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Estimate: GOP’s symbolic reading of Constitution to cost taxpayers $1.1 million

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It will cost taxpayers over $1 million dollars for Republicans to recite the entire United States Constitution on the House floor Thursday.

In a year when Republicans have promised to reduce wasteful spending, it is estimated that reciting the Constitution will cost $1,071,872.87 if it takes three hours to read the document.

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“When one chamber of Congress is in session but not working, we the people still have to pay for members’ salaries and expenses, and for their police protection, and for keeping their lights and phones and coffee machines on,” Peter Keating explained to Vanity Fair.

“To get this estimate, I took the total FY 2011 costs for House salaries and expenses and House office buildings, then added half the costs of joint House-Senate expenses, the CBO, the Capitol Police and the Capitol power plant,” he continued. “Then I divided that sum by 205, the number of days the House was in session last year, then divided again by 24 (the number of hours in a day) and multiplied by 3 (the estimated length in hours of members reading the Constitution).”

Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said on Tuesday that his party plans to cut $100 billion in spending this year. GOP leadership has said cuts to the US defense budget are out of the question, making key safety-net programs like Medicare, food stamps and Social Security the sole target of their legislative agenda.

“They humor people who are not expert or not fully cognizant,” Kevin Gutzman, a history professor at Western Connecticut State University and conservative libertarian, told The Salt Lake Tribune.

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“And then once they’ve humored them and those people go away, it’s right back to business as usual,” he added. “It looks like this will be business as usual – except for the half-hour or however long it takes to read the Constitution out loud.”

Along with cutting spending, Republicans have promised to scrap “job-killing” health care laws, crack down on illegal immigration, cut diplomatic and foreign aid funds, and investigate the Obama administration.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated a repeal of Obama’s health reform laws would cost the US $1.2 trillion over the next 20 years.

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Though Republicans said they will reduce spending by requiring cost-saving measures for all new fund outlays, they exempted a potential repeal of health care reform from the rule.

“They’re going to employ budget gimmicks to try and hide the cost of their actions,” Rep Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said during a press conference yesterday. “What they are going to try to do is engage in Enron-type accounting to say that when they try and move to repeal health care a week from tomorrow, that the hit on the deficit will not matter.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump-loving neo-Nazi charged with insanely violent threats against Latino woman

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Federal agents arrested a Washington state man who allegedly threatened to "exterminate" Latinos as part of a race war he believed would be launched by President Donald Trump.

According to court documents, Eric Lin frequently praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler online and sent multiple death threats against a woman in Miami and plotted to pay a man to beat her up, reported the Miami New Times.

"The time will come when Miami will burn to the ground — and every Latin Man will be lined up against a Wall and Shot and every Latin Woman Raped or Cut to Pieces," Lin wrote Aug. 8, according to investigators.

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Republican senator heckled and booed during raucous town hall for blaming mass shootings on mental illness

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Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who is up for reelection in 2020 and is among the Republican senators who is considered vulnerable, discussed the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio during a town hall event in her home state this week —and she was booed and heckled when she echoed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and blamed “mental illness” for the killings.

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Republicans likely to block ‘background checks’ after Trump’s abrupt reversal: report

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After two mass shootings over one weekend, President Donald Trump signaled that he would be open to strengthening background checks.

He promptly dropped his resolve to sign gun regulations one week later when he said that there were already strong background checks on the books.

With the president's apparent reversal, Republicans in Congress also appear to be abandoning legislation, reports Politico.

“I really don’t see the dynamic having really changed there much,” Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson told Politico. “I don’t anticipate we’re going to pass a federal red flag law."

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