Issue: H.R. 2617, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. (Vehicle: An Act to amend section 1115 of title 31, United States Code, to amend the description of how performance goals are achieved, and for other purposes.) House Roll Call 549, 12-23-22. Question: On Motion to Concur in the Senate Adt to the House Adt to the Senate Adt.
Result: Passed 225 to 201, 1 present, 4 not voting. Agreed to by Senate the previous day (Senate Vote #421, 12-22-22). Became Public Law 117-328 (signed by the President, 12-29-22). Democrats only scored.
Freedom First Society: A $1.7-trillion spending monstrosity. Republicans were not needed for passage in the House, so we did not score the posturing Republicans. We give red “X’s”to the 216 Democrats who almost unanimously (only 1 [AOC] against) voted for this measure.
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We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)
CRS Summary: (Still shows legislative vehicle.)
Freedom First Society Analysis: House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro touted the package in her floor remarks: “These bills tackle our nation’s toughest crises — they help lower the cost of living for hardworking families and the middle class, create better-paying jobs, and protect our communities and our national security.” Of course, our Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to “create better paying jobs.” Also lowering “the cost of living” is also a joke, as raising the Fed-financed debt does just the opposite.
Ranking House Appropriations member Kay Granger (R-Texas) did not participate in the negotiations with the other three appropriators. But she later protested the resulting package:
“She said it was too large, especially after Democrats increased domestic spending outside of the normal appropriations process through their pandemic aid and climate, health and tax laws.
“Rather than ‘reflecting the economic realities we face,’ the package instead ‘bails out the administration for many of their self-inflicted wounds, like the border crisis and the energy crisis,’ Granger said during debate. ‘The excess spending on nondefense programs in this bill is just too much to gain my support.’” — Roll Call, 12-23-22
Almost entirely ignored by the media was the contribution of the package to the nation’s more than $31-trillion national debt. Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida) protested the contribution in an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times:
“America’s national debt is $31 trillion and growing. When are we going to be so fed up that we decide this isn’t sustainable? When we get to $35, $40 or $45 trillion in debt? Too many Democrats and Republicans in Washington are happy to close their eyes, plug their ears and pass another reckless, multi-trillion dollar spending bill we can’t afford.”
And Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) protested the irresponsible Congress on Twitter (12-21-22): “If there are people in Congress who do care, who do really care about those struggling with the burden of inflation, the best way is to quit digging the hole deeper. Quit adding to the debt and begin to balance our budget.”
We suspect that there are few in Congress “who do really care about those struggling with the burden of inflation.” Moreover, the goal shouldn’t be to “quit adding to the debt.” Instead, the debt must be rolled back by slashing unconstitutional spending and departments.