The Republican party stands for a set of general principles that make it distinct from the Democrat party. Those general principles are fiscal responsibility, limited government, to provide for a strong defense and civil liberties. If you believe in those things, bravo — it is most likely why you are a Republican and not a Democrat or Independent. Unfortunately, Republicans we elected to represent us in Washington think differently. While they claim to be for all of these ideals, wrapping themselves in the American flag whenever in the district, the truth of the matter is that the GOP has turned on those ideas — and on us.
This past week, the Republican controlled U.S. House, and then U.S. Senate, voted to approve a $1.1 Trillion Omnibus bill. This will fund the Federal Government for the next year (through September 30, 2016). There are several particulars wrong with this law (and I will address those shortly), but the what we should first object to is the entire Omnibus process. In 2010, the Omnibus process is exactly what Republicans objected to when Democrats ran the House, and is part of the reason they won in grand fashion the 2010 mid-term elections. Rather than the Federal Budget being broken into separate appropriations bills, the Omnibus process bundles them all into one, large, monster bill. While this makes it easier for congress, it makes it more difficult for us, the voters, to understand what is going on. If we do not understand, there is no way to keep our members accountable. Moreover, it is hard to object to a massive bill that may have many good things in it even if it contains some bad things.
And that is exactly why congress does this — to dodge any sort of accountability. If they went through the normal appropriations process congressional members would have to take stands on all sorts of issues that may not make them popular with the Washington elite. So again our first objection should be to the Omnibus process, especially since both houses of congress are controlled by Republicans. We certainly did not give them control of either house to act like the Democrats they replaced.
Are the Republicans an opposition or an enabling party for the Democrats?
Second, we should be in shock at the size of this bill: $1.1 Trillion. In 2009, the Democrat controlled congress put forth an Omnibus totally $468 Billion. At the time, most congressional Republicans exclaimed this was an absurd amount of money. But I guess being in power for four years means that fiscal responsibility is now a thing of the past? When you can continue to borrow and print money for what you want, why stop? Especially when your re-election campaign fund continues to overflow from lobbyists and voters keep sending you back to do more...
The FY 2016 Omnibus bill passed by a Republican controlled House and Senate contain the following “features”:
- Continued funding for Planned Parenthood
- Eliminated spending caps of Ryan-Murray budget deal of 2011 (ironic that Ryan is now the Speaker who, just a few years ago, said spending caps were necessary but now they are not?)
- Gave extra funding to Obama’s Executive Order Amnesty Program
- Omnibus Bill was nearly 1,600 pages and the U.S. House was given less than 48 hours to review it before voting.
- EPA received $250 million more than Obama asked to fund his Climate Change agenda.
- Augmented cyber spying on Americans program, meaning government now has more access to what you say and write electronically — without a warrant.
- House Vote: 150 Republicans and 166 Democrats passed this bill. This means more Democrats than Republicans voted for this Omnibus bill. That in itself should tell you a lot!
Rush Limbaugh titled his daily email to subscribers: “GOP Sells America Down the River”
“This Republican budget deal was out-and-out, in-our-face lying, from the campaigns to individual statements made about the philosophical approach Republicans had to all this spending. There is no Republican Party! You know, we don't even need a Republican Party if they're gonna do this. Just disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it, because that's what's happening anyway.”
Conservative radio host Mark Levin told his audience,
“RINO is a perfectly good term. These are what I call neo-statists and let me explain what I mean by that: no discernable standard or practical means to hem in the power of the federal government. And too often, they contribute to its expansion while clothing themselves in the nomenclature of conservatism. This has gone on and on.
This bill came out of the House. It’s over 1,500 pages long. Not a single Republican member has read it. Senator Tom Coburn said there’s not a single elected official on Capitol Hill who has read this bill. It’s been written by staffers. They pump stuff into this thing. They cheered when they passed it because, ‘Oh, we can’t shut down the government. You keep giving up the Holy Grail and keep saying that so everything’s going to go through Congress. This is why people are furious and this is why some people like me say we need a new Republican Party.
I know we have one half of one third of Congress but we have constitutional tools. Speak to the American people. Why wasn’t this massive bill put through the committee process? Because they don’t want [us] to know what’s in it.”
Presidential candidates Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul went back to Washington to vote “No” on the bill. Senator Marcio Rubio was suspiciously absent, apparently too busy on the campaign trail to be bothered by such petty things. Donald Trump has said little or anything about it.
Oh, and Representative Greg Walden of course voted “Yes” so that it would not cause a government shutdown.
Do you want to know what is wrong with Washington? It is that we are no longer represented by those whom we elect. The solution to this problem was given to us by the founders over two centuries ago: elect someone who will represent us.