This holiday season, millions of American families are still struggling to make ends meet due to the ravages of inflation.

The cost of basics, such as food and family homes, have spiked since January 2021, meaning that real wages have dropped by thousands of dollars per year.

At a time when responsible adults are carefully scrutinizing their household budgets to stay out of debt (or avoid going deeper into the red), it would be nice if officials in Washington took the same approach with taxpayer dollars.

Regrettably, the Biden administration is going out of its way to make government projects and programs as inefficient as possible by tacking on a laundry list of woke mandates.

Many federal programs are open to applications from governments, businesses, or nonprofit groups for funding particular projects. Federal agencies publish “notice of funding opportunity” documents that lay out the ground rules.

In theory, these rules are supposed to be based on what Congress passed into law. However, the Biden administration has repeatedly inserted its own highly ideological objectives into these notices, bypassing Congress and steering policy far to the left.

Incredibly, the policy area most affected by the White House’s dictates isn’t social programs, but infrastructure. Examples include:

Each and every mandate the administration attaches (over and above genuine legal requirements) means extra busywork for applicants, more time that overpaid federal bureaucrats spend analyzing applications and enforcing mandates, and untold amounts of project funding diverted toward the administration’s agenda.

The bottom line: All of this inflates the costs for goods and services purchased by the federal government while the nation is rapidly going broke.

Congressional Republicans are rightly pushing back against this wasteful and authoritarian trend.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is fighting the administration’s abuse of office. In his capacity as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Texas lawmaker received official guidance stating that Congress can overturn extralegal mandates through the Congressional Review Act.

Cruz is planning to introduce a resolution that, if passed, would block the administration’s attempt at an undemocratic end-around.

This isn’t the first time that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has played fast and loose with the law in the service of leftist ideology.

In late 2021, the Department of Transportation released a “guidance memo” on highway funding that tried to insert Democratic priorities without authorization. Senate Republicans objected vigorously, and Buttigieg backed down from that particular scheme.

However, the administration has remained obsessed with costly initiatives and orders that bend or break the executive branch’s legal authority, as the woke mandates outlined above make clear.

Congress should act quickly to undo as many of the Biden administration’s costly and divisive add-ons as possible. Even Democrats ought to have an interest in maintaining the balance of power and not excessively running up the national debt.

Even if it might require a holiday miracle to get Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to do the right thing, Republicans owe it to the American people to fight the administration’s expensive agenda.

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