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House Pushes Through Spending Bills Totaling $1.4 Trillion With a Ton of Pork

House Pushes Through Spending Bills Totaling $1.4 Trillion With a Ton of Pork

I thought we were draining the swamp in this administration?

The House of Representatives had less than 24 hours to review spending bills, totaling 2,000+ pages and worth $1.4 trillion, to keep the government fund through the next fiscal year.

Despite the small time frame, the representatives passed the bill in order to avert a shutdown, which would have happened on Friday.

In total, the House voted on 12 spending bills, which “allots $49 billion in funding across the government.”

From CNBC:

  • $1.375 billion for Trump’s prized barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, the same amount as the prior year but less than he desires
  • $25 million for gun violence research — the first time the effort has received funding in two decades
  • A 3.1% increase in pay for both military members and federal civilian employees
  • A $22 billion hike in defense spending
  • $425 million for election security grants
  • $1.5 billion for state grants to respond to the opioid crisis

However, representatives stuffed the bills with a lot of pork that has nothing to do with spending.

For instance, the bill includes making 21 the legal age to buy tobacco.

Congress also added tax extenders in the middle of the night:

The roster of add-ons grew over the weekend to include permanent repeal of a tax on high-cost “Cadillac” health insurance benefits and a hard-won provision to finance health care and pension benefits for about 100,000 retired union coal miners threatened by the insolvency of their pension fund. A tax on medical devices and health insurance plans would also be repealed permanently.

The deficit tab for the package grew as well with the addition of $428 billion in tax cuts over 10 years to repeal the three so-called ObamaCare taxes.

Sounds great, but…

The “tax extenders” portion includes other sectors, which Forbes details in this article.

Congress also snuck in an extension of the Export-Import Bank and National Flood Insurance Program.

The bills head to the Senate and then Trump’s desk. Kellyanne Conway told the media Trump is “poised to sign” the bills and “very happy” about the contents.

Stop spending. Stop stuffing bills with pork.


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veo them all, Mr President

President Trump risks going down as the biggest budget buster in history, cutting taxes and spending more on both guns and butter. A boom economy is supposed to be running a surplus, as Clinton did. The next recession will deliver $2 trillion deficits.

    VaGentleman in reply to jb4. | December 17, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    The national debt increased every year under Clinton. No surplus.

    txvet2 in reply to jb4. | December 17, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Clinton didn’t. He was dragged kicking and screaming by a Republican Congress under Gingrich which, for a brief shining moment, actually acted like they talked on the campaign trail.

      ronk in reply to txvet2. | December 18, 2019 at 3:12 am

      Clinton was also lucky that the internet boom started on his watch, otherwise it would have been a really good economy

    ronk in reply to jb4. | December 18, 2019 at 3:13 am

    you didn’t mention what it did under Obama, didn’t he double it.

    tom_swift in reply to jb4. | December 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Too many people can’t seem to grasp the idea that a budget surplus is not the same thing as any other sort of surplus.

    The budget surplus is a pious myth, because the budget itself is imaginary. It’s a list of what you hope will come in vs. what you’ll admit is going out . . . with the most embarrassing stuff left “off budget” so it can be ignored. (In Washington, the “off budget” deception is considered clever.)

    There were two years during the Eisenhower administration when the Federal government took in more than it spent. That is, the deficit was negative and the national debt didn’t grow. That was the last time such a marvel occurred. And it’s why I still say “I Like Ike.”

Pork? More like kickbacks to Pelosi and family and friends. Literally: cash.

The House can’t be bothered to read things about fiscal responsibility. They were too busy with their stupid show trial.

This POS bill is a reward to the Dems. The Senate must crash this.

“Kellyanne Conway told the media Trump is “poised to sign” the bills and “very happy” about the contents.” —- Really?

Fire them all. They’re taking us towards bankruptcy, it’s only a matter of time.

The House needs to be punished for their treacherous behavior lately. Slapping this bill down would send a message.

It’s tough to blame this on the Executive. Congress is structured in such a way that it’s far easier to spend money than not, because normal business depends on Congresscritters basically buying each other’s votes with their own. But since it’s not for money, it’s not corruption. In theory.

A promises to support <iB‘s pet projects, and in return expects <iB to support his. Since all projects involve money, damn near every bill is supported by people who’ll insist that it’s all the collegial “give and take” of routine business, but is really bribery (not personal bribery, but bribery nonetheless). Nobody in Congress is in charge of limiting demand for money, and they hide it all in these 2000 page monster bills which the President must sign if the government is to function at all.

There are some obvious fixes but they won’t happen. The Line Item Veto was one idea, but there are Constitutional problems with that. A limit of one page for bills might help—no more 2000+ pagers with all sorts of evil buried inside. Or perhaps elimination of “omnibus bills”, a rubbish concept in which everything is basically a rider attached to everything else. An end to “off-budget” accounting might be useful, though it’s not clear how that could be done.

But Congress is heavily invested in things as they are, even if personal corruption isn’t a factor. They consider this normal day-to-day stuff.

Don’t forget the $400 million to Venezuela for a pity party of those that voted socialism into being there.