WRDA: What Does $8.2 Billion Buy?

This evening, the House is expected to vote on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (H.R.3080), which authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to construct various projects around the country and assist with a variety of local projects.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the bill would cost $8.2 billion over the next decade.  While better than similar legislation passed by the Senate in May, the bill contains “glaring shortcomings” that make it unworthy of conservative support.

The Heritage Foundation’s Emily Goff writes the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee “decision to include reform provisions is a refreshing change of course.”  There is a concern, however, that “some of the reforms could either fail to deliver on their promises or introduce new complications.”

The Corps has a $60-80 billion project backlog.  In an attempt to clear the backlog, the House bill’s “deauthorization provision requires the Corps to report $12 billion worth of projects to delist.”  Unfortunately, that “amounts to less than one-third of the backlog; identifying and deauthorizing an amount closer to $30 billion or $45 billion would prove more effective in reducing the backlog.”

The House will have the opportunity to vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) that would expand the deauthorization of back logged projects from $12 to $35 billion.  The amendment would also allow projects authorized in the 2007 bill, which contained more than 800 earmarks, to be deauthorized.  That amendment is deserving of conservative support.

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Irresponsible: A Liberal Pot Calls Conservative Kettle Black

Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA) 14% opines that “our debt is on an unsustainable path.”  We agree! $17,000,000,000,000 is a number incomprehensible to the human mind.  But the 12 zeros should tell us something.  Ironically, Rep. Honda has, by his voting record and actions in Congress, proven himself a fiscal liability to our nation, contributing generously to our national debt.  We’re keeping count; he is a 5 percent on our scorecard, well below the abysmal Democrat average of 16 percent.  Yet, somehow, he finds himself in a position to lecture conservatives about responsibility, and fiscal responsibility at that.

Rep. Honda calls the events leading up to the government shutdown a “dysfunctional, irresponsible game of brinkmanship” and is apparently relieved that “cooler heads ultimately prevailed.”  Those “cooler heads” did indeed procure an 11th-hour deal which saved face politically.  But Congress accomplished nothing legislatively that would protect Americans from the ravages of Obamacare, and the hefty debt that will result from it in the coming years.  Recall, by 2013, just a decade from now, the U.S. will sink $250 billion into Obamacare annually, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.  Fiscally responsible?  Not at all.  But I digress.

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From Obamacare to Amnesty, Obama’s Goals Threaten U.S. Economy

Congress just completed the first phase of a difficult but crucial battle against Obamacare.  This struggle is yet unfinished, but conservatives will continue to fight against Obamacare because it will harm America as long as it remains law.  Obamacare is a fiscal nightmare for our country, which is already saddled with $17 trillion of debt.  But leftist policy ideas that threaten the economy don’t stop there.  The next big battle will be to prevent amnesty, the vehicle for which may be the Senate’s Gang of 8 bill.

Under the Affordable Care Act, entitlement spending will increase massively, growing our nation’s debt; entitlement spending is already a massive source of our debt in America which will only be exacerbated by the Affordable Care Act.  And if the nearly 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States are granted amnesty, they will become eligible for entitlements as well.  This cost will be a massive burden to the U.S. economy and the American taxpayers. 

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Senate Democrats Care More About Obamacare than Children with Cancer and Veterans

Yesterday, the Senate voted down a House joint resolution entitled Honoring our Promise to America’s Veterans Act, simply because they’re on a mission to protect Obamacare instead of the American people.  

Things are getting worse under the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 13%.

Today, Dana Bash asked Senate Democrats why not just support the bill that provides funding to NIH which helps children with cancer:

You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials.  The House is presumably going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH.  Given what you said, will you at least pass that, and if not, aren’t you playing the same political games that Republicans are?

He tried to block the question by placing blame on Republicans again.  Dana added:

But if you could help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

Reid responded:

Why would we want to do that?

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Does the Farm Bill Really Stimulate the Economy?

In light of our nation’s nearly $17 trillion debt, conservatives are always looking for ways the government can and should cut spending.  With all the wasteful spending in Washington, identifying the waste is not hard; getting Washington to change, however, is an uphill battle.

Take the farm bill, for example, and all the silly arguments made in favor of the waste (i.e., corporate welfare) perpetuated by this anachronistic legislation, like this one:

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the farm bill isn’t just a farm bill – it’s an economic stimulus bill that creates jobs and helps small businesses and rural communities every year. 

You don’t have to be an economist to grasp this: taking taxpayer money and giving it to corporate agriculture interests doesn’t stimulate the economy.  It just hurts taxpayers.

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