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The pigs are back at the trough...
Posted by: pdq
Date: February 08, 2018 04:08PM
...and the sausage is being made.


Racehorses, rum, honeybees: The surprises in the budget bill

Born of bipartisanship and propelled by a “must-pass” urgency, the [spending bill], which includes disaster relief and stopgap spending, has been loaded up with little-noticed deals for lawmakers’ favorite causes.

— Two provisions that appear aimed at protecting colleges in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's home state. narrowly crafted student default language that appears to apply only to Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

— A provision secured by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to remove a $125,000 cap on payments to livestock producers...

— A win for nuclear proponents with a section of the bill that would eliminate a 2020 deadline to claim a tax credit for new nuclear power plants. The Vogtle reactors [in Georgia], the only ones under construction in the country, are not expected to be online by then.

[and on, and on, and then finally, apparently without a trace of irony...]

— A special congressional committee to tackle budgetary dysfunction, following through on a pledge House Speaker Paul Ryan made at a closed-door GOP conference meeting this week.

Ya think that "closed-door, GOP-only" stuff might have a teensy bit to do with budgetary dysfunction?
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Re: The pigs are back at the trough...
Posted by: pdq
Date: February 08, 2018 05:06PM
A tidbit from the WaPo:


One provision [in the bill] would exempt private colleges that do not charge tuition from a new tax on their endowments, an exemption that would protect Berea College [a Christian college in Kentucky].

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had the provision removed from the final GOP tax plan in an attempt to delay the legislation.

...McConnell was livid...The Senate majority leader vowed to help Berea avoid a hefty tax bill, an estimated $1 million tab, according to the school’s calculations. And it appears he has succeeded, by slipping the same tax exemption back into the budget deal.

Understand, the only reason this has come up is that the Republican tax bill added a new tax on investment income from large college endowments, and as far as I can tell, the only reason that ended up in a tax-cutting bill was pure conservative spite against those durn "liberal" colleges (the tax raises all of $1.8B over ten years.)

Edit: BTW, the reason that well known institution of higher learning, the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is also in the bill is that because of its high student loan default rate, it's "skating on the edge of being cut off from federal student aid". McConnell sneaked a waiver for that in there.

A pox on Harvard; but don't make Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College have to play by Federal Dept of Education rules that apply to everyone else. Got it. MAGA!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2018 05:17PM by pdq.
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