Flake, McCain Sign Letter Calling for Transparent Legislative Process
Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) signed a letter on Tuesday calling for transparent legislative process that does not increase government spending.
Flake and McCain joined Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) in a “Dear Colleague” letter asking senators to change their ways because America’s debt is out of control.
“With our national debt exceeding $17 trillion, taxpayers are expecting us to work together to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending and be more vigilant about how we spend public funds,” the senators wrote in the letter to their colleagues, obtained by Breitbart News. “As stewards of our nation’s finances, we must ensure our good intentions today are not paid for at the expense of future generations. This means no longer spending money we do not have to pay for programs we do not need.”
They asked that the Senate implement measures and requirements that the House of Representatives has already put in place so as “to restore fiscal responsibility and increase accountability and transparency in the legislative process.”
The first requirement they ask for is that “all new spending must be offset with cuts to lower priority spending.”
“To make government more efficient, any legislation authorizing new spending or creating a new agency, office, program, activity, or benefit, or increasing the authorization of an existing function, must offset the cost of this expansion by eliminating an existing program or function or reducing the authorized funding level of ongoing spending,” they wrote in that section in part.
Despite this request, McCain and Flake are currently members of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” whose immigration will cost trillions to taxpayers. The Heritage Foundation’s recent report found that amnesty for 11.5 million illegal immigrants would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion in new spending.
Later in the letter to their colleagues, McCain and Flake and the other signers said that the “cost and text of bills must be available prior to passage.”
“Too many bills costing billions of dollars with far-reaching implications are approved by the Senate with little debate, few if any amendments, and little time to read the actual text of the legislation,” they wrote. “To guarantee taxpayers and senators have sufficient time to review bills to understand their cost and impact, all legislation must be publicly available in an electronic format for at least three full days along with a cost estimate completed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prior to being passed.”
The Gang of Eight immigration legislation has been brought through the Senate Judiciary Committee markup process after just one committee hearing, despite being 867 pages long. The Gang of Eight has been blocking any attempts to offer meaningful amendments to the legislation in the committee process.