Something good happened in Congress this week. One lone freshman representative from Texas stood up and blocked legislation that put the taxpayer on the hook for tens of billion in new spending without any concern for finding ways to pay for it.
Three cheers to Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).
Congressman Roy stood up on the House floor and used the most powerful words a member can use to block legislation brought up under unanimous consent – “I object.” In typical fashion, the main stream media will try to blame the victim, rather than the perp of this assault on the taxpayer. Congress has sat on this bill all year, then dared any Republican to block it with a last-minute request that it pass unanimously mere minutes before they were scheduled for a 10-day vacation. This is not how Congress is supposed to work.
A CNN story cited Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as saying, “countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need." A fact checker could have pointed out that nothing prevented the speaker from scheduling a vote today or putting off the recess scheduled until June 3rd for a few more days. Somehow the hero who stands up and exposes the lazy legislative schedule of Congress is demonized as if it is his fault that the speaker tried to ram almost $20 billion in new spending down the throats of the taxpayer with no debate and no amendment.
Rep. Roy posted a statement on his website explaining his objection, “today I stood to object to the Unanimous Consent of a $19.1 billion dollar emergency supplemental bill that has been languishing for over 8 months because Speaker Pelosi would rather play politics on impeachment than do the work of the people. I objected primarily because had I not, Congress would have passed into law a bill that spends a significant amount of taxpayer money without members of Congress even being present in our nation's capitol to vote on it. Speaker Pelosi knew full well that a disaster bill may be coming from the Senate and yet chose to recess the House and then brought this forward for consent.” Roy is right to call Pelosi’s bluff.
Congress does not work as it is supposed because the leadership of both parties don’t want to shut off the spigot of billions in borrowed money they get to spend every year. The idea of debate and amendments to legislation is long gone. The new method of legislating is to use intimidation and bullying tactics to get individual members and the minority party submission. This disaster relief bill is a great example of how these tactics don’t always work. Congress is lazy and will try to fear monger that Rep. Roy has hurt people to distract from the fact that this most recent ten-day Memorial Day paid vacation for Congress was more important than passing the disaster relief bill to help people in need. If this was truly a crisis, Speaker Pelosi would have Congress on a plane back to Washington tomorrow to get this vote done.
Rep. Roy identified the biggest landmine with this legislation. It spends about $19 billion in new debt. We are a nation that is staring down $22 trillion in national debt with $2 trillion in annual debt predicted in the next few years because of entitlements and interest on the debt. If Congress wants to add to the debt, they need to find a way to pay for it.
The sad truth is that the leadership in both parties do not care about spending taxpayer cash. Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress are in the midst of secretly negotiating away the so called “Sequester” of scheduled annual cuts to spending as a result of a spending agreement on a debt limit hike a few years ago. Spending deals and “emergency” spending all adds to the money owed by the taxpayer to the federal government.
Thank you, Rep. Chip Roy for being a counterbalance to the establishment leaders of both parties who have spending on autopilot and the Democratic Socialists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who wants to expand the borrowed money spent by the government on the Green New Deal. At least there is one Member of Congress who has the bravery to stand up for the taxpayer.