A couple weeks ago, I predicted that Trump’s budget would sink, because our elected representatives in Congress love big government.
Well, here we stand just after the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, and Congress has struck a deal to avoid a government shutdown by passing a $1 trillion-plus omnibus spending bill that does not fund the most conservative parts of the Trump agenda.
This omnibus bill is yet another massive spending bill that rolls 11 smaller 2017 appropriation bills into one behemoth piece of legislation. This is not the way congressional appropriations are supposed to be; under regular order, Congress would pass a budget, and then pass 12 separate annual appropriation bills. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have each promised to return to “regular order.”
Well, count this omnibus spending bill as another broken promise under unified Republican government — one of many broken promises in this bill.
Trump’s skinny-budget proposals that actually made government smaller turned out to be just that – proposals. Democrats forced Republicans to back off from key promises, like funding for the border wall, with the magic words “government shutdown.”
None of the cuts to government spending touted by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney made it into the deal. But a bunch of Democratic priorities did.
The government is still funding the baby organ harvesters at Planned Parenthood. Government checks are still being cut to sanctuary cities that harbor murderers and rapists from federal immigration enforcement. There’s nearly $3.1 billion for refugee resettlement; an increase in the cap on migrant workers under the H-2B visa program; 99 percent of the EPA’s budget was protected; Dodd-Frank regulations survived.
There’s even a $295.9 million Puerto Rico bailout. Puerto Rico gets bailed out but unborn babies at the mercy of abortionists haggling over the price of their internal organs don’t? How are any of these spending priorities under a Republican-controlled Congress different from those from the Democrat-controlled legislature under Obama? Did anyone who voted for Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell vote to repeat the last eight years? Because that’s what we’re getting out of this Congress.
The “wins” Republicans are claiming are far cries from what’s needed. The bill includes an additional $12 billion in defense spending, which is $18 billion less than President Trump asked for. There’s also $1.5 billion for “border security” (but no wall), which again is about half of what the president said was needed. The primary responsibility of the federal government – national security – is underfunded, according to the executive branch’s budget requests, while the rest of this trillion-dollar omnibus bill funds already bloated government programs to further drive up the deficit.
Planned Parenthood, sanctuary cities and refugee resettlement funded despite the need to fight courts. Border wall not funded.— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) May 1, 2017
To review, the Democrats in the minority got nearly everything they wanted while Republicans, and specifically conservatives, got screwed. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is celebrating.
“This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table. The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education, and infrastructure," Schumer said.
Translation: We kept all the conservative priorities out of the bill, so it’s a win for Democrats. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is bragging to that effect.
“We have eliminated more than 160 Republican poison pill riders ranging from undermining a woman’ right to reproductive health to dismantling Dodd-Frank’s vital Wall Street consumer protections. The omnibus does not fund President Trump’ [sic] immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force,” she said in her statement.
One-hundred and sixty conservative priorities are dead … and the Republicans are smiling and waving. The chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said this omnibus surrender is "the result of over a year’s worth of careful and dedicated efforts to closely examine federal programs to make the best possible use of every tax dollar."
That’s bad comedy, and the Democrats are the only ones laughing.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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