The $1.1 trillion, 2,000-page Republican omnibus spending bill demonstrates why the GOP is losing support within the party. When former House Speaker John Boehner took the gavel from big spending Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the Republicans promised the pork barrel spending days were over. They promised legislation would not include special interest projects and promised the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” days were over. They swore the bills would be posted online and all lawmakers would read the legislation—no more back room deals.
That didn’t last long. The establishment, with new Speaker Paul Ryan, has reneged on most promises and judging by the current establishment presidential hopeful campaign trail – average Americans are showing exactly how much they despise the Republican elites.
The legislation was quietly pushed through both houses of Congress and sent to a grateful president on a Friday afternoon before Christmas.
“If anyone needed more evidence of why the American people are suffering at the hands of their own government, look no further than the budget deal announced by Speaker Ryan. In order to avoid a government shutdown, a cowardly threat from an incompetent President, the elected Republicans in Congress threw in the towel and showed absolutely no budget discipline. The American people will have to absorb higher deficits, greater debt, less economic liberty and more corporate welfare. Congress cannot seem to help itself in bending to every whim of special interests. How can they face their constituents when they continue to burden our children and grandchildren with debts they will never be able to repay? Our government is failing us, so we must do something about it. Who knows how bad things will be when the next administration comes in and has to pick up the pieces?”
He continued, “The only special interest not being served by our government is the American people. It is time we imposed budget discipline by holding the line on spending, getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse, and by taking on our debt. To do these things, we need a President who can lead the fight to hold Congress and the rest of government accountable. Together, we can Make America Great Again.”
The special interests weren’t limited to government largesse, but the GOP, perhaps as a slap in the face to Trump’s political incorrectness, gave President Obama what he wanted on immigration.
“The more than 2,000 page year-end funding bill contains a dramatic change to federal immigration law that would increase by as much as four-fold the number of low-wage foreign workers provided to employers under the controversial H-2B visa program (i.e. low skill hotel and construction jobs), beyond what is currently allowed,” Sessions also said in a statement.
“At a time of record immigration – with a full 83 percent of the electorate wanting immigration frozen or reduced – the GOP-led Congress is about to deliver Obama a four-fold (currently 66,000 to around 264,000) increase to one of the most controversial foreign worker programs. The result? Higher unemployment and lower wages for Americans… Wages were stagnant or declining for workers in all of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014.”
According to the Economic Policy Institute, “Flat and declining wages coupled with such high unemployment rates over such a long period of time suggest a loose labor market—an over-supply of workers rather than an under-supply.”
Plus, earlier this month the Republicans nearly passed a bill that would end sanctuary cities and halt spending to Plan Parenthood, but neither provision made the final omnibus cut.
“They wanted big oil so much that they give away the store,” Minority leader Pelosi said. “I feel almost jubilant about what is in this appropriations bill.”
Despite America suffering its worst terrorist attack on the homeland since 9/11 and the majority of voters wanting to pause the refugee program until a better vetting system is in place, the omnibus bill funded and expanded the refugee program for 38 countries, primarily the Middle East.
Appropriations Committee Vice Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) concluded, “This is a bill that protects America, rebuilds it and invests in the future. I think it’s a great bill; it’s a result of bipartisan effort. Let’s vote for it, and may the Force be with us.”
Conversely, Sessions concluded that the pretty Christmas tree loaded with special interest ornaments, trades taxpayers’ loyalty with betrayal and for a lump of coal.
Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!