In their apparent effort to avoid another government shutdown, a $1.1 trillion budget bill sailed through the U.S. House of Representatives this week with bipartisan support.
Fiscal and social conservatives, naturally, received the short end of the stick. Funding for leftist policies is included in the stopgap measure, while provisions for stricter abortion regulations and restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency are conspicuously missing.
Perhaps the most contentious aspect of the nearly 1,600 page bill is its inclusion of pension cuts for veterans. While a litany of entitlement programs continue to receive taxpayer money, those brave men and women tasked with protecting our nation are left wanting.
The outrageous appropriations bill now awaits passage by members of the Democrat-controlled Senate. In the meantime, prominent conservative groups are bashing the deal as wasteful and unsustainable.
Among the organizations that vehemently oppose the bill is Club for Growth, which indicated a bipartisan, bicameral compromise late last year served as the impetus for this current deal.
“It funds ObamaCare, plusses up other wasteful programs, and contains dozens of policy riders that can only be described as earmarks,” the organization said in a statement about the bill.
FreedomWorks also mentioned the compromise between Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democrat Sen. Patty Murray in criticizing the current proposal.
“The spending levels in this bill reflect the Ryan/Murray budget deal that was reached in December,” the group stated, “spending $45 billion above the budget caps established back in 2011.”
From that organization’s perspective, the bill’s creation is more alarming than what is included therein.
“The appropriators who crafted this bill did so in absolute secrecy,” the statement continued, “preventing any meddlesome outsiders from nagging them about the spending tweaks and program changes they tucked into a 1,500 page bill.”
A statement by Heritage Action for America pointed out that “the omnibus increases spending, in some cases dramatically, beyond most of the House-passed allocations for [Fiscal Year 2014] appropriations cycle.”
Echoing the sentiments of fellow conservative advocates, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips lambasted Congress’ “unwillingness to restrain spending.”
He further criticized the unwillingness of legislators to present a proper budget proposal, indicating “this short-sighted, indulgent legislation is the unfortunate result.”
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo credit: Jessie Owen (Creative Commons)