The Omnibus Bill: Bad Government At Its Worst

Posted: Dec 14, 2009 3:00 PM
Guest blog post from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah)

During a time that our deficit is growing at an unprecedented rate and our economy is suffering, the House yesterday passed the FY10 Omnibus Appropriations bill, by a vote of 221-202.  The bill provides, among other things, massive funding increases for international family planning, domestic family planning, and condom promotion.  We are in debt up to our eyeballs, living on a credit card, and hemorrhaging jobs.  Subsidizing condoms is hardly our top priority.

This omnibus bill is bad government at its worst. There are so many reasons to be outraged by this betrayal of the American people.  

*       This bill spends nearly half the discretionary portion of the federal budget on just six federal departments. 

*       It was debated for just one hour (that’s $7.4 billion spent per minute of debate). 

*       No one could possibly have read the entire bill before casting their vote.   It was released from the Rules Committee Wednesday and Members and the public had just one day to review this 2,500 page, $446 billion dollar bill before yesterday’s scheduled vote.  

*       The bill contains more than 5,000 earmarks. 

*       For the six departments included in the bill, it increases their base funding by 12 percent at a time when everyone else is cutting back.

The bill simply does not provide the necessary openness and transparency the usual appropriations process provides. Without proper oversight and evaluation, it’s easy to overlook egregious spending provisions that would never pass on their own merit.  This bill is filled with such provisions.

 For example, the bill allows the District of Columbia to use public funds for abortion and needle exchanges. It lays the groundwork to terminate the DC school voucher scholarship program. The bill also weakens the ban on funding for registration and benefits to domestic partners and the ban on medical marijuana.  Is this what taxpayers sent us here to accomplish?

These provisions would never pass the House on their own merits.  They cannot withstand public scrutiny, which is why Democrats have attempted to hide them in this behemoth bill.  Democrat Leadership continues to force their agenda on the American people by cramming in multiple anti-family and anti-life provisions in one large omnibus package. 

Congressman Chaffetz represents Utah's third congressional district and serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

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