Mullin' It Over Column
The Partisan Appropriations Package
Washington, July 20, 2022
The money that your federal government spends is divided into two categories: mandatory spending, where Congress unacceptably put it on autopilot, and discretionary spending, which has to be directed each year. For now, let’s set aside the runaway mandatory part and talk about the money that makes up Congress’ traditional role in the power of the purse. Discretionary spending, this category that Congress originally oversaw, is made up of 12 annual bills known as appropriations. And to make this explanation even more complicated, this week, the House is voting on a so-called “minibus,” the combination of six of the traditional 12 appropriation bills for the next fiscal year.
Americans are suffering, yet this bill reflects that Democrat priorities have remained the same. Record-high inflation is costing the average American household nearly $6,000 more per year, small business confidence has dropped to the lowest level it has been in over nine years, and the Democrats introduced a bill full of policy priorities to dramatically increase topline spending by 14 percent. The priorities in this bill exemplify just how out of touch the Democrats remain with the current struggles that face Americans across the nation. This out-of-control spending bill will only make matters worse.
Despite historical federal debt and skyrocketing inflation, Democrats prioritized double-digit and triple-digit increases to expand the Washington bureaucracy. These provisions include a 20 percent increase of the Environmental Protection Agency, a one billion dollar increase in the Internal Revenue Service, a 17 percent increase for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a 12 percent increase for federal buildings—many of which have been mostly empty for the last two years.
It wouldn’t be a Democrat spending bill if it didn’t fund their Green New Deal agenda. They have included the restriction of offshore oil and gas activities, increased gas inspection fees (the cost of which will be passed on to consumers), provided for $11 million in new funding to so-called clean energy programs, and given tens of billions of dollars in funding for programs that will force taxpayers to subsidize unreliable and expensive forms of energy. I should also mention, $100 million is provided for the president himself through the Defense Production Act, which is only to be used in cases of a national emergency, to require businesses to manufacture energy technologies of his Administration’s choosing. Finally, $75 million is allocated for public housing energy efficiency and climate related upgrades.
And as expected, House Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to push through their radical abortion agenda. This bill eliminates pro-life protections and facilitates taxpayer funding of abortions. This is a practice that has long been rejected through the bipartisan Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited the use of DC local funds and the Federal Employee Health Benefits program from allowing abortions. This bill also fails to block a Food and Drug Administration policy that allows abortion pills to be mailed to patients. Unacceptable.
Those elected to public office are expected to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. As the entire nation suffers under Washington’s one-party rule, Democrats have made it clear they would rather push their radical agenda than reverse the hurt and the problems their policies have created. While these are only a few examples on the laundry list of priorities the Democrats have crammed into this bill, they offer a clear example as to why I do not support this legislation.
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