WASHINGTON – This week Congress released the text of two bills that, taken together, fund the government through Fiscal Year 2020. Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Justin Bogie and Frederico Bartels, policy analyst for defense budgeting, released the following response:
In 2018, President Trump vowed to ‘never sign another bill like this again.’ Unfortunately, while one of the bills rightly prioritizes key constitutional priorities – national defense and border security – the other is rife with problematic provisions. This includes $534.4 billion in spending, an un-offset repeal of provisions to pay for Obamacare and other health programs that would increase the deficit by around $400 billion, and a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer union bailout. Lawmakers also struck a last-minute deal to revive a costly tax extenders package.
With this deal, Congress shows it is back to business as usual, using the tax code to transfer taxpayer money to powerful lobbyists and politically connected industries. And, in a blow to good governance, both bills will be voted on within hours of introduction, leaving little time for reading the legislation, let alone a robust debate and amendment process. This is a complete failure by America’s fiscal stewards to responsibly spend our money.
The bill that contains security funding is important and necessary. It contains appropriations for key constitutional priorities that are absolutely critical – it will enable the continued rebuild of America’s military, advance the F-35 program, expand the Navy’s fleet, and give our service members a much-deserved raise. The funding for border security is also critical.
In the face of looming trillion-dollar deficits, Americans must hold Congress accountable for skirting budget rules, recklessly driving deficits ever higher and failing to repeal or reform failing entitlement programs like Obamacare. Current and future generations will pay a high price if lawmakers continue down this path.