Rep. Jordan and Sen. Lee Explain What Congress Should Do To Avoid Another Terrible Omnibus Bill

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Posted: Apr 26, 2018 5:15 PM
Rep. Jordan and Sen. Lee Explain What Congress Should Do To Avoid Another Terrible Omnibus Bill

Americans could see yet another continuing resolution and another horrendous omnibus spending bill Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) warn in a joint piece in The Federalist—but they say that Congress should attempt to pass 12 individual appropriations bills.

They offer a grim prediction about another continuing resolution that would fund the government past the midterms and the consequence if Democrats perform well in the elections:

While the House and Senate appropriations committees have both admirably begun the process of passing next year’s spending bills, congressional leaders have not yet indicated when they plan to give these bills the floor time they need to become law.

This virtually ensures the next spending bill will again be written behind closed doors and will not be made public until just days before it needs to be passed. Even then, we should not expect to see the bill until after the September 30 deadline. Instead, if the past decade of swamp-life is any indication, Congress will pass a continuing resolution that will extend funding for the federal government past the November election and into a December lame-duck Congress.

At that point, unless Republicans defy history by actually gaining seats, Democrats will have all the leverage in spending negotiations since they can promise Republicans will only get a worse deal when a far more progressive Congress is sworn in in 2019. That would be a recipe for a debacle even worse than the one Congress forced President Trump to sign in March.

The two legislators say that the House of Representatives should vote the individual spending bills through: “The House could begin passing the 12 appropriations bills necessary to fund the government under the ordinary budget process. The Senate could then move to debate. Yes, at that point Democrats may try to block debate on appropriations bills. But let’s make them actually block debate!”

Giving the Department of Defense bill as an example they noted that “If Democrats refused to begin debate on the appropriations bill, they then would have to explain why they were obstructing funding for our nation’s men and women in uniform.”

They also mention taking away “weekends and recesses,” writing that “Even if we don’t get all 12 appropriations bills passed in the Senate, at a bare minimum Congress should pledge to continually try to debate them and to cancel weekends and recesses to force more work.”

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And they say that if “Democrat obstruction” leads to another omnibus, the legislation should be made available “a month before the September 30 deadline” so the public can examine it and Congress can “debate, write amendments, and vote on changes to the bill.”

They also state that “President Trump could even get the whole process jumpstarted this month by submitting a rescission package to Congress identifying the spending he wants to cut from the last spending bill.”

During an interview with Townhall earlier this month Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) also explained that legislators should be passing 12 distinct appropriations bills rather than a solitary massive omnibus spending bill.