Tea Party, Conservative Groups Blast Rushed Passage of $1.1 Trillion Omnibus Deal
Local and national Tea Party groups joined Heritage Action and the Club for Growth on Tuesday in blasting the bipartisan $1.1 trillion Omnibus budget deal that was introduced in the House of Representatives late Monday night and could be scheduled for a final vote as early as Wednesday.
In statements released Tuesday, Heritage Action, the Club for Growth, and the Tea Party Patriots announced their strong opposition to the hurried passage of the budget deal.
Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, called the Omnibus bill "unacceptable" and said it "sets the stage for another debt increase in February."
"One trillion dollars does not appear magically out of thin air," Martin stated. "The only way to pay for such a mess is to borrow, and borrow some more. Congress may be deluding themselves, but the American people will hold them responsible for this fiscal irresponsibility," she continued.
Heritage Action said it "opposes the omnibus (H.R.3547) and will include it on our legislative scorecard." The Club for Growth said it "urges all members of Congress to vote "NO" on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Senate Amdt. to HR 3547). Consideration of the plan will likely be later this week. The vote will be included in the Club's 2014 Congressional Scorecard."
Opposition to the Omnibus bill was not limited to national conservative and Tea Party organizations. Local Tea Party groups around the country appear to be unanimous in their opposition to it as well.
Ben Cunningham, founder of the Nashville Tea Party, told Breitbart News "the federal government is already in de facto bankruptcy. If Congress proceeds with this bill, it will simply be another step towards actual declared bankruptcy."
Scott Hofstra, spokesperson for the United Kentucky Tea Party, said "the line between the Democrats and the Republicans becomes nonexistent when it come to bills like this that grow the government and increase taxes. The Republicans continue to ignore their own 'Smaller Government/Lower Taxes' platform and then wonder why their Conservative base is at odds with them."
Mark Kevin Lloyd, a Virginia Tea Party activist, said "we try to teach our children to live within our means, but our elected representatives simply don't see or even care that they are destroying our children's future with the out-of-control budget increases."
Hal Rounds of the Fayette County (Tennessee) Tea Party told Breitbart News "we are headed down river to a fiscal cliff, and they think they can fix the problem by having us row faster?"
According to the Tea Party Patriots' Martin, the Omnibus bill is "a 1,582-page monstrosity with a price tag of $1.1 trillion." Martin objected to the hurried passage of the bill that she said "was quietly introduced under the cover of darkness on Monday night, and is being rushed to a vote before Congress can read it."
To Martin, the lack of deliberative consideration of the bill is eerily similar to the way Obamacare was passed in 2010. "While Americans suffer the consequences of Obamacare, Congress is trying to rush through another massive bill before reading it. . . Has Congress learned nothing from the Obamacare disaster?" she asked.
Martin also indicated members of Congress who vote for the Omnibus bill are likely to face electoral consequences in November. "With the midterm elections right around the corner," she said, adding that "the American voters will look for real leaders who are willing to take on today’s issues, such as repealing Obamacare, growing the economy, and balancing the budget, so we don’t cripple the people who will inherit our legacy."
The Club for Growth called the Omnibus bill "the product of the flawed Ryan-Murray deal that canceled part of the sequester last month in an effort to increase spending now. It funds ObamaCare, plusses up other wasteful programs, and contains dozens of policy riders that can only be described as earmarks. "
The planned vote on the Omnibus bill on Wednesday may violate House rules that require a 72 hour waiting period between the time a bill is introduced and the time the full House votes on it.
The bill is designed to fund the federal government's discretionary spending and overseas operations until September 30, 2014. It contains virtually no cuts in any significant area of the budget.
Heritage Action noted that under the Omnibus bill "[b]ase discretionary spending (which does not include OCO or other emergency spending) increases by $24 billion to $1.012 trillion in fiscal year 2014. That is a $45 billion increase over the 2014 sequestration level set by the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was altered by the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. "
"As a result," Heritage Action stated, "the omnibus increases spending, in some cases dramatically, beyond most of the House-passed allocations for FY14 appropriations cycle." Those increases ranged from 7 percent in Agriculture to 29 percent in Labor-HHS-Education.
Heritage Action pointed out that the bill "increases Head Start and Early Head Start funding by $612 million despite an HHS evaluation that found 'Head Start had little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of participants.' "
According to Heritage Action, the Omnibus bill also "maintains current funding for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which includes grants such as $40,000 for artists to 'spend a year in Rome in the historic setting on the Janiculum, one of the highest hills within the walls of Rome.' "
Like Heritage Action, the Club for Growth joined the local and national Tea Party groups who chided Congress for its fiscally irresponsibility. "Instead of finding bipartisan ways to spend more money," its statement read, "Congress should be focused on cutting spending so that the federal budget can be balanced as quickly as possible. This bill does not achieve that goal."