All of the Republicans in Iowa’s Congressional Delegations opposed the Omnibus bill compromise brokered by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI). Congressmen Rod Blum (R-IA), Steve King (R-IA) and David Young (R-IA), as well as, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) voted no on the Omnibus bill that passed through the House and the Senate averting a shutdown.
Young, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, complained about the process.
“I spent all year fighting for Iowa values and priorities from my seat on the Committee on Appropriations, where we passed 12 bills that held the line on wasteful spending. At the end of the day, this was neither the process nor the result I or Iowans wanted. Ultimately, I could not support this measure.” Young said.
King attempted to amend the bill.
“I introduced 9 amendments to the omnibus spending bill,” said King. “All of which would have passed if brought to the floor, yet none were made in order. I put these up as a record of what Congress should be doing to restore Article I Constitutional Authority. The American people have been demanding that we defund ObamaCare, executive amnesty, the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, Planned Parenthood, WOTUS, the Iran nuclear deal, the refugee resettlement process, climate change, and strike out any expansion of H-2B visas.”
“Today’s $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill was a typical Washington DC backroom deal: Republicans and Democrats “working together” to spend even more American taxpayer money. Washington special interests are thrilled by this massive spending binge while our children and grandchildren get stuck with the bill,” Blum stated.
“When I came to Washington in January, I was named to the Budget Committee. We worked hard to produce a responsible budget that put us on the path to fiscal sanity and it passed the House, but today’s legislation completely busted that budget. Iowa families have to live within their means, but Congress sees no problem with breaking its own budget. This is exactly why so many Americans view their politicians as “out of touch”.
“Further, I also voted no because the process that gave us today’s spending bill is completely broken. Negotiated behind closed doors by Congressional leadership without participation from rank and file members, the bill is over 2,000 pages long and was introduced at 1:30 AM on Wednesday, giving members of Congress less than 60 hours to analyze it and make a “take it or leave it” judgment call while under tremendous pressure to pass the bill before the holidays. This process cuts Iowans out of the business of governing, and I’m hopeful that Speaker Ryan will work hard to improve this process when we start the new legislative year in January,” Blum added.
“Omnibus appropriations bills are never the best way forward. Republicans made a commitment to individual spending bills. The Appropriations Committee worked through the grueling task of putting together individual bills, only to be thwarted by the Democrats with nearly every attempt to bring them to debate on the Senate floor,” Grassley said. “So, now we’re left with a bloated year-end deal that increases spending by tens of billions of dollars above the bipartisan promise Congress made in 2011 to rein in runaway spending.”
Grassley noted some good aspects of the bill like some tax provisions, a 9/11 victims compensation fund, and other measures, but he stated the good did not outweigh the bad.
“Once again, Washington finds itself governing from one crisis to the next, cutting back room deals and now, jamming through this $1.8 trillion package in spending and tax policy. Iowans deserve better; they deserve to have a voice in this process, instead of a being told what’s been negotiated behind closed doors,” Ernst said in a released statement.
“While there are some positive aspects of the deal, I could not in good faith support it in its entirety because it not only fails to address the drivers of our fiscal mess, but it exacerbates the problem by leaving taxpayers on the hook. Simply put, I was sent to Washington to cut the pork and this deal adds too much money to an already growing government and unsustainable national debt.
“Additionally, this back room deal fails to include a critical measure to stop the EPA’s harmful expansion of the WOTUS rule. The reality is the WOTUS rule is ill-conceived and breeds uncertainty, confusion, and more red tape that threatens the livelihoods of many in Iowa and across the country. Failure to act hurts hardworking farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses who are continuously ignored by the EPA.
“This bill also sidesteps the need to pause the refugee program for Syrians, in order to ensure that Americans are safe.
“Like Iowans across our state, I’m fed up with politicians’ talk of change, only for it to result in more Washington dysfunction. Congress should debate this deal in an open and transparent process,” Ernst added.