The House Freedom Caucus is not happy with the $1.1 trillion Omnibus spending bill, which funds the government through Sept. 2016. The conservative members main beefs center on security issues regarding the Syrian refugee program and the lack of pro-life reforms. President Obama promised to veto any measures which sought to block Syrian refugees from entering the country and any that defunded Planned Parenthood.
“Sadly, this bill does not adequately address the security issue, nor does it have the common sense, widely-supported pro-life riders that we suggested,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, in a statement to the Daily Signal.
“Many of my colleagues and I still believe the better choice for taxpayers is to redirect Planned Parenthood’s federal funding to the thousands of community health centers that are actually providing health services to women in need,” Jordan told TheBlaze.
The Omnibus bill also does not include protections conservatives sought regarding the right of conscience for those religious organizations that, as a matter of conscience, oppose funding abortions through their health insurance.
“We are told that the Republican Leadership fought hard for conscience rights and for that I am grateful,” Tom McClusky, March for Life Action Vice President of Government Affairs, said in a statement. “However…[w]ith this spending bill, Congress shoulders the responsibility alongside the Obama Administration for this gross violation of our First Amendment rights.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the bill, saying on Wednesday, “in a divided government, no one gets exactly what they want.”
Ryan seemed particularly proud of the tax provisions stating they will provide, “Certainty in the tax code so we can create more jobs. This is one of the biggest steps for the rewrite of our tax code that we have made in many years.”
“Democrats were able to cite the absence of more than 150 proposed policy riders they opposed, including provisions to restrict the Syrian refugee program, cut funding for President Barack Obama’s executive immigration action, and defund Planned Parenthood,” as their wins coming out of the negotiations, according to the Daily Signal.
House Freedom Caucus members gave the process high marks, compared to the past, when members’ ability to offer amendment either non-existent or greatly restricted. “Overall on process, Ryan get high marks,” Rep. David Brat, R-Va., said, “but the product here is an F.”
The bill is expected to be brought up in two parts on Thursday and Friday: first the tax cuts, which will enjoy strong majority Republican support, and then the spending provisions, which may eek out a majority of Republicans, but may have to rely on Democrats for passage, USA Today reports.
The federal government is currently running on a short term spending measure, which runs out on Dec. 22.
— Rep. Walter Jones (@RepWalterJones) December 16, 2015