Sen Joni Ernst Busted Again Talking About Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, SS

Sen Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

An audio recording of Sen Joni Ernst(R-Iowa) telling a group of GOP donors that there needs to be “changes”(read cuts) to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security has surfaced. You’ll remember that Sen Ernst made similar remarks at a town hall in September 2019 where she said Congress needs to meet behind closed doors to address these programs–essentially gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in secret.

In the latest audio, a person at the GOP event can be heard saying, “Even without the additional spending we’re already going bankrupt…the biggest driver of that being entitlements. It is interesting hearing your classmate [Sen]David Perdue. He’s been pretty frank about the changes that need to happen with Medicare and Medicaid. Are you on the same page with him on that?

Sen Ernst responded, “I think we [Republican Senators]all are because we all understand our non discretionary spending is growing like this. Everybody focuses on the discretionary spending because that’s what we have control over in Congress. The rest is on auto pilot and it’s out of control. So we have to figure out ways to honor the commitments that have been made and make changes for the future.”

For the record Sen David Perdue(R-GA) has been very vocal about his desire to reign in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending in an effort to address the ballooning federal deficit. Sen Joni Ernst has also flirted with this idea previously but unlike Sen Perdue, is afraid to say so in public. Why won’t Sen Joni Earnst, who is up for reelection in 2020, look Iowans in their eyes and tell them that she wants cuts to their Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits?

Bottom line folks, Americans elect politicians and send them to Washington with the understanding that the said politicians will in turn look out for their interests. All national polls indicate that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security remain very popular programs among Americans, including Iowans. Where, as here, Sen Joni Earnst appears hell bent on gutting such programs, she owes Iowans an explanation–publicly. Simply put, Sen Ernst should tell Iowans in public, what she says all the time at private GOP gatherings and that is, she wants cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs. Iowans deserve a Senator who will level with them.

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Mitch McConnell Rewards Lobbyist’s Wife With Federal Judgeship

A bombshell segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expedited the confirmation of U.S. District Judge Wendy Vitter as payback for the work her lobbyist husband David Vitter did to land an aluminium plant linked to Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Kentucky. David Vitter, a former Republican U.S. Senator from Louisiana is now a lobbyist for Rusal, the Russian firm tied to Oligarch Oleg Deripaska and previously sanctioned by the U.S. government. It is Rusal that has committed $200 million to build an aluminium plant in Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky.

According to the Maddow segment, the confirmation of Wendy Vitter as a federal judge had stalled because a lot of Republicans did not feel she was qualified for the job. However according to Maddow, five weeks after her lobbyist husband David Vitter called McConnell confirming that Rusal will invest in Kentucky, McConnell used his position as Senate Majority Leader to expedite Wendy Vitters confirmation–a clear cut case of pay-for-play corruption and abuse of power.

Maddow specifically said, “Within five weeks of David Vitter calling Mitch McConnell to tell him that Rusal was going to put this plant in Kentucky, Rusal was going to dump hundreds of millions of dollars into Mitch McConnell’s home state, within five weeks of that call, the nomination of David Vitter’s wife to be a federal judge, a nomination that had been languishing for a year and a half because she was so humiliatingly and embarrassingly and obviously unqualified for the job, whose confirmation hearing went so badly it went viral and got her nomination buried, turns out within five weeks of Mitch McConnell getting that call from David Vitter saying hey I got an aluminium plant we are going to put in your home state thanks from Oleg, within five weeks of that call, Wendy Vitter’s nomination got pulled off the trash heap by McConnell and Mitch McConnell expedited it, put it on top of the list and now she’s a federal judge for life. Must be nice.”

Bottom line, there are already a lot of questions surrounding Mitch McConnell and Russia that warrant an investigation. This new pay-for-play twist involving a federal judge should definitely be explored further both by Democrats and the mainstream media. Simply put, McConnell should not be allowed to abuse his position as Senate Majority Leader to push bills in the Senate that seemingly benefit him personally. More importantly, McConnell should not be allowed to continue ruining the credibility of federal courts with pay-for-play confirmation of federal judges. McConnell has already done enough damage to the credibility of federal courts with the Kavanaugh incident.

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Mnuchin Faces Prison Time For Not Releasing Trump’s Tax Returns

An interesting editorial by a Pulitzer winning journalist David Cay Johnston says there’s a U.S. law currently on the books that exposes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin , the IRS Commissioner and others to as many as 5 years in prison for failing to release Trump’s tax returns to the various congressional committees requesting them.

The editorial cites 26 U.S. Code § 7214 titled “Offenses by officers and employees of the United States”. Section 7214(a), of this statute says “Any officer or employee of the United States acting in connection with any revenue law of the United States… who with intent to defeat the application of any provision of this title fails to perform any of the duties of his office or employment… shall be dismissed from office or discharged from employment and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both.” –see 7214(a)(3)

An even more interesting revelation is that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and others could still be in legal jeopardy even if they finally decide to furnish Trump’s tax returns to the various congressional committees. This is because a subsection of the same law–7214(a)(4)–makes it criminal for tax officials to conspire or collude to hide tax returns from Congress. Mnuchin is on record as saying his office has been in contact with the White House over Trump’s tax returns. If it can be shown that Mnuchin, the IRS Commissioner or their subordinates conspired with White House officials (including President Trump) to hide the tax returns from Congress, they are in violation of the clear text of 7214 (a)(4).

Bottom line , this is a very important revelation that deserves a lot of mainstream media attention. House Democrats also need to pursue this new avenue brought to light by this Pulitzer winning journalist. Simply put, no stone should be left unturned in the quest for Trump’s tax returns.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com