Rep. Rod Blum Opposes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Casts “no” vote against Omnibus

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Washington, DC, December 18, 2015 | comments

Congressman Rod Blum released the following statement about his vote against today’s $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill:

“Today’s $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill was a typical Washington DC backroom deal: Republicans and Democrats “working together” to spend even more American taxpayer money. Washington special interests are thrilled by this massive spending binge while our children and grandchildren get stuck with the bill.”

“When I came to Washington in January, I was named to the Budget Committee. We worked hard to produce a responsible budget that put us on the path to fiscal sanity and it passed the House, but today’s legislation completely busted that budget. Iowa families have to live within their means, but Congress sees no problem with breaking its own budget. This is exactly why so many Americans view their politicians as "out of touch”.

“Further, I also voted no because the process that gave us today’s spending bill is completely broken. Negotiated behind closed doors by Congressional leadership without participation from rank and file members, the bill is over 2,000 pages long and was introduced at 1:30 AM on Wednesday, giving members of Congress less than 60 hours to analyze it and make a “take it or leave it” judgment call while under tremendous pressure to pass the bill before the holidays. This process cuts Iowans out of the business of governing, and I’m hopeful that Speaker Ryan will work hard to improve this process when we start the new legislative year in January.”

“While there were certain good things in the bill I have worked hard to support in the past,  like the repeal of the harmful Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements on meat products and the extension of the wind and solar energy tax credits, these were not nearly enough to outweigh the negatives.”

“Some of the worst aspects of the bill include:

  • Full funding for President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into America without a rigorous screening process. At a bare minimum the omnibus should have included the American SAFE Act, which passed the House last month with a veto-proof bipartisan majority and requires the FBI, DHS, and the Director of National Intelligence to certify that all refugees from Syria and Iraq are not a security threat to America. The safety and security of my constituents will always come first when I vote on legislation.
  • It allows members of Congress to continue to fly first class and lease luxury cars at taxpayer expense. The bipartisan bill that I introduced along with Rep. Gwen Graham from Florida would have eliminated these abuses of taxpayer money but was not included in the omnibus.
  • Full funding for the EPA’s burdensome “Waters of the United States” regulation that could allow the EPA to claim federal jurisdiction over 98% of Iowa land.
  • It quadruples H2-B visas for foreign workers at a time when we have a record number of Americans who aren’t working. Before we bring more workers into our country we should focus on getting our own citizens back to work.
  • Continues federal funding for “Sanctuary Cities” that refuse to follow our country’s immigration laws. Sanctuary cities that allow violent illegal immigrants to avoid deportation are complicit in tragedies like the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco and the omnibus does nothing to fix this blatant disregard for our law.”

Rod Blum is the Republican Congressman in Iowa’s 1st District. He is a member of the Budget and Oversight & Government Reform Committees.

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