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Decrying socialism Bobby Jindal wants poor also to pay taxes

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Washington: Deriding Democrats as socialists and fellow Republicans in Washington as weak and too quick to surrender, Indian-American presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal has proposed making everyone – including the poor – pay federal income taxes.

This was the best way to rein in government spending, he said participating in Wednesday night’s undercard CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at Colorado University’s Coors Events Center, in Boulder, Colorado.

“I want every American to worry and care about how those folks in DC are spending our money,” Jindal said. “Socialism is bad. Not only for taxpayers, but for the people they’re trying to help. There’s dignity in work. There’s dignity in self-sufficiency.”

“We are going the way of Europe,” he said at one point. “The left is trying to change the American dream into the European nightmare.”

Jindal joined three other low polling candidates — South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former New York Governor George Pataki — in the hour-long debate ahead of the main debate among top ten Republican candidates.

Taking up the role of the angry conservative, Jindal lobbed insults both at Democrats and at fellow Republicans in Washington, whom he accused of surrendering to Democrats. Jindal also criticized the budget agreement that the House approved Wednesday as a “very bad deal” and blamed the Republicans of Congress for refusing to fight.

“Here’s the problem: the Republicans never want to fight,” Jindal said, picking up on a pet campaign theme.

He praised Democrats for fighting effectively for “socialism.” “Why won’t the Republicans fight half as hard for freedom and opportunity? This is a very bad budget.”

The four undercard Republicans, who have all struggled to gain any momentum in the polls, also took aim at the Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, but they all – including Jindal who has made a habit of attacking Donald Trump – refrained from criticising the party frontrunner .

Jindal ended the debate with an appeal for Americans to think of their country in Christian terms: with faith that a frightening situation could be saved.

“The idea of America is slipping away. As Christians, we believe that the tomb is empty. As Americans we believe that our best days are ahead of us,” Jindal said.

It was a reference to the tomb of Jesus Christ, which Christians believe was found empty because Christ had been resurrected after death.

“We can save the idea of America,” Jindal said. “Before it’s too late.”

(Arun Kumar,IANS)

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Border Security Bill: Debate Furies Over U.S. Presidential “Emergency Powers”

Well it's clear one side is losing and that's the American public, and particularly the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are not being paid or who are not going to work. In terms of the political actors, you know, the polling that we have suggests that most Americans blame President Trump for the shutdown.

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent rides a vehicle on the beach in San Diego, Jan. 9, 2019, seen through the border wall from Tijuana, Mexico. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a border security bill, averting a government shutdown on Friday, but plans to formally declare the southern U.S. border a “national emergency,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

The declaration would clear the way for Trump to authorize new funding for a permanent physical barrier. The move would end contentious negotiations with Congress over funding for the wall, but some legal analysts worry it will set a dangerous precedent for presidents trying to negotiate with Congress.

In January, during a 35-day partial government shutdown caused by a dispute over border wall funding, VOA spoke with John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management at The Brooking Institute, about the legal issues around a possible emergency declaration by the president.

QUESTION: What powers does a president have to declare a national emergency? Could he simply order government funds to be used to build a border wall?

So there are really two questions here. First, under the national emergencies act, the president has a fairly broad power to declare a national emergency. Now the declaration of that emergency is simply that — a declaration. And according to a pretty firm reading of that law, it’s hard to see where there is an exception to the president’s ability to do it.

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In terms of the political actors, you know, the polling that we have suggests that most Americans blame President Trump for the shutdown. Pixabay

The next part of that, though, involves the powers that the president can exercise under that law and there are obvious limitations on that, constitutional limitations and other limitations within the law that the president can’t violate. And unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, we haven’t experienced serious questions about presidential power in this space. So it’s really left as an open question right now, in terms of the extent of presidential power that courts will need to sort out.

Q: Could Democrats block this in Congress? Is there any constitutional precedent for presidents simply going around Congress to fund a priority policy item?

So there is, within the law, the ability of Congress to stop a national emergency. It requires both houses of Congress to vote to say that the national emergency is over. Now democrats can certainly do that alone, in the House. They cannot, however, do it alone in the Senate, it would require several Republican votes.

However, this is the type of exercise of executive power that leaves a lot of Republicans uneasy. And you’re already starting to see those conversations among Senate Republicans, saying that if we’re all right with President Trump doing this over a border wall, would we also be all right with a Democratic president doing this over climate change or other issues?

And so I think it remains to be seen whether Congress will have the votes to stop presidential action in this area, whether they’ll have the political will to do it. But they certainly have the power to stop this type of behavior.

To the second part of your question, you know, presidents have tried to go around Congress in terms of spending money in the past or even moving money around within or across budget lines or accounts in the past.

And frequently presidents are stopped because the spending power in the constitution rests with the Congress and so this creates a real challenge for President Trump if he wants to start moving funds or re-appropriating funds or using funds that are not even appropriated, pushing up against that constitutional protection against that power. So he might have the power to declare a national emergency, but he cannot usurp the Constitution in the exercise of powers during that emergency.

The entrance to the Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art is padlocked as a partial government shutdown continues, in Washington, U.S., Jan. 7, 2019.
The entrance to the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art is padlocked as a partial government shutdown continues, in Washington, U.S., Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

Q: On the politics of the current shutdown, is one side or the other winning? Which sides appears to have an advantage at the moment? How does it end?

Well it’s clear one side is losing and that’s the American public, and particularly the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are not being paid or who are not going to work. In terms of the political actors, you know, the polling that we have suggests that most Americans blame President Trump for the shutdown.

Also Read: Is 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Going To Be The Costliest In History?

A smaller percentage of Americans blame congressional Democrats and smaller still blame congressional Republicans. I think a lot of Americans look at this skeptically and say, “What has changed between the beginning of the president’s term and now that makes this such a dire emergency?” And I think it leaves a lot of Americans scratching their head. President Trump is playing to his base here, but unfortunately his base is a small percentage of the population. And most of the rest of the population is not with him on this issue of the wall. (VOA)