Jim Banks lays out details of the ‘worst’ parts of massive $3.5T reconciliation bill

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, head of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative bloc in Congress, laid out in detail to members in a memo Tuesday the “worst” parts of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” social spending bill, priced at around $3.5 trillion.

Banks noted that his staff examined provisions contained in the massive piece of legislation most sought after by the Democratic Party’s leftist progressive faction. The bill passed out of the House Budget Committee in September but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not brought it up for a full vote because she does not yet have enough support to pass it, though her party holds a slim majority in the chamber.

The bill is most likely going to be pared down to somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 trillion if not less as more moderate Democrats have refused to support the higher price tag, the New York Post reported. Moderates in the Senate — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — are also not on board with the full cost.

In his memo, Banks accused Democrats of “playing ‘hide the ball’ with the bill text,” suggesting “they bring it to the floor and tout some poll numbers and scare their members into voting for it.”

The Indiana Republican listed several bullet points regarding provisions in the bill that his members are opposed to, noting that the legislation “perpetuates a labor shortage” in part by continuing to provide “welfare benefits without work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents at a time where there are 10.1 million job openings — more openings than there are people looking for work.”

“Each of these 42 bullets is enough to vote against the bill. Taken together — it’s mind-blowingly corrupt,” Banks summarized in his memo, according to The Post.

“We need to loudly oppose it. Democrats are scattered. The Biden agenda is in question. It’s the perfect opportunity to build public sentiment against this bill. The American people need us to be the vanguard against the Left’s radical plans,” he added.

“It’s not an understatement to say this bill, if passed, will fundamentally change our country forever — Americans will wake up in a few years and wonder what happened to their freedom. We can’t let that happen,” Banks warned.

Among the most egregious parts of the bill, according to Banks, include:

— $8 billion to be used to form a “Civilian Climate Corps” to set up “a cabal of federally funded climate police” who would “conduct progressive activism on taxpayers’ dime” as well as a “$10 billion ‘environmental justice’ higher education slush fund to indoctrinate college students and advance Green New Deal policies.”

— Language that requires pre-K staffers to obtain a college degree, which he says will devastate small and in-home daycare centers, as well as pushing out “faith-based child care providers.”

— Even though the Senate parliamentarian ruled that an immigration measure couldn’t be included in the gargantuan bill, Banks’ memo says that the measure nevertheless gives “incentives for illegal immigration” via an enhanced child tax credit, “free” college, and eligibility to receive student aid.

— Banks said the bill also “expands the worst parts of ObamaCare: The program’s job-killing employer mandate will become more severe by adjusting the definition of ‘affordable coverage’ to mean ‘coverage that costs no more than 8.5 percent of income rather than current law’s 9.5 percent of income.” He also thinks that provision will increase out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.

“This bill is a disaster and should be polling at 20 percent. We all know it. So, how can we explain the 52-55 percent approval it’s garnered in the polls? The chief reason that it keeps polling favorably is because we haven’t done a good enough job letting the American people know what’s in it,” Banks wrote, The Post reported.

“Here’s what happens to public opinion when the public learns what’s in these Democrat bills. In March, before Democrats’ $1.9 trillion package passed, 70 percent of Americans said they favored it. Polled again in August — five months after the bill was enacted, only 35 percent of Americans said the bill was helping improve the economy or will do so in the future,” he added.

While serving as “a legislative hull for Biden’s vaccine mandate,” the bill also empowers labor unions by barring “employers from permanently replacing striking workers.” In addition, penalties under the Fair Labor Standards Act are bolstered by 900 percent, while taxpayer dollars will go to subsidizing union dues.

Banks adds the measure “pushes Democrats’ wasteful and confusing school lunch agenda: $643 million for, among other things, ‘procuring … culturally appropriate foods’” while providing a “tax credit for wealthy donors who give to woke universities: The bill creates a new tax credit program that gives tax credits worth 40 percent of cash contributions that are made to university research programs.”

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Jon Dougherty

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