While much of the nation is currently engulfed in severe winter weather in the week leading up to Christmas, one that is also likely already marked by much more expensive family gatherings, food, and gifts all due to historic inflation, the U.S. Congress sought fit to bestow an additional “gift” the U.S. taxpayer by passing a $1.7 trillion budget bill to continue government operations through September of 2023.
To make matters worse, 18 Republican U.S. Senators joined with Democrats to pass the over 4,100 page, $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, packed full of billions of dollars in leftist pet projects and an additional $45 billion to Ukraine, without having debated the merits of such additional funding. The proposal passed by a margin of 68 to 29. The proposal is largely expected to pass the U.S. House of Representatives.
Those 18 Republican U.S. Senators included: Roy Blunt (Missouri), John Boozman (Arkansas), Shelley Capito (West Virginia), Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Richard Shelby (Alabama), John Thune (South Dakota), Roger Wicker (Mississippi), and Todd Young (Indiana).
Texas’ own John Cornyn took to Twitter in an attempt to explain his vote in favor of the proposal, never mind that by his same logic that piling additional debt also impacts national security, the economy, and future prosperity:
But a shutdown would negatively impact our national security & economy at a time when we can least afford it, and without the votes to change the outcome would be pointless.
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 22, 2022
In contrast, Texas’ other U.S. Senator, Ted Cruz, who voted against the proposal, released a statement explaining his vote,
“It is the height of recklessness for Senate Republican leadership to cut a deal with House Democrats who were just voted out of power and give away the leverage that the incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives could have used to force the Biden administration to change course on policies that are harming America. Without this leverage, the Biden administration will now be able to continue the reckless spending spree that has led to uncontrolled inflation…”
Republican Texas Congressman Chip Roy chose to speak up on the U.S. House floor ahead of their vote on the proposal lambasting leadership in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as to the process by which the proposal is being considered:
#BREAKING: Rep. @chiproytx slams the omnibus spending bill on the House floor: "What you see here on the floor of the House of Representatives should make everybody ashamed!" pic.twitter.com/opaHN2XwQW
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 23, 2022
Congressman Roy also cited over 7,500 earmarks for $16 billion for what he called “pet leftist projects” across the country as well as telling his colleagues that support the proposal to “go home and sell your projects, go home and talk about all the pork you’re bringing home, but you’re destroying the United States of America!”
He took to Twitter to highlight 55 of those earmarks.
The $1.7 trillion omnibus would funnel BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to woke pet projects from members like AOC & Hakeem Jeffries.
Then why are some Senate Republicans planning to vote for it?
Here are 55 terrible earmarks that NO REPUBLICAN should vote for🐖🧵:
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) December 22, 2022
One of the U.S. Senators who voted against the proposal, John Kennedy (Louisiana), explained why:
“… Inflation is ravaging the American dream. It’s cancer on the American dream, and we are not going to get control of it until Congress stops spending so much money…”
This is what a Conservative Senator with stones does and says… pic.twitter.com/DBdTAsNk30
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) December 23, 2022
A Culture of Spending & Fiscal Irresponsibility
Historically, October is the time by which the U.S. Congress would approve of spending for the next fiscal year, however, they have not actually done so since 1996, instead choosing to pass continuing resolutions that fund the government for short terms or instead consider large omnibus bills that also include a myriad of other spending and policy issues.
Earlier this year, the United States surpassed a somber milestone of having over $31 trillion in debt. Right now that amounts to over $94,000 per U.S. citizen or $248,000 per U.S. taxpayer. Both major political parties are at fault. The coming days and weeks will be full of political posturing and tribalist rhetoric, but the debt has soared under both Republican and Democrat administrations, with both having the luxury of partisan majorities in the U.S. Congress to address the issue throughout recent decades. The debt burden is so large that the government would need to spend more money than the entire American economy to pay it off. As the debt grows, so too does the interest accrual, making it even more costly to pay back.
Rampant government spending has also contributed to the historic inflation we see today, where the purchasing power of the dollar has decreased.
Eventually, this all will come to a head, and it will ultimately be future generations that pay the price. Taxpayers should demand that those they elect actually work to get our fiscal house in order, as opposed to just continuing to kick the can down the road, while also making that can heavier along the way.
Reject this untimely Christmas gift!