The 2016 Republican Platform proudly proclaims: “We must impose firm caps on future debt, accelerate the repayment of the trillions we now owe in order to reaffirm our principles of responsible and limited government, and remove the burdens we are placing on future generations.”
But last week, those pretty words were crushed by a fast-moving Omnibus.
Just days ago, the Republican-controlled Congress quickly approved a 2,232-page omnibus spending bill totaling $1.3 trillion that funds the federal government for only six months.
Nacy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are thrilled; conservatives are rightly livid.
Senator Rand Paul tweeted “Shame. Shame. A pox on both Houses.” Jim Jordan of the House Freedom Caucus called it the “worst bill I have seen” in a decade in Congress. In a letter to President Trump, the Caucus labeled it “an insult to American taxpayers” and “outright rejects” promises made to voters last fall.
I’m in complete agreement.
As Republicans, we campaigned for less government, cuts in spending, and a balanced budget. This bill does none of those things; it moves in the opposite direction. Sadly, it spends at a higher rate than Obama and the Democrats when they were in charge.
As a member of the GOP since 1984, that’s insulting. Our leadership has failed us once again. Instead of standing for the party’s platform, McConnell and Ryan surrendered to Schumer and Pelosi to hammer out another “compromise” that betrays our principles and stabs the American people in the back.
With a long history of faintheartedness, it now seems as though the Republican Establishment has merged with the opposition party — two “wings” of the same bird. We’ve seen it time and again. Republicans win control of Congress and the White House, then spend worse than Democrats and, in many cases, grow government at a faster rate.
Specifically, as to the spending bill, American workers were left begging for help. There was no real money for the border wall and, what’s more, the Democrats succeeded in adding language to the bill that actually prevents the proposed wall from being built. Then they openly bragged about it.
Not only did the bill inexplicably provide funding for sanctuary cities, the paltry $1.5 billion allowed for border security, according to the Freedom Caucus, will just be “minimally effective.” Although it funds $2.8 billion for “opioid addiction prevention and treatment” it proposes nothing to stop the flood of illicit drugs across the southern border and into sanctuary cities — there were no funds provided for additional border patrol officers! Plus, to add further insult to American workers, the bill provides for an increase in foreign worker visas.
Making matters worse, it funds Planned Parenthood and includes controversial “Fix NICS” legislation that critics say would deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights, potentially without due process.
And Foreign nations made out like bandits! American taxpayers funded scholarships for students in Lebanon, military assistance for Vietnam, educational grants for Vietnam, nutritional assistance for Laos, developmental assistance for China, women LEOs in Afghanistan, money for international religious freedom, and billions for international disaster relief. While average Americans continue to struggle, our benevolent leaders also provided $218 million for Promoting Democracy Development in Europe, $10 million for disadvantaged students in Egypt, and $1 million for the World Meteorological Organization.
Democrats are ecstatic. And why not? The National Institutes of Health budget was increased by $3 billion. The Community Development Block Grant program grew from $2.8 billion to $5.2 billion – a program that conservatives have been trying to kill. The TIGER program, which began with Obama’s stimulus in 2009 and funds transportation projects, saw its budget grow from $500 million to $1.5 billion. Democrats asked for an increase for the Census Bureau, and the bill provided an additional $1.34 billion. And despite opposition from conservatives, Democrat leader Chuck Schumer’s pork project to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River will also receive hundreds of millions.
That’s just the tip of a very bloated iceberg.
Last October, Nancy Pelosi told the New York Times that “We didn’t win the elections, but we’ve won every fight” on spending.
Now in the spring of 2018, she’s still right. Republicans have control of the government, but let the Democrats run it.
Conservatives have lost confidence in GOP leadership. In pushing the bill to passage, McConnell said his “principal responsibility is begging, pleading and cajoling.” But that’s not leadership; that’s cowardice.
Because of this irresponsible spending spree, we are looking at deficits of more than $1 trillion next year. Scarier still, our interest payments on the national debt could be $1 trillion per year within the next decade.
Democrats are winning the war because they lack a committed and determined adversary. But with the death of the Republican platform, the big loser is the American taxpayer.
Time is running out.