The administration* was excoriated justly for including $1.75 billion to rebuild the FBI Building in the proposed Republican Senate “relief” package. On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell expressed a desire to put the kibosh on that piece of Camp Runamuck grifting. From the AP:
“When we get to the end of the process I would hope all of the non-COVID related measures are out,” McConnell said Tuesday. “No matter what bills they were in at the start.”
McConnell’s comments came after Democrats accused Trump of self-dealing with his push on the FBI building, which sits across the street from a downtown hotel that Trump owns on Pennsylvania Avenue, blocks from the White House. The Trump International Hotel could face competition if the FBI moves from the site and another hotel is developed on the property.
Which is not to say the bill wasn’t stuffed full of goodies that seem to have little to do with struggling workers and closed small businesses. For example, the F-35 fighter, the Flying Swiss Army Knife, got yet another chance to put the boon in boondoggle. From MSN:
Also restored by the bill is $686 million for the production of the F-35A fighter jet, from which $156 million was redirected to the border wall. The F-35 is produced in Ft. Worth, Texas, the home state of Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who co-sponsored the bill.
A week ago, the Congress approved a $740.5 billion defense budget. Now, in the so-called HEALS Act, there is $29.4 billion in additional military spending, much of it to replenish programs that the administration* raided to pay for the big stupid wall it isn’t really building on the southern border. This spending included the money for the FSAK. The bill includes no local aid, no funds for election security, and it proposes to cut the federal unemployment stipend from $600 a month to $200. But the F-35 flies forever. Except when it doesn’t.
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