Another day, another spending bill (*SIGH*)




Once again, Congress has kicked their budgeting and fiscal management duties down the road.  The House passed another continuing resolution — keeping the government funded fully through December 9 — to avoid the much-feared government shutdown.

From the North Carolina US House delegation, the only NO votes were Mark Meadows, Mark Walker, Walter Jones, George Holding and Renee Ellmers.  Everybody else was a YES.  The final margin? 342-85 in a GOP majority House. 

Over in the Senate, the CR passed 77-21.  (THAT is also in a GOP majority chamber.)   North Carolina’s Burr and Tillis both voted YES.   Interestingly, both Graham and Scott of South Carolina voted NO.

Here’s Heritage’s take on the bill: 

[…] The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act falls far short of conservative expectations. Throughout the summer and into the fall, conservatives said Congress should ensure the length of any continuing resolution did not require a post-election session of Congress. And throughout the appropriations process, Heritage Action evaluated each individual appropriations measure on the following three criteria: 1) level of spending; 2) funding of bad programs; and 3) exclusion of conservative policy riders. Heritage Action also uses these criteria to evaluate any continuing resolution, as well as factoring in a fourth, additional, and critical criteria: length of time.  moneywhirl

Length of Time.The current bill would allow funding to lapse on December 9, requiring a post-election lame duck session of Congress. Some will argue that bill could be worse, but requiring a lame duck session will ensure things do get worse.[…] 

Worse?  Really?  With a majority of members from the alleged conservative party ???    MORE: 

[…] A recent report from The Heritage Foundation outlines the history of lame duck sessions:

“In recent years, Members of Congress have planned on taking up controversial issues during lame-duck sessions in order to avoid explaining their votes to the electorate. Congress now increasingly relies on lame-duck sessions to conduct its regular work. This practice undermines the ability of the American people to hold their representatives accountable because it allows Members to deliberately postpone unpopular decisions until after their constituents cast their votes.”

[…]oprahLevel of Spending. The vast majority of Republicans rejected the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a budget-cap-breaking deal negotiated by Speaker Boehner and President Obama that raised the debt ceiling with no offsets and broke the spending caps established by the Budget Control Act of 2011, despite the fact our country is facing a debt crisis of almost $20 trillion. Conservatives rightly rejected that approach and argued for passing a more responsible budget at the beginning of 2016, claiming that Congress should abide by the previous budget caps, and enact a budget at the lower $1.040 trillion level, instead of the $1.070 trillion as set by the budget deal.

Despite conservative objections, both chambers moved forward with appropriations bills marked to the higher number.  Even though none of those inflated appropriations bills became law, both chambers now want to move a continuing resolution spends at the higher budget numbers, and which will add to the debt and deficit.  H.R. 5325 contains four main fiscal components:

  1. A full year Military Construction and Veterans Administration appropriations bill that spends at the higher budget number.
  2. Funding for the 11 other appropriations bills, also at the higher budget numbers from last years’ omnibus, reduced across the board by 0.496% to bring the total to $1.067 trillion. However, the Senate CR prioritizes non-defense spending by increasing it $1.6 billion above the domestic spending cap, but reduces defense by $4.6 billion below the defense spending cap.big spender
  3. $1.1 billion in emergency spending to fight Zika. While $400 million is supposedly offset by spending “rescissions,” the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that, in reality, only $75 million of the $1.1 billion will be recovered over 10 years. This means that approximately $1 billion of these new funds are ultimately unpaid for – adding to the debt and deficit.
  4. $500 million in additional emergency spending for Louisiana flood relief (also non-offset) – despite the fact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) still has $3.4 billion available to spend on disasters for 2016.

This higher spending makes it more likely the caps will be broken in the next fiscal year, as The Heritage Foundation explained earlier this year:

“Worst of all, by caving to higher spending levels for 2017, breaking the budget caps again in fiscal year 2018—which are set to $16 billion below current levels—almost becomes a foregone conclusion for the big spenders in Congress. This sets up the next Congress to go back on its promise to rein in spending once again, erasing the one modicum of fiscal restraint imposed on spending during the Obama administration.”

Funding of Bad Programs. A highly contested part of the Zika funding battle was whether or not Planned Parenthood, and particularly its affiliate in Puerto Rico, Profamilias, would have access to the additional funds. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) opposed the language contained in the House passed conference report of the MilCon/VA/Zika bill earlier this year, because it was difficult, but not impossible, for Profamilias to access the Zika reimbursement funds. However, the Senate CR language eases Planned Parenthood’s concerns.

The Senate language replaces the House funding and restrictions with two new funding streams of $75 million and $20 million, but without explicit restrictions on who would be eligible for these funds. Specifically, the Senate version dropped the Medicaid requirement and makes the grants discretionary by allowing for “reimbursements” of Zika related health care expenses. This means that no one would be guaranteed money, but Profamilias would now be eligible.29403f1ccaa6e183abf088beb1d6d203a79ef1cc030b315f449b2190c93f97b2

According to Roger Severino, Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society:

“As if reauthorizing millions upon millions in taxpayer dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider weren’t bad enough, Planned Parenthood has strong-armed Congress into also getting a cut of emergency funding for combating the Zika virus.

“Under the continuing resolution, Planned Parenthood will be eligible for a raise even though it should have been disqualified from taxpayer funding long ago because of its callous treatment of human life.  Congress should fund life-affirming health care providers that are ready to deal with the Zika threat comprehensively, not abortion providers trying to expand their profit base.

“It’s shameful that Planned Parenthood and its congressional allies were able to hold emergency health funding hostage until ‘Big Abortion’ got a cut of the new money. Congress should fund compassionate and life-giving care with taxpayer funds, not an abortion industry that has disqualified itself by placing profits over respect for human life.”

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Others are Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, and John Barrasso, R-Wyo. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Exclusion of Conservative Policy Riders. While Heritage Action cautioned that exchanging temporary conservative policy riders in exchange for a lame duck session will give President Obama and unaccountable lawmakers one more chance to pass permanent policies in the dead of night, some conservatives outlined a series of policy riders that should included in any continuing resolution regardless of length:

  • Preventing the transition of the control of the Internet from U.S. hands to an international body called the “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN).
  • Setting up a more stringent vetting system for Syrian refugees.
  • Blocking the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules.

None of these riders were included in the current version of the Senate bill.



Again, HOW is this better than having the Democrats in charge? 


14 thoughts on “Another day, another spending bill (*SIGH*)

  1. 1. I am surprised big government Barbie voted no. She is not up for election any more and does not have to please any voters so it is surprising she actually voted the conservative line.
    2. A lame duck session is sure to produce some kind of disaster. When the legislators on the way out decide to stick it to us for not voting for them…think Obozocare back in 2009.

  2. Called Tillis and Burr and asked about this. Their response was we have voted to repeal Obamacare. Ha ha I told them. They have funded it in every single budget. LIARS!

  3. This is why there is no grassroots enthusiasm for the GOP ticket in NC. We gave the GOP the congressional majorities they asked for—and nothing changes. The GOP Establishment continues to ignore us. The grassroots have given up. This despair coupled with the GOP elites supporting Hillary is going to annihilate the GOP ticket in NC this November, from Burr on down. Get ready. It will happen.

  4. Well, I guess that Obama Republicans Sen. Tricky Dick Burr, and Congresscritters Rouzer, McHenry, Foxx, Hudson, and Pittenger have given a shout out to conservatives that they don’t want our votes this election. So be it.

    We know who the Obama Republicans are and they all need primaries in 2018. Throw the rascals out.

  5. Kick them ALL to the curb. Name ONE thing any of them have done to protect the interests of the people they were elected to represent. Just one. It is all smoke and mirrors as they collude with Obama and the elites. Take the ICANN internet transfer. Burr is a cosponsor of the Cruz bill — but it sits in committee. Tillis is thinking about it and says the media is overhyping the issue. And Congress? Heaven forbid you use the power of the purse to defund any pet Obama project to stop this egregious action or articulate clearly what is going on here. You, the hapless NCGOP and the corrupt GOP leadership are simply the worst.

    1. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some of our House members have done enough good for the conservative cause to be worth reelecting. You have also identified the real problem which is with awful leadership. There needs to be a core to resist and ultimately replace that leadership with a new leadership that will fight for principle. We need to reward those who stand up for the people, at least most of the time, with our votes.

  6. Burr will not be getting my vote. Rouzer is a useless tool of the GOPe and leadership. We simply must get these scoundrels out of office for new scoundrels. Perhaps that Article V Convention of States is the answer.

  7. Well I think that Senator Burr probably just made his final vote in the Senate. I can’t stand this RINO and absolutely refuse to vote for this joker. The senate bubbles will be left blank on my ballot.

  8. This travesty from McConnell, Ryan, and the Big Government Republicans reminds me of two good quotes from the Presidential primaries:

    Gov. Bobby Jindal – ”A Congressional majority is a terrible thing to waste”

    Sen. Ted Cruz – ”Mitch McConnell is the best Senate leader the Democrats have ever had”.

    The Democrats got everything they wanted in this sellout and the GOP nothing. A compromise is when you meet in the middle and each side gets half a loaf. This is not a compromise, it is a sellout.

    When you have leadership that is terrified of the boogeyman of a government shutdown, they are totally useless. Don’t those morons McConnell and Ryan comprehend that after both of the previous government shutdowns, Republicans GAINED seats in the next election? Our party in Congress is led by people who are equal parts cowards and idiots.

    There is not a dime’s worth of difference between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, and also not between Deborah Ross and Richard Burr. Our Senate race is one where it would really be great if there was a ”None of the above” line to check on the ballot. Too bad the LP did not field a candidate worthy of being used as a substitute for none of the above, but that Open Borders amigo they are running certainly is not.

  9. Hey dudes and dudettes. Burr has an ”R” beside his name, so you are supposed to vote for him. We don’t care if there is a ”D” beside his voting record. That is immaterial.

    Why do you think we did all we could at NCGOPe to promote Burr during the primary? We gave Burr access to party web functions and gave him speaking roles at functions. We did not extend any of that to the other candidates in the primary. Burr was chosen by those of us who make the rules, so he was special. We at NCGOPe need to make sure that primaries come out the way we want them to. Fair play is for suckers. At NCGOPe, it is all about controlling.

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