What The Spending Fight in Congress Is Really All About
If you were to believe the Democrats, their stenographers in the establishment news media and some Uniparty Republicans, Congress is close to a new spending deal and only a paltry
$26 billion separates the negotiators from closing the deal and getting everyone in Washington home for Christmas.
However, as our friend Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots explained in a recent op-ed for CNS News the stakes are much higher and more important than the tiny percentage of a $1.7 trillion budget that the final $26 billion represents.
What’s really at stake is nothing less than the results of the 2022 midterm election and whether – or not – the will of the voters will prevail in the newly elected Congress.
The goal of the Democrats is to embed their policies in a long-term Omnibus appropriation bill that will fund the government through the end of September 2023 – effectively depriving the new House Republican majority of their most important constitutional responsibility, controlling the purse strings, for the first year of its two-year term.
As Jenny Beth explained:
Congressional Democrats under Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want to use their remaining few days in power to ram through a comprehensive omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, all the way through the end of September 2023. In order to do that, under their plan, they first must pass a one-week Continuing Resolution, to keep the government funded beyond Friday, when the current funding law expires.
Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, under the leadership of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, want instead to pass a short-term funding bill of several weeks’ duration, to keep the government funded long enough to let the new Congress be seated, so it can do the people’s business.
Because Congress has become addicted to government by crisis and for decades hasn’t passed budget and appropriations bills according to regular order these year-end spending scrums have become the norm.
But even in this environment precedent is on the side of a short-term spending package.
According to principled limited government constitutional conservative Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, no previous lame duck Congress, with a zombie majority still in place for just a few more weeks, would have been so arrogant as to have disregarded the clear message the voters had just sent them. “There has NEVER been an instance of Congress passing an omnibus spending bill before a new House majority takes power,” Sen. Lee tweeted.
In fact, as Jenny Beth Martin noted, following the most recent similar event – that is, Republicans recapturing the House majority from Democrats while Democrats maintain control of the Senate and the White House, which most recently occurred in the 2010 election – the Congress did not finalize the budget until April of 2011, more than three months into the new Congress. Between them, the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and the 112th Congress (2011-2012) passed multiple Continuing Resolutions, stretching for more than six months, while they negotiated full-year funding for Fiscal Year 2011.
The result of this lengthy process was the new, more conservative, House Republican majority prevailed and saved taxpayers some $42 billion in nondefense spending relative to the previous year. And, more importantly, the House preserved its constitutional role as the keeper of the federal purse.
The federal budget has gotten so large, and spending has become so out of control that it boggles the mind of the average citizen, and even those (like us) who watch what Congress does every day have a hard time wrapping their minds around the numbers.
What little influence we taxpayers have on federal spending is to be found in our votes for Members of the House of Representatives. And from that perspective a long-term Omnibus Appropriation bill passed in the final hours of this Session of Congress essentially nullifies the 2022 election.
The Capitol Switchboard telephone number is (202) 224-3121 – call House Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, tell them you demand they hold firm against any long-term Omnibus Appropriation bill. Tell them you demand a short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the government only until the new Republican-controlled House is seated and the will of the people – as reflected in the 2022 election – can be reflected in the new budget for 2023.
omnibus appropriations bill