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Fourteen House Republicans are urging President Donald Trump to veto a gigantic omnibus spending bill that’s currently being negotiated in Congress.
And as justification for why the president should veto the bill, the Republicans are citing his own words: “I will never sign another bill like this again,” he had said two years ago after signing another similarly-sized omnibus spending bill.
In a letter submitted to the president Wednesday, the House Republicans described the bill as an undeserved win for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who as a reminder, hemorrhaged over a dozen House seats in the 2020 election.
“It is noteworthy that Speaker Pelosi saw her Democrat majority significantly shrink in the 2020 election. Now she is trying to pass a massive spending bill that fully funds an agenda rejected by the American people, without allowing any debate or amendments whatsoever by the full body of the House of Representatives,” the Republicans wrote.
“The incoming 117th Congress should address the outstanding spending issues for fiscal year 2021 by passing individual appropriations bills through the normal legislative process, giving all members an opportunity to participate in the lawmaking process – and preventing the disenfranchisement of millions of Americans who have no say.”
Of course, this is what Republicans say every single time — and every single time their protestations are ignored and trillions of additional dollars are effectively flushed down the toilet to fund what has become a massively bloated federal government.
View the letter below:
As it stands, the omnibus reportedly calls for $1.4 trillion in new spending. This, however, doesn’t include an additional $900 billion that’s being negotiated as part of a coronavirus relief bill. Together, the bills would add $2.3 trillion to America’s debt.
Part of the problem, the House Republicans wrote, is that Congress has made virtually no attempts to offset all its recent spending with meaningful spending cuts.
“Particularly at a time when our federal government is spending trillions of dollars on an emergency basis, we should be doing the hard work of finding offsetting savings elsewhere,” the letter continues.
“Instead of making any good faith effort to find savings, this omnibus bill spends every penny of the existing — but elevated multiple times over — budget caps that were enacted before the coronavirus epidemic.”
When the year began, the U.S. was at roughly $23 trillion in debt. It’s now at $27 trillion in debt and with the omnibus bill + coronavirus relief, is slated to push the debt toward $30 trillion.
As stated above, the last time the president signed a massive spending bill in 2018, he vowed at the time to never be pressured into signing such a bill again.
“I say no Congress: I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It’s only hours old. Some people don’t even know what is in — $1.3 trillion — it’s the second-largest ever,” he tweeted at the time.
As a matter of National Security I’ve signed the Omnibus Spending Bill. I say to Congress: I will NEVER sign another bill like this again. To prevent this omnibus situation from ever happening again, I’m calling on Congress to give me a line-item veto for all govt spending bills! https://t.co/kYwMk5AE5k
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
Even with that vow in mind, his signing of the bill still provoked backlash:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 24, 2018
Two years later, could he be poised for another round of backlash?
“This bill promises to be even larger, exemplifying everything that is wrong with the swamp politics of Washington, D.C.,” the House Republicans added.
However, there’s a drastic difference between the America of 2018 and the America of 2020: The coronavirus pandemic, which has leveled businesses across the country, emptied the coffers of local/state governments, and left the nation reeling.
And so the idea that the government should do nothing — or very little — as Americans suffer, hasn’t sat well with more populist types like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
During a monologue last Friday, Carlson specifically noted that the rich and wealthy are benefiting like gangbusters from the coronavirus lockdowns that are destroying the lives of working-class Americans.
This, he added, is exacerbating income inequality, something that Republican politicians tend to downplay because they think it “abets socialism.” But according to him, them ignoring this reality is what really abets it.
“There’s been this kind of agreement among think-tank conservatives not to talk about growing income inequality because it abets socialism — that kind of talk. I would argue ignoring it is what’s bringing us socialism,” he said.
Listen via Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight:
But at the same time, just because more spending is needed right now doesn’t mean the spending should be doled out capriciously and without thought.
As noted by the House Republicans, the omnibus bill in its current form “is a vote to” …
- “fund an education system that is failing to educate our children while teaching them that America is evil;”
- “fund grants to states that run a badly-broken election system;”
- “fund a healthcare system that empowers insurance companies at the expense of hard-working Americans;”
- “underfund border security and empower cartels;”
- “continue war without so much as a debate much less a vote on a new AUMF for our men and women in uniform;”
- “fund Planned Parenthood;”
- “send money to state and local agencies that are perpetuating the shutdowns that are destroying our way of life.”
And so clearly it’s a nuanced matter that needs to be debated and discussed in-depth. Alas, because of pressure from the media and the public — as well as the machinations of Speaker Pelosi — intelligent debate and discussion are unlikely to be had, thus leaving the president alone with the difficult decision of deciding how to proceed.
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