On Monday, the Trump administration and congressional leaders agreed to a budget deal, which the House approved on Thursday. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted on the 2020 and 2021 budgets, which will raise base discretionary spending by $322 billion over the next two years. The budget is the result of a deal made by President Trump and congressional leaders on Monday.

Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst focusing on fiscal affairs at Heritage, said the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 “contains almost no victories for conservatives.”

“Agreeing to this budget deal would flatly contradict the policies this administration has put forward,” said Bogie. “The president has lamented how much the debt grew under President Barack Obama, but if this latest budget deal becomes law, his record will be no better.”

In order to increase spending, the proposed deal raises the discretionary spending caps, which were first set in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act. These spending caps have been raised for all three previous biannual budgets as well.

Of the new $322 billion in spending, $150 billion would be spent on domestic programs, many of which fall outside the proper role of the federal government and should be cut or eliminated instead of receiving additional funding. Just over $170 billion would go toward national defense.

Another point of contention for conservatives is the $738 billion allocated for total military spending, which falls short of the $750 billion requested by Trump.

Rep. Mike Johnson, La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, voiced his displeasure with the budget. “[The budget] increases spending by about $2 trillion over the next 10 years, but provides only $77 billion in offsets.  With more than $22 trillion in debt, we simply cannot afford deals like this one.”

Read more about this budget deal on The Daily Signal:

Watch: The Worst Spending Deal in a Decade

With U.S. debt already reaching crisis levels, this budget represents a turn for the worst. Watch Romina Boccia, director of Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, explain why – and how ­– we can address the debt crisis. America’s Biggest Issues: The Debt Is Mounting. Here’s How to Rescue Our Children’s Future.

How should Congress have set the budget? Read Heritage’s Blueprint for Balance to find out.

What are your thoughts on the 2020-2021 budget?

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is seeking to eliminate the “broad-based categorical eligibility” loophole, which allows people in certain states to qualify for the food stamp program without an asset test. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Rob Undersander, a retired engineer in Waite Park, Minnesota, wasn’t eager to go public about being a millionaire, but he wanted to expose a loophole that would allow wealthy – or at least those not needy – to qualify for food stamps.

So, in June 2016, he filled out an application form at the Stearns County social services office, and despite being very upfront about his wealth, was able to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly referred to as the food stamp program.

Read the full story on The Daily Signal: After Legally Receiving Food Stamps, This Millionaire Is Trying to Change the System

Undersander intentionally set out to expose the systemic flaw in the “broad-based categorical eligibility” policy of SNAP.

The policy allows applicants to bypass an assets test, so someone could qualify for food stamps even if he has property and bank accounts, as long as his income is low enough.

Minnesota is among 34 states which, along with Washington, D.C., use the “broad-based categorical eligibility” loophole that doesn’t check assets

On Tuesday, the Trump administration’s U.S. Department of Agriculture took a step to close this loophole by proposing a new rule that narrows eligibility.

“For too long, this loophole has been used to effectively bypass important eligibility guidelines. Too often, states have misused this flexibility without restraint,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“The guilty party in this fraud has not been the welfare recipient, but the states,” said Robert Rector, senior research fellow for domestic policy studies at Heritage. “Red and blue state governors love to waste federal money. Even the deepest-blue states would never do this with their own money.”

If implemented, the reform could remove as many as 3.1 million recipients from the food stamp program’s rolls and could save roughly $12 billion over the next decade.

From The Daily Signal: Proposed Trump Administration Rule Would Close Eligibility Loophole, Reducing Food Stamp Rolls

What are some other obvious examples of government waste?

We couldn’t help but notice a copy of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution in front of Rep. Mike Turner, Ohio, during the Mueller hearing. (Photo from Fox News)

Former special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday defended his investigation of President Donald Trump and accusations of “collusion” with Russia before the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee last Wednesday.

Fred Lucas, White House correspondent for The Daily Signal, covered the hearing. Read his article: 8 Takeaways From Mueller’s 2 Appearances Before Congress

Those watching the hearing carefully may have noticed on the desk of Rep.  Mike Turner, Ohio, a copy of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution!

Heritage legal experts recently weighed in on the Russia Investigation in the media. Catch some of those highlights here:

What is your reaction to Mueller’s second hearing?

Samantha Renck (left), a member of the Summer 2019 Young Leaders Program, is the host of “Millennial Myths.” For her first episode, she interviewed Daniel DiMartino (right), who told his story of fleeing the corrupt socialist government of his home country, Venezuela.

Heritage has a brand new podcast series called Millennial Myths. It combines “on the street” interviews from around Washington, D.C., with personal stories and expert analysis on every episode. “Millennial Myths” is created by millennials for millennials (and members of Gen Z, who were born between 1997 and 2015).

This podcast was developed by Samantha Renck, a member of the Summer 2019 Young Leaders Program. After making the pitch to the Heritage Communication’s team, she took the reins to make her idea a reality. Communications has put together a strong marketing plan to ensure it reaches young people.

The first season will feature six episodes that will discuss socialism, the Electoral College, identity politics, the gender wage gap, Medicare for All, and the $15 minimum wage.

In the first episode of “Millennial Myths,” Renck asks young Americans what they think about socialism, then debunks the myths with Daniel DiMartino, a college student who was born and raised in Venezuela. Three years ago, Daniel fled his homeland and its corrupt, socialist government.

You can listen to the first two episodes on SoundCloud and also find it on Heritage’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Listen to Millennial Myths here

Heritage produces a growing number of podcasts, including Heritage Explains, The Daily Signal Podcast, SCOTUS 101, The Right Side of History, Heritage Events, Problematic Women, and Justice & Liberty For All. Listen to them all here!

What topics should Millennials and Gen Z be aware of?

The House of Representatives voted to raise the federal minimum wage on Thursday. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 – more than doubling the current rate of $7.25. According to the Congressional Budget Office, increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 has the potential to boost the wages for millions of workers by 2025 – but could also eliminate up to 3.7 million jobs.
Requiring businesses to pay more for the same quality and amount of labor always forces them to cut back somewhere else. Most often, they cut their number of workers.
Heritage labor expert Rachel Greszler sat down with The Daily Signal to discuss the effects of doubling the federal minimum wage. “To boil it down, you could say, what would happen if your mortgage more than doubled, or your rent?” Greszler said. “There would be serious consequences. You would have to cut down on other expenses, you may have to find a new home, some people would be left homeless – and it’s the same scenario with more than doubling the federal minimum wage.”
Listen to the full discussion here.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that he would not take the bill up in the Senate.
Star Parker, president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and contributor to The Daily Signal, takes a look at how the minimum wage debate is used by politicians, and how lawmakers can
truly help the lowest income earners. Read her article here.
How can conservatives better communicate the danger of raising the federal minimum wage?

« Older Entries