Congress

GOP Stimulus Proposal Includes Billions For Nonsense

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As you may recall, Trump once personally interfered in the FBI's long-stalled effort to relocate their headquarters to a new building just outside Washington D.C.

From Trump's point of view, relocating would mean the FBI's current headquarters, the brutalist J. Edgar Hoover building pictured in many movies and television shows over the past several decades, which is adjacent to Trump's hotel in Washington, would open up the location to a development that may compete with Trump's hotel.

The FBI concluded that rebuilding their headquarters in the same location would be more expensive than a new building outside the city, but Trump torpedoed the effort to move.

That brings us to the GOP's new coronavirus stimulus proposal which includes $1.75 billion for the more expensive rebuilding project. The Trump White House apparently insisted that the funding be included in the GOP proposal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially indicated at a news conference Monday that he was not aware the FBI provision was in the bill but then moments later said the White House "insisted that be included." [...]

"Well, in regard to that proposal, obviously we had to have an agreement with the administration in order get started. And they will have to answer the question as to why they insisted on that."

Asked if he supported it being in there, he said, "You'll have to ask them why they insisted that be included."

The Senate Republican stimulus proposal also includes $21 billion in supplemental defense spending of a dubious nature.

More than half of those funds is appropriated for defense contractors covering coronavirus-related expenses, but the rest is far less relevant.

The emerging GOP proposal would include $11 billion in payments to contractors under the Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which allowed firms serving the federal government to seek reimbursement for pandemic-related expenses. [...]

Defense trade associations, along with dozens of industry executives, have conducted a vocal lobbying effort across government to secure the money as they grapple with the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The rest of the $21 billion in defense spending is for military hardware.

This looks like de facto pork barrel spending for certain members of Congress who wouldn't support the stimulus bill without it.

It's pathetic that Senate Republicans have to be bought off just to support a shitty stimulus proposal.

$21 billion is enough to cover about two weeks of the pandemic unemployment program at current funding levels, so that's the trade-off they want to make.

  • muselet

    Wow. Mitch McConnell got rattled. “I don’t know anything about what’s in the bill and the White House insisted on that provision.” For an inveterate prevaricator like him, that’s remarkably incoherent. Maybe he’s losing his touch.

    Of course, I’m surprised every time McConnell speaks and his tongue doesn’t burst into flames, so what do I know?

    Larding bills with lots of spending on irrelevant pet projects is a DC tradition, most practiced lately by the Rs. Money to rebuild the Hoover Building and buy stuff that goes boom is a perfect—and perfectly ridiculous—example. I suppose we should all be grateful that Senate Rs didn’t toss in a few billion for CS gas and flash-bangs for Donald Trump’s Republican Guards, fighting on the mean streets of Portland.

    –alopecia