For the first time in 10 years, Republicans are in control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. We should be optimistic about moving a conservative agenda forward, but we have failed to keep our promise to repeal Obamacare and have followed that up by surrendering to demands of Democrats by producing a budget bill that spends more than $1.1 trillion to fund the government.
That's more than $7 billion dollars a day.
While the federal government is nearly $20 trillion in debt, I am flabbergasted that the Republican Party would promote a bill that does nothing to address out-of-control spending or deficit reduction. Worse still are the policies included in the bill.
First, Republicans continue to fund Planned Parenthood. According to the Government Accountability Office, Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of dollars per year in federal funding under the guise of providing healthcare services to low-income individuals, and, according to their most recent annual report, the organization performs more than 300,000 abortions a year.
Congress should proclaim the sanctity of human life at every opportunity. This bill goes against the beliefs of a majority of Americans and continues to subsidize Planned Parenthood.
Second, the spending bill omits funding for a wall along our border with Mexico. Out of the $1.1 trillion we have committed to spending, we couldn't find even $1 billion—less than one-tenth of 1 percent—to begin building a border wall?
For Republicans, border security was a central campaign pledge. Illegal immigration costs American taxpayers billions of dollars each year, and violent criminal aliens wreak havoc on unsuspecting families in every corner of the country. A wall would not completely solve our problems, but it would be a start and would send a powerful message that we are serious about ending illegal border crossings. Like the debate over Planned Parenthood, the debate over building a border wall is a fight worth having.
In contrast to the lack of funds for a border wall, the bill provides substantial funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has been a symbol of brutal regulatory overreach, and countless Americans have paid the price with lost jobs or reduced wages as the agency has continued to expand. As Republicans, we should be committed to the goal of less government, not more, and that means eliminating wasteful and oppressive government agencies and departments.
Lastly, there are no prohibitions on funds flowing to sanctuary cities — yet another capitulation to the demands of Democrats. We know that many cities are in open contempt of U.S. law by refusing to cooperate with immigration enforcement laws, instead providing safe haven for illegal aliens. Consequently, the residents of these cities will never be safe so long as the officials who run them do not adhere to basic law and order.
I support some of the bill's provisions, such as increased funding for our military — a small victory in a sea of wasteful spending and bad policy. Unfortunately, there simply are not enough victories in this legislation to gain my support.
After four tumultuous and disappointing years in the White House, former President John Quincy Adams served nine distinguished terms in the House of Representatives. During his tenure in Congress, Adams fought tirelessly and eloquently for the end of American slavery. Adams died before seeing the realization of his dream. While few understood why Adams so stubbornly hacked away at the institution of slavery, he was quoted simply as saying, "duty is ours, results are God's."
When I was running for office, I made several promises to the constituents of Arizona's 5th Congressional District: I would adhere to the Constitution and consistently fight to restore limited government. It has only been four months since I took the oath of office, and I can already understand the disappointment Adams must have felt.
The omnibus spending bill released to the public early this week should concern all Americans.
As we tackle a number of major issues in the 115th Congress, I hope the capitulation on this bill is not a foreboding sign that Congress will be willing to cave, compromise, or kick the can down the road in every case. I am aware that some of these fights may come with a steep political price. Some of the results may not become apparent during our lifetimes. Some of the battles may be taxing and overwhelming.
As Adams said, "the results are God's," but our duty is to keep our promises, for the future of the American people. As long as I have the privilege of serving in Congress, I will fight to uphold the commitments I made to my constituents and my oath to uphold the Constitution.
Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) represents Arizona's fifth district in the U.S. Congress.
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