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OPINION
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The Omnibus Abomination

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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

After a year of government-induced runaway inflation, record energy prices, unaffordable housing and rapidly rising interest rates, the politicians in Washington, D.C., delivered yet another blow to the American Dream this week. 

On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate, with the exception of 32 GOP members, voted to pass a monstrous, 4,155 page, $1.7 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill. The excuse for the boondoggle, which is packed full of pork projects that benefit special interests? We’re up against a government shutdown and it’s Christmas. 

As Senator Mike Lee expressed on the Senate floor, this was an act of extortion and a completely unethical way of supposedly representing the American people. 

"Opposing this legislation isn't radical. Running our government this way, is, and it's indefensible," Lee said. "This act, this bill before us, is an act of legislative barbarism. This is an act of extortion being leveraged on the United States Senate right before Christmas. Make no mistake why this happened. This bill in all 4,155 pages of its glory, or infamy, was negotiated in secret by four or five members of Congress, excluding all others, which means that nearly 330 million Americans were disenfranchised in the production of this legislative behemoth. They wrote it utterly in secret with the design of creating an artificial emergency. Threatening a shut down right before Christmas."  

A total abuse of the American taxpayer, which has become the normal way of doing business inside the beltway. Republicans are elected to hold the line, not enable the behavior.  

But a $1.7 billion omnibus bill is not only extortion, it’s a bastardization of how the American system of government was set up to work. It’s supposed to be a slow, intentional process that allows only for the most thoroughly debated pieces of legislation to be negotiated, debated and passed. Instead, lawmakers smash together bills that are thousands of pages long in order to avoid responsibility and accountability for votes on individual items, particularly kickbacks and projects the federal government has no business funding. 

While Americans work overtime in an attempt to make up for Washington-caused inflation, the so-called “fiscally responsible” congressional members have just made things worse. 

Adding insult to injury, Republican Senator Rand Paul’s annual Festival report reveals hard-earned taxpayer money was used to fund “research” about the romantic lives of parrots, hamster fight club and racist, binge-drinking mice. 

"As if spending your money to research how humans feel and express love may sound ridiculous enough, the government is now funding research to see how parrots express love," the report found. "In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granted Cornell University $689,222 to study social communication in parrots, studying patterns such as social outcomes, if they kiss, and how males make sexual advances."

“The watchdog group White Coat Waste (WCW) found that, since 2017, the NIH has given the University of Concepcion in Chile $1,101,157115 to study the influence of glycine receptors on alcohol consumption….by training mice to get drunk,” the report continues.

For years, the Republican brand has centered on fiscal responsibility. With Republicans helping Democrats push through inflationary legislation as the country hurls toward $32 trillion in debt, there’s little doubt a number of Washington, D.C., Republicans have abandoned that principle. While Americans struggle with government-induced price hikes, their livelihoods continue to be stolen by the federal system and people who claim to be good stewards of their hard-earned dollars. 

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