If Congress doesn’t pass DACA legalization, then Dreamers will…LEAVE

(National SentinelAdios, America: A group of so-called “Dreamers” — illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children by their parents — is threatening to self-deport if Congress fails to pass legislation legalizing their presence inside the country.

In an interview with CNN, one of the Dreamers, Alex Velez, said, “I will leave. I will leave America as soon as possible,” claiming that she would prefer to depart the country on her own terms than wait for the United States to collect and deport her.

She and others like her believe that by self-deporting their absence will be noticed by Americans and missed.

“Velez and her sister claim they own businesses, pay tuition, and hold jobs, and that America has a duty to keep them here in order to maintain their contributions,” The Daily Wire reported.

Both girls are from Venezuela, a country that is currently collapsing under the Marxist regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

President Obama implemented the Dreamers plan — formally known as Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — in September by executive order. Critics at the time decried the order, claiming it was an unconstitutional change to immigration law, which only Congress can do.

As many as 10 states lined up to challenge DACA in federal court. As such, President Donald J. Trump rescinded the order in September and gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix.

That deadline is March 5.

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Trump TROLLS ‘Cryin’ Chuck’ after DEM embarrassment over #SchumerShutdown: ‘No wall, NO DACA’

(National SentinelPresidential: On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to take a swipe at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and press for funding for his acclaimed border wall.

“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA,” Trump wrote. “We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!”


The president did not mention the other White House immigration reform principles which include an end to chain migration and the end of the visa lottery program.

The administration declared the Senate Flake/Graham/Durbin amnesty bill “dead on arrival” yesterday as well. However, officials said they were open to a bill that addressed their three top priorities on immigration.

“The President has laid out exactly what he wants to see, and he’s laid out the principles that need to be addressed for a piece of legislation that he’s actually willing to sign,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.

However, Schumer no longer appears interested in making a deal. His office said Tuesday he had withdrawn a previous offer to agree to some funding for Trump’s proposed border wall.

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CNN whiner Jim Acosta completely SCHOOLED at White House presser by Budget Director Mulvaney (Video)

(National SentinelPartisan: As a government shutdown loomed closer on Friday, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney took to the dais in the briefing room to take reporters’ questions about the most recent developments in negotiations.

During his opening statements, Mulvaney dubbed the impasse over budget agreement the “Schumer Shutdown,” a reference to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who is believed to be purposefully tanking negotiations and angling for the government to be shut down over political demands such as citizenship for illegal aliens.

When Mulvaney called on CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who is frequently combative with Trump administration officials, he questioned why the budget director blamed the shutdown on Schumer and Democrats.

“At the comments beginning this you said it was the Schumer shutdown. How could it be the Schumer Shutdown when Republicans control the White House, the House and the Senate?”

At that, Mulvaney took a mocking, disciplinary tone.

“Come on. You know the answer to that as well as anybody. I have to laugh when people say that. ‘Oh we control the House, the Senate, the White House, why can’t you get this done?'” he said.

“You know as well as anybody that it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass an appropriations bill. Right? You know that?”

“I know that,” Acosta admitted.

“So when you only have 51 votes in the senate you have to have Democrat support in order to keep the government to fund the government. So that’s the answer to your question,” Mulvaney said.

Watch the exchange:

Republicans have lashed out at Democrats over their refusal to agree to a long-term budget which they say is detrimental to military readiness, a position that Defense Secretary James Mattis, a former four-star Marine general, agrees with.

In the short term, Republicans blame Democrats for holding the U.S. military hostage and putting illegal aliens ahead of troops, including those deployed in combat zones.

A government shutdown means U.S. military personnel don’t get paid, even those forward-deployed.

The last time the government shut down was in 2013. Democrats again blamed Republicans for the shutdown and many think it will harm the GOP in this year’s elections like they believed it would harm Republicans then.

The GOP won commanding majorities in the House and Senate the following year.

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Trump NAILS Democrats over BUDGET, GOVT. SHUTDOWN with this SIMPLE statement to the press (Video)

(National SentinelPresidential: President Donald J. Trump used his bully pulpit to push for a long-term budget deal in Congress and to avoid a government shutdown during a visit to the Pentagon on Thursday.

As lawmakers from both parties rush to find a compromise, most Democrats have dug in their heels and have said they would not support any budget deal that did not include a pathway to citizenship for so-called DACA “Dreamers” — illegal aliens currently in the U.S. who were brought in by their parents.

No deal before Friday by midnight means that all non-essential government functions would shut down. However, other federal employees would still have to report to work, though they would not be getting paid until the budget impasse is over and government funding is resumed.

The active-duty military is part of that group of “essential” federal employees, and that includes troops that are currently deployed overseas in war zones.

Trump addressed this with reporters.

“But again, the group that loses big would be the military, and we’re never letting our military lose at any point,” he said.

“We’re going to fund our military, we’re going to have a military that we’ve never had before because we’ve just about…just about never needed our military more than now. Thank you very much,” the president added.

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Getting PAID: White House says more than 1 MILLION Americans got bonuses following passage of HISTORIC Trump/GOP tax cut

(National SentinelPayday: The White House said in a statement on Friday that the number of American workers who unexpectedly received end-of-year bonuses from their companies following passage last month of historic tax cut legislation has topped 1 million.

“More than one million hardworking Americans have already received a ‘Trump Bonus’ or ‘Trump Pay Raise’ as a result of the historic tax reform package that President Donald J. Trump signed into law just before Christmas,” the statement began.

“President Trump said from the beginning that lowering tax rates, simplifying the complicated tax code, and making our companies more competitive would be the fuel that propels our economy to new heights,” the statement continued.

“The preliminary results show that the President is right, and American workers and families are the big winners. And this is only the beginning,” the statement continued. “The President remains focused on empowering Americans to build more prosperous lives for themselves and brighter futures for their children.”

Republicans in the House and Senate rallied nearly in unison to support the tax cuts.

The number of American companies that have paid out bonuses to employees has topped 100, officials said.

“Small businesses from across the country are sending me news of their tax-cut bonuses, wage hikes, and charitable donations. Many of these were only announced internally. There is a broad and deep tsunami building,” John Kartch of Americans for Tax Reform told the Washington Examiner.

His organization is currently tracking the companies who have surprised their workers with the extra funds.

ATR’s President Grover Norquist said the bonuses were nullifying Democrats’ attacks on the tax cut package.

“Every announcement of another company raising wages, hiring, paying bonuses, investing in America is another nail in the coffin of the Democrat attacks on the Republican tax cut. This drip, drip, drip is added to the daily reports on stock market gains, the bigger checks in pay envelopes and the jump in your 401K and IRA,” he said.

Democrats and their supporters in the media have been voicing concerns that the tax cuts will cause them to lose support among key constituents such as Millennials in the 2018 elections and beyond.

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Tucker Carlson warns: ‘Caving to Dems on immigration is suicide for GOP’

(National SentinelImmigration ‘Reformed’: On his Friday evening program, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had a blunt warning for majority Republicans in Congress: Siding with Democrats to legalize hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens would amount to political “suicide.”

During his program, Carlson reviewed several proposals made by GOP lawmakers on how best to handle illegal aliens who are currently protected from deportation under former President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” policy, or DACA.

President Donald J. Trump rescinded the executive order in September but gave Congress six months to produce legislation dealing with those in the U.S. who qualified under the program.

Among the proposals now being offered by Republicans is an expansion of amnesty that opponents like Carlson say will be a death knell for the party.

“A number of Republican senators are prepared to cave completely to Democrats on this question agreeing to amnesty with no serious concessions in return,” Carlson said.

“One proposal would simply delay chain migration rather than ending it while expanding the scope of the amnesty for DACA recipients and reallocating the diversity lottery visas to a different class of unskilled immigrants,” he said.

“Not only would a deal like that hurt the country, voters have said very clearly, again and again, they don’t want it. And this is a democracy after all or at least it was.”

Carlson said if Republicans did not listen to voters on this issue, they are “toast.”

“You have to listen to what voters want if you are a lawmaker. If you see that kind of deal come out of Congress, and you may, the Republican Party is done, it’s over, it’s toast. It will be a short epitaph too, suicide,” he added.

Other conservative pundits including Fox News host Laura Ingraham and author/columnist Ann Coulter have warned Republicans against passage of another amnesty program.

A number of conservatives believe one of the major reasons why Trump defeated Hillary Clinton was his pledge to enforce all immigration laws and to reduce illegal immigration.

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WAT? Sen. Marco Rubio FLIPS on tax reform bill just WEEKS after it passes; echoes DEMOCRAT complaint

(National SentinelSwamp Thing: Despite the fact that GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida voted for the recently passed tax reform bill pushed by President Donald J. Trump, he is now echoing a claim most Democrats have made about the legislation.

As Fox News reported, Rubio says he now believes that the corporate tax cut — which lowered the top rate from 35 percent to 21 percent — was too deep.

In addition to the rate cuts, the legislation also provided additional incentives and economic benefits, all designed to spur expansion and job growth.

“If I were king for a day, this tax bill would have looked different,” Rubio said in an interview with The Fort Myers News-Press.

While calling the legislation “significantly better” than what had existed beforehand, Rubio said he doesn’t think the corporate benefits it establishes will achieve maximum economic growth.

“By and large, you’re going to see a lot of these multinationals buy back shares to drive up the price,” Rubio predicted. “Some of them will be forced, because they’re sitting on historic levels of cash, to pay out dividends to shareholders.”

He claimed using an influx of capital in that way “isn’t going to create dramatic economic growth.”

Supply-side economists disagree, saying they believe the legislation’s tax breaks to corporations will cause them to reinvest in their businesses, which will serve as a benefit to the economy as a whole.

But Rubio said that buying back shares is one way corporations could use their extra money without it having an immediately noticeable impact on the economy.

In November Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, held a forum with prominent business CEOs and attempted to make the administration’s point. But it seemed to backfire when just a few in the audience raised their hands when asked which of them planned to increase capital investments under the new tax structure.

That said, following passage of the legislation, several major corporations announced wage increases and employee bonuses, noting they would be expanding in the coming years as well.

As for ordinary Americans, Rubio said time will tell whether or not they like the tax reform measure. He said when Americans begin seeing more money in their paychecks, that will help them form an opinion.

“By the time we get to November of next year, their opinion about the tax bill is not going to be based on media coverage,” Rubio said. “It’s going to be based on what their paycheck is telling them.”

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MERRY Christmas! Senate passes Trump Tax Bill

(National Sentinel): Tax Reform: The Senate passed President Donald J. Trump’s tax plan on a 51-48 vote in a midnight showdown that saw every Democrat vote against it, making the measure the most significant reform in three decades.

Earlier Tuesday, the House passed the measure on a 227-203 vote, in which 12 Republicans joined all Democrats to oppose the bill.

The House will have to re-vote on the measure, however, after Democrats complained about two minor provisions. That vote is expected today.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was not present to vote on the measure after having returned to his home state for rehab following chemotherapy for his brain cancer.

The $1.5 trillion tax cut will apply to nearly all income levels, analysts said, slashing top rates for businesses especially, while providing them with new breaks as well. The bill also reorganizes tax rates for individuals.

Trump celebrated the bill’s passage in a tweet, writing, “The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill. Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare)Repealed. Goes to the House tomorrow morning for final vote. If approved, there will be a News Conference at The White House at approximately 1:00 P.M.”


As NBC News reported:

The GOP bill lowers individual tax rates, including the top bracket to 37 percent from 39.6, while doubling the standard deduction and replacing personal exemptions with a $2,000 partly refundable child tax credit. It eliminates various deductions while limiting others on state and local taxes and mortgage interest. It also exempts larger inheritances from the estate tax, doubling the thresholds to $11 million for individuals and $22 million for married couples.

Also, there are major healthcare implications. The measure abolishes Obamacare’s individual mandate, meaning Americans will no longer be penalized for not buying health insurance.

Another provision pertaining to 529 savings accounts, which are now used for college tuition, was changed to help finance home schooling.

“After eight straight years of slow growth and underperformance, America is ready to take off,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said following the vote.

The bill will “put the American economy in a better position,” House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, because “workers benefit, wages go up.”

The markets seem to agree. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been setting new record highs for months in anticipation the tax measure would pass and cut rates for businesses and corporations.

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Trump tax cut WIN: Senate approves one of prez’s top legislative priorities

(National SentinelTax Reform: After failing all year to move President Donald J. Trump’s legislative priorities such as repealing and replacing Obamacare and funding for his proposed border wall, Senate Republicans finally delivered a victory for the White House and the GOP in general by pushing through a $1.5 trillion tax cut.

After 11th-hour dealing with some Republican holdouts, the Senate approved the measure early Saturday, putting tax reform on track for putting the bill on the president’s desk by Christmas, after reconciliation with the House-passed version.

“Big bills are rarely popular. You remember how unpopular ‘Obamacare’ was when it passed?” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, in response to a reporter’s claim that the tax measure was not popular with Americans.

He added the legislation would prove to be “just what the country needs to get growing again.”

Trump thanked McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, for pulling the legislation together. “Look forward to signing a final bill before Christmas!” he tweeted.

As for the claim that tax reform legislation isn’t popular, the historical record suggests otherwise.

According to Gallup, which has tracked the issue since February 1956, most Americans in a majority of years since have said they believe they pay too much in federal income taxes.

The last recorded survey — April of this year — found that 51 percent of Americans felt like they paid too much federal income tax, compared with 42 percent who said their income tax burden was “about right.”

The 51-percent figure is down from 2016, when 56 percent of Americans said they paid too much.

In addition to lowering tax rates, the Senate version also does away with Obamacare’s individual mandate, meaning Americans would no longer be forced to purchase health insurance by law.

Also, the bill allows drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is believed to hold vast reserves but which has blocked for decades by Democratic congresses and administrations.

As to the growth aspect, an analysis of both the House and Senate versions by Rachel Greszler, a senior policy analyst in economics and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, found each of them significantly lower the top tax rate for businesses.

“This will help make America more competitive with the rest of the world, and will result in more and better jobs as well as higher incomes for all Americans,” she wrote.

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#MAGA: Tax reform looks certain as McCain says he’ll vote for it

(National SentinelGrowth Agenda: President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to push through major tax reform looked more certain to pass on Thursday after frequent critic Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced he would support a bill currently before the upper chamber.

“After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to support the Senate tax reform bill,” McCain said in a statement Thursday, as reported by CNBC.

“I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families.”

Congress watchers also noted that another potential holdout, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was also leaning toward supporting the measure, leaving few GOP members still undecided.

Republican leaders are tweaking the legislation to ease concerns among other GOP senators including Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; James Lankford, R-Okla.; Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Steve Daines, R-Mont.

The GOP can lose two votes and still pass the measure on a special procedural move and with the support of Vice President Mike Pence, who would cast the tiebreaker. The GOP’s majority in the Senate is 52-48.

McCain also said he approves of the bill’s provision that strikes the individual Obamacare mandate, which he called “an onerous tax that especially harms those from low-income brackets.”

The Senate version of the bill only temporarily individual income tax rates but permanently lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

But news of the bill’s likely passage had an immediate, positive effect on the stock market, taking the Dow over 24,000 — another record — and adding more wealth to individuals’ market-driven retirement accounts.

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Trump wants to end welfare as Bill Clinton knew it

(National SentinelWelfare Reform: Candidate Bill Clinton ran on a presidential platform of ending “welfare as we know it” in the early 1990s, and with Republican help, he was able to substantially reform the system.

But now President Donald J. Trump wants to put his name on further reforms of a benefits system because he says “people are taking advantage” of it, The Associated Press reported Friday.

The president has hinted for some time he’s interested in overhauling the system. One of the hallmarks of Clinton-era reform was adding work requirements for most benefits recipients, a provision that was credited with moving millions off the dole and substantially reducing federal and state layouts.

But President Obama, via executive order, largely did away with the work requirement, which then led to a spike in enrollment.

Now Trump — who has already closed potential loopholes in Obama’s initial order — seeks to pare those rolls again as the country rebounds economically and companies are beginning to hire more.

Last week the president said he would like to tackle welfare reform after Congress addresses his tax overhaul, which he wants done by the end of the year. He said that changes were “desperately needed in our country” and that soon, the White House would offer a plan, the AP reported.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said more specifics were likely early next year, but the White House has already begun working on a plan and Trump has broached the subject with some Republican lawmakers.

The AP reported further:

Paul Winfree, director of budget policy and deputy director of Trump’s Domestic Policy Council, told a recent gathering at the conservative Heritage Foundation that he and another staffer had been charged with “working on a major welfare reform proposal.” He said they have drafted an executive order on the topic that would outline administration principles and direct agencies to come up with recommendations.

“The president really wants to lead on this,” Winfree said. “He has delivered that message loud and clear to us. We’ve opened conversations with leadership in Congress to let them know that that is the direction we are heading.”

FO-300x250-1Last month, Trump said welfare was “becoming a very, very big subject, and people are taking advantage of the system.”

Included in Clinton’s reform were provisions to provide block grants to states so local officials could better manage expenditures and time limits for families to receive benefits before they would be required to find some form of paid employment.

Earlier this year Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, said, “If you are on food stamps and you are able-bodied, we need you to go to work.”

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GOP lawmaker writing bill to prevent others in Congress from pulling ‘a John Conyers’

(National SentinelSexual Legislation: A Republican lawmaker in the House is currently drafting legislation that would require the unsealing of all legal settlements of sexual harassment claims involving members of Congress while preventing the use of tax dollars to make settlement payments.

The legislation draft from Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida comes amid reports that Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., may have used taxpayer dollars to settle sex harassment claims.

“Settlements paid with tax dollars should not be kept secret. Members of Congress cannot be allowed to use the American people’s money as a personal slushfund to cover wrongdoing,” DeSantis tweeted on Wednesday.

“I’m working on legislation to unseal settlement records, bar use of tax dollars to pay claims against members & staff, prohibit members from using office budgets to camouflage payments (a Conyers rule) & require reimbursement of the taxpayer,” he added.

A day earlier, President Donald J. Trump called on Congress to make public the names of all lawmakers who have reached secretive monetary settlements with former staffers and others over claims of sexual harassment.

“President Trump tells me he believes Congress should release the names of lawmakers who have settled sexual harassment claims,” tweeted One America News Network‘s Trey Yingst.

Last week, the Congressional Office of Compliance published a year-by-year breakdown of sexual harassment settlements. The identities of the settlers were not made public, The Gateway Pundit reported.

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The Florida Republican’s legislative effort follows on the heels of a bombshell report about Conyers settling a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2015.

Conyers also allegedly flew women into Washington, D.C. for sex.

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NFL still getting political; fights House tax reform bill that cuts stadium bond breaks

(National SentinelNFHell: The National Football League continues to be on the wrong side of President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, this time coming out in opposition of the just-passed tax reform bill pushed through by the Republican majority.

FO-300x250-1While other professional sports leagues are staying out of the political battle, the NFL — even as it continues to deal with fallout from players protesting during the National Anthem — has decided to jump in.

At issue: The league doesn’t want to lose a special tax break that allows them to use tax-free bonds to build stadiums, the Washington Times reported.

“You can look around the country and see the economic development that’s generated from some of these stadiums,” Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary for President Clinton and now an NFL spokesman, told reporters on a conference call last week, according to Reuters.

Representatives from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League declined to comment on the tax bill, the Times noted.

Tax-free municipal bonds are generally used for roads, hospitals and other infrastructure, but some cities have extended them to the construction of sports venues.

But the House GOP, looking to simplify the tax code and eliminate these kinds of special breaks, put restrictions in the tax reform legislation that would disallow teams from taking advantage of the bonds.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., rejected Lockhart’s spin that building new stadiums created an overall economic benefit.

“Although stadium construction for multimillion-dollar sports franchises may have some local economic benefit, that is not the responsibility of the federal government,” he told the Times in a statement.

Lankford has long opposed using municipal bonds for stadium construction.

“The federal debt is now at a ridiculous $20 trillion. Using billions of federal taxpayer dollars for the subsidization of private stadiums, when we have real infrastructure needs in our country, is not a good way to prioritize our limited amount of money,” he added.

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Taxpayers have underwritten about $13 billion in bonds for stadium construction projects for the NFL and other sports since 2000, according to a Brookings Institution study.

Brookings estimates that the federal government has lost as much as $3.7 billion in tax revenue on the bonds, exceeding the $3.2 billion in savings they have created for team owners.

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GOP senators cave, side with Dems on ‘stronger’ gun background checks following Texas church shootings

(National SentinelGun Control: Republican senators surprised many of their constituents on Thursday when they sided with Democrats on a bill that would somehow strengthen existing gun background check laws following the Texas church shootings earlier this month.

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Fox NICS Act compelling federal and state officials to report criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The bill comes after

Devin Patrick Kelly, the gunman who opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas, had been court-martialed in the Air Force on a domestic violence conviction in 2012.

By law, the Air Force was required to report that court-martial and conviction to the FBI, but failed to do so, thus allowing him to dodge background checks and purchase several firearms over the course of a couple of years.

Critics of the new legislation say even if it was already in place, it, too, would not have stopped the shootings because the problem isn’t the law, it was that Kelly’s conviction was simply not reported.

“For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in a statement.

FO-300x250-1Murphy, one of the most vocal advocated for gun control on Capitol Hill, said the bill “marks an important milestone that shows real compromise can be made on the issue of guns.”

“Under the bill, federal agencies and state[s] would be required to create implementation plans focused on uploading all information that would prohibit a person from buying a gun under current law to the background check system,” Circa News reported.

“Agencies that fail to upload relevant background records would face consequences under the bill. For example, political appointees at agencies that fail to comply would be prohibited from receiving any bonus pay,” the news site said.

Also, the legislation rewards states that comply with requirements by giving them preference for federal grants and additional incentives.

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In addition, the legislation funds more federal bureaucracy via the creation of a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative.

Critics say they don’t believe the new incentives are going to make much of an impact, and that the problem of non-reporting will remain.

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Less than a quarter of Obamacare sign-ups are new enrollees: Govt. report

(National SentinelObamacare: Recent press reports have noted that enrollment in exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act is surging, but a new government report says that, by far, most enrollees are not new to Obamacare.

The Centers for Medicare for Medicaid Services (CMS) report released on Wednesday showing that fewer than 25 percent of enrollees are new customers.

“Multiple media reports detailed how nearly 1.5 million Americans signed up for Obamacare during its enrollment period, however, the CMS report details that most ‘signups’ are renewals, not new enrollees,” Breitbart News reports.

The government report revealed that, within the first 11 days of Obamacare enrollment, 345,719 Americans signed up for coverage for the first time, which is less than one-quarter of total enrollees through the period.

Of the 1.5 million people who bought plans through Healthcare.gov, more than one million renewed their coverage, which is more than three-quarters of the total number of enrollees.

FO-logo-square-regular-2Nevertheless, Democrats are hailing the overall enrollment figure as a victory for the law, which they seek to leave in place despite spiraling health care costs, premiums and deductibles — all things the law was supposed to improve.

“Those who pushed the repeal and replace agenda for so long have been exposed as offering ideas that take the country backward. That has helped us in terms of our agenda for building on it,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon.

But Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, countered with the fact that premiums are climbing faster than ever.

“The American people were promised that if Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, health insurance would be cheaper and more available, and it’s been neither. What people are having to pay who aren’t getting a subsidy is unconscionable,” he explained.

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In October, Trump signed an executive order to expand more affordable health insurance options.

At the time, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) praised the order as “the biggest free-market reform in a generation.”

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