Congress Releases Light Reading, A 4,155-Page Omnibus Bill Totaling $1.7 Trillion In Expenditures

 December 20, 2022

Giving lawmakers just a few short days to read it before the government shuts down on Friday, congressional appropriators dropped the $1.7 trillion - 4,155 - page omnibus spending bill at 1:30 A.M. Eastern Time on Tuesday.

It funds the government through September of 2023 with domestic spending of $773 billion. It also would boost defense spending by $76 billion, totaling $858 billion.

Chalking up the higher increase in defense spending, compared to domestic spending as a Republican victory, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seemed pleased. This was despite the fact that Democrats managed to pass their $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which boosted domestic expenditures on climate change and other leftist domestic priorities.

Reportedly the bill includes, Among other priorities-

  • $5 billion in earmarks for 3,200 projects
  • $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health
  • $1 billion for Puerto Rico’s electrical grid
  • $45 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, billions more than Biden
  • $600 million to address water issues in Jackson, Mississippi
  • The Senate version of the Electoral Count Reform Act, which would change the process for lawmakers to object to the certification of the presidential election
  • Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) push to have a ban on TikTok on government devices is included in the omnibus

Seemingly, priorities that did not make it into the bill include-

  • Coronavirus aid
  • The SAFE Banking Act, which would allow marijuana businesses to have more access to banking services
  • A bill to narrow alleged sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine
  • Extension of the enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC)

Thirteen House conservatives swiftly came out against the omnibus spending bill, writing a letter to Senate Republicans, urging them to oppose the bill. These house members wrote-

 “…we are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill – including the… leader.”

- House Conservatives

In a statement, defending his and others position, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) explained that not every senator will help congressional leadership “ram” the omnibus through the Senate. He asked rhetorically-

 “This bill has been written in large measure by two retiring senators, one Republican and one Democrat. Why should we move heaven and earth trying to force their priorities on the very people they keep in the dark—all according to two senator’s contrived, manipulative timelines?”

-Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

It would seem that the concerns of the conservatives in congress, are still going largely unheeded. Additionally, that this bill (a whopping 4,155 pages long) gets released with less than a week for lawmakers to read it before going home for Christmas is ridiculous. Obviously, this is meant to be a “rubber stamp event”. With so much spending again on the line, wouldn’t it be appropriate to really review this bill for pork barrel additives? America needs some fiscal responsibility, and limits on what legislators can effectively pass on to the American tax-payer, who will be the one paying this bill.

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”

-Dave Ramsey
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