Washington—On Wednesday, congressional leaders finally released an omnibus spending measure to fund the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year. As The Heritage Foundation noted, the “2,232 page omnibus was largely crafted behind closed doors by a handful of Congressional power brokers and will be voted on almost immediately, providing an insufficient amount of time for thorough debate and constructive amendment.” The bill pairs a much-needed increase in defense spending with tens of billions of additional and unnecessary non-defense discretionary spending, which Heritage says is tantamount to “unshackling the Washington swamp to spend without constraint.” Despite the fiscally irresponsible levels of spending, conservatives were able to keep a host of big government riders off the omnibus, including bailouts to Obamacare insurers, amnesty for DACA recipients, a new internet sales tax regime, funding for the Gateway project, and re-empowering the Export-Import Bank. Heritage Action released the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Needham:
“Throughout the Obama presidency, the Republican Party at least gave lip service to the need to restore fiscal sanity in Washington. It is now clear just how many in the GOP are obviously willing to engage in profligate spending when they control the levers of power.
“Despite the fiscally irresponsible nature of the omnibus, it could have been significantly worse if Republicans expanded and entrenched Obamacare as some were attempting through insurance company bailouts. The fact that congressional Democrats balked at putting a bipartisan stamp of approval on Obamacare gives the Trump administration and congressional Republicans another chance to repeal and ultimately replace this failing law.
“There is no doubt that we need a fresh approach, because hard-working Americans and small businesses are being driven out of the health insurance market by soaring costs. Heritage Action looks forward to working with the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to advance the Patient Freedom and Choice proposal, and truly empower patients with more choices so they can have real health security.”
Earlier this week, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made clear that if congressional Democrats “can’t accept” bipartisan Obamacare bailouts, “the only choice we have is to go back to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.”
Heritage Action: Key Vote: “NO” on Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018
The Heritage Foundation: Americans Need Health Reform to be a Priority Issue in 2018
Heritage Action: Internet Sales Tax Would Undermine Tax Cut Message
Heritage Action: Why Some Conservatives Are Proposing A DACA Amnesty
Heritage Action: Key Vote: “YES” Eliminate the $900 Million Gateway Earmark
The Hill: Conservative Groups Oppose Export-Import Bank Lifeline