What We’re Standing For – June 14th

What We’re Standing For – June 14th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Economic growth 🏭💪

Last week, economists predicted apocalyptic jobs numbers with eight million-plus jobs lost. Instead, the economy bucked predictions and added 2.5 million jobs.

But, the American economy is nowhere close to being out of the woods. We are now officially in a recession, ending the record-setting 128-month economic expansion that began in June 2009. The damage from three months of lockdown, followed by riots and looting in America’s cities, won’t go away in a few weeks. As the economy continues to reopen, there are important steps the country needs to take – and avoid.

What should we do to encourage more good news? For starters, Congress should fix the problems in the hastily-passed stimulus bills. Last week President Trump signed into law a bill that fixes the Paycheck Protection Program by giving businesses more flexibility in how they spend their Small Business Administration loans. This is an important first step. Now, Congress needs to fix the overly generous unemployment benefits, expiring in July, that pay more than the average salary in some cases, encouraging the workforce to stay home and keeping small businesses closed.

Congress should also continue the administration’s good work to permanently eliminate many job-killing regulations that were cut during the pandemic. The federal registry is chock full of thousands of regulations that are nothing more than obstacles to economic growth. Good riddance.

What should we NOT do? Let us make this as simple as possible: DON’T. SPEND. MORE. MONEY.

Congress has already passed $3.6 trillion worth of relief bills, and nearly $2 trillion of that amount has yet to be spent. Yet, Nancy Pelosi is still agitating for her $3 trillion HEROES Act, and Republicans have been right to resist.

Our take: Just a few months ago, American unemployment was at its lowest level in 50 years at 3.5%. All Americans benefited, with black and Hispanic unemployment rates hitting record lows. Then came the COVID-19 shutdown, putting nearly 40 million Americans out of work and decimating the lifeblood of the American economy – small businesses. At least 3.3 million small businesses have closed their doors as a result, and new economic data shows minority business owners have suffered the most. Unemployment in the black community has tripled in just three months. For the sake of all Americans, few things are more important than bringing back a booming economy.

→ Read more: CBO shows Democrats’ plan to extend unemployment benefits would hinder economic comeback (Washington Examiner)

→ Read more: Black business owners’ ranks collapse by 41% in U.S. lockdowns (Bloomberg)




2

A free Taiwan 🇹🇼

For too long, politicians have been cautious in supporting Taiwan, wary of irking the “hidden dragon” – the Chinese Communist Party. Now, China’s growing aggression means it’s time to act: Taiwan’s friends need to stand up for a democracy that has flourished in the shadow of Chinese communism.

Why do we need to be on alert? While the world has been distracted by COVID-19, China is seizing the moment to crack down on Hong Kong, passing a national security law that directly threatens Hong Kong’s basic freedoms and civil rights. We shouldn’t be surprised if China sets its eyes on Taiwan next. While Taiwan has been governed independently since 1949, the communist regime continues to view the island democracy as an “inalienable part” of “one China.”

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What has China done so far? China routinely pressures companies and organizations to recognize Taiwan as part of China and throws tantrums at the slightest hint of favor towards Taiwan. China’s communist regime continues to block Taiwan’s membership in the World Health Organization and has repeatedly meddled in Taiwan’s elections, trying to boost the pro-China opposition party over the democratically-elected ruling party. Just this week, the Taiwanese air force chased off multiple Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighters that entered Taiwan’s airspace.

What can the U.S. do to help? Taiwan has long been on the outside of the international community. The United States has a defense agreement with Taiwan and we sell them military equipment to defend themselves from Chinese aggression. But there is much more we can do to support the free people of Taiwan. Remember Taiwan’s efforts to warn the world about COVID’s dangers as China continued to lie.

The time has come to shift the U.S. relationship with Taiwan in a meaningful way – militarily, economically, and diplomatically. There is broad, bipartisan support for Taiwan in Congress, which should take bold action to support America’s interests – and our friend, Taiwan.

→ Read more: As China takes over Hong Kong, don’t forget to protect Taiwan (Washington Examiner)

→ Read more: Rep. Mike Gallagher: It’s Time to Stand with Taiwan (National Review)

→ Read more: Should the US move to strengthen ties with Taiwan? (The Hill)




2

A strong America

A new congressional task force supports what we’ve long argued at Stand For America: Defending our country requires standing up to our adversaries – namely China, Iran, and Russia.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) report, “Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats” includes more than 130 strong policy recommendations for Congress, with a focus on the growing threat that China’s communist government poses to the United States. Here are a few:

→ Stopping the Chinese Communist Party from stealing American intellectual property and sanctioning Chinese companies and officials that do

→ Holding China accountable for violating Hong Kong’s freedom and its continued abuses of the Uighur minority

→ Helping Taiwan regain its observer status at the WHO

→ Confronting China’s military threat by working with our allies in the region, especially Japan and India

The report also recommends that the United States reform its foreign aid practices. While aid can be a useful diplomatic tool, we should not reward countries that routinely oppose U.S. interests with millions of dollars. Amb. Haley fought for this issue at the United Nations, arguing that any money we give abroad should align with American interests at home.


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→ Read more: Read the full RSC report (report)

→ Read more: Amb. Nikki Haley: American foreign aid should only go to our friends (Fox News)



things to stand against

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Defunding the police

You might have seen the hashtag #defundthepolice circulating on social media, but this radical proposal isn’t just on the fringes of Twitter. This week a majority of the Minneapolis city council members pledged to disband the police and the city council president said she aspired to a “police-free society.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to cut police funding in response to demands from the far-left.

If you’re shocked by this idea, you’re not alone. Even Democrat politicians like Joe Biden get it’s a terrible idea. You know who else agrees? Researchers and the majority of the American people.

Why is it a terrible idea? Yes, reforms are important, but there is evidence showing that increased law enforcement presence reduces crime. Conversely, evidence shows when law enforcement pulls back instead of improving policing, crime increases.

What happened in the past when police presence was reduced? In 2015, police community contacts in Chicago dropped 90% following the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a police officer. What happened? Shootings went up 87% compared with the same period in 2014. In the same year, Baltimore police interaction dropped to zero after Freddie Gray died in police custody. What happened? The 2015 per capita murder rate was the highest in the city’s history.

Our take: Bad actors need to be held responsible, and states and cities should enact reforms. Camden, NJ – once among the deadliest cities in America – has had marked success in making the city safer for both its residents and police officers, with homicides falling 62% between 2012-2019 and violent crime falling by nearly half from its 2011 peak. How did Camden do it? By increasing the police force by more than 60% – from 250 to 411 officers – renegotiating union contracts, and by focusing on building better relations between law enforcement officers and the citizens they protect.

Law enforcement is there to help all of America’s families and communities. Calling for reforms is important, but demonizing the police does nothing to keep our communities safe. Quite the opposite.

→ Read more: Defund police, watch crime return (Wall Street Journal)

→ Read more: The media urge to explain away ‘defund the police’ (National Review)

→ Read more: America, we are leaving (lawofficer.com)




what we’re smiling about

Throughout the lockdown, teachers have been forced to think creatively – not just about how to teach their students over Zoom, but also how to show them they care. And boy have they delivered. A Pennsylvania teacher drove up in a Rita’s water ice truck and gave away free water ice treats to her fourth graders and their families. A teacher in the Netherlands missed her students so much, she knit 23 miniature dolls to represent them. And this Florida teacher used simple homemade signs to show his love. Let’s hear it for all the teachers who go the extra mile. 👏🎉




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Sign Our New Stop Communist China Petition

Sign Our New Stop Communist China Petition

Today, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley launched the Stop Communist China petition to Congress from her advocacy organization, Stand For America. The policies proposed in the petition would investigate China for its role in the COVID-19 crisis and take measures to halt China’s influence in America and around the world.

“We have long warned about the threats China’s Communist government poses. Now, in a time of crisis, we are seeing just how dangerous China is. The time for warnings is over. We must act and protect American security, health, and prosperity,” said Ambassador Haley.

Specifically the petition calls on Congress to do five key things:

1) Investigate the Communist Chinese government’s role in covering up the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

2) End China’s stranglehold on critically-important supplies. Bring manufacturing of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals back to America.

3) Make China pay the UN and other international organizations’ like the second largest economy in the world should — no more being treated like a poor “developing country.”

4) Support Taiwan. Push back against Communist China’s bullying and allow Taiwan to join the World Health Organization (WHO).

5) Require American colleges and universities to disclose all Chinese Communist government funding of professors and researchers.

For more information or to sign the petition please visit: www.StopCommunistChina.com.

What We’re Standing For – April 18th

What We’re Standing For – April 18th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Helping small businesses

With the economy shut down and unemployment claims already topping 20 million, small businesses need money to keep Americans employed. Several weeks ago, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as part of the CARES Act with that goal. But the $350 billion program has already run out of money with more than 1,637,000 loan applications approved.

What now? Senate Republicans made a push this week to replenish the PPP with an additional $250 billion, but Senate Democrats objected to the move. Nancy Pelosi went so far as to congratulate Chuck Schumer for killing the additional funds.

What’s their beef? Democrats are insisting on adding additional items to release the funding, including money for hospitals (which are already receiving aid) and cash-strapped states. Democrats also want to add red tape to the loan process and new rules on how the money is administered.

Why is this so important? Small businesses are more than 99% of all U.S. businesses, 44% of the U.S. economy (in terms of GDP) and almost half of the entire labor force. U.S. small businesses create between 1.5 and 1.8 million jobs annually, or 64% of all new jobs in America. Giving these employees and businesses a lifeline to weather the economic shutdown will ensure a much faster recovery when we hit the restart button.

→ Read more: Democrats want to gum up payroll protection (Wall Street Journal )

→ Read more: Dem senators break with leadership, call for immediate small business funding (Washington Free Beacon )



2

Withholding WHO $$$

This week, the Trump administration halted funding for the World Health Organization pending an investigation into how the UN agency has handled the coronavirus outbreak.

The why: The decision came after months of WHO leaders kowtowing to China, pushing Chinese propaganda, and downplaying the coronavirus pandemic. As late as Jan. 14, the WHO argued that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus” and waited until Jan. 30 to declare a “public-health emergency.”

The how: The money is on hold for now, pending a 60 to 90-day White House review. While the administration can ultimately redirect some WHO funding, it can’t cut money without congressional action. Congress will be key to ensuring accountability for the WHO. And this week, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and conservative Senate colleagues called for the United States, along with Japan and South Korea, to open an investigation into the WHO and the origins of COVID-19 – a good first step.

The how (much): The United States contributes by far the most money to the WHO. From 2018 to 2019, we contributed $893 million in membership dues and voluntary donations combined – more than 10 times China’s $86 million. In 2020, U.S. dues will come to $116 million, not including voluntary contributions, which account for hundreds of millions of dollars more.

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Our take: Amb. Haley has long highlighted the dangerous corruption and bias plaguing UN agencies (Exhibit A: the Human Rights Council). In the case of the WHO, the United States is sending an important message that there is a price to be paid for siding with China’s Communist government. The same should be true for other UN agencies that cover up China’s human rights violations and fall prey to its propaganda machine. The United States should not continue to pour taxpayer dollars into any organization that actively boosts Chinese power.

→ Watch more: Amb. Haley on WHO funding (Twitter)

→ Read more: Trump is right about the WHO (National Review)

→ Read more: How it all started: China’s early coronavirus missteps (Wall Street Journal )



things to stand against

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Dependence on China

The mask shortage plaguing our healthcare workers is partly a result of a dangerous dependence on China, which makes half the world’s supply. Now, a new roadblock underscores the need for America to reconsider how and where it manufactures key medical equipment and supplies.

Due to new Chinese export restrictions, large amounts of protective gear and medical products produced by American companies are sitting in Chinese warehouses unable to travel. Chinese officials claim the new restrictions are meant as a quality control measure, and to make sure China isn’t shipping goods it needs for its own people.

Our take: The United States needs to rethink its critical manufacturing needs – and quickly. The coronavirus pandemic is a wakeup call. America should never put itself in a position where it is at China’s mercy for lifesaving or national security supplies. We need more made in America.

→ Read more: China’s export restrictions strand medical goods U.S. needs to fight coronavirus, State Department says (Wall Street Journal )


what we’re smiling about

This week, Amb. Haley was nominated to join the #CombatCOVID19Challenge. The challenge calls on us to do a good deed for our community within 48 hours of being challenged. She teamed up with two food banks and started the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Campaign calling on all good neighbors to do their part to help a family in need today. To learn more or to participate click here.

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“In times of unprecedented crisis, we are seeing thousands of people who have lost their jobs and their businesses. Whether it is supporting children, veterans, or the neighbor around the corner, this is when America shines. We don’t have to know a person in need to want to help them. Please take a moment, count your blessings, and consider joining in. Whether it is $10, $25, $100 or whatever you can give, you will be showing your neighbors that they are not alone.” – Amb. Haley


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What We’re Standing For – April 11th

What We’re Standing For – April 11th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Governors taking charge

Amb. Haley published an op-ed in The New York Times this week praising governors for their work in tackling the coronavirus pandemic. While the federal government has a role to play in national crises, this crisis demonstrates the important role governors play in meeting the unique needs of their states.

“Governors are the most successful when they are given the flexibility to lead. The federal government can provide the resources, but it should not take away too much flexibility. New York is not New Mexico. South Dakota is not South Carolina.”

Read the whole op-ed at nytimes.com.

Our take: We’ve already seen governors loosening regulations and enacting executive orders to keep people safe and help administer health care. Looking ahead, they will play an essential role in our recovery, making decisions about how and when to reopen schools and businesses, and helping Americans get back to our normal way of life. Governors at the forefront – this is the way it should be.



things to stand against

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Chinese control over the WHO

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) mishandling of the COVID crisis raises serious questions about China’s influence over the organization that should be investigated. Amb. Haley was on Fox & Friends on Friday morning discussing the concerns surrounding the WHO.

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What is the WHO? The WHO is an agency within the United Nations responsible for international health concerns, including to “prepare for…prevent…detect and respond to” global health emergencies.

How did the WHO respond to the coronavirus pandemic? As coronavirus spread throughout China in December and January, WHO leaders parroted the Chinese. On Jan. 14, the WHO declared that there is “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.” Later that month, the WHO’s director-general praised President Xi Jinping’s handling of the outbreak, while the WHO refused to declare a public health emergency until Jan. 30.

Who funds the WHO? The United States is the top funder of the WHO, giving the organization $400 million in 2019. In comparison, China gave the WHO $44 million.

How has the U.S. reacted? Members of Congress have called for an investigation into the WHO and a review of WHO funding, with the Trump administration even talking about potential funding cuts.

Our take: China’s influence over the WHO is just one part of China’s bigger campaign to infiltrate global organizations like the UN, shape public opinion in its favor, and grow its power. China now holds the top position in the UN agencies that oversee civil aviation and food and agriculture, with the goal of setting global standards that work to its advantage. The United States – including under Amb. Haley’s leadership at the UN – has worked hard to counter the Chinese threat on all fronts, but there is still more to do.

“The president is right to threaten WHO funding. I saw many times at the UN that the threat of pulling funding gets the attention of the UN leadership. And it should. America is the biggest funder of both the UN and the WHO. We don’t get the return that is fitting our investment. So, we absolutely should use our funding as leverage. And if they don’t improve, we always have the option of withdrawing.” – Amb. Haley

→ Watch more: Amb. Haley on the Sean Hannity show (Twitter)

→ Read more: WHO failed (National Review Online)

→ Read more: World Health coronavirus disinformation (Wall Street Journal )

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Socialism-lite

Bernie Sanders may be officially done with his presidential run as of this Wednesday, but the ghost of his far-left policies still lingers. Now, Joe Biden is adopting some of Sanders’ policies in an effort to secure Sanders’ endorsement and unite the various wings on the left.

In an appeal to the Medicare for All crowd (AKA socialized medicine), Biden announced a proposal to lower the Medicare age from 65 to 60. Biden also announced support for forgiving certain student loans – another nod to the Sanders-Warren wing of the party.

Bernie or Biden, it doesn’t matter. We must be wary of creeping socialist policies no matter who they come from.

→ Read more: The Democratic Party’s socialist makeover is only delayed (Commentary )

→ Read more: Moderate Joe moves left (Wall Street Journal )



what we’re smiling about

Social distancing is hard, but a 97-year-old World War II veteran keeps his spirits up by dancing to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” We can add #DancingGoals to our to-do list.




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What We’re Standing For – April 4th

What We’re Standing For – April 4th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Keeping the pressure on China

As China looks to expand its global influence, it’s critical that the United States keep the pressure on the Communist Chinese government when it comes to national security issues, not only on coronavirus.

Technology
The Trump administration is set to tighten rules preventing China from acquiring U.S. private sector technology and using it for military purposes, something Ambassador Haley has loudly warned about.



→ What would the new rules do? The tightened rules would make it harder for Chinese companies to buy optical materials, radar equipment, semiconductors, and other sensitive technologies from the United States. The rules are still awaiting President Trump’s final approval.

→ Why are these rules so important? Official Chinese policy, called “civil-military fusion”, purposely funnels commercial technology to its military. That means we can’t assume that U.S. technology exports will be used for peaceful means.

Taiwan
Last week, President Trump signed into law a bill that increases American support for Taiwan. The Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act requires the State Department to report to Congress on steps taken to strengthen relations between the United States and Taiwan, and directs the U.S. to consider “altering” its relationship with countries that take “significant actions to undermine the security or prosperity of Taiwan.”

→ Why is this so important? China considers Taiwan a breakaway province and has prevented Taiwan’s participation in global organizations like the World Health Organization. China has also recently amplified its bullying of Taiwan, attempting to meddle in its national election and increasing military drills in its vicinity. The TAIPEI Act is a step in the right direction of formalizing U.S. support for Taiwan, despite China’s objections.

→ How did Taiwan react? Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen posted a picture of the Taiwanese flag flying next to the American flag and wrote, “Friends in freedom, partners in prosperity.”

→ Read more: Taiwan to donate 10 million masks to Europe and U.S. (ABC News)



2

Fighting for Venezuelan democracy

The United States isn’t letting up pressure on the corrupt socialist Maduro regime either.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Nicolás Maduro and his socialist cronies on charges of drug trafficking and conspiring with terrorists, and offered a $15 million reward for their arrests.

And this week, the Trump administration offered to lift sanctions on Venezuela in exchange for holding new elections, in the hopes of resolving the longstanding crisis in the country. The plan requires both socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó – recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate leader by the United States and dozens of other countries – to step aside and allow for a transitional government until elections could be held. Guaidó would stay on as National Assembly president in the meantime.

Will it work? It’s unlikely that Maduro – a man who has plunged his people into poverty and hunger – will willingly relinquish his grip on power.

So why bother? It’s essential that the United States continue to show support for Venezuelan democracy and the Venezuelan people who have been fighting against the corrupt Maduro dictatorship since last year. Nearly five million people have fled the country. And public services, including the health care system, have all but collapsed, making the Venezuelan people especially vulnerable as coronavirus spreads.

→ Read more: Trump administration indicts Maduro on drug charges (Fox News)

→ Read more: Trump doubles U.S. military assets in Caribbean, bolstering drug fight after Maduro indictment (Reuters)



things to stand against

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Irresponsible spending

With the ink barely dry on the $2.2 trillion relief bill – the third phase of coronavirus legislation – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is already talking about “phase four.”

Remember how Pelosi tried to stuff the CARES Act with wasteful pork? Now she is getting ready to push for another spending package, and conservatives are sounding the alarm.

What was the reaction: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) didn’t buy what Pelosi was selling, responding: “She needs to stand down on the notion that we’re going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis.” The pushback appears to have been successful. As of yesterday, Pelosi backed down from calling for a bill with items completely unrelated to the crisis, saying she’ll focus on a targeted package instead.

Our take: Congress just passed a $2.2 trillion relief bill that needs to work its way through the system. We should absolutely help people, healthcare responders, and small businesses deal with the crisis at hand, but we should not load up another trillion-dollar (plus) bill with items that have nothing to do with the current emergency.

What we’re watching: One proposal under discussion would offer additional money to states. But some liberal states (Illinois comes to mind) have been irresponsibly spending and taxing their way into a fiscal disaster for years. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to bail out their mistakes in exchange for getting legitimate aid to people in need.

→ Read more: Pelosi abandons sweeping coronavirus legislative agenda, agrees to narrowly-tailored phase-4 relief bill (National Review Online)

→ Read more: McConnell and Pelosi draw coronavirus battle lines (POLITICO )

→ Read more: Pelosi pitches a blue-state bailout (Wall Street Journal )



what we’re smiling about

Heroes come in all different forms. Of course, we are so grateful to the doctors, nurses, and first responders who are saving lives day and night. But we are also grateful to the grocery store workers who take a risk every day to make sure we all have food to eat. Kudos to Kroger for recognizing the important role these workers play and offering them a “hero bonus.” It’s well-deserved.




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What We’re Standing For – March 28th

What We’re Standing For – March 28th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Getting tough on China

The coronavirus epidemic shines a bright light on a major fault line in U.S. trade policy: We have relied on China for vital supplies and products for far too long.

Exhibit A: As hospitals beg for more medical masks, America is forced to face the economic reality that China produces about half of the world’s supply. But China has been reluctant to share.

At the same time, China is running a full-fledged propaganda campaign to paper over its dangerous role in the outbreak, withholding important information about the virus, silencing whistleblowers, and using social media to promote its “do-good” efforts.

The lesson: Free trade is good, but we need to use common sense. We can’t rely on hostile countries for vital products or components in our supply chain, like medical supplies, drugs, or essential materials for our national security.

Taking action: Last week, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Michael Gallagher (R-WI) introduced legislation to end U.S. dependency on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing. And the Trump administration has been working closely with the U.S. private sector – partnering with companies like Ford and HP – to ramp up production for vital supplies.

→ Read more: The U.S. needs China’s masks, as acrimony grows (New York Times )

→ Read more: How 3M plans to make more than a billion masks by end of year (Bloomberg Businessweek)



2

People stepping up

Private businesses and people all across the country have been stepping up to help others in need during this crisis.

Embroidery companies, fashion designers, and a veteran-owned shirt company are all switching gears to produce desperately needed masks… Volunteers are sewing masks… retired nurses and doctors are coming out of retirement to jump into the heat of the battle… distilleries are now producing hand sanitizer… and people (as young as 13!) with access to 3D printers are printing respirator valves and masks.

This is America at its best. When times are tough, our citizens rise to the occasion, meeting challenges with courage, generosity and determination. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the good in this world.

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things to stand against

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Pork

No, we’re not talking about breakfast bacon. We’re talking about wasteful spending that gets stuffed into emergency spending bills that have nothing to do with the crisis at hand.

Before the Senate passed its $2 trillion coronavirus aid package, Nancy Pelosi released her own version. Coming in at 1,432-pages, the liberal bill was chock full of absurd demands that had nothing to do with the current health or economic crisis, like a $25 billion bailout for USPS and $33 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It also included non-emergency related liberal mandates like forcing airlines to offset carbon emissions, requiring companies and their boards to report on diversity in exchange for accepting loans, and forcing states to implement early voting.

Republicans were able to eliminate many of these items, but Pelosi managed to sneak in a few, including:

• $75 million for public broadcasting and radio
• $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
• $75 million (down from $300 million) each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities

Our take: Every dollar spent on liberal pork is a dollar less spent on helping businesses and workers who desperately need a hand right now. It seems like Congress is incapable of passing a spending bill without slipping in pork and special favors for its friends.

This is how Washington has worked for years: backroom deals in the middle of the night, with taxpayers on the hook. This is why trust in Congress is so low. Hmm… Maybe term limits can help with that?

→ Read more: Nancy Pelosi’s 1,400-page coronavirus-relief boondoggle (National Review Online)

→ Read more: ‘Have we learned nothing?’ ( POLITICO Magazine)



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Even higher deficits

Now that the coronavirus aid package has passed, it’s worth asking: Just how much is $2 trillion? A LOT. This is the largest stimulus bill in modern history. To put things in perspective, the entire U.S. budget for fiscal year 2020 was already $4.7 trillion. So $2 trillion is a 30% increase in the amount the federal government was supposed to spend this year. Or, to put it another way, $2 trillion is 10% of our annual gross domestic product.

America’s deficit and debt levels were already irresponsibly high considering we were enjoying a booming economy. While people certainly need help in this crisis, Congress will have to tackle America’s looming debt problem sooner rather than later.

How much is our current deficit? Prior to coronavirus, the U.S. budget deficit was set to hit $1 – $1.5 trillion this fiscal year. Now, estimates have risen to $1.7 – $2.1 trillion for this year and $1.5 – $2.5 trillion in 2021.

What about our national debt? Our debt is the cumulative amount of all our deficits year after year. It currently sits at a whopping $23.5 trillion and could surpass $25 trillion after we come through coronavirus.

Do deficits matter? This is a long and thorny policy debate, but in a nutshell: At some point, yes. Unlike state governments that rely on spending cuts or tax increases to plug budget holes, the federal government has the option of borrowing money or releasing additional dollars into the economy. But here’s the problem: Borrowed money needs to be paid back eventually when the lenders come knocking, and a flood of dollars will eventually cause inflation.

Either way, America will have to deal with its soaring debt someday soon. The faster the debt climbs, the sooner that day will come.



what we’re smiling about

Families are finding creative ways to come together during this social distancing period. One of our favorites is this dancing trio.


What We’re Standing For – March 21st

What We’re Standing For – March 21st

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

American workers

Over the past week, our economy has ground to a halt in an effort to stop the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Businesses of all sizes and American workers are hurting – badly. It’s clear we need to do something, and Congress has to act quickly, but not all “solutions” are created equal.

In the rush to get much-needed aid to the American people, Congress should be smart about what that aid looks like. Here is some advice:

→ DO expand our hospital capacity, produce more medical equipment, and protect our health care providers. We will only really start recovering when the American people get back to work, and that needs to happen as soon as is safely possible.
→ DON’T bail out individual industries, pick winners and losers, or pass a bloated stimulus package. The entire economy is affected, and no single sector should receive preferential treatment.
→ DO focus on helping small and medium-sized American companies – not just corporations. Increasing liquidity will make the difference for these businesses to get through the crisis.
→ DON’T impose new federal mandates and costs on already struggling businesses. Expensive mandates will only push companies to lay off workers.
→ DO expand unemployment insurance (temporarily), making it available immediately to employees who are granted temporary leave.
→ DO provide relief for needy families through existing government safety nets, rather than creating new bureaucracies, and focus on giving states the flexibility to meet the needs of their citizens.

At a time when Washington has never seemed more toxic, it’s a positive sign that Congress has been so quick to work together to take action. Looking ahead, elected officials need to prioritize helping Americans immediately without harming taxpayers long-term.

And it’s important for us all to remember: Americans have faced many crises in our history. Not only do we always overcome them, we come out stronger. We will win this battle too.



2

Cutting red tape

Federal and state governments are getting creative – cutting onerous regulations that slow us down at a time when we need to move quickly and decisively to help the economy and keep Americans healthy. Here are just a handful of examples big and small.

→ Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker allowed medical professionals who are licensed in other states to become licensed in Massachusetts within a day to combat a shortage of medical workers.
→ Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb relaxed restrictions governing truck drivers’ hours, so they can deliver food to grocery stores.
→ South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster waived regulations so nursing and medical students can help out in overwhelmed hospitals.
→ Texas Gov. Greg Abbott changed rules to allow work-study students to continue to receive funding even as campuses empty out and colleges move classes online.
→ The Trump administration lifted Medicare restrictions on telehealth visits, allowing seniors to visit with their doctors by phone or videoconferencing. The administration also granted HIPPA waivers that will allow doctors to share important information and treat patients faster.

Read more: Here are more regulatory reforms that can help people during this crisis.



things to stand against

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Doubling down on socialism

During Sunday night’s debate, Bernie Sanders doubled down on socialism, using coronavirus to push for socialized medicine.

“This coronavirus pandemic exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunctionality of our current health care system… One of the reasons we are unprepared and have been unprepared is we don’t have a system. We’ve got thousands of private insurance plans.”

Sanders has been joined by other liberals, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But Biden’s decisive win in Tuesday night’s primaries – after rejecting Medicare for All – should put the nail in that coffin (though Biden’s health care solutions are not much better).

→ Read more: No, coronavirus doesn’t strengthen the case for Medicare for All.



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Chinese propaganda machine

After withholding vital information about the spread of coronavirus in China, the Communist government is now engaged in a widespread propaganda effort to erase China’s fatal missteps and lack of transparency.

The New York Times analyzed thousands of tweets from Chinese state-owned media and diplomats and found a deliberate effort to push a rosy view of China’s coronavirus response. Tweets reveal a narrative that paints China as a “selfless leader” in the fight against the virus. At the same time, China is actively working to deny the origin of the virus in Wuhan and eliminate criticism from its own people. Watch the New York Times video here.

Silver lining: Journalists in China are fighting back.

Our take: This is par for the course for Chinese Communist leaders who have a long history of stifling critical speech and engaging in aggressive propaganda campaigns. But this time, there are widespread deadly consequences – the likes of which the modern world has never seen. It’s up to each one of us to call out the propaganda and set the record straight.

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→ Read more: In an effort to control its message, the Communist regime continues to banish foreign journalists from China.



what we’re smiling about

In the middle of a crisis, people still find a way to smile, even laugh. These folks are finding all kinds of creative ways to entertain themselves – and us.

Finding new ways to stay fit…
Sometimes, it’s okay to hide from your kids…
Finding creative ways to stay safe…
A very Kentucky solution to taking hand sanitizer on a plane… Thanks Rep. Yarmuth for this gem.
And if you’ve run out of Netflix ideas, here’s a new way to pass the time…




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What We’re Standing For – March 14th

What We’re Standing For – March 14th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Kindness and common sense

It’s been a tough week, and the weeks ahead may get tougher. As we face new health challenges and growing uncertainty, we can never have too much kindness and common sense.

Let’s remember that we can all play a role in curbing the spread of coronavirus – and yes, it will require personal sacrifices. Let’s remember that panic will not cure what ails us and will only make a difficult situation worse.

We WILL get through this, but we will get through it faster if we all work together and look out for each other.

Visit www.coronavirus.gov to make sure you have the most up-to-date information and are taking the right steps to stay healthy.



things to stand against

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Oil market manipulation 🛢

Oil prices plummeted this week amid a price war between two of the world’s largest crude producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia. While neither country is innocent in this ongoing ego battle, Russia has sought to exploit the crisis to hit the American economy.

Why did oil prices drop so low? As coronavirus spreads, global oil markets took a hit. Fewer people traveling and factories halting production – especially in China – means less demand for oil. And as oil demand decreases, prices fall.

What does that have to do with Russia? Saudi Arabia called on OPEC members to cut oil production to stabilize prices globally, but Russia refused to comply, triggering a price war between the two oil-rich countries.

What’s Russia’s beef? Putin was motivated partly by simmering Saudi-Russian tensions, but also by a desire to undercut the United States economically. Thanks to America’s domestic shale boom, U.S. oil has become a cheaper energy alternative, with the United States overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world’s top producer. Americans no longer rely on foreign oil like they used to, and American oil and natural gas are valuable exports around the world. After losing significant marketshare, Putin now sees an opportunity to disrupt U.S. companies, shore up his own economy and power, and retaliate against Washington for recent sanctions.

Who will win? The Wall Street Journal points out that a prolonged price war would certainly hurt U.S. shale production, but would hardly defeat it. America has the the natural resources, the infrastructure, the smarts, and private institutions to weather this battle between Putin and the Crown Prince. Both Russia and Saudi Arabia’s economies, however, rely too heavily on oil. A prolonged price war will hurt them more than it hurts us. Plus, lower prices are good for American consumers and businesses.

Read more: Putin’s oil antics coincide with constitutional changes that will allow him to run for president yet again in 2024 and remain in office through 2036. Russia’s parliament backed the changes nearly unanimously, with one lone vote of dissent.


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The International Criminal Court ⚖️

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has officially ruined any shred of credibility with its announcement that it intends to move forward with an investigation into the United States for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan – despite the fact that it has no legal authority to do so.

What is the ICC: The ICC was created in 2002 in The Hague with the goal of trying crimes against humanity when a country refused or lacked the ability to do so on its own. Hint: not the United States.

Is the United States a member? The Clinton administration signed the United States on to the ICC, but the Bush administration withdrew from it in 2002. The Bush administration argued – correctly – that a politically-motivated ICC would target the United States and infringe on American sovereignty.

How did this happen: A year ago, the ICC unanimously rejected the request to open the investigation, a decision applauded by the Trump administration. Now the court’s Appeals Chamber is giving the go-ahead. The kicker? The court will investigate America alongside the Taliban. Talk about false moral equivalence.

How has the U.S. government responded: In an emoji: . The Trump administration correctly argued that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the ICC as “an unaccountable political institution masquerading as a legal body.”

Read more: The ICC is also targeting Israel. In December 2019, the ICC’s chief prosecutor announced it would investigate Israel for alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories, at the request of, you guessed it, the Palestinians.

Our takeaway: Just like the UN Human Rights Council, the ICC has devolved into a politically motivated circus , taking potshots at democratic countries when it should be focused on trying evil dictators across the globe. Bashar al-Assad and Nicolás Maduro come to mind.


what we’re smiling about

COVID-19 may have isolated some of us, but communities are still coming together in spirit. This week, parents at two Vermont schools set up a fundraising campaign for janitorial staff who went “above and beyond” to sanitize their kids’ schools. Over $6,300 was raised as a token of appreciation for staff who worked tirelessly while the schools were closed.


What We’re Standing For – March 7th

What We’re Standing For – March 7th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Telling the truth about socialism

Stand For America launched a new #NeverSocialism video series this week, highlighting our conversations with people who have experienced socialism first-hand and know just how dangerous total government control truly is.

Our inaugural video features Giancarlo Sopo, whose family fled Cuba to escape Fidel Castro’s socialist dictatorship. His story is a stark message to young Americans who are flocking to the far-left’s socialist ideas.

“What young Americans need to understand about their free enterprise system is that all the luxuries and privileges that we enjoy should not be taken for granted. For most of human history, human beings have lived in abject poverty. Everything that we enjoy today has been made possible by a free market system…”

Watch Giancarlo’s story here or below.

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things to stand against

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Biden’s big government

For a long time, Joe Biden’s platform could be summed up in two words: Not Bernie. Now that his campaign has had a miraculous recovery, it’s worth asking: What are Biden’s policy plans? And how much will they cost?

The big takeaway: Biden’s platform takes Obama’s big-government policies and moves them even further to the left: More government, more taxes, more spending. It’s just not AS BIG as Bernie’s socialist dystopia. But that doesn’t make Biden a limited government guy by any stretch of the imagination.

Biden’s $1.7 trillion climate plan focuses on moving away from fossil fuels. But Biden also embraced the ideas in the Green New Deal, which comes with a much higher price tag.

Biden’s health care plan would constitute a massive expansion of government-controlled health care. It goes far beyond Obamacare by giving people the option to join a government-run plan. Ultimately, Biden’s $750 billion public option could have the same result as Bernie’s socialized medicine by driving private insurance out of the marketplace.

Biden’s $750 billion education plan calls for a massive increase in federal spending.

How to pay for all these programs? With tax increases, of course! Biden called for $4 trillion in tax increases (over 10 years), including raising the corporate tax rate. The Biden campaign claims his tax hikes would only hit top earners, but an analysis by the left-leaning Tax Policy Center shows middle-income households would see their tax bills go up, too.

Eager to show off his liberal credentials, Biden is actually touting his tax hikes on the campaign trail. Watch below.

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Chinese forced labor

What’s new? We’ve been condemning China’s surveillance and incarceration of its Uighur Muslim population – who are being oppressed for their religious beliefs – for a long time. This week, an Australian think tank released a report showing that many American companies use supply chains that rely on forced Uighur labor, including Apple, Gap, and Nike.

What’s happening: The Australian report estimates (conservatively) that 80,000 Uighurs were transferred to Chinese factories and put to work between 2017 and 2019.

Why it matters: It’s against the law for American companies to use forced labor, and businesses should obviously abide by the law. Just as importantly, American companies should not aid the Chinese government’s oppression of its own people. At a time when many American companies are preaching corporate responsibility at home, they should pay close attention to their actions abroad.

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Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)

The anti-Israel liberals are at it again. It’s bad enough that Bernie Sanders refused to attend AIPAC, calling it a platform for “bigotry.” Now, his liberal colleagues in the House of Representatives blocked an anti-BDS bill from a vote.

What would the bill do? The bill would forbid domestic support for foreign boycotts from entities like the UN Human Rights Council and the European Union. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) sponsored the legislation after the Human Rights Council recently issued a blacklist of Israeli companies that do business in the West Bank. Democrats voted along party lines to stop the bill from being considered in the House.

Our take: The UN Human Rights Council – which houses human rights violators like Venezuela and Sudan – unfairly targeted Israel with its blacklist, while doing nothing about the atrocious human rights abuses in places like China, Cuba, and many other countries. It is appalling that liberals in the United States refuse to take a stand.

We support members of Congress fighting for this legislation to pass.

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what we’re smiling about 🥜

This week marked national #peanutbutterloversday! The hashtag holiday, (yes that’s a thing), saw fans of the timeless spread sharing their love via social media and paying tribute to the unnamed doctor credited with first providing peanut butter to his patients in 1890 to help people who couldn’t chew. Even the monkeys got in on the fun.



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What We’re Standing For – February 29th

What We’re Standing For – February 29th

Stand for America

What we are standing for

One

Capitalism

Ambassador Haley gave a robust defense of capitalism this week in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and in a speech at the Hudson Institute.

The debate: The assault on capitalism is not just on the left. Yes, Bernie Sanders and his socialist squad pose a threat to our free-market system, but some on the right are embracing what Amb. Haley calls “a watered-down or hyphenated capitalism, which is the slow path to socialism.”

“Mark me down as a capitalist:” Amb. Haley argues that she has seen the dangers of socialism up close as ambassador to the UN. Socialism is the dangerous idea that “government should control your ideas, your property, your money, your lives,” and it has failed everywhere it’s been tried. Capitalism is the reason people all over the the world are healthier, wealthier, and freer than ever before – and we shouldn’t be afraid to say so.

Capitalism works for everyone: Amb. Haley challenges those who say that capitalism only works for the wealthy and big corporations by sharing her own experience as governor of South Carolina. By getting government out of the way and focusing on creating an environment for businesses to succeed, the state brought in $20 billion in new capital investment and recruited new companies from around the world. The result? The unemployment rate hit a 15-year low during her tenure and more South Carolinians were working than ever before.

The bottom line: We don’t need to apologize for capitalism. We need to celebrate its successes.

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→ Watch more: Watch Ambassador Haley’s speech at the Hudson Institute defending our free-market system here.



things to stand against

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Glorifying Socialism ☭

Bernie Sanders’ praise of socialists and communists abroad is not new. But the Democrat front-runner doubled down this weekend, praising Fidel Castro, a Communist dictator who repressed the people of Cuba for more than five decades:

“When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” – Bernie Sanders

Our take: Socialist and communist policies make the lives of millions much worse. Period.

The facts: When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made comments similar to Sanders, the Washington Post awarded him three Pinocchios, since Cuban literacy was already high and well ahead of other Latin American countries when Castro came to power in 1959. While access to health care and education increased somewhat under Castro’s iron rule, it was accompanied by a loss of lives, freedom, wages, capital formation, and access to food. Plus:

→ Castro’s literacy effort was an entrenched indoctrination program that forced school children to read communist propaganda.
→ Cubans who didn’t get on board the indoctrination train were thrown in jail, or worse, killed.
→ Cuba went from being “one of the more advanced countries in the region in the mid-1950s to one of the most impoverished, and the reason is its economic socialism and political tyranny.”

The reaction: Condemnation of Bernie’s comments was swift, including from left-wing politicians who know the Castro regime is not worthy of praise. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) wrote: “His ‘literacy program’ wasn’t altruistic; it was a cynical effort to spread his dangerous philosophy & consolidate power.”

→ Read more: Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago tells Bernie Sanders what growing up in Communist Cuba was really like.



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Censorship

China’s track record on free speech is notoriously shameful. The Communist government uses advanced technology to monitor and censor its citizens and employs a sophisticated propaganda machine to push out disinformation and tell people what to think. And now that China faces the spreading coronavirus epidemic, the regime is showing its true colors by upping its censorship game.

First, China tried to silence the doctor who warned of the impending outbreak.

Now, two months and thousands of deaths later, the government continues to suppress criticism of its handling of the crisis. Journalists and dissidents have disappeared without a trace; social media accounts have shut down without explanation; and the world has no idea if the numbers released by China bear any resemblance to reality.

“I believe a healthy society should not just have one voice.” – Dr. Li Wenliang

China’s censorship isn’t limited to its latest health care crisis. Last week, China expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters as payback for an unfavorable opinion piece in the paper’s editorial section.

Nor is censorship limited to China. In Venezuela, television is state-run, and independent sources of news are banned from covering the country’s economic crisis. Maduro’s regime routinely blocks internet sites and social media accounts in a widespread effort to tamp down on dissent. In Iran, the regime resorted to internet blackouts to shut down protests over rising fuel prices this past fall. From Myanmar to Bangladesh to Pakistan, internet blackouts have become a favorite tool to limit the flow of information and deprive people of freedom.

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Medicare for All

Bernie Sanders’ ascendency might lead some to believe there’s a nationwide hunger for socialized medicine. Not exactly.

A new poll from the left-of-center Kaiser Family Foundation shows there is a lot of confusion about what Medicare for All actually is and how it would change our current health care system. Support for Medicare for All drops precipitously when people are informed about treatment delays and the inevitable tax increases.

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Worse, most Medicare for All supporters don’t realize that Medicare for All would abolish private insurance plans.

A whopping 67% of supporters think they will get to keep their health care plans (SPOILER ALERT: They won’t).

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The big takeaway: The left adopted the “Medicare for All” terminology deliberately – because “socialized medicine” and “single-payer health care” were so unpopular. It was a marketing trick designed to dupe the public. Just like the broken promises that led to Obamacare (“if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”), it’s critical that voters understand what Medicare for All really is and how it will impact their personal health care decisions.



what we’re smiling about

As a Toronto-based emergency back-up goaltender, David Ayres never thought he’d realize his dream of playing NHL hockey. But when the Carolina Hurricanes lost two goalies to injury, his time came… and the 42-year old father of three delivered, helping the Hurricanes to a 6-3 victory. Ayres became the oldest goaltender in NHL history to win his debut and an overnight superstar. Congratulations! 🍾