It’s deal-making time in Washington, and as end-of-the-year funding deadlines approach, lawmakers are scrambling to make sure their priorities and pet projects are funded.

Policy riders—or statutory language that essentially puts policy parameters around the money Congress intends to spend—have long been an important part of the congressional spending process. A well-known rider, for example, is the Hyde Amendment, which has forbidden federal funds from being spent on elective abortions since 1976.

This time around, many Republicans want to see a rider that lifts the 1970s-era ban that blocks U.S. companies from exporting crude oil.

This is a good policy to push for. As my colleague, Katie Tubb, points out, U.S. companies are now producing nearly 9 million barrels of oil a day—up from 5 million just 10 years ago. All of this oil is pent up in the domestic market, unable to be sold abroad. Lifting the ban would liberate U.S. companies to compete on the international market, driving oil prices lower, creating thousands of new jobs—and bringing $38 billion in economic growth to the United States, to boot. It also creates an advantage in the national security space by diminishing the ability of Russia, the Middle East, and other aggressor nations to manipulate global energy supplies.

This is such a good policy, in fact, that it has no place as the primary policy rider in these spending negotiations.

This is such a good policy, in fact, that it has no place as the primary policy rider in these spending negotiations.

As my colleague Nick Loris noted earlier this month, there is already broad, bipartisan consensus in both the House and the Senate for lifting the oil export ban. Subjecting this policy to the “what will you give me in return” Washington mentality will not only dilute its effectiveness in the long run by exchanging good policy for bad, but limit the number of other policy riders Republicans can and should ask for.

Consider what Democrats are offering in return for lifting the oil export ban in the spending deal: at least $16.6 billion in wind and renewable energy production tax credits and permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), to name a few. Both of these policies are detrimental to the country’s overall economic growth—the LWCF results in private land grabs and poor environmental management, and as for spending taxpayer dollars on renewable energy enterprises, do I even need to mention what happened with Solyndra?

Extortion should not be the standard we set for implementing internationally strategic, broadly supported, job-creating policies. Put another way, good policies should not come at the expense of conceding to bad ones. Lifting the ban on crude oil exports is a priority, but so is sustaining an energy future that allows the energy marketplace to flourish—and this may be easier to accomplish as a stand-alone measure with a Republican majority, or with the authority of a potential Republican president in 2016.

There is also the matter of leverage. There are many riders congressional Republicans have said are priorities. Some—like defunding Planned Parenthood, lowering spending, and blocking the implementation of economically harmful EPA rules—are more controversial than lifting the ban on crude oil exports. Republicans should put their negotiating muscle behind priorities that need the leverage of a spending bill rather than immediately acceding to the one rider that could—and perhaps should—pass on its own.

Republicans—particularly conservatives—should demand a high cost for passage of a $1.1-trillion spending deal that continues to bust any illusion of fiscal responsibility in Washington. Laying it all on the table for oil exports—in exchange for poor policies—is not nearly the sweetener Republicans should accept to swallow such a bitter spending pill. Without the fight for high-value Republican spending priorities, this bill becomes just another in a long string of bills that represent missed opportunities for this Republican majority.

To reverse an old adage, this is a case where the good can be the enemy of the great. This spending bill provides Republicans the chance to extract the full measure of what congressional majorities give them—leverage to implement important policies that they would be unable to pass in other legislative scenarios.

They should not squander it by succumbing to easy victories on policies that can be obtained through other means.