$2.3 trillion US Congress bill condemns presidential election marred by ‘malfeasance and serious irregularities’... in Belarus
In a passage that sounds eerily familiar, Congress claims the election “involved government malfeasance and serious irregularities with ballot counting and the reporting of election results,” including “early voting ballot stuffing” and “pressuring poll workers” and “removing bags full of ballots.” The bill also denounces “restrictive measures that impeded the work of local independent observers” and barring international election monitors.
The part above is from the 35-page ‘Belarus Democracy, Human Rights, and Sovereignty Act of 2020’ (pages 5,040-5,075 in the publicly released PDF of the bill, 2573-2608 in the Senate annotations), which was inserted into the mammoth 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act passed late on Monday.
The bill uses such Orwellian language as appending “led illegally by Alyaksandr Lukashenka” [sic] after every single mention of the “government of Belarus,” lest someone accidentally believes it legitimate, and basically asserts the right of the US government to manage the affairs of Minsk.
It may strike some observers that the alleged problems with elections in Belarus laid out in the bill correspond to claims raised by US President Donald Trump and some of his supporters about the November 3 presidential election in the US.
Yes, I plan to object on January 6th. MILLIONS of Americans saw what I saw:- Voter safeguards removed- No signature verification- Outdated voter rolls- Ballots accepted after Election Day- Poll watchers denied access #WeThePeople will keep fighting for @realDonaldTrump.— Rep. Ted Budd (@RepTedBudd) December 22, 2020
Mainstream US media outlets and social media platforms have labeled every mention of such claims as “disputed,” however, and even sought to remove them outright. There has been no comment from either quarter about giving the Belarus bill the same treatment.
Sandwiched between the ‘Taiwan Assurance Act’ and the ‘Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act’, the Belarus provisions are part of the mammoth legislation foisted on the American taxpayers under the pretext of rushing help to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Or rather, the state and federal governments’ response to it, to be entirely precise.Also on rt.com Billions in foreign aid & racehorse tax breaks: Trump urged to veto Covid-19 relief bill over under-the-radar provisions
Mainstream journalists have insisted that actually, the Belarus democracy, foreign aid, regulating horse racing, establishing committees for gender equality for statues and other pet causes of Washington lobbyists are part of a totally different bill. As the document itself shows, however, the $900 billion coronavirus “relief” – including a one-time payment of $600 for most Americans – was bundled with the $1.4 trillion government spending bill.
Most members of Congress had no hand in writing it, and were given almost no time to actually read the document before being called to vote on it.
Americans from across the political spectrum have called on President Donald Trump to veto the bill. Though he previously said he would “never” sign another such document – referring to this spring’s “relief” that was likewise stuffed with partisan pork – there is no saying what he might do at this point.
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