On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, H.R. 1625. The bill is the consolidated appropriations bill, which was written and subsequently pushed through the House an awful, secretive, and unfair process. On top of this, the bill spends – and wastes – taxpayer at the fiscally irresponsible levels authorized in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
The process by which this omnibus was written and subsequently passed through the House was simply terrible. Few members were aware of when exactly the bill would be released, let alone what would be included in it. The bill was supposed to be released last Wednesday, to be voted on by the House last Friday, allowing a week for the Senate to consider and pass it by the upcoming Friday at midnight deadline for funding the government.
However, the bill was not released until this Wednesday night, and a vote was forced on the bill in the House less than 20 hours after it was released. It is important to note that the bill – which practically no members outside of leadership had seen prior to its release – is 2,232 pages long.
Now, leadership has forced such a rushed process that the Senate will have to use unanimous consent to avoid a partial government shutdown, as regular order would bring a vote on the omnibus after the midnight deadline on Friday for funding the government. It is precisely this type of dysfunctional process and failure to follow regular order or allow an open process that brought us to this no-win situation.
Aside from the process problem with the omnibus, its content is by no means better. The bill includes appropriations at fiscally disastrous spending levels authorized in the Bipartisan Budget Act that became law in February. These levels agreed to for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 bust through the budget caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 by nearly four and five times more than did the past 2015 and 2013 two-year budget agreements, respectively.
As Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at the time of the Bipartisan Budget Act’s passage, it threw the Budget Control Act caps, which were Republicans’ biggest legislative victory in the past ten years next to last year’s tax reform package, “onto the ash heaps of history.” Now, this Republican-controlled Congress is appropriating at these levels.
Altogether, the bill spends nearly $1.3 trillion in discretionary funds – $700 billion for defense, and $591 billion for non-defense – for fiscal year 2018 alone. These appropriations would bring us back to Obama-era trillion-dollar yearly deficits, and balloon our national debt to nearly $22 trillion. This level of spending for a unified Republican government is unacceptable and breaks the promises of every Republican member who ran on a platform of defending taxpayers, spending responsibly, and reigning in the size of government.
FreedomWorks will count the vote for H.R. 1625 and on our 2018 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score related votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks