This post’s headline and other reference to the “50 real states” were modified to be less inflammatory.
House Passes HR 5278 Thursday to Bail Out Puerto Rico, In the Interest of Serving Constituents of Mainland States Already Worrying About Over $19,000,000,000,000 in Federal Government Tabs
The Hill reported that GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan (above, pussy) united with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (above, demented) to ram through a multi-billion dollar compromise with large bipartisan support to “rescue” Puerto Rico, a haven for old, retired people and booming reservoir for Zika virus.
It is unclear how much the compromise, which passed with a 297-127 vote, will cost the taxpayers of the fifty mainland states who, unlike Puerto Ricans, live with sub-par mainland weather and pay Federal income taxes.
(The latter detail is a perennial political flashpoint, as about half of mainland U.S. citizens pay no income taxes at all, and Puerto Rico contributes about $3.6 billion in Federal taxes, more than does the state of Vermont, even though Puerto Rico pays no Federal income tax explicitly, according to Puerto Rico Report. This is because the monstrous Federal Government of the United States has its fingers in every pie across the world.)
It is also unclear if this compromise will satisfy President Obama’s demand, as we reported earlier, for $1.9 billion to fight Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
The measure has a 24% voter approval rating on the non-partisan popvox.com, with 53 Americans reportedly disapproving and 17 approving:
The actual U.S. House members, however, were able to pass the bill with a majority in both the GOP and Democratic parties. Bill the taxpayers.
Paul Ryan campaigned against calling the bailout a “bailout,” emphasizing the 3.5 million American citizens on the island need help from the Federal Government, funded by the dumb rubes on the mainland who actually pay federal income taxes.
“The Puerto Rican people are our fellow Americans. They pay our taxes. [sic] They fight in our wars,” he said. “We cannot allow this to happen.”
The Hill reports the Senate is less enthusiastic about passing the bill for President Obama to sign. This is probably because the GOP majority in the House is much safer this November than the slim majority in the Senate, under assault in several “toss-up” states like Nevada and Florida. Paul Ryan does face a primary challenge from Trump supporter Paul Nehlen in Wisconsin’s first district August 9th.
“The Senate should act expeditiously to review and vote on this measure, so the President can sign the bill into law ahead of the critical July 1st debt payment deadline,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest after its passage. “We urge leaders in both parties to build on today’s bipartisan momentum and help Puerto Rico move toward lasting economic prosperity.”
According to The Hill, Puerto Rico face a $2 billion default on its debt payments on July 1st. The total debt obligation is reportedly $70 billion. This is because 26% of Puerto Rican “workers” are in the public sector (Wikipedia), and Puerto Ricans (45% of whom live below the Federal poverty level) are leaving for the mainland in droves, “leaving the island with a shrinking pile of revenues.”
Government wants their money. To give to the other government that ran out of money to confiscate.
The White House threw its weight behind the bill, dubbed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Act, just before Thursday’s vote, saying the president “strongly supports” its passage.
“The Administration urges the Congress to build on the bipartisan effort behind PROMESA and pass this legislation quickly before this crisis grows materially worse,” the White House said in a statement of administration policy.
Ryan has insisted that no extra federal dollars will be going to Puerto Rico, and we can definitely trust him. That is why he had to pass a bill to get funding.
The Hill notes Democrats compromised with the GOP, who hold the House majority, on economy-boosting measures such as ignoring the federal minimum wage in some cases and restricting Medicaid benefits and the Earned Income Tax Credit to Puerto Ricans:
The bill does include some of those provisions to the chagrin of Democrats, including one that allows the island to avoid paying the federal minimum wage to some workers. Democrats tried to pass an amendment on the floor stripping that provision, but failed.
Democrats also said they were disappointed the bill did not expand Medicaid benefits and the Earned Income Tax Credit to the island.
As a reminder, the Federal Government is over $19 trillion dollars in debt.
Thanks to our sources: