There is no way to sugarcoat it. The Washington establishment — and the big-spending congressional appropriators, lobbyists, and bureaucrats who comprise it — jammed through a massive “omnibus” spending package and combo COVID-19 relief bill with a price tag of more than $2.3 trillion.
President Trump was correct to initially balk at the absurd spending but did so despite the fact his team negotiated much of it while demanding additional direct payments to Americans. Unfortunately, notwithstanding our $27.5 trillion debt, the president capitulated, signed the bill, and left conservatives holding the bag with a vote on un-offset spending.
Once again, an end-of-year spending “showdown” just means another betrayal of the American people. This is a sad way to end a term.
The veil had been lifted for the American people, who were coming to see the unbelievable amount of spending that occurs every year as directly contrary to their well-being and that of the country. These two bills promote policies that have nothing to do with seeing our fellow citizens through the difficulty of forced school and business closings and limited livelihoods via the force of government, but instead, actively aid in the destruction of our republic and way of life.
The president and members of Congress who supported this bill made a choice. That choice was to fund an education system that teaches our children America is evil and broken. It was to fund wars they say they want to end, but refuse to debate doing so.
It was a choice to fund border operations specifically designed to be ineffective — so they can wink to business and tout cheap labor. It was a choice to fund a radical climate agenda to appease corporate boardrooms who live in fear of the social justice mob but who beg for crony corporatist deals. It was to send money to other countries as we pile up mountains of debt, and to fund the very socialized medicine they decry in speeches.
This “deal” contains:
- A $431 million reduction in funding for ICE beds, reducing to Obama administration levels the number by 11,000 beds, and severely weakening our ability to deal with future border surges.
- The creation and funding of two new politically motivated Smithsonian museums on the National Mall for Latinos and women (not only are these poised, if not intended, to become taxpayer-funded hubs for the advancement of critical race theory; they will likely cost over $1 billion upfront).
- Billions to fund the left’s green climate agenda — with Democrat talking points touting that the bill “combats climate change,” and funding for the Obama “Kigali” accords —another global climate effort that puts American needs last.
- $4 billion to fund vaccines in other countries before we’ve fully accomplished vaccine distribution to Americans here in the United States.
- Some $41 billion of tax dollars in foreign aid sent around the world — significantly more than the president’s request in his budget.
- $82 billion in education funding in a bill supposedly focused on COVID relief — including a restriction on states using dollars for scholarships for private alternatives — while teachers unions harm children by demanding school shutdowns.
- Continued funding to full-throated operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and dozens of engagements that exist under a 20-year-old authorization of force which Congress refuses to even debate.
Even worse, the legislation subsidizes the very state and local governments that are shutting down small businesses and locking down schools. Instead of blank checks to governors, it just sends smaller checks to local school boards, road builders, SNAP program administrators, and other programs to fill out those budgets all the same.
Since August, Americans — especially small business owners — have been waiting for a simple bill to extend small business loans and forgiveness for COVID-19 relief. There is bipartisan support for such a fix, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted holding that up for purely political reasons during the election.
Of course, rather than fight for a clean bill accompanied by a full debate on the normal appropriations bills, establishment Republicans agreed to merge with an expanded COVID-19 relief bill of more than $900 billion with a massive $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that funds government operations through September 2021.
The product is more than 5,600 pages long, written in closed rooms by a handful of staff and even fewer members of Congress, but lots of input from corporate lobbyists. It’s filled with thousands of policy issues — and we had no real debate over them. The people’s representatives had two-and-a-half hours to review it before the first vote was called. We had zero chance to debate the legislation at all, much less amend it.
To the Washington establishment, this is exactly how things are supposed to be. This is how they get away with funding what they’re too scared to tell you they are doing. Those who want to spend your money and borrow even more to pay for things like gender education programs in Pakistan don’t want to put their names on it. Then, to protect themselves, they pull out tired, dishonest talking points like “a no vote on this bill is a vote against funding the military, on border wall funding, on research funding, important projects in your district, and COVID-19 relief.”
This year, the corruption was exposed. This bill was flawed to its core, the complaints about it were wide-ranging, and we cannot fix it unless we are willing to start over, go back to the drawing board, and agree to do things the right way. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t going to happen.
Some political consultants are assuredly in the president’s ear screaming about losing Georgia. In truth, it’s Republican support of unprincipled debt-laden legislation like this that continues to drive more and more people away from the Republican Party.
Indeed, given how it contradicts everything he ran on, President Trump should have never signed this bill, much less threatened a veto only to back away from it. He had supporters waiting in the wings to fight for him and for the American people. Now, the swamp has gotten exactly what it wanted.
It’s time for Congress to do its job. That means reading, debating, and amending legislation — before we vote on something.