Western Caucus Members Rebuke Passage of Reckless Spending Package
Washington, June 25, 2019 | Ben Goldey
Members of the Congressional Western Caucus released statements in response to House passage of H.R. 3055, legislation that attempts to fund the Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills for fiscal year 2020
Today, Members of the Congressional Western Caucus released statements in response to House passage of H.R. 3055, legislation that attempts to fund the Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills for fiscal year 2020:
Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): “This reckless spending bill busts budget caps, attacks responsible energy production, prohibits funding for the border wall, and foregoes long-standing Second Amendment protections. Furthermore, this bill fails to include numerous Western Caucus priorities that have been included in the past with strong bipartisan support. This partisan wish list is not worth the paper it is printed on and will never be signed into law. We must get serious about getting our fiscal house in order, growing government and increasing federal spending is not the way to do it.”
Vice Chairman for Indian Affairs and Oceans Don Young (AK-At Large): “This spending bill is a disaster for Alaska. Last week, the Democrats wanted to prohibit the EPA from scientifically determining whether the Pebble Project should be permitted. This week, they’re trying to shut down ANWR and close what is left of the logging industry in the Tongass. They’ve removed protections for users of small remote incinerators in Alaska and stripped a provision to protect red cedar timber sales. Democrats, most of whom have never been to Alaska, seem to think they know what’s best for my state. This bill is bad for Alaska.”
Chief Regulatory Officer Andy Biggs (AZ-05): “H.R. 3055 has several harmful elements, but one of the most concerning items in this bill is the massive funding for federal land acquisition accounts. I introduced an amendment to gut these accounts, which would have saved $385 million taxpayer dollars, preventing unelected bureaucrats from further expanding the federal estate. However, this amendment did not get a vote on the House floor. Regardless of this result, my Republican colleagues and I will continue fighting for western interests, and against Congress’s careless spending habits, which have created a national security crisis for our children and grandchildren.”
Chief Agriculture and Business Officer Doug LaMalfa (CA-01): “This spending package offered by House Democrats is an irresponsible and unrealistic use of taxpayer dollars. With no budget agreement seemingly in sight, these bills raise spending by $176 billion above current budget caps, which could lead to disastrous cuts to our military down the road. These bills willfully ignore our worsening border crisis by prohibiting funding to build any sort of physical barrier at the southern border. This package also prevents the Administration from recovering funding from the failed California High Speed Rail project – a refund that I have introduced a bill to initiate – despite the fact that this project somehow grows more expensive and less practical by the day. I hope our colleagues in the Senate can offer a far more realistic and bipartisan appropriations package than what we voted on today.”
Rep. James Comer (KY-01): “Beyond the massive amount of money H.R. 3055 will add to the deficit, provisions of this spending package put our national security at risk. It prohibits funding for a border wall or any kind of barrier along our southern border. My fellow Congressmen and women always speak on protecting taxpayers’ dollars, yet H.R. 3055 allows taxpayer funds to pay for lawyers of migrants crossing the border. On that same note, it prohibits the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census - a question that is not new, has been on the decennial before, and is a standard question on the American Community Survey.”
Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03): “The latest Democrat spending bill is wildly out of touch with the American people’s priorities. The bill busts the budget caps, eliminates longstanding pro-life protections, restricts much-needed border wall construction, includes poison provisions that attack American energy dominance, and even allows tax dollars to be used on lawyers for illegal immigrants. These provisions show the Democrats’ continued push to the left knowing full well the President won’t sign the legislation. I couldn’t support such an irresponsible bill that grows the size of the government and throws fiscal sanity out the window.”
Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04): “This appropriations bill is a shameful attempt by Democrats to push dangerous, partisan policies while failing to address the most critical issues facing our nation. This ‘minibus’ irresponsibly increases spending, fails to adequately address the crisis at our border and threatens national security. Rather than seeking real solutions, our friends on the other side of the aisle have abdicated their responsibility to produce a budget and, instead, continue to promote excessive spending bills that threaten the future prosperity of all Americans. The fiscal insanity in Congress must stop. The American people deserve better.”
Today, House Democrats passed their second “minibus” appropriations bill, a five-bill package in the form of H.R. 3055, that attempts to fund the Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills for fiscal year 2020.
This five-bill package is void of reality and contains excessive federal spending that busts through the budget caps. The bill contains numerous poison pills and omits important Western Caucus priorities. The bill package totals more than $383.3 billion in discretionary spending, including $13.8 billion for the Interior Department which is $2.4 billion above the president's budget request and $9.5 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, the second-highest budget in the history of the EPA.
· Section 118, a political rider that aims to block responsible energy production in ANWR.
Western Caucus priorities omitted that have been previously included:
· Fails to repeal or blocking the Obama administration’s job-killing WOTUS rule.
Other key Western Caucus priorities not included:
· Fails to include DOI and USFS proposed legislative package for active forest management.