Donald Lambro


WASHINGTON — Tough-talking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House of Representatives is going to establish an independent commission to investigate who and what led to the murderous mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

A mere two days after former President Donald Trump was acquitted by a bunch of weak-kneed senators frightened of their own shadow, Pelosi dispatched a letter to her Democratic colleagues that the House would soon take up legislation to establish a commission to “investigate and report” on the attack and its interference in Congress’ election proceedings, as well as the need for better security around the Capitol.

Pelosi has already asked retired Army Gen. Russel Honore to reexamine congressional security for improved safety measures.

“It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened,” Pelosi wrote.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who voted for Trump’s acquittal, said he wanted to know more about the timeline of Trump’s actions during this period.

“We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again,” Graham told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

The House voted to impeach Trump a week after the mob crashed its way into the Capitol, smashing windows, breaking into the House and Senate chambers, and rifling through lawmakers’ desks and offices.

The Senate acquitted Trump last Saturday on a 57-43 vote — 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary for conviction.

“There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear, and a 9/11 commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible ... Trump really was,” Sen. Christopher Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Meantime, the economy isn’t what it used to be. Facing deep budget shortfalls, state and local governments have lost 1.3 million jobs — losing more than 1 in 20 government jobs, according to a Washington Post analysis.

While tax revenues grew in some states last year, 26 states saw an overall government employment decline. Texas experienced a 10% shortfall, Alaska had a 43% decline, Florida’s job numbers fell by 10% and Oregon had a 13% drop.

So much for Trump’s boasts of the greatest economy in our history.

Rescuing struggling state and local governments has been at the center of the economic debate in Congress throughout the year. Republicans oppose economic aid bills, calling it a “blue state bailout.”

The city of Dayton, Ohio, offered its 1,800 city employees a voluntary separation. Only 100 took the offer.

“We froze everything last year,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, the vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “When March and April happened, we said, ‘If it doesn’t have to do with the pandemic, we’re not spending.’”

With April’s income tax deadline fast approaching, it may be difficult for the IRS to make good on President Biden’s sweeping $3,000-per-child benefit to help our nation’s poorest families, which congressional Democrats have included in their pandemic tax relief plan.

That’s going to prove to be “a challenge” for the IRS, writes the Washington Post’s economic reporter Jeff Stein.

“This is a very important reform and should be pursued. But there is a big risk here of missing people who ought to be receiving benefits,” Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, told the Post.

The reason, Gleckman says, is that the payments would be sent to parents determined by their income tax returns, marital status and child custodial status from the previous year.

But there are as many as 3.2 million children who live in poor households that do not file federal income tax returns.

“Parents who do not file taxes are likely to be suffering the worst of the financial shock from the pandemic, which has battered those at the lower end of the economic spectrum,” Stein writes.

These are critical points Stein brings up that Biden’s advisers need to address in the midst of a severe economic crisis that is harming our poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

Donald Lambro has been covering Washington politics for more than 50 years as a reporter, editor and commentator.


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