Another year, another Christmas, and another giant, pork-filled, budget-busting, debt-increasing, “pass-it-or-the-government-will-get-shut-down-and-we’ll-be-blamed-for-it,” omnibus spending bill has landed on the desks of the members of the U.S. House. Newly-minted Speaker Paul Ryan has graciously given House Members, and the public, a whole TWO DAYS to try and read through this 2000 page nightmare.
Not only that, but Ryan is most likely going to pass this bill with a majority of Democrat votes and a select number of Republican votes. This violates the Hastert Rule which states that legislation would not be brought to the floor for a vote unless a majority of Republicans support it. Ryan promised that he would follow the Hastert Rule if he was elected speaker, and at the first major opportunity he is ditching that promise.
What juicy nuggets are in this bill? Well, let’s see:
The bill funds Planned Parenthood.
The bill provides $1.6 Billion to re-settle illegal immigrants through 2018, and does nothing to stop the settlement of Iraqi and Syrian refugees in the US, despite the blatant security issues in those programs.
The bill provides Obama the ability to fund the Green Climate Fund which is part of the new Paris Climate Deal. The fund is designed to transfer money from wealthy countries to third world countries as a way of us apologizing for ruining the planet.
The bill includes language that will TRIPLE the number of H-2B visas for foreign workers competing for more low-skilled positions with American citizens.
The bill suspends the medical device tax as well as the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer health care plans, which takes away the incentive for businesses and interest groups to forcefully work for a repeal of Obamacare.
And on…and on…
And what did we get out of this “grand compromise” that the White House says “met President Barack Obama’s priorities”? Well, we are going to let American oil companies export crude oil.
This is a perfect example of why people are upset. This omnibus bill represents everything wrong with Washington today. Budget and spending bills are put off, and delayed, and ignored until it is too late to do anything about it. Then we are told we need to swallow these giant horse-pills to keep the government going. I was willing to cut Republicans a little bit of slack in 2014 because we didn’t control the Senate and Harry Reid was blocking everything he was being sent, but that excuse doesn’t fly anymore.
We control the House. We control the Senate. If Congress had been doing their jobs the dozen or so Appropriations bills would have worked their way through the proper Committee process and been dealt with one at a time, with less ability for the Democrats to grandstand, and no real threats of shutting down the government.
Ryan is promising that next year things will be different. We are being told that, “this is all Boehner’s fault.” That he left this mess that Ryan had to clean up. Except next year we will be in the middle of the Presidential campaign, and nobody will want the threat of a government shutdown to derail our Republican candidate. Then even if we win the Presidency, we will be told that we have to pass just ONE MORE omnibus to get past the final days of Barack Obama.
Is it any wonder why people are so frustrated with government? Is it really a mystery why someone like Donald Trump can have such strong poll numbers? The American people are tired of feeling like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, while Republican leadership is Lucy pulling the football away at the last second once again.
The corporate wing of the Republican party complains bitterly about the anger of the grass roots, the rise of the Tea Party, and the (so far) dominance of Donald Trump in the Presidential primary polls, but they need to realize they have only themselves to blame. If you want to deal with the anger and the disillusionment and the mistrust, then there is a very simple solution to it all.
KEEP YOUR PROMISES, AND DO THE JOBS YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO.