Budget Vote Sets Stage for Main Event on Illegal Immigration
As I’ve traveled the 9th District this week I’ve had a lot of questions about why I supported the so called “Cromnibus” or “Continuing Resolution Omnibus” bill.
I appreciate these questions as this is a complicated issue and the political stakes are very high. Let me take a moment and communicate directly with you why I voted for the measure:
First - The Democrats and the President have been hiding behind the “Republicans want to shut down the Government” accusation. While doing this, Obama has taken Executive Action on Illegal Immigration, which I believe is Unconstitutional and side steps the legislative process our nation was built upon. Obama has set aside the rule of law and his actions will inevitably lead to a further surge of illegal immigrants. While avoiding a government shutdown, this bill isolates out the funding for the Department of Homeland Security so that we can fight this fight in February of 2015 when the Department’s funding will have to be extended to implement the President’s amnesty plan. We cut through the political smoke and mirrors and will be shining a spotlight on the unconstitutional actions of President Obama, who’s policies the voters soundly rejected in November.
Second - By putting the real fight off until next year, we will coming back to the table with a much larger team. That includes a majority in the U.S. Senate, which will be key to stopping the President and his liberal buddies in Congress. We saw the political realities of our current electoral disadvantage play out this week in the Senate when as a result of actions taken by some well-meaning conservative Senators, Harry Reid was able to get enough votes on the President’s liberal, anti-2nd Amendment nominee for Surgeon General. We have to understand the process and keep the big picture in mind as we take action on these issues and avoid making these kind of rookie mistakes.
Third - The measure itself actually has a lot of good, common sense victories for our side. These conservative gains are so significant that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi actually came out strongly against this bill. If Nancy Pelosi is against a bill, I think it’s a relatively safe assumption that it has a lot of good in it! Let me share what I see as the top 10 components of this bill:
- The federal government’s discretionary spending level is at $1.013 trillion—even lower than the $1.019 trillion spending level in the famous conservative “Path to Prosperity” budget.
- The IRS budget is slashed by over $340 million, putting the agency back below their 2008 budget. The IRS has been now been cut by over $1.2 billion since Fiscal Year 2010.
- EPA funding is cut by $60 million, making it a 21% budget cut since Fiscal Year 2010. The EPA’s staffing level will be at its lowest level since 1989 and livestock producers are exempt from EPA greenhouse gas regulations, thwarting the agency’s effort to further regulate livestock.
- $41 million in VA performance bonuses are rescinded and efforts to end the disability claims backlog are strengthened while expanding staff for serving our vets.
- Aid to Libya is prohibited until the U.S. Secretary of State confirms that the Libyans are cooperating in the Benghazi investigation.
- Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, sometimes referred to as the "death panel,” is cut by millions of dollars.
- Funding is prohibited for acquiring, storing or monitoring electronic communications of a US citizen from a public service provider under section 501 of FISA.
- All existing pro-life protections are extended, with new protections included in the bill such as requiring the Office of Civil Rights to respond to claims of violations of conscience protections.
- Funding for any future "Fast and Furious" type activity is prohibited and ACORN and its subsidiaries are prohibited from receiving federal funds.
- The UN Arms Trade Treaty cannot be funded or implemented.
There are many components to this bill and not everything you hear, or see posted on Facebook is accurate. I wanted to let you know why I voted as I did and make sure you know what is driving my decisions in Washington. You elected me to stand up for our common sense, conservative values and for our rights as freedom loving Americans. That is my mission day in and day out.