Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, December 21, 2022
The omnibus spending package that is about to be passed by Congress days before Republicans take control of the House contains 6,825 pages: 4,155 pages of legislative text plus 2,670 pages of explanatory materials that instruct agencies how to carry out the provisions and include at least 4,000 earmarks to pay for the pet projects of representatives and senators.
It is all but guaranteed that no member of Congress has read it.
In supporting the Democrats’ $1.7 trillion, 4,155-page omnibus spending bill, Republican leadership in the Senate has essentially negated the incoming House Republican majority’s power of the purse, critics say.
GOP senators who support the spending bill “means they will have abdicated the power of the purse until September of 2023, despite the GOP taking control of the House less than two weeks after its presumed passage,” Rusty Weiss wrote for The Political Insider.
The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey, noted that, if the bill passes (it is expected to pass by Friday) incoming House Republicans “would be powerless to carry out their oversight agenda.”
Here’s a look at some of what your taxpayer dollars are funding:
Lawmakers from both parties had sought to lock in $50 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine before the new Congress is sworn in. And that despite multiple reports that the U.S. is not clear where its aid dollars have gone and unanswered questions about why Republicans would be supporting the war effort.
Related — Rarely seen: 4 minutes of ‘pure, unvarnished truth’ on a mainstream news channel, December 13, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his nation would require an additional $55 billion in aid.
The Democrats’ omnibus spending bill, which is about to be passed with the help of a group of alleged Republicans, settled on $44.9 billion more for Ukraine.
Congress announced an additional $12 billion in aid to Ukraine in September. That came after the $40 billion aid package in May. Which was on top of a $14 billion package in March.
As Fox News host Tucker Carlson said of Zelensky: ““Since when does that guy have a claim on our Treasury?”
Of the additional $45 billion in aid slated for Ukraine, only 62% of it would go toward military activities. A total of $17 billion would go to economic assistance and efforts to support the Ukrainian government.
And why the big rush for the omnibus bill anyway, wondered Twitter CEO Elon Musk:
I’m in favor of a small spending bill to keep things running, but common sense suggests that it be the least amount required through the holidays.
Railroading through a giant spending bill that almost no one has read is unlikely to be in the best interests of the people.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2022
Richard Stern, a senior policy analyst for budget policy at The Heritage Foundation, noted in a Dec. 20 op-ed for The Daily Signal: “When announcing the gargantuan spending bill, its authors put ‘the federal government’ before ‘American families,’ and that is exactly what this bill is intended to do. … Far from the guise of keeping government’s light on, the foundation of this omnibus spending bill is a vast collection of special-interest handouts and fuel for the fires of inflation and the woke, leftist establishment. The burdens of this bill, tragically, will stifle our economy and accelerate the dissolution of the fabric of our civil society for many years to come.”
As the catastrophe as the U.S. southern border gets worse by the day, the $1.7 trillion year-end omnibus spending bill has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars of American taxpayer money to fund border security initiatives — in the Middle East.
The spending bill includes $410 million “for enhanced border security” in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman. At least $150 million of the funding is to be used to help Jordan secure its borders.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s administration is projected to oversee 2.6 million border crossers and illegal aliens arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border next year.
Other absurdities in the spending bill:
• A provision that would waive enforcement of Statutory PAYGO this year and next, resulting in a $132 billion government spending increase come January.
• $47.5 billion to the National Institutes of Health, a 5.6% increase in funding, for an agency which has been uncooperative with Congress on vital issues, including the origin of the Covid pandemic and the troubling revelations about NIH leadership’s response to scientific dissent on the issue of lockdowns.
• $9.2 billion for the CDC for fiscal 2023, an increase of 42% over a period during which the agency’s dysfunction became evident.
• $6.4 billion over three years to HHS to house, assist, and educate refugees and aliens, especially unaccompanied minors.
• $11.2 million would be given to ICE to fund or reimburse other federal agencies for costs associated with the care, maintenance, and repatriation of smuggled aliens unlawfully present in the U.S.
• $4 million for “Soy-Enabled Rural Road Reconstruction” in Iowa.
• $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama hiking trail in Georgia.
• $3 million for the American LGBTQ+ Museum in New York City.
• $1.5 million to encourage people to eat outdoors in sunny Pasadena, California.
• $$1.1 million for a solar array in cloudy Kirkland, Washington.
• $1 million for Zora’s House in Ohio, a “coworking and community space” for “women and gender-expansive people of color.”