Vote Alert: Pass a $555 billion Christmas minibus spending spree

· December 19, 2019  
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CR Liberty Score Update

This was a vote on a 1,773-page “minibus” spending bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. The bill funds the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, the Department of Energy, the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative Branch.

This legislation is a cornucopia of government waste and funding for progressive priorities, while President Trump’s campaign promises once again are neglected by Congress.

To summarize:

  • The minibus bill spends $555 billion, increasing the deficit by another $390 billion on top of the increases from previous years, placing spending levels well above Trump’s budget proposals in every year.
  • While it dramatically increases spending for bureaucracies like the Department of Education, Congress did not increase spending for the most needed function – immigration enforcement. ICE badly needs more detention space and agents for deportations.
  • Major policy changes in the bill benefit special interests. The corporate welfare Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes countries like Saudi Arabia to purchase Boeing products, is reauthorized for seven years.
  • Congress added new tax extenders for special interests at taxpayer expense.
  • Congress repealed the Obamacare tax increases, which might sound like a good thing, but it’s actually going to make Obamacare worse because the bill contains a host of reauthorizations and expansions for all of the subsidy programs under Obamacare and Medicaid expansion. Congress also barred some of the recent regulatory reforms Trump imposed on Obamacare. While the core of Obamacare is codified and expanded, the taxes that paid for Obamacare were repealed. The effect is bigger deficits while the health care industry gets free handouts.
  • Additionally, taxpayers are still paying for abortions through Obamacare insurance plans.
  • Congress also expanded the federal Medicaid matching funds for U.S. territories by roughly 50 percent, incentivizing our territories to bust their budgets expanding Medicaid with the hope that the federal government will bail them out in the future.
  • Congress bafflingly raised the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. While Congress has shown no will to fight back against states violating federal immigration law, it has now seized a state issue and nationalized it. While 18-year-old American soldiers continue to fight and die in Afghanistan in a war that began before they were born, they won’t even have the freedom to choose whether or not to smoke.
  • Congress once again extended the broken and insolvent National Flood Insurance Program, which is now nearly $25 billion in debt.
  • Congress is requiring the CDC and the National Institutes of Health to spend $25 million each to study gun violence.

This summary only scratches the surface of the bad policies conservatives do not support that are hidden in this bill. Immorally, the minibus was handed to lawmakers just days before they were expected to vote on the bill to avoid a government shutdown. No one read the bill, save for the lobbyists who wrote it. How can lawmakers represent the people’s interests if they have not read and cannot understand what they are voting for? How can the people understand and follow the law when it is too voluminous to read?

This minibus bill spends taxpayer money irresponsibly, funds policies that conservatives cannot support, fails to fund policies conservatives do support, and in execution, it is simply bad government.

The House of Representatives passed the 1,773-page minibus on December 17, 2019, at 2:05 pm ET in a roll call vote of 297 – 120.

The Senate passed the minibus bill on December 19, 2019, at 12:48 pm ET in a roll call vote of 71 – 23.

To see how your elected officials stack up or other votes that compose the Liberty Score, view our full scorecard here.

Conservative position: NO


U.S. House of Representatives*

*Minority party in italics

YEAS — 297

Adams
Aderholt
Aguilar
Allred
Amodei
Axne
Bacon
Baird
Balderson
Barr
Barragán
Bass
Beatty
Bera
Bergman
Beyer
Bilirakis
Bishop (GA)
Blumenauer
Blunt Rochester
Bonamici
Bost
Boyle, Brendan F.
Brady
Brindisi
Brooks (IN)
Brown (MD)
Brownley (CA)
Buchanan
Bucshon
Bustos
Butterfield
Calvert
Carbajal
Cárdenas
Carson (IN)
Carter (TX)
Cartwright
Case
Casten (IL)
Castor (FL)
Castro (TX)
Chu, Judy
Cicilline
Cisneros
Clark (MA)
Clarke (NY)
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Cohen
Cole
Comer
Conaway
Connolly
Cook
Cooper
Correa
Costa
Courtney
Cox (CA)
Craig
Crenshaw
Crist
Crow
Cuellar
Cunningham
Davids (KS)
Davis (CA)
Davis, Danny K.
Davis, Rodney
Dean
DeFazio
DeGette
DeLauro
DelBene
Delgado
Demings
DeSaulnier
Deutch
Diaz-Balart
Dingell
Doyle, Michael F.
Dunn
Engel
Escobar
Eshoo
Espaillat
Evans
Finkenauer
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Fletcher
Fortenberry
Foster
Frankel
Fudge
Gallego
Garamendi
García (IL)
Garcia (TX)
Gibbs
Golden
Gomez
Gonzalez (TX)
Gottheimer
Granger
Graves (GA)
Green, Al (TX)
Grijalva
Guthrie
Haaland
Hagedorn
Harder (CA)
Hartzler
Hastings
Hayes
Heck
Herrera Beutler
Higgins (NY)
Hill (AR)
Himes
Horn, Kendra S.
Horsford
Houlahan
Hoyer
Huffman
Hurd (TX)
Jackson Lee
Jayapal
Jeffries
Johnson (GA)
Johnson (OH)
Joyce (OH)
Kaptur
Katko
Keating
Kelly (IL)
Kennedy
Khanna
Kildee
Kilmer
Kim
King (NY)
Kinzinger
Kirkpatrick
Krishnamoorthi
Kuster (NH)
Kustoff (TN)
LaMalfa
Lamb
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lawrence
Lawson (FL)
Lee (CA)
Lee (NV)
Levin (CA)
Levin (MI)
Lieu, Ted
Lipinski
Loebsack
Lofgren
Lowenthal
Lowey
Luetkemeyer
Luján
Luria
Lynch
Malinowski
Maloney, Carolyn B.
Maloney, Sean
Mast
Matsui
McBath
McCarthy
McCaul
McCollum
McEachin
McGovern
McHenry
McKinley
McNerney
Meeks
Meng
Miller
Mitchell
Moolenaar
Mooney (WV)
Moore
Morelle
Moulton
Mucarsel-Powell
Murphy (FL)
Napolitano
Neal
Neguse
Newhouse
Norcross
O’Halleran
Palazzo
Panetta
Pappas
Pascrell
Payne
Pence
Perlmutter
Peterson
Phillips
Pingree
Pocan
Porter
Pressley
Price (NC)
Quigley
Raskin
Reed
Reschenthaler
Rice (NY)
Richmond
Roby
Roe, David P.
Rogers (KY)
Rose (NY)
Rouda
Roybal-Allard
Ruiz
Ruppersberger
Rush
Rutherford
Ryan
Sánchez
Sarbanes
Scanlon
Schakowsky
Schiff
Schneider
Schrader
Schrier
Scott (VA)
Scott, David
Sewell (AL)
Shalala
Sherman
Sherrill
Simpson
Sires
Slotkin
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (WA)
Soto
Spanberger
Speier
Stanton
Stauber
Stefanik
Stevens
Stivers
Suozzi
Swalwell (CA)
Takano
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Titus
Tlaib
Tonko
Torres (CA)
Torres Small (NM)
Trahan
Trone
Turner
Underwood
Upton
Van Drew
Veasey
Vela
Velázquez
Visclosky
Wagner
Walberg
Walden
Walorski
Wasserman Schultz
Waters
Watson Coleman
Welch
Wexton
Wild
Wilson (FL)
Wilson (SC)
Womack
Woodall
Yarmuth
Young

NAYs — 120

Abraham
Allen
Amash
Armstrong
Arrington
Babin
Banks
Biggs
Bishop (NC)
Brooks (AL)
Buck
Budd
Burchett
Burgess
Byrne
Carter (GA)
Chabot
Cheney
Cline
Cloud
Collins (GA)
Crawford
Curtis
Davidson (OH)
DesJarlais
Doggett
Duncan
Emmer
Estes
Ferguson
Flores
Foxx (NC)
Fulcher
Gaetz
Gallagher
Gianforte
Gohmert
Gonzalez (OH)
Gooden
Gosar
Graves (LA)
Graves (MO)
Green (TN)
Griffith
Grothman
Guest
Harris
Hern, Kevin
Hice (GA)
Higgins (LA)
Holding
Hudson
Huizenga
Johnson (LA)
Johnson (SD)
Jordan
Joyce (PA)
Keller
Kelly (MS)
Kelly (PA)
Kind
King (IA)
LaHood
Lamborn
Latta
Lesko
Long
Loudermilk
Marchant
Marshall
Massie
McAdams
McClintock
Meadows
Meuser
Mullin
Murphy (NC)
Norman
Nunes
Ocasio-Cortez
Olson
Omar
Pallone
Palmer
Perry
Peters
Posey
Ratcliffe
Rice (SC)
Riggleman
Rodgers (WA)
Rogers (AL)
Rooney (FL)
Rose, John W.
Rouzer
Roy
Scalise
Schweikert
Scott, Austin
Sensenbrenner
Smith (MO)
Smucker
Spano
Steil
Steube
Stewart
Taylor
Timmons
Tipton
Waltz
Watkins
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wenstrup
Westerman
Williams
Wittman
Wright
Yoho
Zeldin

Not Voting — 13

Bishop (UT)
Gabbard
Hollingsworth
Hunter
Johnson (TX)
Lewis
Lucas
Nadler
Serrano
Shimkus
Thompson (MS)
Vargas
Walker

*Minority party in italics

U.S Senate

YEAs — 71

Alexander (R-TN)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Cardin (D-MD)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Cramer (R-ND)
Crapo (R-ID)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Ernst (R-IA)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Jones (D-AL)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Leahy (D-VT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McConnell (R-KY)
McSally (R-AZ)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Perdue (R-GA)
Peters (D-MI)
Portman (R-OH)
Reed (D-RI)
Roberts (R-KS)
Romney (R-UT)
Rosen (D-NV)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sinema (D-AZ)
Smith (D-MN)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)
Young (R-IN)

NAYs — 23

Barrasso (R-WY)
Blackburn (R-TN)
Braun (R-IN)
Carper (D-DE)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hawley (R-MO)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Toomey (R-PA)

Not Voting — 6

Booker (D-NJ)
Harris (D-CA)
Isakson (R-GA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sanders (I-VT)
Warren (D-MA)

Author: CR Staff