Conservatives shouldn’t help President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer fund a government that is destroying the safety of our families, the future of our children, and the strength of our economy.
From open borders and student debt amnesty to skyrocketing inflation, climate radicalism, and our public education system, there’s a lot on the ballot this November. But even if conservatives prevail in the midterm elections, Pelosi and Schumer might still get their way for another year.
The next big fight is not in November. It is next week.
The federal government is set to run out of funding on Oct. 1 unless Congress steps in and passes a temporary funding package, also called a “continuing resolution.” These short-term funding packages have long been a precursor to rushed negotiations and reckless spending.
Usually, how this plays out is that Congress passes a short-term funding package in September, kicking the budget can down the road until December. Congressional leadership then uses the threat of a government shutdown over Christmas to gift rank-and-file members with a big lump of coal—a hastily written omnibus spending bill, negotiated in a secret backroom deal, which funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year.
It’s not uncommon for members of Congress to have less than 24 hours to read a 1,000-page bill before voting, and there are no real opportunities for amendments.
This year, if Congress extends funding only until Dec. 16, it will create another artificial deadline right before Christmas, and give Schumer and Pelosi the opportunity to cement Biden’s policy agenda for a third year. That means that regardless of which party wins the midterm elections, Democrats will still control the power of the purse through September 2023.
The buzzer-beater funding fight happens almost every year, and the American people pay for it every time.
Think back to as recently as December 2020, when the same lame-duck setup resulted in a massive, multi-thousand-page, $1.4 trillion omnibus with an additional $900 billion “COVID-19 relief” package. This legislation allowed a lame-duck Congress to fund tax subsidies for special interests and extended and enhanced the frivolous COVID-19 unemployment benefits that wrecked our economy.
In December 2019, a lame-duck Congress passed a somewhat smaller, yet offensively partisan “minibus” package that made dramatic changes to our nation’s health care system, adding $400 billion to our debt and expanding taxpayer funding for abortions through Obamacare insurance plans.
The legislation also gave handouts to certain politically favored industries and spent $25 million trying to study different ways to restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
These are just two examples of the consequences of a short-term September continuing resolution setting up a December lame-duck funding fight.
But there is still hope for this year. All conservatives in Congress must unite and reject any attempts from Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer to fund their agenda for another year.
Conservatives in Congress should insist on funding the government at current spending levels into January. That would give the next Congress the opportunity to enact the will of the voters and fund the government according to the priorities set forth on Election Day.
Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ted Cruz of Texas have been leaders on this issue, laying out their arguments in a recent Fox News opinion piece. And in the House, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, has gathered a coalition to oppose a December deadline.
They argue that a “clean” funding package that expires after December is the only way that elected officials can be accountable to the American people.
Lame-duck legislating leads to bad policy, but it also fails the standards of representative government. Funding the government is one of the most important duties of Congress, and it should only be done by those who voters elect to properly represent their values and interests.
Conservatives cannot wait until December to complain about this same lame-duck strategy. They have seen this scheme enough times to know what comes next. The choice they must now make is to stand up and fight for the American people or give Pelosi and Schumer the power to pass Biden’s spending and inflation agenda for a third year.
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