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On behalf of over 800,000 FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to VOTE NO on H.R. 3288—the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, or so-called “minibus” combining six of the seven remaining appropriations bills to fund nine Cabinet departments to the tune of $447 billion and $600 billion in funding for Medicare and Medicaid for a total of $1.1 trillion; a 13% increase over FY 2009 and a 25% increase over FY 2008. When there are mounting fears over growing debt and a triple-A credit rating hanging in the balance, the House should not be voting to increase spending.
Consolidating these bills gives little time for examination and leaves large gaps in accountability. This has paved the way for 5,224 earmarks that cost $3.8 billion. For instance, though many American families are reexamining their budgets and cutting back on travel expenses, the bill contains $200 million – a 47% increase in spending – to subsidize flights to and from rural airports, sometimes at thousands per flight. Just this week, Virgin Galactic, a private company, unveiled what could be the next step in space travel with their new commercial spaceship proving once again that the ingenuity of individuals and private enterprise can take giant leaps over government. Yet, NASA is receiving an additional $942 million to give it a total of $18.7 billion next year.
In addition to this waste, the legislation contains significant policy changes that should be considered on their own. These include the phase out of the very successful D.C. School Voucher program – a program that has provided students of all background the opportunity to attend the school of their choice that suits their individual needs.
When millions of families, instead of spending more, are cutting back in the face of lost jobs and a terrible economy, Congress shouldn’t be dramatically increasing spending. The legislation contains $64.4 billion for Commerce, Justice, and Science - a 24.3% increase over FY 2008, $24.2 billion for Financial Services – a 17.5% increase, $163.3 billion for Labor-HHS – a 13% increase, $78 billion for MilCon-Veterans – a 29.6% increase, $48.8 billion for State-Foreign Ops, and $69.9 billion for Transportation and Housing – a 25% increase over FY 2008. These are massive increases over the spending levels the various federal agencies were operating under just 15 months ago. As a country, we are not suddenly richer than we were 15 months ago and these increases represent money that we do not have.
We will count your vote on H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard for 2009. The FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.
President and CEO