When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., canceled the August recess, there was an expectation that Republicans would use the extra time to confirm a backlog of Trump nominees and to fight for conservative priorities. Instead, the Senate passed an $854 billion spending package that kicked conservative reforms to the side in favor of placating the Democrats and their priorities.
Senate leadership combined a $675 billion defense appropriations bill with a bill to fund the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, known as a “minibus.”
The $179.3 billion Labor-Education-HHS components of the package include a $541 million increase for the Department of Education, a $2.3 billion increase for HHS, and an increase in the National Institutes of Health’s record funding to $39.1 billion. These spending levels blow past the requests President Donald Trump made in his budget. The bill also fully funds the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s unaccompanied alien child refugee program without making needed reforms to confirm that those seeking asylum in the U.S. are suffering from legitimate forms of persecution, in addition to continuing funding for Title X “family planning” programs, which give taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion provider.
The Senate claimed it would use the August recess to confirm a backlog of more than 180 Trump nominees and pass conservative legislation. Senators have only confirmed two nominees in August so far.
As for bills passed, the bottom line is that Republicans worked with Democrats to increase government spending for both military and domestic programs. The Senate irresponsibly increased funding for the Department of Education, Obamacare, welfare programs, and abortion providers. And the $21 trillion national debt continues to grow.
The Senate passed this minibus appropriations bill on August 23, 2018 at 5:15 p.m. in a roll call vote of 85 – 7.
To see how your elected officials stack up or other votes that compose the Liberty Score, view our full scorecard here.
Conservative position: NO