South Dakota and took advantage of the opportunity the Keystone pipeline project was providing for small towns and communities across America. That is, until President Biden cancelled the project on his first day in office.
Laurie says the future is uncertain. “But what I do know is that me and my other business owners are just going to have to put our boots on and continue with the missions that we have in life. We will do whatever we need to get as creative as we can to try to find the demand and bring people back into our businesses. All we can do is the same thing that we do every day in rural communities: get up and face what we’re facing that day.”
Peter has been in the union for nearly 30 years, and the Keystone pipeline was the third cross country pipeline he’s been involved in constructing. On January 20th, his laborers were told to pack up and go home. And for what? Peter’s not so sure.
“This pipeline is about more than just moving oil,” Peter told us. “It’s about energy independence, it’s about national security, it’s about jobs. Remember, this oil is going to refineries, and refineries employ many people. There’s more to it than just movin’ some oil to make gasoline, diesel, and the other byproducts of oil.”
Peter crunched the numbers on the lost work. He believes they lost roughly 60,000 labor man hours, and about $126 million in lost wages — for just the laborers alone.
“We’re adapting,” Peter told us, in part by training programs for solar panel farms. “We’ll find more work.”
At the height of the pandemic, Andre’s BridgePort Group partnered with a local community college and developed their Supply Chain Logistics Technology and Warehouse (SCLT&W) pre-apprenticeship course designed to develop a qualified workforce to attract higher entry level wages, and to put students on the path to advancement within the growing supply chain industry. Initially, the program was created to ensure BridgePort Group had a pipeline of qualified workers in their warehouse during the pandemic, but they quickly saw where their training could fill a need in urban and rural parts of Northeast Ohio.
“Historically the problem in urban communities, disadvantaged communities, and rural communities is that in those areas, there’s a limitation on the types of jobs you can get and the skills that you get after high school, that is if you finish high school,” Andre said. “It is typically limited to a small industry. If you can gain some skills in the supply chain field, it just opens up a huge opportunity, because supply chain entry level jobs are 20-25% higher paying than other entry level jobs.”
Andre and BridgePort Group are providing these opportunities in Ohio.
Patti has worked at Duluth Pack for nearly 20 years. Before the pandemic and as a skilled sewer, Patti trained and mentored new production employees and trained current sewers in new products. When the pandemic hit, Duluth Pack, whose products include apparel, backpacks, and outdoor gear, was deemed nonessential. But not for long, thanks in part to Patti.
“I was immediately called back to work to assist [the company] in pivoting the business to building medical PPE … I helped design, train, and lead the production team in the manufacturing of over 30,000 Made in the USA reusable grade 2 healthcare gowns,” Patti told us.
More importantly, Patti said, her work helped Duluth Pack become an essential business, therefore bringing back 100% of her production workers during the pandemic. The company was even able to hire more production workers to meet the PPE manufacturing needs.
If we take stock of the past month and what we’ve seen coming out of this White House and the Democrat majority in Congress, what they say they will do is in complete contrast to their actions. Our country needs a plan that will create jobs and opportunities, not take them away. Our country needs a plan that works as hard as its citizens do.
Last night, we hosted a conversation with writer and author Salena Zito — a national political reporter with a unique pulse on the country because she actually talks to Americans from all over.
Salena drives back roads through every state to better understand the communities she is covering — to see how they are changing, what they need, and to listen to what they’re asking for. Our conversation touched on culture, shared values, infrastructure, and how Americans are driven to make decisions. If you are interested in joining a Clubhouse conversation with us and someone you think is interesting, please feel free to reach out.
Have a great day.
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