I mentioned yesterday that while the media were distracted with covering (and in some cases, celebrating) the impeachment vote, other important stories were being ignored. For instance, you might have heard that the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA 2020), blandly described as a “national defense bill” to keep the military funded, protect the homeland and give a raise to our soldiers. Naturally, President Trump is expected to sign it. But he might want to read carefully first. It's a textbook illustration of the need for a line item veto.
Here’s what you weren’t told: buried in its thousands of pages were a lot of surprises, including amnesty for about 4,000 Liberian illegal aliens, visas for 4,000 Afghan officials, paid family leave for government employees, and something called the “Fair Chance Act” that bars the government from asking job applicants if they have a criminal record (aren't there enough criminals working in our government already?)
Also tucked away amid all the verbiage is something called the “Parole in Place” act that supposedly helps the families of military members, but that critics say overturns one of Trump’s executive orders tightening immigration law and creates legislative precedent for a future Democratic President to greatly expand amnesty for illegal aliens.
What do programs like this have to do with the military? Only that they’re hidden inside this massive bill like soldiers inside the Trojan Horse.
As Daniel Horowitz in the first article linked above reminds us, this is what James Madison was talking about when he said, “It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
On the plus side, another story that was obscured by the impeachment brouhaha was that while the House was doing what it had no business doing, the Senate was actually taking care of business by confirming 13 more Trump judicial nominees in two days (12 on Thursday alone!) That makes a total of 187 Trump-nominated judges so far, far outstripping Obama.
A spokesman for one leftwing legal organization fumed that this was “the most underrated story of the Trump era.” They accuse Republicans of “stacking the courts,” which I guess is only bad if you do it by winning the White House and Senate, but fine when you do it by rewriting the Constitution to bloat the Supreme Court to 18 seats. Since the left's go-to tactic for imposing policies the public would never vote for is to get unelected judges to write laws, it must be terrifying for them to see the courts getting “stacked” with judges who will actually do their jobs according to the Constitution rather than following Nancy Pelosi’s example and just making it up as they go along.