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The Bad, the Ugly, and the Worst of the Spending Package

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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21 Comments
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Congress is at it again, spending heaps of taxpayer dollars on special interests and expanding the size of government with the recently signed $1.2 trillion spending package. The package was passed just in time to avoid a partial government shutdown.

The Associated Press described the events as “long overdue,” and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer characterized passing the bill as “complet(ing) the job” and insisted that doing so was “good for the country.” Some Democrats and Republicans have been able to tout their “victories” in the bill to their bases. Spectators who view Congress’ productivity in bills passed or speed of action will similarly see this as a win.

But don’t be fooled. The package’s contents and the way in which it was passed illustrate, once again, that our governing processes are broken and that our politicians flippantly waste citizens’ money. Let’s look at the bad, the ugly, and the worst of this process.

First, the bad: the actual contents of the bill. It is always the case that people spend their own money more wisely than they spend others’, but congressional spending is the epitome of that reality. In the spending package, the federal government sent millions in taxpayer dollars to special interests — for example, $850,000 to a New Jersey housing development for LGBTQ+ seniors and $400,000 to an organization that, among other things, provides “gender-affirming” clothing to trans youth.

Regardless of how one feels about the related social issues, there is no reason Congress ought to steal taxpayer dollars for such causes. Citizens, of their own volition, can donate their money to those projects if they wish. Congress has no right to force that spending on taxpayers and add to the national debt. 

Yes, $1.25 million is not a lot, but those are only two of many special interests that will receive federal money as a result of this package. In the last two years, members of Congress known as The Squad have secured $220 million for special interest groups.

Republicans, too, are guilty of using the federal government to provide funding to favored interests in their districts. For example, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia  secured $3.8 million in federal funding for an airport expansion in Dade County, Georgia.

If you thought conservatives would fight for limiting government and cutting spending, you were wrong. Instead, in this package, the GOP was far more focused on  banning LGBTQ pride flags from being flown outside of U.S. embassies. The GOP did not stop the $200 million allocated for a new FBI headquarters in Maryland. Additionally, the Republicans supported a $27.75 billion raise for the Department of Defense above its current funding level, even though the Pentagon has failed audits six years in a row.

Now, for the ugly: the process. Not only did our nation’s politicians pass a package containing all kinds of ridiculous measures, but they passed it without even reading it. The bill, which spans more than 1,000 pages, was released in the middle of the night, and our representatives were given fewer than 36 hours to review it. In other words, they didn’t review it. We elect these individuals to be our eyes, ears and voice in Congress. Is it too much to ask that they read the bills before they vote?

There’s a big difference between “completing the job,” as Schumer said, and skipping the job altogether.

Finally, the worst: broken promises. When Mike Johnson became speaker of the House, he promised Republicans adequate time to read legislation before voting on it. However, he waived the self-imposed 72-hour rule for this massive $1.2 trillion package, sparking ire from many. Even Republicans, such as Greene and Justin Amash of Michigan, have called for the ouster of Speaker Johnson after the chaotic process through which this bill was passed.

 Thomas Massie of Kentucky went to X (formerly known as Twitter) right before the spending package was passed to lament, “As part of the debt limit deal last summer, Biden agreed to an automatic 1 percent cut to all discretionary spending if we were still on a CR on April 30, 2024. Tomorrow, our Speaker will give up that leverage and pass an omnibus that spends more than (Nancy) Pelosi spent in her highest year.”

Our politicians impetuously spend American taxpayers’ money, imprudently blowing out the national debt with no signs of slowing down. This weighs on economic growth and reduces the prosperity of Americans. In justifying the haste with which this bill was shoved through, Speaker Johnson stated, “We have to govern.” Blindly spending taxpayer dollars is not governing. It is lazy and immoral. Americans ought to demand better.

Reprinted with permission from DC Journal by Benjamin Ayanian.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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Jim R.
Jim R.
1 month ago

We keep electing the same people. And only 30-40% of us bother to show up and vote. The REAL problem is in the mirror.

Max
Max
1 month ago

Another good article about how BAD the MAJORITY of the Congress are. The voters again need to vote in members who can reign in control. Again, the majority of spending bills are supporting the LEFTIST AGENDA and WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS while DESTROYING the INTEGRITY of our NATION. VOTE!!!! DRAIN THE SWAMP OF LEFTISTS, DEMOs and RINOs this election cycle. IF NOT — DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
1 month ago

another rip-off of US taxpayers. And the most disgusting part of this is the fact that it doesn’t matter which party is in the majority either. Both parties do this.

sue
sue
1 month ago

Cut out the special interest groups and get rid of the pork belly spenders plus make term limitations the rule for ALL elected people (I sure don’t want to call them officials). The term special interest group label is divisive and discriminatory.

Elizabeth Misa
Elizabeth Misa
1 month ago

We need to drain the swamp of individuals who have made a lifetime in office! We need to toss all of them that do not have what the American people want. Too many have been in office for too long. We need term limits! Stop talking about it and do it!! We need better people in office who will take care of their constituents!!! These politicians do not care about spending our money.

Alaintha
Alaintha
1 month ago

As our Country slowly slides into the abyss, how long will it take for the banks to foreclose on the United States?
When will Americans fight back against the thieves at our nations Capitol? Apparently not soon enough.

Rich
Rich
1 month ago

If your kids could either play piano in a whore house or become a politician, by all means teach them the piano. I am so sick of the majority of politicians I could puke. We have to change the requirements of an American politician to eliminate the get rich and lie requirement. It’s time to flush out congress and send the majority of the old weasels on to retirement. Then, change how we fund their retirement. If they are a millionaire, they don’t need a taxpayer retirement. It was never supposed to be: serve for life and become a millionaire, to “serve” your country.

Granny26
Granny26
1 month ago

The ‘bad, the ugly and the worst’ are all in DC.

Concerned
Concerned
1 month ago

I guess we can’t trust either party or any group, or for that matter, any person in the House or Senate to at least read and be ready to answer questions on these spending bills before voting for it. If not against it, vote present, but never yes. If I did what I would like to do, just stop paying my taxes until our Federal Government representatives stand up for what is best for America.
Do your job or get out!! Even if it means shutting down the US Government, do what needs to be done. Do your job on time and if not, shut the over spending beyond reason US Government down. I would like, would love to see the main branches of those agencies responsible also face non-payment and without the possibility of back pay when a shutdown happens and the government starts back up again.

Lauramerrone
Lauramerrone
1 month ago

Johnson turned out to be a dud instead of a dude… Where are the leaders with any kind of BACKBONE? Trump and DeSantis seem to be two exceptions…

johnh
johnh
1 month ago

Some of these elected officials campaigned on promises to constituents, which is understandable. But , it is time to stop any project that will increase our National Debt. Raise taxes if needed, but quit spending borrowed money!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 month ago

Our trouble is ,as commen taxpayers , we never know what the money goes for ,until the bill has passed. (f peoplelike us were in charge , you would see spending cut 9n half or better. We suffer from runaway govt. These politicians only care about themselves. Kyle L.

Bob Chase
Bob Chase
1 month ago

The ONLY cure will come from Convention of States if that effort continues and produces expected results. Congress will never self-limit their appetite for tax dollars and pet projects. Buying influence ensures they survive to become richer in office.

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