Senate passes historic one-week government funding bill. Family of four fails to secure funding for its one-week budget.

Americans can rest easy tonight knowing our elected officials have once again performed their duties admirably and passed a bill to fund the federal government for one more week.  The bill was passed by voice vote on Friday after several senators dropped their opposition.

In the meantime, a family of four in Benton Harbor, Michigan failed to pass its own stopgap funding measure after disagreements over how to spend their dwindling savings could not be resolved.  The stand-off centered on whether to spend their remaining money on rent, food, or Christmas gifts.

The world’s most deliberative body, on the other hand, crafted a masterful piece of legislation that relies exclusively on contributions of ordinary Americans to keep the federal government in business for one more week.  Many worried the senators would be unable to cobble a bill together by midnight, forcing a dreaded government shutdown.  But, hey, it’s Friday and the senators wanted to go home, so as if by magic their differences evaporated.

Meanwhile, the family in Benton Harbor attempted to make child care arrangements, as their schools, for which they pay taxes, are shut down for the entire month of December.  Also at issue is the increased food costs due to the unavailability of school lunches.  Additionally, the family is facing an increased tech budget brought about by virtual education.  Efforts to secure alternative sources of funding for these programs, so far, have been unsuccessful.  

Back in Washington, the senators, awash in a seemingly limitless supply of cash, vowed to reconvene next week to finally do something for the millions of Americans whose livelihoods have either been eliminated or put on hold by the government’s pandemic response.  The senators indicated they’re starting to suspect the $1200 checks they authorized eight months ago are beginning to dry up. 

Property taxes and zoning restrictions considered for LA’s McMansion homeless tent communities

Officials for the city of Los Angeles are considering imposing zoning restrictions and building codes on the McMansion tents popping up in homeless neighborhoods across the city.  So far, the construction and growth of these lavish encampments has gone completely unregulated, but city officials are hoping to put a stop to that.

“It’s like the wild west out there,” said Tim Allen, the city’s building inspector.  “These folks are installing showers, air conditioners and electric ranges, and were not collecting any fees for it.”

Government officials would like to get involved with the planning and development of the homeless neighborhoods which have experienced explosive growth in recent months.

“The tents are too close together.  In some cases you have a little one bedroom pup tent next to a luxurious McMansion with an outdoor wading pool.  This is no way to manage growth,” said the city’s urban planner, Brett Michaels.  

Not to pass up on a potential source of state revenue, California Governor Gavin Newsome is hoping to bring these areas under the state’s authority.  Following the defeat of a proposed property tax increase on Californians during a Covid shutdown and one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, Governor Newsom is pushing a bill that would impose property taxes on the homeless tent communities popping up across the state.

“These aren’t just guys sleeping in cardboard boxes under a bridge.  These are folks constructing high-end, luxury hobo encampments,” said the governor.  “If you’ve got enough resources to build the homeless tent of your dreams, then you can kick a little over to the State of California.”

Governor Newsom courted controversy again this week when he was photographed with friends dining at LA’s ritzy and exclusive tent dining establishment, Paris Lavatory.