This Week in Politics: 9/5-9/12
Bush’s Campaign – A Series of Half Truths
Bush came out with a commercial that pushed for his nomination by citing he cut taxes, cut spending, balanced budgets, and created jobs more so than any other state during his eight year tenure as governor. All of his claims came out half true according to fact checking parties like Politifact. What they found was parsed data: data in which Bush’s campaign moved around to seem better than it was. Him balancing the budget in Florida was due to a law that required the governor to do so which makes that statement a little less impressive since that stipulation does not exist for the President of the United States. In terms of jobs, his campaign neglected to add a year of his service. This would bring Florida to number two in the list, not number one. Also, Plitifact noted that growth rate of jobs would have been a better indicator of job growth. Bush’s campaign used the number of total jobs created in seven of his eight years of office. Him cutting taxes and spending were also measured in an iffy way. Spending involved using state data and included things like “higher education spending supported by tuition,” said Politifact. Always be careful and look into the facts candidates are stating in a commercial.
A Refugee Crisis: Trump, Obama, and Syria
Obama has come out in support of giving five to ten thousand migrants the ability to take refuge within US borders. Trump came out in favor of helping Syria prior to Obama’s assertion, but, the next day, he changed his stance citing, “America has its own issues to deal with,” as a reason for his change of mind. Currently, the Middle East is in shambles. 430,000 refugees have fled areas such as Syria and Afghanistan. The European Union plans to meet for a summit to discuss the issue and where to proceed with the influx of refugees. The issue revolves around the redistribution of these refugees since Greece and other nations close to Middle Eastern borders are suffering the brunt of the migration.
The Congressional Map Issue
Florida is still in the midst of redistricting. Judge Terry Lewis is set to pick a map out of four produced under specified guidelines. These rules include: transparency on who is drawing the maps, why they drew the maps they drew, and how do the maps adhere to the Constitutionality found within the State Legislatures law. The four groups that will be submitting a map are the Fl. House, the Fl. Senate, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause, and the Romo plantiffs. September 14th is the due date.
NY and the Fight for $15
New York State becomes the first state to set their minimum wage increase to $15. This law will have little impact on mom and pop shops, but large multi-national corporations and franchises will be subject to change their policies. The increase will happen over 3 years. Some believe that such a short time might cause adverse effects on the economy, like job loss and skyrocketing prices, but economic factors are ruled more-so by supply and demand than minimum wage. If people gain more spending power then that could effectively create more demand, influencing more supply. In either case, the country will watch New York closely in the next three years. Governor Andrew Cuomo feels confident it will work.
Rick Perry Steps Down
After running out of campaign funds, Rick Perry steps out of the presidential race. Only garnering little over $1 million in cash, he was unable to retain his staff and the other necessities to run a continuous campaign. Looking at big front runners like Trump and Bush, who have collected up in the hundredths of millions, it is not surprising that the 17th seed would step aside. Not making much of an impact early on, Rick Perry was unable to make the main stage for big debates which might have cost him a lot of support as well.
The Florida Prison System
Understaffed, under regulated, and the constant use of force complaints have led to the Florida prison system’s audit. The Department of Corrections found that the prisons ran at low capacity in terms of correctional officers, and had limited cameras. The department has made moves to rectify this issue, but there is still a long way to go. Prison culture, however, was stated as a non issue regardless of the rise in prisoner abuse, and the DoC stated that every employee new the mandates for handling prisoners. Though, knowing is different from doing, but the DoC feels their current zero policy will help these situations.
USF Talks to Experts on the Iran Deal
Mohsen Milani,, Director of the Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at USF, and Israeli Defense Forces Brig. Gen Shlomo Brom, a Middle East expert, spoke at USF about the Iran Deal. To them, the Iran Deal is the best option. They cited North Korea as an example, an aggressive state that is also under sanctions by western nations, which has still managed to continue a nuclear weapon program. Sanctions, Christopher Hill – a form US ambassador to Iraq and South Korea – pointed out, will just impoverish a specific nation. Opening up ties with Iran could end almost four decades of disagreement. Some fear that this will allow Iran to continue to fund terrorism which is a legit concern, but if Iran truly wishes to propagate a different image, this is the time. This deal is not something that gives in to Iran’s demands, Iran has a lot of its nuclear ability limited as well as giving us a way into the country in terms of inspections, etc. Both Milani and Brom agree, it is the best step.
Legislation to Look for
S.349 – Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015
- A bill to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to empower individuals with disabilities to establish their own supplemental needs trusts.
Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
S.1603 – Border Jobs for Veterans Act of 2015
- A bill to actively recruit members of the Armed Forces who are separating from military service to serve as Customs and Border Protection Officers.
- A bill to ensure greater affordability of prescription drugs.
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
House of Representatives
- To amend title 5, United States Code, to limit the number of local wage areas allowable within a General Schedule pay locality.
Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
- To amend title 38, United States Code, to increase the amount of special pension for Medal of Honor recipients, and for other purposes.
Referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
- To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize the National Computer Forensics Institute, and for other purposes.
Referred to House Homeland Security
- To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide greater clarity for States with respect to excluding providers whose actions a State suspects causes termination of fetuses born alive, and for other purposes.
Referred to House Ways and Means
- To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish the Securing the Cities program to enhance the ability of the United States to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and other high consequence events utilizing nuclear or other radiological materials that pose a high risk to homeland security in high-risk urban areas, and for other purposes.
Referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security.
(All legislation information is from OpenCongress.Org)