We'll have a tax bill to look at next week, it seems, and it can pass as long as there no more than a couple of Republican defections, even though many Americans don't think it's a priority.
The House this week narrowly approved their budget bill, kicking off the opportunity for the Senate to do tax reform as part of 'reconciliation' instead of through regular order, which would require the participation of Democrats to reach the 60-vote majority needed for passage. It'll be fun to see how well Mitch McConnell herds his cats this time, after the debacle on health care.
So, other than yet another opportunity for vice president Mike Pence to cast the most important vote of the day, what does the tax reform plan really mean? If rumors are true, folks like me in blue states are apt to lose, while folks in deeply red states are apt to win - no surprise there. And those other people, the bricks and mortar ones, will win as well. it seems.
I'm doing my best to remain patient and see what actually ends up in the plan, though isn't it kinda cool that we mere citizens in the cheap seats are being treated the same as most members of Congress, who also have no real clue what's headed their way? Stay tuned on this one.
What else did we have this week? Well, there was the fascinating tale of the two-dude energy company from Whitefish, MN who landed a $300M contract to restore power to Puerto Rico. There is no reason to think that the company being from the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had anything to do with their getting the contract, but there are LOTS of reasons to look into the deal, including these little nuggets:
- it was a no-bid deal
- it contains a no-audit clause
- it contains a 'no claim against the contractor' clause if work is delayed
- it includes a $330+ per day per worker accommodation payment
- the Governor of Puerto Rico says he wasn't involved in the deal
- FEMA says they weren't involved in the deal
Zinke said he had nothing to do with it either, although he did talk to someone at the firm and that relevant documents would be turned over to the "appropriate officials." Can't you just hear Trey Gowdy (R-Benghazi) saying Whitefish! Whitefish! Whitefish! Nah --- me neither.
Rumor has it that Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican since sliced bread, is not going to run again -- and that Mitt Romney, who is the most popular politician and possibly the most popular human in the entire state of Utah will be his replacement. One good thing about Romney? I've already got a Mittenverse tag in the veritable pastiche inventory.
And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't wish Lee Greenwood a happy birthday.
I know pretty much nothing about Lee Greenwood, except his Proud to be an American song, but because I follow the Tweeter in Chief, I now know it's his birthday.
In case we missed it the first time, there was a second tweet to remind us.
I'm proud to say TGIF.