Why the Cromnibus is a Win
I’m hearing you in calls and emails to my office, and wanted to take a moment to further talk about my vote last week on the CRomnibus legislation.
“It includes no new funding for Obamacare. It prohibits the transfer or release of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into the United States, meaning no civilian trials. It blocks funding of the risk corridors that, under the Affordable Care Act, could lead to a government bailout of the insurance companies. It maintains all the existing pro-life policy and funding provisions and adds three more while cutting the funds for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (which is the body that would be recommending any rationing of health care) by $10 million.
The bill also cuts funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by $60 million, which is the fifth consecutive year the agency’s budget has been cut and may finally convince the bureaucrats who run the place they cannot go beyond what they are legally authorized to do without congressional approval. And it hits the Internal Revenue Service particularly hard, cutting its allocation of federal dollars by $345.6 million, prohibiting it from targeting organizations because of the way they chose to exercise their First Amendment rights or on an ideological basis, punishes it for its profligate abuse of taxpayer dollars on expensive, needless videos and conferences at luxury resorts, and prohibits the White House from ordering the review of any organization's tax exempt status.”
“More encouraging is that Republicans are showing how they can use Congress’s spending power to steer policy. Most of government has been on autopilot since 2010. This week’s bill starts to set new spending priorities.
The bill cuts nearly $350 million from an Internal Revenue Service that targeted conservative nonprofits and is acting as tax collector for ObamaCare. It slices $60 million from the imperial Environmental Protection Agency, whose budget is 21% below 2010 levels and will soon have as many employees as it did in 1989. The bill even does the unheard of and eliminates funding for programs, including Mr. Obama’s Race to the Top initiative that has stopped pushing useful education reform.
There are also useful policy riders, notably on regulation. Republicans began to reform the Dodd-Frank financial law by amending a rule that threatened to raise costs on Main Street businesses. They are also banning the Fish and Wildlife Service from placing the sage grouse on the Endangered Species list, ending the threat of a government land grab in 11 states. They are sparing farmers from an EPA plan to apply the Clean Water Act to small ponds and irrigation ditches, and truckers from new rules that slash their work weeks.
School districts will soon have more flexibility in implementing Michelle Obama’s proscriptive school-lunch menus. Failing multi-employer pension plans will be able to reduce benefits to reduce the chances that the plans are dumped on taxpayers.”
“Even if Republicans shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) next year, President Obama could still carry out his executive actions giving legal status to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.”
“President Obama must be smiling. Only a month after his election trouncing, and with the ink on his immigration decree still fresh, he has already induced Republicans to ignore him and start fighting each other.
The latest GOP self-abuse concerns how to respond to the decree while funding the government after the latest spending bill runs out on Dec. 11. Speaker John Boehner and most of his Members have figured out that a showdown over funding the immigration order would be futile. It would end up with another government shutdown for which they would get most of the blame, and at a moment when their political standing with the public has begun to rise.”