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Governance At Its Worst
Washington, D.C>, December 22, 2020
You just cannot defend what happened last night in Congress. Yesterday we were literally emailed a 5,600-page PDF that contained one of the largest spending bills in our history – over $2.3 trillion. And NOT ONE Member of Congress had time read it before a vote was called just a few short hours later.
This entire thing was negotiated behind closed doors. No hearings. No real debate. No input from 98% of those elected to serve in Congress. Just a PDF in our inbox, along with some memo from a sleep-deprived staff member feeding us top-line talking points that we still haven’t had time to verify.
I realize there were some good elements in yesterday’s legislation, including a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for some small businesses and additional funds for vaccine distribution. In fact, a bill I sponsored and worked hard on for our veterans, H.R. 617, was incorporated into that package.
But just a cursory glance through this document revealed dizzying amounts of your money being sent all over the place. Hundreds of millions in questionable domestic spending (e.g. Kennedy Center, National Arts Gallery, etc.). Billions being sent to foreign governments. Why, for example, are we sending $10 million to Pakistan for “gender programs”?!
There’s a lot in here that doesn’t pass scrutiny. Also don’t forget that every six hours our nations adds another BILLION dollars to our existing $27.5 trillion in debt. Yet there appear to be no meaningful offsets or spending reductions in this legislation.
With every bill you weight the pros and cons and vote accordingly. But you can’t do that in just a few hours with a 5,600-page bill. This was governance at its worst. Ultimately this spending bill passed, but not with my vote.
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