READING BETWEEN THE LINES - INTERPRETING LEGISLATIVE MOVES BY THE DEMOCRATS - Left further casts its net over Trump
On March 27, 2019, a richly ironic press release from the Democratically controlled House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is chaired by notorious Rep. Elijah Cummings, stated intentions to, "improve government ethics, protect federal inspectors general, and help formerly-incarcerated people obtain non-sensitive federal jobs." That's right, the same Elijah Cummings who has rejected findings from multiple investigations from his own House, the FBI, the Senate and Special Counsel Mueller to pursue a wide swath of presidential inquiry, which may include felonious, seditious and treasonous acts from a number of his colleagues and perhaps himself, is looking to clean things up in government.
As stated, how richly ironic is that?
Let's put cards on the table and call these as we see them. To begin, here's the full press release for context (the bulk of it is reproduced in our discussion below) and you'll get through this concise piece in short order: https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/committee-passes-legislation-to-ban-the-box-support-transparency-and-protect
Here we go:
1. H.R. 1076 (Cummings) - Fair Chance Act
The bill would help formerly-incarcerated individuals obtain non-sensitive federal jobs by prohibiting federal agencies and contractors from asking about the criminal history of a job applicant until after making a conditional offer of employment.
TRANSLATION: Examine the demographics of prison populations (felons) and ask whether or not those folks would be inclined to vote for Democrats (due to race, socioeconomic, cultural and other considerations in addition to the Democrats' propensity to forsake the rule of law [see Jussie Smollett] to their own benefit) or Republicans (who generally look to enforce the rule of law)?
BOTTOM LINE: This is another step in the direction stealing votes, which also includes states that are looking to drop the voting age to 16, the rhetoric surrounding slavery reparations, fraudulent voting by illegal immigrants, etc. In 2016, the population of paroled felons in the US represented 6.1 million votes. Now look at the top ten states FL, MS, KY, TN, VA*, AL, WY, AZ, NV* and GA. 8 out of those 10 states voted red in 2016.
2. H.R. 964 (Cummings) - Transition Team Ethics Improvement Act
The bill would require Presidents-elect to publicly release ethics plans for their transition teams that contain certain core requirements, such as prohibiting transition team members from working on matters involving personal conflicts of interest. H.R. 964 passed the House on March 8, 2019, as part of H.R. 1. The Committee held a hearing on the provisions of H.R. 1 in its jurisdiction on February 6, 2019.
TRANSLATION: Personal conflicts of interest? Let's shine this back on the Democrats' last candidate, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, and reconsider the proposal. Could she even run with such requirements in place? What about the timing - it's immediately prior to the run-up to 2020? Timing always matters.
BOTTOM LINE: This is another effort to frame the president with rules that didn't apply to their own candidate because it's reasonable to believe they would have precluded her from even running. In this case, the Left is attempting to a) place itself in a position to glean sensitive information about the president as they b) paint him into a corner before he's ever reelected.
3. H.R. 745 (Raskin) - Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act
The bill would reauthorize the Office of Government Ethics, strengthen its ability to establish and oversee ethics policy for the executive branch, and provide it with independent authority to investigate ethics violations.
TRANSLATION: Ethics enforcement? The Democrats' entire approach to 2016, the Trump administration and 2020 rests on an entire foundation of unethical and, quite frankly, in some cases illegal activity. For the Democrats to attempt to establish excessive oversight over the president based upon their perception of what is ethical and not is an utterly laughable proposition.
BOTTOM LINE: Again, this is another effort to frame the president with rules that wouldn't have applied to their own candidate and in the spirit of exerting control over the administration should the president be reelected in 2020.
4. H.R. 1496 (Hice) - Presidential Allowance Modernization Act
The legislation would amend the Former Presidents Act of 1958 to cap a former President’s annual pension at $200,000. In addition, the bill would provide an annual allowance of $200,000 for the conduct of the duties of former presidents. Both the pension and allowance amounts would be indexed to inflation.
TRANSLATION: There's not much to translate here and it gives the appearance of being a legitimate legislative effort.
BOTTOM LINE: Not everything the Democrats do is nefarious.
5. H.R. 1847 (Lieu) - Inspector General Protection Act
The bill would require notification of Congress in advance of an Inspector General (IG) being placed in a paid or unpaid non-duty status (administrative leave). The bill would also require the President to report to Congress if an IG has not been nominated within 210 days after a vacancy occurs for the position, including the reasons the nomination has not been made and a target date for doing so.
TRANSLATION: Inspectors General are generally appointed by the president and then proceed with Senate confirmation. The OIG is regarded as an apolitical, unbiased and independent body for the express purpose of ensuring fidelity to the process of government. Why are the Democrats looking to assert control over this independence?
BOTTOM LINE: This rings peculiar given the political landscape of the past two-plus years and the relevance of the OIG to that landscape; especially since unreleased OIG reports are coming due. It's reasonable to believe that this issue may become clearer with further developments.
When viewed through a particular lens and in light of the totality of the Left's approach to all things Trump, Cummings' efforts here can generally be viewed as steps in the same direction they're already going.