Washington D.C. – Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865, the two federal government spending packages that passed in the House today:
“It is supposed to start with a budget – a basic governing function that the Democrat House majority failed to accomplish. Each year Congress is legally required to identify, approve, and fund the federal government. American taxpayer dollars go to our military, research at the National Institutes of Health, and infrastructure projects approved by Congress, to identify a few. This ‘power of the purse’ is centered on the people’s representatives making informed and reasoned decisions on the priorities for our country.
“This is how it’s supposed to work. And in the instance of H.R. 1158, which funds our common defense – the first Constitutional responsibility of the federal government – it largely has. We authorized and are now funding the largest pay raise for our men and women in uniform in a decade, billions of dollars in our military readiness investments through infrastructure and weaponry upgrades, and targeted health services for our service members’ admirable and unique experiences. With this bill, even more progress is being made on securing the nation’s border — a priority of President Donald Trump’s, Republicans, and the vast majority of Americans.
“But the way in which we fund our military has become the outlier, not the norm. Unfortunately, much of the domestic budget remains unauthorized, running on autopilot, without the meaningful scrutiny from Members of Congress. Instead, political machinations designed to maximize partisan leverage lead to brinkmanship and last-minute deals against crisis shutdown deadlines. This is especially true in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House, where the Democrat majority dropped two massive funding bills that encompass the entire federal government’s budget right before lawmakers head back to their districts and while Democrat leaders surely figure Americans are busy preparing for the holiday season. And less than 24 hours later — far from the three days Democrats pledged would be made available before a bill could be voted on — Representatives of the House are asked to vote yes or no, all or nothing.
“Far from the regular process of elected members of Congress debating the substance of legislation, one Member is empowered above the rest – Speaker Pelosi has the pen. This is isn’t legislating or governing, or quite frankly, responsible.
“In the end, a process that began by violating budget law ends with a product that puts worthy projects on the same footing as earmark pet projects, and forces Members to tolerate waste or abandon the worthy. Following numerous earthquakes that caused damage to the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake – a base essential to our military’s weapons development and research – the Navy requested funding for repairs. Those are now placed in the same legislation that funds Speaker Pelosi’s earmark to a San Francisco historical society. Gaming the system like this reeks of exactly what Americans dislike most about Washington. And if entrusted with a majority in the next Congress, Republicans will do better.”