On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote NO on the Defense, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) minibus, H.R. 6157. In addition to spending profligately on programs included in the minibus, it also includes a short-term continuing resolution (CR) for remaining appropriations bills into fiscal year 2019.
This CR is an extension of the excessive spending agreed to under the Bipartisan Budget Act, which was passed by Congress in February and spent nearly $300 billion more than the previously established spending caps meant to control the rate of spending growth. Following the subsequent omnibus spending bill passed for fiscal year 2018, shrouded in secrecy and passed in a process antithetical to regular order, demands for a return to regular order in the appropriations process rang loudly.
Congress attempted to answer to some of these demands but only successfully enacted one minibus of appropriations bills prior to this one. That is a far cry from regular order, which would involve passing all twelve appropriations bills individually. This minibus and the CR attached to it is evidence that the attempt at regular order failed, and Congress was once again unable to do its job properly.
Process aside, the spending levels in this minibus and those that will be extended through the CR are damagingly high as well. Through August, Congress ran a budget deficit of $898 billion. With FY 2018 coming to a close at the end of September, a $1 trillion deficit is very possible and will become the new normal. Unfortunately, few in Congress are trying to resolve the fiscally unsustainable path our nation is on.
H.R. 6157 is more of the same profligate spending resulting from a broken budget process and members unwilling to stand up for their campaign promises of shrinking government and reducing spending. The bill appropriates $33 billion more for Defense than the FY 2018 omnibus and $16 billion more for Labor/HHS. It also includes a CR until December 7, setting up votes on a spending package during the lame-duck session that will almost certainly be packed with last-minute giveaways to special interests and policies that throw taxpayers under the bus.
FreedomWorks will count the vote for H.R. 6157 on our 2018 Congressional Scorecard. 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