WASHINGTON, D.C. — The influential American Conservative Union called out the House of Representatives for asking members to vote on a 1,600 page appropriations bill, H.R. 244, only two days after introducing it.
The first point of the ACU statement released just hours before the House passed the bill on Wednesday read, “…voting on a 1,600 page bill released at 2am Monday and voted on two days later is disrespectful of American taxpayers and the Members of Congress they elected to represent them,”
The ACU contends that conservatives, including those on the House Appropriations Committee, were “frozen out of the process and were not given the privilege of knowing what was in the bill, a privilege extended to Democrats.”
The conservative group, which annually hosts that massive CPAC conference, applauded spending increases for defense, border security, and charter schools, but condemned what it called Republican “budget gimmicks” that fund spending increases for leftist programs in excess of Fiscal Year 2016 levels, “…programs that in many cases were increased substantially under the Obama Administration.”
The statement gave specific examples of the types of the left’s programs to which it was referring:
•Amtrak, which has wasted billions on little-used long distance routes, is up $105 million.
•The National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities each get $2 million more.
•The $150 million increase in IRS funding added last year remains in place.
•The renewable energy program, home of the Solyndra scandal, gets an extra $18 million.
•The Appalachian Regional Commission, scheduled for elimination in the president’s budget, instead gets an increase of $6 million.
“Many other wasteful programs did not get one dollar cut from last year. They include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Legal Services Corporation,” according to the ACU. “Conservatives have earned the right to be part of the process. This has not been the case and this bill deserves to be rejected.”
On Monday morning, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Jim Jordan warned in an interview with CNN, “I think you’re going to see a lot of conservatives be against this plan this week.”
Wednesday afternoon the House passed the $1.1 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill.
One hundred and three Republicans and only 15 Democrats voted against the bill, while 131 Republicans and 178 Democrats voted for the bill. According to those totals, Republicans in control of the House needed Democrats to pass the bill on to the Senate.
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